miss me? read my always-compelling livejournal!

25 October
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Hey, I just realized that this week marks the rough one year anniversary of what was formerly known as New Healthy Active Lifestyle (now simply the stuff I do) AND the four-year anniversary of my first blog entry (10/30/00, entitled "bite me, sierra club", back in the Diaryland days - one of a handful of entries I later copied to this site).


22 June
so... hawaii
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I wrote a little bit in my livejournal about Hawaii when we first got back. Then I got sleepy and busy and sick (not all at once) before I had a chance to post everything else I wanted to write.

So, the log of my Hawaii trip, for those of you who are interested.

but wait! there's more


24 April
if you need to find me this weekend
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I'm in DC! (Well, I'm not yet, but I will be). Call me if you need me - 804-307-6943.

Today - driving up, picking up Ms. Nine, checking in to my schmancy hotel, and hightailing it over to the 9:30 Club to meet my friends, , , and others for the No More Freaks (Planned Parenthood/Punk Voter) benefit. 5:30 PM, kids, if you want to meet us there. I'm wearing a girly red dress and the world's biggest flip-flops. Also, my bag has a cartoon face on it and is bright orange, among other colors.

Then presumably getting some dinner and hooking up with Cinnamon and Roni cause Ms. Nine's shacking up with them tonight.

TOMORROW - WOO! I'm meeting a gang of folks at 10AM in front of the Smithsonian Castle/Info Center on the Mall. I'll be wearing a grey t-shirt that says "eat", black pants, pink chucks with pink star laces, and porting Cinnamon's super-fabulous pro-choice/Mommie Dearest messenger bag (my sarcastic friends interpret the beautimous clothes hanger icon as a "No more wire hangers!" statement). It's black, with a beaded logo on it.


22 April
march weekend
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This weekend is the March for choice/women's lives/whatever (not to demean the cause with my "whatever", but it's sorta become my name for the thing).

I'm so excited!

Really excited!

It started out several months ago as something I just knew I had to go do. A combination of celebrating and putting your money where your mouth is (or, actually, putting my body where my money and mouth have been for some time). I think this was the same for a lot of people I knew. It was just what needed to be done, one of many ways to express outrage at the Bush administration's reckless abuse of abortion rights and a way to congratulate and stand by the people who do the fighting for these rights on a daily basis.

But it has turned into what seems like the world's biggest feminist party. I mean, I was hesitant about the dilution of the message originally, but it's still clear from the press that we're talking about reproductive freedom. And. Wow. There are these really awesome feminists I half-know from all around the country coming. My friends are coming. It's a giant freaking party.

And it's still an important thing to do.

I'm going with a group of people to the show at 9:30 Club on Saturday night, and we'll be gathering to march on Sunday, presumably in front of the Smithsonian Information Center (see map).

If you're coming, I hope to see you there. And if you can't make it, I'll be there for you.


our friends are so cute!
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For those of you who know Cz and J, I made a little website to put out information about their wedding this summer.

I think it looked better in Photoshop (I used an old layout as a template once we got to the whole HTMLy bit, thus the two thousand majillion tables like a bunch of little dolls stuffed inside each other thereby making the site load at about the speed of a very tired slug) and the font's too small (easily fixable), but it's still kinda pretty.

And they're getting married!

And they're pretty, too!

[And apologies to those of you who don't know me or my friends and are thinking "sheesh, and I was waiting for an abortion update or something".]


07 January
i started a livejournal
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I've held out for ages, but I finally caved and decided to create a livejournal. I kept finding things I wanted to comment on and being frustrated by the community's forced commenting anonymity if you're not a member. Plus it makes it easy to read other people's LJ's.

I have no idea what purpose this new site will serve. Perhaps as a cross-posting location for good blog writings. Perhaps as wholly original snippets of content.

If you have an LJ that I ought to be reading, let me know.


02 January
happy new year
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Happy New Year (Gregorian), kids.

We passed a sign outside a bar in Fell's Point (a semi-funky/semi-touristy shopping district in Baltimore, good record shop) that said that. Happy New Year (Gregorian). I like the specificity.

