Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday errands


To do:

1. Pick up clothes dropped off this morning at the laundromat where the Asian man missing three fingers on his right hand always smiles and says he can have my clothes ready in a snap. It is criminally cheap to take your laundry in to this place rather than spending the two hours doing it yourself. Today's batch (about 2 loads) cost $15. I am living the life of luxury.

2. Return cable box to Comcast. I decided that even though I am a woman of a certain age who has her clothes "done," I do not need to pay $60 plus dollars a month to watch only mildly entertaining episodes of Real Housewives of Some Obnoxious County. I will miss Clean House, though. It's a very satisfying show to watch because they make everything pretty again. However, isn't there a way now for me to hook my laptop onto my TV and thereby watch stuff on the screen? Or did I dream that? Also, since I now have Netflix, I can also download their "watch instantly" crap, though it does feel weird watching it while sitting at my desk, as though I'm at school and suffering through a filmstrip. I did buy an antannae yesterday, and so can sort of get Channel 10 and a couple of others, but alas, I can't get ABC, Channel 6 for The Bachelorette. Well, I take that back. I can get a snowy, fuzzy version of it . I can hear it but not really see it. It's like watching TV without your glasses on. I wonder if there's a way to watch it live anyway on my laptop, but then how can I also blog about it?

3. Finish reading and commenting on students stories for class tomorrow.

4. Gym with Liz in just a few minutes. Without my cable, the gym takes on new significance as they have TVs on all of the machines. I may just have to go there at 9 p.m. tomorrow to do the elliptical and watch The Bachelorette, while also dictating wry commentary to some assistant or another.

5. Learn to use my new phone. I realized yesterday while we were at Circuit City or somewhere that I was due for a new free phone and so now I have one that doesn't actually seem any different from my old phone, except it's silver and you can type a message to be displayed on the front, like "Yes, we can."

My, God, I am living the life of luxury--someone to do my laundry, new phones, gym membership, just had my hair cut recently--all I need now is a driver and a personal chef.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Decorations

As I've mentioned before, since we're not really approaching any kind of huge national holiday,the windows in South Philly have remained static. I don't think anyone will be putting up huge sunbursts for June 21st's summer solstice, but I do think we can expect 'merican and Confederate flags, red, white, and blue streamers, and Uncle Sam's to start bursting through the window panes as soon as June 1 hits. In the meantime, you can count on windows to display art.

For instance, here we have a Greek theme (I think?): Philosopher preparing to swan dive off the high jumping board, buff man in loincloth, elaborate feathered headdress, and boots, and the Parthenon equals what?


Look, our first American flag (I think it's up year round), alongside porcelain dolls, flowers, and a granny encased in a glass tube.

This is cute. This reminds me of Jodie for some reason. Maybe because she's always going on and on about Easter peeps.

Showgirl-leg based, fringed lamp accompanied by a miniature bobblehead of some dude. I don't know who he is meant to be. A coach?


I like this one too because of the sideways glancing cat, who is eyeing the harp-playing angel like,
I dare you to come one step closer.

Beauty.

Grumbley old cat next to a blue door.

You can't really tell from the photo, but this cat is huge. I wonder who placed the football there and if the cat frequently knocks it off or leaves it alone? I like the white statue to the right; a figure holding a kid, both of whom appear to be keeping a close watch on the big kitty. If you click on the picture for a larger view, you'll also note a Philadelphia Eagles flag. Not captured: the Phillies pennant at the top of the window.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yet Another Video

Now I will never stop posting videos. This is one from Cute Overload. I couldn't stop lauging while watching it. It makes me worried. Have I lost all sense of normacly if I like cat videos? Most likely.

Why Don't I Ever Post Videos?

Here is one from the onion.com called" Online Dating Helping Pathetic Women Get Their Hopes Crushed More Efficiently."


Online Dating Helping Pathetic Women Get Their Hopes Crushed More Efficiently

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Golden Heart

I don't know what's happening in this photo below. Somehow, the Virgin Mary has ended up hanging out with two turkeys dressed in people clothes. It may be one of the seven biblical signs that the end of the world is rapidly approaching.

Curious dog in the doorway. He seemed kind of okay, but then when I took his picture, he started barking and carrying on.

I like this picture because it makes me think that the cat is coming out from behind a curtain, somewhat like a magician. Like he should be saying, Ta-da!

Little doggie on the back of the sofa.

This is an iron horse next to a pond in Newtown, PA, the place way down yonder off of I-95 that I bravely traveled to this weekend.


A close up of the horse's imprisoned gold heart.


