Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
1. Maggie wrote a list of things she wanted to tell her 20-something self. It ties in with a project where a 20-something blogger (Cassie Boorn) is asking older writers to write and share letters to themselves at 20. This project terrifies me. I'm afraid to even think about writing a letter because what if all the things I'd tell myself at 22 are the things I still need to tell myself at 42 (i.e. in six months!)?
2. I do so wish I had said this first, "However, I do think that a world in which fewer people feel the need to get married is a better one." Amen! (via Feministing)
3. ChemE texted me last night, "Tornadoes to the North and West of us." A week ago she texted "Earthquake!" and then failed to reply to my returned message for a couple of hours. She lives in upstate NY. These sorts of repeated shouts are like the opening to a bad armageddon film. In the midst of all the bad news from everywhere (not just upstate NY) Chookooloonks posted a poem that makes her feel better. I especially like the stanza that begins, "Be yourself."
4. Chrome recommended Hyperbole & a Half to me about 30 seconds before the Women's Colony featured a post from the site. Chrome is not wrong. Nor is the Colony. This post about why the author will never feel like an adult is fucking Shakespearean in the universality of its theme. (OK, I actually suspect that a certain subset of you will not recognize this behavior at all and might even be appalled by it but if you're interested in why my life is like it is, this post will explain. And make you laugh.)
5. One of my major fails for our Mermaid Parade outing is that I misplaced my duct tape. I had gaff tape but duct fills another need that was left empty that day. I accidentally unearthed it on Sunday. Sigh. These cool prom-going kids would never make that mistake.
6. There's a spaghetti-o recall. Clear your cupboards! (I only like them with the little reconstituted meatballs.)
7. Speaking of Chrome, she made a video! I publicly apologize for not having watched it yet. I have questionable computer equipment at home and a complicated relationship with computer video. I am sure it is hilarious and promise to watch it soon. Cross my heart.
8. The Fug Girls did an Ascot head gear wrap up. I'd call them hats but there are very few proper hats here and a lot of hat-like contraptions. They're fabulous. Which one is your favorite? (The mere mention of The Royal Ascot always makes me think of The Ascot Gavotte from My Fair Lady.)
9. Do you live in Massachusetts? Congratulations, you can now get an anti-choice license plate. Grrrrrrrrrr! (Also via Feministing)
10. And let's end on a happy note, shall we? (Sorry.) So apparently there's this condom that women can wear if they anticipate being raped. When they are raped (so it's not a preventative) the condom...bites the penis and stays attached until removed by a professional. While the idea of that punishment is appealing on some level it doesn't really solve anything nor does it address rapists, just potential rape victims. I feel like...this is not the right avenue to be researching rape-crisis-wise. (Again, Feministing)
Monday, June 28, 2010
There are laundry facilities in my building but I go to the laundromat. The machines at my place are old and the room is small and it just seems easier to walk around the block and use shiny, well kept machines. Of course the laundromat is run by a little old lady, Mayoress of Myrtle Avenue, who uses her shopping cart as a walker and runs her business as a benign dictatorship. You behave because you don't want to disappoint her. The rules are simple; clean up after yourself, stay out of the way and don't eat or drink inside.
I got my laundry all set in the washer a couple of weeks ago and found I was starving. So I strolled up the block to our new fancy deli for a little flat of sushi. I didn't have time to go home and there aren't any benches or stoops around so I stood outside the laundromat gobbling hunks of California roll awkwardly hunched over the plastic bag it had been served in.
For the most part people are walking by me and not even sparing a glance. That's one of the things I adore about New York City. Even if people think you're a total wackadoo they aren't going to waste their time telling you so. One guy, though, gave me this sidelong glance that, well, I didn't know if he objected to my food, to the fact that I was eating outside or standing up or what but I took offense. You know, silently, while I stood there continuing to eat.
A very few minutes later he came back in the other direction. I tensed a bit, waiting for him to give me another evil eye but not expecting him to say anything.
"Hey," he said a little sharply, "Can I ask you something?"
Fully on the defensive I replied, "Sure."
"Is that sushi?"
