Monday, November 21, 2005

Not Fooling Anybody: Home

A random link that allows me to indulge my love for retro things, architecture, and renewal/recycling. Oh, and commercial signage too.

Does anyone else remember the Red Barn? It was a mid-late 70s fast food outlet that offered BOTH fried chicken and burgers. Funnily enough, its buildings were meant to resemble - you guessed it! Barns. I think there's still a couple somewhere in upstate NY masquerading as other things.

Man...mem'ries...we used to have Red Barn every Tuesday night when I was between the ages of 6 and 9 because that was the night the Town Board met and my mom as editor of the town paper had to cover the meetings. This was my dad's idea of feeding us, surprise surprise.

Actually the McDonald's in town replaced a much older local chain place called Jester's, which was into hot dogs and burgers and featured a clown character as its mascot. The buildings were round and had some groovy stained glass around the roof, which rose to a spire on top. But not at all in a churchy way. It was next door to the Minuteman station, which had a logo featuring a gas pump anthropomorphized into a perky redheaded boy in a jaunty cap and bowtie uniform.

The commercial enterprises of my childhood seem to be so vivid...what's up with that? I can sing you jingles from department stores that have long gone out of business and describe the free collectible drinking glasses from every filling station and fast food joint that gave them away in the years 1976-1983.

If I am a product of my times, I want to know what the people who created those times meant for me to become.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Gulf Coast slaves : SF Indymedia

This just happens to be the most recent article I could find on the workers down on the Gulf Coast. I'm watching the PBS show "Now" which is covering the same thing and I'm getting more and more livid.

DAYS after Katrina hit Bush rolled back the Davis-Bacon act basically so that government contractors could bring in undocumented workers and pay them less than the going rate to work on the cleanup. They were already planning what to do in the aftermath for maximum profit while people sweated and went hungry and waited for help.

People were actually being recruited down in Central America and encouraged to come to New Orleans as undocumented workers...where the company who hired them (a subsidiary of Halliburton, by the way) is putting them up in substandard conditions and forcing them to work without adequate safety precautions.

Where do I begin? Do I really need to outline the reasons for my outrage?
Sunday, May 15, 2005

does anyone remember laughter?
Current mood: bemusedly avoidant

I am the saddest girl in the WHOLE WORLD. Everyone is outside playing but me.
The elephants upstairs have not yet started blustering about, but the people next door have decided RIGHT NOW would be a good time to start blasting the electro-salsa. But I have a PLAN.
I will move.

Currently listening: Dim the Lights Chill the Ham By Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet Release date: By 17 May, 1993


still here
Current mood: ruminant

must...get up and go get an oil change for the car...can't seem to get motivated...to get up and get dressed... non sequitur: M and I had this discussion not too long ago and she had said she didn't want to go out with a guy whose idea of dating is "dating" - ie the basic dinner and a movie scenario. I know what she was getting at - she meant that she wants to do things she loves to do, and she's going to do them - and the ideal guy would do them with her. THAT would be romantic. Recently there has been a fella on my radar who seems to be into the whole wining and dining experience, but you know what? I've never had a fella who wanted to sweep me off my feet, so that *might* be something I am into. It's got to be better than "will date you but want to keep my options open in case something else comes up." It's definitely beyond my usual comfort zone to have someone be focused on pleasing me. But anyone who likes my Willy Wonka quote is OK by me. "So much time, so little to do...no wait...strike that...reverse it."

Currently reading: Killing Yourself to Live : 85% of a True Story By Chuck Klosterman Release date: By 28 June, 2005


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

check out time for brooklyn jason
Current mood: perspicacious

stuck to the vinyl seat of my heart
like thighs in summertime,
the memory of you has hickeyed my mind.
get out of my head already!

Currently listening: Rock Art and the X-Ray Style By Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros Release date: By 02 November, 1999


Friday, May 20, 2005

shout out
Happy Birthday to my big sister Emily. She's 39 today. Enjoy, dullink!


Friday, May 20, 2005

the real reason they are the elephants upstairs
Current mood: WIDE AWAKE, THANK YOU

Now where was I reading that pachyderms have sex for hours at a time? Bad librarian...I can't track down the fact! I've been trying for the last 45 minutes...anything to not be underneath the elephants' bedroom at the moment. Please tell me I am not a prude for being disturbed that the woman upstairs cries like a little girl at certain, ahem, times.
midafternoon snuffle Current mood: aggravated ennui
Tired...so tired, and yet ennervated to hear from Jersey Jason as though everything is hunky dory. And oh yeah, by the way, he's busy from now until June. June! The guy who claimed he really wanted to see me and insisted that he enjoys my company is once again putting me off. WTF. I know I should just let it, and him, go. But it's hard not to give him a piece or two of my mind as I do so...and I'm having trouble deciding what to say.

Currently listening: Corriente de Aire By Canu Release date: By 05 November, 2002 Monday,

May 23, 2005

oh feline, won't you be mine?
Current mood: snapple-licious

now why is it that I can't get a gig as a pet? All they have to do is look cute and act grateful when we touch or feed them and we give them everything. I could do that. And another thing: in Logan's Run they have this thing where you can dial up eligible partners on a remote control right in the comfort of your living room!Why does this not exist in real life? Online dating doesn't count, no one really looks or acts like their profile...

Currently watching: Logan's Run Release date: By 01 June, 2004

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
that uncertain smile
Current mood: delicately prickly

I am struck by the willingness of strangers to pour out whatever's in them to whoever might listen. An indication of need, no doubt, but no insurance of being heard much less understood. All the same do you get to a point where the need is so great you don't care anymore? Does that get you any closer to getting it? I am wary of situations where the goal is everything and the journey means nothing, especially when I am a traveling companion on the journey. I speak, of course, of love, the ultimate goal. I can do more than fold the map and change the radio station.

