May 30, 2003
What I Learned on my Montreal Vacation by Chrisafer, grade 23
May 22, 2003
Expect a full report on my return.
May 20, 2003
Call me Monica! Call me Monica!
Whereas every movie should have at least one trailer that starts off "In a world..." ;
Whereas the director of this film lives in my 'hood ;
Whereas, based on the behind-the-scenes footage, part of the movie was filmed on the roof of my apartment building ;
Whereas I love when people ridicule my city ;
And, whereas people who do what they love rock the free world
Be it resolved that I'm pointing you to the web site for Washington Interns Gone Bad
The Truth about Cats and Dogs
I have a suspicion that my cat is really a dog. He talks. He nuzzles me. He is hardly ever aloof, save when he's napping. He comes to the door and waits for us--he's learned the pattern of our footsteps down the hall, the jingle of our keys.
In a class I once took called "Identity and Difference," we had an exercise where we were brought to the center of the classroom, then told to go to the left if we were one way, the right if another. I think it was to show us that dualisms aren't all they're cracked up to be. If you like cats to the left, if you're a dog person to the right. One girl in the class protested, Can't I be bi-petual?
Yes, you can.
I get mad when I see people with big dogs in the city. I mean, when I know they live in studios that can barely fit them and their collection of Ikea furniture, that's when I get mad. Dogs need space. It's the same anger I feel when I see selfish, twisted people having babies. Larkin was right.
And I don't like little dogs. Scratch that. I don't like little, yippy dogs. Tiny dogs that gruff: They rock.
So having a cat that thinks he's a dog is perfect for me.
Glenn has a term for a certain breed of boy. They're little boys with big swaggers. Happy, confidant, but slight. He calls them terriers. I like that.
My friend Dan has a bengal named Aspen. She's fucking crazy. He got her when he worked out a deal with the breeder that he would take care of her and the breeder would mate her and take the offspring. This made him a kitty pimp.
When she gave birth to her two or three litters, hardly any of them survived. The breeder told him she feared that Aspen wasn't taking care of the kittens because she had bonded with him so much. Once they were out of her womb, she wanted to go back to him, not tend to them.
There's something very sweet and something very sick in that.
May 19, 2003
Can't Stop Thinking of It
Last night as tried to lay me down to sleep, I couldn't. This may be because Glenn started me thinking about a certain trip that is only three days away.
As I mentioned something about the trip to a woman I work with, she informed me that I may need to send a notice to the school's administration since I'm going to a SARS-infected area. Of course, this woman obviously doesn't read the papers. Or thinks that Canada is very small. Or that I'm planning on busting into a hospital and licking the plates clean of all patients in the ICU. Or is just very stupid (ding ding ding).
Oh, and I had some very fun and exciting emails today.
Black Sheep of the Day: Ari Fleischer, in honor of three and a half years of smug spinning. Though possibilities for his replacement include Victoria Clarke, the chief Pentagon spokeswoman. Imagine the fashion commentary this would lend itself to!
May 17, 2003
The Secret's Out
I guess it was only a matter of time.
Last night, I check my email and see a Freindster request from a familiar name. That name belonging to my 19 year-old niece. Hmm. My first reaction was oh shit. Fortunately, I grew up.
Apparently she came across this site which led to this site which led to Friendster. My family is so wired it was bound to happen. As Glenn said, I guess that just proves she has your Internet skills gene. And it does. And she's awesome. So I feel a little silly for flipping out about it originally.
The whole reason I started this endeavor was I felt like I was missing an outlet. In school, I had that. I would go to my creative writing workshops and would share my writing and get feedback and read what others wrote and comment on it and always, always left feeling better. Not because my poems rocked or because I needed attention, but because I at least tried. I put myself out there a little bit and didn't regret it at all. And over the last six months, I've gotten a lot of that out of this site and the amazing people I've met because of it. You all rock in your own special way. I love the way you challenge me, make me smile, and remind me that life is all about participating.
And now, the group of people who may occasionally check in on my life will include her. And it's not a big deal. Worlds can collide and not bring destruction. She's an amazing person. I sometimes forget that. Actually, I think what I forget is that she is her own person now. She's not the baby I held, or the little girl I took trick or treating. She's a young woman with model good looks, impeccable taste, and a quiet intelligence that amazes me all the time.
