Tuesday, April 29, 2003

I guess I'm-a goin back to Florida tomorrow, even though I might have the SARS. Sure, my instant-strep test was negative, but I still feel like crap. Remember the good ol' days, when a strep test took 24 hours, and they'd give you some antibiotics to start, just to make sure? And also if you had white blobs on your tonsils, they gave you antibiotics? Even if you didn't really need them, they always made you feel better. I can't even remember the last time I got antibiotics. All because some dickheads were popping them like they were going out of style, creating new superviruses and shit. And now I feel really crappy, still, but I also still want to get my Florida on, you know? So in preparation, I bought some Sudafed and some EarPlanes (expensive tricky ear plug things) so I don't howl in unimaginable pain (oh but I can imagine, dear reader) as the airplane descends. I'm still worried about major ear pain. My thraot hurts just sitting here not swallowing or anything. Oy!! I am an idiot. Time to go to bed. I might get a chance to blog tomorrow, if not I'll see you Monday!

Monday, April 28, 2003

Argh! I'm home sick today, and I'm so behind at work it's horrible. Plus I don't exactly feel welcome here at home during the day. I feel very crappy and I probably have strep, which I haven't had since I was a kid. I see the doctor at 1:30. I see an apartment at noon, though, so I need to look not-sick for that... Crap crap crap crap.

Friday, April 25, 2003

When I read about this on gummi's blog, I thought for sure she had fallen for some internet hoax, that such a product (with such a name!) couldn't really be for sale. But ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:Uncrustables.

Are people really that lazy that they can't be bothered to make their own fuckin' pb&j? No wonder the world hates us!!!
Here it is, after a one week break: the friday five.

1. What was the last TV show you watched? The Daily Show last night. The bit on anxiety was good but could have been mined even further, though I may just think about the topic more than most people.

2. What was the last thing you complained about? That P let the dog outside, again, to wander around the house and go wherever he wanted to go, like under a car or miles away or shitting in a neighbor's garden.

3. Who was the last person you complimented and what did you say? I complimented A on her grades, all-A's. I also complimented her on some bargainy clothes she bought.

4. What was the last thing you threw away? Some used tissues. Sorry it's not more interesting.

5. What was the last website (besides this one) that you visited? I was just looking on eBay for Betsey Johnson clothes, because I am bored, and I am lame.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Hey, I'm back! Hi, hello, hi. Florida was very nice. It was jam-packed with receptions, yummy meals, swag, small talk, a few rides, and free drinks. Unlike many of my work trips, this time I was with three interesting co-workers who had just the right level of cynicism (not too high), making the park-touring extra fun. Also:

I sprained a toe doing Dance Dance Revolution with an unlikely officemate. I blame my slippery sandals.

Due to the toe hurting, I was unable to wear the new white shoes I had bought after spending hours searching for the perfect pair. Godammit.

The monday-night extravaganza party had free temporary tattoos and a handwriting analyst. I got a classic knife-through-a-heart with a banner that says "LOVE". The handwriting analyst was somewhat right-on; the creepiest and closest thing she said was "you're analytical and logical ... And you have a strong connection with your mother, but wish your father had been more present for you." Whoa, where did that come from?

The new ride we got to tour, which will involve sort of a ride-simulator capsule, has supposedly made a lot of ride-testers sick. Apparently it involves a lot of spinning, but noone, and I mean noone, will say exactly how it moves. They're trying to tell riders that it can make sensitive people sick, but until they tell people what the ride does, I bet there will be a lot of barfing. Plus there is no way in hell I will go on it.

Both of my flights were sold-out, and though I thought I had gotten my ticket far enough in advance, I was seated in the middle seat. It's spring break and the planes (and the parks) were absolutely packed. I was so tired yesterday I gave up a free ticket to see Yo La Tengo, opting to nap and then sink into the couch for a couple of hours. It enabled me to get up early (i.e. on time) today to call for apartments (a crappy overpriced one off of Hawley might take a dog...) and make an appointment with a "specialist" to check out my eye of mystery (they can see me today, incredibly). Both my bosses seem to be out of the office today so it's been a nice reentry back to work.

Monday, April 21, 2003

It's late - I just returned from Boston where I saw A Mighty Wind (good) and the White Stripes (Excellent!!). Tomorrow I leave at 8 a.m. for a two-day press trip, so you won't be hearing from me until Wednesday night. Okay!