I spent a surprising quantity of my year-end vacation time in Maryland. First, visiting my parents, who live in the rural/coastal area. One of my grandmothers was there. That was strange, and made me think - not entirely in a good way. My parents were at their funniest, and my mother has started me on scrapbooking with a gift of more pretty and odd-shaped paper than I can imagine ever using. She's concerned I'll lose my creativity through lack of exercise.

Then I came home for a bit and watched many hours of Dark Angel on DVD. We've apparently started acquiring early-cancelled sci-fi shows, as we also picked up Firefly before the holiday. Hrr. Yes, I'm a geek.

And then we went to Baltimore for a chill new year celebration that included these rather confusing fireworks that seemed to happen in three places simultaneously. And I discovered Elizabeth "Grandma" Layton, whose drawings made me smile so much I wanted to cry. I bought a souvenir poster, which I almost never do, featuring one of them. The buttons say things like "FAT PRIDE" and "How dare you presume I'd rather be young" and "Gays are people too".

So, in all, a good holiday.


30 December
While the cat's away...
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Can you believe that she's letting us do this? WOW! April sweetie, you're outta your mind! *evil cackle* Of course, I had to jump at the chance to guest blog here. Oh, wait, I haven't introduced myself? ta-da! I'm Roni!

April, I hope you understand how kewl and sexy you are. You inspire me to new heights in life. Well that's it. Just wanted you to know that and write it all over your blog.



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I won't be around for the rest of this week. Vacation and all that stuff. Might post some pictures when I get back, though.

In the meantime, I picked up something from Eris that might entertain you (and me, when I'm back): you can write your own guest entries.

Just follow this link and log in. Username: guest. Password: redherring.


15 December
anyone looking for a host? i'm feeling generous.
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Dawn posted what looks to me like a really good idea. She has a bunch of extra space on her site, and figured she'd offer to host one of her readers/acquaintances.

As it turns out, I don't just have a bunch, but a nearly absurd amount of free space on this doman, and I am as annoyed as Dawn is by the fact that so many Blogspot blogs are so difficult to comment on sometimes. Sometimes the whole commenty script thing just flat-out breaks, which means I don't get to post back to bright folk like Karl and Kerri and Vic and others of you who probably know who you are.

This non-commenting thing annoys the heck out of me.

So, I figure if anyone I know and like would like to move their blog from one of these remote-hosted sites, I have space free. And I mean that - free. The circumstances of my domains are such that I have to pay for a lot more space than I actually need, and it's still not that expensive. If I'm going to pay for it anyway, someone ought to use it.

You'd have to learn how to use Movable Type and presumably keep your site under the 50MB mark (and, you know, not do anything illegal with your site). I'd hook you up with a subdomain like .redpolka.org (you could also be hosted on propagandafortoday.com, wehavebrains.com, or seventenseven.com, if you wanted), a Movable Type blog, and even FTP access to your subdomain or email addresses if you wanted these things. You could use the space for stuff other than a blog if you like.

It's a pretty good deal. Now, admittedly, you'd face the possibility that I'd do something really moronic like lose my domain name again - but really, how often does a person do something that stupid twice?

Email me if you're interested.


23 November
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I've been very very very sick.

Now I'm better.

That's all.


26 October
you win some
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We've established in the past that my parents like to get me to go to church with them and that I'm not a religious gal.

Well. What had been a mild annoyance at their conservative military pastor in the past came to something of a head a couple of months ago, last time I went to visit. Their old chaplain was back in town visiting and preaching, and about halfway through his sermon that Sunday, he started spewing some bile about all these problems with society, at some point going so far as to call homosexuality a "blight" or a "scourge" or something like that.

Out of courtesy to the family (and understanding this particular guy wouldn't be back, that it was up to his congregation to call him on it, etc.)), I made a point of not participating in the rest of the service and did not greet the guy on the way out the door, but did not march out mid-service or call him aside to discuss the issue.

It was incredibly frustrating feeling like I couldn't act on my principles and also get on okay with my family, but I erred on the side of family harmony in this case. Afterwards, I was very worked up about the whole thing - I mean, hell - the sorts of words he used I thought were relics of a conservative former decade - and rather impassionedly accused myself, my partner, and my parents of being implicitly discriminatory, basically just as big of assholes as he was. My parents came back that you never agreed 100% with anyone, and they came to church for community, not for the sermon.

