Sunday, August 29, 2004

Livestrong Yellow Bracelets

My computer is still dead. I need to buy computer parts or I will go insane.

As a consquence of no computer, I don't have complete e-mail access. I am lost.

I'm glad to be back from the bachelorette party. I am sleepy and in need of sleep. We went to a salsa night club in a strip mall. We paid $15 to get in and it was all kind of sketchy. My feet hurt and I was tired and somebody asked me to dance and I said no. He said, "Is that what you want? To dance by yourself on a Saturday night?" And I smiled and said, yes, thanks. I was the official party photographer and made all the girls pose and I called them dear, and ladies, and I tilted their chin to keep unflattering shadows from appearing. And the next day -- also known as today -- I went to a tattoo parlor and looked at their designs but didn't like any of them.

I missed digital cable. And the Rainforest Cafe is completely over-hyped and full of itself. I have examples if you'd like me to defend my position but right now I'd much rather leave it at that.

Now my computer won't even turn on. It's been a good machine, noble and reliable. It will be missed.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Suck for a Buck T-shirts are Out

Instead of doing something fun -- and by fun I mean organized alcohol consumption, wink, wink -- I went to work at my old job making mailing lists. Why? Three words: I'm a sucker. That and tomorrow I'm driving down to LA for BF's sister's bachelorette party. Ta da!

We'll begin our evening at the Rainforest Cafe, Downtown Disney edition, and then shuffle our cute, perky selves off to a salsa club. A salsa club with a strict dress code on Saturday nights. No jeans, no sneakers, no hats, no shorts, no plaid shirts or risk expulsion!!! I understand everything except the plaid. Do Latin people hate plaid? I seek enlightenment.

This is my first bachelorette party. I've managed to shirk the others. BF's sister is a little ... she's a great gal and all, fun and responsible. We're just cut from different cloths. I'm afraid if I do the traditional bachelorette gags, it won't go over. So I wandered around the Random Crap store and picked up a pink fuzzy hat (a no-no for salsa), rose-tinted star-shaped glasses, lace cut-off gloves, a pimp dollar sign necklace, naughty tights, and sexy cookie cutters. Sexy. Cookie. Cutters.

Oh, and face glitter. For me. Shut up.

I hope the accessories go over. If not I come bearing earrings to soothe her wounded psyche.

In other, yet startingly similar news, I've completed the hours I agreed to complete in order to get certain tickets to certain shows this season. I'll be seeing/hearing John Leguizamo, Tony Kushner, Lily Tomlin, and David Sedaris. Happy is me.

Listening to Stereophonics "More Life in a Tramp's Vest." Bouncy is me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Instantiating The Voices in my Head

I have to be careful. There's a feeling I get that I hide from. When I don't notice it creeps up behind and makes off with the livestock.

It's an old trick. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, the voice, it whispers, "Is this what you want? Is this how you waste your time?" The voice promises wonder and fame and riches ... whatever it takes to get me turn away from what I'm doing, to get me to say, "Yes, that's right, I'll follow you. I'll do what you want because I want it too."

If I'm lucky I can convince the voice to leave me alone for small periods of time. I can make it go on vacation. I've never met anyone so dedicated to the job as the voice. It doesn't sleep or eat or take breaks. It doesn't belong to a union. It perches, patiently in the curve of my ear, it lifts away a lock of hair, and it whispers non-stop about the color of my neighbor's carpet and the hilarity of compound interest.

The voice knows everything, but it specializes in the 3 g's: guilt, greed, and grief (with a minor in Goretex and Gormenghast.)

The voice is the ember you keep safe. It is the mind picture of a perfect place, a perfect moment, a study in reaching but not achieving. The voice is a bridge between yesterday and tomorrow. It is the promise of treasure. It is the solitary ache of self-awareness in a room full of laughing, spitting people -- no liquor in sight. Lastly, the voice is bullshit, pure and compact in form, aerodynamically erect, perched on my left shoulder, talking to no one.

No one in particular.

