Wednesday, April 1, 2009

they laugh, they say your treasures are fake, but don't throw it away

Spring is finally here, and I'm delighted that the birds are back and there are tulips in my yard. Lately I've been pestering TM to take me for long drives in the country on Sundays; I've become like some kind of pet that needs to be walked. Last weekend we went north to Benton and poked around in some antique stores downtown. In one seemingly standard crap-peddling dustbucket we wandered up a couple flights of rickety stairs and found ourselves in the incredible, loft-like third floor. In addition to all the truly cool stuff strewn haphazardly about the gigantic main area, there were dark hallways along the front and sides leading to several small crumbly rooms looking out over the square and the side alleys. Some of the rooms had stood empty for so long that nature had begun to take them over, and we found evidence of life among the odd solitary wing chair. The building reminded me of a lot of the old converted factories in New York, and I immediately decided I wanted to move in.

We had a good laugh at this Ronald McDonald lookin' goofball. I just realized his parents dedicated this plaque after he died at the age of twenty. Boy, do I feel like a jerk.

Tater Day is next weekend. Don't think we're not going. TM nixed my Lil' Miss Tater aspirations, but we'll just see who wins the tater eating contest. No, probably not me.

Oh yeah, we had '80s night at work a few weeks ago. I was off, so I got to dress up, get boozy and cut a rug in my cheap plastic stilettos. I was proud to be the only one of the ladies who didn't go all day-glo cheeze; instead I did big-haired rocker skid and I think it worked out great.


In other news, we've booked our tickets for a trip to Florida and are both looking forward to a little relaxing and a bunch of new experiences. We already have plans to do a few arty-type things with friends in West Palm Beach, as well as some family stuff in Fort Pierce, but any suggestions for new or interesting non-booze-related activities are welcome.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

i smoke a lot but can't get laid

Got accepted to Murray State University, good for me eh? They accept ninety percent of the people who apply. But hey, not to discount it, I'm finally going back so this whole life thing is looking good.

Today I go shopping for '80s attire for the party at work tonight, should be fun. Before that, I get the spooky electrical problems in my car fixed, not so fun.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

tired, schmired

Throughout the year preceding this past Presidential election, I received a lot of politically-themed e-mails, most from or authored by Republicans or at least expressing some sort of anti-liberal, anti-Obama sentiment. That's been fine with me; I'm all for open discussion and as I've said here before, having a political debate with people who only agree with you turns out to be pretty boring. My problem is when somebody shows up to such a roundtable armed with nothing but rhetoric and sweeping generalizations.

Today I was forwarded in an e-mail a diatribe from one Robert A. Hall who blogs at: . I won't reprint his entire text here, as it can be found on his own blog and also, inexplicably, at Infidel Bloggers Alliance, here: . The e-mail was sent to me by someone I've had an ongoing political discussion (argument) with, and as I wrote my admittedly half-hearted response -- I say half-hearted because I'm just so tired of getting these e-mails that are nothing but a bunch of hooey -- I thought I'd post these thoughts here. Although I was tempted to, I didn't respond to every statement I disagreed with, simply because I actually have some things to do today and didn't see any benefit in taking the time. The e-mail and the essay by Mr. Hall were titled, "I'm Tired" and this was my response (you might want to take a quick look at the original piece at one of the above links, or this won't all make sense):

Well, I read it all the way to the end. While there are some good, logical points that I completely agree with, I think that most of what this Mr. Hall wrote are sweeping generalizations and/or opinions -- not necessarily based on fact. I can appreciate that it bothers him that while he has been working hard his entire life, he's been paying taxes to support a lot of other people who don't want to work so hard. I agree that the welfare system is flawed, but until the administrators can find better ways to differentiate between those who are sick or unable to work, and those who are just plain lazy (sometimes they look awfully similar on paper), we'll have to deal with the fact that some people are going to take advantage of the weaknesses in the process. And on that note, what about health care? Is this Hall fellow okay with the fact that most medical care -- even basic preventative care like checkups -- is out of reach for a great portion of the population? The fact that medical care is privatized and runs on a capitalist model is great for those who are profiting from it financially -- doctors and hospitals can charge as much as they like for procedures and supplies so long as they remain "competitive," but the prices are now up to a level that makes treatment a luxury for people like me. If I were diagnosed with cancer right now, I would DIE because I do not have hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for treatment. I can't even pay for a one-night stay in a hospital, and beyond immediate emergency treatment, I won't get help even if I have a terminal disease. There are no provisions for lower-middle class working people who can't pay the doctors.

