Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In Which I Write DONE A Lot

I should be doing laundry but instead I'm watching Leverage and blogging. Par for the course, no?

Anything that's a habit gets a DONE now since this is the very last check in for the 108 in 2008 (so good to have a 2 key now!). Plus anything I've got planned for doing in the next 12 hours or so also gets a DONE. Absolutely reckless, I know, but I do like to live on the edge.

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?) - I ended up buying them Lemony Snicket books instead. I think Lemony Snicket is funny and I got to have him sign a book for me once.
4. Continue Floor Barre classes - DONE, though I haven't been there so regularly this month. Planning to go on Fri, though. I actually worry that I should cut these out as a cost cutting measure but...sigh.
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 - Final tally 1 submission.
7. Book Shakespeare 10 places
8. Go on a date
9. New Year at the steam pipes - DONE (you know, in a while)
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 DONE and had a great time doing it.
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
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
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) - My cousin Mike said he'd help with this. We haven't set a date yet, though.
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!!!!!!!!!
38. Check in on this list once per month - DONE You know, as soon as I finish this entry.
39. Re-do work files - DONE
40. Keep work files current - DONE Or as done as it's going to be since they just cut my filing space in half. I now have one filing cabinet and 7 boxes in a dingy storage room.
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 next year I get the cable to hook it up.
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 Weirdly, though I called this DONE before it's actually done now. I made a note of it on the document that outlines all the parameters of my employment and when review time came up this month I was compensated for last year's contribution and this year's. So, DONE.
54. NaBloPoMo (Nov) - DONE
55. Go to Brooklyn Museum - DONE Posting of the photos we took there is still in progress.
56. Update address book -DONE enough.
57. Make Christmas cards - DONE and I sent them all out before Christmas. This has never happened I don't think. It involved a few things that I might lay out for you in its own post.
58. Take more photos (practice makes perfect after all) - DONE
59. Learn more about how I'm taking those photos (suggestions welcome) - The ICP class was full by the time I tried to sign up for November. Perhaps Jan?
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?) - DONE, it all came together in a surprisingly cool fashion. Looking forward to it.
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 - DONE
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 - DONE
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) - DONE and I might be doing some more of it today.
75. Go to Cyclones game - Missed this this year. Just...didn't get to it.
76. Take all vacation days - Not done. I think I've got 2 that will cross over to 2009. The better to take a trip with I guess.
77. Make new cookbook pages (this may morph into making another homemade Christmas gift)
78. God's Love for Thanksgiving - DONE
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) - DONE I mean, not, but I'm getting it done.
87. Get Elvis's ultrasound (May) - DONE!
88. Complete at least half of the items on this list (I'm so meta) - DONE? Won't know until I get to the end and do a tally, will we? (Yes, done, by the skin of the proverbial teeth. 3 things over the halfway mark.)
89. Actually hang up my Christmas wreath properly - DONE and it was really nice.
90. Change over to those swirly energy saver light bulbs - DONE I installed one more and it sucked and then MAB told me that they don't really help all that much and the mercury in them is not good and we should probably just cut down on energy usage and wait for LED to become more viable.
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 - DONE Wonderful. There was even a floor show!
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 DONE
97. Go to one participatory music event for the holidays - DONE I wound up going to a local caroling event right before Christmas. It was the 40th anniversary of the deal and it was glorious. I want to do it every year.
98. Finish sending out 2007 Holiday cards (I'm 2/3 done!) - This just ain't getting done.
99. Re-organize kitchen cabinets - I might do this today and yet, probably not.
100. Apply creams/lotions/oils/ungents to scar daily - DONE
101. Get new digital camera - DONE
102. Send birthday cards (preferably before the birthday) - DONE (as long as I send 2 quick e-mails today).
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 - IN PROGRESS Can't call this done. It's just too complicated. Need more memory and a big back up drive and stuff like that.
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.) - DONE This is still impossible to quantify. I'm calling it done anyway.
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: 57 (+18)

In Progress: Doesn't matter.

This was fun. I haven't been able to work out what I'll do resolution-wise for 2009. There will be something. I need to have lists to keep me moving forward. Suggestions are welcome. What would you like to see me accomplish in 2009? I mean, really, someone has to have an idea what direction my life should go in, shouldn't they?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cleaning House

Part of the end of the year is cleaning up so you feel fresh jumping into the new. I'm not going to be perfectly clean by then but I can at least share a few of the things cluttering up my Starred Items file.

In Gert's end-of-year meme she uses a brilliant phrase. It's the question about hating someone which, by the by, I've never heard anyone answer. There's always a "that's too strong a word" disclaimer. Anyway, Gert takes it one better and says, "There are a few people I am glad I am not." As with so many things I wish I'd thought of that first.

Back when I lived with some guy we broke up in December (9 days before Christmas, yee haw!) but our lease wasn't up until March. So we lived together in total ridiculousness for 4 months until we could safely move elsewhere because neither of us could afford to live in our apartment alone. At the time I thought that was a thing peculiar to New York City but I know now that's not true. It seems, especially these days, that I should be glad we didn't own property together. Apparently there are infinite ways to make divorce suck harder for all parties.

I read today that Bristol Palin had her baby boy. A few days ago I read yet another account of a study showing that abstinence pledges don't work. I'm convinced. Are you? For the record, though, the abstinence pledges don't burn my butt as much as the anti-birth control crap people try to stuff into young, impressionable minds.

A young member of the internet feminist community commited suicide this month. Her name was Emma Bee Bernstein and she was a driving force for women's issues, for people's issues. From what I read she was loved, enjoyed and supported by masses of people. We may never know what overbalanced that so strongly that she felt she needed to die. Her friends and family have shared some wonderful photos of her and her book is being published very soon so, in some respects, she will live on. Unfortunately in others, she will not.

