Wednesday, March 31, 2010

NWW: Today is...

Today is a day that requires puppies. Lots and lots of puppies.

Miss Emily in much younger days.

Miss Nikki in much slurpier days.

Harry. All 215 pounds of Harry.

Blissful Miss Allie-cat.

The Tedonator showing his most vicious side.

Biggie. That's all I know about him. We simply passed in

Random Family by the Bandstand thinking I'm nuts.

Miss Sophie at a mere 17 weeks.

Sir Robert of Snaggle Toothstun during a break from his seaside constitutional.

Uno Joya in his holiday finery.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Light & Airy x 10

1. My favorite tweet of recent memory, by marchinko: "Ricky Martin came out. I wish Sarah Palin would come out. I think she'd feel a lot better if she finally admitted, "Yep, I'm stupid.""

2. Don't ask for a blessing from my parents if you want to marry me. It...kind of creeps me out. Your mileage will, of course, vary but you know I'm 41, I own my own apartment it's a little weird if I'm not the first person you tell about your intentions. 

3. I'm getting married next summer.

4. One of the first three things on this list is a lie.

5. Do you ever write fan letters to famous folk? Any tips?


7. I think I'm going to wind up seeing Hot Tub Time Machine. I'm afraid it will be horrible. Any encouragement you can offer will be greatly appreciated. 

8. I have a 4 day weekend this week. Tomorrow is my last day of the work week. Kind of foolishly excited by that. Wasn't sure if it was going to happen Thursday or Monday. 

9. Hey, I'm trying to run a giveaway contest on Twitter. I have no idea how to do that. Do any of you? Will you help me? Social media confuses me.

10. Do you ever put on too much lotion so your hands get slippery and you can't get a grip on anydshflehFIe eifhslieflfa

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Love These Days

I don't make any money off of my blogging or off of my photos. (Yet.) I pay a little attention to the stats anyway, though. It's nice, and sometimes necessary, to know who's out there tuning in. I add some of my photos to Flickr pools just for fun, to get some more feedback and commentary. The bonus feature on that, though, is the unexpected reaction of friends. An ex-co-worker commented on one of my photos a few months ago. We're contacts on Flickr but apparently he hadn't thought enough of my work to look at it until it was featured on Gothamist. He commented so I would know that Gothamist had featured me. I thanked him for the heads up and the praise. I also politely mentioned that Gothamist, Brownstoner, and Curbed actually like my stuff so I get a nod relatively regularly.

Last night Kath called. It was funny because I'd just e-mailed her a link to this. She wanted to tell me that Alex had been in their back room on the internet and suddenly yelled, "What is my dog doing on Gothamist?!" I love to surprise my folk.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Little Here, A Little There

Checking in on The Year of Yes. New information is italicized.

1. Say yes - I struggle with this one. I've done a lot of saying yes to not doing things. It's still present in my everyday thinking, though.

2. Buy Flash - DONE

3. Write a book - Hit a snag, trying to write through it.

4. Singing lessons regularly

5. Perform

6. Fix house - DONE

7. Commit to writing and administration work for The Women's Colony for one year (I write twice per week and have agree to set up and oversee Twitter & Facebook for the site.) - Do we have any Twitter experts out there? I'm trying to figure out how to run a Twitter giveaway contest and the logistics are eluding me. 

8. Plan Italy trip - Told mom about it so it's out there in the universe now. Now we HAVE to do it. I'm really glad!

9. Renew passport - Have resigned myself to not finding my old passport. Am working on paperwork for renewing it without that now.

10. Go to Blogher - August. I bought my ticket so it's official, I'm going!

11. Write Aunt Rena once a week

12. Sign up for some online dating site - I have followed the letter of this law but not the spirit, more work to be done, more yes to be said.

13. Go on enough dates to judge the dating site

14. At least one session with the fabulous PT, Shelley

15. Write a Life List (per the Maggie Mason model) - Look for an incarnation of this to appear in this space later this week. It's not 100 things long but that's OK, there's good stuff on it.

16. Take Flash class - DONE I took it and I loved it!

17. Attend live theatre - already seen Let Me Down Easy and In The Next Room, a Ping Chong piece. Saw Reduced Shakespeare with Carmencita & Alita. Saw Glee Club, which was a delight.

18. Mermaid Parade - June

19. Take Alita bowling

20. Composting - I've been doing this. Not every, every, every week but I'm saving the compostables and bringing them when I can. It's not so bad.

21. Lose 10-15lbs  - Yeah, so this has been a month of setbacks on this. I'm at 136 and hoping for the best.

22. Visit Governor's Island

23. Sushi class with Chrome - Bought a coupon but haven't gotten confirmation on it yet, have to work on that.

24. Attend Charlie & Spoon's wedding - That's the Sunday before Memorial Day in Ohio.

25. Write an article to submit to magazines - Making good headway on this as well. It's very emotional, though.

26. Get a massage

27. Dental appointment

28 Gyn appointment

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What else? What else? What else?

I've been busy otherwhere. I wrote a piece about menstruation and sex (but mostly about menstruation) over at the Colony and the discussion is worthy of the next edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Why do people not talk about this stuff? It's gross, yes (really gross), but it's also so much better to know. Then this morning I hit off leash hours for PUPS's annual Poop Patrol. Got a few decent shots for the archives and fell in love with the gentleman pictured here. His name is Murphy, he's about 6 months old and he has the whole "puppy dog eyes" thing down pat already. I don't know how his people say no to him. I limited him to one (pocketful of) treat(s).

