Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Yes, alot of sucky things happen in this world

And yes, a lot of things suck about the world we live in

Some things we can fix. Others we can't. So we pick up a hammer or a potato peeler or a bullhorn or a stethoscope or a pen and do what we can.

Clang, clang, clang, went the trolley

For inexplicable reasons, I can't shake the thought of the Sweeney Sisters of Saturday Night Live.
The big hair - the Glamorous gowns - the huge smiles - and the medleys! Good God, the medleys.

I used to have a recurring fantasy about being a Sweeney Sister. Ridiculous scats and the bugle beaded dresses with enormous shoulder pads. Expending two cans of hair spray and every night in some resort in the Catskills.

Is there anyone here from Queens? Ah yes, I see a few in the audience. I, myself, come from normal parents. (*badump bump*) But seriously, Folks, you've been a beautiful crowd. I can't think of a more delightful group of people to spend an evening with...

"And the big baboon
one night in June
he married them
and very soon
they went upon their
abadaba honeymoon!"

*Thank you! Good night!*

Sunday, August 28, 2005

for people

who are writers and procrastinators

Take the Long Way Home

Yesterday I discovered that after ten years of not living in the greater Lou area, I don't know my way around here at all. I meandered around missing my exits, driving past Arnold, MO well on my way to Cape Girardo, MO in an act of sheer pig headedness. This would eventually have brought me to Memphis and on the way past a Lambert's Cafe where the staff throws dinner rolls at any diner who puts a hand in the air with a bread craving. Eventually I missed enough turns to get turned around all the way back home. But it was a fiasco. Mapquest is not enough sometimes. I need a map, a compass, and talking GPS system. And I am still looking for my brain.

While waiting for word from the Saturn people on the status of the air conditioning system on My Guy's car, we went to Borders and read books. I perused the first pages of "The Wisdom of Crowds" by James Surowiecki. The premise is that the aggregate decision of a group of people will lead to very good choices, in some cases better choices than any individual (even perhaps, an expert) could come up with alone. It's an interesting premise. I would like to get my mitts on a copy for longer than 40 minutes and get a good read on.

Shoes with Souls

The daily granola community has a post about a company that sells vegan shoes that are fair trade and not manufactured in sweatshops. It's called: Shoes With Souls. I love shoes but will admit that, on the whole, I like them made of leather unless they are made of canvas. In the interest of cruelty-free fair-trade consumption I have put in a order for some shoes to find out if microfiber suede is a viable alternative to cowskin. (and also to get cute shoes with colored stripes!)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

a quote quilt

"life is very short
and there's no time
for fussing and fighting my friend
I have alway thought
that it's a crime
so I will ask you once again" -The Beatles

hold up, Dude, you're gonna die
so let me make
the compelling case for trying to see it my way

"A woman came up to me and said I'd like to poison your mind
with wrong ideas that appeal to you
though I am not unkind" -They Might Be Giants

come here and take this drink
you should try it
it is bitter but you're gonna like it.
with its potent side and front effects

"There's only one thing that I know how to do well
and I've often been told that you only can do
what you know how to do well
and that's be you
be what you're like
be like yourself,
and so I'm having a wonderful time
but I'd rather be whistling in the dark" -They Might Be Giants

a life of quiet desperation
not like the smart sunny funny places
stretched thin and invisible
faint and barely audible
mundane and peculiar
a pedestrian insanity
typical of humanity
for all the running and hiding
pretending, boasting, lying, and trying
the acts of redemption
the modes of self invention
and group intervention
that lead to ends like this
I am what I am you is what you is we ain't what we ain't they is what they are and that's that

Is there anybody in there?
just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone home?" -Pink Floyd

Is there anybody out there
a pronoun to
wander and mumble
refuse to use
the right tool
refuse to use
good advice
refuse to use

a deafening chorus of crickets
that fill up the thickets

"There is no pain, you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves
your lips move but I can't hear what you're sayin'
When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain, you would not understand.
This is not how I am
I have become comfortably numb." -Pink Floyd

It's a song association game

It's just a circle of string
I used to wear as a ring
that said I'm glad we share a life
and i would play your wife
in a tiny house of woven reeds
past the road behind the trees
further out than I can see
some days I get carried away

"I can't pretend a stranger
Is a long-awaited friend" -Rush

"Living on a lighted stage
approaches the unreal
For those who think and feel
In touch with some reality
beyond the gilded cage" -Rush

*quoting Rush is so teenage boy of my youth*

"Talk to me, *shoo wa shoo wa shoo wa* like lovers do *shoo wa shoo wa*
Walk with me, *shoo wa shoo wa shoo wa* like lovers do *shoo wa shoo wa* "
-The Eurythmics

*and the swell of strings rising up to one note*

It is a song association game
from a waking, sleepless, fevered brain
sound and fury
and jungle shrimp curry
leading back at last to sleep


"Close your eyes and I'll kiss you" -the Beatles

Friday, August 26, 2005

other news

I have a possible defense date: Tuesday, September 12th at 10am.
I am not finished, I am unprepared, I am terrified, I am going to go scream now.

Bummed that I missed this

It's not everyday that you get to hear the music of plants and then have soup More people might go to the symphony with the additional inducement of soup and greenery.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

exit strategies

I heard the tail end of a radio interview with Aaron Glantz, an unembedded journalist who was in Iraq. Interesting.
He has written the speech that he would like to heard GW give with regard to the war on Iraq. It is eloquent and diplomatic. But I doubt that it (or something like it) will be given by our current president. Because to give that speech would require an administration that actually cares about liberation, or weapons of mass destruction, or a belief in a nation's self-determination.