So not where I thought this was going. "Yes it is."
"Does it taste like anything?"
What?!? It was actually a nice opportunity to pull out all that Chrome and I had learned at our sushi making class. So I did. Blah blah rice vinegar, seasonings, different locations, blah. The upshot was yes, but not like spoiled fish.
"Where'd you get it, the Associated?" (That's our local mid-scale grocery store.)
"No, that new deli, Mr. Coco." I pointed, too, like the guy was completely new here.
"OK. Well, OK. I think I'll try some of that."
Great. Good. That's nice, sir. Glad I could...help?
Even a plain old laundry day fails to be at all dull in my neck of the woods.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
So instead, you tell me, what have you been doing for excitement this weekend?
Saturday, June 26, 2010
So I went in to the movie (Winter's Bone) and when I came out I couldn't connect to the internet. No email, no texting, no internet, no data plan whatsoever. I have paid my bill so I have no idea what the issue is. Just tried to work it out via googling copiously on my computer now that I'm home but no win here either.
You'll know I've figured it out when I start posting weird shit from the road again.
Friday, June 25, 2010
This is outside Alice Tully Hall. I often sit here because it's shady but I get to be outside.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
OK, more later from the great outdoors.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Why a lot?
Well, these birds are loud. So loud. Squawky, angry, unrelentingly loud.
Turns out they're mocking birds* so they're supposed to be loud. Also, I'm supposed to be grateful that they haven't learned how to imitate a car alarm. There's a slim possibility that they're learning to imitate my cats, though. One of my cats has a really screechy meow, he came factory installed that way, I don't know how to change the settings. I'm sure now that these birds are specifically mocking my cats.
I won't lie, the relentless nature of it gets to me sometimes. I want them to stop. I considered feeding them but realized quickly that would only make them squawk for more. When they fly up to the window sills on the floor above and then fly down to us over and over I've gone to the window myself, cat-like, to verify (for the 400th time) that there isn't a nest up there on my neighbor's air conditioning unit and they aren't teaching some babies to fly rather than taunting my feline overlords. There's no nest. And my going to the window only increases the cacophony. How do I convince them to shut up?
Those birds may be trying my patience but those cats totally deserve it.
*A neighbor identified them as mocking birds. I, of course, felt the need to check her facts. I'd seen the tails, the shape was similar to a blue jay. As was the godawful screaming. So I thought perhaps she was mistaken, perhaps they weren't mocking birds, perhaps they were mocking jays. Mocking jays are a thing. I'm no Audubon scholar but I've heard of them. Yeah, I've heard of them because they're a bird that Suzanne Collins totally made up and put in her fantastic Hunger Games series. So mocking birds. They're real. And they're shaped a little like blue jays.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
At the Colony a few months ago I took over curating our Photo Challenges. Over the past week I've been asked a number of times if I would be keeping them up over here. My question is always, "I would like to do that, I've thought about it, but will anyone participate?" No one has answered me.
Really, why should they? There's only one way to find out and this is it.
I'm going to run a photo challenge right now!
The prompt is Bizarre/Bazaar because I've been poring over photos of the Mermaid Parade and these are the first wonderful words that came to mind.
To participate you will need a Flickr account but it's easy to get a free one. Tag the pictures you want to enter in the challenge with "PhotoChallenge" and "Bizarre/Bazaar." Join our group and add your photos to it. Adding a photo to it constitutes an agreement on your part to allow me to publish that photo here on this site for a photo challenge with credit to you and a link back to your photostream.
From all the entries we get by 9am Eastern on July 6 I will create a post and publish it on Wednesday July 7.
What do you think? Will anyone participate?
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
1. I'm slowly working on photos. The fledgling set is here. I'll be adding as time allows but I'm out of the house a lot this week.
2. Our entourage included a mechanical talking parrot. He was loved by one and all.
3. There's only one photo of me in full costume that I've seen and it's on MAB's facebook. (Aaaaand, I just stole it and pasted it in below.)
4. It was hot out there. HOT hot. Thirsty, crazy-making hot. I sweat all the way through a padded bra and velvet bustier. Sexy.
