Sunday, December 31, 2006

Existential

Oh, I'm a slave and
I am a master
No restraints and
Unchecked collectors
I exist through my need
To self-oblige
She is something in me
That I despise

...from Vermilion by Slipknot

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Photo Immersion Therapy...Part 3

Me and my family. Truly doting. Circa early 1978.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Fashion Sense

Everyday I get crankier and crankier with my wardrobe. I have a ton of tiny cotton t-shirts which are virtually useless, but I love them anyways. They are sexy with a pair of PJ bottoms, but that's about all the hope I have for them.

My daily fashion faux pas are many. Obviously nothing is as nefarious as wearing jeans to the company Christmas party like I did last Saturday. (I did it in style - with a slutty halter top, giant hoop earrings, and a pair of cheap wedges. (Just kidding.)) But, regularly I wear gold and silver jewelry at the same time, wear a brown belt with black shoes, rarely tuck stuff in, and frequently wear jeans that are too long. The single most common fashion mistake is pantyline. I never make this mistake, though because I have discovered the one secret to successful fashion in any capacity: thong underwear.

The thong was women's gift of clothing. I realized that I can get away with wearing any kind of pants or skirt with a thong? I used to think wearing a thong would be more agonizing than wearing a wool sweater with no bra. But, nevermore. I even wear them to bed. I've gotten completely used to it. Its taken a year or so, but eventually you don't even realize somethings jammed up your buttcrack.

Plus, such a teeny piece of fabric takes up hardly any room in my suitcase. Or in my purse. (Don't ask.)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Photo Immersion Therapy...Part 2

Me, in situ, September 1977.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Photo Immersion Therapy...Part 1

Okay, let me first say that I know I am not a photogenic person. I know that. And no one will have to look at a single one of these pics to see that I just-do-not-take-good-photos. Alright? So, kiss my ass.

I feel in order to continue enhancing (strengthening) my self-esteem I must do this, if only to accomplish that I have deliberately posted my own photo on the internet merely for that which makes little or no sense to those with built-in impenetrable self-esteem. Nevertheless, for the next few months, I'll be posting a series of photos of myself, "good" and bad, and most of them will be associated with certain events in my life with few exceptions.

This first one is a photo of my mother in 1977. Yes, that's me inside there. Note the do-rag. She's hip even for 2006.
My sweet mama, July 1977.

Fashion Statement

My colleague, Marian, and I are trying out these new armbands for the greater good since our old ones are obsolete. Having her sense of humor, Marian gave me a new name, at least for the next 10 days. I just hope I don't get in an accident and potentially need a blood transfusion. They may have trouble doing a crossmatch on "Daisy Duck" without laughing.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Pirates of Penzance...the Foreplay

On Friday, I'll be venturing outside of my hidey-hole in south Eugene to the opera at the Hult Center. It's "The Pirates of Penzance," an opera which I haven't seen yet but, heck, it's Gilbert and Sullivan. How bad can it be?

In May of 2005 I had the good luck of dating an adorable Jewish guy from Philadelphia, and I trepidatiously made the journey out there, planning on making a solo foray to Boston, and maybe checking out the Dali exhibit at the art museum. What I found awaited me was a ton of lox, a megaton of U.S. history, and an opera for the love of all operas. "Die Fledermaus" or the Bat, is an incredible German opera written in the 19th century. "Pirates," was written at about the same time, but it's in English which means that not as much work has to be invested in reading the subtitles projected above the stage. However, I must admit, there is a sexy allure to subtitles. I have watched many movies that had English subtitles and I must admit that I was much more aroused at the end than I would have been had the movie been done entirely in spoken English. Probably just because I'm a cheap date.

The opera inspires something in me that isn't ordinarily present. I leave the opera and my body feels light, I feel like skipping in my stilettos. I'm completely moved by the sound of an aria sung by a soprano and hearing the variations in volume, intonation, and that a great opera singer is likely to be an older one. I mean, wow...talk about respecting our elders. I looooooooooove the opera, so this anticipation is about to kill me.

I never did make it to Boston or to Dali. Damn.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Loins and Chocolate

There is nothing like taking a risk on something you've created in bringing it out into the public, only to realize you've succeeded in avoiding blatant failure. I did this tonight with a chocolate souffle.

My friend Nancy had a this perfect little soiree with a couple other folks, Andrea and Mike. Nancy cooked up this fabulous pork tenderloin and a splendid spinach salad. I brought the bread and the dessert.

I'd thrown the chocolate souffle together after running around down looking for the fucking strawberries (see the previous post) and having no luck. Fortunately, I was able to find some eggs, chocolate, and some sugar. A little polite whipping and an hour's worth of refrigeration with the right amount of time at the right temperature...POOF! Magic. The (almost) perfect chocolate souffle. My culinary triumph of the year.

Thanks, girls (and Mike). For dinner, conversation, song, and you. You've made me a truly wonderful Christmas. (And you can't say I'm not sentimental.)

VHS or Toilet Paper for Dessert?

I will pay a thousand dollars to anyone who can locate me a pint of strawberries. Prior to 5 pm today. Which is in about an hour so you better warm up your greenhouse because YOU AIN'T GOING TO GET 'EM AT A GODDAMN GROCERY STORE!!!

