Friday, October 31, 2008

Fucking Frightening Foliage Friday

Happy Halloween, y'all! My day is going to be spent largely on the #2 train.
First I leave home bright and early to go up to class. Then I swing partway back down to feed and annoy Bebe's cats. I continue on down home to feed, walk and annoy my own menagerie. Then I gather all my goodies and go, I believe the technical distance term is, WAY the hell up to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine to be part of the Parade of Ghouls. Then of course I will have to work out how to get ALL the way back down into Brooklyn to be home. Since I'll be paid for both gigs tomorrow night I may indulge in a taxi. It's going to be one expensive freaking taxi, though.
Enjoy the day. Enjoy the foliage. Don't forget that tomorrow kicks off NaBloPoMo and Sunday we toss our clocks back.

Goodbye October 2008! You've been...weird.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Snug As an Underwire Bug

As always new(ish) information is in italics.

1. Get regular vocal coaching (see also #14) [I got a phone number for a guy months ago. I still haven't called it.]
2. Record 2 more tracks for CD - I've been thinking about this a lot and might even know which couple of tracks I want to do but again I need accompaniment.
3. Night Before Christmas for fam (make a book? buy them? convince this guy to illustrate a version and help him publish it?)
4. Continue Floor Barre classes - IN PROGRESS Man, I'm hitting a plateau with this class. I know it's that I'm at a new point in the learning process so it's hard again but jeez louise it sucks.
5. Add another hour per week of exercise (3 sessions of 20 minutes each per week)
6. Submit Chekhov or Speed Dating play to 20 places - Still submitted to one place. I also wrote a screenplay for an actor-director team so I'm counting that as a submission of sorts, too. So 2 down, 18 to go. I can still focus more effort here.
7. Book Shakespeare 10 places
8. Go on a date - I'm going to enter the dating thing at My Open Wallet but I'm still a little unsure about how to describe my financial style.
9. New Year at the steam pipes
10. 2 field trips with Alita We've been to the Botanical Gardens and out to lunch and we had the most awesome Mermaid Parade experience. I'm sure we'll do more before year's end but I'm counting this DONE.
11. Post-Thanksgiving Open House
12. Find director for Chekhov - I'm changing this to find a director for the Speed Dating play, which is DONE and is working out wonderfully.
13. Reading of Chekhov - In accordance with #12 I'm changing this to a second run of the Speed Dating play in NYC. We've got a director, we're doing it in MA so this might not be too difficult. More of a reach than changing this to performing it in MA.
14. Find new vocal coach
15. Sing live - Hey, surprise, I did this. Turned out to be at a funeral but damned if I'm not giving myself this one 'cause I did it and it was hard. DONE
16. Hang pictures
18. Perform at Boerum Hill nursing home sing along - I need to just go, though I think that after singing at AB's funeral it's going to be hard.
19. Lobsterbake (June) - DONE
20. Complete play for Women's Night (Feb) - DONE
21. Complete non verbal piece for Women's Night (Feb) - DONE
22. Complete admin work for Women's Night (Feb) - DONE
23. Perform Women's Night (Feb 15 & 16) - DONE
24. Polish up 3 short stories - Working on a musical now as well as that short story.
25. 20 short story submissions
26. Go to Met Museum - DONE
27. See South Pacific - DONE
28. See Farnsworth Invention - Totally missed this. Saw August:Osage County with Zelda as substitute (two word review: awe inspiring). DONE
29. 3 activist actions that do not include the use of form e-mail (suggestions welcome) - saving Lorry and donating to Jen Lemen's friend and I donated to the Obama campaign to register voters. DONE.
30. See an opera
31. Go to MoMA - DONE, had a lovely time with a friend and walked through every square inch of the photography part which is exactly what I wanted to see.
32. Go to Frick - DONE in Jan when ChemE came to visit.
33. Fix back-up hard drive
34. Install Final Draft (script writing software)
35. Learn how to use Final Draft
36. Continue Weight Watchers eating plan - calling this DONE even though, in some respects, it's never done. You know?
37. Meet goal weight of 125 - DONE!!!!!!!!! MOTHERFUCKING DONE!!!!!!!!!
38. Check in on this list once per month - Still on track with this. I didn't do it perfectly but I did do it regularly and that's good.
39. Re-do work files - DONE
40. Keep work files current - The office's move has been really nice for this. Of course packing things turned up more stuff to be filed but I'm still way ahead of the game.
41. Clean out closets - I worked on this a little.
42. Set up home filing system
43. Gyn appointment
44. Dentist appointment
45. Buy scanner - DONE, didn't have to buy it, Pony Express gave me her extra. Now I just have to learn how to use it.
46. Scan family photos - See above re: learning to use it.
47. Auntie Blanche's birthday (98 on August 23) - DONE. Bleargh.
48. Trip to beach - Hey, this is DONE too. Took ChemE's delightfully pesty little dog for a beach run.
49. Post photos to Flickr - Calling this DONE, it's a habit and something I love.
50. Invest 1/2 savings
51. See accountant in person - DONE, and I mailed her a check for her services, too.
52. Re-work investments to maximize return
53. Sort out IRA contribution - I gave up on this, actually so again I'm calling it DONE since I made a conscious decision to release it.
54. NaBloPoMo (Nov) - All signed up and ready to pull the trigger on the 1st. Really looking forward to it, actually.
55. Go to Brooklyn Museum
56. Update address book - I've made a tiny amount of progress here.
57. Make Christmas cards - JRH worked with me and designed the card. I need to order them now.
58. Take more photos (practice makes perfect after all) - DONE
59. Learn more about how I'm taking those photos (suggestions welcome) - The plan for now is to take the class at ICP in November. Still need to sign up for it.
60. Read 4 classic/good-for-me books (perhaps from this list Chrome mentioned) - Orlando, Sin & Syntax, a non fiction about Mormonism and the Golden Compass series. DONE.
61. Plan 40th birthday celebration for Jan 2009 (trip? party? both? both, right?) - Have been collecting ideas for places but still haven't been brave enough to call and ask for pricing.
62. Research health insurance providers - DONE!
63. Change health insurance providers if appropriate - We're calling this DONE since we would have done it if we had to. And by we I mean me.....and the voices in my head.
64. Bring lunch 3 days/week - Doin' it, doin' it, doin' it!
65. Get photos framed
66. Get contact lenses
67. Make out will
68. Inquire about grave plot
69. Renew passport
70. Submit for print audition (actors access?)
71. Submit for commercial audition
72. Write Aunt Rena once/month - Still keeping up with this and I called her this month while she was visiting with Mom.
73. Write Auntie Blanche once/month - Well, I guess we can call this DONE can't we?
74. Cook once/week (doing this is integral to being able to do #64) - Doing it.
75. Go to Cyclones game - Missed this this year. Just...didn't get to it.
76. Take all vacation days - I re-did the tally. I've got 8 days left.
77. Make new cookbook pages (this may morph into making another homemade Christmas gift)
78. God's Love for Thanksgiving - I signed up when the volunteer coordinator e-mailed.
79. Solve electric meter problem
80. Write on something significant (short story, play, etc.) 15 minutes/day, 5 days per week - I think I'm averaging this but I'm not writing a small amount consistently, I'm writing a larger amount with more space in between.
81. Send Christmas thank you notes - Kids, it's clear that I'm not getting this done, right? If you gave me something I'm really grateful, I promise. I got good stuff. Also, there's really no need to get me anything this year. Donate on my behalf instead.
82. Vocal warm-up 5 days/week
83. Physical warm-up 5 days/week
84. Pay extra mortgage payment - I've been paying a little extra here and there but I don't think it adds up. I'm also not in a great place cashola wise. I should still do this, though. Need to do some math.
85. Get facial - My face is sloughing off onto the wayside. I should really do this but see above re: cashola.
86. Record financial outgoings faithfully (see #96 re: Quicken)
87. Get Elvis's ultrasound (May) - DONE!
88. Complete at least half of the items on this list (I'm so meta) - I'm still optimistic about this one but more on the cautious side.
89. Actually hang up my Christmas wreath properly
90. Change over to those swirly energy saver light bulbs - I've installed a grand total of 1 but discovered the other day that I have another one in a drawer so I could put it anywhere!
91. Host Supper Club - DONE, Not perhaps my finest hour but I had a really nice time and I hope everyone else did, too.
92. Host Brunch
93. Get lip biopsied - DONE
94. Wear sunscreen every day - Habit. DONE
95. 30 minutes per week home improvement (above and beyond my definition of maintenance cleaning) - Trying, weakly.
96. Learn how to set up a new "me" in Quicken (Any Quicken experts out there? I took a look at it last night and I don't know if I know how to do it right. And I want to know how to record cash purchases, too.)
97. Go to one participatory music event for the holidays - This seems extra important now. I asked a friend who is a long time member of the NYC Gay Men's Chorus and he's almost certain he'll find something for me without any trouble.
98. Finish sending out 2007 Holiday cards (I'm 2/3 done!) - This just ain't getting done.
99. Re-organize kitchen cabinets
100. Apply creams/lotions/oils/ungents to scar daily - Doing it.
101. Get new digital camera - DONE
102. Send birthday cards (preferably before the birthday) - Still doing OK and I had both of the Bee's birthdays this month.
103. Travel once outside of "event" trips (birthdays, Christmas, lobsterbake etc.) - DONE, DC Day trip.
104. Floss thrice weekly
105. Move Music and Photos to desktop Mac - I moved the photos (three times! oops), need to learn how to do the music just once. - Still haven't moved music.
106. Leap more often (as opposed to plan, plot, think, prepare ex. I just decided to produce an evening of work by my female friends and the next day I sent out an e-mail.) - This is so impossible to quantify. It feels like I'm getting better, though.
107. Make at least 1 of the books in #60 a non-fiction (maybe the Omnivore's Dilemma, definitely not Fast Food Nation. Probably better if it's not a food book at all. I have enough trouble with food already right now.) - I read Sin & Syntax so this is DONE.
108. Finish this list. DONE!

