Friday, January 31, 2003

Here is my favorite photo I took at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

And here is the photo showing the wreck of our back porch roof, caused by a huge chunk of falling ice. Uncropped to show how desolate it is here (true, I took this shot at night, but in daylight it's not much less sad).

Luckily, the fawn is doing just fine.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

I have no excuse for not blogging at the end of last week, as I drove to Brooklyn on Saturday. I had to get out of town; the stark colorless Arcticness was getting me down. So I had a wonderful sushi dinner Saturday night with Sa and Sk, at a place that had opened the nights before. Expensive but worth it (of course Sk treated me...). Sunday me and Sa went to a sample sale in Cobble Hill. Three local designers had their stuff in an apartment, a beautiful, slightly-beat-up former industrial space with a skylight above the dining table. Very nice. I bought what was probably an $80 skirt for $20, and Sa got a funky hat and a tiny croched necklace. Then we went to the mecca of my trip, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. We had to walk quite a ways in the freezing cold to get to the conservatories; along the way we saw a formal lily pond with large goldfish hanging out below a four-inch-thick blanket of ice. Once we got inside and reached the marsh room, it was so green and warm and humid that I felt like curling up in a corner and going to sleep, to let all of the oxygen and warmth in the room penetrate my body. Instead we kept moving through to the jungle and the warm temperate rooms. Sa and I had brought our digital cameras so we took some arty shots (will post one or two tonight).

Sunday night a drive into Manhattan took a turn towards disaster when a pipe in my engine sprang a hole, spurting warm antifreeze all over my hot engine (oh yeah), causing much steam and smoke to billow outt from under the hood. I managed to pull over across the street from the Worst Customer Service Garage ever. I walked in (after knocking) and saw a guy peeing in the bathroom with the door wide open. I pretended not to see him until he was done. They acted like it was a huge favor to even look at the car. The guy put some patching caulk stuff on the hole and we were told to come back in half an hour when it was set (and not a minute more, as they needed the garage space; "I'm doing this as a favor to you," the head guy told us). We wandered around SoHo, which is all chain stores now, and came back, and the stuff still wasn't set. So we watched the superbowl for a while until it became clear that the patch was not holding back the flow. The mechanic decided to replace part of the metal pipe with rubber pipe and some pipe clamps. I was dubious but he said it would hold me until I got home to MA. It barely held me until I got back to Brooklyn, actually, and even then the antifreeze was all but empty by the time I parked.

I started calling mechanics the next morning and I miraculously seem to have found a good one. Unfortunately the part I needed had to be special-ordered, so I was forced to spend an extra day (and night) in Brooklyn. I played a lot of Monkeyball, watched some Game Show Network, and saw most of a movie that seemed to have been someone's grad school project on the IFC. Monday night Sa hosted "Chicks with Sticks" so I used the fabric scraps I bought at the sample sale to do an applique thing for a purse I may someday make. Then Sk came home and we watched Joe Millionaire. It was a pretty good way to spend a stranded day.

Tuesday was more depressing, as I didn't know when the car would be ready, plus I was alone in the apartment. I read a book with a cat or two until I got the magic call around 2 p.m. I'm $230 lighter now (plus $50 for the "patch" in Manhattan) and a little wiser: people, always do your preventative scheduled maintenence on your car. If only I had gotten my 105,000 mile check done...
I'm here, I'm alive; sorry for the lack of blogging. I was stranded with a sick car in Brooklyn and ended up missing a day of work (I had Monday off anyway, luckily enough). More later when blogger is working again (must have gotten wormed). luv, debl
I'm here, I'm alive; sorry for the lack of blogging. I was stranded with a sick car in Brooklyn and ended up missing a day of work (I had Monday off anyway, luckily enough). More later when blogger is working again (must have gotten wormed). luv, debl

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

I need to write something memoir-ish for a magazine writing class I'm in, and I'm having trouble deciding on a topic. Some ideas I have now:

The death of my boyfriend's dad, of cancer. I'd probably go on too long and ramble too much, but it might be worth doing even if it's not for class since I've never written a complete account of it. (A side note: did Ozzy's t-shirt last night say "Fuck Cancer!"? If so, I want one)

My nerdily oblivious near-misses with boys in college (once I mistook a friend telling me he loved me as just plutonic love, which it wasn't; another time a guy was about to give me a goodnight kiss, and I nervously started eating an apple so he wouldn't. This was a guy I was attracted to, by the way)

Some story about being a twin, which seems to interest people. I don't know.

Something about my shelter dog. Would be tough to not make corny and Jean Teasdale-ish.

A story from when I was 13 and our geek girl posse creatively terrorized a former member of said posse; could be interspersed with quotes from my diary account of the event written the year it happened.

The time I took a hike with a boyfriend in college and we got completely lost, and I realized what an asshole he was (a voyage of discovery, if you will).

I guess I do have some ideas and I just have to start writing. But I'm afraid to start because I don't know if I'll be successful. It's the story of my life!