Friday, March 26, 2010

It Was Green All Right

Against my better judgment I saw Greenberg today with some friends. It was...not my favorite. Which is fine, I've got opinions just like everyone else. What was my favorite, though, was the outraged old biddy I got trapped behind on the way out of the theatre. "That," she harped, "was garbage!" You know, the way certain old ladies will really put the emphasis on garbage so you know they don't mean a receipt you've recycled, they mean something awful, something much, much worse, something from the back of the fridge that you put in there last Thanksgiving and forgot about, seriously, garbage. "Garbage!" she repeated. Then she went on, "I just don't know. Why would he do that!" A big Ben Stiller fan, I guess. She's got a point, I mean, why would he choose to do this slightly artsy, insider Hollywood sort of flick? He's Ben Freaking Stiller. He did Starsky & Hutch and Dodgeball and Along Came Polly for heaven's sake, he's got standards!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In the La-Z-Girl Catalog, Page 6

I came to a horrible realization a couple of weeks ago by way of preparing my taxes. No, that realization was not that it's the middle of March and I haven't done my taxes yet. That actually doesn't bother me a whole lot. (Go ahead fan yourself and put a cold cloth on the back of your neck, I know. And you know I'm not this relaxed about most things.)

I realized that in 2009 I probably didn't do anything to justify being called an actor or a writer or a performer of any kind. At least in terms recognized by the Federal Government, that is. So I could spend all these hours gathering all these receipts and it might not matter a hoot. Administrative Assistants don't get to deduct much of anything except a little piece of our souls, every day.

I submitted the plays to a couple of things. I applied for a space grant, I believe. I didn't perform anywhere. I didn't get paid for anything, not even a laughable honorarium. I didn't even try.

Which is probably why I'm not that hard on myself for not having my taxes done a week before April sets in. I've got a lot bigger things of which to be ashamed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

NWW: Misc.

Some of Mosaic Man's work

The Cutest Little Free Cone Day Couple

The Keeper of the Flavors

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Schoolhouse Rock Says...

I know that I'm a terrible primary source. I am, however, an excellent secondary one. I'm an observer girl, it's the way I'm wired. And what have I been observing lately? Oh what do you think?

10 Things Health and Healthcare Reform related

1. I don't think the bill is perfect. I'm learning more about it every day and I can see why people object to some of the parts of it. I do not see why anyone is saying we shouldn't have passed anything at all. I am choosing to see this as a foot in the door with improvements possible in the future. I could be wrong, it's happened before, but I do feel we're better off than we were before. At the same time I fear what many people will be proposing as "improvements."

2. Via Gothamist, an interactive (sort of) and simple guide from the NY Times to how the new law will impact you based on what your health care situation is right now.

3. Via Feministing, too many links to even count regarding how the new law will impact women, how it has failed in regard to reproductive rights and how it might be improved.

4. Dooce explained how and why this healthcare reform in particular will benefit her family.

5. Scalzi praises and scolds both sides of this debate relatively equally. He even does a little projecting about what this means for both parties politically in future. I had thought we'd have a similarly birpartisan response from MAB but nothing yet. Keep your eye on him, I'm willing to be he has something to say.

6. Susie Bright's tongue in cheek (I believe) round up of quotes from anti-reformists.

7. Here's Feministing's concise bullet point post just after the reform passed. Look there for a quick idea of what's good and what's going to come back to bite us (hello, Stupak!).

8. And here, also from Feministing, are the details on the anti-choice executive order that Obama signed which helped get the reform passed.

9. Chili's 10 Things today are all pro-choice, so big ups to her! (This is a hint about what I might label an "improvement" to our current healthcare reform.)

10. Let's close with food. Today is Ben & Jerry's free cone day so get thee on that. Also, Sars has kicked off the voting in the NCandyAA and you might want to put some fluoride in your water and check that out.

Wishing you a happy, healthy Tuesday.

Monday, March 22, 2010


My second tiny canvas print arrived at work. Thanks JRH! I don't really have any idea how it'll go with the first one. I think, before I hang them, I'm going to need a third.

Thanks, Old Wives

I have some sinus issues. Given my family history I guess I've been lucky to have gone this long without really having to address them. The past few years, though, have been tough. I sometimes get headaches that are untouchable by any means at my disposal. I'm reluctant to try a lot of decongestants, especially systemic ones, because I battle the dehydration and nosebleed issues. I had one of these crippling headaches Saturday night and Sunday. I tried nasal spray and aleve and was about to go with an amateur craniotomy when I decided to go to Facebook for some help. Desperate times... My friend Kim said this:

"Eucalyptus oil or vicks on the soles of your feet, chest & under nose. Feet are the most important of this equation because large pores in feet carry the Eucalyptus through your system most fast. Had a boyfriend who knew all sorts of things like this & I'll tell you, I had congestion that I just could not deal with - he put Eucalyptus oil (diluted in some olive oil) on my feet & I was better in the morning."

