Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Guess There's Always A Reason

Chile has had an enormous earthquake. Experts suspect that it will trigger Tsunamis across many islands like those of American Samoa and Hawaii

"The first waves were expected to arrive in Hawaii at 11:19 a.m. Saturday (4:19 p.m. EST)." Hawaiian residents are being evacuated and sirens will be sounded."

Sending thoughts of safety and recovery.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Baby Seals, Penises, Snow

Left work early last night, because I could and because it was snowing. Not sticking but snowing a lot. I made my way in the stickier snow to Kath's and she fed me because she is awesome. We watched the Olympics and tortured the pets and ate some chocolate. Alex and Bobby walked me part way home. The snow was sticking, it was heavy and wet and the wind was picking up and I'd read a post about a man killed by a falling tree in Central Park. Before bed I thought, "You know, I think I might call myself a snow day tomorrow but I'd better wait and see what happens."

This morning I turned over in bed before I opened my eyes. I happened to turn toward the window. The windows are open in my apartment 99% of the time. (There's a reason, you don't need to know it.) I opened my eyes when I felt a light spray of snow on my face.

While I was still in bed.

So I called a snow day. No class, no movie, no rehearsal. Those were the things I had planned for not just the day but the whole weekend. If I don't really want to I can stay inside my apartment for the whole weekend. That's starting to feel like a really nice idea.

You know what else I might do? I might take the weekend off from the internet. I have had a week. More than a week, really, and right now I want to cut off the internet's dick, sharpen it to a point and stab the internet through the eye with it.

We might need to take a break.

Who knows, maybe I'll miss it so much I'll be compelled to come back before Monday. Maybe something so profound and delightful will happen that not sharing would be a crime against nature. Here. In my house. With the shades drawn. For now, though, I've done all my internet work and I've answered most of my e-mail and I have not, in fact, clubbed the internet with a baby seal so it looks like Miller time.

You all be careful out there. And have a good time.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Thought On Thursday

Last night I was feeling quite grumpy and judged. The result, I was pretty judgy myself because, of course, the best defense is a good offense. I was not the model audience member for a concert to benefit a woman battling breast cancer.

I could have donated via Paypal. I could have skulked away and done nothing at all. Something inside me, well hidden under great puffy duvets of defensiveness and wrath, said that there was something important in showing my face. Putting my body in the room was, on some level, a donation and one that I would regret not making. So I went.

I was going to put my body in the room, put my money in the donation box and head out, maybe even before the first tune was played. Baby steps, right? Baby steps are fine and I only had a baby step or two in me last night. I was headed home, I hadn't had dinner, I felt quite uncreative and stupid. So bad I couldn't even use real words to describe it. Not to mention stompy. Staying wouldn't do anyone any good.

You can't leave a concert before the first song, though. So I would just stay for one song then off I'd go.

I stayed for the whole thing. I just...didn't feel like leaving. I meditated during the intermission on The Year of Yes and it didn't tell me to go. Didn't tell me to stay either but it definitely didn't tell me to go. The music was wonderful, as I knew it would be. Ditto the participants and the sentiment and the general vibe. It was important to be in that room, though I suspect not nearly as important for the woman being honored as it was for me. The venue was a church in the West Village and sitting in church listening to music is a throwback to my agnostic, musical childhood. I did a lot of thinking.

The thought I want to share today is this: Let's say you defaulted on your mortgage or got a terminal illness or were wrongly imprisoned and you needed assistance. Who would organize your concert or auction or casino night, believing in you and your ability to succeed? And who would be in the room when that event transpired. It doesn't matter, really, who would come to your funeral.

Who would come to your concert?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NWW: Just Stuff

It's nearly wordless, but I couldn't keep entirely quiet today.

The Utah legislature has passed a bill that makes having a miscarriage something you can be prosecuted for. Criminal homicide with up to life in prison for a sentence to boot. This, for all you out there who still think that being pro-choice is a tiny thing, is why I am so wedded to my belief. (via Feministing)

Just days after I bitched and moaned about being over-run by Jehovah's Witnesses they're planning a mass exodus! I'd like to say I had something to do with it but I suspect my cold shoulder was little motivation for such a committed group.

Oh, and these pictures? They were taken by my friend, A, one of Diego's people. She lives across from the park so noticed all these fabulous creations cropping up and was able to get photos that night. By the time I got there the next morning they were in different stages of being dismantled. (Read: vandalized)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

There Was A Little Girl Who Loved A Little Curl...