In preparation for a get-together tonight that my friend Nancy has cheekily called a "stray dogs' party," I decided to make chocolate covered strawberries. Being as I haven't left the house since Saturday, save a hike I took up the hill yesterday, I hadn't already purchased the necessary ingredients. Being from the midwest (where all grocery stores are open 24-7, 365 days a year), I figure I can easily pick something up today. Mmmm, hmmmm. Right.

Driving around today made me realize that there is, indeed, one thing that I hate about Eugene. For such a progressive community, it is absolutely abysmal when it comes to necessary services after hours or on holidays. Not a single grocery store that I could find is open. Oh, but it gets better. Rite Aid, Dairy Mart, Hollywood Video, Blockbuster Video, and every single Chinese food restaurant is open. Why the fuck am I going to need tampons and a VHS classic more than regular groceries? Is food considered a luxury item in Lane county, whereas a regular DVD rental is on the necessities list???

Sometimes I don't understand the beaurocracy of these liberals. Hummph!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Another Prufrockian Holiday

Today I received 2 movies from Netflix that I felt were appropriate for the holiday season: "The Woodsman," and "Silkwood."

I chose "The Woodsman" a few weeks ago when I was in a personal situation where I felt it was warranted. It was an extremely quiet movie, and despite the lack of an obvious plot (sometimes it has to be explained to me), I felt sufficient closure at the end of the movie to where I made the statement, "well, that was certainly morose," (although it wasn't really morose, per se), as opposed to looking over at my imaginary friend on the other side of the couch with furrowed eyebrows as if to say, "please explain this to me."

"Silkwood" on the other hand was an absolute masterpiece. Considering it was made in 1983, when I was in first grade, it had many qualities that I found appealing in a movie. Today, you would consider it a star-studded picture, as it had Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher, Craig T. Nelson, and a few other well-known actors that I can't recall at this moment. An absolute killer movie. My favorite part was when Meryl Streep calls the refrigerator a " 'frigerater."

I spent 2 hours today at the gym, and 2 more hours researching thru-hiking the PCT, which I'll probably never get the chance, or gumption, to do. I have a love-hate relationship with nature. Oh, how it scares me so. But, oh, how it is so hard to stay away from. I have never been happier than I was this last summer backpacking along the Obsidian trail in very few clothes and a 25-pound pack on my back. (Didn't I ever mention that my ultimate goal in life is to be naked, outdoors, and in public?) I need to feel the floor of the desert scalding my feet through my rubber soles. I want to roll around in nettles and poison oak. (If you didn't know, I'm immune to poison oak. At least, I think.) I want to experience frostbite on my nose. I want to experience rude fellow U.S. citizens looking me up and down and snubbing me because I smell like someone who's hiked 23 miles in one day.

I want to experience life out from under the desk.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Right Girls...Wrong Guy

Tonight I went out with my gal-pals Ali and Kat. We went to a great little Mediterranean restaurant I'd never been to, and after we had two and a half hours of fabulous food and even better conversation, we decided to go see the movie, "The Holiday," with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz.

We arrived about 25 minutes prior to the movie beginning, and Ali looks around as if bored. I suggested we get some bourbon and play quarters. "Are there any liquor stores close?" Ali asked. I looked over at Kat. "World Market," I whispered. "Alright, let's go girls." Kat announces. We got to World Market, and selected a six-dollar, 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon with a screw top and a picture of some weird game board on the front. At this point, I learned that Kat is a real candy conoisseur as she begins wandering up and down the aisles of candy, describing her favorites. She's tried them all.

We elected Kat as the designated sneak-the-liquor-into-the-movie-theater girl," and so she hid it under her jacket. We got into the theater, Kat pops open the bottle, hands it to me and suggests I do the honors. I eagerly complied, and handed the bottle over to Ali, who sampled it and handed it to Kat, who promptly took a swig and set it in the cupholder between her and Ali. Rather than concealing the bottle throughout the movie, we chose to be the brazen hussies we are and flaunt our malfeasance by passing it back and forth between the three of us, and making no bones about it for the sake of the other patrons. Luckily, we didn't get caught, but we did get a bit of a buzz.

We exchanged yuletide farewells - Kat is going to London and Ali to Tahoe for Christmas - and ran out to our cars in the rain. After Ali pulled away, I heard Kats car turning over, and over, and over again. I pulled up next to her and asked if she was okay. Instead of responding that her car is a piece of shit, she said that it takes 10 or 12 tries before it starts, and told me to go ahead. I trusted her and left.

I finally got home and made myself a nice cup of soup before bed. Then, at 12:45 a.m. I heard a strange doorbell-y noise from my idiot-phone. I looked down at it, and was horrified. There it was. The text message I've been dreading for eight months. "Hey i was going to see if that person needed help with their car at the movies but then i saw u and took off now i feel like a dick of not trying to help or at least saying hi, so hi merry christmas." It was my ex, Jesse, who I hadn't seen since April when our FWB relationship turned sour because of a silly misunderstanding.

