Thursday, June 28, 2007


The past few days I have spent my mornings at the Illinois Center for Violence Prevention at a training on how to integrate violence prevention in social service agencies. I found some of the information to be very interesting, some to be entirely too obvious to talk about, and some to be downright strange. I thought I would highlight a few of these things.

One of the statistics mentioned was that last year there were 9 shooting deaths in the entire country of Canada (Not Fearing Change questioned this and she is WAY correct. I found 172 in 2004 and that was the most recent data I found in a 1 min search. I would think it has stayed in that range. Still far lower than the US but what kind of training center so grossly misrepresents?). While I don’t have the exact numbers, I would imagine there are more than nine each day in the United States (I would hope there aren't close to 200 gun deaths a day in the US but we could get there in a month easily). Obviously Canadian gun laws are far stricter than those in the US but, if you ask me, the number of lives saved is far more important than having the liberal gun laws that we have today. I firmly believe that if our founding fathers knew how the second amendment was being applied in modern society they would be enraged. One of the main goals of the training was to change the view of violence as a social issue to a public health issue, thereby ensuring more funding and widespread concern about violence in general.

Violence is a health issue. It is a killer and, if the state of Illinois can spend 9million on enforcing seat-belt laws, they can certainly spend a few billion on violence prevention training and education for the people who most need it. Everyone needs to be aware of these things but, like all education, it is important that we start early. Back when I was in grade school we got to middle school and were suddenly old enough to learn about EVERYTHING. We learned about sex, we learned about drugs, we learned about isms of all kinds. We didn’t learn about violence. At the same time, most of us already knew about these things. If education is going to work you have to teach children as soon as possible. Our facilitator recently worked with a group in the Netherlands to incorporate violence prevention education in their schools at every level. Last I checked the Netherlands was nowhere near as violent a society as ours. Yet, the society that needs the most education is getting the least.

Some of the things that I found too obvious to talk about were the numbers and types of violence that get reported in comparison to larger sample surveys done. It seems common sense to me that most of the violence that occurs doesn’t get reported. One of the reasons for that is that I feel the Center for Violence Prevention had a broader definition of what could actually be violence than I would. Sure, I get the difference between physical, emotional, and psychological violence. But I’m not going to report every person who I see yelling at their child in the supermarket because I am not trying to get in a fight. I realize that there are times when being a casual observer is not an option, but I also have common sense and understand what is and what isn’t my business.

The biggest thing that I found downright strange was our discussion of sibling violence. Yes, I know that getting violent with a sibling is wrong but our facilitator seemed of the mindset that there is no such thing as “they’re just being kids,” and I disagree with that. My sister and I fought. We didn’t fight a lot; we didn’t ever put each other in the hospital. When we did fight we would get in trouble and be punished accordingly. We knew fighting was wrong. It seemed tome that our facilitator thought that the world wouldn’t be ok until there was never a case of a sibling hitting their other sibling. Sure, that world might be ideal, but I don’t think it would be realistic. My sister and I now have an excellent relationship and we look back to some of the things that happen and can agree that they were instances of kids being kids. Maybe I am wrong about that. It just seems like that is what happens.

Staten Island Ferry, David Weinstone- This song got downloaded when I made a CD for someone who was moving to NY. I tried to include songs about all the boroughs. I never listen to this song and don’t have any other music by this artist. I maybe should because this song is ADORABLE.

Se A Cabo, Santana- Every time my students want to listen to my iPod (and I let them in my office) they ask me if Santana is Juelz Santana who raps some mostly horrible crap. I then hang my head in sadness.

Lag Time, Ani DiFranco- The guitar in this song is amazing. I wish I could attach it to the post and, even though I probably could, I don’t know how to and I don’t care enough to try.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I got three tags the other day so here they go.

The first is an oh so flattering Rockin' Girl Blogger award from The Thinker

How cool is that? I also get to tag five rockin' ladies with it. I am going to tag some awesome ladies.

1. Mrs. Loquacious because she is a real nice lady who tends to ROCK out a bit. Plus, she was the first person I didn't know who left me a comment and that rocks.

2. I got to give one to my dear friend Monica because she always tells me about rockin' bands to listen to and she just ROCKS in general. Without her my instances of leaving the house would be even fewer and that would be quite scary.

3. I'm going to throw one to Blondie, and since Clark St. is real close, she might even catch it. She made me feel less nervous about turning 30 in a few years with her recent chronicle. Cheers to that, it ROCKS.

4. Mood Indigo was gone for a long time doing incredibly important work with The Africa Project but I am selfishly happy she is back because she ROCKS!

5. I also want to send one to Blog Antagonist because she writes one the three or four "mommy blogs" that I enjoy. She doesn't just post stuff about her kids that no one cares about. She has important and interesting things to say. She also recently took her eldest to a Fall Out Boy concert because they really wanted to go and that kind of move ROCKS.

The second is from Memoirs of a Fat Girl
INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.
Classy & Fancy
[Cherry] Ride/
Memoirs of a Fat Girl
Almost Interesting Musings on Life

Select five people to tag: You, You, You, You and...uh...You

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I had just graduated from High School and was working at Learner New York (now NY&Co). I hung out with all the friends I knew I would keep forever (and now talk to very few) and switched from saying pop to saying soda because I didn’t want to get made fun of.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
I was finishing up my wonderful contract working with DCFS youth and getting ready to be the temporary Volunteer Services director. I am now again the temporary Volunteer Services director. If I am doing the same thing next year I might die.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. cheese
2. popcorn
3. guacamole
4. yogurt w/various cereals and/or fruits
5. hummus

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:
1. The Humpty Dance, Digital Underground
2. Sunshine Superman, Donovan
3. The Circle Game, Joni Mitchell
4. Disseminated, Soul Coughing
5. Tender, Blur

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
A million isn’t as much as it used to be so it isn’t going to last me very long. Maybe by millionaire they meant multiple millions? I took it literally. It's a little selfish but I give back every day at work so screw it.

1. Pay off my debts
2. Buy a lofty 3bed 2 bath condo
3. Buy a Smart Car
4. Take a year off to travel with Tony
5. If I have anything left (and there won’t be much after that vacation) invest it

Five bad habits:
1. cracking any joint that I possibly can
2. being a total slob
3. making decisions
4. finishing projects that I have started
5. not taking as good care of myself as I should

Five things you like doing:
1. cooking/eating fun and exciting foods
2. road trips with good people
3. sleeping in
4. all kinds of movies/ TV and video games
5. nothing

Five things you would never wear again:
1. culottes
2. sneakers with a heel (the maroon ones with a big sole don’t count)
3. shiny lycra (I’m talking about skating here people and maybe a few other times)
4. scrunchies
5. the crazy blue horizontal striped dress (but I’ll still wear it in the house)

Five favorite toys:
1. iPod
2. PS2
3. Cable
4. Scrabble
5. Monopoly

I was also tagged by Not Fearing Change for the 8 random facts meme. I think Monica tagged me with this or something like this but since I used her facts it wasn't quite right.

Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8.
Players should tag 8 other people and notify them that they have been tagged.