Tea is so high maintenance. My kingdom for a glass of chocolate milk.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Missing in Action

My computer is behind me. Its guts are splayed across the room. In the distance I hear a can of compressed air working its magic. It is the sound of victory. It is the sound of broken computer parts yearning to break free...

The plane ride back was fine, if turbulent. As in full of turbulence. As in, occasionally I'd chew my Big Red Gum very hard and grip the arm rests in a vain attempt to discover solid ground. It was my best Columbus impression and you all missed it - complete with spontaneous dysentary. 'Tis a pity.

They tell me Tuesday is over. Kaput. I hadn't noticed on account of investing in the spiritually rewarding newness of Digital Cable. On the way home from work, I rented two digital converter boxes and made BF hook them up. I've watched Daria, music videos, the good, action parts of Matrix Reloaded, and accidently saw a naked Anna Nicole Smith. What's not to like?

Digital cable, you complete me.

Friday, August 20, 2004

I have to wake up soon

I've nearly packed. I'm watching "Dead Like Me." I'm submerging the angst with a bottle of Cherry Wheat. I went shopping today and I bought lots of clothes. In the back of my mind, Stacey and Clinton told me what not to wear in the 360 degree mirror and I purchased accordingly. I actually found a matching outfit and shoes. Because hey, underneath the overalls I've got girl parts.

I feel guilty that I'm not in bed. I have to be up at 3am, which is actually midnight. But I won't think about it.

I got gas for the Ford Escape after the movie. My co-worker and I watched "Without a Paddle." Not good enough. Do over. I want farce. Give me farce.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Ghosts and Gravestones

For the first time I stood in a cemetery after-hours listening to a costumed, accented young gentleman telling ghost stories. Between tales he'd pick up his lantern, lit candle inside, and walk to a different location. Sometimes he'd stand in front of a tomb shaped like an obelisk, sometimes he'd gesture towards the Old North Church and talk about flying. It was humid, and being a native Californian and not used to the moisture, I had the uncanny feeling I was breathing in my own breath, slowly suffocating. But then suddenly the wind would pick up and the sweat would dry on my face and for a moment it was bearable again and my thirst wasn't so debilitating. I had Cotton Mather Mouth.

They drove us around in a trolley. We listened to the guide's narrative of creepy serial killers and Lovecraftian tales of horror and tunnels beneath the fair North End -- where only two nights before I enjoyed a tasty dish of Pollo Saltimbocca. We heard about bodies dumped in the harbor by mercenary grave diggers ... the Curse of the Boston Light ... We walked across the Boston Common and watched the guide put a noose around a girl's head. We paid too much for parking. I gave a transient fifty cents outside the 7-11. And we saw the outside of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Athenaeum, overlooking the Granary Hill Cemetery near the remains of Paul Revere and John Hancock's slave Frank. I thought I might feel more standing in a space with over 10,000 bodies beneath my feet. I didn't feel uncomfortable or scared. I guess we were laughing at the darkness with our costumed guide, keeping our minds busy, no time for thought or mystery. The most I could manage was surprise at the nearness of civilization and how the city had incorporated these living graveyards into the heart of the city. Hello, we've just left this sacred place and there's a Gap.

I alloted myself only ten minutes, and now it's a half hour later. Obviously, blogging transcends time and space for its own vicious ends. Fight the power.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Candy is Dandy ...

First, the thing I'm proud of. Tonight I learned how to uncap a beer bottle using only my wits and the metal gap in the door frame. My hotel boasts all the finest in business amenities: dishes, full-size refrigerator, stove-top, pans, and utensils. However, and this is a big however, the can opener does not include the bottle opener metal hook. After bringing back a six-pack of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat and a six-pack of Ipswich Original Ale, I discovered my inability to crack the mystery of the capped bottle. I attempted, vainly, to pop the cap off with the edge of the counter and a severe downward hand motion ... I thought to dissemble the can opener and use the rubber covered legs as a fulcrum ... I considered gnashing my teeth against the lip, but I've got a dentist appointment next week, and I didn't want to disappoint my hygienist.

