Monday, January 31, 2005

salute to the iraqi people... 

They lined up to vote despite the danger, despite - or perhaps due to - a history of violent repression. The estimates currently show that over 57% of eligible Iraqi voters risked life and limb to have a say in the future of their country. Included in that number were women, finally allowed to have a voice.

I salute these brave people.

It's no secret that I have issues with the Bush administration, that basing our invasion of Iraq on faulty intelligence and outright lies doesn't sit well with me, not to mention a growing segment of the American population.

Still, there's no denying that history was in the making this past weekend in Iraq. That it's still in the making. I hope that this is truly a grand step for the future of Iraq.

And I have to tell both Jim and John Scalzi to get out of my head when writing about the Iraqi election, because they both wrote everything I've been thinking and feeling far more eloquently than I and were faster put fingers to keyboard.

Here's to the Iraqis. May this truly be the beginnings of a self-determining people and country.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

when you fall down... 

...you have to get right back up again, especially in the world of improv. Otherwise the scene isn't going to go very far.

Today was my first improv class and it was pretty fun. When I first got there I was the only woman in a group of six people. I started thinking, "Yeah, I like these odds," when four more people showed up, three of them women. We went through quite a few exercises in the three hour class, learning a fair amount about, naturally, the basics of improv. Definitely some funny, inventive folks in that class, so I can only imagine how much better they'll be by the end of the ten week course.

I did fairly well, too, though I was certainly at a loss more than I would have liked. I ended up being pretty physical, what with being strangled and my hair on fire and fighting hordes of Huns and falling off chairs and dancing and playing baseball and fighting cops and... If I keep this up I may not even need to start up work-outs again. I do need to be careful, though. I have a tendency of throwing myself into the scene, literally. Considering my bad neck, shoulders and wrist, if I don't watch out I'm going to end up living on Vicodin. Not to mention that I snapped one of my bra straps during my exertions. Luckily the bra is a convertable bra and I had extra straps in my purse. Because I was trying those clear plastic straps for the first time and I was afraid the weight of my breasts might prove too heavy (the straps were stretching as soon as I put them on). Nice to know that sometimes I can be prepared.

Though I wasn't monetarily prepared. Last week I had agreed to pay half the money today and the other half mid-way through the course, as the school allows that. Apparently all my years dealing with numbers made me singularly ill-equipped to divide even numbers in half and I ended up being $50 short. The teacher and I made an agreement for me to bring that $50 to the next class. Luckily I get paid on Friday, so there'll be no problem with that.

All in all it was a good class. My fellow students are a nice mix of styles, which will make the sessions interesting and unpredictable. The instructor is a youngish guy who is pretty good at what he does.

I think I'm going to like it there.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

quiet evening... 

The Life and Times of Nebraska has been updated, in case you're interested. I've also finally updated my "Reading" and "Hearing" sections in the sidebar, after too many months of lying fallow. Because it really didn't take me three months or more to read Foundation.

I have been a bit lazy, though, and not included links to any of the new books added except for the ones I'm currently reading. Just not in the mood to research that many links. Nor is there any order to the books, because all of the recently read books are just sitting in a stack, waiting for me to register them on BookCrossing, so I've stacked them by size. There may even be a couple that I've read that aren't in the stack, for whatever reason. I know of at least one that isn't there.
It's a quiet evening, and in a rather British mood tonight. Perhaps it's the Earl Gray tea I'm drinking. A very nice, smooth tea, from a Dutch company that happens to make the best tea on earth. At least the best tea I've ever had. And the lovely Linda is sweet enough to keep me in stock with this most fabulous tea, for which I am indebted.

Maybe it's the English muffins I opted to eat for dinner. I wasn't very hungry, but my stomach did want something, so English muffins with butter and apple jelly seemed perfect. Unfortunately the muffins were store brand, not Thomas, but they were good nonetheless.

Or perhaps it's listening to Hound of the Baskervilles whilst updating Nebraska. A decent, though not perfect, production, with Richard Roxburgh as Sherlock Holmes, Ian Hart as Dr. Watson and Richard E. Grant as Stapleton. All actors I enjoy watching a great deal, though I do find Hart looking a bit too slight as Watson, with a unconvincing mustache. Still he does a nice enough job in the role, and has gained enough of my good will in his other roles that I'm willing to overlook the physical deficiencies.

Though Roxburgh will never be a definitive Holmes, he wasn't bad. And I admit to finding him a bit more attractive than I normally do, but I think that's because here he slightly resembles a fellow I've seen around town rather frequently whom I think is just yummy to look at. Maybe because they have the same nose (I love a nice strong nose).

But Grant dominated them all. I've liked his work for a while, but this film has made me fall in with the "Grant as Holmes" cadre that has been growing for a few years. I think it's past time he took up the role.
Earlier today I stopped by the open house for Antonio Villaraigosa and talked to a couple of the campaign volunteers there. I knew that several folks from the Progressive meetings I've been attending support him, so I wanted to see what it was all about. And I did see one fellow I've seen about - though he wasn't at Thursday's meeting - and he recognized my face, so we re-introduced ourselves. It was a good thing I went, because I found out there's a mayoral candidate debate on Monday night on the other side of the Valley, so if I can make it over there (and more importantly, make it back home) I'm going to check it out.

