Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sing it, Sister

"I wore leggings the first time they were trendy. I knew Tom Hanks when he was a Bosom Buddy. I have lived and I have learned."

- Lorelei Gilmore

Want an iPod?

My friend Michelle (isn't she pretty?) is doing a genius fundraiser. You should take a chance, I mean, $5 doesn't buy a stick of gum these days and you could get an iPod!

Here are the deets:

I am raffling a video i pod to raise money for the show I am producing,
"Michelle Bruckner and Friends."
Tickets are $5.00 and can be bought on the website safely with Pay Pal. The drawing is April 1st. Thanks for your support and good luck! Will you please forward this to everyone you know? Thanks! Love, Michelle

I can't get rid of italics but this is me again not Michelle's e-mail.

While you're there you can pick up one (or both!) of her CDs, she does some fabulous renditions of classics from the 20th century and I highly recommend her.

Hope you win!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

United States of Indie Film

If you haven't seen The United States of Leland I think you're missing something. It's the kind of film I think of when you say the words "Indie Film". The good kind.

I mean, you watch a bunch of Rose Troche films and you think that's all there is. Now, don't get me wrong, I admire and even like Troche's work, but it's more about the characters or the performances than about the story or answers or even throwing out some clear questions for the audience. However, I don't think that sort of willfully completely ambiguous is what makes for the very best indie film. A good story, something with a beginning, a middle and an end, shouldn't be too much to ask.

United States of Leland isn't easy to watch, you've got to do a little work to understand what's going on, got to give it your full attention, but it'll be well worth your while.

I loved Ryan Gosling in this. Who knew I would love Ryan Gosling? I couldn't even pick Gosling out of a line up before this. There are a number of amazing actors that I could pick out of a line up, with one eye tied behind my back even, but Gosling is what made the movie for me.

Anyway, don't want to spoil it so just check it out.

Ten Things Tuesday: Irreplaceable

Ten things I really should replace (or just get rid of).

1. My comfy kickin' around sweatshirt that I stole from my mom who claims to have no idea that she stole it from Helen Tom, whose name is sewn into the garment. It's got holes everwhere and will soon be simple a neck band and frayed arm holes.

2. Several pairs of socks that look much like the sweatshirt. I claim to like to darn, no, I actually do like to darn but I don't so I oughta just get rid of the socks. (Darn.)

3. My hand me down winter boots. It was so kind of my neighbor to give them to me and they have served me well but they give me blisters and they weigh eight thousand pounds and I'm afraid I'm going to slip and break a hip.

4. The pate in my fridge (that I ate way too much of for dinner) with cucumbers and beets and carrots and I don't know some vegetables for cripes sake.

5. The boxers of the young gentleman who preceded me up the stairs from the subway this evening. My face was disconcertingly close to his derriere and he was wearing those, er, relaxed fit jeans and then the boxers as a fashion statement. Fortunately or unfortunately I was close enough to see that the boxers were only a fashion statement and he had something else in a nice grey jersey fabric between his tender ass and the cold, cruel world.

6. My hand me down VHS version of the BBC Pride & Prejudice for the DVD version. Mmmm, Colin Firth.

7. My VCR, sometimes it won't accept a tape anymore. I know it's a dinosaur but sometimes you just need to tape something.

8. My cheapass motherfucking DVD player. For $40 it's lasted me a very long time and done pretty good service. However, I think it'd be OK to splurge on something that can still read the DVD if you breathe on it wrong.

9. My TV addiction with something less harmful. I'm thinking something like cigarettes or possible snorting heroin.

10. My lazy ass attitude.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I so didn't want to know that

You know when you're solving someone else's problems, because that's way easier than solving your own problems, and suddenly you flash on something so super obvious that while you're focused in that direction, admiring your brilliant work, you don't notice the missile of a revelation about yourself that's about to stab you in the back?

Had one of those last week.

It's taken me this long to write about it because I haven't been able to decide whether to toss it out there onto the naked whiteboard that is the internet. Especially since, as it turns out, some of my family has only recently learned about 117 Hudson. I thought about waiting, seeing if they'd keep coming back before I did the whole soul searching thing that's happening right now.

Then I figured, fuck it. I'm from New England, my family knows that if you can't say something pleasant then you should repress the everloving crap out of it.

At the time I was focusing on a wish for a friend. A younger man than I whose mother treated him very poorly when he was a child, blamed him for some things that no child should be blamed for. I was thinking about how he's treated some of the women in his life that have come after his mother and I realized why he's probably doing that. I hope to hell that he doesn't spend his life treating women badly as a test but I suspect that he's waiting for the woman (women) who will love him even after he's done something reprehensible. Since his mother didn't then someone who will, well she must actually love him.

I was pretty proud of myself, I must say.

You know, until I got zapped by the arrow of epiphany.

Fucking arrow.

When I was about 12 my dad started to leave. He didn't really, honest to christ, finish the job until about a year ago. Leave my mom? Yeah. But when you're a kid and there's no discussion of who you'll stay with (even though you probably would have done it the same way as the non-discussion way) there is an element of being left behind. Left to help rebuild out of the rubble, as it were. I don't spend all my time thinking about it that way, and I surely didn't then.


Yeah, there always is a but.