I had heard about the soles of the feet thing but no one had ever told me why it worked. I often use it under the nose and on the facial sinuses because along with the inhalation benefits it's a topical analgesic so if you've got pressure that makes your forehead feel like it's bowing out Vick's can numb that pain. Somehow being told why the Vick's on the feet thing worked made me game to try it. So I grabbed a pair of dollar store socks and slathered some on (as well as some under the nose and across the bulging forehead).

Totally works.

Not instantaneously, certainly, but long term and well. Of course your feet tingle kind of weirdly because, topical analgesic, but a small price to pay for ceasing to wish that your face would just fall right off and put you out of your misery. I put some more on right before bed and I have only slight residual sinus issues this morning.

Bonus? The petroleum jelly cured my cracked heels, too!

Do tell, what crazy old wives' remedy do you swear by and why?

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Just filled out my 2010 Census form. It was hardly anything at all given that I'm the only human in this apartment. I thought they'd at least want to know what sort of dwelling I was in but I guess not.

I remember it being quite a long but fun process. Of course that's from the census of 1980. My mom sat me down and walked me through filling it out for our family that year. It was where I learned about racial identification since I grew up in an almost entirely white place. Of course I was filling it out for three people so I guess it would have been a slightly longer process in any case.

No memory at all of the census in 1990 and 2000. I was at college and then I was living on my own. Not sure if I filled anything out or not.

Have you been counted census-wise? Is this the first time?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

You Will Never Want To Visit Me Again

I hate vomit, vomit skeeves me out beyond most things.

But I'm going to talk about it anyway.

Cats vomit, they just do, you know? It's gross and it can happen for a variety of non-emergent reasons but it's one of the many prices one pays for having the furry little fuckers around.

Recently my cats have been whooping it up like mardi gras. I think it's the weather. They chase each other over the furniture, they deliver repeated smack downs, tails are being corralled for punishment. It's sort of hilarious given that they're almost 10 years old at this point.

There was some chasing going on this morning. Huge circles around the apartment no matter what was in their way. I was sitting on the couch and the action took a pause near my feet. (It's OK, my feet don't get it.) The little furballs stared at each other a moment and one made a sort of "urp" kind of noise that was new to me. Then everything took off again.

Moments later I heard the terrifying precursor noise that hacking, gaggy sort of thing that gets you bolt out of bed to whip a cat onto bare floor. I checked it out and bare floor had already been achieved so I waited. Then I looked again.

Well, that was a mistake.

Due to complex digestive constraints my spoiled felines are restricted to eating a pretty expensive wet food made of venison and green peas. It looks basically the same coming out of the can as it does coming out of the cat. Miss Anna managed to give up everything she ate earlier. It was a lot of mess and man, did I ever not want to have anything to do with cleaning that up.

So I didn't.

I would have. I promise. But that food is expensive and so are paper towels and good lord it was gross. I needed a few minutes to steel myself for the task. By the time I turned around it was like nothing had ever happened.

I'll mop the floor when I clean tomorrow, I promise. I just really didn't want to scoop that up.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

...And In Conclusion

So the point of that last post was to explain why I didn't post a Nearly Wordless Wednesday even though today was St. Patrick's Day and I usually go out and take pictures since I work so close to the big parade but apparently once I got started I completely forgot why I was writing.

Couldn't take pictures. Was inside bleeding. Took pictures later. Haven't processed them yet.

Woof. Maybe I lost more blood than I thought.

Old Faithful

My lunch break today found me sitting at my desk bleeding from the nose into a series of soggy tissues and waiting for the phone to ring. I couldn't leave the desk until my boss's lunch was delivered and bleeding in an open plan office in front a a bunch of people wearing shoes more expensive than my entire wardrobe makes me anxious. Which is always good for lowering the blood pressure.

I wound up begging a favor and sending someone else for the food when the call came in then hiding in the "lounge" area of the ladies' room. That particular area is decorated in bright white and mirrors like the room where they make you wait while they size your straight jacket. I imagine. The kindly receptionist brought me ice and a combination of icing my face and psychology produced a mind and matter situation that kept me from having to figure out where the nearest and/or best ER is to the office. (NYU is closest, Cornell/Weill is best, I've since decided.) The margins on that decision were slimmer than I like, though.

I think I bruised the bridge of my nose. Not with pressure but because the skin's so close to the bone and since the clotting has occurred there's not much room for the extra blood. My eyes feel swollen. I got blood on the crotch of my jeans. From my nose. That's new. I'd been doing so well this season, too. Nary a drop of nasal blood shed. I remember thinking that to myself earlier in the week. Won't make that mistake again. I probably should have left an apology note for the office cleaning lady because the ladies' bathroom trash looks like a scene out of Dexter.

I find my proclivity for bleeding from the schnozz sort of hilarious. I mean, I'm not allowed to donate blood for any sort of good cause but I've apparently got so much in there I can just waste it all over a white lounge and my cheap ass jeans. That seems...wrong, don't you think?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Women Who Wrote That Book Should Be Punished

So I'm going to go with 10 food things, probably heavy on the Michael Pollan-bashing. I finished the book so hopefully I can get it all out in one post and be done with it. I understand that he's trying to use his powers for good he just...rubs me the wrong way.

On to the listing.

