Saturday, February 28, 2009


A friend of mine recently dipped her toes into Facebook with great trepidation. Then she friended a couple of people and now she's all, "WHEE! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?" I'm not making fun, she's not alone and it's a complicated and cool application. I check in with it at least a hundred times a day. I might be classified an addict of sorts. I haven't quite gotten to the WHEE point, though. I am cautious and a little unnerved by the whole thing. People pop up out of the blue scaring the heck out of me and I go poking around for others and wondering if they'll have the faintest memory of me and, of course, worrying that they won't. I have to admit to liking it mostly for the cyber-stalking possibilities, though. If we're friends on Facebook and you post photos or are tagged in photos I can guarantee you that I have scrolled through the whole album, maybe twice. That trip to the Galapagos? The socks you got for Christmas? Your best friend's husband's co-workers birthday party where you wore the jeans that really showed off your ass? I've seen it all. I love looking at other people's photos. Always have.

Are you on Facebook? What's your favorite part?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sentimental Bling

Why yes, I am going to speak a little more about Mr. Rourke (not that one). You're surprised? Seriously? I fear you don't know me at all.

Gothamist informed me (and a few other people) today that a local artisan sent Mickey Rourke a necklace to commemorate his dog, Loki's, life. Bring your hankie when you click that link because it was exactly what Rourke needed apparently and he is properly appreciative.

The artist, Betina Wasserman, will make you a necklace, too. She won't make you one with Loki on it. That one was a personal gift. She will, however, take a picture of your choosing and make you a beautiful glass necklace of your very own for the low, low price of $30.

I think I might need to get me one of those.

Always Thinkin'

Thinking about Auntie Blanche a lot today. Not surprising since I'm wearing her sweater and her necklace watch.

Ways & Means

You want to know a good way to keep me from ordering any of your @von products? Ring my bell, insistently nonetheless, three times before 8:00am!

See also: Ways To Get Me To Throw Your Damn Catalogs Back In Your Face With Alarming Accuracy.

Welcome to Thursday y'all, looks like it's going to be a bumpy one.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

They Just Don't Realize

My job moved to a new office a few months ago. The place has a very open plan and I sit about 10 feet from the kitchen. There is no door on the kitchen/lunchroom, it's just open to the hall. Because it's around a corner, though, and you can't see the rest of the office from there people don't realize that their voices carry and can be heard pretty clearly in the main office.

Turns out the also don't realize that the sound of their farts can be heard pretty clearly too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Next Year in New Orleans

It's Mardi Gras, y'all. Go flash your boobies at someone.

You Might Get More Than One

I'm giving you 10 more things from my starred file, just because. If I think of a more original/inspired/ridiculous list topic you might get another 10 things before Cinderella has to leave the ball tonight.

1. (Wow, I had to scroll down a long time before I got to something I wanted to share. I might be saving way too much fanfiction....nah, that's not possible.) Here's my latest fave Dear Old Love and it doesn't even have anything to do with butt sex this time.

2. Jen Lemen has a guest blogger, Myriam, posting for her while she nurses some of her creative impulses. Myriam wrote this post about how fighting love is foolish. I hate to be called foolish but I liked what she had to say.

3. Matt over at Child's Play x2 is hosting an auction to benefit his day job, a YMCA in an underserved area of CA. I had donated some things but I think I didn't give him all the right info to include my donations. I'll have to go back and see if I can rectify it before the auction is done. In the mean time check out all the cool stuff people have up for bids!

4. Via Schmutzie I found this hilarious LOLcats-adjacent site, FUCK YEAH NEIL PATRICK HARRIS. Like LOLcats not every entry is a home run but I still highly recommend donning one's Depends before clicking.

5. I am just getting into Facebook. I still don't really understand it but I do love playing the Scrabble. However, Time Magazine informs me that my willingness to learn about it is probably a sign of advanced age. Via candlewaxdreams.

6. My friend Noah wrote about this fabulous poster encouraging us to continue to work on the AIDS "problem" (pandemic anyone?) in Africa. As the poster says, AIDS is fucking Africa.

