Thursday, June 26, 2003

This is completely fascinating and full of excellent mid-70' photographs. Learn why you should be come a volunteer minister in the Church of Scientology. Link via Boingboing.
Looks like Blogger has gone and changed all around. i hope that means that my blog will load faster...

I'm in the middle of a whirlwind of lawyers and forms and certificates and shit. I'm driving to NYC tonight and need to have some important paperwork with me. By late afternoon on July 1, I will no longer own a house.

My new apartment is very very hot. It's an attic, so, you know, it's not a huge surprise. I have one air conditioner and it's in the room with the computer and the TV, so I've been hiding out in there, staying up late until it's cool enough to sleep in the bedroom. This morning it was already getting hot so I washed dishes and finished packing in the nude. It's good to live alone sometimes.

This Saturday is the fireworks extravaganza in Easthampton. We're having a cookout at our (soon to be former) house. Bring meat or other substances to grill, and then we'll walk over to the field once it's fireworks time. Afterwards some of us are planning to walk (if the traffic is insane, which it will be) to the Brass Cat to see the Fawns play. Come one, come all!

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Suddenly summer is here. Five minutes after I had gotten home from work last night we had a torrential and violent thunderstorm. It was a classic with crazy wind, solid sheets of water, flashes and then immediate thunder booms. Lasted about 20 minutes, maybe a little more. I ate a bagel and sat and watched. Then, before the rain even stopped falling, the sun came out. I looked outside and saw that my car, parked on the street, was in the middle of a lake. I ran downstairs with the dog and saw that the water was up to my hubcaps (about 4 inches deep). Dog and I wandered around a little, enjoying the water dripping off the trees and sparkling in the sunlight. As I was looking at the big street-lake a pickup truck came racing down the street and drove right through it without slowing down; the spray was spectacular, like a motorboat. Either he was trying to get me wet (he failed) or he was just enjoying the spraying action (fun). I found the drain for the flooded street section; the water was murky with sediment but there was a funnelled whirlpool there. Louise (dog) was fascinated with it and got her nose wet trying to figure out the movement and the slight sucking sound it made. There were some branches stuck in the flow so I pulled them out, which the dog then enjoyed playing with. A minute or two later the street was lake-free. The storm drain now has a thatch of leaves, dirt, bark, and maple seeds, so if there's a storm this evening there will be a repeat performance of the mini-flood.

My San Francisco-based friend Avani and I are thinking of going to Vegas sometime this summer. We may just save our pennies for a more extravagant trip to the Cancun/Cozumel area in the fall. I never take vacations like this, so I'm pretty excited.

Monday, June 23, 2003

I had a fine weekend despite the rain. Saturday I saw Jonathan Richman play an early show. He dances like I do. Or maybe he's better, I don't know. The audience was an interesting mix of college-aged to middle-aged, hipsters and hippies, and there was even a section of the floor right in front of the stage that was held for a group of sitting people. The standing ones let them have it, very civilized. I was standing on the border of the sitting-group, and some short guy kept invading my personal space. I hate, hate, hate having to touch someone repeatedly in order to stand my ground in a crowd. In this case my arm kept touching the guy's sweaty t-shirted side - not even an arm, his actual chest I had to deal with. He wasn't being aggressive, just oblivious. And annoying. I think this is a guy thing, to be that "free" with your body. Eventually I "accidentally" stepped on the side of his flip-flopped foot and re-established the beachhead for the remainder of the set.

Anyway. I do go on, don't I. After the show it had stopped raining so I strolled over to La Veracruzana to see if I could get a few tamales for later. They only offered them byt he dozen so I decided against it. On my way out, I saw my friends G and A sitting and eating with Martin, La Ver's owner, and two other guys. They had just been served big plates with rib-eye steaks, black beans, quesadilla-like things, oven fries, and guacamole. "Deb, are you hungry? Sit down, sit down!" I said, well, actually... "Come on, sit, we'll get you something!" Okay. I sat down and about five minutes later I get a plate like the others, sans steak (I don't eat it). I was offered wine but I passed. It was great. G and A are like living in a higher plane than I am. They go to silent week-long meditation retreats and stuff like that. And they're very generous, friendly, and hard to ruffle. After we were done eating Martin went and got his private family reserve bottle of tequila, which the men sipped. I kept leaning over to A and whispering, 'so should I try to give martin some money?' She said, 'I don't think so... just kiss him on the cheek when you leave.' Then one of the guys ran across the street and got an assortment of fudge. Eventually I had to leave in order to have enough time to go pick up my dog and return before my sister showed up at my apartment (arrival time: 11:30 p.m.).