I have a relatively...let's call it liberal attitude toward relationships. I've been willing to date people who are attached, even married, I don't object to a guy getting his porn on or going to strip clubs and I've even been known to tell a guy to go ahead and sleep with someone else. Some of this is stuff I'm sure I'd do anyway. If I like porn, I mean, exactly how am I going to get away with telling someone else to go cold turkey? (There's a joke in there about choking a cold chicken but I can't quite get to it.) Some of the other stuff has been, if not destructive, at least a serious impediment to my living a life where I can be happy. Well, a romantic life at least.

Not blaming anyone here, just want to make that clear. Nor am I justifying past shitty acts on my part. I can take the blame for being an ass.

My thing, though, my thing like the one for my young friend, is probably that I have to give a partner (hate that term, can't come up with a better one) complete freedom to do whatever he wants because if he doesn't choose me, choose me over every other possibility his life has to offer then it's not love. It's not enough love or reliable love or trustable love. Or something.

As Pony Express said to me the other day, "What you're saying is, we're all fucked up. Right?"

Yeah, ignorance was bliss, no doubt, but maybe I'm better off knwoing. Only time will tell.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


I watched the Oscars in pieces parts. Mostly on this enormous, wall-filling, plasma screen TV (awesome, dude) at a party. So I don't have a lot to say about it because I don't have any through line to it. Want to say something, though, don't want to be shunned at the (nonexistent) water cooler in the morning.

So, I'll say this because she's on right now: Queen Latifah is the hottest, coolest, chick you ever did see, is she not? I mean, she just makes you think you not only know her but that she'd like you and be nice to you, no matter what and that you would be hot by association if you stood next to all the hot ass confidence rolling right off of her.

Also, how cool was it that they colored Ellen's lapel mics to match her coolio velvet tux? (It is possible that you might not have noticed this if you weren't watching on a TV screen the size of my entire apartment but I promise that it's true.)

Hot People: The Mostly Jailbait Edition

I have a new fanficdom. I am ashamed.

But it's not stopping me.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The lesson for today

So, what have we learned? What's the lesson for today? For all the never-ending days and restless nights in Oz? That morality is transient? That virtue cannot exist without violence? That to be honest is to be flawed? That the giving and taking of love both debases and elevates us? That God or Allah or Yahweh has answers to questions we dare not even ask? The story is simple. A man lives in prison and dies. How he dies, that's easy. The who and the why is the complex part. The human part. The only part worth knowing. Peace.

These are the final words of the HBO series, Oz. The series finale made me want to go back and watch the whole thing over again.

That morality is transient? That virtue cannot exist without violence? That to be honest is to be flawed? That the giving and taking of love both debases and elevates us?

What enormous questions these are. Universal truths you're being asked to consider, things I don't think I could ever have articulated but now can't stop thinking about.

A lot of people aren't interested in the show because it's too violent or too scary or too tense. I can't express how much you're missing. That one paragraph up there at the top can, though.

The who and the why is the complex part. The human part. The only part worth knowing.

I tend to write short stories, character sketches really, moments. When I was creating theatre pieces, largely without words, I was known for doing something called "deconstructions". Basically you build a whole play off of one moment. So for instance I built a version of Medea that was all about her waiting on the beach for Jason to come back. If you know the story you know that he goes off and marries Creusa in order to get her dad's kingdom so he never does come back and Medea goes off her nut. I wanted to explore the waiting the pining, the part that put her off that proverbial nut. It's exactly what Tom Fontana did with Oz. To take each prisoner, each person defined by their crime, and split them open so you could see all the rings of the tree that spread from that moment.

I'd like to figure out how to do that in as many layers as Fontana does. Wouldn't mind having as insanely stellar a group of artists bring it to fruition, either.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Things I'm Looking For

Or, rather, things for which I am looking. You know, technically.

I figured out who I want to direct my Chekhov play. Her name is Kristen Ames and I went to college with her. She's about 5'4" tall, dark brown hair, shoulder length at last sighting, was branching out from her all black wardrobe into forest green and navy. She graduated from NYU around 1989. I found a couple of listings for her on the internet but they were outdated. Apparently she produced at least portions of HBO's Aspen Comedy Festival a couple of years ago and she was teaching/directing one person shows. All of this is provided that the Kristen Ames I found is the one I'm looking for. My girl was a founding member of the Tiny Mythic Theatre Company. After she left, Tiny Mythic was a driving force in the making of HERE performance space. I have tried the Artistic Director of HERE and she doesn't know. When Kristen left Tiny Mythic she was planning to leave New York. She's from DC so I thought she might go there but she could be anywhere now, she left over a decade ago. Even if she doesn't want to direct my play I miss her and I want to talk to her. I know it's a long shot but if anyone could find her for me I'd figure out some sort of reward system, really.

Also, the DVD is ready to be duplicated. That'll happen in the next couple of weeks depending on the timing for Media Guy. I need to get out of my office job. I'm going under for the third time in my cubicle farm job and I need to find a better way. That better way is probably as a teaching artist. So the Shakespeare is my in. It's quality education on its own and when you pair it with one of my awesome workshops (good for students and teachers alike, professional development event anyone?) it can supplement your English curriculum and help you to give your students a better rounded education. How is this a request? You ask. Well, did you go to high school within a 2 hour commute of midtown? Do you have kids who go to such a school? Know someone with kids who do? Someone who teaches at one? Someone who wishes they did? Someone who once made a California stop in the general vicinity of one of those schools? If you answered yes to any of those questions I'm talking to you. Hell, it doesn't have to be in a 2 hour commute. I'll go to New England, I'll go to OK, I'll go pretty much anywhere, but if I have to travel more than 2 or so hours I'll have to stay over so I'll have to string together a couple of days work. Anyway, who at the school brings in outside performances? Who brings in guest speakers? Can you introduce me to that person with a meeting, a phone call or an e-mail? Please? Please?

