November 30, 2008

My Mother's Theme Song as of Lately

I think Beyonce is killer. Or in her words, I think she's fierce. Beyonce has killer pipes, killer moves, and killer gams. She can act okay, too. I love that she's a real woman in a career path that usually requires starvation. In fairness, she starved herself for her part in Dreamgirls, but in her daily being Beyonce she is healthy and curvaceous. I could watch her shake her ass for hours. It jiggles in all the right ways. That woman's got talent! She just needs to stop letting her mom dress her.

I don't own any of her albums or any Destiny's Child albums. I just enjoyed the singles for the infectious, danceable, disposable pop music that the songs were. But every now and then she puts out a single that I must have, must sing along to, and must learn her choreography to. This go round it's Put a Ring On It. There are a few videos posted on the Internet of men dancing her routine for this song and I'm not going to post my interpretation for the Internets to see me shake my ass (an ass that doesn't compare to Ms. Sasha Fierce's.) Instead, I'm going to post her video for the song and let it get into your head. Love it, learn it, lose yourself in it. Word.

November 29, 2008

In By a Wire

Mike and I were out of town for a few days this past weekend and we left the cat to her own devices. I left her two bowls of water and one huge bowl of dry cat food. I figured she doesn't eat that much dry food as it is (that and I didn't have much left to leave her) and we'd only be gone for 48 hours max. Her litter box was cleaned right before we left and I was feeling okay about leaving her. The only problem was in our haste to leave with enough time to get to the race I forgot to close our bedroom door. And Fluffy made very sure to remind me why I needed to do that- she pissed on my pillow. Again.

It was pretty foolish of me to think food, water and a clean litter box would be all the cat needed to not piss on the bed. I was wrong. To make matters worse, it wasn't even fresh pee. The smell was faint and the bed was dry. She must've pissed on the bed Friday morning. That means it was before the litter box was full of anything and before she ran out of food or water. That little shit was angry that we left her alone. Even if I remember to close the door, she'll find something else to piss on. Something that I can't stick in a washing machine. I don't even want to think about that.

This cat has been up to no good lately. Last week when I was in Virginia and Mike was at work, Mike came home to find our loaf of bread on the living room floor with a hole eaten through the plastic. The week before that was the worst by far. I was reading in the bedroom and Fluffy jumped up on the bed and started sniffing and pawing around. She stopped suddenly and took the position. I chased her off the bed into the bathroom where she popped a squat and proceeded to shit on the floor. SHE WAS GOING TO SHIT IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR BED. I looked in her litter box and it was full of diarrhea. So I cleaned her litter box and left her in the bathroom. As soon as I closed the door she vomited the most vomit I've ever seen her create with that little body. Thank God it was on linoleum. I left her in there for a little while and when I went to check on her she had eaten her vomit.

I just don't know what to do to this cat. Get her a psychiatrist? I mean really. I don't think I can handle a cat with a dependency disorder. I have enough of a problem with that from a certain matriarch I know.

November 28, 2008

I Come Clean... In a Sense

So much food was ingested in these past two days. Unfortunately nothing was digested. Or so it would seem. I don't poop. I just don't. I do sometimes but I go days without what the medical community calls elimination. I've talked to doctors about it and they got nothing. I do everything right- I drink only water, I exercise, I ingest plenty of fiber. I don't know what else to do. Is there anything left to try? It's so infrequent that when I do poop Mikey gives me a round of applause. I mean, I like applause and all but I shouldn't get it when my body does what it's supposed to do. But when I poo it's a big deal.

I don't know how I can ever want to eat anything since there is never any room for new food. This past weekend when I ate two Thanksgiving dinners in two straight days I had no room for food for a full day afterward. It didn't help that I didn't poop for three days! The only time I have successful elimination is when I do that herbal cleanse I mentioned previously. On that cleanse I poop every day- sometimes more than once. It's a miracle! People are supposed to poop once, if not twice a day. I'm lucky if I get three times a week. It's not normal. I don't like it. And I don't want to take laxatives all the time. That's not normal either. But that's the only recourse I get.

Eh, I guess my perpetual constipation is good for something. When people accuse me of being full of shit, they are always correct. Regardless, I'd like to be hungry every once in a while. I mean, this is ridiculous. I'm almost always uncomfortable and I can't get an accurate weight because I don't poop on weekends and my weigh in day is a Tuesday. Monday simply isn't enough time to eliminate three days of food. This is not okay.

November 27, 2008

Beware the 5k Bandits!

Troy held its 61st annual Turkey Trot. Since we knew we'd be in town this year I wanted to do it but I didn't sign up for it for fear that something would go wrong and I would have to miss it even though I signed up for it. Mike didn't know if he wanted to do it or not until it was too late for early registration. So we decided to just show up, sign up and run. Well, when we got there we heard from a friend who had the same plan as we did that the organizers ran out of stuff to give day of registration signer-uppers but no one was going to stop non-registered from running. We were already there so we decided to run the race anyway.

My conscience was starting to yell at me and the crowd was really affecting me so I suggested we go home and run the 2nd Annual Run for Restless Leg Syndrome. "We find a cure when you discover a disease." (Mike, two friends and I ran 5k in the neighborhood since Red Hook, NY doesn't have its own Turkey Trot and we decided to run for restless leg syndrome- which none of us believe is real.) Mike agreed and since we had friends running in the Turkey Trot we decided to stay to watch the beginning.

