Sunday, September 30, 2001

Mike, I really like your typo. More water under the bride, please!

Saturday, September 29, 2001

i am in love with my cat.

Friday, September 28, 2001

Mike, I realized recently that I really am over my last relationship - it lasted about 8 months and took a year to recover from. Some great advice I got had to do with telling yourself you'll never get over it. You'll never recover. Accept that the pain will always be there - and then when you accept that, for some reason the pain recedes. Good luck with your non-date; I haven't gone beyond the friendly flirt since my last relationship crashed and burned. You are way ahead of me there...

Zach, thanks for the additional insight into your betrayal. Man, that blows. One of the reasons I don't go out much has to do with the drunken circus - I have a friend who I think is fabulous, except that going out means that she'll be puking in the ladies room two hours later. She's the most extreme example, but all too often I know that I'll be confiscating car keys and listening to drunken rambles about things I don't think people really want me to know about them. There's a big difference between my one glass of wine with dinner and their pitcher of margaritas. The last time I got drunk = won't do that again wasn't because of the way I felt physically the next day so much as it was about the sadness that I couldn't find a better, more positive way to deal with an uncomfortable social situation. That you once knew you could go out and have fun in a drug and alcohol free environment is enviable; that you have lost it is betrayal of the heretical sort.

It's interesting to hear your viewpoints on the whole drinking situation. It's still weighing kind of heavy on my heart. If I sound like I'm overreacting, maybe I am. See, it used to be that you could come to Greensboro and go to a show where no one was drinking. There was a time when I met groups of people that were all like me, sober. I didn't have to answer any questions about why I didn't smoke up or anything. I didn't have to find something else to do while they got plowed every weekend. I know lots of people who have these stories about discovering punk rock and about how they suddenly fit in and didn't feel like the odd man out anymore. Well, that's how I felt about straightedge. I was amazed by it. After two years of college that were mostly about watching my best friend in high school devolve into a alcoholic thug, I was extremely grateful to the most straight punk rock community of Greensboro for, not only accepting my, but inviting me in. Now, those people haven't changed in their love for me or my love for them, but the atmosphere has changed. Kids pass 40s at punk rock shows. Not just crusty kids from out of town. People who've been around for years. House shows these days are drunken circuses. My friends go to bars and drink instead of starting bands or staging scavenger hunts or having kick ball games. All that positive energy that sober people harness to have a good time is gone. John and I, and Nathan are the only people left in town that I know of that are committed to sobrity. I won't say StraightEdge because that concept has too much baggage. But the ideas are the same. So, I am heartbroken. I am sad. And I'm tired of people gently lecturing me about how everybody has to make their own choices blah blah blah. I know that. I've made my choices and I will stick with them. What I'm sad about, what I'm disappointed about, is that I suddenly feel like I'm the only one left who's made this choice. I found these friends because I was so alienated by the forty's crew of 1994-96. I don't miss feeling estranged from the people I care about. And I don't want that to happen again.

JT - thanks for the bookcase inspiration. I was thinking that since it's mostly sci-fi books that haven't made it on his shelfs yet, that I could have a space/sci-fi/futuristic (dark blue & silver of course) theme going, but then his love is philosophy, so I was going to rip out pages from old philosophy books and cover the inside shelves with them, who knows. The project starts this weekend, and I have two weeks to make an "I'm so excited to give this to you" present. Rather than a "I spent two weeks on this and you can hide it in your garage if you want to" present.
Mike - don't feel like you're taking too long to get over an ex. It's even harder when your circle of friends is so close. Three months is no time at all in the grand scheme of how long you went out.
Upma - five reasons you should move to Austin rather than SF.
1) we're cheaper
2) we have better swimming weather and better swimming holes
3) cute, arty boys (okay - so SF has this as well - call this one a draw)
4) no need to pay for hotels during SXSW
5) easier lake effecter bonding (i.e. I'll get to hang out with your badass self)

JT, you are basically the coolest person I know.

Upma, don't make me fly over there and kick your ass.

i've been doing a lot of thinking lately... so, please bare with my rambles. actually, don't even pay attention to this... i'm just talking for my own benefit. i do that sometimes.
i think that was almost the exact sentence i used about two days before i had my first drink. ("you know I've been a hard-ass about this but I'm starting to have a different opinion." from JT's last post). people were surprised, to say the least. but i didn't get much shit for it, cuz i never gave much shit for it (except to my one other non-drinking close friend at the time). and i was pretty straightforward... i like to think i always am. when i didn't drink, i never made any excuses... (i'd rather own up to something than make excuses). i just said, "no thanks, i don't drink." when asked "why?", my response was usually some partial variant of "i grew up in a non-alcoholic environment, and i've never had the desire to drink alcohic beverages. it turns me off and smells bad and seems like it would taste even worse."
then one day i got the desire. i know i haven't done anything wrong... i like to think of it as expanding upon my (very limited) horizons. but i still feel guilty about it. so, instead of continuing to feel that way, i've basically stopped drinking (except, like i said, wine with dinner when i feel like it)... and man, i DO love me some red wine. (i would very much like to someday have a fully stocked wine cellar and be a wine conneisuer (sp). except that my parents aren't aware yet of how their precious little (26yearold) daughter has gone against one very valuable family/religious value, an dbelieve you me, i am totally shaking in my boots about the day they find out).
people in college tried to label me as striaght edge, but... no way will i ever claim that label! if i was, i'd own up to it... but i never did/acted/behaved/dressed as any "straight edger" i've ever known. i do my own thing, i am my own person, and for that i take a great amount of pride in myself. i am not something that can be labeled so generally. still... i'm no where near being the person i want to be, and am giving myself a bitterly hard time about that these days too.

it's bothered me about how affected zach is/was about our friends' situation. (i know nothing about apostrophe's, sorry if that's in the wrong place). and it got me to thinking way too much about myself. (as, if you're still readin this... why are you?... you can see). i think i've finally come to a conclusion. no matter what, i will still be the squarest person in most crowds. some people will think that's an awful thing to say about yourself. i feel safe. sure... maybe i don't know how to have fun or how to have a good time, maybe i am too timid and shy in certain situations for my own good, maybe i am too prude to be a real woman... whatever. i think i'm ok with it. mostly. there are of course those times where i know that the reason i am lacking in a certain type of companionship is because of who i am... and then i just wallow in my self pity for a while till i snap out of it and try to tell myself repeatedly that i am ok, it's ok to be alone (i have been my whole life, however only recently have i stopped being lonely). i try to tell myself that i'm one of the coolest people i know, and i am in fact amazing. i KNOW it's all a load of bull... but i figure if i talk myself up that much... at least some of it will rub off... and maybe i'll be kinda cool, and slightly amazing someday.

hmm. wow. that was kinda heavy. i'm glad i finally verbalized my thoughts on that... i've been thinking about it too much this past week. it was getting me down again. but things just are going downhill in general... and that's just more rambles that you don't want to hear. (or maybe i don't want to hear) so... on that note... i think i'll go work-out now.

JT, beautimous as always.

Mike, how'd the non-date go?

Yesterday I had this shit call from a prima donna professor -- at 5:15 no less. Guess she was too chicken shit to call me during normal business hours to talk to me live.

Last night I went to the Delbert McClinton/Jesse Dayton concert with some music friends. It was awesome -- at this place called Garden in the Heights. I had never been but always wanted to go. It was outdoors, and the weather was incredible -- about 60 degrees. My friend Steve was all feeling sorry for himself, going on about how he felt old, because he hardly knew anyone there, and about how all these new "cats" were coming onto the scene and how he was just getting old. I looked at him and said, "Steve, of course you don't know anyone here. It's sponsored by KIKK (the commercial/frat boy sponsored radio station that just recently changed formats all for the mighty dollar). If KPFT (listner/music lover/progressively sponsored -- same place that I do my volunteering for) hosted the event you would know three-fourths of the people. But all these damn posers are just here to be cool, and hell, they probably only have five CD's to their name. . . . "

This weekend, headed to Baton Rouge for a girl's weekend with Annette (her hubbie is out of town). She is cooking an awesome meal for me tonight, and Kyle's coming over with a chocolate dessert. Otherwise, he'll be stranded outside the house the entire night. Tomorrow, facials, shopping and self-pedicures. Basically the thought of the event has carried me through the week. I really miss being around really close friends who know all of your shit but still come back for more. Good times.

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Stephanie, (here's some pinch hitting for Louise) but i should have made some suggestions of my own before now anyways. Perhaps its not time for a gift such as this, It's hard to perscribe a bookcase for someone you don't know...but why don't you drag the boy to a little art supply store and tell him to pick out a few of his favorite paint colors, pick one or two of your own, present the bookcase on a large tarp or drop cloth and have an improvised Jackson Pollack action art experience, stop when you (plural) and/or the bookcase are covered with paint. Personally I've been into beads and sequins lately, silver of course. A shiny bookcase is a way to go, something that reflects beautiful random patterns on the things around it. Or perhaps the other way, maybe using fabrics, really dark plush fabrics like felt, velvet or velour ( a practical note, apply with staple gun), why don't people make luscious spaces for their books (instead of these rigid boxes)? Maybe just a solid painted color with contrasting feather boa embelishment. I guess some of my suggestions go beyond the visual, but, really, what if you gave him a bookcase that was irrestible to touch, or had a particualr, albeit subtle, pleasant smell, (wash it once before painting, once after with your shampoo)? Or maybe paint it the exact same color of his walls, sand all the hard edges, so once installed it appears as if his books are floating, held up by their own significance. Take pictures (or photocopies) of your own favorite books and decolatage. Cover the entire bookcase with text, paper mache, or better, in your own hand write one long love note, sometimes casual , sometimes erotic, words that will be hidden by (books) other words, secrets that maybe even he won't soon discover... These are all just dreams, perhaps something real (and in some ways, dreamier), a platonic bookcase, sanded, treated, prepared, stained and sealed to perfection, polished (the treatment only care and time can provide), an empty monolith for his books. Or perhaps all of these at once, first a love note, then a coat of paint, then a collabroative painting effort, next a layer of fabric, a few shiny things on top, one wisp of perfume. Peel away to different layers in different places, an archeaology of sorts, stratified meanings like the ones we find in our favorite monographs. Or less... A flower, a note, a bookcase -happy birthday.

