Sunday, April 29, 2007

I saw love coming through my windowpane.

Old beastie.

Our sweet old kitty-girl Kaya is dead. She had a seizure a few days ago. Then she had another one two days ago. Yesterday she was struggling around, though she still managed to wait hopefully for me to finish my mac and cheese so that she could lick the bowl. The cat was cheese-obsessed right up until the end and would dance around the kitchen if she thought you were going into the fridge, where the cheese lives.

Anyway, we had to figure that if we were seeing seizures, there were probably more episodes that we never saw. She was still scarfing down gourmet (nasty) canned food, but her weight had dwindled a lot. She was still cleaning herself, but had developed a lot of dredlocks, including a giant one that looked like a backpack. She was still using her litterbox, but was also leaving tarry turds elsewhere in the house. At night she wandered restlessly and yowled like she was confused. This was all okay. She was 19. That’s what happens. But seeing her struggle so much, we knew it was time to make a decision. My mom carried her over to the vet, wrapped in a big towel. The vet stayed open late to give our cat last rites.

So that’s been going on. It’s sad but I’m glad it’s over.

Meanwhile, my sister and BIL went to Vegas on that Alan Thicke vacation. You know the one: Alan Thicke is standing fully-clothed in some luxe pool, yelling that what’s happening in Vegas should be happening to you. Mol and BIL decided to take him up on it and go have a mostly-free vacation in exchange for sitting through a time share presentation. They left their progeny with us. As a result, I am very very tired and the thing I have probably said most in the last few days is “Jude, put your penis away” or some variation thereof. Usually it’s something like “it’s bad manners to take your penis out when other people are around,” which is hysterically funny to say but must be delivered with perfect seriousness if it is to have any effect. Dude is down his pants FULL TIME these days. “You have to go in your room if you want to do that,” Henry advised him sagely a few days ago. He speaks from experience.

Henry also suggested, upon learning of Kaya's death, that "we could have a sad little party for her." That's been invented, man, but it's a good idea anyway. He also suggested a brick for a marker and it could say, succinctly, "Kaya: Dead."

Though my bowling skills mattered not at all in the context of my recent fundraising, I bowled well enough that my friend's husband asked me to join his team. I'm all beginnerish flair in the first game, you see, and we only had time for the one. So I made it count and bowled a 151. It was good to see so many dads and babies at the bowling alley. I think in light of anti-choice rhetoric and the government occupation of our uteruseseses, it's easy to forget that being pro-choice is about having the full spectrum of choices about reproductive health, about every child being a wanted child. It's easy for the anti-choice folks to fail to recognize that a government with the power to compel you to stay pregnant is a government with the power to compel you to terminate a pregnancy. See, there's a post about this very thing on Feministe (and lots of other things to read about reproductive rights in the archives). Thanks again to everyone who contributed. Next year I'm going to get off my ass and do real face-to-face fundraising, which I believe is harder to turn down.

I seem not to have quite gotten the hang of this new blog yet, have you noticed that? Jella confessed to me that she misses my old one. Stick with me, people. Things should settle down next month and then I can get my narrative on again.

Also, it's been really nice out and that has made it almost impossible to post. Plus Ace the 15 pound cat-brute is up in my grill right now, and that makes posting pretty difficult too.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I have a bunch of crazy crap listed on ebay this week. I hit the motherlode of vintage dresses today.

Aaaand, while we're talking about ways you might extend your finances in my direction, please consider donating to the Pro-Choice Resources Bowlathon. I bowl on Friday! That's only a few days away! I've totally gotten bumped out of the top five fundraisers and my ego is suffering.

Any amount you can give makes a real impact on the work PCR does to help ensure education and access to reproductive healthcare in Minnesota and across the country. $5 = a lot of condoms distributed to at-risk teens at community health fairs. $80 = mileage for one health care educator for a month. Just had your 33rd birthday? Give $33!

As always, muchas gracias to those who have already donated, and thanks for your patience while I rattle my tin cup.

The sun machine is coming down and we're gonna have a party.

Henry is five as of April 23rd. I would tell you how crazy that is, except that I have some things to show you.

First this:





Et puis, voila:

But then there was this.

A few things to note:
1. Yes that is a real neck-lock handcuff thing. There's only one set of keys, so keep your fingers crossed, everyone.
2. Yes he likes Houdini.
3. Yes he changed his shirt before the last stunt. My mom gave him a ruffled one (she had to construct it herself) and he went bananas for it. His gold vest had chocolate on it anyway. From the chocolate fountain.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Can a brother walk you home?