While we were standing there waiting for the start we noticed all these people getting warmed up for a run. We figured they were all going to jump into the run once it had started because they couldn't register either. Why else would they be warming up? We weren't feeling so bad about the idea of jumping in after all. Mike turned to the guy next to him and asked what the guy was going to do when he got to the finish line- if he would cross it or go to the side. The guy said he was running the 10k which started later. He then asked us if we were bandits and we said, guess we are. We are bandits! We realized the other "bandits" were just waiting for the 10k to start but when the race started and I saw plenty of people running without numbers and the rest of any guilt melted away. So on we jumped!! Bandits go!

Mike and I ended up with some of our best times! I finished in 33 minutes flat and Mike did it in 26 and some change. It was really exciting! There were about 3,000 other people there and the energy was great. People were cheering all along the route and even some runners who passed me (and there were many) yelled Happy Thanksgiving to all.

I would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! I tell you this over the Internet even more enthusiastically than I would if I passed you in a 5k. This way I wouldn't accidentally puke on you from the extra effort.

November 26, 2008

I Wish I Weren't a Cliche

It's a known fact that holidays are stressful. It's the shopping and the travelling and the getting together with family. I don't like shopping or getting together with my family. I love travelling, crazy season or not, and I enjoy getting together with Mike's family. To be fair, I can handle each member of my immediate family just fine when they are on their own. Put me around certain combinations and I want to rip my hair out. Each of them knows that- I'm sure even my mom can sense that. Certain family combinations just don't work. They just happen to all occur on the holidays and therefore I face the holiday season each year with dread.

I just wish it wasn't so hard to celebrate with them. Everything is compounded by my parent's divorce and each of us living in separate places. My mother tries way too hard to make the holidays special and memorable. So hard, she makes me want to scream and smack her. She can't just enjoy the holidays. They are a production. A production I don't need or care for. One Thanksgiving she got Boston Market so she could spend more time with us. Instead she went and made a bunch of stuff for her craft show that was that weekend. So we all ate shitty food while she apologized for not being around more, which in my opinion isn't such a bad thing. There's not much we can all do together but play game after game of Scrabble, cribbage, or rummy. My mother constantly feels left out because my siblings and I share a sense of humor she lacks. It's just a big, sloppy mess.

I try to not let who's around me or not around me affect my holiday festivities. I guess it's desensitizing me to the holidays in general. Holidays are about who you surround yourself with. If I'm with people I don't want to be around or aren't with people I do want to be around, what's the point? Maybe that's why I just put my head down and try get through them. They aren't what people crack them up to be.

November 25, 2008

Grammar is the Peanut to My Language Butter

Today's test concerns the use of then and than. These aren't too easily confused and yet people still mix them up. Than is used to compare. Then is used to define a moment in time. Let us illustrate. Select the correct use of then or than:

1. I'm waiting for my mother to die and than I will get married. It's out of spite. That's why I'm not married yet. Mom's death than my wedding.

2. First comes love then comes children, then comes marriage and a baby carriage. What, that's not how it goes? No wonder my mother keeps reminding me marriage comes first.

3. Marriage is less important to me then cheese. That's why I've eaten plenty of cheese but not yet gotten married.

4. I would rather pull my own teeth out with a door knob than have the conversation with my mother in which she awkwardly tells me that she just wants me to be happy but can't understand why I'm not married yet. Oh and did she mention that you have kids AFTER you get married? Yeah, three times.

One is the incorrect use of than but a correct assessment of how irrational my mother makes me. Two is a correct use of then but not correct about the order of making babies and marriage. Three is an incorrect use of then as well as incorrect about my feelings about marriage (but I REALLY do like cheese.) And four is correct all around.

I hate the holidays.

November 24, 2008

Airborn

I hate flying. I've flown a lot since my father's moved us overseas or far away enough from family that flying is most effective. And I know that flying is safer than driving and that I have a better chance of being struck by lightening than dying in a plane crash but I just can't help but be a little anxious. Not having any semblance of control really makes me nervous.

I'm getting much more relaxed about it. I just know to seat myself over a wing and I'll have the smoothest flight. There's just a little bumping and hopping when I'm on the wing so I don't care as much. I used to have terrible ear aches and motion sickness but I figured out to just look straight ahead during take-off and landing and during maneuvers. Once I was in a plane toilet during circling and I ended up with the worst motion sickness. All because I was facing the side of the plane in the loo. Never again.

Airports are awesome, though. People watching is great and I like the solitude of airports. People rush around a lot, yeah, but for the most part, airports are just people waiting. Waiting to go home to a familiar bed, waiting to leave for a vacation, waiting to go meet their grand baby for the first time, waiting to see their boyfriend for the first time in three weeks. The anticipation is always so interesting to watch and get caught in the energy. But I usually have my face in a book. I take the opportunity to get absorbed into a book without distractions. It's really nice. Times like that I would love to fly more often. Wobbling plane or no wobbling plane.

November 23, 2008

I Have No Idea

Today I am at a loss for something to write. But I have to write something because of a blog challenge I am participating in where we have to blog every day for a month. So, in order to complete the task I'm writing a cop-out post about the challenge. Tomorrow I'll be able to write about the Twilight saga, if I could only pinpoint how I feel about it exactly- it's so love/hate, and movie because I will be DONE with it. My hands will be washed of the phenomenon. Until the second movie comes out and then I will be all over it like a cheap suit.