JDG over at Sweet Juniper wrote a post that seemed to be about the Solstice but ended up being about his beloved dog. No surprise, I'm sure, that it spoke to me. Of course, I've been thinking about Emily and her overwhelming presence in my life but I've also been thinking about the (somewhat elderly) kittens. When I get their food together Miss Anna sits on the thin strip of counter in front of the sink to remind me to hurry. Even her gentle nudges are predictable in their regularity and strength. She is, of all three of the pets, the least demanding. That's not to say that she doesn't require very specific things of me and won't punish me if she doesn't get them. I was thinking, though, as I fended her off with angled elbow that when she is gone, as she will have to be some time, I will miss her solidity. She is a an anchor in my little boat adrift at high tide and she probably doesn't get enough credit for it.

Ladies and Germs, did you know that Lysol used to be recommended for douching! Good god! FYI, the vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Sure, there may be times that douching is necessary but with a product you also use to disinfect your garbage can? Oh, I think not.

Zelda wrote some important things around Christmas and I wanted to bring your attention to them. I can't summarize them and give them the proper respect at the same time so I urge you to read them. If you've ever had a family and you've ever celebrated a major holiday and it's ever been a little stressful these are words you should absorb.

Oh how I want an armful of these rings. Oh how I don't think I could pay that price for even one. Oh for money to be no object.

Feministing wrote about a scary breakthrough in HIV research. As with so many things, women are getting fucked while being fucked. Even our healthy tissue can and will betray us. Those of you paying close attention will see that this is also related to my thing about birth control and abstinence pledges.

A band here in Brooklyn is headed to the inauguration next month. They're raising all their own money. Just maybe we could give them a tiny boost. I'm going to try to send them my boost before the weekend is out.

OK, I'm exhausted, my episode of Band of Brothers is ending, the dogs need to go out and I've only gotten to mid-December. Looks like I'll have to do some more housecleaning soon. This is plenty for you to digest now, though, isn't it?

Happy Happy!

First I disappear for days on end and now you can't get me to shut my freaking pie hole. Mmm, pie. Mmm, The Pie Hole. Mmm, Lee Pace!

Wait, what?

Sorry, I actually came back here to remind everyone that one of our favorite college students, Grammar Snob, is celebrating her birthday today (bless you Facebook for reminding me!). Happy birthday! Don't work too hard! Here's to a new year even better than the last.

Just 10 Things

1. It was hard to get my ass to work today. Just not feeling it, as the kids say, so I had to whimsy my shit up with my Red Sox holiday chapeau. (And, apparently, my pointy, pointy chin.)

2. Today is my last day at work for 2008. (Wheeeeeee!)

3. I am leaving at 3:30 (at the latest) for the dual purpose of rescuing my dog before she gets too uncomfortable and for getting me out of here before I dissolve into a big puddle of DO NOT WANT (as the littler kids say).
4. The computer company that has been all up in my grill for months sent an enormous gift basket. Audio Girl and I pulled out the things that were yummy and left the other stuff in the kitchen for sharing. Yummy to us, that is. It's not like we left a bunch of rotten fruit and stale crackers for everyone else.

5. Tonight the Bobster comes to stay!

6. I must Bob-proof the house between walking Em and picking him up. Don't want him eating a gut full of Oreo Thin Crisps or anything.

7. This time my tactic for soothing the cat-hate of Bobby visits is going to be to concentrate on Bob. When he starts to pay attention to them I'm going to call him to me for a treat instead. A distraction technique. No idea if it'll work. Other suggestions welcome, just know that separating the cats from the dogs is not logistically possible. It's also not desirable. I want the cats to learn that other harmless beings will come around sometimes and they're just going to have to deal.

8. Bebe is coming to rearrange my furniture on Saturday. She has a plan, a big plan. I hope we can execute it without herniating ourselves.

9. Em is doing better. We're only 2 pills into the "right" antibiotic so far but I am optimistic. Didn't hear about the blood work, will try and call about that today or tonight.

10. There's something wrong with the fact that I associate the New Year with curling up on the couch and watching as much TV as my brain can hold, topped with some more TV and maybe a movie on the side. So looking forward to that. I just started watching Arrested Development from the beginning on hulu. The last disc of Season 1 of Mad Men should arrive tonight and then I can dive into the DVR'd eps of Season 2. Can't wait!

What says New Year's Day to you?


I really like the end of the year memes. I think I can find a couple more before we ring in the new year. If not I'll do them after the ringing.

I don't know if I originally got this from Linda but she's the one who makes it easy to do.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Sang a solo at a funeral. Planned a big birthday party for myself. Rescued a kitten trapped underneath a truck in the middle of rush hour traffic. Attended, nay participated in, the Mermaid Parade.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I kept a lot of them, I think, as shown by my 108 in 2008 list. (Update coming soon.) I will make resolutions soon but probably not 109 for 2009.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, someone I just rediscovered fairly recently did and she let me be part of the celebration.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Oh lord yes. Freaking hate. First Joe the Barber then Auntie Blanche and then, of course, my boss.

5. What countries did you visit?

Just America. My passport remains unrenewed and I remain trapped in America. Must fix.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

A passport, a job I love, an answer to my cat's health issues, sex.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Auntie Blanche's birthday since it was the last time I saw her. August 23rd.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I sang at Auntie Blanche's funeral and am not now in a loony bin for recovery purposes.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Can't write about all of them here but they're the same big failures I have every year. I don't work hard enough on supporting myself with activities/jobs I enjoy. I eventually snap when I've put up with shit for a long time and I inevitably do it in a way that makes me look like the problem. I feel bad for doing the thing badly. Very bad. I do not feel bad for doing the thing. You know?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No, just repeated shavings off of my skin to make sure I don't suffer more illness and injury.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My awesome camera which I love in a way that must be at least a little bit illegal.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Anyone who voted, especially if they hadn't done so before. Technically, though, I refuse to celebrate them until they make a habit of it.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Anyone who used the election season as a reason to treat others poorly. This group might include me, but I hope it doesn't.