In looking at her Friendster profile, I kept wondering how she got so cool at such a young age. She reads interesting books and listens to cool music. Then I got to this line: "I'm still deciding who I am and what I want to do... aspiring to be as hip as my uncle is when I'm 29. :) " And if that didn't make me feel like a king, I don't know what would.
I love you. I'll keep trying to be that hip kid you think I am. Thanks for making me realize I don't have to hide all of this.
May 16, 2003
Tales of Silly Putty and the Racist Head
Once upon a time, in a dead-end job far, far away, I supervised T, the bestest ever. As we were the PR/Marketing department, she and I always had tons of schwag laying around.
One boring afternoon, we got all sorts of goofy with some gold Silly Putty and what we had dubbed "the racist head." We combined them for the following pictures which I just found on a disk at the bottom of my drawer: Bootylicious, The Snake Charmer, and The Tell-Tale Racist Head.
I miss you, T!
May 15, 2003
Yessir, That's My Baby
Okay, enough about that other site (which I am not getting kickbacks for). This one has been on my mind lately too (via him and him). There's something fascinating to me about the whole thing. Looking at baby pictures of people you know, you can see the features you've come to identify with them--the shape of her nose or the point of his chin. Here's me. When Glenn looks at photos of me as a baby, he points out my button nose, my chubby cheeks, my bright blue eyes. Those things are sort of the proto-face to the one he's been staring at for years now.
It's cool to look at these strangers and see what's changed. Some of them got uglier. Some of them got cuter (there are some really ugly babies out there). But I like hunting for those similarities between kid and adult, the ones that probably jump out at someone who knows and loves them.
Facial recognition is actually a very complex thing. They research it where I work. Let's just say, a computer has to do a lot of work to be even close to the accuracy that a person has without really thinking of it. Part of me is wondering, now, if that's because computers have no emotional attachment to people. Certain features of my friends' faces are etched in my mind because of memories. I remember the shape of their eyes when they well up with tears or the angle of their smiles when sharing good news, not because I need these figures to mathematically figure out who they are in the future, but because that's what friends do.
Black Sheep of the Day: I don't know, you tell me who's been an ass lately?
Don't Be Afraid of the Dork
Okay, maybe the majority of my friends are scared of the Internet. Or maybe they just think I'm a big dork for trying to get them interested in things like Friendster when they would much rather be out there meeting with real people. Here's a response I got from a friend after inviting him to join: Is there really a reason I should join Friendster--like can we instant message or something--or did Friendster just like spam me in some weird tricky way? Perhaps I am a bit too happy to do silly, fun things online.
But how else can you find the six degrees between you and Whitney?
May 14, 2003
It's Only Wednesday?
If, like me, you want to be sure you can get affordable help when/if your car breaks down in the middle of the night but don't want to give money to an organization that actively lobbies against public transit (like AAA), you may want to check out the Better World Club. Brought to my attention by the fabulous Meghan, this organization also offers bicycle roadside assistance. They even recognize domestic partners as part of your family. Go them!
Elsewhere on the Internet, that friendster thing is mighty addictive. I'm looking forward to getting my cute, single friends on there so I can pimp them out. big pimpin, spendin g's...
I forgot to mention that I went to quiz night with Corey on Monday. We had a random drunk lawyer join our team. And we won best team name for "My brother went to Utah and all I got was this lousy amputated arm." We would have won the whole damn thing if we stayed focused for the last round. Ah well, there's always next week.
Afterwards, Corey broke my cherry and took me to the Eagle (at least my DC Eagle cherry--I've been to the one in Seattle). I'm amazed that I've lived in this area my entire life and never made it there. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, though, since the one friend I have who goes there on occasion has never offered to go with me. Ahem. But Corey and I had a fascinating discussion about the finer points of Catholicism on the Eagle patio. I somehow doubt that's a common conversation there.
Black Sheep of the Day: the state of Texas. What is going on there? More Medea mother stories. More chicanery in the state capital. Why did we even bother annexing them?
May 13, 2003
News No One Can Use
Apparently Tobey Maguire knows who to shag in Hollywood. I was actually a little sad to see this, since the idea of Jake Gyllenhaal slipping into that form-fitting red and blue suit gives me chills. Judging from the number of people who googled their way onto this site looking for "shirtless Jake Gyllenhaal," I'm not alone.
