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Showing posts from 2009

Social Networking Cont.

Do the common people who throw their coins in the fountain, as it were, expect an answer, or is it enough for them to be part of the zeitgeist, with the occasional random chance that Neil Gaiman or Amanda Palmer or someone might respond. Do they want a response from other nobodies?

Facing my Mother's Death

Back in 2007 I posted this:

and she's still here. Turning 85 today. So she's already lived a more than a year beyond the diagnosis. But something's different. She seems ready to die now. And it's hardening/closing faster, leaving her short of breath. I had to go down and clean up her apt. so she could come home from rehab after a small heart attack and small stroke that have left her blind in one eye. There's so much I could write about it, but I'm still processing--what I feel, what I need. They are saying six months now.

We finally had that sort of peace that I was looking for. And now I hate myself for all the wasted years, but I can't do that. They might have been exactly as I feared they would be--all anger and pain. But now I need more time, more time, and that is what we never get.

Childhood's End

I'm cleaning out my mother's apartment. She's not dead yet, but they say it's just a matter of time. And it needs to be clean before she can come out of rehab. My mother is a hoarder. My mother is a hoarder's hoarder. We've carted 2 station wagons worth to the thrift store, and this is a three room apartment. We've barely begun. I found a box of Christmas ornaments from my childhood and sat down and cried.

I'm finding it hard to function--both because it's a daunting task, and because it renders everything so futile. If we will all end up like this then why should we buy anything now. Much talk with my therapist about this. That we buy things to make us happy now--the future is the future and many people (not my mother) start to weed as they get older--finding less and less that objects are important. I am already less of a purchaser and I have never been the hoarder that my mother is. A collector, perhaps, but when things don't fit…

The Darkness at Noon

I haven't been here in a while.

Isn't it funny how we describe some of the sites as if they were rooms or places--physical space.

June and July were...hard. It rained almost non-stop in June, and perhaps half the time in July. It's raining today. And I could not outrun my black dogs.

I suffer from depression. I think I've made that pretty clear on here. Most of the time it's just a general sorrow--a little more effort to be happy or functioning. The past two months have been major darkness. An inability to see much good in anything--a hopelessness, a lack of dreams for the future. If you've never been there (another sense of a physical location) then you cannot understand.

Oddly, just before it went dark I went to see one of my favorite bands, The Psychedelic Furs in concert. I'd only waited 25 years for the chance. They were old, of course, but sounded good and the setting was intimate. I had no expectations and thus enjoyed myself very much. Th…

South Station

Amidst the craptastic cullinary choices, I watch an Asian gentleman consume an elaborate meal from what appears to be a thermos, but is really a beautifully packaged set of small containers complete with chopsticks. Like all terminuses (termini, locaii?) the range of humanity is broad but shallow. Behind me I hear, "Ich bin jahre. Alles klar." The elegantly dressed, the ethnic, the eccentric. A young woman goes by in an outfit I could have used for the Vietnam play-all tie-dye and patches.

Star Trek

The new Star Trek (which is now old) is fantastic and FAN-tastic as well. Friend T who missed the Trekkiedom in all its forms still enjoyed it, and those of us who worshiped Star Trek for 30+ years--well, it kept the essence and was a damn good ride as well.

And the core is Zachary Quinto as Spock. Spock is my favorite character--always has been. I heart Spock, and Quinto seems born to play young Spock (although he is only a few years younger than Nimoy was when he took the role originally). Quinto outside of Spock does not interest me in the least, by the way.

Star Trek succeeds because at its core are a group of great characters, and this movie gave each of them their own space--even if it is not "true" to the original origin stories. I am not so bothered by that. The friendship of Kirk and Spock, Spock's divided nature--all there.

Sometimes I wonder if my fondness for Spock comes from my own feelings of division, but a tiny look at ST fan fiction for all 43 years o…

Another weekend, another quilt top

I'm having a vote for the title of this one--again from random collected fabrics. Choices are:
a) Cats in the Crypt b) At Play in the Boneyard c) Kitties in the Graveyard

Novel being creative

I've been creative these last few weekends. There are a lot of reasons--some pharmaceutical, some not.

So I've been crafting. First I made a chatelaine.