DONE: 36 (+4 which I'm really surprised about, it didn't seem like I got anything done this month)

In Progress: 26 (-1, I was -5 for September so this seems good. If you add up my in progresses with my DONEs you get WAY more than half so that bodes well for #88

Packing It In

I hate packing. I hate change. I hate forced labor.
My office is moving and I forgot my camera today so a couple of Photobooth shots will have to do.
Actually, I'm OK with the change of the move. It's a slightly better commute for me and pretty much exactly the same office space. Of course for exactly the same I still need to pack everything up. Why oh why do I work in a job where I must pack a fairly large replica of a Citation X airplane in with my pencils and post its and unfiled correspondence?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

Here's a happy thought for the day: This is the last Wednesday we have to think about this upcoming election. Or as Zelda likes to phrase it, "This time next week" we'll have a new president.

Now that you're in your happy place I'm going to talk about abortion. I am the Queen of the Bait & Switch.

If you'd asked me as little as a month ago what my top voting priorities were abortion would not have been among them. Being pro-choice is important to me and the removal of that choice has concerned me since I discovered it might be taken away but it seemed like a marginal issue when economic and foreign policy concerns felt so much pervasive and immediate. Then I participated in some political...discussions. I've probably participated in more of those this election cycle than in any one before and I worked in a freaking democratic battleground in 2004, routinely having my intelligence, patriotism and morality called into question. I noticed that I became heated when the subject of choice arose and had a really hard time keeping myself in check so I could continue to debate respectfully. I wondered a bit why I was so emotionally connected to something from which I am, for all practical purposes, completely removed. I'm almost 40, I'm not having of the sex these days (sigh), though I can see myself having a family it would be a family that was gathered together not born from me, I've never been pregnant so there's no evidence that I could be and the window for that, she is pretty narrow at this juncture.

Then, on a routine read through Feministing I came across this quote by Lynn Paltrow (emphasis mine):

In August, at the Saddleback Civil Forum, Pastor Rick Warren asked both presidential candidates: "At what point is a baby entitled to human rights?" Senator John McCain's answer, "at the moment of conception," immediately established his anti-abortion bona fides.

But the right answer, as a matter of international human rights principles and simple justice, is: human rights attach at birth, not at conception.This is the only position that ensures that upon becoming pregnant, women do not lose their human rights.

Political candidates of all persuasions should rest assured that to oppose the recognition of human rights before birth is not to deny the value of potential life as matter of religious belief, emotional conviction or personal experience. Rather, it is to recognize the value of the women who give that life.

To oppose a woman's right to choose, in whole or in part, is to oppose a woman's human right to be a full and participatory member of society. It is to forcibly turn her into a conduit for a portion of her life rather than the complete person she is. Audio Girl keeps talking to me about how she worries that sexism is both more pervasive and more accepted in our society than any other prejudice and I had been reluctant to agree with her until I read Ms. Paltrow's words.

Choice overall is not a black and white issue. You can tell me, "But what if Mother Theresa had been aborted?" and I can reply, "Well, what if the Columbine killers had?" You can believe that the potential for a person deserves a certain respect and I will too, though the sort of respect we seek may differ. All of your arguments are perfectly valid and useful when discussing your opposition to abortion within the full range of choices with an individual. However, when you legislate your beliefs onto my body you, with prejudice and disrespect, remove my right as a fully functioning human being to make the choice for myself.

So, as it turns out, abortion and its full spectrum of choices and responsibilities are right at the very top of the list of issues upon which I vote because if you do not respect my value as that fully functioning member of society then I will be barred from complete participation in the solution process of all these other issues. I will simply be a vessel, too stupid, too untrustworthy to make decisions about things as close as my own heart and therefore unworthy to make decisions about things larger than that and that is a level of disrespect I cannot abide. Ms. Paltrow didn't put this belief on me, she said something that allowed me to find it where it lay waiting to be discovered in myself and that is one of the many things for which I will be grateful to this election. I have already started to make this change of which we speak and while it has been hard it is equally good.

Once A Year At This Time

I try and wait for the perfect day every year for this post. Last night was the one. Every October there's a windy, pouring down rain, dark, cold day and night just like the night the girl came home with Pony Express.

OK, so I wrote that and then I went back to look for the links to last October and it seems I haven't written a tribute to the day Miss Emily found us since 2005. Jeez, it's about damn time I brought the love back, eh? It is true, at least, that every year in October there is a day like this that is exactly like that night 13 years ago.

