Monday, November 24, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Man, I Tell Ya

Sooo I have some transportation stories to share. Here goes....

We all know I have mad LimoLiner LOVE. In the 3+ years Jam and I have been a couple I have tried every damn way of getting to NYC (and before we dated, I did fly once to NYC, so I tried that too) and found that the good ol' LL, as expensive as it is, was pretty much the only mode of transportation that would bring me from Boston to NYC and not turn me into a complete raving, frazzled, crazy bitch by the time my feet touched Manhattan

Anyways, I've noticed that the LL is starting to attract a very specific group of clientele - the "even though I am on a bus with 27 other people I am going to behave as though I am the only one here" clientele. I try to be patient because some of these people are legit - like bent old ladies with a million shopping bags. I mean, if my Auntie Elinore were still with us (she'd be um, 97 I guess...or turning 97) and she realized how comfortably she could relive the her life as a buyer for Jordan Marsh, jetting off to NYC for the day to buy fabrics and approve new looks and such, she would probably do it, though she would need the special catering provided by the LL. I'm so not talking about those people. I am talking about the people who, from the instant they arrive, cause difficulty.

On Friday I was waiting curbside for the doors to open and a lady rolls up and cuts in front of me. Whatever, it's assigned seating, why would I even care? Then we have said old lady with her bags. She cuts eveyrone, but I think she's entitled. Then the other woman steps right up. Now the attendant had said "have your photo ID ready." Of course because I am so damn type A I have it in my hand ready to go. This woman steps right up and gives her name. The attendant asks for ID. She starts rifling through her overstuffed purse. Rifle, rifle, rifle. She is about to hand it over but says "oh this won't do, it doesn't have the right last name on it." Awesome, Alias, hand it over and get on the effing bus, no one CARES. She managed to behave until we got to Framingham. People start boarding and looking for a place to stash coats and such. "Is your coat WET???" she demanded of the boy who dared to share an overhead bin with her luggage. Then she asked for more pillows. And a blanket. As soon as we pulled away she started again "will there be drinks on this bus?" yes "will there be food?" yes "what kind?" chicken sandwiches "what about snacks?" WTF, are you not an adult? Bring your own damn snacks!! Then every 5 seconds she needed a drink. Then she took all her prescription medication. Then she put lotion on all uncovered areas of skin. Then she put lip gloss on. Then she *shudder* filed her nails. I mean, this is only the stuff I observed, because then I fell asleep for about an hour. I awoke to her shrill, loud voice on her cell phone. Clearly she ignored the "please keep your conversations to a confidential tone" note that the attendant mentioned earlier. "YEAH" she shrieked like a harpy "I don't know if I'll make the SER-vice. We might run LATE. Oh I know but there just is no good way to make the journey. CALL YOU LATER MY CELL IS DYING!" Sadly, LL has electical outlets, so she had time to charge it. Next thing, I hear her telling the attendant that she is very cold, could the heat be turned up. The attendant, bless her, said NO. "Well" harpy said, "I will just need a cup of chamomile tea and another blanket." She got two cups of tea in the next half hour to "warm her hands." After all that, I later looked up to see her picking her nose. Seriously.

The ride back frankly sucked as we broke down in Connecticut. It sucked before that though because the DB in front of me had a row of empty seats in front of him, he could have sat in any, yet chose to sit right in front of me and put his seat down the whole way. He had to sit up in the reclined seat to drink and eat and get sh*t out of his backpack, yet he didn't seem to care as long as his perfectly arranged to look messy hair did not fall out of place. OY!

Now for the T. This is actually funny.

Yesterday I decided to wear my down commuter coat, forgetting that it's excrutiatingly hot to wear unless it's way below freezing. Oh well. So I trudged from work to the green line, then to the red, where I stood on an Ashmont-bound train in front of a pair of kind of drifter-looking people (not to be awful). They were having some weird conversation about raspberry lime something or other. I had my iPod on and only caught bits and pieces and wasn't really paying attention when the woman tapped me. "There's a seat free right behind you" she said. "Oh no worries," I said "I'm only going two stops." She stared at me and said something. I am frickin' hard of hearing to begin with, and with the noise of the train, I couldn't even hear her. I leaned over and took my earbud out and said "I can't hear you" hoping she wasn't saying something shady. She repeats it, looking at me with wide eyes. I ask her to repeat again and she says "Aren't you having a baby?"
Oh jesus.
I laughed and said "Oh. Um. No." Her eyes widen in horror. "My coat makes me look pregnant though, I take it." "Oh. Oh God. Uh yeah" she said. I said "It's ok, it's a bulky coat" She said "Oh so you get that a lot?" I laughed again "Well no, it's a first, but now I know what I look like in it!" "Oh I am so sorry - I wondered why you weren't sitting though!" she said. The guy she was with was laughing and said something I didn't catch. They stood to get off at Downtown Crossing and as she stood, the lady patted me on the shoulder and said "Thank you for being so good about it."

