Sunday, January 30, 2005

We Reserve The Right To Refuse To Stop Talking About You

Life apparently does not mean to allow me to continue to be sad.

I mean, I am still sad. But life did kick me right up out my funk last night.

The Artist was supposedly leaving town last night, but he called me before he left to talk about work. We were going to do a job today, but it was gross and wet and mangina-inducing cold out, not conducive to work outdoors. Being as how I was both mopey and hungry, I got him to go out and eat Mexican food with me.

The great Mexican divide. We have three Mexican restaurants that we like. One of them is very far out in my hometown and we usually eat there only on long commute day or other times when we're in the town where our moms live. We lurrrve this restaurant. They lurrrve us back. It's run by the guy who used to be the general manager of the horrible Tex-Mex chain, Loco Lupes', and made enough money that when they closed down he opened his own place in the old Shoney's. That guy's been seeing me for takeout nachos since, like, 1999 or something. They give us the best table in the smoking section when we dine in and give us twice the normal amount of queso when we carry out. We don't eat there unless we intend to tip 40%.

There's a decent place in Green Hills that Design School Homie likes, but the Artist and I haven't eaten there.

Then there's La Hacienda.

La Hacienda is basically a Mexican restaurant that feels like the high school lunchroom. The prices are a little high for the atmosphere -- very bright, very loud and very close to other diners -- but there's always soccer on the TV and they give you enough meat and cheese to make five or six fajitas. Woo. (Their queso, I must confess, can't touch San Miguel's for quantity or quality. If you're around the 'Vegas e-mail me and I'll tell you where you can find Mexican Restaurant Heaven.) Their tortillas are fresh made in house and divine. I ate my leftovers for lunch at work today and called it good.

Anyhow, so we're at La Hacienda, which as I have mentioned, is loud. And close. As we walk in we see a table of fourteen girls, none of whom appear at first glance to be out of high school.

Then we see the seven two-person margaritas spaced at intervals across the table.

The Artist and I are nosy. It's in our nature. I don't think he ever read it (seeing as how he didn't really learn to read functionally until I met him -- thanks, American school system, thanks a bunch), but I like to play what I think of as Harriet the Spy -- or at least the game she used to play with listening. We speculate about the people around us in restaurants. For that, La Hacienda is heaven. No one can tell if you're looking at them or not because there are five tables and two waitpersons in between them and you most of the time.

We had a brief discussion of the very underage looking girls and determined that they were almost certainly in a sorority, then started arguing over whether they were a Vandy sorority or a Belmont group out kicking up cinders. We gave it up as we could see no letters -- a good argument for my theory -- because we had to speculate as to whether the two people over by the kitchen were a boss and his secretary being a little too flirty or no. (Dude was being REALLY squirrely in a way I can't really describe, just obviously preoccupied, and he kept glancing at the door.)

Ultimately all decisions in this game are indeterminate unless you can hear actual conversations, but as neither of them had a wedding ring the adulterous-boss theory got declared null and void, just as a party of middle-aged couples sat down at the table next to us.

The middle aged ladies looked like my mom if she shopped at Coco and Ann Taylor instead of the mall. The middle aged guys looked like slightly less straightlaced versions of my dad. They got two-person margaritas. Definitely less straightlaced than either of my parents.

As soon as they got their margaritas, they brought up the entrance table full of suspected sorors. Considering that I was practically knee-to-knee with the woman who had made the comment and that the Artist was clapping his hand to his mouth in an effort to contain his guffaw, I told the woman we'd been talking about that twenty minutes before they got there and hadn't figured it out. Hell, you'd do it at Monell's, why the hell not?

They were absolutely charming. The entire table died laughing, we went back to watching the soccer -- and when we called for our check the little woman who looked like my mom if she were blonde told the Artist he should go find out where they went to school. When he demurred she tried to get me to do it -- I demurred. I wasn't quite ready to face either Belmont or Vandy margarita-drinkers in ripped jeans and a headwrap, mostly because I was pretty sure they'd think (and be right) that they had been being discussed, which if on the off chance they were Lipscomb girls could get them in trouble, like, expelled trouble.

But then I passed them on the way to the register and looked down, trying to see a keychain with Greek letters, and saw a Burberry coat that cost more than the book on my car.

I am five. I went back and reported to the little lady while I put the tip down that my money was on Vandy. (She was a self-admitted Vandy grad and just died laughing.)

Now you have to remember. Torn jeans. Headwrap. Leather jacket. And Ann Taylor. Face to face.

The little lady was a little squiffy at this point and held my lapel button up to her glasses to read it.

"All bigots will be gay, homeless, people of color?"

They all grinned at "reincarnated" and laughed at the end, not mean laughter (and most laughter sounds mean to me for some reason). The other little lady asked me where she could get one. I told her OutLoud down close to Elliston. Maybe she'll go.

All the way home the Artist and I laughed because that means thirty years from now we'll still be able to go out into restaurants and play the guessing game, if our delightful dinner companions at the Greatest Little Tex-Mex Lunchroom in Nashvegas were any indication.

Then he decided to stay in town so we could play in a seven hour D&D session, and then I went to work. And now I have mail, and it's my mama.

What I'm Reading
I actually haven't gotten a book yet. I finished Cat's Eye at work and have to lend it to CDHSarah when she comes over to cadge graph paper in a couple hours so she can plan a maze for her dungeon and have the infravision calculated in BEFORE we get there -- we've been so lucky this campaign she's half sick of us. Her husband is level 2, owns 2 houses and has 40,000 GP because we've been so lucky on our treasure rolls thus far. CDHSarah is an excellent Dungeon Initiate -- she's wagered me +20% EXP for the entire party if we make it through what she's set up in less than 7 hours of real time. I have been a busy girl since I got off work.

I haven't quite settled on whether I want to reembark on the Byatt books or go somewhere not quite so fraught with whatever quality it is that they share with Atwood, one I can't put into words without sounding critical of the books; it's not a bad quality, it just has to do with the subject matter. The narrator of Cat's Eye lived in the same basic timeframe as Frederica, I think that may be it, so I may read Olivia Joules again before restarting with Frederica. Mix it up a bit.

The WinAmp is silenced.



Leave me a comment and explain THAT one, missy!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

No Tears In Heaven performed by Buck Owens, Roy Clark & Grandpa Jones. God, I hope so.

I am too sad today to babble about my life. It's rainy, the cats are sort of halfheartedly chasing each other, and I have no plans for the rest of the day. And I missed TV Time because I fell asleep after the news.

But mostly I'm sad because I can't, personally, go and stop this.

Not to be a sexist, but you'd think most women would have a keener sense of why sexual debasement is wrong, with or without the religious component. Then you remember that Ann Coulter is considered an intellectual in this country. Ilse Koch, Gitmo calling...

Bob Marley agrees, apparently, as Magus just chipped in with Trenchtown Rock. You can't fool Jah, indeed.

I used Amnesty's page to send the following e-mail to Majority Leader Frist, who is (to my eternal shame) also the senior senator from my state. The sad thing is, I have no doubt in my mind that it was a meaningless gesture designed to salve my conscience. I don't think he'll do what I asked him to do. Sometimes trying just isn't enough.

The text follows, but you can skip down if you only want to know what I'm reading.

Dear Senator Frist --

There are many things in the world at the moment that concern me, but the cuirrent administrations' policies on human rights and the things they are doing in the name of Homeland Security are probably the most frightening.

Having read the AP's account (provided by former Army Sgt. Erik R. Saar) of the sexual and antireligious abuse being perpetrated on the prisoners at Gitmo, and simultaneously hearing the new Attorney General disparage the Geneva Convention as "quaint", makes me frightened and afraid. Such actions as these rob the United States of its credibility in matters pertaining to human rights, and in the case of the prisoner at Gitmo who was smeared with fake menstrual blood and not allowed to wash (which by the tenets of his religion leaves him unable to make acceptable prayer), robs us of any support we may have once enjoyed from non-fundamentalist Muslims both at home and abroad.