She is the exact same dog she was 13 years ago. She's nervous, she's clingy, she's strong as an ox, she's desperate to please and she's gorgeous. She is also a totally different dog. She can no longer walk around on her back legs for minutes at a time. She no longer flinches when another dog barks. She's calmer, much calmer, while still not being a calm canine by any stretch. She no longer bolts her food like the firing squad is loading their guns. As a matter of fact there's a funny story about that.

Tracy at Who's Your Doggy is always kind enough to give goodie bags to all the PUPkin entrants. This year it included a couple of poop bags, a key chain and an huge, frosted dog cookie. Ours is a ghost. On my way to work yesterday I gave the ghost to Emily in place of her normal large sized dog biscuit. She has yet to even give it a nibble but has been carrying it around with her for two days. Every so often I trip over it in a new location, completely intact but for another couple of tooth prints in the frosting. After she finished her dinner tonight she started to lay down near the couch then got up, retrieved the ghost from near the front door, brought it back to the living room and lay down next to it. This from a dog who once broke into a locked kitchen and ate an entire large sized pepperoni pizza in the 8 minutes I took to walk the other dog around the block. Some people, I suppose, would pick up the cookie and either put it away or throw it away but she seems to like having it with her so I'm fine letting it be.

She remains the world's sportiest traveler and was of enormous comfort to me, Auntie Blanche and everyone else during our emergency visit in August. If I could I would bring her everywhere with me because it would make her happy and she deserves that after the here and there life I've given her.

She's almost 14 now so I think a lot about how much time we have left. As far as I'm concerned we've been living on borrowed time since she was 11 or so. She's doing well, though, and I'm working hard with the supplements and careful exercise to keep her well. She still loves and is able to poke Bobby in the neck and chase after him until he begs her to leave him alone she just sleeps a lot longer when they're done. She would still walk to California and back on a cool, fall day if I'd just let her. She doesn't eat as much or as regularly as she once did and she's a veritable hunger striker when we travel or when I go away without her. Overall, though, she's the same as she ever was which is amazing.

Having a dog is at least as expensive and time consuming as I expected. It is also at least as fun and necessary as I suspected. Sometimes when she's lying on the floor near me I just lay down with her and breathe in her stinky dog smell and that is so much better than I ever thought possible.

As I was writing this I got an e-mail from friends in OH about their beloved boy, Hogan. He died yesterday after an illness. There are some similarities between Hogan and Em, not least their age, so I think it's appropriate to share this post with him. Here is a picture of the good boy, please give your pets some extra treats in his honor today. He is sorely missed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Neither Secure Nor Social, Actually

I got that little booklet in the mail last night, the one from the Social Security Administration that tells you about your earnings over your working lifetime. I always read it sort of carefully because I'm fascinated. I think it's akin to why I'm fascinated by my sitemeter stats.

So, no, I don't have any explanation whatsoever for why it's fascinating. Here are 10 things I see in it, though.

1. I have been a legal wage earner since 1986, the year before I graduated from high school.

2. My lowest wage earning year was 1986. But not by much.

3. My highest wage earning year was 2004. It's not a coincidence that was the last presidential election year and I took a lot of guff from a lot of angry, frightened, gloaty Gore opponents as part of my job. Flip side, I also got to meet Lauren Hutton.

4. Last year was was my second highest wage earning year but it trails '04 by about $4K on paper. It trails by a lot more if you factor in the way my benefits are paid. A lot more.

5. We've been talking a lot about this $250,000 earning figure. People who earn that much in a year, people who have that much in their bank accounts, what their hardships might be and whatnot. It took me until 2003 to break $250,000 in total earnings over the course of my working lifetime.

6. In 1999 I made just over half of what I made in 1998. That would be the year I ran away from home and met Zelda. Totally worth it.

7. 1995 was my second lowest wage earning year. I earned $130 more than I earned in my first reported earnings year, 9 years previously. That was the year I ran away from home and went to grad school in London.

8. I have not yet collected unemployment benefits though I have been unemployed rather a lot as illustrated by the roller coaster of earnings in my report. Upon reflection I probably should have done so rather than draining family, friends and savings as much.

9. 1992 was the first year that I earned a 5 digit income, just barely. I graduated from college in 1991.

10. If I work until I am 70 at the current earnings projections my monthly payment (lots of assumptions here, for instance Social Security will still exist 30 years from now) will be more than twice what made in my lowest earning year. Actually it will be more than twice what I made in my second lowest earning year. As a matter of fact not until 1989 did I earn significantly more in a year than my projected monthly payout amount.

Boyz in the 'Hood

Welcome to everyone from Pioneer Woman. For some reason a lot of people have clicked through from my comment on her very interesting post from yesterday. Thanks for stopping by, please come back!

This week I'm doing a 10 Things about the report I receive from the Social Security Administration every year on my earnings. It involves some math and some research materials, though, so that won't be until later. For now I wanted to give you a couple of vignettes from my beloved neighborhood. I was inspired to do that because this crappy thing happened there, just a block from my last apartment and it sucks so I'm trying to bring the love.

When I walk the dog in the morning I cross a couple of streets that are major through ways for commuters. Often when a vehicle, especially an SUV with tinted windows, is waiting at a light on one of these streets there is loud bass-thumping hip hop or rap or house music playing. It's not even 8 am and I'll be standing 10 feet from the car and I'll be able to feel the bass line in my sternum.

This morning I approached such a light and I could hear the bass thumping but not feel it yet. The line had some familiarity to it. Ba da bum, ba da bada bum, ba da bum, ba da bada bum in this rising cadence and I almost had it when the vocal came out, "SWEEEEET CAROLINE (ba ba daaaaaaa)!!" I have to say that's a pretty good way to start the day.

Last night when I was walking the dog I had to be creative about the route. When it's light out we usually go to the park but now I get home from work and change my shoes and the light's all gone. So I walked up a side street and ahead was a group of young men sitting around talking on a stoop. This is, regrettably, always a slightly odd situation. I wonder if they're profiling me as the interloping Yuppie scum and they wonder if I'm profiling them as scary hoodlums. I have lived in the area long enough to know that people sitting on steps may be assholes but are rarely scary. I usually go with a noncommittal half-smile sort of a thing maybe throwing in a nod if someone looks at me but they rarely do. If one of them starts saying shitty stuff about my dog I can move on and the smile will seem aloof and uncaring. If someone does engage me with a smile or a greeting I haven't started off on the wrong foot. It can go either way.

So I approach with my wispy Kate Moss smile on and one of the guys turns and looks at me. "Evening" he says.

"Hey." I reply.

A couple others wish me good evening and I hey them.

The last one is leaning agains the step and he waits to be heard without muddling. His voice is deep with a smile in it, "Obama, right?" he asks?

So sweet is that question to my ears I lose all pretense of vaguery, "Oh hell yes!"

They all laugh and I turn the corner to a chorus of, "She knows, right?" "Yup, she knows."

I know that those guys will be sitting on stoops in front of buildings, hopefully in this neighborhood, talking about the same shit, about politics and economics and racism and rent and food and girls, when they're 85. They'll be engaging passersby and laughing and joking for as long as they live and I love that. Lately a lot of people have been lamenting the loss of that sort of neighborhood watch in our area but it's still there you just have to be lucky enough to catch it.

Monday, October 27, 2008


So, I'm not exactly super cool. Perhaps you've noticed. At least I own it. This post is to thank JRH for saving my bacon by accidentally making me cool enough to get my job done.