A cleaning person who will come in 3 hours once a month and do the bathroom, the kitchen and whatever else she can get done in that time. S/he needs to be OK with the animals. S/he needs to be $20 per hour or less. Good communication skills are desired but not required.

Oh, and I'm still on the hunt for publishers. (Wayfarer, I've got a second draft that I'll hopefully type up this weekend and then send back to you. The feedback was, as they say, wicked helpful.)

Wouldn't suck to find my other fuzzy gray sock but it's not top priority right now.

What are you looking for?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Living on the proceeds

My cousin Mike writes. Like for a living. Not the crazy fiction stuff that I love to write, he goes out and does completely nutso real life stuff and then people pay him to write about it.

Sometimes he sits next to me and tells me all the stuff he can't write on the internet or that don't make it into the published stories. There's always a big show about what's on or off the record but that's more about being afraid that I'll slip up with information at the dinner table on Christmas Eve than about spilling to the world at large.

Last weekend was a huge "research" weekend for him and he posted the leftover anecdotes on his blog. You should go read about it.

Sometimes I'm pickle green with envy of him (and his brother the film dude) for his ability to do what he loves and survive on the proceeds. Trying to see it as an example to aspire to.

To what do you aspire?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ten Things Tuesday

I think it was Wayfarer who said he'd do 10 Things Tuesday if I would. I planned to accept the partnership but then last week I forgot. Guess I'll take a page from Flylady's control journal and just jump in right where I am.

I can't decide what sort of 10 things to do, though. 10 things you don't know about me? 10 random hot people? 10 things about New York? 10 things I wish were different? 10 parts I wish I could play? But, you know, I'm more of a random chick, so I'm just going to see if I can throw out 10 random things.

1. This is my 608th post on this blog. I still love it and I think I'm better than I was way back on post #1.

2. I tend to really dislike people who exhibit qualities I hope I've left behind.

3. I'm judgy. Really judgy. But my filter is pretty strong and I do know when I'm judging just because and not with my brain engaged.

4. I have a medium to awesome porn collection.

5. I went out with one of the Hot People last week.

6. I actually do see myself living in New York when I'm an old lady.

7. Faulkner is one of my favorite authors not least because one of my favorite characters of his only speaks once in her book. My senior year in college I took a class with a leading Faulkner scholar and I convinced her to let me write about the nearly mute character even though she had never had a student write about Judith before. I got an A.

8. Sometimes, even though I know I did the right thing college-wise, I wish I'd studied English literature.

9. Yesterday I had a revelation about my approach to love relationships. It is a post in and of itself.

10. I fear becoming a revisionist historian like my parents. Once, in the context of a longer conversation, I said to my mother, "Well, she is my first dog after all." My mother said, "No she isn't." We proceeded to discuss how we hadn't had even one dog when I was a kid. Mama Kizz's rationale for remembering clearly that we'd had canine pets: "But your father loved dogs." I want to remember what really happened, even if it's unflattering or embarrassing or sad.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What's worse than math?


I'm a card, folks, a regular Gracie Allen over here.

Truly, though, today was so much worse than yesterday. Last night as I slogged through the slush and ate at a favorite diner and watched an interesting play and then played and chatted and drank too wine into the wee hours of the morning with a friend I wasn't really bothered by the snow and sleet and all. It was relatively warm, I had my winter "blister in progress" boots on and the snow was moveable, it was a minor challenge and made the world a bit like a carnival ride.

This morning, on under 5 hours of sleep, the whole thing was less amusing. It got cold last night. Super cold. Like degrees Kelvin kind of cold. OK, not that cold, but really cold. So what was an inch of snow here and a 6 inch pile of slush there is now hardened to slippery rock proportions. I woke, I washed, I hydrated and I decided I would be late to work. Nothing monumental but I wasn't going to sweat the small stuff. I also wasn't going to be walking, I was going to wait and take the bus.

What followed was an odyssey of my normal 20 minute walk punctuated by prolonged hopeful waits at every bus stop and short sessions of cursing like the proverbial sailor as 5 (5!) chockablock full buses passed me by. Faced with waiting in the cold and being a worrisome amount late to work I ended up walking the whole way. Facing into the wind to boot. The only thing keeping me amused was watching everyone else deal. One kid walking to the local high school had poked tiny eye holes in his regular knit hat and pulled the whole damn thing over his face. People were cleaning their stoops and digging out their cars but no one had the right tool for the job. Over the course of the morning I saw people use cardboard boxes for traction, a windshield scrape and high heel combo as a pick and shovel and, my personal favorite, a putty knife.

My train ride was not as simple and human-free as I'd hoped considering my tardiness but I did get a short catnap before I switched to the local at Grand Central. Grabbed my seat on the local in time to hear the platform announcer summon the police to our train. At which point I resigned myself to getting to work in time for lunch because, though it's only another 10 minute walk from Grand Central to work, I just wasn't having any of it. Apparently, though, whatever police action was required at our platform did not require our train to stay and I slogged in to work at the half hour late mark.

