Saturday, July 28, 2007

while whiling away the time

Lunch
After my great train debacle I met up the next day with an interesting fella for lunch. He is, perhaps, too interesting for me. A thought which was confirmed by an email fron him saying how nice it was to catch up with "an old friend." Right there, I was slammed right into the Friend Zone. We move onward.


Ratatoullie
After this lively lunch I met up with CKE and we went to see the movie Ratatoullie. Which is adorable and good fun. Truth be told my anti-rat prejudices were not overcome by this movie. I thought the little chef was adorable but I gotta say that the rat colony cooking scenes made me feel a little queasy. That being said I loved the movie - it had a lot of heart. Plus the character Collette has the haircut that I was trying to get. (didn't quite work out, and I haven't colored it purple yet.)

The movie does have within it a really beautiful little essay:

"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. "
-Anton Ego

"In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize that only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere."
-Anton Ego


Space Age Laundromat
I found a new Laudromat with a super grumpy proprietor and the most high tech and modern washing machines that I have encountered and right here in my Nabe. I think there is a secret button sequence on them that will turn back time in twenty minute intervals.


Idiocracy
I rented the movie and it had some pretty funny moments. The evolution of the Starbucks business plan was pretty funny. Still, I am kinda pissed that in the future everyone is colossally dumb and they are for the most part fat and brownskinned with long hair. Where are the dumb yellow people? And where are the dumb skinny people? And the dumb pale skinned people? And the dumb people with glasses and the dumb people with short hair? I feel somehow slighted by the future.


Picking up old habits
On Sunday I revisited to one of my favorite pastimes. Knitting while watching public affairs programming on PBS. I bought a bunch of yarn and some knitting needles at a stoop sale down the block a few months ago and on Sunday decided to start knitting a really basic sweater. Ended up knitting until 3am while watching several documentaries. One on corruption in the Dade County government. The government was raising all kind of money to build affordable housing in Miami. Money that ended up lining the pockets of shady shady officials, consultants, and contractors. Interestingly, there is finally some afforable housing being built in the area but it is not being built with government money nor is it being done by the private sector. It is being built by Habitat for Humanity.

Also saw a documentary on the effects of the prison industrial complex on a small rural town called Susanville. The documentary makers were trying to make some kind of a connection between the coming of the jails and the decline of the local economy but it didn't seem like they made their case all that well. After all, there are any number of rural towns that are also in economic dire straits with the Walmarts rolling in, the fast food joints providing the only new jobs, and the mill and factory work being lost to automation and outsourcing.

The argument that they can make is that having a prison is not the answer to a community's economic troubles. Which kinda makes sense. Banks hold the things that people value and hopefully appreciate in value. Schools hold kids and hopefully educate them and provide the skills that allow them to be productive. Jails are places where we hold people that are bad. They cost and do not produce. Well, perhaps they produce safety by preventing dangerous people from hurting others. But I think that is an indirect argument to be made.

The toughest stories was about a guy who was sent to jail for 15 months for stealing a can of tuna, a loaf of bread, and some mac and cheese to try and feed his wife and two kids. He had been laid off from his job and they were driving across country so that he could interview for a job. They had money for gas for the trip and nothing else. Like Jean Valjean in Les Mis or something. The story of this family is wrenching starting from his wife and kids waiting for him to get out, to the time spent in Susanville struggling in a economically barren place to get by, keep the family together and make rent while he served out his parole. At one point he has no work, they can't make rent, and the landlady sends a five day eviction notice. Watching his wife break down frightened and at her wits end was so hard. It made me angry to see it on film. Angry that it was happening and a little angry that someone was rolling tape and not putting down the camera and trying to help this woman and give her comfort. I suppose that is the struggle of journalism.

There were so many painful realities and hard choices playing out in people's lives in this movie. Points at which what was happening just made my heart sink.

Also saw most of a documentary about the plan to build a new capital city in Ras al-Khaimah. They were talking about how the region has Free Trade zones in which there are no taxes for businesses and a significant part of the workforce is South Asian. I really know nothing about this area but I do wonder sitting here right now, what a nation gets out of having a Free Trade zone. While I suppose it would create jobs and bring technical expertise into your country it seems risky to me. How does a nation provide services and protection, create and maintain infrastructure, and educate and care for their people without taxes? I suppose there are Libertarians and Free Market gurus out there ready and willing to answer this question for me. "Exactly the point," they might shout with glee.

Missunderstanding
While dancing with a fella at Splash he said, "you are very good at the game."

*?*

I don't even know what he means by that. If he means the dating game he is woefully mistaken or worse even than me.

Ridiculous

I just got home about 3am. I have been trying to get home since midnight.

Fucking trains. Every one that I took was using some weird alternate route. I transferred 6 times to get home. My hero was the MTA conductor on the A train taking an alternate route over a stretch of the F line. Were it not for him I would have sat at that god foresaken, or should I say F forsaken stop all weekend.

