April 29, 2005
It Must Be Quiz Friday
A certain someone was miffed I posted the Republican quiz when he wanted to see the "What kind of hipster are you?" quiz. (One that I found while searching for the full line about 'angel-headed hipsters' from "Howl." Honestly.)
You are the Low-Fidelity All-Star. You were born
with your cool, and it's totally natural. You
run the gamut from Hipster Supreme (only they
can ingest as much coffee as you) to the geeky
hipster (Mario Kart, anyone?).
What Kind of Hipster Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
I'm taking my Low-Fi hipster ass to Miami for a few days for work. Posting will be as sporadic as normal.
In Other News, I'm Gay
April 27, 2005
The Dangers of Predictive Text
As a big fan of text messaging, I find the tool very useful when you're in a rush and have a quick thing to say but don't need to bother with an actual conversation--sort of a post-it on your phone. Imagine my fear last night when I was driving to DCA to pick up Glenn and our friend Dan from their trip to Seattle and received the following text message from Glenn:
I have other peoples kids.Fortunately when I met them in baggage claim, I saw what I suspected. Not that Glenn had decided to abduct some children, but that he relied too heavily on the T9 predictive text to say that he hates other people's kids. And after hearing the child with the train whistle that he and Dan heard all the way from Denver, I can't fault him at all.
Addendum: Apparently a certain person who is actually very nice is worried that the above post paints him in a less than flattering light when it comes to his love of children. He has asked that I make it clearer that he does like other people's kids.
I, on the other hand, have no problem hating children who are not related to me. And if you're a parent, don't give your kid a whistle when the adorable little scamp is going to be locked in a small aircraft with 150 other people for three hours. Just take the god damn whistle away. You're in charge, in case you hadn't realized it. So wait, maybe I hate the parents? Oh well, chances are the kids are growing to be just like them anyway, so why procrastinate?
Again, though, Glenn loves kids. I can't reiterate that enough. And puppies. And kittens. Glenn believes the children are our future! So the next time you hear someone cry out, "Please, won't somebody think of the children?!," you can happily respond, "Yes, and his name is Glenn."
April 25, 2005
Insert Title for Oversharing Post Here
The other day I had coffee with a friend who said, "You're heart's just not in blogging now, is it?" He's right.
I'm not sure there's any way to say this other than to say it. A few months back I got a new job and my life changed. I didn't have the free time I once did. A few months back I also met some people who took me away from a lot of things I once did as habit. That was a good thing. Habits bring comfort, and they bring complacency. But also, a few months back, I had one of the most monumentally life-changing events happen to me. One that was tragic. One that I couldn't talk about. One that still steals thoughts from me every day.
When your mother dies, you're not the same person the next day. You wake up an orphan. Even if you're 31 and spent your entire life as part of an amazing (if not completely sane) family. You wake up missing the first person you remember.
I've had a block in my writing. I've had a block in my living. It may have taken a few months to get past, but I hope by writing this I can get past it. Not that writing this will make it go away, but the fact that I can write it is a sign I am moving somewhere.
Simply put, my mother was a complex person. No more complex than I am. No more than you are probably. The thing I've realized lately is that we're all complex. True intimacy, true friendship, true love is about learning those complexities and creating ways to work around them. Learning ways to make loving another person the simple thing that it is.
I can't imagine what it would be like to not know that my mother loved me. When I hear stories of kids disowned or abused or forgotten, I have the hardest time parsing those thoughts. My mother wasn't perfect, but I never doubted for one second that she loved me completely. I may not have always appreciated or agreed with the way that love took form, but I always knew it was there.
She was a cautious woman. Sometimes I felt the fear of her daily life surround her, compress her. I worried that it was killing her, even before it did. But always looking for irony, I loved that she loved to gamble. How Catholic is it that one of the great joys of her life was bingo? How catholic is it that she sought the risk in such a controlled fashion? Her trips to Atlantic City, the numbers that she played (838)--the ones that she got from her father--himself a strict man? The TV I grew up watching that she won one night at a marathon bingo session? She loved risk, but wanted it safe as houses.