After having a small fit of hysterical weeping in the bathroom, I elected to send a nonchalant reply. "I'm not sure why you took off, but I didn't see you anyways. That was my friend Kat in her Volvo that she loves. Merry Christmas to you also. Hope all is well."

His response? "Ah i am just weird about shit i undersatnd if u dont want to but i miss talking to u and would like to sometime life is good hope u r well jesse." Translation? "I haven't gotten any since you and I slept together last and I'd really like to hook up."

I was left to contemplate what the result would be if I were to let Jess come back into my life. When I look back on it, I wonder if I really did love him. He's not my ideal partner, but we had such a great time together. He was the only ex that made me feel like I did everything right. I was the moon and the stars to him. Why did we break up? Because he wasn't "emotionally available," was sexually selfish (the last time we did it was with me bent over my dining room table, fully clothed, with ZERO foreplay), and was really fussy about money. I hate cheapness, and it's one thing if a guy is poor, but choosing to gamble $250 at a casino instead of spending two nights at a romantic getaway with your girlfriend is not my idea of investing wisely in your relationship. He also had some strange logic when it came to sex and the female orgasm that never sat right with me. Clearly, he feels entitled.

I don't feel like talking to Jess again is risking my emotional health, but I do feel like he would get in the way of my ability to have a healthy relationship. Well, he might try. I suppose you could say the two of us were toxic. Well, maybe not toxic, but poisonous enough to where imbibing in a bit of EDTA may have helped. Fortunately, Jess was a long time ago and it's been about as long since I've had a relationship that I could consider to be toxic, and one toxic relationship can be easily negated by three healthy ones. I've opted to leave it alone and keep my distance from anyone wearing a Eugene Fire and Rescue T-shirt.

I'm so glad I've still got the girls.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Beets

Who would fuck up a salad with beets???

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Nebraska...I Bow Down to Thy Barren Beauty in Wonderment

I was in Nebraska for a week last month visiting my grandparents. My mom's folks, Delpha and Fritz, are Republicans who spend their days hanging out with their friends at the Ogallala Senior Center. It was funny to see my grampa impulsively grab my grandmother up while she was sitting at the piano and start dancing the polka with her. They finished with a flurish and a standing ovation from the 20 elderly bystanders. They are truly in love, and my grampa said to me once at their 50th wedding anniversary, "I love her even better than the day we were married."

Nebraska is a state that no one really thinks about much. It's kind of out there in the middle, in boringland. I was born there, and spent a great number of my childhood years there in a small town in Eastern Nebraska, called Wahoo. (Yes, the home office of David Letterman's Top Ten List). I went to elementary school there, and in fifth grade we moved further south to Kansas, an even 'boringer' state. Nevertheless, driving from Wahoo to where my grandfolks have always lived in western Nebraska, was a drive I relished. (Except when my brother was touching me.) Last month when I was back, I did some serious driving between the two families and took a few photos to remember it by since I'll probably never make that drive again.

I caught this old school house and found it astoundingly beautiful. I actually got out of my nice warm rental car in the 10-degree weather to snap this photo. (A car with HEATED SEATS, might I add.) I regret not having balls of steel to go wandering inside the front door. Next time I'll plan on that.

Nebraska has a rather large population of vegetarians. They advertise their faith with signs like this one I snapped in Lewellen:











I also found this kickass schoolhouse with one of those rockin' old fire escapes that resembles a waterslide. I wish I had one of those leading outside of my apartment because I'd use it every day. Can you imagine the fun those kids have doing the fire drills?

While my mom's folks, Delpha and Fritz, are Republican socialites, my dad's folks, Tom and Donna, are tortured artists. Grampa Tom lost his sense of smell a few years ago, but still cooks like a classic gourmet. One of his creations, potato-less clam chowder:





My grandmother creates magnificent art like this without wearing gloves. My grandmother goes through bandaids like Michael Jackson did in the 80s.







During the cold weather, I don't find it exceedingly difficult to stay away from my home state, although the allure of my family history is difficult to avoid. My grandmother told me when I was home that my family decends from early Piquots, which intrigues me in that our Native American history had been somewhat lost in the jumble of Anglo-Saxon ancestry. I will enjoy researching this rumor.

The other thing I miss dearly is Nebraska skies. Clouds in Oregon don't seem to take many shapes despite that they're always there. In Nebraska, clouds rarely signify something ominous (unless accompanied by a greenish-yellow sky) and because I don't know much about clouds, I can't tell you the difference between the ones that do and the ones that don't. I have memories of lying in the grass in the summer (a big mistake because I always ended up with chiggers), staring up at the sky imagining all the different barnyard animals up there.
I wonder how I stay away...maybe it's because my family thinks of me as a communist. Doubtful because they're communists too. Maybe it's because I'm a different person who grew up knowing family that had always existed at least six hours away. I always wondered how my cousins could live in the same town as my grandparents and how much that would suck. But now, I almost wonder how I would have ended up had I grown up closer to them. I know I would be a great piano player and a wonderful cook, two influences that would be impossible to avoid.


My main concern about my family living in Nebraska is that I have cousins that look like this






living with citizens with this kind of sense of humor. What kind of corrupt justice is that for the innocent???