Sunday was all rain, all the time. My sister and bro-in-law and I walked to Breugger's for bagels and got totally soaked. I brought the poor dog, too. After we ate we went to Ross Bros. in Florence, which, despite their sign saying otherwise, was closed. Hate that. Don't state your hours will be "1 to 5:30" if it's more accurate to add "but only if we feel like it." We went to the Haymarket instead and my sister and I mused about when it first opened and what a phenomenon it was. People would come from Hampshire College just to go to this coffee shop/bookstore. It was a cozy basement filled with old couches, chairs, and books, and it even had a separate smoking room. There weren't enough chairs for all of the patrons so people just sat on the floor, crammed in anywhere. This was during a hard stretch of winter. After a couple of weekends of sardine-like crowds, the fire marshall got them to post someone outside to count the customers so they wouldn't go over the occupancy limit. It was just The Place To Be.

Now it's a two-floor restaurant, the books have slowly but completely disappeared, and even the Haymarket pro-Labor aspect of the place is pretty much gone. It's much more polished and pretentious now, but they do have some fine and tasty food and coffee.

So I got a chai (mmm, caffeine) and by the time I got back to my apartment I was ready for some serious unpacking. Now I'm almost done! Yay, me.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Does anyone remember that movie, I think I saw it on PBS as a child, where there was a land where it rained every single day of the year except for one, and on that one day everyone ran outside to frolic and watch the flowers burst open? Does anyone remember the name of that? Wait, I don't have to remember it. I'm LIVING IT.

You know, except for the sunny day part.
A very easy friday five. 1. Is your hair naturally curly, wavy, or straight? Long or short?
Long and naturally curly.
2. How has your hair changed over your lifetime?
It really hasn't. My grooming techniques haven't changed since high school; I put conditioner on my hair in the shower, brush it through, rinse and towel-dry. Then I try not to mess with it and get it all puffy. I almost always fail, but for a couple of hours it looks alright.

3. How do your normally wear your hair? I like to wear it loose, but it gets in my way. By the end of the day it's back in a braid or a barette or something.

4. If you could change your hair this minute, what would it look like? I'd like to lose my middle part (instead it would be more tousled and random) and have more cute wispy tendrils.

5. Ever had a hair disaster? What happened? I haven't, really, though I kind of consider my hair in grades 6 through 12 a continual disaster. (I had no idea what to do with it so I kept it in a puffy ponytail at school every single day.) But I still remember my sister coming home from a bad haircut (this was in high school; she had been trying to grow it out and make it less poodle-like, a difficult trick because our hair is so damn curly) and absolutely wailing in misery about it. Our frustrated parents didn't understand at all, but I completely related. It's not just a bad haircut: it's many more weeks of teasing and embarrassment in school. Absolute misery.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Dear spammer,

Thanks for taking the time to email me, but I really don't think its fair to have the subject line be "someone has sent you an e-card!" and have the actual content of the email be "BLACK COCKS IN WHITE SLUTS!!!" Just thought you'd appreciate my input.

I've had a revelation. I want to make things like these for a living. I especially love Mr. TTT, Barbie with Spirit Suit, and King Albino.

Monday, June 16, 2003

So I am mostly moved in, and spent my first night there last night. My old studio is in a shambles and I still have a bunch of stuff at the old house, but I'm putting off picking it up until I unpack a bit more. Going from having as much room as I need to a very small space has not been easy. The kitchen cabinet situation is especially ridiculous. I will be going to IKEA soon to remedy it.

Saturday I rented a U-Haul in a semi-sketchy area of Holyoke. When I was picking it up, the guy led me to the truck and had me sit down and prove that I could press on the brake pedal really hard "with those pretty little legs of yours." I had already slipped into courteous cute-girl mode so that remark didn't bother me. I pressed hard but of course the truck was in Park, so I wasn't really feeling the stiffness. Once I got going it was a whole other story. I was getting so tired that at stop lights I just put the fucker in Park.

