Friday, August 29, 2003

Max of The Living Rockumentary came up with his own Friday Five:

1. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I'd like to make stuff that people enjoy looking at.

2. The job you most covet, and why? Anything creative, but with a lot of assistants to do the boring stuff for me.

3. The job you most dread, and why? The people who clean up after murder scenes.

4. Would you rather be: rich, respected, adored or feared? I wanna be adored. Respected will do.

5. I'm wearing nothing at work (I have the day off). I'd rather be wearing comfy shorts and a black tank top. Hey, that's what I am wearing!

These photos are all from the DUMBO area of Brooklyn, taken a couple of weeks ago.

After a long tech-support phone call to my brother-in-law, I now have new photos online. Eventually I'll have one of those handy online albums.

Anyway, These two shots were taken on the porch of Paine Hall at Silver Bay a month ago. Paine Hall is this falling-apart, rambling old house, where my room was this year for the Quaker thing. The first night I spent an hour getting a bat out of my room, and a couple of days later I caught another bat that was found hanging onto the wall of the bathroom (all the bathrooms are shared) that morning. I wrapped it in a towel and let it go outside, but it immediately flew back onto the porch to sleep. This shot is of my sister and my friend F, taking a close-up of the tired little bat:

And here's the closeup:

More soon.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

I have a four-day weekend starting tomorrow, yipee. I'm still in the planning stages. At some point I'll probably go down to NJ to see my family and exchange gifts with my sis. If I do go it won't be until Saturday or even Sunday. So let's all go out. Everyone reading this, let's go to a bar and whoop it up. They can be quiet whoops if you're feeling shy. Also, there's a demolition derby tonight at 7 p.m. I'm just saying. Anyway, email me using my address at left. All the spammers do.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Transperformance was last night and as always it was a lot of fun. Even if there are some acts that are duds, you can take the time to go get some ice cream or fuck around backstage. This year's theme was Southern-Fried. Some highlights:

The flock of geese flying over the audience at a key moment in the Glen Campbell/Kenny Rogers performance of Witchita Lineman

The almost eerie transformation of Henning into Tom Petty

The definitely eerie but cool transformation of Lisa into Johnny Cash

The hilariously accurate rendition of Michael Stipe's dancing by Dennis and Philip

All of the little kids dancing and running around and having secret meetings in the little grove of trees next to the stage

Drunk Stuntmen as Lynyrd Skynyrd, a match made in rock heaven and the show-stopper of the evening

Ana with the best line of the night: When told that a young aquaintance was excited to see Chris from Fountains of Wayne (who didn't make it, unbeknownst to the audience), set off to tell her about it, saying "Let's go crush some dreams!"

The little 5-year-old girl dancing on the edge of the stage to "Shake Your Booty," her awesome moves putting all of the grownups to shame

What was not so great? The reported diva-like behavior of one of the acts. It's a benefit, not a competition; you don't need to be a jackass. And the last act kept playing and playing for over half an hour past the end time for the show, going so far as to repeat their first song, apparently in some compulsive need to just keep playing. But even that was more bizarre than bad.

Thanks to everyone who played! Maybe I'll create some onstage role for myself next year, like I did last year (backup singer for William Shatner's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds").

Monday, August 25, 2003

This weekend's weather was perfect. Sunny and warm during the day and cool at night. I had a weird mix of relaxing quietude in my apartment (making blueberry pancakes, reading, and napping in my nice, breezy bedroom) and socializing out (at Bar 19 and Harry's). Saturday night, I ended up watching some Fancy Trash at their CD release party, and was impressed. The place was packed, so I'm not the only one. It always gives me a good feeling when talented local bands get the attention they deserve.

I also saw Capturing the Freidmans, which was really good and disturbing. it's the kind of movie you want to talk to people about, but only if they've also seen it, because you don't want to give anything away. So I won't discuss it here. I'm thoughtful like that.