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Al Hirschfeld, 99, Dies; He Drew BroadwayAww! I grew up searching for the hidden "Nina"s in every drawing. He's a classic.
Just a little reality check for today:

The cost of living in New York (Manhattan) is higher than the cost of living in Springfield, MA. If you make $40,000.00 in Springfield and move to New York (Manhattan), you will need to make $82,118.96 ($42,118.96 more) to maintain the same buying power.

Friday, January 17, 2003

I had a fun evening at home last night, warmed by the glow of the television and Must-See TV. It was just me and the girls. During the commercials we were all punchy and giggly. I was petting my dog, rubbing her pinkish belly, and I said, "ooh, look at this nice belly. I bet there's poop in all those tubes in there, just movin' through..."

T: (loudly) Oh my god, that is the most disgusting thing I've ever heard! Stop it!

Me: What? I'm just petting her stomach, nothing nasty or anything. Just talking about her intestines under there, and the poop moving through them...

T: Shut up shut up!

Me: (standing up) See, there's poop in those pink tubes inside here (pointing at my belly) , too!

T: STOP IT! (laughing and acting grossed out)

Me: And YOU have some in your tubes (tries to point to her belly; T screams in horrror, loudly).

A comes downstairs to see what the hell's going on. I tell her and we both agree T is overreacting.

T: You don't just start talking about that kind of stuff! You just don't!

Me: Why not?

T: Okay, fine; I've got shit in my tubes! In fact, (pulling pants down a little) I'm-a prairie-doggin' it right now!!

I glance at her exposed hip and see a pink heart markered on her skin, with a "W" in the middle. W, her boyfriend.

T quickly pulls up her pants and turns away, hoping I didn't see anything.

Me: (of course) I SAW THAT! Ha ha ha!

T: SHUT UP! (she runs out of the room, laughing)

Pretty fun. Then P comes home and everyone's grumpy again, probably because while they can potentially blame this whole moving-away-from-their-friends thing on him, they know I have no say at all in that kind of matter, and so can't blame me. I'm sure it won't last.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Fussy Go down to the June 28 entry to read an account of a very cool baby delivery, done naturally in a NYC apartment bathroom. This link presented especially for my wanting-to-concieve sister.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

The Sacramento Bee -- -- Two-buck wine the toast of the town Finally there's a quality beverage priced right for winos. I wish the Trader Joe's our area is supposed to get would hurry up and get here. I love cheap, good wine.
I was just going through some old files today, doing a little computer desk cleaning for my New G4 iMac! (at work; I can't afford anything new in real life) and I found these anagrams from my name. It's kind of impressive how many dirty ones there are, though some of them - hair and eyebrow - are just extremely apropos. Here are the best:

a honeydew briar
I, wee barnyard ho
bony rawhide ear
bad, wary heroine
hair and eyebrow
oh, brewery naiad!
be a hairy wonder
drab wiener, ahoy!
obey hair warden
onward hairy bee
I heard "ow" nearby
draw a boy in here
Yow, a rare behind!
be in a worry head
Ride bare anyhow!
A worry: I been had
Oh, widen rear bay!
I be a randy whore

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Headline on today's USA Today: Bush Approval Rating Lowest Since 9/11. Woo hoo!

Thank god everyone seems to be slowly wising up. Me, I've been too busy trying to keep up with Joe Millionaire, the Bachelorette, and Surreal Life to watch the news. Yeah, I know it's trash, and 'beneath me' and all that shit, but so what? I still read books,have a large vocabulary and solid moral values. I'm not a Neilsen family and I pretty much never buy stuff I see advertised on TV, so I have absolutely no influence over future programming. On Sunday I managed to fight with P's mom, the widow of a showbiz screenwriter and an admitted snob, over whether "reality TV" meant the End of Art and Culture. I said that reality shows get on the air because they're both popular and inexpensive to produce, and therefore highly profitable - End of Story. But she thought that the "artists" in Hollywood had the responsibility to bring more refined entertainment to the screen (and, I presume, the unwashed masses who don't know any better). She was forgetting that the artists (writers, actors) don't have anything to do with choosing programs; it's all about the money, and it always has been. She also said things like "and the people on these shows are so uneducated! The people who watch them are so uneducated!" Uh, except for me and a bunch of my egg-heady friends, I guess. I know she's just getting her husband's back, defending the screenwriting trade against the money-grubbing producers who save a buck by using "unscripted" television. But does she have to be so blatantly elitist about it? Can't we all get along here? What bad will happen to the world if we watch trashy TV shows? How can she think to presume most people are too dumb to watch these shows responsibly? She's a better liberal than me; and aren't we supposed to not tar swaths of the population with the same brush? Obviously there are more than a few smart people out there (see above USA Today headline).

Anyway. Long story short: Joe Millionaire picked the substitute teacher, which is good, and dumped Heidi, which is very good. But how could he have picked MoJo? Girl, know when to shut up.