Not my 9-5 but that Halloween job I keep rabbiting on about. I know. It was 3 hours where I interacted with approximately 500 people, though, so a lot happened and I keep thinking of things. Just wait until Friday when I do it again only with adults.

Anyway, long before I knew I would do this job, way back in June, I got a chance to meet JRH's son for the first time. He's one of those who puts on a shy face for safety's sake when he meets people. Thinking I knew kids I went with what turned out to be a hopelessly out of date gesture. I asked for a high five. I got bupkus. His mother kindly stepped in and said, "Come on. How about pound it? Will you pound it?" I briefly wondered why she was encouraging her kid to hit me as a getting to know you technique then saw him do an MLB-worthy fist bump with his dad.

Aha! I pounded it, felt very hip and moved on.

That was four months ago, though. I've lost a lot of brain cells since then. I spent Saturday afternoon blissfully broadcasting my age and high fiving kids from 6 months to 60 years old. The confused glances did not deter me because I was out there mingling with the people, I was having success and saving kids from being characters on a JJ Abrams show. I was on fire.

Late in the day I wound up behind a group of older kids, between 10 & 12 probably. At first glance they seemed equipped to deal with a slightly bigger scare but after they all took a look at me it was clear I'd misjudged. They were there on some sort of outing, there was nearly a 1-1 ratio of adults to children and everyone was wearing name tags. The language from the adults was a tip off, too, it was all teaching language and visible from a mile away. The kids stayed scared but stuck with their adults (or more accurately hid behind them) and kept looking at me. I got the oldest one to shake my hand. I tried for a second guy and he couldn't commit. It was just way too freaky for him. I tried a high five. What can I say? Old habits die hard. The lead adult encouraged him but he couldn't see his way clear so, just like another adult four months ago, she stepped in. "How about pound it? Can you handle that? Go on."

Clearly I seem halfway hip because both ladies assumed I'd know this. I need to remind them that I went to school for acting. I'm only acting cool. Apparently I'm succeeding more than I knew. There I stood under about 4 lbs. of cat head thinking, "This pound it? It sounds familiar. I should know...aha!" Made a fist, got it pounded, even did that fancy little twist thing. I felt super cool.

So, thanks JRH for making me cool and saving me from one doozie of an awkward moment, which is saying something coming from a woman who was wearing a poofy linen jumpsuit and a mesh cat head with pipe cleaner whiskers.

As Promised

Kath put up a link to some more PUPkin pics taken by a fine photog from Gothamist. You can see the fountain actually working in this set. Also you get to see our friend, Piggy, who was the final contestant.

Lost & Found

There was one other good (or bad depending on your perspective) story from my Halloween job this weekend. I met a lot of versions of Batman. A lot. One of them was a gentleman of perhaps 4 years. He was unsure of my skeleton at best but making a go of it. He was with family, about 8 of them, plenty of adults, good interaction. They wanted pictures. They actually wanted pictures with Batman in them but he wasn't having any of it. He eyed me warily and kept me at arm's length. I moved on and 5 minutes later I hadn't made it more than 15 feet to the left but I had met a whole lot more people and at least one more Batman. Suddenly I turned around and heard, "Where's my mommy?"


I'm not supposed to talk under all these costumes but in this case I made an exception because here was my wary Batman.

"Where's my mommy?"

I looked around and I couldn't find her anywhere. "OK, we'll fix it. It's OK. Here." I held out my hand.

He looked at me like I was the dumbest skeleton he'd ever met. Then he shook his head vigorously, "I'm scared of you."

Uh, OK. You have to appreciate a kid having that shitty a day and not melting down. He's in a crowd, he loses his mom and the only authority figure he can locate is some nightmare-inducing tap dancing skeleton but he doesn't panic he just keeps the goal in his sights. Sorry kid. "Uh....OK, we'll fix this. I promise."

"Where's my mommy?"

"OK, do you see those people over there in the orange shirts?"


"Will you take my hand so I can show you?"


KID!!! "There are people over there who can help. Let's....let's just walk over there together, OK?"


So we did, leaving a 3 foot gap between us the whole time.

Half an hour later I saw him with his family and all was well. I have a feeling that kid is going to go far. He neither compromises nor blinks and he doesn't stop until the job gets done.

McCain should have picked him for a running mate.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Moose's Revenge

Moose's Revenge
Originally uploaded by kizzzbeth.

Fancy this, I'm getting the photos posted the same day they were taken.

Here's poor Miss Emily dressed as Moose's Revenge. Head over to my Flickr page to get the whole scoop and see some more of the contestants from the day. I'll come back and post links when other photographers post their takes since I didn't come close to capturing all the contestants. It was a fitting celebration of a decade of canine humiliation and I'm so glad I got to be part of it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Originally uploaded by kizzzbeth.

I don't know how you're spending your Saturday night but I'm drinking a lot of fluids, nursing my rage and processing photos. Except for one gala wedding I'm caught up with what I've shot. Of course tomorrow I'm hitting the PUPkin and take a quatrillion photos so I'm actually nowhere near caught up and am therefore a little unclear why I'm telling you this. But, oo look, shiny photos!

More of That Postive Crap I Keep Talking About

I know that when we're all having a pleasantly logical discussion it may seem like I'm not taking anything emotionally. I know that when I respond with carefully thought out arguments that strive to further the debate it may seem like I'm more Darlene than Becky in this Roseanne universe. Try to remember, though, that I'm from New England. Repressing emotion was put into the water with fluoride when I was a kid. Plus, I'm a woman, and any woman who's ever won an argument (and I've won my fair share) knows that if you actually bitch slap someone the argument it lost because they're just going to say that you're a hysterical girl.

I'm offended. I'm deeply fucking offended and it's changing the way I view a lot of people and the way I approach new people. I'm not sorry, I'm not logical and I'm not fucking hysterical, I'm defending myself and every day it feels like I'm in more jeopardy. I'm not saying that Margaret Atwood had a time machine or anything but I wouldn't fucking be surprised.

In an effort to lighten the hell up so I don't commit a felony and lose my right to vote I'm looking for the funny. I'll take it anywhere. You know how I feel about videos and I just watched through about two weeks of videos I'd saved to my reader for a time when I had a moment to pay attention to them. The David Sedaris one about the personal catheter was funny but you can find that on your own. I'm going to share a lesser known one. Via Plaintive Wail (I really think I went to college with Falk but I have no way of knowing for sure) here's an eight and a half minute documentary on The Culture War in the style of Ken Burns. Some of it's funny, some of it's not, some of you will like it and some of you will probably be offended but if you don't laugh out loud at the woman who waged Aroma Warfare then you just might not be paying attention.

Lighten up already. I will if you will.

Pictures Can't Do It

I've got today's job and another Halloween gig on Friday. I love the costumes and masks and the looks on people's faces when they see them so I've wished I had a personal photographer to come with me and capture all the moments. Today I played a tap dancing skeleton and a really big-headed black cat. There was a ton of interaction with kids of all ages, colors, sizes, temperaments, languages and costumes. Seriously, if I'd been able to hear a little better behind my masks I could have learned "Say cheese!" in at least 8 different languages, it was awesome. For most of the day I was still wishing for the personal paparazzo but the best moment of the day couldn't have been caught in a still shot so it wouldn't have done me any good.

