Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy F-ing Halloween

I mean that in the nicest way.


I hate being so busy that I don't have time to write a little something--it usually takes me about 15-20 minutes to write a post, so not a substantial amount of time, but lately, it's just not feasible. I have photos to add but forgot my camera at home. ADDENDUM: It's really Monday now and I'm adding the photos for you.
A quick weekly update:



Sunday: Helped Lisa Marie film her latest project--well, really just showed up with the boy she needed to play the date. He was perfect for the part and maintained an even temperament throughout. I did something with the lights and wrote down the different shots. She has asked me to be in her next film, but I would like to lose just about 20 pounds before that time.

Monday: Went with C & P to see, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, a movie based on a book written by Padhraig's friend, John Boyne. The film was showing as free premiere in Bryn Mawr. We arrived late in part b/c of me and also b/c of bad Internet directions, but I was thrilled to see that there were seats roped off for us. I felt like a minor celebrity. Film was good--I still need to read the book--and afterwards, John drove back with us to the city b/c he's on the whole film tour and they put him up at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. I got to meet and have drinks with the director, Mark Herman (just how many hyperlinks do you think I can squeeze into this paragraph?), all paid for by Miramax.

To the left, you will see Mark Herman, the woman from Miramax, and John Boyne. To the right, my pal Padhraig and JB.





Tuesday: Personal day involving all of my favorite things including brunch at Sabrina's (I am NOT adding another link to the restaurant), a trip to Circle Thrift, and then an extended stay at Chapterhouse coffee shop for a round of Trivial Pursuit accompanied by thrilling personal questions.

Wednesday: Saw Amy Sedaris do a cooking demonstration at Foster's. Actually, didn't see her--it was standing room only, but I did get to hear her and stood in line for an hour to have her sign my copy of I Like You. She was small and funny--when she sat in the chair, her feet barely touched the ground. One thing she recommended as a housekeeping tip is if something smells in your house, bake brownies! It's the best way to cover up unpleasant odors. This tip is especially significant for me and my three cats. So, below are photos from that event, including the inside flap of my book that she signed. I insisted that she write "you are very pretty." She added "lady" to the inscription. See how li'l she is? And of course, most every photo I took has her face covered.








Thursday: Gave blood at work, which haven't done since I went with my Temple peeps. Convinced Eileen to go with me. I can't stress enough how much I hate giving blood--I even hated the swabbing of the yellow stuff on my arm. But I did find out that the platelets for my blood type (AB+) are like white gold, so I feel a little better about doing it. Had plans to go to a pumpkin carving party in Fishtown, but those were changed at the last second due to ex-bf issues (not mine, someone else's). I am adding a photo here of the color of my arm four days later. We call this a hematoma, I think. Another reason I couldn't be a heroin addict. I always turn black and blue and yellow.




It's best that I stayed home anyway--I had to finish up my costume which brings me to... My home-ade lookin' Halloween costume for the tooth fairy. See the pink little sparkly shoes with clay teeth on them and the green dress? All done by yours truly.



Friday: Going with C & P to Brooklyn after work for a Halloween party at Liz and Luke's. I'm dressing as a mean Tooth Fairy, so I've been shaping big ugly teeth out of clay all week. I took pictures of the costume last night, but I guess you'll have to wait to see them.
That's it. You're caught up. I'll try to be better about writing next week.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Think I Really Like You or I Might Just Have a Yeast Infection

I don't know why that phrase occurred to me, but it cracks me up. It reminds me of my friend Jen and how she said tights used to make her "feel itchy down there." Have not had the greatest week for some reason...Feel funky and low energy and so maybe it is all an infection.

And yet somehow, I manage to persist and take photographs. Lots of "Go Phillies" fever around here as you can imagine. Here's that combined with a little Halloween spirit as well.

