29 December 2009

the year of creative weeks

everyone rolls their eyes when you talk about resolutions for the new year. why is that? this is possibly my favorite holiday of the year. everything is still sparkly outside. i don't drink often and feel no need to get shitfaced. people choose to spend time with those that they like and celebrate their lives together. the clock strikes and you tend to have a moment where you feel like you get a do-over from the passage of time. still, i'm not sure why setting a few goals for yourself can induce the instant cynicism usually reserved for a bridesmaid dress.

in an effort to set myself up for something realistic once again, i've decided to think hard and give myself some easy resolutions. hey, this isn't lent. i don't have to suffer! i can handle forty days or whatever of mild punishment when springtime hits. the new year is supposed to be more motivating than that.

this year's resolutions will be the once-a-week variety. if i can break it down into little chunks like that, i should be able to make a commitment. i'm bad with commitments, after all, and i hate being disappointed in myself more than absolutely necessary on my whiny days. hell, i can always find a reason to berate myself. do i really need any help with that? therefore, once a week i will:

  • write. prolly some blogging, maybe some in a journal. hopefully i can get more postcard mail out into the world. if i get totally into it, i might work on some other "i should do that" projects in the future.
  • draw and doodle. didn't i just say how i should sketch more? i don't even care if no one ever sees it. i realized that i like my drawings.
  • study something. for now, i have school to keep me busy with this, and it's a good way to remind me to do homework. after school, there's always wikipedia. becoming temporarily fascinated with arbitrary shit is just a click away.
  • daydream aimlessly. this shouldn't be hard. have you met me? this could be my answer to meditation and relaxation.
  • read a book. this isn't the same as studying. not everyone has a reader's club to encourage them to explore different stuff. if you think about how little people actually read for fun, it's kind of shocking.
if i can reach into my creative side for a just a few hours each week, i will.... jeez, i don't know what. it just seemed like a clear-sighted goal to have. like trying to get into the habit of flossing more. you know it's the cool thing to do, but sometimes you get tired and forget. what else do you expect from a girl who wanted to breathe more last year?!? all i want is to look at the world and catch a spark. if it's an angry or perturbed spark, all the better. bitching is my cardio and i need the exercise. that way i don't have to resolve to go to the gym.

random sites derek likes:
emails from crazy people
oddly specific
savage chickens

28 December 2009

random side notes - chapter twenty three

as far as i can remember, i've addressed my resolutions from the last new year. i do think about my posture, i've learned how to be quiet and breathe sometimes, and i'm starting a new (very small so far) business. surely there's something i'm leaving out, but this seems like a fair beginning. i'm going to try and set realistic goals for myself again in the coming year.

the handbrake is fine. it just needed to warm up for an extended period of time until the cable would release. there was some slipping around in my little vw, but my lovely blue hair (the name for my car) goes pretty well in the snow. she's like a sled that rides about three inches off the ground, light enough to slide and light enough to stop. everyone else was thankfully just as paranoid about the roads.

i still need a haircut.

my business cards came in this week! derek helped to design them and i found that i liked doing something business-oriented together again. we make a pretty good team. the cards are cute and nerdy at the same time, just like us.

tim and mary came over for brunch yesterday. not only did i successfully chop things without injury, but i cooked edible food for everyone. it's great to be able to do something for your friends who've driven across the country to see people so you can show them how much you like them. then we hung around being fabulous all over town. traci finally got her car out of the garage with a hair dryer so that we could meet up with her and give mary some surprise yarn from the big bag o' homeless goods.

i've been thinking about getting back into my sketching. ryan saw some of my old pieces when she came over and had productive feedback. visual arts are usually intimidating to me because i feel like i have no idea what i'm doing. it's like any arts thing that makes me confused. fuck it. who cares if it's any good? i'm so tired of feeling discouraged from things that i maybe do or maybe don't have any clue about what's the right way to do things. if i waited to figure things out and followed all the rules i would never get anything done. my cautious side has never been that kind to me. it's a paralyzing force in my life that feeds on my fears. my impulsive side makes me do scary things. it gets me into lots of trouble, but also makes me think in a "how hard could it be? kind of way. how do i temper the two? i want to jump off cliffs and scream like a crazy person without losing my critical editorial eye by saying yes to everything. maybe i should buy a bungee cord.