It was all I could do to not cackle on the train. I was not offended. As I pointed out to Jam: 1. I don't look pregnant in my regular clothes, so I know it's the coat, 2. it's a huge effing coat that is poofy and bulky as hell and my train posture isn't exactly fantastic so I probably did look pregnant, 3. I don't give a sh*t who on the train thinks I'm knocked up. Whatever. 4. I did very much appreciate her courtesy, though I probably would've dropped it after I offered up the seat LOL. All in good fun. When I look back, it's actually really sweet that the lady had my back. I hope someone's got hers right back!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The wackiest thing happened to me today.

I had a meeting with a colleague. She's a rehire, so she knows the ropes and weird idiosyncrasies and hierarchies here, but needs training in her new area, so we agreed to meet at 10. She came up to my office with one of her other coworkers who can be kind of difficult, but I get along with perfectly well.

The meeting went smoothly. This coworker will be incredibly easy to work with (see I DO like some of my coworkers) and she is generally just a nice and pleasant person. We did reach a point in the conversation where I said that a program we need to use should be released because we won't find the bugs until we're using it in real time. She completely disagreed. The thing is, unlike most people I encounter who disagree with me THAT strongly, she did not rip off my head, get incredibly defensive, become passive aggressive in her tactics, or give me the silent treatment.

She simply disagreed. She was like "Ah yeah, well I totally disagree with that. Don't release something til it's right." "Oh you're a perfectionist!!" I said. She laughed and replied "No not really, I just hate ineffectiveness and wasting time, and releasing something before its ready is wasting time!" And even though I still disagreed with her standpoint, the whole exchange was incredibly refreshing.

I don't know - maybe I'm used to having it be a "thing" whenever there is a disagreement with the way we operate here. It's always either smacked down or taken to the hallway, whisper whisper whisper. I really appreciated her being totally honest without being defensive or bitchy, two thing that I am sometimes when I disagree with someone at work - usually because I feel the overwhelming need to be one of those things, depending on the company present.

Hmm. Maybe I should ask her where she got her communication style....

In other news, I am anticipating Thanksgiving cooking, cooking for international day at work, and lots of crafting. A friend is hosting a crafty weekend. I don't dare bring over all the sh*t I have to do, I could possibly scare someone, but will it be satisfying to make a dent in the "To Do" list? Hellllls yeah.

Friday, November 14, 2008


My awful coworker just came in, slammed her sh*t down and said:
"I went to watch "Grey's Anatomy" last night and football was on. It was awful, and I was so mad."


Dove Love

From where I sit, I can see the roof of another large hospital. I'm looking at the roof of the loading dock specifically, and it looks like it's about 3 stories high.

Right now there are two pigeons sitting there, feeding and preening each other. It's really sweet. Normally I look at pigeons and think "evolutionary marvel, but bird that eats trash" and don't think of them as engaging in activities like preening and feeding each other, so I have to say, not only is it sweet, but it's also fascinating.

I am off to NYC this weekend. Land of pigeons.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cool Face

So I've been feeling super-tired and worn out lately. Now, if I were feeling that way at this time last year as I was slogging through grad school and fighting a particularly nasty tonsil infection, I would understand, but this time around, I don't have any particular reason to feel so tired and run down. Work is stressful, but for the most part it's just a lot of crap packed into 8 hours. I have board meetings, two bookclubs, and a ton of projects I'm working on, but again, nothing particular stressful or exhausting. This past weekend, my sister and I escaped to NH and shopped and shopped and shopped, but I slept a solid 8+ hours a night. What gives?

