Thursday, June 29, 2006

Yes, Liz, You Should Get Your Own Blog...

Liz was going to be my blog partner, but she has decided to branch out on her own and I'm writing this down to inspire her to make her blog already. (Note for later: She did make one. View it here).

We had a discussion at work about today. I don't understand what you're supposed to do with it. I created a Friendster account years ago but I never ever never go there, because once I'm there, I don't know what to do. Click on things? Find friends? Everyone always puts these ridiculously gorgeous pictures of themselves up. Can you become popular in the myspace world? Does anyone my age have myspace? And why do people put music on their myspaces? It's annoying. Maybe if you write your name in the body of your blog, people can find you anywhere.

Speaking of beautiful pictures, here is Lina, my friends Julie and Danny's (see Bump pic) sad and squirrel obsessed dog.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

World Plastic Cup of Beer

Met Shawn and Liz at Ludwig's yesterday to watch Mexico play Argentina. The air conditioning was broken at Ludwig's for half the time we were there and so rivulets of sweat ran down my back, my temples were sweating, and I was able to pile my wet hair on the top of my head where it stuck without bobby pins because of the humidity. Luckily, there were $4 big plastic cups of beer to keep us cool, though even they seemed slightly tepid. It was like being at a big keg party with a bunch of sweaty (though largely Mexican) frat boys. Shawn was cornered by a very very extremely extraordinarily, I-can't-believe-he's-still-standing drunk man who'd gotten to the bar at around 8 AM. He was either German or Russian--I wasn't sure because I kept inching away from him as he had that "timber!" look about him and I imagined him doing a nose-dive into my chest on his way to the sticky floor. Liz showed up and we talked about sperm donation and I asked the guy next to us, Jessie, if he (theoretically) would ever consider being a sperm donor and he said, I've never really thought about it, but yes, I guess I wouldn't be opposed to it. Argentina won, and we stayed for a beer longer before leaving. I hate drinking during the day because it feels unnatural to step out into sunshine. It was only about 5:30, but I was done for the rest of the day since we hadn't eaten any dinner and I'd had about 4 of those tall beers. I drink too fast and then I want to leave, always. Shawn went back to work and I went home to watch TV--some reality show about little people--two little people who are married and have four kids or so, including twin boys wherein one is little and the other is not. How weird would that be? The dad (who was very handsome and rode around in a wheelchair to move more quickly) took his little person son to a convention of little teens. I can't remember if the son met anyone he liked, I just remember thinking how even if you were a little person, it doesn't mean you're automatically attracted to other little people--he could have the biggest crush on his twin's average-sized girlfriend, though no chance in dating her.

After that, I flipped back and forth between A Bug's Life and some Primetime Live crap about a kid at a frat who died after drinking too much water in a hazing ritual. In a very mean way, I didn't feel that sorry for him, because JHChrist do you have to belong to something so badly that you're willing to drown yourself in Aquafina for it?

(I'm in Charterhouse Coffee Shop on 9th St. right now and there's this very strange, googly-eyed blond man sitting in the egg shaped hammock chair holding his cup of coffee. He's just sitting there, not reading, not listening to music, rocking slightly and staring off into space. What's his deal?).

Okay, now I must work on my revision for just an hour or two.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The blind leading the newly divorced

I took a vacation day yesterday b/c I realized on Monday that I actually have accrued 4 days that I must use up by the end of June. Decided to go to Pearle Vision to get the hard gas permeable lenses replaced; the ones that I have to pull out of my eye at least twice a day because they seem to attract little bits of sawdust constantly. In fact, I've been wearing two old lenses having lost the two newer ones--one is forever in the Coffee Bean and the other disappeared in my bathroom.