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Blog on it.

I like big blogs and I cannot lie.

Mary Mary, why ya bloggin?

I really have nothing to say today. I'm out of the office tomorrow, and going to Florida for a media event next Monday to Wednesday, so blogging may be sporadic. And I've been very busy trying to get everything in order before my trip (which I should really just relax about, since it's only two frickin' nights).

Anyone hear of a one-bedroom apartment that allows dogs and isn't more than, say, $700 a month, starting June or July 1, let me know, okay? Thanks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

On Friday, P and I managed to open up a long-stuck drawer on this old sideboard I have. In the process, we ended up breaking a piece of wood off of the bottom, but I didn't care; inside was my collection of cassette tapes, which I hadn't heard in three years! I have a tape player in my car, and have been listening to the same twelve tapes over and over (I usually end up listening to the radio). So on my drive to and from Brooklyn I got to listen to some new-old music. I had a mix-tape from my sister made during a summer in college, a mix-tape from my friend Av, and several I made for myself. Those I know by heart. One of them (named Mix-O-Rama) never fails to drown me in nostalgia. I made it in the spring or summer of 1991; I can date it due to the inclusion of a Neil Young song and a Led Zepplin song, pointing to my crush I had around that time on a guy-friend who liked them. I listened to this tape throughout a summer spent in New Jersey, home from college and living at my parentsÕ house to save money. IÕd drive from the suburbs into the semi-rural area, down a two-mile-long road called Canal Street that was a slightly curvy tunnel of lush, cool greenery, an oasis from the humid Jersey weather, and I'd belt out these songs, my heart filled with late-teenage angst and emotion. Here's the track listing. Note in advance: I was/am not cool, and my song choices are kind of embarrassing. I give my reasons for including each one.

Cinnamon Girl - Neil Young (see above)
Love Rears its Ugly Head - Living Colour (about fighting falling in love; failing)
Still Crazy After All These Years Ð Paul Simon (nostalgic vibe)
Kodachrome Ð Paul Simon (ÒWhen I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, itÕs a wonder I can think at allÓ)
The Rain Song Ð Led Zepplin (see above; very pretty song)
CouldnÕt Call it Unexpected #2 Ð Elvis Costello (Elvis is my man. These three were my favorites off of his current release)
Playboy to a Man Ð Elvis Costello
Sweet Pear Ð Elvis Costello

(Side B)
SheÕs Always a Woman Ð Billy Joel (I donÕt know what I was thinking. I fast-forwarded through this one every time)
Like Cockatoos Ð The Cure (breakup song)
Summertime Rolls Ð JaneÕs Addiction (lazy hot summer theme. I also saw them at the first Lollapalooza)
Just Like Heaven Ð The Cure (high school nostalgia (already) )
DŽjˆ vu Ð Crosby Stills Nash and Young (due to recently discovering them at my hippie college)
Everyday Sunshine Ð Fishbone (I had seen them in concert recently Ð still in my top five shows of all time. Even the security guards were dancing. But not that great a song; was struggling to fill up the tape at this point)
So Like Candy Ð Elvis Costello (I guess my fourth-favorite song from ECÕs newest; again trying to fill up the rest of the tape)

So there you have it. Begin psychoanalysis É now!

Hey look - it's the Tuesday (ahem) Five!

1. What was the first band you saw in concert? The first one I went sans parents was pretty hip: it was Souxsie and the Banshees. Ziggy Marley opened up, believe it or not. This was at Rutgers. Before that, I had seen Sting with my mom in a big arena show. I was really into the Police but by this point Sting was promoting his second solo album. This was as close as I could get.

2. Who is your favorite artist/band now? I listened to the White Stripes' Elephant a few more times and now I'm in love with it. Next week I'll probably have a different answer.

3. What's your favorite song? I really like "Planet" by the Sugarcubes, yes even with the crazy guy's shout-singing. Also "Man Out of Time" by Elvis Costello, or perhaps "Sweet Pear" if I'm feeling dramatic. Then of course there's the Beatles. And Liz Phair's first album, and Elliott Smith's second and third albums. Who can possibly answer this?