Right, so I've never been high or drunk. I guess I've tasted various kinds of alcohol, once I was forced to when I worked at the Hotel, had to taste the new line of wines we were selling, I doubt I've consumed more than a glass of wine or beer total in my entire life. The taste is very unappealing to me. So in some respects I can't really call my self true straightXedge but that label never really had any meaning for me anyway. In college all of my friends except for Johnny drank and/or got high. I wouldn't have had a social life if I boycotted parties or boycotted my friends when they weren't sober, Especially at ECU, still known more for its parties than its academics. My choice to stay sober is barely a choice, not because of some sort of life changing event, or some fervent religious or militant stance but simply because I find the act completely undesirable, the same way I don't want to pierce my body, or attend a business meeting, etc... It's barely even a conscious decission, people just don't do what they don't want to do. I had several different responses throughout college for why I didn't drink, none of them really worth mentioning here, but I needed them if only to avoid futile peer pressure mostly from people I didn't really know. I did experience problems occasionally, people thought I was self righteous, and for some time it was even thought that I was a narc, but I kept showing up to parties and no one ever got chastised or busted which made me strange but OK. I don't have a problem with people getting drunk/high on a recreational basis. I think it's even necessary for some. I do have a problem with people who are dependent on a substance, but I understand for alcohol and recreational drugs there's a respectable distance between the two.

I'm not sure what to say about others caving, mostly because I've never known anyone who has. I suppose I would be a little judgemental and critical of people who were very vocal about being on the edge and then caved in some pitiful manner, but no more than when some evangelist is caught giving into some temptation they preached against. I think it's fair that when the selfrighteous fall that they reep a little of what they sow, especially if their caught in a cladestine act. I'd definitely have more respect for someone if they were straigh forward about it, and said something like "you know I've been a hard-ass about this but I'm starting to have a different opinion." This shouldn't be read as a comment on the people Zach and Upma know, because I have no idea about that situation, and I think I would have the same general opinion regardless of whether I drank or not. As for me, I don't see it happening. Occasionaly my friends delight in the idea that I might cave, perhaps in the same way the steroetypical perverted man might delight in the idea of deflowering a virgin, but would ultimately feel really bad about it.

Well, that was a little blathery and a little rough here at the end, my apologies, it's late...otherwise I don't have any other excuses.

JT, I'd like to hear anything you have to say on straightedge and sobriety. Personally, I have a lot of respect for people who remain sober - I'd like to know why you choose to be.

Stephanie, I was mulling over a bunch of ideas and then I got this splitting headache. JT, if you want to remain silent over straightedge, would you like to make any bookshelf recommendations?

So I thought I might have something interesting to say about straight edge but I don't think I really do. I don't expect anyone to feel the way I do about my sobriety, I try not to get involved in others feelings about their own sobriety. Besides it seems like that thread is finished here anyway.

I will say that I empathize with you Zach, on your "upleasant revelation." I have had several of late. Some of which have truly broke my heart.

I'm so busy and getting nothing done.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

The last time I dressed up for Halloween was...'99? Dead Goldfish Fairy. Had orange and red hair, so twisted it up in braided buns, long chopsticks with plastic goldfish on the ends stuck through the braids. Loads of shiny gold and iridescent green eye makeup swirled out all over, pale green velvet shirt, orange, red, and gold wings (repainted a set of clearance nylon angel wings). No, no, wait, I dressed up last year to hand out candy at the co-op. Random Fairy - swirly makeup, big hair, sparkly tinkling hippie skirt and loud brocade top. I was the Wingless Fairy because Chelsea, who was going to be the Other Random Fairy, was supposed to bring the wings and overslept instead.

past Halloween costumes
2000 - Voodoo doll (red pajamas with black lettering spelling curses and knitting needles serving as "pins")
1999 - Aquarium (green wig and plastic fish hanging from all my body parts)
1998 - cowgirl (pink&magenta fringed snap button shirt, black and white cowpatterned skirt, black cowboy boots and a swagger)
this year ???
I do have a long-haired pepto bismol pink wig I'd like to wear. And I've been invited to a dress from the neck up party (well - you're not supposed to be naked - just that your costume can only be from the neck up) that I'll wear it to.
And work will probably have some extravagent department wide costume theme (last year was carnival freaks, before that we drug in branches and leaves to turn our cubes into the forest from the Blair Witch Project). Year before that we were tourists, and "toured" all the other departments. The World Language group got a kick out of us asking them in bad Spanish, French and German where the bathrooms were.

who are all these people you guys are talking about? well... i don't really know sports, and i'm pretty ignorant in general too... (some people think i live under a rock), but i know who pete sampras is. and gimmie a couple weeks, and maybe i'll know some Virginia Tech football players too... that's the only other sport i know about.. Virginia Tech Football.

you girls are CRE-A-TIVE. wow. wish i was.

um... zach. no, i missed Disband last night, cuz i was told the show started at 9. i've heard the raymond brake cover though. as for superchunk... that was my first ever experience with them... and i can understand why people worship them so much. i know for sure after last night that i too would be on the worshipping level if i had jumped on the bandwagon in the early '90's. since that was not the case, i only respect them a whole lot and do not own anything by them. i'm ok with that. and i hope mack is too. but i'm going to ask him to be my sugardaddy.
can't hardly wait for The Shins tonight. they put a smile on my face that's 10 feet long.

i decided that i don't feel respected at my job. working with all boys is hard. especially since we're not all on the same wavelength about things. but, you know... i got the resume in the works... i'm online every night these days trying to search for that new perfect job in a new perfect place.

i really want austin or SF to work out.

Weezie, Stephanie, I wish I were as creative as you. I had a craft setback this weekend. I bought an embossing gun so that I could decorate stationary. I was less than pleased with the results and ended up returning the damn gun and powder. Robin tells me that I should not get frustrated and that I should jump onto the next project. Don't know about that.

Stephanie, sounds like things are going well with the boy. Throw some of that sparkle this way ;)

RE: celebrity sightings. Hell, baseball players (and football) are probably the hardest to spot. Sure, I know who a baseball player is if he's in uniform with his last name sprawled across his back. Any idiot would.

This past Sunday I made a gumbo. It probably took me three hours to make the damn thing, so after all was said and done I didn't feel like putting another 20 minutes into rice making, so I didn't get a chance to eat it until Monday. I think that I just more and more peculiar every day. And living alone does not help things!

Shelly, how goes things with you these days?

Rrrgh, when will this week ever end?

Did I tell y'all what I'm going to be for Holloween? I normally do not get into the holiday but Katherine is throwing a party, and she drug me to a couple of Holloween places this weekend. I'm going to be a pimp daddy. I debated on whether or not I would make a shirt that said, "Who stole my bitch?????" but decided it was too much effort after the embossing idea fell through.

Weezie - it can never be said often enough. You rock.

Stephanie, take inspiration from Shelly's gorrrrrrrgeous walls and ceilings - beautiful color with a sheer layer of glossy/sparkly over it. Although I dunno how Ted would feel about that. I've been a bit giddy lately, so I'd probably paint it a lovely shiny red and then hot glue gun little gold baby dolls and fluffy pink roses and suchlike onto it. My basic recommendation: if you have a funky shape, just go for a great color, maybe swirl a sheer coat of the same color two or three shades lighter or darker over it. Washes look awesome and disguise little oopsies nicely. Staining is fussy and time-consuming. The layers must be thin and even, and all drips and streaks will look like drips and streaks when it dries.

I'd recommend going to the library or bookstore and checking out the DIY home improvement books. Martha Stewart is worshipped for good reason. Just don't get carried away like I would and start decoupaging pages of antique sheet music until 3 am. Although decoupage would be nifty too. Since this is a gift for someone I don't know, I'm hesitant to make recommendations. I love the unusual shape idea - me, I'd want a super shiny lacquer red; Ted may not. Oh, and I'd have a few pieces of scrap wood to practice on. Use semi-glossy or glossy paint - costs more, looks nicer, easier to keep clean.

Uh oh. I'm beginning to toss the idea around in my head. More later.

So I just figured out what I want to get Ted for his birthday. A new bookcase. He has mentioned needing to do something with all the boxes of books around his house. So weezie - I'm looking to you for cool staining ideas. I figured I'd buy an unfinished one (and they come in unusual shapes, like a trapezoid) and then go all artistic over it. Yet, I have no staining, painting, experience in this area. Help.

Superchunk played acoustically Gate City Noise last night. They were good, I guess, but with the exception of the songs off their new album everything they played had an officially released acoustic version that I already knew. I was disappointed that they took no chances whatsoever. Disband opened up for them and were good. Upma, I don't know if you missed it or not, but they did a Raymond Brake cover that felt like it was just for me. I couldn't have been happier.

