Wednesday, January 31, 2007


This morning I did the right thing. Jobs For Youth, where I work, has monthly breakfasts where someone from the community is asked to speak. They are not supposed to focus on our organization, but rather to supplement our work and get the word out that we exist. We also ask people for money. These breakfasts have been going on for well over a year. I had never attended one because they start at 8 and I hate to wake up. However, I decided that it was time for me to bite the bullet and go this morning. Being an employee, I was asked to come at 7:30 to help with set-up and all that other good stuff that employees do. Since it takes about 45 minutes to get downtown from my house, and I like to reset my alarm two to three times before I actually get out of bed, my alarm went of the first time at 5:20, insane. Typically my alarm goes off at 7:20, which is much more reasonable.

When I finally trotted out of bed (I was surprisingly awake) at about 6:00 I learned something. The radiators in my apartment don’t go on until about 6:15. Since I am never up before then and they come on full blast everything is typically nice and warm when I finally crawl out of bed. This morning, not so much. The bathroom was frigid. I generally like to put my towel on the radiator while I shower so it is nice and toasty when I need it. No such luck this morning. In fact, the second I threw back the shower curtain I was hit with an arctic blast that no mere slippers and bathrobe could handle. By the time I was ready to leave the house things were getting nice and warm but, as I was about to head outside, it really didn’t matter too much.

I decided to take the bus to the breakfast because it would let me off right in front of the building. Since I was leaving so early Lake Shore Drive wouldn’t be too much of a problem. I missed the first bus by about 30 seconds. Damn. It was only about 7 minutes before another one came but it still sucked. As I was on the bus reading my lame fake newspaper and doing the sudoku and crossword I realized that I shouldn’t have had that much time. I’m good at those things and all but still. Then I noticed the bus was not really making any headway and the sky was getting lighter and lighter. I looked at the clock on the bus, it was 7:24. According to the CTA schedule (which isn’t the most reliable but is a decent approximation) I should have been arriving at the club in two minutes. Instead we hadn’t even gotten on Lake Shore Drive. I accepted that I was not going to be on time and hoped that I would make it by 8.

It turns out that there was an accident on The Drive and things were quite backed up. I did make it to the breakfast about 7:56 and was relatively pleased with myself. I was looking forward to some delicious food. I was disappointed. What kind of breakfast buffet doesn’t have a potato? I had really been looking forward to some sort of potato dish. It is my favorite thing about breakfast. They could have been hash browns, roasted, cottage fries, latkes, or any other potato variety and I would have been happy. But no. Being a vegetarian, all there was for me to eat was fruit (which I piled happily onto my plate) and various breads. Once I was disappointed by the lack of the potato I was holding out for a delicious muffin or croissant. They had toast (and not even delicious bread toast) and some danish/turnover/ fruity bread type of things. I was crestfallen. I woke up early for some fruit and toast. The orange juice wasn’t even freshly squeezed. It tasted like the kind from a box that isn’t good. I think it was Minute Maid. I much prefer Tropicana.

I then hoped that the speaker would have something really positive to say. She was about as moving as my toast. She mostly talked about how the pace of life has changed and that we have to embrace our young people and be good role models to them. Duh lady. After the speech people asked questions. One of them was about what avenues young people have to entry-level employment and what companies do that type of hiring. First of all, I thought that was a silly question. Were we not at a breakfast run by an organization called Jobs For Youth? Then the speakers answer was about Workforce Investment Act funding, which is great, we use a lot of it here at Jobs For Youth, where we place young people in entry-level jobs. Did our speaker also forget what we do or whose breakfast she was at? She also talked about how her company was a huge supporter of diversity in the workplace. She mentioned they “even have a Muslim woman working there who comes to work in full garb”. This woman works for People’s Energy (they supply 99% of gas to Chicago) and she was proud enough of her one Muslim employee to mention it? I am guessing that People’s Energy has far more than one Muslim employee, or at least I hope they do. If they don’t I would suggest not focusing on the one that they do have like a fantastic achievement. I hope I don’t get fired for this post. That wouldn’t happen though.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I shouldn’t bother to get up early. It never works out well for me. Plus I am really sleepy, and kind of hungry. Can somebody get me a potato?

In The End, Green Day- I think this is a pretty good song given the morning that I just had. I bet if I tried to explain why to our speaker she would just dismiss it as a “crazy young thing”. However, she isn’t all that old herself and should know better.

911 Is A Joke, Public Enemy- I would be so pissed if I dialed 911 and no one showed up, or they came really late. Particularly because there is a police station a stones throw away. Well, not a stones throw for me but for someone who could throw pretty far it wouldn’t be that hard.

Airbag, Radiohead- Can I just say that after all is said and done it is nice to hear something wonderfully comforting like this song. Unfortunately, it kind of makes me want to curl up with some tea and a good book and then drift off into a peaceful slumber and I can’t because I am awake and at work and that would be frowned upon.

Monday, January 29, 2007


A wonderful weekend of skating was had by me. Not because there were tons of wonderful performances, because there were only a handful. But because the performances that were great were FANTASTIC. One thing I will say about coverage for US Nationals is that it is far more extensive than the typical World and Olympic coverage. I don’t completely understand why, but that is the case. Maybe because only one event was on broadcast TV, they were able to show more skaters and skip a lot of the profiles and boring stuff that usually comes with skating. Maybe it’s just me, but I would much prefer seeing an additional skater than hearing about one of the top athletes backgrounds. To me, that stuff doesn’t really matter. Sure hearing a little comment about an injury or something else in their life is great but that can be covered in warm-up or even during their program. I don’t care how they do in school or that their mother tripped over a barrier at nationals thirty years ago. I just want to see them skate. I also want to see more than just the top contenders because the up and coming skaters are often overlooked. I know a lot of people don’t care and only want to see big names but, for my money, show me everyone! The fact that I watched everything on the DVR also helped because I could fast forward all that mess. Now for a few highlights.

New champs Brooke Castile and Benjamin Okolski moved up from an 11th place finish last year to take the gold from reigning US champs Rena Inoue and John Baldwin Jr.. As much as I like Rena and John, I am kind of done with them. John is too inconsistent to make them really exciting to watch. Brooke and Benjamin, on the other hand were fantastic and exciting throughout their entire performance. They performed a triple twist (as did third place team Naomi Nari Nam and Themistocles Leftheris) something that I have never seen an American Pair attempt. However, all the top pairs have been doing them fir years internationally. Their music was wonderful; the score from Requiem for a Dream (such a good movie) and their skating had power and speed to rival the Chinese. How the judges gave Rena and John such good marks I have no idea. If they had won I think there could have been a revolt. If Naomi and Themistocles had skated a clean program I think Rena and John would have been knocked out of second place and therefore out of the world team.

I don’t have too much to say about the dance competition. The new program that Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto put together to the score from Amelie (such a god movie) was far superior to the mess they had earlier in the season. It still needs some work to be truly competitive internationally but they are on the right track. I really enjoyed Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov (2nd place) and Meryl Davis and Charlie White (3rd place) as well. The Dance event at Worlds in March should be quite a deep field.

My DVR cut off the last performance and a half so I missed Ryan Bradley’s surprise ascension to second place and am somewhat disappointed about that. I am somewhat glad I only saw half of Johnny Weir’s performance because I like him and he didn’t do so well, leaving him in third. Evan Lysacek, on the other hand, was a performance of a lifetime. I haven’t seen a quad landed that cleanly in some time. He made it look effortless. I am still tired of his Carmen program but it was so good that I almost didn’t mind. Derrick Delmore (one of the few Black skaters ever) put in a great performance at what will be his last Nationals (he has been there for the past 10 years or so) and I was really happy to see him go out on a high note. His 6th place finish I think is the second highest he ever has achieved at Nationals. One thing that surprised me is that Stephen Carriere (9th place) was chosen to head the US Jr. World team. I didn’t know that a Sr. level skater could compete at the Jr. Worlds. You learn something new everyday.

Although reigning world champion Kimmie Meissner won her first national title, it wasn’t an easy win. She really struggled with the landings on many of her jumps, although I don’t remember her actually falling. Had Emily Hughes not fallen, she would have easily defeated Meissner for the title. The real excitement of the night came from third place winner Alissa Czisny. She actually won the long program to bring her up to third from a fifth place finish in the short program. I haven’t seen spins like that since…ever and her jumps were delightful as well. They sowed the two top finishers in Jr. ladies (Mirai Nagasu and Caroline Zhang) during the pairs and dance finals and they will be a force to reckon with. I think either one of them would have placed very well in the Sr. finals and they are only 13!