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Worst Two Weeks of the Year

I always considered the week before Christmas to be the worst week of the year. This year, it was actually the week before the week before Christmas, along with the week before Christmas. Here's a rundown of 2 of the last 3 weeks of 2006:

*Friday: one of my most prized employees (call him employee #1) calls me and shares details of his life that cause my jaw to drop, and then tells me he's quitting in order to make reparations. Cluster headache #1.
*Saturday: employee #1's wife calls me asking for bizarre favors unrelated to his resignation. I do not abide by her, but do humor her a little by calling her husband to check up on him. He responds by giving me more details that make my jaw spontaneously break, and then tells me that he's still quitting. Cluster headache #2.
*Sunday: wasted 2 hours watching "Borat: Cultural Bullshit That's Supposed to be Shockingly Funny But is Just Plain Tasteless." Cluster headach concludes. (Best part of that day.)
*Monday: I decide to put an employee (employee #2) of mine on written probation and spend all afternoon preparing paperwork for HR.
*Tuesday: With my boss's support I decide it's time to let employee #2 go. After work, I go to my boyfriend's house for a seemingly snuggly dinner and delicious sex, and instead he tells me his feelings are all out of wack in proportion to my own (why he had to talk my head off for three hours to get to that conclusion, I don't know), so we decide we should see other people and I walk out. (That's the long story short.)
*Wednesday: I had trouble getting to sleep in the dark, so I finally relented to leaving that horrible TV on. I wake up with the most killer migraine of the century. Call in sick to work and spend the day in bed, awake, nauseous, and miserable.
*Thursday: beer with Tamara. The highlight of the week!
*Friday: my boss has a lumpectomy and nodes. Meanwhile, the employee that I was preparing to fire announces that his brother just died earlier in the day, so he's leaving for the weekend. Termination under these circumstances is not only heartless, but impossible. We are forced to continue endangering patients until the holiday season is over.
*Tuesday: employee #1's last day. He and I have an extended and stiffled emotional talk before I wish him well. He is a dear, dear friend and will not be forgotten.
*Wednesday: dinner and movie with the girlies. My ex boyfriend from 2004 sends me a text message to instigate another FWB thing. I politely blow him off, but nevertheless get a bit teary.
*Thursday: employee #2 is put on mandatory administrative leave for 2 weeks prior to either giving resignation or being terminated. He informs other employees that he has been (make slash across the neck motion), and says goodbye. He's tight-lipped and passive agressive throughout the conversation. Nonetheless I feel horrible.

I suppose most wouldn't bat an eyelash ending the year like that, but I feel small, weak, and exhausted. I feel that every ounce of feeling has exanguinated out of my body and left me, well, anemic. Any other day I would sit outside and people watch with a curious, thoughful eye, but for once I am drained of anything.

It might be time for a little R & R. 2007 will bring on a much more positive outlook. I'm sure of it.

Smile!

Vertical Hold Slippage--


Livvy got this one of me
Originally uploaded by tyrodelfoto.
My 2-year old rocker cousin, Livvy, enjoyed it when I handed her my camara and said, "push this button." This is probably her best one, and she is showing nothing but promise. Love you, Livvy!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Borat...please kill me before it ends.

This movie was like a train wreck in a tunnel--I just couldn't look away no matter how disgusted I was. Had I not paid $5.50 (matinee) for the movie, I would have walked out. Perhaps if I had walked out, I would have gotten my money's worth.

"Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker."

--Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I miss the hot summer days when my friends and I would make Kool-Aid. We wouldn't make it the regular way by adding the disgusting lyophilized high-fructose corn syrup to the pitcher, followed by a cup of sugar, and a whole ass-load of water. Nope, we wanted to make a sort of Kool-Aid chowder. We'd add peppermints, butterscotch candies, and sometimes even those crappy root beer barrels that never tasted like root beer, but nevertheless succeeded in creating a marvelous sugar high. One time a friend and I added atomic fireballs and put the concoction in the microwave.

My favorite Kool-Aid memory was when we added Pop Rocks. Now, I don't know if they still make these puppies but when I ate them they literally exploded in your mouth. I'm still shitting out chunks of teeth that chipped off when the sparks shot out from under my tongue. In the 1980's, those Pop Rocks should have been considered an incendiary device.

Pop Rocks only came in a little packet. What we really wanted was a 5-pound bag of them but I guess my mom was too stingy to search out the infant sized bag of Pop Rocks, and since we didn't have Costco in the midwest, I had to go with the little 1-ounce baggie of them. We knew the Kool Aid-Pop Rock ratio was too high, so we downsized the amount of Kool Aid to about a half a cup. We dumped in the Pop Rocks and wow! Was that entertaining! What was even better was adding Pop Rocks to soda! The cup practically exploded...or, at least that's what my memories are telling me.

Right now, I'm heading out for a night out with my girlfriends, and I think I'll take along some Pop-Rocks. They might make an interesting addition to a mojito.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bad Punchlines

I was reading over some of my really, really old blogs tonight. Like, ones that I would never have even considered posting on the internet. At one point, I realized how many of them sound like something Jack Handey would have quoted in "Deep Thoughts," on an SNL segment. They're that stupid.