7. I'm somehow nervous, outraged, and crushed over the loss of TV shows and films being shot in New York. (Thanks to Filming in Brooklyn for the link.) It has to do with a decrease in tax incentives and financially it makes no sense. I think it might have to do with the layperson's assumptions about artists being given a "free ride" but the fact is that the money that's lost in tax breaks is more than made up for in the amount of money spent in salaries and purchasing of goods and services for these productions. It won't be big, famous actors who are out of work when they leave it'll be technicians, extras, chefs, deli-owners, drivers and other more ordinary citizens. Plus the city is losing Joshua Jackson and that's unconscionable!

8. Speaking of New York, General Greene taught me some things about subway turnstiles that I did not know.

9. I get really angry at assumptions about people on welfare. While I'm sure the mythical Welfare Queen exists I honestly don't believe that she is in the majority. I don't feel, though, that I have enough knowledge to really bust out on people who are so anti-helping people out via government. That means, of course, that I'm on the lookout for knowledge since my pot will probably boil over anyway and I'd like to have some substance to spew when the inevitable occurs. Feministing provides a really interesting history lesson about the welfare system. It seems that it was originally designed to prop up the very people who would now like to eliminate it. And some people say our society hasn't come very far.

10. Let's end on something pretty, shall we? Look at these cool papercuts. I wish I could afford one for my walls. Better to pay the mortgage and keep the walls, though. (OK, actually there's one I quite like for $32 not including framing, so I might could splurge at some point.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Little Touch of Sadness

Right off the bat I want to be clear that I don't in the least begrudge Sean Penn his Best Actor win at last night's Oscars. He turned in a skilled and compelling performance as an important historical figure in a movie that is focusing much needed attention on crucial human rights violations. When I put it that way, why wouldn't he win, right?
Just because he's not this guy.

They're both tough cookies with reputations for random acts of bad judgment. They're both great actors who have made a variety of choices on the watchability spectrum over the course of their careers. They both held top billing this year for in-depth character portrait movies with complicated endings. They did those movies proud and drew huge national audiences to their relatively small independent features.
Why do I pick Rourke over Penn? In my heart of hearts probably because I feel like Mickey needs a win. Whereas Penn's aggression and rebellion were always focused by his continued acting work, Rourke followed a less direct path. His questionable choices led him far away from acting. They changed who he was as a person and who he was as an actor. He learned the fine art of having his ass handed to him in the boxing ring and it changed him physically so much that when he returned to Hollywood no one wanted anything to do with him. Well, no one except for his chihuahua, Loki, and director Darren Aronofsky. I don't know about Aronofsky but Loki seems to be a pretty good judge of character. After spending many years at Rourke's side and being fitted for a matching tux in anticipation of last night's festivities Loki had to leave a week before the red carpet was unfurled. She was elderly, she reportedly hung on as long as she possibly could but couldn't quite make it to the Kodak Theater.

As Mickey Rourke told that story on the red carpet last night I wondered whether, in the coming weeks, he would think the universe required payment of one loyal friend for one big, much-needed win. I was that sure he had it in the bag. I guess he won't have to wonder.
I saw both movies, I loved both movies and I think both men are equally deserving of all the accolades the industry has showered on them this awards season. I know that Rourke has had a lot of wins lately in this category and I can see how you might think those would be enough. I also understand and, honestly, believe that Penn's win is a vital boost to the Anti-Prop 8 (and all the other human rights violating propositions we saw passed in November) movement. I'm pleased that Penn recognized that responsibility and made use of his Oscar platform to reach out and make his feelings known.

On the other hand, though, I just can't help thinking that Mickey Rourke sat in a room full of people who wouldn't have pissed on him if he was ablaze 10 years ago, handing over to them what might be called the performance of a lifetime, and he left the building with another tick in the loss column. And when he got home, his best friend wasn't even there to hear all about it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Question

For a largish segment of the readership this question will seem ridiculous or even incomprehensible. For certain of you, though, you will understand. You will, perhaps, wonder why I didn't ask sooner.