Chatelaines were used in the middle ages as a sort of pocket (pockets are a very recent invention). The idea was re-embraced in the Victorian era (of course). Housekeepers would keep them on their belts with useful items. I'd been thinking about making one for a while because of my Steampunk fascination. Then when I found the little scissors pendant I knew I had to.
Mine has scissors, a needle case, a paperclip which is holding a suede envelope with safety pins and straight pins. There's a little metal envelope at the top with a little metal letter in it (I had it and I didn't know what to use it for. Mine can be clipped on or the safety pin can be pinned to the clothes. Mainly I'm keeping it on the end table to sew in front of the tv.
Here's a real one:…

Personal Pizza (parody)

Your own personal pizza
Something to fill your needs
Something with cheese...

Feeling a jones
And you're all alone
Stomach moan
By the telephone
Lift up the receiver
You know that they deliver

Your own personal pizza
Something to fill your needs
Something with cheese

Reach out and touch dough
Reach out and touch dough
--Novel "Weird Al" West(with apologies to Depeche Mode)

Plan-It Green

There's a game I played recently with the above name. It's a variation on Build-a-Lot where you are a real estate developer. On each level you have different goals-build/upgrade so many houses, reach a certain rental income (unrealistically collected each day), etc. This one, as the title implies, involves making things eco friendly. You add solar panels, water reclamation, etc. Then you track the carbon savings, energy efficiency, etc. Wouldn't that be nice, if developers swept in and improved neighborhoods? But does everyone want an eco garden? Or to bike to work? And of course, in the real world these improvements are competing with many other types of services. It's sad, because this kind of long term planning is ultimately cost efficient, but getting there faces so many obstacles, not the least of which is the human right not to work in our long term best interest.

More Watchmen

A friend commented on my quickie review that he didn't know why the rest of the team tolerates the Comedian. For that matter, why do they tolerate Rorshach? Psychopaths both. Is the answer that Laurie and Dan are actually more like them than unlike them-that they all need the masks to show their faces? Certainly Dr. Manhattan has lost touch with humanity as has Veidt. Who watches the Watchmen indeed. And their acceptance of Veidt's answer is eerie. Except, of course for Rorshach who has ignored trial by jury and other civil liberties for so long but cannot accept lying.


We finally went to see it last night. In the same theater-same room even-where we so V for Vendetta. We liked it very much. And as I mentioned, my husband loves the book. I agree with most of the critics. The soundtrack was bold and sometimes too obvious, it's long and slow, and Laurie seemed young-but not unrealistically so. The 80s were a character in a way they couldn't be in the book-the effect of distance, rather like in Ashes to Ashes (bbc show). Rorshach was frighteningly perfect. I thought them all well cast, even Adrian-he's something of a cipher in the book as well.

While I'm uploading pictures...

This is a doll that I made for my husband. I meant it to be ready at Christmas, and I got everything except the apron done. Then it took me three months to get the apron done. D'Oh. It's the character Schnitzel from Cartoon Network's show Chowder. Schnitzel only says RadaRada--it translates for everything: (about 5:13).

I put in a sound disc that plays "Radarada, raaada," when you push on his tummy.

No reason, just amused me to do so.

The greatest day of Guinness' life

When after 11 years, Mephisto let Guinness put his head on Mephisto's butt to sleep. They've slept next to each other over the years, but never quite this.

I love how they almost form a yin-yang. I came downstairs and they were on the couch. Guinness was awake and raised his eyes to me as I reached for the camera in a way that seemed to say, "Don't ruin this for me."

In the end, it was Guinness who moved away first.

You know it's a good concert when... come home with glitter in your shoes.
Spur of the moment, went to see the last night of a local "Rock and Roll Rumble" for Boston bands because a friend was in one of the finalists and Betamo had sent me the video for C*Star earlier (explicit). The new single is much better. Post glam Bowie inspired--great fun. Turns out the lead singer wanted to be an actor and may have been in stuff with other friends. The little pack was a freebie. It contains: a sticker, a chapstick with Gene Dante logo, an XL condom, lube and a mint. Guess you're all set with this in your pocket, although I think he was being optimistic about his fans. Much glam fanservice (for Musing) including coming out at the end with a paper cup that he seemed to be drinking from and just as I turned to scream to whisper to Betamo that if he were really J-Pop he'd throw the water on us (we were about two people back from the stage) he tossed the cup which was …

Resolved to post more

So much to say, so much to share, and time fugits, as it were. Guinness does have diabetes. Husband sick again. Old friend killed herself. That brought other friend to town and has prompted a strange, good and not entirely in my control meeting up with friends. Work busy and even occasionally busy with things I like doing (design, planning) but still the feeling that I'm rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, as it were.