Tonight includes a walk to a space on 26th Street between 10th & 11th Avenues. When they build wind tunnels for movies the prototype they work off is any street on the west side of Manhattan between 9th & 11th Avenues and between October and April.

Good times.

I'm looking forward to the workshop, though, 'cause I need to figure out a way not to be an office worker anymore. It's cutting into my post-show socializing and that's just not OK.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

V-Day, Baby!

I'll get the serious stuff out of the way first then on to then on to the coochie hilarity.

If you don't know about V-Day, you should. Go see a production of The Vagina Monologues, make a donation, volunteer at a shelter, put on your own production of the Vagina Monologues and don't pussy out (heh) and change the name so your local Tuesday Club isn't offended.

And now for the reason for today's post: Coochie Stories. (Names withheld until or unless the women in question choose to out themselves.)

1. I was visiting a friend and noticed that there were like 17 washcloths hanging up all over her bathroom. Some on the towel rack, on the side of the tub, on the shower curtain rod, they were everywhere. So I, of course, couldn't leave it alone and asked, "Dude, what is up with all the washcloths?"

She replied, "Well sometime you get home and you're tired or you're drunk or whatever and you don't want to make a mistake and wash your face with the coochie cloth. It's safer to just use a new one."

Right before I started to make fun of her I realized I couldn't because I was going to make fun of her by telling her how to do it right. Yeah, I'm a little crazy myself (shocker), also a little too set in my ways. No need to get too graphic but if you're ever sharing a shower with me don't use the washcloth on the left. It's for your own good.

2. A friend of mine told me this story (True story!) the other night. I almost snorted gourmet BLT out of my nose.

So she's a little hyper sometimes. She knows this. She multi-tasks a lot. One day she had to pee and she had to throw out her gum because it lost its flavor. So she was sitting on the throne and she split her wad of TP in half, spit the gum in one half and threw one half away.

She tidied up the situationality and went on her way.

You can see where this is going, can't you?

All afternoon she just didn't feel right. Her underwear didn't fit properly. It was all sticky. What is going on with that? (When she tells this story there are arm and leg movements to re-enact the stickiness, totally worth the price of admission.)

A quick trip to the ladies' reveals that she threw away the unused wad of TP and multi-tasked the one with her gum in it.


She still won't tell me how she got it out, either.

Happy V-Day y'all, make it a good one!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bad slide show

I have a pretty visual brain. Images come popping into my head when I try to make sense of things. Sometimes these images are funny, sometimes it's just a whole snake pit and sometimes it's something vaguely disturbing in between.

It's about to snow/sleet/hail/rain/commit some meteorological skullfuckery all over New York. By tomorrow that will be rain for us, the weatherbots are all but certain of it. Back where I come from, though, it's a little iffier. My mom is right on the rain/snow line and if it comes down snow they're talking feet.

Right now mom lives, essentially, in a tiny bungalow of a place with her Old Man Friend. The OMF is in his late 80s (I know), and has had several heart-related surgeries (I know) and suffers recurrent bouts of loss of feeling in his legs ( I know, already!). The driveway is a steep grade, it's only about 10 feet long but it's a steep and treacherous 10 feet. There's a decent possibility that with the right combination of snow and ice there will be significant loss of power and it will be difficult to get power restored in a timely fashion. I don't know if the OMF (I keep typing "the OMG" and it also seems right) has a generator but I'm pretty sure there's no working fireplace or wood stove in the bungalow. He does, however, have a whole 'nother bigger house right across the road (I don't know, I don't ask, I assume it's an inheritancy sort of thing but really I just don't want to know that badly) so I figure there's some sort of provision for ... huh, I just remembered that the boiler in the second house went belly up a couple months ago so maybe that won't be the refuge. But their close friends, who also happen to be Chili's grandparents, live down the street (and by down the street I mean like a mile down the road) and Chili's grandfather is the sort of guy who probably has a generator and a year's worth of gas stockpiled at this point.

So, anyway, I'm picturing the exodus from the bungalow. I'm realizing that numb legs and a bionic heart are likely not going to navigate treacherously snow-covered ice very well and I'm wondering how they'll work it out and this picture popped into my head.

My mother will pull him on a sled.

If you've ever met my mother you know I'm right, too.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Why Fight Club is for everyone; Part 32459734729829356

There are a lot of quotes that speak to me from the book and the movie. This one I had forgotten about until now:

I don't need a lover, I need a case worker.

Yes, that's Meatloaf of Paradise By the Dashboard Light fame comforting Edward Norton.

Cage Match: Angsty Teen Drama Edition

Three men enter, one man leaves.

Greg Berlanti (Dawson's Creek, Everwood) vs. Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) vs. Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Firefly)

Who comes out alive?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Don't Make Me Hate You

So I was going to write about dogs but I spent my bloggable time being forced to switch over to the new blogger. Since I already have a gmail account I'm pretty sure this is going to be all kinds of fucked up and I really wish that the blogger arm of Goog1e had a phone number so I could call and demand to talk to a supervisor and try to get someone (SOMEONE? ANYONE?) to answer my questions or even give me an place to submit my questions BEFORE I have to switch over.

See also: spoiling for a fight.