Funnily enough, after I arrived home, I flipped through a few stations and found a re-broadcast of a candidate question-and-answer event from January 11. I tried to stay awake for it, but the lack of sleep over the week came over me and next thing I knew I was dozing off. I think, even though I'm getting more interested in politics, I'm not quite at the point where watching debates can keep me awake. Maybe because there's still much of this foreign language I'm still struggling to interpret.

I'm sure I'll be fluent soon enough.

Friday, January 28, 2005

'round the table... 

Last night I attended a MeetUp for San Fernando Valley Grassroots Democrats. Now that I've gone to a few different meetings over this past month, my face is starting to be familiar to these folks, even if my voice is not. I saw familiar faces and, as I walked up to the table, the MeetUp organizer, ValleyDemActivist, hailed me. I introduced myself.

"You look familiar," he said.

"I've been to a few meetings this month."

"Right! And you're the only member with your picture on the MeetUp site!"

I verified this was so and within minutes I was introduced to everyone at the table and quizzed about how I found out about the meeting. And thereafter a bit of idle chatter ensued as we waited for the leader of the meeting to arrive.

More people filed in, until approximately twenty people had showed up, which pleasantly surprised ValleyDemActivist (who is one of the major players in Valley activism). Soon tables were shifted to accommodate the additional people. The meeting leader (DemDelegate, whom I've seen at previous meetings and had met briefly) had still not arrived due to traffic snarls, but ValleyDemActivist - and, by extension, the rest of the group - was already aware of that, so the meeting was started with business that didn't require DemDelegate's presence.

After a time, whilst the gentleman next to me was going over an upcoming board election, DemDelegate arrived and soon after took the floor. His task? Talking about ways to get the Democratic Grassroots message out into the world at large. He had some excellent ideas, as did others, and I found myself jotting down notes and coming up with a few ideas myself, though I wasn't yet ready to share them with the group at large.

However, after the meeting broke up, I approached DemDelegate to re-introduce myself and mention an idea I had come up with. Turns out he'd had a similar idea for the recent Turn Your Back On Bush protest, but it didn't seem to gain any traction with the other grassroots folks. We talked for a bit more about, oddly enough, politics, then I gathered my belongings to leave. On the way out I was distracted by some pages he was holding up to show another meeting member, so I poked my head in and checked out the papers. The three of us spoke for a few minutes more, then off I went home, to arrive at my apartment by 10:30pm. Earlier than I anticipated.

It was all very interesting. Each time I go to one of these things I learn so many things about the grassroots activism process. I learn so much about, well, everything that I want to run home and research all I've discovered, whether it be about politicians or policies or procedure. Because I want to see what all is out there and to draw my own conclusions.

I'm still very much wading into the deep end of all of this, afraid that I'm a bad swimmer, just dog-paddling in place and on the verge of drowning. And yet, little by little my swimming is getting better, less panicked, and, much like when I actually learned how to swim when I was 21 (though I am still not a good swimmer), I'm finding the process rather enjoyable. Scary as hell and definitely outside of my comfort zone, but enjoyable nonetheless.

A fascinating road lies ahead. I can't wait to graduate from the learner's permit to the driver's license. Because I'm in love with metaphors.

And I'm falling in love with the political activism.

it's official... 

...I'm a crazy cat lady.

No, not because I'm a single woman in her late 30s living in a one-bedroom apartment with four male cats. Five years later, I'm still wondering how the hell that happened.

Not because I have a few things around the house with cat images on them. Like a needlepoint pillow and some kitchen towels.

Not because, no matter how much I sweep and brush, I see cat hair tumbleweeds drift across my hardwood floors.

Nope. I am officially a crazy cat lady because I think this is very, very cute. And I'm playing it multiple times. And sending it to people.

Is there a cure for this?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

stroke of luck... 

Once again tragedy was narrowly missed by a stroke of luck, this time involving a member of my family.

Late last night my mom informed me that, as a rule, YoungerBro (the brother that has alienated most of the family) normally rides the MetroLink train that was involved in the horrible derailing yesterday. Through a quirk of fate, he was carpooling with a co-worker yesterday morning.

I know this isn't the only instance of, "There, but for the grace of something..." that has ever happened in the history of the world. Hell, it's not even the only time in the History of Carol and the People She Knows. But between ValleyGirlRep and YoungerBro, it's enough to make a person jittery.

While it's true that I have trouble believing or respecting anything my brother (or his soon-to-be ex-wife - there's serious drama going on there) say or do, I am very grateful his life wasn't endangered. When I was talking to Mom last night I felt short of breath and tingly of extremities. It scared me that I could have lost my baby brother. I am thankful that I didn't.

However, these close calls? I think it's time for them to stop.

No, really.

a question for the gentlemen... 