Yesterday I went for my bi-monthly platelet donation. The tech laughed when she gathered the finger prick blood sample because my blood "looks pale." She put it in the hemoglobin measuring machine thing and it beeped the rejection beep. "What the heck," she said "these stupid machines. You're so not that low." She squished blood out of my finger again and was like "well. it does look pale. and you look pale. huh." She got the same reading. "Woah! You're kind of anemic!" When I asked what my Hgb was she replied "11.2" and asked "are you feeling tired?!" I told her I've been falling asleep at my desk every afternoon. She sent me home to take some vitamins (I've been off my spirulina for low-grade anemia regimen and it shows) and try again next week. I have to admit though, it's really nice to have an explanation for the tiredness. My mother seemed not really worried but sort of puzzled by its lowness and I wrote her off saying it was no big deal, but then I thought about the massive amount of carbs and very small amount of iron rich veggies and beans I've had in the past couple of weeks and that pretty much explained it.

In other news, I got an email this morning from flickr saying someone requested to publish my picture. I figured it was on someone's blog or some sh*t and I was like "why do you have to be so formal, just link to my profile already." Actually it was a request to publish a photo in a book about feelings. "Oh Christ," I thought "It's gonna be one of those hideous ones from my 365 days project, one where I'm weeping about school or some sh*t...ughhhhhh" So not the case. It's kind of a cute pic too:I checked out the project's website to make sure the whole thing was legit and that the people weren't fanatics or people with foot fetishes (anyone who has put a foot picture on flickr understands this. It's kind of a miracle the fetish people haven't found the above pic but it's titled "self-indulgent" and is not tagged with anything foot-related).

The project is incredibly fascinating. I could spend a looong time on the website ( and I'm happy to share images with something so cool. This will be the third "primate" picture I've had appear in a book. First it was a gorilla in 24 hours of Flickr, then a vervet monkey in Plague and Pestilence and finally me toeses in this book (if it makes the final cut and all, I'm not sure if anything if final though it seems so). Maybe I should quit my job and become a photographer of monkeys, lol. I seem good at it. I count myself in that monkey category too ;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prego! An Invitation to Italian*

Today I realized something for the first time:

The only place I am utilizing the skills I learned in my year-long intensive Italian course I took in college is Starbucks.

In a way, I suppose simply being able to pronounce the words properly is better than not using the little Italian I've retained....but seriously, I think my professor had greater hopes for all of us, hopes that we'd become speakers of one of the most beautiful languages on earth and not just be able to say "Graaaanday Cinnamon DOL-chay LAT-te Please."

Some days I have the urge to go back and take some remedial Italian at Adult Ed or something. Of course, I also have the urge to take Swahili so I can speak it at a functional level. I sound like a pro when I say "Good morning, how are you? I am well, very well, feeling very healthy thank you" That's about it. Hmmm. That could be really fun. I will have to look into it. Perhaps that would go a bit more successfully than my foray into ASL, as the only signs I can really remember are animal signs, which did lead to a hilarious slightly drunken night at Uno's where "Dead Turtle Pizza" was signed many hundreds of times. We'll have to see.

*The name of my college text, currently on sale at lol.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

T woes

God, the T really can be a dehumanizing experience some mornings. And afternoons. Ek.

I know, I am being slightly dramatica. It all started yesterday when I took the 39 bus to Copley and had to fight the urge to vomit from about Museum of Fine Arts to the beginning of Boylston Street because the bus driver was one of those crazy ones that likes to slam on the brakes and then slam on the accelerator. I should know the signs of motion sickness by now - queasy nausea, feeling hot, feeling like your coat is suffocating you slowly, pounding head. Ha ha this also sounds a bit like carbon monoxide poisioning. Hmmm. Seriously though, I felt so foul, and when I got off the bus I sucked in the not-exactly-fresh air at Copley before I headed down into the abyss for yet another nausea-inducing ride on the green line. By the time I got to South Station I went to the platform even though my train wasn't due to leave for 30 minutes just so I could shake the feeling of having to barf. Thankfully it worked.