So yeah. NaBloPoMo. National Blog Posting Month. I think I've been doing a pretty good job of varying my posts. Mike said that before the month was out I would be writing nothing but "I love my cat. My cat is my best friend. Guess how many times she puked this month." Or "I'm so quirky that when I was a kid I wore knickers with my leotard. And you could see the dancing bears through the fabric on my ass." Well, Michael. In case you haven't noticed, I've only written one post about Fluffy and that was because SHE's quirky. Maybe we're soul mates. Gosh. I love my cat.

November 22, 2008

Things I Don't Do When I'm Depressed

Workout
Get up early
Eat much
Smile often
Talk to people who don't sit next to me at work
Clean the apartment
Make the bed
Watch anything mindless on TV
Think clearly
Balance my checkbook
Watch my spending
Walk to work
Pet the cat
Think creatively
Be around other people

How ironic is it that most of those things are exactly what one needs to do in order to not be depressed anymore? If you ask me, very. Luckily I had a date last night that was set up a few weeks ago. It helped. But now I'm on my way for a (probably very awkward) family get together. That may or may not help. We'll see how that goes.

November 21, 2008

And Every Day I Find a Note From My Mom Hoping I'm Having Fun at School

I stopped going home for lunch when I realized I could take my lunch at my desk and get paid for it. I bring my lunch to work every day in a plastic lunch box that is at least 20 years old. I don't do it to be hip or ironic. I do it because the thing still closes and still carries my food wherever I need it to go. Why fix something that ain't broken? But I can't help but wonder if I look a little stupid. I am twenty-seven after all (though people always think I'm still in college. How sweet.)

I have a really cool, adult, lunch box that has three layer/compartment thingies that are held together by a metal brace. It's really cool and great for when I have really long shifts at work and need to bring large amounts of food. But that lunch box is a little unnecessary when all I bring is a sandwich, some carrots, and a piece of fruit. (And sometimes a really large baked good.)

Eh. Do I really care what strangers on the street think? I suppose I don't. In that neighborhood, my lunch box is that last thing they would notice me for. Nope, that would be my ass.

November 20, 2008

I Just Want to Want Something, Anything

Lately I haven't had much of an appetite. Well, it's more than loss of appetite. The thought of all kinds of things make me nauseous. I love an avocado roll from down the street but today I had to force myself to eat one out of necessity. I couldn't have just miso soup for lunch. That would be silly. Earlier this week I forced down a turkey sandwich.

This has happened to me before. The first time it happened the only thing that wouldn't make me flirt with nausea was the vegetable lo mien at my favorite Fredericksburg Chinese restaurant. I ate a lot of that for a few weeks. That was back when I was fat. I could enjoy lo mien guilt free. I don't know why lo mien was okay but other things made me cringe. It's totally greasy and not good for you. Maybe it didn't bother my stomach because of the rice I would eat with it. The rice must've absorbed all the stuff that would make me feel more ill. That leads me to believe that these moments of starvation are in my head.

Then again, on Sunday night/Monday morning, I woke with terrible stomach pain and the beginning of this week's wave of nausea. I was lucky I could go back to sleep. Thanks to that I've felt off all week. Not like myself at all. First of all, I LOVE food. So why I wouldn't want to eat anything is beyond me. To top it off, I've had no desire to work out at all- sleeping in aside. Hopefully this fit will pass before I hop on a plane to DC. I wouldn't want my mom to think anything was wrong with her cooking. But if it gives me an excuse to request vegetable lo mien, so be it.

November 19, 2008

The Blogger Wore Tennis Shoes

Heels are not something I wear often. If at all. I wore them last year during the wedding marathon of 2007 and it was bearable- probably because I would get drunk enough at each reception that I didn't notice. Then again the heels I wear aren't all that high to begin with. The first time I wore heels I was 13 and it was my confirmation and I couldn't walk without wobbling, go to the video tape, and I almost fell head first into the bishop's lap for my blessing. To top it off I don't wear hosiery with them (feeling like a sausage is not preferable to my comfort level) and my feet sweat enough that I think I'm going to lose my shoes. All things considered I haven't been inclined to wear heels very much at all.

Luckily my employers are both casual so I wear sneakers and other kinds of plain, flat shoes every day. I also walk to work so I don't want to wear heels since walking in them causes me foot pain and terrible blisters. I know that if I were to wear heels more often my feet would get used to them and the skin would get stronger and blisters would be less of an issue. But I just don't want to. Why would I want to subject myself to unnecessary pain if I don't have to? I'll be better off for it in my old age anyway, less back pain and fewer foot problems.

You'd think with the fashion trend of ballet flats that I would be super excited and wear them all the time but I developed a complex where I thought I was too bottom heavy for them. I know that sounds stupid but the flats make your feet look really small and I carry my weight in my hips and thighs. I didn't want to look like a walking fun house mirror.

I caved last week when I saw a really cute pair of flats at Target. (I wore them today and my feet were beet red when I finally got to the office. Soooo cooooold.) I figured one day I'm going to get a job that requires something more professional looking than sneakers and I need to start slowly collecting appropriate attire for when that miraculous day comes, should it ever. Tomorrow I'm going to buy another pair of flats from the Interwebs. Combine these two pairs with the kitten heels I have and I think I'm going to be set for now. In the meantime, I think I'm going to treat myself to a new pair of Vans slip-on sneakers. Man, those are comfortable and they don't make my feet sweat.

