Thursday, October 30, 2008
Clearly, this lack of Doughnut Plant in my life must be remedied STAT.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Instead? I am curling up with obituaries of anthropologists, which are not the most cuddly of entites, let me tell you.
Also? Every four to five hours, I pile three layers of clothes on me, put the sweater and halter/collar/leash on Nahe, and pack a bag full of treats and bags for poop and a toy to distract her from other dogs and an umbrella--all the while feeling very marypoppins about the whole affair--and go out into the blustery cold to let the puppy do her business.
Yeah. Today. Really fun. Just can't wait till its winter and I'm doing the same in sleet/hail/snow and 20-30 degree weather.
* Is that a real verb? Is now!
Monday, October 27, 2008
"The One" (written November 21. 2006)
There are two articles of clothing that many a woman finds herself seeking at some point in her life: (1) the little black dress and (2) the big white dress. While the former is more of a constant search for a succession of perfect cocktail/party frocks, the latter is a time-consuming, cold-blooded, and near ruthless search for The One. Or, I guess, The One to wear when she weds the person she has picked to be The One.
My wedding—ahem, ahem, I mean our—is in about T minus six months, and I’m getting pretty sick of looking for dresses, to be perfectly honest. I found the perfect dress on my first try, an Amy Michelson number with a cowl neck and a gracefully dipping back with these great crisscrossing straps snaking across that vast expanse of skin, but it came with a less-than-perfect price tag of $1,800, which is more than I want to pay since my fiance and I are paying for most of our wedding. Now would have been the perfect time for my deadbeat dad to pay the back child support (among, of course, several other choice moments). Since then, I've been entertaining several cheaper alternatives, all of which were lovely in their own way but which did not excite me in the slightest. The Avery and Ava dresses at jcrew.com, neither of which exceeded $400. A couple different satin haltery-type gowns at Nicole Miller, neither of which exceeded $600. I've been hitting bridal boutiques in San Fran since last May or so, and I did a bunch of dress shopping on my recent trip to New York, much of it alone. (That, by the way, is not the way to go. It's pretty hard to get into “the moment” when a complete stranger is hanging out with you in your underwear, helping dress you, and then telling you every single dress is exquisite and "totally you.") Most times, I could sweep in and out of a store in a matter of minutes, because I was looking for such a particular dress in my mind: It was sleek, it was slim, it was simple, but it was infinitely lovely. It was long but without a train. It had a mermaid silhouette. It had a strappy back. It was off-white, or ecru, or cream, or champagne, but it was not—never—that sort of true bridal white. It was of a graceful fabric without need of embellishments (see, esp., beading and sequins) that clung gently revealing only the good bits and somehow magically making the bad bits disappear. But any store with the word bridal in it seemed to necessarily entail gigantic dresses that added the weight of a small child to my frame, had enough beading to bedazzle me back to the 1980s, and sported a hefty price tag along with. Many of the dresses actually made me want to hurl. I was tired of looking for The One. I was ready to settle for pretty much Any One that didn't kick the ass of my budget and didn't make me want to, as before mentioned, hurl.
I remember someone once sending me this incredibly trite quote about love, something about it being like a butterfly, which if you try to catch it flies beyond your grasp, but if you aren't looking for it will alight upon you. Basically, something along the lines of chill out and be more zen. I don't at all agree with the quote in terms of love, but in terms of falling for a dress I find it to be perfectly applicable. This past week I was in Honolulu, Hawaii, my home state and the site of our wedding. My mother and I stopped at Ward Warehouse (a shopping center) on the way home from the beach because she wanted to check out a couple of places for Mom-of-the-Bride outfits while I was in town with her. We went back to the store where I bought my senior prom dress—a fan-fucking-tastic long black slipdress with gold lace overlay. I was picking out dresses for her to try on when I had an AHA! moment: I found myself face to face with a cream colored (check!), mermaidy (check!), beaded (what?) number with a tulle-enhanced big-ass skirt (what?!) at calf level. It was one of those moments where something is so ridiculous and fabulous you have to try it on. So it was with that silly fake fur coat from H&M I have loved to nubbyness. So it was with my grey cotton short jumpsuit with arm warmer packet and hood, which could hardly have been more 1970s unless I wore rollerskates and Fawcetted my hair. So it was with this dress. The Dress. The One. The minute I put that baby on me, I knew it had been sitting there patiently waiting for me to make all my silly rules, try on a million other dresses for size, and then reject them all—the rules, the other dresses—in the face of it being exactly what I didn't know I even wanted. I LOVE MY DRESS. It fit me like a dream; seriously all I need is a good-sized heel or with a more moderate heel the slightest bit of hemming. And the best part was I managed to talk the salesperson down a bit, so I ended up paying $270 for my wedding dress. This is awesome, though I probably shouldn't have printed the price—the way things are going I hope my bridesmaids don't end up paying more than I did for their dresses!