Of course our train didn't come til about 4 minutes before its scheduled departure. This always causes distress, angst, and rage amongst passengers. I tend to take an indifferent stance because at the end of the day, all I really give a sh*t about it getting home. I don't need my special seat in my favorite car so I can chat with my train peeps. I mean, I get that some people like that and it's a thing, but not having that as a thing allows me to be indifferent to the ineffective management of the trains in general. Last night though, was a bit exasperating as I followed a small crowd, lemming-like, to a train that had arrived at the station on what is one of our usual tracks. After a few minutes of waiting at the door and enduring the exasperated sighs of the crowd, I decided to turn around and walk back to the end of the platform, where more tracks were accessible. I spotted my uncle and cousin and was like "Oh hey, I'll join you when I can, but I can't right now, I'll be trampled to death for cutting in front of someone!" The gave me a sympathetic thumbs up. When our train did pull in, I felt like an animal being herded to the slaughterhouse as I was bombarded with oversize Vera Bradley totes and leather briefcases, nearly run over by neurotic people who were aiming to claim their seat and nearly tripping over the people who decided that walking to the train in a crowd of hundreds of people would be the ideal time to send a text, and shuffled along, their heads bowed in front of their phones. UGH. I guess the point is though that I got home - and not only did I get home in one piece, but I even got a seat on the train. Still though, it's nights like that that make me understand why people are so damn disgruntled.

Then there's the whole parking issue. The MBTA's whole song and dance is that "the commuter rail parking rates have not increased in xyz years and if we don't increase them we cut service." Oh really? Could the service get any crappier?? Let's talk about the days they send all single-car trains during the morning rush hour. Let's talk about the days I have to stand in the aisle, which is completely and utterly unsafe, not just for me in the case of the training moving in a certain way that could make me lose my balance and fall, but also if there was ever an emergency and we had to exit the train in an organized and timely manner. Then there's the delays, the lack of information given to passengers, the lousy schedule etc. Overall I have to say I'm happy with my commute despite all the bullsh*t - it keeps me from driving, and one less car on the road is good for the environment and my blood pressure, but to put the onus of the T's lousy management on US by raising parking after raising fares not to long ago is really effing obnoxious. The parking lot I park in is a PIECE OF CRAAAAAP. Not plowed (they say you don't have to pay if you can't see your number. I'm sure that argument would hold up if you got ticketed too, ha ha ha. ), not sanded, not protected in any way I can see. My car has been dinged and scratched and bumped (unavoidable, I know, but I am complaining here ;) ) It takes forever to get out of the lot because it's designed badly and only has two exits and no lights. This may be unavoidable too, but it adds to the irritation of having to pay more an getting nothing in return. I mean we're talking about a 100% increase in parking rates. If I got even 5% more service in return, maybe I wouldn't be so pissed, but I know I will get 0% and that's what makes me angry. I'm mad that I pay nearly $200 a month for a pass and will now pay $80 to park and I still have to trek down to the cashier's office every month for a pass because we don't have the tap system and I'm gonna have to shove $4 in ones or in quarters in an antiquated metal slot-box to pay for parking because the T is probably in waaay too much debt to update the parking system - heaven forbid we update a system anyways, right? How long did we have tokens? Right. So I can depend on shoving $4 in the slot boxes for at least another decade before we get a machine that will give us a receipt. Awesomeness.

100% increase in parking fares, but no increase in service. Or politeness, for that matter.

So typical.

Nevertheless the T will retain riders like me. My parking choices at the office are basically nonexistent, unless I choose a garage for about $40 a day, which definitely won't happen. I guess that's how they plan to make their money anyways, trap the people who have little other choice than to put up with the nonsense. My cousin, uncle and I were trying to think of ways to protest on Monday when we will be expected to cough up $4. One proposal was to pay in pennies. Another was to write the T a check, which is funny, but I don't want them to have easy access to my name and address. My sister suggested shoving an IOU in there. I asked her how much you can deface a dollar bill without getting into trouble (she works at a bank). She said that I could probably go to town since she gets bills that say "F*CK" on them written in red crayon and they're accepted. I'm thinking of taking a sharpie and simply writing on the bills "The T takes my money and wastes it" before shoving them into the payment box. It won't do much, but it'll make me feel better.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Miriam Makeba

I just learned that the South African singer Miriam Makeba died.

While I did not know much about her life aside from the fact that she was banned from South Africa for decades, her songs Malaika and Holili are favorites on the iPod. I think I specifically remember serenading Jamaal with Malaika not too long ago....

I'm sad that this great lady is gone, but I'm happy that she died on stage. That is pretty freakin' badass if I do say so myself.

I failed!