The other thing I did this weekend: Shopping for my twin sister's present, which is always time-consuming. I know that she'll probably like whatever I like, but we're both picky, and we grew up imparting gifts with way too much psychological meaning and weight, so the gift has to betray the fact that hours were spent either making or finding it. (I don't really do this with anyone but her, nowadays, and thank god for that.) There's also the thing we do that we got from my mom, of apologizing for the gift as the recipient is opening it. It's easy, you just say, "Now, you can always return it if you don't like it..." or, "this isn't really what you wanted, but it's the best I could do," as the person is still peeling back the first flap of wrapping paper. But in this particular case, I may not be able to fulfill my sister's request, because she purposefully asked me for something she's been having trouble finding and she could only entrust the search to me, and though I was confiddent a local crafty store could help me, they have come up empty. And I know she reads this but oh well. Now maybe I won't have to apologize as she's opening my gift.

Friday, August 22, 2003

It's the friday five.

1. When was the last time you laughed? Like, an actual laugh, more than a chuckle? Last night, watching the Daily Show and Insomniac. I spoke to my sister a little while ago and there was some chuckling, though now I can't think of why (maybe when we were trying to think of the part of The Price is Right with the spinny wheel? Not the Showcase Showdown...)

2. Who was the last person you had an argument with? Probably Philip, about something stupid. It's been peaceful at work lately.

3. Who was the last person you emailed? My friend Anya, about maybe doing something tonight. What, exactly, we haven't figured out.

4. When was the last time you bathed? I took a shower this morning. These questions aren't all that interesting.

5. What was the last thing you ate? A peach oatcake from the Haymarket. As usual it was a little dry and a little too filling but good. I was served by the girl who looks unnervingly like an ex-boyfriend of mine (same funny crooked teeth).
This is even funnier if you read it the day after reading all the resume-writing tips on

Thursday, August 21, 2003

I'm wearing underwear that are like little hot pants today. I guess the girls call them "boy shorts" or something. I feel like flashing people. Lookout!

Tonight on television is the finale of The Amazing Race. If you do not watch this show I feel bad for you. It is a very good show. I can not use contractions to talk about it, it is that good. They have the usual bizarre and scary stunts, but because the entire around-the-world tour is a race, even getting tickets at the airport is suspenseful. Then there is the psychological/sociological aspect: at this point in the race the remaining two-person teams (one team is a married gay couple, one is a best friend pair, one is an engaged couple) are completely exhausted and addled and snapping at each other, though they have to work together to win. It is the best reality show on television.

It's also my friend Henning's birthday today. Happppy birthday hennnning!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

What was the name of that movie, with the scene where the woman goes to the DMV, and the office is completely empty except for the two employees, yet before the woman can walk up to the counter the employee motions that the woman needs to take a number anyhow, and so she takes a number (203) from a little machine and immediately a recorded voice announces loudly, "Now serving number two-oh-three," and only then does the employee motion the woman over to the counter?

Oh yeah, that wasn't a movie. It was my lunch break today.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Rolling Stone, I have now lost the tiny shred of respect I had for you. I know you're trying out a new hipper format, but it's completely square. First you have covers featuring Ruben and Clay from American Idol, now it's Mary-Kate and Ashley with the subhed, "America's Favorite Fantasy." Dude, they're fucking seventeen years old. That is fucked up. Plus it goes with the whole hot-twins thing, which I loathe. Fuck Rolling Stone.
Hi. I Survived the Blackout of 2003. It's true. Thursday night I decided to drive down to Brooklyn anyway, to stick with my original plan. It took me a while to decide to do it, so I didn't end up leaving until around 9:15. I called my dog-sitter and told her I was coming by to drop off the dog. She was incredulous. "I think you're crazy. You know there are no lights, right? There will be no lights on the roads!" I told her I was doing it, I'd thought it through, I'd be on highways the entire time, and it would be fine.

And it was fine. I didn't hit any traffic, though there were plenty of cars on the road. For the first half of the drive the electricity seemed to be on except for a few random pockets. But then there was a long stretch with dead streetlights and dark houses. It was a little creepy. By the time I hit the Bronx there were hardly any lights that I could see. At one point the houses on one side of the highway were lit, and the other side was dark. There was also no power at all on the Triboro Bridge - except at the toll booth, where they collected my $4.00.

Once I got onto the BQE I could really see the lack of power. The dark silhouettes of row houses and projects and apartment buildings were set against a slightly lighter sky; though it was 11:00 or later, there was still some residual light (from New Jersey?) reflected in the humid atmosphere. I'd look to the side and get a quick glimpse down a side street of a line of glowing red taillights in a pitch-black canyon. The Manhattan skyline was mostly dark but scattered buildings were lit by back-up power.

