Tuesday, December 31, 2002

The Case for Drinking (All Together Now: In Moderation!) From today's NYT: In a study of more than 80,000 American women, those who drank moderately had only half the heart attack risk of those who did not drink at all, even if they were slim, did not smoke and exercised daily. Moderate drinking was about as good for the heart as an hour of exercise a day. Not drinking at all was as bad for the heart as morbid obesity.

Wow! So to be as healthy as I can be, I need to get sloshed every day (two drinks are plenty; I'm a cheap date). Tonight, New Year's Eve, I will drink enough to be the healthiest ever!

Monday, December 30, 2002

Hello everyone. I am back at work. This morning was the first time I've woken up before 9 in many days, it seems. I had a great Christmas down in Jersey with my folks; it was very brief and relaxing. It even snowed on Christmas (after raining most of the day). P's mom was with us, and she seemed to really enjoy herself, chatting warmly with my parents and my aunt. Her presence meant two extra dogs for a total of 6 in my parents' small house.

So, the loot: I gave my sister an airbrushed tank top with her name on it, from the airbrushing place in the mall. I also made her and my mom scarves I had knit. Dad got a woodworking book and P got an obscure Indian cookbook. I got a bread machine, something I never thought I'd have a use for, but now that there's two kids in my house it will be worth it. We made two loaves already and they were good but seemed to be missing something; they were very one-note. I'm wondering if it has to do with the way they're baked. You can set it to just prepare the dough for you. We're going to try different recipes.

After Christmas P took his mom back home and I went to Brooklyn with S and S. We had a nice relaxing time. Watched the extended Fellowship of the Rings, which is even better than the theatrical version, with more character development and exposition; the next night we saw the Two Towers, also fantastic and great. We managed to do a little shopping in Manhattan. Since I'm still on my quest for go-go boots, we went to Screaming Mimi's, where Drew Barrymore was picking out a big pile of threads. S and I were all excited but playing it supercool, not asking for an autograph and trying not to stare at her. She was cute and looked like a normal person, and seemed to be shopping alone (no friends and/or bodyguards). At one point she got a call from her honey in the Strokes. She said something like "Good morning, sleepyhead!" It was 4 in the afternoon. Rock stars, man. Anyway, no go-go boots were to be had for my twisted little feet.

We also wandered onto Canal Street. Canal Jean Co. is closing; the end of an era. It was the cool punk place to get cheap threads in the 80s; but that was back when SoHo was where actual artists lived and showed their work, and Canal was mostly part of Chinatown. Now Canal Jeans faces a huge Old Navy store. At Canal I scored a baby blue t-shirt, two belts, and two large vintage curtains that I hope to make into a dress and a tablecloth.

It was nice to be in Brooklyn sans kids and dog. It was rough to come back to an ailing P, impending financial disaster, and an unshoveled sidewalk on Saturday. I solved the one thing I could, clearing the whole sidewalk in one massive push yesterday. I'm quite sore today. And hung over from the freedom.

Monday, December 23, 2002

I had a very hectic weekend. It was somewhat fun, but stressful, like every Christmas-time ever. Me, P, sister and bro-in-law all drove up to Laconia NH to have a little Christmas with the Grandparents. G'dad has Alzheimer's, and he's not doing too good, but he's still healthy (uh... except for his brain). He didn't buy anyone any presents, of course. The lo-jack attached to his ankle prevents him from leaving his floor of the nursing home. But he did give his wife a sweet card, one of those cards where some guy at a desk in Indiana writes the sentiment in verse for you. He had signed it, oddly, "April 30," a date which has no significance that we know of. Interesting.

We ducked out when we were all done with presents and a 1:30 p.m. "dinner" in order to go to Funspot. It's a huge video game palace and bowling alley and bar. We headed right upstairs to the massive vintage video game palace: rows of original Star Wars, Rampage, Paperboy, Asteroids, Mappy, Burgertime, all the Pac-Man variants, rows of pinball machines spanning the last 30 years... P hated it there but wasn't too jerky about wanting to leave well before me, S and S, and my dad wanted to. Just like at Six Flags, it was great to see my dad enjoying some kid-like things with me. He was amazed that we could all race each other at those linked racing-game things, and then when we played he actually won. The four of us (P was, at this point, napping in the car) had a mini-tournament at the air-hockey tables and I won. Ha.

Saturday night we saw some of the Fawns and SFTD (see the Living Rockumentary at left). I always end up feeling happy and energized when I see them. Such good stuff. At the end of the Fawns set they brought up a few more people to form a local musician Supergroup onstage to sing the "Merry Christmas" song by the Waitresses.

Sunday was last-minute shopping day. I got almost everything downtown, Shopping Locally as the bumper stickers tell me to, but I had to go to the mall for the last thing on my list. It was horribly packed full of cranky people. I got lucky and found someone getting into her car before anyone else had camped out waiting for the space.

Tonight will be a flurry of wrapping and packing, and tomorrow morning I'm off to New Jersey by way of Brooklyn. Blogging will be sporadic during this time; we appreciate your patience.
Leader of 'The Clash' Is Dead at 50 R.I.P. Joe Strummer. So fuckin' sad.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Visiting Korea, but really really wish you were at Disney World instead? Get yourself to Seoulland! Besides the incredible, I-can't-believe-Disney-hasn't-yet-sued-them-yet "Space Ship Earth" knockoff, there are many fun rides your family can enjoy, like this carousel of musical instruments:

And don't miss "Rock N Roll," where riders "Spin and spin back and forth like a sieve-frame of a squirrel!"

Go to Seoulland's website for more. Open nature, exciting day!

Thursday, December 19, 2002

poopboy.swf This link is blogged especially for P.
My shoulders and right arm are very stiff and sore today, from overdoing it the past two days. Not from lifting weights or doing yoga, but from knitting. I am such a girl. Anyway, I just got 15 minutes of accupressure (for $15) from a person who brings her massage table to a quiet spot in our office. She wasn't hard enough. It felt really nice, but it wasn't theraputic like I wanted. I told her to go harder, but she said, "well, okay, but I don't want to kill you," and then didn't increase the pressure at all. I wanted to be all, "harder! HARDER! Dammit, drill it into me! NOW!" but that seemed inappropriate.
Here you go: a bear that shits prime numbers. This is what makes the web great.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Sorry no blog yesterday; I had to go to NYC for one of those half-an-hour-long presentations. It was largely uneventful, and I got home early enough to do some Christmas shopping at the mall. I do so much better at the mall when I'm alone. Then I came home and knit while watching 24. I assumed Buffy was a rerun as it has been for three weeks, but maybe I missed a new one. Whatever.

Today we got our office Holiday Gifts. This year instead of a mousepad or a pen we got polar fleece jackets. And of course, even though the majority of people in the office are women, they're all in men's sizes. I have a small and it's enormous on me. It would probably be a women's size 14 or 16. The sleeves engulf my hands. I will never wear this outside of this building. The company logo embroidered on the breast would have already ruled that out. But still.

The one advantage fat people have is that all of the free t-shirts that companies send out to their "media partners" are always, by default, sixe XL. It's like, Here, fatty! Your job requires you to sit in front of a computer all day so you must be quite corpulent. And we wouldn't want to offend you by sending you a shirt that may possibly be a little tight around your protruding belly. Instead, we'll make our shirts so big that 90 percent of the people who get them will immediately cut them up for rags or donate them to the Salvation Army. We don't care.

Monday, December 16, 2002

GirlHacker's Random Log Girlhacker presents a list of outlet stores online. Nice.
How to Good-Bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? or Effective Way? That's the name of a real book, a book that should be on everyone's Christmas list this year. Why, just read what the author has to say (from the book's amazon.com page), and I'm sure you'll agree that you can't afford to not get it:

I think constricting anus 100 times and denting navel 100 times in succession everyday is effective to good-bye depression and take back youth. You can do so at a boring meeting or in a subway. I have known a 70-year-old man who has practiced it for 20 years. As a result, he has a good complexion and has grown 20 years younger. His eyes sparkle. He is full of vigor, happiness and joy. He has neither complained nor born a grudge under any circumstance. Furthermore, he can make #### three times in succession without drawing out.

In addition, he also can have burned a strong, beautiful fire within his abdomen. It can burn out the dirty stickiness of his body, release his immaterial fiber or third attention, which has been confined to his stickiness. Then, he can shoot out his immaterial fiber or third attention to an object, concentrate on it and attain happy lucky feeling through the success of concentration.

If you don't know concentration, which gives you peculiar pleasure, your life looks like hell.

Friday, December 13, 2002

Different boots, but still lovely Now, these chunky 70's LL Bean boots, I might actually bid on. It's got a few days for the price to go really high so I'm going to wait.

By the eBay way, I only have one bid for my five items I put up last Sunday. I thought I had this ebay thing down, but I clearly don't. I have only ever sold one piece of clothing successfully (a Custo-Barcelona shirt; do a search to see how popular these are) and I've tried selling like five things.
I just looked at the list of phrases people searched for to get to my blog and besides the usual (aunt panties, used teen panties, persuasive seat belt arguments) there's one that's s____ w____ d____, with the S and D being my sister and me's first names and the W being my last name. Kind of creepy. Whoever searched for that clearly got to the right place. Some long-lost schoolmate? My step-kid reading all the stuff I've been writing about her (a sobering thought)? A crazy ex-boyfriend stalker? Drop me a line, mystery person.
Japan loves American culture, spending thousands on crap like vintage sneakers and Levis. America loves Japanese culture, endlessly emailing around links to the latest inscrutible piece of flash animation and loving kid stuff like Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokeman, not to mention sushi (guilty). My point: America and Japan should go have sex somewhere. They clearly have big crushes on each other.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

my dream boots. If you want to get me something for Christmas, here it is. But forget it, they probably won't fit my monster feet, and the bidding's already up to $40. If you ever see any boots like these, knee-high and lace-up, around a size 8, buy them!