The weather here is intoxicating. Sunny and 50 - 60 degrees. It makes me wish I lived someplace where the leaves change colors (lucky Mike). But instead I've settled for going out to coffee shops, sitting outside, and drinking hot chocolate. And I want to find a place that serves good warm apple cider. This is my falltime goal.
Went birthday shopping last night. I have seven people to get gifts for in the next two weeks. One of them being Ted. No pressure. I love buying birthday gifts. I went to the toy joy store and the book store last night. Four people out of the way. My brother told me he wants some specific sports memorabilia. Now if I could just think of something to buy/make Ted.
Angie - I love your story. I think I would be equally clueless about celebrity sightings.

ehhhh, stability is overrated, i say.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

I just purchased two rolls of medium-weight paper packing tape to make a cast of my torso with so that I can make stuff and fit it without assistance. (
After getting graduate school applications by the kilo for art therapy programs, it's pattern making and clothing embellishment that I'm taking up in my spare time. I'm just not going to be a stable, reliable, sensible person anytime soon, am I. And the worst part is, JT makes niftier clothes than I do.

Angie, I understand why you make it a point not to stare. My condolences on the backfire.

Ok, Angie Joe (that would be ME) is a BIG dork. I went to lunch with someone from the Center for Public Policy. I was busy talking shop the entire time. So busy that I did not notice four very attractive looking men sitting right next to me. And frankly, when I see good looking men, I make it a point to not stare, because then I would be like every other drooling woman out there. I know, I make no sense.

So Renee and I walk out. She asks me if I am a big sports fan, and so I tell her how I played softball for 15 years. She stops, looks at me and says, "You don't know who you were sitting next to, do you?" Freakin' Jeff Bagwell, first base man, and three other Astros. Can you freakin' believe????

The funniest part. . . I overheard part of the guys' conversation, and they were talking something about fast balls. And I remember thinking to myself, "Who are these dumb bandwagon jumpers all talking about fast balls as if they know?" (the Astros are in first place by like 3 or 4 games right now).


My chance at landing a sugar daddy is long gone.

Monday, September 24, 2001

Benji and I went to see Built to Spill tonight. They were pretty excellent. Covers performed: "Dream Police" by Cheap Trick, some George Harrison song the title of which I can't remember and "Freebird" by Skynyrd. Cool. Plus, they whupped out "Twin Falls" making those of us who think There's Nothing Wrong With Love is their best record, very happy.

Benji didn't shoot up during the show, so this night, at least, was free of unpleasant revelations. But don't worry. If Benji was riding the white horse, I'd be cool and respect his right to make his own decisions. That's what friends are for.

Okay, okay. Zach, let it be known that Upma has saved you from an ass kicking. Why haven't you married her yet?

JT, your day has me reeling with the desire to visit NY. I so regret skipping Buffalo this spring! Maybe next year on my way to Italy (if I go to Italy).

Thursday I saw a show with Eileen Myles and Kris Kraus (somewhat famous feminist writers) reading, followed by Thurston Moore reading several differnt things, some new poetry, excerpts from his memoirs about arriving in NYC in the late seveties and some poems he wrote when he was 15 on acid blotter. Then he played some new Sonic Youth songs on the acoustic guitar, then Jim O'Rourke came out and they played "psychic hearts" followed by about a 20 minute noise jam. It was supposed to be Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, but they didn't want to be travelling together and/or leave their 7 year old daughter alone. Moore said Sonic Youth lucked out, they had just finished recording their new album and had just sent off their final takes to get mixed down. Their studio is 2 blocks from WTC. They haven't been allowed near the area since the 11th.

The rest of the weekend was art openings at all of the galleries and studios around town. Screenings, exhibits etc... I saw some Carolee Schneeman films (experimental film maker from the late 60s). She's here at UB tonight speaking, so I'm sticking around to see that even though I really can't stand spending my entire day on this campus (which btw, was voted one of the worst looking campuses by the Princeton Review, although that doesn't really mean much).

Yesterday afternoon there was a peace rally in buffalo, and while not widely attended there were people there, and it was nice to know that not everyone has bought into the necessity for revenge and war. Both my younger brothers are draft age. I don't think it will come to that, but still. It's nice knowing that I'm only one bridge away from Canada myself. Actually, Canadians are of two minds about the US right now (it's also nice getting Canadian TV channels with BBC feeds, a different subjectivity). Some are vehemently supportive of the kind of military action Bush is perscribing. Others aren't and are also tired of being snubbed by Bush. First over issues of Mexico being the most important and valued border, and second by Bush now saying England is America's new best friend, when Canada gave some of the most immediate support for this incident, namely accepting flights in transit from Europe once all the US airports shutdown. The man barely knows the Prime Minister's name.

I have some to say about the straight edge issue, maybe even something worth note since it seems like I may be the only one aside from zach on this here blog who has lived a completely sober existence, I just don't have the time at the moment.

yeah... i think i understood that. and i think i agreed with you on that. we're good.
however, as much as i agree with your last post... i can't let you kick zach's ass.

Upma, just so that I'm sure I was clear about it, I think that not being able to have fun without being trashed is pretty pathetic - and I know waaaaaay too many people who just can't loosen up without a drink or a toke. It's easier than honesty.

Zach, when was the last time I bothered with an elaborate lie for you? I can't say that I'm "normal" honest, I believe the word is "brutal." So don't lump me in with the rest, and gosh thanks for lumping everyone in this remarkable blog in with them too. By the way, where did you get this idea that normal people speak to each other in normal honest ways? My experience is that the most deception takes place in the guise of the normal. Polite lies and all that. The greatest thing about this blog is the abnormal honesty and lack of posturing. If I ever get within 200 miles of you again, I will kick your ass.

I guess that I am a little late on the bandwagon at this point, but I'm not a big drinker as well. It's so werid, because growing up, I spent lots of time in my parents' restaurant's bar (from as far back as I could remember to about age 10). I was constantly exposed to men who had little to their name except for their drinking habit. And, when I was 7 years old, I learned how to pour a draft beer. Sure I had a few years of lushness, but I got over that soon. I can still pour a mean beer, but I can't stand the taste of it. Funny how things turn out.

Zach, I agree with Upma -- it's not you, it's them. I just think that some people aren't able to "own" a lot of their bullshit for whatever reasons. Does it make it right? No, but I think it's the only way that some people know how to deal.

Upma, I do have Word and I use a PC, but I should be able to convert your document.

zach. no. it has nothing to do with you... i don't think you should make drama where drama doesn't need to be. i'm not trying to belittle you/your feelings at all... (you better know that!) ;-). i'm just saying... this is evan's thing... let him deal with it... if and when he's ready to talk to any of us about it, he will. but there's really no need to... he just made a simple decision one day... it's not that big a deal. i can totally see how you would disagree with me in thinking that it is a big deal... but it's really not. and you do have every right to feel hurt/angry/whatever.... but, that's just you doing that to yourself. evan hasn't done anything to you... whatever he's doing, he's doing to/for himself. so... just lead with your glorious example. and stop putting lettuce in his water.

man i sound like an opinionated little thang today.

Something about my personality makes people choose to stage elaborate lies and deceptions rather than speak to me in a normal honest way like normal people would with each other. I'm pretty disappointed to find that friends I thought were above this are not. I guess everyone, everywhere is exactly the same.

oh zach. i didn't know whether to tell you about evan or not... i found out myself on sat. i can clearly see why he hid it though... for one... him being so militantly against it for so long kinda makes him a hypocrite, huh? of COURSE you guys in the house are gonna give him a hard time about it... if not verbally than defintely non-verbally. i felt prett hypocritical myself for a long time. and i knew about audrey... i thought you did too. hey... i'll hang out with you anytime... you know that, right? you are one of my favoritest people in the entire world. i really hate to see you so broken-hearted... but... well... i don't know what to say.

i like being an American. i'm sure if my parents hadn't migrated from India, i certainly woud've. my parents think i would not have though... i'm not sure why. i am so proud to be a citizen of the USA. i love this country. i have seen up close and personally (as some, if not all of you have too) what it is like to live in other coutries in the world. my freedom, my independence... are two of the things in my life that i cherish most.
at the same time, i do not wave the flag... (perhaps this is blasphemous, but i just don't think it's so pretty), and i don't really like our govenment all that much. still... i like it much better than i like any other government that i know anything about. (i don't know much about the different european gov's.... i might like one of them better... as soon as i find out... i'll probably move there).
i sure am in a ramblin mood today. good thing my boss ain't here.

oh yeah... angie... the resume is on my computer at home, i'll e it to you then... do you have word? you probably use a PC?

steph- i think the wet tee thing is SO funny! (yeah... i'm totally laughin at you). i love getting caught in the rain... but only when it's warm outside.

Angie - Wilco was great. I've been listening to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot off their web site all morning. Even though it rained at the show, they played three encores.
re: drinking, I never did in high school and so rarely in college, I'm usually stuck in the position of driver, the lone sober person in a group of drunks, especially when I dated a (his term) "functional alcoholic"
for the last few years I've been in the Upma camp, an occasional glass of wine or one drink when I go out. It works for me. I remember all too cleary how wretched I feel after more drinking. I do have some friends who never drink and it catches me off guard when making plans, how going to a bar is usually the default. Well, everything in moderation, that's my drinking policy.

I'm a gratified by your support on this subject. Its weighed pretty heavily on my mind for the last two days. Upma, you have to keep this to yourself, but it turns out that Evan has been drinking undercover for a while. My friend Audrey, too. I know that it would be the cool thing to do to brush it off and say, "oh well, they've made their choices and I respect them," but I don't feel that way. I'm disappointed and I can't help thinking something is wrong. Especially, when steps are taken to hide these activities from your friends. I have very familar sinking in the pit of my stomach. I had this feeling all through high school and my early years of college. Finding friends that had no interest in getting fucked up weekend after weekend was incredibly important to me. Oh me.

Wow, lots of great posts over the weekend.