Currently listening: Laidback By Various Artists Release date: By 11 May, 2004

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

.
Current mood: beset with toil
On being a loner - for which see books such as Quirkyalone, Table for One, and so on - it seems to me that sometimes the need to be alone and exclude others actually heightens one's awareness of others because of their very absence. In some ways this exclusion is a conscious act against others, rather than for oneself. I am as guilty as anyone of doing this, which is how I know. And yet anytime I take a MBTI, I am judged to be an extrovert, despite my need to recover from being around people from time to time.


Your #1 Match: ENFP: The Inspirer
You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.You are also unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules.Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.



Currently listening: Oh, Inverted World By The Shins
Release date: By 19 June, 2001

Thursday, May 26, 2005
a lot on your plate...
Current mood: letter-ific
How come lately whether I want to or not I am remembering the license plate numbers (at least partially) of friends and acquaintances? Not only that but I feel it groups people together in some kind of identifiable group.
T's plate starts with "YE," CM's "WT," coworker CP is "SKA" (i notice this because it's my initials, silly narcissist)...and today I saw a "YT" and thought..."oh, he's a YT, not a WT...that's not the same at all."


Currently listening: i By Magnetic Fields
Release date: By 04 May, 2004

Saturday, May 28, 2005
vacation got to get away
Current mood: pensive

My trans-international dateline pal is in the states! Although I had no plans to, I am thinking of going to see my mom just so I can have lunch with him one of those days. He lives in a country where all the cities are at least 8 hours apart by plane - why would I not go Upstate if only really for a couple hours?
And truthfully I am feeling the need to escape for other reasons...never thought I'd hear myself saying this, but too much attention CAN be a bad thing. Let's just leave it at that.
I am not only single at 35 soon to be 36 (about 2 weeks - I like flowers, thank you) because I haven't met the right fella - and yes, I've come to be VERY picky - I am worth it - but also because, to be honest, I LIKE IT. A weekend is really about the maximum length of time I can handle togetherness. Maybe I've been spoiled for that kind of crap by selfish and aloof lovers in the past - but in truth, I could never help feeling a tiny bit liberated and unbearably light when I would be released from the tender trap that is coupledom. That song "You Belong To Me" gives me the willies, and so does the prospect of joint checking accounts.
My favorite song title of all times sums up my philosophy of the perfect relationship: "Live Close and Visit Often."

Currently listening: Destroy All Astro Men By Man Or Astroman
Release date: By 27 May, 1994

Sunday, May 29, 2005
how long does this go on?
Current mood: working in a coal mine, whoops about to slip down

or whatever the phrase was. I am drained and rather boneless, like a colander of overcooked pasta. Thought: the workaholic is the new heroic archetype. If we are to suppose that TV especially is the new medium of cultural significance, then all the misfit detectives, doctors and forensic scientists with poor social skills, overactive imaginations, and overextended senses of duty toward finding the truth are the hero of the new milennium. Staying up all night to work out the problem seems exciting, cool even, with the right motivation (secret childhood trauma perhaps), the right background music (usually some kinda techno) and the right hairstyle (a bit disheveled for the boys and girls, to show dedication takes precedence over vanity).
Now I don't feel so bad working long into this holiday weekend night on monthly notifications for a certain client who shall remain nameless. If only I had Jill Hennessy's body to boot.

Monday, May 30, 2005
mmm pie
Current mood: soon to be asnooze

There's an excellent exhibit of WPA photography at the FDR house in Hyde Park if any daytrippers who need something to do are reading this. I plan to buy the book below about one of the women photographed by Russell Lee, whose work is in the exhibit. A fabulous slice of history and americana to serve yourself up. http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/FSAHOME.HTML

Currently reading: Pie Town Woman: The Hard Life and Good Times of a New Mexico Homesteader By Joan Myers
Release date: By 01 August, 2001

I worked it in to look like that
Current mood: quotational

From Ian McEwan's Atonement:
"She need not judge. There did not have to be a moral. She need only show separate minds, as alive as her own, struggling with the idea that other minds were equally alive. It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you. And only in a story could you enter these different minds and show how they had an equal value. That was the only moral a story need have."

Tuesday, May 31

it's not polite to stare.
Current mood: intrepid

Maybe she was born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline.
I like everything about getting up early in the morning to do some writing EXCEPT the back-and-forth motion of the Little Girl's backside in front of my face as she puts her tiny paws all over my keyboard. Actually the pets kinda ruin any scenario I have of complete solitude. Big Boy found a way to get comfortable on my wrists as I typed yesterday. Carpal tunnel my ass.
So if it't not getting too confessional - and perhaps one of my mystery readers will have a comment if I say something personally revealing - I'm off on a day trip with the wine-and-dine fella, a guy who is clearly smitten and a situation which is making me uncomfortable because I'm pretty sure it's not mutual. How long does one wait to decide? If it's not love at first sight, forget it? That seems silly. What if he is the kindest, sweetest person I've ever met? Am I going to know that in two dates? Five? I don't know if it's a romantic notion I picked up from movies or not, but doesn't love actually take time to grow?
It seems like the whole era of plenty on the dating scene has blinded me to the fact that, despite what I tell other people to do, I have forgotten that everyone I go out with is a whole person too. I would say most of the time I just go out with a lot of guys in a very goal-oriented way and move on to the next if it isn't kismet. But now I want to be careful of that. So, if it turns out that this isn't the guy, I owe it to him to let him know as soon as I am sure.


Currently listening: Fifty Eggs By Dan Bern
Release date: By 31 March, 1998

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Mailorder brides and arranged marriages
Current mood: melancholy baby

that's what my "dilemma" over the fella seemed like when I awoke today.
I believe Glenn Close in "Sarah Plain and Tall" overcame the odds of a possibly loveless marriage, and she made it work.
Of course, last time I checked I wasn't advertising myself in newspapers for lonely bachelor farmers needing help around the house.


Currently listening: PMR + 1 By The Damnwells
Release date: By 29 October, 2002


Wednesday, June 01, 2005
"powered by my own sense of self-satisfaction."

this is actually too much of a rant to get into now, but ever since I heard yesterday that Saint Bob Geldof is planning another LiveAid tour, I've been thinking about political correctness. More later.


