Wednesday, January 31, 2007

for the love of freewill

You read enough alternative weeklies, you get to know free will astrology by Rob Brezny.

For the week of February 1, 2007 my horoscope opens with a quote from Raymond Chandler:
"The disease of niceness cripples more lives than alcoholism."

Saturday, January 27, 2007


After a week of running around Friday I just couldn't do it anymore. I intended to go to the MOMA to see the Doug Aitken exhibition. But it was just too damn cold. I wimped out.

Instead, the RM and I came back to Brooklyn and hung out. We got Indian food and then stopped for drinks at a cute little bistro place and then rented movies and headed home.

The people at the Hollywood Video were eager to get home and were shouting at us, doing everything in their power to hustle us out of there. The RM's dvd would't play. It was scratched up and crapped out. I had the not very helpful suggestion of spitting on it and wiping it. Which she did and then it was worse than before. My bad.

I rented "Conversations with Other Women." It's about two people who meet at a wedding reception and how the evening evolves from there. The two people are Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart. The movie is presented in a split screen format. The two sides of the screen show related things. Two camera angles, the scene and a flashback, two possible ways that the scene could play out, two halves of the same scene that merge and separate.

The skeptic in me can't help but get the feeling that the real reason they wanted to use the split screen was for the love scene. But it's actually a really interesting effect throughout. It brings something new to a story with old bones.

I suppose it is a chick flick. But not in the common boy meets girl formula. More like the sketchy outlines of a reinterpretation of melodrama. Added to that there is something so smart and sharp something so edgy about Bonham Carter's performance that rises above the conventions of a love story.

Besides which the chemistry between Eckhart and Bonham Carter is smokin' hot. That's some split screen love scene, Kids. *whew*

It is rare to see a movie about adults. It's rare to see a movie in which adults talk about anything. Dialogue ... even talky monology dialogue is in itself refreshing. I kinda like it.

I can feel many of my 36 years. Not all of them, but many. And in my bones I have a sense for what that means. And watching this movie I felt like I was watching characters who also carried that sense of their years.

In my 20's I had a sense endless possibility. In my 30's I have a sense of my limitations. Not the least of which is a concept of my own mortaility. And I have to say that I do not find this to be a bad thing. I bitch and moan about it endlessly but I will admit that interesting things come out of the process by which I press against those boundaries. Among these is feeling of identity and self-definition that I did not have before when I could not envision myself who I was or who I might become. Certainly there was loss in that process, but there was gain as well.

And where does this wisdom lead me? Nowhere. I have it but mostly choose not to use it.

On Saturday I did laundry, went to a Shochu tasting at the wine shop, chilled out with the RM at a coffee shop and then proceeded to drink like an idiot and do the kinds of things that idiots do when they drink.

We drank with a Scotsman. It was fun. If he is any representation of what it's like to drink with the Scots, I've got to find me some more Scotsmen to drink with.

Met a 25 year old boy. I seem to meet a lot of 25 year old boys. They seem to be all over NYC. Makes me kinda wish that I had moved here when I was 24. Nobody told me that this is where all the 25 year old boys live.

Drinks and early morning poker were a sure recipe for a painful Sunday. There's not much to say about Sunday. It snowed. (pretty snow) I caught up with friends over the phone and watched "The Great New Wonderful" which is not a brilliant comedy. It's more of a bore with a few good dramatic performances. Very static and cold. Needed more camera angles on the love scenes, I guess.

Friday, January 26, 2007

you win some, you lose some

I have been lingering over this post for a good hour or so and all I have come up with to say is:

The Buddah Bar is really big and as you might already know, has a really big buddah statue in it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Let them Eat Cake- at the Cakeshop

I went to the Cakeshop to see a band called Adios Esposito. I sat at the bar next to a woman my age who books shows and hosts touring bands! How cool is that?