I knew this day was coming. It was inevitable and I knew I was going to be resentful. I'll explore the features, I'll compose a stern letter or two and then, like as not, I'll move to Wordpress. But only after I've gone to brunch and had a stiff drink and something smothered in white gravy.

P.S. Let me know if there's anything wrong with your consumption of 117Hudson in this format. That will also factor in my decision.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Reunited and it feels so....oh nobody wants to hear that crap

To start off with an aside, you should be reading TiNO even if you're already politically aware, even if you don't want to be too politically aware, even if you think politics is bull. Somehow they can give me the equivalent of a meal of cooked spinach with a side of chocolate ice cream so I'm not overwhelmed by the fear of it all. Today, I got a link to this little piece of literary genius that made me almost pee myself.

Quick disclaimer: I've been spoiling for a fight for about 3 weeks now. It's part PMS, part winter blahs, a dose of just being a bitch and today a generous helping of a sinus headache so bad that I am praying for death. Please attribute anything that sounds inflammatory here to those factors and not to any personal animosity. Unless taking it personally could induce you to come to my house and shoot me right in the third eye which will ooze viscous snot instead of blood, if it'll induce you to do that then, yeah, I'm talkin' to you, please bring it!

On to the meat of the story: Class Reunions.

10 years ago I went to my 10th high school reunion. It was the same weekend as the Bee wedding and it turned out to be the weekend that Princess Diana died.

The reunion itself came in 2 parts. There was an afternoon part in a local park where you brought your own food and your family, if you had one, and you milled around and signed in and got a little booklet with entries from people who had been organized enough to send something in. I went and I didn't bring my family because I don't have one and I met up with the 2 people I'd planned to go with. Truth be told I think I convinced them to come with me when they weren't into it. I talked to a few people, observed some others, Chili was probably the only person that I talked to that I ran into there without pre-planning it and other than that I didn't have a great time because I didn't learn much that was new and it was all angled toward the super awkward. Which, you know, is probably to be expected, meeting people after such a long time you need some time to warm up.

I left after maybe an hour, threw my booklet on the passenger seat of my car and headed to the Bee's condo to watch the great opening of the presents before it was time to go to part deux of the reunion.

Part two was a dinner and dancing affair at a now-defunct restaurant with a neon whale as its sign. I showed up, knowing I had one person I'd planned to meet with and looking forward to meeting Mr. Chili. We found a table, about 6 of us I think. The best part of the table conversation ever is the part that reminded me what a fucker I was in high school, largely irredeemable I tell you. I was having fun talking to a woman and her husband and at one point she very calmly looked up and said, "You guys never talked to me in high school." She wasn't wrong and I ended up keeping in touch with her for about a year before she moved and I lost her. Her husband made his own drum sticks. They sent me some when I was on tour with a percussion show. They were awesome.

I worked my way across the room to the bar and back again and I met a bunch of people. Stories that I've probably told you a million times about the guy who now pilots a helicopter and the guy who built his own cabin and the dude who was nutso drunk and had moved cross country for a girl and been dumped and was in the process of being bailed out by his best friend from high school. That last guy? Third grade teacher.

About halfway back to the table I looked around and realized something. Most of the crowd had gone home for the afternoon break and read their booklets. Instead of talking to people to find out about them they were sitting in the same groups they'd sat in when we were in school, showing eachother blurbs in the booklet and pointing to where that person was in the room. I didn't learn about as many people but I think I got better stories. This one guy I was friends with from 3rd grade had a speech he gave whenever anyone asked about him. I watched him deliver it a minimum of 4 times and it was word perfect every time. I felt bad for his wife and tried to engage her but it turns out they're perfect for each other and she liked the way it was going down.

I left the lights on in my car (my mom's car, I don't own a car) all night. I took my leave later. When three 28 year old guys strip to the waist during YMCA you know it's time to go home. You're glad you saw it and all but you know you don't want to see what happens next. My last formal goodbye was to our class president who was curt and dismissive. Then out to the parking lot where I found that I needed a jump start. I phrased my request for assistance poorly when I walked back into the foyer and someone cracked a joke about it and I was immediately transported back to high school and I felt awful. Someone's spouse jump started my car and I got out of there quickly and gratefully.

I wasn't a popular kid in high school. Frankly, a lot of the time I wasn't even very popular with my group of friends. I was always running from something and I was overly dramatic and I made a lot of shameful decisions. If you think I'm awkward and say the wrong thing now you should have seen me full of hormones and caffeine. I didn't like me much then and when I think back on that chick now I don't like her. I still actively have trouble being friendly with people who are like her.

Yeah, and you know what? I'm different now. But I bet I see more of a difference than anyone else does. Not drinking caffeine helps but it's not a cure all, even I know that.

I want to go to my 20th reunion this July.

I am apparently in the minority of all people who have ever attended an American school between the ages of 14-18.

Chili just wrote an entry about the reunion and every comment but mine can be boiled down to "FUCK NO!" and a graphic of a back view of someone running away with his or her ass on fire. This is approximately the same response I've gotten from anyone I've asked about a reunion except maybe my mother.