I was raised in a good Republican family and spent my childhood being told how great the United States is because we stand up for freedom here and elsewhere. That's why my grandfather fought in WWII. I don't think he marched across North Africa so that less than a century later the country he loved so much could decide that the rules of decency and fair play -- not to mention the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Geneva Convention -- no longer apply to it. Even the Nazis tried at the Hague weren't submitted to torture (and especially not religious torture) before they were tried for their crimes; it left a clear delineation between "us" and "them". While I still believe America is a great nation, things like these tend to lessen my feeling of pride and instead make me wonder where the world will be by the time I'm ready to bring children into it.

In a country founded by men who wrote things like, "...[a]ll men are created equal, being endowed by their Creator by certain inalienable rights, that is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...", where do torture, discrimination and Stalinist techniques fit in?

I am asking you as your constituent, Senator, to take a stance against the continuing trend towards superlegal attitudes at the highest levels of our government. I am calling on you to denounce the techniques used at Gitmo as illegal, immoral, and un-American, and to hold those who perpetrated them responsible. I will respect you for that more than I did Nashville's first visual arts center [the Frist Visual Arts Center is one of the best museums in the country and he and his family gave them a huge endowment] , because while art is important, morality is paramount, and as a person who self-identifies as Christian, it's your Christian duty to stop this. There's no room for torture or religious persecution in the words of Christ, and his followers were usually the ones on the other side of that equation. Please, Senator, be the one who stands up and says "This is not right." History will make you a hero for it.


There's that.

What I'm Reading

Right this minute, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, because it's a comfort book, but the plan for this evening is to, at long last, read Cat's Eye, which got lost immediately after purchase because of the move and only just reappeared. And if I run out of book, I think I'm going to re-read one of A.S. Byatt's "Frederica novels". I need to read them in order, because I started with Babel Tower -- still the best IMHO -- and read them completely out of order after that, and I think I've missed a lot by so doing. I think that means I start with The Virgin In The Garden.

There you have it.

You know by now that I'm a comment whore, so do what you came to do.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Susannah's Song (Isn't In My WinAmp): Fanwank Remix

I've been following the "52 Books in 52 Weeks" project over at Negro Please, so I was delighted to get to fanwank a bit when Jason added Song of Susannah (Dark Tower VI to the cognosceti) to the list over there.

I have very few good things left from the first and longest relationship of my life, a long and unneccesarily sordid tale with which I will not bore you, but the ones I have left are awesome...the leather jacket I still wear every winter, the copy of The Fountainhead that was among the things I sued the motherfucker to get him to return, and an abiding love for the works of Stephen King, whose work I had unfairly discounted after some adult allowed me to purchase and read It at the age of nine. It scared the holy living hell out of me and left me with a bad taste in my mouth for years -- and as it turned out it took me over a decade to read that book again. When I was younger I had to turn that book to the wall because I was even afraid of the cover art (the Tim Curry cover that was the tie-in with the movie), but even at that age I was too much of a collector to get rid of it. Still scared the fuck out of me more than 10 years later, but I was able to deal with it.

Anyhow. The First Boyfriend gave me a rather self-serving gift (should have seen the warning signs right then) for Christmas in 1997 -- the first three books of the Dark Tower series. Because he loved them sooooo much, I sucked it up and read them, and after a little while I was the one being sucked -- sucked in, that is. The introduction to that series that got me reading King again was probably worth everything else I went through. Probably.

By the time I finally got to finish the series this year, in a marathon 36-hour immersion where I devoured the last 3 books almost at a sitting, I had been reading the damned series for 7 years. It was that series that made me swear off reading closed series with unpublished books for many years -- until J.K. Rowling tricked me and I started reading the adventures of goddamn Harry Potter, for which I kick myself every time I see the preorder info on Amazon. Not that I don't love the books, but I get too invested in these things and end up taking it personally (not Annie Wilkes personally, but very badly and with much "BUT I WAAAAAAANNIT!" bratting nonetheless) when I have to wait to find out what happens. I don't like to wait, because I'm a Leo.

That said, I'm now sad in a different way; sad that the series is over. Since no one I currently talk to is all that about DT -- the Artist and I are working on Book 2 aloud, but that's gotten choppy lately with all the moving -- it didn't really hit me until I realized that there are people out there who love it, yet don't know how it ends. Jason, for instance, has been reading that series for twice as long as I, and he's not done, and for some reason that just kicked it into my consciousness for good, that it's over, and there's no guarantee King will keep bringing the world of the Tower into his writing, if he even keeps writing (although I trust that he'll quit writing about as much as I trust it when Jay-Z says he's retiring.) Book 7 is one of the few books I remember making me literally wail -- not cute little welling tears, but big, deep sobs, the kind that scare you if you ever witness someone else emitting them, the kind that usually come from major grief.

But, in all fairness, I've known those characters longer than I've known most of my friends. I started reading them back before I'd ever been kissed, for God's sake. Now they've passed out of my life, and it's sad -- not as sad as losing a real person, since you can't pick a real person back up and reread them from start to close whenever you feel like it. But it makes me wonder if there's something wrong with me, because when Stephen King got hit by the van, the first words out of my mouth weren't "Oh God" or "I hope he's OK" but "He BETTER not fucking die, he's got 3 Dark Towers to write, dammit!" I was reminded of that recently because Fran's mother does something similar in the beginning of The Stand, and I hope that reaction didn't make me a bad person forever and ever. Just goes to show that even the most bleeding heart among us are inherently selfish, I suppose. And I'm glad Mr. King didn't die, even if he had never finished the Dark Tower series. I probably would have wanted to kill him myself if he had elected not to, but that just makes me a fanwanker, and that I have always been.

I rarely write authors. I've thought about writing him but have never had enough to say. I've corresponded with Jill Connor Browne, and as far as I can think of, that's it. There are letters I've written in my head to authors no longer with Earth as their return address -- Heinlein, Asimov, Tolkien, Plath and Ginsberg -- but my track record with the living isn't great. Usually the story is enough for me, and most novelists appear to prefer the readers who feel that way. I may be a fanwanker, but I don't want to be just another annoying fangirl who thinks she has a right to your private life when chances are you've shared all you want to through your words. (JCB is a little different because she's a writer, but not a novelist, and actively encourages people to send her their stories and thoughts.) Maybe I'll sit down and tell him what I think. I'll probably never send it. I might post it here.

Anyhow. That's what's up. In real life, nothing but work and vegetation, and a ritual last night that was pretty motivating but not anything I can really describe. Suffice it to say that my tarot is so right it's amazing.

Oh -- and CDHSarah is letting me re-roll my Druid and play in her very first ever campaign. Woot!

The media, just for you.

What I'm Reading

Nothing, again. I'm intentionally not picking up a book, because CDHSarah is due in an hour to help me clean, and I won't want to get up and get it done if I start reading. Next up is the Book of the Subgenius, which I had lost recently and just re-found.

What I'm Hearing

During this post I gave Magus control. What were the results?

Bitch and Animal, Scrap Metal
Buck Owens, Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass?
Rob Zombie's Brick House remix from House of 1000 Corpses
Sex Pistols, Anarchy in the U.K.
Tori Amos' cover of Tom Waits' Time
Jimi's Star Spangled Banner
Shame on You, Mr. Bush, a remix of Michael Moore's Oscar speech from Bowling for Columbine
Three Pickers, Daybreak Blues
Eminem, Broke the Rubber (a live freestyle with a couple of other rappers)
Fifty Cent, Many Men (Wish Death)

Let me know you stopped by...leave a comment.

Monday, January 24, 2005

It Seems Like Vegetation Is A Friend Of Mine

You get a line and I'll get a pole, honey
You get a line and I'll get a pole, babe
You get a line, I'll get a pole
We'll go down to that crawdad hole
Oh honey, baby mine...

