Friday, April 30, 2004

This is a beautiful, thoughtful list of 11 Hard Questions For Bush.
It turns out our friendly, local ABC affiliate, channel 40/WGGB, is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is run by a right-wing nutjob.

As such, WGGB will not be airing Friday's Nightline segment where Ted Koppel will read the names of the Iraq war casualties. You'd think that anyone would be in favor of honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country, no matter what side of the issue you subscribe to, but apparently not - not when there's politics to be played. If you want to read the nonsensical biased reasoning behind this move, read this note on Sinclair's site. This is what happens when partisan non-journalists are allowed to control the news.

Please, please, please email or phone the station to share your displeasure. Boycott the companies that advertise on channel 40, and contact those companies to let them know why. Keep in mind that the people who work at the WGGB Springfield office are only following a directive from their corporate overlord at Sinclair, so treat them with kindness.

Channel 40 contact info:

Main telephone: (413) 733-4040

Newsroom telephone: (413) 733-8840

Newsroom fax: (413) 788-7640

Newsroom email:

Sinclair Broadcasting: 410-568-1500

Mark Hyman: ( conservative commentator, also VP at Sinclair)

If you want to mention your complaint to one of their competitors
here's the contact info for Channel 22:

PO Box 2210
Springfield, MA 01102-2210

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Do this (via Treacher):

1. Grab the nearest CD.
2. Put it in your CD-Player (or start your mp3-player, I-tunes, etc.).
3. Skip to Song 3 (or load the 3rd song in your 3rd playlist)
4. Post the first verse in your journal along with these instructions. Don’t name the band or the album title.

everybody come/get together
it's okay if you can't stand to let her dance
it's okay it's your right
come on and take a chance
a true romance when you dance
don't be in love with the autograph
just be in love when u scream that song
all night long

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I love Dream Pets, a reintroduced line of stuffed toys from the 1950s-1970s. I managed to nab a Gypsy Giraffe from the free table at work, and she's destined for my niece Lula's room (if she wants it). These are really cool; check out their pretty website.

Monday, April 26, 2004

I will never again make disparaging remarks about various pot-bellied baseball players' lack of athleticism, for I played some casual baseball yesterday, and dammit, I can barely move today. I am sore and stiff all over; the pain is mainly contained in my hips, ass, back, arms, and legs. And my neck a little, and my ankles. The top of my head feels okay. And my toes. I only had one injury, when I managed to fumble a catch in such a way that the ball hit me square on the big tendon right below the kneecap. It didn't hurt so much as it made me instantly feel like throwing up. I didn't, though, and after a minute I felt fine. Magically, there is no bruise.

A baseball is way more fun to play catch with, but on the whole, I am used to the girly compromises of softball. The ball is bigger (and, uh, softer), and therefore a little easier to hit, and when it is hit, it doesn't go as far. And some of the people I was playing with were really good hitters. And that means running very fast into the outfield, triumphantly scooping up the ball, and then attempting to throw the ball infield using my pathetic noodle-like arm, and the ball falling with a gentle plop ten feet shy of the person I'm trying to throw it to. I think there was one occurance where I did this and managed to throw it alright and we almost got the guy out at home. But didn't. Still, though. I think with practice I could get, at the least, less embarrassing. Sita is the baseball-star girl who organized the whole thing, and kudos to her for rounding up the various aging hipsters of the town and getting them to go outside and play. Everyone was saying they want to do it again.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

I took this picture last weekend of my beautiful niece.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Sure, I'll do this too.

Your secret name is jockstrap from the trash at the gym.
The animal which symbolizes you is Sandy Pants.
The color of your soul is dragon.
The celebrity you most resemble is monkey crap.
Your special pain or illness is Saddam Hussan.
Your most important time of day is dyslexia.
The shape of your life is two hours from now.
And the flavor which identifies you most is triangle.

Reading the Rockumentary boys' recap from their recent super-fun gig-trip to P-Town, I heaved a mighty sigh. If only I was in a band, I could go on fun trips like that too. I'm not even a band-girlfriend anymore, so I really have no reason to tag along. It's too bad that it's not more socially acceptable or common to go on weekend trips with a bunch of friends. I mean, it is, but not when you're over 30 (just barely over 30, boys!) it seems.

But listen, I can sing a little; maybe some punk band would have me. At shape-note singing Tuesday, the woman sitting to my left, one of the people who know all of the songs by number, said that I had a great voice and that she was glad to have had the chance to sing next to me. Wow! I really have no idea how I sound there most of the time, unless I screw up - and since the group was really hepped up last time, with lots of fast and loud tunes, my strained voice kept cracking and doing things I did not want it to do. I only hear my wrong notes because they're out of step with the rest of the altos. Thank god I can tell when things are in pitch. I am learning how to better control my voice, mostly by backing off on the volume when it feels like my vocal cords are about to start rebelling. Surprisingly (to me), I think my voice has been improving over the past year in tone and quality. It's very exciting.