Currently listening: Hand on the Torch By Us3 R
elease date: By 16 November, 1993


Friday, June 03, 2005
word soup

Some favorite expressions of late. Surely more will follow.

Putting perfume on a pig
Interrogate the records
The lipstick on the corpse



Currently listening: Airdrawndagger By Sasha
Release date: By 06 August, 2002

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Thunderbirds are GO
Current mood: dizzy and bizzy

I just cleaned the entire apartment's floors on my hands and knees. This may not sound like such a big deal, but try it sometime. I am exhausted.
I am giving myself shit for needing to exercise. In five minutes I will put on sneakers and go hike the four miles I try to do most days and now that it's no longer the height of pollen season, I have no excuse. I have awoken to a new sense of needing to take better care of myself. I do exercise, but I am conscious that I could exercise more and harder.
I have a mortal, possibly unreasonable dislike of gyms. I could probably benefit from some weight training but am convinced that gyms are populated by muscleheads who like to say mean things to beginners. I find really ripped people intimidating. I am also not so good with the concept of communal exercise. I don't want to be around other people when I work out. I want to be alone so I can concentrate. And, if I had my druthers, I'd rather be outside anyway. Maybe I'll save my money and just heave around the cinder blocks I bought to make a little platform for my barbecue grill.
I am beginning to come more in line with the belief that any kind of abuse you do to your body is stupid. For a time when I was younger I was much more of a hedonist, never looking past the present moment. But in a sense, what if it was in your power to extend the present moment a really long time?
When I was in Seattle several years ago I went hiking on Mount Rainier and the image of this couple I saw who had to be in their 80s stuck with me. They were as game and spry as anyone else on the trail and I thought how cool it would be to still be out there doing my thing at that age. It makes being destructive and nihilistic look so pathetic and weak.
As long as I'm up here on my high horse, I might as well enjoy the view a while. One thing that guy I dated last week said to me seemed singularly foolish. He said that he is too busy with his business to exercise but if he had someone special he wants them to be the kind of person to encourage him to work out. I told him flat out that I'm really not looking to be anyone's mother. What the hell? "I won't take care of myself, that's going to be your job." As if!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

the poetry of overnight television
Current mood: no longer asnooze

the people doing programming must assume insomniacs are jobless, but yet able to afford 900 numbers for "dating" hotlines. It's the "horny-jobless-gullible" demographic. or is it that being sleepless makes you prone to gullibility?
Ahhhh...Taxi rerun. that's better.

Friday, June 10, 2005
dream
Current mood: languidly furious
so there i was, in a cliffside resort near the pier, examining buckets of seafood that would become either sushi or bouillabaise - we had bought a variety pack of the still-living kind - taking off the lids and deciding what we wanted to keep. When I got to the eels my friend said, "No, nobody likes those," and she tossed them bucket and all down into the lower portion of the bay (good throw) and they all swam free. I was annoyed that my friend had gotten rid of the bucket, but she said that fishermen did it all the time. Someone came along and told me that I had an appointment with a guidance counselor who was in charge of the advanced classes in five minutes and the easiest way to get there was by swimming, so I plunged into the shallower water above the bay (it was as though the ocean was terraced in two levels) and swam over and around all the fishermens' nets that were full and waiting to be pulled up - sort of like a seafood holding tank - and eventually reached the woman who would interview me (she looked like Sandy Dennis). She was treading water. We conducted the interview as if we were two ladies chatting in the shallow end. She asked me if I preferred to pull an all-nighter when I crammed, or did I wake up early on the day something was due and do it then. (This actually happened to me - I aced my Chaucer exam too. Wrote the paper the morning it was due after 3 hours of sleep.) The next question was the interesting one: she said "How will you expect to concentrate on your studies when you might have extracurricular interests, I mean, my God, with tits like yours there must be all kinds of men in your life!"
In the dream I got angry and calmly told the Sandy Dennis clone that there was not, in fact, a man in my life, and that my chest had very little to do with my interest in academic excellence.
Which made me awaken angrily. I mean, Jesus, people really do think that way. I am not in a wonderful mood, which is sort of too bad for such a nice day. I am going hiking anyway. I need to escape, I think. People suck.

Currently listening: To The 5 Boroughs By Beastie Boys
Release date: By 15 June, 2004

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Mornin', ya'll
Current mood: tiredly distant

it is morning in Arkansas. The humidity is a challenge and the cicadas are very loud. Later today I will be glad to touch down on Newark ground. Don't tell anyone that last bit.
For now I hit the hay. Then I tell you about Little Rock. In about a sentence.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Bite this.
Current mood: I promise I will get some work done soon
Tooth tattoos. Like scrimshaw for your teeth! Just the place to get that Nelson Mandela portrait memorialized forever.
http://www.toothartist.com/page6.htm


special delivery...
Current mood: settle DOWN??? too caffeinated

How much fun is this, yo? I want Henry Rollins to come to my door. With a book. Any old book.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/14104251/ref=ann_gw_sd/103-6809579-9291808

As part of our 10-day anniversary celebration, Amazon.com and 10-year partner UPS are surprising Amazon customers with very special deliveries of their orders. Throughout our 10-day celebration, Amazon customers will be opening their doors to find a favorite actor, musician, athlete, or author personally delivering their Amazon.com order alongside a UPS driver. And, of course, we'll be filming all the fun and showing it right here. So if you want to watch celebrities surprising customers like you, keep checking this page--and your doorstep.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

my book report, by me

Two of the advance reader's copies that have crossed my path:
Life Interrupted by Spalding Gray et al, due out in October.
Two fragments of monologues composed by Gray at the time of his death and a brief essay entitled "Letter to New York," accompanied by eulogies delivered at his Lincoln Center memorial service and an essay by personal friend Francine Prose are the sum of this little book. The monologues appear rough and, well, unfinished, and there is a rather ragged and bitter quality to them that I don't think I am imagining just because I know Gray would go on to jump into the icy East River months later. There is real pain here interspersed with the wry and quiet observations that are the hallmark of his work. Reading this made me miss him all over again.
Q&A by Vikas Swarup, due out in August.
LOVED this novel. An enlightening peek at modern-day India and the complicated way in which the classes interact with each other and with history. A good quick read.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

delicious bile - warning: X rated (in theory)
Current mood: fish without bicycle

ok, now cover your ears if you don't like it.
If you had an "intimate encounter" with a new beau, would you not be pissed off to have him say he was too busy to IM and see that he was still online, and not only that, but that his webcam was now activated?