Have been working out almost regularly as the avatar attests. Both swimming and Pilates. Have been working on managing the weight as well--portion control. Not much weight loss so far, but feel more toned.

Trying to add things in little doses. The tiny steps. One desert skipped today. One more exercise class per week. One piece of trash picked up off the floor. One more friend connected with...

More difficult texts

One of the interesting side effects about reading books on my phone is that most are part of Project Gutenberg which preserves texts which are out of print, and for the most part, out of copyright, and so I find myself reading things which were published around 1900.

Like The Name of the Rose, I always meant to get back and read G.K. Chesterton and never did. Oh, I read Father Brown, it's short and fairly easy. But not the big stuff, even though most of my heroes (C.S. Lewis, Neil Gaiman) site Chesterton as influence and hero.

And so I found myself reading "The Man Who Was Thursday," (which incidentally explained a variety of references in Neil Gaiman's works). Like TNofTR, it too seems to be a fairly straight forward mystery...and then it goes all pear shaped.

I actually don't have that much to say because I'm still not sure what to make of it. I'd love to hear some thoughts, because I know that some people who read this have read it. It is, in some wa…

Have you ever seen a picture of Jesus laughing...

Mmm, do you think
He had a beautiful smile?

A smile that healed
-Why Should I Love You, Kate Bush, The Red Shoes
I finally read The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. It seems funny that I hadn't read it before now, but I remember deciding to read Foucault's Pendulum many years ago, and then being so overwhelmed that I put off TNOR.

Part of the hesitation was the existence of the movie. The movie, for various reasons, the cast, the time, was printed on my mind. I don't think that Sean Connery was particularly well cast as William of Baskerville (yes, named for both William of Ockham--he allegedly of Ockham's razor--and Sherlock Holmes) but I don't hate him in the part. He made it his.

From the description in the book I could almost picture James Cromwell in the role, but at the time the movie came out, Cromwell was best known for playing the nerd dad in Revenge of the Nerds, so probably wasn't a prime contender. F. Murry Abraham was delightfully well cast, particular…


In the first part of the month, Mephisto was in the hospital, and will be on $125/month medicine for the rest of his life. Now Guinness may have diabetes with all that that entails.

Took the car in for its 30,000 mile check up--good to do, but damn expensive, and the rich wonder why the poor don't invest in maintenance.

All in all, an expensive month--husband's bonus and tax returns all taken up. And what do I cut so that I can save more to get to that mythical nest egg?

The old stuff and junk

I can't seem to get back into posting every day. First husband was sick, then cat was sick, now I'm sick. Work continues to be less than fulfilling. I have actually been somewhat productive in other ways. I've been only touching Facebook.

I made this:
It's a wall hanging for my b&w and yellow bathroom. I call it "Time in the Labyrinth." I've been collecting the scraps for years although I had to supplement with purchased fabric. The stripe at A5 and C3 came from a sink skirt in our house in western MA. The little checkerboard from a border on another wall hanging. The patterns at C6 and F3 from that purse from last year. I picture it as a sort of game. One can follow the patterns or the dark appliqued path (which is shorter but has more obstacles). One would move one or two spaces using either a coin, button, or perhaps an Othello piece.

I also made a new coat, but I have some finishing to do on it, so hopefully will have a picture tomorrow.

Social Networking, What is it For

The fastest growing group on Facebook is Gen X--those 35 to 45 finding high school friends. Twittering has become a subject of conversation as Karl Rove begins Twittering and senators were seen frantically texting as the President entered for his address.

