Monday, December 31, 2007

Brought to you by me and edited by c-belle

One big glass of wine,
Not that much sleep,
One meal before above mentioned glass and New Year's happens in NOVEMBER.

Two hours of singing along to Hall and Oates greatest hits which have the best vocal embellishments of the 80's and I don't know why the new year is running late!!!! (early?!)

Hope yours is right on time to the dot.

Loves and stuff.

Apparently, friends do let friends blog drunk.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Slow, slow, quick, quick

At some point in my life I might want to learn to dance with a man.
I cannot for the life of me figure out how this is done.

It's happened a few times that I can remember. My problem is that my ability to dance with a man seems to entirely depend on the man.

AG is a brilliant dancer who can make anyone look like a total star.
PR makes dance into a fabulous and deranged athletic event.
Dancing with BC was pure chemistry without words.

And there was a swing dance savant I met at a wedding. He was tall and delicious and he made up these fantastic moves on the fly that I had never followed before and have not since. After three songs we stepped breathlessly off the dance floor and parted company because we had each come to this wedding with other people.

In swing dance, I don't know the steps but I can follow a good lead, meaning that he and I are in agreement as to where the beats fall.

In a more "modern" setting it pretty much doesn't seem to work. I know it's just a full contact sport in which you try to fit body parts together and move. Sounds simple, but I can't seem to get the hang of it.

I think, again, it's a disagreement about where the beats fall.

I don't follow properly. I have too many of my own ideas about how the music feels and how we should move in a situation in which the music is really not supposed to matter at all. But if that is true, I wouldn't really call it dancing.

Then again, maybe it's not me. After all I hear that it takes two to tango.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Atmosphere said it better

To get there and back again, I took the mta, the cta, two cabs, three planes, a train, a super shuttle, and a ride from EH, two rides from my parents one in the Corolla and one in the Suzuki Swift.

On the way there I stopped in Chicago and noodled around a bit for the next Mystechs album.

I saw two movies with the folks, "Juno" (previously discussed) and "Atonement." I think the main guy in Atonement is dreamy. To say more would be a spoiler. Let us just say that the movie reminds me of "AI" and I am not sure how I feel about that. It's a gorgeous film and I enjoyed it. But Friends, it ain't no "English Patient."

I got many sweaters, a few books, some yarn and a very big crochet hook.

After a couple of anxious days in which I could not sit still long enough to read anything, I settled in and read "The Golden Compass." It was kind of grim and I quite enjoyed it.

My mother had natto in the house. So I got to try it. It's a sticky thready gooey mass of bean that tastes like a cross between, fermented bean paste, salt, ammonia, other unidentifiable potentially toxic chemicals and beans. There is not enough rice in the world to dilute that out. It's pretty gross.

I attempted to learn the Soulja Boy dance and took a crack at the Napoleon Dynamite dance. (at least an attempt at the arm movements)

And crocheted the better part of a scarf.

My father thinks that I need to learn to read more slowly, the better to read philosophy books. My mother thinks that I need to lose five pounds. Kitty thinks that I need to scratch behind her ears and under her chin more often.

They are probably right.

It was good to be in the Lou. It was good to have a string of days in which the concerns of the office were not my concerns. It was good to sit at the kitchen table with my two favorite people in this world and share food and talk and laughter and cups of tea.

Now, I am back and basking in the afterglow of this. I feel like I have been pieced back together. I wish I could put this feeling in a bottle and carry it with me for times of need.

"If the people laugh and giggle when you tell them where you live say: Shhhhh ....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"He is the cheese to my macaroni."

As is our tradition, we went to the movies this evening after stuffing our faces with much food. We saw "Juno" a quirky little comedy about teen pregnancy. Ellen Page does an amazing turn as Juno MacGuff. She is tough and funny and tender. She is a smart ass, a wise child and a lost dumb kid all at once. The soundtrack of the film has songs by Kimya Dawson. And if you know who that is, you pretty much understand the aesthetic of this movie.