I get a F- for NaBloPoMo. It's ok though. Last year I would have been like "NOOOO I AM A FAILURE AT LIFE" but for some reason I've seemed to let go of some of my neurotic overachiever-ship. Ok not really, but I'm not freaking out about missing some posts.

The whole reason I missed Thursday is because I was writing a data dictionary for a program I am going to be using here at the office. It's insane and is normally NOT the thing someone of my level would be entrusted to do......which was simultaneously badass/awesome/flattering and terrifying. Me? Write a manual? eeek. Then my boss informed me that one of the key players at this meeting is like, the meanest woman alive. My boss called her a bitch!! If you knew my boss at all, you'd know that this is completely out of character. Yeah, my boss has been inappropriate before, but always in terms of questions she asked me, like "should I fire xyz?" or "you're not gonna go get pregnant are you?" Yes, not exactly professional but not the end of the world (to me...especially considering the source) To hear her refer to someone was a "bitch" was completely shocking...and alarming, as I considered what I'd be in for. Eeeek.

Of course my boss was completely right about this lady. Oh what a beast. She argued with us for 45 minutes about the first point my boss brought up, only to sit back and say 45 minutes after the fact, 15 minutes after I was supposed to leave for vacation, "Oh I agree with you completely." Hmmm, could you not have said that 45 minutes ago so we could've moved past item 1 on the agenda? Someone finally remembered I had to leave and I rushed back to my desk to send a shitton of emails demanded by the group and then rushed to pee and then RUSHED to meet my sister who was illegally parked in front of the hospital.

The rest of the weekend flew by in a whirlwind of driving and shopping. We were up in Lincoln for the weekend (which is shockingly smaller than I imagined now that I've read the wikipedia article...not that wikipedia is particularly accurate, but you can't really make up the census). We drove over to North Conway on Friday morning, moose hunting as we crossed the Kancamagus. Amy and I then worked the outlet route, hitting Old Navy, JCrew, some shoe places and LL Bean. Fun times. Saturday was crazy as we made our way down to Meredith and hit up our favorites stores, then went down all the way to Concord for some yarn, then over to Grantham for cross stitch supplies, and ended our journey up in Littleton at Chutter's. Holy crap. The journey to Littleton is worth it for Chutter's alone (I can say this because that's all we had time to see, LOL). It is home of the world's longest candy counter and is AWESOMENESS. Here's a photo from a Flickr user, as Amy's photos aren't up yet:

Mind you this only captures the smallest portion of awesomeness that is Chutter's. We didn't even tackle the chocolate counter during our visit as we were totally overwhelmed by the jars.

After that we hung out with family and made our way home to Mass to find a freakin' minefield of leaves. My dad had done the ENTIRE yard before he and my mom headed to Vegas for a Driver's Ed conference (believe it) and I felt so bad that he'd come home to see his work entirely undone, so Amy and I did the driveway and street. Ugh. It took over 2 hours but it got done. Then we settled back to watch the Pat's game (awesomeness) and two movies.

Now it's Monday again. I feel like this past weekend was totally the calm before the storm. This morning I signed up for cake & pie's Third Annual Ornament Swap and I'm already contemplating my ornaments. Luckily EE is hosting a craft weekend at her apartment in two weeks and I'll be able to catch up a fair amount on my work. I still have three wedding gifts and a thank you gift to finish, then all my Christmas stuff. I may have to reassess the Christmas crafting. We'll see.

I realize now that this post was kinda pointless. Ah well. Maybe something significant tomorrow. Maybe not though :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Can/Yes We Will/Yes We Must/Yes WE DID!

I can't even tell you how excited I am. I have thankfully moved on to excitement, a 180 from last night, which was weeping. I mean happy weeping, but kind of insane and overemotional weeping. It was a couple things, one being that the long long road is over. Another is that Obama triumphed over the ignorance and hatred that my sister and I both encountered in friends and coworkers. Another is the dawn of a new era, the change that's gonna come. And just when I stopped being weepy about all that, I thought of my future tan babies. Yeah, yeah, I joke about it. I was even kidding my mom last night when a picture came on the TV screen of a young Barack Obama with a 'fro sitting between his grandparents - 'That's gonna be you some day, Mom!' I cackled. But when California reported and the electoral votes tipped in B-rock's favor, everything became so real. And when that guy on CNN (I don't know who it was) started talking about how he was African-American and his wife was white and how he was gonna go home and tell his kids that they could be president, something he wasn't sure he'd ever be able to tell him, I LOST IT. I think Obama's presidency will be important for all future generations, but when I think of what this means for my kids....holy crap, I can barely keep it in.