This may be due to the fact that it's now spring and I'm single, but I am also suddenly in love with the entire (all male, all ages) bass section of the singing group. They just have great voices, all gruff and low and forceful yet jaunty and kind of funny with the enunciation they do, and they usually have to jump in first during the fugues, so you can hear them really well. Some of them will kind of shout a high note when it's at a climactic part of the song. I know this all sounds incredibly dorky, and if I was reading this and hadn't written it myself, I would be rolling my eyes. But you have to believe me. They are all lovely.
Feeling better today, thanks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

If my life was a book right now, it'd be titled "Smart Women, Foolish Choices." Not that I've made any choices lately. That's just the closest one I could come up with.

Still, it's going to be all right, eventually, isn't it?

Monday, April 19, 2004

This snarky version of Shakespeare's Pericles is very funny. I've never read the play but this recap is totally worth it. (via boingboing)

Sunday, April 18, 2004

So I'm back from Brooklyn. The big city, yo! It was nice. I got a lot of baby time. When L isn't crying or sleeping or breastfeeding, she's very interactive and cute, smiling and staring intently into your eyes or at the ceiling fan (her favorite view). There was a lot of singing to her, and a lot of manipulating her still-uncontrollable limbs to "swim" or "run and jump" or "charleston" or "frog kick." Then, last night, a breakthrough. Sc had her on his chest, and he was blowing raspberries. She was smiling and watching very closely. Then, suddenly, she stuck her tongue out of her mouth a little bit, and made a tiny "pbbit" noise. S said "Hey, she did it! What a smart baby!! Good girl!" I came over and watched and after a few moments she did it again. We were both laughing and excitedly shouting encouragement, and then Sa came over and saw her do it, and Sa was so excited that she said "Oh my god, this is so amazing. I feel like calling Mom!" It was so cool that actual communication was happening. She still isn't as smart as my dog ... but not for much longer. And, sorry dog, but she is more adorable. Of course I don't have to deal with hours of screaming and crying each day. Which is the great thing about being an aunt.
Okay, first things first: Last weekend's photo fest at the Northampton State Hospital.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

These new Bush ads are really brutal!

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The current dooce is required reading for my sister and brother-in-law, parents of a baby girl. Me and my sis called our vaginas "little bottom" or "dinky." There are way better names to use on the list posted over at dooce. Like wa-zoo. Or bottom system. I bet they'll go with the warm, multiculti-ish yoni, though.

edit: Looks like I was right, as I just discovered sis wrote in a comment way down after number 500.

Monday, April 12, 2004

On Easter:

- I finally sold my futon that's been sitting in my dining area for, oh, five months or so, for $10. (I had been considering paying $25 to get it thrown in the dump.) Thanks, Aunt Clara's Closet!

- I made strawberry pancakes that were not as wonderful as I'd hoped they'd be.

- I walked around the old State Hospital and took some photos. There's now a massive, long chain-link fence around the main complex, so you can't go in and wander around the spooky courtyards anymore.

- The dog fetched a stick thrown into the water, over and over again. She's gone from being afraid of getting water on her back to happily and confidently swimming in a strong current.

- After the dog walk I drove to the mall, which was closed. Because it's easter. Duh.

- A man in a hut gave me candy.

- I kept the dog in my apartment alone for about 23 minutes, and she seemed okay when I returned. My little training plan might be working.

- I called my grandmother and my parents to wish them a happy easter. Grandma is doing great, parents seem good. They're going to bail me out by providing dog care this upcoming weekend. You know the situation is desperate when I decide tacking an extra hour and a half to my drive is worth it. But I just gotta go see my little Lula.

Friday, April 09, 2004

So yeah, I'm going to be around this weekend after all. No Brooklyn for me. Just FYI.

Thursday, April 08, 2004


To the Editor (New York Times):
A woman I had dinner with the other night said to me that the atmosphere in this country since the Persian Gulf war is like that at a party in a beautiful home, with everybody being polite and bubbly. And there is this stink coming from somewhere, getting worse all the time, and nobody wants to be the first to mention it.

(This is old, from March 27, but I just stumbled across it.)

To the Editor:
A woman I had dinner with the other night said to me that the atmosphere in this country since the Persian Gulf war is like that at a party in a beautiful home, with everybody being polite and bubbly. And there is this stink coming from somewhere, getting worse all the time, and nobody wants to be the first to mention it.