I like this window because it contains a hodge-podge of Halloween references and just general scary stuff too, such as the Chuckie doll alongside these sort of adorable stuffed vampires.
Sorry, this is blurry but I still think it's cute. A little sexy mummy lady whose empty insides light up.

Didn't capture any Virgin Mary shots this week, but here's some religious figure. Is it David slaying Goliath? Please note that he's stepping on somebody's head, not sure who. This is only half of the window. There are big figures like this on the other side as well, including my favorite St. Francis of Assisi.
True Philadelphia spirit--the Phillies and Obama and the union all in one.

Why don't you come over and paint my door yellow too?

And lastly but not leastly, the pigeons. This photo represents but a fingernail fraction of the city pigeons around these parts. This is for you, Tippie Heddron.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Been Locked In

Somehow, I have managed twice to lock myself inside of my bedroom this past week. It occurs when the cats are running racetrack circles around my bed, using my stomach as a springboard to vault to the bureau, and/or licking my eyelid just as I'm about to fall asleep (it's really only Ernesto who does this). I get irritated and kick the animals out, and forcefully shut the door. This weekend, I shut the door to keep them away and discovered in the middle of the night when so and so got up to use the bathroom that the door wouldn't open. I tried to help, because it has been problematic before, but usually, I can get it to open. Not this time. So the door bolts had to be knocked out by force and the door wrenched from it's hinges as though in a rescue operation. Last night, there was more misbehavior among the animals, and anyway, I thought the door locking was possibly a fluke and so shut the door again and dove back into bed. This morning, I turned the knob to find that it wouldn't budge again. I had to bang it down. Again. So now I guess I have to switch door knobs? Or get rid of the cats? Or move? All require energy I don't have, especially since today is one of my long days, meaning that I have to stay for screenwriting class. At least I remembered to bring jeans this time, so I can be somewhat more relaxed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Is More Stupider Now

Confession: the other night, I watched some of Paris Hilton's latest unreality show, My New BFF. In case you happen to be a thinking person who spends her time in more valuable pursuits such as watching PBS or the History Channel or reading a book without pictures or, I don't know, peeling off your toenail polish and are unaware of the premise, this show features a bunch of vapid guys and gals, all vying to be Paris Hilton's best friend. To do this, they have to jump through multiple random hoops, such as attempting to look hot while being photographed on a roller coaster. Or you might be sent to Japan with Paris to give an award on MTV's Japanese music video awards. Or you might be told to engage in a pillow fight. Mostly, all you have to do is kiss Paris' skinny white ass while still looking cute (though not cuter than her). I suppose the show is also meant to illustrate just how difficult Paris celebrity lifestyle is--omigod, at any moment, she might be asked to walk down a runway in a micro mini and say two words into a microphone or she might find herself elbowed by mobs of camera phone wielding fans who just want to touch her and so you must keep your wits about you and not throw up in a trash can while sobbing as one of the contestants, an Asian tranny, did on this particular episode. What is wrong with me that I kept flipping the channel to see what the next humiliation might be? Paris herself isn't interesting, except in that she's a rich, pretty, talentless heiress and so she's somewhat of an anomaly. The contestants aren't compelling, except that you wonder what they really think is going to happen to the rest of their lives as the result of this experience. Congratulations: the best you can hope for is to be invited to pose for Playboy or maybe you can begin a semi-lucrative porn career. That's it. I have no excuse for my own idiocy in watching. I just couldn't seem to stop, in the same way that once I start eating pistachios, I have a hard time not biting into the next shell.