I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and I blog. I also have a MySpace page, but I never really enjoyed MySpace. If you weren't promoting music there didn't seem to be much point to being there. The apps were hard to find and use (to me) and finding friends harder. I keep the page only because I'm following some celebrities there. Most of them are also on Facebook, so eventually I won't need the MySpace page. Facebook is terribly user friendly--it recommends friends, organizations, fandoms for you to join. Your friends tiny updates are brought directly to you as are the updates of the celebrities you follow. It's not terribly customizable, but other than that, apps are painless. Virtually point and cli…

The Fine Art of the Western

The western as genre is generally a film style that you either love or loathe, and I really only gained an appreciation for westerns in film class. One must submerge/submit oneself to the archetypes presented.

My husband has little patience for them--they are stories to be watched at that is all. We ended up watching two relatively close to each other.

The first, the remake of 3:10 to Yuma was fairly straightforward--most interesting for the fine acting of the two leads who, of course, are not American. And the Western is American, although the best of them borrow from other myths as archetypes are archetypes for a reason.

The second was The Assassination of Jesse James... I can't say that I liked it. In most good westerns the landscape--the west--is a character, as real and as important as any human as cities are in the stories I mentioned below. I say West, but of course, Jesse James was from my childhood home--KC, MO area. Like a student film, we watched long shots of waving p…

What it started

I've mentioned elsewhere that I love fantastic fiction--think it the most important genre. All the same, I usually don't read just fantastic fiction. I read a lot of styles, but lately I've found myself only wanting to pick up fantastic fiction.

I zoomed through Last Watch, the 4th book in the Day Watch/Night Watch/Twilight Watch series from Russia that finally made it to America (or to Barnes and Noble) 8 months late. It was fun--not as cataclysmic as the first three, and certainly not the last book in the series, despite the title, which is a relief.

I read The Haunted Hotel by Wilke Collins on my phone. It isn't really fantastic fiction, despite it's title, and it was something of a disappointment, being merely a melodrama with standard elements of the period, and none of the skill of The Moonstone or even The Woman in White.

Then I picked up Cities, an anthology of four stories that I had bought for my husband for Christmas, only to find out that he had alread…

Watchmen continued

When I titled that last post Watchmen started it, I was referring to a small streak in my life of reading fantastic fiction as well as starting the whole graphic novel thing (a listing of how the issues were stopped at one publisher and then continued at another is too long to go into and I'm not enough of a fangirl to tell it). One thing that did strike me on re-reading Watchmen (I first read it when I met my husband some 20 years ago--sweet singing Jesus I feel old) was the remarkable panel to panel work. Some people say that they can't read comics--they just can't adjust to the style of storytelling in the same way that some people say that can't watch sub-titled films. I will admit to having sometimes had difficulty with certain artists--Bill Sienkiewicz comes to mind. Other comic artists are extraordinary (so is Sienkiewicz, just sometimes distracting from the text) with work that could hang in museums--Jon Muth, John Bolton and the brilliant Alex Ross (who di…

Watchmen starts it all

Unless you've been living under a rock, or Tivo/DVR all of your viewing, you are probably aware that there is a Superhero movie coming out next week called Watchmen and you may even be aware that all the fan boys (and even some fan girls) worship this Graphic Novel (originally issues) as nearly the suigeneris of graphic novels, written by the truly eccentric and prickly (literally and figuratively) Alan Moore of V for Vendetta, From Hell, and others.

I remember talking to a co-worker about V for Vendetta and saying that while my husband and I liked the movie and didn't mind the changes, the graphic novel was darker, and the friend gaping at me as if I had spoken in Aramaic--how could it be darker.

The fear is, of course, that Watchmen will not be dark enough, and my own personal fear that if it is dark enough, it will not be what most of the audience is expecting. As in this early review (it's out in Britain):
He s…

Imaginary Band

I loved this so much in Facebook that I had to bring it over here.

And these really were exactly following the directions--I did crop and rotate the picture. Also, tip--have the sense to download the actual picture and not the thumbnail. Will definitely make your picture better, LOL.

I wonder what kind of sound they have? I'm thinking either intelligent thrash metal or Slavik angst.