Now, an obvious problem remains: I've got a fabulous beaded dream to wear so what the hell am I going to put on my groom?!
Further words of sartorial wisdom for brides to soon be:
There are lots of fancy pretty dresses that are marked down quite abit at this shop in San Fran: Glamour Closet. I visited OFTEN in the year(s) leading up to the wedding--even dragged [Surfrunner] once.
Also? While this feels SO high school prom circa 1990s, Jessica McClintock actually has a good range of cute short dresses in all colors--including whites and offwhites, solids and prints, and all kinds of fun fabrics. If you're looking for a short number, consider looking at the bridesmaids dresses as well ... http://www.jessicamcclintock.com
Also? My backup dream dress before I found My Dress was from Nicole Miller. http://www.nicolemiller.com/ She has GREAT bridal selections ranging from $500-$2500, which puts her in the pricier range of things. BUT the dresses are ridiculously lovely. AND BUT AGAIN you could look at the bridesmaids and cocktail offerings and maybe find something in white or offwhite for less.
Also? Check out "the trousseau" at IndieBride: http://www.indiebride.com/trousseau/index.html. They feature GENTLY USED and sometimes NEVER WORN gorgeous, expensive wedding dresses available for CHEAPO. Also, check out the rest of the website because, the essays are GREAT and are written by happy, in love antibrides who are about to become brides.
Friday, October 24, 2008
I am pumped to meet this dog tonight--although she probably won't be wearing this costume. I am also totally pumped to attend my first Salon Esse, organized by my VCFA friend S. and her many writerly friends and hosted, this eve, in Clinton Hill at the home of R.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Umm, hi, why is Biden better than Palin? Are you fucking kidding me?!! Anyone is better than Palin!
Oh, Bama! He is so prolific. I love him.
McCain makes me so ANGRY. We don't this, we don't that. FUCK YOU. Aren't you a maverick? Don't you not know Washington, D.C.?! How about a breath of fresh air, a different way? (That means Obama, not you.)
Obama made a point about how Americans don't want their nasty back and forth--they want to hear about the issues. BAM! Points for Obama!
McCain says, "I admire so much Senator Obama's eloquence." McCain is a fake motherfucker. McCain is a mocking bastard.
Obama is calm.
That's okay. Keep it up, McCain. Keep losing your temper and be arrogant so that no one will vote for you.
On "sitting down, without precondition":
* McCain, enough already. The horse is dead.
* Obama just laughs and smiles that gorgeous smile.
Obama actively and respectfully listens.
McCain = doublespeak, Orwellian 1984.
McCain takes the low blow. Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance on the next presidential election. McCain claims that Obama is proabortion. Dude, who the fuck would be PRO abortion? No woman wants to have to make that choice, but it is important that it remains a choice!
Obama says sexuality is sacred and that children should not be engaged in cavalier activity. Which sounds a bit like he's pandering to the "abstinence only" crowd, but hey as long as he partner abstinence education with some good old-fashioned condoms, I'm all for it. Also, I very much like the fact that he used the word "cavalier." It's a good word. It doesn't get used enough in the everyday.
McCain says women should not have abortions, they should just give unwanted babies up for adoption. Which he knows about because he and Cindy adopted their youngest, Bridget, which is awesome, really and truly awesome, no snarky comments here, but you know he also takes every opportunity to mention it. ANYWAY, back on point here, adoption is great BUT you try carrying for NINE MONTHS on your person a baby you (a) weren't ready for because the condom broke or (b) never wanted in the first place because you got raped, Mr. McCain, and then let's see what you think about adoption vs. abortion and the right to choose. Women are supposed to be "equal citizens" in this day and age . . . but would Roe v. Wade even be an issue if white men could get pregnant from "oopses" and rapes?