 1. You have to be really smart to curl. You have to don't know I think math and science (trig and physics, maybe?) as well as logic.

2. I understand how they play but I don't have any idea how the game is scored.

3. I haven't curled but I've played that table shuffleboard stuff and the hardest thing has got to be throwing a rock and getting it to stop right where you want it to.

4. Hitting another rock to cause a particular result I think I could do. Eventually.

5. I've got some lingo - the hammer, ends, on the nose, tap, hurry, hard, the house, freeze to it, blank an end, rock, clean, the line, skip, sweep...

6. You know how I got bowling butt after 4 strings of the game on my birthday? I keep wondering how bad you could get that same injury from curling.

7. The alternate for the US Men's team, Chris Plys, has 13 tattoos, many of them related to his curling life.

8. There's huge controversy because the spectators aren't necessarily versed in curling and there are four games going on at a time. You don't cheer when someone is throwing a stone, it's like golf when the golfer is at the tee or like tennis. With four games on at a time though the crowd can be cheering a great result for the Canadian team while someone from a different game is throwing. One poor curler cried during a post-game press conference because the stress of trying to concentrate with all that hoopla was too much for her.

9. I don't actually understand how they choose the pressure with which to release the stone. If you watch them release it looks like, without much direction, they just..let...go. (Can you tell I want a curling lesson?)

10. I can't stop watching. I decided not to DVR the competition anymore and on my way out of the office the reception TV was playing curling. I almost stayed!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Escapade Artist

Recently I was asked to be an emergency contact for a friend's kid. This is new or at least newish. I'm an emergency contact for a couple of adults and I've been the bag man (in charge of money for minors) in wills before but never, I don't, once before. But only once. I'm not high on this list of contacts but I am on it and it's the kind of thing that feels pretty serious to me without getting all crazy about it.

If you know me at all you know I immediately began to overthink. I got the address and phone number of the school. I don't want to have to ask the school where to come in an emergency. I want to engender trust. And it got me started thinking about emergency plans.

Over the course of two city-wide emergencies Pony Express and I have honed our plan. We call, use a land line if possible, and always choose where to meet on the first call. Always. You don't know when or if phone service will become unreliable. I have an umbrella under my desk. I rarely am out and about in shoes that I couldn't walk 8 miles in. I always have cash on hand and PE knows where that is. We have keys to each other's houses. I'm a little obsessive about having my cell charged since having to work from home by cell during the blackout. I know the swiftest ways home and the ways to modify that walk if the sun sets.

So I've been thinking how I'd need to re-examine my escape plan if it involved scooping up someone else along the way. He's certainly not walking 8 miles but he's not too heavy. I'll need to be more aware of where I can grab snacks and water. Oh and milk or juice because he hates water. I'm looking at the path from where I work to where the school is and home...or to his home.

Yeah, and then I thought, They probably mean in the case of illness or a snow day.

I can stand down now.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I refilled the water dish for the cats when I fed them last night. Not 15 minutes later Elvis is drinking out of a water glass in the living room. Apparently Sir requires two day old coffee table water in a perilous carafe. The water level was getting low, as it does if you leave your water on the coffee table for a couple of days so I thought, OK, this is stupid but if he's thirsty he's thirsty. Plus he was about to get his head stuck in the narrow bottom of the glass or dislocate his tongue. I did the questionable thing and refilled his glass. Did it with bathroom water, too. Everyone knows bathroom water is tastier than kitchen water.

That little fucker sniffed and peeked and sniffed and examined that water like I was trying to poison him.


Friday, February 19, 2010


In stark contrast to the Year of Yes I've got a big motherfucking no no.

I live about three blocks from a Jehovah's Witness's Kingdom Hall. We have a solid population of Witnesses and additional foot traffic most days as well. I'll be honest, while I respect their right to believe whatever they like and practice all the religion they like when they try to press it on me my blood gets pretty boily. When I had the dog I'd scooch her closer to ward a witness off and I've been known to shake an admonishing finger at someone approaching me on the street and say a firm, "No."

There's an older lady in my building who has trouble walking. She often sits in the courtyard for a rest on the way into the building and we say hello. Or, we did. You have to walk through a security pavilion, sign in or use a key, cross the courtyard, and buzz or use your key to get into a building in the complex where I live. It's pretty rare to have your apartment bell ring without having buzzed the person into the building first. One night my bell rings and, despite my inclinations I answered it. It could be a warning about a gas leak, who knows? There is Lady Cane and a friend and they're ready to witness. What the fuck is that? I shut the door almost immediately and said, "Absolutely not."