The rest of the cast is super too: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, That cool chick from the West Wing, the dude from the movie "The Mexican", Michael Cera better known for his turn in the movie "Superbad," here as there he is so very endearing.

The movie somehow is about a teenage girl who becomes pregnant without becoming an afterschool special on teen pregnancy, without becoming a morality play, without flattening anyone into two dimensions and with a kindness towards all involved. It maintains a human scale and has a lot of heart.

I might need to buy this when it comes out on DVD.

Monday, December 24, 2007

on the eve of christmas pt. 3

My parents grew up during the Korean War. This has informed their world view in ways that I cannot entirely understand.

My father essentially believes that if a person is not starving or bleeding, he or she is happy.

Today at breakfast my father in telling me how happy my life is says, "Edith Piaf sings that she has no regrets but C'mon! She's got to have more regrets than you do."

on the eve of christmas pt. 2

My mother in trying to get me out of bed this morning tells me that this year we should perhaps try to celebrate Christmas properly, as the Christians do. We should pray to God to forgive us our sins.

And as I slowly come to a waking state, in between giggles I reply that while I am no religious scholar, she may be confusing the traditions of Christmas with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement which happens in the fall.

on the eve of christmas pt. 1

From the time I started school, my mother has come into my room in the morning to wake me up. I, now, realize that I did not own or use an alarm clock until I moved away to college. And as anyone who has shared a bed, dorm room, hotel room, suite, or apartment with me can attest to, I have never quite gotten the hang of the whole alarm clock thing. But if you were to call me and chat with me for two minutes or more, I would be up for the day.

When I come home to visit the Folks, my mother does as she always has for much of my life. She comes into my room to wake me up.

This morning she says that Christmas is sweeping Turkey and India. In both of these countries they are buying Christmas trees (made in China, of course) and plastic Santa statues that play "Silent Night" at the press of a button (also made in China). The Plastic Santas are a hot item this year, they are flying off the shelves in Turkey.

When asked by reporters why two countries that are not essentially Christian would celebrate this most Christian of holidays, the reply from the locals was along the following lines: while they are not Christian, they love Santa Claus. Which frankly, might be the same sentiment for a lot of people in the US who celebrate christmas as well.

And you cannot deny that "Silent Night" is a pretty rockin' tune.

Friday, December 21, 2007

food for thought with beers

She brought us a third round of beers. And we put down a few bills as tip which she picked up saying, "Thanks." My reply was to automatically, unthinkingly say, "Your welcome." His response was to say, "No. Thank You." With the difference in our replies and the implication behind each, I was humbled.

war is over if you want it

What if I was to tell you that today: Saturday, December 22, 2007 at 06:08:00 UTC time, people around the world will be attempting to achieve synchronized non-procreative orgasms for world peace?

Don't believe me?

Check out the website for the Global O.

That's all I really wanted to say on that subject.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

In a season of giving

In conversation with BG the other day he said (and I am paraphrasing here) that the best thing that you can do when someone helps you is change your life for the better. Take the boost that the help gives you and make something of it.

Getting a gift or drinks, cards, hugs, a nice dinner, or effusive thanks is all well and good but next to useless to him. Because that's not why he helped to begin with.

Which pretty much knocked me out.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Happy Thing

This youtube video made me really happy today.

So happy that the realization that HR saw me watching and bopping to this video in my cube did not freak me out as much as it probably should have.

Big ups to Mike Long.

And for the record I like the Knife version sooooooooooo much better than the acoustic guitar version.

Monday, December 17, 2007

it was a reflex

Since moving to NYC I have on more than one occasion had someone I barely know grab an inappropriate part of me in public. And my reaction has been to act before thinking. In one case, I smacked a guy in the nuts. In another, I slapped a guy's face. This unthinking reaction surprises me. I would have thought of myself as more of a deer in the headlights kind of person.

The thing that always concerned me in the self-defense classes I took was that it seemed like you had to be able to react without thinking and react with utter commitment to hurting that person who means you harm usually with the aim of getting away.