If anyone is the huge skating dork that I am (and I am sure there are very few of you out there) I have included the detailed results. This is not for the faint of heart. Even I didn’t look at all these pages. These results show the full judges report for each skater’s long and short programs. It shows what element the technical specialist identified, the base value of the element, the + or – they received in grade of execution and the scores of each judge. It also shows what level of difficulty their spins, footwork, and spiral sequences were graded at 1-4. Finally, it shows the various components that make up their program component score (the old artistic score) skating skills (stroking & posture), transitions (the skating between elements), performance/execution (how well they skated their program), choreography, and interpretation. I found this very exciting, as these results are not often easy to find, but I am sure no one else will.

Time to identify the unguessed songs from last week.

1. If you had a choice of colors/ Which one would you choose my brothers. Choice of Colors, Curtis Mayfield

2. Remember when you were young/ You shone like the sun. Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pink Floyd.

3. You know I’ve been searching for someone/ Who can share that special love with me/ Your eyes have that glow. Computer Love, Zapp and Roger

4. Tim wish you were born a girl/ Wish you were born a girl/ So I could have been your boyfriend. Tim Wish You Were Born A Girl, Of Montreal.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Last night the first portion of the US National Figure Skating championships aired. I haven’t got a chance to watch most of it because I was busy playing Katamari with Monica and Tony, oh and watching the OC. HAHAHA. How embarrassing. However, I did catch the short programs of the two top male contenders, Johnny Weir and Evan Lysacek. I have to say they are quite an interesting match up. Personally, if they both skated at the top of their game, I would take Weir any day. I know many people wouldn’t agree with me but I have good reason.

When Weir is on he is on and he skates beautifully. His jumps have an awesome rideout (the speed and edge coming out of a jump) and his artistry is more to my taste (most of the time). I think his spin positions are more innovative, although he as has been doing the same ones for years now and I guess they have lost a bit of their WOW factor. Nonetheless, I think he is awesome. Lysacek is also fantastic. He has a passion and intensity on the ice that is contagious. He truly commits to what he is doing and had a lot of power. However, he has skated the same long program for two seasons to the most played out of all music in skating, Carmen. I am so sick of this program that I have a hard time watching it despite his wonderful skating. You know how they retire people’s numbers in some sports; they should retire music in skating. Then again I suppose everyone can interpret music differently and it is hard to reinterpret a number but still, some things have got to go.

Although Weir is the reigning US champ three years running, I would assume Lysacek is the favorite because he has had much more success on the international circuit. Weir has been inconsistent and unreliable and I know how skating works, the judges want the most internationally competitive skater to be the champ. Even with the new judging system, there is room for favoritism, less than before, but skating still remains a subjective sport. After watching their two programs, I felt that Weir should have been ahead because of extra points given to the grade of execution in his jumps. His positioning and landings were far superior in my opinion. I was also more of a fan of his choreography. However, after the judging was said and done Lysacek was ahead both technically and artistically. It baffled me. Although he was only ahead by less than one point, which is nothing, I thought it showed severe preference by the judges. I did just read that Weir was graded higher than Lysacek on his jumps which meant the judges either really hated his artistry (huh?) or really don’t want him to win (likely). We’ll just have to see what happens in the long program but, if they both skate clean, I am guessing that Lysacek will win the title.

I didn’t get a chance to watch the top ladies but reigning World Champion Kimmie Meissner is essentially a shoe in for the title. I do want to make one small comment about the event though. I only watched one skater but was delighted when there was some argument about a statement Dick Button made regarding Ulrich Salchow who he claimed was an excellent champion in the last century. Button had seemed to forget that we are seven years into a century currently so Salchow who skated in the late 18 and early 1900s did not fit in that definition. As someone tried to correct him he got all stickler about his facts and was just wrong. I like to see Dick Button wrong. If you have ever watched a skating event in the past 25+ years you know that Dick Button is like the Simon Cowell of figure skating, or maybe that should be that other way around. He is the original mean commentator. It is really nice to see him look a little stupid for a change.

Here are some new musical options for skaters. You know, you can choose music with words now.

1. Not a lotta bling/ When you do the thing/ Bada boom bada bing. Bada Bing, Dangerdoom. identified by The Doc

2. If you had a choice of colors/ Which one would you choose my brothers

3. Remember when you were young/ You shone like the sun

4. You know I’ve been searching for someone/ Who can share that special love with me/ Your eyes have that glow

5. Tim wish you were born a girl/ Wish you were born a girl/ So I could have been your boyfriend

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Tony and I have been reading Watership Down to each other before bed for the last few months. Actually, I have been reading it to him and he occasionally takes a chapter here and there. We had really fallen off after the holidays and recently I have been nudging him to get back into it with me. Last night I think I finally succeeded. I read about three chapters and then noticed my eyes were starting to go wonky but he said he would take over and read some. I thought that was really nice. We were getting to an interesting part of the story and I didn’t blame him for wanting to continue.

I fell asleep about five pages into his reading. Apparently he just kept going. This morning, before leaving for his internship, he told me that he had read ahead last night and that I should catch up. I looked and he had read about 60-70 pages past where I fell asleep. When I had the chance, I sent him a text mentioning that he really had gotten pretty far. He replied that he read all but two chapters aloud. I thought that was pretty sweet cause I figured he just got into it and didn’t realize I was asleep. I know I have done that to him a few times. Then he told me that he knew I was sleeping but didn’t want me to notice he stopped reading and wake up. That was still kind of sweet but really made me laugh. He could have just said that he wanted to know what happened.

Apparently, I was talking in my sleep. He said that I told him the bunnies had to do their taxes and make a budget. This is quite a telling statement. I just finished my taxes and I kept asking Tony to help me make a budget. Why the bunnies would need to do such things is beyond me but it sounds like something my insane sleepy head might put together. It really got me thinking though, what else do I say when I am asleep. As far as I knew I didn’t even talk in my sleep. I now know I am wrong.

I wonder if everyone talks in their sleep? Tony asks me if he does but since I am generally asleep before him it is harder to know. I think he does though. I recall hearing him say really strange things now and again. I don’t remember what they are, probably because I was half asleep myself, but I know they gave me a chuckle.

It’s like that whole thing about people asking you if you snore. Who really honestly knows if they snore or not unless they leave a tape recorder by the bed and tape everything. You would either have to have a really long tape or a really short sleep to actually encompass everything. I don’t think it was a particularly good idea. Then again, I would like to know what else I say in my sleep. It could make me more aware of the inner workings of my mind. Or it could make me feel completely insane and want to kill myself.

Thanks to Brooke we get three new songs today. And awesome songs they are.

1. Now who got the chance to make things right/ Why the politicians always want to fight? Ern knows it is Beastie Boys but what song, what song. He came through, it is We Got The.

2. Not a lotta bling/ when you do the thing/ bada boom bada bing

3. If you see me walking down the street/ and I start to cry/ each time we meet. Walk on By, Isaac Hayes. Identified by Mom.

4. If you had a choice of colors/ which one would you choose my brothers

5. I come home/ in the morning light/ my mother says when you gonna live your life right. Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Cindi Lauper. Identified by Mom.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


So this morning I thought the day was really going to suck but it has turned out to be quite ok. I realized that I had no food and not a lot of cash so I was going to skip lunch. Then I get to work and got asked to sit in for my supervisor at a meeting where lunch would be provided (and they had enough veggie lunches ordered for me to have one) SCORE! Then I was thinking I didn’t have enough work to do other than the meeting but then the folders I ordered arrived. This means that I get to spend the rest of the day punching holes and organizing files. Mindless necessary work that needs to be done but takes little mental capacity SCORE. Then I called Tony and he said he would go to the store and get us food for dinner so that I don’t have to worry about it when I get home. SCORE. Basically, it has turned out to be a very decent day.

This morning on the train I read a story about a guy who escaped a shark attack. Now if you know me well, and some of you do, you know that I really like (and am deathly afraid of) sharks. Friend is with me on this one. If you are happily swimming and then come across something like this your day is suddenly going to be very bad. Once when I was at the aquarium I pet a shark. It was certainly not the kind of shark that would eat your arm off; it was a nice little docile type shark. It was still really cool. I thought it would be all smooth feeling but the skin was actually like sandpaper. I don’t know if sandpaper skin is common to all sharks because I am never going to pet some of them. However, if I am ever attacked by a shark I am going to do what this guy did, poke it in the eye.

I always heard that you are supposed to punch a shark in the nose if they are attacking. Have any of you ever tried to punch in the water? It isn’t easy. I don’t think you could really get enough momentum going to truly stun the shark. I mean it might be a little shocked because things probably don’t hit its nose often but still, seems a little iffy. However, poking a shark in the eye seems like a much better idea. If I recall my shark stuff correctly, their eyes roll back in their heads when attacking to avoid mess getting in their eyes (or maybe for a better reason). This means the shark isn’t even going to see your finger coming. They are just going to be in shock because something poked their eye. They are then going to run away because nothing ever hurts a shark and if your finger can they know they are in trouble.