So we don't say hello anymore.

I thought that took the cake. Really did.

I had a bit of an emotional day yesterday. Nothing huge just some hoop followed by a little la and my own bad judgment in diving in a bit too deep. In any case, I commuted home by way of a long walk with NDP and her nutty shepherd boy. By the time I'd been out walking and talking and throwing a slimy plastic bottle for an hour I wasn't cured but I was pounds lighter for sure. Grabbed the mail on the way in and there was even a hand addressed letter to me! Cool. OK, weird, it wasn't from anyone I knew and the return address was in this neighborhood but maybe it was some good samaritan  redirecting a piece of misdelivered mail. Still mail for me, yay!

Let me transcribe:

Dear [My Real First Name],

I live in your neighborhood. I have not been able to speak with you personally, but I have some import [sic] information That I want to share with you.
A sample of it is contained in the enclosed Tract. This tract has some very good news about all suffering soon to End. Why did suffering start. It is my privilege to share in a work that is being done by volunters [sic] in upward of 200 lands. Our work is not commercial. It is my hope that some day soon I will be able to talk to you personally.
Please feel free to get in touch with us at the above address.

Anna Gibbon

Let's forget for a minute that it's possible she got my address from my neighbor. Heck she could be my neighbor since I don't know the woman's name. BACK OFF OF MY FUCKING SOUL! Believe what you want to believe, go to the meetings and read the tracts and listen to the preachers of whatever words and incantations you like but leave me out of it for, you'll pardon the expression, the love of Christ. If Ms. Gibbon had enclosed Muslim tracts I could go to my local precinct or call Homeland Security and probably get her brought in for questioning. I could certainly get her cautioned strongly against doing things that could be construed as invading someone's privacy.

The thing is, the people in the mosque half a block away from the Kingdom Hall would never, ever do anything like this. They do their thing just like the Baptists on the next block or the...Seventh Day Adventists, I think, around the corner. They leave me out of it. Which is as it should be.

Maybe I'll print out all my G-spot posts at the Colony and mail them to the Kingdom Hall.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I know nobody cares what you had for lunch but here's my healthy lunch. Stupid healthy lunch. It has dressing on it. Healthy dressing.


We all know that if you don't check in on the goals it's harder to meet them. I've been working on this post for almost a week and just working on it has put me a little closer to reaching the goals. Also a little closer to the loony bin, but that can't be a surprise.

1. Say yes - I've been slacking on this a little but it's still in my mind. I went to a brunch that I otherwise might have bagged on, for instance.

2. Buy Flash - DONE

3. Write a book - I am actually working on this regularly and enjoying it while still doubting its efficacy.

4. Singing lessons regularly  - A friend has gifted me with a lesson with a teacher she loves, I'm looking forward to that as a good start

5. Perform

6. Fix house - DONE

7. Commit to writing and administration work for The Women's Colony for one year (I write twice per week and have agree to set up and oversee Twitter & Facebook for the site.) - I'm doing this, are you following us on Twitter or Facebook?

8. Plan Italy trip

9. Renew passport

10. Go to Blogher - August. I bought my ticket so it's official, I'm going!

11. Write Aunt Rena once a week - I've been writing but not once a week.

12. Sign up for some online dating site - I have followed the letter of this law but not the spirit, more work to be done, more yes to be said.

13. Go on enough dates to judge the dating site

14. At least one session with the fabulous PT, Shelley

15. Write a Life List (per the Maggie Mason model) - I started on this the other day. I'll keep you posted.

16. Take Flash class - DONE I took it and I loved it!

17. Attend live theatre - already seen Let Me Down Easy and In The Next Room, a Ping Chong piece. Still planning the Reduced Shakespeare outing next month, too.

18. Mermaid Parade - June

19. Take Alita bowling

20. Composting - I've been trying to add in more green stuff to my life. I've been participating in textile recycling but the composting was a leap. I knew I needed to make it but it was tough. The local greenmarket has a compost collection area on Saturdays and a lot of people contribute. A friend turned me on to the idea of putting my compost in a plastic bag and storing it in the freezer over the week. This is my first week, wish me luck!