CREATE YOUR BAND NAME & ALBUM COVER:To Do This:1 - Go to Wikipedia. Hit “random”or click first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to Quotations Page and select "random quotations"or click last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”or click picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use Photoshop…

Top Albums

I got tagged for this on Facebook and I didn't know how to respond. It's supposed to be the albums that mean the most to you, but many people are listing albums which are considered great albums. And I like great albums--I'm not one of those singles only kind of people--but in terms of my top albums I came up at sort of a loss. I didn't spend my money on music in my teenage years and so the list is limited to my favorite artists. So I decided I needed to explain my choices.

1. The Wizard of Oz, original movie soundtrack. What can I say. This movie/album was the end all, be all for me, up to about 7. I had all the books, the play sets, the dolls, I even saw Margaret Hamilton in one of her last performances as the Witch. I wore down the grooves (isn't it nice that that is a thing of the past?).

2. At 8 it was replaced with Camelot (original Broadway recording). It was just the perfect show for me. I read The Once and Future King and The Mists of Avalon and any other Ar…

1st Crown

So I finally got the crown on Friday--quick and painless. Seems to fit well--so well that the dentist had trouble removing it after testing it to put on the cement.

Even with the length of the process (pretty much a month) I still prefer it to a breast exam. I'm not kidding.

The tooth is smoother and rounder than my other teeth and I find myself worrying it with my tongue--though not as much as I did the temporary which felt like a lump of cold hot glue gun glue and tasted a bit like my fake vampire fangs. It also seems strangely the wrong temperature, but I can't quite decide if it is colder or warmer. It feels like a slightly misshapen marble in my mouth.

I am sad that my old tooth had to be filed down--like I've lost something important--no going back now. As though I have taken my first steps toward becoming a Cyborg.

Speaking of why I need to change jobs

On Wednesday my boss put me in a terrible position with our PR firm. I won't go into the details, but I had to rant for nearly an hour before I could call him back. And he, of course, felt that everything was fine. We are all miserable, and stressed and he thinks that's our problem not his.

That night I had a dream that wandered a bit, but eventually I ended up in a room in a museum filled with cases of live snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, beetles, etc. Creepy, crawly, you name it. And I knew in the dream that a friend was in the next room working on this exhibit. I was extremely freaked out, even though I don't have pronounced phobias about any of these things, just normal unease. The floor was sand and I found myself scooting, crawling out of the room, calling to my friend that I couldn't stay in there. There was a sudden sharp pain in my hand and I looked down to see a beetle biting me--a beetle about as large as my hand with half inch pincers. It was very painful and…

Pre-decisions to be made

I went on a job interview on Friday. This should be a good thing as I must, must, must get away from my current job, but it's not the ideal job for me.

Basically I would be a wholesaler for a home health aide company. I would dine and schmooze people who could/would refer patients to this home company. But here's the thing. I hate schmoozing. I hate making phone calls. I barely call my friends. I can be that person--act like that person--that extroverted person, but it's only an act, and I find it tiring--Novel as people person. I do it for interviews, auditions, etc. I think I do it pretty well, but it's not who I am. The friend who recommended me thought that I was a people person.

But, the boss was sane and pleasant and quiet and calm, and committed to working together and helping grow the business, and focused and intelligent. I'd be working with an old friend (who called me in for it) and I wouldn't even have to work in the office as long as the n…

Invisible Monsters (actually about my phone)

I just read "Invisible Monsters" by Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club. It wasn't that good--the central premise seemed ripped from "Infinite Jest" by the late, lamented David Foster Wallace, the beauty disfigured. Even the drag queens and the parents who had more pride in being parents of a dead gay son than they ever had for the son, seemed to just be one of the threads in IJ. We've been here, done this. And the split identity of narrator/narrated was done much better in Fight Club.

The only reason I'm really writing about this is because it is the first book that I read on my phone. Yes, on my phone. Essentially one paragraph at a time, but it's a fairly short book. I'm currently reading Japanese Fairy Tales. These are great because I can read a few at a time.

My phone, the G1, is like the iPhone and has many of the same apps that you see on the commercials. One of the best is Shazam which allows you to hold your phone up to "…

25 Things + 5

In case you are not on Facebook and have not otherwise heard, 25 Things is the newest, greatest sociological thing, ever. So I'm reprinting mine here, but I realized that I had two #19's (there is no number 6) so I decided to go on to 30.