1. Pollan kicks off with, "But most of these items don't deserve to be called food - I call them edible foodlike substances." And I call that smartypants humanlike douchebaggery. The thing is, he's so condescending. He's an organic fed, free range horse's patoot! Bad in itself but not the worst. The worst is that I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I thought, well, I'm pretty smart, so maybe he's not talking to me. (Wha?!?!?) Maybe he's talking to other people, people less smart and less well-read than I so maybe he has to talk like that. You know what that means? It means that giving him the benefit of the doubt made me into a condescending douchebag! Unacceptable.

2. He's got a lot of theories about eating like our grandparents and great grandparents. Perhaps his ancestry is French (his go to bad boy success story culture), Italian or Greek. Mine are all from England and Scotland. A lot of white flour, a lot of sugary syrups, a lot potatoes, plenty of oil in which to fry things so basically a whole manner of eating that he is writing a series of books against. You know how old my great grandmother was when she died? 1 month shy of 101. She made awesome pies every time we visited.

3. The other grandparent stuff has to do with quantity of ingestion. Apparently some grandparents counseled their offspring to leave a little food on their plates. In some circles, I guess, that's polite. I'm beginning to suspect that Mr. Pollan's people have always been comfortable financially. My grandparents lived through the Great Depression. Anything you left on your plate was tsked over and saved for another meal. My mother tells of being offered crusty, stale molasses cookies visit after visit to her grandmother because Grammy Allen didn't make any new cookies until the old ones were finished. To say that Grammy Allen was dirt poor is to make it sound as though she had two half pennies to rub together. She did not. We don't leave shit on our plates in my family. I have learned to put less on my plate but that, I think, is slightly different than the sort of teasing of oneself being advocated here.

4. Eat only food that will eventually rot, he says. There's a time commitment implied here. If you only shop once per week then you have to know in advance what you'll be hungry for, how much of it and what you'll be doing with it. You'll have to plan time to cook it, you'll have to eat it, whatever it may be, and you'll have to do all that before it rots. I live alone, I'm a picky-ish eater this is no small change in habits and not having food available that I don't have to deal with in a variety of ways keeps me from panicking. I keep things around that will, at the very least, take a while to rot so that I can be assured of having something to eat that I will actually enjoy when I hit a rotting food wall, if you will. It's a valid fucking choice.

5. Speaking of time commitment, Pollan wants you to cook your own meals. Again, time to cook which I resent the fuck out of and talk to you about all the time. You know where I come from on this. I do cook at least once a week and try to cook a quantity of things to keep me going for that week. Of course, that means I have to have a pretty high tolerance for repetition. I do, actually, but I get the sense that Pollan imagines us each shopping at an organic market every afternoon, strolling home to cook a meal out of those ingredients then eating it in moderation and junking the leftovers. Is this another sign pointing to a lineage with stable financial means? Maybe. At the very least it points to an assumption that none of his readers spends a minimum of 8 hours at a soul deadening job with a 30 - 90 minute commute on either end. Which is not even to speak of spouses, children, pets, volunteering, extended family, friends, hopes, dreams or any other human obligations that might keep us from throwing together a nice bouillabaise in the evening.

6. And while we're talking about time sucks we're to plant a garden or a window box so we're growing a percentage of our own food. I'll give him this, if I followed his rules I'd sure eat a lot less. I have killed every plant I've ever brought into this apartment. Co-op rules prevent me from installing and tending a window box. Plus, gardening takes time. I could, of course, join a community garden and tend a plot there. I think the nearest one is a 10 minute walk away. I assume there's some sort of selection process, you have to give x number of hours to general maintenance as well as your plot and there have to be meetings and group activities as well. So that won't take much out of me. If you dislike gardening or have other things to do with your life it is a huge burden and the returns? Not as huge as you might think, at least on a window box investment. We had veggie gardens the whole time I was growing up. A few teensy carrots, one quadrillion ginormous nasty zuchini, patchy lettuce and some really delicious corn. But corn is a grain, we're not supposed to eat much of that. Oh and rhubarb, lots and lots of rhubarb.

7. OK, here is the one that truly chaps my well-preserved, hefty, probably diabetes-riddled behind: "Be the kind of person who takes supplements - then skip the supplements." It's about how people who take supplements usually exercise more and eat less and eat a lot of vegetables and leave a little bit on their plate and shit promptly at 7am every day (8 during daylight saving). So, basically to follow this rule all one has to do is become someone totally different, right? Oh goodie, I'll get right on that, that won't make my life miserable at all.

8. I did look for things to agree with. I really did, I promise. I found that a lot of the rules, especially the ones in the final section about how to eat, were things I have done since I started Weight Watchers. I don't have any illusions that WW pulled them out of thin air, it's common sense. Common sense for which people are paying $11 per book (or $17 per month WW membership [online only]) packaged as exciting new revelations which corporations have been keeping under wraps in order to cut you off from your most authentic self (whoops, got caught up in the jargon there, I'll be back in a moment, please bear with). It reminds me of an old boss I had who wrote books about how he "discovered" a mind-body connection so that his body told him how and when to invest and he had learned to listen to it which was his secret to becoming a billionaire. Thousands of years worth of yogis and monks might politely disagree about the arrogant "discovered" part.

9. I think the book can be summed up for me in someone's grandmother's advice that Pollan passes along. It's basically that if you aren't hungry enough to eat an apple then you aren't hungry and shouldn't eat anything. It's meant to reduce boredom eating. I get it. I've used it on myself but it's all about deprivation. Dude, I'm fucking 41 years old, 10 lbs overweight and trying to remedy that, I don't need to get in any closer touch with a variety of levels of self-imposed deprivation. 64 rules and only one of them says that you can have whatever you'd like to eat on special occasions. It also includes 3 paragraphs about how on those special occasions you should raise, shop for and prepare those treat foods yourself. I get the feeling that he's not really in favor of special occasion foods.