I'm optimistic, though, since things can't get any worse.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What It's Worth

When I was on vacation at my folks' place back in August, my mom handed me a sheet of paper that my brother had drawn on a few months ago. To me, it resembles something that Jackson Pollock would have done as an elementary schoolchild, except Pollock's would probably have been done in acrylic on canvas and be about 15 times as big. To me, the drawing really demonstrates the singularity of focus in my younger sibling's congenitally damaged brain. To him, its meditation and soothing expression in one of the only ways he knows how to speak. So, when you can't communicate to the outside world in a way they can understand, how do you express yourself? When your physical limitations prevent you from doing virtually all that you love except picking up a purple crayon, I think you'd use that as your instrument. To anyone else, it might be that the sheet of paper is meaningless, but to me it belongs at the Guggenheim.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Rosa Parks

Tonight I was lousing about in my office (where else?) getting nothing done. Sitting across from me was my incompetent employee/ex-boyfriend. I remember him, years ago, making the comment that he didn't believe in paying to park in order to come to work. Henceforth, he began to brazenly flout the rules of Diamond Parking Services, by taking a ticket to pull into the parking garage, but scanning his ID card out. Now, should the idiots at DPS discover this malfeasance, then I'm sure the entire charade would come to a rapturous end and I would deliciously cackle in delight at the dismay of my ex, but alas, it was not so, and he continues to abuse the system.

I, however, have always been a rule follower. I didn't realize how this had worked to my advantage until a couple of months ago when I found out that my credit score is in the low 800's. Turns out, paying my bills on time and following my parents rules when they demanded to pay off my college loans is turning out in my favor. You learn something new every day, don't cha? Anyway, I've chosen to park in the correct structure and pay the fee despite how much I hate DPS for the dozens of parking tickets I've ignorantly brought onto myself, but something finally happened about a month ago. I was pulling into the parking structure, and my baby, my darling 2001 Honda Prelude, Betty, with the suckiest turning radius since the 1991 Dodge Spirit I drove in college, ran into a concrete barrier while it was maneuvering into one of the miniscule parking spots. These parking spots were cleverly devised by DPS to be miniscule in order to fit ONE MORE FUCKING CAR INTO THE PARKING GARAGE so they could cash in on a whole five more spondoolucks a day. As I heard the horrifying crunching sound and the resulting collapse of my bumper, I let out a scream of horror. At that precise moment, I remember my brain declaratively shouting, "I will no longer allow Betty to be sacrificed for this system!" (Specifically, DPSystem.) Thus began my transformation into an urbanite.

My fender-bender occurred on a Monday, and for the rest of the week I continued to drive to work, but avoiding the DPS lot. This included acquiring another parking ticket despite the use of a permit (the wrong permit, I guess...assholes), parking at the fairgrounds and riding the bus, which used as much gas and caused almost as much hassle having to ride that bus with the two employees I'd pissed off the worst, and parking 10 blocks away and still having to move my car every 2 hours. Nothing satisfies me. Not even a Snickers.

Then, Monday, it happened. I'd woken up, and my sweetie and I were forced to detangle ourselves from one another and begin another work week. He was gracious enough to make me breakfast, give me useful advice on appropriate timing to take dietary supplements to avoid stomach crankiness, and take me to work. There is nothing I drool over more than a free, guiltless ride to work. Well, maybe the Krispy Kreme section at 7-11. That evening, as I got ready to pack up, I realized I didn't have a ride home worked out, and should I automatically assume that because he dropped me off he was responsible for picking me up and schlepping me all the way to south Eugene? Out of his way? No! The operative word was guiltless. I decided to take the bus.

Public transportation is something I've avoided like the clap ever since I was first exposed to it. Briefly in college, I was relegated to public transportation, but merely because I lived six blocks away, couldn't park any closer, but didn't want to walk that far to class. (The only reason I was thin was because I was smoking a pack a day.) I despise that five minute window of anxiety when you question whether or not the bus is coming. Has it already left? Am I on the right corner? Am I wearing something that doesn't blend into the storefront behind me so the bus driver might miss me in my chameleon-like camouflage and drive away? It's just disgusting.

I finally decided that, being forced to choose between LTD and DPS, LTD was the lesser of two evils. I took my chance. I made my way to the bus stop across from my work...

...to be continued...

Friday, December 01, 2006

"Il Postino"...again for the first time

Last night, I had the pleasure of watching Il Postino for the second time. This is a film which I enjoy greatly for several reasons. First, the ingenue, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, bangs in the worst way, and that's heterosexually speaking. Secondly, the plot is so simple that, were it not spoken in Italian and require the ability to read to get the subtitles, a kindergartener could understand it. I think that if this movie had been done in English, it wouldn't have near the appeal that it does.

"Man has no business with the simplicity or complexity of things."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Power of Family

I think about my grandma Delpha. She used to curl my hair. She'd loop my hair into the hot iron, and count down, saying, "1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, big, fat, hen!" Then she'd move onto the next lock of hair. When I saw her last, she was still reciting this little ditty to cull the monotony of head-of-hair curling. I find myself doing it occasionally for a little giggle. And not just when I'm curling my hair.