Monday, January 13, 2003

I know, I know; I need to blog. Gotta wait until tomorrow, dude.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Tomorrow, as part of Smith College's Homeland Insecurities program, "Dr. Strangelove" is playing for free at 2:00 at the Academy of Music. "The Manchurean Candidate" is at 4:00, also free. I've seen both of them, but not on the big screen. The films will be introduced by a speaker who will (more than likely) link them to our current state of the nation. I live in a college town and so rarely take advantage of these things; I might have to go to this one.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

So last night I took the Tylenol PM and it worked fine. I was sleepy all day, however, to the point of almost nodding off at the dentist's as my teeth were getting clean (those chairs are comfy!). We'll see how it goes tonight, drug-free.
030108???? Oolong, the famous and much-loved rabbit-photographed-with-stuff-on-its-head, has passed away. Here's a photo series showing his death and funeral. Very sweet and odd and moving.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Last night was my third night in a row of insomnia. My brain won't let me sleep. I'm not even thinking of anything in particular. It's not like That Big Sales Meeting is coming up or something. I'm going to try the Tylenol PM tonight. It doesn't always work; sometimes I take stuff like that and my body fights it all night, and I lie there with my heart pounding laboriously with my mind in a fog.

It's times like this that I think if I were a regular mammal, my weak-ass eurotrash bloodline bloodline would have died out long ago. If my family members were gazelles or something we would only have survived this long through an amazing series of coincidences and luck. No way a group of anxiety-prone gazelles with extreme near-sightedness, bad feet, and sensitive stomachs is going to last long in a savannah full of hungry lions.

Monday, January 06, 2003

FLY GUY This makes me so happy. Go and play!
Here's the kind of crap I deal with at work: Apparently, those star-shaped things that live in the ocean? Well, they aren't called "starfish," nimrod, because they aren't technically fish. They're "sea stars"! Nevermind that nobody actually calls them anything but starfish. I did get my way on this one (and kept
"starfish"), but the very fact that we spent fifteen minutes talking about it is enough to make me cry when I go to the mall and see professionally-made signs saying fourth-grader shit like "Happy Holiday's" and "Try them! There the best!" all over the place. I'm almost to the point of going into the store(s) and talking to the manager about why their signs are wrong, and how they can fix them. I'm totally becoming one of those asshole people. I'll think I'm being all nice and polite about it when talking to the manager, but those people always think they're being nice about it. Whether you're right or not, there's no way to correct someone without coming across as an asshole. I've gotta keep remembering that...
Sometimes in the morning I walk around outside waiting for my dog to poop and I come up with ideas for blog writings. Then I go to work. After a frustrating hour or two of people constantly coming over and asking me questions, and arguing tiny grammatical points that I shouldn't care about but do, my ideas have faded like footprints in a snowstorm. In fact, I was going to write about snow today, because it was snowing. all. day. again. It stopped a little while ago, thank god.

What the hell, here's a little essay entitled "What I Think About Snow."

It's day 10 or so of the Snow Seige. New England has been blanketed by multiple storms, and the Snow is kicking our yankee ass. It will never stop snowing; we know this now. Snow is our master. Everything is encased in white; indeed, white contains all colors and therefore all things. Bow down before the snowy world; it contains us and keeps us small. Puny humans! We push the snow around, and feel satisfied when it is piled to our satisfaction. Yet in one night Snow can make all our work for naught! Want to drive your trusty little car somewhere? Oh, it's so fancy, with its grippy rubber tires and heated windows! But snow need merely sneeze, and your car is encased with an icy crust. A half hour of hard labor is needed just to enter it. And let's not even start on the snow-driving part. Best to stay inside forever.

Saturday, January 04, 2003

Here's the current view outside of my front door:

And my back door. The little hook is the top of a plastic plant holder, about 18 inches high:

I was so sick today I stayed home from work, giving up free Chinese food (we get lunch in when it's "crunch time"). I feel like I've been walking around in warm pudding all day. And it just doesn't stop snowing.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

I have a nasty cold today, so bad that I'm sucking on a Sucrets. It's some crazy shit, Sucrets. I haven't had one for years, but I don't remember my tongue going numb like it is right now. It's kind of freaking me out and I'm not sure I like it, though I have stopped coughing...

I'm working on a list of New Year's resolutions. I guess I need to add "meet deadlines" to it.

I went ahead and got myself a gift I had gotten my sister, the Taschen page-a-day calendar of Natural Curiosities; it's half-price now. I never thought I'd see a page-a-day calendar I actually wanted, since most of the time I find them a complete nuisance to keep up with. But this year I'll be looking forward to each morning when I can rip off yesterday's page to expose the latest weird, intricate yet inaccurate, vulgar etching of, say, a possum's birthing pouch, or porcupines curling into balls. This calendar was created with me in mind.
The Lying Game A couple of acquaintences are mentioned in this NY Observer article about a role playing game called Mafia. Sounds very difficult, potentially excruciating, and very fun. I'd love to play but I'm not sure I have enough willing friends .... Anyway, read this article for the rules of the game. All the cool kids are doing it.