After the class, we all went to an Italian restaurant. I had a pizza, a couple "Blue Moon" beers with a slice of lemon each, a slice of chocolate cake with a shot of Bailey's poured on top ... we sat outside, under the trees, on a wooden patio, the occasional tiki torch threatening imminent hair destruction ... At some point the waitress lit candles. The place was packed, everywhere here is packed. We passed around photos of our pets. And then we told jokes that mostly started with, "A pirate walked into a bar ..."

For some reason, I'm watching "Thelma and Louise." I think it's because I don't get a lot of channels and the remote doesn't work. Is lazy a good excuse?

Ha. Now there's a Latter-Day Saint's Ad on the tele. Jesus is on a boat in the middle of a large lake and the announcer tells me to embrace faith and order their video. Buy. By. Bye.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Red Sox Won

I tried hard to be present tonight, so I'd have lots to share. There was a sold out ball game at Fenway Park. Red Sox vs. The Blue Jays. There were people, fans, drinking cheap light beer in flimsy plastic cups, eating foot longs, and pushing past one another. There were lines -- separate lines for alcohol and food. There were full jean pockets bulging, full of small bills, keys, and company ID. There were band-aids stuck to my right knee, covering up the gash I made changing in the bathroom stall. And there were smells ranging from boiled hot dog to cheap cologne. Oh and, getting lost. There was that.

I don't understand baseball. There were moments when I almost did. At least I think I did. After a few cups of Budweiser, surrounded by people doing commentaries, everyone rising to their feet caught up in the winning spirit, and the wave and the noise of the music and the lights and the flickering images telling me who was who and what was what and when I could go home ... I found myself staring at the innings, hoping it would be 9 soon. Because even though I catch a glimpse of what everybody else is feeling, I know in the back of my skull, where the pounding is pooling my brain guts, that it's still a Tuesday night. After all, it's only Tuesday and we all have work tomorrow, and we all need to get in our cars and fight to get to our beds. And I may have possibly missed the point of baseball.

The ticket wasn't wasted. People watching is still a fun past-time for me. I clapped and I chanted with everybody else. I gave it a shot. I took lots of digital photos. Since my boss gave us the tickets, I figure I'll have a couple printed and send them to him in gratitude. Some turned out nice.

For lunch we all went out. The waitress who was passing menus around looked at me in surprise. Out of the 15 people around the table, I was the only female. She said, "Hey, you're the only girl." "Looks like it," I said. And then I went back to studying my menu.

Midnight says it's time for bed.

Monday, August 16, 2004

North End

Traveling gives me pimples. It makes me sweaty, greasy, and acne'd. Traveling to me is like being a teenage girl -- only with less rejection, fewer name-calling and bigger boobs.

My co-worker drove -- because I don't drive well at night in the sprinkling and the wet -- downtown and we walked the cold, wet streets of the North End. After much walking and deciding, we settled on eating at a chic little place on a side street named something forgettable. The hostess led us to a table for two against a wall. Lots of other tables surrounded us, full of people, talking, laughing, eating, and drinking. For 15 minutes we watched everyone else get helped with no one acknowledging our presence. No water, no hello, no can I take your order? no nothing. So we left. We went next door. It was a cute earthy place, red walls, blue glasses, yellow napkins stuffed flower-like inside, and beautiful handmade masks in shadow boxes along the walls. We were the only two in the place. We ordered right away and I had chicken with spinach, prosciutto, and mozzarella. Delicious. Then my co-worker braved Mike's Pastries and secured us a couple of chocolate chip cannolis.

Standing outside with my back to the pastry shop, I stared at the neighboring building -- a five-story walkup. Each staircase level had a long narrow window in front of it. I watched a young woman wearing a backpack, carrying a white plastic grocery bag, climb each set of stairs to the top floor. She disappeared, reappeared, disappeared, reappeared, steadily rising until reappearing and disappearing a final time. Lights came on. The rain was falling, the street lights reflecting in the black street, and the sound of people haggling, pushing, straining against the pasty counter, waving a stack of dollar bills in their wet fists. It smelled like garlic and sweets and I started as a single, fat drop of water fell from the sky and trickled down my back.

I can still taste the tiramisu. My mouth is sour because of it, but glad sour.