When I wrote the poem at the end of this post a few years back, it didn't have the resonance it has now. My mother was only 66 years old when she died. But I'd been preparing for it for a while. Probably even when I wrote that. Her body started shutting down when I was young. It couldn't sustain her. It became a cage of pain. The arthritis, the diabetes, the hypoglycemia, the hypertension--the list is long. I knew that she would probably be the one I would lose next. I don't think I knew exactly what that would feel like. One of the most selfish things I can say is that I am eternally grateful that the last time I saw her, she was happy. I wish she had been happier in her whole life. I wonder sometimes if her caution prevented that, but I can't worry about that. I can only take each day as it comes and realize that sometimes it pays to gamble.
So I end this ultimately indulgent post with a poem that's a lot about my mother, but also a lot about the things she taught me. Or things that I taught myself from watching her.
I love you, Mom.
In the Parish Hall of St. Jerome's, I watch
The painted ping-pong balls bounce against
The glass case, science fair models
Of molecules, with built-in uncertainty
That each is where you see it now.
The woman beside my mother rubs her charm,
A leprechaun dressed in a green felt suit,
Which has become so worn that plastic skin
Peeks out around his shoulders. She keeps
Repeating, B-15, B-15.
I've come here long enough to know her chanting
Will not work. My mother must know this too.
She reads a Harlequin Romance and,
From time to time, checks the display of numbers
Already called. She's memorized her cards.
She's played the same ones every week for years
And, now, keeps track without the chips
The other women use. Sometimes, she lets me
Play one card. I always pick the one with
My birthday on it and mark with pennies.
The men from the Knights of Columbus
Frown on this. In fact, I think they wonder
Why I'm even here, so I keep quiet in my seat.
Tonight, though, I sit close to the caller
To see what number's up before the rest.
When I look over the crowd, beneath the cloud
Of smoke, I pick out faces that I know.
My classmate's grandmother who, in church,
Always wears a thin, black scarf of lace
Around her head, looks to me for a sign.
I can tell the next one is an O
From the red ring around its belly.
Once the number is called out, the room
Stays quiet. The only sound, the clicking
Of the balls into each other, against their cage.
April 19, 2005
Lohan, Role Model for British B!t¢hes
It's not like I really was looking for this quiz. I don't even know how I got there really. But I did learn a few things from it:
1. I'm not a bitch, but a "gossip goddess."
2. British teenage girls have to put up with a LOT of pop-up adverts.
3. Just taking that quiz has me talking like one of those morons who gets back from vacationing in the UK and uses terms like goss, snog, mate, and advert.
4. American teen media outlets are years behind their British counterparts. Perhaps even decades.
5. Focus never was a strong p...
April 18, 2005
...and Lisa Turtle as Chairman Linda Cropp
Our new mascot is named Screech?
I haven't been this excited over a Nation's Capital/Saved By the Bell crossover since Mark-Paul Gosselaar's failed WB series, DC.
April 15, 2005
The Snow Man
I must have a mind of winter because as I listen to Jennifer Love Hewitt sing "Dancing with Myself" all I can think of is Stevens' words:
For the listener, who listens in the snow,Happy midpoint of National Poetry Month.
Also? Jennifer Love and Scott Wolf really should start pushing for a "Party of Five" reunion. That way they could ride the coattails of Matthew "Lost" Fox and Lacey "Mean Girls" Chabert out of the ABC Family Made for TV Movie Hell they're both apparently stuck in.
April 14, 2005
This Is Just to Say
Text messaging brings me joy. It's lame, but it's true. At least I know I'm not alone.
Earlier today, I had to clean out my outbox on my cell or I wouldn't be able to send anymore. I don't understand why--they can't take up that much space. But in doing so, I had many silly and wonderful memories. There's something about the limited amount of space you have in a text message that lends the form to inside jokes, the shorthand of friendships. A sampling of my last few months of outgoing messages...
"After the drag race in a bar with a midget, my friends, and a person of indeterminate gender. God bless Halloween!"
"In the dean and deluca in soho. No Ben or Felicity. Lots of Javier."