you're darn tootin'. I understand that all is fair in war and casual things, but what happened to being DISCREET? Especially if said Romeo was just telling you about how well you seemed to play trombone together. Thanks...bump me for the next contestant!
As if I don't already have one in line.



Friday, August 05, 2005

4 AM thoughts

I am spending way too much time online these days. Not even creating things or viewing intelligent commentary or reading good prose, just tooling around. The equivalent of how when we were teens and before we got cars my friends and I would migrate around town on foot without a destination, just hanging out at this convenience store or on that front lawn. Looking for something to do.

I think I need to be among people a little more.


Currently listening: Demon Days By Gorillaz
Release date: By 24 May, 2005


Saturday, August 06, 2005

art imitates life

Walking in the early evening more than a year ago I had this idea for a horror film with T. It would feature psychotic suburban deer who are tired of being shuffled from backard to backyard, always dodging cars, and have begun a rebellion that will be nothing short of bloody...
Picture the scene as a young woman walking alone on a road in the suburbs is stopped by a few deer; she turns to go around them and finds her way blocked by more deer; then she turns again to find herself completely surrounded by deer, their huge eyes glistening maliciously as they move in and gore/trample her to death. This happens over and over again in the neighborhoods across the land, until no one can leave their home and feel safe...the deer have reclaimed their habitat and sent the humans packing to live a transitory life in the woods, eking out an existence as best they can. I call it "The Herd."
I like the idea of a low-budget horror film, every now and again.
Other films: it's a triptych, you know.
I had a fun interlude not too long ago playing "Guess the Smell?" in the kitchen. Finally I located the culprit - a gelatinous goo in the little pan under the fridge. I kid you not!
Much bleach and hot water was used in the elimination of filth. The horror does not end there! Then I turned the thing over to do a thorough job (so my soul will go to heaven someday, because God only likes clean people - *chortle*), THERE WERE SPIDER EGGS on the underside! Some diabolical arachnid has been hatching their young in the warm cozy environment on the underside of my Hotpoint!
I have to say, the little horror film idea we were bouncing around has a companion volume. I tentatively call it "The Lair" - what lurks in your home could be trying to kill you - this could be a commentary on our *inner* environments and their supposed safety. I, of course, will be the dedicated but hot scientific expert explaining this all for the benefit of the audience. I guess in this one I will be and anthropological entymologist (yes, I just made that up). In "the Herd" (q.v.) I will be an environmental biologist.
I had an idea for a third one as well with T, a searing indictment of how man is becoming unable to adapt to the environment because of the changes we are wreaking on the landscape - this one would be called "The Spores" and would feature killer pollen, molds and other allergens that will leave the good people of earth gasping for life - I think I will reprise my role as the environmental sociologist. I'm really rather fond of that one.
I will be really, really disappointed if we don't make these films.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

chickeny things

andre had an online BK chicken. I want one too!
subservientchicken.com.
A guy in a chicken suit will do (almost) anything you ask him to. Mine read a poem and did a not half-bad sun salute when I asked him to do yoga.
There's something rewarding about issuing commands to anonymous people in chicken suits.
But I don't know that I'm any more likely to eat BK.

better not rain
Current mood: summery complacency

I have installed myself in my leafy bower of a balcony with good iced dark roast at hand and an electronic breeze blowing steadily at my back to take the place of a natural one. The cicadas are singing to each other in the treetops and I have tunes in the background. What better atmosphere to write, I ask you?
Well, okay, first I have to do a little work I brought from the office.
But still, my outdoor office will make it bearable. Remind me to mention my plan to buy a place in the woods someday so I have a haven, a workplace, and a potential retirement home.
I looked through some old journals the other other night and tossed many of them. Heresy to some, and something that's taken me more than ten years to do, but I don't need their dead weight anymore to honor who I was and who I became.
One interesting thing I came across was a list made while still in library school:
In a year I wanted to be employed and away from Buffalo. Done.
In five years I wanted to be living on my own and working in management. Done.
In ten years I wanted to own my own house and have a happy relationship. CLUNK.

Well, in all fairness I still have two years. But I am still interested in owning a place of my own and being happy with someone. Isn't that interesting? The dreams endure even if the reasons change.


Currently listening: Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi By Thievery Corporation
Release date: By 10 June, 1997


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I'm alan greenspan, baby

Sad it is when in the life of a paycheck to paycheck worker bee she rejoices because no checks bounced and she has $40 in the bank left over.
I will fill up on premium, a special treat. Oh la.


Currently listening: Sky City: Lift Me Up By Jamie Myerson Presents
Release date: By 03 October, 2000


experiment Current mood: tee hee!

For a week (or until I can't stand it), I will be posting a slightly risque old photo of myself. It was actually my "librarian" costume from Halloween last year. I am interested to see if this will affect my popularity rating.
My hypothesis is that, given the number of people who feature either alcohol or booty in their profile photo, for some the potential sleaze factor is what makes this place "cool."
I also just like messing with people.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

panini of christ

today at lunch we were talking about that grilled cheese sandwich with the Virgin Mary on it that sold on Ebay and my one coworker said, "why not just mass produce those things?"
so I thought, why not just have a sandwich maker that has interchangeable plates so you can do Jesus, or SpongeBob, or Ronald Reagan or whatever you want RIGHT ON your sandwich?
Why doesn't anyone listen to me?