And a few weeks ago, my mother told me they'd joined a new church. See, the new chaplain started spouting the same "gay = evil" line, and they couldn't ignore it anymore. Mom wrote an email to the chaplain explaining why they were upset by what he'd said, they went online to find out what Protestant sects were gay-friendly, and they came to the conclusion that they are, in fact, Methodists. So they've switched to a Methodist church, because they're alright with queer folk, and so are most other Methodists. Which is funny, because the time when we went to church regularly as a family was with a Methodist church, and I have to say the community was quite friendly and accepting. Perhaps mom and dad were Methodists all along.

The point behind all this story isn't that I had an argument with my family, but that we had a discussion about how upset I was that I hadn't felt able to do anything about a discriminatory act, and then my parents thought about what they could do the next time it happened. And I hope that chaplain will think about what he could do, too. You win some. Sometimes telling people what you think without yelling at them will make them realize you agree, and that something can be done.


17 October
bedding, yawn.
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[Note: really quite boring and apolitical, but if you have an interest in interior design, I could use your help. Otherwise, skip this one, trust me.]

I have been trying for years to come up with some sort of integrated artistic design concept in our bedroom.

What I have to work with: one massive iron canopy bed (beautiful and apparently guaranteed to last more than one lifetime), several mismatched painted dressers and nightstands - none of which are on the same them and all of which are rather ramshackle, a whole load of white walls that can't be painted, and two rather large canvases I have yet to paint.

I need. Something. We keep acquiring (by "keep", I mean once every couple of years, not every payday) these semi-modern linens that work with the wacky painted furniture, sort of, but not the melodramatic goth-kid - or rather, heirloom - bed.

Presumably I have a queer eye (and a straight guy), ha, but this one room continues to have me design challenged. What I think I need is to replace or repair, varnish, etc. some of the wacky furniture bits and to put some sort of dramatically colorful, somewhat ethnic, yet in keeping with the artistic quality of the furniture, bedding on the, you know, bed. And also, to slap some of that old time art on the walls.

But it's really hard to find - the bedding, that is (art's all in my head, if only my fingers would translate). Most of the fascinating ethnic markets (i.e. Novica) only carry throws and coverlets, and I want a big foofy comforter/duvet thing. So far the closest I've come are wacky things like this and and this and a crazy satin-velvet thing from - of all places - Victorias Secret, and while they might make good use of the dern canopy for once, I'd really prefer to invest less than $500 on this project - and that's including furniture changes.

So, yeah, any ideas on places to acquire foofy yet arty bedding?


29 September
tomorrow is my birthday
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I really don't get this thing with adults and laying claim to their ages. It's as if birthdays become verboten after you reach the ripe age of 21.

I have some important life rules on that subject.

1. Thirty is absolutely not old. Not even remotely.

2. Twenty-two, when you've graduated from college and run out of birthdays that grant you new freedoms, might seem old, but it's not, either.

3. People should never, ever make posters that say "lordy, lordy, look who's forty". It's a forced rhyme, and you should really only use those in truly clever poetry.

4. Not having some form of celebration of yourself during the course of each year (birthday or otherwise) is a sad, sad way to live. You rock, trust me.

5. There is absolutely nothing in your life that you must accomplish by a certain age. The only thing you can be positive about is that your life and your expectations will change.

Of course, I made up all these rules as I just wrote them, but they do represent my general birthday philosophy. I have the opposite problem from most adults, a trait I doubtless carried over from my [only] childhood: I totally build up the birthday, which makes it very hard for a single day (all too often a work day) to live up to my expectations.

I have another rule for that.

6. All birthday or birthday-like celebrations should be a week in duration. Hey, if the gods get weeklong festivals, why can't you?

So, the birthday actually started yesterday and culminates this Saturday night, as all good dionysian festivals should, with a semi-raucous party and lots of food.


23 September
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So. How often does a hurricane hit this town? Pretty much never.

But yes, last week, the entire state of Virginia was pretty much bathed in it. The office closed for two point five days, my house was without power for four days, there was flooding and there were falling trees and just all sorts of craziness.

