Monday, January 31, 2005

I wrote this for a message board to which I sometimes post:

Seven most common dreams:

- I finally consummate a previously-unrequited crush I have [not the same person every time, of course], and it is glorious. This dream is especially sad to wake up from.
- I am in a massive, multi-stall public restroom that's completely disgusting, and am trying to find a stall with a toilet I can use without getting shit or blood on myself.
- If I concentrate really hard and use my muscles in just the right way, I can fly.
- I have a baby. Where did I get it? Something's wrong with the baby; it is extremely tiny, or moves strangely. I feel helpless and overwhelmed.
- I am still in college, where it is really quite embarrassing for me to still be there for so many years. I am also not spending enough time in my allocated studio space on campus. I am alienated and edged out, belonging nowhere.
- I am on an adventure, hiding from bad guys and running through strange buildings and it's all very exciting and fun.
- Some criminal types kidnap me or try to rob me, and I end up befriending them with my kindness and wit.
Hello. Here is a nice photo of me on New Year's Eve, early in the evening when some little kids asked me to dance at the Center for the Arts.

I still haven't heard any details from the Powers That Be about my new job. I am picturing a lot of pounding on the table: "I need debl! You must give her the money she's asking for!"
"But we don't have it in the budget! We'll have to fire the janitor to make up the loss!"
"Then do it - I'll take the trash out myself, if that's what it takes! I must have debl working for me!!"

In reality it's probably more like "She's asking for, like, a 50% raise, which is just ridiculous... Let's find a way to break this to her gently, okay?"

And, somewhat unrelated and in a stolen-from-McSweeney's format, I give you:


1. Illuminations
2. Buffeteria
3. Philharmagic
4. Magication
5. Funtertainment
6. Panoramagique
7. Imagineer
8. Playtorium
9. Skytacular
10. Streetmosphere
11. Wonderquarium
12. Fantasmic
13. Teenspiration
14. Dreamflight
15. Innoventions

Answers later. Any guesses as to which ones I made up?

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Slow, deep breaths.

I am going to do it.

I am trying not to freak out. Moving to another state will be very difficult (unless I pay a lot of money and have movers take care of everything) but I will be making a lot of lists over the next few days; that should help me wrap my mind around this huge task by dividing it into smaller ones. I decided to do it because, besides Northampton, NYC is where I wanted to live my whole life. I have to respect that desire, even though it will take me out of my comfort zone. I love the city and I am very excited about the idea of living there. I figure my next full night's sleep will be sometime in April, after my brain calms down a little. I will be leaving a lot of people I love, but I'll be back for visits. And my friends will have a nice futon couch to sleep on when they come and visit.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Okay, so there are two best possible worlds I am picturing right now.

In world 1, I live in the Valley. I move to a loft in a converted factory building, where I devote a healthy chunk of my vast living space to a messy studio. I bike to my new (but with same coworkers) job downtown when it's nice out. I have a bunch of friends I know and love, and we go out and do fun things together often. I feel safe. Town never changes much, but I find new things to do once in a while. I travel to NYC on weekends sometimes to see my family. I have a sculpture show during one of the open studio weekends at Eastworks, opening up my apartment to strangers; I am very charming and they are all complimentary. I meet other artists in the building and we commiserate. I decide to make a large number of items to sell at the nicer craft shows in the area. In the winter I go sledding or cross-country skiing, in the spring I hike, in the summer I swim in the river.

In world 2, I move to NYC. I get a small but adequate apartment in Brooklyn, really about the same size as the one I live in now. I am a subway stop away from my sister, and a short ride to work in Manhattan. My new job is sort of what I do already, just moreso. I make more money so I can afford the apartment. I work a couple of blocks from Union Square park, and a couple of blocks more to where my brother-in-law works, and we have lunch together once in a while. In my free time, I take advantage of the many many various weird activities I can do, though I often do them alone. I reconnect with some acquaintences and meet some friends of friends. It's more stressful, but exciting. In a year or two I find a job I'm actually excited about. I can visit the Valley whenever I want, though owning a car is a bit of a hassle.

So there it is. Either way I clearly feel I can do better than my current apartment. World 1 is safe and potentially boring, but pretty, and will allow me more time for making art. World 2 is more exciting but uglier, and has the potential to make me immobilized with anxiety. The dating pool in world 2 is vast; the one in world 1, not so much. World 1 is secure and homey; world 2 is a clean slate. This is my heavy decision. I have to make it by Thursday morning.


Friday, January 21, 2005

I was talking to my brother-in-law yesterday about finding apartments in NYC. He saw a lot of very crappy ones when he was first moving into Brooklyn in the mid-1990s. One had a pylon for the Tri-borough Bridge directly in front of the entrance; one had a vast bathroom that was larger than the tiny bedroom. He and a friend visited one where you opened up the door from the street and stepped directly into the living room; there was no interior hallway, nothing. They knew right away they weren't going to take it, but to be polite, his friend asked the gruff Russian guy showing the place, "so what's the next step, do we need to give you a credit check, or...?" and the guy says, all dismissively, "No, no, no. If you want it, you can have it. If you don't want it, you can't have it."

That is wisdom for the ages, my friends. If you want it, you can have it. If you don't want it, you can't have it. It's as simple as that.
I really lucked out and found almost an exact match to my car on a finished auction on eBay motors. So now I know what mine is worth, which means I can pay my grandmother that amount in exchange for her barely-used '97 Camry. Or I can try selling my car on eBay, too, though I doubt I'll get as much as this guy did. I have lower miles but more rust and other problems. And I don't want to rip off my grandmother, even though this is the deal she came up with. And then I'll, uh, unload my car somehow. Donate it? Sell it to my ex-stepdaughter for cheap? Junk it? Enter a demolition derby?