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Plug for an internet find

Check out http://www.foundmagazine.com/. People send in objects they locate lying around randomly. Some are beautiful, some are scary and some are just plain weird. I can't help but start making up stories about the people who lost their shopping list/love letter/eviction notice/photos/list of crack house rules (for real, that's this week's find)...looking is somehow addictive. And the randomness makes it both poignant and funny.


Currently listening: Freedom of Choice By Devo
Release date: By 25 October, 1990


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Big baby

So the weather is kind of iffy out there, really overcast and looking about 60% like it might rain. The dilemma is, do I go hiking today or leave it till tomorrow? I also can't decide which place I want to go to.
I wonder if I really want to go.
Oh crap, there's the sun. No excuse now!
...

me tired.
Me go hiking in the Watchung Reservation. Me lose trail. Me get lost and wander around.
And then my two favorite parts on my return from the woods: flopping in the grass for a few and taking off my shoes (I need new ones. I'm not even going to humiliate myself and say how old the ones I wear are), catching a breeze and drinking water. Then the other favorite thing: showering down and looking for ticks. Mmm.
Today I was blissfully without thoughts except how nice it was to be among trees. No dramas to work through or anything. Just me getting some friggin' exercise. It's been too long.
Interestingly, or not, depending on how you look at it, it was drama that got me off my ass and out the door in the end. There I was peacefully reading on the balcony and digesting my brunch (Spanish rice made with turkey, yum), and the couple upstairs started in fighting. Again. There was a lot of pounding and crashing around up there. Well, the windows are open so I can hear everything. At any rate, I can never be too sure that they aren't shoving each other around. And she gets kind of loud and hysterical. Swear to god if they do it again I'm calling the cops.
Which leads me to the happy conclusion that although I am single, I am not dealing with that shite. Why the hell would you bother if all you do is fight? I am re-reading Quirkyalone. Ya'll should check it out if dating just to avoid being alone makes you as nervous as it does me. It's a hard-won position, too - I used to be on the needy side and thought a boyfriend was gonna cure that. Then I realized that no one can or should take care of me and the only guy I should be looking for is the one who makes me happy, not the one I think I "need." OK, so still looking, but not desperate. How did I get from there to here? In any case I am so glad I finally got back outdoors.


Currently reading: Quirkyalone : A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics
By Sasha Cagen Release date: By 06 January, 2004

Currently watching: Gangster No. 1 Release date: By 22 April, 2003

Sunday, August 21, 2005

lazy felines in the sun

Harry Cat is lying flat
On the wooden porch outside.
It's stinking hot, too hot for thought
Or for stalking about in pride.
Little Girl is not chasing squirrels
In fact she's not even stirring.
She's under the table and I doubt if she's able
To muster energy for purring.

OK, so now I am officially a dork. I wrote a pome about my pets. Is there a special work camp I can go to and get this out of my system or can you just shoot me now?

Currently listening: Black Candy By Beat Happening
Release date: By 14 March, 1994

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

still recovering

from the badness that is my own silly kitty poetry. I am dry in my blog place when I try to think of what to write. I just wonder how Hemingway would have blogged. Or someone like Emily Dickinson. Would they make their writer's block a Net-wide phenomenon? Or would they be too busy writing for Slate.com? Or making lists of things they want to accomplish on 43things.com? (My new favorite place...) Or maybe voting for their favorite person on CryingWhileEating.com? (http://www.cryingwhileeating.com/)

Currently listening: Small Change By Tom Waits
Release date: By 25 October, 1990

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I am jealous
Current mood: concentrationally challenged

A new, and coincidentally hot, pen pal has a marvelous tradition that I wish I could muster
people for. It's a book group, but they meet in a bar. Damn it, that sounds like so much more fun than tea and scones with the "ladies." Not that I've ever done that either. Not that I know any ladies.


Currently reading: Dorothy Parker : In Her Own Words By Barry Day
Release date: By July, 2004

Thursday, August 25, 2005

aaaand we're back
Current mood: I'm wide awake and not sleeping

The reappearance of a couple of people who have been MIA has made me stop and think. One of the cool things about getting back in touch with people is reminding yourself of how big your universe is.

The other thing seems to be a conundrum: the fuller your social calendar gets, the fuller your social calendar gets. Activity begets activity. I am an idealist: I want room for quality time with *everyone.*
There was a poem by Kenneth Koch recently in the New Yorker about this very thing:

You Want a Social Life, with Friends

You want a social life, with friends.
A passionate love life and as well
To work hard every day. What's true
Is of these three you may have two
And two can pay you dividends
But never may have three.
There isn't time enough, my friends--
Though dawn begins, yet midnight ends--
To find the time to have love, work, and friends.
Michelangelo had feeling
For Vittoria and the Ceiling
But did he go to parties at day's end?
Homer nightly went to banquets
Wrote all day but had no lockets
Bright with pictures of his Girl.
I know one who loves and parties
And has done so since his thirties
But writes hardly anything at all.



Friday, August 26, 2005

Sometimes I feel like being being wispy, once in a while I feel like being dry

Looking for photos I can take to my hair appointment tomorrow. The new haircut actually grew on me after a while, but now it's unruly again. I'm hoping the stylist can get it back to what it was.

sigh* if only my hair would do this...I could live with it.


Monday, August 29, 2005

it's a banner day for blogs - and recipes

Bloggity blog! At any rate, the neighbors have begun a weird competition where each bellows "TE AMO!" as loud as they can. They are taking turns.
Yeah, I miss those cigar stores too.

In other news, I am extremely happy with a recipe I made up. It's good healthy eatin', so listen up.