Lucky for us the power outage was really the only problem we suffered at our house. Lots of stories of things collapsed by falling trees and power lines dangling for days and days. Yikes.

And guess where I was in the midst of this hurricane? At a conference in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Right in tourist central in a city you'd expect to get more severely hit than Richmond by a big fat water storm. There was quite a bit of truly eerie flooding, but the city seemed to leap right back up.

So I was forced to weather the hurricane eating room service and drinking with my colleagues. Oh, and occasionally shopping. It was horrible.

Er, well. Maybe not so horrible.

In any case, we're pulled through. We have a collection of very interesting unspoilable groceries to eat this week, and I had to bring my own drinking water to work, but those things just feel like some small part of me is camping.

The rest of you in the Carolina-Maryland area, I hope you're all safe and sound.


04 August
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I consider it every blogger's obligation to periodically stop posting and see which readers stick around. It weeds out the riff-raff. Especially if you precede the hiatus with a lot of soul-searching about the meaning of blogging, life, the internet, then get really pissed and storm away from the computer one day. And if you then sashay back onto the scene, proclaiming you've had a lot of deep insight along with some serious shit going on in your life - well, that's really the ideal.

[Please note. Preceding paragraph laced with sarcasm. Don't do any of those things.]

Yes, I've been on a sort of unannounced hiatus. I was going to let it go unnoticed, but some of you have asked, so I'll tell you.

Hiatus is Latin for "yawn" or "gape" or "gap". My subjective experience was nothing like that. I got used to not being on the internet. I stopped feeling compelled to write. I started feeling compelled to do other things, lots of them (which I guess I already was, but I became more so). Life is pretty good. I'm complicated like Melanie Griffith in Working Girl.

People work in cycles.

In a very "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" way, I've undergone a microcosm of my own historical relationship to the internet in the past couple of months. Email only. Exchange with close friends. Designing. Lurking on blogs/diaries.

I think I'll be writing [regularly] again shortly. I have over a month worth of WHB topics that deserve responses, after all.

I might even have opinions. Ones that aren't all about myself and work.


10 July
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So. After quite a long month of not having internet at home, I have internet.

And no time.


02 July
i am not dead
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...just still having issues with the phone lines at home, despite attempts to fix the darn thing.

Updates have been particularly sporadic of late due to much working on my part and the resulting total lack of time to post from elsewhere.

However, the working has been rewarded with an unexpected nice-sized middle of year raise. So, yahoo. And so on.

I did manage to post a couple of journal entries lately, if you're desperate for something from me to read. Oh, and I made new desktop wallpaper (in the "art" section) last weekend while I was dog sitting!


27 May
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I'm taking an I hope brief forced hiatus on account of the phone lines at my house freaking out for a day or so everytime we use the Airport (that's our wireless internet hub, for you non-Mac savvy).

I think I'll collect the things I'd like to post in the meantime & stick them all up when I finally have a reliable connection.

If you're looking for something to read, check out Gloamling's heartfelt populist diatribe about American Idol. Good reading.


19 May
back from vacation
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And feeling very rested. Read a ton. Book reports coming soon.


13 May
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In case you're wondering why I haven't posted in a bit. Well, I'm on VACATION!

So, I may pop in occasionally, but mostly I'll be reading a combination of serious feminist critiques and idiotic "chick-lit" novels while shopping and lounging about at the pool.


02 March
apologies to you
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I haven't slipped off the planet. But. I haven't been posting with my usual regularity for a couple of reasons.

There are the the two sites I've been setting up and designing, one of which is really slow going. [Note to self: do not, under any circumstance, simultaneously work on two full sites and MT installs. You will find yourself feeling stupid and confused most of the time.]

And then - this is the big one - our internet access at home has been really spotty. We've never had issues before; I think it's actually the phone line. In any case, I don't have time to post at work, even if I didn't think it would be frowned upon.

There will be more, regular posts coming as soon as these other things are out of the way. Soon. I swear.


01 January
what are you doing new year's, new year's eve
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Next year I think we'll do new year's eve old school. You know, with idiot drunks on my sofa. I have no strong feelings about what one should do on new year's eve.