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

This morning at the bakery where I always get my sweet carbo treat (muffin or danish or slice of kuchen) the nerd behind the counter tried to out me as a co-nerd. He brazenly came right out and asked me: "So, the new Star Trek movie is coming out this Friday..." Expecting me to say, "Oh yeah, can't wait to see it!" Expecting me to geek out with him, a total stranger! Why does he assume I'm a fellow nerd? It's almost insulting. Anyway, I said something like, "Oh, I've kind of given up on Star Trek. I haven't seen any of the recent movies." Which is true. I felt bad for dissing him like that so I said, "Now, Lord of the Rings - THAT I'm looking forward to!" Then I walked out, as the other people on line started talking about how much they wanted to see it, too. Take that, nerd-boy!

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

A gave us her Christmas list a couple of weeks ago but T just compiled hers yesterday. In the middle of the list is the same thing she always asks for: "A kitten in a basket with a bow on its head. You never seem to get me what I really want." She is funny.

The first thing on her list, though, is underlined and in all-caps: A TRAIN TICKET HOME FOR NEW YEAR'S. By "home" she means back north, where her mom used to live and her friends still do. I understand that she calls it home because that's what it's always been, and there's no better word for it, but it still hurts a little, and it hurts P more. Truly, her only home right now is the one here with us. But what can you do? Tell her, "change your nomenclature, please, for it hurts our feelings"?

It's still up in the air whether or not P will let her go "home" for New Year's. We suspect she wants to go be with her boyfriend at a party Without an Adult Present, which is a no-no in my book for a 14-year-old. But she will be so unhappy if she doesn't go that P might cave. I don't know what the right thing to do is. As usual.

Monday, December 09, 2002

I had a very fun weekend. Saturday we zoomed down to Brooklyn, getting there around 2:00. we spent the afternoon eating bagels and playing MonkeyBall. Baby Henry made an appearance, and I was allowed to hold him for quite a while. He mainly slept as I did the gentle swaying-back-and-forth motion those creatures enjoy. I was trying to keep a hand clamped over his arms because he kept doing this startle reflex thing, where his whole body would jerk because he thought he was falling. I still have those horrible dreams where I'm falling and I jerk violently awake. Clearly I need someone to bundle me. Anyway, eventually I had to switch arms and he woke up. It takes a lot of effort to calm a crying newborn. After just a minute or two of high-impact lifting, jogging, and swinging, I had to hand him over to a professional. When he was distracted enough to stop cyring for a few seconds he'd open up his big eyes very wide and look all around with an amazed expression.

We went to Fiamma's 30th birthday party, held in her new and newly painted alcove studio apartment. She painted the entire place; the bathroom had been painted black by the previous tenant. Crazy. It was a potluck and someone had made perogis from scratch. Damn those are good. Poles really know how to eat in the winter. I mingled a little but spent most of the time dancing with them what brought me. It's too bad, because a couple of them - a senior editor at Allure, and a sculptor - really interested me, but we were all in light mingle-mode. Around 11:30 a few of us went over to the Brooklyn Inn to meet our pal JL. S and S crapped out due to illness and tiredness, and I barely made it myself, so it was just Tricia and me and P. Eventually T's new beau showed up; he had been enticed by T's promises of hanging out with a Famous Author. Cute. Eventually J showed, and then F. I sipped Scotch to stop my emerging cough (it worked very well). J and P got some quality time together.

By the time we got back to S's that night I was so tired I was afraid to fall asleep lest my heart stopped. It's been a while since I let myself get that tired. It was kind of fun, actually. Sunday we only had time for brunch at Two Boots before P and I had to drive back up north. Brooklyn in the hiz-ouse.
Random site of the day: A list of Disabled Recording Artists

Sunday, December 08, 2002

I just put s'more stuff up on eBay. My user name is debway if you want to take a gander. The two cool things I'm selling are some nice size 8 NineWest pumps that are too narrow for my be-bunioned feet (I bought them at a church rummage sale without trying them on), and a large orange Calvin Klein peasant blouse that looked smaller than it is when I bought it at a tag sale.

Friday, December 06, 2002

I had an odd dream last night. Somehow a young woman had tracked me down, thinking I was some expert on "The Happiest Millionaire" (a live-action Disney movie from the 1960s I've never seen), and she kept following me and asking me questions I couldn't answer. Meanwhile I'm wandering through this vaguely-European-looking street full of shabby apartments. I go in one and up the stairs to see my sis's friend, Alice, who has a young baby. Unfortunately he was just put down for a nap so I can't see him right now. A shows me where he's sleeping: he's inside a shoebox, packed into a larger box with smaller boxes and blocks of styrofoam on all sides, and then there's some sort of cover with more blocks on top, and the whole thing is in this round tub like an antique washer. A seemed weary. I figured the crazy packing was to keep the baby from crying, or at least to muffle his cries for the benefit of the adults. That's all I remember.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Guess what I'm wearing today?


I am loving it. They're safely hidden under my jeans and they have been keeping my calves toasty all day. They're borrowed from T's dance stuff, so they're black and relatively sleek. In the 80s the high-fashion legwarmers were huge and cabled and lumpy. I might have the guts to wear these with a skirt, even. I have plans to try some crazy fashion action at F's party this weekend.

I said "seriously" a lot in my previous post. How about that.
I didn't go. I pulled the old "I'm sick" crap-put lie, which I never do because I have a very guilty conscience. But seriously, I've been feeling kind of sick all week, and spending the whole day on a train stuck in the snow would only make me sicker. Seriously, the city is supposed to get 6 to 8 inches today. Anyway, I'm at work now; I felt too guilty to take an entire sick day when I'm not actually sick, so I told my manager that after I slept some more and had some tea I felt better (which is true, but then again that's true every morning). Boss lady was skeptical. She espied me at my cube and came over to ask me what I was doing here. I told her I felt sick this morning. I don't think she believed me. I said I called one of the guys who was going and he said "well, I don't know when I'll see you again, the snow is supposed to be horrible." Seriously, they might end up spending the night there, at some $300-a-night hotel. For a one-hour presentation. Boss Lady responded, though, that she heard the city wasn't going to get nearly that much, that the 6-to-8 figure was just "for the coast." Of course NYC is on the coast... but I let it drop.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

So it turns out I'm going to be in NYC all day tomorrow. Just found out an hour ago. We're leaving here at 8:15 tomorrow morning, and taking the train because it's supposed to snow; we'll hopefully catch the 5:45 out of the city. We're going for a one-hour-long presentation on an upcoming movie (a good one, otherwise I'd be pissed about having to go). I'm going with three older men from the office. They're pretty fun, the kind who like to have expensive lunches and take the time to shop in artsy bookstores and music shops (we have two hours to kill before the presentation). Sometimes I look at my life and I think, who the hell is this person? I don't feel like the kind of girl who must travel six hours to attend an important and exclusive meeting thrown by a major entertainment company, or who flies to L.A. to get some "face time" with other people in the company, but I guess I am. Weird.
ThinkGeek :: Midas Remote Control Watch This may be the perfect holiday gift for my dad, who has said he doesn't want anything this year. It's small, tech-y, and both silly and useful: it's a watch that's also a universal remote control, so he can secretly change the channel at his friends' houses. It might be too stylish, though.
www.mnftiu.cc | get your war on | page seventeen A new Get Your War On (from last week, 'cause I'm slow) mostly about the insanity of hiring Kissinger to investigate ANYTHING. FYI, Mark Bingham was the gay guy who helped thwart the hijackers and crash Flight 93 before it hit DC on Sept. 11 (I had to google him to refresh my memory).
Wal-Mart Values Yet another reason to not buy at Wal-Mart; they're being sued by 7 female employees who've been discriminated against because of their gender. Article contains this rather alarming factoid: Four out of ten American women visit one of Wal-Mart's stores weekly.

Reader, I was almost one of those four yesterday, in order to buy the cheapest possible gloves for my step-children. But I did not cave in. The kids are still gloveless, but my convictions are intact. I'll have to buy them gloves at some slightly-less-loathesome giant chain store like CVS or Target.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

So i tried to post earlier but Blogger was down. Stupid free software. I will evenutally move to MT someday.

I had a very vege-ful Thanksgiving holiday. We cooked and hosted at our house; I let P deal with the bird and I made a blueberry pie and some butternut squash mash. We're still eating turkey (for lunch I had some of the turkey soup we made last night). Mainly what I did for four days is sit around, eat, and watch movies. What I saw:

Raising Arizona
Lost in America
The Virgin Suicides
three episodes of Buffy
Harry Potter (the new one; we actually left the house for that one)
Leon (The Professional)
the last half hour of Stepmom

I feel like there were even more but it's all a blur now. I had seen all of the flicks before except for the Virgin Suicides, which I liked. All the others were chosen by P except for The Professional, which T and A seemed to like a lot, possibly because it stars a 12-year-old Natalie Portman (the three of us agree that she's angelically beautiful).

Anyway. More regular bloggin' to come.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Here's some people on the top of the fire tower at the top of Mt. Tom. It's my sister and her husband. Just so you know. P is trying to teach me how to upload images to my website and this time I'm writing everything down. My goal today is to put a buttload of stuff up on eBay.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Google Fight : Make a fight with Googlefight Put in two names and googlefight declares a winner by determining who has the most web hits. I put in my first name and some other first names, and I was beaten by my sister, my boyfriend, and my dog. Damn.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Winter vomiting disease There's an actual virus called Winter Vomiting Disease. As if there weren't enough reasons already to hate winter. From the link (lifted from BoingBoing):

The virus causes fever, sickness and diarrhoea and lasts for about 24-48 hours. The onset can be very sudden and it typically starts with an attack of vomiting which can be severe and of the projectile variety.