Well, it was a weekend. My character died, which pissed me off a lot. The Artist wouldn't let me rejoin the campaign until after the next bit, which is perfectly reasonable given the story, but still, grr! I was stuck at a house watching other people play because it was snowing too hard to go home, so I ended up writing a letter to my vrai-fils, who is in the Army and going mad because at the training he's in he's not allowed to have books. (I'm getting ready to smuggle him a French to English dictionary so he can stimulate his brain.)

Yesterday I went out with DesignSchoolHomie and The Fisherman and ate ridiculous amounts of cheese, then watched a guy play Grand Theft Auto for about four hours. I've had worse nights, especially since I was blowed out of my mind.

Tomorrow is the full moon, and I have a pretty good ritual planned, to bless the box I made and a new statue I have. I have to do some more work on it tonight.

Other than that, I have jackshit to do, at least until later when I go pick up the steam cleaner from GTA Guy's girlfriend. I'm just going to vegetate and read Desperate Housewives recaps on TWoP. Then tomorrow I have to help CDHSarah try to get a job with my call center so she can stop entertaining thoughts of how long she could feed her family off her fat, dumbass Rottweiler. If I were as smart as I pretend to be, I'd be reading Sagas of Icelanders or making notes for the book, but I'm too lazy. Plus, I have to cobble together a ritual and try to find my I Ching, which has removed itself from its usual place and is hiding somewhere in my bedroom. And I should get started on a new winter tunic for Imbolc, but -- not. That would require a trip to Walgreen's, and I'm not about it, because it's cold and I'm tired and that's just too much effort.

See, I'm boring and lazy most of the time. Who woulda thunk it?
Leave me a comment anyway.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Return to the Hold Music

So I finally, actually went back to work.

It's taken me a week longer than it was supposed to, in essence, because of the built-in assiness of getting cleared to return to work after such a long leave of absence. I've said every day for four days that I was going back to work the next day and it didn't happen until now.

Whoo-ee. I am so glad that my doctor insisted I do half-time for a couple of weeks before jumping back in to full-time.

So I get to the call center, a place I haven't spent much time in even before this leave, since I generally telecommute. I return to that very soon, but for logistics reasons I need to come in until my half-time is over. I came in half an hour early to get my passwords reset.

It took two hours to get me fully reintegrated into the system because 1/3 of the IT desk is comprised of one smarmy idiot who spent ten minutes telling me that ALL the passwords were case sensitive. Because of this, and his failure to backdate the password change, I got locked out of the system twice. It takes twenty minutes to unlock, and has no override. I spent my first 2 hours of work doing manual tickets and transferring calls, because I couldn't get into the database to check orders or ship dates.

I did enjoy myself, far more than I ever did at the soul-sucking temp job. I also saw a lot of people I've missed, and came out tired but not angry or frustrated. I got to see DoktorMT, who I've missed terribly (I haven't talked to him in five months because I had to cut off my internet access while on leave and didn't get the emails he sent me with his new contact info.) I have someone to talk about HST and Eastern spirituality with again! Woot!

Luz de la Luna defended my extreme geekiness over at Special Sauce's blog, and I just want to shout her out for that.

I spent WAYYY too much money this week for my own good. I get a paycheck tomorrow and will go wangle with the bank about the charges from the late paycheck on Monday.

However, because of spending wayyy too much money, I now have lots of new fabulousness!

I made a box blessed to Ellegua/Legba last night after group. Last night's group was one of the best we'd had in a while, even without a guided meditation -- CDHSarah found a neat used book with a section for group use to evaluate progress and set goals for the year, and we had one of the most involved and exacting discussions we've ever had as a result of it. We've started an e-mail list, resolved to spend more time together as a group outside meetings, and addressed all those little niggly things that can turn into big problems, as well as just good old fashioned bonding. By the time we got done with that part, Not Dave-O had to leave, so we decided to forgo meditation and get drunk.

Well, they got drunk, anyway. I came home and tore my apartment apart looking for a set of keys that turned out to be hiding at the bottom of my bag, then went back and made the box, which is SO COOL. I need to get a digital camera at some point so I can show you things like this -- and show Tes the Resplendence of the Muumuu -- and now that I'm working again (and get stuff at cost without paying shipping, AND can split that up into payments) that just might happen soon. The Artist and I also had some good talks when we went to the mythical 24 hour Subway for drunk-and-high munchies, and did some good energy work on each other.

Also, we invented the coolest thing to hit AD&D since TSR went open-source: the imaginary die. Those of you whose teeth are set on edge by technical D&D wanks can just skip down to the media stuff.

Yesterday I spent the entire day with the Artist, you see, because it was our long-commute day. As we do on long-commute day, we came up with a great idea. I was advising the Artist on his campaign, as it just doubled in number of players and he's never dealt with a group that large, while I spent 3 years in college playing in a group of eight to ten and know a few tricks to keep play from getting tedious. I started joking with him about making someone modify all their rolls by pi -- he's an old-school player and keeps correcting the Artist, which is helpful sometimes but has gone to the point of obnoxious.

We gave each other the Evil Look of Dawning Recognition, went on a Hobby Lobby mission, and now have dice that are marked i, pi, ½x, x, x², and sqrt x, for use at DM's discretion. If you get i, an even roll means you get -1 -- awesome on a savings throw, as technically that would cause the thing you were saving vs to backfire on itself, shitty on an attack roll as that's a hyper-critical miss. An odd roll means you imagined the previous action, though. We are geeks. We are evil. We are friggin' awesome.

I get a shitload of XP for thinking of this (I think he's going to level me up for it) AND I get to bring Icculus from The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday in as my deity. Which means that my Druid has to go and retrieve the Helping Friendly Book at level 12, which will be an awesome quest, as the HFB is the most wicked-ass magical item ever (it has the goddamn RECIPE FOR TIME in it, dude.) I also got "mockingbird" as a language without having to use a slot for it. As a negative modifier, every time I meet a person named Wilson I have to do a save to see if I go berserk. If you're scratching your head, please realize that this may be the first AD&D/Phish fusion in the history of ever. My Druid is now named "Erin Wolf". Ha ha haaaaa....

We also found out that the quality of the formerly unsurpassed local gaming-and-comix-and-used-media store, The Great Escape, has declined -- the guy behind the counter had never heard of a d100, and they've gotten rid of the loose dice at the downtown location. Bah on them.

OK, OK, out with the unsurpassed geekiness, in with the media.

What I'm Reading

Since I went into Ms. B's armed with my gift certificate and most of my discretionary cash, EVERYTHING. I got:

The Rolling Stones, one of my fave juvenile Heinleins, to replace the copy Catherine took to Arizona.

The Sagas of Icelanders, with intro by Jane Smiley.

Breakfast of Champions, because the only copy I ever had got donated to the communal house I was living at the time, which is OK, but I'm glad I have one now.

The Stand, uncut and in hardback. The copy I had was the abridged and is in bad shape. I'm trying to replace all my Stephen King with hardback copies when the opportunity presents, since most of mine are in a state of extreme shabbiness. I usually do it via, where you can get a like-new hardback of most of the older novels for 75 cents due to the proliferation of copies available, but I've gotten the abridged twice trying to get it online, so I snapped it up.

One for the Money, the first Stephanie Plum novel, to replace the one Molly took with her when she departed for parts unknown.

The Long Dark TeaTime of the Soul by Douglas Adams, which has been AWOL for seven years or so. I now have the complete Adams, to my knowledge.

Choke by Chuck Pahlaniuk. I'll have the complete Pahlaniuk pretty soon too.

Foundation & Earth. I actually have a copy of this book on order as well, but I sold it to the Artist right there in the bookstore -- told him he could have whichever copy was in better condition for a pack of cigarettes, since I paid $3.15 for the one on order and could get a copy there for $2. I suppose I didn't have to do that, but the Foundation series is basically an us-thing -- none of our other friends who are readers have the least interest in it, so we've been swapping copies as they became available since we started the series, and he bought my copy of Prelude to Foundation just because he found a good copy cheap and wasn't done with it yet, so I suppose I owed him one. With this, we'll both have almost the complete set. I think the Artist is getting the Robot series for his birthday, since he still hasn't gotten to read them and my copies are too battered to lend.

