Thursday, May 27, 2004

It may be possible that I just hate Wednesdays.

Anyway, it's Thursday now. It's time for a little spring cleaning of my links. I don't know what happened to sweat-flavored gummi, but her blog seems to be gone. I hadn't checked it in a few months, but it's still odd. Anyway, sadly, off she goes.

Also, the rabbit blog hasn't been updated since mid-April, and I haven't looked at it in months either. So another link bites the dust.

And I just rediscovered Girls Are Pretty, which is difficult to describe, but I love it so. Go and read it. Now. Your day will be improved.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

After feeling fine for almost a week, I am feeling fairly sad today. Maybe it's the weather, which has been grey and cold for several days. Maybe it's the impending weekend with its lack of structure and the possibility of lots of alone-time. Maybe it's the failed override vote in my town and the subsequent triumphant squealing of the money-grubbing jackasses who only look out for themselves. Maybe it's the new terror alert warning that we're all being issued, for all events everywhere all summer long. Maybe it's the extremely icky hyper-realistic dream I had last night.

I think those are some pretty valid reasons.

The day started fine, and I can tell that just by looking at myself, for I decided to wear my attention-getting poncho I knitted out of truffula trees (at least it looks that way). Plus I've been singing Spanish for Hitchhiking songs. (I can finally admit it: I've loved you for my whole life.) So I think I might just need more wine, and more hugs! Hugs for everybody! Kittens, too.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

I know it is not at all cool to admit to liking Douglas Adams, but I have a good defense. Our family rallied around each Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book as it came out in print, and I was a mere wisp of a girl when I started reading them (and not yet out of high school when I stopped). Our sci-fi-lovin' parents even got us to watch the BBC TV miniseries based on the book, and we listened to the entire BBC-produced radio series. So when I think about the movie Disney is releasing next year, and that they are producing it with the "tween" market in mind ... well, trepidation is not strong enough a word for how I feel.

So when I came across this official cast list, I was kind of okay with it (Mos Def as Ford Prefect? super-cool), until I realized that the odd photo of the short and cutesy white robot thing I was looking at was supposed to be Marvin, and that Marvin was being played by Willow. And I threw up a little, inside my mouth.

This, of course, is nothing compared to what will happen a few months after the Hitchhiker's Guide movie comes out, when Disney releases the first film in their Narnia series. When I think about how potentially awful it could be, I get dizzy and nauseous. This must have been how Lord of the Rings fans felt when they heard a movie was going to be made of their books. But they had genius Peter Jackson on board, as well as a studio behind him that supported creativity, and the results were wonderful. This is sadly not the case with Narnia; for example, IMDB lists SIX producers (and three of those are executive producers, no less) for the film. Heaven help us all.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Alright, already - People, I am fine. And by people, I mean my family. In the past 24 hours I have gotten two phone calls from them - one from Mom, one from my aunt - and I very rarely hear from them (which is both good and bad). They both left messages, and they both had this "I hope you're okay, and don't have your head in the oven at the moment... please call me and reassure me that you're still among the living" kind of a tone. They don't really have any reason to be worried about my happiness level — unless they are reading this web log, which I made them promise never to do. I know, it's impossible to police this, but once they discovered this blog, I asked them nicely to respect my privacy and to not read it (I gave them Craftytown as a distraction/consolation prize) and they agreed, and I felt satisfied that my faith in them would build a protective wall of guilt that would sheild my blog from view. Or so I thought.

I am fine, in fact. The weekend was amazingly drama-free. My patented Avoidance Technique seems to be protecting my mental health, as planned.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Could I BE any more depressed right now? Well, I guess I could be, since I am actually functioning and at work and not sobbing at my desk. But still. Things are not good. I am starting to think this could be my Worst Spring and Summer Ever, which gets me all kinds of more depressed since I live here because it is so beautiful this time of year, and then I need to remind myself that Spring and Summer come back with fair regularity - say, once a year or so - and that not fully enjoying one years' worth of lovely weather, because I'm staying home lying curled up in a ball and staring out the window, is not going to kill me.

