Friday, December 22, 2006


Last night ended up pretty good. The 15 min walk in the drizzle to the Grand Lux CafĂ© for our office dinner really helped me to feel less ill. I was actually able to eat some food. I actually ate a lot of food. I was starving. I got the honorable mention for creativity on my door. The security guard’s notes said she didn’t get it at first but then did and thought it was very creative. See Monica's blog for what that really means.

After miraculously getting a seat on the bus, I headed home and was all set to go back out to see Rocky Balboa. Unfortunately, Ryan was not there yet and Tony told me we would be seeing the 10pm show instead of the 7:45 show because Ryan needed to arrive and they had to watch Rocky first. I sucked it up and realized I was in it for the long haul. Luckily the 15 min walk to the theater in the mist/drizzle kept me energized. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone but I will say this, Rocky Balboa was quite entertaining. As far as quality of Rocky movies goes it would have to be Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky Balboa, Rocky IV, Rocky III, and Rocky V. Did anyone other than me not know that Rocky won best picture in 76? Does anyone other than me find this odd? I thought maybe horrible films were up against it and that was why. Boy was I wrong. It beat Network, Taxi Driver, All The Presidents Men, and Bound For Glory (which I haven’t heard of) but is apparently Woody Guthrie’s story starring David Carradine. Rocky may have been better than that. Woody Guthrie’s story sounds ok. David Carradine, not so much.

While our CFO is doing payroll, everyone else I waiting for her to be done so we can go home. I have to pack tonight and get ready for the journey to Minneapolis. There is so much I want to do and see while I am there and I am beginning to think I maybe should have stayed a little longer. Then I think that I really am looking forward to being in my house doing nothing for seven days so I shouldn’t complain. It will all be fun and good.

I have no idea what my blogging will be like between now and when I come back to work. It might be good; it might be bad. I don’t think it matters. I’ll write more when I do.

Dry The Rain, The Beta Band- Many people seem to only like this song by the Beta Bad. I like more than this song, although this one is particularly good. We all love High Fidelity but for some reason I think I love it a lot less than most people I know. I like this scene a lot.

Holy Moses, Lee “Scratch” Perry
- Sometimes I think the fact that I know who Lee Perry is makes me cool because lots of people say they like reggae and only know who Bob Marley and maybe Peter Tosh are. However, I don’t ever go around saying I like reggae cause it isn’t one of the genres I listen to a lot.

Ticket To Ride, The Beatles- I do have a ticket to ride, all the way home!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


If they say I am Ulysses why not embrace it.

Can’t blog. Tummy hurts. Eyes droopy. Christmas party at work last night was fun. Drank plenty. Sang songs. After stomach weakened by chicken plenty of drinking became too much drinking. Had to lie down under desk like Costanza. Luckily most people were gone by then. Made Tony come downtown to take me home. Good thing he likes me or I would have slept under my desk. Everyone would be like “didn’t you have on that bright green and white dress yesterday?” I would say no and try to fool them. I would fail. Today work is hard. Tummy hurts and head hurts. Ate piece of cornbread, took 4 hours. Department is going out to dinner in 30min. I can’t eat anything. Will have delicious water. MMMMM water. Going to see Rocky Balboa tonight with Tony and his best bud Ryan. Should be suckingly awesome. Tony and Ryan love Rocky. I never saw a single Rocky movie until living with Tony. Now I have seen them all, some more than once. It’s ok, now he has seen a bunch of musicals. None more than once though but he does often think about watching Fiddler On The Roof. He loves that movie. Everyone loves that movie. It’s really good. All evens out. Sister is at home with parents. I will be there soon. I will eat nachos at The Good Earth. Best nachos ever. I don’t even care because food sounds awful. Other work people are drinking the leftover alcohol from yesterday. Asked me to join. Shook my head no way. Maybe a little sip would take the edge off. I can’t even think about it. Sounds awful. Must keep blogging to pass time until leaving for dinner I can’t eat at. Will get something and take it home. Maybe I will be able to eat later. I love food. I want a nap. I hope I don’t sleep through Rocky Balboa. I almost fell asleep today in a meeting I didn’t even have to go to. I didn’t though. Tomorrow is the last day of working until next year. I love that. I can’t wait to not be at work working. Non-profits are cool cause you get long breaks. At least you do at this one. Sometimes, if Christmas is at the right time, we get almost two weeks off. That is freaking awesome. My sister’s bag got lost at the airport. In it were all the presets. I hope they find the bag because I like presents. I like my sister more though. I’m glad they didn’t lose her. Once my suitcase got lost and I had to wait days for it to arrive. I didn’t have anything to wear and Cho-Cho was missing. I was pissed. At least I got to shop. There is shitty shopping in New Haven. There is shitty everything in New Haven. What a crappy place. I had fun there. I am sleepy. I hear it is about to snow in Minneapolis. I hope that it doesn’t snow so much that I won’t be able to fly there on Saturday. That would really make me sad. I like my family. I like Christmas traditions. The only ones I can think of right now are about food. I wonder if the tree is already decorated or if they are waiting for me. They don’t have to. I know you’ll read this Mom. You don’t have to wait for me. You can if you want to. I know you don’t care but Shoshana will have a fit because she will want me to put those silly silver beads on my head and prance around like an idiot. She will want to sing “This Christmas” over and over. I love Shoshana. She asked if she should wait for me to get there before going to eat nachos. She is a good sister. Christmas morning we will have the Christmas Cafe for the parents. Sister and I will be rude waitresses and yell at them and make them a delicious breakfast. When we were little and started the Christmas Cafe we had menus and they were all festive. Now we just go in the kitchen open the fridge and yell out what we can make. We are assholes. Maybe I’ll think of a delicious breakfast to prepare and parents won’t be subjected to such awfulness. Maybe I won’t. Why am I thinking of food so much. My tummy feels awful. Maybe it is because I am actually very hungry but know that I can’t eat anything because it will be bad for everyone involved. I have to write about food instead and eat vicariously through my words. Christmas dinner will be delicious. We make pizzas and fudge. Pizza is really good. I should be thinking of delicious pizzas to make. I should send parents a list of things to buy. I don’t even know why I am thinking about pizza because I never make pizza, only Shoshana and Mom do. I like to cook but they were the ones to make Christmas pizza fist and it just stayed that way. Mom and Shoshana you should make a pesto pizza with things like sun dried tomato and spinach and garlic and mushrooms and kalmata olives and feta MMMMM feta. Oh it sounds so delicious. I am so hungry. I feel so awful. It is now 15min until time to go order food I can’t eat. This is going to be fun.

Jello Biafra, Wesley Willis- When Tony and I went to see Jello Biafra he played a lot of Wesley Willis. They were friends. Jello kind of discovered Wesley if I remember it right. I used to think Jello was the black guy in the Dead Kennedys but he isn’t. Tony laughed at me when I told him that. What kind of white guy is called Jello Biafra?

Take Me Out, Franz Ferdinand- Man there was a time when I couldn’t get enough of this song. The video for it was on The N all the time after Degrassi and there were legs stomping everywhere and it was so wonderful and fun.

Ferocious, They Ponys- I don’t think I have ever heard this song before. I kind of like it but I don’t love it. That’s all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I have always been a vegetarian. I was brought up that way. While vegetarianism isn’t generally considered that strange anymore it was very strange while I was growing up. It was possible to eat out but options were seriously limited. When people ask me how long I have been a vegetarian and I say always they are generally surprised. They usually say “You mean you’ve never….” And I say yes.

I am not one of those animal rights militant vegetarians. I don’t care what people eat. I just don’t eat meat. Some idiots ask me how I do it and I promptly tell them that I have never know anything different so it’s pretty easy. I do get annoyed by those people who say they are vegetarians but eat fish. Again, I don’t care if you eat fish or not but label yourself properly or else you will sound like an idiot.

I know I have eaten some things that are not completely vegetarian. I have ordered bean burritos and been served beef. After I bite into it, it promptly gets put in a napkin and the food gets sent back. Or I see a chunk of something in my food and, again, I send it back knowing that if there was one chunk there was probably another and I may have ingested it. I love French Onion soup although I know it is made with beef stock. I am sure many of the other soups I eat have been made with meat stocks of various types. I sometimes remember to ask servers. I often don’t. I think that I may have to start being more conscious.

Yesterday, after my useless trip to the Dr. that wasted me $20 (I got there and found out my HMO wouldn’t let them do the procedure there, that they need me to have it at a hospital which has a co-pay of $75) although I did get a few prescriptions written. Tony met up with me and we got on a family plan for our phones aaawwww, really it just saves us like $75 a month. It’s practical, not cute. We then went out to a Chanukah dinner courtesy of my grandparents (who I have to email and thank post haste) to Ed Debevicks. If you are not or have never been a Chicago resident or visitor you have no idea what this place is, if you are or have been you likely do. Ed Debevicks is a 50s style diner where the staff is obnoxious and often take time outs to dance on counters to horrible songs. They make you wear hats. Tony had never been and I was in to mood for some guacamole cheese fries like you wouldn’t believe.