(This is old, from March 27, but I just stumbled across it.)
I had a dream last night. I was walking up the stairs inside a high school and I passed a bunch of nerds. "Nerds!" I said aloud, as they glanced at me uncomfortably. I immediately felt bad, and said "I'm one too." At this, the sage nerd with the sparse mustache from Freaks and Geeks came up next to me and walked aways with me. I said "I don't know why I said that, because I'm a nerd too." He was chatting with me and being reassuring and I thought he was annoying but that I also should be nice to him. As we walked a pretty girl passed by and acted all disgusted by us. A few minutes later the sage nerd went away and I was hanging out with some female friends. The pretty girl came by and was now all nice and friendly to me. She seemed to not recognize me as the nerd from before. I told her who I was and she was actually fairly nice and apologetic about it. And that's all I remember.

The dream was similar to my high-school life, since I was friends with the nerds but not exactly one of them (never was in marching band or on the academic decathalon team or whatever it was called). I was more of an art nerd, which didn't have a tidy label to it ("art fag" was the closest, which doesn't really fit for girls) and was not quite as ostracizing as being a totally brainy nerd. Being an art nerd also earned some respect from some of the popular kids, the ones who thought they were cool enough to be considered "alternative," all the while sticking to their j. crew uniforms. (The girls who teased me were all "burnouts" with big hair and skin-tight acid-washed jeans; they were in a lower caste than the popular people.) However, we were still nerds, underneath the vintage clothes and crazy jewelry and combat boots, and we didn't mix with non-nerds/freaks outside of school. Not that we ever spent time wishing that we were.

The kinds of things the geeks on Freaks and Geeks deal with is more like my junior high school experience. Our junior high was located on top of a hellmouth. I am convinced this is so. Actually, 8th grade was when I grew a spine (figuratively) and started being "bad," and sticking up for myself a tiny bit, so that part wasn't horrible for me personally. But the entire school (the building housed 7th and 8th grades only) was a roiling cauldron of hormones and nastiness and rage that would suddenly erupt without warning. *shudder*

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

More about that naughty, naughty Tigger: It seems a certain person, let's call her finslippy, also had a creepy encounter with this crazy sexed-up denizen of the 100-Acre Wood. In her own words:


Sort of.

When I was 17 and my chorus took a trip to Disney World, Tigger walked right up to me, put his arm around my shoulder, began suggestively rubbing at said shoulder, and said, "Rowr."

Okay, so there was no fondling. But there might have been! If I hadn't walked away!

Still, I finally feel like I've achieved closure. Your blog brings not only entertainment--it brings healing."

So, so true.

I've also had a weird encounter with The One Whose Bottom is Made Out of Springs. When my sister and I went to that place way back in 96 or 97, we met Tigger in the very same room they mention in the article. And our Tigger, disturbingly, made these little "kiss kiss" lip-smacking noises inside of his/her fur head. The costumed characters are not allowed to talk,* but somehow this person thought that meant they could still make the kinds of noises guys make hanging out on the sidewalk as you walk past.

However, it's not the same Tigger guy as the guy arrested yesterday, because this person was a "new hire." Something about putting on the Tigger suit seems to draw out the perversion in people, I guess.

*At a press event a couple of years ago I met Sweetums. He talked. I was amazed. I said, "Hey, you talk! I thought you guys weren't allowed to do that!" and he said, "Of course I can talk! I'm not from Disney, kid." True story. I guess if you're a Muppet from the very start, and not a plush three-dimensional interpretation of a celluloid creature, then you can do what you can really do, if you get my meaning. It also sounded just like the actual Sweetums, leading me to believe it may have been the actual Sweetums, Richard Hunt, inside. Then I found out that Richard Hunt died in 1992. Shit.

This gives a bit more detail into the naughty Tigger incident, if you're interested.
Ew. Click here to read about the most not-wonderful thing about Tiggers. This is not the guy I picture inside of the fur suit when I get my photo taken with those things. I shudder.

A downward spiral sounds pretty fun. Like in Chutes and Ladders, I kind of liked getting the chutes because you got to slide down the slide. Never mind it meant you would lose the game, it was the fun that counted. I currently have a necrotizing spot of leprosy (okay, I think it's just a little impetigo) on my right nostril. It makes me want to tie a dirty rag around my face and yell "unclean!" as I walk through town. If I keep my head down and tilted to the side a little it's not so noticeable. I got some prescription ointment yesterday which is making it do dramatic things; it no longer looks like a regular scab but has become somehow more disgusting. I won't elaborate. Just turn away, if you see me, turn away from my shame. I went out after the Death Cab for Cutie show last night to buy my friend a drink (she got me in for free). I drank mine really fast and left because it was getting late, and it didn't seem to hit me until I got home. Then I was all stumbly and drunky and very tired while walking the dog and then eating cereal with the TV on Leno then Conan. I sank down until I was dozing horizontally on the sofa with the dog shellacked onto me. Eventually she got up and then I was too cold so I went to bed.