So now (and I recognize this is me making myself feel like this not anyone else doing it to me) I feel shitty about wanting to go to my reunion. Thinking through it logically there's a way better than average chance that I'll have a crappy time at this one. I mean, I had a great time at the last one, so I've already beaten the odds. There aren't a ton of people that I want to find out about and the ones I do probably won't be there. I mean, if the response I'm getting is any indication they don't need to hire a hall they can book a table for 2 at McDonald's and it'll still be too optimistic a choice for the turnout. It's not like I've done anything wildly different than I had at the 10 year reunion, I don't have kids or a partner to talk about and even if I did why would anyone be interested in that? They weren't all that interested in what I had 10 years ago.

The thing I really liked, though, was hearing other people's stories. My favorite part of the evening was probably sitting quietly listening to the story of a guy whose beloved older brother was a student of my dad's. A couple of years later that brother died and I was so glad to have had the time to sit with the surviving one to learn about how much they enjoyed eachother despite enormous differences. I re-met someone there who is now one of my best friends. And maybe most importantly I got reminded that I can be a better person and I still have work to do.

Ideally I suppose I want a reunion of everyone who pretty much ever went to our high school. I was close to a lot of people in other grades and I knew a lot of people from many years earlier and later through different connections. I'm supposed to suggest that to the powers that be but I haven't managed it yet. I picture it out on the old football field, an all day affair with food for sale maybe. There should be DJ'd music but also live music from all the people who have bands and connections now. I know at least 4 people just off the top of my head, not including me. I'd like there to be a big notice board somewhere so that if you're looking for someone you can post that and hopefully they'll see it. Maybe also a sort of tote board where you can register your attendance so if someone wants to find you they at least know you're out on the field somewhere. A 50/50 raffle is mandatory, and we'd donate the money to the school. It'd be neat to get a blog set up so people could enter memories and stories and that way when you got home at the end of the day you could look back on that.

Ideal ain't gonna happen by July and probably won't ever happen.

Most completely unideal is to go with someone I have to manage. You'll notice that I didn't talk about my date to the last reunion. I thought about bringing one. A lot. In the end I didn't bring anyone because there was no one I could bring that wouldn't bring so much baggage that it'd get in the way of the intention of the event. I decided I was better off on my own and it turned out to be true. Turns out to be true a lot for me, not just at reunions. Suzanne expressed excitement about going and it sounds like she'll be the ideal partner for the event. I think we'll both be there for similar reasons, we've known eachother since grade school but been out of touch for many years, and it's always nice to have a touchstone so you can take a break from re-meeting all these people which is really hard work.

Chili was unsettled by a comment I made on her reunion entry. It was a little curt but that's just because I didn't add the disclaimer from above. What I was trying to say is that if you don't want to come don't come. OK I actually did say that but my reasoning is that I don't want anyone to do me any favors by coming because then I will feel obligated to tailor the experience to be sure that they enjoy themselves and that will almost certainly mean that I will not enjoy myself because, dude, I have no control over how this thing is going to go. It could be fun, it could be boring, it could be such a blazing disaster that weapons are drawn, friendships ended and mascara runs. I don't know!

I think that's part of the attraction.

So, if Suzanne truly is as interested as she says we may be sitting together in July, just the 2 of us, at a small table in McDonald's but at least we'll have given it a shot and the fries will be good.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I wonder what the hangover will be like

I am doing the new age equivalent of drunk blogging.

I got my first massage about 3 years ago in a spa situation. It was a hot stone thing and it was nice, very smooth and gentle and made you happy. Today was not that kind of massage. It was deep tissue and painful sometimes and a little scary and I could feel what she was changing in my muscles. Also, it was a little chilly.

What I didn't anticipate is the vaguely loopy feeling I've had ever since. It's like being pleasantly tipsy but I'm not so full I can't keep drinking water. About 15 minutes ago I had that crashy moment where I thought, "Bed. Now." But I have to walk the dog first which involves going outside which involves donning every single piece of clothing I own which is daunting so I'm blogging first.


But seriously, did you miss me?

The crowd screams, "How can we miss you if you won't go the fuck away?"

You may also be wondering why I haven't been fired from my job yet.

Because I cheated on the blogging. Last Sunday I cached some entries then every morning when I got to work I switched the time signature and posted. Sneaky, huh? In the meantime, though, I've been thinking of a ton of things to write about:

- How good it was for me not to have a computer at home for a couple of days - learning experience

- How much I love my new spa-massaged computer and the talented and sexy people who gave it the spa treatment

- How Goog1e/B1ogger is forcing me to switch to the unBeta and my problems with that

- My massage (yes, there's more)

- Cat for long term foster PLEASE HELP! I will pay for food and litter and vet PLEASE HELP!

- Cold and hate

- Seasonal Affective Disorder

- Anger

- My complete inability to do math (which I can't actually blog about because it manifested itself during a project which is sort of secret presenty sort of a thing)

- My parents

- This book I'm reading

- The 107 in 2007

- Fear as it relates to marketing and career

OK, I'm done. There's more but it's possible I will fall asleep at the keyboard and while I understand how sexy that is I think I'm not quite sexy enough overall to pull off such an act.

The upshot here is I'm really glad to be back but I must go out in the cold and wake myself up for the good of the dog before I can go to sleep. Thanks for waiting around for me. What happened while I was gone?

I cooked!

I think I'm doing OK with the 107 in 2007.

#3 turned into going to Mrs. X's memorial but it was accomplished. You can really only be in one place at one time.

#7 I went back 2 weeks ago. I'd forgotten that I left my last class in Dec citing illness. The teacher thought I'd been laid up all this time. Apparently the one thing I needed to make me love Floor Barre was that shitty yoga class.