November 18, 2008

Tea Bagging It

Coffee smells better than it tastes. It just does. But that has to do with the fact that I only drink decaffeinated coffee. I can't drink regular coffee because it gives me the shakes. I'm sure decaf is chemically altered or something and so it doesn't taste like coffee should, but man, I hate the shakes. So instead I choose to smell, not drink, as much of it as I can. You can find me breathing deeply in coffee shops like I'm recovering from hyperventilating. I just love the smell. (And buckets of coffee ice cream.) Besides, I really enjoy not needing a first cup of coffee to get my day started. It's like I am free of the shackles of my father- who needs to drink it black first thing. Instead I drink tea.

I really have no idea why I'm drawn to it. I don't drink it the way Mom does or the way the British do. I drink my tea straight up. I appreciate a well made tea so I don't drink too much of it with milk or sugar. I used to when all the tea in the house was Lipton. That stuff tastes like shit without a ton of milk and sugar. But if I have REAL tea the milk and sugar take away from my tea drinking experience. Lately I've been drinking Stash brand tea (I'm obsessed with their Earl Grey blend) but I also very much enjoy Harney and Sons. They make some really great blends that Lipton wouldn't dream of.

There's more to tea than the tea leaf. There is an art of mixing different herbs to create the perfect tea. People don't realize there are a plethora of tea combination and flavors. There is white tea, black tea, green tea, oolong, roobios, on and on. I recommend trying something other than the usual black tea. Peppermint tea is good for a sour stomach and green tea, according to every science report about cancer to come out in the past three years, will apparently keep you from getting any kind of cancer. Tea is simply an amazing herb. White tea is also good for you. I'm not saying coffee is bad for you. In fact, that has been shown to help your liver and other organ functions. Of course, coffee must be drank in moderation. Tea doesn't. I drink so much tea I must be immune to the caffeine. Last night I had tea right before bed and I don't remember waking up once. Maybe I should do that more often...

November 17, 2008

Like a Genital Wart

Sarah Palin has taken her hair down and her gloves off. She is everywhere talking about how she was handled in the campaign, how she's not a diva and about how she doesn't know what she's going to do with her career in the future. I think she's full of crap. She was a total diva, she needed handlers because she doesn't know what she's talking about and she's going to try to run for president in 2012. Shut up already, lady. She needs to go back to Alaska and stay there. But no. She had way too much fun in the spotlight. She loved every minute of campaigning. Heck, it got her on Saturday Night Live with Alec Baldwin. It's painfully obvious that she wants to continue her time in the sun or she wouldn't have this media blitz going on for weeks after the election.

I'm sure that if I were in her shoes I would be totally star struck and really excited about the attention and the doors that were once closed now being opened for me. But she's taking it beyond a level of professionalism and turning it into a dog and pony show. Have some respect for yourself, Sarah, and quietly go back home and do the job you were elected to do. You have a new baby and a grand baby coming. You pride yourself on your family values and you're continuing to ignore them to prolong your 15 minutes of fame.

If she were smart, and I think she's proving quite effectively that she's not, she would go back to Alaska, admit it was a hard campaign but it went well, do the job she was hired to do and reassess in four years. But something tells me she's not going to do that. She's going to show up when you least expect or want her to. Just like a flare-up of gentital warts.

November 16, 2008

I Want to Dream a Book Up and Then Make Millions With It

There have been few books that I have read that made me think about the book constantly until I could pick it back up and read it again. Right now I am reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (who wrote nothing before this book and is now a bazillionaire- all because she dreamt about a vampire and a girl in the forest) and it's fitting that description. It's all the rage these days because the movie adaptation is coming out this Friday and I admit, I'm excited and already have my ticket. I'm not reading it constantly because I want to get it out of the way so the movie ruins anything. I'm reading it because I am really attached to these characters. The plot isn't very complicated, there is no subtext, the vocabulary isn't difficult, but the characters are charming. I'm looking forward to reading the other three as soon as I can. I don't want the actors in my head while I read the others. Gosh, I hope the movie doesn't suck.

I'm sure I'll have more to say about the series when I finish it but it's really exciting to have a book that I find enthralling. I found The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime enthralling but it was too short to become really absorbed in the author's world. Twilight is really fitting the bill for me. It's light, fun, engrossing, and easy. I've been punishing myself lately so this is a welcome change.

November 15, 2008

I Mean Really

Why is it that weight loss "pep talks" always revolve around loving your body? If I loved my body, I wouldn't feel the need to lose weight to change it.

November 14, 2008

But I Can't Live in Fear

On Tuesday, October 21st I uncharacteristically got out of bed with enough time to go for a 3 mile run. The usual loop Mike and I use for that distance starts on one side of our block and ends on the other. That morning when I turned the corner, the street was blocked off and there was a Winnebago and some plain clothed police officers moving about. I didn't know what was going on so I just went to the next block to meet back up with my loop and complete my run. It wasn't until I got to work two hours later that my friend told me a young man was shot on the end of my block the night before and what I ran past was a crime scene.