I am tagging the five "Yous" from above and also You, You

Just the (Random) Facts
1. My second toe on my right foot is longer than my big toe but on the left foot the big toe is longer. I think if I can figure out why this is I will unlock my mutant toe power.

2. I am 5ft tall but think I am much taller. When I see people my height walking around I am always struck by how small they are.

3. Right now I am relatively damp because I ran across the street in a torrential downpour an hour and a half ago.

4. I used to have a severe SIMS addiction. It stopped because the downloads I had didn’t work with Nightlife and I got annoyed because new SIMS had bad hair.

5. Most of the time I would rather be sitting at home.

6. I have only 400 pages left to read in War and Peace thus completing my reading of the books on my bookshelf...I think.

7. I have just folded 50 brochures about my customer service training

8. I love lamp

This post has taken me about five hours to actually finish. I am too tired for random songs.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I have never been a particularly graceful person. In all actuality, I am a big of a galumphing fool. I fall over quite a bit. I can’t dance, except for the most ridiculous choreographed routines. I am quite good at learning choreography. The only time I come even close to being remotely graceful is when I have a pair of ice skates.

Even on ice, I wasn’t the most artistic of skaters. I was more of a powerful skater. Not to say I didn’t have artistry. I certainly was one of the skaters who can “feel the music” and exert some sort of emotion in their movements. I truly loved what I was doing and it came through. In that sense, there was a sort of grace.

Although figure skating is typically seen as a graceful sport, off the ice there isn’t a lot of grace. There are rivalries, fake smiles, dismissive attitudes, and outright rudeness. There are also a few friendships scattered here and there but those more often occur between people who don’t compete against each other. Some friendly rivalries do exist. It always struck me that skaters who were supposed to be so graceful and so proper were some of the most horrible people I had ever met. I guess that is what happens when you are all alone out there.

I always tried to be graceful in winning and in losing. Sometimes I was more successful than others. It often depended on the grace of those who I was competing against. There were just a few people who I LOVED to beat. Those who put meanness out into the universe are certainly the ones who deserve to get a little smugness when they can’t be on top. Gracious? Maybe not. But virtuous all the same.

Now to reveal our songs from last week.

1. Well my name is Young MC and I’m cold rockin’ the house/ I came up into the place and now I’m turning it out. My Name is Young, Young MC

2. My baby’s always dancing/ And it wouldn't be a bad thing/ But I don't get no loving/ And that's no lie. Blame it on the Boogie, the Jackson 5

3. The creator of what’s now cliché/ Had some funny words to say/ all you little things are incomplete/ Why did he speak of us that way. The Repudiated Immortals, Of Montreal

4. Just before our love got lost you said/ I am as constant as the northern star and I said/ Constantly in the darkness/ Where’s that at/ If you need me I'll be in the bar. A Case of You, Joni Mitchell

Friday, June 22, 2007


In looking at the articles Mom posted in the comment section in response to my post yesterday I got even more pissed off. This time my anger is directed at the media. I understand that it is the job of the media to print stories that are going to be of interest to people and that will elicit an emotional response. It is also their responsibility to make the facts clear. I wasn’t the only person who read that this beating happened at a Juneteenth celebration, not outside an apartment building near where the festivities were winding down. I am not the only person who interpreted the story the way I did because of how it was written. Don’t get me wrong, most of the things I said yesterday still apply. However, to suggest that this event was in the midst of the celebration is misleading and causes improper associations. Any responsible journalist would know that. Ok, rant done, let me talk about food.

On Tuesday I made these delectable Eggplant rolls. What a fantastic dish. The recipe made four rolls and I had a lot of extra filling leftover which I used (along with some remaining pesto) to make an awesome pasta dish. I suppose you could stuff the rolls more than I did but then they wouldn’t be as cute. You can also lay the extra filling out on the plate so it appears to delicately spill out of the roll and garnish with a few ribbons of fresh basil. Anything works. One roll and some extra filling was perfect for a meal.

-2 medium sized eggplants with the insides scooped out within about ¼ inch of the outside. Dice the insides
-1 ¾ cup small white beans or cannelini beans (the recipe I used called for kidney beans, which I used, but I think the white beans would be better)
-½ anise bulb diced (the recipe called for a fennel bulb but they didn’t have them at my store and although this is a different flavor I thought it would meld well with the dish and I was right)
-Few tbsp olive oil for various things
-5tbsp or so of pesto- if you are the type to make your own you already know how to do it and if you are not just buy some
-1 zucchini diced
-5 small tomatoes deseeded and diced
-3 cloves garlic pressed
-12 very thinly sliced pieces of Swiss cheese (cheese slicer thin not knife thin)
-Salt and pepper to taste
-12 toothpicks

-Preheat oven to 425
-Brush eggplant skins lightly with olive oil and bake for 40 min
-Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a LARGE sauté pan
-Add diced eggplant and pressed garlic and sauté for about one minute
-Add the tomatoes and sauté for about 25 min stirring often until eggplant is nice and soft. If eggplant stats to stick add a tiny bit of water to the pan but the tomatoes should keep things nice and mushy
-Remove eggplant mixture from pan and, while still hot, add anise and sauté one minute
-Add zucchini and beans to the pan and sauté for about 5 min.
-Add eggplant mixture to pan and cook to meld the flavors until the skins are done add salt and pepper to taste if needed
-Place about 1tbsp of pesto in each eggplant skin and spread it around
-Take three Swiss slices and line the skins with them
-Put a bunch of the filling mixture into each skin
-Fold the skin up like a taco and fasten together with three toothpicks
-Brush the outsides of the rolls with the remaining pesto
-Place rolls in a lightly oiled or buttered pan and bake for 15 min until the pesto is slightly crisp

1. Well my name is Young MC and I’m cold rockin’ the house/ I came up into the place and now I’m turning it out.

2. My baby’s always dancing/ And it wouldn't be a bad thing/ But I don't get no loving/ And that's no lie.

3. The creator of what’s now cliché/ Had some funny words to say/ all you little things are incomplete/ Why did he speak of us that way.

4. Just before our love got lost you said/ I am as constant as the northern star and I said/ Constantly in the darkness/ Where’s that at/ If you need me I'll be in the bar.

5. Your mom is so fat/ How fat is she/ Your mama is so big and fat that she can get busy with/ 22 burritos when times are rough/ I seen her in the back of Taco Bell with hand cuffs. Yo Mama, Pharcyde. Identified by Monica

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I was quite saddened this morning when I read a story that a man was beaten to death at a Juneteeth celebration in Austin, TX. Apparently, a car hit and injured, although not critically, a young girl at the celebration. The driver got out of the car to check on her and was attacked. The passenger of the car got out to help the driver and was, in turn, beaten to death. The driver was able to get away.

I understand the anger that can ensue after witnessing a child being injured. I also know that there is no excuse in beating a man to death. What really tore my heart out was that this happened at a Juneteenth celebration.

People were there celebrating the fact that news of emancipation finally reached the ears of the people. Six months after the Emancipation Proclamation people were finally able to be “free”. For a celebration of freedom turn violent and destructive is a travesty. I realize that of the many thousands of people who were at the celebration, only twenty or so participated in this heinous act. That is twenty to many. The acts of these few people mar the celebration of thousands. Instead of being about celebration, the day becomes a day of mourning and regret.