McCain has to get the last stupid word. Always.
Here's my last word. McCain, you are not a new direction. You are a biter, stealing Obama's ideas and recasting them as your own, jerk.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
So, I decided to link to the post here and label away. Whee!
So. Dave and I, we have resigned ourselves. I just sent the following e-mail to Rob at The Good Dog Project:
Got your name and website from Tracy Goya, one of my closest friends since 3rd grade, back in Honolulu! I also recently referred my friends Krissa and Stuart (of Nano) to you.*
My husband (Dave) and I adopted a 9-month-old female spayed "poi dog" (named Nahe) from the ASPCA. We are totally in love . . . but need some help training her, especially in the following departments:
1. NUMBER ONE PROBLEM: She is a BEAST on the leash around other dogs: barks, lunges, snarls, sounds like she has rabies. Dogs four times her size shy away from her. BUT when we take her to the dog park (which we do pretty much every day), she is fine around the other dogs when off-leash. She barks more than the others, but I figured that might be a puppy thing. We've tried asking her to sit/bribing her with treats (which hasn't worked), letting her greet the other dogs when the owner is amenable (which works till we walk away, then more of the same), removing the other dog from her view (which makes her stop barking faster, but doesn't solve the problem). Often, if we just avoid all other dogs, she then starts frustration barking, wherein she will bark/lunge at children, other people, etc., earning us dirty looks. We try to socialize her with visits to the dog park and she sees Nano (Krissa and Stuart's dog) once a week for about 5-6 hours of uninterrupted play (while I write with Krissa), but the problem seems to be getting worse, not better.
2. Leash walking. She pulls, a lot. Even with her gentle leader/head collar on. Which has led to some hair loss on her face, because that's how hard she pulls. I don't want to have to use the gentle leader if it hurts her, but she walks even worse without it. If she is not wearing the gentle leader, and I stop to correct her each time she pulls, we'd have an hour long walk and I don't think we'd make it around the block once.
3. Related to (1) and (2), she has a lot of trouble focusing while outside. Inside the apartment, she's another dog entirely, very obedient, sweet, eager to please, and able to focus. Outside the house, none of those adjectives apply. Well, maybe "sweet"; I still think she's sweet.
4. She is *mostly* housebroken . . . except at other people's houses. Do you recommend just more crate training to solve this problem?
I work from home and take her on two long walks (1-2 hrs. each) plus usually another 2-3 bathroom breaks. We are trying our best to do right by her, but we've sort of hit a wall in terms of frustration and realize we need some professional help with her. :) I think we will be interested in a package deal; perhaps after an initial consultation, we can talk about what package would be right for tackling her issues.
Please let us know what the next step is! (I am cc-ing my husband on this e-mail.)
I'll keep y'all posted on how the new round of obedience goes.
* Here is where I blatantly try to angle for any possible kind of discount on services.
Because of that little spelling mishap, unfortunately Nahe was not allowed on the hayride or in the orchard. Because the owners didn't want children to be afraid of her. Instead, poor girl, we had to lock her inside the car. It was cold out and the sun was not so bright and we put her in the shadiest spot, but still it was a bit worrisome.
However, we *humans* had a great time. Do not underestimate the fun in picking your own apples. There is something very satisfying about the selection process of which apple is good enough for you, and the struggle to get it from its inevitably lofty spot, and then the moment you either crisply bite into it or drop it into your apple-gathering bag. It was like getting back to Nature, a great thing for any city person to do from time to time.
Also? Hot apple cider and apple cider doughnuts. 'Nuff said on that.
Also? Road-tripping in a zipcar with great friends like Shaun and Rach, and admiring the changing colors of the leaves on the trees. Which was awesome.
We bought over a dozen apples we bought ourselves (Romes, Winesaps, and Fujis), a quart of apple cider, a quart of sweet pear cider, four apple cider doughnuts, and a hot cider to go.
Nahe did get to frolic in the grassy orchardy part near the parking lot, and then we humans took her and ourselves to the town of Beacon, on the Hudson. We walked by the riverside, sprawled in some grass, and Nahe worked herself up to a good froth over some dogs that walked by. She barked so frustratedly and lunged so hard, she actually somehow jumped out of her sweater. It was pretty amazing.