I worry a little. I would like to think of each of these as isolated incidents. But they may not be. Which would suck. It would mean that someday, someone will hit me back. And I will need a different kind of self-defense course to help me get out of that situation.

All that education put to good use

cash advance

Saturday, December 15, 2007

rough approximations of life

- was the company Christmas party. I woke that morning remembering the numerous beers from the night before and got up late. It was one of those mornings where I woke up repeatedly trying to remember / relive something, convinced that the best way to accomplish this would be through more sleep. It's a tactic related to the mornings when I wake from a really nice dream and I go back to sleep trying to pick up where waking up left me. These are the games my sleepy brain likes to play on me.

On finally dragging my carcass into work the next order of business was lunch. Lunch with MomVee. It felt so grown up. Not in that "Oh my god I'm so old" way that everything else feels grown up in my life. More like a fabulous adult version of those tea parties that little girls on TV and in the movies dream about - only hip and sophisticated, with much better conversation and more stylish outfits. A cross between Holly Golightly and Doris Day with a dash of Dorothy Parker. It felt grown up in the way I used to daydream about being grown up when I was a little girl.

HR suggested that we wear something festive, so I wore a too-tight-for-me sundress in bright red Hawaiian print and a black shawl - as if a shawl over my shoulders could do anything to hide my panty line. I had several Grey goose and tonics and kicked up on the dance floor. Also known as shaking my thang in front of the entire office. Which is not necessarily the kind of thing that mortifies me, but perhaps should. There may have been others present who were mortified on my behalf. What can I say, when the DJ plays Bobby Brown's "My Perogative," one must dance.

From there people went to a bar called Antarctica where there was drinking, drink spilling, and fraternizing with co-workers. I "borrowed" someone's coat to walk KM to her subway stop. Causing much consternation which I tried to mollify with hugs and the liberal application of top shelf vodka. Wisely, I left early in favor of a slice of pizza covered in ziti and ricotta.

There was a breakfast of SPAM, eggs, toast, and many glasses of V8. A 3 hour phone conversation with CK and the weekend ritual of the washing of the clothes.

The first outing with Banjo Guy was fun. And in a moment in which I was not using the part of my brain that thinks, I broke all of the meaningful rules about dating that exist. I called him up and invited him to come over and hang out. Which seemed like a good idea until I looked around my house and realized just how disgusting my living conditions are. There are no words for it, Friends. There are no words. *shudder*

I piled everything, and I mean everything into the bedroom, vacuumed, swept, took out two bags of garbage, remembered to scrape the scary unidentifiable things off of the toilet bowl, hid as many incriminating things as I could (I did not quite manage to get all of them.) And then I hit a problem: the place smelled like SPAM. I lit two pumpkin spice scented tea candles in the hopes of masking this. Which didn't work. The place still smells like SPAM.

My mother has often told me that if only I would clean the house, cook, and dress pretty I might find a nice Korean doctor to marry me, start a family with, and take care of me. I am starting to suspect that the contrapositive is also true and I may grow up to be the perennial bachelor girl.

The activity for the evening was to bake cookies, eat lime flavored chips and drink PBR. (I am one hell of a hostess, no?) We baked over 6 dozen cookies. Mostly chocolate chip and a batch that were peanut butter with peanut butter and chocolate chips. I had promised to bring baked goods or a cooked bird to CKn's party and decided that cookies might be easier to transport. Banjo Guy was highly amused by the old fashioned activity for the evening. The beauty of cookie baking is that you just need to follow directions and learn to tell time. After the burning the first batch to go in the oven, things got better.

The last time I suggested to a fella that we bake, I suggested baking a pie and he didn't call me for a month. Pies are apparently very scary. Scarier than cookies?

Banjo Guy reminds me of about ten different people that I have known in my life. I have to tell myself that I do not really know this person and there is much to figure out. It's anything from his posture, to the way he gestures, to the intonation he uses when ranting about something - like how much he hates pigeons or the apple computer company, to how intently he inspected my books.