In the opposite direction, between my home and office, is what is known around Albany as the "student ghetto." It's a bunch of square blocks of crappy old houses carved into apartments that are cheap enough and run-down enough for college students to rent and throw endless beer pong parties without worry of property damage. It gets seedy enough that the city started an anti-crime initiative called Corridor of Safety. I don't know what the Corridor does because the route I walk to work still has the highest mugging, assault, and robbery statistics in the city. I don't worry about it, though. The crimes all happen to drunk, sloppy kids who are walking home between the hours of 1am and 4am on Friday or Saturday nights. That's it. That's the window. Mike and I are certainly not out that late and we most definitely don't walk around anywhere in the city that late at night at all let alone intoxicated enough to be that stupid.

The shooting happened at 11:30pm on a Monday night. Not in the student ghetto but in a very quiet neighborhood of renters and owners near the most visited park in Albany, right off a high traffic road. Mike and I were asleep and heard and saw nothing. Even if we weren't asleep we would've assumed the shot was a firework or a tire popping. Never a gun shot. That doesn't happen where we live. It doesn't even happen in the student ghetto. Guns aren't involved in the crime around here.

Richard Bailey was a much loved student at SUNY and he just took a police exam to follow in his father's footsteps as a Long Island police officer. There was no sign of a robbery. The people who did this just shot a man in the head and took off. If it weren't for a passing motorist he would have died on the sidewalk instead of surrounded by family in the hospital. I wanted so badly for him to be a drug dealer or drunk and violent or something that would belie a motive of some kind, any kind. But nothing. Everyone loved him. He helped put a roof on a church near my office for crying out loud. It was a completely senseless, baseless crime.

I'm scared to come home later than 10pm. I will wait 20 minutes for the bus that will drop me off in front of my apartment instead of taking the bus that will be sooner, and free, but drop me off two blocks away. I don't want to park anywhere that isn't on the main street near a street lamp. I used to walk down to Lark Street to meet friends at a bar but now I won't if there's a chance I'll be coming home when it gets quiet on the street. I'm letting the shooters dictate my life. I shouldn't, I know that. But Richard Bailey could have been me. He could have been Mike. I haven't yet let go of that.

I was struggling to write this post because I didn't tell my dad about it. I didn't/don't want him to worry. But he reads this blog so now he knows. I just had to get my feelings out there. I have to put my fear out there, own it, in order to let it go. In order to take my neighborhood back. I love where we live. I'm not leaving here because of the crime, but I'm not really living here either.

Of the other eight homicides this year the one that I know of was also senseless. A ten year old girl was killed by an errant bullet in a drive by in an Albany neighborhood that is getting increasingly violent. But that violence didn't stop her from playing outside that terrible day and that doesn't stop her friends from playing outside now. Maybe they've accepted that that's what comes with where they live. Maybe they just don't let it dictate their lives. No matter, they play outside anyway.

November 13, 2008

Maybe the Buck Teeth Were Neccesary

In an effort to propel the last six pounds off my person I replaced chips in my lunches with baby carrots. I was surprised I didn't think of it sooner until I remembered how much I love the combination of a peanut butter sandwich with crunchy chips. Whenever I try to snack on carrots instead of chips I feel unsatisfied. But that was with carrots on their own. I figured in a meal, carrots are close enough to eating chips because I can eat them with my fingers and they crunch. Since I've replaced the chips with carrots two weeks ago I've found I don't really miss the chips. I'm really surprised at myself! My theory of the crunchy finger food was correct. I would even dare say that the carrots are better because they are more filling- I get the sensation of satiety much sooner with carrots than with chips.

It's really nice not having chips in the apartment too. Chips are one of those foods that are hard to ignore when they're in your cupboard. I would buy one small bag to go into my lunches, telepathically forbidding Mike from eating them, but inevitably Mike would buy some new and interesting salsa and the chips would be gone. I read all the time it helps to not eat chips out of the bag- you forget how many you've eaten. I could easily eat a whole bag in one sitting if I didn't get myself one serving. That's why I ate almost whole bags at a time- I never bothered taking out one serving. Now, since I don't put chips in my lunch we just don't buy them. These days I snack on popcorn and telepathically forbid Mike from eating the carrots. Lucky for me, carrots aren't a food that goes well with salsa.

November 12, 2008

Today I'm Going to Let Her Entertain You

Someone said to me recently that my posts are cheesy. Well get some crackers, dude, because today is more "cheese." I like what I'm writing (I hope I'm not the only one...) so whatever.

I was listening to Steve on the bus yesterday and another Madonna song came on. I started thinking about how her music is so great to dance and to workout to. I love it! But I only like her upbeat stuff because her ballads aren't so great. Come on, she's not a singer, she's a performer. The only slow song I really like of hers is "Rain" because of the drum synthesizers drowning out her false vibrato. I have to give her some credit though- she's obviously put a lot of time into improving her voice over the years. That's a relief when you listen to her older stuff.

If I don't like something of hers immediately, if I listen to it more, it grows on me. Like her song "Four Minutes." I didn't like it right away but I couldn't escape it and now I find myself bopping along with it in spite of myself. That is the power of her mad beats. Her lyrics, not so powerful. Don't listen too closely, they could ruin the song for you. (Full disclosure, I'm sick of "Like a Prayer" because of the way girls writhe on the floor whenever it comes on.)

It doesn't even bother me that she's as old as my mother and sometimes she tries too hard to stay relevant. I think she just needs to keep making catchy pop music and she'll always have a place in today's music. Her fans are rabid and aren't going anywhere. I think they'd follow her to some dark places. Heck, you could argue that they already have. But that's not what this post is about. This post is about her musical contribution to dance clubs and my perfect dance mixes. Here are some of my favorite songs/videos in her catalogue. I hope you enjoy. I know I will.