Monday, November 25, 2002

This weekend I didn't accomplish half of what I wanted to. I did help my friends move, and I bought replacement mugs at the craft sale. but I failed to purchase and install window shades, or do any yard work, or even look at the sump pump. I did go to Russ and Amanda's Free Giveaway Extravaganza, after being accidentally invited when we ran into Russ Sunday morning. Since they're moving to Hawaii, they no longer need winter clothes, and they also have a lot of extra things to shed. We were pretty excited because R & A have great taste and a love of vintage clothing. After the assembled group (about 8 people) watched the Simpsons, we were told we could have anything in the living room (except for a giant hookah and a candelabra, willed to specific people). At first we all gently looked through the stuff Ñ a rack of clothes, tables of knick-knacks, rows of books, stacks of CDs and records Ñ without claiming anything for ourselves. It just felt odd to start grabbin', since your friend right next to you might want it instead. Eventually the strong vodka and tonics did their beautiful work and we each amassed a pile of stuff. No hard feelings on anyone's part, as far as I could see. A partial list of my haul:
A pink, floaty, long baby-doll style nightgown from the 70's
very soft plush black faux-fur coat, originally from 25 Central
vintage black cocktail dress with pink ribbon detail, in perfect shape, and it fits perfectly! I will wear this to my office Holiday Party
vintage green and white poly shorty-shorts (my ass doesn't hang out of the bottom... but it is very close)
vintage red cardigan
three vintage purses; two will be X-mas gifts for A and T
a silver bangle, for A or T
a silver and jade box, for A or T
Several books, including Dale Evan's Tips for Young Women (or something like that)

P also got some great stuff, including a fake raccoon-like fur coat and a lovely vintage 70s shirt. Thank you Amanda and Russ for being so generous!
Pearl River Oh my stars, Pearl River has an online store! This is my favorite department store in NYC's Chinatown. Shipping is a flat $10 rate so get as much as you can at one go.
I'm getting pretty nervous about having Thanksgiving at my house. It's so grown-up! Luckily P has cooked a turkey before. I'm going to focus on making the side dishes.
I had a dream last night in which i was trying to get a turkey (apparently the way to get a good, organic one is to reserve it in advance) but was having major trouble getting the size I wanted. And then I was a Disney character at Magic Kingdom. I was Chip of Chip n' Dale, and as I was about to appear in a little show I realized I didn't have my plush hands. So I told Dale about it and he silently led me through a secret door down to the underground corridors to a costume area, where there was a big pile of sleeves and hands. I grabbed two but then noticed one of the arms was blue and the paw was black - totally the wrong arm. In the dream, I guessed that it was for a Goofy costume. Then I woke up.

Friday, November 22, 2002

I had one of my recurring dreams last night. I was visiting the big, open arts building at Hampshire, the "art barn" where all of the student studios are. Space is allocated according to seniority and stand-alone plywood walls are moved at the beginning of each semester to form a number of large and small spaces. In my dream I walk into the building and I don't know any of the students there, and I realize that I haven't been spending any time working in my studio. I go looking for my studio, but it's been absorbed and reallocated and I find my artwork and supplies moved to a couple of shelves in a common area meant for second-year students. Because I didn't show up enough, they've given my regular studio space away (a common threat while I was there, as studio space was too valuable to go unused) and I have annoyed the serious art students with my lack of commitment.

Often this dream end with me sort of wandering around campus feeling lost. It's clear that it's about me leaving my "serious" art behind. I stopped using my favorite media, steel and plaster, after I left school because I have nowhere to set up a welding station. That's not the only reason, though. I guess I just lost my conviction that what I was creating - abstract, somewhat large, organic-looking shapes made of industrial, every-day materials - was worth taking up space in the world. I became practical. The stuff I make now would never have flown at Hampshire. They're too "decorative" and "precious." Not to mention "small." I could have probably made a case for preciousness being something to embrace if you can do it justice, but I didn't really know what I was doing back then. I still like the things I made at school, but I don't know if I could go back to making them now. I feel sometimes like I let everyone down. My major in college has turned into a hobby. It makes me sick just to type that.

At the same time, ever since I was a young kid I've wanted to make cool, unique, complex objects and sell them. So in a way I am following a planned path; the things I make now have a wide appeal and, frankly, they're things I would buy (if I was a little wealthier). I try to be content, but still these dreams come and haunt me. ...

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Okay, don't really stop in and embarrass him. At least wait until Saturday when he works again, so he has a day to do things like Learn How to Use the Video Filing System. Meanwhile I have to drive A to dance class and back, and finish Max's wedding gift. Sometime between 9 and 10 tonight I'm going to go to his home to feed Tess the cat, leave the gift, and watch ER all by myself. Ahhh...

The girls are up in VT this weekend so I have lots planned. I'm helping a couple of friends move on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. I owe them many favors so I need to start payin' back, yo. I want to go to the Snow Farm craft sale to replace these ceramic animal mugs I gave the girls last Christmas, but were ruined when their mom's car caught on fire (with the car full of her and her kids' stuff). I want to buy and install window shades (4) for the girls' rooms. I want to try to solve my Sump Pump Problem (too boring to explain).

Yesterday at work I was daydreaming about buying some Lime-Away for our exceedingly gross, stained, original to our 1920's house, white porcelain bathtub when P called and said he had just bought some super tub cleaner he saw advertised on TV. It's called CSR or something. I could hardly wait to get home and try it. I may have even said, "Don't use it, okay? I want to do it!!" I did it, too: It took three different sessions of spraying, waiting 3 minutes, scrubbing, and rinsing. But the weird soap/plaster crap cemented onto the side of the tub came right off and even the mystery stains on the bottom are now almost all gone. It was so satisfying I made P come up and admire my handiwork. Someone buy me some not-too-smelly bath salts so I can really enjoy this puppy.
Today is P's first day working at the Pleasant St. video store. It's really one of the best in the country, with excellent selection (some films are organized by "auteur") and true film-geek shop workers. P will fit right in. He starts work at 4 p.m., so stop in to embarrass him, won't you?

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Film Threat - Gorey Details Help stop spam by harrassing and humiliating the IGotACrush spammers personally! Tar and feather them and run them out of town on a rail! Go Film Threat Guy go!

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Someone visiting the office is wearing a lot of patchouli. Patchouli smells like ass. I can't imagine smelling it and thinking, this is a scent I want on my body. You might as well roll in dogshit, or douse yourself in urine. Ring, ring! Hey patchouli woman, your mom's on the phone, and she says you have to go home right away. Go home, patchouli woman!
I had a dream last night that I had a relationship with a co-worker. I didn't remember it until I got in this morning and listened to a voicemail from him. Why does his voice seem all special and intimate today? Oh right, we had sex last night, in my dreams. Great. As nothing is ever simple and fun in my dreamlife, our relationship started listlessly and soon after it began we decided there was no spark and that we should call it off. Amazingly the decision was entirely mutual. Then some crisis happened that thrust us together and we suddenly got all affectionate with each other, but it was too little, too late. This is with someone I am not very attracted to in real life, by the way.

I took an online quiz last week that said if I was a sexual position, I'd be a standing 69, which is clearly a porn-film-only position. Why would anyone attempt a 69 while in a handstand? It's a ton of physical effort for no extra thrill. Also, for the "Which Winona Ryder character are you?" quiz, I'm the Winona in Heathers. Just thought you should know.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Hi. So the wedding was beautiful and the reception was fun. The ceremony was outside, in an under-heated tent in the middle of a wet snowstorm. It was dramatic and pretty despite the cold (no-one seemed to mind wearing their coats). I read the poem and I didn't stumble on any words and I spoke clearly and loudly. I'm getting much better at this public speaking thing. Of course I was reading something, which makes it easy; speaking off the cuff is where I run into trouble.

P, A, T, and I were seated at a table with Dennis and Lauren and Mark and Penny. L immediately named it "the best table" and we were rowdy and goofy while we waited to be tapped to go hit the buffet. We went around the table and congratulated the person on our right with a toast. There were some sweet ones and some funny ones (not everyone knew each other very well). The wine and the mojitos were flowin'.

Other highlights included: the elderly woman dancing to the Violent Femmes; the young girl dancing and "whoop!"-ing loudly and continuously through several songs; Dennis and Lauren's beautiful pinata, which was finally felled by Anya's mom, and brought forth fun plastic toys and twizzlers (I got a sheriff's badge for P).

In other news, A had a date last night! A double-date with a guy who works at CVS. Tee-hee. We are refraining from embarrassing her about it. You can tell she's not really my daughter because she's doing normal teenage things like dating, which I didn't do until college.

As for me, I spent a couple of hours playing Deus Ex yesterday and ended up with a headache from motion sickness. I can only play it at night because so much of the game consists of hiding out in the shadows and I can't see anything on my monitor if there's any other light in the room. After playing it I see elements from the game's world everywhere. Like, look at that pack of cigarettes; maybe there's some soy food nearby. Might that desk drawer have a lock pick in it? I'd better throw that house plant across the room as a diversion. And so on.

geekily yours,

Friday, November 15, 2002

Ananova - 700-year-old picture of 'Mickey Mouse' found in Austrian church Holy crap! This is really, really weird. The first ever "hidden Mickey."

Thursday, November 14, 2002

For the drive to NYC yesterday the car rental company got me a nice big new Cadillac. It was huge, and silver, and had a hood ornament, and it drove like a low-altitude flying carpet. It had leather seats and "OnStar" and turn signal arrow lights embedded in the side mirrors. I had to say goodbye to my Caddy today, and I can't say there weren't some tears.

The Interview panel thing was great. Very funny and helpful, though focused on how to handle interviewing celebrities. The goal of the interviewer is to get the star off-message, because they've done tons of interviews and have an agenda in mind. Some gossip was spilled, usually anonymous but with enough clues so you could figure out who was being discussed (David Rakoff mentioned a tough interview with an icy president of a catalog company, "the name of which is an initial and a name of a sport"). Though I don't interview actors, I do have to deal with getting interviews with people who have a phalanx of publicists surrounding them. Dealing with overly-controlling and protective publicists seems to be a universal problem. Publicists are going to be with telemarketers and infomercial hosts in the lowest level of hell.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

I am sitting here in my office, outside it's gray and cold, and the air conditioning is on. The air conditioning! It's like 50 degrees outside, and when I say degrees I mean Fahrenheit. Don't people know the delicate balance my body is going through to maintain my constant state of just-starting-to-get-a-cold? This cool air blasting through the room might tip me over into actual cold-having.