Been practicing your acceptance speech?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Do you guys know about The Courage Campaign? I bet you've at least seen a link to the video with the sweet little moppet holding a sign that says, "Please don't divorce my dads!" It's about invalidating Prop 8. San Diego Momma posted about her friend, Cheri, who is soliciting our help with the campaign. The deadline to sign their petition has been extended to March 2nd. It won't take long and I bet you're out there accomplishing all sorts of stuff on this fine Saturday so why not add one more thing to the list, eh?

Friday, February 20, 2009

I am deliciously sated after a wonderful dinner by Kath with dessert by me (made more successful by Alex's willingness to run to the corner for ice cream). I was in a cooking slump for a while there and I'm wary of serving anything as a result but my childhood favorite pudding cake was a rousing success. I only hope the diabetic at the table is on top of his insulin today because he could not resist a small helping.

My starred items folder is bursting again. I wanted to share just a few things as we go about our weekends.

There's a woman trying to subsist for a week on free food. Not food that's given to her, though, free food that other people could find if they wanted to repeat the incident. She spends a lot of time with Whole Foods free samples, I think. Given that I'm almost done with a novel about a hunger striker it's a weird item to read this week.

Every time I read about worm composting I think I might want to try it. This article makes it seem like an even better idea. And yet, I don't quite think I'm ready to give it a try.

Snob is walking for heart health. No pressure but if you've got a connection to the cause or you'd like to donate that generosity would not go amiss.

The Iraqui shoe tosser is facing some relatively serious jail time in what I'm sure is an enormously serious jail. When he talks about what brought on his rage, though, I can see how any punishment would be enough. The ex-president's complete refusal to take anything seriously, especially the loss of human life and integrity, enrages me daily.

North Dakota's House of Representatives has passed an anti-abortion (and incidentally, anti-contraception) bill. There is hope that the senate or governor will reject is but they are both famously anti-choice so there isn't much hope. So, nice to know that North Dakota thinks women are smart enough to make their own decisions. Yet another place in the long list of places I plan to drive through very quickly if the need arises.

Here are my recent fave Dear Old Love entries. (I am noticing the theme arising in myh faves. No, I'm not too surprised or disturbed.)

Hope you're sleeping tight.

Cod Piece

These people sure do make the 16th century sexy.

Syphillis, once-a-year-baths, plague, smoky fires, outdoor plumbing and back stabbing never looked so pretty.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Craig on Barack

Craig Ferguson on Barack Obama's presidency being called a possible failure just one month in:

"Everybody just calm down. Give Obama four years. See what he can do. Then if he's a miserable failure we'll do what we did with Bush, we'll elect him to a second term!"

If you're outraged at me for posting that well, awesome, also I'd like to direct you to MAB for an even bigger spike to your BP.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Recent Conversation (paraphrased)

ChemE: I thought I was better read than this.

Me: You're pretty well read.

ChemE: How can you have me beat?

Me: Thanks. You have the rest of your life to...

ChemE: What's DaVinci Code on her for?!

Me: Turns out this isn't the official list, there's a...

ChemE: Where's the official list!?

Me: I've got a link. I'll probably post it tonight or tomorrow.

ChemE: Why isn't [insert name of famous classic authors by the dozens] on here?!? I've read him/her!

Me: That is weird. I don't know.

ChemE: And what about [insert name of famous classic authors by the dozens]?!

Me: It's a list. It's opinion. Maybe you need to make your own list.

ChemE: Post the list.

Me: I'll do it when I...

ChemE: Post the list.

Me: As soon as I feed the pe...

ChemE: Post the list.

So, kids, here's the official list with my x marks the spotting on it. (My prediction is that I will have read fewer on this list than on the unofficial one.) If it doesn't meet with her approval we may have ChemE's official list before our heads hit our respective pillows tonight. She can't abide an inferior list. And why should she?