Upma, e-mail me your resume, and I can help you. If I remember I will send you mine, and you can use it as a template.

Weezie, would love to read the Dali Lama's statement.

Glad that a majority of you feel the same way I do -- attacking Afganistan is a bad idea. It seems that many have joined the ranks of the "nuke 'em boys." Killing innocents doesn't bring back other innocents. One woman told me that people in Afganistan "KNOW that terrorists" operate in their country, so "in a way it is justified." Hmmmm. I wonder if the Unibomer's and Timothy McVeigh's neighbors knew that they lived next door to terrorists. Not saying that the acts should go unpunished, I just don't know that entering into a holy war is the right answer.

RE: the patriotism thing. I consider myself patriotic (probably because my people are such recent immigrants, and like it or not, this place is a MUCH better place than what they came from). So I support waving the American flag and singing the national anthem. I am, however, annoyed at the fact that it took these tragedies for people to bond together. But on the other hand, I think that it is the only thing that gets these people through the coping. Some people just need to unify in a time that seems so uncertain, and if waving the flag and wearing ribbons is their way brings people together, then maybe that is what they need to keep from going postal on the little Arab man who owns the convenience store down the street. Simple-minded? Maybe so. But my sense is that a majority of the population just doesn't read as much or think as much as we do.

ok. i wasn't going to say anything about this topic, but i'm squirming now.
people change. people grow... for better or for worse. the decisions that evan and dave made were their decisions... i think it's unfair to scrutinize them so much. just because they ordered one drink at a restaurant does not make them drunks all of a sudden.
i am speaking as one who occasionally drinks. i am also speaking as one who, until 4 years ago was adamantly against any kind of alcoholic or other substance usage. my stance changed.... i became curious about what the big fuss was all about after 22 years. it's the ONE thing i do... did... that's kinda "bad." the last time i got drunk, i made a total ass out of myself. needless to say, my stance has changed once again. i think after 4 years of drinking socailly, that one totally humiliating, shameful, embarrasing experience, i will never be drunk again. i'm happy with the occasional wine with dinner.
i think i mentioned to zach at the dinner that i was "proud" of dave for drinking that night. well... maybe "proud" of him is too strong. i think, mostly i was glad to see that he could make a decision that didn't go along with all his friends' ways of thinking. he made his own independent, sound, decision. that's all there is to that.
evan is a different story... but he too has the right to do what he wants. and hopefully, he won't let it get out of hand. i really don't think he will. only time can tell.

about the whole "drink a beer and loosen up" thing... bogus. well... kinda bogus. i guess.... it's true that alcohol helps loosen you up. but "can't have fun w/o it" that's totally bogus.

ok. i guess i just rambled more for myself than anyone else. however, i feel strongly in thinking that we should really leave those guys alone. they are adults and they can make their own decisions.

Mother nature entered me in a wet t-shirt contest yesterday.
It was so beautiful outside when I made plans with my friend beverly to take her dog, Jackson, to Zilker Park. We loaded in the car, me, her, her boyfriend Jim and my friend Stephanie. Merrily we rolled along. Stopping for snowballs (I got watermelon) on Lamar. Driving into the park, what a sunshine beautiful day. Walk down to the part of Barton Springs that is for dogs.
"Hey, did you feel that?"
"I think that was a raindrop"
"Oh, it's probably an isolated shower"
la la la
raining buckets and buckets. we go to the trees (cause there's no lightning yet) to try for cover. Poor Jackson, brought to the park to play and instead gets a bath from the sky.
"It's like we're going swimming. . . in the air"
Did I mention that I'm wearing a white t-shirt (with a light pink bra). Lovely. We decide to wait it out.
"Um, guys, I don't think it's letting up"
"Do you want to leave?"
"Do you?"
"Look at Jackson"
We all look at Jackson. She's cowering, trying to escape the raindrops, running back and forth. So we walk back to the car. A long walk. A long, wet, walk. At the car, each of us is soaked to the bone. The heat is turned on. One (previously used by the dog) towel is found and passed around. Now we all smell like wet dog. It's a long drive home. As we leave the park, the clouds part, and the sunshines through.

Sunday, September 23, 2001

That Irish restaurant sounds like a travesty of cheap stereotyping. The Irish have marvelous food to offer, savory as well as sweet. Incredible cheese, wonderful bread, the most amazing milk and butter I have ever encountered. Oh, wait, that's in Ireland.

I used to get crap for being vegan, which was not my idea, just the way I was raised. Whenever I got shit for it, I usually just brushed it off with "I don't eat it because I don't like the taste. I'm not going to force you to eat broccoli, so why would you try to make me eat meat/eggs/dairy?" Rather than say "I don't drink" I'd just leave it with "I don't feel like drinking right now." Maybe it's a cop out to do that, but it works well. I agree with the substance use as unifier - the employees at the co-op who smoke behave a bit like a secret club who meet by hiding behind the dumpsters in the parking lot, puffing furtively. I think cigarette smoking is just about the dumbest thing you can do - I should know, I've been stopping and starting for over ten years now. It's not the nicotine, the oral fixation, it's the ingrained social habit. It feels funny to go out to a bar and not smoke, just because back when I used to go out to bars was when I used to buy cigarettes by the case. It's also a nice excuse take a break and sit and not think for a few minutes (these days, I crochet instead).

I think the "Man if they would just have a beer and loosen up" speaks to the "Dude, how is it possible to be relaxed, open, and friendly without chemical assistance?" Just can't have fun without getting ripped first!

I take no pleasure in seeing Edge cave. I think it's juvenile, rude, and inconsiderate to do so. I think it's unfortunate that Dave and Evan made that choice. On the other hand...I drink moderately and infrequently for the most part; the last time I got drunk I blogged about - I made the concious choice to do so and find out how it would change things. I don't think I'll be repeating that, and now I know exactly why.

are any of you really good at all that resume stuff? i think i need help.

Saturday, September 22, 2001

Dave's birthday was tonight. We all drove to an Irish restuarant in Raleigh. The place was nice enough with big wooden tables and mismatched chairs. The food was okay. The vegans (and myself) had a special dish with cabbage and potatoes stuffed in a... potato. The others either had dead animal or a potato pancake thing with mushrooms. I don't think I'm going to be craving Irish food again anytime soon, but it was okay. We had good time. I got a chance to really talk to Kelly Cunningham, who is a hoot. She's going to have a Smooth Moves party where everyone takes laxatives, watches movies and shits all day long. It sounds like a lot of fun. I'm there. She says you feel ten pounds lighter.

My friends Evan and Dave broke the Edge, though. John and I were pretty confused and upset to see it, but we know better than to say anything. Most of you are drinkers. Can you tell me why drinkers take such pleasure in watching a non-drinker cave? To me, it's really sad. It kind of broke my heart. Why would anybody encourage someone who's kept a principled stand for their whole life, more or less, to break that stand? It's terrible. To me it seems like the drinkers are taking advantage of someone in a weak moment to justify their own choices. The common view of drinkers seems to be that the very lives of sober people are a comment on the drinkers. Somehow by making a perfectly reasonable decision, we are condemning those who do not make the same decision. Evan and Dave, John and I are not openly straightedge. No sweatshirts or tattoos. What about choosing not to drink is such a threat? Or is it a challenge?

I'm not blaming anybody there for Dave or Evan's choice. That was entirely their business. Still, I hardly think it's a victory for anyone. I know what they were thinking. "It's an Irish restaurant, why don't we order a Guiness to complete the feel." But, that's terrible logic. Neither of them would have ordered the steak and most people in the restaurant were eating that. Most Irish eat steak. I know I shouldn't be disappointed, but I really am. It makes me feel really isolated. This feeling is the same one I had my first few years of college. The whole incident has really soured a nice night for me.

Yep. Looks like after explaining terrorrism to my little sister, explaining why the police are busting out riot gear to deal with protestors is going to be next. All the equipment and training the HPD got for the Asian Development Bank conference? Gosh, they haven't had a chance to use it since!

How could the US need a draft? Our active military is so huge anyway. Please? My brother just turned 20 and is in perfect physical condition. Thinking about war makes me sick. Thinking about internment camps and anti-Islamic hatred makes me sick. My father came up with an analogy that doesn't quite work for me but seems to work for others - the Taliban is to Islam what the KKK is to Christianity.

Watched "Three Kings" for the first time last week. Keep thinking about it.

If for some reason you haven't read the Dalai Lama's statement, let me know and I'll email it to you.

As long as Grace the Duck has her crazy Uncle Zach to spout off about anti-war and stuff, she'll at least have exposure to a different mode of thought. Sure, my siblings think I'm basically nuts, but at least they grit their teeth and hear me out. Zach, thanks for your thoughts - got any more pictures of Grace to post? I don't know why you bother working on that web page full of punk-ass boys when you could be building a monumental web page to the wonder that is Grace.

The coming "war" has been a hot topic of conversation around the Mayflower household and, to be honest, its depressed me enough that I don't really like to talk about it with other people. To disfuse things with humor we've been joking about moving to Canada. I doubt there will be a draft and if there was I'm too old and too blind to go most likely. But most of housemates are not. So we've been talking about how we're going to get a bus and drive through cornfields across the Canadian border. Evan's dad called him the other day and told him that he expected to "raise the occasion" should his country need him. Evan response, "Are you kidding?"