So, if you hear me, you know what's up.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Near Death

An excerpt of a conversation overheard last night between several elderly members of my family. The talk was brought on by the death of a great friend of my grandparents, Bob Lyons, of lung cancer on Thanksgiving day. Bob died only 3 months after his diagnosis.

Donna [age 78]: I think the ideal last days are ones like Polly had. She was peaceful, quiet, and didn’t suffer any pain.

Spence [age 68]: Yeah, I wouldn’t wish my dad’s last days on my worst enemy.

Tom [age 81]: Donna, didn’t something happen with his medications?

Donna: Yeah, they weren’t supposed to give him any antibiotics but they did anyways and it just seemed to prolong his pain for another two weeks—

Spence: He couldn’t eat, he couldn’t speak...but he seemed completely conscious the whole time.

Stephanie [age 29]: Is this all you old people do?? Talk about death??

Donna, Spence, Tom: What else is there to talk about? We’re old and we’re about to die.

Stephanie: Alright, I’m hitting the bars. You folks have a great evening with your death talk and all.

Spence: Stephanie, you’re a Communist.

Friday, November 24, 2006

21 Mea Culpa

This is not a suicide note. Nor is it related to any 12-step program. But, there are a few folks I owe this to. Some I could tell in person, and perhaps I will...someday.

To Mrs. Rydan: for falling asleep in first grade math class.

To Renee Slemin: for that horrible thing Kelcie and I did to you in Mrs. Jackson's fifth grade class.

To Justina: for not keeping in touch, even though you tried.

To Joni: I could never figure out what happened with us.

To Kami: for all of the incidents involving or relating to that guy you dated our freshman year at LHS. You'll never know what a loss you friendship has been to me.

To Debby: I don't blame you.

To Joey: for the lie that I told that could have rendered nightmarish consequences had it fallen into the wrong hands.

To Mike: for never wanting to be your girlfriend, and for never telling you.

To Bobby: for ending it the way I did. Even after all of these years, I still remember you as my first love.

To Stuart: for not dumping your ass the second you told me I was fat.

To Matt: for not understanding how much you really cared for me, and for constantly taking our friendship for granted. Also, for not being honest with you.

To Dr. Craig Martin: for killing all of those plants by forgetting to water them.You still gave me an 'A' and that meant the world to me.

To Drs. Jocelyn Hulsebus, Venus Ward, and Patricia Hargraves: for always being late. I couldn't explain to you how messed up I was, but I think you was me struggling to get through it. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

To Kori: for acting the way I did after Mike's wedding.

To Spencer: for never choosing whether to love you or hate you.

To Dave: for not celebrating your newfound love, Rachel.

To Julie: for procrastinating on getting in touch with you again, and for not being there for you after you moved to Parsons. I will be calling you very, very soon.

To Jolene: for never waiting even though you said not to. Sometimes, your orders need to be disobeyed.

To Nancy: for making you feel as though we are sometimes married to each other. I really love you, hon, but I want a divorce.

To Gavin: I'm sorry...I can't...don't hate me.

To Mom and Dad: for screaming profanity down the block at a neighbor boy; for getting caught naked and in the act in 1996; for wrecking my car in 1999; for quitting; for the D's I got in high school Spanish and math freshman year (the college D in Organic is my trophy, though, and it gets no apology); for riding on the hood of that dummy's car in 1992; for smoking; for complaining when you asked me to watch Tom; for not being home on time and getting grounded; for treating you like a bank; for not telling you I love you every day since I learned you could hear it; for not loving you just because you loved me.

To myself: for everything I ever believed I could never be. Today is a new day because I think I'm finally getting to know who I am, and I am all that I never was.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Amelie...the Funktified French Version of Alice in Wonderland.

This was the best movie I've seen in years. I'm actually thinking of purchasing it on DVD, and I watched it twice! I hardly ever do that because I have little patience and 2 hours is a long time to do something I've already done (unless it's sex, of course). This movie and its star (forgive me for forgetting her name and this dial-up connection is very unforgiving so I'm not going looking for it now) knocked my socks off and almost literally. We start with Amelie and her childhood. The exposition is quirky in typical French nature, giving a lot of irrelevant details that will have very little to do with the actual story but nonetheless cause the audience to become enamored with the characters and their idiosyncrasies. We move to the present day, when she discovers a small box of toys behind her wall. She becomes determined to find the owner of the box 50 years after it was lost, does so, and proceeds to change other peoples' lives, and her own, for the better. Some of her feats include taking revenge on a mocking store proprietor, getting a coworker laid, and helping a garden gnome to acquire frequent flier miles. All of this wrapped around one of the most romantic love stories out there.

It's amazing the effect the French language has on my body. Uuuhhhhmmmmmmm......................