Each of us can toss in our two cents about what this is really about. Your two cents might have something to do with a new world order, keeping America safe, fighting terrorism, or making neighborhoods all the world over more closely resemble Naperville, IL. My three cents are: 1. gaining greater influence in the middle east through someone besides Israel, 2. an excuse to maintain a physical milatary presence in said region, 3. the oil, Baby, the oil. But hey, I'm a giraffe, I sleep standing up. What do I know?

(But a speech such as this does provide some very persuasive language and talking points for those who might want to campaign against the neo-cons in upcoming elections. *cough*)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

the downfall of civil society is market convenience

At the Publix (Southern Grocery chain) they have a DVD $1 rental vending machine. You swipe your credit card, scroll through the rental offerings, and they spit out your movie. It is a dollar rental a day with a $35 charge after 14 days. You swipe your card when you return it and stick the DVD back in the magic machine they charge your credit card $1.07. This is the future. This is a business that you want to invest in at its IPO along with Netflix. Low costs, low prices, almost no employees ... this, friends, is a further Walmaritifcation of living.

I admit that sometimes I miss the snotty, surly clerks at the Bijou Video Rental store who were always mocking my rentals if they were not directed by auteurs and did not have subtitles. And I like the hearty hello and the small talk you get at the Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. But $1 a DVD. A $1! Gah!

tiny rantlent

Terrorism is a term used for violent acts by nongovernmental organizations against foreign countries. When an anti-abortion group bombs a clinic this is apparently not an act of terrorism. It's just another hateful act of violence against women.

bits and pieces

The automatic flushing airport toilet waited for me to get off the pot and flushed without any broad flailing motions from me to induce flushing. A personal first.

Enterprise Rental will comp you insurance when you pick up your rental and then try to charge you for it when you drop it off.

My friend in China cannot access either of my blogger blog.

Hooters has its own airline.

Airport bartenders are very friendly and happy to help you order things and spend your money without telling you how much you'll be paying.

In these athlete doping scandals why are they not investigating the athletes? Your body is your temple. If you let Dr. Sporto give you that "vitamin shot," you are a party to it.

Delta will not reroute your travel to airports outside a 100 mile radius of your original destination.

Delta will not feed you.

I get angry about anti-choice people. And anti-sex-ed people. And anti-contraception people. But ABB says it much better than me. I might throw in my redundant two bits later ...

I have gained something like 14 pounds since first I met My Guy.

Tweety is a very excellent cat.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A Day in Daytona

So after all that moving madness My Guy and I are in Fla to visit his family and to attend the Reptile Breeder's Expo in Daytona. We walked into a convention center chock full of reptiles: lizards, turtles, tortoises, snakes, more snakes, tiny frogs, big frogs, chameleons, geckos, and much more including the things they love to eat (crickets, worms and grubs etc.). There was even a tarantuala vendor. There were beautiful critters and lots of interesting people watching (all kinds of people are into reptiles.).

We did not go to the venomous expo b/c it was 18 and over (which would exclude M and J) and they had this crazy suspicious waiver you had to sign, giving one the impression that poisonous vipers were going to drop on your head from the ceiling.

Pictures that follow are not from the expo, they are ganked from others who take reptile pictures. I, as usual, forgot my camera. *slaps forehead!*

My Guy commented that this expo was "snake heavy."
He was sorely, sorely tempted to buy a pair of big healthy red footed tortoises

(from http://nytts.org)
But decided not to.

His brother, M, bought a leopard gecko

(from http://www.proexotics.com)

and a bearded dragon

(from http://www.dragonsbynature.com)

His sister, J, wanted some tree frogs

(from http://www.ultimatereptiles.com.au)

After a few hours, I started coming down with the reptile fever myself. Most of the vendors were selling lots and lots of tiny babies. Adorable tiny little babies. The frogs were the size of a thumbnail. The tortoises were smaller than a bar of soap. The snakes were tiny, they fit in a 6oz humus container. (Trouble is, they get big. Some of them get really big.)

I started to covet:
the dart frog

(from http://jrscience.wcp.muohio.edu)

the leopard tortoise

(from http://www.eastbayvivarium.com)

the spider tortoise

(from http://www.eastbayvivarium.com)

the gecko

(from http://kingsnake.com)

the california king snake

(from http://wildliferescue.com)

the corn snake

(from http://www.junglebabies.com)

Clearly, my packrat covetous nature could get me into all sorts of trouble. I wanted them all and more than one of each. (The tubs with ten small bearded dragons were sooo cute. They chill out together and will all turn to look at you as a group.)

Cooler heads prevailed. I barely manage to clean the litterbox and have neglected all my plants to the point of severe wiltage. I am not ready for the exotic pets. Yet.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


*the next five posts are a boring blow by blow account of my move. to the best that my addled brain can recall it.*

Up at 10am
We unload My Guy's stuff from the truck
and some of my stuff
I try to do a little unpacking
After the internets are up I have trouble getting anything unpacked.
We take the truck over to my parents house.
Unload the rest of my stuff into my parents' basement.
They are chastizing me for bringing so much home (irony: a lot of it stuff they have given me.)
My Guy tries to assure them that I did throw a lot away and I did sell stuff.