* Grab the nearest book.
* Open the book to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post the text of the next sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.
"The sauna, the whirlpool, the shower massage (whatever that was), the Jacuzzi, the champagne bubble bath, all this stuff was in the basement of the ex-firehouse; Walt was instructed to slide down the golden pole and amuse himself for a while and then come upstairs when he was ready."
--David Shields, "A Brief Survey of Ideal Desire," in The Story Behind the Story: 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work, edited by Peter Turchi and Andrea Barrett (2004)
Wow. That was kind of embarassing.
I'm not going to tag anyone but I encourage anyone with a blog to do this one. It's quick and painless and very interesting!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
See you on the flipside!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
And as she said, "OMG we are so amazingly cute!"
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Laura von Holt
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2004 7:10:08 PM
Subject: *Babes for Boobs* say sayonara
2 weeks, 2 pedicures, and a massage later, I am finally ready to send out the official Babes for Boobs Avon Walk for Breast Cancer synopsis. It's long, but it's worth it, just like the Walk!
Dear *Babes for Boobs* supporters,
We did it! We walked the Walk!
Yes, sad but true: *Babes for Boobs* are through. They've disbanded and The Team and The Team Captain will each go their separate ways (except, of course, that they still live together). Look for their Reunion Walk sometime in 2090 when Mayumi likes pink again.
* Over 2,700 walkers and crew members
* 26.2, or in some cases 39.4*, miles (* the show-offs)
* At last count (not including all the donations yet to be processed), the Avon Walk NY 2004 raised over $7.2 million dollars.
* Team *Babes for Boobs* raised at least $4,000 of that total amount.
* Day 1: Start at the South Street Seaport for the Opening Ceremony and send-off. Head up through the Financial District, passing the NYSE, Ground Zero, and hitting the Hudson River Park pedestrian path. Take Hudson River Park path until it turns into Riverside Park. Then back inland to Riverside Drive, and up the rest of the way to Fort Tryon Park, which was designed by the guy who did Central Park and on land donated by John D. Rockefeller. [The show-offs then went back down toward Columbia University, the Museum of Natural History, and the brownstones along Central Park West, then heading east towards Randall's Island in the East River. The rest of us caught a Greyhound from Fort Tryon Park.]
* Day 2: Leave Randall's Island; head back to Manhattan. Stroll the Upper East Side promenade along the East River. Head inland and down 1st Avenue, enjoying the rich upper crustyness of the Upper East Side. Wind through some really big retirement center and back to the East River Esplanade. Walking slightly inland again, navigate the Lower East Side and Chinatown [clearly, whoever charted this course was*not* from Manhattan. Chinatown on a weekend in the early afternoon?! Please!!] Cross the Manhattan Bridge and stop for lunch in Brooklyn Heights. Stroll along the historic Brooklyn Heights promenade before crossing back into Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge, for a triumphant last few miles back to South Street Seaport and the Closing Ceremony.
Highlights from the Walk:
* Curing Cancer
* The indulgent pasta dinner from Portobello (the Italian restaurant we live directly above) that we allowed ourselves as"carbo loading" Friday night before the Walk Weekend. There's carbs in red wine, right?
* Getting to see parts of NYC we never hang out in. For example, did you know that NY had other parks besides Central Park?!
* Quick stops, Rest stops, and Lunch stops
* Managing to walk all 26.2 miles, at our own pace, without once getting "swept away" by the bus for slowpokes. Apparently the people planning this event thought it was called the Avon Walk, not, as Babes for Boobs had assumed, the Avon Stroll.
* Day 1, after Lunch: a little boy sees us coming in the trademark pink. Excitedly, he says, "Oh! you must be in that marching band!!"
* Shortly after the marching band comment, *Babes forBoobs* forges their own path through Riverside Park, while searching for their errr... bandmates (who are actually walking Riverside DRIVE). Say the teammates: "Yeah, well, okay . . . but our walk was *prettier.*"
* The lovely, lively volunteers, especially the bike staff who all dressed up in costume! (right up our alley!)