"Don't Tell Me," Music, 2000.

It's not the most upbeat, but who doesn't like cowboys dancing so provocatively?

"Hung Up," Confessions on a Dance Floor, 2005

This song is so catchy and its beat so infectious! I will never look this good in a leotard. Ever.

"Into the Groove," You Can Dance, 1985

This reminds us of her first attempt at acting. She should've stopped there.

"Burning Up," Madonna, 1983

This was only her second single.

"Deeper and Deeper," Erotica, 1992

I think Sofia Coppola is one of her groupies in this...

"Nothing Really Matters," Ray of Light, 1999

Apparently this had a Geisha theme because she wanted to be cast in Memiors of a Geisha. Yeah, that would've worked...

There are many more, but they are either pointless because we all know it ("Vogue") or because you've seen enough (this entire post.) If you've even made it this far thanks for indulging me.

November 11, 2008

Profound Thanks

In case you didn't know what today is, and how couldn't you?, it's Veteran's Day. Or if you are not American, Armistice Day. Being the daughter of a career military man and the pseudo-step daughter of a Vietnam veteran, today has a very special place in my heart. A parade goes by my office each year and I watch from my desk and wave to the participants. I get teary with every passing veteran. I can't thank them enough for their service.

I've previously posted about how I think our government treats these brave men and women poorly and with terrible disrespect. It's disgusting. I just don't understand how the government turns a blind eye to the men and women who put their lives, and their loved ones' lives for that matter, on hold to serve their country in an unjust war with purely political motives. These brave men and women deserve better from the nation they've served.

That being said, here are some interesting facts about Veteran's/Armistice Day:

-Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.

-While Nov. 11th is the official date to mark the end of the war reflecting the cease fire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire.

-U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 12, 1919.

-November 11th was designated a federal and state holiday on May 13, 1938.

-In 1953, a shoe store owner named Al King had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who served in World War I. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954. Congress amended this act on November 8, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with Veterans, and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

-It is known as National Independence Day in Poland, Remembrance Day or Poppy Day in the British Commonwealth of Nations and also as the Day of Peace in The Flanders Fields.

-For Anglican and Roman Catholics, there is a coincidental overlap of Armistice Day with the feast of St. Martin of Tours, a saint famous for putting aside his life as a soldier and turning to the peaceful life of a monk.

November 10, 2008

I'm Hung Up on You

With all my griping in my previous post about everyone going digital killing mixed tapes/CDs, I myself own an iPod. His name is Steve. I run with Steve, go on long walks with Steve, and go for weekends away with Steve. I love Steve. I don't always remember what's on his playlists though. I buy a lot of singles on iTunes because buying full length albums is such a gamble these days. It's good and bad because I get songs I like without running the risk of hating the rest of the album, but on the other hand I don't always get to listen to everything I buy because I forget. So imagine my surprise when on my walk to work this morning Madonna's "Burning Up" came on! I love Madonna, I really do, and her early stuff really gets me moving- especially that song. I love it so much it almost makes me want to writhe in the street wearing a toga. I completely forgot I bought this song months ago and it gave me a much needed kick in my step on an otherwise dreadful morning. Thanks, Steve. You really feel me.

November 9, 2008

A Laughter Saboteur

There are at least two known shows that I am not allowed to watch if the cat is sitting on me- The New Adventures of Old Christine and 30 Rock. Those two shows make me laugh out loud I find them so funny. If she's even near me and I laugh I wince. My cat hates when I laugh out loud so much that she attacks my face. Not my leg- no, no one cares about my legs, she goes after my face.

I discovered this when the cat was sitting on my chest during an episode of 30 Rock a few months back. I was laughing with my mouth wide open at something marvelous Tina Fey said. This displeased Fluffy so much, she attacked my tongue, bit my shoulder and ran off. Then during an episode of New Adventures of Old Christine she clamped down on my shoulder and wouldn't let go until I pushed her off. Now if there is any movement of my chest other than breathing, the cat will give me a look that says, "Do that again and I'll clamp down on that flesh you call a nose and I'm not letting go this time... At least until you go to the fridge and then I will move beneath your feet meowing incessantly until you feed me." I believe she will do just that so I remove her from my person to sit on the floor. She can't even sit on the same piece of furniture if I'm laughing. She's given me The Look during How I Met Your Mother but I don't laugh at that show like I do the others so it's safe for us to be together.

Yesterday, the cat made her home on my lap, on my arms!, whilst I was typing on Mike's laptop. The constant movement of my arms didn't bother her in the least. The mangy furball didn't flinch- she even started purring!! Thank goodness she doesn't have front claws. God forbid I should laugh. 

November 8, 2008

Kinoki Redux Perhaps?

Remember what a bust the Kinoki pads were? They only worked 64% of the time. One foot ended up more cleansed than the other and stuff. Anyway, I decided I wasn't done cleansing so I did my usual thirty day herbal cleanse that has been tried and true. I have about a week left in the cleanse and I think it would be interesting to see what the Kinoki pads do after a much more thorough internal cleanse. It could prove whether the pads are total bunk instead of 36% bunk or not. I would like to think after thirty days of cleansing with herbs, twice a day- morning herbs and evening herbs- that there wouldn't be that much left to cleanse.