They want to convince me to stay in science and do more research or to teach. I don't think this is a good idea. A ten year grad student whose career can best be described as a daisy chain of all-nighters and missed deadlines, who got too depressed to leave the house and got distracted by the pursuit of love and drama in her relationships and many a hobby, the most recent of which you are looking at, who procrastinated in writing her thesis for about two years ... is not a future member of the National Academy of Sciences.

We left Kitty. *sniff* My baby! I miss her so much after only a few hours.

We returned the truck. The South Kingshwy UHaul service center is run with great efficiency and courtesy. A real delight.
And when we got back I could not stay awake any longer. Despite My Guy's best efforts to motivate me to stay up and have us get dinner, I sacked out. Got up around 10pm and went grocery shopping. Got way too much food b/c I was starving.

And then had the desire to commit this all to memory.
Because ... I don't want to forget this. I want to plan my next move very far in advance. I want to stop procrastinating. I want to talk myself out of buying stuff until I get rid of more than 50% of what I own. And even then, I want to own less. I want to not pull any more all-nighters unless it is for fun. I want to say "no" more often such that I can actually competently take care of the things that I say I will do and stop falling short on my promises and obligations.

I want to remember who was there and what happened and why. I want to remember what a friend will do for you and to remind myself of what kind of a friend I want to be. And i want to remember to whom I am indebted. and figure out a way to repay.


the hauling company calls me at 9am and says that they will haul my crap for $200 on Friday. i have to carry everything to the curb and they want cash on pick up.

I am now trying to figure out what to do.

I start hauling bags of paper to work to dump into the recycle paper dumpster, only to find that they contain more than paper ... shoulder pads, keychains, ... I am ruining the recycle mojo. Very bad.

The hauling company says that I can try to haul stuff myself out to the recycle center if I have a truck. a truck ... a truck. Again flumoxed by the lack of. I ask EF if I can borrow her truck which sounds doable but then is not. No keys, I am too short to reach to pedals, it doesn't stay in gear unless you hold it there.

I call RA and ask if he and his Grand Cherokee can help me. He says ok and we stuff his SUV full of my garbage. the recycle center weighs your vehicle when you pull in and then again when you pull out and charges a $52 minimum with an additional $50 per ton of refuse. Thankfully, I leave paying only $52 and hopefully less than a ton of garbage. They give us fluorescent yellow hardhats and safety jackets. And it's kind of carthartic throwing my crap into an enormous hangar full of garbage.

I take RA for bubble tea and have a catch up chat. He's unhappy. He's a grad student what do you expect?

I meet up with my advisor who tells me that he is very happy with chapter 4, has no text suggestions, minor figure revisions, and wants me to aim for September 12/13th for my defense date. So I have to do an assload of writing before the 29th and have it in a final version to my committee by the 29th. Provided that I can schedule it.

I say howdy to SAS and OU and MPF and then off to move the rest of the garbage out of the garage.
Drop off $20 to KM
return books to JPW
give FnB money to ZS
fill out change of address forms
try to do some of them online with no success
move the car
load up the bikes
say good byes
drop off more stuff for G
give KR and MR back their microwave

My Guy is antsy with me doing all this nonsense and taking forever to get it done.

We finally get on the road at 7:30pm
I am exhausted and delirious and driving most erratically.
My Guy puts $76 of gas in the truck.
Kitty is miserable and towards the end of the trip cannot control her bladder any longer
She turns and pisses on me through the door of the cat carrier.
Increasing the smellage, misery, and erraticallness of my driving.
We get to the Lou and load a few things into the condo.
Order pizza
I give Kitty a bath.
She and I get very wet, but she shows again that she has the sweetest temperament of any living thing.
*insert stuff I can't recall*
We pass out.


We are now at my place.
I sort stuff to throw away
G calls at 8:30am and I have to admit that I need help.
G cleans my apartment like a mad woman
She cleaned my oven.
She used oven cleaner to make the kitchen sink immaculate.
My Guy carried bag after bag of garbage out to the garage.
and the two of them kept me on task.
The two of them saved my bacon.

Several times I almost broke down into hysterical fits of sobbing. Once when I was trying to get someone to take four boxes of stuff over to FnB and they were staring at me like I was insane because I was too hysterical and deranged to string together a coherent sentence, much less a persuasive argument. Once as I threw away every note, paper, lecture outline, and exam from ten years of learning. It's gone. brilliantly written exams, papers, lecture notes, overheads, everything is gone.

The woman moving in intimated that I was using utilities that she was paying for and that I should give her money to cover them. I pointed out that utilities were $40 a month, handed her $4, and advised her to go buy a sandwich. She might have been joking but I was to cracked out to have a sense of humor.

I have never had a move this chaotic
i have never tried to write a thesis and make deadlines while moving.
I have never had to move from an unfurnished place to a furnished one
I have never moved out of two apartments at one time
I have never had to beg the next tenant to wait until later in the day to take up residence.
I have never done a move this big without my parents
I have never had to sort through 10 years worth of stuff.
I have never never never had anyone clean for me in a move.
People have helped me packed and moved stuff for me
But I have always chased them away and done all the cleaning myself.
I have never depended so heavily on the kindness of friends.
The memory of this move makes me ashamed.
G cleaned my oven on her birthday.
She left my house to get blood work done for her elbow surgery next week.
I am the lowest of the low.

A guy with a huge van comes over and takes all of my cleaning supplies off my hands, engine oil and several knicknacks. It Seems that people with vans are all about the collecting of what is discarded.