So anyways. Enough of that! ELECTION IS OVER!! WE WON!
Without further ado, I bring you
1987 and 1988

Ok first a visit to I think 1986. Here I am on Mother's Day with my mother, sister, Grandma Kitty and Aunt Elinore. Clearly my four year old self embraces grace and dignity as I grab my crotch:Amy looks away in shame. Actually I can't figure out if Grandma Kitty is laughing at me or just the general three-ringed circus that tended to be family outings. I will say that we do have many very nice photos from this day, this one just happens to be the most hilarious.

Now onto pumpkin gathering. My parents always made everything we did seem awesome. Looking back I remember a LOT of fun times, like going apple picking, going to Vermont in a RV, going to Edaville Railroad at Christmas. Then years later you find out that on our way to Vermont we hit a family of little ducks on the highway, Amy vomited in my mom's hands and the fridge tipped over, and all those warm and fuzzy times at Edaville? One year one of us split our chin open and every time we rode the magic Christmas train, my mother clutched Amy as she dry-heaved from motion sickness. I am wondering if this photo captures one of those times when Amy and I figured my parents out - no this is not an awesome pumpkin patch but rather a muddy field by the side of the road and now you're making us pose near speeding traffic with our pumpkins. Not cool.

Snowsuits. Moon Boots. Oversized Mittens. How Moms tortured kids trying to enjoy a winter day. We do look cute as hell though.

This is literally one of the most dorky adorable pictures I've ever found of Amy and me. First of all there I am rockin' the pigtails. And I will say that sweatshirt was the SHIT.COM. It had a design on the inside of the sleeves, so when you were doing some heavy duty work and had to roll them up, you still looked stylish. I almost wish I still had that sweatshirt, just cause I remember loving it so much. I'd just keep it in my drawer and reminisce about all the good times we had together. Then there is my sister, who in her little kid glasses is just the cutest. I love how she's rocking not only a visor with messed up hair but also a turtleneck....the cuteness just kills me.

We posed for a lot of pictures as kids. Here is one that really reflects our personalities. I'm all 'B8tch I am going to get up off this bench because I am SO DONE." Amy is like "I'll just put on a happy face til it's over....."

Did anyone else play with Lady Lovely Locks? Oh we did. I just learned that they were only made from 1987 -1989. I wonder if we still have ours!! Of course I remember having the villain best, the "jealous beauty with raven-black hair!" Perhaps they're collectors items now LOL. Anyways, these delightful toys came with hair accessories called "pixie tails" that could be worn by your 8 1/2 inch doll..................or by YOU. Obviously an inanimate dolls has no use for such a thing so Amy and I adorned ourselves with as many pixie tails as possible. I mean, it's no wonder my parents took pictures of us. I would want to treasure the hilarity forever too.

My mother is a feminist who believed that if a kids wants a Barbie, give her (or him) a damn Barbie. I love her for it, because otherwise we would not have photo evidence of Amy lovingly cradling her Barbie assortment, which apparently belonged to a nudist colony.

First day of Kindergarten. I can't tell what's happening by reading my face. I look like I'm either pissed my sister is doing the Allison's going to school and I'm happy dance, or if I'm like 'yo problem, she has to pee!' Look at those little dresses though. Awwww.

Because nothing screams "formal wear" like a duffel bag. Actually this is my first day of first grade. I'm thinking the parentals hadn't bought me a backpack yet. CHILD ABUSE!!

This face paint job was a subliminal message to my parents. No, not that I'm gay (duh) but that I would be fiercely and ridiculously liberal when I was older, attend a radically feminist college, support equal marriage, gun control, environmentalism.......oh and vote for the first black president....HOLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Um I don't know about you, but what girl DOESN'T require an aerobic sweatband while fishing? I have to say that I am just filled with love for my dad when I see this, because honestly if I took my daughter out to do something traditionally regarded as a "man's sport" and was pushing to sort of break the gender binary and just have some parent-daughter bonding, and my kid insisted on wearing her Jane Fonda sweatband, I'd be like "f8ck. you serious?" He let me do it though. And knowing my dad, he probably thought it had some legit function too.

