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 @ 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 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 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.