2:30pm we are out.
I am trying to figure out what to do about the gadzillion bags of garbage in the garage.
No time for a huge bonfire. Plus, that would be unsafe and polluting.
My Guy and I weave over to the 705 and attempt to nap. It works for about 2 or 3 hours.
He is shoving a Red Bull at me at 6:30pm.
I seem to recall him shoving a Red Bull at me on a number of occassions on Monday and Tuesday.

7pm went to G's for her birthday barbeque
She gets a marble rolling pin, MP gets a bicycle pump and a few boxes.
had excellent ribs
broke open my thesis defense champagne (Besserat de Bellefon Champagne) to drink with G for her birthday and as my leaving CU champagne
i pass the bottle around the party and we are drinking it like hobos.
(i relaly like it, though and I am buying a case of it for my defense, provided that I manage to defend.)
got to hear someone play music on a church lady electric organ.

Also EF's birthday, back at the 705 by 10pm
She gets muffin pans and liner cups
drank with EF and the fine folks at the 705
it was a party with polariods
very cute but, again, confirming that everyone on the planet takes a better picture than I do - fungus takes a better picture than I do.
accidentally hit B in the nose while trying to dance like a punk to Tom Petty
MN and Z came by the 705 and I got to see them one more time before leaving.
Kitchen chat with MN saves me from playing Circle of Death and probably from puking that night.
My Guy and I took EF to Crane Alley for a Minderaser and a Lambic.
we are back at 3am

Sunday: (move out day)

G calls at 9:30am
Insists that I get up
We pack some of My Guy's stuff
I pick up the UHaul truck (it takes an hour)
G tackles the tortoise shit for a bit
I go over to my place continue packing
I pack and pack and pack.
I hired two art and design students to help me load up the truck.
They were very nice and also cute.
I moved two boxes early on, and slipped down the stairs on my back. Bump bump bump my spine, neck and tail bone on the steps. (painful and spectacular. I have nasty bruises on my arms shoulder and keister as a result.
and it still hurts to lay down.)

Go back to tackle shit stains some more.

Pick up My Guy from the airport at 9pm
We pack and move and load and clean his apartment.
At the end he is bleaching the carpet in the closet.
i made a reservation for a room at the red roof inn which we decide to cancel. (do not try to book online for a local hotel. you will have to cancel online and if you don't have online access, that is going to suck.)
We are out of there by 5am.


asleep by 4am, up by 7am.
finished a draft of my thesis.
sent it to my advisor.
G helped me pack for a spell.
I went home and tried to get tortoise shit out of the carpets in the closet for some hours.
dropped off to sleep at 7am.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Miles to go before Monday

First draft of Chapter 4 is done.
Next task: pack clean and move
Next task: hash out chapter 1
Next task: beg university to let me enroll for one last semester
Next task: radio ads. i keep forgetting radio ads.
Next task: celebrate my Dad's birthday
Next task: go to Daytona and play with reptiles and have all-you-can-eat-sushi
Next task: revise Chapter 4
Next task: repeat previous
Next task: write Chapter 5 (last chapter)
Next task:
Next task:

Uh, hello?

Next task?


Did anyone see where I put my brain?

18+ hours behind where I need to be

I am on page 18 of chapter 4.
I have skimmed at least 15 papers and countless abstracts
and added references covering all but 4 paragraphs of these 18 pages
I almost feel like I know something.
And I am at a point where I am writing that last 8-10 paragraphs.

I have taken five naps today - twice woken by cats - twice woken by My Guy, once woken by self
I am totally blocking on what to show in figure 4.2
I either show too much or not enough. Everyone hates a busy figure. (I sound like I am talking about dress shopping for the prom.)

I had something to eat every half hour:
A bowl of strawberries
countless sesame seed candies
a chicken taquito
french bread
french bread with salmon pate
french bread with swiss cheese
jordan almonds
a big dr. Pepper
a bowl of soba noodles
veggie potstickers
a bowl of raspberries
a pepsi
more of everything

I had me a chat with BBFK. I loves me some chat with BBFK.

Recorded with JE at WEFT.
JE is funny, very patient, kind, and tolerant.
If he offers to record you, take him up on it.
The word is *choke* for three hours on disk. *sigh*
I could not get through "Love My Dog" to save my life.
And I did try and try and try and try.
The truth is that I am two years of steady playing away from any recording or performing that is worth anyone's time.

N called me twice and I didn't pick up either time because I loves me some chat but with the exception of rare people these days I get antsy if I am not in motion. (or blogging =P)

Had a beer at the Pig.
Ran into people who I will probably not see again.
Some of whom I assumed were not speaking to me.
And actually we didn't know what to say to each other.
I felt like a hen in a foxhouse.
Because I am paranoid and my imagination gets away from me. I have my reasons.
I should have found a gracious way to back out and go home.
My brain was tar.

There are many nice people who will breathe a sigh of relief to see me leave town because nice as they may be, some points of view are irreconcilable. And some things said cannot be taken back.
I should have given them hugs.
Because I miss them right now and will miss them when I leave and because it makes no sense to do otherwise.

For many days I have been thinking about what I will miss when I leave. But today I think about why I look forward to it.
It's a fine mental exercise to look on the bright side.

"The long december gives us reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last."
-Counting Crows

(sometimes the long august does too.)

Friday, August 12, 2005

Let them have dialup

From S. Meinrath's recent post on broadband (cause what's more fun than a summary of a summary):

In the US, we pay 10-25 times more for broadband than users in Japan (per megabit).