10. Yesterday in the afternoon at work I found I was hungry. It usually happens around 3pm and I try to be prepared for it. As often as not I have some canned pineapple. It's canned and not organic and probably has added sugar but it tastes good to me, it's got high fiber and it doesn't rot so I can always have it on hand for hunger emergencies and eat pineapple instead of chocolate, granola bars or cookies. Or toast. With butter. Mmmmmmmmm. Sorry. Yesterday, though, I didn't have any on hand. For the same number of points I could have eaten approximately 6 cashews, one granola bar (of the 2 in the package), one measured cup of cereal, a banana, an apple, some berries or one square of chocolate. I'd had some cashews earlier, the granola bar gets eaten quickly so it tends to be less satisfying, bananas make me vomity, they buy the gross kinds of apples at my office (anything with "delicious" in the title is lying), the berries have been a little sour lately and one square of chocolate is my usual treat for the walk home. They have a variety of cereals at work and I can have one whole cup for 2 points since I don't like milk on my cereal. It's good finger food, has a satisfying crunch and you can make it last a while. On the flip side of the varieties of cereal they buy I really only enjoy the Frosted Flakes. They've got a lot of sugar in them and sugar tends to make one more hungry but they have all the other things going for them and there is some percentage of actual grain in there so perhaps as much as once a week I indulge. I indulged yesterday. But I went through all those rules in my head first. Took me a good 20 minutes. And now I've got 64 more to add to the process.

Essay You

I'm going to get to a 10 Things list later. It's going to be Michael Pollan-related so let's distract ourselves for a moment with something completely different.

I have an essay question. Are female comics edgier than male comics or do they simply seem edgier because we are socially trained to be surprised to see certain material as shocking when expressed by a woman?

I went to see some very funny folks (Pat O'Shea, Leah Bonnema, Zach Broussard, Greg Manuel, Jason Saenz, Phoebe Robinson, Seth Joseph, John Flynn, Ray Devito and Chris Lamberth) last night. There were 2 female comics which was impressive because it's still a place where women are a rarity.

The first female comic, Leah Bonnema, kicked off her set with the recent passing of Utah's Kill The Miscarriers bill. Her least controversial bit was about telling a kid in PetCo to "Shut the fuck up!" She's only the second comic I've ever seen, after Sarah Silverman, to pull off abortion jokes and I don't know that I've seen anyone do a suicide joke and make it the perfect button to their set.

Phoebe Robinson went racial but not hugely. She couched it in a little slamming of Facebook but she rounded out her set with a bit about watching a slavery documentary with a white friend. Squirming as you laugh, but you're still laughing!

Maybe men do things that are just as borderline. I mean, John Flynn, organized his entire set around the story of a Craig's List hookup with a midget drag queen. To explain how good the set was you have to understand that even by telling you those things I am not spoiling the tale.

So is Lisa Lampanelli offending more people than Denis Leary? Does Mo'Nique  push more buttons than George Lopez? Does any of it have to do with the need for a bra?

Don't forget to put your name on your paper before you turn it in.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not So Jolly Green Giant

You know how I sometimes get super angry about stuff that doesn't seem important? It's happening again. Someone gave me one of Michael Pollan's books. Someone who will ask what I think of it. I won't be able to get away with the truth.

The truth is that I have purposely avoided Pollan's books. Up to now I've been really successful. Every time one comes up I can say, "Cool, what did you think of it?" Nine times out of ten I'm not called on to contribute to the conversation after that. No matter how long it goes on.

To be fair, I don't think he's full of shit or anything. I don't expect that eating more natural foods is going to hurt anyone. I just don't want to read about it or have my diet analyzed or be handed one more recipe for kale. Is it still kale? Then, no thank you.

Right there is where my problem actually lies. Because Pollan does a decent job of leading with the fact that we should be eating unprocessed foods so it sounds like you can just eat the natural foods you like. Which is true if you skip over the "mostly vegetables" rule he's got in there. I won't be a cliche and say I don't like vegetables but I will say that the vegetables I do like are the ones that, when "the way" is being preached, come under the category of "except those." By "mostly vegetables" we're meant to understand broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, peppers and the like. I enjoy carrots and sweet potatoes and peas almost without fail. I'm a pretty big fan of squash, I guess. Spinach is the enemy. All greens are the enemy. I can and will eat broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, uncooked bell peppers, green beans among other things but my tolerance is low. Mushrooms and eggplant? Let us not speak of them.

At which point someone is bound to recommend that at least I have fruit to snack on. Bananas have all the greatest nutrients, they bubble. I'll try not to squeeze your neck too hard while I lean in close to impress upon you that I would rather you peeled me than made me eat a banana.

I am a girl with rules about her food. I always have been. Certain things squeak in my teeth, others have a detestable texture, still others just taste like homemade ass. In the last three years I have cautiously, deliberately and with prejudice redefined those rules for better health and less weight on my aging bones. I'll read the goddamned book and I'll comment on it nicely and I won't contradict his, I'm sure, super healthy ideas. But you will pry these Thin Mints from my cold, dead hands. If that's sooner rather than later, so be it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Do You Mind? Does It Matter?