I turned off the highway onto Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn. This is where it got tricky. All of the power was out here, and every block had a dead traffic light. The first few had a police officer trying to direct everyone, but it was incredibly dark, and the other cars blocked my view so I couldn't ever see the officer until I was almost right at them. They were hard to see even with their reflective vests and white gloves; and even when I could see them it was hard to tell if the "keep going" arm circle motion was meant for me or the other guy. I managed to not run anyone over.

After the first few intersections there weren't any officers, and no one on Atlantic was following the four-way-stop rule. The consensus seemed to have been that we were on the busier road, and therefore had the right of way.

I got a really nice parking spot, turned off my car and got out, and it was pitch black and completely quiet. I could hear a couple of people murmuring on a nearby stoop, and a few windows had candlelight. I had brought a flashlight, and I used my phone to get my sister to let me in (the buzzer didn't work, of course). She had walked home - it took four hours, and did I mention she's pregnant? - from mid-town, and had been trying to sleep. (She has a more interesting story than I do; she can't type so I might try to transcribe it for her.) Both she and her husband were awake; it was just too hot and still to sleep, plus there were sirens blaring past the building every couple of minutes, sounding extra loud due to the lack of electrical white noise. I was totally psyched and energized and I talked them into going for a walk.

It was well past midnight but there were still some people sitting out on their stoops, where it was cooler. We walked down to this little, open, one-car garage that was used as a tiny private club. An impromptu band was playing by candlelight; a small drum kit and a bongo drum had been joined by a guitar, a clarinet, and, most impressively, an upright bass (he had simply dropped its case on the sidewalk). The instrumented people were doing an improv jazz thing and there was a small crowd watching. It was really great. We walked around some more, down streets usually made bright as day with neon and strreetlights, just soaking it all in, seeing the moon and the stars.

Sleeping was difficult. I had strange dreams and kept waking up. But at 4:30 a.m., everything whirred and clicked back to life, and we immediately awoke and said, "Yes! Thank god!" and I turned on a fan and went to sleep.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

My birthday is coming up, and to distract myself from getting a year closer to my impending spinsterhood, I think I need one of these to remind me of my lost youth.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I had an odd night last night. First, I had a melancholy dream about an ex-boyfriend, the one who left me the most heartbroken. Let's call him C. In the dream he worked at a strange motel that I was busy exploring. I saw him and said hello, and:
me: So, I heard you married your best friend who you were in love with throughout our relationship. [note: in real life this is true]
C: Yeah, I did. (gets dreamy look) Oh man, like two weeks ago, we just went through this crazy period where we just couldn't keep our hands off each other, just kept fucking like all the time. ...
me (laughing): I can't believe you just said that to me!

The dream was mostly just strange, though it was sad just being reminded of being in a relationship where you're in love and the other person is not.

And then I woke up around 3:45 to hear my dog scratching herself. She kept making little noises of annoyance. Then she started pacing like she needed to go outside. I threw on a shift-dress and took her out. It was very quiet out, and cool and damp, and I could hear the trucks moaning on Rt. 91. The dog could not stop eating grass. She's done it before and usually doesn't throw up. I started dragging her away each time she started chowing down, so she wouldn't eat too much. I walked her to the parking lot of the nearby Christian school and she eventually peed, but nothing else, so I went back inside. I was also freaked about the scratching, so I went online and read some more about fleas and the two flea treatments she's on (Frontline and Program). It turns out that Frontline kills fleas by screwing up their nervous system, and right before they die they get all crazy and active, like a guy running down a city street high on angel dust or something, and the itching from that makes it seem like the flea problem is worse, when in fact it means it's about to go away. Apparently this is a common concern with Frontline users, because this info is right on their website.

