12.31.2004

Four in the morning, the end of December

I woke up very hungry. I breathed in and coughed. I pushed off the heavy covers and stood up. My hamstrings were burning, so I crouched over a little.

I stepped gingerly into the kitchen. The shadows of the arms of the clock pointed to 4 and 12. I opened a cabinet and felt around for a slim box. It was covered with cellophane, except for one short end. I pushed in the tabs and took a few water crackers. They were a little gummy but they tasted good.

The subway rolled by over the bridge. The cars looked pristine, empty, yellow lit. The lights were out on all the skyscrapers. I took a few more crackers and put the box away.

I noticed a dark shape at my feet. Rox was waiting by the food bowl. I topped off the bowl and she crunched on the kibble.

Rox followed me back to bed. She jumped on my pillow. I sneezed. She jumped off.

We're Moving!

Until further notice I'll be at

http://thisfloatinglife.blogspot.com.

Happy New Year!

12.16.2004

People are leaving a lot of sweets out on the common table.

This morning, it was yellow cookies and whoopie pies.

The first time I saw a whoopie, I didn't know what it was. I was in a minimart / service station in western PA. A small turdlike thing was wrapped in saran wrap lying next to the cash register.

"What's that?" I asked the attendant, pointing.

"That's a whoopie dog," he said.

I had never heard of it. "What's that?"

"It's like a whoopie pie."

"What's a whoopie pie?"

He paused. "Why . . . it's just a whoopie pie."

For that reason, I now think of whoopie pies as an a priori food.

12.13.2004

Something about this job is making me very, very hungry.

What's that you're eating?

12.08.2004

The Source of the Problem Reveals Itself

It felt so great, eating steamed vegetables and tofu over brown rice for dinner. I was a little hungry afterward, though, and started looking around for one more thing to eat. I saw a bag of bialys I had been meaning to freeze. I put most of them in the freezer, and then ate one schmeared with scallion cream cheese. Mmm. As I was putting the cream cheese away I saw a tub of crispy green pickles I had bought from the pickle guys. I'm trying to snack on pickles instead of chocolate. I ate three pickles. Then I ate chocolate.

12.07.2004

Moral Dilemma

The order arrived with a turkey burger but no fries. I called and they're sending the fries separately. Do I tip again?

12.01.2004

Ho ho etc.

I finally updated the website.

The dirty Christmas song is back.

Enjoy.

11.29.2004

After Thanksgiving dinner, a bunch of kids and grownups retreated downstairs to the rumpus room. By the time I got downstairs my brother and nephews were locked in a single wrestle knot rolling across the floor, with my sister-in-law and niece looking on. Occasionally a child would break free from the wrestle knot, grab a Lego-fashioned sword or other blunt piece of plastic, and beat on the other wrestlers. The sound was of giggling grunting, with an occasional, muffled "I'm gonna get you."

This went on for a while until the knot became intractible. I could see the back of my nephew's head and his ears were bright red. My brother threatened he was gonna upchuck, or fart. More gasping and giggling.

Suddenly, a flash of pink across the room: my niece busted out of her mom's lap, toddled like mad toward the sweaty ball, and flung herself on top, rosy dress fanning out in all directions.

11.22.2004

He Must have Noticed That Lilt in My Step

The other day, as I went out to get lunch, 2 people (in 2 different locations) passed by real close to me and said, "mmm, sweetie."

Then, later that afternoon, a person passed by real close to me and said, "cunt."

11.18.2004

Sorry it's been so long. I've been in lockdown mode. It takes a lot of energy to try to repress saying "Fuck!" on the job. No screaming "Goddammit!" when I can't find a file. No outward belching. I'm trying to be nice and dress nice.

There's DKNY around the corner. I told the salesman we'll make the best of friends.

We're playing at Pete's Candy Store tonight, and Annie has an art show on 19th Street before that. Perhaps you'd like to come out.

11.05.2004

New Beginnings (ch'un)

Times of birth and growth start unseen, below the surface. Everything is dark and still unformed, yet teeming with motion. Difficulties and chaos loom. Despite this struggle, energy and resources are collected, and form begins to take shape. The young plant takes root, rises above the ground, and is brought to light.