She was there to see the openers: The Lost Americans who I basically missed as a latecomer. We got to chatting a little and she decided to stick around and listen to AE. During the set at one point she leans over and asks "So which one do you have a crush on?" To which I reply: "All of them." What can I say? Some of us never had a favorite Beatle.

"Your body left and I'm still sitting with your echo.
Sit here for an hour without letting go." -Kevin Johnston

has got to be as beautiful a lyric as I have heard of late.

After they finish their set she concedes that "my band" is pretty good. Though I am sure that she still likes "her band" better.

I see these kids walking by with their gear before AE's set. I don't know why but I have this feeling that they write adorable music. So while I am sleepy and wanting to hop the train home I stick around to see what they are like. And from the first few bars I can hear that I was right. So I sit back down and tap my foot and bob my head to the music.

The saying is that "Less is More." And in the case of Chairlift, it is wholeheartedly true. Less is more catchy, more lonely, more beautiful, more happy, more strange, more cozy, more heartbreaking, more essential. They are currently a trio apparently based in Brooklyn (natch) who describe their sound as synthfolk popcorn. I really like the track: Bruises.

I have been meaning to go to the Cakeshop for a while now. And this was my excuse. It's no Empty Bottle but I did like it quite a bit.

Before that I went to dinner with some of the kids from work. We went for Indian to a place called Milon on 1st st. Very tiny. Very crowded. Well lit. Ask them to play the birthday song. The cheese poori is a hoot. I can't remember much about the food except that it was inexpensive and the portions were good. The lights may have affected my sense of taste. It was fun. The Plate of the Day has some really nice pictures.

G, you were right, the places with the chili pepper lights are totally worth it.

The goal of this week is to prevent myself from working late by making plans on a school night. Two nights down and three to go.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

*waves while jumping up and down*

I been takin' a stroll down memory lane for MomVee, runnin' myself ragged at work, and doin' all sort of stuff to distract me from life's big questions that loom large right behind my left shoulder.

For example ... I played Texas Hold 'Em for the first time in my life last weekend.

I did some much needed laundry and I actually started to clean and organize my room a little.

... and I went to the automat and had some of the nastiest food that you can buy for a handful of quarters.

"A kiss may be grand but it
won't pay the rental on your humble flat,
Or help you at the automat."

The automat is an obsolete concept in food retail. It's a restaurant that is a bank of vending machines, essentially. Between you and the people who are preparing and serving your food is a wall of little shelves with windows. The food is placed into these shelves. You peer through the windows to see if they have what you want. You put money into the coin slot, open the window, and take your food. It's designed for those who just really can't deal with interacting with other human beings. The antecedent to the self-checkout lane at the supermarket. you know how I love out dated visions of the future. But besides piping in excellent club music and the erie pink neon lights I was a little disappointed in my recent foray into revisionist history.

The Thai food in Jackson Heights on the other hand is spicy as spicy can be and quite enjoyable.

I came to the realization today that the job I currently inhabit requires the ability to multi-task and strong organizational skills. Neither (none?) of which is exactly my strength.

I compensate for this with my currently distracted, scatterbrained and abstracted state. My ADD has me juggling bunches of things in my head in a constant rotation.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Brought to you by the letter "N"

Ten things that I like that start with the letter "N"

1. New York - It's the walking down the street that I really like. Best thing for a bad mood is to step outside on a crisp day and walk somewhere.

2. Nectarines - slightly underripe, chilled in the fridge on a hot summer day. Sun speckled, crisp, and delicious.

3. Nissan Sentra - My favorite car is the 1999 Red Nissan that I inherited from my father. It had this feature where the driver's side door would fly open while one drove down the road. For a while it would stay shut when I locked it. The day it stopped doing that my father urged me to retire it. Only to start driving it himself again, the sneak!

4. Noodles - I like carbs of all kind. I have yet to meet a carb I don't like. But noodles in particular are divine.

5. Nocturnal - I am. I am up way too late all the time wishing that I knew if anyone else out there was still awake and wanted to discuss theories of the universe, life epiphanies, or neuroses at 3am over milkshakes and potato skins.