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (x)
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams (x)
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling (x)
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (x)
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne (x)
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell (x)
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis (x)
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë (x)
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger (x)
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott (x)
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell (x)
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling (x)
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling (x)
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling (x)
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy (x)
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot (x)
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving (x)
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck (x)
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez (x)
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens (x)
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl (x)
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald (x)
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell (x)
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (x)
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett (x)
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King (x)
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (x)
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer (x)
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (x)
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden (x)
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens (x)
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (x)
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding (x)
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (x)
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar (x)
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy (x)
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo (x)
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel (x)
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (x)
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie (x)

Wow, there's a lot of Terry Pratchett on there and someone has a different idea than I do of which Roald Dahl books need immortalizing. Where is James & the Giant Peach I ask you?

And, I was right, I've only got 40 on this one. There's actually a relatively large number of books on this one that I haven't even heard of. If I didn't have so many books on my bedside table I'd be doing some serious investigation.

How'd you do?

I Did This To Myself

Not sure I love my name but I had perhaps a little too much fun making this. Go on, you do it too.

Thanks Chili!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The BBC Says

As requested, here's the list. I've read 51 so far. Some I couldn't tell you a thing about, I just know my eyes roamed all the pages. Some I'd give back if I could. There are still a few (a very few) I'd like to get through before I pass or they get replaced. (Yes, I know there are weird duplications on the list. I didn't have any say in it, I'm just reproducing it at your request.)

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
Tally your total at the bottom.

How many have you read?

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (X)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (X)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (X)
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (X)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (X)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (X)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (X)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (some) (X)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (X)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (X)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot (X)
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (X)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (X)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (X)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (X)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (X)
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (X)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (X)
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (X)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (X)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (X)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (X)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (X)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (X)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (X)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving (X)
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (X)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (X)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan (X)
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (X)
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon (X)
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (X)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon (X)
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (X)
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (X)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (X)
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie (X)
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (X)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (X)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (X)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson (X)
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath (X)
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt (X)
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (X)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (X)
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (X)
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (X)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (X)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (X)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (X)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (X)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

10 Things

Don't know that I have a lot of words but surely I have 10 things of some sort in me, right?

1. John Scalzi on Obama and bipartisanship etc. This one's for everyone who's disappointed or vindicated by our current President's work thus far. Go ahead and read the comments, too. I haven't read them for this post yet but one of the things I admire most about Scalzi is the way he's created a huge community with lively yet polite discourse. He's not afraid to hear what people have to say and he's even less afraid to bring down the hammer when it's required.

2. I got kicked out of a motel this weekend. Just a note to motels who rent by the hour, "You can get off your high horse about pets any time now. At least my dog isn't going to ass fuck a hooker on that bedspread you've never washed."

3. I have to do one measly load of laundry tonight. Really. Have to. Someone make sure I get on that, will you please?

4. There is a wide, wide wake of a ship (I'm assuming, I can't see it) in the East River just outside my window. It annoys me that I can't see it because a tiny part of my mind thinks it might be another plane.

5. Outlook is all newfangled and has bells and whistles on it I've never seen. Today I had to teach someone how to use it and why it would be useful. I gave her the basics but it seems I have a lot to learn and I need to learn it soon.

6. Sometimes being on Facebook makes me feel like I'm right back in high school. Someone posted yearbook photos of people a couple of years ahead of me and I wanted to comment on them but was suddenly paralyzed by the fact that the poster was a "cool kid" and I was not. Fortunately I'm not a kid anymore either so that shit doesn't matter.

7. I have read 51 of the books on BBC's "great books" list. I do not know what their criteria for "great" books is but it might need some revising. I mean, I thoroughly enjoyed Bridget Jones' Diary but don't think it was a "great" book exactly.

8. Turns out that Motel 6 takes pets. It also turns out that I find it immeasurably satisfying to be able to legally waltz my dog into a motel room. She was pretty pleased herself. So pleased in fact that there was no room on the bed for me.

9. I think I've realized why I am fascinated with Jim's stories and photos of Detroit. I, like so many others, fear an enormous downturn for my city and Detroit is paving the grim way in that respect.

10. The community organizer in Jim's most recent post is an example to us all. What have you done for your community lately? And why should you expect someone else to do what you won't? (The general you, of course, the one that includes me, not you personally, though of course you personally is included in the general know.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Just One Little Problem

The basic problem with Private Practice is that Sandra Oh isn't in it.