I am a busy bee this week. Yesterday we all went to the mall so the girls could get dresses for the wedding Saturday. I also almost bought a dress too but it wasn't quite right (i.e. perfect) so I might wear something I already have (which is nowhere near perfect, but is free). There were a lot of 1940s style wrap dresses which are flattering on me, but either they were made in heavy, itchy polyester or with huge floaty sleeves I was sure I'd set on fire somehow.
Tonight I have therapy, and then I watch Buffy and 24, which is kind of like therapy.
Wednesday I'm going to NYC with eight other "junior editors" to see an ASME panel discussion called "The Art of the Interview." Normally I wouldn't attend something like this; it's six hours of driving for something that's only 2 hours long, and I'm officially a senior editor now. But David Rakoff is one of the panelists! He did the "Christmas Freud" piece for This American Life (it's on the CD they put out a few years ago) and has an essay collection, "Fraud." Very funny and smart guy.
Thursday is A's play, King Lear, at the high school. Actually she's just doing hair and makeup backstage, but still.
Friday is a rehearsal dinner, because P and I both have parts in the ceremony of the wedding, which is Saturday.

On Sunday, debl rested.

Monday, November 11, 2002

On Saturday I saw "Spirited Away." The showing was part of the Northampton Independent Film festival (formerly known as the Northampton Film Festival) and before the film began the festival organizer gave a small speech. Basically he was apologizing for showing a film that's being released in the US by Disney (who also recorded the English dubbing for the film), by saying that it still counted as an independent film, dammit; Disney just happened to have bought it after it was independently made. Still, when the credits started rolling and "Walt Disney Pictures Presents" came on screen, the 20-something, black-turtlenecked, never-had-a-real-job-in-their-lives film students in the audience booed and hissed! Listen, hate Disney all you want - there are plenty of good reasons to do so. But when they happen to do something right, why not at least spare the vitriol for once? I hate these pretentious assholes who think everything released by a major studio is, by definition, a crappy movie (not even a "film"). I've seen plenty of independent films that sucked balls, by the way (some of them at this festival, a few years ago). Every once in a while, they get something right and release something with vision and creativity. The studios should be praised for those films, just so they get the idea that it's something they should do more often, instead of releasing another Vin Deisel vehicle or a teenage T&A flick. Or "Analyze That."

Anyway. I loved Spirited Away. I keep thinking about it. I want to see it again, but it's not playing around here. But at least it did play once. At least it was released in this country at all. The voice work was very well done and not distracting. It would have been horrible to have to read subtitles when the visuals were so incredible and full of detail.
// s t a t e m e d i a: v.3.1     Wow. Wow! Every episode of The State is here in quicktime. I can't wait to see "Just put your ass in the pudding!" again.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Mantofev: We Cut, You Paste I just got my order from this place and I love it! I got some old matchboxes, small sheets of mica, a watch face, pages from a few different anatomy books, pages from a hairdressing manual, and some old unused pharmacy bottle labels, among other stuff. My total with shipping was only $15. Highly recommended!

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Desktop Bonanza @ chickenhead.com Best. Desktops. Ever. I've already put up the bacon one.
When you were a teenager, what did you want to hear about sex? I would have wanted to hear that masturbating is a good thing to do, and doesn't mean you're pathetic and undesireable. That it's normal to be horny. That men are not as scary as most after-school-specials will have you believe. That sex is an emotionally intimate act. That unless you're in a serious relationship, experimenting with boys can lead to major embarrassment (oh my god, I did WHAT with WHO?). That it's okay to not know what the hell you're doing; boys don't care and will not make fun of you. That buying condoms is not embarrassing. That your safety and comfort are the most important things in the world.
I'm having an aggravating day. Besides the political nightmare that has occured this week (at least we kept the state income tax - though the vote was extremely close. Who are these people?) my mind is on my step-teens doing reckless too-adult things (just a feeling I get, no proof or anything), my health, my art projects, the million things I need to do this weekend, and residual sadness and vague horror about Joe and the end of Joe, and fuckin' work keeps interrupting me. I just want to go home and deal with this shit. Also, because of all this shit I have to deal with, I can't even relax and finally watch Buffy and 24 (which I taped on tuesday due to P's insistence) tonight because I'm so goddamn busy.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Joe the wonder cat
circa 1993 to Nov. 5, 2002

Joe was a very good cat who never met a human he didn't love. And he was much loved in return. Joe loved to be held, and when you held him he would rub his face against yours and wrap his paws around your neck. He'd also drool on you, which was kind of gross. Joe was The People's Cat. He regularly visited the neighbors and he was a considerate visitor in their homes. Joe was also a wanderer. He wouldn't let a little thing like Feline HIV (kitty AIDS, as we call it) keep him stuck indoors (believe me, we tried; his constant yowling chipped away at our resolve until we started letting him pry open the door and escape). Joe was a cat with moxie. When P moved from Northampton to Florence (about 3 miles away), Joe walked back to his old place nine times before giving up. Nine times P got the call from his old neighbors: "Joe's back again. Better come pick him up."

He lived the life every cat dreams of, but his freedom was also dangerous and his luck ran out. Though he'd always fought against our narrow-minded human conventions, it was a human invention that did him in. He was struck in the head by a car and killed instantly. The driver called the house to let us know what had happened, and I picked up his still-warm body from the side of the road where he'd been placed, his body just a little bloody, still intact and unbroken. He was killed just across the street from our house.

Just before Joe was killed he had been visiting with the neighbor's young girl, Mihn, who loves him. This summer, every day when I got home from work Minh would be playing out on her lawn, and the first thing she'd say as I got out of the car was "Where's Joey?" Joe would let her carry him around like Frida's limp cat in Peanuts; he seemed to adore Minh just as much as she adored him. Her parents have been notified of his death and she'll be told when she gets back from preschool later today.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002


Get out and vote today, please. If you're in Mass., like I am, you get to vote on some juicy referendae, like whether or not there should be a state income tax (of course there's no plan for coming up with the lost revenue) or whether Spanish kids should be forced to learn English in one year before being put into all-english classes (instead of sticking with ESL like we have now). There's also a cheap re-do of a referendum that passed a couple of years ago, but the politicians didn't like the result so it's on the ballot again: a Clean Elections campaign finance law. This time, to make it sound more unsavory to the voters, it's worded to emphasize that taxpayer money will finance the law. How much? $4 per taxpayer. I'd pay 10 times that much if it meant no corporate interests pulling the strings of my elected official.

So anyway, get out and vote. It's easy, it's kind of fun to see how it all works, and afterwards you get a nice warm "I'm an American citizen, and I VOTE!" feeling.

Monday, November 04, 2002

BMassa.com Big Book of Sign Language Thank you, thank you, thank you sweat-flavored gummi for this link. So funny it hurts.
Okay, so I'm going through my (mostly glowing) performance review, and there's a big part where the boss-lady checks which statements are true about the employee and which are not. Apparently I:
Appeal to the emotions and values of others
Respond effectively to the unspoken messages conveyed by others
but I do NOT
Motivate and excite others through words, images and actions.
Which is fine by me. Alarmingly, I DO
Behave in a way consistent with (the company's) values of Fun, Family, Quality and Entertainment [initial caps theirs]
and I
Teach others about the company's values and Fun, Family, Quality and Entertainment
Someone shoot me now.

Friday, November 01, 2002

The REAL Beulah Bondi Hey look, a shout-out to my blog for the Black People Love Us link. I'd better add this gal to my links list. She's a pal of kitty bukkake.

Sorry for the semi-coherent ramble. I'm airy and high on a Reese's Fastbreak and no lunch.
Things people have said about me:

"She's a real firecracker!"
"That girl - she's got moxie!"
"What a scamp!"
"She sure is a spitfire!"

Okay, I lied. Noone has ever said those things about me. Why not? Are they not true? I like to think so, but I'm probably deluded. Is it because of the obsolete vernacular? As a young girl my romantic fantasy was not about being a pretty princess (today's girls all dream of being one, if the press release on my desk is telling the truth) but being the feisty, slightly naughty gal who enchants a guy with her wit and her free-spirited heart. Of course now I'm grown up and sometimes the spitfire-ness is perceived as bitchiness, and the firecracker-osity has become more of an anger-management problem. Stupid fuckin' reality, with your men who are all flawed and shit, not having infinite patience like I do (oh, I do, really, sure I do. oh, fuck off) with other people's bad attitudes and grouchiness.
I just left some strong responses over on Up Yours about Dawn's commentary on the Wellstone memorial. She's angry about how partisan and political it was. I didn't see the memorial, but the entire thing could have been a Democrat-only campaign rally and it would have suited me fine. This was a celebration of Wellstone's life, and he was foremost a politician; a true liberal, one of the good ones. I usually don't enter heated political discussions because they get nowhere and produce nothing but frustration, but this time... The upcoming election has me very worried. If the republicans gain Congress then I predict tremendous misery for the country. Relaxed pollution controls, tax breaks for billionaires, blooming budget deficits, world war III... I'm sure whatever evil I can imagine, they're already planning something worse.

I taped a poster I printed from moveonpac.org to my car window. It says "Regime Change Begins at Home: VOTE!" Kind of useless in Mass., where John Kerry has no viable opponent (the only challenger on the ballot is a Libertarian), but I'm hoping the Ladies Who Lunch from Connecticut who come into my quaint town to do a little shopping will see it. And for those who live here, there are some juicy referendae to vote on. Or is it referendums? Whatever.
Last night our home was visited by:

2 witches
2 Tiggers
a Red Sox player
a ballerina
3 cats
a skeleton
a werewolf
Spongebob Squarepants
a clump of teens, male and female, all dressed in evening gowns
a hippie
a very cute lion
assorted indistinct ghouls and witch-like people
2 Dalmatians
Harry Potter
and a cheerleader.