Residential connections in France and South Korea (where I hear, gaming is a spectator sport and some have corporate sponsorship) are 10-20 times faster than they are in the US.

98% of the residential and small-business broadband market is cable and DSL providers.

(So it seems that fewer of us are paying more to get less and currently things are structured such that there is little market pressure to change that. And the FCC seeems eager to keep it that way.)

60% of households with income above $150,000 have a broadband connection
10% of households with incomes below $25,000 have a connection.

(I wonder what the numbers look like in the $25,000 - $150,000 income bracket ...)

Some may argue that you need to protect fledgling industries from destructive outside forces. If this is the case, that without protection Comcast and SBC are going to price themselves out of business, well, that is very sad indeed. But it does seems kind of unlikely.

the two kinds of Harry Potter people ...

Note: do not click on the link if you have not finished reading "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" yet. (SFMD, this means you.)

Dear Friends, MomVee is working out a theory about Harry Potter readers.

Of great interest to me is what else can be extrapolated from this initial distinction. I think there's seeds for a really good "You are" quiz.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

reluctantly crouched at the starting line

People keep asking me what I am going to do now. I have no answer besides, go to the reptile show in Daytona, come back, unpack, and find work. Today I am thinking about a quote from Michael Jordan:

"I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot... and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why... I succeed."

And I have been thinking about two kinds of failure:

Stuck at the starting line failure - where I never tried for fear of failing. Technically, I haven't failed. But in my internal ledger the life balance is negative because I still want it, I still don't have it.

Missing the shot failure - where I wanted something and I went for it and I missed the mark. Where I asked for something or applied for something and was rejected.

In the first case you don't fail but you don't gain either.

In second case you fail but by following through you end up in a different place. You fail but you don't lose. You gain experience.

So if I can find the ovaries, the task for my immediate future is to actively pursue rejection and failure instead of hiding from it.

Bride and Prejudice

The musical numbers were less classic Bollywood and more like Joss Whedon's "Once More With Feeling."
(Although I think Joss is a stronger lyricist and songwriter.)

We all know the plot.

The leading lady (Aishwarya Rai)

is not only breathtakingly beautiful. She is smart, sharp, funny, spirited, and a very good dancer - an excellent Eliza Bennett. Probably among the best.

And in a Tiger Beat moment, I want to say that Martin Henderson is dreamy.

Mr. Henderson has less to do in this movie. He seems much less Darcyish, but his every glance and change of expression is an active volcano elevating the temperature on this earth. When he sighed, my heart skipped a beat.

And isn't that what a love story is supposed to do?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

packing rituals

When I pack for a trip I use an inside to outside principle: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, hairbrush, lotion, underwear, socks, shirts, pants, skirts ... you get the drill.

Packing for the move is not going by such principles. It is all chaos. I haven't labelled the boxes as I pack them. Which is a recipe for disaster or the christmas day/reunited effect - "Oh wow, I've been looking for this for days. Oh wow. I love this sweater."

I sold all my mirrors. I can inspect my hair in the bathroom mirror but without a full-length I am dressing myself blindly. No way to tell if this dress makes me look fat.

I sold the dresser, I sold the shelves. So all that crap is now strewn across the floors and my bed. *what do I do about the bed?*

There are no lamps at My Guy's place and the two overhead lights are busted (one blew last night). So when I retreat to his air conditioned oasis I am sitting in the dark.

A red marker exploded in one of my boxes and I did not realize this until I looked in the (bathroom) mirror to find that I had three HUGE red streaks across my face! The forehead, the chin, and the side of my nose. I could not find rubbing alcohol, toner, or a cotton ball. Soap was not cutting it. I went to the grocery store like this because I have packed all the food. and couldn't figure out why some people were smiling at me and others were averting their eyes. In my preoccupied state I had forgotten about it until I got a reminder in the rearview. Fortunately, I sweated it off while packing/sorting/cleaning. *I know, I know ... ewww.*

I cannot find band-aids or zit cream. I have no socks because I packed them. I cannot find the lyrics to a song I decided today that it would be great to record this Friday. All I remember is:

"Everybody likes to think that they have all the answers,
They'd be more convincing as a troupe of belly dancers."

And my mantra is: don't lose the keys, don't lose the keys.


talk talk talk about it

According to a recent study Men do have trouble hearing women

It sounds like malarkey to me. I am guessing that it is some kind of wacky MRI study. I am going to have to find this issue of NeuroImage and look up Michael Hunter and perhaps Sheffield University in England.

If true it would explain a lot, though.

I wonder if they have looked at correlations between how long a man has been married and how well he can hear a woman's voice.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


There were some little kids at my garage sale. One of them picked up my Boodocks "Right to Be Hostile" book and asked me what it was about.

I don't have a degree in sociology so I said:

"Uhhhhh. It's about two black kids who move with their grandpa to a mostly white suburb and the humor and tensions that result."

This doesn't really go very far to explain it. It doesn't encapsulate the discomfort and the brand of humor that comes out of charged and difficult subjects. It doesn't explain the social and political commentary about race in America.

I did not think about the whole possibility of kids being there. Another one sitting right out there was "My life as a Pornographer and Other Stories." I am glad that I was not asked to explain it. *cringe* "Um, it's about a guy who is a homosexual and his life experiences in the gay community and about his experiences reading and writing gay porn. I found it very interesting."

Monday, August 08, 2005

Post for MomVee, rather than hog the comments section

-In 1994, I told PC about how great it would be to have websites that were bridal registries.