*After each hill, Mayumi kept telling Laura, "This is the last one. I know it." It was not the last one. But, at the top of the very last hill was a little girl on a 2nd floor balcony, wearing a pink dress, pink wig, and pink princess hat, sprinkling confetti on each Walker that passed below. The sign on the balcony read "A breast cancer survivor lives here.Thank you for walking!"
* Day 1, Dinner: The Chinese fortune cookies. Laura's first fortune read something like "You will find happiness with the one beside you." Which is always true, although the one beside Laura (May) was not finding much happiness after setting up our tent in the rain. May's first [cookie] read: "You believe in the ultimate good of mankind" to which she responded, "Actually, I think I'm becoming quite the misanthrope." As for Laura, she really liked those cookies. She ate five.
* Day 1, Dinner, when a Crew Member came over to check on us. "Are you two OK? You look like you're about to fall asleep in your food!!!" May and Lala: "Oh, we're fine. But we *are* about to fall asleep in our food." After that encounter, Team *Babes for Boobs* makes a concerted effort to eat more energetically.
* Day 2, Breakfast: eggs, biscuits, gravy, and chicken fried steak. As Laura put it: "The only time this kind of breakfast is okay is when you actually are doing a marathon. Yum!"
*Babes for Boobs fell asleep by 8:30 pm on a Saturday night. Do not be alarmed.
* The cheering station near the UN where five little girls clapped,"Hey Ladies, you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind, Hey Ladies!!" [obviously, to the tune of "Hey Mickey, you're so fine..."]
* The Bridges of Manhattan Borough
* The Brooklyn Cheerleaders on Mile #24. That's how Babes for Boobs was meant to be greeted
* PLATINUM POINTS TO ERIC AND RIBBONS . . . For coming to cheer us on in Brooklyn Heights at the lunch stop. For waiting at said lunch stop while looking for us through throngs of pink ladies. For realizing that we'd want them to have brunch while they waited. For coming back to the lunch stop to wait some more. For sticking it out and not giving up till Mer spotted Lala's trademark pink terrycloth visor. For walking with us along the historical Brooklyn Heights promenade. For being in love and living in sin and being our friends. YOU TWO ARE ROCKSTARS!
* Crossing "Walk the Brooklyn Bridge" off May's list of Things to do before she doesn't live in New York.
* GODIVA BROWNIE POINTS TO LUKIE STOFFEL . . . For meeting us at the finish. For taking fabulous pictures at South Street Seaport. For literally walking us through much of the training. For margaritas, nachos, the Irish famine memorial, and the tour of much of south Manhattan, including our new favorite training zone--The Esplanade.
* The fact that because of Avon NY and the iconic color pink, firemen finally waved back at Laura from their trucks. Lots of firemen. Five trucks' worth in under two minutes, to be exact. And they smiled. And some of them were young and cute. Yay for marathons!
* Falling asleep in the cab ride back to Thompson St.
* A luxurious evening of pedicures and shoulder massages from CocoNails; a hot shower that wasn't mobile; and another lovely pasta-and-wine dinner at LUPA, down the street. MMMMmmm.
Non-Highlights from the Walk:
* Too much PINK (even for us)
* Hand-sanitizer. (Is anyone else skeptical about this concept?)
* The wingers and whiners at the back of the pack with us
* The constant threat of being "swept away" by buses to the next rest stop
* Rain and wind and too-thin tents. As Mayumi put it:"It better not rain. That'd just be the icing on top of the sh*t cake." And if you think Mayumi was being overly dramatic, it was because . . .
* Massages were saved for those that walked 26.2 the first day. BOO... 2,700 Walkers and 8 massage therapists? Even we could do better math, and . . .
* Just because you are "Young" (and Restless, and Bold and Beautiful!), this does not mean you fit into a "Youth"-sized sleeping bag. No matter how badly you want to because it's the only one that comes in hot pink. You won't fit. We promise. The youth size came up to Laura's boobs and Mayumi's bellybutton. And fit like a straight jacket.
That said, we did raise $4,000 and walked 26.2 miles,which is much more than we usually accomplish in a weekend. And somewhere out in the world, some nice lady's boobs are all the better for it. Which is why we did it in the first place. Boobs. Everyone likes them!