I also put an antique conversational Japanese primer on hold. And when we went to Bookman/Bookwoman looking for a Monsters Manual, I succumbed to the Devil and bought Be Safe! Simple Strategies for Death-Free Living on total impulse. It's funny as all hell, though. I have to be careful with my BM/BW trips, because I could easily be convinced to sell a kidney and an ovary cheap on the black market when I see everything they have there. (Memphis Word Nerd, come down here and we'll hock our futures together! Browse with me! But first update already!)

We have, unfortunately, had to boycott Elder's Books because there's some fairly good evidence that the owner was hiring homeless people to steal books from area colleges and bookstores to fluff out his stock -- especially those books which were on required lists at Vandy -- and that makes him pond scum, however awesome his store may be. Stealing books makes you slime. Exploiting the homeless to keep your hands clean makes you algae. (But..but he has...first. Edition. L. Frank. Baum. God is cruel.)

What I'm Hearing

The Artist got me some George Carlin. Right now, though, in anti-honor of the anti-inauguration, I've been listening to a lot of good old stuff -- Joan Baez's Battle Hymn of the Republic, Jimi's Star-Spangled Banner, Arlo's cover of Phil Och's I Ain't Marchin' Anymore. Leadbelly's Hitler Song too, just for Georgie, and Ginsberg's End The Vietnam War with the illyB backtrack. You know. Hippie stuff, just like every other day. But for the cause, man.

The photos of protesters being beaten and gassed over that have been linked over at The Lounge broke my heart.Things like these are the reason I can't watch the news any more.

In happier news, Good Grandma and Favorite Uncle are coming to town next week! Huzzah!

This is the part where you leave me a comment.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

My Friend, My Friend....A Clever Ruse?

Dear You,

Driving home I thought words would fail me once I got somewhere where words were possible. Apparently they haven't, at least not just yet.

I've known you ten years. I've known you since before you met your husband. I've known you since we were all virgins. Today is the first time I've ever been ashamed to know you. Today is the first day I haven't wanted to spring to your defense.

People mocked you. You were always a little slow -- not mentally, but socially. You've never had much control over the filter between your mouth and your brain, and people thought that made you stupid. You're not. But you were always a little behind us, not quite as sophisticated (or what we thought was sophistication), not quite as "with it." We loved you anyway. We never let anyone give you any shit for being yourself.

So we grew up, and college, and y'all got married and I became -- myself. You've always been easy to shock. You've never quite been down with some of the things I consider normal. It's OK. I didn't need you to change your religion or your sexual identity. I remember coming out to you, how I was afraid it would make things different, and it didn't, and I took that to mean we were all on the same page -- not doing the same things, not loving the same people, but I thought you were grown up. Like we are. I assumed that tolerance meant understanding. I was a junior. I maybe should have reevaluated sometime before now.

You just got skinnier and skinnier, and we worried, and we talked and you didn't listen. And when you were tired of us talking, you hurt our friend -- who's been your friend since before either one of you knew me. You hit her right where you knew it would hurt the worst, and as far as I know you've never said you're sorry. That's not my fight. But it makes me think, now, that maybe you're not sorry because we've always been too ready to make sure you weren't blamed for being in the wrong.

We chalked that hateful night up to the disease, and we agonized, and eventually we pulled the plug. We called in the troops, the people who could force you to listen instead of just begging, because you were wasting away in front of us and we loved you too much to let that happen. And finally you admitted it. You said the words, you started to walk the walk. We were cautious. We were hopeful.

There's a lot you don't know. You don't know that ten days ago she wasn't sure she could be your friend any more. You don't seem to understand where you're at, what you're doing, how your cause creates effect. You're the same oblivious little girl you were freshman year, just floating along in the world where we always cut you a little slack, where you've always been a little behind and we let that be OK. You don't know that she was grieving for you as if you had died, because she wasn't sure if you still existed inside. I told her I was sure you did. I'm not sure now.

I've known your husband for years. Actually, longer than I've known you, albeit not as well. You don't bother to tell us how much you're spending, that he's halfway across the world and broke because you think you can solve your serious problems with your self-image via Mastercard. He told me, but it was none of my business. I didn't bring it up. I won't bring it up. But it weighs on my heart, just another gram weight added to what I already carry, and a heavy heart can turn bitter in a minute when you season it with the wrong comment, the wrong reaction, the seeds of things dark and unpleasant.

It isn't even about the politics now. It's not about what was said or how you meant it or whether you meant it at all. It's about the contempt for yourself that has turned into contempt for everything we never bothered to make sure you understood. We've always stepped back a bit in respect for your reserve, for what we didn't call prudishness because you don't call your friend a prude. But that's what you are and tonight I'm mad and hurt enough to say so, at least to myself. You're hidebound, you're reactionary, you're judgemental. And if using the word "disgusting" isn't a judgement, I may need to get a new Revised You Dictionary, because I don't think we even speak the same language any more. This time it's more serious than JCL versus Spanish Club.

We were too easily deceived by our hope. I was too ready to believe that it was just about you, about your issues with your body. Apparently, it's about your issues with the bodies all of us have. How can you live in your skin? How the hell? What the fuck? The words are failing me again.

You sat Art History with us. You can spot a Willendorf Venus at fifty paces. You know about objectification, about body image, about all the things Dr. M---- tried to teach us all before the world could tell us different. Did it just all wash over you? Did none of it take? Did all those people telling you to love yourself for who you are from the time you were twelve just never sink in? Were you behind because you weren't running? Were you oblivious because you thought "love yourself" was advice for everyone else but you? Should I blame this on your fucked-up family? Should I even bother to place blame? Do I fish or cut bait?

This is what I know: I feel worse than I have in a long time, and it's your words, your language, your descriptors, your reactions that make me feel this way. I've held you so close to my heart for so many years that I don't know how to stop the one from causing the other.

I'm not casting stones. I'm not denying I have problems; I admit them, and work on them. According to you, you're working on that. But your issues aren't what we thought they were. They go deeper than that. They're apparently centered inside your cunt, because it's not just your nonexistent fat you find disgusting, it's the way your body is made. The way all our bodies are made. That disgust and dislike apparently seems perfectly normal to you. May I remind you that two weeks ago you were defending what was left of your malnourished, non-menstruating body as "healthy" and "normal"? Is it unfair of me to think, if only in my head, that you may not have any clue what those words mean? Does it make me judgemental, or just discriminate?

I've never even tried to mold you into someone more like me. There ain't another one like me in all the world and I'm not trying to rectify that. I'm not going to make you look at hentai with me. I'm not going to make you put your hands on your beautiful bleeding cunt if it takes you outside your comfort zone. That's not my job; I'm not Annie Fucking Sprinkle over here. I'm your friend, or at least I think I still am. Tonight, for the first time in over a decade, I'm not sure about that. And it hurts like a kick to the kidney, because I've always defended you. I've always made allowances. I've done it for so long it's second nature, and now I'm playing Scrabble with a stranger. I came to your wedding reception just over a year ago and I felt free, like everything was coming together again, that my people were back here with me and all would be well. How could it not be? You two were a net I could fall into when I got too adventurous on the tightrope of my life. Y'all have always been there to set me straight when my eccentricity took me too far off plumb. You were so normal, and I didn't want to be that, but it kept me on the safe side of madness to have you in my life, you and her both. It's a fucking knife to my heart to admit that if I met you now for the first time, I'd never want to have coffee with you again. I can't breathe. It hurts in a way I didn't know I could be made to hurt. I'm used to the broken heart that comes from losing a love. This is a break in a different place.