-I thought it would be great to manufacture and sell small disposable doodads that you could blow into and they would indicate your blood alcohol level. For the folks who aren't sure when to say when.
(I think other people beat me to the punch on this one. But I want to know why I can't buy this at every bar in town for a quarter? Especially considering there is usually a condom dispenser in the bathroom.)

-And I thought of opening a coffee shop/music stores where each table had a listening station where you could listen to streams of music (preferably from independent artists and record labels) that you could buy in the shop. Because breaking new music to people is hard without means of distribution and outlets for play. Especially, with the strangle hold that corporate radio and big record labels have on the industry. Because people need more "third places" (not home or work) to spend their time and because people are reluctant to buy an ablum if they don't know if they will like it. (Starbucks is doing this with Alanis Morisette's new album.) When I told PC about this idea he encouraged spinning it as a franchise. He thought it was the kind of thing that would hit big in urban areas in Mainland China.

Another idea I had (which no one will probably want to do):
tieing music with other supermarket products.

Rock and Roughage - a healthy high fiber cereal that features a different rock band/musical artist on the cover (like wheaties) and there is a mini-CD EP inside with every purchase.


Rag and Rock - *ahem* feminine products that used the same gimmick, only featuring bands with women artists.

If this last idea gets picked up by Post or Kotex I will roll on the floor with laughter and then curse the gods for not doing it myself. LOL.

(There's actually a guy in town who claims to be the true inventor of the microprocessor. He says that it was his idea and Motorola stole it from him. You just never know.)
(erratum via Juvenilia: Intel stole his idea, not Motorola so you can stop hatin' on them now.)

Latest Business Idea.

I have had three business ideas that are now viably being executed in the real world by other people. I have not seen a dime of this money.

I want to start a furniture company that specializes in beautiful sturdy not so expensive things that are easy to disassemble and reassemble when moving. I am dreaming of a modular couch which can be broken down into sections and with removable machine washable upholstry, covers and cushions. ( living room furniture- lego style) Now imagine if it could be broken down such that you could move it in your car - no truck, no trailer.

I would call it Mobility and target the college / straight out of college crowd.
I need designers, investors and someone to help me write up a business plan.

Ikea and Target - tremble in my wake.

you haul to you hell

It's like the "When Harry met Sally" High Maintenance discussion:

Some folks are good at moving.
Some folks are not.
Some folks are not good at moving but think that they are.

I have shed myself of my illusions and will say that I am not.
Good at moving.


Good gracious, U-Haul is an aggravating company to deal with. I think they hire people based on how slow they walk. The first thing after you fill out the application they probably ask you to cross the room to bring over a coffee mug and if you take more than 15 minutes, you're hired.

To be fair this week and next week are the big move out days for most of the apartments in town. But hey, Meijer brings in temps and help from Bloomington to accomodate busy times in the summer and fall, one would think that a moving truck rental company would have the same foresight.

I walked in to drop off the trailer that I rented for my garage sale and there were three people in front of me and I waited in line for 40 minutes. Nobody was answering the phones which were ringing like mad and there were three people behind the counter. One of which was processing keys, the others were with customers.

I was calm by this point. It was my third time queing over the past two days with 7 phone calls to a busy signal, and 2 calls in which I was on hold for over 40 minutes. I knew what to expect. I should have brought the newspaper or a radio to listen to NPR.

It was as maddening as the DMV.

I would be willing to pitch in behind the counter for an hour answering phones and dealing with paper work for a 20% discount on my rental. I might even do it for less to free if it would speed things up. Seriously.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

it was good but I guess it was not so good too ...

Had a garage sale. Made a nice sum of money. (I think, although I was told that I could have gotten more for many of the things that I was selling. In a great irony my garage sale has made enough to pay for the renting of a truck to take the rest of my crap to my next locale. (provided that I do not spend it all on booze and loose women ;P ))

I did not know what I was doing and I am now exhausted. I liked being in a flurry of activity but I guess it was the wrong activites. Getting rid of the stuff was good. Getting money was good. But at this moment, I think the time and energy was more valuable to me. And irretrievable. Perhaps I was better off taking a hatchet to everything and building a smoky bonfire outside while wearing a gas mask (toxic fumes and all that y'know.)

On the advice of others I intended to have a two day sale Saturday and Sunday but I don't want to anymore. And may try to get out of it if I can.

I have no skill for haggling and I would be the first to be eliminated on the Price is Right.

And in truth, I have seller's remorse. It was hard to do this and there are things that I miss:

the stuff that reminds me of the ones I love and the times that we have had together.

the stuff that represents the things I wish I was and the things that I someday want to do.

the things that represent what other people think I am and like that are in fact nothing like the person that I am.

the things that people have given me that they actually want for themselves.

the things that people have discarded through giving them to me which I cannot part with because there are from someone that I love or once loved.

the clothes I got too fat for, the clothes I was always too small for, the clothes that I had hoped to grow into (physically and mentally), the clothes that I have grown out of.

the fabulous shoes that I can't walk in.

the books that have the precious knowledge that I wanted but never got around to.

the things that remind me of important events in my life.

the things that are souvenirs of weddings, travels, parties, and halloweens gone by.

the things that were tokens of affection from a person who loved me. Who I was afraid to believe until after he was gone when I found that I had a drawer full of small strange things that he gave me because he was thinking of me. And by the time I realized this, he no longer wanted anything to do with me.

the stuff that I thought I wanted but never used, because I was trying to be someone that I am not, because there are only so many hours in a day, because one life is not enough to do everything (especially considering that this is inefficient me that we are talking about here.), because frequently I forgot that some things are daydreams better left that way and buying a tennis racket is not sufficient to make me a tennis star, that you only have to play one instrument in the band it is ridiculous to become the lead singer, backup vocalist, rhythm, lead, and bass guitarist who plays keyboards, flute, violin, penny whistle, and drums on the same track *unless you are Prince*, because I forget that having friends who skate really well doesn't mean that by simply buying skates I will become a hockey star.