CKn threw a party in honor of buying a new couch. To this party I went bearing cookies. The couch is this comforting sage green retro thing which has me wanting to buy a new couch too. There was food and folks. I had a small world moment in which I walk into the kitchen and run into DF, a college classmate of mine who married a college classmate of CKn's. Which was kinda cool. And I had the great pleasure of seeing many a small child walk around the apartment nibbling on one of my cookies until there was nothing left.

Left the party to meet up with SW for a sing-along Messiah event at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. This is the 20th year they have done it. There was a small orchestra, 4 soloists, a choir sitting out the in audience. And if you wanted to sing along, you could come on down, grab a score and do that. It's been years since I have sung chorally, years since I have tried to sight sing. And I am now convinced that I have actually never heard the Handel's Messiah in its entirety. The experience overall was a little raw and on my part more than a little cringe-worthy. At the same time, it was very engaging. I might need to learn it proper for next year and do it up at Avery Fisher Hall. Hells yeah.

Later that evening, missing the bird I never cooked, I picked one up on the way home and had it all to myself.

What was missing here was knitting and a mosh pit, but Friends, let us not dwell on the glass half empty. Let us rather give thanks for the little things.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Heart like a cactus

1. The next time you are downstairs at the Cake Shop, if the bartender is a very young, very tall, burly gentleman of hispanic or latino origins, ask him to make a shot called the Chiparita (pronounced cheep-arita). It's a concentrated upscale high octane margarita and it will smack you across the room with tenderness.

This I had with the guy who used to be mine when he came into town last night. We sat in the bar and listened to Shipwreck, one of my favorite bands from Urbanana (I seriously love this band and such lovely people.) and I felt almost like I had stepped backwards in time.

It was an echo to another lifetime and the girl I was when I started first started loitering here.

She got drunk when she drank. Cause, there wasn't much else to do. In so many ways, they were not good times and yet I miss them.

It was no more than two years ago and yet it seems a lifetime ago.

2. LW and I were all set to reschedule our date. But made the mistake of revealing too much about ourselves online before our first face to face meeting. On the day of our date we were chatting online and he irritated me to an excessive degree. To the point where I told him that I didn't want to see him. I didn't care how cute or smart or funny he was. (his claims) I didn't care how good a kisser or lover he was. (his claims) And so perhaps due to the limited capacity that one has to communicate over IM, I cancelled my first date with the man of my dreams. But I seriously doubt that. His parting remark to me was "Good luck finding a guy who isn't an asshole."



3. I have a date tonight with Banjo Guy. Also met online. He doesn't tell me that he is funny. He has actually written and said funny things when we have chatted on the phone or IM. He has not promised me that he is smart, cute, a good kisser or a great lay. (shall I brace myself for the worst?) And he has not insisted that we schedule time to make out during this meet up, nor has he sent me any pictures of him self in his underwear. Of course, he as also mentioned that he has OCD qualities and can rant until the cows come home. We shall see.

4. The Men of New York keep calling me a crazy lady. I have no idea why.

5. I have deleted the Vine's number from my cell phone to stop myself from drunk dialing him. Oh. Maybe that's why.

Friday, December 07, 2007

modern love and book lust

I have transitioned from shopping online for men to trying to meet them. And last night I was chatting with this guy, LW, who was raving about the way you date in NYC: you meet someone, have sex, date them for 2 weeks and then move on. He thinks it is awesome. I said that sounded depressing to me. It sounds kind of soulless and empty. And he suggested that I move to Kansas or Ohio. He pegged me as a Midwesterner in a heartbeat. But wrong part of the heartland, hello!? *prickle*

But his description of things, if true, could explain a lot about the degree to which my love life has been mostly theoretical since I moved here. To the point where I would describe it as a lack-of-love life. I say this in an observational and bloodless way, not to elicit sympathy or words of encouragement. This place is so distracting and tiring that I mostly can't recognize the soul in a person anyway. That would take time and attention and openness. Things no one in this place ever has enough of. My gambits must make no sense to the locals.