I was up until 5 a.m. reading crap about fleas to reassure myself. Now I am reassured. The dog has barely been scratching today and when she does, I just picture a tiny mentally deranged flea about to kick the bucket, and I feel better.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Thanks to Radosh for this nudie pic of the next Governor of California. I guess this was taken before the steroids reportedly shrunk his junk.
Hi. So, does anyone want a slightly used dog? She's driving me crazy. Got skunked over the weekend and had picked up at least one flea by Monday, resulting in two baths and several loads of redundant laundry (a huge pain now that I have to deal with coin-ops) and vacuuming (both times were very sweaty). I put Frontline on the dog and gave her Program, so all fleas on her will be dead by the end of tomorrow, I reckon. She's now fairly un-smelly. But I'm exhausted.

My grandmother's dog, Cassie, had to be put to sleep. Cassie was an eldderly miniature dachshund, full of piss and vinegar. She hated my dog, and would strain at the end of her leash, trying to get at her, and rip tufts of grass out of the ground, throwing them to either side of her, out of sheer frustration. But Cassie was a great lap-dog, a comfort to my grandmother. I'm sending her a condolence card.

Monday, August 11, 2003

eBay - shame on you. Apparently eBay caved to some pro-Bush users' complaints about an artist's deck of cards making fun of the Bush administration, and eBay yanked his products off the site. I've heard they've since let him continue, but it should never have happened in the first place. Lame.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Thursday, August 07, 2003

I am already loving the hilarious antics going on with the recall vote in California. For example, a free paper, the East Bay Express, took it upon themselves to put Gary Coleman on the ballot. Here's their extensive coverage of their campaign to elect Gary.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Read about the Pope's latest anti-gay crusade, think about the poor un-bigoted Catholics who find themselves at odds with their leader, then read these lyrics from a Sacred Harp song.

The Church's Desolation 89
Tune: J. T. White, 1844

Well may Thy servants mourn, my God,
The Church's desolation;
The state of Zion calls aloud
For grief and lamentation.
Once she was all alive to Thee
And thousands were converted,
But now a sad reverse we see,
Her glory is departed.

And has religion left the Church
Without a trace behind her?
Where shall I go, where shall I search,
That I once more may find her?
Adieu, ye proud, ye light and gay,
I'll seek the brokenhearted,
Who weep when they of Zion say,
Her glory is departed.

Some few, like good Elijah stand,
While thousands have revolted,
In earnest for the heav'nly land
They never yet have halted.
With such religion doth remain,
For they are not perverted;
Oh may they all through men regain
The glory that's departed.

Cram tetrahedral middling!

I get my chowflap mail using Mail2Web while at work, which means I don't see the spam email in html, photo-filled mode. I got one today that was all the usual formatting garbage, but then there was all of this mysterious text in the middle:

horseflesh posterior screaming
methionine every micron
pleaded portraits scapula
microprocessor exists exalted
merge poetical megalomaniac
austin plethora meaty
ames mess benedictine
talisman creativity adjudicated
seahorse terminologies idiomatic
asiatic scrub bragger schizoid humidify albuquerque
posh coverlets bible scabbards bottom

meeting acquaintance pooh
teammate breakfast accustoms
evaluates matrimony credence
idols crimsoning excerpted
cram tetrahedral middling
saying accorders accosting
botanists immigrant populous acrid blair ethereally
hymns idly postulated adrenaline councils

I only opened the email because the subject line was "adirondack." I think some clever spam software did a blog search for the above terms (including adirondack, which I wrote about re: my Silver Bay trip) and sent the spam to the accompanying email addresses with the matching word in the subject line, so you might think someone was responding to something you wrote in your blog. Tricky bastards.

I just love reading bad-movie reviews, and Gigli has inspired a whole bunch of them.

  "A rigli, rigli bad movie."

  "Gigli pretends to be a sophisticated comedy of the sexes yet it's written with the adolescent gusto of a fifty-year-old who's finally discovered that a penis goes inside a vagina."
-- Ed Gonzalez, SLANT MAGAZINE

  "Gigli is so unrelentingly bad that people may want to see it just as a bonding experience; viewers (read: victims) will want to talk and comfort each other afterwards."
-- Jeffrey M. Anderson, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

Go here for more.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

I haven't posted today because my carpal tunnel-ish injury has made my shoulder, arm, and hand hurt so much I was tearing up. I took some ibuprofren a while ago, though, and now I can type without wanting to shoot my arm off.

I'm getting used to sleeping in my rainforest-like bedroom. It's not so bad, really, plus it's great for the skin. Not mine; I mean the skin I have curing in my bedroom closet.

heh, I am gross.