Saute an onion till it's translucent; add a coarsely diced red pepper or two; coat with about 2 tablespoons of chili powder (more if ya like it, or add crushed red pepper), 1 tablespoon of cumin, some salt, maybe some cilantro if you like it, and the juice of two limes; throw in a can of your favorite Goya-type beans (I used pintos) and a can of plain stewed tomatoes (don't drain the liquid); simmer for a while till the liquid cooks down a bit; throw on top some cleaned, sliced summer or zucchini squash (whatever you have handy). Let the squash steam a bit (no more than 10 minutes is necessary). Serve over rice (I just discovered brown rice cooks perfectly in my crock pot). If you want, try a dollop of sour cream/plain yogurt on it. Yum.

little house on the Raritan
I have found plans for a perfect house. Now I just need money, land, and someone to build it. Details, details.
http://pdf.coolhouseplans.com/chp-pdf-orderid/chp-16791-C101.pdf


Currently listening: The Truth By Precious Bryant
Release date: By 01 February, 2005

arooo
Current mood: wily
I took a quiz to see what kind of spirit animal I have. I am a Coyote.
According to shamanistic wisdom, coyotes are the animal world's trickster. Coyote people have a way with words, and a unique way of seeing the world. Never ones to take things at face value, coyote people question authority with sly jokes. Luckily, their wit usually keeps them out of serious trouble. Coyote people often prefer to have a few close friendships instead of lots of casual ones. If you are true to type, you probably have a wry sense of humor and are the first to weigh in with a sarcastic joke. People who don't know you well may not get your sense of humor, which may have gotten you into trouble here or there... unless you used that old Coyote charm to get out of it...


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Employment malaise
Current mood: Job-alicious

Our beloved manager announced he will be leaving the company after Labor Day. One of our project managers has her last day Friday. The elusive Jersey Jason has popped up to let me know that he may be relocating to Chicago (so then he'd have an EXCUSE to never be in touch). Is there something in the air?
And why, in spite all of it, to paraphrase Anne Frank, do I still believe that my current job is fundamentally good?


Currently listening: Gorillaz By Gorillaz
Release date: By 19 June, 2001


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Word of the day

I must find a way to use this word. Perhaps one could refer to a mind as being "atretic." Anyway, I get a word a day in my inbox from A.Word.A.Day at http://www.wordsmith.org/awad/. Their words are delightfully esoteric, and they still manage to find good examples of usage.

Ah well. I used to read the dictionary as a child. To this day I still sit with my Shorter Oxford occasionally and thumb from one word to the next, absorbing words. I find it relaxing. I fantasize about having a fella read to me from the dictionary in a strong, yet gentle voice while he smoothes my hair and rubs my temples. Oh the life of a reference librarian.

atretic (uh-TRET-ik), adjective Of or relating to an abnormal closure or congenital absence of a bodily opening. [From Neo-Latin, from Greek a- (not) + tresis (perforation).] "Is that aorta atretic?" Geoff asked. [Michael Ruhlman,Walk on Water:Inside an Elite Pediatric Surgical Unit,Viking Books, 2003.]


Thursday, September 01, 2005

self indulgent

I just donated the last $50 I can spare to the Red Cross for hurricane relief, and had a good cry at the same time. I feel powerless, and angry because I'm powerless, to do anything more. I'm still expected to deliver results on time for my customers and I'm finding it very hard to care about whether things are available in hardcover or not.

Sorry...rant over. Everyone please do what you can to help the relief efforts! From what I'm reading and seeing the conditions are indescribable.


Monday, September 05, 2005

a (sort of) homecoming

visited mother this weekend and did nothing more there than tear up wall to wall carpet ravaged by too many cats with weak bladders and watched hour after hour of Katrina coverage. I'm drained and feeling meh. Can anyone spare a hug?

Is my depression over this national disaster hubris, or compassion? I'm not sure. I am frustrated and angry, and sad all at once. I think I need to be around people again.

Last week was also strange. Thursday I saw Jersey Jason for the first time in 11 months. It's caused me mixed emotions. We didn't work out when we dated, and it's as much my fault as it is his that we didn't stay connected better as friends afterwards. What makes me sad is that we had such a good time catching up - we've really just hit our stride comfort-level-wise, and he is leaving the area in the next few months. Oh the irony.

Currently watching: Orphans
Release date: By 17 July, 2001


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Daily Outrage - emergency services edition

WHY is it that drivers in the NY metro area have never heard of the concept of pulling over, even a little bit, for ambulances and fire trucks that have somewhere to go?
This morning I am on US Route 22 as I am most mornings on the way to my happy job. Ambulance with flashing lights and siren approaching slowly from behind because no one will give up their precious right of way. I swear, everyone had a morning-commute, this-close-to-road-rage and don't-push-me-over-the-edge mentality. So I move my little car to the shoulder so that the pickup truck blocking the passage of the ambulance can get through, which the driver does not get the hint, and then as the ambulance does pass no one feels the need to let me back in. My bad! I gave up my sacred carlength.

Sweet Baby Jesus, if it was your mother in that ambulance you'd want everyone to clear the area for you. What makes you think they would?
Rant over. Please drive carefully.


Friday, September 09, 2005

only in NJ

I awoke a little early and released the felines to go outdoors, but they would not move from their respective places on the front stoop. Catching a chill, and needing to pee, I urged them to overcome their shyness and get out so I could shut the door, but both cats stood rooted to the spot and apparently transfixed by something, and for once they were in agreement with each other over what that might be.

My bleary gaze followed the trajectory of theirs and there, on the slope down from the parking area, in silhouette from the big sodium floodlight on the corner of the neighboring building, was a gathering of deer, two large adults and two almost-as-large adolescents. They stood, sniffing the air, pawing the ground, and looked at me, then slowly walked away toward the next building over, and the tennis courts.

My apartment is in a large complex that has buildings A through Z and halfway through again, AA to LL. We are perhaps a city block away from Route 22, yet built into a foothill (I refuse to be a local and call it a "mountain") that was at one time, pre-housing boom, completely wooded. No surprise there - sprawl is the new suburb.