So the server told us the soup of the say was cream of mushroom (one of my favorites) and I decided not to ask about stock. I ordered my blue cheese burger with a veggie patty substituted and a coup of soup, Tony got a bacon cheeseburger and some delicious onion rings. So I am politely eating my soup, which was rather delicious, and thought some of the mushrooms seemed a little off. I saw one big “mushroom stem” and ate it. It didn’t taste like mushroom. It tasted like??? I had no idea. So I hand the soup to Tony and asked him if there was meat in it. This is after I had eaten about half the cup. He told me he thought there were small chunks of chicken. Apparently I had just eaten the big chunk. I had no idea chicken tasted that way. See I have experience with veggie chick patties, chick nuggets, and buffalo wings. They are all breaded and delicious. Meat eaters tell me they taste rather like chicken so I thought that is what chicken tasted like. That is not what the chunk in my soup tasted like. It tasted like??? Then I heard the waitress at the table behind us say the soup of the day was cream of chicken and mushroom. I was pissed. Our waitress had just said mushroom. You would think that when I ordered a veggie burger she may have though to mention that "Oh, there is actually chicken in that soup you are ordering". Or maybe she thought I was one of the vegetarians that eat chicken?

See, I know a little about science and the process of digestion. I know that enzymes that digest meat are different than those that digest vegetables and other proteins. I figured that after 27 years of never using meat-digesting enzymes my body probably didn’t make them. Not being able to digest something is not a good thing. People always argue with me and say that if I introduced a small bit of meat at a time I would be ok. I argued that with someone who had not always been a vegetarian that would probably be true but that I was different. They often don’t believe me. I hoped that I had eaten a small enough bit that I would be ok. Like I said, I had stocks before and I had even bit into and spit out some beef, maybe I digested little bits here and there. I hadn’t ever remembered feeling sick. I hoped I would be ok. I thought I was.

Halfway home I realized that I was not ok. I felt so sick and my tummy was not happy with me. I turned to Tony and said my tummy hurt. He said his did too as he was so full. I said I was full too but this was a different hurt. I don’t think he really believed me. By the time we got to the house I was white as a sheet and sloughed on his shoulder. I think he was beginning to believe me. I instructed him to use the bathroom when we got home cause I could be a while. It wasn’t that long. Once the stuff came up I was entirely better (sorry if that disgusted people). I will be more careful in the future.

We are about to have our Christmas party. I noticed the security guard was judging doors and I don’t think she got mine at all. She looked at it for about ten seconds with a perplexed stare and then looked at the answers on the back of the door and walked away still looking perplexed. While many of my co-workers have told me they think I should win, I don’t think the security guard will agree at all. Not that I planned on winning anyway, I just wish the judge at least understood what I as doing.

Dangerous, Michael Jackson- That soup was dangerous is all I have to say. I don’t really know why I have this song. It is not one of the hits that I really embrace. I don’t hate it though.

Comin From Where I’m From, Lupe Fiasco- I really tend to enjoy Lupe Fiasco. In case you don’t know about him he is a skateboarding rapper from the West side of Chicago. Something about him reminds me of old school hip-hop, well at least more so than the other current rappers. He just makes me smile cause he is a big old nerd.

Purple Haze, Jimi Hendrix- What is there to say about this song that hasn’t already been said? Nothing. Other than the soup put me in a purple haze. I wasn’t going to kiss anything but the toilet bowl though.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


The boredom cannot be surpassed. There is nothing quite like nothing. You look around you for something to keep your attention, something to entertain and pass the time. You wish there were some pressing issue that demanded your full attention and brainpower. Well maybe not all your brainpower but at least some of it. Your fingers tap mindlessly on the keyboard in some sort of attempt to produce something vaguely worthwhile. In fact, your main goal is simply to make life bearable. If something of substance comes forth you will undoubtedly be happy but it doesn’t really matter if it does or not. All you want to do is listen to the melodic tap-tap-tapping of the keys. It allows you to zone into some kind of hypnotic trance and the random thoughts in your head simply come out. What they are doesn’t matter. They could be nothing; they could be dreamlike fragments of memories past. It doesn’t matter. Time is slipping by.

Last night I dreamt I was in a boardroom. There was some sort of project that needed to get done and I was new at the table. Everyone else had been working on the project forever and what they were talking about made no sense to me. I don’t think it mattered though. I was merely taking minutes, or so I thought, until my opinion was asked. I had nothing to say. I was frozen in time and empty of mind. Two people next to me got up to have sex in the bathroom. I didn’t see it but somehow I knew that was what was happening. I don’t know how I knew other than the fact that it was my dream and, therefore, my world so I knew. The tapping has stopped. My mind went numb. When the people came back they came alone, they thought it was less suspicious that way. I still didn’t know what to do with the project. I don’t remember what the project was. It had charts and graphs and colors, maybe it was a weather map. I have no idea.

I hate when you have dreams that you can’t remember. I suppose we don’t remember the vast majority of our dreams. I always thought about keeping a dream journal but then got to sleepy to remember to put something down by my bed to write in when I wake. I don’t know if it would make a difference though. But then again I think that it would because we always remember our dreams better right after waking, if we are to remember them at all.

There are a few dreams that I always remember. Those with the Blue Meanies. I don’t remember how old I was when my parents took me to a double feature of Yellow Submarine and The Point but I feel I must have been quite young. Maybe five or so? I remember that as if it were a dream itself. It’s all in sepia tones except for the colors on the screen. They are vibrant. There was music and singing and stories. It invaded my dreams for years.

The Blue Meanies in dream world aren’t nice at all. They aren’t cute and funny and mean like in the movie. They are horrible ogres with sharp teeth (I guess they were sharp in the film too) and they want nothing more than to eat and torture small children. They took their hatred of love to a new level in my subconscious. In the first of my reoccurring Meanie dreams, the Meanies capture all of the children in the world and hold them in cages under the ocean. Somehow I am able to escape from my cage and have to save all the children of the world. I am doing pretty well when those awful Meanies start to come after me. I seem to lose hope but notice there is a drain at the bottom of the ocean. If I open the drain then the Meanies will be sucked down. Somehow I get word to the parents of the kidnapped children and they come down to help me free them. When the drain opens the Meanies are sucked inside, but so are some of the parents and some of the children. Although many were saved there were some I could do nothing for. Children left without parents, parents left without children and of course there was not happy ending where they just met up with someone and went home to start a family. Instead there was crying and misery and blame, on me. Some of the time I would get sucked down the drain too and wake up and want to cry. Sometimes I would.

The second, and worst of the Blue Meanie dreams focused on me and Shoshana, my little sister. We arrived on a world where there was the most wonderful amusement park across an enormous chasm and we wanted nothing more than to play there. Unfortunately, it was guarded by the biggest ugliest Meanie you ever saw. Luckily for us, there was a wooden plank on chains above the Meanie’s head and we were able to climb onto it and swing over the chasm and play and play until we had out fill. All we had to do was go back over the chasm and get into our spaceship and go home. Invariably, while we were crossing some of the chains would snap and little Shoshana would fall off the plank, straight into the mouth of the Meanie. He would gobble her up so fast and start licking his chops for me. I was crushed. I couldn’t let him do that to my sister. I jumped up and down on the plank until all the chains broke and the plank fell down and squished the Meanie. I had avenged her, but she was still gone. She was mine to protect and I failed her. I would wake up scared, sometimes peek down to the bottom bunk and make sure that she was ok. She always was.

Why as a young child did I feel I was responsible for saving the world from loveless creatures from hell? What kind of responsibility did I think I had to the world? It makes sense that I wanted to be a Dr. growing up. It makes sense now that I am trying to make people’s live more economically viable. It makes sense that I want to educate those who need the most education. It all makes sense but what was the trigger? What drove me to this path of fighting uphill battles and feeling that failure in my endeavors is inevitable? Not personally failure of course, I feel I do good work and am proud of it. I am thinking more of general societal failure. It’s so depressing.

How did I get to this? I suppose that’s what you get when you just type the thoughts that are coming into your mind. Maybe I am Ulysses. I told one of my co-workers about it and she said that it made sense why I couldn’t read the book because I was battling myself. Battling my own consciousness and thoughts. I thought that was incredibly interesting. How much of an obstacle am I to myself? Probably a huge one. I have all kinds of ideas and plans and goals but I just don’t do anything about them. I am far too content with the status quo even though I complain about it constantly. How can someone be content with something that drives them crazy? I don’t understand. I need to get a move on and go to school and do something with myself. It tires me out too much to even think about it sometimes. For a person who does absolutely nothing as often as possible I sure am exhausted. Maybe I have mono. I’m not that tired though. I’m tired mentally. That makes absolutely no sense because my brain is never challenged anymore. Maybe that is why it is so tired? Maybe that is why I can’t read Ulysses? I have gotten stupid, complacent, and dull. Or maybe the book just doesn’t make any damn sense and needs to get over itself? Maybe I need to get over myself? It’s all far too complicated.
Let me stop this madness, I actually have to go do some work for about ten minutes. Segue to songs.

Santeria, Sublime- This now reminds me of the most horrible SVU I ever saw. Where they were importing children from Nigeria to be sold into slavery either for labor or sex. This poor boy was killed and cut up in an attempt to frame those who practice Santeria in his murder. Law and Order doesn’t have me in tears often but this episode just ripped my heart out.