Speaking of grandmothers, both of mine have horrible widows' humps from osteoporosis. I pretty much have a constant ache in the middle of my back (between the shoulder blades) and all I can think about is how the vertabre there are forming tiny little fractures and healing in a curve (which is how the humps form). I bought some calcium supplement capsules yesterday but I'm a bit timid about taking them; these particular babies have hydrochloric acid in them to "aid absorption."* I am expecting it to wreak havoc with my digestive system, but I'll be sure to keep you all posted.

*Why is this word not spelled "absorbtion?" It's about the process of absorbing, not absorping, after all. Stupid sexy English.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I almost forgot. Here's an updated list of contents in the Food Donation Box in my office's kitchen:

tin of sardines in lemon sauce
meat tenderizer (powder)
powdered ginger
chili mix (just add beef and beans, I guess)
pizza crust mix (powder)
2 cans of Chef Boyardee cheese tortellini

Most of the stuff has been in there for a while. We're good people, though, and we donated a ton of stuff to Safe Passage for the holidays. We're having a blood drive early next month, which I have decided I can't do because I'm skinny and have low blood pressure. It's a recipe for a pass-out. And cntrary to what you might see in the media, passing out is no fun at all.

I have not been posting because I am in the middle of trying to make a big decision and it is weighing heavily on my mind. I think that either way I decide, I am going to be sad, and that's a terrible thing to have to do. I was in a similar predicament when I gave my dog away - with neither option being the clear winner - and I still don't know if I did the right thing. Maybe I should get a tarot card reading.

In unrelated news, I just discovered that The Living Room in NYC hosts the monthly Lower East Side (sacred harp) Sing, which is pretty neato.

Friday, January 14, 2005

There's a lot of work stuff going on right now; a new venture is starting up, as an off-shoot of the current office, and a lot of people are interviewing for the new positions. At the same time, most of us will be moving into a new building downtown at some unspecified near-future date (and at an unofficial, still unannounced location, though everyone knows where it is). I've been discussing all of this stuff with a friend in the office who is also interviewing for the new venture, and we were talking about how, due to the pay structure or whatever the hell, we can only get a certain percentage raise per year regardless of whether or not we're promoted. Which means that you can get up fairly high on the totem pole but be very underpaid compared to other people in the same exact position who happened to be hired from outside. Which means it pays to hopscotch from place to place, and doesn't pay to be a loyal employee. (This is an industry-wide phenomenon, not just at this particular company.) It's pretty fucked.

So, we were talking about all of this, and after I asked my coworker if it was okay, I broke the cardinal rule of office life and told her how much money I make. I feel like I just did something really naughty and sneaky. What is the deal with that, anyway? I am certain that the person I work with who has the same title as I do makes more money, since she has a few more years' experience, and was hired from outside, and I really don't care. Much.

Anyway, I told her what I make, and I think she is shocked or at least disappointed because she hasn't yet replied to my message. She had asked, "Have you broken the $XX,000 mark?" and my response was "HA! No, I'm making $XX,000" so the attitude may have had something to do with it...

p.s. Note my careful anonymity so I do not get dooced. Be kind.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I was at Spoleto Monday evening for a baby-shower planning meeting, and during our wine-drinking and discussion session I had to use the bathroom. So I go in, and of course I just sit right down on the seat, because why wouldn't I, seeing as their toilets are like the toilets one would have in ones' house. Imagine my horror when I stand up and discover the bottom of my thigh wet with someone else's pee.

Who does the toilet hover maneuver IN A RESTAURANT? And a semi-fancy restaurant, no less? It's not like I was in a gas station restroom where one must always check for pee before taking one's seat. Never mind the fact that the pee-hover is almost entirely idiotic and unneccessary unless you're worried that the person using the stall before you has, I dunno, open, weeping sores on their thighs. Because you are not going to catch any venereal or genital nastiness from a toilet seat that DOES NOT COME IN CONTACT WITH ANY GENITALS EVER. So all you girls who hover over the toilet seat, selfishly spraying the seat with your own urine for the next unlucky fool? You are causing a problem that didn't exist before. CUT IT OUT.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I posted something about being uncool, but then decided it was stupid and hid it. Sorry charlies.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Guess what? Today is DeLurking Day, so dear reader, won't you please leave a comment using the handy link below??
Hi. So did you have a good New Year's Eve? I did. There's no situation that isn't helped by wearing a silvery sequin tiara. I got a lot of positive feedback, mainly from drunkish people asking me if I was a princess, or the queen of 2005, or a fairy. I always answered yes. I had been dreading the magically awful moment at midnight when everyone happily kisses their loves, but it was totally fine after all; I just watched the confetti fall, and woo!-ed, and then I hugged everyone in arm's reach, and swigged some champagne from the bottle. And then we marched in the middle of the street back to the 11s to watch some more Spouse.

Among the more interesting parts of the evening was the high-speed police car chase that flew down Pleasant Street as I stood outside of the 11s at 2 a.m. If anyone knows what the hell that was all about, let me know. It was a night for fighting and recklessness; I missed the altercation outside of the Calvin that ended with the police shooting pepper spray at a guy who wouldn't get down on the ground. "Amateur drinkers," says my friend Penny. Word. For one night it was like we lived in an actual city.

And now we're firmly into January and I have yet to buy a calendar (full retail price is for chumps) and the holidays are over so it's time to move things along. I've begun making little plans (social engagements, appointments) so that I won't imagine the future as an expanse of tightrope I will be forced to traverse with no safety net beneath. This is what works for me.