21. Lose 10-15lbs  - I'm on track, have partnered with NDP and am down 3.5 heading into our 4th week of the program.

How are you doing hitting your goals for 2010?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back To School

Many lessons today.

The first lesson is that I've absolutely held steady weight-wise despite less exercise and some delicious red velvet cake. I'm on the verge of being able to record at least a half pound loss at tomorrow's weigh in. Imagine how well I'd be doing if I'd followed the program all week long instead of just 3 days out of 7.

I'm taking an extremely unscientific poll over at The Women's Colony. It's about friendships across gender. Weigh in if you dare.

Lesson the third is, of course, that people are still assholes. Today is the first day of Lent and apparently there's a movement starting today called "40 Days for Life" which is recruiting people to harass women going to family planning clinics. Their site graciously lists all the locations for their protests so, if you'd like to help by becoming an escort at one of the targeted clinics, I'm sure that would be appreciated. I have to warn you, though, I didn't think going to the 40 Days site for just that simple information would upset me but it was extremely triggering even to read their jargon.

After a jolt like that I think it must be time for recess.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


10 Things Olympian for our fun. Keep in mind I'm writing this before seeing all of the competition for Monday the 15th.

1. How does one's brain adjust to living a life where hundredths of a second are the difference between fulfilling your chosen purpose or not?

2. The figure skating judging is confusing. The judging for the short program certainly seemed corrupt to me and I learned today from Dick Button that you get more credit it you grab your skate in a move. So what used to be a pretty death spiral is now all twisted up but garners more points. Why?

3. All this hoopla would be a lot less fun if I didn't have a DVR. There's a lot of chaff that's nice to be able to skip.

4. This is the first year I've watched the moguls. Among other things they look like an ortho surgeons wet dream.

5. When I saw Shaun White at Mt. Hood this summer I didn't realize how famous he was. I said I did but I didn't. Now I'm clearer on the subject.

6. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems as though these Snowboard Cross guys aren't wearing snow pants, they're wearing jeans!

7. I'm so glad that the Canadians have won a gold medal on home soil. I hated all the pressure that was being piled on the athletes with every repetition of the trivia that Canada didn't have one yet.

8. Short track speed skating is ridiculously unpredictable. Not to mention a marvel of physics.

9. Back to figure skating, both US pairs train in FL. I know that we're all technological and whatnot so we don't have to live in the same climate from which our sport arose but to train in a place that would almost never see natural conditions for the sport seems weird to me. What do you think?

10. If you were an Olympian whose events would wrap up in the first few days of the festivities would you stay until the end to soak up the experience or go home before the closing ceremonies?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Not Even Joking

Can't remember if I told you all that I saw someone unicycling through the blizzard conditions last week. I did. And here's proof. Nobody bicycling out there in that crap but this guy was whipping along Myrtle Avenue and talking to people as he rode.

I don't know that they make them crazier here but it does provide a nice place for crazy to gather.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Book 'Em Dano

Yeah, I know, I'm not a huge fan of Valentines Day either but, I have to say, if you're going to celebrate it some ways are better than others.

First off I went to a Lunar New Year brunch where I got a party favor to pin to my lapel which said, "Kisses sweeter than wine." How did the favor giver know? I spent much of the time defending the world of blogging to some skeptical but very receptive women. It was a rousing and fun discussion.

I met Alita and Carmencita for dinner. We had sushi, followed by red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The piece de resistance, though? A trip to the bookstore for some in-depth browsing. (OK, and we did buy the kid some books.) Quote of the day, "You know, we'd give up a lot of things before we gave up buying you books."

Truly, does anything scream love louder than that?

Hope your day was as delicious and enriching.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Opinion Poll


 I've been practicing with the flash lessons. Not hard core or anything but trying to make myself exercise the muscles. These two shots are a good, simple comparison. The top one uses no flash at all. The bottom one uses a little flash (on camera flash set to, I think, -3.0 flash compensation). It's an entirely different quality so it may just be a matter of opinion but I'm OK with that. If you think it's just an opinion thing then please show your work if you can. I think if the subject had been alive there would have been a clearness to the eyes with the flash which would have been preferable. Only one way to know for sure, I'm going to have to keep practicing.


Okely dokely, so, which do you prefer?