I'd gone to Will's Eye Hospital on Wednesday and was there for over two hours. Since they're a hospital and can get tons of insurance benefits, they try to do every possible test on your eyeballs. Also, they had one younger guy give me the exam and then the head doctor came in and gave me the exact same exam (though truncated). They dilated my eyes which was really not necessary and caused me to walk around blinded for half the day, sheilding my eyes in the sun like Vampira. They also wanted to take some weird photograph of my one eye just to be sure it wasn't about to explode, but I told them I had to get to work (who stays at the eye doctor for three hours?) The head doctor suggested I see a retina specialist because I'm very nearsighted. I was like, yeah, sure, I'll go see that person for another five hours and then s/he will tell me I'm nearsighted too and you can charge my insurance $500. At the very end, he said he couldn't give me prescrptiton for glasses (or contacts) because he'd need for me to wear my old glasses for two weeks so my eyes can stretch back to their normal size or something. And then I could come back and maybe they could dilate my eyes again, shine blinding lights at my pupils, have a picture taken of the irises, pop one eye ball out and examine it under a special high powered microscope that only NASA has and then change the color to a sharper green. And how about lasic surgery? I said, Oh, mmhmm. No way am I going to wear my Coke bottle, poor handicapped girl glasses for two weeks or return to Will's. Strangers on the street offer me spare change when I wear my glasses in public and ask me if I shouldn't be wearing my special helmet.

All of which is to say I went to the mall for my eye exam. The doctor was a short, youngish man with a gold chain. He looked at my chart and said, Wow, I never would've guessed you're that age. You look at least ten years younger. I said, You should see my mom. She looks every younger than I do. He asked me about my job. I told him and said something about how I wanted soft contact lenses b/c my boyfriend was always yelling at me for taking mine out in the middle of the sidewalk. He said, Oh, you have a boyfriend? How long have you been dating? I said, Nearly two years. He said, Wow! Are you planning on getting married? I said, I don't know. He said, Are you in love? Have you ever been in love before? He then confessed that he'd just recently been divorced, just five months before. I said, Wow, that's soon. (I don't know why I used the word "soon"). He said that she and he had been dating other people and you know, it was okay, but he just didn't know if he would ever fall in love again. I nodded. I had taken out my contacts and so was basically just staring at the fuzzy blur of his head, hoping I was making eye contact and not staring fixedly at his forehead. I cannot see at all without my contacts. He could've had his penis hanging out of his fly and I wouldn't have known it. He said, Do you feel like there's something missing in your relationship? I said, Wow, I feel like I'm at the psychiatrist. He said, I'm sorry, it's just that when you have been with someone for seven years and then it doesn't work out, you're a little leery of marriage. He told me about how they met, when they got married, and then how it just ended. I was afraid he might cry and then what would I do? Instead, he stopped talking about himself and said, Okay, but your chin on this thing, and he finished the exam, gave me my new soft lenses, and told me to come back in two weeks.

I've had a slight headache ever since; I'm not sure if these lenses are working.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Comments that will be made in my writing workshop tonight

1. I really liked it.

2. I didn't quite understand what was happening or why, but I liked that about it.

3. I loved how, at the end, I was super confused and then had to make up my own conclusion and then I really liked it.

4. I totally related to that moment where the dog ate that other dog and then puked and a kitten came out because that happened to my dog once too.

5. It seemed like you kept using the word "the" over and over and then I realized that when you wrote "the" you really meant "humankind," right?

6. Are you a lesbian or not?

7. You leave out a ton of details and setting stuff and it makes it so you have to guess everything and I enjoyed that.

8. I liked how s/he wrote that scene that had nothing to do with the story at all because it was interesting to know what had happened to the grandmother just as an aside.