6. Nap - after a night like that a nap is clearly the best thing.

8. Nanowrimo - A special activity for the month of November. The one that makes November the second coolest month of the year. On my honor I will try: to complete Nanowrimo, eat more fiber, and live by the girl scout laws.

9. What's a goat raised to the negative nine? A Nano-goat.

10. nerdcore - I am a nerd. I have never liked the word nerd. But this practice of putting -core as a suffix to indicate excessiveness to the max, I can approve of that. Makes being a nerd seem that much closer to being a geek. Unlike the nerd, the geek is not to be pitied. The carnival geek bites the heads off of live chickens. The geek elicits a response of horror, revulsion, and fascination. It is a confrontational form of freakiness having to do with what you do as much as who you are.

Apparently, it is also a subgenre of hiphop. One of its practitioners is MC Frontalot. Is this guy for real?

In case you were wondering numbers 11-20 are:

the norm from which we deviate
navy blue
ne'er do well
navel gazing
nilla wafer
not half bad

meme brought to you via random rants and moody musings

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

But how strange, the change, from minor to minor

My teeth are super mondo sensitive right now. I got sushi for lunch and the cold of the fish caused such pain on the left side of my mouth. Sushi. It's time I took that dental insurance for a spin.

Spike Lee was on my red eye flight back from San Diego. Mr. Do the Right Thing is about my height and looks in person like he does on screen. He walked purposefully up to the luggage carousel, grabbed his very large piece of luggage, and walked off. He looked kind of tired and pissed off. Much like one would expect.

The red eye wiped me out, even with a day to recover. I was wiped out enough that I didn't finish setting my alarm before dropping off to sleep. Only to have someone wake me at 11:20am to ask me why I was not at the 11am meeting that we had scheduled. *drat*

When I leave New York I am so happy. I sit in places and I just grin and grin and grin. No matter how intense people pretend to be. No matter how perfect the women try to be. No matter how hard people are trying to be cool or look good or whatevah ... New York tries harder. Knowing this I just grin and grin.

People asked me on this trip how I like New York. "I like it," I say and they look very encouraged, as if it's a sign that they might like it too. "Of course, I like crowds," I continue by way of explanation and they look bummed 'cause they don't and maybe they wouldn't like New York after all. I say don't knock it until you try it. Just make sure you have a plan B. I do like New York but I cannot help but meditate on how strange the joy on leaving its borders.

When people used to ask me why I got into Biology I would say, "Because I found that I liked Molecular Biology as much as I liked chasing boys." (The chasing I've done. The catching ... not so much.)

Of course I didn't take into account that in grad school I would encounter Boys Who Do Molecular Biology. *slaps forehead* They wrecked several years of experimentalism. At the conference in SD I thought I was talking about science, gene regulation, transcription, gathering information, getting feedback, learning. On my flight back, on further reflection I find that I was not doing any of that at all. It turns out I was spending a little time with cute boys who do molecular biology. Just talking. Just talking.

There is something about being here that makes it hard to think. Something that makes it hard to plan. Something that makes it hard to dream. That was the strange thing about going home for the holiday. After a few days of sleeping ... I started to dream again. I am a little in awe of those around me here who do.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

pick up ticks

I pick up the verbal ticks of those around me.

The RM says "Ah Know!"

Picked that up.

Today a phrase popped in my head.

"I'm not gonna lie to you ..." as a preface to a statement of goofiness.

That's KS from work.

What next?

Friday, January 12, 2007

It's raining in Diego

Rainy and cold. That was unexpected.
I arrived before my bag by about 12 hours.

I had visions of wearing my green cow t-shirt for four days. It's a great shirt. By the end of my stay everyone would have wanted one. Famous scientists would be asking me for this shirt. Begging me for a chance to trade shirts with me and I would have to say, "Dude, you gotta know that I totally respect you and that science thing you do. But Dude. This is my green cow t-shirt from Amsterdam. Ain't gonna happen."