14. Where did most of your money go?

You know, I'm not sure. I'm going to say travel and I'll probably be right. With two major deaths I made a lot of treks back and forth. Wouldn't have done it any differently. Wish there was a bereavement tax deduction, though.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Well, the election, natch. Almost everybody got really excited about it just that for some it was in a good way and for some, not so much.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

The words to the 23rd Psalm even though I can't remember the tune right now, since I sang that for Auntie Blanche.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?

a. Weirdly happier. Or perhaps simply more resigned.

b. About the same. Need to shave off a tiny bit to be back at fighting weight.

c. Not sure. Probably slightly poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Work on my career.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worry about my job.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With friends and family in a wonderfully low key series of events up north.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?


22. What was your favorite TV program?

Pick one? Seriously? How I Met Your Mother. No, Weeds. No! Mad Men! GAH! Those three and many, many more.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I wouldn't go so far as to say hate but I have stopped regular chats with a number of people after seeing their true colors. Another side effect of Election Fever.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read a lot of books this year. I couldn't possible remember. I did very much love Here If You Need Me from those I read recently.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I loved a hymn from Junebug. I think I might really like The Weepies even though I just heard that one song.

26. What did you want and get?

A new president from a slightly different perspective.

27. What did you want and not get?

For Auntie Blanche to get better.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

So many choices, damn, since I've been seeing so many more movies this year than in years past. It might be between Milk and Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. I received the latter for Christmas from ChemE both in movie and book form.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 39 and I drank champagne with friends to celebrate. Not sure if that was on the actual day or not but I think it was.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Submitting something for publication.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Does this fit? No? But I don't have anything else.

32. What kept you sane?

Friends & pets, a formidable fighting force.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

This is so loaded. I mean, the most meaningful public person this year has to be Barack Obama, but I don't necessarily fancy him as such. In terms of fancying I'd have to go with more superficial choices like Robert Downey, Jr. and Neil Patrick Harris. My continuing desire for Josh Jackson and Lee Tergesen does not abate.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The whole election stirred me but, in terms of making me see both myself and others differently I think it would have to be the issues of reproductive choice.

35. Who did you miss?

Auntie Blanche.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I got a lot of people back from the past but I'm having trouble thinking of many people I met new. Oh! I'm going to give it as a tie between Mrs. G and San Diego Momma because together they made my experience of the blogosphere more complete and more rewarding. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make myself fun when meeting people I loved from the internet but I was. Or at least fun enough that they fell for it. Because those ladies? Way fun.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

It's an old lesson but it wasn't followed closely enough this year. Think. Breathe. Speak.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I find this the most difficult one to answer. I really don't make these sorts of connections very well. Can't choose. Going to give you a selection of three.

From Jonatha Brooke's Back in the Circus:
And all the pretty horses
And all the pretty men
Well they could not put this pretty heart
Back together again, O no

From Colin Hay's Waiting For My Real Life to Begin:
And you say,"Just be here now
Forget about the past
Your mask is wearing thin"

Finally, back to Jonatha for a snippet of No Net Below:
My timing's all wrong
And the ladder is gone
And all I can do, is
Swing 'til it's all net below
All I can do, is
Swing 'til it's all net below
And I can let go

Monday, December 29, 2008

Game, Set &, of course, Match

Over at Please Pass The Popcorn I'm complaining about Woody Allen. Please go over there and help to set me straight.

Many Is The End-Of-Year Meme

I can't remember where I found this but I do enjoy it. You list just the first line of the first post of each month. Usually it gives you a fair idea of where you've been over the course of the year.

January: I feel like I haven't given you the background on this steam pipe thing.

February: There's an interesting discussion over at My Open Wallet about the "right" amount to give to charity.

March: A while back SueBob did a post about the Serenity Prayer over at her regular gig on Flawed But Authentic.

April: 1. A Mother: denominations (gets blank stare from daughter) so it's given out in increments.

May: Just a little up for your date here.

June: Seester prompted me to catch you up on whatever happened with my Friday plans.

July: So I up and decided to join up for the July topic on NaBloPoMo.

August: I meant to give you flowers. I have taken pictures of flowers for you but I haven't downloaded them yet.

September: Does anyone who attended my performance in July have anything to say about it?

October: I forget where I first saw the link to this transcript of Chris Rock on Larry King.

November: Welcome to NaBloPoMo y'all!

December: Don't call it an encore, bitches.

It seems more random than in years past. Maybe I say that every year, though. I should go check. Huh. I didn't do it last year. That's weird. No, wait, maybe I did it in January of this year. Yup, I did. It does seem random now but I didn't comment on it. Just for the fun of comparison, here's the 2006 entry, done in January of 2007, which I called interesting but not representative.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's All In The Details

Whoever guessed, "sitting in the vet's office wondering what to do about my dog bleeding from the vagina" wins the prize!

We found out some new stuff today. I liked the new doc in the practice and she got to the bottom of a lot of stuff. There was an x-ray to look for stones. It was inconclusive due to the current state of the bowel but she agreed she'd go at least 75% sure that there aren't any. We took blood to get full blood work since we haven't had any of that since 2006. At that point (seriously, while Pony Express and I were holding her still so the doc could take blood some guy knocked and walked in to hand us the fax) we finally got the fax about the urine culture from the emergency vet visit. It said that she had high levels of E-coli and that this particular strain was resistant to Clavamox, the antibiotic we just finished a course of. So we're off with a course of another antibiotic (it begins with a B and I don't have it handy right now) that the culture indicates can defeat this bacteria and we're hoping that solves all the problems. If it doesn't the next step is an ultrasound to check the bladder and kidneys in a more thorough way, the suspicion being that there are stones somewhere that need to be gotten rid of

The idea of there being stones makes me somewhat nervous. I don't really want to be in a position of deciding whether to risk putting her under for any kind of surgery or procedure since she's of a certain age. The alternative being not putting her under and approaching whatever the problem is with palliative care which, by definition, is not curative. The logic of what we learned today, though, makes it relatively likely that we're still looking at just curing the infection. So I'm going to remind myself of that and wait to hear about the blood work and think about ways that I can make a little extra money to pay off last week's $400 and this week's $300 and whatever might be coming soon.