#8 Thanks to Kath's suggestion I think it's possible that I'll get this by using FitTV. I'm working on it and that's all I can promise.

#23 I have technically accomplished by singing at the nursing home a few weeks ago but I think I'm not going to cross it off until I've done a public venue gig. Because...

#26 was the nursing home thing. Totally crossed off but totally going to do it again.

#43 is all about what you buy and about cooking. I'm doing really pretty good. I might even being going so far as getting 4 a day. It also helps that Kath keeps inviting me to dinner and she always serves at least 2 veggies.

#64 Done! Loved it. Will go back again now that I feel comfortable getting there and all.

#69 Done and thank goodness. It was much rougher than usual and the crowd was odd. I felt very out of place and it was a lot different than it's been before. It felt, and I hate to say this because it sounds crazy, less genuine.

#71 Done and fun. Champagne and friends and cake!

#74 Like the veggies it's going well. And I've rarely spent money on my lunch since I've been treated a few times or scavenged from meeting lunches. This week I'm buying lunch twice but I'm still pretty sure my average is bringing lunch 3 times a week or at least not paying for lunch 3 times a week.

#85 & 86 I got in under the wire for January so I'm on track.

#87 I did it almost accidentally last Sunday. Crockpotted some chicken in a jar of Korma sauce I had and did up some more brussels sprouts then sauteed some broccoli too. Oh, OK, and I made pudding. YUM!

#105 My first massage is scheduled for today.

How are you doing on your plans for this year?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Julie's gig

I've posted about Julie a lot. My love for her is no secret. She has a connection to emotion that I only wish I could find for myself. I have trouble describing what it is that's so important to me about her. Describing her music? Jesus, almost impossible.

Until Saturday night's gig.

She was telling some hilarious stories. One of which was about a friend helping her come up with the one 25 words or less description of her music.

"Dirge Pop. It's like, let's go to a funeral with Julie on a sunny day!"

It is!

One of the million things I admire about Julie is that she decided to study singing later in life (concert pianist, poet, lyricist, healer, hypnotherapist and now singer) but she hasn't let the process of learning her craft squelch her emotional connection to the music. I always lead with the technical specs, reluctant to be vulnerable. She leads with her emotion and layers it with newly won craft and the effect is mesmerizing.

When she puts out her first CD you're all getting a copy for Christmas.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Daddy Blog Round Up

The Media Guy is reading the parent-focused magazines handed out in the OB's office. We must get him some counter-programming stat. I mean, I always just assume that stuff is bull but he's a Media Guy, it's his job and one of his passions so he has to get involved and study it. However, he spent the time to put together a whole slide show of his outrage so I feel the need to offer alternative reading material before he blows an aneurysm or something.

What do I know?

I know blogs and teen TV. Since the teen TV is likely also not the sort of parenting information he's looking for I'll go with blogs.

First there's Daddytypes. I don't know exactly who he is or what he does. I think he has a background in furniture design. I know he has a young daughter. The blog talks up different and interesting kid-centric furniture, design and accessories as well as keeping tabs on the Park Slope stroller wars. Last time I was over at the Music Family's house they showed me how to work the new high chair. It looked wicked familiar. Why? Daddytypes!

Rob Rummel-Hudson, blogger since practically the inception of such a thing, has written extensively about his daughter and her "broken brain" for all her life. His book about that journey has just gone off to the editor and he's starting work on a book about Dads. He's funny, he's human, sometimes he pisses people off and he always writes eloquently about his daughter who is awesome.

The LOD's not laid off anymore but he's still a dad. Right now he's got a downstairs neighbor freaking out about the "thumping" that 2 toddlers make. The elder son has suggested they hang ropes from the ceiling and swing from them until the neighbor's weekend sleep in time of 9:00am. Brilliant!

DJ Blurb is the complementary puzzle piece to Dooce. He writes in not equal parts about computer technology, photography and his family. The Blurbodoocery supports their family with the proceeds from their blogs and a few outside writing gigs. Also, the pictures are pretty.

John Scalzi of Whatever is a writer. He writes science fiction, her writes technical pieces, he blogs for the You've Got Mail people. Whatever is his place to write whatever he wants whenever he wants. Sometimes it's politics, sometimes writing, sometimes it's photoshop fooling and sometimes it's his unbelievably beautiful and hilarious wife and daughter. Athena, the young Scalzi, is an occasional contributer to the blog with photos, short written pieces and video.

Waiting for Cassowary is my friend Rick's new blog. Rick was my first regular commentor here that I hadn't known outside of the blogosphere. He's a painter, a journalist, a husband and the father of 3 beautiful girls. Oh and sometimes there's poetry. I love the way he conveys that his daughters lift him up and teach him as much as he does the reverse without being cloying or unbelievable.

Wayfarer is an old friend of Chili's. He's a teacher in an alternative high school, he's finishing a graduate degree and still figuring out ways to spend time with his young daughters.

Brian Mason
is a tech guy, a political dude and, I have to admit rather sheepishly here, a man who makes me quite envious of his wife, the double blogged Maggie Mason. He doesn't write often and usually it's fairy short but I suspect he may write or post photos a little more frequently when their first baby is born in a few weeks.