On the other hand, if I were a shark and some fool human had the nerve to poke me in the eye I would take their arm off. I am vindictive like that. Some guy thinks they can do that to me in my environment where they aren’t even supposed to be? Hell to the no. I may lose all my ocean cred. None of the other fish would fear me. They would call me “Patchy the Half-blind Shark” and I would be laughed at. Luckily I would rely primarily on my nose and eat them anyway. From what I understand sharks don’t particularly like to eat humans but one with the nerve to poke a killing machine in the eye deserves it.

Not much progress on the songs from yesterday bur Ern did get partially there.

1. Now who got the chance to make things right/ Why the politicians always want to fight? Ern knows it is Beastie Boys but what song, what song.

2. Not a lotta bling/ when you do the thing/ bada boom bada bing

3. Now I taught the weeping willow how to cry/ And I showed the cloud how to cover/ Up a clear blue sky. Big River, Johnny Cash. Idnetified by Brooke

4. It’s gonna be sudden/ It’s gonna be strange/ Gonna stop on a dime/ Give you five cents change. Outta Me Onto You, Ani DiFranco. Identified by Brooke

5. I’m one/ big queen/ No one/ can stop me. 50ft Queenie, PJ Harvey. Kind of Identified by Brooke.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Last night I was talking to Ryan and he told me about an article that was recently released saying that Hillary Clinton’s camp had done a background check on Barack Obama and found that he attended a radical Muslim grade school for two years. Attending this school seemed to hint that he had toes to radical Muslim communities and interests and therefore couldn’t be trusted. Then, a CNN correspondent went to check out the school and found that it was not at all radical and seemed just like a regular old school. My initial reaction was shock and horror. I never claimed to be a huge Clinton supporter but I found it insane that she would allow someone from her camp to broadcast such mess against a fellow democrat. I vowed to do more research on the subject. From what I read today, it seems that the story was printed in Insight Magazine, not the most liberal of publications and Fox News also really ran with the story. From what I have seen, Clinton’s camp hasn’t said that they conducted such an investigation and Obama’s seems relatively silent on the issue.

Now, I am not claiming to have all the facts straight by any means. I don’t know if this is some dirty politicking on the democratic side or an elaborate scheme from the republicans to turn the democrats against each other. I don’t know if it matters. The fact that anyone would put the idea in people’s heads that Barack Obama attended a militaristic Islamic school, no matter how young he was, is so incredibly dirty and evil that I don’t know what to say. In my last post I talked about how people have been “mispronouncing” his name or focusing a lot on his middle name, Hussein. Although that is important, this goes to an entire different level. Websites all over are talking about this issue and I have put a few links at the end of the post. The most common concerns people seemed to have after hearing about his radical past (that doesn’t exist) was that his allegiance wouldn’t be to the United States but rather to the Muslim countries. Are you kidding people? Then there is talk about the fact that since his father was a Muslim then he is a Muslim (I guess it works like Judaism through the maternal line) and since he says he is a Christian and attends church that he has broken Islamic law and is an open target for assassination. Like the first viable Black candidate for the presidency in the US needed another reason for talk about being assassinated.

I would assume the people who are freaking out about this story aren’t the people who would vote for him anyway but maybe it has raised concerns about some people who were on the fence. It doesn’t take much considering the political climate of the country to get people thinking the wrong thoughts. It is also very interesting that in the many things I looked up online there was little or minor reference to the fact that his school was not very focused on religion (but did respect it) or that he wasn’t too big on religion as a child in the first place. I guess those things don’t make for interesting stories.

The Insight Article
A Sane Person
A Crazy Person

I can’t find my favorite thread anymore but it was full of a bunch of crazies saying the strangest things I had ever heard. Obama being the antichrist was mentioned a lot. I am very sad I can't share it but none of the searches I did earlier seem to be turning it up. Maybe they banned me from the site knowing I was only going to link to them to laugh. Maybe they erased the post from existence because it was so insane. Who knows?

Only one song left from yesterday. Good job guys, those weren’t the easiest.

1. Now who got the chance to make things right/ Why the politicians always want to fight?

2. Not a lotta bling/ when you do the thing/ bada boom bada bing

3. Now I taught the weeping willow how to cry/ And I showed the cloud how to cover/ Up a clear blue sky

4. It’s gonna be sudden/ It’s gonna be strange/ Gonna stop on a dime. Give you five cents change.

5. I’m one/ big queen/ No one/ can stop me

Monday, January 22, 2007


I feel like I have a lot to say today and I am not entirely sure why. Maybe I don’t have all that much to say. We’ll see.

Thing number one, the Chicago Bears are going to the Super Bowl. Hooray!!! This is utterly awesome. I really enjoyed watching the game. I was pretty scared in the beginning when it seemed they couldn’t score a touchdown to save their lives but they put it together eventually. For Lovie Smith to become the first Black coach to go to the super Bowl was really nice to see, he is a great guy. Then for him to be closely followed by Tony Dungy was just wonderful. No matter what happens a Black coach will win the Super Bowl. This may not seem like a huge deal but it kind of is. Speaking of the Colts, they are going to be one hard team to beat. I am sure that it is technically possible but if both teams play in the Super Bowl like they played last night the Bears uh, well, how do I say this and still sound like a fan??? Maybe just leaving it at that will be fine. One thing that really confused me about the Bears game was the weather. See, it was snowing lightly throughout most of the game and was coming down pretty well by the fourth quarter. However, at my house it was not snowing at all. I realize I live about 11 miles away but it was still strange. I spoke about this to my sister and we talked about how it would be fun to find the place where the snow stopped. It would be like that spot where you can stand in four states at once but it would be the spot where one side of you got snowed on and the other didn’t. Apparently, that spot was within 11 miles of my house. Anyway, GO BEARS.

The next thing I want to talk about is the fantastic dinner I made yesterday. Man was it delicious. I made potato gnocchi in a tofu cream sauce. Now I am sure many of you are currently making disgusted faces but you shouldn’t. This sauce, although made entirely of tofu and veggies, did not taste anything but delicious and creamy. If you are a person who likes delicious creamy sauces but is health conscious (and not allergic to soy) this is the sauce for you. Gnocchi is also pretty decent foodstuffs for the health conscious and is incredibly delicious and filling. I was so proud cause I basically made this recipe up and it worked. I would like to take this time to share. A side note is that there was a lot more sauce than gnocchi so if you don’t want leftovers you should make less about half the sauce would go perfectly with one package of gnocchi (about 3 cups cooked).

1. Get a big old pot of water on the stove.

2. Sautee two leeks (I only use the onion-like part not the leafy greens on top), one red pepper, ¼ cup fresh basil and two cloves of garlic together over medium low heat in some olive oil (I think I used about 1.5 tbsp) until nice and soft. The longer you cook the more flavor you get out and I don’t think it is possible to cook these things for too long.

3. Put the juice of one lemon into a blender

4. Put half a cube of tofu in the blender and blend

5. Once it is nice and creamy add the rest of the tofu (if your blender is better than mine you can probably add all the tofu at once)

6. Add the sautéed vegetables and a little bit of water (maybe ¼ cup or so?? Like I said I don’t measure) to the blender and blend until nice and smooth.

7. Taste sauce. It should be incredibly delicious. I didn’t need to add any salt or pepper but you may like those things added.

8. Chop up some mushrooms and spinach and put them in the already nice and hot sauté pan, sauté until spinach is limp and mushrooms have shrunk down a bit.

9. By this time the water should be boiling and you can put in the gnocchi. It should only take 2 minutes to cook so while that is going add the cream sauce to the mushroom/spinach mixture. MMMMM delicious already.

10. Drain the gnocchi and serve (I topped it with a tad of mozzarella and some basil)

This fantastic meal contains 381 calories, 47g carbs, 10g fat (half from cheese), and 23g protein (thanks to sparkpeople and to Julie for turning me on to it) for a 1 ¼ cup serving of gnocchi and enough sauce to sufficiently cover it, well.

The final thing on the agenda is a little news bit I read this morning. In California democratic assemblywoman Sally Lieber is going to introduce a law making spanking, hitting, and slapping a child under four a misdemeanor. Personally, it’s fine by me. I wasn’t a spanked child and I don’t plan to spank my future unborn children. However, I wonder if a light spank is the same thing as a hit or a slap? I am not sure. Maybe it depends on the person who is doing the hitting? Also, what is the deal on the age limit? Are there already laws to protect older children or does it not matter if they are spanked, hit, and slapped? Also, while I am certainly not an advocate of that type of punishment so many people are and I really wonder if such a law is truly going to be effective. Are Californian kids going to call the police on their parents every chance they get? Just got me thinking.