Once in my life I've had to drop someone from the roster in my heart, to do what my mother would call "disfellowshipping". That was a sacrifice, the first really hard decision I ever made, to deliberately excommunicate someone I loved -- someone who was once so wrapped up in my history that it was hard to think about life without her. Five years now, and I don't think of her at all. I don't even miss her much, because I knew at the time that the difference we had could never be resolved, wasn't even worth trying. I hardened my heart to her because I knew I couldn't change her, and couldn't keep her, and now when I see her it's like it never was, like we never were, like we weren't inseparable once. But I was still a baby when I made the choice between my identity and the acceptance of someone who was ready to jerk her love away if I decided to be who and what I was and am. It was easier then, because she was gone long before all the really hard decisions, and now she's just another person I outgrew. I never in my life thought I'd have to go through it again, go through it without a cause as severe as that one.

I could summarize the reason she and I aren't speaking now in a sentence. This time it's different, and worse, because this time it's not about me being me. It's about communication, about me being able to speak to you as I do with a friend. Driving home I realized I can't remember the last time I had a conversation with you about something that mattered deeply to me. I don't even bother to bring things up any more. Once upon a time it was a respect thing, a sensibility to your pudeur. Now it's a "what's the point?" thing, and in all honesty I don't know if you can call someone a friend when everything that matters to you has to stay out of sight so everyone can have a nice time. She and I have pulled together, so close. I'm trying to figure out just how far you and I have grown apart.

But tonight, it seems so far that I can't see you at all -- just a misty outline that might be you, might be a mirage, might be a memory of a girl who hasn't existed for many a long year. It's too late tonight to figure it all out, so, for now, I'll sign off on this the usual way --

Your friend,


Monday, January 17, 2005

I've Been Smoking Cigarette Butts, I Thought You'd Know

I've been doing some hard travellin'
I thought you'd know
I've been hitting some hard travellin'
Way down the road
I've been doing some hard travellin'
Hard ramblin', hard gamblin'
I've been doing some hard travellin', Lord...

Thank you, Woody Guthrie.
Usually I make it a point to listen to a MLK Jr. speech today, but I read "I've Been to the Mountain" this morning and realized I wasn't up for the audio. So I hit up Woody instead.

I'm going to hang out with my sister and the Little Prince today. Shortly, as a matter of fact. He had to have his pictures done this morning. I also have to determine whether the administrative employees at work got today off. I believe so, which means I'm going to keep my three-day streak of doing jackshit.

I don't have anything nifty to talk about, so here's the media list.

What I'm Reading:
For once, nothing. I went to bed immediately after finishing High Fidelity and haven't picked another book, because I've been busy since then. However, it's a toss-up between You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You by the lovely Molly Ivins, and How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, about which I've been hearing excellent things since high school. In all honesty, it'll probably be the Ivins.

What I'm Hearing
Right at the moment? O Fortuna. Previously Big Dipper by Built to Spill, and Hard Travellin' by Woody Guthrie. High notes from this morning include an unidentified bluegrass instrumental of When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder, Down In the Valley To Pray by the Three Pickers (hey, the guy was a reverend, the old-timey religious music is appropriate), and Bob Marley's Trenchtown Rock. Right now I'm hunting up Bob Dylan's Song to Woody.

Oh, Mama
Can this really be the End?
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again?

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Dammit, Kitty Sensei

My kitten may be a spaz. But I think she's a Buddha.

I was just about to finish an awesome, link-intensive post for Split Personality about books and what I read, when I did -- something, I have no idea what -- and shut down the browser window.

One of these days I will learn not to compose in the browser window. But not today.

So I was furious, cursing, bitching, all those things you are when an hours' work goes to waste -- and about to say some things I'd regret over on BUST when I felt something cold on my arm.

Kitten had brought me Snakey (a tiny rubber snake she unearthed somewhere and proceeded to pair-bond with) so I could play with her. This is not kitten's normal mode. Normally Kitten and Snakey are in their own little universe, in which humans and other cats are unwelcome. Presumably other rubber snakes are not welcome either, but we haven't tested that one as yet.

Deep breath. Sigh. Where did my anger and frustration go? The same place as the last half-inch of Snakey's tail.

In other news, Ghost of Goldwater, with whom I have very little in common except a love of kittens and Douglas Adams, (well, we also have low tolerance for idiots judging by the circumstantial evidence) sent me this link about idiots intentionally harassing Indian call center operators, having confused that with a constructive protest of overseas outsourcing. People, you are assholes and karma is a bitch. You're not getting reborn as a Hindi for fifteen hundred kalpas, and that sucks for you.

(thanks GoG for the link)

leave me a comment...leave me a comment...

Saturday, January 15, 2005

I'm Blue (Bah-Bah-Dee-Bah-De-Bah)

Arrrrrgh. Arrrgh. Rrrrrr! Arrgh.

The stupid bastards at my former work didn't get my check to me on time. Plus, it's MLK Jr. Day on Monday.

So I am overdrawn, have $23 to get me through until Tuesday, and I am furious. So furious that I am blue in the face.

That is all.

Currently Reading:
Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix. It's the darkest of the books out thus far. I am also speculating as to why anyone would need an Ancient Greek edition of the first HP book. Or a Latinate edition. But that's kind of neat too.

Currently Re-Reading:
The Tail of the Tip-Off, one of the Rita Mae Brown/Sneaky Pie Brown Mrs. Murphy mysteries. Yes, they're fluff. No, I don't care.

Holding Off Until I'm in a Better Temper:
the new edition of BUST, featuring Björk and Tori Amos.

Leave me a comment. It feels goooood.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

There'll Be Dinner On My Dinner Jacket (When the Dinner Bell Rings) -- Anorexia Remix

An update on my anorexic friend...

She has admitted it. Admitted that she has an eating disorder, that she doesn't know how to plan a healthy diet, and she is getting help.

Now the problem becomes where to go from here.

She's violated our trust, mine and our other best friend, and OBF is taking it much harder than I am -- to the point that she's almost grieving over the hurt that she's imposed on us throughout this ordeal. And here I am, in the middle again.

So many things dumped on me this month, most of them out of my control. Thus far, the year's tarot has hit the nail on the head. Getting fired, mom out of town, cat with health problem, crazy friend drama, crazy Artist drama...sigh. Things are never easy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I'll Need Your Badge (And Your Gun)

I must be psychic.

I went into work, and, well, I don't work there anymore.

As I said, this is OK. I'm not quite current on my bills, but I've made the past due payments, so nothing will get disconnected before I have more money. I should have enough for the rent.

Fuck 'em, I say. Except for the little voice in my head that says "This means you suck a lot."

No I don't. I am awesome, and they suck. Right?

Thank God for my day job. Without it, I'd be screwed.

I don't have anything witty or clever to say. I'm going bowling.

"Donny, shut the fuck up."

Stuff I Know (And Some Stuff I Wish I Didn't)

inspired by my Elvis Twin's entry.

Stuff I Know

1.) My boss is a dipshit without the most basic understanding of general math or applied statistics.

2.) My kitten thinks she's a panther, instead of a scrawny baby cat.

3.) You cannot keep a white-tiled bathroom completely clean in a house of dark-furred cats.

4.) The Principia Discordia is awesome.

5.) I should go back to bed.

Stuff I Wish I Didn't Know

1.) I am probably losing one of my jobs, sooner rather than later. This will not destroy me, but it will put me in a bind for a while.

2.) George W. has given up the pretense of WMDs now that he has the country for four more years, and that's scary.

3.) My parents are out of town for two weeks, which is good for them, but I kind of wish they were here while I'm all gross and sad. Sometimes you just want your mom.

4.) The Elder Cat is cleaning her fur off, and I can't get her to the vet for another week, so I just have to keep putting antibiotic ointment on her bald spot. That makes me want to cry.

5.) The Lounge is down for maintenance.

Off to lie in bed and read the Principia and try to get up the energy to go to work tonight.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Do "Nasty", "Cranky", and "Horrendous" Make Ten?

I hate my medication. I haaaaaaaate it. Hatey hate.