By the way, I don't believe that either the Republican or the Democratic Party are doing everything right; my beliefs fall somewhere in the middle. I don't know what the answers are to our social or financial problems, but as a journalist I plan to explore them in as fair and open-minded manner as possible. I will say that if this Robert A. Hall is going to trash the left wing while unequivocally supporting George W. Bush's administration, he might want to keep in mind that W. didn't seem to know where the answers lie, either. George W. Bush's administration made the most socialist-leaning moves this country has ever seen, by effectively nationalizing the banking system, and by introducing a bill that would provide prescription drugs to the elderly. If you ask me, we should start taking some cues from Canada, where they have one of the most stable banking systems in the world.

I'll tell you what I'm tired of: people talking about tolerance and fairness while, in the same breath, they're proclaiming that Muslims (not just some Muslims or a few Muslims, but Muslims in general) are violent and are "using our oil money to preach hate of America" here on our soil. Sure, some are committing atrocities, but most aren't. Some Christians commit violent acts in the name of God, too. His obvious distaste for Muslims certainly isn't helping to bridge the gap. What happened to treating people as individuals? What happened to believing in the goodness of your fellow man? I refuse to hold hatred for an entire country, race, or religious group because of the actions or beliefs of a small number of its members. I'm tired of people like this Robert A. Hall guy who complain about everything from "latte liberals" to the media to John Kerry right down to the religious freedom and opportunities for wealth this country has to offer, while claiming to be patriotic. Does he really love this country? It doesn't sound like it. Complaining is a waste of time and negativity doesn't help anything, so why doesn't he suggest some solutions?

What do you think?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

if there was a problem, yo i'll solve it

Here's the report on Ice Age '09:  Five days with no power or running water, baby wipes in lieu of baths, chopping firewood in the daylight, hazy herb-y games of Trivial Pursuit in front of the fireplace at night, nothing but NPR on the battery-powered radio and us grilling ham-and-cheese sammies over the fire.  

Woke up to this view of the backyard. "Look how pretty it is from inside the house where it's not fifteen degrees! I love ice storms!"

None of these branches are ordinarily curved like this; most of them broke off over the next few days from the weight of the ice. 

My new favorite word, accretion: "Growth of precipitation particles by collision of ice crystals with supercooled liquid droplets which freeze on impact." Meteorologists use it to describe the buildup of ice on objects, i.e. "we have a half inch of accretion on branches and power lines."

The accretion on my truck prevented me from opening the doors for two days.  

Hash Brown, trying to keep warm.  It was forty degrees inside our house with a fire going, fifteen to twenty degrees outside.  

Hey, thanks Garmin, not exactly the 7-11 I was expecting, but the gas is as good as any, even though it comes out of a pump from 1962 that takes forty-five minutes to deliver ten gallons.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

pull out ya phone, picture that

The other day I was terrorizing TM with my cell phone camera, trying to get a photo of him doing something dorky while we were lying around on the couch, and when I showed him afterward he asked why the hell I have over a hundred photos stored on my phone. Well, that's because I'm lazy and a procrastinator and there's really been no reason to get rid of them. Until now.  So here it is, cameraphone clearance.

Professionally hand-drawn "DOCTOR" sign on Fire Island.   See the deer in the background?

My balcony in Ocean Beach.  

Another from the Summer of 2006 on Fire Island.  My buddy PK and I watched the sun come up more than a few times, not necessarily intentionally.  

I don't know if you can tell from looking at this photo, but that's the coolest cat that ever lived.

This six-year-old kid walking down the street on five-foot stilts knocked me out.  In Brooklyn.

Another one from when I lived in Park Slope. I really like this photo, except for the fact that the stupid wood-paneled minivan is the only thing in focus, feh.

The Mr. Youth mascot. Basically you're looking at the Uncle Buck of advertising.

That's my arm.   I don't know what I was doing, something mysterious as usual, I'm sure.

Ween at Terminal 5 in New York, most irksome venue ever.