--Hexagram #3, I Ching or Book of Changes



It's my last day in the office. I'm taking down all the pictures and postcards that I've collected over the past eight years. My nephew was born my second day of work; there's a pic of me holding him as an infant; now he can outrun me, tell better jokes, and beat me at Monopoly. Pictures overlap pictures. Another grinning nephew stands among pumpkins; a baby niece is plunked in an oversized pot surrounded by flowers; cats on the floor; cats pondering a lamp; a cat in a courtyard in Paris. An angel with a lute. Billie, Chaucer, Woody, Bessie, Ray, Janis, Bob, Uncle Walt. A 50's Tupperware party. Freud's office. Jill's winter trees. A card for Honeymoon. Andromeda chained to a rock, the serpent snaking around her with its jaws wide open. The Three Fates from the east pediment of the Parthenon. A pack of Teaberry gum. My favorite painting of the Annunciation in which, in the midst of being delivered the news of a miracle, Mary looks positively overwhelmed: who said the path to revelation and glory was easy. Kiki de Montparnasse cries round glass tears. Finally, a Kenneth Patchen painting:


NOW, WHEN I GET BACK HERE, I EXPECT TO FIND ALL OF YOU MARCHING THROUGH THE STREETS WITH GREAT BUNCHES OF WILDFLOWERS IN YOUR ARMS

11.02.2004

Good afternoon. Have you voted yet? I voted. Everybody's voting. For that reason, no matter what else happens, I'll always remember this day fondly.

10.29.2004

Ok fine. Call me a bandwagon jumper if you want. I call it focusing.

Here, Friday, for one time only, are all the cat pictures I can find on my hard drive.

Hi, Roxy!



Hello, little Saro!



Sweetie plays the piano!



Who's a cat?



Here's a better one of Vladimir and Oscar.



Africa, you're so beautiful!


Send me your cats by the end of the day and I'll add them in.

10.27.2004

Take Five!

This is the perfect morning for a little Dave Brubeck, don't ya think.

The day started out with Coltrane's "My Favorite Things" on the bus. So sweet.

Soon I'll have a few days off to sleep in, run, sip coffee in Central Park, and watch the leaves fall.

Anything can happen.

10.25.2004

It's Raining Coats!

I took advantage of the coat sale at Macy*s and replaced my long black wool coat (deceased) with another black number that has plenty of length as well as sass.

Last winter I got caught in a fashion emergency when I had a floor-length skirt and a coat that went only to the knee. Never again!

2 coats in one weekend? Pure decadence. That I paid under $250 combined is borderline illegal. Someone, arrest me!

10.22.2004

Inspector Fidget

Hurrah, my new trenchcoat has arrived. $25 on ebay!

10.19.2004

Easy Does It

If you'll permit me, I'm going to bitch a little, and then brag a little.

I hate doing these big workouts. I don't like having 18 pounds of dumbbell in each hand and having to lift, lift, lift and let it down slooow, and then lift lift lift once again. It is boring and makes me sweat through clothes. I seem to be in the shower all the time. I'm doing laundry all the time. I'm sore all the time. I'm frustrated all the time. I don't like being pushed, or criticized for taking too long of a rest. I don't like feeling as if I'm gonna upchuck when I do push-ups. I don't like being so tired all I can do is lie on the couch. I hate the fucking treadmill.

I like that my grey pencil skirt fits again. I like that I can do as many push-ups as a boy can. I like being on the couch with cats, Vogue, and blanky.

It's interesting that one pushes oneself to the point of being immobilized, and only then learns to sit still.

10.15.2004

Confessions of the Cheap and Easy

It felt fun and slightly wicked to moonlight with Plastic Beef last night. Quel decadence: three guitars, Beatles covers, long jams. If I could, I would rehearse every night with a different band: at least, if all bands were as nice as the ones I already know.