I'm aware that y'all possess these dangly bits that tend to be highly sensitive. But, as a rule, are they so sensitive that an average-sized man could conceivably not sit comfortably unless his legs were spread so wide he takes up two bus seats? Because I'm thinking, not so much. Especially if his pants are so big he could fit a whole other person in there. I'm pretty sure that there's plenty of air circulating down south. And I sincerely doubt his package is so big that one bus seat simply can't accomodate it. Because I've seen pretty big packages and, even when fully excited, one bus seat would be just fine.

I mean, I'm not asking the guy to cross his legs or his ankles or anything. While I know that many men have no problem crossing their legs, I can see where that might be a little tender, to the macho ego if nothing else. But this need to splay oneself? I just don't get it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

a whiff of elitism... 

...that's what seems to cling to me. There are so many things devoured by the American public that puzzle me. Creed. Lindsay Lohan. Titanic. Any movie involving the last name Focker. Blue Collar TV. I don't mean to be all, "Oh, what a horribly bourgeois, low-brow thing that is. How can you possibly find that interesting?" But the truth is there is a lot of popular culture that I think sucks big pointy rocks.

Reality TV falls into this category for me. So many times I have tried to watch one reality show or another and turned it off almost immediately. Why? Because I find little to no entertainment in watching insufferable people backstabbing one another. Nor do I enjoy people humiliating themselves or others. I have several friends who are fascinated by reality TV because they like to watch the psychology involved, but I come across plenty of people in my everyday life that I want to slap for their cluelessness, meanness or arrogance. Why would I put myself through that willingly for the sake of "entertainment"?


I find myself getting sucked into a couple of reality shows against my will. I struggle and struggle against them with all of my might, but to no avail. I am, without a doubt, hooked.

Hooked on The Surreal Life and Celebrity Fit Club.

I'd say that maybe it's the appeal of celebrities which pulls me in, but there are many celebrity-focused shows that I have no interest in, including the first two installments of The Surreal Life, even when re-run on VH1. I'd try to watch an episode, decide that watching Ron Jeremy and Tammy Faye Baker get all sweet on each other wasn't of any interest, then turn the channel to Good Eats, or whatever else might be on.

But during the last season, when I stumbled on it, I watched a few minutes of it and was unable to turn away. I tried to catch every episode after that. I'm finding myself do that again with the current season.

"Why?" I ask myself. "Why am I watching this? These aren't even celebrities I've always loved!"

Then it dawned on me. It's the Nice Guy Factor.

Last season had Dave Coulier. This season has Christopher Knight. Neither of the shows these gentlemen are known for are ones with a special place in my heart. Full House made my teeth ache with all that saccharine and, heretic though I may be, I've never had any enduring love for The Brady Bunch (except for the multi-part Hawaii episode - my deep, abiding, long-lived adoration of Vincent Price made that one special).

But Dave and Chris are so cute and sweet and freaking normal I just want to curl up with them on that U-shaped sofa and cuddle and talk all night long.

I guess I just have a soft spot for Nice Guys.

As for Celebrity Fit Club, I like the way they frame the events of the two weeks preceding each weigh-in (though more of the behind the scenes would be good), I'm rooting for Kim Coles and Wendy Kaufman, and it's interesting.

But, most of all, I think Mia Tyler rocks. She's gorgeous and she's got much the same attitude about her weight as I do about mine, and I love how she gets in the drill sergeant's face when he intimates - or outright says - that she looks like a whale. While I know he's not there to be liked, but to get the contestants moving and exercising, no matter the method, I still want to be right there with Mia so that we can smack him together. Granted, forgetting to pack her freaking sneakers when going to work out is unbelievably lame, but I still like her lots. I just may be getting a girl crush on her.

I think I've got two new appointment series. Oh, dear VH1 reality programming. You and I will just to spend our hours in a dark, dark corner and not speak of our forbidden love to anyone.

(BTW, why is VH1 constantly rerunning all of the My Coolest Years episodes, except for "The Geeks"? It's the only one I really want to see! I shall have to have a stern word with them...)


Whenever I hear about someone who's suicidal, it saddens me. Whenever I hear about someone who has committed suicide, it saddens me.

Not that my thoughts have never drifted in that direction. There have been a few moments in my life where the pain of what I was going through was so great that, for brief instances, I could see the appeal of just not feeling ever again. But those moments disappeared as quickly as they came, because I really do love life too much to let go of it. And no matter how brave and intelligent a person may normally be, suicide is a supremely stupid and cowardly act.

But when a person who is suicidal causes death and injury to innocents, it infuriates me. You want to kill yourself? Fine, but don't you dare drag anyone else into it.

How does it feel to change your mind at the last minute, to survive when others have died? How does it feel to be a cowardly murderer?

i am a big dork... 

I know, no surprise, but sometimes the bigness of my dorkosity is of a size that is surprising even to me.

No details right now, as I'm in the "Don't Want to Jinx Anything" mode, but good vibes would be appreciated. And a humungous public thank you to TheFirst for his help. I privately thanked him yesterday, so he knows what I'm thanking him for, but I think he deserves a public thank you.

Results may not be known for a long time, but if anything happens, I'll let y'all know.

Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

noggin plugs... 