you know what else makes me confused? terms like postmodern or deconstructionist. i admit it - i have no earthly idea what the hell people are talking about when they say this stuff. am i just supposed to nod my head and wiggle an eyebrow to prove how hip i am on these subjects? can anybody out there explain this shit to me?!?! julie and barbara say that i talk in a conceptual manner, but these fancy highbrow concepts just escape me.

i'm also not a fan of shakespeare. or jazz... except maybe the charlie brown variety. i don't have a deep and abiding love for tom waits and kate bush. i mean, they're okay sometimes, but at other times i just don't get it. i'm willing to admit to being a goofball. let's face it - my favorite band was totally a major top 40 success. i like to find high art in pop culture and the everyday profanity in art. being shallow does that to me.

in honor of liz: i ate brown cow cream top coffee yogurt and leftover homemade blueberry muffins from yesterday's brunch for breakfast this morning. hehehe

d'oh! just remembered that i have an extra special birthday present for alice that i forgot to mail to her! whoops. you'd think that if i'm going to be an organizer then i could get my own life in order. the cobbler's children must have shoes! and so i'm cleaning out my file cabinet today as well, which should be sweet revenge for derek after he did his last week. maybe i'll have another clearance of crafty bits. there should be enough in there to make an excellent collage.

the gadget report:
we heart the sodastream fizzy thing. my recycling closet is like, totally empty compared to before. derek is still mountain dew free and i'm actually drinking water.

26 December 2009

when i said brake, i didn't mean all the time

so yes, it did snow here on thursday. by the time i was on the way home from morning coffee with friends, it went from just cold and raining to windy and sleet with itty bitty hail pellets. sometime shortly after that it started snowing and didn't stop until the next morning. in the great tradition of silver linings, i am a bit thankful. at last! i have a reason that we didn't do anything for the holiday!

after poking around the house for a long time in pajamas yesterday, i took a shower and got ready to go out in search of a burrito. if nothing else, quiktrip would have something to satisfy me in the form of a cheese taquito. i got all bundled up and went downstairs. i started the car and let it get warm. i tried to leave my parking space and heard a big creak. so it turns out that my handbrake was frozen in place just enough where i could back up with a loud noise and then put the car right back into its space. i checked all the tires and underneath to make sure there was nothing else wrong, so i'm figuring that i just need to wait it out.

i'll try again today. maybe if i let the car run for a while longer, the cable to the brake will release me from my parking space. unfortunately, my 'hood is one of the last places in town they'll even touch this weekend. since no one has to go into the office right now, there's no point to salting the streets around here. and since mary's parents live right past the county line, it's unlikely they'll get much done out there, either. lucky me - mary and i are in the two least likely places to get any help in having the roads cleared. fuck it, we're tough. i can get anywhere in my little car provided that i'm willing to go about ten miles an hour. i'm sure it'll be fine once i emerge onto the regular arterial streets; might even make it up to twenty. i'm a total old lady on the ice and don't understand why the hell everyone else is in such a hurry. if my car is light enough to slide, it's light enough to stop. the same can't be said for those fuckers in their big trucks who haven't bothered to weigh down the truck beds. don't they know there's still ice under that snow?!? let's just hope everyone else takes it easy. i've heard a billion sirens going to the hospital down the street in the past few days, and i don't think they were using them to celebrate holiday glee.

cross your fingers that my handbrake will unfreeze. i need a burrito, or at least something else with an -ito ending. they're calling to me! it has the "eat" sound right in the name! i must eat-o it! uhhh, wow. maybe i've been in my pajamas too long now.

fat girl party update:
the party was a bust, for now. we have to reschedule it for january. me, derek, and ryan ate chili and watched multiple episodes of the boondocks instead. still a good time. at least i got all my clothes folded again.