* Training (yes, there are new pictures!!):http://www.ofoto.com/BrowsePhotos.jsp?showSlide=true&Uc=198lh9si.13gfi6fm&Uy=edcgdj&Ux=1
* Walking the Walk:http://www.ofoto.com/BrowsePhotos.jsp?&collid=77403283406&page=1&sort_order=0
Laura and Mayumi
"What has given and (knock wood) will continue giving New York the ability to recover and regenerate? The subway system. The compactness. The fact that it's headquarters for not just one but several of the Ur-modern industries--finance as well as fashion as well as marketing as well as media as well as art. The routine difficulty of day-to-day life that makes the city a sort of perpetually toughening boot camp. And the unstoppable inflows of variously dreamy and eager emigrants, from the rest of America and abroad, who keep coming because of the self-consciously thrilling, muscular, glamorous, univerally familiar idea of New York City. This is Oz."
(photo taken by dave or me, I can't remember)
"Roy and Silo are hardly unusual. Milou and Squawk, two young males, are also beginning to exhibit courtship behavior, hanging out with each other, billing and bowing. Before them, the Central Park Zoo had Georgey and Mickey, two female Gentoo penguins who tried to incubate eggs together. And Wendell and Cass, a devoted male African penguin pair, live at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. Indeed, scientists have found homosexual behavior throughout the animal world."
The article goes onto even more interesting territory, considering "if homosexuality occurs among animals, does that necessarily mean that it is natural for humans, too? And that raises a familiar question: if homosexuality is not a choice,* but a result of natural forces that cannot be controlled, can it be immoral?"
Um. Right. Is this a real question?**
NOT A CHOICE. RESULT OF NATURAL FORCES THAT NOT ONLY CANNOT BUT SHOULD NOT BE CONTROLLED. NOT IMMORAL. MUST SIGN OFF BLOGGER NOW BECAUSE CANNOT STOP SHOUTING IN FRUSTRATION AT THE WORLD!
* Hi, duh, not usually a choice. In this ugly world, if individuals had a choice about whom they love, they'd probably want the kind of love that did not cause them to be judged, discriminated against, have their rights withheld, and even beat up or killed. Or, just maybe, if there was a choice, individuals might choose to live in a world wherein they could choose to love anyone without horrible consequences. GRRRR.
** Thanks to Krissa*** at Le Petit Hiboux not only for the link to the article but also for (a) the talk this afternoon about all this stuff, (b) a great writing date, and (c) having a very, very, very cute doggy who put up with my puppy all afternoon. Nahe whined and strained to follow you and Nano down the subway for, like, five whole minutes after you left. TO THE REST OF YOU, CHECK OUT PICTURES FROM NANO AND NAHE'S FIRST DATE HERE.
*** Are you allowed to endnote an endnote? I doubt it. Oh wells, here we are! Let it also be said, quickly, that Krissa's Flickr wins Best Captions Ever Award.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Change: don't make me beg for it.
The "Yes We Can" speech shirt.
Nahe especially wants the Mama Loves Obama shirt but I told her it'd be naughty to buy it, because (a) a tshirt won't keep her warm this winter, which is what doggy clothes are for, not for cuteness, according to Dave, and (b) CafePress doesn't donate part of the Obama doggy tshirt proceeds to his campaign. If I spend $20.99 on Obama anything, I might as well donate (again!) to him.
Nahe was quite put out.
File under "Things That Make You Go Hmm."
(Horoscope from Free Will Astrology.)
She was in remission for the last two and a half years, and so she stopped blogging. Unfortunately, the cancer is back and she is about to reundergo another round of chemo et al. The silver lining here is that there are new, even more aggressive ways to fight cancer that have developed in the last couple years, so godwilling the doctors can knock that shit out for good this time. Also, the silver lining for us/you is that you will again be able to learn from this amazing woman via her blog.
I invite you to follow Cancer Carnival and to send its author much love and support.
Predictably, the book had me crying in inappropriate places, like at the park and on the subway, not to mention more private places, like my couch, when I got smarter and realized reading a book about a man's lover and two dogs passing away was not exactly the kind of book to be reading in public when I'm a giant mushball that wastes tears on things like commercials around Father's Day. Doty's background as a poet came through so organically in the book and added much to this memoir--really, a meditation--on dying and living and loving and other abstracts that should probably be Capitalized because my god I am making this book sound pretentious when it was really not at all. His book just made me sit on the couch and reach for the tissues and pet my dog a lot, who'd look at me with her head cocked to the side, like for Christssake, now why are you crying for? What did I do this time?! and then I'd pet her some more so she'd know I wasn't crying on account of her but because Doty, and because of how Doty was making me think about her.