4. If you could play any instrument, what would it be? Guitar. Or bass. For the rocking.

5. If you could meet any musical icon (past or present), who would it be and why? John Lennon. I'd like to see if he was a loving peaceful creative friendly freak, or an arrogant snobby off-putting freak. A mix off the two, I'd imagine.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Here are three pictures I took at the Brooklyn Zoo yesterday. It's a small zoo, so I pretty much met every animal that lived there. We had a nice time.

This guy, in particular, was a favorite. We hung out and chatted for a few minutes before he had to go do some important grooming.

This guy was really into himself, all "ooh, look at me, I'm so sleek and whiskery." Loser.

And this was the absolute best: While we were looking through a viewing window, the leader of the baboon troop gave us some pressed ham!!

I was in NYC for the weekend, in case you were wondering. I was mostly with just my sister and bro-in-law, though I did get to hang with S, Al, and their adorable 6-month-old son.
Some highlights:

On the drive down and back on the Merritt, I saw five live turkeys, two dead turkeys, and numerous jive turkeys.

The guy who slices the lox so thin you can read through it at the Blue Apron gourmet food shop is a "Master Slicer." He's like a famous specialist in slicing food.

Jackass was funny. Some parts fell flat, but during the roller disco truck segment I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe.

The Brooklyn Zoo was hoppin' on Saturday afternoon. I will post pictures next.

Little Italy only has expensive retaurants. It's like Italy at Epcot, but filled with actual Italian-Americans from Jersey smoking big cigars while walking with their big poofy wives. These were outnumbered by the tourists. We shared overpriced gelati and a stale sfaghiatelle (no idea how to spell that) at a corner cafe that was clerked by Latinos.

The carousel in Prospect Park is reopening later than they announced; come back in a couple of weeks.

Today, after S and S had to leave to catch a bus to Medieval Times (there's one in Northern New Jersey, to my horror) to celebrate my cousin's ninth birthday, I did a little walking around the Slope. I spent too much time at the excellent used clothing store on fifth, beacon's closet, where I bought a Michael Stars shirt (I'm starting to pay attention to labels, which is bad) and a Mossino (but probably from Target) miniskirt and Old Navy (I'm no snob) low-rise lightweight denim jeans. All for thirty bucks.This purchase was to make up for the hour-plus S and I spent in a crowded and unruly H&M in Manhattan without buying anything. When we finally slinked out we were confronted by S, who had been waiting for us outside, dying of boredom. We felt like guilty failures with a shopping compulsion. So I had to "succeed" the next day by finding something I wanted to buy. Fucked up, I know.

Anyway, on the Simpsons tonight, Marge and Homer go to Medieval Times! They were probably there while my family was there. This must mean something, right? The stars are aligned, or my karma has peaked, or whatever.

Okay. More later.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Donald Rumsfeld moonlights as a sex advice columnist for Esquire! He's the coolest. Here's a sample:

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld: My wife wants me to talk dirty when we make love, but I've never been able to do it. Any advice?
Joel Brennan, Syracuse, New York

Secretary Rumsfeld: Listen, anybody that can talk clean can talk dirty. Dirty talk is just like normal talk, except dirty. Your wife wants dirty talk, so give her dirty talk. Something like, "Those breasts are first-rate," or "I am going to give you a darned good orgasm," or, if she likes the rough stuff, "I'll tell you this, I am about to give you the business and I don't want to hear any guff about it."
There's a new Get Your War On page up. I like this one, as it sums to all up quite succinctly:
Hoo boy - there's a new Jim Woodring toy out. I kind of love it, though for $40, it should be, like, a foot tall and hand-painted. Instead it's 5 inches high and made of vinyl. Still, it's very nice:

The jiva thingy is sitting on a base in the pic, and you can remove it, rotate it, hang it, etc.

In other news, I made crab rangoon out of the leftover wonton wrappers I'd bought. I used about a one-to-one ratio of real crab (from a can; I'm not crazy) and neusfatel cheese (instead of cream cheese). Mixed that up with some chopped scallions, deep fry the hell out of 'em, and you have a heavenly, faux-Polynesian delight. They went over very well in my house; between the four of us we ate all 20.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

More explanation of the local Shape Note singing group (snipped from an email I just wrote to a friend): I like it a lot. Most of the songs are religious but the vibe of the group is purely secular. And some of the songs are great, with messages like "I don't care how crappy my life is, when I die I'm gonna live in a totally awesome mansion and hang out with Jesus" and "you assholes in the church are really fucking things up for the little people" and "I don't know, things haven't been going well for me, and my faith in God is wavering, so I guess I'll sing a song about it" and "my friend is dead, but that's cool, because now she's up in heaven where all the fun happens."