I've made frequent jokes about the size of my high forehead. I've referred to it as a fivehead, sometimes even an eighthead. I can fit my entire right hand on my forehead and I don't have delicate hands. I've even said that I could use my forehead as a billboard.

Too bad someone else has beaten me to it.

Granted, I'm not sure I'd want advertising on my forehead for an entire month, especially now that I'm trying to meet new people and expand my horizons. But for nearly $40,000, it certainly is tempting.

I think my forehead would be perfect for Ross ads. Or perhaps Amoeba Music...

shallow is as shallow does... 

...and sometimes I am irretrievably shallow.

I don't mean to be. Oh, how nice it would be if I only ever thought productive thoughts about how to make this world a better place and I saw the good in everyone and I wasn't often slightly thrown when spotting someone possessing of some measure of fame who I really think should just give it back and pay restitution to the public for having to put up with them.

But this shallowness? Can privately entertain me in a most suitable fashion.

SCCounterpart and I took a little stroll to a favorite local lunch spot to pick up sandwiches we had previously ordered via phone. As we approached, I noticed a man sitting at an outside table, talking to a friend. Asian, dark hair with heavily bleached blond ends, black t-shirt, trendy jeans. He looked familiar to me and I tried to place him. It didn't take long, but I questioned myself a bit, because something seemed out of place.

Inside the restaurant we went. As we waited on line, chatting with a friend of SCCounterpart whom I had previously met, the man from outside strolled in, said something I didn't catch to the woman at the register, and - obviously familiar with the place and its employees - moved to grab something from behind the counter. As he walked away the counter woman called out to him, "Bobby, wait!"

I was right. It was Bobby Trendy.

I must confess to having watched a few episodes of the The Anna Nicole Show, one of the few reality shows I've ever watched, even a little bit. I don't know why, since I find her and everyone on that show supremely annoying (except for maybe her son). But I did. And Trendy's horribly tacky decorating style just inspired nausea. I had hoped that he would go away as a minor celebrity, but he refuses to let go of his shred of fame.

And now I see him in my work neighborhood. It's to be expected, since his business is fairly close to my own workplace, but that doesn't mean I want to see him around. Even though I did inwardly smile at the sight of him and maybe even take a teeny bit of enjoyment from it. At least he wasn't wearing sequins and eyeliner today. That's what seemed a bit out of place.

It's nice to know I won't drown in this lovely, warm shallow end of this pool...

Monday, January 24, 2005

despite appearances... 

...of my last few entries, I've actually been feeling pretty good lately (recent cat puke on bedspread and computer crashing in the middle of this entry notwithstanding).

I'm starting to be a bit more social, trying to meet new people and hanging out with my friends. Thursday night I attended my first honest-to-goodness book club meeting. The type of book club where everyone reads the same book (Tomcat in Love by Tim O'Brian) and meets to discuss it. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I daresay I would have enjoyed it more if one of the attendees (apparently as new as me) hadn't basically hijacked the discussion with her take on the book and less-than-sympathetic narrarator. From the looks on the faces of the others, I wasn't the only one who wished she would give someone else a chance to state their opinions. Especially when it seemed that her opinions pretty much missed the mark. Not that the rest of us didn't disagree with each other. She just didn't seem to know how to disagree, or allow others to disagree with her, without taking it personally. I'd like to go next month - I just hope she's not there.

Friday night was spent with Sarriah attending Stick Night at the Knitting Factory. For those unfamiliar with Stick Night, or the Chapman Stick (which is the focus of Stick Night), check out that link and the site that surrounds it. The Chapman Stick is a fascinating musical instrument, one that was first introduced to me by friends who play the Stick.

As I walked up to the box office I felt a few pangs, as the only times I've been to the Knitting Factory have been in the company of CuteNerdBoy (to see Jonatha Brooke and Sarah Harmer). But the pangs didn't last all night, thank heavens, making only intermittant appearances. I had a drink, enjoyed most of the music and exchanged a few slightly flirtatious looks with the MC/organizer of the event, so it was all quite nice.

Saturday morning was spent in a way that I'm spending more of my time since the beginning of the year: at a Democratic meeting. Actually I watched George Lakoff speak, with an introduction by Arianna Huffington. While I recommend that y'all click on the Lakoff link to see what he's all about, in a nutshell he advocates reframing the Democratic/Progressive message so that it speaks to the American people in a way that perhaps it hasn't in the past. Pretty interesting stuff and certainly something to take into consideration. And Arianna? Definitely a fascinating speaker. I'm a wee bit leery of her, mainly because I remember when she was a very vocal Republican while her ex-husband ran for Senate (she talks about her change of heart here). But I'm willing to hear what she has to say, as well as Lakoff.

(I realize that I haven't mentioned this before, but I am becoming increasingly involved with Valley Democratic groups, as I've attended four such meetings this month thus far. I feel really good about becoming active in this way. I'm still trying to see where I fit in and how I can help, and I'm feeling horribly shy around all those people. Mainly because I'm still at the point where I feel that everyone around me is speaking in a language where the words are familiar but the context and syntax are out of sync with my frame of reference. I know that won't last too long, though. Besides, after exchanging a few e-mails with a new delegate to the California Democratic Party, I may very well start helping by using any writing talent I may possess. It's very exciting.)