Coffee Shop, Red Hot Chili Peppers- why is it that I have decided that One Hot Minute is a good album I didn’t like it all that much when it came out but I really enjoy it now. Maybe because we change as we get older. That’s a real obvious thing to say.

Greatest American Hero Theme Song- Okay, this is quite possibly the greatest theme song ever. Not only because of the whole Seinfield phone message thing and how my friend Robin also adopted it for her message. Simply because it is just one of the most uplifting sings a loser could ever listen to.

Monday, December 18, 2006


So I realize that I may be the most behind person on the planet for this but I finally saw an Inconvenient Truth last night. Now I knew all about the horrors of global warming and I try to live in a way that makes me a very minor contributor to the problem. Part of that is that I am too poor to have things that would really contribute much but we’ll just say it is because I am conscientious. Since I would be conscious of emissions if I were to purchase emission releasing things it makes sense. I digress. The point is that although I considered myself to be fairly well informed there was a lot I learned from the film.

The images of water rising over cities throughout the world were simply insane to watch. The disappearances of huge lakes, snowcapped mountains, rivers, etc made me want to cry. At the end of the film, where it was showed that using the technology we have we could put levels back to where they were in the 70s and we were doing nothing made me so upset and frustrated that I simply didn’t know where to vent my anger.

I began to think of where our country would be if the 2000 election hadn’t been stolen. I have thought of this before, of course, but not to such an extent. Instead of being scorned by the rest of the globe, America may have had a chance to better itself and, as a result, the entire world’s situation with Gore leading the charge. Instead of that, we have a war-mongering dolt sitting in the white house. I also had to wonder that with Gore out of politics, who will take up the cause of the environment in the Senate and the Congress. Without many passionate people in Washington the growing awareness matters very little. As was said in the movie, the issue will not be important until people pressure their representatives to take a stand. When will that be?

When Gore talked about the distortion of the media surrounding the issues related to global warming I was not surprised but I was dismayed. People tend to be stupid and listen to what they want to listen to. If the media keeps telling them that global warming is a theory, they can continue to ignore it. All the sensible people know that it is fact. You don’t even need to be a scientist. You don’t even need to see pictures of glaciers melting. All you need to do is look at the thermostat and take a walk outside. It is the middle of December and people in Chicago are walking around without hats and gloves. That is a serious problem. I used to wonder if I remembered childhood winters as worse than they really were. Winter now in Minneapolis is nothing like it used to be. I remember school being closed for cold. Not for snow but simply because it was too cold to go outside. Granted I don’t live there anymore but the time I spend there in the winters just isn’t all that bad. It’s the middle of December in Chicago and there was a few inches of snow for a few days. It makes no sense. This happens and people continue to tell us that global warming is a theory?

I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here. I would guess that anyone who reads this already knows. I just had to rant a little bit. Now, when people ask me what the scariest movie I have ever seen is, I don’t have to think about it. Move over original Amityville Horror (not that new piece of shit that couldn’t scare a mouse), An Inconvenient Truth has stolen your place.

Now to reveal another truth, the unguessed songs.

1. Tell em I’m driving and it’s all right turning on this wheel turning on headlights. Driving, PJ Harvey

2. In the right light study becomes insight but the system that dissed us teaches us to read and write. Take the Power Back, Rage Against the Machine

After all the jacks are in the boxes and the clowns have all gone to bed. The Wind Cries Mary, Jimi Hendirx (come on people that was so incredibly easy)

So I was doing my blogsurfing thing and saw a new quiz. It was the what book are you quiz. I love books and I love quizzes so I was super excited for this one. I am.......

Wait for it

You're Ulysses!

by James Joyce

Most people are convinced that you don't make any sense, but compared to what else you could say, what you're saying now makes tons of sense. What people do understand about you is your vulgarity, which has convinced people that you are at once brilliant and repugnant. Meanwhile you are content to wander around aimlessly, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. What you see is vast, almost limitless, and brings you additional fame. When no one is looking, you dream of being a Greek folk hero.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Can you believe it? I think I am going to hang myself. Goodbye cruel world. In case you missed why I am now going to kill myself, see This Post

Friday, December 15, 2006


Mary Poppins, she seems to be surrounding me these days. In the windows at Macy's that I walk past every day on my way to work. In the conversations I have with people that lately seem to turn to musicals more often than usual. I love Mary Poppins, she is a sweetheart. She is the kind of person that I inspire to be. she is sweet, intelligent, imaginative, kind, caring, and selfless. I am certainly not selfless but I do aspire to be...kind of...sometimes. The woman is, as you may recall, "Practically Perfect in Every Way". Apparently, according to a recent personality quiz I took, so am I.
Almost Perfect- INFP

26% Extraversion, 86% Intuition, 33% Thinking, 20% Judging

So, you want to make the world a better place? Too bad it's never gonna happen.

Of all the types, you have to be one of the hardest to find fault in. You have a selfless and caring nature. You're a good listener and someone who wants to avoid conflict. You genuinely desire to do good.

Of course, these all add up to an incredibly overpowered conscience which makes you feel guilty and responsible when anything goes wrong. Of course, it MUST be your fault EVERYTIME.

Though you're constantly on a mission to find the truth, you have no use for hard facts and logic, which is a source of great confusion for those of us with brains. Despite this, in a losing argument, you're not above spouting off inaccurate fact after fact in an effort to protect your precious values.

You're most probably a perfectionist, which in this case, is a bad thing. Any group work is destined to fail because of your incredibly high standards.

Disregard what I said before. You're just easy to find fault in as everyone else!

Luckily, you're generally very hard on yourself, meaning I don't need to waste my precious time insulting you. Instead, just find all your own faults and insult yourself.


If you want to learn more about your personality type in a slightly less negative way, check out this.

I love being an INFP. From the research I have done only about 1% of the world population falls under that category. I like to be different. It makes me fell more special. Like if someone knows me they will be likely to not know to many other people who are very similar to me. It took me a long time to fully embrace my INFP personality. I spent a lot of time being down right evil. I’m not entirely sure why I enjoyed being evil so much but I did. I still find evil things rather funny at times. I think I get it from my father. He is an incredibly sweet and loving person too. But his sense of humor certainly borders on evil. Maybe the evilness was more of a defense mechanism to hide my inherently do-gooder personality. In retrospect, it makes a lot of sense. See, it isn’t particularly cool to be all touchy feely and loving as a child. In my youth I also tried to reject my introverted personality and really wanted to have lots of friends and be liked by everyone. It took a lot of energy for me because it isn’t how I am. I always liked being alone with my books or my imagination as a young child.

However, between the ages of about ten and sixteen I really didn’t want to be that kind of person. How many people those ages really want to be the quiet kid in the corner? To avoid that I made lots of acquaintances, I never had lots of friends. I hung out with “cool” or “tough” kids as often as possible and I developed a pretty hard exterior (at least as hard as a tiny short person that always gets described as “cute” could really be). I was pretty proud of that exterior and always valued it as a part of who I am. My inner personality seemed too weak to have in the forefront all the time. That, combined with my evil sense of humor has gotten me labeled as a pretty evil person for a long time. Monica once told me that I was utterly evil yet really sweet and that she didn’t understand why that was. I guess a few people have told me similar things. Rather recently I have grown sick of being such a conundrum I have embraced my true nature and let a lot of that evilness go. I’m not afraid of being seen as weak and easy to take advantage of anymore. Probably because I’ve learned that being a caring giving person doesn’t always mean you are a pushover. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll still laugh at you if you fall down. I’ll just check to see if you are okay first.

1. Tell em I’m driving and it’s all right turning on this wheel turning on headlights.

2. In the right light study becomes insight but the system that dissed us teaches us to read and write.

3. After all the jacks are in the boxes and the clowns have all gone to bed.

4. Your hand on his arm, the haystack charm around your neck. Needle in the hay, Eliott Smith. Identified by Monica

5. Oh well uh you might think I’m crazy to hang around with you or maybe you think I’m lucky to have something to do. You Might Think, The Cars. Identified by Monica

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Why oh why can't I take a word document with images and copy it into Blogger? It would make my life so much easier. I would like to share with you the work I have done all morning. It is fun and happy and entertaining. See, we have this contest going at work. Every department or person with their own office can decorate their door for the holidays. The person with the best door wins an extra day off with pay. I was not planning to play because I didn’t want to put wrapping paper and lights on my door. I didn’t feel like making cut outs of stars and menorahs and snowflakes. It seemed stupid. I joked about putting up a crucifix with lots of blood but people quickly reminded me that was not Christmas it was Easter. I let that idea go. I just resigned myself to not having a decorated door. Plus, I have plenty of vacation time.

I then got a great idea that I borrowed from Dave E Wo, a picture story. From me, I added guess that song. So this morning when I got to work I set about finding pictures to represent the words to some of my favorite Christmas songs and hung them up on my door. I just did the first verses of the songs because any more than that would be too much action. Most people only guess the first line anyway. My door has the words “Can you name that Christmas tune?” on the top and then six pictograms below. The back of the door has the lyrics on it. My songs are 1. Walking in a Winter Wonderland 2. Let it Snow 3. Frosty the Snowman 4. The Chipmunks Christmas Song (which is by far the hardest) 5. The Christmas Song and 6. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. I really wanted to include one of them here but couldn't. But wait! Maybe I can scan one of them into my computer save it as a jpeg and then include the scanned image, let’s see.