Friday, February 12, 2010


 I always cry over the Olympics. Honestly I cry over most sports. The anthems, the gritted teeth, the striving and the achieving get to me. I grew up in a heyday of sports movies (Vision Quest anyone? Teen Wolf ?) and I've taken that last second buzzer beating straight to my tear ducts by way of my squishy soft heart.

I've got this evening's festivities on DVR so I'm watching about an hour behind. So far I've cried at past wins, past losses, current personal stories, the singing of O Canada, and the clips of Canadians helping stranded air travelers in the days after 9/11. (Thank you Canada. I'm sorry I didn't say so sooner.)

That's not all, of course. I'm sure I'm not alone in shedding a tear over the death of Georgian luge competitor, Nodar Kumaritashvili. Like many others I have long been fascinated by this crazy idea of strapping runners to one's behind and launching oneself down a sheet of ice. It looks simultaneously like the thrill of a lifetime and a great way to ruin an expensive pair of ski pants. It always seems dangerous but this track, the most recent step in the ladder of more, faster, bigger that competitions like this become, is measurably faster than any other track in the world and proved today to be quite dangerous indeed, particularly to less experienced athletes.

I'm sure that Kumaritashvili knew the risks of his chosen sport going in but a death in the Olympics is so rare it comes as a shock. Injuries are certainly common, but death we've managed to keep at bay. So I cried to see the fuzzy headshot of this baby boy just barely of an age to graduate college and dead on the frozen track.

If you want the whole truth, though, I also cried just a tiny bit out of joy for him. Not joy that he died or that he missed living his dream of competing in the Olympics by just 24 hours. Presumably, though, he died doing something he loved at the top level of his craft and that, for someone with just a few big dreams of her own, is cause for respect.

Godspeed young master Kumaritashvili. I hope the luge course on Mount Olympus is superb.

Round And About

I am off doing things and seeing people and riding public transportation for pretty much the whole day. You could check out some new photos I posted (finally getting over my post-class camera phobia) or my chit chat about intimate Valentines Day attire over at the Women's Colony. Or you could go on about your business. I'm pretty lazy and I'm hella busy today. You? You're probably doing six impossible things before breakfast. Let's be careful out there, we're almost at the weekend.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Had To Share

see more Political Pictures

I feel certain that Jesus appreciates her effort.

Selective Amnesia

I think we forget what the day after a snow storm is like just so we can actually enjoy the deluge while it's happening. It wasn't until I was out there, skating down the sidewalk, wishing for one of those I've-fallen-and-I-can't-get-up buttons that I remembered. The day after sucks ass. Dirty donkey ass. Through a straw. I got to work. I did not break a hip.

I weighed in to kick off Week #2 of the weight loss albatross. Down 2.5 lbs actually. Nice to be in the 130s again. Nice to show a big downturn (for me) in the first week. Can't ignore the fact that I had approximately 1,000 times more exercise this week than I do in any normal week. My eating habits have not been the key to this reduction. Turns out, as much as I like to deny and forget it, that 3 billion weight loss plans aren't wrong. Exercise, aerobic exercise, is key to weight "melting" off. Damn it all to hell.

Part of why I didn't think that it would be so bad outside was because everyone was very good about salting. This morning the NY1 news guy pointed out that tonight will be quite icy and treacherous because temps will go down below the point at which salt water freezes. For a moment I forgot entirely that I sat through all three hours of Titanic and I thought, "Salt water freezes?" Yeah. Salt water freezes. Even on sidewalks. Might need to buy crampons on my lunch hour to avoid tragedy at tonight's weight loss walk.

I wonder what else I'm forgetting?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Funky Town

For some reason uploading to Flickr and previewing on my hard drive has been very odd. I did manage the upload, though, so head over there to check out the pics from this morning's off leash snow fest!

Those were kinder, gentler hours. It's now near white out conditions and windy like an America's Cup race. I'm headed out into it anyway. Going to treat myself to a cocoa and see if the hardware store is open.

And, you know, maybe take a couple more photos.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

And Now Back To Our Regularl....blah blah blah

10 Things. I must have 10 things.

1. The city has pre-emptively canceled classes for all public schools tomorrow in anticipation of a snow storm. Expected accumulation between 6 and 12 inches. My New England upbringing laughs her (slightly smaller) ass off at this. My New York Snow Day Lover is excited because it's pretty much guaranteed her a work from home day tomorrow. Wheeeee!