I met a kid while I was a skeleton. Turns out his name was Winn. He was probably 3 or 4 and I don't have any clue what he was dressed as. It involved a green coat and a white shirt that's all I could see. I have to cut myself some slack since I was working without my glasses and behind a mask so I could hardly see to put one foot in front of the other. Later on when I was a cat I ran into him again and we said hello. Then near the very end of the event he ran up to me and hugged me and said, "I'll miss you kitty. I'll miss you. I have to go home. Sorry. I'll miss you kitty." He said it over and over and over again while hugging me tightly around the neck or leg or arm or wherever he could reach. His mom took some pictures but he just wouldn't let go.

So fun 'n cute! I about offered to go home with him so we wouldn't ever have to be apart.

He was, of course, in direct contrast to a lot of kids who ran screaming from both of my costumes. My job was done the minute I reduced some poor young man to tears. I wanted to surprise him, I thought he could handle it so I waited behind him while he was looking at another bigger, scarier character and I tapped him on the shoulder. Unfortunately I didn't realize that I had also accidentally come between him and his dad, cutting him off from home base. Scared of the other character he backed up into me. Looking up he thought I was going to be dad and boy howdy was I not dad. My bad. Feel free to call me all 16 times he wakes up screaming tonight. It's totally my fault.

Next week we scare the adults. Can't wait!

Pleasant Surprises

I am off gallivanting today. If you hear a small child scream and pee her pants you can giggle and think of me.

OK, for real I usually get non-scary costumes so there probably won't be a lot of clean up involved. I got all my stuff done today and Kath came up with a funny costume for Em and we put some finishing touches on Bobby's truly glorious costume (there might have been a tiny bit of pee when we tried it on him). Bottom line is I won't be hanging around the internet much today. I wanted to leave the place looking nice in case company came by, though, so here's the Hot People post that Chili requested.

I didn't expect that still photos would do Ron Perlman justice. Then I found this photo and had to change my panties. Twice.
I know Will Smith has the jughead ears but he's so sweet, I can't help but love them and the man they rode in on.
The contract with CSI has yielded more photos of Lawrence Fishburne which is a good thing. I thought I was at my limit of new photos. He keeps a pretty low profile on this here intarwebs.

Mike Lowell in happier times. Look at that smile, we should keep him happy all the time. I have a couple of methods I think would be foolproof.
I'll admit that I mostly picked this one for the dog but Will's kind of smoking too.

Yeah. Not exactly chopped liver.
Grim determination. We'll get 'em next year.
With moves like that how could we not?
See? Will's keeping the faith. I look at that smile and I feel completely reassured about everything. Also a little tingly.

He's almost hypnotic.
I'm ending on a surprise. Chili didn't request this guy but after the cage match in the comments a couple of days ago I had to include him. Ladies, for future reference this is what I got when I googled "Craig Ferguson" and "naked."

I guess that answers the question of what he's wearing under that kilt.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fucking Floral Friday - Denial Edition

I took this on the weekend of Auntie Blanche's funeral. It's taken me so long to get through my photos from the past 6 weeks (she's been dead almost two months, life keeps moving forward and we keep doing all the same things and when I think about that it's unfathomable because how can there not just be cracks in everything I see if she is not here) that it's an entirely different season. It was just the end of summer and now it's fall, hard core fall, fucking fall, fucking frosty fall and I am not amused.

Today I'm going to head to class, get a flu shot, try to do some of a craft project while it's light out to save my eyes, mail some support to Jules, print out the directions for my job tomorrow, feed Pony Express's cats (must remember that), write, process photos and get to sleep early. Also drink plenty of fluids, that's been an issue of late.

Speaking of work on Saturday, Hey I got a job! I got two jobs actually. This company hired me to do a walk around event for a few hours. I'll be a tap dancing skeleton and a black cat. Not sure what the changeover is about, we've never done a gig where there was changeover. Oo, must remember to wear my watch. This job pays, it actually pays really well, and I love to do it, I love working with the company and I love playing with the kids and I love doing something that's not my regular j.o.b. There is one drawback, though. Tomorrow is also the PUPkin. It's the 10th anniversary of Kath's brilliant idea and it's like Christmas in October. I wasn't there last year because I was celebrating 40 years of being lucky enough to have Queen Bee on earth and I'd do it again. Clearly I would because I'll be off making money tomorrow instead of being at the PUPkin humiliating my dog and clicking until my shutter finger cramps up. Unless...

You see there might be a loophole. The event I'm working tomorrow is inside so it's a rain or shine sort of a deal. The PUPkin is not. If it rains tomorrow the PUPkin might be moved to Sunday. This is a huge headache for Kath and the whole freaking neighborhood is tugging on her sleeve about it so I want it to be whatever way is easiest for her. But...

But in the most selfish part of my heart I hope it's all moved to Sunday so I can go and help set up and take pictures and play with my friends and cheer my head off for Kath because she's awesome and she showed up in this neighborhood and right off the bat she fucking planted her flag with both capable hands and I admire that more than I can say. Keep your fingers crossed for a successful PUPkin whenever it happens. If possible I'll show you pictures. Kath will definitely show you pictures so you should probably add her to your feed reader. You know, just for the pictures not 'cause she spectacular or anything.

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Practice, Practice, Practice

I'm just flexing my muscles for NaBloPoMo, trying to make the joint look new and pretty every morning. Went with a fairy tale theme today, The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Wait, is that a fairy tale or just a tale? I think its' a fairy tale.

Anyone else joining me for NaBloPoMo? It's the 3rd Anniversary and it's fun and I always meet cool new people. Come on. Everybody's doing it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Former White House Press Secretary

Dee Dee Myers on Sarah Palin while a guest on the Craig Ferguson show a couple of nights ago.

Meyers: I like her. There are a lot of things I like about her. She has great confidence, she has great presence. I mean, I think anyone who's been on the world stage as long as she has and goes against Joe Biden in a debate that takes some...

Ferguson: You're right.

M: Yeah.

F: You're right that's true.

M: You know what, yeah.

F: You gonna vote for her?

M: I wouldn't vote for her if she was the last person on earth.


M: I support her right to be there so I can go and vote against against everything that she stands for because I disagree with her on issues. But I think it should be...we should have the debate about where she stands on the important issues of the day.

I forgot how much I like Dee Dee Myers and she was a bit of a hoot when she got up there bantering with Craig. Much fun to watch. I also liked the way she handled each question as it came and dealt with it entirely on its own merit with a clear concise answer. This is probably because nothing like that happened in any of the debates so the approach is fresh like a daisy to me now.

I know this doesn't seem like it but this is more of a plug to have you watch the Craig Ferguson show than it is to vote for a particular candidate. It's on too late for me to watch live so I DVR it and watch it in the morning. Nothing like waking up to Craig Ferguson!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do I Really Need To Explain What This Is Now?

1. Falcon gave me a present. I asked if I could give it back. (Miss Manners wants to be me.) But really, are elevated blood pressure and heart palpitations a gift? Oh, well, when you put it that way, I guess they could be. My bad. (This 10 Things list is all because of that gift and how my mind went whirling around after I read it. Please note my comments to the post as a jumping off point.)

2. Jules is experiencing life as one of the working poor. This has meant a change in health insurance. She's got normal health issues for someone of her age, nothing catastrophic or urgent necessarily. Check out how she's being taken care of by our health care system.