Well, even though my printer has a scanner, it doesn’t seem to work. Crappy. No pictograms for you guys. Let’s just run down some of the pictures I am more proud of than others.

Winter Wonderland- a picture of Diane Lane for “lane” and a rifle scope for “sight”

Let It Snow- O magazine for “Oh” The Wii for “we” a go board for “go” and the cover of Let it Be for “let it”

Frosty The Snowman- The jolly roger for “jolly” A picture of how to figure area with an arrow pointing to the W for “with”

The Chipmunk Christmas Song- Ben Stein for “been” and a big Douglas Adams Don’t Panic for “don’t”

The Christmas Song- Jack Sparrow for “jack” and a precious puppy biting fingers for “nipping”

I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus- the band Kiss for “kissing” The Thinker for “think” and of course my wonderful face for “me”

People that have come by all think my door is very creative. One person actually thinks I should win. Imagine that. Personally I predict that someone with a nice traditional door will win and then I’ll get an honorable mention for the most creative door or something strange like that. Maybe I won’t get mentioned at all. I’m just pretty sure I won’t actually win. Either way it was fun. Plus, this way I won’t get called a non-participating boring person.

There was only one song from the super easy shuffle yesterday that was not guessed. Probably because it was somewhat obscure. Good. Let's see if I can come up with some more hardish ones.

1. Tell em I’m driving and it’s all right turning on this wheel turning on headlights.

2. I've had enough of danger, people on the streets. One More Try, George Michael. Identified by Monica

3. Summer and winter winter and springtime you heard the birds sing everything will be fine. A Summer Wasting, Belle and Sebastian. Identified by Monica

4. In the right light study becomes insight but the system that dissed us teaches us to read and write.

5. After all the jacks are in the boxes and the clowns have all gone to bed.

So Mommy fixed the pictures and here they are. They are kind of small so you can't see all the detail which can make it harder but since you know the answers who cares.

Song 1.

Song 2.

Song 3.

Song 4.

Song 5.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


So now that I have put down the horridness that is Ulysses I have picked up one of my favorite (but oft forgotten) books of all time, Watership Down. If you haven’t read this book please stop whatever you are doing and go pick up a copy. I know it sounds real loserish to read a book about rabbits but it truly is a magical and wonderful story about human nature and perseverance. I know they are bunnies but they are human bunnies. The first time I experienced the joys of this book was at my grandparent’s house. My mom was looking for something to read to me before bed and we started this book. When we got home, we just had to get a copy and continue the story. I can’t describe how engaging it is.

When I talk to people about this book I find that many haven’t read it. It makes me sad. In all honesty it should be required reading for humanity like The Little Prince and Stranger in a Strange Land. Even though I am just starting to get back into it, find it very hard to put it down. Like children, animals have a sincerity that you can’t ignore. Plus imagining little bunnies hopping around all over the place is just precious. I realized last night that I had always pictured them on their hind legs and that the story is even better if they hop like real bunnies do in your head. They become even more precious. They also have bunny lore and bunny language, which just makes me want to die. Next time I go to Dave E. Wo’s I will have to talk to his bunny in the few bunny words I know. Maybe something magic will happen. Maybe the bunny has been away from the wild too long to understand me. Maybe I have to talk to a wild bunny. They are too fast though.

Anyway, I just felt I had to counter my angry tirade against literature from yesterday with something sweet and tender that truly conveys how much I love books.

On another note, I think the restructuring I did in my class is going well. Maybe it is the fact that I just have the best darn group of students you ever could want. Then again, maybe my tune will change when they take their test. I don’t think so though. I think they have it pretty well in hand. We are going over some of the harder things and they seem to understand so I have my fingers crossed.

I just learned that our old Karaoke DJ form the Alumni Club (most fun ever) is coming to our x-mas party at work. It’s on.

1. Hey people looking out the window at the city below. Hey people looking out the window for the fun and sorrow. The Roller Coaster Ride, Belle and Sebastian. Identified byMonica

2. Hey pretty baby with the high heels on you give me fever like I’ve never ever known. The Way You Make Me Feel, Michael Jackson. Identified by Monica and Steiny

3. Tell em I’m driving and it’s all right turning on this wheel turning on headlights

4. I’ve waited hours for this, I’ve made myself so sick. Close to Me, The Cure. Identified by Monica and Shadow Falcon

5. It took a second to register up in my branium my dome my head my skull my cranium. Otha Fish, The Pharcyde. Identified by Monica and Steiny

Second easiest shuffle ever. Actually it may be even easier than yesterday. I need some new music.

Monday, December 11, 2006


I consider myself to be a rather erudite person. I can dissect the written word and discuss its inner workings with others. I can write about allegory with ease. I love the way a well-written sentence pours off the tongue when read aloud. My dreams often have narration. I guess what I am trying to say is that I like books.

I have read books that I don’t particularly like for various reasons. I have a hard time with Tolstoy (although I won’t argue the man’s obvious talent) because his characters seem like a bunch of uppity snobs. I can abide that in English authors but when it comes to the Russian word I prefer the proletariat characters of Dostoyevsky. I am occasionally bored with 19th century American writers because I find their tone to be rather depressing, but not in an interesting way. I like new writers and old, simple and complex, verbose and curt. However, no matter how much I like or dislike a book, I can always appreciate it for what it is.

That is, until now. I have been defeated. Twice. I have read the word and the word has spat back in my face, vehemently and with glee. It has conquered my intellect, broken down my resolve, laughed at my despair. Joyce. Damn him and his words. To be fair, not all Joyce need be damned, only Ulysses. I read this book about a year ago. I read it cover to cover. I comprehended the majority of the happenings of each page, but as a whole I couldn’t put it all together. I realize that it corresponds to The Odyssey and that my Homeric knowledge leaves something to be desired. It’s been a long time since 9th grade. Maybe if I cared enough to reread that I would be able to understand the meaning of Ulysses, but I doubt it. I understand the book takes place in the span of one day and is a very involved telling of the day’s happenings. I understand that there is much stream of consciousness inner dialogue going on. All this makes sense and as it reads alone I can comprehend. It’s the sum of all the parts that escapes me. Earlier this month I decided to try again (although I still haven’t picked up The Odyssey so maybe that should have been my first step) this morning I took the cursed book from my satchel and defiantly left it on the couch saying, “You will torment my mind no more!”

I just don’t care enough. I have accepted that Ulysses has won. I am likely not the literary mind I thought I was. I can’t understand everything. I can’t interpret the world. I don’t like admitting this. I feel like maybe I should just get some Cliff’s notes and pick the thing up again. The thing is that I have never needed those before and I don’t want to need them now. I should just understand. I should get it. This is supposed to be one of the world's great literary achievements. I should appreciate it. I can’t. I don’t know where to turn or what to do. My world has been shattered. Damn you Joyce. Damn you and your Ulysses. You have made a fool out of me.

I now turn to my one solace, music I know and you don’t (but you might)

1. Hey people looking out the window at the city below. Hey people looking out the window for the fun and sorrow.

2. Ooohh I bet you’re wondering how I knew ‘bout your plans to make be blue. I heard it through the grapevine, Marvin Gaye. Identified by Mom.

3. Everywhere I hear the sounds of marching charging feet boy. Streetfighting Man, Rolling Stones. Identified by Mom.

4. Who you trying to get crazy with ese don’t you know I’m loco. Insane in the Mmbrane, Cypress Hill. Identifid by Brooke.

5. For years I have been waiting and hesitating to make a rap record that has the pace of a slow song quiet storm chillin while the fire is warm. Time To Chill, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Identified by Brooke.

Easiest Shuffle Ever

Friday, December 08, 2006


Today is a very productive day. I started and finished my Christmas shopping. I won’t be able to talk about what I got people because they could read this blog. I got good things though and everyone will be happy. I love shopping on the Internet. I believe that everything will be here with time to spare before I fly home. In case that doesn’t happen, sorry family. I did have to venture to one store though to round out shopping and it took me about 30 minutes to do so. I thought that was pretty good. 30 minutes of store time for the holidays. I am good. To be fair, I only had four people to shop for. Being poor, I am not shopping for anyone other than my immediate family (and Tony of course but he is like family). I feel for people who have to shop for all types of people. At some point I really should start to buy things for my cousins but that will have to wait until I am less poor. Now they just get a happy birthday if they are lucky.

The door to my office is closed. I generally prefer to have it open because when it is closed I feel like I am projecting a go away I don’t want to talk to you attitude. That is not the case. Plus, my door automatically locks so if anyone wants to come and talk to me then I have to get up and open the door. That seems really silly. I only have an office because there was no room for me in my department and I operate relatively solo, everyone else is part of a team. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying it isn’t like I have an office because I am important or anything, certainly not important enough to lock everyone out.