But the nonchalance of the animals I have seen is what blows my mind. If you thought I was going to say something about how I was struck by the serene beauty of those majestic creatures on my lawn, you'd be wrong. We were not "sharing a moment of wordless communion." The deer actually looked kind of annoyed, to be honest. If anything, I think they would have asked me why the hell there are so many Dunkin' Donuts around here.

I'm not sure I buy into the sappy anthropomorphized version of events that the animals are sad and don't understand what's happening to their former home. That's the attitude of the sappy people who think that and they're just it transferring it to the animals. I get the impression that if anything, those deer are attempting to adapt to what's been left to them, and they really don't have any use for ample parking, inground pools and Subways every three feet. (Get this: we've all seen the Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins franchise. Not far from me there is a Dunkin'/Baskin/Subway. I mean, Christ on a cracker, you could make a day of it!)

One winter I looked out my balcony window after a heavy snowfall to see a fox loping across the playground. He was trying to get to 22. He wanted to get to Newark to catch a flight. "Fuck this," his body posture seemed to say. "I'm going to Miami!"


Monday, September 12, 2005

Movies that Made me Cry

A list I've been devising with help from others. This weekend I went looking for catharsis in the form of movies that caused me to shed a tear. A work in progress. Contributions welcome.

March of the Penguins
Lovely and Amazing
Terms of Endearment
Fried Green Tomatoes
Ponette
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (animated version)
Snoopy Come Home



Friday, September 16, 2005

magic night
Current mood: euphorically exhausted

tonight was one of those rare nights when everything fit into place and was agreeably close to perfect.

After work Chris and I took off for the shore, just to be down by the water. I've just come down off several 12 hour days in a row and I've had enough. So to Long Branch we went, to an amazing ramshackle coffee joint called the Inkwell where you can sit in the semi-darkness and talk and drink killer coffee beverages. I had something called a Dutch coffee, which has cream and cinnamon and a little sugar in it, topped by a touch of butter which gives this indescribably rich taste to it. It's crack, all nestled down into a large glass mug.

Then on to Point Pleasant, where the arcades for skee ball were sadly closed, but we went on and hit the beach and mellowed out. The moon is almost full, so it was bright out there tonight, and we laid on our backs and watched the scant clouds rearrange themselves. Definitely a moment for telling about the stuff you've been saving up, but also for companionable silence or long, looping tangents.

Anyway, my feet were covered with sand and tiny pebbles stuck to them when I came in. Now the sand is all over my floor, there's a whiff of salt in my hair and my clothes, and I'll fall asleep thinking about seeing stars and the halo around the moon. I've implanted that memory in my brain for a time when I'll need it. Probably soon.

and now good night.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

I'm a driver, I'm a winner. things are gonna change for me, I can feel it

Had the sudden revelation the other night that there are people I vibe with and people I just don't, no matter how good my intentions are, and the difference is that creative people just get me going. Without the level of curiosity and stimulation that I feel when I'm around people who think outside the box, it doesn't seem worth it to me. Fortunately the noncreative sort tend to recede into the background fairly quickly.

Speaking of creativity, my other revelation was this: I'm probably not inspired to write much in my free time not because I am a horrible, undisciplined person, but because it requires me to be in the same place, in the same posture, that I am all day every day to make a living: hunched over my computer. If I could get around that association then I think I would be fine.


Currently watching: Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself
Release date: By 28 December, 2004



Friday, September 30, 2005

Tangent is not a fruit
Current mood: meatwad

I'm so very tired. I'm getting dark circles under my eyes. I read someplace that this, coupled with the weird tingling in my fingers in the morning, could be a B12 deficiency. Oh dang, guess I have to get me a nice slab of red meat...it's medicinal. I refuse to eat liver, the very richest source of B12.

So after last week's rant on social circles and the usefulness of the internet, I am on a crusade to reclaim my free time from my computer and go out in my world and USE it. One of the first things I intend to do is establish a local. I was in New Brunswick Monday night and I saw that there are many establishments that have CHEAP drinks and normal looking people and decent jukeboxes. I'm in. I think step two is to find a new place. The wooded seclusion is all very well and good, but I'm seriously tired of not being able to walk ANYWHERE. In my stupor over the weekend I watched Serpico (once of my faves), and got soooo homesick for being in a city. Well, not NYC in the 70s necessarily, but the culture of walking out your door and finding something to do along the way, on foot.

That will require money, of which I have none. My sister wants (I mean, expects) me to fly down to Atlanta for Xmas. How will I pay for that, I wonder. And why would I want to?
It's a little early, but it seems that it's time once again to drag out the same talk about why I like to have Christmas to myself. Jesus, it's not even October yet.


Currently listening: Convergence By Random Factor
Release date: By 11 May, 2004


Saturday, October 01, 2005

holding pattern

OK, so, um, I have no commode till tomorrow morning. The plumber is coming back with some parts.

Can I come over and use yours? It's kinda urgent.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

it is just possible

that my head will explode. Stand back!

The fam' is giving me considerable agite lately over this whole Christmas thing. I told my oblivious sister that I don't really wanna play happy families this year no matter where it is - I just want peace and quiet on my own. She blamed Mom for all the strife and said "fine," in that way that you know it is definitely NOT fine. Mom, on the other hand, has been reasonable about it all and said that in her view, IF I do come home, let her know so she knows how many to feed, and if not, we'll get together later.

I don't understand - everyone gets stressed around the holidays. If the holidays are the thing making people behave weirdly, then maybe we should boycott them altogether. Just the thoughts of a non-practicing agnostic, of course.

Currently listening: Wicked Grin By John Hammond Jr.
Release date: By 13 March, 2001

Sunday, October 09, 2005

uneasy peaceful

It's my favorite kind of October day out, overcast, a little chilly, and the colors are starting to show. I'm doing my seasonal music thing (am I alone? certain music belongs to certain seasons) and have broken out the Tom Waits. I don't know why but I associate him with autumn, melancholy, and whiskey. Hmm, maybe it was the movie Ironweed. LOVE that movie for its atmosphere of decay! I think I must own it. My new hobby is making a list of movies that I need to get on DVD, now that I officially hate my VCR.