There are others out there. Tons, I'm sure. But these are the guys I read regularly. Maybe on another day I'll post some blogs by mom that feature their corresponding dads heavily. Please go read them, the writing, the photography and the heart is all so much better than anything a drug company ever dropped off in an office. It's the real front line of parenting being blogged in real time.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I Would Have

Mrs. X sent me these poems earlier in the year. If there had been some time when it would have been appropriate I would have read them.

At the Beach
by Kemal Ozer

The waves are erasing the footprints
Of those who are walking the beach

The wind is carrying away the words
Two people are saying to each other

But still they are walking the beach
Their feet making new footprints

Still the two are talking together
Finding new words

by Ronald Wallace


Some days I find myself
putting my foot in
the same stream twice;
leading a horse to water
and making him drink.
I have a clue.
I can see the forest
for the trees.
All around me people
are making silk purses
out of sow's ears,
getting blood from turnips,
building Rome in a day.
There's a business
like show business.
There's something new
under the sun.

Some days misery
no longer loves company;
it puts itself out of its.
There's rest for the weary.
There's turning back.
There are guarantees.
I can be serious.
I can mean that.
You can quite
put your finger on it.

Read them out loud when you have a chance. I think they're even better out loud.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I never exaggerate. Not ever!

Yesterday it was damn cold. Also I was out in the world all day long. So cold. After dark I was out at dress up functions so I was even colder. In the cab on the way home I heard it was going down to 14 degrees and wouldn't be going up much. Walking the dog for her last pee I was wearing jeans with leggings underneath and the wind cut through that like I was wearing a nice pair of linen dress pants. All night long I heard the wind rattling the windows.

So this morning when I got up and had to walk the dog, preferably to the park, I suited up. This is what I wore:

Handknit wool socks
Pajama pants tucked into socks
Fleece pants
Wind pants
Scarf under jacket crossed over chest
Big winter coat with strong elastic at the butt to keep the wind out and hood up
Hat covering me from the nape of my neck to my eyebrows
Cashmere gloves
Woolen mittens

Apparently that crazy wind was mostly just on my block. Also, very sunny out today. After about 15 minutes I had that wacky childhood smell gusting up from inside my jacket. You know, the unique stale mix of sweat and water resistant fabric? Eensy bit of overkill perhaps.

In other news I may be scarce for about a week. Mr. Chili has aquired a delightful little back up hard drive for me and he has grand and intricate plans for setting me up so my info is safe and I have rebooting options and whatnot. However he is there and I am here so I am trusting all my information and my beloved laptop which comprises all of my at home internet access to the lovely people at UPS. It heads off tomorrow and with luck I'll have it back in a week so know that if you're trying to reach me by e-mail I'll only get it while I'm at work Mon-Thurs. Posts may be scarce as well since I really ought to work at work. Sigh.

Please cross your fingers for the safe passage of my little silver lifesaver and all the information contained within.

OK, and while I've written this - they built a whole neon stage in the shape of The Artist Formerly Known As Prince's name symbol? Weird but cool and the marching band was pretty awe inspiring, too.

Only 999 to go

For reasons that cannot be divulged I had the internet teach me how to fold an origami crane just now.

This site was unable to do it. It was like that bad, evil yoga teacher we talked about.

But this site was all gentle yoga and shit and I made a sad but accurate legal pad crane.

I swear to you that the last step is "blow in the hole". About this I would not joke. I made the crane work even though blowing in the hole didn't seem to be doing anything. (That's what she said.)

The legend is that if you fold 1,000 of these suckers you get a wish. One wish. It's like eating lobster legs, all that work and so little return. But I feel pretty good about doing it and I think it's the right choice for....

I can't tell you.

So, what are you doing at 12:39am on a Sunday?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wired for Hot People

Can you guess what I'm Netflixing these days?

I had to post this entry to remind myself how squirmy Dominic West makes me. He's doing way too good a job of playing an ugly drunk in this third season.

Wanna join me tomorrow night?

Isn't she beautiful? It's even better in 3D.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Worse than "On a Plane"

Audio Girl sends me an e-mail with the subject line: I'm guessing you won't want to try this.

No. No I won't.

This was the article she sent me:

Snakes help soothe the joints at spa
Fri Jan 26, 10:02 AM ET
TALMEY EL'AZAR, Israel, Jan 25 (Reuters Life!) - Hold the Dead Sea salts and tea-tree oil. An Israeli health and beauty spa has introduced a new treatment to its menu -- snake massage.
For 300 shekels ($70), clients at Ada Barak's spa in northern
Israel can add a wild twist to their treatment by having six non-venomous but very lively serpents slither and hiss a path across their aching muscles and stiff joints.
"I'm actually afraid of snakes, but the therapeutic effects are really good," customer Liz Cohen told Reuters Television as Barak let the snakes loose on her body.
Barak uses California and Florida king snakes, corn snakes and milk snakes in her treatments, which she said were inspired by her belief that once people get over any initial misgivings, they find physical contact with the creatures to be soothing.

In the humble opinion of a phobic I would like to call a hearty Bullshit! on Ms. Cohen. There are 4 different kinds of reptiles slithering all over your milky skin if you aren't screaming and clawing your eyes out you aren't afraid. YOU'RE NAKED WITH SNAKES ON YOU! Are you Nucking Futs, lady?

On a lighter note Audio Girl and I have decided it should be billed as "The Indiana Jones" massage to add a bit of retro flair. Hipsters love the retro flair.