The rest of the weekend was quiet. After a relaxing Saturday night I readied myself for a morning spent with ModelGirl which, unfortunately, she had to cancel because her baby wasn't feeling well, the poor dear. Instead I strolled around the neighborhood, had breakfast, then noticed one of the neighborhood theatres had an interesting looking show that evening, so I took myself to see that. I enjoyed it and after I got home I e-mailed the founder of the theatre (whom I met at the show) and asked him how I could get involved with his theatre. I haven't heard anything yet, but the fingers are crossed.

And in even more exciting news, after I shot off that e-mail, I made a phone call I'd been meaning to make for several weeks. I'd fully expected to get an answering machine, but instead reached an honest-to-goodness human being. I asked her questions, she answered them, and as a result, starting this coming Sunday, I will be starting basic improv classes at the ACME Comedy Theatre. I used to be terrified of improv when I was in high school, but an acting class which ModelGirl and I audited a few years ago required us to participate. And I ended up doing improv and being pretty good at it. The laughter felt so good that I'd been thinking about it off and on since then.

Again, much like the political activism, I feel really good about the upcoming classes.

2005? Looks like it's going to be quite the fabulous year. Whee!

is this thing on? 

I've written nothing about the inauguration thus far. Mainly because there's a part of me that's been trying to ignore the day entirely. January 20th is a strange day for me as it is without folding in the inauguration of someone who doesn't deserve the title of Dog Poop Scooper, let alone President of the United States.

But others have written and posted things that are certainly worthy of linkage, so here goes:

** The increasingly fabulous Jo has started A Progressive Manifesto and is accepting suggestions from her readers. Example (re-printed with Jo's permission):
1. I believe in diplomacy, not war. War is horrifying and should be spoken of with the utmost language of revulsion. It is not glorious; it is only to be used when all other avenues of engagement are exhausted. Human life is too precious to be meaninglessly used.

2. I believe in the rights of every adult to marry the adult of his or her choice, and that the state must support that union with the full spectrum of legal and personal benefits and responsibilities.
Go and check out the rest. Excellent stuff.

** If you haven't seen the Faux News interview of the Vanity Fair editor regarding Bush's outrageously expensive inauguration parties, do so now. Absolutely terrific. Women like her and Jo are gonna make me consider turning lesbian (or at least bi). Originally found at Oliver Willis via a link by Jo.

** Actually, I don't think I could ever become a lesbian, because short, effective, yet scary posts from the likes of Jim make me realize anew how much I also like men like him.

** Magnum P.I. lets us know what Bush was really thinking as he delivered his inaugural address. Just as well I was unable to hear or watch it live. I daresay I would have broken the TV or radio by flinging it against a wall.

** Heather is rightfully tired of the billions of hours of inaugural media coverage. Though I'd enjoy watch Bush feeding Hussein peeled grapes. At least then he might be acknowledging how much Hussein really means to him.

***Revised 9:50 PM: I'm obviously pretty far to the left in my politics. And, of course, I think I'm absolutely correct in my viewpoints. Still, if you're interested in a neo-con's take on the inauguration, check out Doctor Bean's Inaugural Day entry. This may be one of the very rare instances - if not the only instance - I link to someone this far to the right of me. After all, it's my blog and I don't have have to be objective and present both sides if I don't want to. And it's a pretty safe bet to assume to don't come close to agreeing with him. But it's interesting reading, nonetheless.


So why else have I been trying to ignore January 20th? It's my father's birthday. He's 66 now. I haven't seen or talked to him in over two years and the chances are pretty good I won't speak to him ever again, but it's weird acknowledging that fact. I won't ever stop loving him, because I've loved him for all of my life, but realizing that I've almost forgotten what his voice sounds like - that's pretty heavy stuff for me. And it's sad that he's the one that screwed up, that fucked over my family, but we're the ones that are continuing to pay for it.

So, yeah, I could do without January 20th. Maybe from now on I'll just take that day off from work and sleep through it. Or find something else that can make the day positively memorable for me.

I'm open to suggestions...

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

if only... 

... I had a fair amount of disposable income, I would so bid on this. Then again, I don't know if I could actually talk to Tony Head for thirty minutes - or fifteen minutes, for that matter - without turning into a blithering idiot.

Just as well I'd already spent a few minutes in his gracious presence. Seriously, the man is one of the most gracious people I've ever met and I only spoke with him for about ten minutes. I tried very hard not to be a total fangirl (this was mid-way through Buffy's seventh season). I think I did an okay job at it, too - the alcohol I had before meeting him helped a bit. Plus I made him laugh. I love making people laugh.

And yes, he's just as sexy in person. *growl*

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

musical interlude... 