And Jesus said, "In my Father's heezie, we got mad crazy rooms." Youth ministry cracker gets it all wrong. (by way of HotOrMiss). Don't let the devil get all in your grill, yo!
Can't someone in the gay mafia stop this movie now? I'm getting a little tired of movies wherein straight men pretend to be gay. It must be all those "special rights" we have.
Although apparently it helps with the ladies. I buy it, since as my sister from another mister says, she's looking for a guy who's "just gay enough."
I'm thinking the PR folks in Redmond are none too happy with that rogue UK division. Those wacky brits!
Black Sheep of the Day: I never thought I'd say this, but Rosa Parks. If there were a case of libel or slander, it would be one thing. Ms. Parks, however, is asserting that she should have control over those who use her name in an artistic work that results in financial gain. It seems to me that if she wins, this will set a dangerous precedent.
Rosa Parks is a true icon in American history, but with that status comes the fact that people will use her name in ways she may not like. No doubt the hubbub regarding Barbershop comes to mind. Sarah Vowell has a brilliant essay in which she takes people to task for invoking Rosa Parks's name (including Ted Nugent who apparently dubbed himself 'Rosa Parks with a loud guitar'). While these references to Rosa Parks may be tacky, silly, or disrespectful, surely they should not be illegal.
May 12, 2003
Changes for the Better
I've noticed two subtle changes lately in the way I interact with the world. Both, I think, are signs that I've gotten a hell of a lot more self-confident. a.) I used to care if I got caught singing in my car by other drivers on the road--I'd clam up, focus on the road ahead to avoid eye contact, and turn the music down. Now I turn the music up and belt away. Life's too short not to sing when you feel like it (though I have no illusions about the quality of my voice--think Bea Arthur but tone-deaf). 2.) I used to care if my blinds were somewhat open as I walked naked around the living room. Now, I think, if someone's looking, I hope they enjoy the show. In all honesty, I doubt anyone's sitting there with a bucket of popcorn in hopes that either Glenn or I (or perhaps both of us?!?) walk by in the buff, but you never know.
Speaking of nudity, this charming man challenged me to place this quote: Strip for me baby. That way when you're old and ugly, I'll always remember how beautiful you were!
The answer, of course, is The People vs. Larry Flynt. I'll have a Maker's and ginger ale, please. Though I'm left wondering if that quote was also an invitation? 'Cause I need at least two drinks to start stripping. Unless you're camped out across the street, that is.
Pretend you didn't read that Mr. Shy Guy. We all know how uncomfortable you get around strippers (insert evil grin here).
Black Sheep of the Day: possessive exes. It's just wrong.
May 09, 2003
Fashion Metaphor is the New Cliche
30 is the new 20.
I don't feel as old as I should. But is that a bad thing? My mother isn't even 65 yet and feels much older. My father had three children and a mortgage at my age. I don't want kids at all and can't afford to buy where I want to live. But I'm not worried. Should I be? Glenn thinks about these things, and I know I should, but I don't unless he asks me to think about them.
I'm happy being 29. I'll be happy being 30. And, as much as people want to make it a big deal, it's just another number. As a wise woman once told me, "When people bitch about getting older, I tell them to consider the alternative."
Black Sheep of the Day: Eminem. Don't hide behind free expression and then pull this shit.
May 08, 2003
Excuse Me, Miss, Your Pink Slip is Showing
Layoff rumors abound. Actually, they're not really rumors anymore since a few people have gotten the axe. I'm pretty confident that I'll be okay if my boss is a man of his word. He has been up until now, so I'm not too worried right now, but things aren't looking any better for the next few months/years.
It's not the best way to go through the day. Maybe it's time to start looking. Or at least keep my options open.
In other news, I'm wondering what to get my goddaughter for her first communion this weekend. I'm thinking a down payment on therapy for recovering Catholics wouldn't go over too well. Oh lord, I'm going to hell. Level two, to be exact.
I also won $100 in the lottery last night. I hardly ever play, but I just had a good feeling as I was in the convenience store in the basement. It's not quite the $88 million jackpot some sap in South Carolina won, but it is extra spending money for the trip to Montreal. That means I really won $140 with the exchange rates.