But this year was lovely. Basic family stuff. Only not my family. Rather odd.

I did, however, get to spend a fantastic afternoon at Little Five Points with Rev 9. For those uninformed, Little Five Points is not, as Rev and others might lead you to believe, a single beacon of funkiness in the dark of Georgia. It's more a consolidation of funky subcultures onto a couple of blocks. Those things exist elsewhere in the state, just not in concentration.

Also, Atlanta (or the north of Atlanta, which is a sprawling tangle of suburbs) has something vaguely akin to Koreatown. I forgot to tell her that.

Rev introduced me to Charis Books, which has to be one of the better independent bookshops I've seen. Now, all those book recommendations I give everyone have a great independent shop to point to, as Charis also ships. My local indie bookstore does not ship and carries many idiotic diet books. [Speaking of shipping books, if you ever want to borrow anything, I don't mind mailing books to people. Especially if it fostered some sort of land mail feminist book club.] And I've just started reading Bodies Out of Bounds, which is providing ballast at a time when I need to feel secure in my transgression as a fat person. There's something I have strong feelings about, new-year-wise: this reshaping the body thing that everyone "resolves" on. And then gives up on, in most cases. Bah. But I have ballast. Even if it is somewhat hung up on the word "discourse".

I don't know if it was the added extravert energy of being with someone new and fun, or simply the constant cycling of stores in funky areas of town, but there was much more excellent than usual shopping to be had on Tuesday. There's a store that sells masses of bellydance gear (which I fully intend to purchase in the event I've actually progressed dance-wise by the time we return for our summer visit). It was a nice reminder of how much my job, in addition to being enjoyable most times, enables all the happy bits of my life. Job good.

In any case, Rev does a spot-on and very funny summary of our lunch and shopping trip. Also, I went to the zoo on Monday. Pandas have thumbs.

Life. Is alright.


27 December
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I'm home, briefly before starting the road trip to Georgia tomorrow, from the family holiday [more in journal]. Time to paint my toenails and then take a shower so all the excess nailpolish washes off my skin (hey, still cheaper than a pedicure).

And hey, gods of health [Hygenia, perhaps?] willing, I'll get to meet Rev 9 in person.

I don't have to go to work for another whole week. Huzzah! Even my shoulders are glad. Though my foot's asleep. I guess even feet need rest on vacation.

Must hobble off to pack now.


24 December
ready for vacation
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I haven't been but so busy at work, but I'm ready for a vacation. I've been busy at life.

I think I might be ready for a vacation from How Things Are. Not that things are bad, just that it's nice to change. Even if change means being covered in yellow dog hair.

I'll see five states in a car over the next week (see, I'm going up one, back here, then down three), but none of the best parts of Virginia. None of my travels take me through the beach or the mountains anymore. I'm a little sad of that.

While I'm gone, I think I'll reopen my design "business". I'm planning on a new domain, something that will give me a whole new place to play. Nothing too elaborate, just - a sandbox.


13 December
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I am taking the day off next Wednesday. Well, most of it. I am taking the day off to entertain a friend in the midst of our twenty four hour Peter Jackson frenzy. It sounds like fun.

If you could take off, you know you'd do it, too.

It's not just for the movie, silly. It's for the company. You have to make time, sometimes, to celebrate without solid purpose.

but wait! there's more


06 December
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You know, I think I've finally reached an age at which snow no longer holds unlimited fascination. Night before last, it snowed what could be construed [around here] as barrelsfull. I was not enthralled.

And. Like a little old lady, I nearly sprained my ankle while trying to unbury my car. It turns out that my car is too timid to make it over the gnome hill of snow behind it, so I could have skipped the ankle twisting and left the car there as a temporary Norse burial mound, minus corpse.

I look at snow and think of corpses, not snowpeople. This must mean old.

but wait! there's more


01 July
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We've officially moved all of our worldly possessions to the new house.

You wouldn't think it would take two point five weeks just to move across town. It did. But now it's done and we're officially not midtown scenesters anymore.

It just struck me that no one here ever says "midtown". All of the neighborhoods have such specific names that there's just no such thing. I think.