We almost ran out of candy (two bags - Kit-Kat and Reese's Fastbreak) but ended up with 5 pieces left. Whew. We went to the free Haunted House at Flywheel, which was hilarious. They had crammed all these scenes into their performance space - a crazy tea party with real finger sandwiches, a seance - all populated by Flywheel regulars like Helen and Steverino. My favorite part was the zombie disco; all of these 70's-dressed zombies are lying on the dance floor, but as "The Hustle" starts up they slowly start jerking to the beat until they end up on their feet, dancing to the funky music while staring menacingly at the audience. I couldn't stop laughing. That, and the extremely cute toddler in a lion costume, were the highlights of my Halloween.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

So on Nov. 16th or so there's gonna be a sing-along version of the movie Hair playing in town (at the Academy). I am all over this, but I need to go with someone who won't make fun of me as I inevitably cry at the end of the film.
This is how the NYT explains scratching to its more "genteel" readership: "When a drumbeat on a vinyl record is scratched back and forth under a needle, it makes a sort of percussive swishing sound."
D.J. for Run-DMC Is Shot to Death in Queens What the fuck? Run-DMC are all old-school "with-a zip, zop, zippity-zip-zop, a bing-bang-zippity-do!" They weren't ganster rappers, yo. What the fuck happened?

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

I was inspired my Kitty Bukkake, and the fact that the pen on this 10-year-old scrap of paper is fading, to type in this recipe for y'all.

Butterscotch Brownies
1/4 cup shortening (butter, always butter)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt shortening in saucepan (pick a pan big enough to hold and stir all ingredients). Remove from heat and stir in sugar, egg, and vanilla. Add rest of ingredients. Spread in greased 8-inch square pan. Bake 25 minutes. Cut brownies while still warm.
Last night I helped A with her homework; refining an essay that compares issues raised in the Scarlet Letter to a current event. She chose an op/ed article about women getting the death penalty. She's in 10th grade, and the teacher had written a critique that said things like "You might want to talk about the paradox inherent in privilege, how it both provides and excludes" that A needed help understanding. No kidding. I didn't get comments like that until college. She only needed help with her closing paragraph, as she had already made her argument: that the punishment for Hester might have been death had she been a man, though it's because she was a woman that she was punished at all; and the public still sees women as incapable of true evil, and is uncomfortable putting them to death, yet the public also doesn't want to be sexist, so they do want to put women to death. Complicated stuff. I had to explain to her what a paradox was, and I got so into it I ended up just flat out writing a key sentence; something about how Chivalry both helps women and confines them. "See? That's a paradox! Doors being held open for you can be nice, but it also means that you're seen as too gentle to handle powerful jobs and shit like that! It's both good and bad combined in one thing! A paradox!"

Hmm. That's sort of how I felt about the season premiere of 24 last night. [warning: spoilers ahead.] On the one hand, I liked it being commercial-free, and on the other I had to sit through a minutes-long mega commercials for a car manufacturer I refuse to name, an ad so obnoxious that muting the sound wasn't enough to protect me from the crap, before the show began. On the one hand, I'm happy 24 is back on the air, and the first episode was exciting and intriguing, on the other... well I have some problems with it. The first series took a few episodes to build up to the truly unbelievable, far-fetched turn-of-events, and this time we get several of these in the first ep. (What are the chances Kim would end up nannying for a crazy gun-toting wife-beater? Why did Jack kill the witness? And how in the hell did Palmer get back to his office from his Oregon fishing trip in five minutes?) I didn't like the clumsy exposition but I understand why it's necessary and hope it's all done now. I'll definitely keep watching, mainly because I have a case of Keifer-love (and man did he look fine after shaving off that beard) and I like Palmer (yet another TV president who I wish was the real president). I just hope the show doesn't make a fool of me.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

P and I came up with a good bumper sticker last night: "We lefties may be flakes, but at least we're not fucking evil like the Republicans." Yeah, that pretty much sums up my current political philosophy.
The second season of 24 starts tonight! I am looking forward to eating some Jell-O (which grosses out everyone else in the house, but it's a key comfort food for me) while watching Buffy and 24 tonight in my cozy living room.
My old childhood friend Fiamma has recently moved back east after studying chinese medicine in San Diego and I am happy about it. She had some interesting stuff to say about my strange illness:

In Chinese Medicine, simultaneous vomiting & diarrhea is called "sudden turmoil disorder." Seems appropriate. Without knowing more about the "event" and your medical history etc, it seems like the 2 main possibilities are some a)sort of buggish culprit (the source of which can be difficult to determine, being that there are so many things we put in our mouths over the course of an "incubation period," which can be 2-3 days); and b) an irritable bowel type condition. Although a) can't really be ruled out, the fact that this has happened before suggests b). I don't know how much you know about IBS (s=syndrome), but the good thing is that there's no really horrible things going physically wrong with your parts, because it's a "functional" problem rather than "organic." Although the causes are speculative, it seems to me that it indicates a more sensitive nervous system, and various triggers can overstimulate it & cause it to go haywire. Hormones are directly involved in stumulating the nervous system (which controls your bowels & everything else), stress hormones in particular. That is why stress can be a trigger for an IBS "event." It doesn't mean that the condition is psychological, by
the way. The hormones & chemical changes are very real. So is the shit & vomit! (Other triggers include certain foods that are too difficult to digest & irritate the bowels). But Irritable Bowel Disease involves intestinal pathological changes that are more of a concern than IBS b/c the degenerative changes can oviously get worse. You do have the option of getting yourself checked out again to rule out those pathological changes (especially if your last test was inconclusive). At that point, assuming they don't find anything, IBS would be a likely diagnosis. Especially if you tend to have minor GI unpleasantness semi-regularly (tummy aches or something of that nature). These things tend to be congenital.

me again: I've thought for a long time that I have a mild case of IBS, and from what I've read online I don't have IBD (which is much nastier). I'd much rather have something cureable so I can be rid of it. Sigh. I did call my doc finally; I'm waiting for him to call me back, if he ever does.

Monday, October 28, 2002

I had a horrible GI "event" yesterday afternoon. I'll spare you the play-by-play but it involved intestinal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, simultaneously at a few moments. This was not brought on by anything I can figure; all the food I ate yesterday was normal stuff I've eaten many times before. The episode was almost exactly the same as the infamous Thanksgiving 2001 pass-out, which kicked off months of mysterious stomach pains culminating in an MRI of my intestines, a test that I hadn't prepared for properly (I would've skipped the apple juice I drank pre-test if the nurse had warned me about having to choke down a couple of liters of barium) so the results were a bit inconclusive. They did tell me I didn't seem to have any massive tumors, which was nice. My personal-care doctor was very sympathetic and gave me multiple options but he never figured out exactly what caused it.

Whatever happened yesterday and last Thanksgiving was so violent, painful, and horrible that I will do whatever it takes for it to never happen again. I am supposed to call my doctor and let him know "it's happened again" but I feel dumb about doing it. "Hi, I'm just calling to leave a message for my doctor: it's happened again. What? No, I feel okay now. Just wanted to let him know." Any words of comfort or advice is very welcome.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Black People Love Us! This cracks me up. (My favorite part is the One Love pictures.)

A related note: my college had a group called "White Students Against Racism." I was always sort of conflicted about it; on one hand, I guess it was good to have a place where you could talk about facing your internalized racism, but on the other hand, um ... your group about fighting racism excludes minorities! I think most of the people in the group grew up in very white, homogenous places and they just wanted to learn how to be comfortable around black people. I always felt a little sad (and, to be honest, superior to) the group members.

Friday, October 25, 2002

my old site o' fun Holy crap, my old abandoned website is still up! I haven't updated this in at least 3 ior 4 years. Take a look if you'd like. The Runt story is the best part. I dropped my javanet/RCN account over a year ago so RCN must just be very lazy.
I'm all edgy and shit, bouncing up and down in my chair. I just want to leave the office. It's a combo of boredom and caffeine and sugar. I had a plan for a few hours earlier to drive to NJ after work tonight and catch a friend's car to the demonstration down in D.C., departure time from NJ: 6:30 a.m. But now I think I don't have it in me. I have many projects I need to begin, such as altering an old bridesmaid's dress to make it useable (huge puffy sleeves will be removed) and starting an art project (secret!) for my friends' wedding gift (very soon!). Plus I'm fuckin' tired. Plus the house will be overrun with teen girls this weekend, with T having two friends over for the whole weekend and A having another two over tonight, and I kind of want to observe them. They fascinate me. I was so much more insecure and bitchy than these kids when I was their age. I also never cared about my appearance much, because, you know, you can't shine shit. I didn't feel like I looked SO terrible but I also never wore makeup or any uncomfortable clothes for the sake of fashion, either (I also had an idea that baggy clothes would disguise the fact that I had tiny breasts, which just doesn't work). The few times I tried to wear something trendy I'd inevitably get it wrong in some way and would be ridiculed for it. Eventually in high school I embraced my lack-of-hipness and wore terrific, awful, punk-esque combos such as a vintage green cocktail dress with an enormous orange sweater. I was very "artistic." Now I have a mix of unique and conventional clothes and even when I wear something semi-outrageous I always make sure it makes me look good. I must be doing something right because the teen girls borrow my clothes all the time.
The Living Rockumentary Clearly Max needs to start writing his own songs because his poem about his swollen cheek is excellent.
20 Questions with Drums & Tuba and Spaceheads By Jennifer O'Connor It breaks my heart that the Knitting Factory is only showing "Heat Vision and Jack" on Monday night, ensuring there's no way I can go see it without missing two days of work. That show it my holy grail, people. It's a parody of Knight-Rider- and Six-Million-Dollar-Man-type shows, starring Jack Black and Owen Wilson as the voice of his motorcycle. Come on! This is Saturday night entertainment, not Monday! Damn.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Ew. EW! I checked the search queries list that people used to get to my site, and one fo the new ones is:

crispy used panties

EW! Men are gross. Though a few years ago I considered trying to sell my panties on eBay, just because it seemed like a ridiculously easy way to make a buck. (Now they don't allow unwashed underwear to be auctioned off - how lame is that?) Also, Howard Stern is doing "It's Just Wrong" with twin sisters next week. Whaddaya say, sis? We could win 10 grand! And all we'd have to do is answer trivia questions and undress each other. I'd actually do it but I know a few people at work who listen to his show, and I'd be afraid he'd ask me if I did anal, or something else really embarrassing. Though the fact that I listen to the show at all (only during my 15-minute ride to work) is embarrassing enough.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Ugh. For lunch I had two "sushi balls" from the veggie place in town and now I feel bloated and sleepy. The sushi balls are like sushi sans the protein or nutrition: basically, they're balls of sticky white rice that you dip in soy sauce. No wonder I'm fuzzy-headed. It doesn't help that I've done only about 10 minutes of actual work today, and I've been here for six and a half hours.