A crowd of twenty falling upon and killing one man sounds like a lynching to me. That is a horrible thing to happen any day but was even more despicable on that day. It makes me wonder how many people celebrate because of what the day means and how many celebrate because it is an excuse to get out in the streets and act a fool. It makes me wonder if the fact that the man beaten to death had the last name Morales had anything to do with the willingness of the crowd to be so harsh. It made me wonder what that young girl will think when she hears about the incident years later; will she blame herself, will she care? It made me wonder so many things that I had no business wondering and shouldn’t have had to think about.

Why are people so full of anger, hatred, and disregard? I’m not stupid, or ill-informed, I could cite many many answers to the very question I just posed. However, I don’t want to. I don’t want to have to think of what in our society contributes to this kind of tragedy. I just want things to get better. I do my best to ensure that they do. I try to talk to people and make sure people understand. I am sure I could do so much more. Unfortunately, no matter how much I do, no matter if I laid down my life for the good of humanity, I don’t think things would change all that much. I don’t believe there are enough people out there who care about humanity and the strains that exist within our society that any true progress will be made anytime soon. I don’t want to feel this way. I want to have hope. Some days I even can se a light at the end of the tunnel. Then something like this happens, and it all goes dark.

1. Well my name is Young MC and I’m cold rockin’ the house/ I came up into the place and now I’m turning it out.

2. My baby’s always dancing/ And it wouldn't be a bad thing/ But I don't get no loving/ And that's no lie.

3. The creator of what’s now cliché/ Had some funny words to say/ all you little things are incomplete/ Why did he speak of us that way.

4. Just before our love got lost you said/ I am as constant as the northern star and I said/ Constantly in the darkness/ Where’s that at/ If you need me I'll be in the bar.

5. Love/ Exciting and new/ Come aboard/ We’re expecting you. The Love Boat Theme Song. Identified by Brooke.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


It was a strange morning. Nothing quite fit. Although the train was arriving just as I reached the platform, which is usually a good sign, it didn’t quite pull all the way into the station and the doors remained shut. People began to pile up behind the doors, jockeying for position to get on first. I stood back in my normal position, expecting the train to pull up and match my stance. That never happened. Inside the train, I could see the conductor walking back and forth, back and forth, opening doors, pulling handles, and not letting anyone on. It was excruciating. Finally, the door to my left opened, although the one directly in front of me remained closed. I slipped into the car and made it down to the end past where the door was still shut, past he people I had been waiting behind. I sat in the single person seat, my favorite, and waited.

The conductor came and manually opened the closed door. I wondered why more people hadn’t moved to the open door like I did. I always wonder why it is that groups of people will only make a change if many people in the group all decide to change at the same time. Individuals have much more freedom to alter the norm. The people who had been waiting outside gave me an odd look. They appeared confused that I had managed to enter the train and make it to a seat before them as they were standing closer to the door than I. It really wasn’t that hard to do, I had the freedom of one. Plus, it was hot outside and the train had air conditioning. I wasn’t about to wait for a door that had to be manually opened, what was that about? Even once the conductor opened the door the train wouldn’t move. I don’t think the door wanted to close. People continued to file in, creating a standing room only situation. This is not a good development at the fourth stop from the start of the line. It was going to be a rough morning for some but not for me. I had my little corner of the train, I had my space, and I was ok.

After two more stops the train was officially packed. I politely sat in my seat, reading my paper, listening to The Bends, and smiling because I was glad that I chose to live so far north. I don’t mind standing on the way home from work but, on the way in, I need my peace. I need to come into the day alone. The conductor came on the loudspeaker and said our train was going to run express from Thorndale to Addison, which is a long way, people seemed relieved. They thought that skipping many stops would ease their commute. They contemplated a little more peace. They were wrong. Hoards of people swarmed onto the train at Addison, people were packed in like it was a 5pm train headed north to an evening Cubs game; poor people. I was ok.

As the train pulled into the Lake Street station, people jockeyed for position so that they could either get off or stay on with as little movement as possible. The one drawback to the single person seat is that you have a long way to go to the door on a crowded train. I sometimes fear that I won’t make it in time. I fear that the train will kidnap me and drag me unwillingly to Monroe. Now that Washington station is closed it is a bigger deal to miss my stop. Luckily, I made it out. I always make it out; I just fear that I won’t. It’s one of those unfounded fears that really has no consequences. Even if my fear is realized I will be fine. Regardless, it causes me a slight twinge of stress every morning.

As I got off the train, my album came to a close. Street Spirit (Fade Out) seeped into my ears. I approached the escalator and saw that it was not working. The person in front of me was walking slower than my natural speed making me feel like I was plodding along at a snails pace embedded in the herd and unable to break free. Why is it that walking up an escalator that isn’t moving is more difficult than walking up one that is moving? When the escalator is stopped, it feels as if the steps are placed at just the right intervals to make you uncomfortable. Yet, when moving, they feel just right. I felt trapped. In leaving my personal seat on the train I had given up my freedom, I became part of the herd. I focused on the shoes of the woman in front of me. I willed her to move faster. I hoped that I could break free. I couldn’t. I was stuck. In my ears the words came through loud and clear:

This machine will, will not communicate
These thoughts and the strain I am under
Be a world child, form a circle
Before we all go under
And fade out again and fade out again
We get a bunch of new, and relatively easy, songs today. Yeah!

1. Well my name is Young MC and I’m cold rockin’ the house/ I came up into the place and now I’m turning it out.

2. My baby’s always dancing/ And it wouldn't be a bad thing/ But I don't get no loving/ And that's no lie.

3. The creator of what’s now cliché/ Had some funny words to say/ all you little things are incomplete/ Why did he speak of us that way.

4. Nothing you could say would tear me away from my guy/ Nothing you could do cause I’m stuck like glue to my guy. My Guy, Mary Wells. Identified by Katrina

5. I would say I‘m sorry if I thought that it would change your mind/ But I know that this time I have said too much/ been too unkind. Boys Don't Cry, The Cure. Identified by Monica

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Danielle tagged me with a meme that you are supposed to start off with, “How was I supposed to know”. This actually fits in well with where I was planning on going with my post today.

How was I supposed to know that drinking too much alcohol would be a bad bad thing? It seems like a question that shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. In all honesty, I was supposed to know because people told me. Unfortunately, I have never been one to pay too much attention to what I am told.

Given that, I should have known early on in life due to personal experiences. The first one was at the tended age of 3 I drank too much alcohol and acted a damn fool. It wasn’t the fault of my parents. They didn’t give it to me or anything. I just saw it and knew grown-ups drank it and I wanted to be grown up. So my friend and I drank some wine that was left in the cups of adults. We also wanted to drink coffee because that was something else grown-ups drank. Our coffee consisted of water in my plastic tea cups and brown marker for color. I don’t think it was very tasty. We then wanted to be mummies. Grown-ups aren’t mummies but it seemed like fun. We were discovered wrapped in toilet paper stumbling like fools.

I was reminded of this incident when I read that a two year old was served a margarita in a sippy cup at some restaurant. The parent noticed when the child started pushing away their apple juice and acting strange. She opened the cup only to find margarita. The kid got all sick. I would have been so pissed if I was that lady. It is one thing for your kid to take it upon themselves to drink. Another if someone forces it on them. What a stupid that bartender was. Who ever orders margaritas in sippy cups?