"You're wearing a fun...funny...funny outfit," my dad observed yesterday.

"Is it fun, or is it funny?" I wondered.

"I don't know," he admitted. "The hell?"

What's so confusing about a dress with a crazy print on it? Maybe my beret confused him.

My dad and I are basically always in the house at the same time, which is not surprising since we both generally work from home. This schedule has enabled me to note for the billionth time that we work in exactly the same way, i.e. down to the wire, into the night, and with manifold self-inflicted distractions of the technological and hobbyist variety (also, for him, midday PBS. "It's too bad Bob Ross isn't alive anymore," he said about 15 minutes ago). I did manage to get my taxes done before him, so I've got that going for me. After I asked where in the house I might plug in to the futureweb, my dad bought me a 25 foot ethernet cable, so now we're home office-ing simultaneously, except that I'm in my bed with papers spread all over the place. It's a little inefficient, but probably not more inefficient than I am myself.

The service at this place is pretty good, I must say. I mean, I got that cable for free. Plus the refrigerator is always full (including like 10 pounds of homemade refried beans), the coffeepot's generally got coffee in it already when I get up, and my dad bakes bread all the time. As a result, I have eaten more buttered toast in the last 2.5 weeks than I have in the last year: delicious. There were cars to borrow when mine was not legal to drive (I put the tail light on Monday morning) and there are loads, loads, loads of tools for any project you might need to undertake. Also, my mom has been feeding her Goodwill by the pound addiction and passing the fruits on to me. At night, there is knitting and BBC comedies. This is the best place to regroup, basically. My parents should run a business. The slogan could be "Get Your Shit Together Here, Now With Snacks."

I feel like I should provide an update on the status of all the things breaking in my vicinity.
  • My car battery charged up just fine, but now needs new brakes, rear tires, and a quarter panel (still). And things are leaking. Is there a website for the "should I buy a different car now or sink money into my old car?" decision tree? There should be.
  • My ipod charged successfully and awaits road-testing when I run today.
  • My chin herpe has resurfaced. Lookin good, mama, LOOKIN GOOD.
  • I may have found an apartment, though I should probably delete that immediately because it is far from a done deal. Nevertheless, I've kind of put my scouting on hold, which is a relief.
  • My mom has a cold.
But on the other hand:
  • I get a massage tomorrow.
Also, I have loads of shoes on ebay this week. Please someone buy all the 6.5s. I seem to find a lot of those.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Now it's your turn to cry.

I sustained a thrifting injury on Thursday: I got stabbed in the leg by a protruding piece of metal on one of the Goodwill-by-the-pound tables. I should probably get a tetanus shot, or sue the place if I get infected. I did manage to get 16 pairs of resellable shoes for as many dollars, but the tetanus shot will set me back $45.

My car battery is dead. I'm charging it right now with an ancient charger that's plugged in to the garage. I've got quote requests out for auto body parts. So far one salvage yard has gotten back to me. They've got the part I need, but it's gold. If you have seen my car, you know it's dark blue. I could embrace the whole piecemeal bootleg car look but I figured I'd do some more research first.

My ipod is also dead. I did a ridiculous driving favor for a friend a few days ago that resulted in me taking the bus home. This in itself is not such a big deal, except that I missed one bus because the favor took too long, missed another one because I was walking, and plus also I was counting on the pod to keep the crazies out of my grill. The music started skipping and the screen faded to black. "Poor me," I thought for reals. And then "Poor ME," I thought sarcastically. I mean my stupid yuppie technology craps out as my strong legs carry me along a sunny 1.5 miles uphill, my favorite way to walk, and I've got cash in my pocket and someplace to go? Cry me a damn river whitegirl.

If the pod is truly dead, it's going to be a serious setback in my running career, though. I'm not joking.

Did you know that apartment-hunting sucks? Let me just remind you, in case you haven't done it recently, that it does. First, I hate calling people; second, most places are too ugly or too expensive. It's also hard to imagine going from a house painted to my specifications to a white, carpeted suite of rooms.

Also, I vacuumed the street yesterday, again. Safety glass chunks, begone!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Just saying it could even make it happen.