As a result of thinking, I think I have certainly rambled enough and it is time for this week’s Name That Tune. I have Tony’s iPod today so we’ll see what happens. Monica asked that I put slashes to separate lines rather than periods. That made sense to me.

1. Angel came down from heaven yesterday/ stayed with me just long enough to rescue me. Angel, Jimi Hendrix. Identified by Brooke

2. She’s a miss beautiful supreme/ A girl that others wish that they could be. Ebony Eyes, stevie Wonder. Identified by Brooke. (way to get the easy ones Friend)

3. Now who got the chance to make things right/ Why the politicians always want to fight

4. Dreamed I was an Eskimo/ frozen wind began to blow/ and my mama cried. Don't Eat The Yellow Snow, Frank Zappa. Identified by The Doc and Monica

5. At night I can’t sleep I toss and turn/ Candlesticks in the dark visions of bodies being burned. My Mind Is Playing Tricks On Me, The Geto Boyz. Identified by Monica

Sunday, January 21, 2007


It's carnival time! This bestest blog carnival is all about memes. What better way to spend a day then reading different people's answers to the same questions. For this all day fun time event stop by Bloggingham Palace and visit Mimi your host for a memeing good time.

Friday, January 19, 2007


A long time ago I decided not to put a stat counter on my blog because I didn’t believe I was technically capable enough to do it. Then I realized that I would have to be a complete idiot with no hands or feet not to be able to do it so I did. I love my stat counter. I am slightly obsessed. I think that it could become a huge problem for me. I have always liked graphs, facts, figures, useless information, and randomness. The stat counter combines them all. I wish I had done it a long long time ago.

Yesterday I found a friends computer and was able to deduce what she was doing on it by looking at the length of time she spent on the page and my deductions were confirmed. I felt real special, like a secret agent. I also realize that most people who end up on my blog don’t stay all that long, which is ok by me because I am sure that my almost interesting musings aren’t at all interesting to many people. I can deal with that, it makes sense. What I don’t understand is why some people spend over an hour on my page. I admit that I am happy about their interest. I just don’t understand it. At all. I’m only almost interesting.

The country breakdown is also interesting. I knew I had visitors from all over but I didn’t know how much all over. I’m talking about places like Brazil, Malaysia, and Ireland. I knew I had visitors from the UK but not Ireland, and there were a few.

As any of you people with a stat counter know, the search results that bring people to your page are always incredibly interesting and often hilarious. Surprisingly, about 75% of the searches that brought people to me were about figure skating. Granted, when I talk about figure skating I really talk about figure skating but I only did it twice. I’m sure more will come after Nationals this month and Worlds in March but it obviously isn’t my main thing. My favorite search was “Ironman racist lyrics”. Last I knew, Ironman didn’t have racist lyrics but apparently the site that comes up after mine talks about a sir-mix-a-lot song called Ironman that apparently has some racially stereotypical lyrics. Who knew? I thought it was funny that my page came up before the one that obviously answered their query but whatever. “Natalie, I love you, I love you, I love you” was also a nice search. I guess there are a few songs by Natalie’s that have those lyrics in them as well as my many posts about things that I love. Actually, a lot of things got to my page because of song titles or lyrics, which makes sense since I include them on every post. I was flattered to know that if you google the first line from “Little Red Corvette” my blog is the first page you will come upon. I am second in line for “King Herod’s Song” and, as a lover of musicals, which is also a big deal.

For the past two weeks we have been instructed to wear orange and blue on Fridays in support of our Chicago Bears. Most people wear their Bears gear or don’t wear any orange and blue at all. I have no Bears gear but still wanted to show my support. Last week I wore my Orange “Super Dad” shirt with blue lettering. Today I am wearing my Mets shirt, which is particularly hilarious to me. One other person found it funny so far but it is only 10:30. I truly hope that my awesome levels of “spirit” help the Bears get to the Super Bowl. It would be nice. Someone else just told me in a mean voice that I was wearing the wrong team. I explained it was the best I could do and she looked at me crazy. What?

Songs To Aging Children, Joni Mitchell- When I first started to really listen to Joni Mitchell I was in high school and I had a morbid fascination with this song as I felt I was certainly an aging child. I was far too dramatic for my own good. I think it applies more to me now than it did then. Not that I am anything but an adult (although occasionally that could be debated) I just think I understand it better now.

Rise, Public Image Limited- Oh how this song reminds me of “The Rules of Attraction,” the movie not the book. Monica and I watched this movie A LOT for a while. I never thought I would be such a fan of a movie staring Dawson but this movie is fantastic! If you haven’t seen it you should stop reading this silly blog and haul tail to the video store. There are so many priceless scenes in this film that I can’t even begin to think about them. THE NAME IS DICK!

Astro Boy, The Dwarves
- I don’t think this song has anything to do with the cartoon Astro Boy that my Mom loves so dearly. I think her face on Christmas when she opened Astro Boy was almost as adorable as my face when I opened Jabba The Hut after a good 15 years of wanting it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


So yesterday I promised to write a little about Obama. This quote was taken from an AP interview last year in regard to the African-American reaction to his possible (now certain) presidential bid.

“It’s interesting that the people who are most hesitant about this oftentimes are African-Americans because they feel protective of me. They’re either concerned about the attacks I’d be subjected to or they are skeptical oftentimes that America is prepared to elect a black president.”

I am not sure if this is one of those things that is funny cause it’s true or sad cause it’s true. Maybe some of both. I have been a fan of Obama for years. Probably because I live in Chicago. Until rather recently he wasn’t known outside this area. That speech at the 2004 DNC really took him to a new level. He has made a name for himself with his charismatic oration, humility (in an interview with John Stewart he admitted the only person more over hyped than himself was Stewart), and a flair for comedy but is it enough? Would I like to see him as our president? Certainly. Will it be a hard road? Without a doubt. Is it a road that can end in victory? I’m not sure but I would like to hope so.

I liked how he said that African-Americans are protective of him, it’s a rather eloquent way of saying black folks don’t want to see another of their leaders killed. Yes, I know it is 2007. One would hope that his assassination wouldn’t be something we would have to fear. Obviously, I’m not the only one whose mind it has crossed. We’re talking about a man who has prided himself in the past on not traveling with a huge entourage and who will need to seriously change that practice immediately. We’re talking about a man who enjoys being accessible and that accessibility is part of his charm. Of course people are protective of him. We see someone who, although he doesn’t have tons of experience in National Politics, has experience living abroad, learning at a Muslim institution, and obviously as a Black man in America. To me, he looks like someone who could bring a lot of unity and credibility to a country that has lost many friends in the last many years. As Obama said in regard to Cheney and Rumsfeld, “[they] had the best resumes on paper of any foreign policy team, and the result has been what I consider to be one of the biggest foreign policy mistakes in our history.” He is right. It makes only too much sense to elect someone who has an entirely fresh look on things to the presidency.

Now, the second point. Is America ready to elect an African-American president? Honestly, I don’t know. If the Electoral College were dismantled it would certainly help his chances. Back at Rachel’s Tavern a more detailed description is given but essentially since no state is majority Black their votes only truly count if they vote with enough white people to equal a majority. In the red southern states, how often does that happen? Therefore, how often does the southern Black vote truly count (obviously this goes for other minority groups as well and while race doesn't always equal voting preference it obviously matters some)? It’s institutionalized racism at its best. I kind of digress; the real question is do I think America is open enough to elect a Black man to our highest office? Sadly, I kind of doubt it. Many people will disagree with me, and I truly hope that I am proven wrong. I just think there are enough fake liberals out there who wouldn’t truly feel secure with Obama at the helm simply because of his race. Or maybe, those same people would be too ashamed at their deep down prejudices that they’ll vote for him. Or maybe, people will actually listen to his politics and vote for him (but we all know that isn’t so likely).

We then come to another issue, his name. I don’t have to tell anyone (or I hope I don’t) how many times this man has been called Osama. CNN, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Kennedy, Yahoo news, and I’m sure there are others have been guilty. It doesn’t matter if it was a slip of the tongue or intentional, people operate on associations all the time. I think the picture of Osama Bin Laden on CNN with the caption Where’s Obama?” was my favorite. The man’s middle name also happens to be Hussein. I hear his full name mentioned often. I don’t hear many other politicians full names mentioned often. It’s just another little thing to put in the back of people’s minds. Wait, isn’t that guy named Hussein Osama? Doesn’t that sound suspect to you? I can’t vote a Hussein Osama into office. Here I am contributing to the madness. Maybe I should delete this paragraph to limit the false associations? I won’t because I think it is relevant to my point. Obama has a lot of obstacles to overcome.