Sunday, August 15, 2004


I made it. I type this in a hotel room after surviving the plane, the car rental, and the grocery store.

It's a nice hotel room, spacious. There's a big bed and a full size refrigerator. I'm watching Monk, because it helps my headache. See I decided that since I had a window seat, I couldn't get up, not even to heed the call of nature. So I just didn't drink anything all day. Running across the terminal with a heavy bag on several occasions makes for a sweaty head-achey Christy.

I'm concerned that I don't know how to get back to the car rental place ... but that's a problem for another day now isn't it?

Did I mention internet access? Pretty sweet.

Somewhere out there in the big wild night I'm assured there are thunderstorms -- nasty, juicy devils. My coworker is still out there, waiting on a runway somewhere, or so I like to imagine. He text messaged me to say we'll meet tomorrow instead of tonight. And once I arrived, did I just sit back and watch tv? Hell no. I started up the car -- a Ford Escape, the largest car I've ever driven -- and found the grocery store. I bought muffins and strawberry milk, hot pockets, diet dr. pepper, blueberries, and cool whip, because I deserve it. And a couple bananas, because a girl has got to be healthy when she's on the road.

Friday, August 13, 2004

On a Jet Plane

So, yeah ... my birthday was a few days ago. And apparently my present to myself was taking a week off from this 'ere blog. I got lots of nifty presents and heard from lots of nifty people. There's a new stack of books in the living room waiting, oh so patiently. And on the DVD Rack, Cat's Eye keeps me from sleeping with my mouth open. I don't care what anybody says, that's a freaking scary movie for a nine-year old. Stop smoking or I'll cut you!!! Stop smoking or I'll kill your family!!! Stop smoking or I'll lock you in a tiny cell and shock you through the floor! Aaarrrggghhhh! Damnable childhood trauma.

I've been doing the stress thing lately. On Sunday I get on a plane to Boston bright and early. I drive a rental car and attempt to find my hotel. I've printed out lots of maps -- taken advantage of my AAA membership -- and compiled a binder of Useful Information. I really, really, really hope I get a chance to take the Ghosts and Gravestones tour. You know, because I've graduated from "Cat's Eye" scary. Now I'm ready for bone chilling suspension of disbelief.

Update on the Ikea cabinet: we got it home, we started setting it up, we discovered about 5 critical screws missing. I called the hotline -- the Ikea red phone -- and was given a case number and assured the parts were on their way. Five days later? No parts. Not even a little part. Not even a little. The cabinet is currently upside down in the living room, propped up against a bookshelf so the cat can't sleep inside. Stupid Ikea.

One of my birthday books is Anais Nin's "Henry and June." She wrote so beautifully. It's such a strange journal -- self-conscious and candid and poetic. Skillful.

Time is passing faster than it should be allowed to pass. That doesn't change.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Two Deadly Sins Down ... Five To Go!

Today the mail stork brought a birthday card from my uncle. The cover picture is a shot glass against a white background. It's full of tan liquor, probably tequila. The inside says, "Cake is for wussies." You know what that makes my uncle? An enabler. A thoughtful, caring, wonderful, awesome enabler.

Mmmm. I just got to the Kahlua layer in my badly mixed White Russian.

I bought something today, something cool. I bought an Essential Folio. Toffee, for those of you playing the home game. It's a gift to myself from myself for my business trip. It's my portable tangible courage, as opposed to White Russians, which don't travel well. The milk curdles, you know?

Kingdom of Loathing, Yeah, KOL. Level 10, Pastamancer. Over 200,000 meat. Doing pretty well. Thanks for asking. I've got a store in the mall called "The Seedy Underbelly." Eh, it's a living.

Remember that show? Ann Jillian? It's a Living? I do.

If lip-synching were an Olympic sport, I'd mop the floor with you. Hell, I'm doing it right now. And in my head, man, I'm the coolest cat you ever seen. To keep my game strong, sometimes I practice in front of a mirror. I keep a rigorous training schedule. Oh the emotions I emote! I make you cry. I am a machine of barely contained euphoria, motherfucker.