Nature was also observed in Newtown, specifically, geese and their waddling ducklings.

Of all varying sizes and ages. This picture reminds me of the cover of the children's book, Madeline, when all of the orphans are made to get in two straight lines.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Bachlorette, Li'l Jillian

Okay, people, I know I have fallen down already on the job of reporting on the new season of The Bachelorette, especially since I completely and utterly missed the season premiere. And now, we're already nine minutes into the second episode. I watched the first little bit and thought, Naw, I don't need to write about this, but then I quickly realized how frickin' awesome Bachelorette episodes are because of one simple fact: the dudes have no clue how to vie for the attention of one woman. When it's reversed, the women are totally comfortably trying to capture the heart of a single man, but get a bunch of guys together, and they are at a total loss. All they can really do is high five. Again and again. And again.

The scene just witnessed involved Jillian playing basketball with all of them (completely shirtless) and of course, there was a big surprise!!! She brought out the Harlem Globetrotters. Duuuuuuuuuudddee! The guys (all white--the network has totally decided against pretending that the Bachelor/ette will date outside of his/her race) paled further and realized they were not going to get to show off their athletic prowess. The Globetrotters humiliated them and then picked David as the guy should keep, but I'm not sure why. I think I may hate him.

Next scene: Date with 7 hot guys. Some jackass is saying, "That's my dawg! That's my dawg!" They are doing shots of tequila. Since Jillian weighs about 98 pounds, she will be drunk immediately. She’s having one-on-one time with someone with a scruffy unshaven face (really? Clean up a little) and he's telling her that her "eyes were like SO green in the sun. Like, piercing!" One of the guys pretends to take a shot and then palms it (? what does that mean?). Oh, Juan, it was Juan, "this 6'3" clown). Another idiot suggest that they tie the guy to a tree and beat the shit of out him. The front-runner in class, clearly. I guess no one likes Juan. Now, it's on to Kiptyn (I did not make that name up). I guess it's a cross between Kip and Ty? OMIGOD, TY! Bad memories for Jillian. Kipling has ten pounds of mouse on his slightly thinning hair as well as three distinct lines on his forehead. He hasn't ever had his heart broken he says. She can't believe it! He usually ends things. Jillian finds this worrisome, what's more worrisome, J, are the two zippers on his jacket pocket. What does he keep in there? Condoms? Chewing gum? Condom flavored chewing gum? I'm happy that she's kissing every single one of them. She admits that she just wants to make out with him. He does the hands on the face thing. We know she likes that better than the thumb on the chin kisses she got from he who shall remain nameless. David swears too much. He has said "fuck" no fewer than 25 times.

Rose goes to the guy with the hairline that starts just above his eyebrows, Mike. He gets the prize because he borrowed someone else's Speedos and jumped into the ocean. I wonder why they choose all of these super tall guys? She's tiny. She looks like a mini next to all of them. I still really like how she talks; this super scratchy voice like she's been shouting all day, plus the Canadian accent.

Cocktail party: The dudes are now talking about why they're here. For her, not to make friends. Wes, the hick, is saying how "it's not time to pump the brakes, it's time to hit the gas." Surprisingly, he is a country Western singer. I can't wait to hear his song lyrics. Another hick, Tanner, from Dallas, TX. He's explaining how he loves feet. He's holding her feet. He's being weird. She asks him who has the ugliest feet. Tanner immediately says, Sasha. I don't like any of these guys. Who did Wes' hair, it looks like it's been done by an eggbeater, sticking up straight all over the place. Or like he just woke up after being out at a juke joint until 5 a.m.

She pulls Jesse aside and asks him what his relationship style is like. He says he has had two serious relationships, one that he liked and one that he didn't (?). He did have the opportunity to go to Italy, but instead, he chose to come and meet Jillian. I guess he's okay, though he's clearly telling her the story to make her feel bad.

Why so many dudes with Southern accents? One of them is making his patented drink, the Roswell. It clearly has a roofie in it. He caught a cherry in his lips. He's a bartender. He's 25 and from Texas and had fifteen seconds with her because Wes interrupted her and said, Are you cheating on me? Creepy. (Reid the realtor is cute too, and he's from Philadelphia). Wes tells her that he's beautiful and the other guys think he's just there to promote his music. Next, an altercation where Robby calls Wes out on interrupting the date and Wes says he didn't come there to date a dude and if anything, it's Robby's job to step it up.

Thank God this show is only one hour long. Remember way back this spring when we had to endure two hours of The Bachelor Jason almost every single time? I guess maybe with the guys, there's less going on, less drama, because the men don't burst into tears as often.