9. I totally cracked up when I read the word "fuck."

10. I would leave it exactly the way it is right now except make it shorter.

11. I don't have the paper in front of me, but I remember liking it.

12. I think that scene you just mentioned really works because I don't remember it happening at all.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hey, how about some global warming or We Are Fucked

Went to see Al Gore's new Powerpoint movie, An Inconvenient Truth, wherein he clearly illustrates with overwhelming evidence that global warming is a very real threat and that things are rapidly going to hell. And guess who uses up the most energy in a way that causes the increase of global warming? George Bush and his constituents. And did you know that we and Australia are the only two countries in the entire world who refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement? Because we don't want to infringe on GM's ability to make more money by producing shitty cars that eat up gasoline or disrupt the oil industry in any way which still has trillions of dollars to make. Here are some things that happen with global warming:

1. The polar ice caps melt and some huge chunks can fall into the ocean, thereby raising the ocean level by twenty feet which basically puts large amounts of heavily populated land masses (including San Francisco and New York City) under water, killing and/or displacing millions of people. Also, goodbye to polar bears who are starting to drown now because they can't find ice caps to land on and swim and swim and swim sixty miles or more looking for them, not finding them, and drowning.

2. Weather patterns change and we get more typhoons, floods, hurricanes, tornados, unprecedented heavy rainfall and more incidents of Hurricane Katrina which most likely wouldn't have happened at least not to the extent that it did, if we weren't already seeing huge rises in heat temperatures in the ocean. By the way, scientists warned whoever that Hurricane Katrina was going to be bad and that they should be evacuating the area, but of course, those in charge didn't listen, didn't do shit, and still don't care.

3. Since it's getting increasingly hotter earlier in the season than normal, you have things happening like caterpillars hatching two weeks earlier than usual, no longer coinciding with the spring hatching of baby birds who then starve b/c all the food supply that would've been available to them has already turned into butterfiles. This also means that the cold weather currents that used to kill off a certain percentage of other pests (mosquitos, ticks, pine beetles)aren't as powerful and so these bugs get to be fruitful and multiply and carry diseases and eat up crops, etc.

4. In related news, these bugs carry diseases and the heat also allows for certain dormant viruses to come alive again which is why we're seeing the return of old problems such as Avian Flu, SARS, the West Nile Virus, and ebola and all this other wonderful stuff we haven't had to worry about for years and years.

That's all I can remember off the top of my head. Shawn and I went home and unplugged things b/c that's one way you can stop using so much energy. Then we got hot (b/c of global warming)and turned on the air conditioner, effectively hurting the envirnoment even more.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

All I Want is to Be Beautiful and Desired By Everyone

Shawn got his head shaved at Chop Shop on South Street while I sat in a chair near the front, trying to write in my journal, but it was too interesting in there to concentrate on anything but staring at everyone and eavesdropping on conversations. This one black guy was giving another black guy the same exact hair cut as he had--short and shaped into jagged angular lines in the front. He used some kind of small tool to take off individual hairs and then a razor blade to finish it up. He took great care while doing it. One guy over was a man getting a crew cut and his hairdresser also spent a lot of time with him. The guy had his eyes closed sometimes (the client, not the hairdresser) I guess because it's somewhat pleasant and hypnotic to have someone lavishing attention on your head. Shawn was in and out of the chair in less time than these other guys because he gets the straight on buzz, not frills, no neck shaving. I didn't get my hair cut then, but later, after we parted, I went back.

The guy was named Stephen. He was freckly and cute and wore a cowboy hat and a belt buckelt with a bull's head on it. He also had on a white wife beater and beaded necklaces. And as far as I could tell, he was straight. I tried to explain to him what I wanted, but since I had no idea and what I always want when I get my haircut is to emerge with a haircut that brings out the best features on my face, makes me look younger and hipper, and requires absolutely no maintenance but will always look as stylish as it does when I'm walking out of the salon. Instead, I said, My layers look bad. That was about the extent of the suggestions I had for him. He said, Well, what do you like best about your hair now? I told him the length, which is really what Shawn likes best about my hair now. He said, Well, we can blend in the layers better but I'll have to blow it out though. I didn't know what he meant, but said okay. He washed my hair and then proceeded to blow it dry (why didn't he just say that) using a gigantic fat brush. He made my hair totally straight and gorgeous. He spent at least half an hour. I understand now how celebs get gorgeous--if I had someone to do my hair like that every day, I'd be a dreamboat. He then cut it and took a long time with that too--the whole cut lasted an hour and even though I looked slightly like David Cassidy at the end, I really liked it.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I'm Watching You