And I am repeating myself here. My Guy says that I don't prioritize well. Which is true (Though I wish sometimes there were ways to say it that I could more easily dismiss. And I wish it didn't make me feel like a horrible loser to admit to this. After all, they say that obstacles are opportunities, right?) I act when I am stressed and I do things when it occurs to me to do them because in my experience if I don't do it, right then, I will forget and never do take care of it. Like when I remember birthdays the week before and then realize that I forgot to even send a card the week after.

To me it's all important and all important at the same time and that's a problem.

At some point I hope I see all of this differently and I feel emancipated from all this baggage that I have carried around mentally and physically. Because as much as you own your things, it is equally true that they own you whether you take good care of them or neglect them.

And maybe I'll read the books I buy, pick one hobby, buy less crap, have more garage sales, and only keep what I find to be beautiful or useful.

And here I call for investors for my unicorn ranch. Change is not impossible. But it's really hard and with time, it only gets harder.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Walls Are Talking Back - Stencil Art Show

I went to the Stencil Art Show yesterday at Opensource. It was great.

They had stencils sprayed on the walls in the back room. All different kinds of content and message: beautiful, funny, political, radical, random, cautionary, angry, positive, ominous, life-affirming, simple, ornate. Motifs from different stencils were combined, the text from one, a flower from another, a picture from the next to create something different in the synthesis of the moment.

I have seen some of these stencils around town on sidewalks, walls, lamposts, and garbage cans.(all submissions were anonymous to protect artists from possible prosecution) I will walk around with my eyes peeled for the others.

Some of the artists left their stencils at the display and visitors were encouraged to spray their own copy of these stencils on sheets of paper or onto pieces of cardboard so that they can take a knife to them and reproduce the stencil for themselves. A very different way of interacting with artwork. One that is more interactive and less proprietary. We all had fun spraying pictures to take home. A few people were even inspired to make their own stencils right there in the space.

I don't have a picture of the SUV in flames (very cool.) Lucky for me, Faith Swords did take pictures and she has graciously permitted me to share them with you.




Go make a stencil, it will make your heart happy.
What you do with it is your business. All I will say is, be careful out there.

sheepish self-incrimination

I tell myself that if I can write two paragraphs an hour from here until 5pm, I can get a decent draft of 3 chapters of my thesis to my advisor today ... Hahahahah!

Maybe four ... Hahahahah!

No, seriously ... Hahahahah!

The untruths we tell ourselves are probably not funny to others.

Oh, I wish I hadn't fallen asleep.

"The trick about being a liar, is if you're good you can fool yourself. And then even you don't know when to believe you" -Rob McColley

Thursday, August 04, 2005

95% habit, 5% content

a. I am a too easy, too cheesy, test writer. The average on the first exam was 79.3 and the average for the second exam was 85.9. These scores are too high for a biology class that is required for the majors and pre-meds. I fear that the final is a cakewalk too.

b. There is a correlation between me being an irritable, erratic, wacky driver and my coffee consumption.

c. "A million lights are dancing and there you are a shooting star... Xanadu, Xanadu-u-u"

d. I parked My Guy's car, fed the meter for 2.5 hours, came back to find 26 minutes left on the meter and I have a ticket for a "meter expired" parking violation. ("Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." ("I stole that from Willie the Shake, you know, neither a borrower nor a lender be," -Joni Mitchell))

e. I wonder if I actually share anything in common with the folks whose blogger profiles list the same interests, movies, music, or books. It's overwhelming actually to see how many people like dancing or the movie "Mallrats". If we all met at an "I like the movie Mallrats" convention would it be love? Would we share a big squishy group hug and talk about the clairvoyant nipple?

f. Up to this point Tweety was sitting on my lap purring.

g. There is a stencil art show opening tonight. Free wine which I will not be drinking b/c I promised my advisor a substantial chunk of my thesis some of which must be done tonight.

h. Part of my paycheck was direct deposited to an account I closed and has bounced back into the ether.

i. I read other people's profiles on (Blogger and now Friendster) and they mention really good stuff that I did not. "Phantom Tollbooth" is such a good book. "This Band Could Be Your Life," an interesting read. "Harold and Maude," a fabulous movie. And I think, "How could I have forgotten that one?"

j. I like the folks whose profiles have unique interests. Jay has a real flair for this. I have since ganked this. (The endeavor, not the actual interests.)

k. I am trying to divest myself of some of my worldly possessions before I move. It's like the practice of self-dentistry with no anesthetic.

Me, hugging three volumes of textbook about programming in Logo singing "How am I supposed to live without youuuu ...." G, shaking her head in disgust and disbelief, regretting her offer to help me.

"What's that?!" I still hear her demand, the sharp inflection in her voice, when we pushed boxes against the wall only to find the stuff that was hiding behind other stuff. Some debts and favors can never be repaid.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

ovary rant

I want to talk about the global gag rule.