My mother, yesterday's birthday girl, believes quite strongly in mind over matter. If, for instance, you're afraid you might get laid off she'll quickly jump in, "Oh, that's not going to happen." Now, I haven't even gathered anecdotal evidence about her success rate but I've certainly inherited the impulse.

It's an especially useful sort of thing when you're babysitting. Some regular kid calamity will happen and faces will crumple and by my mother's law you say, kindly, "Oh, you're OK. You're fine!" while surreptitiously checking for any bones pointing in the wrong direction. Conservatively I'd say 99 kids out of 100 fail to work up a good cry. Even if you discover an errant bone in your search.

She's most likely to use it, though, on illness. "I think I'm coming down with _______." "Oh no, you're not going to get that!" Worked like a charm for me and H1N1 this year. Well, really it was the corollary that worked, "You know, I think you had a mild case of it before so you're immune now." (My mother is convinced that some rash I had on my hand when I was 10 was chicken pox and that's why I've never had a full blown case.)

As you know, I was planning a quick trip up to New England for a 70th birthday dinner with mom and Aunt Rena (who, not for nothing, turned 95 last Sunday). The plan was to drive up Friday. On Thursday afternoon mom called me at work to tell me there'd been an outbreak of stomach flu at her workplace. Did I still want to come? She didn't want to infect me. I assumed mom had already decided she wasn't getting it. Did she still want to have dinner? She did. So I'd stick to the plan.

While I was in the shower Friday morning she left a voice mail. Luckily I noticed it before I walked out the door. She'd gotten stomach flu and battled it all night. She didn't really feel like having dinner any more. So we rescheduled.

Rena, however, has declared she's not getting it. Considering how well she's doing with her vow not to die I'm inclined to believe her.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Game Called On Account of Rain

Well, here's the birthday girl.

OK, it's not a current photo.

I'm not having dinner with her tonight because the universe gave her a very special 70th birthday present: stomach flu.

We've decided to postpone.

The other girl had a birthday last Sunday. It was not her 70th. She's postponing as well.


I feel certain we've played this before but, hey, it's always a good game. When I'm trying to be careful of rewarding myself with food I sometimes buy myself a scratch off lottery ticket. The key here is not to scratch right away but to think seriously about what you'd do with it, really dream for a while, and then scratch it. That way, even if you don't win you have the present of your dreams.

I bought one that could yield $1,000 per week for life. (Cross your fingers.)

Often I say I'd quit my job but right now I think I'll keep it....for now. In December I'll probably see about cutting back to 2 days.

Mama wants new shoes and lots of 'em.

More money to Haiti and Cuba and the Humane Society and Donors Choose and a bunch of other places.

New glasses, even though they probably will be bifocals.

New, non-granny underwear and a couple of proper bras.

Ceiling fans.

Cleaning lady once a week.

Zip Car membership.

Go see Next to Normal, Fela!, The Fantastiks, Michael Feinstein, Wishful Drinking and many, many more.

A knit dress, I'm somehow fascinated by them right now.

Pay for all 4 of the proposed members of the mythical (but increasingly real) Italy trip.

Get my hair colored (thus making myself feel good and boosting the business of a small business owner that I love).

Big cocktail party with all my people. Catered. Natch.

Go to Portland, OR to see Todd in a play.

Visit Misti.

Visti Dion and see a bunch of Chicago theatre.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

New computer.


Rent a theatre for a month and produce a whole lot of material in it.

And much, much more. What frivolous (and important) things are you dreaming of? Feel free to come back if you remember something. I'll be driving and eating and drinking and visiting but I'll come back to you soon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The People That You Meet When You're Walkin' Down The Street...

So, back in Brooklyn in my 'hood (ish) there's a protest of magnitude to warrant a "Level 3 Mobilization" by the NYPD (Blue). I'm very much behind this protest and very much do not appreciate our happy-go-lucky borough Pres belittling the righteous anger.

What's going on in your neighborhood?

Bring Back Those Pants!

My week has been so scattered. Everything up in the air, nothing to hang on to. There was the hoopla at the Colony which threw all the scheduling off over there and I failed to make a list of things to do this week and from Saturday to Monday I put on makeup three days in a row. Seriously, people, that just doesn't happen. As I've mentioned here many times before the only thing worse for me than having no plan is to to have a plan that then changes. It's surprising I travel at all, isn't it? But I do and I even really like it. I think because then the plan is that everything is going to change all the time and for some reason having that be the plan makes it all OK for me.

I'm a paradox. Get used to it.

Tomorrow I travel to buy mom dinner on her 70th birthday. She's a hoarder, you can't give tangible gifts to a hoarder. So, though I like, on these milestone birthdays, to give a lasting treasure I will instead give a difficult evening out with Aunt Rena and an artery clogging breakfast the following morning. This is, of course, a plan I've had in my head for weeks now but have been unable to force myself to share because I knew that when I did there would be a strong possibility that someone would change the plan on me. So far no one has. Perhaps it's a better plan than I thought? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

NWW: Knee Slapper

My conservative, Presbyterian, conservationist maternal grandparents, Fern & John. I found this photo after they'd died, probably among Aunt Rena's things. I asked what the occasion had been and it turns out there wasn't one, he just thought it'd be a funny thing to do.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Starry Starry Posts

Unless you want links to fanfiction I don't even know if I have 10 things in the starred file today. If not I'll have to supplement.