3. If you want catastrophic illness and how that affects a hard working middle class family please cruise by Clusterfook, three time battler with rare cancers of the abdomen and reproductive organs. Her current prognosis is not good but her attitude is awesome. Her story might not have a different ending if she'd had better health care but it sure as shit would have had a better middle.

4. Clusterfook pointed me to this brilliant post by Miss Britt about her debate with Republican-minded friends over the health care issue. My favorite quote is, "We are not talking about welfare mamas looking for boob jobs!" That quote is the crux of what I think people who are against things like universal health care think. They think that everyone on welfare is a moocher and that everyone who is asking for help with health care is faking. They put finger quotes around "mother's health." I may be wrong, christ I hope I'm wrong, but I can't seem to stop thinking it.

5. We're at 5, we need to lighten things up. Via Feministing here's a video by Dan Savage about why he wants to be Sarah Palin's gay friend. Dan's funny. If he gets the job I wonder if there's combat pay.

6. I hesitate to bring anything even vaguely religious into a list about politics and government in America but after hesitating I'm going to do it anyway. JCK posted a prayer/poem for children. Whether you pray or not, this election is, in a lot of ways, about helping all the children mentioned in the poem. I think it's wise to keep that in the forefront of our minds as we consider our candidates at all levels.

7. MAB put up a video of Colin Powell's candidate endorsement. I haven't watched it yet but hope to today. Powell is someone I respect, similarly to the respect I previously held for McCain, so I'm looking forward to hearing his words in context.

8. Tomato Nation, Finslippy, even John Scalzi are participating in one way or another with the Blogger Challenge over at Donors Choose. Have you ever checked out Donors Choose? It's an organization where teachers can price out and request materials for a particular project and put them on a website where potential donors can scroll through to pick projects they want to support. Support with money, that is. From guitars to glue! From shredders to Shakespeare! Schools need everything and it's not being provided for them. Remember when you'd get to school on the first day and there would be a new pack of crayons in every desk? Doesn't happen any more. If you're someone who thinks that we need to lower taxes and that teachers are paid too much and privitization of services is the answer to our woes then you need to start donating pronto. Please do that right after you explain why you're still here when I've been so mean about you for months on end. Your fortitude is inspiring.

9. In re: the whole discussion of lowering taxes and not wanting to support people "mooching" off welfare and how we all need to support the people in our community and everything will work out without government interference there's this post from Dooce which makes my point from here a little clearer, I think. Maybe not but it does at least talk about it some more and we're all about the talking right here before the election.

10. Let's end on a light note. Kath (with an assist from her Mama) pointed me toward Yes We Carve. Fabulous movement.

Not Inspiring Confidence

There's a guy here working on the elevators. He's wearing a sweatshirt from his company and the back is a bullet point list of How to Avoid Fatal Injuries. I know this is supposed to make me feel better.

It doesn't.

I'll be back later with a 10 Things.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Lied

I went out to buy something from Staples, just a quick walk to unroot myself from my desk chair. Coming back into the building I find myself behind three guys. You know, guy guys. They're all wearing the same suit and it's dark. They're all carrying coffee drinks, medium schmancy, and at least one of them is carrying one back for his secretary (I assume). They amble and there are three of them so they're completely in the way of anyone who might come up behind them (me). One (the one with the secretary coffee) does manage to catch the elevator, though, and we all get on. Two is shoving a Blackberry in Three's face. Three doesn't get it. Two shoves the Blackberry in One's face and One obliges:

"Oh, yeah Christopher Walken. Totally."

Two is vindicated, "I know! That hair! Totally Christopher Walken."


A discussion ensues about who Christopher Walken is. I study my iPod with the appearance of absorption.

Two has the perfect example, "He was in Pulp Fiction!"

One is skeptical, "He was?"

"He played John that other guy..."

I almost supply, "Bruce Willis" but control myself.

He continues, "Bruce Willis's, you know that guy that was in prison with Bruce Willis's dad. He hid, he uh, hid that watch, you know, the watch," finally he whispers, "Up his ass."

I deserve an academy award for not letting loose with a Mary-Poppins-worthy guffaw.

The conversation continues and everyone is skeptical and we mercifully arrive at their floor.

As they exit Two shoots back, "She knows what I'm talking about."

And I lie, I just do, even though I could have kept it to myself the lie slides out, "Yeah, I do."

The doors close on his look of self-satisfaction, "I knew you did. I saw you smiling and I knew."

Oh little man, that is so not what I'm smiling about. I've seen Pulp Fiction once and I barely remember who's in it much less what Walken allowed in his ass for the duration.

Note to him and his kind, and perhaps to Chili's troll: Big girls can handle ass.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Personal is Political

I could be talking about Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama but it'd be weird to punctuate that with a photo of Eric Bana. I'm just here to send you over to Please Pass the Popcorn where I talk about two movies and my own feelings of intellectual inadequacy. Seem a little heavy for a nice movie blog? Well, it's been that kind of week over there, we're just trying to keep it truthy.

There Is No Bad Answer to This Quiz

Found this over at Chicky Chicky Baby and you know how much I love these things.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Jackie!


You are a Jackie. "I do everything the right way."

Jackies are realistic, conscientious, and principled. They strive to live up to their high ideals.

How to Get Along with Me

* Take your share of the responsibility so I don't end up with all the work.

* Acknowledge my achievements.

* I'm hard on myself. Reassure me that I'm fine the way I am.

* Tell me that you value my advice.

* Be fair and considerate, as I am.

* Apologize if you have been unthoughtful. It will help me to forgive.

* Gently encourage me to lighten up and to laugh at myself when I get uptight, but hear my worries first.

What I Like About Being a Jackie

* Being self-disciplined and able to accomplish a great deal

* Working hard to make the world a better place

* Having high standards and ethics; not compromising myself

* Being reasonable, responsible, and dedicated in everything I do

* Being able to put facts together, coming to good understandings, and figuring out wise solutions

* Being the best I can be and bringing out the best in other people

What's Hard About Being a Jackie

* Being disappointed with myself or others when my expectations are not met

* Feeling burdened by too much responsibility

* Thinking that what I do is never good enough

* Not being appreciated for what I do for people

* Being upset because others aren't trying as hard as I am

* Obsessing about what I did or what I should do

* Being tense, anxious, and taking things too seriously

Jackies as Children Often

* Criticize themselves in anticipation of criticism from others

* Refrain from doing things that they think might not come out perfect

* Focus on living up to the expectations of their parents and teachers

* Are very responsible; may assume the role of parent

* Hold back negative emotions ("good children aren't angry")

Jackies as Parents

* Teach their children responsibility and strong moral values

* Are consistent and fair

* Discipline firmly

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

At This Rate I Should Twitter

Media Guy passed on this article about the reasons behind the technical difficulties at TBS last night.

Oh my lord, I hope TBS sends the folks at the Cask & Flagon (and every other bar that got hosed last night) a HUGE gift basket.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Reality = Game 7

The whole team played solidly tonight. The hit they ball, they threw the ball, they caught the ball. Two of my favorite gentlemen wrapped Game 6 up in a neat little bow, though. Thank you Jonathan & Kevin. Give my best to the rest of the team, y'all keep up the good work.
Note to any Red Sox "fans" who booed Papi at Fenway: You, ladies and gentlemen, are no fans, no Red Sox fans at all. Shape up or ship out, we don't need your kind around here.