Unfortunately, I cannot enjoy this sweater-wearing, hot cider sipping, muffled sadness kind of day, because I am plagued by the high, thin, screaming pain of a sinus headache that threatens to make me vomit if I make too sudden a move.

I will sprawl in my butterfly chair and read trash until the pain goes. I'm quite enjoying an oooold Stephen King, The Long Walk, written when he was Richard Bachman. The man can write. I miss his old stuff.

Currently listening: Alice By Tom Waits
Release date: By 07 May, 2002


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

anomie

I am filled with the desire to write, and emptied of anything to say.
Now I know how Danielle Steel works. Ba dum bum!
How very Zen.


Currently reading: Billy Collins Live: A Performance at the Peter Norton Symphony Space
By Billy Collins
Release date: By 02 August, 2005


Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Rollins Friday
Current mood: stuvved ub and sneezy

yay, the countdown begins. I love Henry Rollins, I don't care what you say. I get a lot of flak from people who think he's a sellout for doing a Gap commercial like 20 years ago. I still say he's smart and funny and a pretty real and human guy, in a good way. The Rollins Band is not really big with me, but I can't find much fault with Black Flag. But the music is not what interests me - I like more just what he has to say about being a performer and traveling. He tickles me - I'd definitely put him on my Algonquin Round Table.

And now I get to feel the magic of the man...live in New Jersey.

Currently listening: The Mouse and the Mask By Danger Doom
Release date: By 11 October, 2005

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Must have made a wrong turn at Albuquerque

Next week at this time I will be in Santa Fe breathing clear dry air and...well, more than likely I'll still be asleep. But I will have a green chile cheeseburger and some green chile stew while I am there and think of all of you. No, really, I will.
Maybe I'll even get you a souvenir at the airport.


Currently listening: Pink Flag By Wire
Release date: By 11 October, 2005


Friday, October 21, 2005

upstairs downstairs
Current mood: mentally aslumber

This morning at 5ish I am awakened from unusually vivid, really amazing dreams by a blaring television. It takes some time to determine where it's coming from, and I wait a little to see if the noise is temporary. It's upstairs watching Unavision. I am not falling back asleep. I cannot ignore it. I am pissed because 5:30 is just too early to be woken up, especially when I wasn't planning on getting up till 7:30 and I was having cool dreams. I put on my robe and slippers and go out in the cold dark morning and ring my neighbor's bell. Let's nip this in the motherfuckin' bud, thinks I.

The TV, which is now clearly audible from outside my neighbor's door, abruptly goes quiet. No one makes a move to come to the door. After a few moments I decide no one is going to come talk to me, and since I am freezing, go back inside. They had to know that what they were doing was going to piss me off. They just decided to see how much they could get away with. After this the quiet was deafening, like an accusation. And so, knowing I would never get back to sleep again, I got ready for my day. I've been at the office since 7.

Happy Friday, bitch. Hope that morning talk show was worth it.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

my sunday, by me.

Yesterday I spent the rainy day inside sanding and stripping the antique table my mother gave me last year. I thought it was about time I got around to this. Two coats of polyurethane later, I think it looks properly shiny and dining-worthy. Of course, I can't put anything down on it for 24 hours while the finish really hardens. You'd think this would mean I was off the hook, as far as working at home goes. But no. I have several items what need finishing, especially since I will be gone most of the week. I'll take my laptop with me to NM, but ask me if I'm going to work on the road. Go ahead.

Happy Sunday, ya'll. Enjoy your pumpkin picking and your football games and your bike rides. I will be alone and miserable, sipping hot cocoa and staring at an Access database until the gridlines are burned onto my retinas.
Think of me if you remember to.


Monday, October 31, 2005

I am complete

the new Pete and Pete DVD arrived. I have to go home NOW and watch. Something tells me I won't be able to do that, not with all the stuff in my inbox...


Currently listening: Fabric 18: Baby Mammoth, Beige & Solid Doctor By Baby Mammoth Release date: By 26 October, 2004


Thursday, November 03, 2005

War! What is it good for! Absolutely nothing

Another entertaining spam arrives in my mailbox telling me that "women are asking for you" and, while I find the gender transposition amusing, I do begin to wonder, with a tingle of anticipation, if it is time once again for me to remember what dating is like. I'm bored once again, which is a dangerous thing. What harm can it cause to put up another li'l picture on the interweb and see who comes a-callin'? Am I ready to let down the ol' guard and allow someone to steal (or fight, more likely) his way into my crooked little heart? Would I be able to stop viewing relationships as a combat zone this time?

More later...this is a long meditation.


Currently listening: The New Danger By Mos Def
Release date: By 12 October, 2004



Monday, November 07, 2005

tell me

have you seen the marvelous bread fish swimming in the ocean waters?
http://www.weebls-stuff.com/toons/breadfish/


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

pantspantspants!

There is a sale on at the Gap and a fellow cube dweller and I went to check it oot...I bought the most magical pants there for only 19.95, a soft pair of purple cords that make my booty look so shapely and round...I wonder if I can be anti-pants anymore. Magic pants!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Gentlemen, BEHOLD! My beautiful FIANCEE!
No, that's a giant spider.

I am on a rebellious streak involving less work and more fun. Call it Sassy Me. It was inevitable - work too hard for too long and your system shuts down and says "Fuck this!"
Well, mine does anyway.

Still contemplating going online to find some local charmers and interview for the position of my boyfriend. Must take more photos of myself to make myself updated and appealing. I haven't taken any since my hair got chopped this summer. None of you know what I really look like if you are going by the photos here! Ahahaha!


Currently listening: Power in Numbers By Jurassic 5
Release date: By 08 October, 2002


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Scandalous

I don't like salmon.
There, I said it. Now stop acting like I have something wrong with me.