(Yeah, I thought I'd be writing about my weekend helping my mother, too. But I'm not.)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Little Bit

Let's just start off the day with something good, shall we? Got the mammogram results in the mail last night. I mean, that's a good sign anyway, they wouldn't send you a letter if you needed extra treatment. And they're all, "That was great, don't forget to self examine, early detection, blah blah come back next year so we can fondle your boobies again."

If I had a nickel...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Price Is Right

I need a little advice. I need to give you some background. I need to apologize to everyone who's learning about my trip via this medium. I'm in a certain amount of denial.

Aunt Rena is in decline. That's not news. Between her immobile knees and her congestive heart failure, though, it is finally completely impossible to leave her in her own home 5 good-weather-hours away from the nearest family member. My mother has taken 5 unpaid weeks off to assess the situation and remedy it and the answer is that Rena will be coming down to live with my mother in about a week and a half.

Surely I've written about my mom's house before. I don't write much about it, though, because I find it humiliating. I know it's not my house so it's not mine to be humiliated over but I am. I think people think I should be fixing my mother and I can't. I can either have a relationship with my mother or I can try to fix her. I can't do both. I speak from experience. So understand that it's hard for me to explain to you how bad it is. It's bad. There are tiny paths through huge mounds of stuff taller than me (newspapers, bills, furniture, electronics, shelving, cat food, player piano, etc.) that get you through the place. You can only go single file. You can't use a cane or a walker. Her front yard is the same only it's covered in flowers and plants. I mourn the loss of the front lawn and she tells me to shut my yap.

Mom took a couple of days back in her home to make space for Rena. She's put up a bed in the living room and cleared out a dresser. There might be room (wow, I'm totally starting to cry while I write this, who knew?) for a walker to get from the front door (farthest from the driveway) to the bed. I know this sounds nuts. It sounded so nuts that I had to call Pony Express and tell her about it because I couldn't hold it inside me. She, being of unsound mind and foolish heart, told me that we probably ought to go up (WE!) while Mom was north with Rena and figure out a way to make some more room. Mom trusts us to do such things. We're the only people she does for a variety of slightly loopy but understandable reasons.

OK, enough background, why am I still talking? I actually just need a little advice, gah!

I've been given permission to sell a dining room table (pretty good condition, solid, possibly with leaves for expansion), the chairs that go with it (re-covered seats but fairly rickety) and a wing chair (sturdy but with ravaged upholstery) to a 2nd hand store up the road. I've never looked at the cost of furniture in a second hand store in my life! I get all my second hand furniture from my mom! (And my dad and my friends and from the street here in NYC.) What's a good price for those things? Do you think the guy will actually buy them? Should I aim high and expect negotiation? Will you come sell this stuff for me, please? I need some knowledge to get my feet under me. This is the first thing I need to do on Sat morning before PE and I spend all day Saturday and at least half the day on Sunday fighting a battle with little hope of anything that could be construed as winning. Any direction you can give me is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Things All Around

I have never seen this guy before. He's mobile (check out the castors on his rig) and he's got plenty of power (generator is out of sight behind the keyboard) and he's lovely. He was playing some standards and singing along occasionally and I could have stood there for hours. I settled for a few stolen minutes and putting a dollar in the tip jar so hopefully he'll come back soon.

Thanks to MAB for letting me snap the shot with his gear.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rabbit Hole

I fell down a tiny internet rabbit hole. I was on my reader reading Neil Gaiman's blog and he linked to both his and Stephen Fry's Twitter accounts. Scrolling through Gaiman's I came across this food/culture web site. I am thrilled and disgusted in equal measure. Also a little bit hungry.

10 More Before Deadline!

Still not satisfied with the title of the show. Still working on it. I like Next! but a lot of my close personal advisers do not. How about these? Any of these ring anybody's bell?