Speaking of life or death situations, today on my way to work I passed by the ambulance that's set up in front of City Hall all this week for the EMTs to talk to kids about safety or something. They have a costumed mascot, I think it's a bear, or an otter, or maybe a dog. Anyway, today I saw a woman putting on the head of the costume - in plain sight, right there on Main Street! Talk about destroying the magic! I was shocked. And then I thought, I could blog something funny about this. And then I thought, I'm too tired and melancholy to be funny. And now here we are.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I went to the big rock show last night at the Iron Horse, and it was really really great. First, Silver and Gold was all loungey-cabaret: a too-tall guy in an ill-fitting suit singing standards about love and loss, with another guy tickling the ivories, and it was all kind of irony-laden and funny, but also maybe serious because the guy (a local I see slouchin' around at shows all the time) had a really good voice. His performance reminded me of Ducky in Pretty in Pink, because I am 15 years old and it's 1988.

Then an acoustic trio, the core of the Ray Mason Band, played some songs, and they were wonderful and countryish and they had a little mandolin, which I like, as well as one lady dancing who turned into three.

And then there was Ribboncandy playing their Last Show Ever. Ken mentioned onstage that the last time they played (at the Horse, I think he meant) was when they opened for The Maggie's first CD release party, and at that I made a little "a single tear is falling" gesture to my friends as a joke, but then I did start to feel actual sadness. I am old, and times have changed. Ribboncandy was excellent. Total rockin' poppy hooks and funny, hip-reference-laden lyrics. It's great to see Ken, who plays like a musical genius while in the background of every band he's in, as the leader in a band.

And then there was a pause while all 12 members of the King Radio orchestra set up, and then the music started. I am a total sucker for strings in rock songs, so I really enjoyed the set. I spent some time pondering how the four string players became involved, since they looked quite professional and were dressed all grown-up and they had music stands and everything. Did they answer an ad on a lark? Are they getting paid for this tour? Do they get 1/12th of the take like the other members of the band? Besides the four strings, there were two people on piano, three guitars, one bass, and two percussionists. It was a little crazy, but it was all arranged very craftily. There were a few sound problems but much, much fewer than I was expecting, given the tiny stage and the number of performers and instruments. All in all, an incredible show, with an amazing once-in-a-blue-moon lineup. Rock.
Rest in Peace, Tony Randall. Shit. I hope to see a retrospective on Letterman tonight.

Friday, May 14, 2004

At the park last week, I got my fortune read from one of the old coin-op machines ("Esmeralda's Prophesies") they have there. Here's the first one:

You have had a lot of trouble, for which others are largely responsible, but you are now reaching a point when you will be able by your own efforts, to control your own affairs. You are not easily understood, as you keep much to yourself. You are fond of fine arts and like to be alone a great deal. You sometimes have a desire to destroy things, especially in your young days, for which you are sorry afterward. Be careful when the figure 7 appears on any money transaction, and keep your eyes open to some of your "would be" friends. Drop another coin in slot and I will tell you more.

I swear I've gotten that fortune before, which is a little eerie. So I put in another coin and got this:

There is very little I can tell you, because you are so good. You have a great gentleness, and pure moral principles, a merciful affectionate and constant heart, slightly melancholy. Inventive genius of mechanical arts, are independent and have little patience with conventional ways of living. Lover of music, very changeable in opinion. After middle age you will inherit a fortune, which you will have to defend in court. I predict that you will have great success in life, in general, very small changes in your daily routine are necessary to bring you to the top of the ladder. Drop another coin in slot and I will tell you more.

I figured I couldn't do much better than that combination, so I stopped there.

I had a nightmare last night so frightening that I actually woke up. That hasn't happened for years, though it used to happen with disturbing regularity. The dream involved Buffy (yes, the vampire slayer) making a very bad decision, and then me and a friend (unidentified in the dream) having to go along with the coverup.