It's So Easy

It's so easy to fall in love,

It's so easy to fall in love

People tell me love's for fools,

So here I go breaking all of the rules



It seems so easy, (seems so easy, seems so easy)

Umm-hmm so doggone easy (doggone easy, doggone easy)

Umm-hmm, it seems so easy, (seems so easy, seems so easy, seems so easy)

Where you're concerned, my heart has learned



It's so easy to fall in love,

It's so easy to fall in love

INSTRUMENTAL BREAK


It's so easy to fall in love,

It's so easy to fall in love

Look into your heart and see

What your love book set apart for me



It seems so easy, (seems so easy, seems so easy)

Umm-hmm so doggone easy (doggone easy, doggone easy)

Umm-hmm, it seems so easy, (seems so easy, seems so easy, seems so easy)

Where you're concerned, that my heart has learned



It's so easy to fall in love,

It's so easy to fall in love

10.14.2004

It's Not Easy

Today my lunch was entirely green: Japanese boiled spinach units, and edamame.

I was eyeing the green tea ice cream, but refrained.

Can I keep this up for the rest of the day?

What might make a good green dinner?

10.13.2004

A Coat of Drab Color

For me, the most pleasant element of any crush is the element of surprise. A guy who uses your printer every other day stops in to pick up a few pages he printed on the subject of leopards, and suddenly you start blushing like mad. You meet ten people at a party, and there's one girl you can't stop staring at for her uneasy smile and single glittering chandelier earring.

There is an extra loveliness when the beloved had once been actively disliked, written off, or underestimated. When you see a person with new eyes, the world comes into focus around her. The room is lit differently; the curtains crease along the floor with a new grace. What once was a person's annoying snort is now a sure indicator of a lust for life.

I have a habit of falling in love a few times a week. If the beloved is a person, that's great, but very unusual. Most likely it's an animal, a color, a piece of clothing. Is it strange to be in love with a pattern of black flowers on white cloth? Is it unusual to swoon at the scent of fresh, crisp apples? Is it mad to snuffle a little as you savor the beauty of the cat purring on her back, her paws flexing and fanning in the air?

Surely I am mad. And the latest crush might be my crowning achievement. It's something I had rejected, reviled, and aligned with much of the evil in the world. I have a crush on trenchcoats.

I want a good winter trench. Bona fide girly spywear. Repelling rain and wind-wear. It needs to be fitted but not snug, with the belt cinched tight. It needs to be starch-stiff.

I had a trench once. It was huge, with a bulky wool lining. When I wore it, it was only for emergencies: I looked like a tank. Ultimately it was stolen from a coat room. I was secretly happy to freeze my ass on the sidewalk that night and catch a cab home without it.

And now the blandest, most drab emblem of the Western world is turning my head and turning my heart inside out.

I blame her.

And her.
I live under a rock, but it still doesn't make sense to me why why why people are so nostalgic for the 80s.

I remember it as a sad time of really bad fashion (shoulder pads, neon accessories, high waisted pants) bad haircuts (even Emmylou had a bi-level) and marginal pop music (I can't get that damn Patti La Belle/Michael McDonald song outta my head since Saturday's SNL).

Much of the music seems more interesting in retrospect, but still.

Do people see the 80s as a more innocent time and really love it, or do they just find it campy?

Am I just having an allergic reaction to reminders of my gawky adolescence?

Please weigh in.

10.08.2004

Autumnal

This is always my favorite weekend of the year -- cool, with amber light.

The kindly creature from another dimension and I are heading north to wander around and perhaps pick apples.

Have a wonderful weekend!

10.06.2004

I was oddly touched that, this morning, I was presented with a cyalume light stick to keep in my purse in case of power outages or subway breakdowns . . . kind of like being given a special sword before you forge onward to slay a dragon.

10.04.2004

Learning how to box has precipitated crises that, appropriately enough, I never saw coming.

First I learned the art of wrapping my hands, how to hold the correct stance, and later, each punch in its perfect, rarefied form. I then learned to throw these punches in combination; and following that, pivoting, ducking, and pulling back. When I'm warming up, I'll call my own simple combinations and throw them, scooting back and forth across the room. Then Leila will call the punch and I'll hit her pads, the combinations gradually becoming more fast, intricate, and aggressive.

Saturday was a little different. I was told to do the more sophisticated combinations entirely on my own, in more rapid progression and without them being called.

This is a natural outgrowth of what I had been doing. Yet it's one thing to punch the air, scoot, punch and punch again, and quite another to come up with your own spontaneous ballet of punches and ducks and focus on an invisible opponent who has suddenly become more fearsome.