Rocking Saturday Night

I've spent the night watching TV and processing photos and talking on the phone. I've finally gotten finished with all the photos from the OKC gals' visit and I made it through the hilarious dog portion of the NH funeral photos. I've also talked to my mom, uncle and 94-year-old Aunt Rena. They had a picnic today. In Millinocket, ME. They are tough cookies.

What are you doing? Watching the baseball game? Out on a date? Having a coke and a smile?


Is TBS having technical difficulties broadcasting the Red Sox game to all of America or just my part?

This is...not ideal. I mean, they paid a lot of money to broadcast this exclusively. Exclusively. I usually do the gamecast thing instead but still, if you're ready to sit down and watch a do or die game you really do not want to see a B level sitcom.


Game on TBS, GAME ON!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fucking Floral Friday: Staycation Edition

I've been staycationing since well before someone made up the word. Today, technically, I'm stay-sick-daying. Usually I'd go to class, write in a coffee shop, meet a friend and there's a certain gal's birthday party I'd like to go to. And yet I think it would be rude to go anywhere where my head might explode on an innocent bystander. So I'm hanging at home. I've got some writing planned for here, there and places I can't link to. I'm going to work on some pictures. I have laundry to do, letters to write, bills to pay, pet food to buy (can you tell it's payday?), a dog to walk and brush and naps to have. Of course if my head actually explodes I might not get all of that done.

Don't worry I'll be exploring ways to keep that from happening. The problem is that I can't take normal decongestants for a variety of gross reasons so I'm stuck with shorter-lasting home remedies and not a lot of success. Suggestions are welcome but be warned that sticking my head in a vat of lotion wasn't nearly as helpful as it sounded.

Well, there you go, I've given you boring, I've given you gross and I've given you flowers (from the Queens Botanical Gardens' Wedding Garden when Lilybainne got married a couple of weeks ago) you let me know if you need anything else to make it through the day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Due to illness and day behindness and general flightiness I missed 10 Things Tuesday this week. And you know what? I missed 10 Things Tuesday this week! So much so, even, that I couldn't wait a whole week to make a list. I'm going to do Thirteen Things Thursday to make up for it.

1. I forgot something in the caption to this photo on Tuesday. It's a blurry picture of part of the counter because I was trying to capture Emily catching a treat tossed by Tracy but I couldn't get the timing right.

2. This post by Julie made me think twice. Her main point is, of course, nicely aligned with what I've been thinking about the McCain/Palin ticket all along, though she uses a lot more specific evidence than I've had up to now. The second thought was about this quote, "If you're reading this blog, chances are good that you're a mother, a pregnant woman, a woman who plans to become pregnant, or a woman who's trying." My answers are no, hell no, no please and thank you and er, no. I've been reading her blog for a couple of years and knowing that I'm not exactly the target demo but not until I read that sentence did I get the full boot to the head of "WHAT AM I DOING HERE?" It's the question I ask here periodically about a number of blogs, why do I keep going back somewhere that I clearly don't have any reference point for? Maybe that's exactly why I go back, I don't know, but it sure is weird.

3. Be glad you're not sitting across from me today. The one word to describe me is 'contagious.' And not "like laughter" either. Add to that my hair being hit with the humidity stick and an outfit that I'd like to blame on undone laundry but really have nothing to blame but bad judgement and a need for sneakers and I am pretty as a picture. I'm so glad I don't have to look at me. These pants were my funeral pants for Grammy Fern, nigh on 8 years go. They fit pretty well then but I fatted out of them over time and have now thinned back down but the seam damage is done. So they now sport a back seam that looks like they were fat pants and someone did that cost cutting seam pleat thing to take them in. No one did, it's just a unfortunate lay of the land on the slightly thinner version of me.

4. Someone is taking another angle on the making-internet-dating-easier front. On the one hand it's uber cool. On the other hand it's hard enough coordinating 2 schedules, never mind coordinating all the schedules for my Stitch Witchery group and your Bocci for Beginners group. I think we'll be able to set up a date in early '12.

5. I just learned (thanks jrh!) that, due to trading deadlines and agreements and whatnot, if there had been a Red Sox/Dodgers World Series, whatever the outcome of it Manny Ramirez would have gotten a WS ring. Talk about blind fucking justice. I can see the series now, everyone else playing like their lives depend on it and Manny making goddamn daisy chains in the outfield and crafting a lanyard out of his shoe laces because it wouldn't matter to him who won. (Yes, I know that our society puts an inordinate amount emphasis on sports, that's not fucking news. I'll write about whatever I want to.)

6. I hate that caustic comments over time have made me feel like I need to put in parentheticals like the last one. Take your kitten hating elsewhere you big fat stupidheads!

7. I consider myself very lucky to live where I live for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons is that, politically, I encounter very few people in my neighborhood and in the city in general with whom I disagree vehemently on politics. I have a lot of like-minded friends who live in deep, deep red states and I salute them. Confronted every day with people who hate what I love and who scare the ever loving crapola out of me would wear me down to a nub and turn me into a harpy. I am continually impressed with the graceful way my friends are able to navigate their hostile territory and still stick by their convictions. (Vote No on Prop 8 Californians! Please!)

8. I really hope there's some cool purple rice salad up for grabs in the office kitchen. I love that stuff and my lunch was composed largely of punishment. I'm the one who burned the veggies and I will have to pay for replacements so I'm doctoring them as best I can but I'm having to just power through most them. Seriously, at least 2 bites today were just like licking a hibachi clean.

9. The cold is moving chestward and, in all honestly, I couldn't be happier. My sinuses are total fuckwits, I hate having to deal with them on any level. I'd much rather get sexy voice and drink a lot of hot beverages than try to grow gills.

10. For the second time in a couple of months I told jrh that I was reading a book she lent me and she was all, "Um, no you're not." One of us is losing her mind and I don't want to point fingers but mostly that's because I'm not sure who to point to. For both of these books I can't think of any earthly reason anyone but jrh would have given me the book and I'm 100% convinced that I wouldn't have spent money on them myself. I'm at a loss. Maybe ChemE? I don't know. If you passed "Walking In Circles Before Lying Down" to me for my perusal will you please tell me? I feel like I'm being gaslighted. Gaslit? Fucked with!

11. For anyone who's still counting MobileMe still doesn't work right. In fact in some ways it's reverted to problems that made .Mac annoying and which had been fixed. Is it possible that the MobileMe roll out team have also been working in insurance and banking?

12. I've got Munich and Proof waiting for me at home. Both real knee slappers, to be sure. I've seen the play, Proof, before and know sadly little about Munich and the real life events on which it's based. Which should I watch first? I think I'm leaning toward Munich but I'm not sure. I may instead be watching whatever's playing on the inside of my eyelids.

13. I feel like I've been strangely absent from this space this week. Has it felt like that to you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Internet Dating

If only internet dating could be like meeting bloggers you admire I would sign up in a second. Hell, I'd probably be married by now.

There's a lot I want to tell you about today.

It was Blog Action Day, this year's theme was poverty. I had a lot to tell you about that.

I was at work, though, and still not quite up to par so I couldn't do much but work.

My pets are being weird about their food.

Someone discovered a "suspicious package" near the park and it turned out to be a bag full of body parts disguised inside a cardboard box.

There's a fire-gutted car around the block.