"Witch Mountain double feature this morning. I want Tia's handbag. They drove by La Brea. *hugs*"
"Cheetah cubs look like Sebastian. Zoos are gay."
"You sure it wasn't a tranny?"
"If I don't make it, I leave you all my ironic tee shirts. In other words, guess who's being melodramatic?"
"I'm alive and high as shit. Glenn is an awesome escort. Much better than Jeff Gannon."
"I feel dirty."
"National Football Players Association having an event at the same hotel as mine. Woof."
"You know how some mornings you star in your own music video? Today was black and white town."
And those are just the ones I sent. The ones I get are even better, but I wouldn't want to betray anyone's trust. (See? Your secrets are safe with me, Linds. Unlike some people.)
April 12, 2005
In a Station of the Metro
I truly love the Metro. For all of its shortcomings, it allows my mind to wander. I noticed when I drove more frequently, I was much more tense. If the worst frustration of my commute is the idiots who stand to the left instead of the right on the escalator, how bad can it be? But those people are idiots. Big time.
I've noticed a trend with my friend Metro, though--the lengthening of station names. It had been awhile since I'd been to the Archives-Navy Memorial stop, so this weekend when Glenn and I got off there to see the Cherry Blossom Festival (which as you may not know, is when we celebrate the gift of Target sponsorship to the American people back in 1912) I was very surprised to find out that I was actually getting off at the "Archives-Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter" station. Ohhh Penn Quarter. Quelle Fancy!
I'd always thought "U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo" was a bit of a tongue twister. And when they decided to make Woodley Park-Zoo into Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan, I almost felt sorry for all the drunken frat boys who would be shocked to find out that the station isn't really that close to Adams Morgan and that they'd have to walk more than a mile to reach the Common Share.
I believe this is a wise cost-saving measure for public transportation in DC. Buying new signs with longer names is much cheaper than building more stations. One day soon I might be able to tell people I live two blocks from the Columbia Heights-Mount Pleasant-Malcom X/Meridian Hill Park-Pleasant Plains/Tivoli-Target station. Cross your fingers!
April 06, 2005
Will it be Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, archbishop of Genoa? Let's not rule out Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels. And then there's perennial crowd favorite Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo, archbishop of Managua, Nicaragua.
When Randy, Paula, and Simon get a hold of the College of Cardinals, the feathers will fly!
Special appearance by the pope's "Secret Cardinal," William Hung!
I had hoped to celebrate National Poetry Month by titling all of my posts after poems. Unfortunately, the only pope-related poem I could think of wouldn't quite make sense as a title. Enjoy!
April 05, 2005
Words and the Diminution of All Things
A linguistic meme via Ryan. Because words are important.
Where did you grow up? Suburban Maryland
WHAT DO YOU CALL:
1. A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks?
2. What the thing you push around the grocery store is called?
3. A metal container to carry a meal in?
4. The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in?
5. The piece of furniture that seats three people?
6. The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof?
7. The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening?
8. Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages?
9. A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup?
10. A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself?
11. The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach?
12. Shoes worn for sports?
13. Putting a room in order?
There are no words in my lexicon for this act.
14. A flying insect that glows in the dark?
15. The little insect that curls up into a ball?
16. The children's playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down?
17. How do you eat your pizza?
I'm all hands.
18. What's it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff?
19A. What's the midday meal?
19B. What's the evening meal?
20. The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are?
21. What do you call the thing that you can get water out of to drink in public places?
22. Harass: Where does the accent go?
It goes on the "ass" of course.
23. Vehicle: Where does the accent go?
On the "Ve" unless I'm wearing a trucker hat and sipping some Miller High Life in which case ironic redneck pronunciations like "veHICle" apply.
24. Latter: Pronounced with with a "T" in the middle or a "D" in the middle?
25. Kitten: Pronounced with with a "T" in the middle or a glottal stop in the middle?
April 04, 2005
Spring and All
Blossoms are everywhere!
Mayim Bialek is back!
DC is exploding with pink.
My beard is also blossoming, but once the humidity kicks in here in Swamp City, I think I will bid it a fond farewell.
Also...did the pope die? I tried to find something on the news about it to no avail.