I started to feel self-conscious. I started forgetting moves: What was the name of that twisty one . . . . ? In the meantime, I was throwing simple punches badly. Like a cat who misses a leap and wipes out on the floor, I tried to slink into the next set and pretend it never happened. But couldn't conjure up what to do. Crouch? Pivot? I was being watched. I was punching at no one, dodging no one. This felt incredibly foolish.

"Go, go," Leila said.

Uh . . . 1, 2. Uh . . . slip, slip. Uh . . . 1. 2.

Hook.

Um, pivot.

"Don't think about it."

I never thought I would actively wish to be attacked, but I wished she would lunge at me and just tell me how to hit.

1, 2 . . . hook . . . ok, pivot.

"Faster."

1, 2, hook, pivot, 1, 2 . . . uh . . .

I can do this. I started welling up.

Pivot. Snif. 1, 2.

"Keep going. I know how you feel, just push through it."

Ain't that the way of life.

Leila finally took pity on me, raised her pads, and called a few. I rallied and went after her hard: THWAK THWAK THWAK. I was soaked in sweat and my nose was running.

What can I tell you. Sometimes it helps when you can see the enemy, and aren't just swinging punches in the air.

10.01.2004

A Word on the Reptilian Brain



. . . 'She was full of reptiles.' --Joseph Conrad (Lord Jim)

Evolution. 1. Collectively, those early parts of the human brain which developed during the reptilian adaptation to life on land. 2. Of particular interest are modules of the forebrain which evolved to enable reptilian body movements, mating rituals, and signature displays.

Usage I: Many common gestures, postures, and nonverbal routines (expressive, e.g., of dominance, submission, and territoriality) elaborated ca. 280 m.y.a. in modules of the reptilian brain. The latter itself evolved from modules and paleocircuits of the amphibian brain.

Usage II: In the house of the reptile, it makes a difference whether one crouches or stands tall. Flexing the limbs to look small and submissive, or extending them to push-up and seem dominant, is a reptilian ploy used by human beings today. Size displays as encoded, e.g., in boots, business suits, and hands-on-hips postures, have deep, neural roots in the reptilian forebrain, specifically, in rounded masses of grey matter called basal ganglia.

Literature: "Of these the vigilance I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist of midnight vapor, glide obscure, and pry in every bush and brake, where hap may find the serpent sleeping, in whose mazy folds to hide me, and the dark intent I bring." --John Milton (Paradise Lost, Book IX; 1667)

Reptilian ritual. In Nonverbal World, the meaning of persistence (e.g., repeated attempts to dominate) and repetition (e.g., of aggressive head-nods or shakes of a fist) are found in underlying, reptilian-inspired rituals controlled by the habit-prone basal ganglia (a motor control area identified as the protoreptilian brain or R-complex by Paul D. MacLean [1990]).

Reptilian routine. According to MacLean (1990), our nonverbal ruts start in the R-complex, which accounts for many unquestioned, ritualistic, and recurring patterns in our daily master routine. Like a fence lizard's day--which starts with a cautious commute from its rock shelter, and ends with a bask in the sun--our workday unfolds in a series of repetitive, nonverbal acts. Countless office rituals (from morning's coffee huddle, e.g., to the sacred lunch break) are performed in a set manner throughout the working days of our lives.
Hey, hey, hey

9.29.2004

Every day for my first eight months out of college, I rode to work on the Long Island Rail Road with my dad. We would settle in adjoining seats on the 7:12 and Dad would open up the NY Times. He went straight for the obituaries. And he would always turn to me and say the same thing: "Just making sure I'm not in there."

Now I've become an obituary hawk as well. It's been a sad spell: we've lost Roy Drusky and Skeeter Davis, among others. I just found out in other pages that over the weekend a guy jumped in the Time Warner building and hit ground in front of Williams-Sonoma. We had walked through the building Monday night; the atrium was cool, hushed, and clean.

We go through life trying to make our mark. Roxy made her mark literally yesterday, peeing in the corner of the living room. I was glad I stayed home and played with her (and cleaned the litterbox).

I usually think that music is my contribution to the great river of life. Yet it's funny to hang one's hat on songs that are usually squeezed out of abject sadness and terror, and then delivered with fear, trepidation, and -- if I'm lucky -- an slow, dawning feeling of triumph, to a largely indifferent city/country/universe.