Quote of the day, and quite likely the reason I like this doctor so much, "Vulva looks nice!" Why thank you for noticing.

What Am I Doing Today?

I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.

Hint: Not going to brunch with a Canadian friend.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Peeking Out From Behind the Wall

It seems I have felt a little like the above where the internet is concerned this week.

Sorry, I don't know why. If I knew I'd tell you.
I am finally surfacing to process some photos and write some e-mails and whatnot.
In case you wondered what I was up to I did take a few photos (see Flickr for a more complete picture book). Above is my obligatory Christmas self-portrait.
Below are the cinnamon buns I whacked and unwrapped early on Christmas Day then I spent the next 2 hours trying not to eat them all. Fortunately I had plenty of help so no one person was forced into a cinnamon-sugar coma.

Oh, I ate a bunch of seafood. It was a very seafoody Christmas and for that I was extremely grateful.
I don't know this guy but ChemE and I became fascinated by him as a New England Christmas Eve icon.
I'm still catching up on photographic memories like the ones of MAB above and the ones of Alita and Monroe below. Some day I'll tell you the whole story of what's going on here but I want to go walk the dog (who survived just fine in my absence) and sleep before I go meet a nice Canadian girl for brunch tomorrow.
What have you been up to?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Here I Am!

I haven't gone away forever. I didn't even mean to go away for a couple of days. Well, from the internet. I did mean to go away for Christmas, though, and here I am now. Traveling was good, being here is good, snow is pretty, champagne is yummy.

Dog update is that she is in Alex & Kath's capable hands. Before I left she was already much more herself. She's still got some blood in the pee but she clearly feels so much better. We've gotten urinalysis results and are waiting for the urine culture results. Urinalysis says she's got an infection (surprise!) and the urine culture will confirm that we're using the right antibiotics. I suspect we'll need a second round but that's a question for after Christmas. There's a slim chance that she has the very tiny beginnings of kidney failure but the symptom in question can also be brought on by the extra drinking and peeing you do when you've got a bladder/kidney infection. So I'm not too worried. I'm worried, of course, but I'm not as despairing as I was last weekend.

Well, this Happy Christmas Eve post sure took a turn for the worse, didn't it?

Merry Christmas! Have a lovely time with your people and eat lots of delicious things and snuggle up with something (or someone!) warm. I'll see you on the other side. I might even bring pictures!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

2x @5

Unless you've tried to use my laptop in the past year or so the title won't make sense. If you have you'll understand that some major improvements have just taken place. It's going to take some getting used to but I may change my e-mail address to


Huge big shoutout of a thank you to Alex for my new and newly installed keyboard. You're a miracle worker, man.

The Thing

The thing about German Shepherds is that they don't exhibit many (any?) warning signs. They're fine, maybe a little odd and then they're bleeding from inappropriate orifices.

The thing about life is I always remember the times it felt like I was getting ahead and then WHAM an unavoidable expense. Like an emergency vet visit. I don't remember the times when I felt like I was getting ahead and I really was.

The thing about ethics are that I don't think I'm too bad a person but then someone says I am and my dog gets sick and I wonder if I'm being punished.

The thing about friends is that when you call at midnight with a veterinary emergency the good ones not only lend you their car but drive the car, too.

The thing about now is that it's 2:23am and I've been up since 6:30 this morning (technically yesterday) and I got a lot accomplished in that time and had a good time up until the whole veterinary emergency but now it's all swirly.

The thing about my dog is that she's on antibiotics and pain meds and she'll probably be fine but she's still thirteen and a half and peeing blood.

The thing about that is that it sucks.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Forgive. Able.

Oh, forgiveness is graduate level study, isn't it? Even the beginning lessons are like a non-Euclidean geometry test with a synchronized diving event for 30% of your final grade.

I'd say that I've been thinking about forgiveness a lot lately but that would imply that I'm thinking about it more now than I usually do. That's not strictly true. I really don't feel good at forgiveness yet but I feel like I ought to be learning faster so I think about it as often as I can stand. So a lot but not...enough, I guess. Especially after all the high dudgeon that was gotten up around the election. I'd like to be able to forgive some of the stuff I heard and read and inspired over the last six months but I don't think I'm there. I can justify it ("It comes from fear" "They've been lucky, they don't understand" "Variety is the spice of FUCK THEM") but I'm pretty sure that's not proper forgiveness.

If I were to be completely honest I'd have to admit that if this story had happened somewhere else I would have skimmed it, pronounced it a lovely Christmas tale, marked it as read and moved along to news of someone's cancer or someone else's baby or a little more of that highest dudgeon. It happened in Waterville, ME, though, so it stuck with me. My maternal grandparents lived in Winslow, ME which is right next door to Waterville. In order to see a movie, go to church or post a letter they had to go to Waterville. Winslow's small. Pretty but tiny. Well, and stinky until the paper mill went under. I spent a lot of time in Waterville and I had no idea they had nuns.

These nuns seem to have a real handle on this whole forgiveness thing, which isn't surprising but is heartening. Nuns are supposed to be good at forgiveness, aren't they? All Christians are, right? And yet...I'm wary of organized religion. This is not entirely rational but there have been incidents. Have I told you about the guy who repented the time he spent with me? Yeah. Really, that's a relatively harmless example, too. Regardless, the fact of the matter is I'm wary and I think it might leave me with a tendency to over explain my own spirituality and to do it from a negative standpoint. Do I start too many sentences with "I'm not Catholic/Unitarian/Mormon/Lutheran/Whatnot"...? How many is too many? I don't know. Is that offensive to some people? I'm sure it is. Why did I write this paragraph? Also not clear. I've read it three times, though, and I find I can't delete it so in it stays.