So we went to see this band last night at the World Cafe which in in West Philly. We didn't get there until around 9:45 b/c Shawn had a late meeting, but the place wasn't packed or anything. The band we went to listen to is called something like I Am Sam or Sam I Am or Green Eggs and Sam. I've recently come to grips with the knowledge that one of my favorite things to do in the world is people-watch. I'm constantly evaluating people and trying to guess what their deal is and finding ways to feel superior to them. Here's who was at the bar last night:

1. A couple Shawn referred to as us only more hipster. The guy had a beard similar to Shawn's and was wearing two mismatched shirts, one on top of the other. The girl had a wispy haircut pulled back into a tiny ponytail. She wasn't wearing any make-up and she had this kind of bland self-possession and calmness that went perfectly with her glass of white wine. She was small framed but had huge boobs or at least the appearance of huge boobs in part b/c she was wearing a low cut wrap around shirt. They did not dance.

2. A rowdy table of people I assumed were from Jersey (because I'm a geographical raciest). They talked and threw punches at each other the whole time. I'm not sure they realized there was even a band onstage. One guy wore a way over-sized green and white shiny sports jersey. One of the girls was dressed in a sparkly short sleeved cut off jacket which she wore over a gray tank top. I saw her outside later in the night smoking a cigarette and she pretended like she was going to jump over the railing to her death. She also had on terrible black shorts cut just above the knees and high heeled black pumps. Her hair was perioxide blond and earlier, Shawn suggested I go sit next to her to see if any of her fake tan would rub off on me.

3. Another man and woman pair who were in their mid-to-late forties and who must have been the parents of one of the musicians. They were rocking it on in their own little way, standing up close to the stage, snapping their fingers and knocking their hips around. The woman had a fanny pack strapped around her waist.

4. Some fucked up skinny girl dancing non-stop for the entire 3 hours we were there even during the slow songs.

Music? What music?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Paris Hilton's Video is Amazing!

Finally, we are able to see just how talented Paris Hilton really is with the unveiling of her new video and premiere song "Worship My Extensions." The video has two settings and two costume changes. The majority of it is shot in black and white on the beach and Paris wears a bikini and a gigantic platinum wig. The other scene shows her in a ball gown. Paris basically has three moves she repeats over and over and over--hands thrown over her head in self-conscious abandonment, hands raking through her fake hair, and hands pressed against a fake palm tree while the beefcake generic guy in the video nuzzles her neck. It's amazing to watch someone who is attractive exude so little sex appeal even as she's crawling across the sand ala Madonna in "Express Yourself." The only way I can account for such a vapid video is that she must've had one of her boyfriends direct it or maybe her dog, Tinkerface. But maybe I just haven't watched enough music videos and all of them are basically four minutes of boring vanity poses? Not like every video has to tell a story, but some kind of variation or narrative would be nice.

In other news, my friend Julie is now 24 weeks pregnant. She's having a boy and so we've been trying to come up with names, but all of the good ones are too popular now or already taken by other people in her family (Calvin) or used as names for someone's dog (Jack, for instance, which I really like). I also favor the name Elliot, but there are two problems: 1. My cousin has a child with Down's Syndrome named Elliot; 2. Look what happened to Elliot Smith. Not like using the same name would cause the baby to be retarded or stab himself with a knife, but you want all positive associations with the name. Elijah? Ezekiel? Ecclesiastes? A boy named Sue? Oh, and the other problem with finding names is that all of the stars have taken the interesting ones and I don't mean Rumor or Apple or Shiloh (which sounds like what you'd name your first horse). Those are all girls names, though. Here's the world debut of the Bump:

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Electronic Age of Narcissism or Look at Me!

Yes, okay, I bought a microphone for my computer--it was only $12 from Target. I confess that I had a short daydream that I would start podcasting and become famous as a result of my poignant yet humorous insights into the state of this modern world. For a period of time when I lived in Chicago, I used to record journal tapes at night mostly about this guy or that guy and about how shitty I felt. I liked to listen to them later; it made me feel more like a real person because in those days, I was even less sure of who I am than I am now (is that a sentence)?