The items that I imagined missing the most: Hair brush, clean underwear, clean socks.

After the introductory kickoff to the week's festivities I meandered back to LaHotella and I sat at the hotel bar. It was not so much a craving for booze, the sitting with strangers or the soft tavern light - although all of those were very nice. It was that I had this horrible craving for lettuce and this hotel bar had lettuce-like foods.

It was populated by a mix of hotel guests and regulars. The bartender was a friendly fella who was looking out for his people. The waitress was also super friendly. Which all made for a nice vibe. There was this kid, Nathan Welden, playing that night. It was one of those scenes from the 70's where the sensitive artist is playing some anonymous hotel bar of strangers who "Sit at the bar and put bread in my jar and say 'Man what are you doing here' " Only no one was smoking. And the bar was not seedy. And he plays the guitar purty and sings purty too.

I ended up chatting a little with him and his friend Christiane Lucas. Probably because I was the one person who was occassionally watching the stage. Christiane is also a singer songwriter artiste she got up on stage and sang purty. Played geetar purty as well.

Unlike me, these kids can actually play the guitar. It's one of those things on my list of to do's. I think at this point my lack of "craft" serves as a barrier to my "art." It couldn't hurt to learn to play a scale proper, get to know the fingerboard, learn a picking pattern. I need a bigger hammer for my toolbox and maybe a drill.

Ah yeah, I think I feel a list coming on, excuse me ...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

As Norm used to say on "Cheers"

"It's a Dog Eat Dog world and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear."

The short list

1. The AARP sent me a membership form.

"As a member, you'll have the resources and information you need to get the most out of life over 50."

*wow* I really am older than I look.
I need to wring the neck of someone who has me on the wrong mailing list, get a better nightcream, or I am currently the victim identity theft.

2. My parents have left the country. They are travelling to Turkey. And I am ever so jealous.

3. boingboing has lead me back to Malcolm Gladwell. Who, Snowcrush, is one of my crushes. So smart, such a fun writer, such groovy hair. Probably super unavailable. I had a flash daydream of how great it would be to be his trophy wife ... uh ... okay ... so I'm not much of a trophy ... more like an unusual paperweight ... Get your own flash daydream!

4. I had the worst BLT of my life today. Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, mayo. How can you beat it? What's more, how can you mess that up? Apparently you can b/c the diner down the street did. This is the second lackluster meal that I have had there. Their Belgian waffles resemble weatherstripping. The fries were pretty okay. Perhaps it's a french fry and milkshake kind of place.

I shouldn't feel so bummed. There's at least four other diners in a four block radius of my place. Back to the drawing board.

5. After only a week I can proudly announce that ... I have not done anything resolutionary. Which is embarassing, I mean, how hard is it to go to bed before 2AM?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Afterpost After the Postsecret Book Appearance

I waited for what seemed like an eternity for the subway home. It felt even longer because I was trying to get home to see Frank Warren, of PostSecret and I was running late. And it felt even longer than that because the F train was super extra crowded. It was full on arrival to the stop with three train loads of transferrers expecting to get on.

Agony. And then it occurred to me that maybe. Maybe. Everyone on the train was going to the Postsecret book signing. Maybe everyone on that train had sent in a postcard and just wanted to lay eyes on the man who started it all. It seemed like mmore people got on the train at each stop and hardly anyone was leaving.

And then my irritation evaporated and I felt a strange affection for all of these strangers crowded up to me with their magazines and computer bags poking me.

At the stop I walked out and watched to see if there was a huge throng of people all rushing to towards Barnes and Noble. There was not. But no matter. I was there.

Frank Warren told us that it all started with a project. He made up a stack of postcards that had his address printed on one side and were blank on the other. He passed them out to people in public places and asked them to mail him a secret that they had never told anyone. After collecting a couple hundred, he put up the postcards he had received and had an art show. It ran for a few weeks but after he took it down, the postcards kept coming. People started sending cards that they had made on their own. They sent them from all over, from across the world.