She must try to have a conversation with all of them. She looks a little worn out, to be frank. In comes Chris to announce that they get to play Survivor and vote one of the guys out. Stupid. They must be their votes into a recipe box from Ikea. There's probably some trick like last time where the person they vote out gets to stay. Jillian says that she knows about dates but she wasn't aware that they would have to play this lame game. Feet guy says, This is brutal. Another guy gives a look like he's a psycho killer. Oh, yes, I guess he is, and also a break dancing teacher. Reid would have put Wes on the card but he's exempt. She comes over to talk to him. He seems calm and sweet. She asks him when his birthday is and he says April and she says hers is December and he says that Taurus' and Capricorns are the most compatible. Is that true?

Juan steals her away and gives her his jacket even though it's 90 degrees outside. Could someone shut up Dave who again says he wants to beat the shit out of Juan. "He's breaking man code left and right," Dave explains through a steroid fog. Truth be told, Juan does seem a little fake. She likes him. He's saying how much he really wants to be with him.

Brian, the IT consultant, takes off his glasses and his jacket and shit, what is he going to do??????? He has porcupine hair. What is he going to do? Oh, dear God, he's doing a strip tease. WHAT? He takes off all his clothes and then jumps into the pool. Jesse says it was like watching a car crash. Pretty bad, I will admit. He wanted to stand out and he did. How original. The best he can do is jump in the pool. Remember when Jesse did the same thing with whoever was The Bachelorette last time.

Here comes stupid Chris to announce the results. The man receiving the third most votes is Julian. Or did they just vote off Jillian? Second most votes: Dave. Right on. The most votes: Juan. Chris announces that Juan will be going home unless Jillian says otherwise. And so they bring in the rose on a silver doily and she must decide. Stupid. Juan is about ready to cry because he's not ready to leave Jillian yet, he says. She keeps him, because they had a great connection.

Dave looks like he has lockjaw.

Coming up, the final rose ceremony! Jillian looks as though she might throw up.

I keep thinking it's Sunday.

Okay, here we go. In The Bachelor shows, it's whose heart will be broken. For the guys, it's whose balls will be broken this week. Jillian says she has had an incredible week and that they were great and it was incredible and they are all incredible and she's incredibly grateful for that.

First rose goes to: Jesse. Okay, fine. He's okay.
Second rose: David. DUMB. Why is she giving the rose to David.
Third rose: Ed. Who? Ed another guy with eggbeater hair.
Fourth rose: Never saw him before. He is blond. She likes blonds.
Fifth: Mark. Another sort of blond. Foot fetish guy is feeling the pressure.
Sixth: Michael. He is losing his hair. He looks like he just got out of prep school. This takes forever.
Seventh: Tanner, the foot fetish-ist. He would like to lick her toes for this honor.
Eighth: Kiptyn of the fake name.
Ninth: This is a lot of roses. Reid from Philadelphia. Yay! She likes him.
10th: Roger?
11th: How many roses are left? 2. Tanner F. There are two Tanner's?
Last rose goes to: Brad. The guy who jumped in the pool and the guys with the thick necks are going home.

So, leaving tonight are: Thick neck, who says you can't dispute someone's taste. I guess he's nice. He speaks French. Humpback whale, Brian, has to go home too. Goodbye to one of the Southern accent guys who says "nekkid." He's fairly confident that she was hung like a light switch and that might have killed it. Tall guy wit a Mohawk, Simon from England. I don't know why she sent him home. Because he's eight foot tall and has a weird haircut? I liked him. I prefer a Southern accent. Mathue the personal trainer has to go home. Maybe he should've shaved. Or not waxed his eyebrows. Aw, he's almost crying. He is crying, I mean. Bummer.

Jillian says that the night was super tough . She appears to have water in her wine glass. Next week: they will be in a helicopter and have to go down a building and then they're going to the Old West to film a movie. Who will steal the scene? She gets to kiss a bunch of people. Sasha takes her one a car ride and Wes brings out his guitar and sings his stupid song. David goes on a rampage and asks Juan to explain why he's here. He tells Juan to stop being

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Long Weekend

Not to be confused with The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I don't really have plans for this weekend, other than reading. I went to the library with my new BFF, Lisbeth, after work yesterday and checked out 6 books, including a S. King collection of short stories called Just After Sunset. I can't help it, I love Stephen King. I also got The Quiet Girl by Peter Hoeg, a Charles Baxter book, uh...Joyce Carol Oates book about writing called The Faith of a Writer, Tim O'Brien's July, July, and another JCO book, though this is a novel called Middle Age: A Romance. I talked to this guy last weekend who has met Joyce on a couple of occasions (she teaches at Princeton) and he said that she's very nice and wears big glasses. Just as I suspected.