But I actually do not know how to upload the wav file or this other short movie of Gretel that I have. Help me!

I can however show you Gretel (see above).

Friday, June 9, 2006

The many wonderful things in the world

Before I list a few cool things of late, I have to mention something I saw yesterday on my way to writing class after exiting the subway. First of all, the City Hall station always reeks of pee. It's so disgusting. Plus, I frequently get lost. One time, I emerged from the subway to find myself like ten blocks away from where I needed to be. Miraculously, I managed yesterday to get out quickly, only to be confronted with a sight that got increasingly more icky as the details started to come through.

There was an old homeless guy with wild white hair and full beard sitting on the steps smoking a cigarette. Two policepeople were standing next to him and so was this younger blond woman in denim shorts who didn't look too with it herself, though it seemed unlikely that she was with the old guy. Then I noticed that the old guy still had a plastic cup of beer next to him. Just the way his head was wobbling, you could tell he was pretty drunk. Then I noticed that there was blood on the steps by his feet. Then I noticed that he had a huge gash in his temple. Then I noticed that he had peed himself. Then I noticed he was wearing a wedding ring. And then I stopped looking.

Sometimes, I see startling things on the way to work. You wouldn't think that much would be going on at 8 AM, but the other day, I spotted this fairly normal looking woman wearing a Walkman, and just as we passed each other on the sidewalk, she screamed, DO YOU HAVE ANY SPARE CHANGE? I think she was so loud b/c her music was turned up, but it freaked me out. I did not give her any quarters.

But here are three wonderful things:

1. Went to Paul Green's School of Rock last weekened and saw a bunch of nine to seventeen year olds playing rock music. They were so cute and awesome. The Trocadero was filled with so many crazy hormones that it was hard to breath, but it was still very cool.

2. Shawn and I took a bike ride on Sunday up to the park beyond the ball field and he showed me this secret place under the Interstate where skate boarders go. The walls are covered with graffiti and the skaters are similarly covered in tattoos and it's really fun to watch them.

3. This is my friend Lara's cat named Lucky. She is very majestic.

Friday, June 2, 2006

Spelling B Girl

Shawn and I watched part of the middle school National Spelling B last night...We saw the grand finale, the spell down between a girl who resembles Winnie from The Wonder Years and a super dorky girl with a round moon face and blond hair. She won. You could tell whenever one of them was familiar with the word because she would be swallowing back a smile even while asking for the definition and the origin. Here are a few of the words they were asked to spell:

Aijyjhkhgatsis (Japanese; means hemorraging of the left eyeball)

Floughtlie (pronounced "Flute," the last several letters are silent; means the nightgown your grandmother wore on her honeymoon).

Triiiriririrrskank (German; defined as the shoes a gnome is said to wear on New Years Eve).

You have to wonder what it's like to be that kid who goes to spelling B's, whose parents quiz her or him every single day; they must dream about letters and words all the time; they must spell all the time. I remember just from watching that documentary about kids in these competitions, how for about an hour afterward, I couldn't stop spelling anything I heard. "Does this Coke have caffeine?" "C-a-f-f-e-i-n-e." Would make a good subject for a short story or a book, because I can't imagine that someone who spends so much time studying words and definitions and origins could interact normally with others. I know if it had been me winning a national spelling B at age 14, I would've dorkily imaged how it would catapult me into stardom and how I'd get a phone call from some hot movie star wanting to meet me, perhaps to whisper ten syllable words in his ear. I have to find a picture of me in middle school. You would die. And not only was I dorky looking, I also had an overactive imagination. I remember staring out the window in my bedroom while listenting to Journey on the clock radio, imagining how Kimble Frazier and I would go on a picnic together and how he'd take me on a rowboat ride. In all of these fantasies, I believe I was wearing a hat.