Anyway, about the nuns. A member of their congregation, mentally ill and off his meds, killed two of their order and seriously injured two more. Immediately "We went to see his family. And what could we do but just hug one another. We could hardly speak, it was so horrible." OK, so someone kills two of your sisters and nearly kills another two and you go immediately to see his family. There is a command of one's emotions in that sort of action that I find both marvelous and fantastic in the more traditional sense of those words. The surviving women understood right away that this man's family could as easily have been victims and that the family would be hurt in other ways even though they escaped the physical brutality. It didn't take them years to come to this conclusion or to take action on it, they reacted in the moment and shared their support and grief right away.

Now, just for kicks, think about someone who hurt you. I'm going to assume that no one has stabbed your sister recently but maybe someone insulted you or ignored you or betrayed your trust. Now imagine receiving that insult again and having your first response be to want the best for the person pitching it. Imagine immediately being able to process a way in which you could defend yourself and love the person betraying you all at the same time. There's no going home to lick your wounds, put up a web site where visitors can fling virtual poo at your betrayer then have a nice nap and wake up refreshed and ready to work for the benefit of that person. Oh no. You have to do it right away, no nap, no snack, no virtual poo. How's it going for you? I know! Me too. Even harder than it looks. And it looks like climbing Everest in your undershorts.

The story doesn't end there in the moment, though. Years later the nuns involved the attacker's family in their pre-Easter foot washing ritual as a symbol of the forgiveness they'd come to. The incident was still with them in everything they did and they wanted to give both the good and bad parts of that space in one of their most holy observances. I'm finding an enormous lesson (PhD level, perhaps) in the fact that, even though compassion was a first response, healing is a long term project requiring vigilant, innovative work toward a goal that is not completion but simply the opportunity to learn the next excruciatingly difficult lesson. Is there a remedial school for this stuff because in a couple of years I might be qualified to attend that.

The holidays are hard. This year has been hard. I'm about to go and turn 40 which feels like a new chapter in my life which doesn't seem hard but does seem...big. My previous chapters include a number of inspired paragraphs but not a few cross outs, over written sub plots and grammatical errors. I know that forgiveness of others, and of myself, is the way to a life-novel I can be proud of and this story is an invaluable study guide. Not sure I can learn this one on my own, though, I might have to head up to Waterville and see if I can get myself a tutor.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Call It A Fulcrum

Chili requested a Hot People post for a show so new that it still has that static film across the front to protect it.
It's called Leverage.
Click that link above or this one before you open the comments window and tell me proudly that you don't recognize anyone here.
The internet will reveal all, I promise.
For instance, it reminded me that this dude, Aldis Hodge, was in Friday Night Lights. Somehow he didn't seem as sexy in that. Maybe it's the computer hacking he does in Leverage.
I just put this next one in to make you feel dirty.
Although, frankly, this one makes me feel a little dirtier.
This one just makes me wiggly.
Must stop talking now because I'm about to reveal my weakness.
I know he was evil on Angel, but I still found him hot. Perhaps it's the slightly creepy eyes.
They make a pretty group, eh?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's Like A Crossover Episode

Over at PPP today I did a 10 Things Tuesday about DVDs on my shelf. I don't have it in me to come up with another theme so we're doing a crossover episode like that one time where the hurricane swept through Miami on the Golden Girls and that other show with Kristy McNichol.

1. Not at all surprisingly I have Elizabeth on the shelf. When your parents sell you on living for a year in England because you're named after two Queens (not that kind) you develop an attachment, even if you find out later you weren't named after queens at all (any kind). Yes, some people get all bent that they completely crumpled up the time line and the history of it. Turns out I don't care. I promise I'll get twice as righteous about some other movie to make up for it.

2. Mystery, Alaska is referenced in the PPP post but not an actual entry so I'm putting it in here. I love the sports flick, I warned you.

3. Lone Star State of Mind was foisted on my by JRH. In truth I'm really glad I have it even if it is the very worst movie ever made since they invented celluloid. It's so bad I feel as though you should be able to scrape this movie off the film to find the true masterpiece they smuggled out of Germany underneath. Except the scene with Josh Jackson in the bathtub in his cowboy hat. You leave that scene alone or I will cut you with a spur!

4. I own all the seasons of Due South. I really like having all the seasons of stuff. If all the seasons include a very cool dog and Paul Gross being all gentlemanly and gorgeous so much the better.

5. Ooo, speaking of Paul Gross I have a season or two of Slings & Arrows. I know I don't have Season One but I think I have the other two. If you love theatre, comedy, television and good acting then you need to see this series.

6. The second season of Mad About You is there because Pony Express is trying to find exactly one episode that she loves. I can't remember which episode it is but I can tell you it isn't in the second season. Doesn't matter I'm happy with all the episodes of this show.

7. Grosse Point Blank is one of the many John Cusack vehicles I keep close at all times. I love his little bent pinky and his snarky comments and his suspicious eyes and the way he holds a firearm. His sister is my hero, too. "It was just as if everyone has swelled." Yes. Yes it was.

8. I am in love with the Logger (pictured). He doesn't know I'm alive. I am afraid to rectify this. That is stupid.

9. Carrie Fisher was on Craig Ferguson on Friday and man if she isn't the craziest person walking this earth. I have Postcards From the Edge and I watch it kind of a lot, I'm surprised the part where they sing at the coming home party isn't worn right through. I haven't read any of her books, though I really want to. Perhaps a library card for Manhattan is in order since my office is only a few blocks from the main branch.