I have wanted to for a while, but I am having trouble composing anything intelligible and persuasive. Because it bugs me on so many levels.

There is the obvious problem that I have with one nation pressuring international organizations into silence about family planning. If knowledge is power, the US is pulling the strings tied to its filthy but desperately needed money to make sure that all over the world, powerless people stay that way.

There's the obvious question of reproductive rights and choices and who gets to make them. In this case, women aren't even given the information to consider.

There's the whole hypocrisy of touting the glories of free speech and expression as the fine fruit of democracy, encouraging other nations to foster democratic forms of government while at the same time witholding information and silencing people.

And there's the fact that I hate, absolutely hate, being told to be quiet and being told to shut up. Shushing me, so that other people can speak their peace is one thing. I get carried away and need to be reminded that dialogue requires more than one voice. It's entirely warranted. But shushing me because I am too loud or to prevent me from saying something strange, stupid or disagreeable really chaps my hide. (I have an internal critic to help me with that, I don't need additional help)

And finding coercive ways of shushing people because some people who are wealthy and powerful think that every act of fertilization is a miracle and the only way to ensure that such miracles continue to occur is by keeping people in ignorance - really chaps my hide too.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

"Is one of us supposed to be a DOG in this scenario?"

This October I will be old enough to run for president. But more importantly, this October I will be 5 in dog years.

And the mind wanders.

How do dogs perceive time? We have all heard that they see the world in black and white. We have all heard that they devote considerable brain power to the sense of smell. And according to Dr. Nicholas Dodman, author of "The Dog Who loved too Much", you can give them Valium for anxiety and Prozac for depression.

As a dog do the minutes fly by 7 times faster? The thought is dizzying. I have been trying to imagine what my life would look be like if it was sped up by 7x. If I cut out all that time in front of the television, it might not be quite as bad. Still, I probably wouldn't hang my head out the window of a speeding car. *weak stomach*

Is that why after a certain age they lay around all day slightly lifting their heads and thumping their tails in greeting? Some days I feel like that already. I don't want to play fetch. My bones are tired. I just want to sprawl out on the couch. This at the tender age of 5.

Or is it like a slow motion camera and they perceive smaller intervals of time with greater awareness than we do?

Get a me a physicist, relativity must involved.

it occurs to me

that many of you who stop in here are folks I have met in the flesh. I've seen a number of y'alls on yo' baggy-pants-floppy-sweatshirt-need-a-haircut-days. Don't flip, you look great ... and sooo comfy.

The rest of y'alls can take heart in the knowledge that until I see you in such a state I will assume that (fly cats, that you are) you don't ever have baggy-pants-floppy-sweatshirt-need-a-haircut-days.


Reminding me of Little Ms SH who I worked with for 4 years, who got all of her clothes altered to fit perfect, who came to lab with beautifully styled hair in a full face of makeup, who came up to me one night after she got married to extoll the virtues of sweatpants which she only started to wear after embarking on a life of domestic bliss. She just raved about the elastic waistband. *chuckle*

friendster or not to friendster

I got a friendster account years ago. Kat E invited me. I set up my profile, emailed friends encouraging them to sign up, and ... well there wasn't really anything to do after that. Y'know? None of the people I invited signed up. So I let it sit fallow. Friendster eagerly sends me emails to keep me abreast of the lastest and greatest that it has to offer.

So I logged in today and tooled around with my profile a little. There's groups and discussions and games. It turns out there is a whole daisy chain of acquaintance of mine on there. A person I hate has an account there. There's folks I barely knew from college who have accounts. Heck, it even turns out that My Guy has a closed Friendster account.

And ... I still don't know what the heck to people do on Friendster.

Monday, August 01, 2005

self fullfilling prophecies

If people would just believe that they are as beautiful, smart, capable, and good as they really are. Woudn't they just be saner and better off?

As for those delusional folks who think themselves smarter, better, more capable, and more beautiful than in fact they are ... ever notice how it seems to work for them and they continually get people buying into their hype?

No fight for the freedom to read?

Yee haw! Thanks to the Patriot Act, federal authorities can legally get information about what I have been checking out from the library and buying from the bookstore. Rep. Bernie Saunders of Vermont tried to add "The Freedom to Read" amendment to the Patriot Act. But this was ignored and rejected in various necessary committees.

Is this because in DC they don't believe Americans read anymore? Or are they dying to know who among their political opponents has checked out or recently purchased: "Dragon Breath: My life with halitosis" or "Coping with the Fungus Among Us." Having a library that has open stacks and no surveillance cameras might be the closest thing you get to reading in private these days or borrowing books from your friends. Let them take the heat.

the equal sign keeps throwing me off

The Michaelis-Menton equation is merely a mathematical way to describe the relationship between the speed at which an enzyme catalyzes a reaction and the amount of enzyme and substrate that are present.

no more and no less.

self-inhibitation and exaggeration

"If confusion about your [...] life is ruining your day, I think it's good to go over to your best friend's house and ruin her day too. "
-L.A. Story

my life is spent in a place
where I put on a happy face
keep up appearances and go through the motions
until things spill out in ugly emotion
which brings great alarm
and much harm
to my relationships

the trouble is I don't see
what's inside or around me

until I am already in the thick of it.

"I was deeply unhappy, but I didn't know it, because I was so happy all the time. "
-L.A. Story

*Ask anyone, they will tell you that my life is this quote turned inside out. An intellectual understanding of this does little to slow my natural laughing pessimism.*