Another time, I thought I was drinking this sip of apple juice left on the counter by a family friend (I know, gross) but I just needed a sip to take some allergy medicine. It was scotch. It was disgusting. After these experiences, why did I want to drink? Why has it taken me to the ripe old age of 28 to be able to know when I should stop drinking? All I’m saying is that I should have known.

1. Well my name is Young MC and I’m cold rockin the house/ I came up into the place and now I’m turning it out

2. Whatever you want from me/ whatever you want I’ll do/ I’d try to squeeze a drop of blood/ From a sugar cube. Sugarcube, Yo La Tengo. Identified by The Doc.

3. Today is the greatest/ Day I’ve ever known/ Can’t live for tomorrow/ Tomorrow’s much too long. Today, The Smashing Pumpkins. Identified by The Doc.

4. When I look out my window/ many sights to see/ And when I look in my window/ So many different people to be. Season of the Witch, Donovan. Identified by, Brooke.

5. Father I/ Killed my monkey I/ Let it out to/ Taste the sweet of spring. Bliss, Tori Amos. Identified by, Brooke.

Monday, June 18, 2007


To see other interpretations of the theme check out Mo.

When I saw the Manic Monday word was Heat all sorts of things came to mind. The song, “The Heat is On,” by Glenn Frey was one that just wouldn’t leave me alone. Many years ago, in one of the many ice shows I was in, a group that I was not a part of skated to that song. Although I wasn’t part of that performance, I think my group was on shortly after them because the song was deeply embedded into my head. Ice shows gave such wonderful memories. Oh, ice shows.

However, that is my no means my favorite “heat” memory. That has to come from the wonderful musical Guys and Dolls. Scene is in the corner barber shop. Nicely Nicely and Benny Southstreet are waiting for their boss, Nathan Detroit, to come in and tell them where the floating crap game will be held. However, instead of Detroit showing up, Lt. Brannigan appears instead with a message for Nathan.

Brannigan- Tell Nathan Detroit that Brannigan says he is not going to find a spot for his crap game because Brannigan has turned on the heat and Brannigan is breathing down everybody's neck.
Brannigan exits through the revolving door, Nathan Detroit comes through it
Nicely Nicely- Nathan, you are lucky. You just missed Brannigan.
Detroit- I am lucky. I missed Brannigan.
Nicely Nicely -He left a message. He said...
Detroit- I am not going to find a place for my crap game because everybody knows Brannigan has turned on the heat and is breathing down everybody's neck.
Nicely Nicely- That is what he said.

I know this may not seem all that hilarious but it was a really funny scene. One of the things I love about Guys and Dolls is that they rarely use contractions. This piece isn’t the best example of that, but the rhythm that contractionless speaking gives to the characters creates a mood that I have never got from any other film. The extreme formality of the language coming out of the mouths of crazy hooligans is hysterical.

I think this scene was one of the first times I was acutely aware of the term heat being used in this manner. I like the word because it has so many connotations. One thing I realized while thinking of this post is that not many of the connotations are positive ones. Initially I thought it was because, while people like to be warm, most don’t like to be hot. However, warm doesn’t have many positive alternate connotations either. Huh, that’s strange.

It’s time for guess that song.
1. Once Again/ I’m in trouble with my only friend/ she is papering the window panes/ She is putting on a smile. Life In A Glass House, Radiohead. Identified by The Doc

2. I’m a street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm/ I’m a runaway son of the nuclear a-bomb. Search and Destroy, The Stooges. Title by Kiyotoe, Band by Johnny Yen.

3. Well my name is Young MC and I’m cold rockin the house/ I came up into the place and now I’m turning it out

4. So/ So I wish you could tell/ Heaven from hell/ Blue skies from pain. Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd. Identified by Jeff Roberts

5. Since age one/ Kita knew he had the answer/ And it was/ That someday he’s be a dancer. Show Me How To Do Like You, Stevie Wonder. Identified by Mom.

Friday, June 15, 2007


For Foodie Fridays I typically put up recipes that I have either made up or modified. Today is not the case. This meal was simply delicious and the only thing I changed was using some fresh herbs for the dried. I typically double (or so) the amounts when using fresh herbs compared to dried. So here it is, the Moosewood Low-fat Vegetarian Cookbook’s (this is an awesome cookbook to have) Manicotti Verde in red wine sauce. This recipe should serve 4+. It has 492 calories (not bad for dinner), 26g protein, 12g fat, and 70g carbs. I love it when they give you that info in a cookbook! They also say you can subsititute 8 whole wheat tortillas for the lb of manicotti but I haven't tasted that so it's up to you.

-1tbsp olive oil
-2 large garlic cloves pressed
-5 ½ cups chipped leeks (white and green parts)
-3 tbsp water
-20oz fresh spinach chopped
-1 tsp dried basil
-½ cup low-fat mozzarella
-1/3 cup grated parmesan
-1 ½ cup non-fat ricotta
-½ tsp sage
-1lb manicotti shells
-Salt and pepper to taste

-2tsp olive oil
-1 med onion chopped
-2 med garlic cloves pressed
-1/4tsp salt
-2tsp ground fennel
-1tsp dried oregano
-1tsp dried basil
-1/3 cup red wine
-3 cups undrained canned tomato (28oz can)
-Salt and pepper to taste

-Boil pot of water for manicotti cook pasta al dente according to directions

While pot is boiling prepare sauce
-In saucepan warm olive oil
-Add onions garlic and salt sauté on very low heat for 5-7min
-Add fennel oregano and cook for another min
-Pour in wine and bring to boil
-While boiling, whirl tomatoes in blender until just pureed and add to pan
-Cover and simmer 20min

-Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat
-Add garlic leeks and water, cover and stir occasionally for about 10min
-Add spinach and basil cook covered 5min stir a few times until spinach wilts
-Uncover and cook a little longer to get rid of moisture, drain if necessary
-Add cheeses, sage and salt and pepper

-Fill manicotti with cheese and vegetable mixture and place in lightly oiled 9x12 pan
-Pour half of sauce over pasta and cover with foil
-Cook 30min at 350
-Add remaining sauce after serving

Stairway To Heaven, Led Zeppelin- Although I grew up on classic rock, Led Zepplin was one of those bands that wasn’t really around for me. I first heard this song at my 8th grade lock-in when a friend sang it at karaoke. I though it was so pretty. Then I got older and cared less and less. It’s still great to hear every once in a while though.

The Chalet Lines, Belle and Sebastian- This is a little mellow for my Belle and Sebastian tastes but it will do. Even not my favorite Belle and Sebastian is better than a lot of music.