Just, next time, no big pile of greasy food right before trying to sing.
You may be wondering what I've been doing these past few days. Probably not, but regardless, here's what I've been doing:

working on sewing a simple dress made with a vintage 1960s pattern and vintage fabric. put in and took out the zipper twice; decided third try was good enough. next step is to sew the sides together

sewing a new curtain for the window in the back door. it looks nice

putting stuff on ebay and mailing out a couple of things I sold

watching The Daily Show

making steamed jade dumplings (asparagus, water chestnuts, scallions, ginger, garlic, in won ton wrappers). they were delicious. next time I'll try making shu mai

deciding to cook remaining dumplings in oil the next day, which makes them way too oily and slimy; going to Sacred Harp sing right after; feeling like I'm gonna vomit while belting out the big notes; leaving the sing at the mid-way break to go home and watch 24.

watching After Hours and Brain Candy for the second or third times

that's pretty much it. Not really any socializing or leaving the house much. I did get the newest White Stripes, which I've listened to once and liked. I need multiple listens to see if I'll love it. Sure, there can be initial chemistry, and that's great, but it's more important to make a connection. I hope to continue my journey with Elephant and see where it takes us.

(I've also been reading some reality show recaps on Television Without Pity.)

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

I had sucha boring, stupefying weekend that I couldn't even blog yesterday. It did snow last night, but only about three inches.

Why the hell is it so hard to find an apartment that allows dogs? I live in a semi-rural area, and I see dogs everywhere. As a dog-owner, I expect to keep my dog in line, to train it not to bark when I'm away, and to be housebroken and all of that. She's a fairly good houseguest, more than many humans. I can pay the rent, and a damage deposit. So why not rent to me? Is it some uptight Yankee thing of avoiding potential conflict? Because it seems easier to find a dog-friendly apartment in Brooklyn than it is here, and that makes no sense at all.


Friday, April 04, 2003

Zardoz. This one's for my friend Philip.
A prescient Friday Five.

1. How many houses/apartments have you lived in throughout your life? Pre-College? My family lived in one house from (my) age 2 until after I graduated college. After college, on my own? 4 apartments and one house.

2. Which was your favorite and why? There are things I liked about most of the apres-college places, except for number two (crazy old landlady living below me, paper-thin walls, poor heat, blown fuses). I liked my place on Lyman Rd. a lot: It's a quiet street, I could walk to town, I had two huge, tall, sunny rooms, and I lived alone for the first (and only, so far) time.

3. Do you find moving house more exciting or stressful? Why? Stressful, mostly, because packing is an enorrmous job. I tend to take the "opportunity" to sort through and shed some of my crap, which takes me many hours. But once all of my stuff is at the new place I really enjoy unpacking and setting everything up.

4. What's more important, location or price? Well, I have no choice but to consider the cost, but location is muy importante.

5. What features does your dream house have (pool, spa bath, big yard, etc.)? Big yard or a proximity to wilderness; a garden (both vegetable and flower); quietude. It must not be too far from town. A nice-looking fenced-in area for my dog. A small circular room in a tower, with windows everywhere, is a must. A messy craft/sewing/art-making area. Big sunny common room for friends to visit.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

See? For example, here's David Cross's Nerve.com Personal. I think if I ever went on a date with him, I'd spend the entire time peeing myself laughing. But maybe that's putting too much pressure on him. And my bladder! Haw!
EDIT: The link appears to have been changed or deleted. Probably he was getting too much mail, or something. His user name was "the_good_doctor" if you want to do further prodding.
I apologize to my loyal readers for the radio silence. The shit is hitting the fan over here in my private life. Hopefully things will be back to normal soon and I can turn my attention, for a little while, to other things, things I can share with you all.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

The New Yorker This is an amazing article that shows what an insane, psychotic, war-crazed monster Rumsfeld is. Smoke is coming out of my ears. Read at your own risk.