I doubt I'll do it because I had such high hopes for Kinoki and it really let me down. Even though I would be going into this with lower expectations, I would like it to work for crying out loud! Nevertheless, it could be a fun experiment. I'll keep you posted should I decide to do it. But don't get your hopes up in Kinoki Redux.

November 7, 2008

Get a Hobby

Before technology left cassette tapes in the dust I would make friends mixed tapes as a hobby. I would buy the 120 minute play and spend hours going through my collection to blend songs together. To top off the fun for myself I would collage the covers of the tapes with the playlists on the back side. I wish I could say I came up with the collage idea myself but I got that from a brilliant artist friend of mine. No matter, people really seemed to enjoy the collages and I was able to apply my hobby to my costume design class projects with great academic success.

I moved on to mixing and collaging CDs instead of tapes once people were no longer listening to tapes in their cars or on Walkmans (Walkmen?) for that matter. Collaging CD covers were much easier but mixing a CD wasn't as much fun. It was harder to get a sense of what songs would be good where. While recording a tape I could listen to a song and pick what would come after. It gave me so much more time and continuity to the mix- if a song didn't blend well into the other I could just record over it with a new song. When mixing a CD all I can really do is pick a song, see how it moves from the other song and hope for the best. My CDs are still pretty popular (as popular as it can be with my brother, sister, and dad) but they just don't satisfy me musically like my tapes did.

Now I only make them for the occasional gift or a Christmas mix every year and even then it's not that exciting. Everyone has a digital music player and if I make them a mix it just goes on the player and gets lost amongst the rest of the music. It's almost pointless to try to make it a continuous mood or feeling- it gets lost in the end.

I'm okay with not making the mixes anymore but I really miss having the outlet collage gave me. Like real collage artists I would hoard magazines or other print materials if I thought I could use them for my designs later. It's the only pack ratty thing about me. (FYI- Harper's Bazaar is great for images to collect and get ideas from, teen magazines have fun colors, and Target ads have great art to steal.) I just don't feel inspired much anymore. I don't have the room to really spread out and look at my pieces and sometimes my ideas are a little too abstract for the three people who want/get the CDs. My favorite collage is just a bunch of eyeballs that look to be drawn with colored pencils that I cut and pasted over a grey background- you have to see it- but my brother, who received it, likes it the least. I would even say he cringed. You can't please everyone.

So I'm trying to figure out how to fit collage into my life without the context of mixed CD making. I've thought about collage gift cards and putting them up for sale on Etsy but I would need to get a scanner and printer and Photoshop for my computer. Otherwise each card would be its own collage and that would be insanely time consuming. But it's something. Until then I need a new hobby that fulfills me like collage did.

November 6, 2008

Just Because

A New Self Identity Low

I had a dream last night that on a drunken whim I got laser eye surgery. It was so amazing that I could see as soon as I woke up. I was walking around thrilled until my friend Karen, who actually got laser eye surgery in awake world, pointed out that I will never need glasses again. As soon as she said that I started crying and groping my lens-free face in shock. What was I going to identify with myself now?

I had no idea I had so much of my personality invested in my wearing glasses. I need to work on that because that's kind of pathetic.

November 5, 2008

I Almost Forgot in the Hooplah

Happy Guy "Guido (I'm not making that up)" Fawkes Day!


I think we can shoot up some fireworks like our friends across the pond. We deserve it.


Land of The Free, Huh?

I still tingle when I think about the event we all witnessed last night. I can't help but smile all day. Today is better than yesterday. It happened and it happened in reality. I can't stop looking at any and all news sources (except maybe Fox, I hate whiners) to see the many faces of joy and affirmed hope. America was able to look past the color of a man's skin and believe in him. His ethnicity was a non-issue for me from the get-go because my parents raised me that a person is a person no matter how small. I voted for the man, for the man's message, for the man's promise of change that I know he will deliver.

His race was a non-issue to me just like someone's sexual orientation is a non-issue to me. As long as people are good, who cares what they look like or whom they choose to love? The shining light of Obama's victory is slightly dimmed by the discrimination being passed into law in states across the country. California, Arizona, and Florida have banned gay marriage. Outright banned it. That is legalized discrimination. How is that possible in 2008 America? How dare they impose their beliefs on others. I bet those same people who voted yes on California's Proposition 8 would yell fire and brimstone if someone else's beliefs were being legally imposed on them. Who cares who marries whom? Why does it matter to those people? Why is it the government's business? Gay married couples pose no threat to conventional marriage. If anything poses any threat to marriage it's divorce. You don't see the religious right trying to ban divorce, do you? I know plenty of very religious divorced people. And they don't want gay people to marry each other. How stupid. How un-American. Spend your energy helping people you religious zealots. Not on tearing them down.

America is facing a new kind discrimination. America can never truly be a free country as long as laws like Proposition 8 are being passed. Live and let live. This is America after all. The land of the free, right? The land free of religious oppression, right? I can see a little more of that America thanks to Barack Obama. But there is still work to be done to bring that America to fruition. We must not vote to oppress. We must vote to uplift.

Holy Mackerel! Oh My God! Yes We Can!!

YES WE DID!!!