After my class next Tuesday and Wednesday I am going to be ready to go on vacation. Unfortunately, I will have eight days of work left before vacation will be able to start. Those will be very difficult days. My class seems like it will b good sized so maybe I can fill those days with follow-up appointments with the students. If I have to meet with people I will be more likely to not notice how long days can be. Today was one of those really long days and I don’t know why. I have plenty to do and have done a lot. However, It is only two thirty. It seems like it is time to go. Huh.

Tomorrow I am going to go to karaoke with Monica and friends. I am a little nervous. I haven’t done karaoke in front of people since the Alumni Club closed. I have to say that my performances that night were two of the greatest karaoke times of all (my solo of Humpty Dance and duet of Dancin’ With Myself with Monica) but that doesn’t mean I haven’t fallen off my game. Eh, I’m sure it will be ok. I wonder if Tony will come. Once he said that if he came to Karaoke he would sing Strokin’ because he wanted to go Clarence Carter Clarence Carter over and over. I would like to see that. I don’t think he would actually do it. Of all the many times I invited him to come to karaoke he never did. I think a lot of the things I do he simply tolerates. This is particularly true of karaoke and DDR. These things are done in the home and not in public so if he would have to leave the house to tolerate something why would he bother? I probably wouldn’t.

I am busy listening to the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack so my iPod is busy. I am debating if it is worth stopping this soundtrack for a proper shuffle. It probably is. The only reason I am listening to it is that I just read Monica’s blog and she mentioned how great this soundtrack is in her shuffle. It would be strange for me to forego mine because of hers. Shuffle away:
Mean Mr. Mustard, The Beatles- Man this song is good. It reminds me of the honey mustard and onion cashews that I purchased this morning and are in my desk. If you are questioning the deliciousness of such a flavored nut stop (unless you are Monica because she will die). These nuts are fantastic! They taste like the tangy mustardy pretzel bites and you just can’t mess with that.

L.A. Woman, The Doors- This song is kind of not all that great. I mean I love the Doors plenty and all but sometimes they are just silly. This song is one of those times to me.

Summertime Blues, T-Rex- Huh, not bad for Summertime Blues.

That was a really boring shuffle. I should have kept listening to the Velvet Goldmine Soundtrack. I think I was on TV Eye.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Annual Crock

Today was the Annual Recognition Luncheon. As I think I previously mentioned, this is the time when we try to make people cry so that they give us money. I don’t think anyone cried this year. One of the main reasons for that may have been that the acoustics were so poor in the room that it was pretty hard to hear any of the speakers. I also don’t think we had any particularly hard luck stories to share. What a waste.

I worked the registration table and got to see all the people coming in. Unfortunately, there was not so much Tina Turner hair. Mostly just people all suited up looking normal. The clients, who often come a little inappropriately dressed, were all looking quite professional. That is a good thing, but not particularly entertaining. The students are always told to dress up and my favorite was when they all showed up in hooker dresses and strappy stilettos. One guy pissed me off because he came and asked me for his table, which I gave him, then forgot and came back to ask me which one it was again. He looked at me like I was the idiot because I asked his name again when he couldn’t remember 23. Now, I had been checking in hundreds of people so why would I remember some particularly unremarkable man? So I looked quickly and I guess gave him the wrong table (I think I gave him the number of the person below him) so he came back and got all attitude having like “YOU TOLD ME IT WAS 12” I just said sorry and continued with my duties because I am a certified customer service specialist and that is what I should do. However, I wanted to tell him that he was some stuffy dick who simply knew someone who gave us money and doesn’t even give a fuck about the cause himself and he could just kiss my ass. But I didn’t do that so I was proud of myself.

There were some really official men who weren’t trying to check in so I asked if I could help them, their response was “We’re in the Mayor’s detail,” and then I noticed their secret service type ear thingies. They must have been important. They went in and cased the joint and nodded. Seemingly deciding that it was acceptable for the mayor to enter. Now I was at the registration table and I didn’t see the guy come by. I think he must have come in through some secret back mayor way. His speech was fine. It was all about education and how important that was. There was some lady speaking that seemed to be MCing the event and she seemed like a hot mess to me. I think her name was Stella something. Apparently she is some journalist person and knows simply everyone. The keynote speaker was Bill Kurtis, he is some other journalist person who I don’t know about because I don’t watch NBC or read the Sun Times because the tribune is a much better paper and when I do read the paper it is that one and I get my news from Stewart and Colbert (and other things of course). So Bill Kurtis was talking and I couldn’t really hear cause of the poor acoustics but one thing I did hear was the word foreskin. I wasn’t really sure why he would be talking about foreskin but people laughed. I later found out it was some joke about an IRS guy auditing a Rabbi. Apparently it was pretty funny and the punch line was something about collecting foreskin and the IRS sending around a prick every once in a while.

The best thing about the luncheon was the little apples with goat cheese in the middle of them on the salad (although if the apples had been cored they would have been much easier to eat) and the molten lava cake with lemon sauce and raspberries for dessert. The vegetarian meal was essentially a bunch of potatoes and mushrooms in a lemon sauce, it was ok but what kind of dish is that? At first glance I thought it was a poor attempt at mousaka (sp?) but it couldn’t have been cause that would be too sad. Oh and when I asked the waitress if they had vegetarian meals she was like, you should have told me you needed one when we got the salad, she needed my class.

Another thing the Luncheon could have used was music, such as:

Apache Rose Peacock, Red Hot Chili Peppers- This actually would have made it a much more enjoyable occasion. I wonder how many of the young professional types would have been grooving on the sly reliving their youth. It would be good mingling music.

Sunset City, Magnetic Fields- I can’t explain why I like this band as much as I do. There are many bands like them that are a lot better. However, there is something so comforting about them. You always will get a good song. You occasionally will get a great song. This is a good band for background music. You won’t have to interrupt your conversation for random bursts of song but you will be entertained.

Incense and Peppermints, Strawberry Alarm Clock- This may have got some of the old stuffy people to crack. I think for next year I will advocate for some trippy music interludes. People need to calm the fuck down and chill out. They aren’t as important as they think they are.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


This morning I went to take the Customer Service test to see where I am steering my students wrong and why they are not passing this test. I was slightly nervous because I thought there was a chance that I would not pass the test, thus negating my purpose as an instructor. Talk about ungrounded fears. This was the easiest test I have ever seen in my life. In fact, it is so much easier than the practice test I give the students that I was shocked and amazed. It took me twenty minutes to go through 75 questions. The only things that were on the test that I don’t cover in class were how to figure out discounts and some addition. People should know that anyway. I can go over it and all but gosh. Plus, that was only three questions so that couldn’t have caused them to fail. I also don’t talk much about how to deal with customers who have disabilities but, again, only like two EASY questions. Therefore, there are only three options as to why my students are not passing the test and only one of them should be hard to change. 1) They know it is easy so assume there is no way they can fail and then end up failing, 2) They know it is easy so they don’t really read the questions and then answer them stupidly, or 3) They fail to realize that the test is looking at how to best serve the customer rather than how to best serve the store. The third one is obviously more of a barrier because it involves changing modes of thought. The point is that it isn’t the fault of my curriculum so I won’t have to totally rework it and that is a good thing. I just have to stress a few things here and there and make sure they READ.

One of my old students just came into my office. He was in my first class. His recent certification just helped him get promoted from a service clerk to a service manager at Walgreen’s. That is pretty exciting to me. Not to mention he got another offer to go work for a non-profit to help them expand their business and will be making like 10k more than me and they will help him get his MBA. Huh, that makes you wonder. I need to plan my life.

Tonight is the cycle 7 finale of ANTM. I will be watching but I have never cared so little in all of ANTM history. This show has been going downhill for a while but this season seriously reached a new low. There was absolutely nothing interesting going on at all. They got rid of all the interesting girls in the first few weeks and left us with a bunch of blah looking boring girls who make me want to not watch. The sad thing is that I do watch and will probably watch next season in the hopes that they will come back with some better candidates. Maybe they will get cancelled and I won’t have to worry about it. Speaking of seasons, I wonder if project runway is going to have another season. I hope it does because that is some quality reality programming.

In related TV news, Heroes is still a fantastic and surprising show. I can’t talk about how much I love it and how happy it makes me to watch. I really don’t want Peter to be the one to blow up NYC though. I always thought it would be that radioactive guy. Then again, maybe Peter will absorb his powers or something. I am glad Eden is dead because she really got on my nerves and I wish they would hurry up and kill Nicky/Jessica because she sucks ass too. I like DL and Micah without her boring ass. I also hope Hiro gets his powers back really soon because Hiro without them just makes me want to cry. He is still all positive and happy though so I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad for him. Nathan is evil and I hope Syler kills him soon. I also hope Syler dies soon because I think he is mean and evil. You do need a supervillain to have superheroes though so I guess he will have to stay around. I am glad the Haitian showed some humanity and didn’t erase Claire’s memory. I still don’t know how I feel about her father, something isn’t right about him but at the same time you often are left feeling like he just wants to protect his little girl. I wish Syler would kill him but since he doesn’t have any powers he probably won’t. I can’t wait until the next episode.

On the shuffle today we have:

Talisman, Air- Ok so I know that it is almost 2007 but I recently downloaded Moon Safari and I just adore this album. I liked it back in the day too but never owned it. It really calms me down and helps me get through bad situations on public transportation.