Frank thought it was a shame that no one would ever see these cards and he started a blog. Every week he posted and still posts 20 cards from the week.

The All-American Rejects did a video that featured postcards from Postsecret. Frank has toured with exhibits of a subset of the postcards. And now there are books.

He read some of his favorite postcards that couldn't be posted for copyright or privacy reasons. He read us some of the emails that he has received and related some of the conversations that he has had because of Postsecret. He told us stories about how this journey has affected him. He told us about volunteering with the suicide hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE, and he told us his secret.

He seems like a modest, likeable guy. Like a man who cares. The kind of guy that you would trust with your secret.

He mentioned two projects that inspired him. One I knew about, Found Magazine and one I did not, The Apology Line

Two things paraphrased,

He told us this story of a girl who came to a booksigning wearing a t-shirt that read on the front "20% of people who suffer from anorexia will die from it" and on the back listed the health effects of anorexia. She told him that she had sent him her postcard but he had not posted it. So she made this t-shirt and decided to wear it to school. She was scared to do it but when she got to school, people came up and asked her if they could have one too. They read the shirt and wanted to tell that story.

He said (paraphrasing, probably incorrectly) that courage played a huge role in conveying emotion and message in these postcards. Beyond any artistic ability, it is the courage that carries the art in this project.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Frank Warren, the man behind PostSecret is going to be in my hood. I realize that it is going to be a madhouse but I am totally looking forward to being there.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Heart of Steel

Someone lent me a copy of the DVD: "The Heart of Steel."

When 9/11 happened, people were evacuated from the area for their own safety. In the midst of this many people were compelled to walk towards the disaster and volunteer their help.

Many people were turned away.

This is the story of a group of civilians and regular citizens who called themselves "the Renegade Volunteers." They were undeterred. They refused to be sent away. They refused to believe that there was nothing that they could do.

And they were right.

An actress, an investment banker, an artist, a decorative painter, a photographer, a sales person and so many others found their way in and ways to lend a much needed hand.

It's an amazing and inspirational story.

The price tag on the DVD at the website is for institutional purchases. So check with your Library, school, university, local organizations to see if they have it. And if they don't and won't buy it, send an email and ask what the cost would be for a regular person.

Elsewhere on the web, Sascha Meinrath discusses emergency reponses from the perspective of a different disaster: Katrina. Mostly from a communications and coordination aspect. But in closing he says:

"Most disaster recovery responders said priority is often placed on "outside experts" and "professional services," but the successful mobilization of local community assets is also critical to disaster recovery."

And he quotes Jeff Allen who works in international disaster relief from an IT background.

"Help communities take care of themselves," Allen said. "It's respectful of people's need to be involved in their own recovery. It gives you huge leverage with small investments, and it lets the best aspects of American culture -- like teamwork, ingenuity and giving -- overcome the worst situations."

Friday, January 05, 2007

A slew of farewells

Gerald Ford. In the first grade he was the president for me. I just liked the look of him. I knew nothing about politics.

James Brown. After I heard the news I walked around for about a week muttering to myself "I can't believe he's gone." My father thought I have gone daffy. I still can't believe he's gone. Who is going to get on the scene like a sex machine now? Who else would tour as a Funk Act at the age of 73? Who is that superbad?

Local Chambanana Figure Chef Ra.
One summer evening at Mike and Molly's he winked at me as he passed with his date and said to me with a big grin "Even ugly people need love." Which is true. We all need love.

And the Coliseum. This really great independent bookstore on 42nd street between 5th and 6th ave. It has on many occassions been my refuge in my treks through the city. It's the place where I first discovered the book "On Bullshit." And I am sad to see it close.

My very first president, my funk idol, a man who made my small town feel friendly and a place that made my big city feel sheltering.