Max and Anya and Doug and Jodi and Philip all helped me move, and for that they are angels. Anya is to be especially commended because it was her birthday! M and A missed out on the pizza and beer so I owe them something nice.

Somehow in the move I aquired a bunch of mysterious bruises all over, the oddest one being the inside of my elbow, where it looks like I've been shooting up.

more later. No internet access at the new place yet so give me a freakin' call if you want me.

Friday, June 13, 2003

I don't do drugs and I rarely even drink but I am totally supportive of the brand new Party Party. Read all about it here. From Neal Pollack, of course.
Something about Renee Zellweger really bugs me, so this news is extremely unpleasant to hear.
It's the friday five.

1. What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but never have? Travel to Venice. Really any travel to far-away places, like India and Bali and New Zealand and Japan.

2. When someone asks your opinion about a new haircut/outfit/etc, are you always honest? It depends on how they ask me. If they say "I'm not sure, does this work for me?" then I'm honest. Generally I'm polite, I won't make anyone feel bad. If it's truly awful I try to find something I like about it so I'm not technically lying. However, I will tell you if you have something in your hair or teeth or stuck to your shoe. During the cruise I told a total stranger that the price tag was still attached to her dress. She couldn't stop thanking me.

3. Have you ever found out something about a friend and then wished you hadn't? What happened? Not sure if this counts but I saw a drunk boyfriend of a friend of mine come on to and then make out with another woman (also a friend, also drunk). I never told her, even though soon afterwards they got engaged and are currently married. I'm still not sure I did the right thing. But for all I know she knew about it and it didn't bother her - she was that kind of person.

4. If you could live in any fictional world (from a book/movie/game/etc.) which would it be and why? This is embarrassing but I'd have to say Narnia. Except my Narnia would allow pre-marital sex and have great health care. As for why? Dude - talking animals and castles and crap! How can you not want it?

5. What's one talent/skill you don't have but always wanted? I'd love to be a virtuoso musician so I'd never have to work a real job ever again. Along with the skill would come the magical removal of my stage fright.
On Friday the 13th, is it bad luck to find a dead mole lying on its back in the middle of the sidewalk?

It was actually pretty neat. All I can figure is that a cat killed it and left it as an offering to the world, as it looked unharmed, just damp. And it was an actual mole, not a vole; it had those crazy long-nailed digger flipper paws. I wanted to snip one off and take it with me. But I didn't.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Paper robots for you to print and build can be found here. Warning - entirely in Japanese, but should be easy enough to figure out how to put them together. Link gotten from this new discovery, the geisha asobi blog, who also has a picture of my favorite paper robot.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Neal Pollack has yet another great idea: on June 26, Appropriate Michael Savage's Name For Your Own Purposes. Go to the link for information.
Sorry for the blog-lack. I have been busy at work and extremely busy at home, trying to pack before my move date on Saturday at noon. I'm also arranging for things to be repaired at my house, and settling legal details for the sale, and trying not to piss off the kids too much while rejecting their requests for help due to lack of time. Tonight I am going to borrow P's van and move a bunch of stuff I'd rather not have sloshing around in the back of a U-Haul, like clothes on hangers, plants, artwork, and maybe my stereo.

See? Pretty boring, right? That's why I haven't been blogging.
Fountains of Wayne's new album gets a rave review from The Onion A.V. Club.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Eye on the Roundhouse Parking Lot: Having waited through the recent rainy stretch, the magical fluffkin tree has released mounds of fluffy floating seeds into the air. Little white puffs are flying all over the place. As I was waiting for my Cha Cha Cha lunch order I watched them float into the restaurant through the propped-open doorway. It is good.