Do I think it is possible that he will be our next president? Yes. Do I think it is likely, I don’t know. At this point I don’t even know if it is likely that he’ll win the nomination. Again, I hope. Best of luck to him. Let's turn to the music.

Good Guys Don’t Wear White, Minor Threat- I guess this song kind of makes sense given the topic of the post. You can’t judge a person by the clothes they wear or whose name theirs rhymes with.

I Held Her In My Arms, Violent Femmes- Man I used to be all about the Violent Femmes. Once I went to see them in concert. I have no idea who I went with. It was a really good concert. I think it was in college. I think it was with a strange group of people that I didn’t stay friends with very long.

Naked and Famous, The Presidents of The United States of America- These guys are so awful that they are just fantastic. They are so incredibly mid-late ‘90s. There is nothing else to say about them. I do really like a few of their songs though; Dune Buggy and Body are just fantastic. Actually, I like this whole album, sort of. I am ashamed and want to die.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Because I am mindless and dull and Michael C already wrote about people driving into railroad tracks because their GPS told them to and thusly effectively stealing my thunder I had to steal the thunder of others. Hence, I stole a Meme from Morgen, a blogthing from Janna and a... nothing from anyone else. Damn, I thought I would be cleverer than that. Oh wait, I am cleverer than that. I just remembered that I wanted to write about Obama’s responses on the hesitance of Black folks to get all excited about his presidential bid. However, I think I’ll do that tomorrow; it’s too much work for today.

A- Available or single? Wait, aren’t available and single the same thing?
B- Best Friend? Tony, how cheesy is that? It’s true though
C- Cake or Pie? Cheesecake please
D- Drink of Choice? I suppose water; I really like cold water, especially with cucumber to make me feel fancy
E- Essential Item? Phone
F- Favorite Color? Purple
G- Gummi Bears or Worms? Worms preferably of the sour neon variety, I particularly like the blue and pink ones
H- Hometown? Minneapolis, MN
I- Indulgence? TV
J- January or February? January because by Feb I really really really hate winter
K. Kids and names? No kids, fish: Maybe, Mr. Snodgrass, Count Desdemona, Bunsen, (Beeker just died L but that’s what fish do sometimes I guess), Jet Screamer, and Dash Riprock
L- Life is incomplete without? Happiness
M- Marriage Date? Some enchanted evening (or afternoon) I suppose
N- Number of Siblings? Sisterhead AKA Shoshana is the only one
O- Oranges or apples? Depends on the day usually apples because I am too lazy to peel an orange
P- Phobias/Fears? Loneliness, critters
Q- Favorite Quote? I generally forget quotes except like the litany of fear from Dune. I am the biggest nerd ever. I must not fear, fear is the mindkiller, fear is the little death that brings total obliteration, I must face my fear. I will let it pass over me and through me. And where it has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. (I think that’s pretty much right)
R- Reason to Smile? I smile a lot, sometimes for no reason at all
S- Season? Sweater weather
T- Tag three people! You, you and you
U- Unknown Fact About Me? Who cares? Everyone knows the important stuff
V-Vegetable you hate? I pretty much love all vegetables if they are prepared properly
W- Worst habit? It is a secret only Tony knows.
X- X-Rays you’ve had? Teeth, lungs, arm, maybe more?
Y- Your favorite food? I’ll go with Indian food for now, I love Indian food so incredibly much that I would marry it iff (yes I did that on purpose, let your true nerd shine) I were PeeWee Herman and it was the 80s.
Z- Zodiac? Gemini, the twins, the dual personality, the indecision maker, the total nutcase.

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convincing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Now wasn't that fun? It wouldn't be a Natalie post without music stuffs so here we go.
Simply Beautiful, Al Green- I really like Al Green, listening to any songs by Al Green reminds me of Friend. Friend came to visit Jamie the other day and it was nice to see her. We did something really silly but I don't remember what it was, I think our foreheads may have been touching. I know we were on a couch.

Lupe Fiasco, Lupe Fiasco- Typically, I think when people write songs named after themselves both they and the song promise to suck. That is not the case. I am sure I have said it before on this here blog and will probably say it again. This guy makes me smile. He has kicked and pushed his way into my heart.

Jive, Cibo Matto- Cibo Matto will always remind me of Belmont apartment although I don’t think we really listened to it all that much. Something about the two just makes sense though. Maybe it is the high-pitched girly squeals of fun.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I went over to the National Testing site with a few of my students this morning so they could take their test. The only two whose results I got passed. That automatically raises my percentage from the last group. That made me smile. I couldn’t get results for the other two because their computers locked up right when they were about to go to the score page. I have to wait for the testing center to talk to the national center and retrieve their results. Based on their work in class I am not expecting one of them to pass, but the other should. Even if neither one passes I have improved upon the last group and that is a good thing.

After the tests, I went to Chipotle to get a burrito bowl for lunch. It was delicious but that is not the point of the story. The point is that while at Chipotle I encountered one of the worst types of people around, the white business guy who insists on using poor Spanish to talk to anyone who appears to be a Spanish speaker. Typically, I see these people and just shake my head and laugh at them to myself. However, this guy was right in front of my face and I was hungry. To make matters worse, he was ordering for five people and seemed as if he had never been to Chipotle before. I want to stress here that I was not the only person who seemed annoyed by his Spanish, the workers were about ready to kill him too and kept shooting me sympathetic glances.

My mom gave me this book, “My Life As A Daymaker” and the point is to live your live in a way that will make at least one other person’s day every day. I thought it was a very silly book cause I’m not much into the whole self-help type of book but it has a good message. Anyway, I digress. One thing they said in the book is that one way to make someone’s day is if they have only one item and you are in line in front of them with many things that you may want to let them go ahead of you. That principle would have easily applied today. Not only did he have five orders but he wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted, plus he insisted in ordering in Spanish and occasionally had to think of words. I had one quick order and would have liked to go first. Isn’t it typical fast food etiquette to let someone order when you don’t know what you want? The food is no longer fast if you have to wait forever for it. That guy really did NOT make my day. Just for him I have coined the term Dayruiner. Maybe I will write a book called "My Life With Dayruiners" and list all the horrible people I encounter. Huh, not a bad idea.

Since none of the songs were guessed from last week I’ll have to out them myself. We need to do better people.

1. True love will find you in the end, you'll find out just who is your friend. True Love Will Find You In The End by Daniel Johnston

2. Hey girl stop what you're doing. Hey girl you'll drive me to ruin. Communication Breakdown by Led Zepplin

3. Girl, the only thing that matters in my life is that I'm down for you and treat you right. Don’t Be Cruel by Bobby Brown (Boo to everyone for not knowing this song)

4. Born to be a god among salesmen. Working the skinny tie. Blue Eyed Devil by Soul Coughing

5. Come along with me to my little corner of the world. My Little Corner Of The World by Yo La Tengo (greatest song ever)

Friday, January 12, 2007


Before I get started I wanted to add that the Bestest Blog Carnival is happening tomorrow and the focus is on animal posts. I submitted my post about the ghost fish. Check out the carnival at Morgen's Blog for more information. The banner was created by Janna. You got to give credit where credit is due.

I think I figured out what I was trying to say yesterday about clutter. I think I dreamt part of the solution and I was all set to sally forth upon waking and fix the world, then I turned the water on in the shower and promptly forgot it all. Although the dream hasn’t come back to me yet, and it probably never will, I feel like I am at some sort of crossroads. Unfortunately, I don’t know if either road is the right path and they both seem blocked.

I feel the need for movement, some sort of a new beginning. The questions are how, where, and what. I think part of the conversation I had yesterday with a co-worker who needed do get rid of some things in their life really got me thinking. There really is a lot of unnecessary stuff around cluttering up my mind.

One path would allow me to go all fortress of solitude and take some time and try to figure things out. Yet, in order to do that, I would have to cut everything important out of my life and that really isn’t an option. This leaves me wondering how I can fit in some serious self-examination without alienating everyone close to me that I love and that I need to be around. I don’t think it is entirely possible.

This leads me to the other path, immersing myself in something to the point of cathartic release. I need to get so incredibly passionate about something that I wake up thinking about it needing to learn about it and understand every part of it. The problem with that path is there is too much clutter around for me to see what that something is. I can’t get there from here.