Buffy needed a strip of human skin to help heal a friend of hers, so she pretended to be a doctor and peeled a long rectangle of flesh from an overweight, middle-aged patient who had been admitted for some minor surgery. And now the patient's wife and adult son (could have been a brother, it was unclear) were demanding to know what the hell Doctor Buffy had done, since the man was now lying on a bed in a side room, looking very gory and moaning and thrashing in pain (she had not sewed up the flesh, just left it open and raw). Buffy just kept repeating that he had some fucked-up venereal disease, and that doing this had been the only way to save him, and that it was all complicated doctor stuff they wouldn't understand; her attitude was, don't blame me, your father/husband brought this on himself. But the anguished man and his family would not let it alone, and kept hanging out in Buffy's big rambling mansion. We would think they had finally bought the story, and the lying could stop (it was excruciating, lying to them, when what Buffy had done was so utterly unethical, and she just could not tell them the truth, because what she had done was so awful) then they'd come back inside to yell and complain some more. I was questioned repeatedly but I kept claiming I knew nothing, I wasn't a doctor, and I'd walk up to my guest room and pretend to pack.

But then the man's family brought him inside the house to where we were hanging out, and he looked horrible, blood and gore bulging out of his side, moaning and looking pale and sick, and his family saying, look, clearly whatever you did is not right, look at him. And I fled to my room, but then the man was lying in the bathtub there, dead, with blood all over the shower curtain. Apparently the body needed to be saved so that an autopsy could unearth whatever faux V.D. he had. And so I had to go downstairs to the basement to take a pee, where I found my mom folding clothes, and my dad's cousin had filled the bathroom sink full of dirty dishes from her hummus recipe testing. And my sister somehow happened upon the dead man's corpse, and her very loud scream woke me up.

Let the psychoanalysis begin!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Last night I partook of the free (pass-the-hat) Lo Fine show at the Apollo Grill, and it was lovely. It reminded me of the Listening Room, without the anxiety-producing pressure to remain silent and still the entire time. People generally sat and paid all attention to the band (a few people - employees? residents from upstairs? - kept drunkenly swanning around and taking multiple flash photos). The show was to start at 9, though it was closer to 9:30 (or later). My guest and I were anticipating getting a few appetizers to enjoy during the show - in fact, we'd planned and eaten light dinners so we'd be prepared. But alas, the kitchen closes at 9. Which seems like poor planning to me. The bartender seemed to get that a lot of people had come expecting food (at a restaurant...) and she gave us a plate of warm pita bread and very garlicky hummus, gratis. Awesome. It went nicely with the pinot grigio, until I managed to knock over the rest of my glass onto the floor. A server was there immediately to mop it up with a rag. Apollo Grill gets major points for service.

Lo Fine was excellent, as usual. And as usual, I couldn't understand a word Kevin said or sang onstage. But the music is always lovely.

Although I am not trying to look a gift horse in the mouth, I have a problem with raw chunks of garlic such as the ones in the hummus last night. They tend to stay with me for a long, long time. Last night I flossed and swished my mouth with Listerine until my eyes watered and I still had a skunky garlic taste in the back of my mouth. This morning I can still feel it, all funky and hot inside of me, and this is after eating Key Lime yogurt and a cuppa Earl Grey. Frankly, I'm lucky that I seem to have avoided the intense gastric effects raw garlic sometimes causes me. I know you don't want me to elaborate.

Coincidentally, after the Apollo Grill I went over to chez Price to pick up my dog, and T had me try the hummus she'd just made from scratch. It was perfect, indistinguishable from really good store-bought. It reminded me of my hippie-leaning mom's hummus, who made it from scratch years before it was readily available in supermarkets. She'd fill a big old amber-glass mixing bowl with the hummus she'd made with her electric food processor, sculpting it up the sides to create a bowl shape in the middle, into which she'd pour olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and fresh parsley. It was delish.
I was recently talking to people about the Big E, and I remembered the perfect shirt that I let get away, admired here by my brother-in-law:

It would be the perfect thing to wear to Saturday's Drunk Stuntmen show, too. Damn.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

It's nice and hot here at work today. The air conditioning is broken, so we have the windows open (just a few skylights, so no cross-breezes). The thermostat says it's 80 in here, and I'm secretly enjoying it. After all, I'm dressed for the hot weather, and I got my iced chai right here. All summer long I have to use lap blankets and cardigans inside the refrigerated office. I'd be fine if the temp was set at, say, 74, instead of 69, which is colder than the heat setting in January.