You Come Through, PJ Harvey- This is great. It’s mellow PJ but she knows how to do mellow very well. Sometimes I wish she would be mellow more often.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I have reached my 200th post. In a way I am really surprised. I started blogging simply because I was bored and couldn’t log into my myspace account. I had very low expectations for the whole blogging thing. I thought I would get bored. I thought I had “Nothing Interesting to Say” rather than being “Almost Interesting”. I thought blogs were kind of stupid. I kind of understood why people wrote them but I had no idea why people read them. I thought my friends and family might occasionally read mine but was utterly mystified by my first comment that wasn’t from Monica. The comment was left on my third post, Let’s Talk About Stupids, dated 8/2/06 and was about the Mel Gibson rant. The commenter was Wobbly*Bits and I just sat there mouth open wondering how she possibly found me and why she would have though to leave a comment. As surprised as I was, it made me smile.

When I hit 100 posts I made a big deal. I took sentences from all hundred posts to create some crazy mega post that almost kind of made sense. It was a blast to do. However, as I came to 200 I thought about it and decided I didn’t need to do all that mess. Post 100 was like a 21st birthday. I wanted to party and have a grand old time. 200 is more like 28. I’m glad I made it. I am happy with where my blog has gone and, while it may not have a lot of direction, it is a happy blog.

I feel really glad that people read and enjoy what I have to say but, unlike at post 100, I think I would be ok if as many people weren’t reading. I would still be happy with what I produced and just knowing that I bring a smile here and there would be enough. 100 posts ago I would have wondered why people weren’t reading and thought about what might want to do differently. I thought about if my posts were too long or too short. I thought about if they only would appeal to a select group of people or have a wider audience. I cared a lot about my statcounter. Now I only go there to read hilarious google searches and get excited when I find out things like my blog is the #1link when you search for “hilarious racism”. I find that to be incredibly rewarding. I do think about the types of people who search for hilarious racism and hope they are the types that want to hear funny stories about racist moments and not funny racist jokes. I like to think they are the former.

I’m not saying I don’t want readers, of course I do. Readers are part of what makes blogging fun and exciting. I’m just more secure in the fact that if I feel like writing about something and others don’t really care that it is ok. I realize the blog is about me and what I feel like saying, not what people want to read. It’s just an extra bonus when what is on your mind jives with those around you. I look forward to seeing where I go from here and how the blog changes. It seems it has almost developed a mind of its own.

It’s time for the three random songs; a segment that has been with me from day one. Random lyrics, although a later addition, is cooler.

The House Song, The Beta Band- “Put in you pocket for a rainy day,” what an applicable lyric for a blog that started as a rainy day activity. As the song gets funkier, so does the blog. Or so I would like to think.

Lost In A Crowd, Rusted Root- This band will always remind me of this guy Adrian who I met my freshmen year of college. He was the quintessential Rusted Root listener. You can picture him. He had drums, long hair, a beard, and was an all around nice guy. I haven’t thought of him in ages. It’s strange what music can do.

I Was Made To Love Her, Stevie Wonder- Is it possible for this guy to make a bad song? Of course it is. This isn’t one of them. I will say that I really dislike Ribbon in the Sky, which is almost forbidden in Stevie World. Oh well, if it sounded more like this I would like it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Apparently this is real old news but it’s new to me and it makes me happy so I want to blog about it. About a year and a half ago a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore made a human Pacman game. Players wear VR goggles and see big cookies in the middle of the road that they run over to gobble up Pacman style. You can choose to be either a Pacman or a ghost and run around with your friends eating virtual cookies or chasing the ones who are eating virtual cookies. Does this sound like the best thing ever or what?

This product could change my life. I would want to leave the house and socialize with other people on a more regular basis. I would possibly even run a little bit which would not be a bad thing. I would stay outdoors for extended periods of time on a regular basis rather than the few days a year when I actually go to a festival or the beach or something like that. I would be the envy of everyone who didn't have this game and might even make some new friends.

Think of the other games that could be brought back to life with this type of technology. We could hunt many a Wumpus, we could Dig various Dugs, and we could invade space. Think of what would happen if the virtual gaming opportunities grew to include RPG classics. We could actually run around town playing Zelda or Kings Quest and scavenge for random goodies on the way. Instead of arcades we could have open air parks dedicated to people running around with goggles on their heads in various teams completing any goal their little hearts desired. The Wii got gamers moving again but this would get people off their couches like never before. Imagine the glory. It would be a dream.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I will be getting human Pacman or any other virtual game any time soon. The equipment costs 10K-20K and I think a PS3 is too expensive. It also seems that one would have to program certain geographic areas into the game so that you don’t bump into things like buildings so playing areas would be limited and there seems to be no way to avoid moving things like cars and buses. In a city environment this could be quite dangerous. Then again, if my park arcade idea catches on maybe we would be onto something. I wonder how you can register non-playing people on the monitor or do you just run into everyone who isn’t plugged into GPS? Then again, if only players are allowed in the park arcade then everyone would have some sort of GPS signal. Maybe I am getting closer to the ultimate solution.

While the drawbacks are obviously many, the fact that the technology exists and is being improved constantly is incredibly exciting. Maybe a version of human Pacman that is affordable and doesn’t cause you to bump into things will be available before I can no longer walk. Here’s to hoping.

This Hear of Stone, Rolling Stones- I love this song. It is so utterly mean and horrible. Last night I watched John Tucker Must Die (I know I know I planned to fall asleep but didn’t) and this song is like John Tucker except that they did break his heart of stone hahaha.

History of Lovers, Iron & Wine- This is off one of the Iron and Wine albums that I downloaded after I decided that I wanted to listen to as much of their music as possible and then haven’t listened to. It has a great beat and while you could dance to it you would look like a cracked out hippie. Note to self: perfect an unrivaled hippie dance before Pitchfork Festival.

Stupid Girl, Garbage- Really? Really? Did this actually come on and am I actually excited about hearing it as I never put it on purposefully? Both things are true. Man am I ever enjoying this song. I miss the 90s so much.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I love clothes. Typically I also love shopping. Lately that has not been the case. The reason I have hated shopping is because I can’t spend a lot of money. Because of this, I have to shop at stores that aren’t quite as organized as I would like them to be.

In a perfect world, I would be able to go into one of the nicer department stores where they have many sizes and colors of one item right there in front of your face for you to choose from. Items that are similar in style are often placed near each other and, while sizes vary between designers, each designer has one size that almost always fits. I don’t need to go shopping armed with patience and the eye of a scavenger. I can leisurely stroll around or even look at a mannequin I like and easily find the item on the racks. Oh, the ease of spending money.

Last Friday, I met up with Monica and her co-worker Natasha and headed out to the stores. I needed a dress. I had the perfect one in mind and knew how it would look on me. It was a jersey knit dress with cap or short sleeves, a v or scoop neck, and an empire waist. It could cost no more than $30. This dress exists all over the place but the prices and cuts aren’t always right.

At Urban Outfitters, the dress existed, cost $58, and had a lower waistline than would have been ideal. They had a few other styles that almost worked but nothing stole the show. I remember being in high school and finding the most unique and fun things at Urban. It just isn’t the same anymore. Maybe I shouldn’t still be shopping somewhere I shopped in high school but whatever, sometimes they have cute things.