I know I need to find a career. I know I need to go back to school. I know I need to exercise my brain because I can feel it getting stupider by the second. I just am wondering why I am stalling. I was pretty set on becoming a teacher, and I am still thinking about it pretty seriously. I am just wondering if that is really where my passion is. If so, then why haven’t I gotten more involved in making it happen? Why do I have no interest in going to information sessions or even figuring out what requirements I have already met and what I still have left to do? Is teaching really going to fulfill my needs?

If not, the question becomes what do I want to do? I think my problem is that I have too many interests. I want to learn about everything and I can’t make myself specialize. That is part of why college was so rewarding, I could study anything and everything I wanted to and it was wonderful. Now, even if there were such a thing as Master of Liberal Arts I wouldn’t want it because I know it wouldn’t get me closer to some tangible career goal.

I suppose I feel that if I can clear out all the clutter around me that I’ll be able to figure something out. That I can see a clear goal through the mess of crap that clouds my vision. Maybe I just need to clean my house.

None of yesterday's songs were guesses so here they are again.

1. True love will find you in the end, you'll find out just who is your friend.

2. Hey girl stop what you're doing. Hey girl you'll drive me to ruin.

3. Girl, the only thing that matters in my life is that I'm down for you and treat you right.

4. Born to be a god among salesmen. Working the skinny tie.

5. Come along with me to my little corner of the world.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I’ve been thinking about cycles lately. How things arrive in your life, morph into something else, and then leave. I have always been the type of person to keep things around for a long time, even when they have outgrown all usefulness. There are times when I just want to chuck it all and be done with everything and everyone I have ever known and just start over. Sometimes I wonder if, save a few, that wouldn’t be the best thing for me to do? Is there a point where you have given and gotten everything you can with a person and that it would be better just to leave it at the memories and move on? Maybe there is or maybe not. Maybe the more you get to know some people the more you realize they don’t really understand what it is that you expect from them. Maybe you realize that they just don’t get who you are and why you are friends. Is there room in life for people like that?

Being the type of person who rarely has a large group of friends to begin with, I have always thought that the ones I did have were really special. They are the type of people that I would do just about anything for. That is why I keep them around. Sometimes I wonder if it is more effort that it is worth though. Then again, I don’t put out much effort to keep my friends around so I guess I have no reason to complain. I hate calling people. I don’t know why but I just don’t like it. Since most of my friends are not close by I suppose I have somewhat of a hard time keeping up. They know I love them though.

I don’t really know where I was going with this post. I don’t think it has much of a point at all. I think I’ll just leave it here. I’ll just add in a fun blogthing that I took from Shadowfalcon to divert the strangeness.

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

1. True love will find you in the end, you'll find out just who is your friend.

2. Hey girl stop what you're doing. Hey girl you'll drive me to ruin.

3. Girl, the only thing that matters in my life is that I'm down for you and treat you right.

4. Born to be a god among salesmen. working the skinny tie.

5. Come along with me to my little corner of the world.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Ok so I didn’t post yesterday because I knew the next post would be my 100th post and I had no idea what to do to make it special. I thought about listing some of my favorite posts but then decided it was too much work. Instead, I decided to pick one sentence from each of my posts and turn it into a stream of consciousness type vignettes. I will admit to changing a few pronouns or tenses here and there to boost congruity. The posts that I think are particularly good will get links through their sentences. I don’t really expect it to make much sense. I could try really hard to make a conistent narrative and maybe I would succeed but I am just not quite that ambitious. Now obviously this is much more work than just linking to my favorite or more relevant posts but we’ll see what happens. I’m sure some things will be much better than others. The first sentence is from the first entry and it goes sequentially from there. Here we go.

I think I am supposed to go have cake now. I am at my friend Davey Wo's house for a festive gathering and we decided to play spin the bottle. To begin with the guy didn't have much of a chance. However, he reminded me of the guy on the blue line that would mouth words with a very big saliva ridden mouth and just go crazy with his headphones. I hated his admitting to taking steroids and wanting to kill people self. You can't get a little closer to stray bullets every day until one can whiz right past your head and you don't blink. I mean there were a few problems before but nothing like this. I hate making friends.

Some guy almost pushed me off the train platform running to catch the train (well that was yesterday) and he fell down right when he got by the train door so I guess that is actually really funny. I match too much today. Maybe I am being over confident with that but I don't really think I am. I am always (well mostly) fabulous in my own eyes. The most important thing I have learned is to isolate the tomato. How cute is that?

I used to really like space. We all know black people love chicken. I secretly want to go to Bible study because I find it fascinating but all the hard-core-religious people around me would give me the heebie-jeebies. Maybe musical entertainment will be more fulfilling. Finally, while watching the Today show this morning before work (I know its lame but sometimes fascinating things happen) I learned that Jesus is back.

I thought I looked really cute today (and I do) but I recently discovered my shirt is dirty. Typically, I would be fine with that. Essentially, my fashion sense is slightly offended. Now get your goofy ass off the runway! Anyway, what I am trying to say is that I do not feel like a member of the all-new Cool Club, of which I am in fact the secretary/treasurer. What if they think I am reading The Stranger to be like Bush, or because he gave it the good old thumbs up? Or maybe they don’t and I have just been revealed as a sick and twisted individual.

People used to tell me that if I were a Muppet I would be Rolph but then they met Monica and she looks more like a Rolph than I. Unfortunately, the judges tend to like her. This guy keeps following us because he wanted nothing to do with his friends and apparently we are a "reputable group". We were able to get out of that because we had to attend a "play" about prostate cancer that Monica's brother was in at 6:30.

Today is a boring day. Today is wet. See, as we left the house in the morning he had asked me if he should put his galoshes on. This gave me a wonderful picture of hilarity. On an unrelated but tragic topic, my favorite Of Montreal song has been turned into an Outback Steakhouse commercial. I just know that sometimes, even a brain needs a vacation. I don’t know if I have ever seen George W. Bush think.

Have you ever spent a really long time on something that you just didn’t have to? That is the meaning of good times. I really like that time. It kind of makes me feel like an old person though. You know that it will hold up the lines and keep people from getting where they need to go. Something about crying as an adult for something that impacted your childhood is really cathartic. We Jews apologize today.

Not only is that the greatest thing to say ever, it was the name of a very inspirational movement that happened last week. Bradley looked a hot mess, Vincent was turned on, Angela whined. Tony just woke up; I think that means I should be starting dinner soon.

I am semi-convinced that I am supposed to live in the middle of the woods somewhere and flit about in nature. I whupped a Rainbow Butterfly’s ass. I don’t like plenty of rules/standards of culture but I don’t cheat at Monopoly. Time warp anyone?

Help is a young woman with a pitcher of water who pours the water into holes to flush things out. She was some smug bitch to be sure. Built a wall around a group of dancing partygoers, waiting for them to die. The room cleared, it was no good. You could just tell that she knew she wasn’t going to win, a hard place for a girl who is used to being on top. Then she did something bold and daring. She promptly hit Ben-man.

He was pretty upset. He hates it when someone goes for a bite of his food and they take his saved best bite, he means he put it aside on the plate for a reason people. He didn’t know if he would ever listen to Prince in the same way again. What a nice guy.

There we were, grown women, obsessing over a show about 8th graders and HS freshmen. Don’t even get me started on Sasha Cohen, that little robotic twit looks like someone needs to skate past and smack her a few times then back up and smack her some more. A noble pursuit I am sure and undoubtedly a very lucrative topic for a book.

Maybe I am lenient, but a seven-year difference from planning and carrying out the death of another individual and a guy snatching some purses and accidentally severing a finger doesn’t seem quite right. This man was adamant about not thinking for the future. No one cares anymore. Damn liberal arts education.

This morning on the train was a disgusting and somehow not at all malodorous mess under one of the seats. I know it sounds crazy but who knows? We figured something swam up inside the little rock and maybe got stuck and died. Some liked it, I found it terrifying.

Most people aren’t going to get kicked out of their house for some heavy petting. Although I don't have a ton of background, that would make sense to me. It makes so much sense to talk about this as a natural part of life and celebrate differences rather than to categorize and label and diagnose people simply for being who they are. I think I may be able to squeeze one more meal out of it but that’s about all I can hope for. This brings my pass rate to a dismal 33%.

What being a natural beauty means is that you are a lazy bum who doesn't wear make-up and you don't care. I like pretty people. I think after my generation has all their kids there will be a lot more. I am sick and have a problem. I need to plan my life.

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. I think a lot of the things I do he simply tolerates. I have accepted that Ulysses has won.

Next time I go to Dave E. Wo’s I will have to talk to his bunny in the few bunny words I know. It would make my life so much easier. I’m not afraid of being seen as weak and easy to take advantage of anymore. 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. There is nothing quite like nothing.