Olive Less Ordinary

Today was Thanksgiving, a day when, as a child, I would spend all morning and afternoon babysitting for my brother and the usual gaggle of cousins, and after hearing one of our mom's bleating our names at dinnertime, we would emerge bleary-eyed from the darkness of the basement where the Nintendo had been lobotomizing us all afternoon. We would wander into the dining room, complete with a "kids' table" which I was always relegated to despite the empty chair at the adults' table, to view the cornucopia aspread before us. Every single dish was full to the brim save one: the one that had, an hour earlier, contained the black olives. I remember with poignant nostalgia how my pre-pubescent fingers would slide into the pitless black olive as easily as Bode Miller into an Italian barista, and all ten of my tiny fingertips would be capped. Within 5 seconds of hearing my mother yell, "you'd better stay away from those olives," they'd be down my gullet in lightening speed in order to avoid getting caught. I wish had never taken for granted having those tiny fingertips, because now, putting an olive onto my fingertip is a fruitless act that ends only in disappointment. I still have my pinkies, though.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tonight on Jerry Springer

Tonight I found out that my cousins husband had cheated on her, and in response to that, she vindictively went out and cheated on him. They have two young children (ages 6 and 2) and really nothing to lose except for them and each other.

Cheating is unusual in my family. My cousin (above) has had immedate relatives who've cheated, but have then been relegated to marrying the lethario with whom they cheated with, so I guess that makes it okay in that they've been married for 25 years and are still madly in love. Oddly, it upsets me that my cousin wouldn't have learned how much hurt is caused by cheating, how it invalidates the concept of marriage, and if their children should ever find out...may god or whatever have mercy.

I don't believe cheating is the issue in my immediate family, just generalized discontent exacerbated by mutual disrespect and lack of common goals except that of supporting and rehabilitating my brother. Besides that, with the problems we've had, I don't know if either of my folks could have the energy to allow another person into their lives to fuck them up emotionally. I suppose it's safe to assume that neither of my parents have ever cheated, despite how suspicious it is that my mom and dad no longer sleep together, and my father periodically goes through spells of weight loss due to excessive exercise and extended business trips. (I've never thought to question whether those two were adjacent.) My mother refuses to allow another man into her life without question, regardless if she and my father were to ever divorce. Dare I ask my father if he is cheating or has cheated? Sure, I dare, in the circumstances that I want my death wish granted by Daddy Genie.

What's the difference between a cheater and a non-cheater? Is there something genetic? For me, just dating more than one person at a time is almost more than I can tolerate, and sleeping with more than one person is just disgusting. Shall I consider the idea that this could ever happen to me?

My question is: can I really give up the idea of ever falling truly in love because there is a chance of this happening to me? I suppose I could call myself a concientious objector and decide to opt out of ever taking the chance.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Jim Cramer's Horse Shit

I've been listening to Jim Cramer lately in an effort to learn more about the stock market in the careless hope of turning my eensy-weensy nest egg into a gihugeic one. I've lost faith. After hearing nameless numbers of money-monkeying morons call into his show and scream "BOOOO-YAAAHHHH!," I've decided that a man who is willing to let his target audience humiliate themselves on the air (podcast or no podcast) is not trustworthy. Personally, the thought of having to scream that load of nonsense into my phone receiver, knowing it might very well be distorted by the radio or by the listener's speakers, is enough to scare me away from calling. That Cramer insists that every caller holler that crap is what I believe to be him trying to create his own neologism in some ego-maniacal way. I understand why the Army (hoo-aah) and the Marines (hoo-rah) require this type of testosterone-inducine, brotherhood-bonding type of pep rally slogan, but Cramer?

The boooo-yaaahhhh is enough to make me stop listening, and not just because I'm still poor. I suppose I'll go back to "Newsweek On Air" and "All In The Mind."

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I Never Wanted Hair There

Back home when I was young and my parents served me a food which I found distasteful, generally asparagus or mushrooms or bologna or fruit or vegetables or meat or anything else that didn't have sugar, my grampa Fritz would say imperatively, "Eat it. It'll put hair on your chest." Well, what the fuck kind of incentive is that for a girl to eat anything?

My parents would eventually threaten me and coerce me into trying whatever disgusting gruel they'd served to me (in my mind, as punishment), and I didn't end up developing any of the hirsutism that runs in my family. Must have been a lucky genetic anomaly. But I ate it anyways. Even though I didn't like it--at all.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Word du Jour

I learned a word today that describes all that annoys the shit out of me: milquetoast.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

I don't think I followed this movie very well. I think part of my problem was that I was trying to come up with a good way of kissing my date for the first time without being so forward. Gee, after six dates, you'd think one of us would have broken down and done it. Maybe we're just friends. But I digress...

So the movie is centered around these three sisters and their loves lives. There's the beautiful, successful businesswoman, the frumpy teacher, and the backstabbing burger-flipper. They all end up finding love in the end except Miss Pan Am, who ends up getting the house in the country but no family to go with it. Which is okay, afterall. Life is just as glorious without love as it is with it.

I don't think I really liked Eat, Drink, Man, Woman all that much because it was slow on the uptake and didn't have enough sex as I thought it would be. When I first rented the movie I thought it was going to be an Italian flick, when it was really Chinese. It's dialogue-based plot isn't really intense, as it's all conversation with no explanation. I suppose it does come together at the end, but it's kind of sudden as two of the three sisters ride off into the sunset on their SO's 25-horsepower scooters.