I went to the Listening Room show last night. It's a small basement space, a former chi-chi and short-lived restaurant, so it's very swanky looking, and also very quiet and good for semi-unplugged shows. Also their bathrooms are totally awesome. Talking is discouraged and that unspoken rule is respected. This night it was Thane Thomson (not sure if that name's correct) and Mike Flood. I'd seen Thane's band but could never make out the words before last night. That is the genius behind this concert series. I really liked his songs, especially the ones he played from the 12-step-program song cycle he's been working on. I'd never seen Mike Flood before; he was engaging and hilarious and seemed about to lose control at any moment in a wonderful way.

I didn't get to bed on time, I stayed up late reading Harry Potter like a 12-year-old. I have no regrets!

Should I get a tattoo? I could get a good deal on one, probably, if I went to this guy I used to date who I just ran into last weekend. He sucked at tattooing when I knew him like 7 or 8 years ago (man, I am old!), but he showed me some ink he'd done on himself recently and it was really good. But I dunno. What always stops me is my worry of hating it later. I am very, very glad that I never got the iris (a flower, not eye part) tattooed on my back 10 years ago. I was all set to get it, and I even went to the parlor down in Enfield, CT with two college friends getting their first tattoos (an ankh and a little butterfly on a hip and asscheek, respectively), and I chickened out, not because of the pain but because I knew deep down that my artwork was truly awful. And it was. I have some better ideas now though, including some I've had around for ten years and still like, so I figure that's a good sign. What do you all think? If only I had comments, and then i could take a poll or something. Maybe I'll switch over to livejournal...

Monday, August 04, 2003

It was like trying to sleep in a tropical rainforest last night. The sheets were all heavy with humidity and they draped closely around my body. I kept tossing and turning, trying to get the right combination of limbs exposed to air or covered with sheet. Now I'm very tired and it's still super humid out, but at least now I'm in my air-conditioned office.

I had had a pretty good Sunday, all by myself. I got some caffiene for breakfast, which helped me get started. I cleared off a bunch of clutter, swept the stairs, made a batch of iced tea, and I finally downloaded and named all of my digital photos from Silver Bay. But then right in the middle of the computer work, the power went off. It was out on the entire street. For two hours. At the beginning I just laid around and read, but then the lack of fans/air conditioning was starting to get to me, so I took the dog in the car and drove around. My plan was to go to Stop and Shop and pick up some things I needed to make pesto with the basil I'd bought at the farmer's market. I saw that the traffic light at the intersection of Main and Market Street was burnt out, and despite what I'd been taught to do in that situation - treat it like a four-way stop sign - the cars on Main Street just kept whizzing by at full speed, as if the light was blazing green. Eventually there was a gap and I could drive through. But then the sun came out, and I couldn't find shade anywhere in the lot, which meant I couldn't park and leave the dog in the car without her baking like a chicken leg. So I went to State Street, where I had to wait in the lot for one of the shaded spots to become available, and paid too much for the cheese, pine nuts, and garlic I needed. Having a dog like mine is a trial.

Anyway, by the time I got home the power had been restored, so I was able to make pesto and finish up my pics and watch High Fidelity on Comedy Central and work on the package for the Art-o-mat I'm sending out this week. I will be figuring out how to post the pics online soon.
It's the monday five!

1. What time do you wake up on weekday mornings? My radio alarm goes off at around 7:25. I usually rise up out of bed at 8:20. It's very bad.

2. Do you sleep in on the weekends? How late? I do, but not as late as I used to. I tend to wake up after 8 or 9 hours no matter what. So if I go to bed at 2, I wake up at 10.

3. Aside from waking up, what is the first thing you do in the morning? I listen to NPR news on the radio. Once I get up, I open the window shades and head for the bathroom.

4. How long does it take to get ready for your day? It depends on whether or not I shower. Today I showered and tried to be quick, but it still took meabout 35 minutes to get ready. What slows me down is takin care of my pets and taking a long time to figure out what to wear. I need to start doing that elementary school thing of laying out my clothes the night before.

5. When possible, what is your favorite place to go for breakfast? I am in love with the crepes at Cafe Casablanca.