It seems inevitable that the US will attack someone. Which is mindboggling. No evidence. Even if they present some, I'm not sure I would believe it. There's too much riding on an American response for them to allow proof to suggest anything other than what they want. Very likely we'll start bombing Kabul claiming to be targeting only the Taliban, which is terrible enough considering all the Taliban wants is evidence that Bin Laden masterminded the attacks. This is reasonable of course. The US might or might not be able to actually get Bin Laden. The Afghan countryside is rough. Remember, the Soviets fought for years there and eventually had to give up. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is sometimes called their "Vietnam," an unwin-able war. The US will probably have to land ground troops to get him. There is another ethical concern than no one mentions. The Afghan countryside isn't really controlled by the Taliban. The Pashtun tribes there are very powerful in some places. They don't answer to the Taliban. They don't even speak the same language. How the US will deal with the completely apolitical and innocent Pashtuns will be something to see.

The Afghani people only grew 30% of the crops neccessary to feed the people this year. To survive they eat animal dung and grasses. This, Americans, is our enemy. Those not killed by the bombs stand a very good chance of starving to death.

This all started bothering me even more when I realized that this is the country that Grace is born into. I can't stand the idea that forces will one day be working on her to convince her that this kind of revenge is not only right, but something that must happen. I don't want her to see the car windows full of flags. I don't want her to hear how America is the land of freedom, the place where everyone can be whatever they want to be. I don't want anyone saying to my niece, "if God be for us, who can stand against us." I wish I could shield her from all of that. Not because its not nice thoughts, but because it isn't true. I don't want her to ever ask, "Who could do this to America" without understanding the answer is right here in our own back yard. Our democracy is built on the backs of those who couldn't fight back. 88% of Americans WILL sleep better when we murder a people whose lives have been reduced to eating feces to live. Is our wealth and comfort worth this? Is it? It's been heartbreaking to watch. I tell you that honestly.

In the coming weeks, when the war protesters are beaten and arrested in the capitol, remind people that nothing we own, even our cherished, smudged democracy is worth the horrors we commit to protect it.

I've been thinking of this Dylan song.

"How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool's hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game."

Friday, September 21, 2001

Stephanie, I think that was the most diplomatic description of Veggie Booty I've heard. I think it's like dusty styrofoam peanuts.

I keep having encounters with people who think it's really important to be patriotic and support the Bush administration right now. I stick to grinding my teeth; I can't believe the gov't wants to wage war without evidence. Maybe it's simplistic of me to think that killing more innocent civilians won't solve anything.

Zach, you've been quiet for a couple of days...what's your take on the latest? I stopped watching TV again, so I rely on you for updates.

I just got back from a baby shower at work. I am so ready to be an aunt. I loved shopping for cute, fuzzy, pink things. big surprise there. Now I just need to drop some hints to my brother and his wife.

Admittedly, Bush was pretty good -- the best I had ever seen him. One guy in my office insists that his speech last night as comprable to JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you . . ." I wouldn't go THAT far, but he was good considering his history.

RE: God. I generally don't talk a lot about it because I'm just not the evangelical type, and because religion is such a personal issue. The funny part of it all is that I am the most spiritual person in my family, but I don't throw it in people's faces. I joke around and say tht the reason why I go to Mass regularly is so that when judgement time comes, God will look at all my bad shit, but that my faith will earn me the nod in the long run. That's not all entirely true, but it just makes things simplier and more light-hearted.

Upma, your dinner sounded so yummy.

Stephanie, I considered driving up for Wilco but decided against it. Let me know if you end up going. I absolutely love the Mermaid Ave. album (vol. 1 -- vol. 2 is a different story however). And I have never had Veggie Booty although it intrigues me.

it's amazing how competent he sounds when he has a script in front of him. i heard andy rooney once say that instead of saying "god bless america" at the end of all their speeches the writers should be credited/blessed.

i forgot to tell you guys earlier that i had a tandoori chicken party last night and it was good! i made:
tandoori chicken
illeana brough olive-herb bread and corn.

and we had leftover ice-cream from the dessert party.

Someone at work just offered me Veggie Booty - have you had this stuff - a puffed cracker with concentrated spinach and kale? it tastes very of the earth. I've been listening to the new Wilco album online. I may go see them tomorrow night. Tonight is the Southern Culture on the Skids show - I hear they occasionally throw fried chicken at the audience. Should be fun.
Did you guys all watch W. & congress last night?

mike, do you have to work tomorrow? what's going on up there? you're gonna stay home, right?

angie, people are just ignorant. you're ok to be mad and shocked at your friend's ignorant view-points... as long as you told him what's what... you did your job.

believing in God is not uncommon. i'm not sure if i can really say i'm a Sikh.. i was born into it, but i don't think i know enough about it to say i am one. however, i do consider myself a pretty spiritual person. i generally keep those thoughts to myself though, as most of my friends seem to not take kindly to any mention of God.

Sorry to bombard you with post, but I got into a disagreement with a friend last night, and it is still a little too fresh on my mind.

My friend Todd has an MPA and a phd in political philosophy from LSU so he spent 8 years in Baton Rouge (he's from the midwest and now lives north of San Francisco). He made me mad because he gave this broad generalization about how all people in LA are dumb and racist (he's a teacher, so he tells this bullshit to his classes), citing one babbling politician and a handful of dumb fuck frat boys. Anyways, I told him that he was approaching it from the wrong angle. People in LA are just more honest and open than anyone else in the U.S., so while the general population are just as dumb as the frat boys/politician, they just don't say what's on their mind. On one hand they could be dubbed ignorant; on the other they can just be considered honest and upfront. Besides, when I am looking for intellectual stimuatlion, I don't go the general population. I have a group of about 10 select friends, a majority of whom I met in LA. Further, I would have thought that he of all people would know better than to just judge on the surface, and I of course told him so.

People like Todd give the rest of us "southerners" a bad name. And it makes me so mad. Other people that annoy the fuck out of me are people who are from the South and have left, and they portray the same ignorant image. I mean really. If Southerners are really that ignorant then what the hell does that make you? Just as bad because I don't care what people say, if you spend a good amount of time in a place, it has its effects -- like it or not.

Stephanie, I don't really talk about this very much but I'm actually pretty religious. If you can believe it I go to Mass every Sunday and on all holidays of obligation. Sometimes I wonder why, because a lot of times, I'm there in body but not in spirit. But with everything that's been going on, I've been a lot more in tune spiritually.

Thursday, September 20, 2001

I'm sorry, did I actually say I "read" all of those publications. It's actually more of a scan/glance at the headlines and read what catches my eye. Gets really old after a while, because all of the news stories start sounding the same.

On a more somber note . . . went out with my friend Andrew last night, and I found out that about three weeks ago his 29 year old brother died. He fell into a diabetic coma and lived alone. Andrew found Tony. He died Thurs. evening, and Andrew found him Fri. afternoon. I feel like a horrible friend because I had not a clue. Now I am calling all over the city to obtain Mass cards (the family is Catholic).

Anyways, I could tell that Andrew did not feel like talking about it much. And, I found out that I hadn't told him the Auntie Yoplait story so I told that and a few other light-hearted stories. Poor guy.

This week - went to temple on Monday night for Rosh Hashanah. It was nice being in the Jewish community again, something I do only a few times a year. The service talked about the events last week, but the focus was, once again, on community, what keeps us together, stories of hope and people acting out with their best. I tend to have a strict cheese-o-meter for these types of things, but it was comforting. Though I did have to pass through two security checkpoints to attend.
Tuesday, I went and saw Moulin Rouge for the second time. It's a spectacle, but I love it.
Last night the book club discussed the Master and Margarita. Angie - you may like it. It's a Russian novel from the beginning of the century, yet it feels very modern (though that could just be my translation). It's a satire on Russian society under Stalin. And the devil (a very witty, trickster devil) is one of the main characters. Could he be Stalin, perhaps?? hhmmm.
Angie - that is an amazing amount of periodicals to get through. I'm really impressed. I'm lucky if I scan headlines off a few news web sites.
Work is about to be a hurricane of busy. I'm been appointed photo leader (not the real title - but my self-appointed one) on three math books. Off to search for images...

I still haven't seen Ghost World.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Sorry it's been a while. I've been meaning to post but have felt like the opposite of a ghost, which one would assume would be a person, but really a ghost is a living spirit who has lost its body, it's other, a living body that's lost its spirit.

I saw ghost world the same weekend everyone else did. I related in some way to every character, save the muscle head who hung out at the convenience store. It made me think of this.

Today I noticed that nothing quirky is going on here anymore. People are so careful and distracted and absent minded about everything that isn't nescesarry that all the bizareness is gone (or perhaps my ability to notice it). Riding the subway, walking the streets, going to school,'s all routine and dreaded anticipation these days.

Sweet Buffalo is an oasis of it's own personal gloom. Only the completely vain believe that there's any real terrorist threat here, that all the (already) empty buildings might be a target. Buffalo suffers from feeling even more insignificant than it already did before last Tuesday, I know I certainly do.

I gave up on Ulyses a while ago, read Geek Love by Katherine Dunn instead which was delightfully grotesque and extremely narrative. You can appreciate Joyce more this way I think, knowing it took you three months to cover the same amount of text you did in a week. Just recently, two weekends ago, I picked up Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, a book I feel has no equal. It's been helpful in dealing with the idea of the city Buffalo, New York and D.C. et al. While I knew most of my friends in NYC wouldn't be close to the WTC, there was real cause for alarm for friends of family who work in and around the Pentagon. Anyway, I think it's interesting that many have personified NYC. The city is the strange casualty. Amidst the astounding loss of life is this perceptibly impervious bigger creature now wounded. And regardless of how people dress that wound (either by rebuilding a replica, replacing it with something else, or leaving it open)
what remains is the reminder of the cities own mortality (which exists outside of us), and that of its inhabitants.

an excerpt from Invisible Cities

"...from the number of imaginable cities we must exclude those whose elements are assembled without a connecting thread, an inner rule, a perspective, a discourse. With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else."
I have netiher desires nor fears," the Khan declared, "and my dreams are composed either by my mind or by chance."
"Cities also believe they are the work of the mind or of chance, but neither the one nor the other suffices to hold up their walls. You take delight not in a city's seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours."
"Or the question it asks you, forcing you to answer, like Thebes through the mouth of the Sphinx."