Anyhow, we live far. Not really. We're actually as close to anything good as we ever were, just we're on the other side of it. Though we are awfully close to a county called "Goochland", which, if you're not from around here, is just as backwoodsy as the sound of its name might suggest.


26 June
girly stuff
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I've been slowly using the windfall of the first new job paycheck to sponsor cool women-owned businesses on the web.

I bought: super powered jewels!

I bought: funky underthings!

Just thought I'd share.


21 June
friday five (houses)
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I found this one oddly appropriate, considering my current obsession.

1. Do you live in a house, an apartment or a condo? A townhouse. And an apartment, until the end of next week - then just the townhouse.

2. Do you rent or own? Rent.

3. Does anyone else live with you? The boy and two cats (who are both very clingy since the move).

4. How many times have you moved in your life? Here's my trajectory, since birth: Norfolk > Michigan > Norfolk > different apartment > another apartment > new house > dorm in Williamsburg > back to house > other dorm > back to house > apartment > back to house > back to same apartment > back to house > townhouse in Richmond > house > apartment > other apartment > townhouse. So, nineteen, counting those irritating summer shifts between college and home.

5. What are your plans for this weekend? Moving all our furniture. We have surprisingly little furniture, though.


18 June
faxes are the devil
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It appears our new phone number was once someone's fax.

Yesterday, on the first night the phone number worked at all, we received upwards of twenty data calls between the hours of eleven at night and six in the morning.


This is no good. If anyone can suggest a good solution to this annoyance (short of simply a) changing the number or b) turning off the phone, as apparently we cannot turn off the ringer), I will be eternally grateful.


24 April
passing thoughts and parenting
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I feel obliged to keep promises to my parents more now than I did when I lived with and depended upon them. Go figure.

I thought about this as I carefully squished my schedule for this weekend to accomodate both a promise to the parents and a desirable social engagement (party! featuring friends not seen in years!).

I think I'm a better kid now. Than when I was a kid. I hope I am, at least.

The boy is fixated on the teaching and raising of children (we have none; I want none) and has me reading books by John Holt. These books seem very outdated. I read them mostly because I am very, very afraid of children and I want to know why.

And I encountered, while browsing today, this zine: raising hell. It made me think of some friends of mine who are such unbelieveably good parents.

I'm working (mostly mentally) on the "your mom" issue of the zine. So I'm not exactly preoccupied with parenting, but I am noting my passing thoughts on the subject more than usual.


10 April
speaking of kentucky
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While we were driving, we passed so many cows even I was bored with them. I usually tend to scream "cows" everytime I pass them. And so with pretty much any animal.

It's dorky, I know. But I'm a city girl.

Anyhow, I saw all these cows. They're dirty. Their hair sticks all up and they're just sort of ugly. We saw pigs, too, but the pigs were cute. And huge, I had no idea pigs were so big.

I have this thing with chicken; I can't eat it because, most of the time, looking at chicken makes me think of how tortured chickens are in industrial farms. I know they're desperately stupid birds, but I just can't eat while I'm thinking about their tiny cages. Ironically, I can't stand the gaminess of free-range chicken. So I just generally avoid it.

Now every time I eat beef, I think about how ugly cows are. And if I eat pork, I'm reminded of the cute, giant pigs I saw.

So I'm practically a vegetarian now. This isn't a moral issue, by the way. I mean, yes, I think industrial chicken farms could use more humane methods, but otherwise it's just a gross-out thing. Of course, by the time images of cows and pigs have left my mind, I may be used to eating like this. Who knows; I never ate much meat to begin with. My friend would call me a fishetarian.

We saw an ostrich farm, too. That really didn't affect my diet, but it did make me laugh. I wonder what all the other farmers in town say to the guy who started the ostrich farm?


07 April
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Remember when I said I was going to Kentucky? You don't?

Well, I did. And not only did I go on vacation, but I went on vacation from the internet. I didn't even open the laptop all week. Which was, honestly, quite unexpected.

I'll tell you about it later. I have something in the neighborhood of one hundred fifty emails to read (and that's minus the completely useless and/or spam emails I got. I never realised I got that much mail. Almost makes me feel loved. You sweet things.