We then headed over to Forever 21. I know, I know, but they have cute things that are cheap. We looked all over the store. The chaos was outrageous. Sizes and styles were mixed together everywhere. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason and the place was packed. Natasha couldn’t handle the disorder and headed home. I grabbed things left and right hoping to find my perfect dress. Of the eight items I picked up on the first sweep I tried on six. They were disappointing. I had an almost perfect dress; royal blue, a wide scoop neckline with precious buttons on it, a natural but flattering waistline, and short as all hell. I couldn’t go out like that. Maybe it would work with pants but I didn’t want a dress I had to wear with pants. I wanted a perfect dress. Out of the six items I kept a t-shirt. It was kind of a perfect t-shirt but it wasn’t a dress.

We then went upstairs. I was feeling pretty down because upstairs tends to be the sparkly section and I don’t roll like that. We looked around and I saw it. It was a rounder with a sign on top that said, “The perfect dress, $15-19”. I couldn’t believe it. Was it too good to be true? Did they know a prefect dress when they saw one? They did. The rounder was full of jersey knit dresses of various styles and although the sleeves were short rather than capped, it was the dress that existed in my mind. It was $15.80. The dress was so perfect they created a sign just for me so I wouldn’t miss it in the madness. All that remained was trying it on. It was adorable. I got it in green and brown. The green is cuter than the brown but with the right accessories I’m going to make that brown work. Monica liked this hot pink red but I don’t have any shoes to go with that. Really, I don’t.

Anyway, here it is; the prefect dress.
Oddly the website doesn’t have any of the colors that I saw in the store but has some colors I want the dress in. However, I already have two and more might be crazy. The web version is slightly different though, I think. Now I have to find some more perfect shirts and maybe a skirt or two. Keep your fingers crossed.

Parades Go By, Magnetic Fields- This song is so incredibly depressing. It’s all about watching everything pass you by and loss and the horror of growing old alone. Ugh. I kind of enjoy the song though. What is wrong with me?

Deeper Into Movies, Yo La Tengo- This is a band that I want to hug. Everything about their music is adorable and happy. Why aren’t they playing shows for me right now?

Teachers, Daft Punk- The Homework album is one of those things that takes me back and I always like even though I know I am a fool for listening to it.

Monday, June 11, 2007


The Manic Monday word for today is “Friend”. To view other Manic Monday participants, visit Mo at It's a Blog Eat Blog World.

This is probably the easiest Manic Monday word to write about ever. Everyone has friends; I have a nice group of friends. I even have many friends that I lovingly refer to as Friend. However, there is only one person that I refer to as Friend when talking about her to others. Occasionally I refer to this person on this blog by her actual name, Brooke, but mostly I just write Friend.

I met Friend freshman year of college because my roommate went to high school with her roommate. My roommate was a fine person who I just didn’t really click with. We tried for a while but were relatively unsuccessful. She liked to be in bed at reasonable hours. I liked to stumble into the room at crazy hours and not always be as quiet as I intended to be. Friend’s roommate was simply a hell beast. She hated us. After Friend had a really bad day I left her a voicemail that went “hey you don’t really know me all that well but what happened was shitty and if you want to talk you can,” or something like that. We talked. We were insta-friends.

Friend and I had a lot of fun. Freshman year we played in leaf piles, communicated by telepathy, sat in the stairs of dorms that weren’t ours to watch people and sing songs, and hung out in the coffee shop where I pretended to like coffee. Sophomore year we made a few other friends, searched furiously for lost treats in the garbage hell that was under Friend’s bed, and sat under the prettiest tree in the world after class waiting for the other to show up. Junior year she was gone for a semester leaving me to do lots of work (and her TV so I didn’t have to do too much), then she came back and ruined my canopy (so did those few other friends). Senior year we lived in our own Hall of Heath, played busdriver with our few other friends, and lamented the loss of our youth. Putting together or senior page we could literally see how much we had changed but we were still Friends.

We were such friends that people on campus thought we were a couple. Not just one person thought this, but multiple people. We learned of this fact multiple times throughout our college years and were pretty disturbed by it. Just because we loved each other didn’t mean we LOVED each other. Then again the constant cuddling and giggling probably didn’t help matters.

Friend and I never had a class together. We were never roommates even though we should have been Freshman year second semester but her room scared me too much and I had a nervous breakdown about moving into it. Friend was cool with it, even though she had to continue to live with hell beast. She didn’t want to move into my room either, not that it stopped her from staying over plenty of nights curled up in my twin bed. It was all pretty silly. Maybe living together would have been too hard on our friendship, but I don’t think so.

Friend is the reason I am in Chicago. I moved in with her best friend and started a new chapter in life. We did briefly room together at Belmont apartment and even when Friend and her boyfriend jumped into bed with me to watch Fraggle Rock not knowing that I wasn’t wearing pants we weren’t traumatized. I just stayed under the covers and enjoyed their company. Friend moved back to NY where she is doing quite well but all the friends here miss her terribly. She is good good people and I am happy to call her Friend.

One song from last week to reveal and that is Sweet Sixteen, by Billy Idol. “I’ll do anything/ For my sweet sixteen/ And I’d do anything/ For little runaway child”

Friday, June 08, 2007


This is a great variation on the traditional potato salad, which I tend to find alternately delicious and disgusting depending on how much I can ignore the mayo factor and if I can notice any boiled egg pieces in it. Eggs and mayo are generally foul although I can occasionally make an exception for mayo like on the Davanni’s Veggie Hoagie but that is about it. This recipe makes quite a bit of salad, which I like because it gives me lunches for days at work. Feel free to half the recipe.

-2lb small red potatoes
-½ lb fresh green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
-12 artichoke hearts chopped (not marinated)
-2tbsp pitted and chopped kalamata olives (I love these babies but they can easily be omitted if you don’t)
-¼ cup chopped shallots
-1 small clove garlic pressed
-4tbsp olive oil
-4tbsp white wine vinegar
-2tsp fresh thyme chopped
-1tsp fresh rosemary chopped
-2tbsp chopped Italian parsley (but any kind will do)
-Salt and pepper to taste

-Place potatoes in a saucepan cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes about 20 minutes or until very tender, add the beans and cook for about 2 minutes but if you want to add them raw later that is also just fine
-While the potatoes are cooking make your marinade by mixing all the delicious ingredients together
-Add artichoke and olive to potato and green beans, coat with marinade
-Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving

I have been all about making delicious salads lately. It has been so hot and sometimes salad is the only thing I can think to eat. Unfortunately, it means I have to keep going to the grocery store to get fresh ingredients. Blah.

I am real excited for the weekend. Looks like the old gang is going to get together and hit up blues fest. It isn’t that we really like the blues all that much, we just like sitting outside in the sun for no reason. Maybe having some snacks, maybe sneaking some sips, maybe playing some cards. Audra is back in town and she is the best for going to sit outside and do nothing. Everyone else is great too. Just not always up for sitting and doing nothing. Then again, I’m not always up for sitting and doing nothing either. Regardless, I missed her these past few outdoor free stuff seasons. It’s going to be like old times. I might even have some ridiculous ruckus to blog about when Monday rolls around. Oh yeah.

1. I’ll do anything/ For my sweet sixteen/ And I’d do anything/ For little runaway child

2. Though you may not drive/ A great big Cadillac/ Gangsta whitewalls/ TV antennas in the back. Be Thankful, not by Curtis Mayfield or Massive Attack (who is it??). Partly identified by Ern

3. Growing up it was just me and my mom against the world/ And all my sympathies were with her/ When I was a little girl. Angry Anymore, Ani DiFranco. Identified by Brooke.