I haven't had one of these for a while:
Grey is not the color I expected
On someone who is often touched by grace
The eyes that hold the promise of perfection
Will find the flaw that no one can erase
And though she hears the rumours of intention
And many times I've failed to hide my stare
She will not breach a hint of indecision
She will not ever bend to show her care

Things she said
Every other daystore promise
Things she said would leave me wanting
Run to her then run from other
Things she said
Broke me down and left me shattered
Hard as diamonds... It does not matter
Won't remember the things she said

Today I saw her face in all the papers
A smile to empty out a lion's cage
But notes that might remind her what that smile was for
Are scribbled on a long-forgotten page

Things she said
Every other daystore promise
Things she said would leave me wanting
Run to her then run from other
Things she said
Broke me down and left me shattered
Hard as diamonds... It does not matter
Won't remember the things she said

The choice she never made
The face she never saved
The words she would not say
The lives she threw away
And the things she said

So grey is not the color I expected
On one who is so often touched by grace
But always she's the spectre of uncertainty
I first endure, then pity, then embrace

Things she said
Every other daystore promise
Things she said would leave me wanting
Run to her then run from other
Things she said
Broke me down and left me shattered
Hard as diamonds... It does not matter
Won't remember the things she said

Things she said
Every other daystore promise
Things she said would leave me wanting
Run to her then run from other
Things she said
Broke me down and left me shattered
Hard as diamonds... It does not matter
Won't remember the things she said
Things She Said, by Toy Matinee (from Toy Matinee)

I've heard of Toy Matinee before, and even have the above song on a mix CD I received from a friend. When I first heard this song it saddened me because all I could think about was his prior pain (no, this isn't the song that brought me to my knees), but I didn't listen to all of the lyrics. Why, I couldn't tell you. Possibly a self-protective instinct.

For some reason, though, listening to the song today just sliced at my heart. Right now I'm listening to Toy Matinee's only album. It was one of the CDs from the Kenny Club and I thought, "Hey, why not?" At least, that's what I thought until I caught the lyrics, "The eyes that hold the promise of perfection/Will find the flaw that no one can erase."

The knife to the gut twists. Not sure why. It just does.

Who knew that several songs on the album would weigh so heavily on me? I certainly didn't. And Things She Said weighs heaviest of all.


Friday, January 14, 2005

when all is said and done... 

...I am actually a simple woman. A simple woman with simple wants and needs and likes. Food, shelter, money to live, love, pets, friends, family. It doesn't take much to make me happy.

To wit:

Curious George Lunchbox - Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

My Curious George lunchbox - a Christmas present from my VP. The perfect size for carrying a paperback book and a small notebook for those days when I'm going somewhere, but don't need my Bag O' Stuff. It's so cute and bright and yellow that it's impossible to feel down when I've got it with me.


Patrick Watch - Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

My Patrick watch. The band and face are reversible (the set-up in the picture is how I like to wear it). I got it for two bucks at Burger King one morning when I was buying breakfast for my mom and myself. I hadn't worn a watch for a number of years, even though I've always loved watches, and this one is not only fun to look at - when it's not losing time - but I always get positive comments about it, even from strangers. I had wanted the SpongeBob watch, because it's blue and blue is my most favoritist color of all, but that's not the watch they had that week. Still, the Patrick watch is a pretty darned fun one.

And today I discovered two new mugs at work. The SisterCompany reps don't know where they came from and my SC counterpart was out today, so I didn't get a chance to ask her, but I've decided to appropriate one for use at work (I have many lovely mugs at home, but they all are ones I care about too much to risk bringing to work). It's plain white with the word "Confident" on one side and "Serenity" on the other in black. Very simple, very nice (no pictures available, unfortunately). Better yet, the bottom is slightly wider than the top, no doubt for added stability. Sort of like me.

It's the little things in life that make a person smile...

the quiz is out there... 

You Are 26 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

What Age Do You Act?

Maybe they're just saying I need to grow up. Which is definitely not news.

What is your weird quotient? Click to find out!

Apparently 60% of the quiz taking populace is more normal than me. Which is pleasing, because I would have been deeply disappointed to discover that all these years I've been working on becoming weird would have been for naught.

'tis a puzzlement... 

I've not been entirely upfront with you, dear readers. In the past I've mentioned how sometimes my currently single state leaves me with, not only a bit of a lonely feeling, but the fleeting belief that men just don't appreciate the charms I have to offer.

The truth of the matter is, well, that's not true. Over the last few months there have been a number of gentlemen who have expressed their appreciation for me. Men whom I know on some level, men who have used words that have made me blush and smile shyly. Words such as awesome, admirable, clever,witty and even, dare I say, deep. Nor has it only been my brains that have been appreciated, as I have been called cute and a hottie.

Definitely words designed to turn a girl's head. Especially from the men in question. And while I am deeply appreciative of these men and their kind words - indeed, I revel in them to a certain extent - there is one little problem.

All are very happily married. Except for one. And he's got a girlfriend he seems pretty happy with.

Well, spank my ass and call me Beatrice.

I have no idea why this is. What sort of energy I'm emitting that causes happily attached men to be so incredibly sweet to me while remaining somewhat invisible to available men.

So I asked a couple of the married men in question. GruvLoungeGoth mulled it over, then said that, maybe, the married fellows just wanted me to realize that, though things might be a little bleak in the dating department right now, that I do have qualities that are attractive to the opposite sex and to hang in there.

Definitely very nice to hear. If only there were some way that the single guys could see through the eyes of these unavailable but oh-so-sweet men...