I just ran into my old boss who owned the fancy clothing store when I worked there. I hadn't seen him for years. He and his wife are my only non-family patrons, having bought a piece of my sculpture (for $350 plus some clothing from the store) when I was fresh out of college. He asked if I had a studio, and I said I had something set up in my apartment. I think he knows I'm now a fraud and not making "serious" art anymore. At least, I'm not welding anymore, and my stuff is largely representational, which feels like a cop-out (Hampshire taught me that). He has a cool life right now, designing and manufacturing displays for high-end stores and trade shows, as well as managing some fancy properties. He and his wife both act and appear to be gay, which is one of the reasons why I dig them. At their store, he was always in charge of the creative side, and she handled all the finances and managing; plus he's really into clothes and fancy glasses, and she has a short haircut and comfortable shoes.

Anyway. I do think I'm coming around again, after not feeling drawn to make anything "abstract" (I hate the labeling, but it's the best way to explain it) I have some ideas for some things. I might try to combine my old art aesthetic with the new cigar-box dioramas, and make an abstract/organic diorama. Fun.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I'm trying to enable comments, because it looks like Blogger is letting even the free accounts people run them. We'll see how long it lasts before it's spammed into oblivion... This post should have them. let's see...

Monday, May 10, 2004

Yesterday I took a very pleasant stroll along the Smith side of the Mill River. It was very pleasant, that is, until my dog found a decomposing beaver carcass. She gleefully rolled around in it until I ran towards her, yelling for her to stop. But the damage had been done. I threw a stick into the river so at least she'd rinse off a little, and then I had to drive home; even with the windows rolled down and the fan blowing, it was hard not to gag. She was very pleased with herself, though, sitting in the middle of the back seat, mouth open in a happy grinning pant.

Once we got home, it was immediately bathtime. It was actually a good thing, as the dog's coat gets all dull and flaky in the spring, and I had just given her a serious brushing the day before; afterwards I was driven to scrub my bathtub, finally, which is cursed with a slow drain. And though the dog hates the bath, once she's all finished and dry, her fur feels like mink.

I'm still thinking very seriously about finding a new home for her, though it would leave me semi-heartbroken. It's just very difficult to deal with her various needs while living alone in an apartment. She has relatively minor separation anxiety issues (i.e. she causes no major damage) but other than that she is the perfect dog, I think. Very energetic, affectionate, wonderful with kids, funny, playful... If you know someone who would love a dog, and who owns a house, let me know. I would be available for lots of dog-sitting.
Mystery solved - as I suspected, those circles are from farming. Apparently the perfect circles are due to an irrigation contraption that pivots on a central axis. A very, very long irrigation contraption, one that doesn't use water very wisely. You can see one and read more about it here. Thanks to Mike and Eddie for the info!

Sunday, May 09, 2004

So yeah, I'm back. I was all ready to post on Friday, but I think Blogger was going through a metamorphosis and was too busy to let me sign on. California was as predicted - way too sunny, with lots of too-tan women wearing super-tight clothes and too much perfume. Though maybe I'm just thinking of the television media personalities from Brazil. Anyway, I went on a scary free-fall ride, which was fine except for all of the falling. My coworker talked me into going on it, and she laughed hysterically as I screamed the entire time we were zooming up and down in the dark.

Now I'm home, trying to learn to be patient, and to be kind to myself, which is hard because I wish I was a different person. Not radically different, just less soft. More confident. Yeah.

Here are some shots I took from the airplane, and some bonus pics from my trip.

Cincinnati cloverleaf:

Can anyone tell me what these circles are? Crops, or something, right? They're enormous. I notice them every time I fly cross-country:

There's a little town in the lower left, so you can see how massive these circles are:

As a bonus, here's a mysterious photo of the grand opening ceremony for the thing I rode. (I'm not using any searchable nouns...)

And me baking in the sun the next day, waiting with all of the other shmoes for the bigwigs to show up and tell us something that's supposed to sound really exciting:

And that was my trip to California.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

I'm off for four days, to sunny California for a press trip. I might be able to post from the "media center" or something, but it's unlikely. If the plane doesn't crash, you'll hear from me Friday.