This after going to a super popular trendy joint for a friend's 23rd birthday. Reservation for a party of 15. The restaurant refuses to seat a party unless everyone is there. An hour after the reservation time eight of us were there. One had to leave before the waiter came to the table. And then five more people showed up. Twelve people were crammed around two tables that barely seat 4 a piece.

On the plus side the place was relatively inexpensive - and everyone chipped in well enough that we covered the tab with no disputes and no one feeling sore about paying in too much. A rarity with groups of more than 5 who don't all know each other really well. This party somehow managed to avoid the free rider problem. Which is pretty amazing and says a lot for my friend and the kinds of people that she is friends with.

If you put tofu in your curry I think it would help to season and lightly sautee the cubes first or at least steep them in the curry sauce. Bleah.

Y'know, I can't really tell you what I have done lately that was as fun as blogging or reading the new Harry Potter book.

Seems like I do all kinds of stuff all the time but it's quantity not quality. Gotta work out how to flip that.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

count you out like a mathematician

LOL. Okay Sunjunkie, the blogs resume.

Neato energy news:

Sun, sun, sun, here we come
You may or may not know that the Gordon Research Conferences are a very prestigious series of science conferences that happen year 'round on a variety of important and hot topics. Poking around their website today I found out today that part of the electricity they use is solar! which is totally groovy.

I'd like to see the Rhode Island state government setup solar panels on all of their buildings and not just help others get the funding to do it. And have other government buildings and universities and other such entities follow suit.


Black Google
This guy, Mark, wrote a post calculating the energy savings that might result if Google changed the color of the background of their page from White to Black. He did a follow up interview on the subject as well.

This post has lead to a creation of: Blackle - the black background google.


Other News:

-I got a drastic haircut.
-I bought an ipod - my old one died on tour.
-I saw the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane dance company in Prospect Park and was bascially gasping in amazement. There is one dancer in his company is particular who is sooooo incredible.
-I read the new Harry Potter book in the span of about 19 hours. Very satisfying read. Expelliarmus!
-I applied for what I have always imagined to be my dream job. I crashed and burned during the test assignment in the second round. Very bad for morale. I am looking for a new dream job
-New York and I are going through a rough patch. The Honeymoon is over. I find myself turning to her and saying, "Geez, why do you have to make everything so difficult? Is all of this really necessary?" I know the answer. The city's reply is, "This is me. This is how I roll. Take me and love me or leave me. There is no in between."

-My new favorite song is "Konichiwa Bitches" by Robyn.

"I'm so very hot that when I rob your mansion
You ain't call the cops, you call the firestation" -Robyn

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Confession of a Frivolous Beauty Dupe

"Now you bangs are cut. Your hair is curled. But still the world is cruel."
-Frankie Avalon

I suspect that it says a lot about me that the character in Grease who I most identified with as a kid was Frenchie and probably not good things.

There's so much noise in the ether. Magazines, radio, gossip, news, "news," movies, television, internet, ....

And one message that always seems to filter through is that life is better if you are beautiful. Also if you are rich. Also if you are thin. Also if you are successful. Also if you are famous. Also if you are young.

Who knows. It's probably true.

But back to beautiful. At various points in my life I look in the mirror after having had my heart stomped on and decide that what I need is to make the best of what I have and surrender to the discipline of beauty.

I don't read the women's magazines anymore which, admittedly, has made me a much happier person. While on tour I picked one up at C M S & J's house in Athens, GA and read it. It was only after I picked through the whole thing that I noticed that it was an issue from 2004. Nothing much has changed in the world of girl in the interim. According to Mademoiselle, I still need to buy new clothes, new shoes, and new shades of eyeshadow and lipstick. I still get a haircut, lose weight, exfolliate, and find ten easy ways to dress up daytime look for nighttime.

Yeah. Beauty.

As Dolly Parton's character says in Steel Magnolias and many a beauty acolyte as well, "There's no such thing as natural beauty."

So in the times in my life when I decide that I need meditate on the discipline of beauty I turn to C who makes a serious study of this stuff.

And then I spend too much money on little bottles and jars of stuff that I never use and eventually throw away.

It has happened again. I spent a little too much time at Sephora and Aveda and Target and CVS and Haven and spent way too much money on stuff.

Eyebrow stencils
Hydrating serum - to hydrate
Vitamin C serum - to encourage the growth of collagen and help with sun damage.
A glycolic acid lotion - to exfolliate and reduce the size of my pores. It tingles.
A moisturizer for sensitive skin
An eye cream - Aveda has a really nice one.
A foamy cleanser - delightful
A deep conditioner - miraculous
A pricey sunscreen in a cute bottle - This purchase was a mistake. It makes me break out.

I will not bore you with the pricey price tags involved. I will just say that for the next few weeks I am going to flirt with botulism and pack a lunch to bring to work. This will not cover the costs of what I have purchased. It will merely serve to make me feel slightly less guilty about it.

Now I am trying to create a routine in which I smear all of this crap on my face a few times a day.