23 December 2009

fat- uhhhh, i mean squeezy girls rock

yes, i know i'm not fat. in fact, one could look at the statistics and look at me and say "voila! at last we've found her! that's the average american woman!" it just so happens that my dimensions are pretty much the ones they always print in those articles trying to bash the skinny people. leave the skinny people alone, i say. if they're twigs, they either can't help it or they wanna give up the joys of key lime pie and just go jogging all damn day. stop fucking with them. they're little people (not THAT kind, liz) and that's the way it is. i've seen megan's immediate family and no matter how much food they inhale it's just not gonna have the fat chicks in it. so what? without her, i wouldn't be able to go into those stores with all the teeny tiny clothes and play dress-up with my own personal mannequin. take that, betsey johnson... oh, and take a look in the mirror while you're at it.

on the other hand, my kind is the squeezy type. we get called voluptuous or rubenesque. the word flashy is actually kinda sexy to me, perhaps because it alludes to being nekkid and prancing around while the wobbly bits shimmy. please don't call me queen-sized. it makes me feel like a pair of pantyhose. oh, and barrel-chested isn't so good either, due to the polka reference. (is there an anti-hyphenated theme going here?) personally, i think referring to myself as a fat girl is hilarious. it's a role i've embraced as preposterous and amiable. to think that someone who has, let's say, an extra cheese reserve in the belly is in the same category as a medical mystery makes me laugh. my blegs are leaking down towards the back of my knees, but i don't care anymore, and just because my frutt (or my sassy frass, if you will) and my butt are the same size doesn't make me a freak.

of course there is a dark side to being heavy and it does carry health risks. of course there is a dark side to driving a car and it does carry health risks. of course there is a dark side to eating sushi and it does carry health risks. of course there is a dark side to having having a life and it does carry health risks. let's talk about the funny part again, shall we?

in the grand tradition of being a teenager, i hated the way i looked back then. my fashion sense was totally fabulous - for the eighties, mind you - but everything else was wrong wrong wrong! a logical person might blame this on the media and all those trashy celebutard-filled magazines. (once again, that's hypenated. see?!?) any rational teenager would blame it on... well, whatever they could find that was handy. what's the catch? for quite a while, due to extreme measures of intervention on my part, i was a skinny girl! if only i had foamy the squirrel with me back then to tell me to just fucking get over it, i would've enjoyed life a lot more.

one day along the path to my "fat girls are awesome too" enlightenment, i decided to try on clothes that fit me. what? that's crazy! who would do that? i mean, after years of being told that i am the average for a woman, and yet i'm somehow not a medium size but more like an XXL in the boobs, it was an amazing difference. clothes that fit don't make you feel like a sausage; they look good on you. and let's face it, jeans don't lie. your wardrobe will be honest with you and tell you it's time to hit the store for an up or down size.

except for those damn cosby sweaters. they're going to lie to you no matter what just to save themselves. sweaters are difficult to trust on any given day.

if you have real friends who aren't afraid to make you mad, and they're willing to put up with your whining when you go shopping together, they'll express in words or gestures what the clothing can't. it might just be with an upturned nose or a sideways glance with a snort. you have to watch them closely to get their initial reaction when you walk out in new duds. just because you think it's comfortable doesn't mean you don't look like a watermelon in it. (thank you holly for saving me from that mistake.) or else ask a total stranger and remind them that they have nothing to lose by vocalizing their disdain for that dress. you'd be surprised how much detail you can get when you don't even know the person.

and don't be shy about demanding "hey, let's go to the fat girl's store!" they put it there for a reason, you know. which is to say, you can find clothes that fit you. or so what if you have to go to gap kids to get your jeans? they're cheaper there anyway. i'm not going to blame the media monster for being a fat girl. maybe i should blame the people who make clothes, but i don't really have time for any of that. i'm going to get myself a damn shirt. one that doesn't require duct tape to hold it shut in the front just because it's supposedly the correct size. as mary always says, no sees the tags but me.

all this is to say that someone will see the tags besides me. in celebration of my fat girl glee, i'm having some chickadees over to swap clothes. fat girl's wardrobe party! EEE! (maybe i should have invited drag queens, a ala king of the hill, so i could get some sequins in the mix.) although susan likes the term squeezy better, and i can totally hang with that one. squeezy is cuuuute. so anyway, in order to save some money and spruce up the old closet, i'm extending my nuwsed item policy to people i know and hoping i'll have something they can use. any reason to have people over and nosh on a snack while gossiping is good enough for me. in exchange i'll be looking for some nuwsed things to keep me out of the thrift stores for a few days. sheesh, i've gotten rid of so much over the past year that i just have to look and see what i've still got. tank tops, anyone?

random facts about me:
i like bottle caps.
grey is my favorite color.
my eyes are darker than anyone else i know.