I've been looking around lately at my church gig and thinking it was about time to start a fashion blog documenting old lady style, in the sincerest and most respectful spirit imaginable. Because this involves executing a plan, I actually have low expectations for it, but nonetheless, behold: funky grandmas. If you would like to contribute--meaning photograph older women with awesome personal style who are in your jurisdiction--please holla at me. I am totally serious.

So I can cross "funky grandmas" off my to-do list, which is nice.

Today I went to the Brit's naturalization ceremony, which was at the convention center downtown. When we met up, he was wearing a new suit and waving one of those little starched American flags, which was probably made in China. (There is actually proposed legislation in MN banning foreign-made American flags. It probably won't pass, but you have to admit it makes a kind of sense.) Have you ever watched new citizens being sworn in? I recommend doing it. It will recharge your partly-cloudy patriot batteries.

This is especially true if the ceremony involves upwards of 1200 new citizens from 50 or 80 countries. I don't remember how many countries, but it was a lot: they read the country names instead of the individual citizen names, to save time. It was rousing. I was stationed in the friends and family section, between a couple from Liberia (who sang along with "Proud to be an American") and an unassuming man and his new BFF, who within 3 minutes of sitting down had shared that she was a volunteer kidney donor and that she and her recipient wanted to meet. This is a wonderful world. I sang the Star-Spangled Banner in full opera voice. It was shocking for the people in my vicinity, but once the shock wore off they appreciated it.

The real hit of the morning was not my singing, however--it was the keynote speaker, Qadir Aware, this Kurdish American who lives in SD and is a huge advocate for multiculturalism and patriot pride and responsible citizenship and helping immigrants. Basically he's a solid dude who incited the masses of new citizens to participate actively and positively in the life of their new homeland. It was pretty electrifying, and there was much spontaneous applause for--well, just about everything he said, but especially everything he said about the right to vote. DO NOT TAKE THIS FOR GRANTED MY FRIENDS. Most of these new citizens fled their home countries because it was a matter of life or death and for many of them, having a voice about anything would have meant persecution. "Look around," said the presiding judge. "This is what America looks like." I had a tear in my eye. Then they played a pre-taped message from the Presidon't and a music video montage of the aforementioned, heinous, "Proud to be an American."

In other news, this orchestra that I've worked for twice before called yesterday morning to offer me a Messiah. (This is an unintentionally hilarious sentence that I'm not going to edit.) Now I have a gig in December. I also scored a tail light on ebay for $20. This may officially be the sleepy eye of the shitstorm, or perhaps it has passed altogether, except for that hot mess of snow outside. April is the cruellllest month.

Monday, April 09, 2007

This too shall pass.

Here is a list of things I would like to be doing today:
  • Reading Anne of Green Gables and all of the sequels.
  • Watching Anne of Green Gables in all its hodgepodged glory.
  • Watching maybe all of Buffy on DVD.
  • Walking or perhaps jogging in the woods or by water, except that it is cold outside.
  • Making collages or sewing things.
Here is a list of things I should and probably will be doing instead:
  • Finishing my taxes.
  • Working on my thesis.
  • Calling about apartments.
  • Tracking down body parts for my frankencar.
  • Shop-vac-ing glass out of the alley.
Here is what I will definitely be doing regardless of all of the above:
  • Eating this Lindt bar.
My car has some new windows. "How do they look?" asked my dad. "Better than the rest of the car," I replied, which is true. They are so clean and sparkling that the rest of the car looks shabby and busted. The good news: it looked shabby and busted before.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The willies: scary, yet ingenious, and also clarified.

My nephew Henry was recently begging his dad BIL to help him look up Willy Wonka on youtube, and BIL was washing dishes or something and said "In a minute." By the time he got into the office, Henry had somehow pulled up youtube and had typed "WILLY" into the searchbar. He had the Willy Wonka DVD in his lap and was using it as a crib sheet. He was stuck trying to figure out how to make a space. So now he knows about the space bar.

Nerdy internet pre-reading. He's so futuristic!

He is also pre-moonwalking, thanks to youtube videos of Michael Jackson.

Crash into me.