I'm trying to work but I have a nasty feeling everywhere between esophagus and belly. This will continue for a week, at least. It always does. My appetite will drop off to nothing, because everything I put in my mouth will taste funny, if by funny you mean inedible. Sodas will taste flat, the texture of the foods I like will feel too grainy or slippery or whatnot, and I'll stop wanting food for a while. I will not, however, lose weight, since this stuff also slows my metabolism down to a leisurely crawl.

The whole world has blue veins like an old person's leg. I'm surrounded by beige walls and my peripheral vision is full of slowly crawling light. Moving makes me sick. Not moving makes me sick. If I'm lucky, I won't hork all over my keyboard and they'll send us home early, because calls aren't coming in for shit or Shinola, and the ones that are are all the usual gang of idiots and I'm not doing myself any favors by being here.

I feel so gross. Even the new TN and my Elvis Twin can't cheer me up. Bleah. Bluh. Blah. Why is the disease preferable to the stop-gap cure?

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Hibbity Hoo Bah!

The kitten stepped on the surge protector.
The surge protector fucked up the electron flow in the TV, and now it's half green.
I knew I should have gotten the pimpy, comes-with-insurance surge protector. I am a fool.
According to Don Shiftador, it would cost as much to fix as to get another tiny TV at the pawn shop. So it's a new TV, or an N64 to play on the TV with screwed up color. Maybe at least it will make the 'shrooms plus fascinant.

I don't watch that much television, so we'll see if this is liveable. Probably I will be cheap until I go down to G-town and see if Mr. Morrison will fix it for me for less, since all that's involved is a large magnet and about 5 minutes.

But Special Sauce is my Elvis Twin, which is cool, and the computer is now not a scary mess of wires, which is cool too, and everything on this side of the living room is in a new and better place. Except the TV, which is fucked.

And Sars is supposed to post the Rush Limbaugh/FCC complaint stuff to TINO, which is awesome. You should be there, because if there's anything that's good, it's using a ridiculously stringent government agency against a ridiculous idiot. Let's see if Audre Lorde was entirely correct about the master's house and the master's tools....

All the stuff I'm reading and whatnot is below.

(leave me a comment. it feels...awesome.)

It Stoned Me Just Like JellyRolls

But I'm not getting stoned tonight, at all. Don't look for me Tuesday night, though.

Normally Sunday night is Scrabble time; I get together with my high school friends to play Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit and watch movies and eat a lot. That didn't happen. Instead, I went to Brown's Diner, which has excellent cheeseburgers and barbecue (not as good as Justine's) and went to see A Series of Unfortunate Events, which was OK too. Then I found out that my plans for tonight had fallen through, so I came home.

I'm taking advantage of this unscheduled alone time to:

* hang pictures and wall scrolls, which has been wanting doing since I moved. Of course, I don't have the benefit of a hammer (can of International Coffee, meet nail!) so it's not surprising that I've let this one wait.

* clean the bathroom (and it needed it; one of the cats had ripped open a chocolate and, instead of eating it, had smeared it all over the counter, and by "one of the cats" I mean probably the MK, L'mn'j'lo.) Also, tried to scrape the paper that's stuck to the glass computer table, which was only partially sucessful.

* clear a path in the living room from all the stuff that's set up refugee camp there since it was ousted from the Skeksis-free van. I also moved the furniture out of the hall. Also moving around the furniture into a more copacetic configuration -- I have a smaller table next to my computer chair now, huzzah.

* mostly, however, to enjoy my DVD player and still more South Park Season Four.

"Jews are tough!"
"Since when?"
"Since Abraham, fatass!"

That way the house will be reasonably nice when the guests come on Tuesday night. I will probably bestir myself to go to Kroger and set in provisions for the week -- but before I do that I have to clean out the fridge, which is not my idea of a good time.

The kitten has a new trick. Yesterday I slept somewhat later than usual, and apparently I woke up a couple of times during the dream I was having (about trying to finish my French final in time to graduate) because during the latter part of the dream I was also being stalked by a panther.

I woke up and realized that the kitten has learned to climb the closet door and walk along the wall-facings between the closets. Of course, eventually she got tired of that and started to cry until I took her down.

I also have a new neat opaque window-cling for the bottom half of the window in my bedroom, so there's more light in there now. And I think I'm getting rid of the coffee table I never use and the extra kitchen table (don't ask), but I'm waiting on a callback from the guy who wants it.

Does this mean I'm nesting? I like these decoration details, but hopefully they're not boring y'all to death. Here in a bit I have to temporarily take down the computer and separate stuff out, so I can move the furniture around on this side of the room and put the CPU on the table.

So I'll be out for at least a bit. Not quite as fun as eating mushrooms, but I suppose it needed to be done. And the walls are more fun to look at now. Of course, once I'm done with all this easy crap, I get to steam clean my floors, which will take forever and leave me aching, but it's all baby steps.

Currently reading:
Armadillos & Old Lace. If you've never read a Kinky Friedman book, you should. In fact, I think the literary product of Mr. Friedman is the only point on which GWB and I agree. (At least, according to Molly Ivins. Myself, I have a sneaking suspicion that ol' George is limited to audiobook, if you take my meaning.)
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This is one of the most valuable "self-help" books I've ever read. In fact, it's just about the only one I've ever read for which I have any respect at all. It's deceptively simple in its ideology, but it's reasonable and realistic, and not Dr. Phil.

Currently re-reading:
Have Space Suit, Will Travel. One of my favorite juvenile Heinleins.

Still awaiting:

my yOni lunar calendar & pussy purse
Principia Discordia

(I do have a parcel waiting for me at the post office tomorrow morning, so probably at least one of those things is coming off the list.)

And I have to leave bad feedback on eBay, which I hate to do, but it's basic rules that you tell someone if the sweater you're selling them has a hole the size of a nickel in the sleeve, or if the "patchwork" skirt you're selling is a preprinted pattern and not, well, actual patchwork. Be warned.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Shatnerization of Miss Jean Brodie

The rain brought the cold, and did it ever. On the fourth of January I was walking around Nashville in sandals and short sleeves (because I will bust out the sandals at the slightest provocation, and if the Pentecostals are right the ice-followed-by-t-shrt-weather equals the immanence of the Rapture, so I do it while I can.) Then it rained. Now back to your normally scheduled winter.

It's weird to live here and bitch about winter. My friends up North and in the Midwest are prying open their car doors with crowbars. My job paid for taxis every day there was ice. But that almost makes it pissier, the "mildness" of the winter. I'm from here; anything below freezing is cold enough for me and to spare, I don't know what -4º not counting wind chill feels like, and yet I still hate cold with a passion. I have no referent for what it's like to live in New York where car ownership is not de rigeur and people just...walk in the bitter ass cold. I can't walk to anything worth walking to in my neighborhood, except the twin Mapcos down the street, and that's utterly implausible during freezing weather -- I'd need pitons to get back up the hill to my apartment complex, and that's assuming I didn't do my icy-weather usual and fall flat on my ass going down in the first place, shooting out over all four lanes in the process if my general luck is any indicator.

And no, I cannot take the bus. Well, I can, and do, and used to a lot more, but because of the cross-street I live on, the walk to the bus stop is about 2 miles of long-ass downhill grade and I have to go downtown to get to a bus that actually takes me anywhere I want to go, which means roughly two hours added on to the journey at a bare minimum. Also, I cannot bus to work because the buses stop running before I leave at night. Thank you, Nashville MTA, for looking out for the little people, getting upper respiratory infections waiting on the bus because we're Southerners and our lungs treat cold like cancer cells.

As a result, I am always in my car. It seems natural to me; school was never less than a forty-five minute drive away from kindergarten on up. It took us thirty minutes to get to church on Sunday (and woe to my mother trying to explain the convoluted reasons why we couldn't attend the other churches with the same brand name, as it were, which basically all came down to "we don't play with them". This was not the first or last instance of such woe.) Except for now it isn't a car, it's a van.