This is what happens when you have a horrendous-looking wound on your nose.

Monday, April 05, 2004

On Friday I rented the DVD set of Strangers with Candy, Season Two and watched almost all of the episodes this weekend. Today, I can't get "I'm gonna sit at the welcome table" out of my head AT ALL. It's a genius show. Four of the episodes had commentary by the three leads (Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, Steven Colbert), who have worked together for years, so I listened to the commentary and pretended they were my friends. They're so funny, my new friends! They really have it all goin' on.

I also got to watch the first three episodes of Freaks and Geeks, courtesy of H, who has the awesome DVD set. Watching the show is like going through a painful, yet funny, flashback to junior high. (Funny cuz it's true.) Judd Apatow really captures how high school was for most people. I'm not surprised the series was cut, though; I think if you're young enough to be their target demographic, and are currently a freak/geek or used to be one in the recent past, watching the show might be too much reality. And of course NBC treated the show like crap, moving it from night to night like a cheap whore. Stupid TV executives. Anyway, who cares - now, with the power of DVD, we can enjoy fine television IN OUR OWN HOMES!
By the way, the raccoon thing? Not an April Fool's joke.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Holy crap. I just got home from a friend's house (I walked, and it's pouring rain) and I come inside my building and the dog starts freaking out. I can see a fluffy tail tip near the top of the stairs, so I assume it's one of the neighbor's cats, as my neighbors are very laissez-faire about keeping their doors ajar. But no. I walk up the stairs and no, in fact, up here there are no doors open, and no, in fact, we are now facing a short dead-end hallway, the end of which houses my doorway, and is currently inhabited by a GIANT RACCOON. It's all puffy and pissed off, and of course Louise is going apeshit, crying and barking and yelling in dog language exactly how she is going to rip its throat out, and I'm hanging on to her leash like I'm trying to land a swordfish. During this the raccoon realizes the only way out is right past us and down the stairs, so it passes within inches of the lunging dog in order to reach the top step, where it pauses to turn around to give us both a defiant "haaaahh!!"-kind-of-a-hiss, and then it runs down the stairs. Man! Raccoons have serious balls. My dog was really going crazy at this point. I made her go inside the apartment and I shut the door. I still have a raccoon stuck in my apartment house. Downstairs on the first floor, there are two doors open: the door to the basement, and the door to one of the first floor apartments. It's very conceivable that the raccoon is now inside the apartment. They are scavengers, you know. (In New Jersey when you'd catch them in the middle of digging into your garbage cans, they'd just look back at you with cigarettes dangling from the corners of their mouths, like, "Whut? Can't you see I'm busy here?") I knock on the open door, saying, "hello? Is anyone home?", like there's any way if they were home they wouldn't have been aware of the wildlife encounter that just happened, what with the dog yelping and my yelling "Holy crap, that's a fucking raccoon!" and the dog claws scraping on the floor trying to find purchase. Anyway, though the door is open and lights are on, there appears to be nobody home. So I shut the door to the basement. Why? 1. If it's down there, it won't get into the open apartment, and 2. if it's in the apartment, maybe the hippies who live there will learn a valuable lesson about keeping their door wide open.

All is currently quiet.
This is such an annoying thing to me, I think I may have even blogged about it before. I work in a building full of editors. So it's always weird to get an email full of grammatical and spelling mistakes from our receptionist. She suffers from the unneccessary-apostrophe disease that has become incredibly common in the past five years or so. Today she announced that two people were having birthdays over the weekend - except she wrote "birthday's." Why add an apostrophe? Where did this come from? I just want to figure out the chain of faulty reasoning that results in turning plural words into possessives. Is it because "birthday" ends in a "y", and that's kind of a vowel, and sometimes words that end in vowels get a ... No, that doesn't make any sense. Is it because sometimes "birthday" is capitalized, i.e. "Happy Birthday," and therefore it should be treated like the plural of a proper noun, which.... also doesn't get an apostrophe unless it's possessive. Huh. Do you see why this might make an editor crazy??

Listen, I can live with the its/it's problem. (a refresher: you only use "it's" as a contraction for "it is." It's simple. And it rubs the lotion on its skin.) But this crazy, lazy, "instead of thinking, just add an apostrophe" thing is a symptom of the decline of Western civilization.

Good: ladies' room
Bad: ladie's room (I really did see this in use)