10. I own Serenity as sort of a placeholder for wishing I owned every episode of Firefly. Of course the SciFi channel runs the entire series over the course of a Friday every couple of months so it's almost like I own it and Serenity might even tell the story better than the series.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blush, Wink, Giggle, Snort, Blush Again

I went over to read this very funny conversation from Pamie and got whacked in the head with a revelation instead. Have you ever had someone take control of your computer from afar? It's happened to me a few times and I did notice a certain change in my internal temperature but I always attributed it to being embarrassed that I needed so much help. Then I read the conversation (have you clicked the link yet?) and I got embarrassed all over again because I figured out what that feeling really was.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

She's Not That Cruel

I think it's funny that even when we create families they tend to follow the same format as the families that spring out of nature. Today my house was full of people I am not in any way related to. There were two little girls raising extremely controlled and intelligent cain in my bedroom. I dug out an old Where's Waldo book and left the dog's ramp up to the bed and they didn't need anything else. I wouldn't have said my apartment was big enough for an interesting game of hide and seek but I would have been wrong.

Then, just as she was headed out, Bebe went in to say goodbye to the girls and a moment later we were all being treated to a show. In her role as resident grandmother Bebe organized them and us into our own private theater with chairs for stages and standing room only. Each girl sang two songs and you've never heard such thunderous applause. I snuck my camera out and got a couple of shots I'll share later.

I remember being the kid on the chair but I never felt quite old enough to be the adult holding her breath to see how the show would turn out. Turns out I am and I like this side a little better.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Overdose of the Good

Last night I spent a few hours sipping wine and talking about art and dogs with friends. Oh and eating home made cinnamon chocolate torte. Then I got a ride home, which is like New York City gold.

I spent all day taking photos of a very funny friend. Plus we went to a museum to do it (one more thing down from the 108 in 2008!). We also went outside in the freezingly cold weather. Then his family showed up and there was sushi and cookies and cocoa. To top it all off he then played great music for an hour while I danced with his kid. Icing on the cake was getting a ride home (see above).

Already seems like too much of a good thing, right?

Yet, I need to go to sleep soon and shake off this skull crushing headache because tomorrow at noon all sorts of friends show up here for a pot luck brunch. I hope you're having as good a weekend as I am. Word from up north is that power is coming back on. My people seem to have forward motion on the infrastructure problems but no resolution quite yet. Fingers crossed for something to happen soon. Very soon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Exhibits A-C

JRH sent these from her neck of the icy woods. Doesn't seem to be bothering Sid up there, though, does it? She's a bit west and south of Chili, Auntie, O'Mama and their neighbors but I thought it'd give us an idea of what the world looks like up there.
She updated me to say that this birch tree is, miraculously, upright again.
Man, too bad I already did my FFF, this is so much better!

Send Warm Thoughts

It's not so bad here in Brooklyn, it's not bad at all actually, the rain has let up and it's around 40 degrees, but up there where I came from it's cold, dark and icy.

I got a call from the Bees a little bit ago. They are snuggled up in bed with their winter hats on. The ice storm has killed the power in the region and it'll probably be days before it's back. I called mom, she's OK, didn't know it'd be days but did know that the people down the street had power lines ripped right out of their houses. She'd been out rescuing her bird feeders from bent branches with her hand saw. I got in touch with Chili via text and it sounds like world is crashing down on her but she's optimistic. There are wires being pulled out of her house, trees bending to the breaking point and Mr. Chili has headed over to Local U to see if he can get a converter to run their heater off one of their cars. It's good to marry an engineer, eh? I'm off to let her corner of the internet know where she is. Please send warm thoughts up there, it looks like it's going to be a long haul.

Busy FFF

Again I don't have time to tell you the details of my financial hiccup but it does contribute to why I'm so busy today. I've had about twenty bucks in ones to live on since last Sunday. So, you know, not spending on Day Without A Gay wasn't so tough for me. I was practicing Day Without A Gay (ally) all week long! Today, though, is payday so I have to catch up on all the crap that I want to do for the holidays and for my brunch on Sunday and to keep my cat's heart from exploding. I had to cancel on my standing movie date because I had too much to do! So if you came here looking for the promise of a review of Slumdog Millionaire I'm afraid I'm going to have to disappoint you, they're going without me. I did take the time to dig up this really old floral photo, though. I hear it's very icy up north. Down here it's chilly and rainy and bleh. A dash of color seemed just what we needed.

Happy fucking Friday, y'all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I'm a mite scattered today. I'm working very hard, and on work stuff, too! I've got fun and creative work and guests and pre-planning for other fun going on. I also have a little financial woe, not big, just little and partially self-inflicted and if I ever get 3 minutes to string together I'll tell you all about it. Did I mention the movies? Crap, I didn't. I've got 2 pieces for PPP in my head that haven't been allowed out to play yet. Sorry. I'm working on it. For now I've just got a couple of questions before I get gussied up and go to a party.

First is for you savvy shoppers out there. Do we have any of those? We must. I like a plain long sleeved tee for my late fall, winter, early spring uniform. I saw some really nice ones in the Gap the other day at 2 for $15. After Christmas will the price on those likely go down, up or will the item disappear all together?

What is the correct response when an employee of your dwelling place tells you, "I've got you on my Christmas list!" repeatedly? Last year he did the same thing and nothing came of it so I'm trying just to ignore it. I usually give a few bucks in an envelope to security and another envelope to maintenance and assume they pool tips.

Is Auntie going to call me mean for posting this picture even though she asked for it?

Are any of you cat whisperers or do you know any? Elvis is getting increasingly evil toward visiting dogs and we're having Bobby around for the New Year which makes me really happy. I want to lessen the angst, though. Usually the angst only lasts for the first night. Do I just deal and let them work it out or can I help it along?