Then again, that may not entirely be all of it. When I asked TheFirst, his initial reaction was, "I'm not touching that one." He was concerned about incriminating himself. But on further discussion he posited the following theories:

"You have that aura of depth about you that I can tell would make those moments special[...]. While I know that a close, emotional relationship with you would be all manners of satisfying for any man mature enough to appreciate it, it's that very thing that also paralyzes many men.

"You’re highly introspective and very extroverted at the same time. You’re intelligent, clever and observant. Face it: A guy can be intimidated by a woman with all that. A man would have to be very secure with himself to enter into an emotional relationship with you. And before you start, yes, there are men like that out there and no, they’re not all married."

Yes, I blushed for probably a good ten minutes after my initial reading of that and thanked him for the super sweet words. Hell, I'm blushing now even with the re-read. And I'll admit, while I'd like to think he's right, I often feel that someone's locked up the single fellas someplace or shipped them to another city. Because I'm not finding them here in LaLaLand.

Maybe it's time to find a new city...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

it's tough... 

...trying to figure out where to go, what will do the most good for the neediest. Especially when one's budget is limited.

It's easy enough to take the money one wants to give to a worthy cause and send it to whatever has grabbed national and international headlines. And there is nothing wrong with that. It's understandable. I've done it myself. Because the tsunami is a tad personal for me, that's where I've turned recently.

But my dear SisterFriend Linda recently reminded me, via her own blog, that others need our help too.

She donated towards Sudan refugee relief via War Child and the Red Cross. Definitely good places to start. When my next paycheck comes, I shall be sending a few dollars their way myself. It won't be much, but I hope it'll help.

Monday, January 10, 2005

she's home... 

...safe and sound.

I spoke with ValleyGirlRep today and oh what a tale she had to tell.

First of all, she had no idea that the friend who was watching her home and feeding her fish called my manager to let her know that ValleyGirlRep and her hubby were okay. My manager was the person who called everyone on my sales team to rest our troubled brows. So when I told ValleyGirlRep about her house sitter, she breathed a sigh of relief that we hadn't been tearing our hair out these last two weeks.

Second of all, she confirmed what I'd suspected: she and VGRHubby had been headed for the west side of Thailand. More specifically, Phi Phi Island. Even more specifically, a resort that had been completely wiped out by the tsunami. Thankfully they both decided to celebrate Christmas with their families, because had they decided to leave before Christmas instead of the day after Christmas, they might very well have been amongst the dead.

They heard some reports about an earthquake in Sri Lanka, but that was after they arrived at LAX. It wasn't until they reached Bangkok that they heard about the full extent of the damage. At that point, of course, they figured it would be best to head somewhere else, which is how they ended up on the east side of Thailand, as I previously reported.

I know that, no matter what, I would be saddened by the high number of lives lost due to the tsunami. Still, when it becomes personal, turns into an "almost", it hits just a bit harder.

I don't feel it's right to thank G-d, because it seems like something of the "better a stranger than a friend" mentality I hate so much. But I am thankful ValleyGirlRep and her hubby are home, safe and sound.

that sounds about right... 

Borrowed from the Spanglelicious Jo:

I am nerdier than 29% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

It's very true...
In other news, Patrick is back! I've been an avid reader of his for a very long time, so when he discontinued his old blog almost a year ago, I was a very sad puppy. He was one of the journalers/bloggers I always identified with the most and he always had a way of writing that brought me vividly into his world.

Now that he's back, I'm a happy little girl again. Whee!

people scoff... 

...oh yes, they do. They shake their heads in sad wonder, pondering your strange ways. "When was the last time you wore that?" they ask. "If you haven't worn it or even looked at it in six months, get rid of it! You obviously don't need it."

Though part of you agrees with them, still you resist, reluctant to let go of your packrat ways. Over the years you manage to get rid of more than you thought possible, but still your methods - madness to some - clings to you. Because you're sure that someday it will come in handy. So it sits in your closet for years. You may move to a new home, a new apartment, where it will find a new place to live. You clean out the various closets, but still you hang on to it.

Then it rains. It rains more than it has rained for a very long time. Weeks and weeks of rain flood the gutters and the intersections. You silently curse the lack of a small dinghy, wondering how you will cross the small lakes and whirlpools that spring up in your neighborhood, because there is no other way to get to work. And while you wouldn't mind staying home because wading through calf-deep water is hardly appealing, you know that such a course of action isn't practical.

Then you remember. You spring to your closet, sifting through the piles, and you find them. You pull them on, realizing they're tighter than you remember, but still they fit. Though cracks have developed on the outside, pieces are missing and it gives off a strange smell, you notice as you cross the street that it still performs its job well enough to make you happy you kept it. And as old, musty icing to this slightly dilapidated cake, it helps to keep you warm.

Oh, that pair of wonderful, unfashionable, but still cute weatherproof, pile-lined, feminine yet sensible heeled boots that your mother gave you for Christmas in the mid-80s. Sometimes your strange ways aren't so crazy after all.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

other updates... 

The Life and Times of Nebraska and shuffle have been updated. Enjoy!