22 December 2009

last train to clarkies-ville

off to the post office, off to the library, off to the market. the week has become a carousel of things that i should be ashamed to find entertaining. being a middle-aged curmudgeon is truly more fun than i ever expected it to be. (let's not start that middle-aged argument again, eh? i'm not at the beginning and not at the end - therefore, technically it is the middle. so there!) my cards should come in this week about the time that tim and mary arrive in town, so i can be the lame dufus that oohs and ahhhs over business propaganda with my friends.

i also got the pleasure of attending the very last show at clark theatre over the weekend. the teens and little kids put on a great improv show, and i felt super cool that they were excited to see me there. on sunday they had a going away party for the building. there weren't as many tears as you would think; just some high-gravity hugging (slumped shoulders and sniffles) and reddish eyes at times. the building is terrific, but since the program is just being moved and not killed, they're taking it on the chin quite well.

besides, if we have to have a roommate at "the palace" due to budget cutbacks, i couldn't think of a better arrangement. no more driving between theatres for the staff, a more active building overall, and a united front for the kids and the adults. we're hoping to even integrate more types of arts into the program. and hey, they didn't even have to take a season off to get ready like we did, so the momentum and revenue will still keep going. my hugs go out to them for losing their own dedicated space, but i'm anticipating good things for all of us in the future. with any luck, the new stupid mayor can't fuck with us!

now comes the task of sorting all the incoming stuff from clark and getting the new space organized. i'm only thankful that we weren't allowed to squat in there for another season and make a big mess before they moved. (oh, and finally getting all that space in the gym doesn't hurt.) truth be told, adults can be just as messy as teens, and i am personally quite lazy. getting a fresh start all at once is a blessing. this is a project where i can put some of my new skills to use! i suppose i see it as less of a shutting down, and more of a coming together... with extra bathrooms, of course. no matter what else happens, you gotta go to the bathroom sooner or later. see? this is how we focus on the exciting part of the changes . i can't wait to see how the place evolves.

in other theatre news, i'm having a blast directing the ayn rand peeps. that crazy bitch is so damn serious that it's funny. in fact, we've made it really funny. by stylizing the characters, the show is turning out to be something more than just a super dry courtroom drama. think radio play and you'll get where we're going with it. what could have been such a downer by a depressing, self-proclaimed logical genius is morphing into a film noir soap opera that's much more interesting and entertaining than ayn rand was. we're cool like that.

what i'm pondering this week:
getting a haircut
new year's resolutions
digital archiving

18 December 2009

words i like today - chapter two

this month's installment is brought to you by the folks i know who like to make up words because we get excited or agitated about random things:

  • squee! - it's a happy mary word... and makes a great noise!
  • monumentous - the mixing of monumental and momentous. from hoarders, because i love that show. did i already say that one?
  • vengeant - one can be vengeful, or have vengeance. i had no idea this wasn't actually a word! it is now, damnit.
  • gruntled - derek and i use this when neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, yet feeling more than a ho-hum status.
  • disgustation - a state of being to describe when you've totally fucking had it. disdain and frustration and anger combine to reach disgustation.
  • blah-bitty-blah - my general fill in word for stuff. it comes in really handy when i have absolutely no idea what i'm talking about or lose track of my own sentences.
  • domexcavate - the purging of shit in your house that you probably didn't even know was there. this could also be called domestivation.
  • frizzie - a juice and fizzy water drink, in honor of my new-fangled gadget that i bought for the house.
  • craptastic - thank you once more, mary. this word could be bad in an extreme case, but almost always alludes to something that is so bad, awful, or tacky that it's good. in fact, it's terrific! no, it cannot be used to describe a cosby sweater. yes, it can be used to describe your hideous sheets.
  • fercockety - again, i thought this was an actual word. again, i may have already listed this one. it's like being all kerfuffled and wonky.
  • quoi - another state of being. it's a real word, but in this instance used to tell someone that you're completely taken aback and befuddled. you can also use it as a veto measure on someone's fashion sense or cooking skills... i say it to myself in this way sometimes.
  • epiphanetic - i say this when i'm feeling inspired, usually right after i leave the bathroom. too much info for ya?