I was stood up by LW yesterday. Stood up on the first date, surely a bad sign. Almost as bad as my first internet date which lasted exactly one hour. He turned to me as he finished his beer and said, "I'm done. Are you done?"

So I went by myself to an event that I suggested that he and I attend. It was a thing on bookmaking. The actually making of reading materials. Which many a person has mocked me for. I thought I was going to be a lecture but it was actually a book selling, book signing, book exhibit. And it was really cool. I put on gloves and handled and inspected many hand crafted books. They were soooo cool.

While there, I got a powerful case of book lust for an out of print book called "Colorful Tales" by Paul Cherches from 1983 Purgatory Press. It's a book in which there are one page, short short stories or exerpts except that for each expert parts of the text have been replaced by bars of color. Like a censored letter with black covering sensitive information only in yellow or green. There was something so charming and engaging in the decisions that were made with regard to what was there and what was not. It was curious that a book that was obscuring its story could be so compelling.

We could each fill in the blanks for ourselves. Would we each come up with the same story? How much information do you need to have a narrative? It is true that there are a limited number of stories to tell with endless variation on the details associated? Are the details the most important part or can they be dispensed with entirely?
And so on.

I crave this book from 1983. I have hunger for it that spurred me to buy other books. To try to settle the pang. Brilliant on the part of the organizers.

I walked around and kept trying to remind myself to not forget. To take what was there and what I experienced and carry it with me. But I think this story is all I have managed to take away. Oh, and a couple of books.

it's all smoke and bones

There were chicken bones on the steps in the train station as I walked from one platform to another last night. Remnants of a meal? Voodoo spell? Voodoo curse?

a longing song

I want to fall asleep to the sound of your voice
with the weight and warmth of your arms at my waist
I ask for what you cannot give
and offer what you will not take

Thursday, December 06, 2007

feelings. nothing more than,


Too often, I lose sight of how fragile people can be. Despite the feeling of being strong and vital, despite the feeling (at times) of being invincible, we are flesh and bone. We are skin and nerves. A certain gentleness, a sensitivity, a kindness in handling each other would be good.

And really, no one needs the level of shit-talk that I am, by nature, prone to handing out.

Well, it could always be worse

I lost a library book that I was reading and recently found it under a pile of dirty laundry. This book and I are "reunited and it feels so good." And we chill on the train.

Today at the West 4th stop, I came across this within its pages:

"His [Bill Eberhard's] argument is eloquently laid out in a book I have heard described by some as the most stimulating they have ever read. However, with a title like Sexual Selection and Animal Genitalia, it isn't the sort of book you would read on the train."
-Tim Birkhead
Promiscuity: An Evolutionary History of Sperm Competition

Had a good loud laugh over that on the platform.

I suppose Birkhead has a point here. Perhaps it should come with an optional plain and anonymous brown paper dust cover.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A bakers dozen on my return

1. If a cute boy recommends that you read a book do you have to actually read the thing before you try to meet up with him again? If I go about this honestly, I may need to take a speed reading class ...

2. I ran across this youtube video of snails racing. How do people come up with these things? The creation of the racetrack must have taken some effort. Although in some scenes it looks less like a race and more like an orgy. How did they get snails to move about on an oval?

3. My congratulations to those of you who wrote a novel in the Month of November. You rock!

4. Next fall I will need to renew my driver's license and decide what state I am voting in. Illinois or New York?

I am so clearly not a New Yorker that it seems deceptive to make the switch. My Midwestern-ness is so firmly ingrained. However after my visit to Seattle I wonder whether this coast is starting to rub off on me. Seattle was lovely. The people were soooo friendly. But so laid back. Way too laid back for me. Working out there was at times frustrating. I did not raise my voice. But I thought about it more than I should have.