OK, but really, the only interesting thing to say about today is how much fun I just got back from having. San Diego Momma is in town for a few days of celebration. It was a challenge for her to get on the plane but she did it with grace and she's here now and I got to meet her! There's a small (and possibly false) sense of security to meeting someone you "know" from their blogging that has panned out for me both times I've had the courage to meet someone from the blogosphere, if you will. We started out asking each other the basics, of course, but in short order moved right over those and left a huge gap of blanks because we had too many other things to discuss. We met up with a couple of her family members and I was lucky enough to tag along to a fabulous new (to me) restaurant and I had to almost literally tear myself away in order to come back and be a responsible, pet caretaking, cold-having adult. I would do it again in a minute.

So, here's my million dollar idea. Feel free to steal it. Come up with a way to make internet dating like meeting bloggy friends and I will be your first client. Scouts honor.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chemistry, yeah chemistry

I am finally fulfilling my promise to join the Day in the Life experiment that Mrs. G set up. I'm late and I'm cheating, this is starting to turn out like my high school chemistry class. Did you know that D+ is a passing grade? Not one you'd want anyone to know about but a passing grade nonetheless.

I am sick today. I came home from work and I crashed on the couch and I'm still plenty tired enough to go to sleep as soon as I hit post (and walk the dog and fill the humidifier and...). I figured out it would be easier to move the order of my photos around in Flickr so I uploaded them over there and made a set and told the story that way. I hope you'll go over there and see what my atypical day was like. See? The assignment was for a typical day, I'm cheating again!

I hope Mrs. G is as generous a grader as my high school chemistry teacher.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sparkle Toes

Sparkle Toes
Originally uploaded by kizzzbeth.

Is anyone else creeped out that this photo of Zelda's foot has gotten 70 views and 3 comments whereas not one of the other 99 or so photos I posted yesterday have managed to squeak out even half that much attention?

Flickr really is where polite fetishists spend their time, apparently.

Slight Delay In Hitting the Button

I was supposed to participate in this Day in the Life extravaganza today. I wanted to. I was eager to, in point of fact. Apparently my memory wasn't quite as eager as the rest of me. Until I read Mrs. G's post this morning I had forgotten all about it and here I am all the way at work with no camera. (Yet another check in the column FOR splurging on a point & shoot to live in my backpack.) So, I'm going to ask, quite humbly, for a mulligan. I'll put my camera by my bed tonight and do this exercise tomorrow if nobody minds. Well, frankly, I'm doing it anyway but I promise to feel really bad if you mind.

In the mean time a Happy Thanksgiving to all you Canadian pilgrims out there! Please have a double dose of gravy for me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dessert For Breakfast

You know what's great about being an adult? In a lot of instances you can do whatever the hell you feel like. If you were a kid and you said, "The only way I can do my homework is if I move the computer into the living room so I can watch TV." your parents would, one way or another, tell you to go fuck yourself. Not so when you're the one in charge and you don't have anyone looking up to you as an example. So, this evening, after taking a quick nap that lasted 3 hours, I moved the desktop computer into the living room so I could do my homework. God bless the simplicity of Apple. As a result I've uploaded a bunch of photos to Flickr. There are new kittens in the Infinite Hope set and I've put up all of the shots from Zelda's headshot session. There will be more added before the night is through. My eyes will be crossed but I'll have a sense of accomplishment.

So much better than trig problems.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Violently Opposed

I was talking to Clemo this evening (thanks for calling!) and the subject of capital punishment came up. Don't ask. It just did. It was on my mind because, in recent memory, a commenter on another blog spoke proudly of his support of the practice. I'm opposed to capital punishment for a host of reasons but I get that it's also a highly emotional issue in ways that make it impossible to change some people's minds. However, on another couple of levels, for me, it's a pretty practical one. On the level of humanity and morality the system is irretrievably flawed so that it simply doesn't make sense to me to kill someone when it's so likely the wrong person will be killed. On that practical level, though, it's more expensive to kill someone within this system than it is to lock them up until they do the croaking on their own. (I don't have the stats to hand just now but I'm certain that any anti-capital punishment site will serve them up to you easily. It's not something I've heard just once.)

Clemo: Blah blah blah* the system sucks blah but blah capital punishment.

Me: As a New Englander I've got one base argument. It's more expensive to kill someone than to keep them locked up.

Clemo: (Beat) Oh.


Clemo: OK but what about the basic human need for revenge.

Me: (beat) Um....Buddhism?

Interestingly enough when Clemo called I was in the middle of watching A History of Violence. I finished the movie when we got off the phone and it's quite serviceable as a mainstream exploration of the aforementioned basic human need for revenge. Viggo does really good work, as do Maria Bello, William Hurt (who I saw on the street the other day) and Ed Harris among others. What I like most about it, though, is the actual violence. This shouldn't be surprising from a woman who watched Xena for years for the stage combat. I don't know enough about the director, David Cronenberg, to say for sure but I think it's a thing of his to avoid gratuitous violence while making extremely violent films. This one is no exception. It's a movie populated with violent people who do violent things and who inspire nonviolent people to violence as well. (Any second now the word is going to lose all meaning to me, what about you?) None of it, however, is made light of nor is it glossy and pretty. I was disgusted on a relatively regular basis. Not one drop of blood, though, failed to be in the service of moving the plot and teaching the lesson.

Here I'm going to talk about the lesson and that's going to involve spoilers in case you don't want some of those.

It's a story about a guy who lived a life steeped in acts of violence against others and made a choice to stop. He worked diligently for years to remove the part of himself who perpetrated those acts and became the local diner owner in a small town, a guy who would never harm another person. The film meets up with him at a time when the life of the original violent guy's world invades the new guy's life in unavoidable ways. The movie is a discussion of how violence impacts a personality, many personalities, and an exploration of whether or not it's possible to fully leave behind violence once you've been exposed to it.

Speaking of which, just after I watched the John Adams series I read a blog entry from a Christian homeschooling mom who had rented the series from their local library and watched it as a family learning opportunity. Apparently they almost stopped after the first episode (here comes another small spoiler) because there is a brief scene where someone is tarred and feathered. The mother seemed to be slightly resentful that the reviews she'd read had not cited the movie as being violent. On the one hand she was showing it to a wide age range of kids so I understand that it may not have been appropriate for all of her children and it would have been nice to have known. On the other hand it's a movie based on the autobiography of a man who not only lived but engineered the Revolutionary War (hello, I'm from New England, that's what we call it). Next to the Civil War this is probably the most violent and turbulent time in US History. I think it's only right that they showed the actual violence of the time. I think, in fact, that it would have been irresponsible of the filmmakers to have removed the violence. A lot of people, myself included, are learning key historical lessons from this movie, to clean it up so that Tipper Gore (sorry, Ms. Gore, I know you've done a lot of good in yoru life but you will forever be the Excessive Warning Label Lady) will give your flick the stamp of approval.

Life is violent. We live in a country that condones capital punishment while using a system that routinely executes innocents is proof of that. Our country is engaged in a war (don't call it a political action) which is routinely blowing the youth of America up into teensy bits. Guns in schools. Death by shitty health care. Michael Vick. To reduce this violence we have to, I think, be honest about it. Pretending it doesn't exist will do us more harm than good in my Vic Mackey-loving opinion.

*No offense to the speaker, here, I just can't remember exactly what we said right before this exchange.