I'm off to meet LM for a long walk to Macy's where I will hopefully resist from purchasing too many more things that I don't need.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Summer in the City. In the City. In the Summer.

Ah...Summer in Philadelphia. Sort of. Yesterday, it was rainy and then cold and then hot. Today, it's been overcast and cool, but will possibly change into sunniness before you know it. Anyway, I have been trying to capture some of the natural beauty of S. Philadelphia (avoiding the places where you have to step over dirty diapers on the street, beer cans, hair weaves, sneakers, homeless people, etc.).

I wish this first picture had turned out better. When I saw this plant? shrub? I thought that it must be made of plastic. It's not though. 5 dollars of Monopoly $ for anyone who can tell me the name of this botanical wonder.

Oh, okay, let's not forget that it's still baseball season (I just had to ask my co-worker if it is, in fact, still baseball season. My mother would be very disappointed in me for not knowing that). Here we have a line of fuzzy bears and dogs dressed in Phillies gear.

More random prettiness along the street.

I like how this cat seems to just be leaning out of the screen door, like, hey, what's happening?

Aw, another Gretel! I heart calico's.

A lovely window containing stained glass and a stained tabby cat and the shoots of greenery springing up from the box.


Can you find the kitty? Look for the glint of greenish yellow eyes.


Two of my favorite things in the window. Obama and kitty.

Look, she's sticking her head out to sniff at me as if to say that she's hopeful too.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Street Talk

It's amazing how chatty people in this city can be to virtual. In the last two days, I've had maybe four short conversations with people I never met before, including one (minor) fight that's been rankling me ever since it happened yesterday morning.

I was walking down the sidewalk, looking at my i-pod to figure out how to listen to a podcast when I heard a woman going, Hello...Hello! I looked up and saw this lady on a bike with a child trying to get my attention because she was riding on the sidewalk and didn't want me to run into her. The same exact thing happened the day before with her at around the same spot, with her telling me to essentially move out of the way. I usually don't talk back to people, but I said, You're supposed to be riding on the street though. She said, I have a kid. All of this was said in passing, but it irritated me to no end for most of the rest of my walk to the subway, you know, as I was trying out sassy responses to her statement, like, Oh, okay, you're exempt from the law then. Or, It's still illegal! Or, Not my problem! Or, Find another way to get your kid to school. Nothing good. But really, why does she not have to obey the law? Because if every parent decided that they had the right to ride their bikes on the sidewalk, there'd be a lot more confusion and accidents. And then I thought how unreasonable I was being, that I don't know her life at all, maybe she's a single mom whose car just go repossessed and she has no other recourse to get her kid to school. I thought, WWOD? (What would Obama do?). He would say that we all must try to have compassion for one another and put aside petty differences. But I love my petty differences. They are hard to let go of.

That same morning, I rummaged through a stack of books someone had left out, taking And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts and Crash by J.G. Ballard. In case you've never heard of the first book, it's a piece of investigative journalism published in 1987 about the spread on the AIDS epidemic. Anyway, I had the books out next to me on the bench waiting for the train and a guy walked by and said, "Oh, that is such a sad book!" I said, "I know, I've read it before. But it's really interesting."

Today, I stopped to pet a little white dog and the dog walker said, Omigod, your eyes are so beautiful! She then had her dog, Zeke, perform three tricks for me (sit, shake, and speak). I said, "Oh, you just made my day!" (An exaggeration, but I had to make up for the negativity from the previous morning.

Friday, May 15, 2009

South Philly animals

Anyone who has known me for, oh, three minutes, will understand that I like animals. I will cross the street to pet a dog. I've only been bitten once, and that was recently (no bloodshed). I have also been peed on by a dog. Still, I forge bravely ahead. I'm considering opening a dog walking business on the weekends just so I can be around them. But I mean, I also like cats and horses and birds and meerkats, etc. Below, please find photo proving that cats do yoga.

Here are some goldfish in an outdoor pond on 10th Street. Sometimes, you will also see a parrot in front of the house, but only on very warm days.

This is a sad old dog wearing a pink collar. I just recently starting seeing her and petting her. I tried to feed her a piece of raisin bread but she wouldn't eat it. She wags her tail when I pet her but otherwise doesn't seem too excited about anything.

Siamese cat. She's a regular. I see her sometimes on my way to work.