5. There is something excessively, disturbingly virtuous about Seattle.

6. I did not see the Space Needle or the Pike St. Market while it was open or the ocean or anything else. I did not go shopping, although everyone recommended shopping as the thing to do in Seattle. I don't think I even had seafood. I did walk around a little part of the downtown area passed some little teriyaki joints. And as chance would have it, I stumbled upon a venue, The Crocodile Cafe. There was a sign on the door that said that they do not tolerate bigotry, sexism, or racism. This sign prompted me to go in even though I didn't know who was playing or what kind of music there would be. Back when I was in a booking collective, we had long discussions about putting up a code of conduct or a similar kind of sign at our shows.

So in I went for to see: PWRFL Power, Facts about Funerals, and The Elephants. I missed The Birthdays.

I did not meet any of the cute boys in the cute bands.

Instead, I met L. She and I chatted, danced to the music, had beers, and exchanged phone numbers at the close of the show. Years and years ago that would have been me and BBFK. We would have been out at a show, dancing to the tunes. Rather, years and years ago that would have been BBFK. She's the one who would talk to strangers.

The lesson learned here is that I am apparently a creature of habit. "Went to the show, did X, went to the show, did Y."

The Crocodile Cafe is the type of venue that I love. It's not The Empty Bottle or The Milestone, still, were I in Seattle long term I would probably while away many an evening there.

7. At one point someone out there told me that I did not seem like a New Yorker to them. I had no accent and for all intensive purposes could be from the Northwest. It was, I think, meant as a compliment. It didn't feel like a compliment but I can only assume that it was meant as one.

I was so happy to come back East and contend with my cranky grumpy irritable New Jersey cab driver. I could have hugged him.

And today, a stranger grabbed me by the arm and saved me from getting hit by a car that was running a red light. Brooklyn saving my life again.

8. I work with French woman who is tireless and whose work is impeccable. Her habits and attention to detail are impressive. She attends to the smallest things imaginable. And while you might think that they do not matter, you would be mistaken in thinking that way. She says that she likes to wear both belt and braces (aka suspenders). I didn't understand this until now. You wear belt and braces to make doubly sure that your pants don't fall down.

At one point I was labeling positioned items to ensure that the banquet staff did not move or clear them and she told me that I was now wearing belt and braces. Which from her I took to be a great compliment.

I laughed and told her that someday, if I was to do this for long enough I might take to wearing a jumpsuit with my belt and braces.

9. With regard to wireless access at airports, SEATAC sucks compared to ORD and STL because at SEATAC AT&T will provide you with wireless if you get a monthly subscription by which they can bleed you continuously whereas Boingo gives you the option of subscription or paying too much for a one day wireless pass at ORD and STL. The committment-phobe in me prefers this one day overpriced option.

10. Recently I met up with a friend from high school who I have not seen for 14 years. And this evening I got to see a friend who I have not seen in about 10 years. Having done this long lost friend thing twice I've got to say, I really like this. RR and KD have each gotten more beautiful and fabulous with the years. And it is such a pleasure to behold.

11. Today, I lost the train game. I fell asleep on the way home and woke up in Coney Island extremely disoriented and had to ride the train back 15 stops.

12. As might be appropriate, I read a few chapters of Joseph Stiglitz's book "Globalization and Its Discontents" on the flight from the Lou to Seattle. And it made me so furious.

13. My Dad told me that there is a Korean belief that a pregnant woman must have any food that she craves. If she does not, the child will be born with one eye smaller than the other. My Mother craved foods that she loved as a small girl in Japan. She craved Natto.

(Brung to you from the ramblingspoon)

Which just looks like the grossest thing ever. My mother couldn't buy Natto at the stores back in the day in Buffalo, NY. So she improvised. She bought soybeans and wrapped them in foil and put them on the radiator under a damp towel for some days. It was close but not quite right. And there were consequences to this.

Y'all may not know this but I have two different prescriptions for my eyes, one of them is lazy and will wander off to look at random things of it's own accord, and one of my eyes is smaller than the other. *insert spooky music*

Kat E, do not deny yourself anything your heart, stomach or palate desires.