1. Due to some extreme unpleasantness (when they start calling your home you officially get justified in kicking someone's ass) happening to Mrs. G there's a whole theme issue over at The Women's Colony today. It's a lot of content on tolerance but it'll be up until Friday so go check it out piecemeal if it's too big a meal on one sitting.

2. Wayfarer has moved this discussion to his blog.

3. Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie "has seven children with six women in five states." The team just advanced him some money to get him up to date with paternity payments. You have to wonder if they also included a few bucks for condoms.

4. Sueb0b recently responded to a blogger saying that she wasn't a feminist because "equality has never done any good for[her]." I thought SB did a remarkable job of stating the facts clearly without shedding blood.

5. Senator Stupak is still anti-choice. This, I'm sure, surprises no one.

6. Two rainbow-gloved thumbs up for Mexico City. Marriage equality is legal there now. Nice work, Mexico Citians!

7. The original Utah bill to criminalize miscarriage has been withdrawn. Other bills are being drawn up, though, so it's more of a temporary stay than a win.

8. Yes, the Catholic Church does have the right to do whatever it wants. I get that. Nice that they felt that revoking care from children of certain families was the best way to make their point. Point made, Vatican City, point most assuredly made. (See the dust up in #1 for more ways in which the Catholic Church has been smelling like roses lately.)

9. Someone please tell me that this sandwich tastes gross (real tasting experience is the only thing I'll accept here). Man I want it so bad. (In other news my boss gave me Michael Pollan's Food Rules yesterday. And in yet other news food is my fucking enemy.)

10. My friend, Noah, posted about Pennies For Change. It's a group that's using an innovative pledging construct to combat the hateful protests of the Westboro Baptist Church (That church that my local tech HS ran off on a rail. Love those kids!)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Nope, Nothing Wrong

You guys, I'm so discouraged I'm in tears.

First, there's no reason to believe I'm going to lose  my health insurance. My plan, is however, unsustainably expensive. I'm not going to go into the whole story right now, though I know I'll be writing it out soon. The upshot is that it's $1,529 per month just to cover me and that's the only individual POS plan available in my state right now.

For a couple of years now I've been trying to pull the costs down and have finally called in some big guns for help and my boss and the guns and I are having a conference call to discuss solutions. In preparation for that I called my current carrier, AETNA, to see if they had any comparable plans to the options the guns have given out which are Oxford/United Healthcare. I could switch to an HMO with AETNA, there's no out of network coverage, the co-pays are larger and the premium? $1,204 per month, which is what my current plan was up until last September.

There's another, more restrictive, plan I could try for. But I'd have to make under a certain amount and I think I'm just over it.

I almost cried on the phone. This deep inside part of me wanted to just unleash on this random AETNA lackie on the other end of the phone but I was so discouraged that I couldn't even do that, I just hung up and tried not to cry.

Some woman over at the Colony (can't remember where) left a comment about how she hasn't had health insurance for most of her adult life and she doesn't want to have any and she'd RATHER DIE than have government run health care. I don't really get where she was coming from and I haven't seen her explain herself. I'd rather not die, though. And I'd rather not go broke trying not to die. And I'd really like to get a whole bunch of insurance executives in a room and do a little round table discussion of our "health insurance stories."

But I guess the Obamas already have that covered and plenty of people have worse stories than me.

Which just makes me cry harder.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sad Eyes

Can't even talk about this sweet face. We're all so sad. So, just the standard prescription for extra treats for everyone.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


Had a composting fail today. Apparently you can only compost if you get out of the house early. Hmph.

It put me in mind of another epic fail of mine. You see, until I went to college I was never instrumental in a moving of house, as it were. We moved twice when I was a kid, once to the UK and once back from it, but I was a kid so I didn't have to do anything about it. So I hadn't had a lot of practice, is what I'm saying.

Right before I graduated from college I packed up all my things and a friend who was good at moving came to help put it all on the truck. She took one look around and said, "I can't do anything with this."

I had a method. I always have a method it just usually isn't one that works. It seemed dangerous to pack all the fragile things in one box. I mean, you drop that box and all your fragile things are gone! So I'd proceeded to pack one fragile thing in each box, surrounded by sturdy things. Every box was marked fragile.

What's more? I had trouble working out what should fit in what size box. Something was invariably sticking out the top of a box so I'd toss the top away and think, "Well, this one will just go on top." All of my boxes were top boxes. There just wasn't anything for them to go on top of.

As time has gone on I've gotten better at moving.

But not much.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Vintage Friday

 Just a couple more gems from my scanning extravaganza. I'm scheduled to see Alice in 3D IMAX today and to get my hair cut. Very exciting day. Do you have any vintage pictures/thoughts/ideas to share with me on this fine Friday?