But, interestingly enough, the most wonderful thing I took away from that slender volume was in the stupid publisher's section at the back where they do annoying things like provide reading group questions and interviews, etc. I say it's annoying, but I never skip that stuff. And actually I do really appreciate reading an interview with an author about a book after I've already read the book in question. I guess I just find it cloying that its all right there, provided for the reader, when I think the reader should go do the work on his or her own. Make your own damn book club questions. Go find an interview with the author yourself. I mean, we do live in the age of Google afterall.
Anyway. Whoops. Got offtrack there. Point is, on page 6 of the Q&A with Mark Doty, his discussion of the structure of the memoir finally, finally, finally helped spark an idea of how to structure my novel. This is Very Good, Indeed, considering I've been writing helplessly, little stabs into both the past and future of old characters and new characters without any understanding of how any of it would ever jigsaw together. Finally, I have an idea I can play with. It may not be the same structure I have arrived at in 2010, when I hope to be done with this damn project (which began, let me remind you, in 19-fucking-98), but it is movement forward, and for that I am most grateful.
Was part of the studio audience of The Rachael Ray Show yesterday at the invite of the lovely Krissa! Had a great time! Got a free book (How Not to Die), two free issues of Every Day with Rachael Ray, and a free box of delicious Fairytale Brownies. Went from knowing near to zero about her to actually liking her quite a bit, despite some of the opinions others have shared with me. Now have my own opinion. She is funny! And waaaay snarkier than you'd think. Awesome. Also? She made a soup that killed me with its delicious aroma, she gives good freebies, she's got a great smile, and she's cute. What's not to like?
If you want to see my fake smile as I try to keep clapping and whooping when prodded, Krissa and I will be part of the studio audience that airs sometime before Election Day, when "Dr. G." is Rachael's guest.
Monday, October 13, 2008
For the omelette, all you need is 2-3 eggs, shredded cheddar, part of a can of whole cranberries in sauce (find it at your grocer's, probably near the fruit cocktail), and some bacon.
First of all, the cranberry sauce looks weird. It kind of emerges from the can as a big jellied can shape, but don't let that deter you. Simply mash it with a fork and microwave it for, oh, I don't know 30 seconds? Then it looks more like, you know, cranberries in sauce.
Bake the bacon for about 15-18 minutes, depending on how crispy you like it; scramble some eggs with some milk; make the omelette; when it's not all gooey anymore, put in some bacon, the heated-up cranberry sauce, and grated cheddar. We like to top it with some sour cream, because clearly the cheese and bacon wasn't enough for gluttons like us.
For the milkshake? I combine Oregon Chai Vanilla (liquid form), Soy Dream Vanilla, vanilla extract, and So Delicious Creamy Vanilla (Soy) Ice Cream. I put lots of ice cream, a capful of vanilla extract, 5-6 generous splashes of chai, and then eyeball the soymilk addition. That is, I pretty much add as much as it takes for the thing to actually blend instead of making terrible, terrible rubber-grinding noises.
Clearly, these recipes are infused with a very exacting science.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Also, I don't have time to really blog because I have to walk her. Again. And finish my deadline. And sleep.
I leave you with her insolent look. Which we see quite often.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I found myself constantly longing for a more efficient use of the "Town Hall" debate. I wanted the candidates to be more succinct. I wanted them to answer questions about how they would handle a certain situation, rather than talk about how the other person couldn't handle it. I wanted them to talk less about the mistakes of the past and to discuss more deeply the way(s) forward.
This election is lasso-ing new technologies left and right, making even the radically new efforts of Howard Dean back in 2004 look elementary. Candidates these days blog, Twitter (tweet?), and maintain MySpace and Facebook accounts (or at least have people on their staff that do these things for them). Because of this, I envisioned the candidates live blogging or Twittering their disputes instead of wasting valuable airtime. I wanted to hear them answer more questions.