He just makes me smile cause he is a big old nerd. I used to think Jello was the black guy in the Dead Kennedys but he isn’t. I sucked it up and realized I was in it for the long haul. Started to say something but Tony looked at me like a crazy person. The answer is that I really don’t know. Maybe it's because I don’t know where I’m going but I do know where I’ve been and that will always remain constant and reliable. It almost makes someone want to just say screw it all and sit at home on their ass. Wow, how sad.

All the songs from the last post were guessed so we get five new ones today.

1. Words fail buildings tumble the groud opens wide. She's Actual Size, They Might Be Giants. Identified by Monica

2. True love will find you in the end, you'll find out just who is your friend.

3. Though I tried before to tell her all the feelings I have for her in my heart. Every Little Thing, The Police. Identified byMom.

4. Hey girl stop what you're doing. Hey girl you'll drive me to ruin.

5. Girl, the only thing that matters in my life is that I'm down for you and treat you right.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I have not made a new post in the last few days because my next post will be my 100th post and I am working on something that takes a long long time. I hope you are all very excited.

Ok so I obviously wrote this post some time ago because the final aired on the 23rd but I still like the post so whatever. Additions are in Italics

With the Grand Prix Final airing this coming weekend (although the competition was over on Sunday) it’s time to talk figure skating again. I don’t believe the US team has had lower expectations to do well on the world scene since 1961 when the entire Olympic team died in a plane crash. I realize that may have been an insensitive statement but my point is that US skating this year is hopeless on the International scene.Although Sasha Cohen didn’t compete in the grand prix this year (I am hoping she retired but have since found out she is just stepping off the scene for a few years to refocus and will be back for the next Olympics), not a single US female qualified for the Grand Prix final. Not even reigning World Champion Kimmie Meisner, pathetic. Granted she didn’t make the final last year and won worlds but it doesn’t bode well. Maybe she is just a late season skater. However, being that the American women have been such a dominant force for years, I have serious misgivings about the continuance of that legacy at this point. I think things are changing and the Japanese women have taken over the sport. They certainly deserve it. I haven’t seen a field that deep since those pictures of flooding on An Inconvenient Truth. There have to be at least five skaters that could take a title on a good day. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t incredibly consistent. Then again, at least one of them will skate cleanly on any given day. Not to mention Yu Na Kim from South Korea coming in and taking over.

Looking at the men’s competition, the Americans seem to be faring a little better. Two skaters made the Grand Prix final, Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir. Unfortunately, Lysacek pulled out before the competition and Weir pulled out after the short program. I’m not sure why but I’ll fill in after I watch the event, injuries that’s why. After those two there is nothing. Lysacek is known as the come back kid because he seems to mess up his short program and then make up a lot of ground in the long. However, that kind of strategy can never win gold. Weir, although the US champ three years running, has never won a world medal-which only proves my point. He can skate wonderfully but is incredibly inconsistent and can’t come back after a mistake. Once again, the Japanese skaters are coming and the world had better watch out. They are wonderful and I can’t say a single bad thing about them if I try. They are also younger than most of the rest of the field. I am guessing the reason is that figure skating in Japan is getting huge and they are not the types to make fun of boys who want to skate. Stupid Americans. I sadly forgot the French; they are also on the come up. That Brian Joubert can’t be beat if he skates cleanly and that one goofy guy isn't bad either.

Throughout my love affair with skating, American Pairs have never been at the top of the heap. Inoue and Baldwin have come onto the scene and begun to change that, maybe. The fact that they became the first and only to do a throw triple axel is fantastic but their side-by-side jumps leave something to be desired. See, Baldwin became a pairs skater because with his 17 or so trips to the nationals he never did all that well because he fell all the time. Now, as a pair, he still falls all the time. He doesn’t even have to do the hard triples and he falls all the time.

American dance was thought to be on the come up. When Belbin and Augosto won the silver at the Olympics it was thought that a new era might have begun. There are two other US dance teams, one made it to the final, who I thought were far more interesting to watch than Belbin and Augosto, I don’t remember their names though. One did a somewhat Arabian themed program that was very avant-garde and the other did an Adam and Eve themed program that I also thought was beautiful. Belbin and Augosto did some tired dance number type ting that made me want to die. They need to beef it up if they want to stay on top of the world. They also withdrew from the Grand Prix meaning that Inoue and Baldwin were the only Americans that actually competed. I must be getting old because I have started to like dance again. Or else, dance is finally getting to where it was headed in '88 more modern dancelike vs. ballroom dance. Therefore, more interesting. I'll go with this vs. getting old. Even though I feel old. It’s definitely the artistry and interpretation that I like. Sister agreed with me that the dance was awesome to watch.

Things may be changing, however, for US skating. Apparently, American skaters in all events dominated the JR Grand Prix. Jr. ladies USA went 1-4, the men were 1 and 2, pairs 1, 3-6, and dance 1-2. However, Jr. skaters don’t always succeed on the Sr. level so it isn’t always the best of indicators. It gives some hope though.I just realized that this post is all about US skating, and while that was my original intention I don’t want to be seen as someone who only roots for athletes from my country. In fact, in skating, I have always rooted for the best skater regardless of where they are from. This season I am rooting for Japan more than any other country because their skaters are simply better. Oh yeah and that German pair cause the man is a brother. It is pretty rare to see world-class skaters of color who are not Asian. I think I could count the ones that made it to the world stage since ’88 on one hand. Wow, how sad. That’s a whole different post waiting to happen I suppose.

Now for the first guess that shuffle of the new year. This is where the first line of a song goes upand people comment on what song it is and who the artist is. In case I have any new readers, but that is unlikely.

1. Golden rose the color of the dream I had not too long ago. One Rainy Wish, Jimi Hendrix. Idntified by Brooke

2. When I met you I was just a kid hadn’t built up my defenses. Requiem for OMM, Of Montreal. Identified by Monica

3. Give me time to realize my crime. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me, The Culture Club (or are the just Culture Club? less the "the"). Identified by Jaclyn and Shadowfalcon

4. She lives on Love Street lingers long on Love Street. Love Street, The Doors. Identified by Jaclyn

5. Life used to be lifelike now it’s more like showbiz. Dialate, Ani DiFranco. Identified by Brooke.

Friday, January 05, 2007


I don’t consider myself to be one of those people who blogs about news stuff. I figure that any currentish thing I know iscommon knowledge and there are people who are much better at news blogging than I. I came across a post about a study that came out of Princeton at Rachel’s Tavern (an excellent blog about racism, sexism, and other isms that you should check out) and realized that I just had to write about it too. I suppose it doesn’t qualify as real news because the study is over a year old so I can still be a non-news blogger type.

You can read the full study here and I’ll sum up. A group of White, Black, and Latinos were sent out to look for entry-level jobs. They were all well-spoken, 22-26 years old, most were college educated, between 5ft10in and 6ft, similarly attractive (though who judged that I’m not sure), and were assigned fictitious similar resumes. They all presented themselves as High School graduates with a steady work history in entry-level jobs. In some cases they also claimed they had a felony conviction. Getting either a callback or an on-the-spot hire was seen as a positive outcome. 23% of Whites had positive outcomes, 19% of Latinos, and 13% of Blacks. Pretty depressing numbers in general but particularly for Black job seekers. Guess what? That’s who I work with. I was utterly depressed. Not surprised though.

The study just got worse the further I read. They did a second test group and looked at the figures comparing white applicants with a felony vs. Latino and Black applicants with no record. 13% of White Felons had positive outcomes (much lower than the White participants with no record), 14% of Latinos with no record were called back and 10% of Blacks with no record were called back. Although it isn’t a huge statistical difference it showed that Whites with a felony were still more likely to get called back than Blacks with no record.

Finally, they looked at how often people were offered a job different than that which they had applied for. It was seen if they were recommended to take either a lower, higher, or lateral position than which they had initially applied for. Black applicants were often channeled into lower positions and were never channeled upward. Latinos were channeled down in fewer cases than Blacks and were also never channeled upward. White applicants were channeled down the same amount as Latinos but only when reporting a felony conviction. The White applicants were often channeled up to positions they hadn’t done before and on one occasion asked to take a management position.

We aren’t talking about rocket science here people. We are talking about Sales Associates, Waitstaff at casual restaurants, and manual laborers. These are the types of job that just about anyone should be able to handle. These are the jobs that people are always telling unemployed people to go get. These are jobs at McDonald’s. I would imagine it gets worse when you go up the corporate ladder. It really makes you think.

If anyone has been in the job market in the past 6 years (and the way things are going most people have) you may have noticed it is getting harder out there in general. To go into a tight market with such a marked disadvantage is incredibly daunting. It almost makes someone want to just say screw it all and sit at home on their asses. Eventually, they won't have a home to sit in and they'll be out on the streets and the same people will be telling them to get a job never realizing that getting a job drove them to homelessness in the first place. Ok that may be extreme but who knows.