You are grieved and fondly remembered.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Say Hi to Laura!

The president has claimed that he has the power to open our mail. He put it in a signing statement.

This according to, the seattle times, the New York Daily News, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. It made the local TV news. A reporter snarked away about it. I think the TV snark-out is what has triggered this rant.

I know, I know. Who uses the mail any more? But here's the thing. The internet providers will turn over your emails at the drop of a hat. Especially if you are living in China. The government is listening in on your phone conversations. But up until now it was understood that provided that your letter was not ticking as if it had a bomb in it and provided that you do not live with someone psycho or snoopy ... you were going to be the first to open the envelope and the first to read the contents. That's the law.

And now GW is so concerned for our national security that he wants to peek into my birthday cards to see if my mom sent along a dollar bill.

Enough already. Get a Frickin' warrant.

If he doesn't like a law passed by Congress, he should freakin' veto it.

If he wants to expand his executive powers, he should pass a flippin' constitutional amendment.

Maybe GW's stooges are finding it difficult to persuade rational and reasonable Judges to grant them the warrants to spy on American citizens. At least that is my fantasy, that someone offical in this darn country is rational and unwilling to sell our civil liberties down the river.

Before I fly completely off the handle, having consulted the other online oracle, there is no reason to think that a signing statement is the same as a law. As wikipedia says:

"Signing statements do not appear to have legal force by themselves."

*whew* Good point, friend.

But -

Wikipedia goes on to say that:
" As a practical matter, they may give notice of the way that the Executive intends to implement a law, which may make them more significant than the text of the law itself."


"The upswing in reliance on signing statements during the Reagan administration coincides with the writing by Justice Samuel A. Alito – then a staff attorney in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel – of a 1986 memorandum making the case for "interpretive signing statements" as a tool to "increase the power of the Executive to shape the law." Alito proposed adding signing statements to a "reasonable number of bills" as a pilot project, but warned that "Congress is likely to resent the fact that the President will get in the last word on questions of interpretation." "

James Monroe started it but that darn Sam Alito is the real legal innovator and popularizer.

If a President signs a bill into law and then writes a little note of protest, a note that has no legal force, and does not uphold the law then he is not fufilling his responsibilities as written in the Constitution.

Is not upholding the law the same as breaking it?

Is he committing acts of Civil Disobedience? Protesting what he feels to be unjust laws? Okay.
But y'know when regular citizens commit acts of Civil Disobedience they are generally arrested. They appear in court and often the pay fines or do community service. Some of them serve time or have suspended sentences. Some of them have the charges dropped. Nonetheless, something happens.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) introduced the "Presidential Signing Statements Act of 2006" (S.3731) on July 26th 2006. It was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. It had no cosponsors. And there in committee, the bill, she died.


One could write to one's senator and ask them why.
If one's senator was on the Judiciary Committee one could try and badger them for answers, urge them to reintroduce a bill of similar sentiment and language.

'cause it's not just about the mail and the sanctity of my birthday card.

It's about how a government built on good foundations run smoothly and effectively even if run by weirdos and regular shmoes. It's about telling GW and every other person who aspires to be president that they are but one of three branches of government, not king. And about how that shouldn't change because someone flew a plane into a building. It's about checks and balances.

This is why I stopped reading the news. It makes me cranky and prickly. I sit and read and type and fume and shout and curse. Or I get really sad and I cry.

Then again, if I had been reading the news last year I might have read about this act and been shouting from my soapbox last July 26th. Writing letters and emails and making calls.

Of course, I did not read about the mail thing from Google News or Yahoo News.

I read about it first on where I go to be amused. I read about it on a blog (wtf!).

And I ended up pissed off.

I am tempted to send my snail mail correspondence with a little post-it that says :"Dear GW, Say Hi to Laura for me."

Crossposted: You can't always get what you would like, but you can blog about it

I would like these business types to acknowledge that the consumer is also a worker and that people work for the money they spend when they consume. Unless they are using their credit cards, I guess.