5. I burned slightly despite repeated applications of sunscreen.
6. Probably fully two-thirds of participants use parasols to ward off the rays. I thought I really needed to work that out for my costume next year but as I strode down the parade route waving with one hand, hefting my backpack on my back, taking photos with one hand, shouting and laughing I wondered exactly which hand would wield the parasol.
7. We have mentioned repeatedly to the child that the day will come when, after the 2 years that she's been ferried through the parade route, she's going to have to ferry us. She is unimpressed by our logic.
8. Putting my sweaty feet in the frigid north east waters after the parade was excruciating. When I got used to it, though, I almost couldn't make myself get out. I just stood there in one spot letting the tide bury my feet and waiting for the blessed coolness to travel through my vessels and up to my head.
9. A larger portion of our day than you'd expect was spent discussing the mechanics of pole dancing.
10. I cannot wait to show you the ladies with the pinwheel pasties!
Monday, June 21, 2010
When I was in elementary school Auntie Blanche had a ritual celebration for this day. She picked us up (or when it got to be too big a group my parents would pick us up in their van) and took us to Dairy Queen. Our report cards, handwritten, were distributed before we left school and included the name of our teacher for the following year. You had to present your report card and have it approved by Auntie Blanche in order to continue the outing.
I never saw her turn anyone away but I was still nervous and scanned my report card as I walked out of school to be sure it looked worthy.
We don't have Dairy Queen where I am and I don't have a group of kids who go to the same school so this is one tradition of Auntie Blanche's I haven't been able to re-create. However, as a woman still sporting 75% of her temporary tattoos from the Mermaid Parade, I think I'm doing a passable job at re-creating the spirit of the tradition if not the letter of it.
Happy Summer Everyone!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
The day of parade and birthday celebration and baseball yesterday was at least as fun as expected if not more so. Many tales will be forthcoming. The great story of the night, though, is about a guy named Barry.
Alita found the perfect mermaid tail on the internet. It has a proper, inflexible fin and you put your feet into the rubber sort of flipper places then shimmy yourself into the spandex skirt(?) of the tail. Then you don't walk anywhere until you take it off. It's sparkly and pink and glorious so that one drawback is one we're all willing to work around. It meant that for the parade yesterday the birthday girl was wheeled around in a modified and decorated off-road wagon.
It just so happens that Alita's school was selling a group of tickets to opening night of Brooklyn Cyclones baseball last night. The Mermaid Parade stages participants basically right alongside the Cyclones ballpark. So we planned to parade, hit the beach and head to the ballgame. The cart is no larger or more unwieldy than those SUV strollers you see all over so we figured it'd be unorthodox but workable. OK, I had misgivings but assumed that I was over-reacting since my worry mechanism was in overdrive the last few weeks.
Well, I was at the end of our group as we entered the park and I had the cart (the child was moving under her own power at that point). They wouldn't let me in. I just decided I'd go home and forgo the game but the others wanted me to try and had a lot of suggestions. I was sent off with thoughts of getting a food vendor to take $10 to watch the cart.
I planned to take those suggestions under advisement and just go home. I hate asking people for stuff like that. It's embarrassing and sometimes people are mean and, even when it's something innocuous, I don't take the rejection well. Makes my stomach wonky just thinking about it. On the other hand I also felt as though I had to make an effort so I would at least be able to say I'd tried.
As I trudged hot, sweaty and glittered down the ramp I eyed a big shipping container behind the stadium. I thought about stashing the wagon there and taking our chances. We hadn't left anything in it we couldn't live without. The area was brightly lit and in a "If you see something, say something" world I didn't want anyone to get in trouble. I dreaded the idea of the food vendors, though. While I contemplated I noticed that there were 4 buses staged along the curb. Two were school buses and two were luxury coach-type things. The one in front was blue and I could see a guy standing by it in uniform.
My logic here was that he had a fancy bus so he could put it in the luggage compartment and it wouldn't be in his way even if something weird happened. So I rehearsed my story in my head and approached him.