Racism is A-Okay in America

We don't have worry about it dying out any time soon, as you can see by this up-coming election, which has assisted in highlighting how ignorant and backwards and backwater lots and lots of America remains. I've even heard intelligent people say things like, "You're just voting for Obama because he's black." And a random lady in the street telling no one in particular, "Yeah, he's going to win because he's black." Right, right. Because of all the black presidents and vice presidents we've had throughout the years and all of the black senators and congress people and mayors and CEOs that are over-flowing our system. And why aren't more people calling McCain on his totally racist response to Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama? When asked if how he felt about this long-time Republican, and former member of the Bush cabinet endorsing Obama, McCain said, "I'm not surprised." WHY was he not surprised? He should've been. This is a guy who has been a Republican for decades, Chairman of the Joint Chief's of staff, and a staunch backer of Bush and the attack on Iraq. McCain should be surprised. The implication seems to be that of course CP would vote for Obama because he's black. Not b/c McCain is loony, not b/c he disagrees with McCain's policies, not b/c he doesn't want to help elect a grossly unqualified VP, not b/c McCain is backed by even crazier neoconservatives, but because, you know, the brothers stick together.

On another note, I like how Colin Powell responded to the false claim that O. is Muslim:

"Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, 'What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?' The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, 'He's a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists.' This is not the way we should be doing it in America."

Exactly! Hasn't the Muslim community been way offended by the assumption that their religion of choice is synonymous with terrorism?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Being on a Panel

Picked this illustration because it was the third thing that came up when I googled "awkward" in an image search. Because awkward was how I felt for most of today.

Okay, so just got back from the "Push to Publish" event with Philadelphia Stories, a day-long writing retreat. I was supposed to pretend that I was the expert. This means that I was one of the editors in the "Speed Dating with the Editors" portion of the day and on two other panels, "Is the Short Story Collection Dead?" and "Writing for Blogs." I was more nervous about the first one because it seemed like we should all just show up and vote "yes" or "no." But it went pretty well, even though I felt like a total phony--giving advice about submitting your work when I haven't sent out a short story in, oh, I don't know, two years? Strangely, the first panel went better than the second one--I was more confident about talking about blogging but there were two really professional bloggers on my panel, one of whom brought her laptop so she could show everyone our blogs while we spoke. Once I realized she was going to do this, I wanted to leave. My blog lay-out sucks. The content might be okay, but the lay-out is completely amateur. So, I stumbled along, trying to say something intelligent about how it's important to keep a blog as a writer, because it's another way to force you to write...And then I just decided to shut up and let the experts speak. I attempted to nod in all the right places, even though I didn't know what they were talking about most of the time.

Met lots of people I liked, and a few I didn't particularly like because they fit the pretentious writer stereotype which includes:
1. Wearing a cape.
2. Name dropping other writers as your bff's.
3. Ignoring the coughing and shuffling of the audience who don't really care to hear in detail about your personal experience, because what you have to say is more important than anything else in the world.

I'm bad at this kind of thing. I'm bad at self-promotion. The book dude did have copies of Wonderful Girl and I talked one person into buying a copy, but couldn't bring myself to mention the book in either panels. I am even reluctant to like add a link to Wonderful Girl here--this is how I know I will never be wildly successful. I'm too apologetic about asking people to pay attention to me.

Did work up some courage to talk to one of the literary agents who also happens to work at Drexel and is on the board of The Painted Bride Quarterly. He gave me his email address and so I will try to follow up.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Staying Late

Still at work, but leaving shortly. Here's a link to Fourty-Four President's.

The end.

Friday Photos

I love, love, love walking down my streets in the morning now. You can actually step on leaves and they'll crunch and you'll think, Autumn! And, of course, I love the windows--they will only get better from here on out because we have a series of highly-decoratable holidays on their way. The two photos below are matching windows of the same house. I couldn't fit the two of them in one picture, but please see Mister....

and Mrs. Frankenstein. Very friendly and happy looking as dead people go.
And the next series is this cat who was lounging in this great window full of statues and flowers. Here, he stretches.