4. Oh baby baby how was I supposed to know/ That something wasn't right, yeah/ Oh baby baby I shouldn't have let you go/ And now you're out of sight. Baby One More Time, Marilyn Manson (although it easily could have been Travis or Brittney). Identified by Monica

5. When you're down and troubled/ And you need some loving care/ And nothing, nothing is going right. You've Got A Friend. Song identified by Monica and artist correctly identified by Mom, although Monica could have been right too.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Today things started to feel like they were going back to normal. I only had one Volunteer session to teach and I was able to get a lot taken care of as far as my contract goes. I even had time to take the client folders that we get and put them into well organized sectioned and pronged folders so they can easily be looked at by auditors. I had two groups of folders, ones with all the necessary information already in them and some that needed me to put in the signature page that certifies if a client meets contract requirements. If some things are missing here and there it could be ok as long as the signature page is there and completed fully.

I finished the first group of folders and went to grab the signature pages that I keep in a folder on the right-hand corner of my desk to get the second grou going. They weren’t there. I decided they must be under some other papers so I looked all over my desk. They were nowhere to be found. The folders had the signature pages of all potential clients for the contract from April to the present. They represented at least thirty people toward the 95 person contract goal. If I lost that many clients there would be no way that I would meet my contract requirements.

I tore my office apart. I looked in other offices that I occasionally visited even though I knew I would never take my signature pages with me. I thought about what I was going to say to my supervisor. I thought about what I was going to say to my contact in Springfield. I thought about crawling under my desk to hide.

Hours later, while talking on the phone, I looked to my left. There, in the file pockets hanging on my wall were the very folders I was looking for. It came flooding back to me. I remembered cleaning my desk and realizing that I didn’t want to put the pages away but needed to make some room. I remembered noticing the file pockets on the wall that I never ever use and thinking that it would be a good time to start using them. I remembered putting the files there, in plain view, at arm’s length. I breathed again.

I am one of those people who lives well with clutter. I understand my clutter and know where things are within it. It makes sense to me. There is a certain method to it. Give me a stack of papers a foot high and I’ll know where in that stack the thing I need to find is. Not that I habitually keep foot tall stacks on my desk but you get the picture. It’s when I put things away that they get lost.

And now, because my Mom asked for it and I sometimes do what my Mom wants, here is a description of “The Jar Method”. There are tons of versions of “The Jar Method” out there but this is the one we use in class. The rocks can be used to represent all kinds of things depending on what point you are trying to make.

1. Get a large jar. This jar represents the time you have available in life.
2. Get some large rocks- These represent the big things that you have to do in life
3. Get some pebbles- These represent the things you enjoy doing
4. Get some sand- This represents all the little things you have to do
5. Have some water on hand- This represents the extra mess

Fill your jar with large rocks until you can’t fill anymore. Your jar is now full with major and urgent events. Add your pebbles to the jar and shake the jar so they fill in all the cracks between the large rocks. This shows how much fun you can still fit in life when you deal with the big things first. Then pour in some sand it will seep to the bottom filling all the empty space just as all the little things can be fit into your life when you manage your time well. Imagine picking up your jar and noticing how much it weighs. Then pour in the water and watch how much heavier it becomes. The water represents all the ways you allow stress seep in and weigh you down.

Now think about doing this in the reverse order. If you filled your jar with water first it is likely that you could fit a decent amount of sand inside. You might even get in a pebble or two. However, when you try to add large rocks, they aren't going to fit. Even if you eliminated the water, you can’t fit many large rocks into a jar filled with sand and pebbles. Keeping this in mind will help you decide what tasks in life you should tackle first so that you have room for everything you need to accomplish.

1. I’ll do anything/ For my sweet sixteen/ And I’d do anything/ For little runaway child

2. Though you may not drive/ A great big Cadillac/ Gangsta whitewalls/ TV antennas in the back. Be Thankful, not by Curtis Mayfield or Massive Attack (who is it??). Partly identified by Ern

3. This here’s a cheer for all the fellas/ Trying to do what those ladies tell us/ Get shot down cause you’re overzealous/ Play hard to get females get jealous. Bust A Move, Young MC. Identified by my parents.

4. People are strange/ When you’re a stranger/ Faces look ugly/ When you’re alone. People are Strange, The Doors. Identified by Lizza

5. Growing up it was just me and my mom against the world/ And all my sympathies were with her/ When I was a little girl

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


First of all I want to say thanks to everyone for all the wonderful birthday wishes. It was truly a nice and peaceful birthday. It was also a great excuse to get Tony to go to Alice and Friends without any complaints. Going out is one of the few times he actually gets to eat meat so a primarily vegan restaurant isn’t a huge draw. After our nice dinner we headed home to a bottle of wine, some strawberry cheesecake, and disc one of the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I got calls from wonderful happy people and didn’t have to do anything stressful after leaving the office. That’s what I call a good day.

Looking back at my last week at work as a 27 year old, I realized I learned many things. I wanted to share some of them.

Lessons I learned on my own:
-Sometimes the best you can do is not the same as the intended goals of the project but your bosses still like you and it is ok.

-Even if you are overworked and stressed it is important to take your full lunch break. If you don’t you will be overworked, stressed, and angry.

-Sometimes you have to close the door and not let anyone in even if they really want to talk.

-The first friends you made on a job are the ones that will understand you best, even if you don’t talk as much as you used to.

-When trying to work as a team with other departments to reach a common goal, it is your responsibility to make it happen, no one else cares. Or, if they do care, they will likely forget.

-As much as you want to kill them, students will always make you laugh

Lessons from students
-Arrogant is a positive term meaning that you are a nose to the grindstone no-nonsense worker that always gets the job done.

-You are supposed to get your birthday off work.

-“Exclusive communicationally” is a skill worth putting on your resume

-Sitting at your desk listening to your iPod blogsurfing with a full plate of food in front of you is not a signal that you don’t want to be disturbed

-When mad at a co-worker you should bite your tongue in the workplace and kick their ass after you clock out to avoid consequences.

-A long question on a test is not worth reading.

-I laugh like Ty from Clueless (maybe it’s been a long time), and kind of look like her too (huh? Wait isn’t she the one that’s a total mess, damn).

-When describing the jar method of time management, it is important to clarify that you are not talking about putting crack rocks in a jar.

-Rapport is probably a place where rap records get shipped from

And now for the songs.

1. I’ll do anything/ For my sweet sixteen/ And I’d do anything/ For little runaway child

2. Because mutiny on the bounty is what we’re all about/ I’m gonna board your ship and turn it on out. Rhymin and Stealin, The Beastie Boys. Identified by Ern

3. Though you may not drive/ A great big Cadillac/ Gangsta whitewalls/ TV antennas in the back. Be Thankful, not by Curtis Mayfield or Massive Attack (who is it??). Partly identified by Ern

4. Nothing to do to save his life/ Call his wife in/ Nothing to say but what a day/ How’s your boy been. Good Morning, Good Morning. The Beatles. Identified by Johnny Yen

5. It was December 24th on Hollis Ave in the dark/ When I seen a man chilling with his dog in the park/ I approached him very slowly with my heart full of fear/ Looked at his dog, oh my God, an ill reindeer. Christmas on Hollis, Run DMC. Identified by Monica

Monday, June 04, 2007


The Manic Monday theme for today is peace. To see all participants head over to see Mo at "It's a Blog Eat Blog World".