The State I Am In, Belle and Sebastian- Well everyone knows how I (and the rest of the sane world) feel about Belle and Sebastian. If you don’t know, we feel really good. Really really good. I don’t have anything else to say, my feet are too busy tapping and my fingers can’t keep the rhythm.

I Miss You, Bjork- Bjork will always be one of my favorite artists. I think I am the only person who liked her swan dress. I mean I know it was hideous but the thing laid an egg, that kind of humor is priceless. Not to mention the way her music sounds in my chest. I miss that in a lot of people. It would be really fun to skate to Bjork. It would have to be in exhibition though because judges would laugh you off the ice. However, with the new scoring system maybe they couldn’t as much. Interesting thought.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I am back at work today. I will only be here half a day tomorrow because I am taking the National Customer Service test in the morning and then have my follow-up Dr appt in the afternoon. This means that after I take the test on Wednesday I have Thursday, Friday, and Monday to rework the curriculum before class on Tuesday. This would seem like a daunting but doable task. However, I realize that I will be doing no work on Thursday because it is out Annual Recognition Luncheon at work where we all get together and sit and eat and people who have been success stories through my work speak. It is a day of tears always. I think they purposely pick people to speak that will elicit tears from as many people as possible because it helps the cause. Everyone loves a hard-luck story gone right. The mayor is coming. That is funny to me. The point is I only really have two days to rework my curriculum and I will be damned if I take work home with me. We’ll see how much gets done.

I mentioned seeing stars and vortexes in my last post. This morning when I got on the train I momentarily thought I had graduated into full-fledged hallucinations. Why did I think this? Because as I went to sit down in my seat I saw something moving by my feet and as I looked down my eyes recognized it to be a pigeon. I have seen some strange things on the train before but this was insane. The fact that there was a pigeon politely walking up and down the aisles just as calmly as could be was odd enough, but the fact that no one but me seemed to notice or care was what had me thinking that I must be seeing things. So I didn’t sit in the seat all by myself that I really wanted to be in, I moved away from where the pigeon was.

Now, I get on the train at a time when it is relatively empty because I am close to the end of the line. I was on a little earlier train than normal so there were only about ten people on the car. However, wouldn’t they be a little on edge knowing a pigeon was also riding the train? See my fear was that something would startle the thing and it would start flying about and run itself into windows and then freak out more and hit people on the head and cause a general ruckus. I was eying that thing for any slight movement and expected that everyone else would do the same. So as I am sitting in utter paranoia, the pigeon starts coming closer and closer to the populated area of the train so I politely get up and move to the one seater in the back where I had wanted to sit in the first place. I still kept an eye on that bird. Occasionally someone else would look up and notice it but then go back to what they were doing. I was planning to run back and forth on that car avoiding the pigeon, which of course would be likely to incite the thing to fly but we will ignore that fact. I just was scared. Once stop passed and the bird did nothing. I contemplated getting up and going to the other side of the train by the intercom to let the driver know that he needed to stop at the next stop until the bird flew off the train. However, that would involve me crossing the pigeon’s path and I was not having it. Luckily, at the next stop the thing flew out the door at the last possible second. I was quite relieved.

It is almost 4. I want to go home and pass out I am so exhausted. I think that I will make it through this last hour. Maybe I’ll just try to go through the piles of paper on my desk that make no sense to me. I have to find some papers in the pile anyway. Let’s shuffle it out.

House of Jealous Lovers, The Rapture- This song starts off sounding like some crazy house music form the old days of house. The next thing you know someone is screaming in your ear like an odd mix of PJ Harvey and Perry Ferrell. It’s pretty good.

Tainted Love, Soft Cell- Nothing bad can be said of this song. Everyone knows it and everyone should love it. I think that maybe I have met some people who don’t love it but I think they are probably insane. I mean sure, it’s overplayed and what else did Soft Cell ever do but can you help but tap your feet? I can’t.

Writing to Reach You, Travis- I had a friend who convinced me that the album The Man Who by Travis was a really good album. For a while I believed this to be true. I don’t really anymore. It’s not awful, just really common sounding. At the same time I kind of enjoy it once in a while. I never claimed to only like fantastic non-derivative music. At least this is one of the better songs on the album. I do like their Baby One More Time cover. I like any version of that song. I am sick and have a problem.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I have been so out of touch in sick world and luckily I was tagged today so I don’t have to think too hard to make up a post. Then again, the tag was to name weird things about me so I have to think a little hard but since I am kind of a weirdo I guess it isn’t all that hard.

1. I just slept about fourteen hours. This is something I used to be able to do all the time but now, impossible. I don’t know how it happened. I was planning to go to work and all but I was just so tired and here I am, waking up at 2:30.

2. I have never intentionally eaten meat in my life (except French onion soup because it is so delicious and the beef stock just has to be ignored about once a year or so). Vegetarians are pretty common these days but lifelong ones, not so much. I think after my generation has all their kids there will be a lot more.

3. ANYTHING on the TV or a movie that is remotely sad, sappy, happy, or uplifting will make me cry. It is somewhat embarrassing. This includes films like The Little Mermaid, Bamboozled, and The Muppets Take Manhattan

4. Yesterday I coughed and saw stars for a good 30 seconds and I had vortexes going on for like hours (Monica will know what I mean)

5. I got into med school and didn’t go. I don’t know how weird that is actually but a lot of people I say it to think I am really weird and I am having a hard time thinking so I’ll add it to the list.

6. I only had one friend that was a girl until 6th grade and she was an out of school friend. I was still a girly girl though and raced and played football in dresses….

You know how I tag, anyone who wants to feel free and then just let me know you did it.

I am going to reveal the songs from last week, I guess they were a lot harder than I thought.

1. The lights are off again, she took me by surprise. She’s so sensitive, shit just happens sometimes. Losing Lisa, Ben Folds.

2. There’ll be no darkness tonight lady our love will shine lighting the night. The Lady In My Life, Michael Jackson.

3. Everybody’s looking at me. Feeling paranoid inside. When I step outside I’ll feel free. Think I’ll find a place to hid. Am I Going Insane, Black Sabbath.

4. Downtown my darling dime store thief, in the war of independence rock-n-roll rang sweet as victory. In France They Kiss On Main Street, Joni Mitchell.

5. Jacques Lamure is a volunteer fireman. He longs to give his life saving a nice old man and his wife. Jacques Lamure, Of Montreal.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Today I went to the Dr. It was a much-needed thing. Yesterday, my boss sent me home from work because I was obviously not supposed to be there. I came home and slept for about four hours. This was a good thing because last night, like most nights for the past month, I woke up breathless constantly. Now I can see people who know and love me shaking their heads at this point because there is no reason I shouldn’t have been to the Dr. months ago. They are right. I should have gone to the Dr. months ago. However, I was poor (because my work is charging me double for insurance because they forgot to take it out of my check for about nice months) so I couldn’t afford the Dr. Isn’t it funny that my insurance payments made me not able to go to the Dr? I see the humor. Anyway, I finally made up my mind to see the Dr.

I couldn’t see the Dr. before today because I had to change my medical group on my insurance. The people they had me set up for were so far from my work and house that I would have died on the way there. Well, not literally, but it would have been a real huge pain in my ass. I swear I didn’t sign myself up for these people. I signed myself up for someone closer. In fact, I think I signed myself up for the Dr. I ended up going to see. So, the new medical group wouldn’t take effect until the first, today, so I made my appointment for today. I was looking forward to going to see the Dr. like a kid on Christmas morning.

When I woke up this morning (or should I say got out of bed since I had been in and out of a wheeze filled sleep for the past four hours) I was so excited. I went to the front room to check the weather and noticed outside that the trees seemed to be covered in white. I looked out the window and everything was covered in white. It had snowed, a lot. I dug out my winter coat and some gloves (the scarf and hat had been out for some time) and trudged off to work. See I had to go to work to print out the temporary medical card with the new medical group number on it for the Dr (but work is 2 blocks from the Dr. so it is ok). I thought my appointment was at 10:30 but as I was walking to the train I remembered it wasn’t until 11:30. That was ok though, I could be at work for a little longer and no one would be hurt. The train was real slow. You would think that Chicago would be used to snow and it wouldn’t slow things as much as it does but, not so much.

When I got to work at 10:45 (good think my appt wasn’t at 10:30) I got to printing out my medical card. Then, the Dr. office calls me and says the Dr. is at the hospital and not her office and isn’t sure how long it will take her to get to the office because of the weather and would I mind rescheduling my appointment for Monday. I politely told them that I really needed to see the Dr. today and thought there was a chance I would be in the hospital before Monday if I didn’t get some prednisone stat. I mentioned that if the Dr. would write me prescription for prednisone and a preventative inhaler like advair I would be happy to pick those up and come in on Monday. As I expected, that was not an option. They called me back a while later and said the Dr. would be there as soon as she could. I said thanks and left the office.