I'm waiting for some kind of response on my last post, either from my sister saying "Wow, I forgot all about that! That was so weird!" or a friend saying "oh my god, you grew up in a really fucked-up place!" or "Wow, almost the same exact thing happened to me once!" or "I used to masturbate by humping my stuffed animals all the time, and what of it? Get off your high horse, missy!"
I think I shall add kitty bukake to my list of links, since she was so nice to email me about a comment I left in her blog's comments section. She has a book out now about the Furries, a group of people who like to dress up as stuffed animals (as opposed to actually dressing as animals, which would be less creepy for me - plain old beastiality without the animal torture, you know?) and have sex. There are also Plushies, who like to fuck stuffed animals. Hey, who among us hasn't spent a bored-to-tears suburban afternoon watching a 12-year-old friend hump her teddy bear in the middle of her all-pink-decorated bedroom floor while you and your sister watch in discomfort? Who indeed?
Achewood Sunday Edition (Tuesdays)

i dig boners

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Here's an image to cheer me/you up.

It's very very fall today. Louise and I played ball this morning on the frost-covered grass, and everything was vibrant and colorful. In a week or two the trees will be more bare and it will get depressing, but right now it's very fine.

I'm sad. I just read about the decline and death of an acquaintance of mine, a very good Quaker (who was coincidentally born in the town I'm typing from right now) who really, really didn't deserve to die so early and in such a nasty way. He found he had sudden onset leukemia, quickly developed serious encephailitis and organ failure, and died within a month. His family kept a kind of news diary about it and it's incredibly tragic. It reminded me so much of living through the death of P's dad two years ago. He had six months from diagnosis to death, and only had a few days when he was in the hospital and/or too out of it to talk to us. Different experiences, but in both cases an incredibly peaceful, smart, loving man died too soon. If you want to read his obit and the story of his death, go to bluebloggy thru my links at left and click on her link to John Bishop.

Monday, October 21, 2002

I have a little poster's remorse. Henning, I was just giving you crap re: the back strain episode. Just in case you thought I suddenly turned into an asshole.
FOUND magazine Such a great site, magazine, lifestyle. I wish the Found Mag tour was coming to my town.
Hi. I had a great weekend alone. And just wrote this very epic entry about it, so go get a cuppa coffee and get ready. Okay, good.

I left work extra early (2:00) on Friday to drive the girls up to Montpelier. I got a little anxious during the drive but managed to keep from actually freaking out. On the way up a horrible accident closed 91 in both directions (in order that a helicopter from Baystate could land there, said the radio) between exits 3 and 4, so all traffic had to drive on Rt. 5 between Brattleboro and Putney. It took us right by the Putney Co-op, the place where we used to always get the girls from their mom on visitation weekends, back when P's parents lived in Putney. So we stopped for a snack and little nostalgia-fest. I really miss Putney. Staying at P's parental home was such a treat. They lived way up on Putney Mt., on a long dirt road, no streetlights and hardly any other houses. Very far from my suburban NJ home.

Anyway, later on the drive we were talking about "being bad" which A and T seem to love to do (talking about it, and hearing my 'bad' stories) and A said "Remember that time when you and Dad were really drunk, and you peed in the ATM building? And it was all glass windows, everyone could see you, and we were saying 'Debbie, stop it! You are so drunk!'" At first I was all "Wha..? I never did that!" but then I caught on and started embellishing the story, and then said "But A, what was even worse was when you really had to pee in the Big E, so you just squatted in the produce department! We were so embarrassed!" It was very funny. Then A said here, I'll draw the story of what happened, and she took a paper napkin and drew a hilarious cartoon of me peeing in an Easthampton Savings Bank ATM building, and there are all sorts of inside jokes involved. It was very well done.

I can't wait to see if anyone googling "Easthampton Savings Bank" ends up reading this.

The drive took about 6 hours total, so I was back around 9 p.m. I chilled at home, happy to be alone and free from my parenting duties for the weekend, changed clothes, and went out to see The Fawns and School For the Dead at Harry's. I finally remembered to bring the plastic lawn deer that currently sits in a shady part of my back yard. During a break between songs, I placed it on stage as a prop. I had bought it with Henning and Lisa so they were familiar with him (the deer is named Danny, after H's dog. For some reason it cracks me up to steal the fake dog's name for my fake deer). The Fawns were great; Lisa seems to be getting more and more relaxed and confident and it's fun to watch. When SFTD came on I took the deer back to the table to watch. The band was great. I wish everyone would have danced because I would have. I almost was the One Lady Dancing but there was One Drunk Guy Dancing at the time and I didn't feel like giving him a reason to interact with me.I sat with fun people and had a great time. I was all loose and irresponsible and free. So I fucked a couple of guys in the bathroom and snorted a couple of lines of coke.

No. But I did go to Jake's after the show with L, H, Tony, and Ken. I was deliriously tired, and everything was starting to look kind of unreal. All I remember is getting some good homefries and wishing I had also gotten a waffle.

Saturday I woke up late and made myself eggs and turkey bacon and butter-slathered toast. I got a lot of chores done: 3 loads of laundry, sweeping the halls and the kitchen, vacuuming the downstairs... I even made the kids' beds. I also went to the mall to buy T some cool pants at Forever 21, a store which makes me feel uncomfortable because of its name. I imagine either people assume I'm trying to pretend I'm still 21, or I'm not pretending but can't let go of my fast-fading youth. The store is sort of the new H&M; ultra-trendy clothes at disposible prices, which normally I like, but the name is a huge hurdle for me. I know, I'm a dork.

I went over to H and L's, and I remembered to bring L the Hot Rock Lisa doll I found at a discount dollar store in Bridgeport, CT. It's a very bad barbie knock-off, but she has awesome white gogo boots and a pink heavy-metal guitar. Plus it says Hot Rock Lisa. What more could you want? Lisa was thrilled. H had thrown out his back doing something even the most feeble among us could do without difficulty, so he foolishly took two prescription painkillers (Rokinblok, or Roxsette, or something) which were just starting to kick in when I arrived at their place. We drove out to the Bison Farm to buy tickets and meet up with Rob and Laurie and Poppy. Then we decided to go eat at Chili's (too crowded) and then Friendly's (just right) while waiting for our hayride time. H had been kind of weaving when he walked but had been joking about it until we got to Friendly's, when he suddenly looked very ill and stopped joking. He was all sweaty and pale and so L took him home. We were worried about him but managed to enjoy our Supermelts and Wraps. R, L, and P quizzed me about my life. We barely know each other, and my life is kind of odd at the moment (being an instant stepmom, and the events leading up to that) so I didn't mind the interview.

The Haunted Hayride, I was assured, was going to be scary and totally worth $10 a person. Finally our number was called and it was scary ride time (no actual hay in the wagons). We sat in the first of a train of two wagons, and a tractor pulled the wagons around the farm to different scary scenes populated by crazy people yelling at you and banging on the sides of the wagon and sometimes entering the wagon to threaten you personally. It was fun, and funny in parts, but I was only really scared in a few parts, and even then they weren't the fun "startled" kind of scared but the "shit, maybe this college kid in the scary clown mask really does intend to keep honking his horn in my face for the rest of the night" kind of scared. The most interesting/disturbing part was at a scene set in a cannibalistic diner. The waitress was, for no apparent reason, a guy in drag camping it up. Someone in the second wagon said something inaudible to us, probably about the fact that she was a he, which made the waitress guy say something about her weight, like "I see they let people of all sizes ride here." The lot of us went "Ohhh!" in that "oh, snap! oh-no-he-di'int" kind of way, but she must have said something else to him because he kept at it, totally breaking character to make fat jokes at her expense. It was odd and uncomfortable, like, is this part of the scariness? I mean, there was a kid in our wagon, and some not-skinny people too. While I like to see homophobes ridiculed as much as the next person, going after someone's weight is not the way to go.

On the drive back to Northampton we noticed fireworks over the town. As we got closer we realized they were being shot off at Smith College. L quickly drove up to the top of the new Smith College Parking Structure, where we had a beautiful view. It was a full fireworks show, with fancy rockets and a complete finale, and it was beautiful and quiet up on the parking structure; you could hear the sound rolling across the valley and bouncing back at us from the mountains. It was crisp and cold so the sound seemed even more clear. After it was done we asked one of the other smart people up on the deck what the display had been for. "Oh, Smith just inaugurated a new President. There was a big celebration held tonight." Wow. Shit like that does not happen when I get promoted, let me tell you. Smith is very wealthy, but this seemed over-the-top even for them. I was glad I got to enjoy it, though.

Once I got home H called to make sure I was okay. He and L were worried about abandoning me with people I hardly know. I so hadn't even thought about it; like, H was so clearly sick, I am not the one they should be thinking about. It was very sweet of them to call, they're good people. I was more concerned about H, who said he felt better after laying down for a while.

Sunday was pretty boring, I picked up the girls in Brattleboro and bought some hilarious vintage, plaid pants that I will wear to work, and for dinner I made peanut noodles that the girls raved about. P comes home tonight and we are all happy, me especially. This morning was the last time (for a while) that I have to get up at 6:30 and drive A to school! T's birthday is tomorrow so we are planning some minor fun for that and a bigger party thing this weekend, maybe.