'tis the final day... 

...of Holidailies and I realized I really should write something today. But what, I wondered? Which of the myriad rowdy subjects running merrily through my brain before skidding to a stop to avoid hitting the side of the brain because, well, that shit hurts and I don't care if I did put butterfly decals on the sides, sometimes a poor idea will swear it's an open window and run right through my skull, shattering it to pieces and embedding bone splinters in the gray matter and by the way, did I mention that shit hurts and messes with cognitive functions and vocabulary and takes forever to fix, not to mention the skull-and-brain re-construction contractors will swear up and down that it'll be done in four weeks but four months later my poor skull still looks like Dresden in WWII and hot damn, that shit hurts!

Ahem. Anyway. Feisty ideas. Which to use.

None of them today, I fear. Because something truly incredible, something stupendously stupendous (stupid contractor told me he fixed my vocabulary - I'll sue him, I will) has happened. Something to block out all else with the blinding power of a full solar eclipse.

I have won an award.

No! It's true! And not just any award, mes amis. Oh, no. I have won...

*deep breath*

Spanglemonkey Best Rolling Complete Sentences to Hear in Your Head With a David Niven Accent Award!

Presented by the newly discovered (by me) fabulous Jo of Spanglemonkey and named specifically for me. I am so honored.

Doubly so since I've always rather liked David Niven. So cool. So smooth. So very British. I actually cried when he passed away in the mid-80s.

Thank you, Jo. Thank you. I-- You--


I feel like Halle Berry...

(BTW, if you have a blog and would like an award, just head on over to Spanglemonkey and ask for one of your very own. I'd never read her before Chuck posted his award, but I instantly liked what I read and immediately begged for my own humble award. And within minutes I got one! Truly the sign of a fabulous soul.)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

like a little update? 

My home computer has decided to go fritzy-fritz, making online access problematic at best. Hence no update over the weekend because I was off Friday through Monday. Not much to update about anyway. It was a very quiet New Year's weekend, with the only excitement happening when I left my purse on the bus on the way to Sarriah's place on New Year's Eve. However I seemed to have a little luck left for 2004 because the circumstances of the Leaving of the Purse (at the end of the bus line mere feet from a division station very close to my place of business) enabled me to have it returned within a couple of hours with contents intact, including $11 in cash. Yes, I fully recognize how very fortunate I was (and am).

However, in being inattentive enough to leave my purse behind, I may have used up what little luck I had left in 2004. Because heaven knows I didn't get lucky that night. Only three men showed up at Sarriah's intimate shindig and of those three, one was attached, one was unappealing to me (a neighbor of Sarriah's) and the third was Sarriah's brother, whom I've met numerous times before. Therefore the recipient of my somewhat tipsy/drunken flirting - or at least a small fraction thereof - was, by default, Sarriah's brother.

Mind you, I think he's fairly cute, and he's a nice guy and all, but I also know enough about him to recognize that he would drive me crazy in a relationship, so I couldn't be serious about him anyway.

Later that night - and most of the weekend- I became a bit moody and maudlin, so it was just as well that my home computer has been so iffy, else y'all would have been treated to the type of entry I used to write often but am now tired of: woe is me, what's wrong with my life, oh why does no one love me?

That sort of entry is sooo Summer '03-Summer '04. Why, I've got a whole new depression happening, it's time for a whole new type of entry! So no grand introspection regarding 2004 from me. Because in some ways I'm in a totally different place in my life than I was this time last year. And in others I'm in exactly the same place. Not much of an epiphany to be gathered from that. Especially when most of my previous epiphanies either brought me pain or no change.

Oh, another symptom that I'm a wee bit depressed? I want to eat. All. The. Time. I'm able to resist the urge most of the time and I've started walking a little more than I had been over the last few months, so I haven't gained too much weight, but a few of the pounds I'd discarded have come back to roost. Don't worry, I'm gonna kick those buggers out again, evict them and tell them they are not welcome. Mainly because I know that when they come back they'll end up where they're not wanted, i.e. my tummy, ass and hips. And they always bring unwanted friends, the inconsiderate bastards.

On the upside, I've rearranged my living room. I'm still not entirely happy with it, but since I'm holding a major piece of furniture for a friend until her and her hubby can figure out how to get it to their new place, I won't be entirely happy with the layout. Still, it's a better layout, one which enabled me to take a pine chest from my too small bedroom and move it into the living room and get rid of a couple of other pieces and find a place for a barstool I brought home from work because it had been discontinued. Not terribly thrilling, perhaps, but a development that pleases me. If only I had been less inclined to nap over the weekend, then I might have gotten some actual cleaning done. But I straightened up and tossed out some stuff I no longer needed, so it wasn't a total bust.

Wow, that's pretty darned exciting, isn't it? If I don't watch out, I may get carried away and describe in excrutiating detail the amount of time I spent trying to defrag and optimize my home computer.

Hey! Wait a minute! Where'd y'all go?

Oh, pooh...

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Carol/Female/36-40. Lives in United States/California/Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley, speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.
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United States, California, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, English, Carol, Female, 36-40.

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