Thursday, November 27, 2003

Hi folks, I'm writing this from exotic Piscataway, New Jersey. The drive wasn't as horrible as I feared; it took me about 6 and a half hours, and should have taken me a bit over four. No biggie. It's about bedtime now but I had to check my email (I got none, since everyone I know that isn't in the house I'm currently in is at the big singer-songwriter Final Showdown Deathmatch at Bishop's Lounge) and then I had to blog.

Today work was fine. I think the problem discussed in my previous entry has been sculpted into a more manageable one. Since today was the day before a holiday, I had this intense drive to get a lot done, and a lot of energy and drive to do it (the more I accomplished, the sooner I could leave for my drive south). I ended up skipping out at around 3:30.

One last thing - Why do people wear cologne? A couple of guys were wearing man-perfume at the pizza place today, and it made it hard for me to smell the yummy pizza and make my selection (chicken and broccoli, thanks). Being clean is nice, but why go and add a scent? A really unnatural and flowery one?

That's all I want to know. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

The good thing about having a blog is that people email you when you send up the red flag, to find out if you're okay. Thank you people.

I feel better now. The trouble had to do with someone I have to edit, who thinks I'm doing it all wrong. She sent me an email in protest of some imagined slight, I insisted we sit down to talk it out, and things continued badly from there. Anyway, I can't get into details, but the humiliating low point of our "conversation" was when I said, "why do you hate me?" (it was in context, believe it or not, but I'm still embarrassed I said it aloud), and, well, there were numerous low points for the other person, who was very angry. Yet somehow I was the one who ended up trembling with adrenaline and then crying in the bathroom afterwards - in secret, I hope (except for you, dear readers). After all of the nasty things were said, I still had to fix it, being the uber-responsible one. So I did, with a simple solution that could have come about easily if the person had confronted me days ago instead of letting their annoyance build for an entire week, finally spilling it out in a vitriolic email to me.

That's all I can say here.
Work's really bad; an interpersonal conflict just came to a head and I let myself get really angry. I just got myself to stop crying, so I'll write more later when I have calmed down (or returned home).

Monday, November 24, 2003

I feel better now. Work was freakin' me out. By 4 p.m. I felt like I hadn't even started work yet, but for all of the meetings and other interruptions. And then I still kept getting people stopping by with questions for me. But by 5:30, once I was the only person left in the office, I got things under control. I'm going to try to keep tomorrow morning meeting-free, for my sanity's sake.

I had a lengthy dog romp at the dog park on Burt's Pit Road on Sunday. It was exceptionally good. The weather was nice, especially for late November; there were a ton of dogs around; and all of the dog owners were laid back and cool. My dog L and I headed for the field next to a bend in the Mill River, where there was a nice-sized pack of dogs running around and playing. There was a gorgeous Great Dane, full grown but still puppyish, and a couple of Jack Russell terriers, a couple of labs, a short-haired collie, a Rhodesian ridgeback, and some random mutts. L did great with everyone, even playing stick-tug-o-war with other dogs. And when the growly play-fighting momentarily turned into a fierce-looking barking match, I pulled L away and the other guy pulled his dog away, and he was totally fine and calm about it. "Happens all the time," he says. Yes it does. I love it when dog owners know what is normal dog behavior and don't get scared every time someone gets barked at.
And then these two people on horseback came by with their dog, and the horses were amazing, letting the dog stand up and put its paws on the horse's side, and letting other strange dogs get close and stare and bark a little at these huge hoofed animals with the humans on top and asses up too high to sniff properly. After hanging out for a few minutes, they galloped down the path, their sporty dog running like a rocket to keep up. After I got home L slept like a black furry log. Like a dog, actually.

I also finally got inside of the new Smith student center. It's pretty damn cool. If they had to put an enormous modern white steel and glass building right next to old historic wood and brick Victorians, this would be the best one to have. I didn't explore very thoroughly, just stayed on the main floor, and ended up in a nice and extremely orange room that was very space-age and mod. There's a circular fireplace in there (unlit) and the rocking lounge chairs are made of sheet metal with red or orange padding stuck on (sadly some of the cushions were already coming unglued from the chairs). It was nice. I have no idea if I'm even allowed in there. I'm a woman, so that's nice camoflauge, and anyone with me could be my guest, I guess.

P.S. See Craftytown for a request for advice on driving during the traffic-fun-time coming up later this week.

Sorry postings have been light lately, dear readers. What can I say, work has been very hectic lately. Today I am getting so frustrated at my not being able to get things done (because people need me in on meetings and shit, which I guess means I'm important, which I guess I should be happy about, but I don't really care) that I actually gnashed my teeth and stamped my feet a couple of times.