So a week or so ago I picked "To Kill a Mockingbird," after having been inspired by the city of Chicago's literary efforts. It took me a bit to get into the first few chapters, but it really is a good, quick read. I'm enjoying it much more than what I thought I would, even laughing aloud in a few parts. Scout is such the character. I generally have such the hard time at getting into books, but this was relatively easy. I'm about 3/4's done.

When I think about how little good literature I have read, I am ashamed of myself. Seriously. Sad, sad, sad. When I was living in San Francisco and taking public transportation, I had so much more time to read. But these days, I have to read SO much for work -- two newspapers every day (Financial Times and Wall Street Journal; on a weekly basis I read the Houston Business Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Time, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report). So it pretty much wipes me out. But being bombarded with nothing but more news on the TV these days, I've tried to escape through reading. Anyways, if any of you have any reccomendations send them my way, but don't be offended if it takes me a while to get to it.

I have been meeting some cool people at the university as of late. It's funny because I always end up talking to cool guys who are either married or in serious relationships. Well, it's not always so funny. Ah, I digress.

Off to meet my friend Andrew (yes, he's married and with child). I'm helping him edit a press release that "suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks" --- his descripter, not mine. And we're grabbing grub afterwards.

I talked to a receptionist who said that she went looking for an American flag to put up in the waiting room of the office she works in - all the stores are sold out. She checked eBay - flags are selling for $40, $50 each - SMALL flags.

Angie, I feel sorry for the florist, and he fully deserves to have a customer like you. You order several dozen white carnations and he tries to sell you yellow? Oooh, asking for it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Phew, my ass is BEAT. The concert was over, and it was a success. Only one TV station showed up, but there were several members of the audience there -- we almost packed the opera house for a mid-day concert. Good stuff.

I did however have a HUGE ass run-in with the florist guy. He just immediate started in on me, telling me that if he had two customers like me he would close his business. I tried calming im down, saying that I realized that he was upset but there was no need for nastiness. But he continued. I think I did a fair enough job at being civilized but angry at once if that makes sense. It doesn't really matter because at the end of the day, my boss acknowledged that I went above and beyond the call of duty so that was nice.

Oh yes. One of the most touching lines in the song "Even When God is Silent" is as follows:
I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.
I believe in love even when feeling it not.
I believe in God even when God is silent.

The song was written for the 50th anniversary of the Kritallnacht, The Night of the Broken Glass, in 1988, by a UH faculty composer. Allied Troops found the poem written on the walls of a basement in Cologne, Germany. The peom's author was hiding from the Gestapo.

In other news, I am trying to plan a trip to Dallas to see my friend Paige, her husband and their dog. Maybe in the next month or two. I can get a round trip ticket for $75 with tax and everything. That's about what I would spend on gas.

I feel childish and dumb for having big drama with my mother over the studio. Nope, I am definitely not getting it. She's been planning to use it for storage for months, and every time I talked to her about my using it, "okay, sure, that sounds great" meant "Did I leave the stove on? Do we have bread? What time is it?" It was an odd situation, me incredibly mad at myself for thinking that she's heard anything I've said for at least 12 years, and my mother realizing that wow, it really did mean a lot to me, and yeah, she hasn't listened to a damn thing I've said for at least half my life. On the other hand, my mother trying to change her ways is unlikely as heck, despite her sincere belief that we should have better communication. Mom's listening skills are severly impaired by her "functions best under pressure" attitude - Dad says that if it weren't for the last minute, she wouldn't get anything done. Best of all, Mom wants to stick me in a corner of the house, complete with crappy light, no privacy, and no space for much if I decide to stick a mattress there so I don't have to sleep on a floor or couch. And she doesn't understand why I'm trying to find a way to move back out and get a studio space without having to work full-time. Lessee, I'd be a lousy stripper, disastrous hostess in a bar, and dominatrix work would end up with me asking clients if they wanted a cup of tea and a chance to talk about what was really bothering them. Anything else legal that pays enough part-time to live on?

There are American flags flying everywhere here. I was talking to a friend of mine about it; he says that his students are about ready to lynch him for suggesting that maybe more killing isn't such a good idea, so he's thinking about moving to Vancouver. It's not a bad idea. Wonder if there's much dominatrix work in B.C.?

Hi all. Today is the concert, so things should begin to slow down after it is said and done. I'd be more excited about it, but I somehow got roped into trying to find 800 carnations when no flower shipments have been made to Houston in the last week. The florist, after promising me 800 on Thurs., dropped to 500 then 250, and now I am settling for 150, with more than half of them being "eggshell." And no, god damn it, I am not going to pay your $8 delivery fee, particularly after you tried to throw in yellow carnations, hoping that my ass was color-blind and/or just too dumb to say anything. What-ever.

Anyways, anyways, it should be a beautiful, beautiful concert. It will consist of a mixed program -- a spiritual, Amazing Grace performed by the Jazz Band, the Chorale group will sing a piece called "Even When God is Silent." In fact, if any of you are free today at 1 p.m. CST, it is being webcast live. Go to:

Steph, don't force yourself into going to NYC before you are ready. Although we were not as effected with the tragedies as others, we, as a nation, were all impacted. So it's all about grieving at your own pace.

Monday, September 17, 2001

did anyone watch david letterman tonight?

this finding-a-new-job stuff is too much work. i don't like it.
i need to turn up the 'tude on my resume... guess i'll be working on that this week.

oh. steph.. i had to take one of those driving classes when i was in college... ugh. glad you survived it. also glad to hear that things with ted are going well. send some of that my way.

zach - cool website.

Upma - I don't know much about job openings here in Austin. I know it's a bad time to look because a lot of dotcoms went under here. But for film especially...not sure. If I hear of anything promising, I'll pass it on.
This weekend was weird. Trying to act normal, but feeling guilty for that. Like I should be watching CNN, as if that will make the situation better, rather than hanging out with friends and trying to laugh and have fun. So with that mindset, I went and saw Rock Star. Part of me loved it, the escapism, Mark Walberg's stomach, the metal, but I was very aware of being in a theater watching the movie, and every time a character in it boarded a plane, I was taken back to what's been happening this week. Anyway, if you go see it, stay for the credits.
Besides that, I had to watch six hours of defensive driving videos to make up for my speeding ticket a month or so ago. That took boring to new levels. That night I went out with Ted. We've been hanging out/dating/whatever you call it for about a month now. It's going really well. And that was my weekend.
My sister called last night, wanting to know if I'm still coming to visit in two weeks. And I didn't have an answer for her. I want to see her and my parents (who'll be visiting as well). But I don't like to fly and now have the fear of flying to New York with all that's been going on. It's selfish, but I kind of want to cancel the trip and go back when New York has had more time, more time to heal, I guess. My sister said she understood, that she'd come visit me instead if she had the choice. I don't know. I guess I'm supposed to take the stance "what's happened won't change what I'll do, screw them (whoever them is) for making me afraid" but I am afraid. And I know boarding a plane to New York right now isn't going to change that fear. I just don't know. I told her it'd probably be a last minute decision.
Well, I hope this week goes okay.

Sunday, September 16, 2001

actually, we were uncertain of what goes on in the Iranians minds. or what the term "persian" really means. Laurens' Iranian friend preferred to be called Persian, and my Iranian friend was totally repulsed by that term. so... i dunno. i'd like to find out more about that though.

i had a dessert party tonight. what started out as "i'm baking a cake for meredith's birthday!" turned into a 2-cake, lots of ice cream and fruit party. (anybody want some ice-cream??!!)

started looking for jobs this weekend... inquired about a couple in Northern Virginia, about one in Austin.
Steph, do you know ANYONE down there that is hiring? maybe we can talk over e.mail about this...

Saturday, September 15, 2001

On Friday I had my first subbing job. I filled in for John's art classes. It was an ok experience. I'm still a little torn about how I think it went. For one thing, it was extremely boring, because all I had to do was show videos. And the kids did not care about the videos at all. Plus, it was intimidating. The kids know the score. The know how bells and hallpasses and stuff work. But, I didn't know any of that. And high school kids are mean. Not to me so much, but to each other. They're heartless. I was more than a little afraid they were going to turn on me. But, it all worked out okay. I made it. I'm hoping to get another job on Monday.

I completely redesigned the website over the last few days. I think it looks good. Click here.

I need to go by the movie theatre (where I used to work) and check on my friend Wahid. I hope that he's not feeling much anti-Afghan heat. It's so stupid that I even have to worry. Wahid's been a US citizen most of his life. His kid is an American through and through. You know, he's my good friend and I'm more than a little pissed that his family might be suffering because of this. I worry.

I suppose it's obvious that my view of things is often left of center, so it should come as no surprise that I read the Nation every week. There offices were damaged by the explosions, so their coverage of the situation was a little late. Now that it's up, you folks can read some clearheaded journalism to cleanse your palette of the CNNs and Fox News' of the world. Also, included is lots of background info on Bin Laden, Afghanistan and the US' presence in the Middle East.

Upma and I had this conversation last night. Next time some mook starts spouting off about the "Arabs" in the "Middle East" remind the dumb fucker that Afghans are neither Arabs nor are they in the Middle East. Bin Laden is Yemeni, but grew up in Saudi Arabia and is therefore an Arab. But the Taliban and the majority Afghans are most certainly not Arabs. They do not speak Arabic (they speak Farsi) and are "Persian" although Lauren tells me Iranians (also "Persians") don't like to be refered to as such. And by my reckoning the Afghanistan is best defined as part of Central/South Asia, not the Middle East.