The van has too much space. I don't place much value on the more esoteric aspects of astrology, but I must admit to being, if not the classic Leo, at least very much a cat-type, and everyone knows we expand to fill the space available. The last time I pissed off my boss, instead of firing me, he made me clean out my van. Right before that cleanup the Artist kept trying to convince me that there was at least the potential possibility of a Skeksis hiding somewhere amid all the crap I'd loaded in the last frantic push to get moved, and then left relatively undisturbed for two months because I never felt up to the mammoth task of getting it all downstairs and into the apartment. Now the van is empty, and somehow I get more bored with all that space open behind me, all those seats that will never be entirely full of bodies if past evidence is to be believed. I got pissed off earlier because since the Great Excavation there aren't enough books in the car when I'm gone from the house for a while, as is usually the case.

We had a long commute yesterday even for me; we took the I-840 extension to Highway 109 and into my hometown (to see the aforesaid boss), then went back around the city the other way to get the last of the Artist's stuff from the shithole apartment he used to share with an ex-hooker who went straight and...married a skinhead. Ah, the Old South, so redolent. Then, of course, we had to get the Artist back to his new place south of town, and me back to mine in the middle. Somewhere along the way, being geeks, we picked up the thread of an earlier argument about The Lord of the Rings. Since the books had been packed in the back of the car, source material to solve the Galadriel/Arwen geneaological connection had just become available and it was time to have the question settled (she's her Grossmutter). Somehow, that turned into talk about Star Trek. I know. Don't ask me, I was trying to drive.

The Artist's late father was a card-carrying Friend of the Federation, and it doesn't make me proud to remember cutting lines of coke with that card. (Well, maybe in some weird geek/street fusion cred sort of way that makes no sense, and if that is the Next Big Thing someone owes me.) Somewhere along the way, the "William Shatner-spoken-word" impression became the sponsor of the 100-mile car ride. Either you know the style or you don't get the reason I spent most of my time in the car yesterday laughing my ass off.

We did hymns for a while (we were both raised that way, and we know a lot of them.) We started listening to the radio and decided we were far superior entertainment. We did Yeah. We did Gin & Juice. We did some song by Staind that was getting its ClearChannel mandated spin (and sounded like every other song by Staind until we got done with it). We remembered that Shatner always turns contractions into their component parts and incorporated it into the routine. We waved cigarettes about. We paused for long enough to discuss how Picard rules. I got all my cool points taken away for admitting that Trek was never a really huge deal to me, but then I got most of them given back by means I won't divulge, although part of it involved coming out on the right side of the Kirk/Picard deathmatch argument. Then we got bored with that and went back to Shatnerizing hymns, after a brief interlude of torture-masquerading-as-altruism when the Artist decided he could banish the new Beyoncé single, which has taken up permanent residence in my brain, by Shatnerizing it, succeeding (as was his aim, I'm convinced) only in getting some terrible remix-from-hell composed of his version and the radio edit stuck just as firmly on the broken and shitty jukebox in my head.

Thus far, the only non-Shatnerizable material we've found is Arlo Guthrie, and that's because it's already spoken-word and has its own peculiar cadence. The difference is that Arlo is funny for what he says, and Shatner's funny for chewing the scenery while speaking like a cyborg with a short in its inflection and volume centers. Which is not to say we're not the kind of geeks who can quote both the original and the thirtieth-anniversary Alice's Restaurant in its entirety, because we are, and that's someething else to do in the car when you're bored.

We decided that the term "Shatnerize" would never join "grok" in the annals of the OED, and I gave some highfalutin reason at the time -- can't be described without self-reference -- when really it'll never get there because it's something we (and other bored and geeky people, possibly) made up to do to pass the time while crossing six counties, and not a cultural phenomenon a la 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon or Death Is Not An Option.

But it should be. says "Shatnerize" means "to produce something so bad it's good." I do not concur, mostly because ours is funnier, and also "so bad it's good" has a long and proud history that predates Shatner. That spurious definition laid aside, take the first song that comes to mind, pretend you're in the commercial -- this must be done aloud for full effect -- and see if it's not enough to make you least, if you're a geek. It's OK if you laughed. You've seen Revenge of the Nerds a million times on Comedy Central, you know we're going to run the Greek Council in the end anyway....

She Has A Lachramatory (And She Offered It To Me)

And that, my friends, is why the lovely Tes is the shizzle fo'rizzle. (The Genesis Device does require male tears, I'm afraid, but you'll have to take that up with Parker and Stone.)

I don't really want to write anything at the moment, because I'm calling a HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) -- never a good idea to spill on an empty stomach, a raging and bitter heart, and/or a minimal amount of sleep on someone else's couch.

But hey, that means you can stay posted to find out what's going on for Beltane, the origins of Shatnerization, and why the Artist and I are HUUUGE geeks. Aren't you just the luckiest little girl in the world?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Elbereth, Githoniel...

An apology to my non-Blogger friends: the blog allows anonymous comments now. My bad! (Shouts to Memphis Word Nerd and Special Sauce for propping me up and linking me in.)

Retreating into familiar things: Fellowship of the Ring (the BOOK, Not the movie, or the books about the making of the movie. The GODDAMN BOOK WITHOUT WHICH THERE WOULD BE NO FUCKING MOVIE.) South Park, the fourth season...the Helen Keller Thanksgiving episode is one of my favorite things in all the world. This is my usual modus operadi when I'm worried.

Backing up. Shut up, film geeks. I liked the LOTR movies. I did. Well, except I haven't seen the second half of ROTK because I haven't had time since New Year's Eve. So that shows you how important they are to me. It's a rare film that captures exactly the tone and feel of a book. Peter Jackson captured the fantasy-epic tone and feel, but the series is just too big for film. They did their best and it was good, but it'll never replace the books it represents. (The Fisherman says he wants another version, done in more the quasi-historical style that permeates The Silmarillion, which I would like to see as well.)

Anyhow, an update on the situation at hand.

Her mom e-mailed me back, and was very supportive. I still haven't heard from her, but that's nothing unusual. She has a doctor's appointment on the 20th and her mom is trying to get her referred to the excellent eating disorders clinic here, where she'll be in good hands, if she continues to insist that there's no problem with her attitude towards food. Something is being done. Now I just have to wait.

"Oh, what a gay time we shall have, and I do mean gay as in festive, not gay as in penetration of the bum!" South Park makes Dickens fun as nothing else can. Not at all, I'm sure.

Oh, the living room is full of crap, and I have not the strength of character to start on it at one A.M. But I have my new bank card and can pay the bills without leaving home tomorrow, so after I go see my old neighbor (since it's her birthday) I'll be able to get stuff started. Plus, the cats love it, since it makes the room one big feline-friendly obstacle course/napping frame.

Things I Need: a hammer, nails, cat litter, toilet paper, the tears of brokenhearted men to use in my Genesis Device.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I'm Following Vernon...He's my Messiah

Gotta love that Bill Hicks. (Buy Rant in E Minor if you want to make your bitter self laugh. All his CDs are good, but I require at least one listen to the Willie Nelson IRS song a day for max performance.

It really shouldn't be sandal weather in January in Nashville, but I'm milking the shit out of it.

So I unloaded the Skeksis-free van last night. My apartment is crowded again, mostly with laundry that needs to be laundered and sorted, and like as not given to Goodwill.

I donated over $500 worth of clothes and appliances to Goodwill last year, and I still have too much stuff. I don't get it. I think my t-shirts are performing eugenics experiments or something.

I did find my Resplendent Muumuu, just so the BUSTies know. It's baaaaaaack!

Damn, I hate having nothing to say. Here's some pointless info:

What I'm Wearing: thong sandals, one-off comfy jeans, Chairman Meow shirt, burgundy bra that I would like to burn because of its sheer pointlessness, dreadlock ponytail.

What I'm (Re)Reading: The Idiot Girl's Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life,by Laurie Notaro, because I don't feel up for anything in the least serious. She's not my favorite writer, but I'm glad there are other people out there who feel stupid for some of the same reasons as me, most of the time. Although on my worst day, I think I was a better drunk than she.