First, though, I'm going to sleep. Back to work in the morning!


15 March
friday five (pets)
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The Friday Five. And your little dog, too.

1. What's your favorite animal?

I like ladybugs and ants. They're fun to watch, have interesting habits if not exciting personalities. And cats.

2. What pets have you had in your lifetime?

Cats. Lots of cats. Excluding kittens (from one cat who kept getting pregnant), there have been 11. I also had goldfish (that didn't last long) and a newt I rescued from one of the cats and released into the wild after his limbs all grew back.

My parents have three golden retrievers, with a rotating fourth (foster dogs). I'm not sure whether they count as my pets, since I'd moved out of the house by the time the dogs moved in.

3. Is there any specific pet that you've wanted but never had? Why?

When I was little, I wanted to keep a sick baby rabbit that we found in our yard, but it died. It was so tiny, it fit in my little hand. And it shook constantly; it was a sad, scared little rabbit.

4. Are you allergic to any animals?

Dogs. I'm very allergic to dog dander and all animal hair (and my parents started collecting the hairiest dogs ever as soon as I moved out, hmm...). I'm also allergic to lanolin, which I guess makes me allergic to sheep, too.

5. Do you have any 'pet' pet peeves (your pets or others')?

That is the silliest phrase I've seen all day.

One of my cats knocks over the water bowl. Constantly. We thought it was a weird accident of the way she drank water until we got a second cat and (during the period when you keep the two separated) I watched her march into his room and deliberately smack his water over every morning.


08 March
friday five (home)
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1. What makes you homesick?

My parents' (pending) move to another state. It reminds me of all the things I won't be able to do, nostalgic places that won't be a convenient visit anymore.

2. Where is "home" for you? Is it where you are living now, or somewhere else?

The beach. Pretty much any east-cost-US coastal town feels homey to me, even though I've lived away from water for five years.

3. What makes it home for you? People? Things?

Smells, mostly.

4. Where is the furthest you've been from home, miles-wise?

Roughly 2600 miles (other side of the country) to Los Angeles, when I was in college.

5. What are your plans for this weekend?

Catching up on some web stuff: starting this we have brains collab (join it!), finishing a diary design, starting a diary design, applying the new design to the rest of this site, and trying to get moveable type installed on somegirlsdesign.com. Also going to the movies and kicking off our search for a new apartment.

Q is for the Friday Five.


05 March
you're invited (or not)
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If you happen to be in town on April 13, and I like you enough to tell you my address, I'm having the annual April party then. You'll get your invites soon.

This year it's not just a celebration of all things me (we get enough of that at birthday time, anyhow); it's a celebration of all things prom. Yes. It's a prom party. I've even enlisted a band with no web presence.

I'm just that dorky.


26 February
everything smells
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i quit smoking. sort of. again.

i'm not sure i could have moved away from the water if i hadn't been a dedicated smoker at the time. i might have noticed how well the salt breeze covered the ick that was everything else.

i contend that the urban world is better smelled from behind a cloud of smoke. not just the obvious exhaust and fermentation of cars and trash, but the subtle things. living around the block from so many restaurants and their intermingled food smells. people who smoke. dogs. cheese. meat. your sweated out perfume. the insides of office buildings. standing water. gravelly dirt (it absorbs all the other bad smells for later rebroadcasts).

everything just smells so much, and the good smells are such light notes compared to. i mean, on a warm day, you can smell your cement sidewalk. it's horrid. and it's not that all urban smells are awful, particularly southern ones (blooming magnolias and hot streets, for instance, is a smell like an extraordinary thai meal). it's just that so many of them are noxious and vaguely smoky, which means that smoke, like defocusing your eyes on those mall posters, reveals the subtler fragrances.

maybe i need to get away. drive a few miles and smell walnuts fallen from trees. or water.


01 February
the friday five (bruises)
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My first ever Friday Five.

1. Have you ever had braces? Any other teeth trauma? I had braces largely because all the other kids had them when I was twelve-ish. It really wasn't a seminal event for me. As for teeth trauma. I hate the dentist, and have let an itsy chip in one tooth go unfixed for months, for fear I will be pestered once again to have my wisdom teeth removed.