Can you tell that this dog likes and recognizes me? I once asked his owner what the dog's name is, but now I've forgotten. Hercules? Something like that. He did eat the raisin bread I fed him. He has a lot of energy and seems almost always ready to jump on you, but he doesn't.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Not Wanting to Have a Birthday

OMG, you guys, I will be turning 40 this weekend. How did that happen? I am dreading it, as though I will be an entirely different person in three days. But I will, right? I will no longer be in the 30s demographic. And I've realized that I haven't really been taking care of myself for like 20 years. I still don't know how to cook (I take vitamins to compensate), and I don't really own anything, except for my car. I still rent my home. Have never had a baby. Am not married. Do not know anything about the stock market. Can speak Spanish at a third grade level. Can quote Annie Hall in its entirety. That's it. That's all I've accomplished in 40 years. That's pretty bad. Um...what else can I do? I am excellent at walking on my toes. Animals love me. Uh...Well, I'm still curious about a lot of things, so I guess that means I'm not brain dead. I want to travel more. I'd like to fall in love. I still believe that maybe I could still have a baby or possibly adopt one. I think I would be a good mom, if given the chance. So, whatever. On Sunday, I might do something radical, like having my hair cut into a buzz. Probably not, though. Probably I will just have my eyebrows done.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How Much is that Kitty in the Window?

Because we are between holidays, the windows in South Philadelphia have not been as exciting lately. Instead, I've taken to photographing the various animals that sit in windows. You can always find a cat or two and, if you're lucky, you will be able to spot a dog.

But first, here is a calico kitty I saw earlier this morning. It reminded me that I recently had a dream about Gretel, gone now for over two years. In my dream, she was alive and relatively healthy and though I knew in real life she was dead, I thought, Oh, how nice! She's come back to me in a dream and I get to hold her again.

She liked to sit in the windows too.

Cats will respond to you if you stand staring at them from outside their house.This one noticed me noticing him and seemed to be trying to open the window to let me on in.

Picturesque cat in the window who is gazing at the sky.


Smooshed faced fatty head. I think this might be in a cafe window.

And here you have a different view of the same lazy posture.

Dog, mid-bark.
Another little dog.
Last, but not least, here are Emma Carol and Ernesto looking out my back kitchen window, mere seconds after I had opened it for the first time in ages.

A kiss. Right after this, Ernesto slipped his head through the screen and almost climbed out, remind me why I had never really opened the window in the first place.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Day After Mother's Day

My very own mother recently visited me in Philadelphia. Her visit was cut short, but we did manage to (1). have a home-made mom dinner, (2). participate in "take your mom to work" day, (3). consume two bottles of wine (4). introduce her to this boy, (5). force her to accompany me to a doctor's appointment, (6). and (7). crack each other up writing a thank you note to DF while watching Emma. Anyway, here are some photos from mom's visit. For mom, and for you, admirers of Donna.

First, a photo of her making mashed potatoes.

And brandishing a knife while also showing her team spirit to the Devil Rays.

Here we are looking coy.
Then, just for your viewing pleasure, here is the stray (and now fixed) mama kitty in her new home.
Which this photo startled her out of. Notice the X-ray vision eyes.

Ernesto, unfazed by anything except for the sound of the door opening, which signals that it is time to try to escape.

Emma Carol in all her fabulous fatness.

And here is where Henri spent most of his time while my mom visited. He remains fearful of everything, including hugs and catnip.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Philadelphia = Seattle


It has been raining for the last seven or so days and yet I continue to forget to bring my umbrella. Kelly and I went to Ann Taylor after lunch today because they were having a dress sale: all dresses $39.50. Kelly got a buttercup eyelet dress that I really like, but I don't think I look good in l-ellow, as toddlers say.We both bought two dresses. Is that greedy? I am not even sure if they will fit, as we didn't feel like trying them on either. Such is the life of a consumer.

I got irritated yesterday because some guy was whistling on his way into the subway. He wasn't a bad whistler, but I thought, Why do we have to listen to you whistle? Luckily, he didn't sit on my side of the track, but I could still hear him and I wondered if the people he was near were irritated too or if they thought, "Hey, how nice! I love 'Tiptoe Through the Tulips!'"I don't feel bad about not liking that, because I have a couple of friends who have similar issues with unnecessary noises, such as Liz who doesn't like repetitive sounds and She Who Has Requested to Remain Nameless who is, even as I type this, teetering on the precipice of murdering one of her coworkers who constantly sniffs twice in a row. I also don't like the sound of: someone spitting, teeth on forks or spoons (why????), or a dry, nervous cough.