Ding-a-ling Destiny

Ariadne's Anguish

Six Minute Sweetheart

Triple Threat

Limited Time Love

Limited Time Offer

Limited Love

Six Minutes in Hell

A Drink, A Date, A Ding

Six Minutes

Monday, February 09, 2009

Oh Oh Oh, Surely You Kidd

They had to bring someone in from another continent to match the spark and flair of Sandra Oh.
Kevin McKidd was just the right choice.
If you aren't up to date on your Grey's Anatomy this won't mean anything to you (and you probably shouldn't read ahead) but Christina and McArmy's (I don't know what the kids are calling him so let's go with McArmy) storyline gave me a subtle but resounding kick to the sternum. I've watched it several times and that feeling doesn't go away.
As they walk down the hallway to a gorgeous solo piano piece (can't wait to find that) and evoke a Merchant Ivory production with their contained Victorian passion I nearly burst into tears.
I hate with the fire of a thousand suns where I think the storyline is going (his old flame?) but hope that the writers will outsmart me (his sister?). A gentleman named William Harper wrote this episode, which was well done on more fronts than just this one. I suggest we agree to watch him closely.

I'll get to that just as soon as I can take my eyes off Oh and McKidd.

Like It?

Like my new ring? I luuuuurve it.

(Yes, it's on backwards, I'm just playing around, trying to shock the blahs out of the system by any means necessary. Pretty lame means, eh? Turning my ring around the wrong way, whoooooooooo!")

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I Think I've Got It

I think this might be what they call "the midwinter blahs." I'm accomplishing things, I'm talking to people, I'm cooking food and walking the dog and watching my stories and yet...I'm just not feeling it.

Best thing in the world right now is my book. It's getting to the most exciting part where I want to read and read and read except that if I read it's going to end and I'm going to hate that.

So I guess writings will be sparse while I wander about the slightly less wintery world. No worries, I've got plenty to write about it's just going to be slow coming out.

For now, it's Sunday night, I just ate a cannoli (yum!), I've got veggies in the oven and chicken in the crockpot and a rerun I've never seen of CSI on the TV. That's not bad at all, is it?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Why Indeed?

Just after I posted the last item I noticed that someone had e-mailed me a link to this from HuffPo. Favorite quotes include:

"Why is it so hard for some to realize that jobs in the arts support millions of Americans and are no less worthy than any other job that puts food on the table?"

"To make matters worse, this week Senators stripped out a provision intended to provide the same job creating benefits for the film industry as the bill provides for other industries."

"In these times of economic crisis, it seems only rational that we should look back at our history to review what works if we want to create jobs and secure a strong economic legacy for future generations."

It's short but packed with good information.

I'd Like to Amend

I think it's worth bringing to the fore Pony Express' comments from a previous entry about an offensive amendment to the economic stimulus package.

"For the record I do not think that the stimulus package should be used to fix the lack of funding for arts organizations. It can't. ( Though I do have hope that our new administration might get around to it at some point!) But for arts organizations to be singled out to be denied the effects of a stimulus package is not only wrong it is bad for the economy. Arts centers are extremely efficient conduits for giving money to a local economy. They run on shoestring administrative budgets. They spend/disperse almost every cent they are given and they do so quickly. They spend that money with local businesses. They give money to artists to spend on local businesses. If what part of what a stimulus package is meant to do is stimulate the economy from the bottom up, I can think of fewer models that do this as well as community arts centers.
On a personal level I am offended by the language and tone of this amendment. I sent this to a colleague of mine who pointed out that it is written to make artists and arts organizations sound like sinners. It is flippant, poorly thought out, and poorly written.
I hope that any one who feels the same way will contact their congress person."

Most arguments for the importance of arts organizations focus on education and creativity and well-rounded next generations. As usual her fresh perspective from the trenches is from a completely different, yet no less valuable, angle. As well as the importance of keeping this misguided and ill-informed amendment out of the current legislation, it's good to remember when you're allocating your limited gift dollars this year. An arts organization will support others while they help themselves thus stretching the usefulness of your contribution.

As before contact information for one's senators can be found here:

Please call soon as the vote may happen as early as Monday.