Cash Cab was filming outside the bar where I worked. A couple of our customers got on the show (hammered) and bombed miserably. 

Ad for a new apartment building, posted in the bathroom at Bull McCabe's on St. Marks. Some joker wrote, "I already live in a room this small." Sigh. I miss New York. Remember the Manhattan Mini Storage subway ads? "You closet's so narrow it makes Cheney look liberal."  "Your closet's so shallow it makes Paris look deep."   "Your closet's scarier than Bush's agenda." Ha.

I guess that wraps up the New York segment of cameraphone closeout, more soon.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

she said "if love is a poison cup, then drink it up"

Okay, I'm a total sucker for those self-help articles featured on various websites -- you know the ones, if it has a headline like any of these, I'm all over it:

"When it's OK to not be OK"
"How close is too close?  When to draw the line"
"How to make anal sex more pleasurable"

and the latest gem from

"Is your brain broken?"

One of the articles I recently read featured a list of "interesting" facts (some more interesting than others) about love.  I had some pretty strong responses to a few of them, so I thought I'd share my impressions.  Here you go:

1. Men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer than those who don't.

This is a feel-good fact, I love it.  I feel sorry for all the men who don't kiss their wives in the morning, and the wives too.  Being in a boring, loveless relationship would be unbearable.  

In related news, I'm hoping this little perk will help make up for all the cigarettes we smoke.  Wait, does this count for those who are practically married, and does it work the same for the kissee as well as the kisser?

2. People are more likely to tilt their heads to the right when kissing instead of the left (65 percent of people go to the right!)

Well, whatever.  Missionary is the most popular position for intercourse, too, did you know that?  Me, I mix it up.

3. When it comes to doing the deed early in the relationship, 78 percent of women would decline an intimate rendezvous if they had not shaved their legs or underarms.

Pretty much anybody I've ever slept with knows I'm a 22 percenter.  Why pass up a prime opportunity just because of a little hair?  What do you think, the guy is under the impression you're hairless, like one of those dogs?  Believe me, he isn't looking as the stubble on your shins anyway.   

4. Feminist women are more likely than other females to be in a romantic relationship. 

But with whom?

5. Two-thirds of people report that they fall in love with someone they've known for some time vs. someone that they just met. 

Well, no shit.  At least give 'em time to give you a reason to fall in love.

6. There's a reason why office romances occur: The single biggest predictor of love is proximity.

Not in my case, I had to move nine hundred miles to bumfuck to get the real thing (totally worth it, by the way).

7. Falling in love can induce a calming effect on the body and mind and raises levels of nerve growth factor for about a year, which helps to restore the nervous system and improves the lover's memory.

Certainly sounds nice, but I'm still waiting for this so-called memory improvement.   

8. Love can also exert the same stress on your body as deep fear. You see the same physiological responses — pupil dilation, sweaty palms, and increased heart rate. 

Now that's more like it.

9. Brain scans show that people who view photos of a beloved experience an activation of the caudate — the part of the brain involving cravings. 

True story, I've tried it.  But who could blame me?

10. The women of the Tiwi tribe in the South Pacific are married at birth.

...and thank God, because getting an appointment with the planner over there is just impossible!  har har.

11. The "Love Detector" service from Korean cell phone operator KTF uses technology that is supposed to analyze voice patterns to see if a lover is speaking honestly and with affection. Users later receive an analysis of the conversation delivered through text message that breaks down the amount of affection, surprise, concentration and honesty of the other speaker.

Fucking shoot me now.  This is the worst idea ever, second only to that shitty "party game" that my misguided friends broke out when we were all over at their house wasted a couple weeks ago.  I don't remember what it was called, but it was one of those "getting to know you" question-answer games for couples that TM sagely referred to as, "Everything your partner does NOT want to hear, ever."  What was your biggest problem in your last relationship and how has that carried over into your current relationship?  WHAT?  Yeah, great idea, let's get drunk and talk about your ex-girlfriend, that'll make you and me both feel fantastic.  Maybe later you can ask me to lick it just like Karen did, and then I can mention how you make me feel insecure, just like when I was with Johnny.  Afterwards we'll throw each others' belongings out into the yard.  Great game, Hasbro, no other product has single-handedly ruined so many blossoming relationships.