Well that concludes the show. I am going to try and get some early 90's picture including the pedo pic up here by next week. Happy Hump Day Happy Post Election Day everyone!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I promise I have 80's pics. Right now though, I just gotta get this out.

I've been trying to keep on top of the humanitarian crisis in the DRC for a while now. I signed up for V-Day updates back in February, if not before, because I became aware that the worldwide press corps had barely scratched the surface of what was happening. Of course there were the few and the faithful that kept on reporting, but by no means had this crisis come to the world's attention. Eve Ensler's eloquent voice is helping to change that little, by little. I encourage everyone to look at her site and to read her stories.

In the past week, the crisis has come to a head and the American press has got their heads out of there asses (or perhaps out of the economic "crisis" in America and the election) to report on the Congo, and while I have sort of known this has been going on the whole time, seeing live reporting from the IDP camps is just about the most devastating thing I have ever seen, second only to live footage I've seen of the Rwandan genocide. People are suffering, starving. It always seems that women and children bear the brunt of this sort of thing, and that is certainly clear in photos and videos. The UN sits there ineffectively because no one wants to "get involved." No one wants another Mogadishu I guess, which is understandable...but...still though, how can they just sit there and watch what is happening around them? It seems after eight years in the Congo they might have actually reached the breaking point and are looking to engage, looking for reinforcements, but how likely is that to come now, after all this?

I chalk up this lack of action to a number of things - mostly the fact that there are things happening behind closed doors all over the world's capitals that I don't understand. I guess that's the only way I can even accept the fact that barely anything is being done. Eve Ensler wonders the same thing in her recent editorial at the Huffington Post - what is the root of our apathy?

It's funny because during the presidential debates, all I wanted to hear about is what each candidate's plans were for Africa. What would America's policies towards Africa be? I got nothing. Of course the economy is bad, I get it, but what about everything else? What about Darfur? What about the Congo? What about all the people suffering and dying? Doesn't anyone care? Doesn't anyone want to help?

I want to help, but I don't know how. I sit here and watch streaming videos and click through photos and try to absorb as much information as possible to pass on to people who ask me about the crisis (it's strange that just because I've been to Africa I suddenly become the point person amongst family, friends and acquaintences regarding all questions Africa - though I've only been to Kenya!) My mother said to me recently how things were so bad in the Congo. I told they've been bad for years, awful rape, torture, mutilation. Yeah, she said, but it's been really bad this week. I got so frustrated. I was like IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN BAD. Since effing King Leopold. Since the world powers decided Lumumba was too popular and too powerful and had him killed to put Mobutu in power. These things have a long history in Congo and the violence is years old. She kept insisting that it was worse than ever, and while I agree, I'm not so sure she had any idea of how bad it has BEEN. I guess I just want more people to know. I don't know what we can do right now except donate money to the V-Day campaign and other humanitarian organizations trying to help in the DRC, but as an obsessive fixer, I can't help but want to do more. I don't even know where to start though. I just sit here, watching videos, waiting for the one that tells me that a change is coming and things will get better. For now, I will start drafting my letter to Joseph Kabila and tell him he must protect my African sisters.

Thanks for letting me vent.

On a lighter note, watch this. It's about Kenyans and Obama and is pretty hilarious.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote Tomorrow

However you intend to vote tomorrow, remember to get out there tomorrow and do it. Especially all you ladies - we've had the vote for less than100 years - let's get out there and show our foremothers that their struggle was not in vain and we appreciate their sacrifices!

In the meantime, if you're looking for a bit of inspiration or are trying to make up your mind, try this old favorite out. You'd think after this long haul I wouldn't still find this moving, but I so do. Check it out, and most importantly

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Missed NaBloPoMo Starting Line!

Argh! I swear I either miss or nearly miss the start of NaBloPoMo every year! This year I full out missed it, but I am hoping that two posts in one day that include A LOT of pictures will compensate. I'll try to stick with it til the end of the month too.

So as promised, here are pictures from last night's party. Just to refresh I was a vampire, my sister was Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's and my parents were Dog the Bounty Hunter and Beth, aka Mrs Dog. Just in case you've never seen the show, here's a pic of the real Dog and Mrs (far left, second from left):
Here is my parents' interpretation:
It's strangely accurate. I mean we couldn't accurately enlarge my mom's rack, but there you have it, decent.