Did you hear about the successful sit-in in Chicago? (This relates really hugely to the lack of regulation in our financial system and why the bailouts are maybe kind of sketchy so please go read that very short post. I want you all to know what's going on because there's going to be ranting and raving about regulation and deregulation and capitalism sooner or later and we should all have some words to say about it.)

Have you finished your holiday shopping?

Should that dab of essential oil I put under my arm really be burning like this?

Have you started your holiday shopping?

Should I feel weird about the huge bump in traffic I got due to the post about a certain late night talk show host's personal tragedy (how's that for foiling the googlers?!)? It wasn't why I wrote it and frankly I was pretty surprised when it happened.

Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

Ciao, I've got champagne to drink. I'll have a slug for you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not A Birthday

In fact it's quite the opposite. All day I've been bugged by the date. The 10th, 10th, December 10th. Crap. I'm missing something. It's somebody's birthday. But it's NOT! I know it's not. The 10th though...hmm...

Looking for something else in the archives of this blog I came across a lot of stuff I'd forgotten. A video that Sueb0b posted, the rum cake that Kath made last year and why the 10th sticks out in my brain. Today is the 8th anniversary of the day my grandmother died. If she were me she would not be dwelling on it like this and remembering. She would think I was being an ass. But she wouldn't say that because the only time she ever said ass she was referring to a donkey.

Still, I'm glad I remembered.

Stop! Before You Spend

Just a quick thing here, I'm already running late, but I want to catch you before you head out the door. We know I've already missed Auntie. Today is Day Without Gay. If you can't call in sick at least do not spend any money today. Let's do our best to show our capitalist nation that if you don't want the LGBT community you don't have to have them. Of course if you don't have them you're going to have to learn a lot more about Chapter 11 and its consequences but that's cool, you do what you have to do. So bring your lunch, buy that Christmas present tomorrow and, honestly, did you need that afternoon latte? Aren't you jittery enough this time of year?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Honestly Beautiful

Craig Ferguson's mother, Janet, died on December 1st. His first show since her death was last night and he chose the path of honesty. It wasn't a laugh riot show but it was quite funny. Apparently Ferguson spoke to his sister Lynn about whether or not a tribute show was appropriate and together they concluded that there might be other people trying to get through the first set of holidays without someone they love (like me) and by sharing his experience he'd let them know they were not alone. I wept throughout the show, of course, but I came away with two things that I thought were especially important to share.
Chi McBride was the guest and he led off by saying two things to Craig. One of those things was this, "We all are here for you and although we didn't experience the same loss, we're here for you man and if you want to take us with you that's fine and if you don't we'll be here when you get back." That's exactly what I feel we're supposed to do when someone we love loses someone they love. It's what I try to do with varying degrees of success. I wish I'd been able to articulate it so elegantly.
Just before the close of the show Ferguson read the piece he'd read for his mother's funeral. It's a poem by Henry Van Dyke and he read it as it lay in context in Victor Hugo's Toilers of the Sea. I've never heard this poem before and I love the metaphor of it and it's perfection for funeral reading. I sorely wish I'd known about it when my grandfather died. My favorite line is, "Her diminished size is in me, not in her."

You can say that again.

10 Things Santaland

1. Alita brought a list this year. That was a first. There was much shuffling to retrieve it from her mother's bag so she could hand it to him. There was also much covert shuffling after she left with her dad while her mom and Santa pow wowed about the list. Fortunately Santa has a photographic memory so Carmencita could take the list with her when we left. Shhh, don't tell.

2. There is one little thing that we miss. When you first enter the realm you step onto a train and walk through the old fashioned train car. It used to be that you could "see" through the "windows" what was passing by outside (lots of snow covered, evergreen dotted scenery) but that's been gone for the past couple of years. We, Alita especially, remark on its loss every year.

3. That dress is from here. She has a lot of great dresses from that site and I am envious of almost all of them. The women's selections aren't as delicious I don't think.

4. The ABP across from the entrance to Santaland is clearly not under Santa's jurisdiction. While the sticky bun was sinfully delicious my "hot chocolate" was the worst cocoa adjacent thing I've ever had. There was coffee residue in it and the chocolate wasn't good and I had 2 sips and just ditched it.

5. Always charge your camera battery before visiting Santa. Don't be me. Still kicking myself.

6. Later, on the subway, we had a talk about a Santa-related moral dilemma. When Santa asks if you've been good and, hypothethically, you haven't is it better to lie and say that you were good because you want to be on the Nice list or better to tell the truth and get points for that? Carmencita reminded us all of the life lesson, "It's never the crime. It's always the cover-up." Keep that in mind.

7. Also on the subway but unrelated to the moral dilemma discussion we saw someone panhandling. Carmencita told me that Alita declared a short while ago, "When we see someone asking for money on the train we have to give them some." Every time. So they do. We don't know what sparked this but, especially these days, it's a nice thing for her to explore doing.

8. My girl whipped her coat off while she was in line and asked her parents to hold it. Then, of course, she was cold. So I hung my coat on her shoulders (you'll see in the photos when I post them) which means I got to be the only adult not lugging a coat around. It's good to be the aunt.

9. Those elves have the line down to a science. They say we waited about 35 minutes but I didn't even notice. The sections of the line are so short that every little while there's some sort of demarcation that feels like you've really gotten somewhere. Before you know it you're being led to Santa's cabin. Seriously I was sure we had a left turn and about 10 feet left to go before we got picked up by our Escort Elf but we didn't, off we were whisked.