The 411: Artist asleep in my bed, orange cat and kitten each in a laundry pile, Middle Kitty on the coffee table.

What Happened to Gracefully Marching Forward, Motherfucker?

I had to do probably the worst thing I've ever done in my life today.

I had to narc out an old, old friend to her mom.
Not about drugs, but about her eating disorder, still. The principle remains the same, the childhood code of silence is officially over, and I feel sick and old.

I just keep telling myself that I had to do it. It wasn't a unilateral decision. All the people who know what's up agreed that it had to be done. No amount of reasonable discussion on our part is shaking the incredibly unhealthy view she has of her body.

My friend has the same little potbelly a starving kid in Africa gets, when her body starts desperately dumping all the fat it can muster there. Her pelvis creaks when she sits. She is sick and her husband, who I've known longer than her, is on the other side of the damned world thanks to Mr. Bush, hearing about his wife's total absence of periods and 900-calorie regimen over AIM.

It's pathetic and sad and it makes me sick, but I did it. I emailed her mom, the only person in this country who has the ability to make her stop procrastinating and actually see a doctor. If there had been any other way, I would have taken it. We have already let this drag on for far too long. I should have done this six months ago, but I couldn't justify it then. Apparently, I am never going to be able to justify it to myself, so best it's done now. If I lose a friend to save her, I guess that's all right, and I know enough to know that's where we're at right now.

But I'm five years old sometimes, and I've tattled to the grown-ups, and somehow I just can't feel good about any of this. I had better numbers at work tonight than I've had in a month, I cleaned out the car with the Artist's help, I'm laughing at my beloved Edward Norton in Death to Smoochy -- despite Robin Williams having confused the scenery for the pork sandwiches currently being prepared -- but the vibe is just nasty while I wait to see what, if anything, is going to happen.

Ten years and more,'s entirely possible she'll never talk to me again.
Ah well. It's what's right. But what's right doesn't make you sleep easy.
Now back to Worchestershire pork and people in funny suits.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Yep, It's the New Year

Took a couple of days off for a couple of reasons.

First, New Year's -- hell yes! I spent the day helping out the hostess of the party I was hitting last (my former roomate, CDHSarah), and watching the first half of The Return of the King. Then I went to dinner with the high school friends, followed by Scrabble and a very serious discussion about mental health, what makes a person sane or not, and some very good ideas about ways I can personally get a better grip on my life. A lot to think about.

Of fucking course, my dreadlocked self got pulled over and sobriety checked on the way to the next party, but as I had set up my party-going schedule in order to make sure I didn't have to drive after imbibing any alcohol, they let me go. (That really did piss me off a lot; I know roadblocks reduce the number of drunk-driving accidents, but they're no excuse for profiling. Alcohol abuse is equal-opportunity.)

So I made it there, after midnight, and the Artist was drunk and pissy, and there was a disagreement going on about who could and could not leave (especially since I had called to warn about roadblocks, as that interstate is the one most of the party guests would have to take to get home.) Things calmed down after that, we all had a nice time, and I reiterated my vow to just never drink again, because even when I'm not on medication, all the medication I have taken over the course of time has apparently altered my physiology to the point that I cannot get drunk, just headachey. Sad, really, but that's OK, as I haven't really had much impetus to drink the past 5 years or so, and was only doing it that night because both of the parties I was attending were being held at alcohol-only houses.

There's one New Year's res it won't be hard to keep.

So New Year's Morning the Artist woke up (he had slept in his car for reasons known only to him) and came inside. I was cold and not all about the patch of floor I was sleeping on, so I took him back to my house and we passed out until the afternoon, when Mr. Turner called to invite us to the next showing of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. So we went, and along the way we found some mushrooms, so when we got back to the house we watched The Royal Tenenbaums and tripped very, very hard. Which was nice, as that's not something I get to do very often (or should do too often) but it was nice that it happened when it did. The Artist actually looked happy today after a night of watching the walls crawl, and I was proud that when I hit the one bad spot of the night, I managed to keep control of it and not get freaked out and ruin everything.

Anyone with a theory as to the reason they made all the creatures in TLAwSZ very obviously CGI is welcome to share it with me, as that and the empirical definition of hippiedom were the hot topics of conversation last night.

The only problem was, we ran out of soda and ended up having only one can of Pepsi between the two of us, which sucked a LOT as we are too responsible to try to drive or walk to the store in that condition. Go us. (According to the Artist, he also found a Skeksis in the van when he went up to retrieve the last Pepsi, but I think that was just retaliation for my insistence that he go out the garden door rather than the front door. And in all fairness, there could be a Skeksis in my van, and with all the other crap in there I could quite honestly not notice. Luckily the Artist has to move tomorrow and is cleaning out the van in exchange for getting to use it, as otherwise he'd have to take 3 or 4 sixty-mile round trips in two days to do it with his tiny car, so it works out mutually beneficially.)

So I've obviously been busy, or at least occupied, since last I was here. I have also made my New Year's Resolutions, which follow:

One: Never drink again (as I said) because it's utterly pointless and I don't like it that much.

Two: Try to keep a better handle on the state of my house. I'm not here a lot, and while it's mostly dry trash and clutter, it's annoying to come home and have the place always look like a whirlwind has recently been by. I can't control the tendency of cats to knock anything they can off every surface, but I can reorganize to make it less easy for them. It is usually cleaner when I work from home, and I start back to that soon.

Three: Try to keep a better handle on the state of the van. There it's the opposite. I'm in my car or out so much that things up in there. Books, clothes, random stuff -- and it never all gets back down the stairs into the apartment. The car was spotless and empty eight or nine weeks ago. Now it's completely filled, and that's ridiculous.

Four: Continue my media limitations. I am not going to start watching TV again, nor am I going to abuse my VCR and DVD players. I have more important stuff to do.

Five: Pay off the credit means some sacrifices, but if it gets let go for much longer it'll become unmanageable, and that's unacceptable.

Six: Be more consistent with my health. I need a primary care doctor, two years without a general M.D. is too long, and I need to get something done about my back before they have to do surgery on it. Fear is not an acceptable excuse.

Seven: Continue all the healthy stuff I've started this year, like group.

Eight: Winnow out my stuff some more. I've done it twice in 2004, but I still have SO MUCH STUFF, definitely more than I need.

Nine: Take more time to work on me and spend less time worrying about stuff.

Ten: Keep on writing something, every day.

And, in the spirit of #10, I have a short-term goal.

A lot of you are probably familiar with NaNoWriMo. Traditionally the "write a novel in a month" project is done in November, but November is a bad time for me because of my job...the last two months of the calendar year are the busiest. However, I bought No Plot? No Problem!, the NaNoWriMo user's guide, and have started the pre-work. I sign the contract next Monday (I know they advise a calendar month rather than an arbitrary 31-day period, but due to delays the book didn't get here when it was supposed to do so and I wasn't going to go into it without doing a bit of prep, as that's not advised either.) Like a diet, I'm working the program. Updates will be here, but if I'm a bit less prolific that's why. Nudges would be appreciated.

Piece of info for my non-blogger buddies: non-members can post comments! They just come up anonymous, so sign your name!

Well, I'm off to check for updates all the usual places...I want to know about Pamie's wedding! I also want to know about everyone's New Year. So e-mail or just post a comment, and tell me alllll about it.

Happy New Year! Much love from the Land of NashVegas.

Currently reading:
Reading Lolita In Tehran, which is amazing, but painful.

Currently re-reading:
The Nanny Diaries, which I recommend for anyone who's ever hated their job and/or the rich and self-absorbed people they have to deal with therein.

Still eagerly awaiting:
Principia Discordia;
The Book of the SubGenius : Being the Divine Wisdom, Guidance, and Prophecy of J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs, High Epopt of the Church of the SubGenius, Here Inscribed for the Salvation of Future Generations and in the Hope that Slack May Someday Reign on this Earth;
and my replacement Visa, which is the most important thing right now, since I can't access my bank account at all at the moment and it's obnoxious.