Here is my vampire, which Amy said was damn scary
I didn't view myself as scary really, more frizzy and kind of messy, but I guess the blood dribble and my tendency to sort of do a scary face/pose made it creepy.

Amy looked cute as hell. She actually bought an Amy Winehouse wig that we neatened up a bit

Of course all this Halloween costume business made us reminisce about Halloweens past, when our mother lovingly made us costumes or made up costumes last minute and was always sure to photo document them. I would have more, but I'm currently in the doghouse for daring to go under my parent's bed to find more pictures, so this is it.
Oscar the Grouch ca 1984. I probably wanted to be Rainbow Brite or a CareBear but I'm sure the parentals just thought this was HILARIOUS. And being the first born overachiever with a near-complex requiring me always to please my parents, my two and a half year old self probably went along with their idea so I wouldn't hurt their feelings.Cat and Mouse. Hmm. I am thinking this is around 1986. We look cute, but I am thinking that this was the last stop of the night because Amy looks about ready to fall off the bar and I look un-effing-amused.

1987- A clown and a cabbage patch kid. How cute is that? I remember not loving being a clown, but loving the blue wig. The scary thing is, I think we might actually still have it in a dress up bin in the cellar. Scary. Amy's wig is yarn on a winter hat and I remember my mother slaving over that thing. I think this must be the year Amy realized that Halloween meant candy because she is pretty damn happy in this shot.
1988 Mary Poppins and a witch! Score, a witch! My first scary costume! Amy carried an umbrella with her costume too, which really legitimized the costume and made her look the part of Mary Poppins rather than one of the ladies in 9 to 5.
Here I am ca 1988 in my bride costume. Jasmine behind me there got red lipstick on it and I remember my mom being PISSED because she made that costume all on her own, the dress, the veil, EVERYTHING. She was all "how could you let some kid get lipstick on you?" yeah cause it was so my fault the eyes in the back of my head were not working that day." Anyways, since this picture was taken at the JFK Elementary school I can't really say bad crap about my mom because it means she showed up to check out the Halloween parade. When I have kids, I am going to find a school that still lets them celebrate all holidays, pagan, religious, stupid- not one of those lame-ass schools that won't even let kids bring in cookies on their bday because one might have a peanut in them and kill little Jimmy who is allergic to effing air and because little Janie has ADHD and can't eat sugar. SUCK IT UP. No one had that sh*t when I was in school and we got to have Halloween parades and it was AWESOME. Those will be my requirements. Jam can take care of the important stuff.
Here we are the same year - this time I'm without my mask (strange for a bride to wear a mask, eh?) Anyways, I remember asking my mother for INTENSE makeup. She'd finish, show me in the mirror and I would ask for more. She'd reluctantly comply - that's how I ended up looking so crazy. Amy looks cute as hell though.1990 or 1991. I honestly can't remember which year I chose to be a "native american." I do vividly remember Amy applying the extensive makeup though. I will say as kind of questionable as this costume now is to me, I do have a legitimate bird feather tucked back there - I collected it from the back yard and claimed it was a hawk feather, though it was probably actually a seagull feather. lol. That headband would be super cute as a real headband now. I wonder if that's in the dress up bin.

Sadly I don't have any more early 90's shots. The pictures I have shoot way ahead to my college days. First we have the costume that landed the attentions of Silent Bob - pregnant white trash beauty queen. My sash and cigarette and beer and blonde wig are missing, but you get the idea.

This costume was so lifelike that one person came up to me at a party at UNH and asked if I should be jumping on a couch and drinking a beer, and then a group of frat boys let me cut them in a bathroom line because it looked like I 'really needed it.' Hey I just remember that some really drunk dude stole the wig off my head and went home in it. Ha ha that was a good night, the highlight of all the time I ever spent with S.B. LOL.

Finally we have the post-college half-assed costume attempts. I tried the witch thing. I mean, I don't even know why I bother because I dress up to distribute candy and we only have about 10 kids ever show up. Not worth it for the amount of time it takes to scrub gray creme eyeshadow off your lips.
The tights kinda rock though. They were from the college free box. hahahah.

Well hope you all enjoyed this Halloween montage. I have a collection of 80's pics for tomorrow. I was gonna do it tonight but I am spent and need to get in the shower and then finish watching the end of the Pats game, so I'm out. Nighty night!