Friday, February 06, 2009

FFF: Don't Google "Rosy"*

First off I just have to tell you that when I was feeding the pets a little bit ago I dropped the cap to something and stuck my stomach out lightning fast trapping it it between my tummy and the counter before it fell. My reflexes are cat-like! Sexayyyyy.

Some days are just less rosy than others. You know? Nothing especially horrible or even truly frustrating happened but a bunch of stuff happened that was just bleargh. For instance much of my useful vocabulary has deserted me for the time being. I blame it on the PMS.

First the water wouldn't get hot for my shower. Not a tragedy, it was warm at least, just not great. Then I went to class and the elevator was broken. It's a 3 flight walk, not so many steps. It also necessitates the propping open of the fire doors so people can walk up, though. Got upstairs, signed in for class as normal, read a sign about the elevator and how long it would be out. No sign about how there was no heat in the building. That became apparent later. It was made infinitely more delightful by the aforementioned slightly propped fire doors to the outside world. So class was cold. I wore as many extra clothes as I could (ballet in a scarf and mittens, it's like the Nutcracker but way more boring) but that resulted in a weird thing where my legs, hands, feet and nose were cold but my torso was hot. Eh, whatever, class fine, learned something, go me. Bought myself a sandwich and went to the coffee shop for hot chocolate and writing. After the sandwich and as I started the writing? Nosebleed. Can't write when you're bleeding on the paper. Went to the movies. My friends never showed. I called right before the movie started, it was an illness, what can you do? Sorry not to see them but I don't mind going to the movies alone and I rarely allow myself to do it so I went ahead and saw Last Chance Harvey. Not a great movie but 2 hours of Emma Thompson being marvelous as usual is a pretty good 2 hours. It's also recommended at least as a rental to anyone who has a hand in a wedding where the bride and/or groom contend with more than 2 parents. Off to buy a computer cord, stopped at a random Gap and wandered around in there bumping into walls and finally spending $40 on 3 shirts when I really ought to be buying pants if I'm buying anything. Computer store informed me that my personal tech support is incorrect which is un-freaking-heard of. Seriously, I've never known him to be wrong about this stuff because not only is he smart he does in-depth research. FYI, Best Buy informs me that no one but Apple actually retails power cords for my sort of laptop. So, fuck, but it put me near a store with a yummy thing I wanted so I got that for dinner. By the way? Still cold, especially in the extremities. Read my book (awesome!), missed the bus, able to buy a drink, got on the next bus and even got a seat. Came home and my next ring from the ring of the month club and it's glorious! Had to walk the dog and wanted to shorten the walk but she was insistent so we went to the park. Physically I was miserable but I got to meet this fabulous puppy, Rocket. He's 6 months old and some dumbass tied him to a tree in the park and walked away from him. Fortunately some anti-dumbasses sat with him and finally took him in.

I'm home now, I'm pretty warm, possibly even hot. My legs feel as though all the joints have been yanked forcibly apart by about half an inch. That's actually how they're supposed to feel if you've done the floor barre right but it's not a yanking, painful feeling if you do it with gently warmed muscles. So, you see, I couldn't even call the day unsuccessful just...oh you know, bleargh. Right?

How was your day?

*Turns out a rosy is a type of snake so a google search is...unsavory.
**For the record I took that picture at a flower display outside the grocery store under my dance class almost a year ago.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Leap, Leap, Leap!

I want to write more about this but I've been writing on other things with similarly tight deadlines so I haven't been able to get it all organized yet. I can't wait any longer to share it, though.

Pony Express sent me this, "So, this came to me and each time I read it I cannot decide whether I am more offended by the lack of understanding of how the arts are in fact part of the economy or by the offensive language with which this is written. I would be happy to explain to anyone who will listen why I have never met an arts organization spending money on zero gravity chairs or saunas. I would also be happy to explain how money given to the arts goes right back to the economy."

Here's the information of which she speaks:

The following proposed amendment to the Economic Stimulus Package was just brought to our attention. Obviously it could have a major impact on our industry. Please read and act today!