Thursday, March 04, 2010


I haven't been taking a lot of pictures lately. With all my winter gear on and my camera buried in my bag it's got to be a priceless motherfucking moment for me to go to all the trouble. I have, though, been scanning old photos. It feeds my need for nostalgia and allows me to embarrass both myself and my friends on Facebook.
I found this series last night. They're from an informal photoshoot for my second cabaret show, Canine Replacement Therapy. Carmencita took the the photos, that's Alita that I'm carrying and Emily and Burt trying valiantly to make a getaway. Well, Emily is anyway. Burt was 13 at the time and really would have preferred a nice cinnamon raisin bagel and a nap to all this hoopla.
That last one's my favorite. I think it best conveys the tone I wanted to get across with the pictures. I used the middle one for the publicity, though. The rest of last night's scanning extravaganza is on Flickr.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

It's A Girl Thing

In honor of Women's History Month I've got a question for you. During the 2008 Presidential election Audio Girl stood firm in her belief that sexism is more prevalent than racism in our society because we don't notice it. We assume that treating women in one way or another is just the way things are not an example of a deep seated agreement that women are less than men. Is it better than it used to be? Well, sure, I've watched as much Mad Men as the rest of you. That doesn't make it good, though.

I'm inclined to move over to Audio Girl's camp on this one. We have an African American president, not a female one.

What say you?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hungry Ten

It's lunch time. I'm hungry. But I'm waiting for my boss's lunch to be delivered so can't leave the phone to get my own lunch lest I miss the call. I thought I had called in the order early enough to avoid this but I was wrong. Hence your 10 Things this week is going to be stuff I wish I was eating right this second.

1. Sushi. The order I'm waiting on? Sushi. But I packed my healthful and cheap lunch so I'm not getting any.

2. For some reason I've been craving tuna casserole lately. I've never made tuna casserole in my life but I'm all for it right now.

3. Moist chocolate cake with some kind of decadent frosting. How come no one frosts chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting?

4. Lobster. I pretty much always want lobster.

5. A really good champagne. Eden posted a photo of her fridge and it made me want some stellar stuff.

6. Pigs in blankets with some sort of sweetish dipping sauce.

7. A creamy soup of some sort. Seafood bisque, clam chowder, potato leek soup, almost anything will do.

8. An ice cream sundae with tons of hot fudge sauce, the real homemade kind.

9. Macaroni and cheese with four cheeses, carmelized onions and bacon crumbled on top. Alternatively, fettucine carbonara, which is pretty much the same thing.

10. A burrito with BBQ chicken, black beans, corn salsa and extra guacamole. A big one. Maybe with some guac on the side for dipping.

What are you hungry for? If you need inspiration, check out the Women's Colony photo stream. I'm curating a photo challenge right now and the challenge word is YUM!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Like A Curling Iron

Hit post on the last one and realized I'd left out curling entirely. Oopsie daisy! Above is Denmark's Madeleine Dupont.

Below we have US player Allison Pottinger and the team's skip, Debbie McCormick.


Canada's most eligible bachelor, curler and firefighter, John Morris, with his skip, Kevin Martin.

America's own Jason Smith throws a rock with precision.

Eve Muirhead, Great Britain's 19-year-old phenom.

The diminutive Kajsa Bergstrom (or Bergstroem according to some).

David Murdoch from Great Britain.

 Tweeter extraordinaire and US curler, Chris Plys.

The woman who simultaneously made me feel I had to learn to curl and that I would never be smart enough to do so well, Team Canada's skip, Cheryl Bernard.

Olympically Hot

Been a while since we've gone all Hot People here. The Olympics seem like a perfect excuse. For the most part I wanted to choose people who were perhaps less prominent in the games coverage (there will be no certain skater of Japanese descent here).

I am almost certain this is Meghan Agosta of the Canadian Women's Hockey Team. The ladies took a lot of guff for their choices in celebrating their gold medals. I think people should step the hell off. Any woman who can play like that and likes to drink a beer is OK in my book.


This is John Montgomery. He is also Canadian and he won the gold medal for skeleton. There are a number of truly mouth watering photos of him on the internet but none of those were available for me to steal.

Here we have Alexandre Bilodeau, rainmaker. He broke the Canadian home gold drought by winning the men's mogul competition. A sweeter boy would be difficult to find. Even in Canada.

In September J.R. Celski nearly died from a skate to the thigh in a short track speed skating race. He took to the ice in the Olympics for his first race since that crash and he came away from it all with a bronze medal.

Oh Julia Mancuso. Somehow you manage to wear a tiara and not make it look arrogant. Some may say she had some tough breaks this round of competition but she still came away with a medal so I say it's all good. I hope she does, too.

I caved on this one. If I had seen Shaun White seem at all arrogant or difficult or even stand offish I wouldn't have included him. He seems, though, to be a guy who really likes snow boarding and he is undeniably the very best at what he does. He is unapologetic about becoming a brand in and of himself but he also hasn't allowed that to make him an ass. So I included him because, man, that hair!

Shani Davis is my player of the games, though. Has anyone worked so hard and won so calmly as he? I searched and searched for a photo of him as he realized he'd won gold the first time this year. He was still skating his warm down lap, hands on knees, looking at the times and slowly an economical smile lit his face. He was proud and happy and just that small gesture was all we needed to see to know it.

Finally, of course, the goalie. Ryan Miller fought the good fight. The NHL has a number of truly phenomenal goalies and during these Olympic games Miller has proven himself to be a worthy member of that cadre. He took the USA's loss to Canada in the gold medal round very hard but rallied and seemed to enjoy and appreciate the closing ceremonies. I hope to see a lot more of him in the future.

OK, who was your favorite Olympian this time around?