I suppose that I rented this movie not knowing what I was getting means I should do more research. Good thing I've got Netflix.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hypocrasy

The other day I was in the bathroom at work. By happenstance someone came in while I was in the stall so I didn't get a good look at who it was. I did look at their shoes, however, and I saw something which is apparently being resurrected as a trend: velcro.

I was horrified, and I thought, how lazy do you have to be to not have enough energy to tie shoes? Especially if the alternative is velcro??? What the f---??

Not to outdo myself, and so to be publicly humiliated by my own sense of humility, I looked down at my own footwear. Clogs. The ultimate in pedicular sloth.

Just when I start to feel better about myself at someone else's expense, I have to go and be an adult. Aaarrrrgh.

Cellulite

I look at my cellulite, and I wonder if it's not actually there. Ever since I, along with the rest of the free world, realized that I identify with the typical person with body dysmorphic disorder, I almost wonder if I'm hallucinating my own fatness. But, since my jeans don't really fit comfortably anymore, I doubt it. That doesn't bother me so much , except that I only wear thong underwear, (ladies, these aren't near as uncomfortable as you think, but they're kind of an acquired taste) and I think I still have pantyline. How is that possible? My ass is so huge that a percheron would be envious. Envious.

My butt is the most persistently occupied part of my body aside from my brain. It is always being pushed on by some chair, my couch, my mattress, or something that doesn't require it to burn off any fat. The great thing about my body is that when I gain weight, the fat doesn't deposit itself in any one particular spot. It kind of goes all over. My face, my boobs get bigger, by thighs begin to rub together, my ankles retain water. One of my girlfriends has always been thin, even when she was pregnant, but when she puts on a bit of weight, she actually gets breasts. I've told her that if she doesn't want to gain any, she could have some of my breasts. I have more than enough for the entire population of small-chested women of Eugene.

I'm going to the gym.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Curb Your Enthusiasm...makes me feel like the most obtuse person in the world.

Why is Larry David so fucking funny? Is he really that funny??? I don't get it. I mean, the intention is obviously funny, but I just don't get the show. I think it's great that Larry and I find some of the same daily idiosyncrasies hilarious, but what's up with the bad punchlines? Nobody ever gets a good punchline except for Larry.

I'm up to season five, and I hear that that's when the episodes become less funny. I guess I'm sorry I missed the hootenanny in the first four, because season five sounds like a real letdown.

Supersize Me

I'm developing a mad crush on Morgan Spurlock, and it's not because he has such great taste in food.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Boyfriends and Neighbors

Last summer I got some new neighbors. A couple of women, my age or a bit younger, and a dog whose looks betray his personality to the world. I like to use the word "hairy" to describe things I believe are difficult, and I'd call the dog pretty hairy although I believe his name is actually Roger. The neighbors seemed like perfectly nice people. They ripped up the condo before they moved in, installed a washer and dryer right up next to the wall that adjoins my apartment (gotta love that spin cycle), and couldn't seem to figure out how to close the door to the communal garbage room after discarding their trash. Nevertheless, I tried. I petted the dog and even let it lick my face right before a date, introduced myself, and considered giving them a pie or some other generic housewarming gift. But I was only received with iciness. Had I parked over the line? Had I been too noisy? I don't believe I had caused any offense. Sometimes, however, you just can't win.

Now, the owner of the condo has a new roomie, assumedly her boyfriend. It's funny how I can fill in the gaps in this story on my own. Unfortunatly, I'm fairly sure that 'daddy' knows the story. They continue to do laundry, and torture my wall hangings as a result, but things are much quieter next door. No late night parties...in fact, I wonder if they are ever even there.

As for my neighbors on the other side...

The owner is in Boston. I think I'm dating him but I'm not sure. The whole thing is creating a ton of ambivalence on my part. Is this smart? Could I really be serious about this person? As we were playing pool the other night, he told me about some old friends of his. Then he mentioned that they are moving up here, and they're going to set up a farm outside of Eugene and raise pigmy goats and mushrooms. (I giggle just typing this.) Then he says that he'd like to live next door to them.

Hmmmm.....pigmy goats?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Cinema Paradiso...truly a wonderful movie.

I haven't cried while watching a movie in such a long time. I am new to these Italian flicks, and boy, do they outdo themselves. The movie is a flashback in time of a self-made man and his amazing friendship with a projectionist at the town cinema, Nuovo Cinema Paradiso. It flashes from his young boyhood, to adolescence, and finally to his present, nostalgic adulthood. The actors and actresses are wonderful, in part because they are all new to me, and you know how I love new faces.

Thanks, Giuseppe!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Monsoon Wedding...a trip to Delhi was 2 hours in paradise.

I find movies with actors and actresses that I have never seen before to be so refreshing that I don't need a shower for at least 24 hours, no matter how raunchy the movie is. Especially when the movie is good. Monsoon was one of those. The acting wasn't particularly great, and the swift transitions between Hindi and English catch you off guard. At that, they keep you on your toes and you have to pay special attention to the subtitles.