(Aside: I have to tell you that I often lie in situations like this even when I don't have to. Not big things but a little embellishment here or there. I tell everyone that it's because I think whatever the lie is sells my story harder but the truth is probably that the lie distances me from the act and the rejection so I feel better about asking.)
I told this guy, who I later learned was Barry the bus driver, that I'd been in the parade with my daughter and we had her wagon and now they wouldn't let me into the park with the wagon. I asked him if I could pay him $10 to hold it in his luggage bay during the game and I'd come out whenever he needed me to to retrieve it.
Well, Barry is a stand up guy. He checked the cart for valuables (and perhaps explosives), refused my money and told me that his people were going to stay for the fireworks so I should come out right after that to make sure I got my wagon. I introduced myself and thanked him about 50 times while he started the bus so he could open the luggage door and we could slide the principessa's conveyance under the bus.
We didn't stay in the stadium for the fireworks, we went out and thanked Barry 50 or 60 more times and got our wagon. We caught the light display from the sidewalk actually as we walked to the subway. They were beautiful but not nearly as beautiful as the gift of relief Barry gave me when he helped me out.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
I've spent most of the day preparing for the Mermaid Parade. I've baked cake and bought a belt and painted my nails and made cutlasses.
Yes, I said made cutlasses, two of them, using grocery boxes, gaff tape, packing tape and tin foil. They aren't going to win any prizes but they're pretty fun if I say so myself. Pony Express delivered a talking parrot and I've laid out all the clothes and makeup and first aid supplies I can think of that we might need.
Which is all to say, watch this space tomorrow. I'll be taking a ton of pictures with my big girl camera but now that I have the blackberry I'll be able to post immediately as well. I'll post some snaps as we go along and the more thoughtful photos will come next week.
There's a lot of fun stuff to having the smartphone but, I have to say, the ability to post photos in real time is probably my favorite. I try not to go overboard but it's a real thrill for me. I know, welcome to the 21st century, but hey, I'm a simple girl.
Shut it. I am!
I'm off to sleep now to prepare for the long day ahead. And hopefully to come up with a really good "Land Ho!" joke to go with my pirate wench costume. Suggestions are welcome.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Lately I've been thinking a little more seriously about getting another dog. My cats present some challenges and I'm very slow about making any decision that I know I'll be living with for a while so I'm not on the verge of some enormous break through or anything but I've been surfing puppy porn and I did a walk through of an SPCA while I was up north last weekend.
The unsurprising side effect of all this so-called readiness is that I'm really struggling with missing my dog. Like weeping on the sidewalk, running after friends' dogs struggling. It'll all work out. I mean, I'll never not miss her because she was as close to perfect as you'd ever want a dog to be, but other dogs will come and go and I will not always weep on the street but the week hasn't been fantastic in this regard.
I guess I just thought you should know.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Over here at 117 Hudson we are, of course, 1,000% behind the resurgence of Carolann's solo career. I hereby officially recommend that you check out her new CD and keep an eye on her calendar, which I suspect will become quite full after yesterday's formal announcement. I hear she may already be sketching out another solo CD as well so keep your ear to the internet to find out if I'm right about that.
Congratulations my friend on this exciting turn of events!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I replied, "Yes."
She didn't want to believe me.
Artist: Joe Mangrum
Time devoted to this painting so far: almost 6 hours
Artist's full time occupation: sand painting
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
In my farewell missive at The Colony today I laid out my plan to continue my Friday sex and health column by combining it with #17 on my Life List. It's a great plan but the site really needs a name. The G-spot was a great name for my column over Colony way because it was a part of Mrs. G's baby but it wouldn't be right for what I'm looking to do.
A site combining erotica and discussions of all things relating to our bodies. I'm coming up completely empty on intriguing, accurate and fun titles. Thought about it all day yesterday while I was out and about and only got as far as Kinky Kizzy. That is not OK.
Can anyone else think of something? Please? I can't even register a domain name until I figure out the title.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Seems as though there are a fair number of new people here today. I think some of you are looking for more information on today's announcement that the Women's Colony is closing its virtual doors.