i doubt i've made up any new curse words (unless you count sofia coppola) that i can remember off the top of my head. that's more of a spontaneous thing that happens when i'm in pain from stubbing my toe or getting a paper cut. if anything cool comes out during the next impromptu "fuck!" variation, i'll let you know. i'm all about the slanguage.

you should totally tell me all about your favorite made up words and phrases. it's just the kind of thing we could collect into an informative pamphlet for megan's birthday. and yes, i know about urban dictionary and other sites like that. and yes, i do read nerdy wordy books and giggle out loud. so does megan. she's my linguist role model. i just hope she writes a book with lots of semicolons in it someday, just for me.

it might be risky:
should ayn rand be film noir radio play comedy?

17 December 2009

children of the corn syrup

it is possible:
1. that i'm now an old fogey
2. i think too hard while grocery shopping
3. food inc. and king corn are some scary-ass documentaries
4. it's all derek's fault

well, derek has given up soda and i bought him a new kitchen gadget to make super fizzy water at home to mix with juice. (izze is just too expensive!) we've gone to buying local meat at the meat market and concentrating on eating more and more of what one could call real food.

it's really not that dramatic of an adjustment. we've been going to harvard meats for a while off and on. eating more veggies and cooking at home more often kind of started when i began my nesting phase a while back. the no mountain dew thing for him is new, but i am trying to be supportive by only getting my diet dr. peppers when i go out. it's an addiction, i know, but i'm a pepper. wouldn't you like to be a pepper, too? hell yes!!! i HAVE to be a fucking pepper! "they" made me into a pepper when i was a kid, and i'm not stopping now. must! be! PEPPER!!!

see how that works? high fructose corn syrup must have been the impending doom epidemic of the twentieth century. dr. tony was chatting with me a few weeks ago (also in reference to food inc. - don't know if he's seen king corn) and made a passing comment that diabetes is the new black plague. that stuck with me as i was watching the "eat actual food" docs of the last month and hearing michael pollan's name an unusual number of times. to hear it told by these people, HFCS is the devil... not to mention all of the other corn-derivative products used in food production processes and as feed for slaughter animals. now corn is not be the root of all evil, and it probably didn't even make me into a pepper, but you know what? there sure is a lot of fucking corn out there. it's in a lot of stuff.

this probably doesn't mean i'll give up the occasional bag of blueberry muffin tops cereal, because who can give up crazy shit like that? (yes, i'm not kidding - it really does exist!) i probably won't even give up any other icky HFCS convenience junk food that i want on occasion. being the pepper that i am, i'll always want a burrito or some pudding to tide me over in times of craving. however, we do try to eat actual food around here. if that means reading labels and thinking about packaging and figuring out how to be informed to the hilt about things i really don't want to know, so be it. nobody said being a pepper was easy.

but i don't think the doctor would recruit me into his vast army of tasty liquid minions without expecting me to cram in the spinach, too. he is, after all, a doctor. he wouldn't want us to exist on his crack and heroin filled soda alone. that's why he kept in a few natural flavorings, don't you know. now he should prolly think about capitalizing on this whole "organic panic" craze by going back to cane sugar as a sales ploy. just think of all the peppers he would gain! our growing numbers could then spread the word that olive oil is not the enemy. we would reinstate good carbs to their rightful place in the world. maybe, just maybe, we could make the federal school lunch program get the funding to include things that didn't involve some unidentified food byproduct being boiled to greyish, soupy goop amongst a sea of abbreviated additives.

they say that if you can neither spell nor say the ingredients on your food, you most likely shouldn't be eating it. i can go with that theory. then again, i'm a pretty good speller, but you can bet the doctor would agree with this advice. and besides, our nations' children can't even tell where to put punctuation, so it's a decent enough rule to stick with until we can start funding education again... maybe the peppers of us out there can work on that next.

postal goodies:
urban craft uprising package from bonnie! EEE!