While you're at it, you can remind him that the words "Arab," "Muslim" and "terrorist" are not synonymous.

And since you're giving him hell, you can ask him to please shove his "put your faith in God" talk up his keister. You can refer him to this article which I couldn't agree with more, even if Jesus himself were riding a lightning bolt around my ass. So there.

Friday, September 14, 2001

I think that I want to go on a long drive by myself this weekend to sort things through. But I don't feel like thinking about it very much. Who knows what I'll end up doing. I guess that I've been needing some reflection time.

Man, it has been a hellacious week for work. Back and forth, back and forth. Sorry to be so repetitive, but it's basically the only thing that keeps me going.

Our School of Music is hosting "A Concert of Remembrance and Unity" to honor all of the vicitims on Tuesday. We'll be distributing white carnations to members of the audience. It started off as just a concert, but it has bloomed into something much more. We have sign off from the Greater Houston Partnership (our version of the Chamber of Commerce). They are joining us in the "wear white" campaign. We are trying to rally the city of Houston to wear white on Tuesday -- whether it be a flower or a ribbon or what have you. We are also trying to get the Mayor to come on board.

I've been calling all over the city trying to get white carnations, but no one can promise me anything with air travel being as restricted as it is. Then today I was stuck at an engineering drainage seminar most of the day. I came back around 1 p.m., had to do more wear white stuff, media calls and I finished one of two releases that I needed to work on. One more. Looks like I have to come in for a little bit this weekend. Yucko. Oh well. The first time in three months. Not so bad, as I do not make it a habit.

Enough rambling for now. Toodles.

it reminds me of The Godfather... remember that scene where Michael Corleone is at the church for (his?) a baby's baptism and while that's happening the thugs go on a killing spree....? here is Bush, i just saw him on TV at a church service, and while that's happening, he's got his people getting mobilized to go on a killing spree. where too many innocent people will be hurt.

2 of my friends have birthdays today... and i have to go to their party's. i probably won't stay too long, i can't seem to handle social situations very well at the moment. is that lame?

Thursday, September 13, 2001

I made a couple little changes to our website, that I'm sure most of you are not interested in. But, I did put together a little photo page with a photo of each member of the band. I think it looks pretty good considering my limited photoshop and html skills.

I should probably also acknowledge the influence of John's design style on the layout. I'm new to this stuff. And I should definately thank Rita for the awesome photos.

Here's a link to the main site.

And one to the photos.

Check it out.


me too steph.. i've been brought to tears too many times to count these past few days. NPR is the worst/best culprit of that... the stories they keep gathering... god.

i found this on yahoo india:
...New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had assured Indian consulate officials that prompt action would be taken against those attacking Indians in the city.
The assurance was made following reports of the Sikh community in New York being targeted by some angry, unidentified people after the terror attacks in the city.
She said the Sikhs -- most of who sport turbans and flowing beards -- were probably mistaken for ethnic Arabs who are suspected to be responsible for the attacks in which thousands are feared killed....

the situation makes me sad. but more than that, the last statement breaks my heart. most of the "ethnic arabs" living in new york have NOTHING to do with any of this. that's the kind of ignorance i'm talking about.

I went and donated on Amazon. I don't know what else to do here. The blood banks are currently full. I've heard from all my family in New York; everyone is fine. Things are getting back to routine here, but it's all so strange still. I'm trying to keep busy, but I can't stop thinking about being on a hijacked plane, seeing people jump out of the buildings, hearing the victims' families talk about their losses. In fact hearing the transcription of those last cell phone calls started me crying.

You know, I'm such a control freak that I never really sit down to think about things, and then it ends up hitting me all at once. Over the last three days, I have been non-stop with my job, trying to fill media requests, getting in touch with profs, qualifying them (i.e., making sure that they won't just talk in circles), writing a release about a remembrance/solidarity concert hosted by the music school next week, that I just haven't had the chance to grieve with everything going on. Plus, I've always managed to make myself so busy so that I won't have to sit down and think. Besides it's much easier being a media machine than a human being with emotions.

Well, early this morning (that would be 2:30 a.m.), the shit hit the fan. I woke up all freaked out. Why? I heard airplanes circling my area -- no doubt military as all commercial airlines were grounded. In a period of three hours, the plane(s) passed by at least four times. Ended up calling a friend of mine who I had a feeling was also freaking out. Woke up her. Her freak out occurred about three hours earlier, so we bonded until about 4 a.m. Anyways, I am headed to Mass during lunch, and I think all will be well following.

On another note, the director of our energy institute says that we shouldn't be freaking out about gas, as there is plenty in supply.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

i feel too helpless. i think i'll donate blood in the next couple of weeks. the blood can only keep for 42 or so days. today was a little stressful too. at least i had work to keep me somewhat distraced. i wanted to listen to BBC radio all day but it was coming in too "static-y" (but through my computer... so is it static?)

i wanted to share with you a story from my a friend of mine who is in new york. this is what tyler wrote to me and some of his other friends today:

I work in midtown Manhattan. I've done so for two years now.
Yesterday, however, I was to attend a product showcase thingy (to be honest, I don't even really know what it was...I was there for the free breakfast) in the financial district.
As my roommate and I were leaving our apartment in Brooklyn, we noticed that one of the World Trade Center tower was on fire.
As stupid as this may sound in hindsight, we both just thought it was a fire. No big deal. So I take the subway over and downtown with no problems.
When I got out of the subway, people were not in a state of panic. It was around 9:30 and the second plane had already struck.
There were many people in the streets, but everybody seemed very calm. Having not heard of the attack, I assumed that everybody was watching the fire get put out.
When I got into the seminar, people were sort of milling about, not alarmed but certainly not settled. After I got a cup of coffee and a doughnut, I asked a lady what had happened.
She told me about the WTC and the Pentagon. At this point, I made a quick executive decision to go home. When I got back out on the streets, people were still fine.
I walked to a couple of subway stops which were now closed off. Resigned to walking, I headed west so I could hit Broadway.
Then the first tower collapsed. I was on the corner of Nassau and Pine which, if you check a map, is pretty close to ground zero.
When it first started collapsing, I thought it was another plane attack. Some people screamed and ran around. I threw my coffee away.
On the whole, people were very calm. Then there was silence for a few seconds. Then I turned to my left and saw a wall of smoke and debris gushing around the corner and down the street.
Then I hauled serious ass. It became apparent to me that I was outrunning the cloud, so I hauled less serious ass.
When I hit the water, I cut north and had to head through a white cloud of ash before coming into daylight in the Lower East Side.
From there, I walked to a friend's apartment and started watching the television coverage.

Amazingly, it really wasn't all that scary. But it was weird as all hell.

i was also thinking earlier...
1. would this have happened at all if Nader were in office? what about Gore?
2. if this did happen and Nader was in office, how would he handle this?

i'm listening to the radio right now... this guy... a morrocan, just caled in and is saying that he's hearing a lot of bad and ugly words against arabs and muslims. so, i think i know what i need to do now. but how? we need to create awareness about muslim-americans. iranians, iraqi's, egyptians, afghani's, pakistani's, and probably anyone that looks like them are not safe. ignorant americans are going to cause trouble and it scares me a lot, not only because these muslim americans are just as innocent as the rest of us, but also, selfishly so because I look like them too. it doesn't matter that i am not a muslim myself, i know i got a few dirty looks during desert storm. i wonder what's in store for us now.

I just made a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund via So far, 52,863 people have donated a total of $1,634,659.00 through Amazon alone. It's funny, I wound up making a monetary donation because the blood bank is overwhelmed and there's not much more I think I can do. For once, all I can really do is hand over some cash. I just reloaded the page to see if the numbers had changed. 52,944 people, $1,637,390.00. Thousands of dollars in the space of a minute or two. I am reassured by the way ordinary people are doing what they can. And then I wonder what kind of assistance is given in other parts of the world where terrorist attacks are an unfortunate part of life. I should have gone to med school.

Mike, I feel the same way. I can't stop listening and watching the news. Everything else seems too unimportant.

John standing on the observation deck of Two World Trade Center, April 2001.

Photo of One and Two World Trade Center taken from the plaza below, April 2001.

Zach, Shelly said it best. How do you know about all of this stuff? And I would have to concur with you on your take on the situation about the bombing.

RE: Pearl Harbor 2001. The Baltimore Sun posted a story. Go to:

Also, there was an interesting article from the Chicago Tribune about the design of the towers. It was the heat, not the 747 that caused the buidling to collapse. With the impact of the crash and with the jet's full tank of gas, the heat in the building got up to 1500-1600 degrees F. The heat in turn melted the steel (this is my layman's explaination of course), and when one floor collapsed, it was a domino effect.

And, did you hear about the solicitor general's wife -- she managed to call her husband on her cell phone a little before the crash. Damn. I think I would be in such a panic that I would be too scared to even breathe.

Bush's address to the nation last night sucked ass. I've had high school extemporaneous speeches that contained more content and more duration.

Ok, gotta catch up on the latest.