This is not a mean face, though it looks that way. I happened to catch him in mid-yawn. The two photos are actually switched in order here. He yawned (below) and then stretched (above).
I liked this house front because even though it was 7:45 a.m., the light was on for the paper lantern.
Detail here.
A witch.
And this last one is for Manny. I asked him yesterday what he thought my house might look like and he said, "Cluttered?" Thanks! So that means something about me exudes "cluttered house." It's really not. I have lots of books but I have made an effort to get rid of many of the knicks and knacks. The sock monkey stays out, since Jodie made it. Anyway, I told him I would take a photo of anything in my house and he could pick. He said, The bathroom? If I were him, I would've said, The bedroom? But I think he choose that room b/c I've mentioned to him how tiny it is. How you can stand in the shower and open up the medicine cabinet and also how the sink is similar to something you might find on a ship--so small that whenever I wash my face, half the water ends up on the floor. Okay, so, look, not too cluttered, especially for a room that has exactly one tiny, tiny place to store things:

Tomorrow, I will be participating all day in Philadelphia Stories, "Push to Publish" event at Rosemont College. In the morning, I get to be on the "Speed Dating with Editors" group and then on two panels: "Is the Short Story Dead?" (No. That's all I have to say about it. How will I fill the rest of the time?) and "Writing for Blogs." I'm not sure what I can say about this topic either. I don't really make any money writing for blogs. I don't have ads on my blog and track in a bunch of revenue. I'm not even certain how many people read it. I guess I'll make a list of things I know you should do to have a successful blog--even though I don't do them.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Great Schlep

Did any of you bitches watch the debate last night? I couldn't actually "watch it" watch it, because I can't stand to see John McCain grimace and stammer for two straight hours. I listened to the debate though, facing my computer instead of the TV screen. Thank you, Obama, for not taking the bait when asked about the qualifications of the VP, because it would've been easy to look like a dick. When McCain was asked if he thinks she's qualified and why, he said, "Hey, listen, listen, look--that filly, she's a--Now, I picked her because she has a retarded baby. Now, if a woman who has a baby with Down's can't co-run the country, then I don't know who can. And yes, I will support and not support stem cell research to cure retardation because her baby should not have been born that way. But the fact is, it was, even though he don't know it, and therefore, we can't sit around here and support the kind of terrorism associated with my running mate. I will not allow for women to choose, and neither would Sarah, because then we wouldn't have enough retarded kids around and that would be a real tragedy for her campaign." I'm only slightly paraphrasing.

I can't believe we're even discussing overturning Roe vs. Wade. That is archaic to me. Why is this an issue? This country can't even take care of the children in the system now, and yet McCain's argument is that we can help all these gals to give their babies up for adoption. How? Explain, please. Explain how you're not going to raise taxes and going to put in place all of these new programs and at the same time, issue a spending freeze. Where is your magic?

Padhraig gave me a copy of this article about McArcane from Rolling Stone magazine. I recommend it. You will feel sick after reading it at the thought that this person could come anywhere near presidency.

Okay, and below is my girlfriend, Sarah Silverman, in her political ad asking Jewish people to visit their grandparents in Florida to get them to vote for Barack Obama.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bad Girl

So, of course, the week before I'm supposed to be on a panel about blogging, I am negligent. I don't know what's wrong with me on weekends--I had an extra day off this week because of Christopher Columbus' raid on America, and still didn't write an entry. I have been working on stuff for my screenwriting class and trying to get a story written, but still. To make up for it, here are a bunch of pictures for you:

Here are some black Halloween kittens dressed in pumpkin costumes. Which reminds me, I want to go as a mean tooth fairy for Halloween. I will wear a blood splattered fairy costume and carry pliers. Ideally, I'd like to have a bucket of plastic teeth too, but I'm having trouble coming up with ways to make fake teeth:

Night-time pumpkins stacked in a basement window:


Jack-o-lantern, art, lit haunted house:


At first, I thought this was a pro-McCain sign, until I saw that they had an Obama poster on their other window and then I went back and reread it more carefully:

Meow-ey, good luck white cat:
Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please:

Friday, October 10, 2008

No Photos

I have momentarily mislaid my camera and so I regret to inform you that there will not be 10 pictures of random cats in windows as you're accustomed to. I'm praying with my entire heathen heart that I haven't lost the camera and that it's somewhere in my home, possibly wedged between the sofa cushions.