My new Dr. is great. First of all, her name is Farah Khan. Maybe I am very easily amused but that name (and the fact that her office is two blocks from my work) was a big reason I picked her. It is also the reason that I think I picked her before and why I remembered that I should have had her all along. She is also really pretty. I like pretty people. They make me more comfortable. She is also relatively young. She isn’t so young that you think she should be out of med school a few more years before touching you but young enough that you can be open and honest and not feel like you are talking to a parent. Not that I am not open and honest with my parents but you know. Dr. Khan took one listen to my chest and was like “Damn, girl you can’t breathe at all” (but more professionally) and gave me advair and prednisone. Told you. I am going back to see her on Wednesday next week for a follow up and more thorough check-up. I won’t die now.

Let's celebrate my life with music stuffs.

1. The lights are off again, she took me by surprise. She’s so sensitive, shit just happens sometimes.

2. There’ll be no darkness tonight lady our love will shine lighting the night.

3. Everybody’s looking at me. Feeling paranoid inside. When I step outside I’ll feel free. Think I’ll find a place to hid.

4. Downtown my darling dime store thief, in the war of independence rock-n-roll rang sweet as victory

5. Jacques Lamure is a volunteer fireman. He longs to give his life saving a nice old man and his wife.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


So to make myself feel better after yesterday's dismal blahness I decided to put up some girly blogthings to brighten my day. Also I coulnd't think of anything particularly good to write about.

The first was, "What Kind of Beauty Are You?"

You Are a Natural Beauty!

You're the kind of beauty that every guy dreams about...
One that looks good in the morning - without a stich of makeup
That's doesn't mean you're a total hippie chic though
You have style, but for you, style is effortless

What being a natural beauty means is that you are a lazy bum who doesn't wear make-up and you don't care. This is just about true. However, if they want to call lazy bums who have no idea how to wear make-up natural beauties it is fine with me.

Ok, after looking at how wonderful and beautiful I am, I decided to take things a step further and check out my inner Goddess
You Are Aphrodite!

A total shining star with a ton of admirers
And no wonder: you live life to the fullest!
When things get bad, you can easily take off to a happier place
But occasionally, you need to deal with problems head on
Ok, so I am all about love, beauty, and sexual rapture (If I remember my mythology correctly). That's pretty good too. Don't you all want to by my friend now?
Well seeing we all know how wonderful and pretty I am, I decided to see if I am girly as all that would suggest.
You Are a Total Girlie Girl

You love looking good, and wooing men with your womanly ways.
You're so feminine, men are in awe of you ... which is a very good thing.
Obviously I have a problem. Then again, the fact that I only own three pairs of pants (one being jeans) could tip someone off to the fact that i am a little girly. The multitudes of heels in my closet can't hurt that fact either.

I then decided to discover my inner rock chick. Something about this should take me off the complete girly track. See, I'm not all as girly as things say I am. Seeing as I can't sing but certainly like to rock out at times, this looked good to me.

You Are Ani Difranco!

Honest, real, and well liked.
You're not limited by any boundaries.
"And you can call me crazy
But I think you're as lazy as white paint on the wall"

Wow, Blogthings has never been this nice to me in my life. Ani is the coolest. She is a superhero, I only used to be one.
I decided to go for one final glory label. What could be funnier than this?

Your Celebrity Boob Twin:

Scharlett Johansson
I am glad she is my boob twin, she is ok and has good boobs. Plus last I knew she dated Josh Hartnett. One time, when he worked at Mr. Movies in St. Paul, I talked to him about Don't Eat The Pictures, the glorious Sesame Street at the Met show. I wanted to rent it, they didn't have it. He was a nice guy.
Ok it's time to go. Love and fun girly stuff to everyone. It's time to go home so back to the music tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Today was a bad day. I took a group of my students to take their National Customer Service test and only one of them passed. This brings my pass rate to a dismal 33%. Now, I know my curriculum is tough and that it could really use to be taught in more than 2 days but I don’t know if that is going to change or not. Now, although I based my curriculum on the material geared to the test, maybe I am missing something. I haven’t taken the test myself. I know, that is real stupid. I plan to take it next week. Watch me not pass. That would be disgraceful. I would be laughed out of my job. Honestly I probably should have taken it before writing the curriculum in the first place. The thing that gets me though is that out of the people who have passed the national certification, only one was someone I would have expected to pass without the class. That means that the other two had to have learned something. Both of them told me that nothing on the test was totally new to them, which leads me to think that I can’t be doing that bad of a job of teaching the material. Personally, I think they just don't read the questions and think about their answers. Like one of them was sitting there telling me he passed when he was looking at a paper that said right on top that they regret to tell him he did not pass. When i told him to read the paper a million times he still didn't see it. Changing that kind of non-reading is not something I can teach in 2 days.

I am really looking forward to taking the test and revamping things that need to be revamped. I was planning to take a notebook with me to make notes of things but after reading the rules realize that is not allowed. At least I have a good short-term memory. It’s the long term that really sucks. I do know that they ask a few questions about how to figure discounts that I need to add to the curriculum but that wouldn’t be enough to have them fail.

I just don’t want to look like an asshole. I don’t want people to think I am an ineffective instructor or that I don’t know what I am talking about. I want my students to do well. I need to figure out a way for that to happen. Until then, I have to find solace in the fact that some of my students learned enough to pass the test. Everyone I work with knows that my contract requires me to work with the most disadvantaged students and, unfortunately, those are the students who generally have the hardest time with tests. I just have to do better to be happy with my results. Once I do all that I can to make my training as strong as possible (take the test and speak with one of the National Retail Federation’s trainers) I will be able to feel less bad about their dismal numbers. At least I’ll be at the top of my game. I just talked to our Program Director and she reassured me that she thinks I am doing a good job so that amde me feel a little better. Unles she was lying to make me feel better....

Distraction by music time.

1. The lights are off again, she took me by surprise. She’s so sensitive, shit just happens sometimes.

2. There’ll be no darkness tonight lady our love will shine lighting the night.

3. Everybody’s looking at me. Feeling paranoid inside. When I step outside I’ll feel free. Think I’ll find a place to hid.

4. Downtown my darling dimestore thief, in the war of independence rock-n-roll rang sweet as victory

5. Your day breaks, your mind aches, you find that all her words of kindness linger on when she no longer needs you. For No One, The Beatles. Identified by Lizza

Monday, November 27, 2006


For my final installation of Conference Talk I want to speak a little about the session that had the greatest emotional impact on me. It was a session facilitated by former youth in care (I think they had all aged out but I’m not positive) and they presented their “digital stories” about their growing up and becoming who they are. They were incredibly powerful. Despite being only about 3 minutes long each, the stories gave a clear and concise picture of the student and the changes in their lives. They all expressed different emotions looking at their stories (which had been made years earlier) and how they may or may not have changed them if they could. One of the students said she had only watched her story once after it was done and had another student present it for her. She spent the time it was on under her hoodie and looking down. One of my favorites was Captain’s story. A line from the piece was (and I quote but may misquote) “There are three sisters who make up the man you see before you.” I thought there was something very beautiful about that sentiment. The awareness of different aspects of the self is common but to be able to articulate it so well at such a young age was really nice to see. I wanted to put some of the stories up on the post today but You need QuickTime (I think) to view them and I don’t have it on this computer so instead you can just click on the youth training project website and browse around if you so desire.

This group of young people also works closely with caregivers and youth workers to better educate them on the needs of youth in care. As I am sure we all know, what you may think is the right thing for people may not actually be the right thing for them. They are working to get more groups of young people to be heard within the system and to make sure that their needs are met. Far too often the voices of the people who need help are not heard and instead things are imposed upon them.

On another note, Thanksgiving was completely awesome. While some of our guests may have been a little scared of the continuous playing of Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2 (If anyone has Extreme and wants to give it to me they should because the songs on it are much better) and the singing of karaoke ("The Girl Is Mine" was our hit closely followed by "Zombie"), we all still managed to have a great time. The food was awesome! Even carnivorous folk were chowing down on the Turkey Tofu. I think it is all pretty much gone at this point. I think I may be able to squeeze one more meal out of it but that’s about all I can hope for. Yesterday, I took the last of the mashed potatoes and made delicious croquettes with them. I made balls about 1-2 inches in diameter and put a little square of Swiss cheese in the middle. Then I dipped them in eggbeaters, rolled them in breadcrumbs, and dropped them in some hot oil for about a minute. They were sooooo yummy! The cheese in the middle got all gooey and wonderful and the outside was nice and crisp while the inside was all piping hot and full of mushy goodness. I think I have to go to the grocery store tomorrow. I am debating about making more Turkey Tofu because I loved it and don’t know if I got enough. Dave’s delicious challah is nice and hard and I can use it to make more stuffing. Tony requested more mashed potatoes so maybe we’ll have an extra Thanksgiving feast just cause. I hope everyone had a wonderful time with whomever they were with and ate until they exploded.

Let’s Name That Tune:

1. Just Like a paper tiger, torn apart by idle hands, through the helter skelter morning, fix yourself while you still can. Paper Tiger, Beck. Identified by Jaclyn

2. Hooray I awake from yesterday alive but the war is here to stay. 1983...A Merman I Should Be, Jimi Hendrix (probably my favorite song of all time). Identified by Mom.