I would like these business types to acknowledge that they have a responsibility to people in the world besides their shareholders and their executives. At the very least to their customers and their workers. At best to the people in the communities that they affect.

I would like these acknowledgements expressed as more than lipservice and PR.

I would like a chocolate milk shake and an order of potato skins.

And a unicorn ranch.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

No highsticking, just rants and scatology

I used to work on the loud side of the office. Which was great there was always a commotion and a diversion when you needed one.

Taking a new position, I moved to a new desk on the quiet side.
There's plenty of keyboard tappling but beyond that everyone is fiercely concentrating on things of great importance or careful to not disturb or disrupt.

I am the dorky new girl who talks too loud. I am not shouting ... my voice seems to carry at inopportune moments.

The other day I said to CK while on the phone "The vultures are circling, ready to pick at my carcass." An entire section looked up and shot strange glances at me. What? A girl can't engage in a little hyperbole and melodrama with her friends?

Today, I declared to JS, "If one more person calls me by my last name thinking it is my first name I am going to bitchslap someone. I'm starting to feel like a member of a field hockey team not an assistant." I didn't need to look around, I heard the muffled chuckles.

I know that the RM does not approve but I am considering taking my social interactions into the bathroom, like back in Junior High if only to reduce the number of co-workers subjected to my overwrought and ridiculous ramblings.

The open office layout looks very airy and pretty, so interactive. Do not be deceived. The open office environment is a fishbowl where you are simultaneously fish and (what's the word?) fishkeepers? Glass tappers?
"I always feel like somebody's watching me."-Rockwell

Sometimes they are. Most times they probably aren't.

The office takes up the whole floor and that means that when you go to the bathroom you are going to run into someone you know. I miss the anonymity of truly public public restrooms.

While we all know that everyone poops, it's still stressful to sit in a stall within earshot of your colleagues when you really need to drop the deuce or even just fart. Well, stressful to me.

Not everyone is as squeamish about it as evidenced by the Battle Shits scene from "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle."

I ran across fascinating section on farts in The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation by Laura Lee: Apparently everyone farts about the same amount of gas. (With the exception of the girls who apparently don't fart at all) The difference between those how release in a few mightly blast (the young) and a series of toots throughout the day (the old) is a matter of ... um the tone of elements of your butt anatomy. Flabbier = more frequent tootin'. A good portion of a fart comes from the air that you swallow when drinking and eating, the rest from other bodily processes. A greater part of the volume of your farts in a day are not stinky. Researchers found people willing to wear airtight mylar pants in which they could collect farts and siphon the gas off to figure out it's chemical composition. As you might imagine, the stinky components are sulfur based. RBe suffered through my recital of the entire section lookin' mildly appalled. Me, I feel that a greater understanding helps me round out my education. And I am on the look out for people wearing puffy mylar pants.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Datebooks, diets and lentils

Went to Barnes and Noble yesterday looking for a calendar and a datebook.

Came out with a blank book, a Frog Calendar, a desk calendar of 365 clichees, and a book on HTML.

Spent several hours drawing and numbering calendar layouts into the blank book because I am a maroon.

Thought I had lost my keys at the bookstore when in fact I had tucked them in a different pocket of my purse.

Did not realize this until I had retraced my steps all over the neighborhood looking for them.

Did not purchase any of the mountains of Diet and weight loss books that were prominently displayed near the entrance.

Made Lentil soup. "In Brazil the lentil is believed to signify wealth, so on the first day of the New Year they serve lentil soup or lentils and rice."

I suspect that is has more to do with starting the new year off in a thrifty way to counteract a holiday season of profligate spending.

I keep thinking about the weight loss plan outlined by the character of Emily in the film version of "The Devil Wears Prada": "I eat nothing and when I start to feel faint, I eat a cube of cheese."

This now runs through my head when I see super skinny New York girls cross the street.