Friday, October 18, 2002

I love homestar runner.
Today me and all of the other full-time employees (about 75 percent of the office) received little gifts from the corporate gods to thank us for "exceeding our goals three years in a row." The gift is a man-sized Kenneth Cole watch, though in my office (and in the entire company, I'd wager) the vast majority of us are female. Typical. The watch face is brass and rectangular and huge, so as to fit two separate watch faces (so I guess one can be set on L.A. or Paris time). Even on the smallest hole the thing doesn't fit me. Next time, just give us nice crisp $20 bills and we'll all be so much happier.
I am so tired. I had one of those nights with the super-sweats. I woke up because sweat was trickling down my front. I dabbed at my skin with a tissue, decided I was too asleep to change to a lighter blanket, threw a limb out into the cold air instead, and fell back asleep.

A and I had our first fight of this solo-trip time period yesterday:

Me: So I'm going to leave work earlier tomorrow, at 3, so we can leave for your mom's.
A: What? We'll never make it on time! I told someone we'd be there to pick them up at 6:15!
Me: What? A, you have to tell me these things. How was I supposed to know that?
A: Well how was I supposed to know we were going to be leaving at a different time? We always get there at 6!
Me: Not this time, this is a special circumstance. Besides, we won't be much later than 6; we'll just swing by the house, pick up T and your stuff, and go.
A: Yeah, it'll take like half an hour, and then we'll be leaving at 4.
Me: No we won't; I'm not your dad, I move very quickly and I'm not late all the time [sorry P, but it's true].
A: You are too late! I've been late to school every day you've driven me!
Me (getting mad): What are you talking about? Except for one day I was late, there've been a million other cars there dropping off other kids when I've dropped you off! You're there at 7:30!
A (snotty): I'm supposed to be there at 7:25, which you'd know if you looked on the stupid little piece of paper you wrote it down on. I come in, and everyone else is sitting down already. [note that she is not late, at all; she is admitting she is perfectly on time] We're supposed to leave at 7:10, and -
Me (cutting her off, voice rising; did I mention this was happening in my cubicle, in earshot of my entire office?): Ana, I am getting very angry! Stop talking right now!

And that was that. I'm still a little pissed about it, though I swallowed it all like a good soldier/stepmom, and broke the silence a few minutes later by giving her $5 to go get a bagel. I know all teens are incredibly selfish, but the depths of if amaze me every time.

Anya and Max did cook us up a delicious dinner last night at their lovely apartment. I was so grateful to not have to cook or clean (I did offer) I was almost in tears when I hugged them goodbye. What a fuckin' wreck I am.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Okay, I did my own search for screaming stukas, and it looks like a stuka is a German war plane. Hitler used them during the blitzkreig. Here's a good website all about stukas, if you've come here looking for that sort of thing: http://home.freeuk.com/johndillon/ju87.htm

Chowflap blog: it's edutainmental!
Some new "weird search queries" that sent people to my blog:

screaming stukas [what's a stuka?]

bad gory pictures of iraq

anna kournikova balls in panties poster

towelie girl models

jackass episode pirating

cabernet panties [my favorite]

devil fortune teller on ebay

unifroms people wearing for a 15 years old girl [sounds vaguely disturbing]

castration fantasies photos
Okay, I feel better today. My happiness seems to be inversely proportional to the amount of water currently flooding the basement. Also, I made a great stir-fry with tofu I fried the fuck out of so it was all crispy on the outside, and then I asked the girls to clean up afterwards, and they did without a complaint. Then I spent the rest of the evening sucking water out of the basement, a futile gesture since the water level immediately rose back up as soon as I stopped.

This North Korea thing is scary and will take a delicate series of maneuvers to de-fuse. I'm sure Bush will completely fuck it up and we'll end up going to war with both Iraq and North Korea at the same time. WWIII, here we come!

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Shrink never called me yesterday, so we had a short phone meeting this afternoon in my car after I dropped off A at home. All I do all day is drive and work and cook and clean. Today I have nothing interesting to say. Being a single mom sucks.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

I have a shrink appointment tonight which I have to cancel due to having to take T to her 7:45 p.m. dance class. I just spoke to shrink's secretary person, and man, what a bitch. She was really unhelpful and sort of snottily asked me why I needed to change it (none of your fuckin' business), and told me that I would still have to pay for it (and insurance does not cover it, and it's $95, and I'd still have to see him and pay another $95 for the privilege). So I'm going to do a phone consult at 7:20 while driving to Hadley with T in the car. "Uh yeah, I'm feeling basically okay, though having these kids here is stressing me out... Watch it, Toyota! Fuckin' cutting me off.... Anyway, uh hold on, I need to shift... Yeah, I'm taking care of A and T while their dad's away and it's difficult. Wait, T, don't cry, I didn't mean you were difficult! Oops, just ran a red light..."
Okay, so, hi. This morning I discovered that if I have to, I can go from being in bed to being ready to go to work in ten minutes. Heh. Sorry for the lack of blog; I had yesterday off to celebrate the life of Christopher Columbus. Actually I took it off to go to a theme park. We did make it to Six Flags yesterday, and it was fun and scary in a good way. But I had a rough weekend overall.

Saturday morning the basement flooded, which made me freak out. I've never had to deal with such a thing, and our basement hasn't flooded in the 2-plus years we've lived here. I bought a pump and sucked most of the water out - it was only about an inch and a half deep. But a couple of hours later it was back.

That afternoon we drove two hours to visit with P for dinner and to see his show. He's been on tour for a few days and comes back Oct. 21. I was exhausted by dealing with the flood and taking the kids to the mall and I basically broke down once we finished dinner. I hid out in the car after P was done playing (A and T were watching the headliner perform) and P came out and talked to me. I just felt like I could not do it, could not be a single mom, could not take care of everything without him. I tried to remember that I WAS doing it, and today was just a miserable day, but I was so tired I couldn't get a grip. Eventually I felt okay enough to drive us home.

Sunday my dad showed up around noon with a van full of furniture for the kids. First he looked at the basement situation; the water level was down to mere puddles, but he couldn't figure out why the sump pump was working since we couldn't find where the water was ending up. I made pesto while he cleaned up the puddles with a sponge mop, without making a big deal out of it (just "where's the mop?"), which made me very grateful. The rest of the day was spent moving furniture around. My Ikea shelving unit from high school has been reborn. Thea went to acting class, and when I picked her up two hours later, she told me class had actually been cancelled due to Columbus Day (whatever) but the young, geeky, too-earnest theater guy made him stay and help scrape windows with him. T finds him creepy and having met him I understand why. Afterwards Dad took us out to eat at Pizzeria Paradiso and then it was time for bed.

Sunday was Big Fun Secret Surprise Day. I made everyone dress warmly and we drove down to Six Flags. Ana caught on to where we were going pretty quickly, though she didn't let on until we got there, but Thea seemed to not know until we were in sight of the roller coasters. Dad came too, in his own car so he could leave early and drive home to NJ. On the ticket line the people in front of us told us that if we showed the ticket seller a piece of paper with "105.9" written on it, our tickets would only be $10 each, due to some crazy radio promotion. With our coupons we were going to be spending $30 a ticket so this seemed much too good to be true. But after the guy in front got to the window and turned around to tell us gleefully, "it worked!" I said to his son "Gimme that pen, kid!" and scribbled 105.9 on the 10-bucks-off coupon I was holding. And it worked! Amazing. Instead of $120 we spent $40.

A and T and Dad went on all of the huge roller coasters. I stood on line with them and always took the chicken exit near the loading station. I did go on the Thunderbolt, a Cyclone-sized wooden coaster, and it was fun though a little jerky. Dad left around 5:00, having hit all of the rides he wanted (all of the big ones). We wandered around and paid to do one of the indoor haunted houses, which was just walking through a twisty corridor with day-glo paintings of scary clowns, and once in a while some teenager dressed as a scary clown would jump out at you. It was over in less than five minutes. Once it got dark we went on the Trail of Terror, for which we had to stand on the Long Queue of Coldness, as it was even colder out once the sun went down. It was worth it, though. The trail went way into the woods and through different tableaus, like a toxic dump, an axe-murderer's camp, and an abandoned bus, and the actors here were very good at suprising you and acting genuinely deranged and dangerous. Unlike in the haunted house, I got seriously frightened a couple of times by scary people leaping out at me. The three of us huddled together and screamed in unison any time anything happened. It was so much fun. On our way out I bought us some hot, fresh kettle corn we watched being made. We crunched on warm yummy kernels all the way home.

Friday, October 11, 2002

So the Sunday with Dad Six Flags trip may not happen after all. T has acting class that evening, early, so we'd have to cut our park time very short. Dammit.

Also, Rufus Wainwright's been cancelled! The ticket guy who called me gave no reason. I wonder what happened? I am bummed.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

My dad just called. He's going to be visiting me Sunday morning-Monday morning, and we were discussing what furniture from my childhood home he should bring for the girls. Of course now the kids are both fighting over the hutch, a nice china-and-linen-cabinet thingy that I used as my bureau when I was a teen. I have as of yet no creative way to determine who gets it. A is older, so maybe she gets it, but T seems more in need of storage. A is definitely the squeakier wheel, though, and I don't want to look like I'm rewarding her loud complainings. At the same time, at her age I used to be just as cranky as she is, so I shouldn't let her bad attitude count against her either.

Do you see how hard it is? Little things like this turn the wheels in my brain until important facts and figures that someday I'll really need get turned to ash.

Anyway, I told my dad about trying to take the girls to Six Flags this weekend, and having to either take work off Monday or do it Friday night, and he said, well, why don't we go on Sunday? I'd love to go to Six Flags! So it looks like the four of us might go. He's always been the one in our nuclear family to go on all of the big rides, while me and my mom and sister waited for him so we could do the bumper cars or the log flume. I've never been close to my dad, and throughout my adolescence we had horrible screaming and yelling and very mean fights. I really believed that I hated him. He's the typical emotionally-closed-off WASPy dad from the Northeast, prone to sudden bursts of anger directed at inanimate objects. This did not mix well with me as a teen. I did however learn how to calm down irrationally angry people (stay quiet, don't get angry yourself, talk in a normal reasoned voice, tell them it doesn't matter the bowl of pasta fell on the floor, we can make more). As little kids it was fine, our dad was the game-player in the house so he was the go-to guy for fun. But then we stopped playing games and drifted away from him and he didnt' seem to know how to communicate with us. He still has trouble and probably always will. I'm trying to be at peace with that.