Another day at work.
After twelve hours of watching news yesterday, now I'm sitting at my desk, listening to NPR.
I don't know what else to say about all this. I'm glad the people I know are safe. I feel awful for all the people who suffered losses. I don't know what to hope for.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Zach, you know what I can't stand about the coverage? The "Pearl Harbor 2001" references. And you know, during this mornings gallows humor (best way to stop crying), I said that Tom Clancy was at his word processor right now, uncovering the real story. Thank you for your take on the situation - clears up a few questions I had. I'd already planned to go and observe a political theory class, currently reading Jean Baudrillard (America and Simulacra & Simulation). The class discussion used Baudrillard to look at the media coverage. I went to the blood bank with some friends and found out they have a four-hour wait list. Might go back tomorrow, tho to tell the truth, it looks like the blood bank will have all the blood they need and more - and I'm B+, not the most desirable.

Shallow: I thought Tony Blair's speech far more eloquent than Dubya's.

zach, please don't stop talking. i'm always interested in the things you say. it is just that i'm usually woefully ignorant about the things you discuss and have little to add. i count on you for informed commentary. you always provide insight, even on the stories i know a bit about. c-span and the bbc website have been laoding most quickly for me.

A few things about today's attack. One, nowhere in the US is under martial law. That only happens when coordinated outside management efforts fail. The NYC and federal cops had a pretty good response and have managed to maintain central control of the situation. As crazy as it is to say, NY and Washington are good targets in that the people as a whole are level-headed about crazy shit. They didn't panic. The cops stayed in control.

Second, the Palestinians had nothing to do with this, which I suppose most people realize already. Third, the Taliban had nothing to do with this. Northern Alliance forces in Afghanistan are occupying most of the Taliban's time and energy. No way they'd risk a US invasion when they are as close as they are to recapturing the north. And there is NO WAY the Northern Alliance are bombing Kabul. Those are US attacks. No question in my mind. The N.A. is too fractured, too weak and too poor to put together a large scale strike on the capital so fast. No way.

Which is ironic. This is the second time in ten years the US has fought an enemy it helped to create. Simply, the Taliban are funded by Pakistan using support, arms and training they recieved from the US. During the cold war, India and Afghanistan were both under the Soviet sphere of influence. In Afghanistan's case, the Soviets actually occupied the country. So, the US built up the Pakistani military, which the Pakistanis have used to create and nurture the Taliban. Who are now hiding Osama Bin Laden, who is almost certainly behind this attack. (The first time the US fought an army they equipt and trained was during the Persian Gulf War. The US was very pro-Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war.)

Sorry. I like to talk these things out and nobody here is interested.

In a day not really ripe for good jokes, here's the best one. I'm watching the deeply silly CNN coverage of the attack and I say in the voice of one of the commentator's, "Somebody get me Tom Clancy! Let's get the bottom of this!" With in seconds he was on CNN as "an expert." I've got ESP!

so, i've been glued to the TV for the last 12 hours (except for the little break i took to do laundry). i was at work when my boss comes downstairs and says, "a plane just crashed into the world trade center." at that precise moment, one of the guys upstairs shouts, "oh my gawd! another plane!"
so, we turned on the TV. i e.mailed everyone i could in new york and have only heard back from one of them. i think everyone is ok. i hope.
as i was writing one of my best friends in DC, news of the pentagon came. i was kind of freaking out, but he's ok too. his house is a couple miles from the pentagon, but he works in the city. i haven't heard from him since we last corresponded at noon... i'm assuming he's alright.
chelle's mom works at the pentagon. she's on vacation in canada.
i'm surrounded by blessed people. i always get told how lucky i am. today, i know it once again.
at 11, my boss called us down for a meeting. we went over essential business and then got told that we could go home.
my little brother was worried about me all morning, he forgot when i was supposed to return and was totally shaken. it was obvious by the e.mail he sent me, and it was more obvious in his voice when he asked my mom where i was.
it really is all too much. i can't believe how close i was to that spot just 2 days ago. on friday, mike and chelle and i were all walking around the lower eastside. what if this happened then? i guess i shouldn't think of such things, but i can't help it. i know that i should turn the TV off, but i can't do it. my head hurts. the thing that finally broke me was the close up footage of people choosing to jump rather than be burned alive. i can't fathom what it is like to live in a place like palestine or israel, or northern ireland or any other war-ridden area of the world where you always anticipate something like this, but still have to live your life. and then, not only having to anticipate it, but having to have days like these more than once every few years.
i want to learn more about those alleged missles in Kabul.

Ok, a friend of mine just told me that gas is up to $6/gallon in Nebraska. Be sure to stock up before you go home today. Crazy shit. Six bucks -- in NEBRASKA of all damn places. Madness.

Stephanie, if your family was in upper Manhattan, they are fine.

I wonder if Bush will declare a national day of mourning. Or if they will declare martial law. I guess we are already partially under martial law right now.

I even called my parents to let them know I was thinking about them. They live in freakin' New Orleans for crying out loud. But in times like these, people need to feel close to the ones they love.

It's all so much. My sister called me from Manhattan this morning. She's at her office in Midtown, really shook up and scared. I hate thinking that my family is vulnerable, and I can't be there to somehow protect them. And my brother and sister-in-law are visiting her in New York this week. We haven't heard from them, but my sister said they were uptown this morning and should be fine. She isn't allowed to leave her offices, and says she feels safer in her building than out on the streets. When we got off the phone and she told me "love you," I just about lost it. I feel for all the people in DC and NYC. It's such a tragedy.
Austin is still pretty much open. Everyone here at work is crowded around tvs and radios, waiting for any new information. It's just so overwhelming. And awful. And scary.

I happen to be staying at the house of the University of Hawai'i Chancellor, currently pissed at our governor for keeping the schools open. I am not sure if I am reassured by the huge-ass military bases all over the island, or terrified that I am on an island covered with big fat targets. The Lualualei base is near my parents home. No-one has been able to contact my sister, who works at the airport - Ok, I just heard from my sister. United Airlines is keeping their employees there, 'cause it's so important to have them on the phones making refunds and rescheduling flights (even though, gosh, all the airports are closed indefinitely). The Blood Bank is asking for donations.

I am drinking pots of tea and we are talking about the "sea to shining sea" possibility. Zach, thank you for the pictures of Grace the Duck. She is fearsomely cute.

I just can't believe the video we're seeing on tv. The plane crashing, the tower collapsing. Jesus. Greensboro is not closing as fast as I expected it would. Our city is actually a very attractive military target because of the oil and water pipelines that pass through the city. Greensboro was high in the list of second tier nuclear assault targets during the cold war.

Shelly, I'm sorry to hear you're stuck in N.O. but at least you're not on a plane. you'll be able to go home in a few days and I'm sure your parents are glad to be with you.

Lauren and I are going to go give blood. I don't know if that will help anything, but at least we'll be doing something.

Thank god none of you people are in NYC.

Y'all this is some fucked up shit. Most of the major building have closed shop here in Houston. Media are calling all around, looking for experts to talk about anything -- history, law, psychological impact, political impact, economics. Just drama all around. It will be in the news for the next several weeks.

I cannot believe how orchestrated this attack was. One reporter is comparing it to what happened at Pearl Harbor, but my guess that this is WAY worse. And just watching those two UN towers collapse . . . . Gawd, all of those poor people. And there are already presumptions that it was of Middle East origins.

The weirdest thing was to walk in this AM, look at today's paper on my desk and know that it was all old news and did not matter.

Sorry to be so incoherent. I've been talking to crazy reporters and co-workers all day.

Zach, those pictures of Gracie remind me that there is still innocence and good in the world. Blah!!!!

Hawai'i still on the map. Upma, Mike, I am so glad you are home.

the news from new yourk and dc is so frightning. i'm in new orleans and not sure when i'll get back to seattle.

Monday, September 10, 2001

You cannot resist the awesome might of GRACE THE DUCK!

I am Sweet Superstar.
Upma - please move to Austin - that would be so fantastic!
As for shoes, I have a definate weakness (50 pairs and counting). Though I sometimes sacrifice comfort for style, like with the red and white checked mary janes that turned my feet into plump sausages by the end of the night from discomfort. But mostly, they must pass the four hours of wearing comfort test. It's the only thing that's kept me in line.
So I went in search of a dresser this weekend, but no luck. I did end up getting cushy sheets and comfortor for my bed. More heaven.
I have a reading date with Ted tonight. He has homework for his class, and I need to catch up with my book club's Master and Margarita.
As for Jon Spencer's - I'm not the hugest fan. But there's loads of awesome music moving through here this fall (cause all the students being back).
Ghost World did kick ass. And I'll be seeing Rock Star this week. Love me some Marky Mark.
Anybody out there heard of/like Edith Frost? She's playing here this week, and I'm trying to decide whether to go or not.

Zach, we are so very proud of you for loving you for you.

RE: "Senseless things" like shoes and short hair cuts and clothes and pedicures and manicures and facials (et al) make a woman a woman. In fact, I have a whole closet full of funky, senseless shoes. But I love them, and they love me, unconditionally. And much to the chagrin of my mom and other non-believers, shoes ARE sensible purchases, because they will always fit whether you lose 10 pounds or gain 25. Did I mention that for a while, I would buy shoes after bad break ups? One of my fav pair are red, patent leather Mary Janes that I fondly refer to as the "Fuck you Jim" shoes. Couldn't shake that asshole out of my mind until I got those shoes. So, there you go. MANY SHOES ARE SENSIBLE. Go visit the nearest DSW store in your neighborhood (I know they have them in Austin, Stephanie have you ever been?)

Upma, there is nothing wrong with being Southern and proud of it, as long as you don't embrace silly things like the Confederate flag and the KKK (which I suppose would be difficult considering our ethnic backgrounds). Tell us the Mickey D's story.

Did y'all hear about the mayor of Chicago and the public library are encouraging the entire city to read Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird"? They are doing all kinds of marketing and are even distributing mockingbird pins for people to wear so that random people can start up conversations about the book. I think that Seattle and a few other cities have done it as well. That is so cool.