Here are some funny things from the internets:
1. Mimi Smartypants may have drunk deeply of her bitchjuice lately, but it makes for pretty hilarious reading. Especially this:
When I am in a mood like this, my writing self does an eerie split-personality routine. With each paragraph I set the table, forks and knives and flowers and cloth napkins, glass of wine? Sure I'd love one. Oh won't this be nice. Let's eat! And then the other part of my head, the Drunk Dad from all those Irish Novels Of Great Domestic Misery, comes home with big boots tracking mud everywhere, and he is set off by some little nothing and the table's knocked over, the dishes are broken, the spaghetti is sliding down the wall, and then he's passed out on the couch while the rest of my psyche twists the dishtowel and says oh dear oh dear. Don't forget the kid part of my brain, headphones clamped on ears and nihilistic rap turned way up, thinking why even bother. And don't forget the narrator, third-person and entirely-too-omniscient, sitting back and saying ooooh you are so fucking clever with your little analogies.
2. Then via Subspace, there's this hilarious review of Grindhouse. It is, in fact, pretty relentlessly hilarious if you're juvenile like I am, but here are some choice tidbits:
He kicks ass that isn’t even in the ass area. Like, his director skills are so stripper-with-chainsaw good they make you grow asses on other parts of your body that he then kicks.
You know how Sly Stallone kind of looks like Bea Arthur now, and Jean-Claude Van Damme looks like Ally Sheedy? Well, Kurt Plissken looks like a dumpster full of drop kicks. He could fuck a bulldozer into eight Mini Coopers.
I dunno. It was hard to choose.

3. Also this, which you've probably seen before (I mean the poem part) if you are a smart-ass and also a poetry lover. (That Venn diagram has, I'm sure, a large intersection section.) I've really been laughing about it ever since she posted it.

Also, my car pics are on flickr, but I don't have time to post them here. They are very sad.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Don't crash the car tonight; it doesn't suit you anymore.

Want to hear something funny, internets? Just before I stepped outside this morning, I idly thought "what if my car has four flat tires?"--you know, the way things cross your mind, for no good reason. What I didn't think was "what if some asshole crashed into my car between 1 and 8 AM and then drove away?" That is what actually happened, you see: a thing that has never happened in front of my parents' house in the 16 years they've been living here.

I am minus a chunk of car and a lot of auto glass, unless you count the glass that is all over the inside of the car and all over the street, and the best part is that probably none of it will be covered by my insurance, zero-deductible auto glass coverage notwithstanding. Insurance is so awesome, isn't it? How you pay into it your whole life and it almost never pays you back? That's my favorite. It makes me feel good about having just dropped the cash for my 6 month premium. (UPDATE: okay, fine, they're covering the glass. But they're dealer parts and I have to wait 7-10 business days for them, which means I'll be the one with the ghetto plastic over the windows, so I am still entitled to my sarcasm.)

I will share some pictures with you later, I promise. Fatty looks very forlorn, denuded of her rear windshield.

Also, last night I saw "Lakme," officially the stupidest opera ever. Garrison Keillor was two rows up, looking rather busted in a tie-less tuxedo and red Sauconys, and whispering loudly to his kid (hopefully advising her not to try to make sense of the story). I can't really complain, since I'm sure my hysteria at the "plot," libretto ("you have taught me words of tenderness that Hindus do not know"), and staging was loud enough to annoy all of the other arts patrons in my vicinity, aside from Dom and BCSM, who were equally hysterical. Seriously: stupidest opera ever, and that's really saying something.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I hear in my mind all of this music and it breaks my heart.

This morning between 5 and 8:30 I was dreaming of asteroids. The entire night sky was filled with huge spheres falling to the ground slowly, almost gently. The moon was nearly obscured by what looked like an eclipse but was really part of the shower of planetoids. I called people I know to tell them to look out their windows. A pine tree with three people stuck in its topmost branches crashed gently into my room; the people disembarked, unscathed and grateful to be inside a house. One half of a spherical spaceship fell into the front yard, then the other half. The spaceship was a badge of honor later at the bar, where people--including my college friends--were gathered at 4 in the morning to talk about all the crazy crap falling out of the sky. At the bar, I ordered something that I now feel is complete genius and needs to be invented immediately: the muffintini. It was basically a boozy ice cream drink with a muffin baked on top of it, crusty with sugar and berry juice, served in a pint glass. I was shirtless for a lot of the dream.

In real life news, or perhaps by way of explaining why I might be having dreams with such heavy-handed motifs as the falling sky, I've moved out. I'm not going to talk about it here; I just wanted to explain why I am probably going to have a lot of funny, regressive tales of staying with my parents in upcoming posts. I will say just once for the record that I'm still in love, still have hope for the future, and feel and look rather tragic. I'm prepared for this state to persist.