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has introduced an amendment to prohibit any funds in the economic stimulus bill from going to museums, casinos, aquariums, theaters, art centers. As such, it thus would bar from Federal Economic Recovery funding many potential projects that would create jobs for our members, invest in lasting products, and support the cultural vitality of many communities.

The language of the amendment, (Amendment No. 175, as filed) is, "None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, arts center, or highway beautification project, including renovation, remodeling, construction, salaries, furniture, zero-gravity chairs, big screen televisions, beautification, rotating pastel lights, and dry heat saunas."

This amendment may be offered as early as Wednesday, February 4. Call your Senators TODAY and urge them to vote NO on the Coburn "Limitation of Funds Amendment No. 175." To reach your Senators, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senators' offices

The following link will allow you to easily find your Senator's direct contact information:

I've asked PE to put together some thoughts as well. If you have questions you'd like her to answer please leave them in comments. If you'd rather speak with her by e-mail please send your message to me at isabeau6AThotmailDOTcom and I will pass it along.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

No, Wait! I've Got a Better One

I decided after some prompting to enter my play in a festival. Well apply to the festival actually. In order to manage your expectations I must tell you that chances of being accepted are slim because the play is neither a premiere nor terribly avant garde. It's worth a shot (and $40), though.

Thing is, I hate the title. With Pony Express' help I've been kicking around ideas but haven't hit on anything perfect yet. I'll give you 10 that we've come up with and your ideas are welcome. The current title is Speeding Husbands. The play is about a woman who goes speed dating and meets some colorful characters.

1. Drive-by Destiny

2. Happiness to Go

3. Crash & Learn

4. Next!

5. Drag Dating (we like the alliteration, we dislike the erroneous implication)

6. Date Race

7. Formula Won

8. Happy-Go-Round

9. The Bell Lap

10. Drive-by Dating

Change of Plan

It's Tuesday again. I spent a certain amount of brain power last night pre-writing a list. It was a post then I remembered Tuesday so I made it a list and then when I opened this window I realized I didn't want to make it a list or a post and it actually felt kind of stupid so here I am with no list. How about a list of lists I could have made but decided against? How does that strike your fancy? Tickle your ivories? Float your bird-damaged airplane?

1. The 10 last parties I've thrown. There'd be a big bunch from the last 3 months then a looooooong hiatus. I'm not sure I can remember all the way back to 10.

2. 10 of the most interesting snowflakes whizzing past my window. Too hard to choose. (Sometimes it snows up here at my office. Air currents are weird.)

3. 10 ways to sound like you know a lot about football even if you don't know much at all.

4. 10 ways to sound like you know a lot about baseball, basketball, hockey and a number of other sports recognized by the Olympic committee when you only know a little.

5. 10 things Michael Phelps could have been doing that would have been so much worse. #1, Paris Hilton.

6. 10 things I'd rather be doing instead of working. Like many of us don't make this list every freaking day. My list wouldn't be anything new.

7. 10 ways I wish I could have removed my aching head from my shoulders last night. Or 10 ways I could have removed my head and my shoulders last night.

8. 10 things I should have been doing besides trying to keep my eyeballs from popping out of my skull last night.

9. 10 embarrassing things I've done in the service of keeping my job. Too dangerous to list that stuff on the internet in the midst of a cutthroat economy.

10. 10 useful phrases I have learned in other languages. Huh, that might have been a good choice. Why didn't I do that one?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Few Words

I don't know why, maybe because I was so social this weekend, but I don't have a lot of words at my disposal today. An old friend scanned this photo in from our yearbook, though. Thought you might get a kick out of it.

I miss that hat.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A Short List

A short list of things I didn't think I'd be doing today:

  • Discovering that funny noise in my bedroom was Disney's games site for the under 5 set
  • Throwing a Superbowl party
  • Watching the Superbowl at all
  • Having fun watching the Superbowl
  • Drinking Budweiser mixed with Clamato


I just wanted to let you know that I am not bleeding to death from the crotchular area. It's just that my long underwear is red and sometimes the fuzz wears off on my white granny panties and gives them an alarming aspect. Not to worry, everything's fine.

I know you were worried.