2. Ever broken any bones? An ankle. Broken by leaping from a table and landing in lotus position. That was pretty stupid, but it did save me from going to daycamp that summer. Instead, I spent scads of time in hospitals with my dad and was largely spoiled; way better than mosquito bites.

3. Ever had stitches? Only inside. Wonky sinus surgery at age five. No cuts, though.

4. What are the stories behind some of your [physical] scars? I have a chicken pox scar (a white dot on my belly button. It's only remarkable because it matches a mole on the other side, so they're a pair - brown dot, white dot.

There's a set of concentric almost-circles on one of my ankles that has a better story. I was returning (on bus) from a trip to NYC one of the highlights of which was a nightlong debate over the relative merits of science and faith. The boy who had argued that science was based as much on faith as religion at one point exclaimed "Proove Gravity!" Which was so funny the conversation dissolved right there. And then, after surviving an eight-hour bus ride filled with twelve year olds by heavily dosing myself with Tylenol PM, I picked up my bag, swung it around my shoulder, and knocked myself into a gravel parking lot. I ended up with a stone stuck in my ankle, but the main thing I recall was thinking "So, there's your proof." It was really more an example of inertia, but hey, I was drugged.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend? Boyless! Learning lines for a play and possibly redesigning a webzine.


25 March
sucks to your old white men
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So. No one was number six thousand one. Or, at least. No one would lay claim to the distinction. I still don't know who the mysterious award nominator was. That's that. In case you were wondering.

My company is, for better or for worse, on a handbasket trip to hell. It's become a place of bitterness and mistrust. With exceptions. Particularly my three nearest peers. They are wondrous people. They are reasons to hold out hope, however slim. And one of them was just given notice that he has to leave as soon as he finds a new job - because the powers that be want to hire a certified / more experienced person. Certified and more experienced, based on the interviewing candidates, appear to be synonyms for old and white guy.

My job, it seems, is safe. The bosslady thinks I'm unthreatening (despite my dangerous and fascinating feminism). And I'm considered to be junior enough that I can "assist" (that's a synonym for "make copies and PowerPoint presentations for") these new superguys.

For the record. I now officially hope the bosslady burns really slowly when we reach our destination. It's a sick, demented, desperate business decision. And she carried it out in the most pathetic fashion possible. Bad bosslady. Bad, indeed.

I'm supposed to be hours away visiting my mommy. But I acquired a flat tire on the way, leading me back to town and the tire shop.

This is the truly sad thing about the whole affair. I am such a loser that I couldn't get my own cheap hand-cranked jack to work. I need to buy one of those pedal jacks so I can do this whole thing myself, if needed, in the future. As it was, I had to call the boy from a gas station twenty minutes away to come help me.

I had to call the boy. Forget what this says about my lack of upper-body strength (and he found the jack a nuisance, as well). I was at a gas station in a small town in Virginia. I even went inside to ask for help. The three strapping folks behind the counter flat-out rejected my desperate pleas. Nevermind my obvious effort. Nevermind I was dirty and near tears. At least they were able to point me to a pay phone.

At least fifty people. Not an exaggeration. At least fifty people came and went from the parking lot (shared with a feed and hardware store) in the hour I was there. Not one of the burly looking white middle-aged southern not-quite-gentlemen even acknowledged my presence or asked if I needed help. Actually, the two guys who worked at the feed store stood out and watched me. But refused to help as well. Though, by their deft carrying of fifty pound bags of seed, I could tell they were weak and unable to offer a hand.

What happened to southern manners?

Two guys did actually stop to help when the boy was having trouble himself. The boy and I both being the "learn as we go" people we are, we had forgotten some of the specifics of tire changing. I don't consider it a coincidence that these two semi-heros were the only non-white men (one was black, the other [American] Indian) to come through the parking lot.

I really do wonder what happened. To southern culture. In this small town, that is. Manners are still very much alive in the south, and they have really started to transcend racial and gender and cultural boundaries. So. What happened to this town? Is it like Derry, Maine - controlled by angry aliens that put people in icky green cocoons?

Old white men. Today I hate you all. Except for the ones I don't hate. You know who you are.


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