Because this entire entry is turning into "Look at me, I'm jump-starting the economy with my frivolous spending!" I'll give ya one more to hold against me. On Saturday I'm driving down to Ikea to purchase a cabinet. And yes, Karen, it was your idea. You get mad props. Ever since I saw it in the corner of your living room, I thought, you (and by you I mean cabinet) will be mine. Oh yes ... shall be mine.

The whole Ikea thing is a story unto itself. I've got one word for Ikea, and it's a word that flows trippingly off the tongue: cocktease. Let's just say that what they list as being "in stock" on their website means: "We're lying and you fell for it you sad, stupid bastard."

I also invented a new phrase at Ikea. And that phrase? Swedish meatballing. I'll use it in a sentence for the less imaginative.

  • I wasn't born yesterday. Stop Swedish meatballing me!
  • Sorry I was late. I just got Swedish meatballed.
  • I'd Swedish meatball her in a heartbeat. (ladies, it also works for "him")
  • Swedish meatballs killed my family.
  • Now that's what I call: Swedish meatballing!!!

I'll be putting my collection of action figures in the cabinet. That's right. I said action figures. The William Shakespeare, the Edgar Allen Poe, the Nightmare Before Christmas, and the entire Simpson universe will figure prominently. Who wants to touch me?

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A Decisive Moment

Okeley Dokeley Neighbor

Two links from Neil Gaiman's journal:

I said to BF, "I'm OK, you're OK, let's start a corral." He said, "What?" I said, "You know, like the OK Corral." A beat and he said, "That's stupid."

Last Sunday I went to a Greek Festival. I had to go, being Greek. I had to represent. I ran from one booth to the next, buying Loukamathes, Baklava, Dolmathes, Kadaifi and Gyros until my belly went bust. And then we walked home. And I tried not to vomit.

I'm only Greek for the festivals. And then there's my name -- dead giveaway -- and the dark hair, big feet, big nose, and facial hair. I don't speak it or write it or dance it. I'm faux-Greek with a German finish. And it suits me fine.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Traveling I made a friend, he had a trouble in his head
And all he could say's that he knew that the bottle
Drank the woman from his bed, from his bed
He said "I'm not gonna lose that way again."
But sober is just like driving, more joy, more dread, someone turns her head
And smiles and disappears
He's gotta take it like it is, and it goes too fast
And he is just like me, caught in-between, no sage advisor
Does weary mean wiser?
And someday will I sing the mountains that carried me away
away from home and hometown boys like you?
Travelling Again (Travelling I), Dar Williams

I'm going on a business trip, mid-August for training. The flight's been booked, rental car arranged, econo-hotel room reserved! This calls for a Yippee. As opposed to a Whoopie. Goldberg that is ...

For my office, I put together a string of lights with little origami boxes of pretty colored paper and run-on sentences. I have my plant. I have a tablecloth. I think the theme of my office is voodoo, but I can't be sure. I'll let the spirits decide.

I came home at lunch and worked out. Can you frelling believe it? No? I don't blame you. I think I've been body snatched. But wouldn't I know if I'd been body snatched? Or is that the rub? The garlic rub?

I choked on an Altoid this morning. This was B.C. Before Coffee. One moment I was talking, the next I was coughing and the burning, the burning was curiously strong. For the next two hours I had this acid reflux thing coming up my throat and making me gag. I drank two plastic water bottles, a coffee, a soda, and some other stuff. Okay, all right. I didn't choke, I inhaled it, and it got stuck, and I was sad. So sad. I thought, maybe this is a good idea I can market. Like air fresheners. Pay to have an Altoid permanently lodged in your esophagus, ah the scent of it!

Like, I don't know if you could totally tell. But I'm on a Dar Williams kick. If you've never heard "The Pointless, Yet Poignant, Crisis of a Co-ed" you should, man. Because it's awesome. Here's a snip, which is even shorter than a snippet:

I'm not a leader, i'm not a left-wing rhetoric mobilizing force of one,
But there was a time way back, many years ago in college, don't laugh,
But I thought I was a radical, I ran the hemp Liberation League with my boyfriend,
It was true love, with a common cause, and besides that, he was a Sagittarius.