I know a lot of people are down on the new album from Mrs. Ritchie, I am really loving "Hollywood."
Finally, I heard this on the radio a few months back, and for some reason it popped in my head today. Supposedly the color of people's lips is the same as the color of their nipples. I don't know if it's true or not, but it is a fascinating way to go through the day while looking at people's faces.
Black Sheep of the Day: The FCC. They're killing journalism, free speech, and free thought.
A Distant Memory Returns to Music
In talking with this guy last night on the phone about (what else) music, a sudden memory came flying back to me.
If you are ever in the position to be the person someone loses his or her virginity to, try to make it special. This goes out to you Jen, wherever you are.
Satisfied - Squeeze
They had just made love
Silent on the bed
This was their celebration
She had her eyes closed
Nothing was said
They had fulfilled temptation
He looked through the curtains
He looked at the phone
He couldn't be certain if this was his home
Satisfied that this was it
A rhythmic breath and a gentle grip
Satisfied and they were sure
They couldn't fulfill each other more
They stroked each other
He played with her hair
Deep in a warm sedation
The legs of his jeans
Hung over the chair
Love was their meditation
She looked at his shoulders
She looked at his eyes
The look there told her he was satisfied
They laid there apart
In another world
Deep in a warm sedation
As love turned to sleep
Their bodies curled
Into sweet inspiration
They looked at each other
They looked at the night
Under the covers they were satisfied
May 07, 2003
The Not-So-Amazing Race
An ingenious way to call attention to DC voting rights issues. Too bad the rest of the country doesn't give a damn.
May 06, 2003
The Law and Order Cutting Room Floor
I arrived at the courthouse at 8:00 am yesterday, juror summons in hand. While I generally am a civics geek a la Sarah Vowell, I dreaded the thought of serving on a jury at this time. This is a busy period at work and I need to get things done before my Montreal vacation.
I went in with an attitude. The juror check-in line was at least 150 people deep. I hadn't had any caffeine. Bad scene.
After an hour, juror orientation begins. This consisted of a film, You, the Juror, in which we were told the difference between civil and criminal trials, not to drink while on jury duty, not to talk about the case to which we may be assigned, and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. That last bit was illustrated by two women whispering to each other in the hallway until one catches sight of a man in a suit walking by, at which point she brings a finger to her lips and then waves it in such a way as to signal to anyone in a fifty-foot radius that they were just discussing something they shouldn't have been. Subtlety is not the norm for training films.
Then I wait some more. Some juror pools are called. An hour into it, my number's called. I follow the woman to the hallway outside of the courtroom with about 70 others. Another hour passes. I realize that I don't like the book I've brought and start to people watch. There are many cute lawyers. There are even more cuter cops (note to the Metro Police Department Human Resources office: keep up the good work). I have wild visions of a porn version of 12 Angry Men. I resist the urge to use "hung jury" in its imaginary title.
We're finally brought into the courtroom where the judge explains the voir dire process (in case we missed it during the film). We fill out surveys. Being mugged a few years back causes me to check off one of the boxes. Then we are given a break and told to report back in groups of 12 for the judge and lawyers to ask questions of us. Almost an hour later, I return and am asked to approach the bench. The judge asks me questions about my mugging. The defense attorney doesn't seem too happy. We get a lunch break.
I come back for the criminal justice game of musical chairs. Juror #311, take seat 12. Juror #406, return to the juror waiting room. This went on for some time. The defendant was young, maybe 22 or 23. He looked at us nervously as the lawyers went back and forth with different permutations of the fourteen who would sit in judgment on him, twelve jurors and two alternates. Ladies and gentleman not in the juror box, please return to the juror waiting room. Thank you. I wasn't picked.
I walked back to the juror pool waiting room, where I was told they were done for the day and thanked for my service. I was happy as I left the courthouse. I escaped into the air fresh from rain. The sky was clearing and a hint of sunlight peeked through the clouds. As I stood in front of the door, trying to get my bearings, I heard what I thought was laughter. When I looked to my side, I saw a young woman burying her face into the shoulder of an older woman. Heavy cries muffled by arms holding her shaking body close.
How dare I take it all so lightly.