2. I made shrimp with garam masala (it's an Indian spice blend, I don't know much more than that) and I mourn that they are all gone when I just made them on Sunday. It was a pound of shrimp. I can't justify the purchase of more than a pound of shrimp in the weekly grocery shopping but....yum....

3. Maybe I'll make chicken with garam masala (I think it was garam masala, I failed to label the bag) for protein for the rest of my week but I don't think it'll be as good.

4. Craig Ferguson is finally on Twitter! Follow @CraigyFerg if you like that sort of thing. (Almost wrote that SOT of thing, which is also mostly correct.)

5. I fell down a GoodReads (link in the sidebar) rabbit hole last night. Unfortunately I also gave Facebook permission to publish my GoodReads updates so my FB folks all now know that I spent most of my evening looking at books I might want to read someday rather than actually reading books I already have.

6. For the record (because Lord knows I need to be on the record about this) I am not against having the "terror trials" in NYC. We've already got a lot of the safety protocols in place and I like the feeling of trying these cases in the place where the original violence was perpetrated. I do not actually believe that the trials will attract more attacks. Singular idiots, to be sure, but a coordinated and intelligent attack is more likely to happen in NYC if the trials are elsewhere. The principals of misdirection are simple. The financial aspect of it does worry me, especially given that we as a state have a little less than no money at all and don't have anyone who knows how to fix that. I include Michael Bloomberg in that anyone. With prejudice. Since these are federal proceedings and any venue would request assistance with the necessary security I don't think it's wrong that New York should be the place doing the requesting.

7. Fucking ginormous angry talk has erupted over at the Colony regarding the Super Bowl ads. I'm baffled. But that's not news. Gentlemen, if you feel emasculated when asked to pull half the weight in your domestic partnership you should go over there because your pain is being championed. I haven't waded in because I haven't seen the ads in question, I've just read the transcripts. Also because, see above re: baffled.

8. My cousin got engaged apparently. He is giddy about it. Two thumbs up for giddy about your girl. (Only link to him I could find is this one, it's no reflection on his upcoming nuptials.)

9. Have you ever traveled somewhere far away alone? A co-worker is thinking of making her first solo trek (France!). I think she'll love it. I usually do.

10. Going to the bookstore. Boss is buying me a book.

I Should Have Waited To Post This Until The 13th*

Apparently it's going to be a week of confessing stuff. Stay tuned, I've done a lot of stupid shit in my day. Probably in your day, too.

I officially decided not to adopt Maggie the Wonder Dog. Many of you are likely not at all surprised. I'm not too surprised either but I do feel sort of terrible about it, as can happen even with "right" decisions. It's me, not her. She's great and she'd have been a fine addition to the menagerie but I didn't want her. (That sounds approximately 1000 times worse than I mean it.) I want to want her but I don't and that's just not right.

There's a decent possibility she'll go to live with a family in the area who already has a dog. I think she'd like that. She seems to really like having another dog to take her cues from. There are a couple of other possibilities as well if that one doesn't work out. She'll land on her feet, that one.

Just wanted you to know.

*Apparently studies have shown that a plethora of break ups occur on the 13th so people don't have to shell out for VD celebrations with someone they can't stand.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Admissions Expert

So, I'm on the weight loss bandwagon again. Figure I just have to get that information out in the world.

NDP convinced me to be her weight loss buddy again. We weighed in for the first time last Thurs morning. 141. That's in pounds. So, 16 back from my original WW goal weight, which I reached, and 11 or 12 from the weight I felt was comfortable.

I haven't signed back up for WW so I'm kind of winging it on the points and whatnot (anyone who wants to just give away their sign in info for their online account just so I can calculate the points of stuff could surely expect some sort of gift from me). I made myself a points tracker which I keep in Google docs and I've started using that again.

I cooked all my food for the week, which should help some. I had Bobby with me all weekend which definitely helped a lot because I got more exercise this weekend than I did when I had my own dog. NDP and I will be walking each Thurs evening. I'll stop taking the bus from the train again. I just have to get back into all those little habits.


So, yeah, the blinding rage part of the weight loss process has set in at this point. It'll pass, I suppose. It  has to 'cause I'm not buying a whole new wardrobe.


Sunday, February 07, 2010


I know it's ridiculous to ask you not to watch the Superbowl, or even the commercials. I know it'd be ineffective to ask people to stop watching CBS. I mean, CBS has Craig, among other things, so even I couldn't boycott. I can ask you, though, to check out some alternative viewing.