3. The lights are off again, she took me by surprise. She’s so sensitive, shit just happens sometimes.

4. There’ll be no darkness tonight lady our love will shine lighting the night

5. Everybody’s looking at me. Feeling paranoid inside. When I step outside I’ll feel free. Think I’ll find a place to hid.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


To finish up what I started yesterday, I wanted to continue on the discussion of working with trans youth. I mentioned the binary theory of gender yesterday and, oddly, the same facilitator who was critiquing this mode of thinking found a lot of success with an assessment too utilizing this method. Admittedly, she is looking for another way to do this assessment with a less cut and dry definition but it is hard.

When clients come to her questioning their gender identity she has them work on a graph. Male is at one end and female at the other. They place themselves on the graph in various ways including where they want to be, where they think they are now, and what aspects of themselves they think push them one way or another. Some things she found often were that people who feel their minds do not match their bodies often hate the secondary sex characteristics that develop during adolescence. There are even treatment options that include hormone therapy that delays puberty so that the client will have more time to decide where they want to be on the gender scale. However, this therapy is rather expensive and not often utilized so there have not been many studies that talk about its effectiveness. She also has clients do a line graph where they evaluate their happiness with themselves in other aspects of life including: physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and sexual. She always uses 10in lines because they are easily translatable into percentages. Genius. They use two colors to denote where they are and where they want to be. The assessments are redone periodically throughout sessions to help bring people to their personal goals.

Something I found fascinating was the discussion of the development of gender identity. Using typical stages of development it is commonly in the psychological community accepted that gender identity is formed when a child is between three and five. Yet, for a trans youth, they are not allowed to affirm their identity until they are 18. Even though they have probably known who they truly are for over a decade by that point. I can understand when you are talking about something like sexual reassignment surgery that you want to be sure. However, the process is so involved already (you have to have “passed” for a certain period of time (1-2 yrs I think), have been through a series of psychological evaluations, and some other stuff that is on my handouts at home) that you would think if a person had been through all those things at a younger age that some exception could possibly be made. The steps to getting hormone therapy also include having “passed” for sometime which seems like it could be hard particularly since the hormones are often needed for someone to pass effectively. So many youth have turned to the black market to get hormones and therefore aren’t properly monitored in dosage and risk factors that it seems almost too much to me.

There was also some discussion of how indigenous cultures tend to revere people who display characteristics of both sexes. Various names for what can often be translated as a “two-spiritedness’ exist in many cultures across the globe. These people were often celebrated and seen as blessed. However, as the level of colonization increases there is virtually a direct correlation in the decrease in the visibility and celebration of these people. One of the attendees from Hawaii said there is a long standing tradition of trans behavior and virtually every family has someone who has adopted that way of living. It makes so much sense to talk about this as a natural part of life and celebrate differences than to categorize and label and diagnose people simply for being who they are.

I will now segue in a completely disjointed manner to a talk of thanksgiving. I am really looking forward to tomorrow. Last year was the first year that I cooked. It was only for Tony and I. This year we have a flock of people scheduled to come by. I think it is the main meal for only 4-5 of us but many are planning to stop over after they eat with families. I am a little nervous when I think about it. I have butterflies. I hope they bring beverages. I hope I can find enough things to put food in. I hope that everything works. I think it should. I started cooking my Turkey Tofu (that’s what my never eaten meat self eats) last night and froze it (because it is supposed to give a better texture) for the first time. I hope it works. Dave will be bringing a ham for the meat eaters (that eat ham) and Monica or Brian will be putting together a turkey. We’ll gave roasted garlic mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce with a little orange, challah, green bean casserole (cause it’s funny), mushroom spinach pie, mac n’ cheese, collard greens, and some sort of dessert that has yet to be figured out. Tony wants pecan pie I don’t and Monica will die if she eats it. I think Dave may be making a gravy cake. Monica wants a pumpkin loaf with vanilla ice cream. I don’t care. It will be an interesting time. I hope all of your holidays are as fun filled, unpredictable, and exciting as I hope mine will be.

To ring in the holiday cheer, let’s listen to some classic holiday tunes of thanks and love.

Pale Purple, Ani DiFranco- Well the song is a little depressing but has a feeling of honesty about the lack of community ties in modern America. I guess that is kind of what Thanksgiving is about getting over. It’s about bringing people together in a celebration of our uniqueness and our differences.

Disarm, Smashing Pumpkins- Huh, I’m a little stumped on how to relate this one to Thanksgiving. Well, let’s talk chorus. It talks about the trails and tribulations of growing up and facing the world and reaching out for someone you care about and maybe having them reject you. This is the poor guy who is eating a hungry man dinner all alone. Let’s invite him over.

Stutter, Elastica- Man, this keeps getting harder and harder. I don’t think I am going to try with this one, partly because I can’t really understand enough of the lyrics to pull something out of my ass. I’ll just say the 90s are awesome.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The next few days of the conference, I spent most of my time in sessions about working with trans youth. I felt this was the area where I had the least experience and information so, since I was there to learn, I thought I would. The first thing we did in session was to introduce ourselves. Our facilitator asked that when doing introductions to use this format: name, gender, sexual orientation, what gender pronouns we prefer, and what we do for work. I found it rather nice. There were about 15 people in the room. I was one of the three heterosexual people. After introductions, our facilitator asked how we felt about it and the two other heterosexuals said they felt very uncomfortable, embarrassed, and put on the spot. She said heterosexuals often feel that way because we aren’t used to have to identify ourselves because we live in an a culture where what is assumed about us is generally correct. I kind of thought maybe I liked it because what people assume about me racially is generally incorrect and that maybe if introductions with a bunch of personal information were common I would avoid a lot of anger and resentment at being around in some conversations. I know racial orientation and sexual orientation aren’t the same thing and don’t contain the same issues, but a lot of what they were talking about in the trans sessions I could draw a lot of parallels with in the racial struggles in this country. Mostly in reference to the ideas of passing, assumed status, and a feeling of constantly being marginalized.

Another very interesting thing we discussed was “gender identity disorder”. By classifying it as a disorder, many people who want to transition are able to get supported by their insurance. If they cannot be diagnosed it falls under cosmetic surgery and is generally not given any assistance. Many things tend to be labeled as disorders because they begin to be studied under clinical situations but when dealing with people who are not institutionalized, the nomenclature remains the same. Also many people, with reason, don't like to be labled as having a disorder for simply being themselves. I could be wrong, but I think it was fairly recently that homosexuality was no longer considered a psychological problem. I wonder if transsexualism (is that even a word?) will follow that path and, if it does, how that will change the accessibility of surgery.

According to our facilitator, the trans population is the most marginalized in the LGBTQ community and often studies thabout LGBTQ issues often don’t deal with the “T” very much. Although I don't have a ton of background that would make sense to me. Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to really get into the root cause of that. One theory is that because it is a more minor group of a minority population that there isn’t as much material or research to write about. Also, because trans can mean so many different things, it often depends on who is doing a study as to what definition is used. Generally people tend to operate on what they called the binary model of gender. That model states that there is male and female and that you can’t be in-between (unless you are talking about intersex individuals which is an entirely other subject) and that model leaves out many of the people who identify as trans. From our discussion, it seems there is work being done to change the way we think about gender as a whole and to almost reclassify the binary definition.

I want to end with one of my favorite quotes from the first session on trans youth. I’ll continue with the second session tomorrow. They talked a lot about how most it is easier to accept a F-M transition in our society than a M-F because of the power dynamics in American culture. Then a discussion followed about hostility in the lesbian community toward those who chose to transition. One of the people in the group said “All the good butch dykes are transitioning”. I don’t really know why that was my favorite quote but I found something about it really funny. Maybe because I was taken back to racial discussions about all the good black men dating outside the race, or maybe it was just the tone in her voice when she said it (it was with a chuckle), or maybe because I know and work with plenty of people who would classify themselves as butch or studs and they would never consider transitioning because it isn’t who they are. I don’t think it matters. More to come tomorrow.

Oh, the song I couldn’t remember yesterday was Once, Twice, Seven Times a Werewolf by Half Handed Cloud. Now I’ll see where the music takes me.

Cigarettes, X-Ray Spex- There is something wonderfully dated about X-Ray Spex. From what I know they ended in the late 70s but to me they sound real 1984. I really like it though. I have to credit Tony with this band. I would have never listened to anything punkish if it weren’t for him and I like a lot of that stuff.

Welcome to Paradise, Green Day- Ok, I like Dookie. I don’t care how awful and lame that is and many people would tell me to go and hide my head in the sand but I’m going to own it. I love the 90s. Remember how I just said I wouldn’t listen to anything punkish if it weren’t for Tony. That statement still counts because although some people will tell you Dookie is a punk album, and there are elements of punk in it, it just doesn’t really qualify. Those people are wrong and so not punk rock. I’m not punk rock either but at least I don’t pose and pretend I am because I like Dookie.

Reptile, Nine Inch Nails- Wow, I am kind of a lame today. I am actually quite a lame everyday but sometimes my music doesn’t reflect how bad I am. To make myself even more of a dork I will admit that I listened to all of Live Through This on the way to work this morning. I didn’t sing along because people that sing on the train during rush hour are really annoying. Still, no one really should have the nerve to listen to that entire album in 2006. Whatever.