10. Unlike some families we waited until Miss Alita was 4 or 5 (no one can remember which ) before we started this tradition. As I may have told you there were some rumblings that she might already be over the glitz and glamor and pageantry of it all. When I brought up the scheduling I was told it might already be over. Turns out it wasn't, it most emphatically wasn't, and I was awash in relief. I was willing to believe, though it made me sad, that she was ready to move on from this part but I'm not ready. I'm a long way from ready. Do you think it would be inappropriate to ask Santa to send her some sort of prescription or contract so that we can keep doing this until I'm dead and gone? 'Cause that's how long I want to keep doing it. Even if we get so big we endanger the Big Guy's lap.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Two Things Unrelated

I found this photo of Auntie Blanche while I was searching for photos of myself to use for my birthday party invitation. I can't remember what year it was but it might have been the last church photo she took. I kept the one from the year before on display because this one is a little washed out but I like her smile in this one, too. After seeing pictures of her mother and of her when she was younger this is a side of Auntie Blanche we didn't see much once she moved here.

A short but passionate essay on my food processor:

I didn't know how to work a food processor until relatively recently. I'd never had one nor used recipes where one was required. Pony Express had one but when we lived together she handled all of the processing of food. I remained ignorant and contentedly so.

I carefully pried this particular old-model food processor out of my mother's grasp a couple of years ago. It's possible that I used my poor sick cat for leverage since up to this weekend all I've ever done with it is to puree chicken and yogurt for his unpredictable digestive tract. Oh foolish, foolish me!

Yesterday, though, I found the glory of the food processor. ChemE allowed as how rum balls were doable in the fp. "Just start with the nuts," she said. Last year I chopped those nuts with one of those handheld manual blade things that you whack on the top of its spring-loaded handle, you know? It does about 6 pecans halves at a time. Can you imagine how long that took? Then I had to smash the vanilla wafers with a soup can. Rum ball time was quite loud at my house. And crumby.

Oh sweet lord of all that is chocolate the food processor way is easier! Rolling the gooey mix into balls and coating them in powdered sugar was a joy after the 10.5 seconds it took to crush everything up in my ancient Cuisenthingy. I made two batches before the chocolate sauce had cooked and cooled! It emboldened me.

I don't have a mixer. Well, I have a hand mixer I guess but I'm not certain where the motor part is and sometimes the beaters fly off so I don't use it a lot. (OK, the beaters have never flown off as such but more than once have I turned the thing upright and had them plunge to an eggy death in a bowl full of batter.) The food processor had been so useful! Could it handle making pumpkin chocolate squares? It could! The liquid bits at least, which are the hardest bits to do by hand. It was perhaps rude of me to require a double batch of it but with coaxing it did a bang up job. No machinery smoldered or burned, nothing flew out and coated the walls, and best of all I didn't have to cream butter and sugar together with a fork and the grease from my nearly 40 year old elbow!

Dear Food Processor,

Now I have a reason to remain single. You are the love of my life.



Sunday, December 07, 2008

Dear Internet (part ? of ?)

Dear Internet,

Why is my metal ice cream scoop leaving metal tasting residue in my ice cream and how do I make it stop?


P.S. You'd be so proud of me today. I spent all afternoon in the kitchen cooking protein for the week, making chocolate sauce and rum balls and pumpkin chocolate chip squares for presents and the joint looks better now than it did when I started. Then I figured out that I don't have the right cords to make my scanner work but found pics to scan which I'll do on my lunch break tomorrow at work which will enable me to send out my birthday invitations. Wrote to my friend who only gets snail mail. Organized some shit. After this I'm going to write some Holiday Cards. I'm almost afraid to say this but they might even be all done before Christmas. That never happens. Hope you're having a good Sunday. Thanks for the help with the ice cream scoop thing.

Average Sunday

I turned the dog's walk into a photo safari this morning much to her chagrin. She'd want to go and I'd stop. I'd want to go and she'd stop. She somehow wanted to go the opposite direction from me almost every time either of us started to go again. Plus it was cold. (Everyone who lives in the real cold zones can commence giggling now.) Hovering around freezing by the end of the walk it even started to snow. It wasn't a real snow and it wasn't the wet nearly-rain snow we had last night for our first snow of the season. This is the dry, blowing making-a-point sort of snow. "We don't really have enough moisture to actually snow but we want you to know that we can if we want to. Don't test us."

The reason I was a photo enthusiast on a day when you'd usually have to drag me off the couch with a canine-powered winch was that there's a decoration contest on Myrtle Avenue. Employees were painting on store windows and I'd seen some of the works in progress yesterday so I wanted to get some fresh shots of the finished works. This means we walked about 8 blocks on one side of Myrtle Avenue then crossed the street and walked back on the other side. Just before you get back to my house is the Skank of America branch. I was eagerly looking at every window seeing who had participated so my scrolling scrutiny of the bank went something like this:

I don't see anything.
Hey the maintenance guy is working today. Wonder what he's looking at?
ATMs are up.
Oh dear.

Some guy was passed out face down in the ATM lobby of the bank. Some woman was getting money out of the machine behind him. The maintenance guy was waiting for the paramedics.

I kept walking and debating with myself. At that point I didn't know that the paramedics had been called. Should I call? Should I go back and help? I turned around to look and watched another woman approach, stick her card in the door lock and go in. Didn't even see her hesitate over the guy laid out on the floor. At that point I decided that I know enough about people to know the look on the maintenance guy's face so something was being done. Then I decided not to do anything per se but simply to loiter and see what happened. Please do not tell Queen Bee. When I showed her this picture she grilled me repeatedly about why I hadn't gone over to check and see if the woman was OK and I had to admit that it never even occurred to me. I figured she was having a nap in the sun and if it were me I'd be pissed if someone bugged me.

Very soon there were sirens and FDNY sent in about 5 guys to do I don't know what. A minute later an ambulance with a proper stretcher and two paramedics arrived and took the guy out. I waited, honestly, because I assumed the guy was drunk and passed out or possibly a post-drinking seizure but that is the bank branch that's been robbed twice since it opened not two years ago and I wondered if the guy might be dead. So I waited long enough to see them roll him out to the ambulance in a seated position.

Just an average ordinary Sunday here in the 'hood. A nice walk, a little art, a minor emergency.