Alternative to what? Alternative to the pro-life bullshit being spewed by CBS/Tim Tebow/Tebow's mom.

Try Sean James and Al Joyner's pro-choice PSA. My favorite quote from it: "We celebrate families by supporting our mothers, by supporting our daughters, by trusting women." That's what we like to hear, gentlemen.

If you don't love those guys, how do you feel about Scott Fujita and the way he speaks for the pro-choice and LGBT rights movements? I don't even like football and now I'm rooting for the Saints so this guy will get more air time.

If you remain confused about why this is a big deal here are some highlights. CBS has in the past refused to air commercials they consider political in nature (i.e. from MoveOn and the like) stating a ban on political ads which protects their journalistic integrity. Apparently going full hard-on anti-choice isn't political. They also refused to accept a web ad from an LGBT dating site. Not sure what journalistic integrity rules that violated. So. You know. Have a good time watching the big game but if you get a chance to kick CBS in the 'nads, please don't waste it.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Grateful. Sorry.

Bobby is staying with me this weekend. I picked him up on Thursday night and I'll return him like an extremely energetic library book on Monday before I go to work. We've been chasing sticks and walking with friends and appeasing the mean cats and it has been good. Really good. I've been writing in my head all the regular little fun things we've been doing so you can hear what a great dog he is.

A few minutes ago he climbed up onto the couch, not way down at the other end but right in the middle so his nose is breathing humid, toasty doggie breath on my chilly piggies. I reached out my hand to his head and a voice in my head, the same one that told me her name was Emily, said, "Grateful."

I'm so glad he's here. I'm glad he's so good and that he loves me. More than that, though, I'm simply glad he's alive, here on earth. Maybe just because or maybe because he was here before, when Emily was alive. Regardless, it's nice to have a word for what I've been feeling this weekend.

I've been having a hard time loving dogs lately. All dogs. It's wonderful to have a dog here who does not acknowledge anything less than devotion.

Friday, February 05, 2010

In This Case, It Is

I'm doing something sort of ridiculous tomorrow.

I've heard it's great and I've heard it's shite. I've heard I should see it in regular 3-D, I've heard it doesn't matter. I figure, though, that this is one of those cases where bigger really is better.

I'm seeing Avatar at 10:30 tomorrow morning in IMAX 3-D.

I've tried to go at least once before but it was sold out. It has continued to be sold out in IMAX at times when I thought I might check it out. Finally Pony Express and I decided that we'd just go counterintuitive. I bought tickets today while I was up there for class. I'll get up earlier than I would to go to work, get fortified against the wind, cold and snow (could be a dusting, could be almost a foot, hard to tell), throw sticks for the Bobster for 45 minutes to an hour then return him to his own home and take about an hour's subway ride up to the biggest, fanciest IMAX theatre we've got.

Even if I hate the movie it will have been one hell of a little Saturday morning adventure.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Dust Up Your Dust Covers

Have you been following the corporate dust-up between Amazon and Macmillan? It's like high noon out there in cyberspace, except the duellers have seriously bad aim and keep killing bystanders instead.

The overview is that Macmillan (and presumably other publishers as well) feel that e-books should be priced on a scale similar to the way a hardcover and a paperback are - not because of what they're made of but based on when they come out. You pay more to get it hot off the internet press, as it were. Since Amazon made the Kindle and it's currently the most popular e-reader they stand firm about keeping e-books at one price, $9.99 (even though some e-books are already price both above and below that), since they want people to spend their extra dough on a Kindle and keep buying books for it. So, shortly after the announcement of the iPad (coincidence?) and which publishers would be working with Apple on that (Macmillan is in the middle of the graphic on all the photos) Amazon pulled all of their Macmillan titles from the cyber shelves. They didn't announce it or explain it they just disappeared (reminiscent of AmazonFail so many months ago) on a Friday afternoon. By Monday it became clear that the disappearance was deliberate, the debate raged and eventually Amazon said that it would put Macmillan titles back on the shelves. So far, 5 days after that announcement of reinstatement, no Macmillan titles are available directly from Amazon.

Don't take my word for it. Take Scalzi's or Rob's or any other person in the publishing industry who has a link to Macmillan or Amazon. It's an interesting debate if you're literarily or economically minded.