07 December 2009

i don't really give a shit about sociological theory today

too bad that sociology what it is i'm supposed to know all about after i've finished my degree. to a large extent, most of the stuff is like, "duh" when i read it. maybe i just know more about sociology than i think i do, or maybe it's just easy because it makes sense to me.

plato does not make sense to me.

dead white guys like that just piss me off.

honestly, when something makes no sense to me i have to try extra hard just to even grasp any part of it, much less be able to study about it with any proficiency. does it say something about me that machiavelli and rousseau were totally easy to comprehend? it was like a lightbulb moment reading about people like mills or weber. others make me feel like i'm in the dark... cooking a large fancy meal. and we all know about my vast culinary skills. hardy har har, eh? how people get through college learning shit about shit is kind of a mystery to me. i'm just in it for the piece of paper, as they say.

frankly, the most profound thing i'm getting out of this experience is the ability to negotiate my way into being an exception to the rule whenever i possibly can. if my fast-talking skills weren't in tune before now, they're right up there with a politician at this point. the other thing i'm getting is an impending disdain for the written word. it seems comical to me that whenever i'm not in school i love to read, yet when faced with textbooks i begin to loathe all reading. people tell me just to skim, but i'm not sure i'm getting much from that. skim reading is kinda like skim milk. it'll work in a pinch, but i'm not really into dieting. i would rather taste what i've got.

my solution? i'll skim the textbooks and read the normal stuff. i'm known for my spectacular class attendance and devil's advocate participation, much to the chagrin of my instructors, so i absorb a lot through osmosis in the classroom. sparkling bullshit goes a long way towards getting the whole thing over with in the end, believe it or not. yes, my attitude regarding higher education currently is sardonic and gorgeous.

it's difficult sometimes to understand why people think i'd make a good teacher. but maybe it is exactly that - my mocking of the system makes me the perfect candidate for doling out some reality and pragmatism to the youth of society. somebody has to be a leader who isn't afraid to use a red pen. holy shit, i'm not really the wholesome role model type, am i? picture me wincing right now. just as i know you are, too. i'm terrible with rules. structure is great, and i need guidelines, but rules are... well, i'll get back to you on that one when i think of a better word than icky. all i know is, progress doesn't happen by simply following the rules.

current podcasts:
wait wait don't tell me
stuff you missed in history class
this i believe
today in the past
planet money

01 December 2009

don't eat (too much) pie for breakfast

ugh. i shoulda gotten out a plate instead of just a spoon. and yet, every time i open the fridge i want another bite. mary and bev's key lime pie must have crack in it.

did i mention that i'm selling off my almost the entirety of my multimedia collection? that goes for books, cd's, dvd's, and whatever video games i can pry away from derek. not to be happy about the state of the economy, but it looks like a ton of people are opting for used goods over retail right now. this is excellent for me, as i still have a ton of things to sell off after going digital. what used to be several cases and shelves and other random fixtures in my house brimming with music and video and print has now dwindled down to two bookshelves and a media case. in the spirit of my newly organized self, i can happily say that the extra space (and all that extra moolah!) is really impressing me. now i have room for more shoes, right?

stuart copeland has parked himself on top of my arm once again. how does he expect me to type like this?

thankfully, my birthday falls during dead week at school. while i innocently pretend to prepare for finals, waiting until the usual weekend cram, i can concentrate on things more fun. things like getting all this cat hair off my sweater. or putting temporary tattoos on myself. perhaps relaxing and just reading anything except for a textbook. oh, wait... i'm "getting ready for finals" now, aren't i?

what we're doing right now:
looking for titanium sporks on the web