Susan commented on another post here, asking if it was as big a surprise to contributors as it was to colonists. There were some logistical challenges and all the regular contributors had an opportunity to discuss the decision so we did have about a week's lead time on today's announcement as we mulled over the issues at hand.
The details of those discussions aren't my story to tell but I will say that, in the end, I truly believe this was the right decision for the site runners. I do sympathize with everyone who is surprised and hurt by it. I wish that, for you, it could be different and I hope you can find other places on the internet that make you just as happy as the Colony did.
My goodbye post will appear on the site tomorrow and it will explain what I've been thinking about as this decision evolved. I hope to see you all, both old and new visitors, around here more often.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The Life List she is small but she is growing. Here's what she looks like so far:
1. Play the ukelele
2. Visit Italy
3. Visit South America
4. Visit Easter Island
5. Bring a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
6. Have a novel published
7. Perform on Broadway
8. Bowl candlepin again
9. See Todd in a play again
10. Beach vacation - warm
11. Go to the top of the Empire State Building
12. Be a buddy for an disabled NYC marathoner
13. Gallery show of my photos
14. Road trip across the US
15. Remove money as a concern (hat tip to Maggie and Karen)
16. Be paid for my writing
17. Develop an erotic fiction web site
18. Walk a meditation maze/labyrinth
19. Make a terrarium
20. Throw a costume party
21. Take a dog sled ride (hat tip to Maggie)
22. Take a Mondo Beyondo class
23. Work the Artist's Way from start to finish
24. Bring a show to the NY Fringe Festival
25. Own a zoom and a portrait lens and know how to use them
26. Create another cabaret show
27. Record a CD
28. Attend Sundance Film Festival*
29. Attend Tribeca Film Festival*
30. Attend Edinburgh Fringe Festival*
31. Attend NY Fringe Festival*
*Attendance in regard to these is to really dive into them like I've done when I've gone to Edinburgh in the past. The first time I went as an adult I saw 19 shows in three and a half days. It was glorious!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Here's what's happening in the Year of Yes:
1. Say yes - I struggle with this one. I've done a lot of saying yes to not doing things. It's still present in my everyday thinking, though.
2. Buy Flash - DONE
3. Write a book - Writing many books. Might need to change this to FINISH a book to give myself the proper motivation.
4. Singing lessons regularly
5. Perform - Working on it. The venue search continues.
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.) - In progress
8. Plan Italy trip
9. Renew passport - Have sent in my info. TWICE! Hoping for a good result within a few weeks. May have to go to Canada just to test drive it.
10. Go to Blogher - Mama needs new business cards for this. What to do, what to do...
11. Write Aunt Rena 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) - It's written down...parts of it. Why am I so reluctant to share?
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. Saw Reduced Shakespeare with Carmencita & Alita. Saw Glee Club, which was a delight. Saw Race by David Mamet and Addams Family with Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane. There are a bunch of things closing soon I want to squeeze in. Saw a big old wedding that was pretty theatery.
18. Mermaid Parade - We're almost there! It's going to be fun!
19. Take Alita bowling
20. Composting - I've been doing this. It's not so bad.
21. Lose 10-15lbs - I've been down to 135. A couple of times. I'm still working slowly. If I can get down below 130 I'll feel pretty good.
22. Visit Governor's Island - Think we're going to do this for brunch one month. Really looking forward to it.
23. Sushi class with Chrome - Done and we had a ball! She wants us to throw a sushi party. I'm in.
24. Attend Charlie & Spoon's wedding - DONE
25. Write an article to submit to magazines - Stalled.
26. Get a massage
27. Dental appointment
28. Gyn appointment
29. Move this blog to its own domain name.
30. Buy new rolling carryon luggage
31. Attend Blondie's graduation - By the time this posts hopefully I will have managed that.
32. Buy and assemble new furniture to make storage and filing more efficient in my home. - Purchased one bookshelf and one wide, 3 drawer filing cabinet. Partly assembled. Planning to finish on Monday with the help of Carmencita.
33. Upgrade to a smart phone - I did this. I didn't know I wanted to. It came up as an option and wound up being a smart one (heh) and I said yes to it so I think it needs to be on this list.