1. I own and wear some clothes that I've had since I was 13 including shoes and jewelry.
2. I gain weight first in my hips and thighs and lose it first in my shoulders and chest--always have.
3. I have trouble wearing fitted clothes for any length of time including hose--always have--it makes me feel claustrophobic so I've always favored baggy clothing (this may have contributed to number 1).
4. I have been known to eat and enjoy raw oatmeal including the instant kind in the little envelopes, uncooked batter of almost any kind (pancakes, bread), powdered drink mix as candy, orange peels and lemon wedges with sugar (peel and all). I have even eaten raw spaghetti, but I can't recommend it.
5. I've only begun to enjoy mustard as a fl…

Wednesday Nights--Television

Last week I noticed that tonight's television line up is:

Life, Lost, Lie to Me, Life on Mars and Law and Order

Brought to you by the letter L (or Quaker) evidently.

Then I went into my DVR over the weekend and noticed that I had two shows back to back:

Trust Me
Lie to Me


But seriously, I need to cut out some shows. If I didn't have DVR it wouldn't be so bad--I'd have to choose one to watch and that would be it, but now I can watch double the shows! I've lost Eli Stone and Crusoe, of course, but this is what I'm watching (parenthesis for what I'm taping):
Monday-House, 24, Medium (Trust Me)
Tuesday-Fringe, Law & Order: SVU
Wednesday-Life, L&O (Lost, Lie to Me, Life on Mars)
Thursday-Bones, CSI, 11th Hour

And now on Friday we have Dollhouse coming up. My husband is actually being very frugal--House, Medium, L&O:SVU, L&O, Life, Bones, CSI with occasional foray's into Lie to Me, Life on Mars and 11th Hour. Oh, and ER's pulling out the sto…

Of Pine Needles and other infinite things

So I cleaned this weekend--really, really cleaned instead of just straightening and part of cleaning required vacuuming and dustbustingpine needles as well as dust bunnies. Now, the dust bunnies are self-replicating, of course, and will come back, but as far as I know, pine needles are not and yet, no matter how carefully I clean at some point in say, July, I shall pull out a book that was nowhere near the Christmas Tree and scatter a few sad pine needles on the floor.

While decorating for Christmas a sad piece of tinsel ended up on the floor.

We've never put tinsel on our tree.

So, despite having moved my husband's families ornaments into different boxes over the years, this remnant of his childhood had clung on waiting to fall in this apartment.

On our second Christmas together I gave my husband tree shaped confetti in his card. Periodically a tiny tree will appear in the bottom of a drawer. 18 years old and opened in another person's house, with two moves in between.

You Know What I Hate?

Mr. Smith: I move my finger one inch to use my turn signal. Why are these a$$holes so lazy they can't move their finger one f#@!ing measly inch to drive more safely? You wanna know why? DQ: Not particularly. Mr. Smith: Because these rich bastards have to be callous and inconsiderate in the first place to make all that money, so when they get on the road, they can't help themselves. They've gotta be callous and inconsiderate drivers too. It's in their nature.
--Shoot 'Em Up

Why, oh, why does no one use their turn signal? It helps them as much as us--lets us know what you are doing so we can accommodate it. Of course, it is seen as a sign of weakness in Boston--and people will take advantage of the fact that you are signalling your intentions to thwart you.

Why I Voted for Barack Obama

This essay was originally going to be called “Why I’m Voting for Barack Obama” and I was going to post it a few days before the election. But then I got superstitious and decided not to jinx him and I wanted to finish reading Dreams From My Father—which I did, on election eve.

And then, once he’d won, I wanted to read The Audacity of Hope before I finished it, and so things I wanted to say played in and out of my mind for the next two months. Hopefully I’ll get to the point I’m trying to make before he takes office tomorrow. This is what I wrote a few months ago. I thought I would change it, but I still like it even if I’ve added more:

Do I think he’s the absolute best candidate for president ever? No.
I’m not sure what that person would look like.
But I think he is certainly the best running now.

A friend asked me recently if I liked him. Yes, I like him. I like him more and more as we approach the election. I like his calm, his grasp of rhetoric, his intelligence after eight years of a m…