12. Eleven percent of women have gone online and done research on a person they were dating or were about to meet, versus seven percent of men. 

And the other eighty-nine percent are either total idiots or big, fat liars.  Same for the supposed ninety-three percent of men who claimed they hadn't Googled somebody.  Yeah fucking right.  If you used the internet to get the date, I guarantee you looked for some info. on the person beyond their crappy profile -- you gonna tell me you didn't at least try and find them on Facebook or MySpace?  I call bullshit on this one. 

13. Couples' personalities converge over time to make partners more and more similar.

I don't know if I like this idea.  I have seen how people develop their own "in-jokes" and start to laugh at the same things and enjoy similar activities, that's just natural.  But I like to think that my personality -- the core of my being -- remains the same.  If I'm with a guy for several years, I'll probably learn a lot, but I won't emerge from the relationship a completely different person.  

14. The oldest known love song was written 4,000 years ago and comes from an area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. 

Okay, this and the next one I'm gonna have to just take at face value and leave it at that.  

15. The tradition of the diamond engagement ring comes from Archduke Maximillian of Austria who, in the 15th century, gave a diamond ring to his fiancĂ©e, Mary of Burgundy. 

. . .

16. Forty-three percent of women prefer their partners never sign "love" to a card unless they are ready for commitment. 

I guess if you're the kind of person who over-analyzes the bejeez out of everything, or if you are so hollow and/or in need of affirmation that you are desperately searching for ANY sign that he's as into you as you are into him, then go ahead, employ rules like this.  And know that you are  never getting a card (or anything else) from that man again, after you have the "but you signed 'love, John'" discussion.  What, you want him to sign it "sincerely" or "yours truly?" 

"Oh look, he wrote 'yours truly,' he must mean that he's MINE."  Yikes.  

Realize that people rarely say exactly what they really mean, and that if we went around speaking solely in facts life would be dull and loveless and gray.  And as a side note -- girls, stop trying so hard to snare a man, relax and enjoy yourself, it'll happen.  

17. People who are newly in love produce decreased levels of the hormone serotonin — as low as levels seen in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Perhaps that's why it's so easy to feel obsessed when you're smitten. 

I need more time to digest this.  I'm not sure how I feel about either of these statements.

18. Philadelphia International Airport finished as the No. 1 best airport for making a love connection, according to an online survey. 

If I had heard that three years ago, I'd have arranged to have a lot more layovers there, believe me. 

19. According to mathematical theory, we should date a dozen people before choosing a long-term partner; that provides the best chance that you'll make a love match. 

TM:  "No problem."
me:  "Done."

20. A man's beard grows fastest when he anticipates sex. 

TM says that's silly, he's always anticipating sex.  If you aren't actually in the act, then you at least know there's some right around the corner.  

I guess this little factoid applies more to people who aren't currently in live-in relationships, eh?

21. Every Valentine's Day, Verona, the Italian city where Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet took place, receives around 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.

I'm not willing to delve into the collective psyche of the lunatics who are writing these letters.  At least write a letter to someone who actually exists.  Stalk a celebrity, they love that shit.

21. When we get dumped, for a period of time we love the person who rejected us even more, says Dr. Helen Fisher of Rutgers University and author of Why We Love. The brain regions that lit up when we were in a happy union continue to be active. 

See, this is why you have to be the dumper, not the dumpee.

22. People telling the story of how they fell in love overwhelmingly believe the process is out of their control. 

If you want to get technical, it is -- but not in the way they are alluding to.  You're only in charge of one side of things; if the other person weren't holding up their end, you wouldn't have anyone to be in love with.  

In all seriousness, I do understand where  going with the "out of their control" business and it's all very romantic, but I have to say I think my and TM's relationship was pretty well orchestrated on both sides.  Doesn't make it any less thrilling, I promise.  

23. Familiarity breeds comfort and closeness … and romance. 

Something about your farts reverberating off the tile. . .

24. One in five long-term love relationships began with one or both partners being involved with others. 

No comment.  

25. One in eight couples married in the U.S. last year met online.

Hallelujah.  Maybe someday I'll add this one to the list of useless facts on my "It's not so bad being weird, after all" banner.  


"It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, '08"  coming soon. . .