I can't believe it. Something is in the air. Something is happening in America. Something amazing. We did it! We really did it! I can really feel it when I'm outside. I can see it on news channels. It's palatable and wonderful and life affirming. The America I knew is slowly emerging from the grime and muck of the past eight years. It's coming back. And I couldn't be more proud to be a part of it.

Here we go! Change. And I can't wait to get started.

November 4, 2008

It's Like Christmas Only Better

At 5:50am Mike held true to his promise and got my ass out of bed to Change America! There was actually a line at our booth and the polls had been open for only 15 minutes! It was super cool! I did a little cheer when I left the booth. I'm so thrilled to be a part of this amazing election. It was really hard for me to walk to work without reminding everyone I passed to go vote. I think I would get beaten up. I just wish I had an "I Voted" sticker to remind people passive aggressively. Apparently New York is too good for them.

I called my sister to chat about the palatable excitement in the atmosphere (the air really seems to be charged with electricity) around the country and when she answered she didn't say hello, she said "happy voting day!" So I say to all five of you, dear readers, HAPPY VOTING DAY!!

There really is nothing more awesome than the right to participate in the selection of our leaders. People die across the world to fight for that right. Don't abuse it. Vote.

November 3, 2008

A Special Election Treat

Mike is an excellent writer. I harass him because I don't think he writes enough. Finally tonight he decided to write something! I'm so excited except for one thing. Where does he decide to finally start using his talent? On my blog. That's cool. That means he thinks I have readers. How sweet. Then again, I think that talented mother fucker may be trying to upstage me.... I'll let you decide. Enjoy!
Party Like It's 1999 2008!

One of my favorite movie scenes comes from Wayne’s World 2 where Mike Meyers, uninspired by a no-name actor’s bland delivery of a line, turns to the camera and breaks character. “Do we have to put up with this?” he asks, “Can’t we get a better actor? I know it’s a small part but I know we can do better than this.” At that point, an aged Chuck Heston steps in and brings our protagonist to tears.

As a teacher at 27 I mark time the same way I did as a 17 year-old student- in school years. The end of this year’s academic calendar will mark a full decade since my generation leapt out of the gate and into a prosperous world in 1999. Our economy boomed as the thriving digital age survived Y2K and promised unlimited potential. The most reprehensible act our president committed was something seventeen year-old boys would likely deem worthy of a high-five. I’m not saying it was right; but I assume water-boarding wasn’t involved.

As all generations do, we faced challenges, but it felt like ours came fast and furious. A sunny Tuesday morning in 2001 turned our world upside down. I know my experience at school in New York’s capital district mirrored those close to me in the equally “godless” and “un-American” area outside of Washington, DC. We spent those days doing all we could do- hoping for the best and, sadly, witnessing the worst for our friends and neighbors. We knew the real world waiting for us would come with different ground rules. We sent friends and loved ones our best as they marched off to fight a just war in Afghanistan. We did the same when they were whisked away to fight an unjust war in Iraq.

As much as no generation asked to become part of the 9/11 generation, ours certainly did not ask for an embarrassing lack of leadership that squandered away international support and domestic confidence. We did not ask for an economic meltdown that would cost us job and home-owning prospects precisely at the time we were poised to cash in on them. We did not ask for a climate crisis or a ludicrously broken healthcare system any more than we asked for Creed or Deal or No Deal.

When losers lose often, they start expecting it. They might even feel like they deserve it. But spare us the pity party. What makes my generation great is that we’re old enough to remember what things were like and still young enough to care about improving them. We brought you things like Google and Facebook because they took an old way of doing things and made them better. Now it’s time to follow through when it really counts. I want my students- the next generation- to inherit a world whose promise sustains. Let’s make sure this breath of fresh air is not a wasted one.

Over the last ten years, my generation’s been left too many times wondering, “can we do any better than this?”

Yes we can.

That's my baby and I don't mean maybe. Now get your own blog, dude.

Want to Know What Mike and I Will Be Doing at Dawn Tomorrow?

I bet you do pervert. No, we're not going to be doing hot, naked yoga. We're going to be VOTING!!!!!

Our polls open at 6am sharp- it better be sharp. We always walk to our polls but Mike and I will probably drive down so he can head right off to work and drop me off at the gym on the way. I'm going swimming tomorrow for a long time to burn off all my nervous energy. I just hope I don't eat a bunch of crap out of nerves, too. There's going to be a lot of election candy at my place of work tomorrow and there have been threats of dark chocolate. If dark chocolate wasn't full of antioxidants I would say it would be the death of me.

I just can't take it any more! I've warned a few friends that I will call them crying tomorrow no matter what the outcome. Yeah, yeah I'm dramatic. But all the energy that Mike and I have put into staying informed and being supporters needs to go somewhere. I don't know what Mike will do with his energy but I'm going to cry. A friend of mine finds it strange that I know I will cry on a certain day and time. But that's just how I roll. Besides, I'm going to engage in a little drinking game to make it go funner (?).

Election 2008 Drinking Game Hoopla

-Take a shot of beer when a state gets called for either candidate
-Do an Irish Car Bomb if Obama wins Virginia
-Do a shot of liquor if Obama wins either Ohio or Florida

I ended it there because if either of those last two are true then I will be shit-faced by the end of the election. And if neither of those happen then I will surely drink indiscriminately after 10pm when those returns are in. So, it's not the best drinking game but I've never made one up before so what do you expect?

Happy voting tomorrow fellow Americans no matter who you vote for! Go VOTE!