Anyway, I'll post more tonight. Pinkie-swear.

Friday, November 21, 2003

I knew the Cat in the Hat movie was going to be terrible, and it looks like the nation's critics agree. My favorite two:

"If the producers had dug up Ted Geisel's body and hung it from a tree, they couldn't have desecrated the man more." -- Ty Burr, BOSTON GLOBE


"They may as well have skipped the hassle of securing licensing rights and simply called this mess Mike Myers: Asshole in Fur." -- Gregory Weinkauf, DALLAS OBSERVER
The Friday Five is Alive with Fives.

1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.
That's like only a month and a half away! These are things I must do, though I'd also really like to do them ... Organize a baby shower, create and mail out invites to a baby shower, finish my art-o-mat project, knit most of a knitting project I have yet to begin, and get an old futon mattress out of my apartment.

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again.
Tina Huytera, Maria Finucane (both were high school friends), Dave Vasquez (my first boyfriend), Ivan Ferris (college friend), and me. Heh.

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do.
Make silver jewelry (via casting and sautering, with a kiln or torch), roast a perfect chicken, stop the loud rattling noise the heating vent is currently making in my office, sew a shirt from scratch and have the collar turn out nice, and change a tire on my car.

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit).
Hmm... I'd probably quit my full-time job, and then spend a healthy amount of time traveling all over the world (New Zealand, Bali, India, Japan, Iceland...), and of course I'd donate a big chunk to a pro-environment organization. I'd also buy houses for myself and my friends and family. And then I'd carve an idyllic hobbit-ish house out of the side of a hill, as a private nature-filled retreat where I'd go to "get away from it all," which would entail standing in front of gauzy windows while looking dramatic.

5. List five things you do that help you relax.
If it's cold out, and I come back to my house and jump into bed (with down comforter) to warm up, I will always end up falling asleep. I play puzzle games on my cell phone when I'm nervous or just bored. Ideally I do yoga, or at least yogic breathing. Also: drinking tea and petting my dog.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

I scanned the old photos of my grandfather but my ridiculous work email only allowed the smallest files to get through to me at home. So here's just a nice one of my grandfather feeding my dad.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I just posted on Craftytown about the origin of the boots I'm wearing today. Unfortunately they're just a little big for me. Had I bought them in a brick-and-mortar store I would have done my annoying-shoe-shopper-lady routine of having them show me multiple pairs of the same exact size, since Doc Martins can vary widely. Instead I tried a 6, which was too big, and a 5, which was way too small. So I kept the 6, and I'm trying to be okay with it. I walked to work today in them and my feet keeps sliding around inside. It's just like walking on sand, except without, you know, the ocean, the sunlight, and the nice warm breezes.

These boots would be perfect for my pregnant twin-sister, whose feet are swelling up beyond her usual shoe size. Of course, she'd have to get someone else to lace them up. Last Saturday she showed me the deep indents her socks had made in her ankles at the end of the day, since she's all full of extra fluids. That extra-blood-volume aspect of pregnancy is almost as weird as having a little creature inside living off of your body. Like me, she's always been relatively skinny (we were quite bony in grade school, but have since filled out, in a healthy way I hope) so suddenly having no waist and a giant belly is a very new experience. When we get together, we go someplace private and compare our bodies as a kind of living before-and-after photo. As a result, I've seen my sister naked more times in the past few months than in the past 15 years.

I may end up seeing a lot more of her, if I end up in the delivery room as currently planned. I bought a book about being a Birth Partner, which details some practices better left to her husband (the daily perineal massage comes to mind), but also is teaching me things about labor and birth I didn't know before. For instance, during labor (or is it pre-labor?) the cervix not only dilates, but gets paper-thin. That shit is insane.

Anyway, I hope I get to be there for as much of it as I can, because it is going to be completely amazing and beautiful and scary and gross and sad and wonderful. I won't sleep for weeks.
The Onion is on the side of good.
Virgo: (Aug. 23—Sept. 22)
You're aware that life isn't a nice, sweet fairy tale. That said, it's about time you get to the sex and drugs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Hey look, people: I Made A Difference. Maybe. Go click on over to Craftytown to see what I'm talking about.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Here's a nice warm pic for a classic cold November day:

This is one angora rabbit, by the way. Thanks to the Black Table for the link.
Here's what I read at my Grandfather's memorial service on Saturday, which was lovely all around:

(by e.e. cummings)

in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why,remember how

in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so(forgetting seem)

in time of roses(who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if,remember yes

in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek(forgetting find)

and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me,remember me

After the service I got to look through a bunch of old photos of my ancestors that I have literally never seen before, since they had been stuck away in a shoebox and forgotten by my grandmother. There were photos of my grandparents as children and as courting young adults. I snagged just a few photos to scan at home; two are of my Grandfather during WWII, looking extremely handsome and dreamy. I'll have to post one of them here. My sister and I were in heaven, seeing these for the first time - the photos in our parents' household dated back to 1955 or so but no further. We kept saying, "you don't understand - we buy photos of strangers, just like these, at flea markets for like a buck apiece!" I'm fascinated with very old snapshots; the unposed ones especially are like accidental windows through time. Look how they smile and laugh and look sad and lonely, just like we do now. I have photos of complete strangers framed and hung on my walls, and I could have had actual relatives instead.

And now I can.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

A recent story about major music acts making exclusive sales deals with big-box record stores reminds me of a related story I heard yesterday. I don't want to get myself or anyone else in trouble, so names have been changed.

It seems a company had cut a deal with a discount retailer - let's call it Barget - to sell a certain, sure-to-be-popular DVD title with a free kids' booklet shrink-wrapped with it. In return for being able to offer an exclusive freebie, Barget would help pay for the booklet printing, and both companies would win. People spend hours designing and creating the booklet, and it is hours away from going on press, when the company gets a phone call from another, much larger discount retailer, one that I'll call Ballmart. Ballmart says, and this is only slightly paraphrased, "If you go ahead with this deal with Barget, we will not sell your DVD title at all; going forward, we will have to rethink our entire relationship with your company." The recipient of this veiled threat, suddenly faced with visions of millions in in lost sales by being blacklisted from the earth's largest retailer, has no choice but to pull the plug. Now Barget loses their exclusive offer, consumers lose getting a neato extra thing for free, and the booklet company loses an opportunity to add some coupons for stuff. The only person who wins is Ballmart.

Another Ballmart thing I learned; you know when you buy a DVD, the first time you open the box, usually some coupons fall out, with offers for other DVDs and stuff from the DVD company? Well, Ballmart has a strict no-coupon policy. They don't want consumers realizing they can potentially get things cheaper, by using coupons, at someplace other than their store. So the companies who sell DVDs have to remove all of the coupons from all of the DVDs they ship to Ballmart to sell. Who loses? Both the consumer and the DVD company. The only person who wins is Ballmart.

I just keep hearing Darth Vader in my head saying, "I find your lack of faith disturbing," and crushing that Empire toady's larynx.
This one from the Onion is a no-brainer, and I expect to see it linked on everyone's blogs today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I got a 106, thank you very much, and I did it without using references of any kind. What did you get?
Wouldn't it be funny? My mom emailed me a bunch of e.e. cummings poems to possibly read at my Grandfather's memorial service this Saturday. One of them is the same poem I read at my friend's wedding last November.
Wouldn't it be funny? Love and death, always breaking up and getting back together again.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)

If anyone sees a bunch of keys lying around, with a Darth Vader lego keychain, they might be mine. I've never lost my keys so completely like this before. Luckily I have my house and car keys on a separate ring so they can fit in a pocket when I want to be purse-free. But the other key ring has my office keys, my bike lock key (this is crucial, since I want to take my bike in from the porch), and all of my saver cards (CVS, Big E's, Stop & Shop). It's not in the league of, say, losing a wallet, but it's fairly annoying and depressing.

I promise to blog more here. I'm getting a little more of a grasp on what I should blog here and what should go in Craftytown.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

I'm back from sunny and sometimes rainy Florida. Some things:

Very young, very fat children make me sad.

It has become socially acceptable to rent a wheelchair simply because you're too overweight to haul your ass around the theme park without collapsing.

A lot of people sneeze and cough without covering their mouths in any way.

Apparently you can dress in super-low-cut short-shorts, a half-mesh cropped tank top, and spiky sandals, whether you're 9 or 49 years old.

Wearing t-shirts with American flags and patriotic slogans is still "in."

British tourists yell at their crabby kids just as often as Americans.

Anyone who hates Animal Kingdom, as a couple did who complained loudly about "wasting a day there" during a 20-minute bus ride, will never be a friend of mine.

Getting a tattoo that names you and your sweetie as being in True Love Forever is a really bad idea if you're (I'd wager) 19 years old, tops.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

I'm a-gonna be away on business for the next few days. Expect blogging to resume on Thursday. I'll miss you!