I moved a carload of stuff into my new apartment yesterday. I think I saw my downstairs neighbor. I had thought it was a twenty-something woman who liked kind of funky old-lady things, but it turns out she's an actual funky old lady. She didn't speak to me or seem to want to engage with me in any way so I didn't introduce myself. I hope she'll be a good neighbor. There's no way she could be as bad as former neighbor Helen, a half-crazy Polish lady living alone with her middle-aged Down's Syndrome daughter. She rented out the top floor of her house on South Street for very, very cheap. She called us frequently, in a classic, loud, old-lady drone, for offenses such as shutting the faucet off too fast (which made the pipes make a "shunt!" sound that she said would make the pipes burst and give her a heart attack). She would almost have a nervous breakdown if a fuse needed to be replaced. Also, during a "How's the weather? Sure is hot!" conversation, she flashed me her bare, pendulous, low-swinging breasts multiple times, laughing that she usually went nude to keep cool. At the time I thought, "you go, girl!" but that was early on in our relationship. If anything ever broke, or was wrong somehow, she'd sigh and wail and bemoan her fate as a poor helpless woman on this earth, buried in a mountain of bad luck and bedevilry. And then you'd be stuck in the position of calming her down and fixing the problem yourself. Ah, those were the days.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

I had my tag sale, even though it rained. I probably made about 10 bucks. And noone I know stopped by, but, y'know, whatever.

I also had Friday off of work, so here's a late Friday Five:

1. How many times have you truly been in love? Three.

2. What was/is so great about the person you love(d) the most? I'm trying to find a way to answer this without cynicism... They were funny and enthusiastic, and appreciated me, at least for a while.

3. What qualities should a significant other have? Well they should share at least some basic traits. They should be forgiving and patient. And make each other laugh. I haven't figured out anything else.

4. Have you ever broken someone's heart? I did only once, without meaning to. It belonged to a friend in college. But we weren't dating or anything.

5. If there was one thing you could teach people about love, what would it be? That it's better to be alone than with someone that makes you unhappy most of the time.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Hello, this is an announcement: I am having a TAG SALE this Saturday. Please come and buy things, or at least stop by to say hello. It's a moving sale so I will be getting rid of a lot of stuff, not all of it broken and crappy - some stuff I will be selling SIMPLY BECAUSE I HAVEN'T THE ROOM FOR IT, so you know this will be worth your time. It's from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the address is 140 Park St., Easthampton. Come and sift through the detritus of my life!
I don't know if any of you have beeen following the brouhaha about actor/director Vincent Gallo's roundly-hated Cannes film, Brown Bunny. Roger Ebert reported the loud jeers for the film, then Gallo cursed fat Ebert's colon, Ebert said he could lose 30 pounds but Gallo could gain 30 IQ points. Now Vince and has some more choice words for Roger:

"You tell that hamhock Roger Ebert he could lose 30 pounds a day for the next four years and still be fat. As for the curse on his colon, what I actually said was that I put an unremovable black magic curse on his prostate, which will enlarge into a large cancerous ball by the fall. . . . I want to challenge that fat cow to an IQ test. I bet him $1 million dollars to take a public IQ test against me. By the way, tell him I also put a curse on [Gene] Siskel [Ebert's partner on TV's "Siskel and Ebert," who died of complications from a brain tumor in 1999]."

When told of Gallo's latest outburst, Ebert replied: "I wish Mr. Gallo a speedy recovery." A perfect comeback! Match and game goes to Ebert!

Click here to see the source of the above and a hideous pic of Gallo: New York Post
Remember the prognostication game, MASH? If you were a girl in the 70s or 80s you probably do. Now there's an online version of it! Here are my results, which are scarily accurate for my present-day life:

Your husband's name is Philip and you have 4 children. You're a writer who drives to work every day in a orange old Saturn.

It's truly a wonderful life when you consider the countless romantic nights you have spent with Philip in your shack in MA.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

I am late with the blogging. Over the weekend my head became a pulsing overfilled balloon with occasional messy leaks. I am sick, again, this time with a sinus infection, for which I got actual pills to help cure - a step up from what usually happens ("hmm... I don't really know what's wrong with you. Well, if you feel the same in a couple of weeks, call for another appointment."). I feel well enough today to be at work, and it is very busy here, which means I'll be giving all of my allotted energy to the office and will spend my free time this evening in a prone position. Life is unfair.

At work today I did learn that (1.) SARS jokes are still going over well, but (2.) tuberculosis jokes go over even better. I attribute this to the element of surprise.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

This guy overdubbed four old G.I. Joe PSAs, to amusing effect. Go and see.