May 03, 2003
Apropos of Nothing
Thatís right, pleased to meet you
I still wonít tell you my name
Donít you believe in mystery
Donít you wanna play my game
Iím lookiní for a man to love me
Like I never been loved before
Iím lookiní for a man thatíll do it anywhere
Even on a limousine floor Ďcause
Tonight Iím liviní in a fantasy
My own little nasty world
Tonight, donít you wanna come with me
Do you think Iím a nasty girl
Tonight Iím liviní in a fantasy
My own little nasty world
Tonight, donít you wanna come with me
Do you think Iím a nasty girl
I guess Iím just used to sailors
I think they got water on the brain
I think they got more water upstairs
Than they got sugar on a candy cane
Confidential to my subconcious: subtlety is not lost on me. You rock!
May 02, 2003
The Pill Question
In college, our l-g-b-t-q-whatever student group had a speaker's bureau, which would offer professors a group of four or five students willing to speak about the whole gay thing in classes. I liked to think of it as a queer petting zoo. I only did a few since I was a "late bloomer" and didn't come out until I was almost 21. Also, let's just say being invited to sit in on a criminology class entitled "Introduction to Deviance" doesn't do wonders for one's self-esteem.
Anyway, when one did these speaker's bureaus, one was constantly asked the same questions: how did you know, what was it like tell your parents, do you want children, do you think you're going to hell, etc. The one question that always amazed me was this one--if there were a pill that you could take that would make yourself straight, would you take it?
At the time, that seemed like a much tougher question. Of course it would have been easier if I didn't have to deal with the confusion of having a sexual orientation unlike most of my friends. But my stock answer was no. I wouldn't want to give up the happiness I have with the relationship I'm in just for the chance of making my life a little more simple in some ways. That always seemed to make the girls in the class smile (and trust me, that was part of the reason I loved giving that answer). And it's true. Coming up on nine years later, I'm still with the same man and wouldn't give him up for the world--pill or no pill.
But I've grown a lot in the last few years. To the point where I know that the main reason I wouldn't take that pill is not for G. It's for me. I love him endlessly, but know that I exist enough outside of him that I could go on without him. In a lot of ways, that makes it easier for me to love him. I choose to stay with him because he makes me happy, he fulfils me, not because I can't picture life without him. That's the big lie of most romance stories. True love is not needing someone but wanting them.
But I still wouldn't take that pill. Who knows how my sexuality is hard-wired in my brain? What other things would change if I tweaked that one part of me? All that I know is that there are millions of things that make me who I am. Being gay is one of them. There's also being Irish, raised Catholic, from the lower-middle class, raised in a particularly diverse community, having a penis, speaking English, etc. I guess what I'm saying is, no, I wouldn't take that pill because I like who I am. And I wouldn't want to fuck with that. Who knows what I would be like if I were straight? I could have turned out to be a psycopathic murderer, a directionless leach, or (god forbid) a Republican.
Okay, so that last one would never happen.
Black Sheep of the Day: The RIAA. I do feel that artists should receive a fair payment for their work, but I don't know if this is the way to go about achieving this goal.
May 01, 2003
Merchant Ivory Porn
This beat me two out of three times (got coffee mug and skyscraper, didn't get butler). Interesting, but also kinda creepy.
Of course I was thinking of the elusive butler because of Manor House, which kept me up late hoping to see some more skin from the male house staff. As I mentioned to this fellow fan, I believe it has to do with the fact that the first time I saw two men intimately in bed together was in Maurice. I guess there will always be part of me that associates Edwardian master-servant relationships with my fifteen-year-old hormones.
And I was thinking of coffee mugs because I got very little sleep. Partly from television and partly from trying to calm G down after some bitch carried him at a meeting he had at work. She is getting all of my negative energy sent her way today. My rule in life is "don't fuck with my friends" and that goes double for my boyfriend. May karma kick your ass, Ms. Middle-Management Miscreant, wherever you are.
Black Sheep of the Day: Doug Stirling who justifies his bigotry on sexual orientation issues because, unlike other identities, "you can't change your race or gender." So, Mr. Stirling, by this line of reasoning, it would be okay to discriminate based on religion, right? After all, people convert all the time.
Oh, and if you think you can't change gender, I have some pretty ladies just dying to meet you.