Obviously peace in all the war-torn regions of the world would be a more obvious and probably more relevant topic than what I am thinking about but that just isn’t where my mind is going right now. Therefore, here is my self-centered post about peace.

Tomorrow I am going to be 28. While I knew that last year was officially my entrance into the late-twenties, I feel I could still fudge my way into mid-twenties if I really wanted to. No more. That is ok though, I have made my peace.

Over the past week I have done a lot of thinking about direction and goals, as my regular readers know I am prone to do. I thought a lot about where I planned to be at this time in my life and where I am now. I worked hard on reconciling the two in my head and, I can confidently say, I am ok. In order to really be ok I had to examine a few stages of development of Natalie. I needed to look at where I thought I would be at this point in my life and see how things have changed.

Natalie Age 6- By age 28 I will have graduated from Medical School and finished my residency and be a practicing pediatric neurosurgeon with years of work under my belt (my sense of time was a bit off). I will have the perfect marriage, like my parents, and have 10 kids. I will live in a huge house on Summit Ave in St. Paul. I will have published many articles and cured some unknown neurological condition. I also will have skated in the Olympics.

Natalie Age 13- By age 28 I will be a pediatrician. I will have written the great American novel and be working on my second opus. I will have the perfect marriage and live in a huge house, very likely on Summit Ave in St. Paul. I will have three children, two girls and a boy and they will be gorgeous beautiful renaissance children.

Natalie Age 20- By age 28 I will be finishing up my residency in psychiatry and getting ready to open a private practice. I will have the perfect marriage and live in a nice house. I will possibly have a child but if not I will be getting ready to have one in the next year or so. I will have published many articles and will be working on some major psychiatric research.

Natalie Age 27 (for one more day)- At 28 I am trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. I am in a wonderful and loving relationship and am not married but am with someone who I want those things to happen with sometime in the next ten years. I am thinking about how to eventually save enough money to buy a condo, probably in Chicago. I am working a job that I enjoy most days and feel as if I am making a difference to some of my students. I am “working on” my first novel that is incredibly self-indulgent that I have been "working on" for the past year and a half and I might eventually finish it. I periodically think of submitting my children’s book for publication. I am an utterly confused relatively directionless person but I am happy. I am at peace with that.

1. I never meant to give you mushrooms girl/ I never meant to bring you to my world/ But now you’re sitting in the corner crying/ And now it’s my fault my fault. My Fault, Eminem. Identified by Brooke.

2. I’ll do anything/ For my sweet sixteen/ And I’d do anything/ For little runaway child

3. The sea is foaming like a bottle of beer/ The wave is coming but I ain’t got no fear/ I’m waxing down so that I’ll go real fast/ I’m waxing down because it’s really a blast. Surf Wax America, Weezer. Identified by Monica

4. Two-headed boy/ all floating in glass/ The sun it is passed now it’s blacker than black/ I can hear as you tap on your jar. Two Headed Boy, Neutral Milk Hotel. Identified by Monica

5. Look on yonder misty mountain/ See the young monk meditating rhododendron forest/ over dusty hills I ask you/ What it’s been like being you. Epistle to Dippy, Donovan. Identified by Monica

Friday, June 01, 2007


Lakeiya and I just had a conversation about faith. She has a lot of faith. I have none. We’re still friends though. She told me that it is impossible for someone to truly have no faith; that someone has to have faith in something be it God, themselves, or other people. I disagreed. I think that in some way you will always fail yourself, others will always fail you, and there is no proof of a God to lean on so there is nothing to have faith in. I don’t say there is no God because in all honesty, I don’t know if there is or not. I do know that it doesn’t matter either way because I’m not able to put my faith in the unknown.

The ability to put your faith in something unknown is something I admire and respect. I was telling Lakeiya that I think it would be easier to be able to have faith. Not that I am saying that being truly faithful is an easy task, I’ve seen people try and it obviously is a struggle. However, to be able to believe in something untouchable involves, as she said, a commitment and surrender that requires extreme dedication. I get that. Even so, faith gives you meaning and purpose. If I could live a life where I would get meaning and purpose shown to me I gladly would. It just doesn’t work that way.

There was a time when I thought very seriously about getting into religion. I thought it was something that might help me get direction and answers in life. I examined different religious groups and none of them showed me any real truth although they all had aspects I liked and respected. They all had hints of truth. However, I’m the kind of person who needs the truth to come up and smack me in the face. I like scientific fact. No religion could do that for me. I can’t just accept something as truth unless I really believe it with everything I have. In all honesty, there is nothing worse than someone who says they have religion and yet isn’t completely sure. I wasn’t going to be that person.

Could you imagine waking up every day doubting your beliefs? You would spend the morning thinking about things and eventually convince yourself yet again that your faith was reasonable and correct and be happy until the next morning when you are unsure all over again? That isn’t the kind of life I would want to live. I have to instead be content to believe that all I have to rely on is me and those around me. At the same time I know that we are not infallible and mistakes will be made and people will be hurt.

I have to be comfortable with the idea that things might utterly and completely fall apart and that nothing but me and those I love will be there to help me get back on my feet. I know that if everything falls apart that I will eventually put something back together again that works because I am a rational and intelligent person. I have to be able to examine my sadness and my failures and love and cherish them until they become such a part of me that I can let them go and leave them behind. Nothing will help me do that other than me. If I can’t embrace my pain and suffering I know that it will consume me and ultimately bring about my demise. I am ok with that. It’s all on me. It’s no one else’s responsibility than my own and if I fail it is my fault. In a way, I find that comforting.

Lakeiya mentioned that it would be hard for her to live without the faith that there was some purpose to it all. I find it rather easy. To me, you just enjoy yourself and try to be a good person because your actions will inspire others to enjoy themselves and be good people and that is all we can expect. When I am gone, maybe the little bit of goodness and happiness I put out into the cosmos will do some good for someone else. To me, that is enough. I don’t need some mystical reason for me to be here nor do I see why some mystical being would want me around. I don’t need life to have some grand purpose because the creation of life was all a matter of chance so why would there be a greater purpose to it? I don’t need or expect eternal rewards for being the only way I can be, which is as good as possible but full of mistakes. Then again, I wouldn’t eternal reward down if it was offered. To some people that kind of life without real purpose seems empty and meaningless. To me it seems like something to keep living for.

She Makes Me Wanna Die, Tricky- I think this is such a romantic and wonderful song. It doesn’t hurt that it also sounds incredibly hot.

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, Crosby Stills Nash and Young- This is one of my favorite songs of all time. It speaks truth, it speaks love, and it speaks pain. It also has a great beat and you can dance to it.

ABC, The Jackson Five- What a nice group of songs for today! This one just makes me smile because there is something so wonderful and hopeful about an adorable child singing about things they obviously don’t know about. We’ll ignore the fact that the adorable child grew up to be insane.