Also, I think Tom Brokaw needed to be firmer within the format of the discussion. He kept "warning" them about the time limits, but clearly he should have changed up his strategy. Perhaps make sure the questions that were asked weren't so similar (the first five or so were similar enough to make the candidates' answers bleed together and become quite repetitive). Perhaps warn the candidates with a time cue card to "wrap it up." Perhaps cut them off when they got too long-winded (and both did, although Obama's verbosity at least had a method to the madness).
Another way I propose to keep the candidates concise and specific: why not just have a sidebar on the debate screen of the points they always make so they don't have to repeat themselves. They could just point. Or say, see point 1.
OBAMA'S LIST O' REPETITION
* McCain voted for the War on Terror and I didn't!
* I am for the MIDDLE class.
* I am not Washington; I am CHANGE!
* I am an example of the American Dream, pulling myself up by bootstraps, single parent/ grandparents, etc.
* I have talked to people all across America . . . schoolteachers, nurses, steel mill workers . . .
* Bush is the source of all our problems, and a vote for McCain is a vote for more of the same!
MCCAIN'S LIST O' REPETITION
* Obama = earmarks and more spending [ED: actually inaccurate, anyway]
* I am a POW/I am for the veterans because I am one.
* I'm a maverick, I'm no Miss Congeniality in Senate, I'm different from Washington . . .
* except when I want to ally myself with them because I have a RECORD of Senatorial and veteran experience.
* I have a record; Obama has rhetoric.
* Obama wants to attack Pakistan [ED: actually inaccurate, anyway]
* I'm so bipartisan, I practically sit in the middle of the aisles in Senate.
* Obama cannot expect to learn "on the job."
* I would be a "steady hand at the tiller." THAR SHE BLOWS!
NOTE OF FRUSTRATION: I CANNOT STAND FOR JOHN MCCAIN BECOMING PRESIDENT. I JUST CANNOT. Can't we just VOTE already?!
A few notes for the hopefuls:
* Number one question you missed the opportunity to give a great answer to? "What don't you know and how will you learn it?"
* Answer the question that was asked. BE SPECIFIC. And then shut up.
* Get off your soapbox, stop trying to press your issues.
* If the other guy gets it wrong, take a note from Vice Presidential hopeful Biden and say something along the lines of, "XXXX got that so wrong that I am not going to even address it." And then CNN or whatever should edit in a screenflash of their website with a particular page dedicated to debunking whatever dumb myths or mistakes the other candidate raised during the debate.
* You don't get to have it both ways. You say you're not Washington, you're a maverick . . . that is, except when you are Washington, because just LOOK at your record.
* Stop with the "steady hand at the tiller," please. You said it three times in under an hour and a half. We're a country, not a boat.
* Your answer to the peace-making question SUCKED. Your peace-making sounds a lot like war to me, call me crazy, but . . .
* Ick, I did not like when you schmoozed and touched the shoulder of Mr. Terry Shiery, all thanking him for his service to this country. You really could have played that off nicely, but the touch on the shoulder was laying it on too heavy, buddy.
* You were over time limit, plus rambly and inaccurate. Please do not become President.
* Darlin' . . . now, I do realize you have to think on your feet, and you are extraordinarily good at it. But it's "I'm green" or "I'm wet behind the ears" but it's definitely not "McCain thinks I'm green behind the ears." If you are truly green behind the ears, let's get you a doctor with that fantastic Senatorial health insurance!
* You were over your time limit almost always in this debate, but at least you were clear with numbered points. I dig your numbered points.
* Sir Senator, another major score on the sartorial front. I dug the lavender tie. Daring. Plus red + blue = purple, which is SO bipartisan of you.
It was supersupersuper scary. It was a scary hay ride + scary corn maze + 3 scary haunted houses + a whole day with theater people. I just about had a heart attack.
Hahahahaha, thankyouverymuch, I'll be here all week.
Note: I am SO just kidding, wonderful friends of Wife who selflessly invited me along. Keep inviting me places.
According to 7:50pm tonight:
43% of Domino's orderers are DEMOCRATS
34% are REPUBLICAN
23% are OTHER
49% will vote for OBAMA
36% for McCAIN
15% are UNDECIDED
88% plan to vote on Election Day
12% do not plan to vote on Election Day.
HEY! YOU!! TWELVE PERCENT? If you vote for Obama, I'll totally buy you a delicious pizza meal!