However, the people who are actually being hurt by this are authors. Sales are down for many of them and many of them don't have Kristine Scalzi doing their finances so in already troubled financial times this is a steel toed kick to the livelihood. That is why I'm writing. Are you looking for something to read? Want to buy a book this week? Think about buying a Macmillan title (many, many imprints are under the Macmillan umbrella) and buying it from someone other than Amazon. How about Powell's? Or someone from IndieBound? Could be fun and it sure would help a writer out.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

NWW: Imagine Me

I don't have a profile picture on Twitter. I think I need a new one for Facebook and Aaryn hates the one I'm using at the Colony. I have too many choices so I need help narrowing them down. Check out the Flickr set of me for inspiration and let me know what photos you think best represent me, please. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Flash (not) Gordon

The flash class was great. Overwhelming but fantastic. I learned at least 10 things from it.

1. This photo does not have "catch lights" in the eyes. Had I known more about flash I could have had them.

2. The pop-up flash on the fancy pants cameras is not the devil. You may use it more than you use a big flash.

3. You can increase or decrease the power of the flash's output.

4. You might do #3 in order to match the light coming from other directions in your photo. So for instance there's decent light coming from the right in this photo but I could have matched (or slightly undercut) that light and brightened the whole thing up a little. Just to get the shot to the level it's at now I did a fair amount of post-processing. With a little flash knowledge I wouldn't have had to mess with it so much.

5. Figuring out how to use flash subtly and to your advantage is mostly a matter of testing. There's trial and there is error. You know how much I hate trial and error, right?

6. My camera won't do a few of the cooler things Switzer taught us. It's just too old. Some of those things are less cool than, oh, necessary. Like not having the camera dictate your highest or lowest shutter speeds in some flash situations.

7. The coolest thing he taught us would cost me around $2,000 to accomplish (and that's if I didn't upgrade the camera).

8. That cool thing is buying a few flashes like the one I have and at least one that's fancier than that (it has the ability to become a "commander"). You can then sort of gang them together wirelessly to fire when you hit the shutter button. So, for instance, if you were taking photos at a party with pretty ambient light you could hide a few of these babies around the joint. When you took photos you'd be amping up the light enough that your pictures come out nicely.

9. There's a fair amount of physics involved in flash photography. I never took physics. If they'd given me a camera maybe I'd have been more inclined. (Doubtful)

10. I was absolutely correct to take any class this particular instructor offers. He speaks a language I understand and he knows better than I what I need to know.

Next time we're out you don't mind if I take your picture a few hundred times, do you?

Monday, February 01, 2010

She's Aces In My Book

So it turns out that I might be talked out about the dog issue. I'm so confused and broken over it that I'm spinning in very painful circles. So confused that I turned to the Tarot last night. Usually that helps to focus me, which I like. I favor the 3 card layout which gives you one card each for the past, present and future of your question. My go to sites for interpretation are Learn Tarot and for shorter, more humorous insight, Hollywood Tarot.

My first draw regarding the question of Maggie was this:

10 of Wands - Learn Tarot's interpretations is this. Which makes sense to me in that the end of a dog's life is tough and you make sacrifices and you do a lot of work to make that part easier. I also used my doggie responsibilities to hide out from other things at which I was afraid to fail. Hollywood Tarot calls this one a Kevin Costner.

7 of Pentacles - I absolutely see how my time now, this dogless time, is a time of reflecting and waiting and assessing the work before and the work that is to come. Whether the work to come is dog work or other, neglected work is, OF COURSE, unclear. We get in trouble when we go to Hollywood, though, because I don't get how the Woody Allen-ness works with what I read over at Learn Tarot.

Six of Wands - Here's where I fall down, interpreting the outlook for the future. Will my triumph and acclaim come from the things I am now starting to catch up on since I'm not hiding behind the dog? Or will it come in the love and loyalty of having this new dog? Or does it not matter either way, I'm just going to triumph no matter what I do? I sure hope it doesn't mean I'm going to die on the crapper after eating a peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwich.

So then I just ran off in another direction because the answer wasn't clear to me. I did another draw on the Hollywood Tarot site itself and got this:


10 of Pentacles (What if I am saving this dog out of not so altruistic motives?)

The Charioteer (For the love of Purina, if I knew where I was going with all this would I be tarot reading about it?)

At which point I decided just to shuffle and draw one card to help me decide what to do in the moment. That moment being the one where my brain was spinning and my heart was sauteed and I needed some sleep.

Four of Swords (or The Artist Formerly Known as Prince)

So I went to bed.