All of this brings to mind the beauty company Philosophy. They make a product called "Hope in a bottle." Which is pretty clever.

I understand that these products will not make me look younger, nor will they make me more beautiful, nor will they help me find love or success or happiness or enlightenment. I have essentially purchased hope in many different bottles with many different labels. I have sublimated a desire for one set of things through the purchase of things that would theoretically make me look like me with a clearer and shinier face.

But hey, it's keeps me off the streets and off the sauce. ;)

The most I hope for in this scenario is to use every product to the last drop. To do that and then take a break before my next go around.

The other thing that I hope for is time spent kindly looking at myself in the mirror. That would be nice.

Maybe Philosophy will come out with a product called "Bliss in a bottle." Maybe a bath oil or something. That would sell like hotcakes.

I can't help but wonder why the ether doesn't send out more messages like: "Say Please and Thank you." "Wash your hands." "Wear Sunscreen." "Cover you mouth when you cough and sneeze." "Smile." "Tell someone that you love them." "Take more walks." "Have more picnics." "Be clear about what you want and ask for it."

They are things that don't get much media play. They are the kind of things that we hear from our mothers and fathers. And cheesy as it sounds, doing these things will probably make your life better.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Growing accustomed to the unthinkable

I passed a poster in the subway station for the sequel to the movie Hostel. Someone had written across it in black marker: "Stop Torture."

And I thought, "Yes. Stop Torture."

There are any number of arguments one can make about fiction and fantasy and art and about how it's "just a movie," and I should just lighten up.

Still, I wonder at how our concept of entertainment has become so strange and extreme, so twisted? Don't you?

This is the part of the show where I start to sound like the little old lady that I am.

Torture is not entertainment. Torture is evil.

Stop Torture.

www.amnesty.org

Monday, July 09, 2007

so true

"if there's one thing i believe with all my heart, it's that the quality of work is completely independent of filthy lucre. they have nothing to do with one another, and most of the best work in the world has no monetary value at all."
-Domystic

Friday, July 06, 2007

Free on Friday

The whole concept of summer Fridays is a curious one. For two months of the summer if I come into work 15 minutes earlier and stay 30 minutes later, I get to take Friday off every two weeks.

And this being my very first one ever, I wholeheartedly proclaim summer Fridays to be awesome. I miss this opened ended time in which I can get up or got back to sleep. Read a book or take a walk. The kind of day where anything might happen. I could do anything. And really, even if I do nothing it's the best day ever.

Summer Fridays are a little piece of HR genius.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

too funny

This site was brought to me today by a site called thoof via Daily Candy.

They were highlighting this cartoon.

In clicking around I ran across
this one
. The bottom panel has me laughing out loud.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The good life

"What is best in life? To crush your enemies. To see them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women ...."

-Conan the Barbarian

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Baselines

My college roommate freshman year liked to give blood and then get drunk.
It's not recommended. She liked it because giving blood lowered her baseline. Her tolerance was lower and she could get really drunk really quickly.

Along the same lines I am sooo happy today. On my return it would seem that my life baselines have been lowered. I am euphorically ecstatically giddy. Because, today, I am not in a cramped moving vehicle, I am not sitting for hours twisted like a pretzel, I can stop what I am doing and go to the bathroom anytime I want, I got 8 hours of sleep last night in a bed and I plan to get a bunch more sleep tonight.

Indeed, as Ace of Base might say, "It's a beautiful life."

Monday, July 02, 2007

back to life, back to reality

The previous post was number 666. And coincidentally, on tour I sang a Mystechs song called "Sweet 666Teen."

It's hard to know where to start and what to say. It's hard to know what not to say too. The innocent and the wicked each clamor for the protection of silence. ; )

I was not as prepared this time. My performances were uneven. There were moments where I disappointed myself but in turn there were also times when I surprised myself and in a good way. There is more touring to come in August and I will be more prepared by then. Perhaps with better preparation there will be more space created for the unexpected.

Towards then end of the tour I skipped a date and went to a wedding. There is much to say about this as well. And again hard to know what to say. It was really strange to be back in Champing-Urbanana. A stroll down ten years of living. Ten years in which a lot happened. My mind was brought to ponder my most disasterous love affair and surprisingly it was not from the year 2005. Go figure.

And I am sorry to report that the guy I had decided should be my future husband has a gorgeous really awesome girlfriend who he will marry. Ah well. As RJ might say to that with a shrug ... "Them's the breaks."

But mostly and most importantly, it was really wonderful to be in the presence again of good friends. To see the loving community of people with whom I was lucky enough to spend time when I lived and loved in Urbanana.



I rolled into the office today to find 39 unread work emails waiting for me and several others to be attended to. My head's pretty fragmented today. I remembered to pack office friendly clothing but I forgot to pack nice shoes and I forgot my work ID and access card. So I can't leave my desk to go pee, b/c I will have no way to get back in.

And under my desk I have lace up leather boots and sweat drenched clothes that attest to what just happened.

Warning: this message may self destruct over the next few days.

*kiss*