I also realize the study only dealt with men. From my experience as a job counselor, Black women seem to have an easier time of finding work than Black men. I haven’t done an in-depth study about it but my years of experience point me in that direction.

Unfortunately, the study didn't really give any suggestions on how to counteract this trend. I guess sociologists don’t often give solutions, that is more of a public policy paper or something. A lot has been said about taking people’s names and addresses off resumes before a hiring manager gets to them. That ALMOST makes sense unless you have ever done hiring. When you hire for a position you generally get 100+ resumes. Think of the hours it would take for someone to sit and black out the names and addresses on 100 resumes. If everything was done by computer (and we seem to be moving that way) it would be much easier, just a few lines of code. Of course, eventually we get to a face-to-face interview and then all bets are off.

99 Problems, Jay-Z- One of the teachers my sister works with played this song for his class because he was trying to prove some point that I don’t remember. She was mystified as to why a song with bitch in the chorus was used to teach. She had a good point. She thinks the teacher wanted to look cool and that was the only rap song he knew.

Miss Misery, Elliott Smith- Once when Monica and I were walking home from the Belle and Sebastian concert she was talking about how stupid and selfish Elliott Smith was for killing himself. People around us got a little sassy. Whatever, she had a good point.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Beach Boys- This really reminds me of Belmont Apartment and Monica and Jamie. I think they were really on Pet Sounds for a while. It is possible that I just made that up completely. I am not really sure. It still reminds me of them.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Lately I’ve been stuck on the super familiar. This is strange because even though I am a big time homebody I still like to try new things. New movies, foods, books, games, you know stuff that is new but doesn’t involve me gallivanting around town. Not that I don’t enjoy a good gallivant every once in a while but that isn’t the point. I am wondering why the familiar things are so comforting and good to me.

It would make sense if I were having a rough time or going through some major change in life. Nothing like that is the case. I am probably at one of the calmest and routine parts of my life so far. Maybe it is because I have just gotten too lazy to look for new things. I hear about them here and there. Sometimes I try them. It has been easier to go for old faithfuls lately.

In my book bag is Dune. I have read this book, uh, like, well, 6 times at least. This is not counting the times I randomly picked it up for an hour or so here and there and started it just for no reason. I took it with me to Minneapolis because I needed something small to fit in my purse for the plane. The question is, why am I still reading it? Maybe it’s because it is good? A valid reason, but I think there is more to it.

This morning while on my way to work I decided to listen to Tommy. Now I spent years and years listening to this record. I haven’t so much since college but this morning something told me I had to listen to Tommy and I did. I plan to listen to the second album on my way home. Again, the question is why? Maybe it’s because it is good? Again, a valid reason, but I think there is more to it.

Maybe it has something to do with the whole growing up stuff that's in the back of my head. These items are certainly staples of my youth. Maybe it's because I don’t know where I’m going but I do know where I’ve been and that will always remain constant and reliable. Maybe it is because both remind me of home and I just had a good time at home. Maybe it is because although I have been there many times, they always make me reevaluate perceptions and angles. Maybe it’s because it is good.

The Beautiful Ones, Prince- there was this guy at the Alumni Club that would always sing this song. I don’t remember if he sang well or not. I do remember that he got all down on the floor screaming and it was incredibly entertaining, the first few times.

Disarm, Smashing Pumpkins- The Smashing Pumpkins reportedly have a new album coming out. I think maybe 2007 will be the year of the comeback. It grooves with my whole stuck on the familiar thing. Rocky Balboa, Indiana Jones IV, Rambo IV, Beverly Hills Cop IV, new Dr. Dre (I bet it will be awesome), new Guns n’ Roses, New Michael Jackson. If people are feeling like me the success of these reemergences are all a pretty sure thing.

Tender, Blur- I could write an entire post about this song and all the people/places it makes me think of but I’ll only go with two. Monica and Natalie singing down Belmont and Friend in Jules talking about listening to this song in Jules with her ex. Both were important moments in very different ways.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


With Tony’s help, I got the glass out of my foot last night. It was a team effort of hot bowls of water, sterilized needles, and patience. I can walk with much less pain now. I can’t believe I walked around with that glass in my foot for so long. I honestly thought it was out of my foot and I was just having residual pain. Boy was I wrong. That was a big old piece of glass. I wonder why it was so hard to find before? I mean maybe it was just working its way out and was closer to the surface than it was Wednesday. Either way I’m feeling frisky and fine.

My Mom sent me pictures from Christmas. I thought about putting a few of them up but since I don’t have permission I will put up one of just me. This is me putting up one of the Natalie ornaments. I have two like this. One I think my parents got and one my grandparents but I could be wrong. It is a festive ball with a snowy sled scene and the year of my birth, 1979. There is one Shoshana ornament that says 1982. For some reason hers is pink and mine are blue. I don’t think it has anything to do with me being a boy though. Shoshana and I also have sled shaped ornaments with our names embroidered on them in Hebrew. We are diverse and stuff.

While I was looking at the Christmas pictures I started thinking that it would be nice to have a house like theirs and how I probably never will. Even if I am eventually able to buy someplace to live in Chicago, I doubt it will be a nice old house like theirs. I just don’t think I’ll be able to afford it. That got me thinking more about where I want to be in life and what is really important. Do I even care enough about Chicago to buy something here? The answer is that I really don’t know. I am pretty ambivalent to Chicago. I like it fine but don’t love it. When I think of places to move New York always comes up but I’d be even less likely to find a home for myself there and I do want a home of some sort so New York is somewhat out of the question. When I was driving around Minneapolis there were so many condos and homes for sale and the prices were so reasonable. It kind of pissed me off. Not that the places were anything I could afford but they were reasonable and big. Not that I really want to move back to Minneapolis. To get the kind of space I always pictured myself having I would have to go somewhere I don’t particularly want to be, namely the South. I’m not moving down South.

I guess maybe I just have to reevaluate my priorities and really decide what it is that I want. Do I want to stay here? Do I want to move somewhere else? Do I want a house with a yard? Can I even have one if I want it? All these questions are just too much sometimes. It seems like something a grown-up should decide. Which, of course, is me but that isn’t the point. I guess I just always thought that things would be a lot easier than they turned out to be. Maybe most people did. Maybe if I had made different choices things would have been easier. The question is would I be happier in that easy life? What would I have to complain about? Obviously everyone has problems of some sort so I guess there would be plenty to keep my mind occupied.
I was just talking to one of my students who was talking about how ready he is to be an adult and I thought back to myself at 20 and realized I thought I was ready to be an adult too. I thought I was an adult. At 27 I feel less adult than I did at 20. I wonder why that is? I certainly know more and am a more mature and reasonable human being. What is it then that makes someone feel truly grown up? Will I ever feel that way? I really hope so. I get that we can always learn and grow as people but at some point I would like to be able to confidently assert my adultness. Maybe that is something that solidifies with children. I guess I think it would be better to have children when I already have a firm grasp on adulthood. Maybe I am asking too much. I know I have a while before kids anyway. I think maybe I need to do some goal setting. I haven’t formally set any goals for myself since graduating from college. I have had ideas and made plans but never any real lofty goals that I could work for every day of my life and feel great about accomplishing. I tend to shy away from goals and always have. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to not achieve them. I generally achieve the really important things. Huh. Something to think about.

Something else to think about is why I want to feel settled down and grown up in the first place. Is it some innate human desire or is it just the way I am wired. Does everyone feel the need to nest? To what degree do people experience these needs and are some people more apt to nest than others? Who knows?

Let the shuffle decide.

Prenzlauerberg, Berlin- I discovered this band on the blog of someone who I unfortunately don’t remember at all. I feel kind of bad about that. Either way this "Gulag Orkestar" album of theirs is pretty freakin good. Then again I have no idea what their lyrics are about although some of them do seem to be in English, maybe. I hope I’m not listening to some awful stuff.

October Sky, Isobel Campbell- Oh why did she ever leave Belle and Sebastian? I know she put out a great album but then what? Why not stay with the coolest band ever and just go do a little side project? People do that all the time. Oh well. Belle and Sebastian don’t seem to have suffered all that much from her loss. I feel like I know this song. Does anyone else know a song called October Sky that has no words and is rather jazzy?

Executioner of Love, The Dirtbombs- I don’t think I have ever heard of this band before. It kind of reminds me of “Heaven On My Mind” meets “Paranoid” meets “And I Love Her”. That is actually not a bad description. I thought it may have got out of hand but now I think I was pretty right on.