I am happy to report that it's now officially tights season which means that you will not see this bitch without tights on for at least 6 more months. I love tights. They make me feel like I might still one day be a ballerina.

Here's my latest piece for Maven, called "As Good As it Gets??" This is not my original title. I called it "You Make Me Want to Be a Lamer Woman," which I think is funnier, but they did keep my bit about the poop (you'll have to read it to see what I mean), so I can't complain. I think my next piece will be about how the concept of "friends with benefits" truly sucks, mostly because the benefits aren't that great. I was also thinking about writing about how, in some ways, men should be considered at least partially handicapped b/c of testosterone. I truly believe that it keeps men from thinking clearly or acting compassionately and that they can't really help it. Not all men, but some. Many. Even so, I'd date this guy because he is so funny.

Nothing earth-shattering happened in screenwriting class. We watched a little Buster Keaton--a short scene where he comes out a store and pets a dog and he's so boring that the dog just walks away--would rather not even be petted by him. I don't think I have it in me to be a screenwriter. Or a fiction writer, for that matter. Just a blogger. Just an occasional blogger, that's my thing now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Momentarily Color Blind

I constantly evaluate other people's outfits while I'm waiting for the subway or on the subway. Saw a girl today wearing ripped up white tights under cut-off denim shorts with cowboy boots and internally tsk-ed at her. Then I realized while I was sitting in the brighter lights of the Market Street subway car that I was in fact wearing a gray skirt and not a brown skirt as I thought in the dim lights of my bedroom. Whoops! Luckily, I was wearing a tank top (I am almost always wearing a tank top) and had a black cardigan in my office so I was able to pull my colors together, but just barely.



The other thing I think about on my subway ride is if the people in my car can hear the music from my i-pod. I wonder this especially if I'm listening to something corny (the theme from Oklahoma) or something wildly inappropriate (Liz Phair's "Hot White Cum"). No one ever seems shocked or offended, so I guess it's contained.



Screenwriting class tonight. Our final assignment will be to turn a short story into a screenplay. The teacher gave us the stories we can choose from and I don't particularly like any of them. For one thing, they're all written by men and focus on subjects like robbery, adultery, and world domination. Pretty much all of the stories have the "ah-ha" twist ending where something unexpected happens (the man who has killed his wife's lover ends up being killed...The deputy tracking down the bank robber decides to let him go...The king and his minions are all burned alive by the midget court jester, Hopfrog, the observant narrator has learned, like his colleague, how to blow things up from a-far). Why can't I turn Lorrie Moore's "Terrific Mother" into a screenplay? That's got a great opening: a woman at a party who accidentally kills the hosts eight month old baby. Our next assignment is to write a 3-5 page scene where two unlike characters get into a car accident. My initial idea was to have a guy crash into a family SUV and everyone is killed except for the baby so he takes the baby and leaves the scene of the crime. But you know what, I think Denis Johnson already wrote that story and it was made into a movie. Right?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wash Me

Went to the 10th Street Laundromat this weekend. I am ambivalent about doing laundry at the laundromat. On the one hand, it's stressful because you never know if there will be enough w/d available. On the other hand, it provides a great feeling of accomplishment. Look, a drawer full of clean underwear! Yeah!! However, I don't think I'll go to 10th St. anymore. For one thing, it's full of narrow cramped corridors and it's always jammed. For another, the washing machines resist swallowing quarters, so you have to stand there feeding and re-feeding them into the slot over and over again, hoping one will catch. I seriously stood at each machine for maybe 5 minutes each coaxing the quarters to go in. I felt like an idiot, and there were lots of people around watching me struggle with this. A Mexican dude came up to me and said, You need some help? I said, No, just--leave me alone, please. He walked away and I felt kind of like a jerk, but also, what was he going to do? Kick the machine? Use his magic, heavier quarters? I think I am starting to become mean. I don't know when this happened, but I seem to have less tolerance lately for invasiveness, like people bumping up against you on the subway or standing too close in line at Target or whatever.