So this trip to the amusement park should be interesting. We have some old snapshots of me and my sister as young kids at Great Adventure, the Six Flags park nearest our home, that dad took while we were on the swing ride. Our arms reach out like wings and our mouths are wide with delight and we're flying, all safe and worry-free.
New links: I added Dawn Olson's blog, Up Yours, a couple of days ago, since I check hers almost daily, and Achewood, which is especially endearing and funny today.
I don't know if I really have any fetish, but I do like the word "panties"...

Your Secret Fetish Is Panties!

Mmmm... panties.

You might like them fresh out of the wrapper or incredibley nasty and dirty.

Chances are that you and your lover keep your underwear on during sex...

and that you can be caught peeking up skirts from time to time.

What's *Your* Secret Fetish? Click Here to Find Out!

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Handles This link is really for my pal Avani, who has decided to start making bags to sell! You go, girl!
I'm starting to freak out a little. P is leaving tomorrow and won't be back until Oct. 21. I will be single-parenting during that time, and also dealing with not having P around. I have a separation problem which makes me weak as a kitten when people I am attached to are not around. I can usually distract myself and do fun things with other people, but there's always that time when you have to go to bed and nobody is there and it is very quiet. And I love my dog, who is my alternate bed companion, but she's just not the same as P. She farts a little less, for one.

So my little Six Flags Surprise plan may not work after all. Saturday night I wanted to go see P in CT, and Sunday my dad will be visiting. So the only good day is Monday, which T and A have off from school, but I might have to work and won't know until Friday if I do.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Addendum: The hypnotherapy birthing thing didn't not work, exactly, but it requires more time between contractions to really get it going. Alice had very rapid labor right from the start, two minute contractions with two minutes in-between. And apparently the hypno techniques helped calm her down on the cab ride on the way to the hospital.
Salon.com Sex | A classic conundrum Gary Tennis's answer to the first reader's question could have been written by P. Good answer.
Man, I should get a good night's sleep more often. I went to bed at 10 instead of my usual 11:30 and I feel great. I even got to work on time, 9:00.

My sister Sarah's best friend Alice had her baby yesterday! She's my friend too, by proxy (plus I see her every time I visit the sister). Apparently the hypno-pain-relief method she learned didn't work... But she had a quick labor, like 6 hours, and had an epidural at a late stage in the game which didn't work that well, but Alice was well enough afterwards to call S and sound very normal and calm and not exhausted. I think S is hoping to visit them in the hospital today and will take some digital pics for me. It's a boy, named Henry or Jake (they're undecided) and he's about 7 pounds.

The mall last night was fine. I felt ill for most of it, but then I felt better. T bought a couple of shirts at Old Navy but was undecided on some other items. We checked out Forever 21, which is supposed to be the New H&M. It was pretty good, cheap trendy clothes, though there were a lot of cheap leather items that gave off a funky odor. I tried on some tight red low-rise cords, which fit me fine, but I have enough clothes already that I can't wear to work. We're going back, with A this time, on Friday. I have a sneaky plan to take them to Six Flags on Sunday, but I'm not going to tell them about it in advance. It's a crazy expense but I just found some $10-off coupons and I know they really, really want to go. I'm gonna have to bring a book because they go on the vomitrific rides I would never go on. Anyone out there want to go with us?

The bad thing about going to bed early, besides making me feel old, is that I miss the Daily Show. I found out that it's rerun at 5:30 every night so as long as I make it home on time I can still watch it.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Hi. Busy weekend. As part of my natural nesting reaction to the weather turning colder, I did a lot of cleaning: I scrubbed the kitchen, taking an especially long time with getting the sticky, lint-coated grease off of our big, white "vintage" oven, and using oven cleaner on the burner drip tray things (which worked satisfyingly well, though some residue still remains). The girls were up in VT, getting heartbreakingly dissed by their mom again (she did take them out to dinner and a movie, but opted to send them home early on a train instead of spending Sunday with them; they spent both nights at friends' homes).

Sunday night P, A, T, and I went out to dinner with P's mom, aunt, and cousin. Aunt and cousin were visiting from Atlanta (they're from Texas originally, I think). We were at a sort of fancy, quirky place, Green St. Cafe, and as usual P's mom had much to complain about. "They really should do something about the handwriting on these menus!" "That little pot of tapenade for ALL of us?!" When figuring out what wine she wanted, as they didn't have Merlot or Cabernet, she looked plaintively up at the waitress and said "I've never heard of any of these before in my life." After our waitress brought over a taste of something for her to try, she said "This is awful. Ugh, it's just undrinkable." She has a knack of making waitstaff ridiculously uncomfortable, leaving the rest of us to try to patch things up by tempering her statements with compliments and apologies. It makes eating out with her very stressful sometimes. Yet she paid for my meal, so I guess I'm just an ungrateful swine.

I liked P's cousin, though, who seemed smart and funny and interesting. But I was too wrapped up in keeping a grouchy A happy and trying not to ignore a sidelined-as-usual T. I must have succeeded because we did goofy prancing walks on our way back to the car.

Tonight I've told T I'm taking her to the mall, though I'm quite exhausted. I went to bed around 12:30, I woke up at 3:00 with stomach and anxiety issues and read on the sofa downstairs, dozing off a little while Wedge cat kept kneading me to keep me awake. I returned to bed at 5:23, to wake up for good around 7:30. Oy.

Friday, October 04, 2002

Crazy situation (not even a fight per se, just butting of heads) with A last night prompted an emergency session with P's longtime shrink in Brattleboro this morning. Here are the basic tips he gave us:

You have no power. So fighting for it is futile. Have you ever seriously tried to force someone do the dishes? Can't be done.

Avoid power struggles. See above.

Turn it all back on the kid so they are forced to take responsibility. No explaining, "In this house, we do the dishes because we all chip in." Just, Do the dishes. They say, "No, I won't do them," you say, "Huh." Or even add, "Now what?" and stare at them expectantly. Supposedly this will get them to (eventually) do the dishes, instead of fighting (which is what would come of "do the dishes because it's your job and I cooked and blah blah blah.").

We are ascared of putting this into action. We both feel like we need scripts for each specific incident. My instinct is to go the explaining route and THEN let it drop. Then leave the dishes until there are no more clean dishes, then say oh look, the dishes didn't magically clean themselves. But apparently we're supposed to say as little as possible and do a lot of staring.

Also, there's basically nothing we can do to help fix their relationship with Abandonment Mom (tm). I said, Maybe P could call her and suggest she try calling more often? And the shrink said, no, no, no. You can't make her change like that. So the only thing we can do is keep listening and telling them we see how much it is hurting them, and it's okay to be angry and depressed, we aren't going anywhere. And then P and I will secretly plot our revenge on their behalf.

Ha, just kidding. Ha. ha.

Neal Pollack's blog today is a sly satire of Jonathan Franzen's article in the recent New Yorker, about serious literature vs. fun reads. I'm all proud I get the references.

I've gotten back into the habit of saying "I've got to get my cone on" and "I need to get my coffee on." I expect it will only last another day or two.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

P.S. "Wise Up" and "Save Me" are the Magnolia songs she played last night.
You are jealous of me. I saw Aimee Mann last night. What a great show she puts on. She played a bunch of songs from her new album, some favorites from the Magnolia soundtrack (before one of the songs she said "now just picture frogs raining down on you") and Bachelor No. 2. Some highlights:

"Red Vines" during the first encore

"Humpty Dumpty" and "Pavlov's Bell" were great

"Deathly" from B. #2, one of my favorite songs of hers. She also played "Calling it Quits" and "Susan" and among others, though not my favorite song, "How Am I Different"

a woman in the audience yelled out "Voices Carry!" and Aimee sighed and pretended to strangle herself. She said, "no, It's okay, I know you only said that so you'd see if I would get really angry or explode, right?" Then as the audience laughed she said "No - I'm gonna do it. I'm going to sing Voices Carry for you." she turned to the keyboardist and said "give me a C, a bouncy C" and the band started to play accompaniment, and she did it, she sang Voices Carry! I was so happy. That was a favorite song of mine in 1985-86, and I loved the video too, with Aimee's crazy freak-hair...

She had a new lighting guy who used projected polka-dot circles and mesh patterns that would rotate on the back wall of the stage then slowly slip up to the ceiling and then back down across the audience. Very beautiful and colorful and fitting.

Also, before the show I had a girls-night-out dinner at Cha's with Anya and Penny. It was very nice. I've always found it more difficult making friends with women than with men. Yet I crave female friends. I guess it's hard for me to be myself, all exposed without that veil of jokes and flirtiness to hide behind. Women see through all that bullshit (at least I do, and I assume others do) when they watch other women. Anyway. I've become so much less self-conscious than when I was in high school and college. It's made me more comfortable in my own skin. Life is just easier when you aren't constantly thinking of how other people are judging you or admiring you. Now I'm all, Who the fuck cares? When I was a kid, my parents had this embarrassing overweight single friend named Lee. Whenever there was a good song on the radio, she'd tap and slap her thigh in time with the music. It was mortifying and so, so dorky. Yet it's exactly what i did at the show last night (I would have been up dancing but this was an old theater with assigned seats and no dance floor). Lee didn't care and I didn't either.

map of who says what This is interesting: A map of where people say "soda" and where people say "pop" and where people say "Coke" when they mean any kind of generic soda. "Soda" is of course the correct word, though I do find "pop" kind of charming. Now if there was a map comparing a hamburger to a hamburg (which seems to be a New England, or at least a Western Mass, thing that I loathe) to a burger.