Tried to work on my next assignment for screenwriting class--5 to 10 pages of an arresting opening scene. It's hard because it can center around anything, anything, anything; even crazy stuff like an alien space invasion, a time traveling dwarf, a hockey mom turned VP. I thought about writing a story about a nurse who steals a baby but couldn't figure out what would happen after that or how she might get away with it. Instead, I ended up with this cliched ro-co idea about a female rivalry. Oh, well, oh, well.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fuck Folksy

I am tired of people saying how a positive part of Sarah Palincomparison's appeal is that she's "folksy." You know who else is "folksy?" Rednecks. Those backwater inbreds who rape the other dudes in Deliverance were "folksy." Klan members are "folksy." "Folksy" is not a compliment. I don't understand why people aren't being even harder on her after these debates. Just because she didn't burst into tears or say "no comment" does not mean she did a good job. It reminds me of that David Cross skit where he's amazed everyone treats Bush with such support after 9/11. "Hey, buddy, good job!" As if the person has come in second place in the Special Olympics.VP candidates should be better than this. Any beauty contestant or five year old can talk nonstop without saying anything of substance and we don't congratulate them on their ability to spout nonsense and/or talking points on cue. She's up at the podium smiling and winking (like, really? WINKING at people? Isn't that something you're supposed to do as a stand up comedian, and even then, aren't you sort of making fun of people who wink because it's one of the corniest, most meaningless, outdated things you can do and it makes you look stupid and insincere?) and saying, "I sure as heck fire don't get what ya'll is so ups in arms about with with all this political talk. Shucks, we don't worry about them kind of nu-klear problems in Alaska, no siree, bob! And if the end of the world does come, why, that would be just terrible, wouldn't it?" Or how about her way of parroting back everything Joe Biden said. He'd say, That would be a tragic day if we lost Obama and I had to assume his role. And she'd say, Yes, that would certainly be a bad day like he said and I would say after him and in response that I too believe a bad day it would be if something like that were to happen, God forbid, A-men. And can someone please call her on her idiotic circular logic and inability to answer a question unrelated to the six talking points that have been hammered into her head for the last however many weeks in preparation for this night? She takes feminism back about negative 500 years. "I'm just a mom who wants to make nice. If you vote for me, I'll be sure everyone has milk and cookies on the table when they get home from work and I'll blow you too." You're being elected to be the second in command, idiot. We don't care about the fact that you can drive your SUV without crashing to get your kids to hockey practice on time. Did she go to graduate school? Does she have a degree beyond her BA in Home Economics for U of A? Oh, okay, here's your answer. She attended five different colleges in six years and apparently, no one can find any of her transcripts. We're going to elect a VP who needed 6 years to get her BA in journalism?

Okay, stop. Pictures now. This is a photo Lisa Marie took last weekend.

Here you have a Zen-practicing cat stretched out on a pallet in his very own yoga studio/front window.
Aw, how cute! A little dead boy Frankenstein!



Here is a detail from the 30th Street bridge that I cross on the days when I decide to walk at least part-way home.

This is an example of a Halloween window display that I don't like because it's too creepy. In case you can't see, that's the torso of Freddy Kruger of Nightmare on Elm Street notoriety.


This is more like it though I still think the Frankenstein head in the background is off-putting.


Here is a photograph of a praying mantis I spotted trying to cross the sidewalk . I found a branch to help him to the other side because he was pretty wobbly.

And I like this display okay too.

Phillie hearts Obama. You see posters everywhere.


And drawings...

Art.


Write me a letter!