Am I being morose? I beg your pardon.

I feel a few songs rumbling in my underground. I'm singing them softly to myself and trying not to think too much about it. They always stay in the deep unconscious until something clicks. Then they come tumbling forth like jokester acrobats; and as soon as I sketch their image they pinch my cheeks and and scurry off, laughing to themselves.

9.24.2004

One of the perils of learning how to box is that you end up getting punched.

So far it hasn't been that bad -- more like getting bopped. (I'm the boxing equivalent of a pink belt, so I'm just dodging pads.)

However, the principle remains: you see a fist come flying at you, you duck. You come back up, you punch. You snooze, pow.

There is something uniquely humiliating about this. I'm slow. I don't like being attacked. I don't like being made to do something according to barked instructions, and then do it over and over and over until I get it right.

The indignant little girl in me wants to stomp her foot and say she's not playing. The indignant adult in me wants to say screw it, I don't have time. Both the girl and the adult want an ice cream cone.

Yet I hold on. I'm not sure if I find discipline secretly sexy, if I like that sweat-drenched, exhausted feeling afterward, or if I just enjoy the simple satisfaction of progress. (After beating the crap out of me, the woman I'm boxing with always cheerfully says how well it's going.)

I never thought I could do this. After many series of inelegant swings and bops, I've almost cried. You have to trust the other person and just plow through it.

I guess this is called taking your lumps . . .

9.20.2004

This makes me queasier. And yes, in that way.
This makes me queasy. But no, not in that way.

9.15.2004

Saw Fight Club last night, which was much weirder and more subversive than I could have imagined. I hadn't actually wrangled intellectually with a Hollywood movie since . . . hmm. What's a good example of a recent Hollywood art movie?

I don't really watch movies. For me, watching a movie is like falling in love with someone who is slightly crazy: Suddenly his or her madness becomes your madness.

I grew up going to a lot of movies. It was the usual fare for a kid of that era: Superman, Star Wars, Muppet Movie. Often, it was just my dad and I, but I remember my mom came with us to see Muppet Movie. When we got home, my parents ordered me to go in my bedroom and shut the door. I was horrified, yowling that I hadn't done anything! They insisted. And when I stomped into my room and closed the door, I saw that they had affixed the Muppet Movie poster to the back of my bedroom door. The soundtrack record was leaning against the wall!

Sometime not long after my mom died, I remember my dad took me to see Young Frankenstein. In the scene in which the doctor and Inga stroll alongside a shelf lined with skulls, each of a different age, I remember asking my father, Is that what Mommy looks like now? Is that one?

Later I learned that it's typical of kids that age to try to understand death very literally/gorily. I still feel such horror that I could have done that to my dad.

Sometimes I think I stay away from movies now because I saw so many movies during that painful period. Or maybe I've seen too many painful movies.

Despite this aversion to pain, I have taken up punching for sport. Like Fight Club, only with gloves.

Pow.

9.14.2004

This is all I have to offer right now:

* On Monday, everyone I wrote about Friday, except for the construction workers, was nowhere to be found. Curious. The woman in the grey parka is back today.

* Boyshort panties rom Gap beat boyshorts from VS. In a word: seams. The VS has a seam up the center, not around the legholes, which results in an unfortunate situation I'm calling camelwedgie. Thank goodness I only bought one pair as a tester.

* The advent of cooler days brings on a curious sadness. Only Elliott Smith could write the line "it's raining in my heart" and get away with it. I miss him. I miss my mom. I miss my shrink.

On the other hand, soon I'll play music with a great bunch of guys, see a special boy, and play with cats.

And . . . there will be pizza!

9.10.2004

On the way from here to Tasti D-Lite, one encounters:

• A group of construction workers milling around. Until a few days ago the guys had a scaffolding to lean on; now they just mill. A few short minutes ago I received a warm salutation of "Hey, baby."

• Looming over the construction workers off and on: a giant inflatable rat.

• A woman on the corner dressed in grey pants, grey parka, and grey hat, screaming about economics. She is young, with dark skin, a slender nose, and vibrant eyes. She is very dirty, which makes her eyes seem even whiter. She has several plastic bags filled with newspapers. Today I saw her writing in a diary.

• A guy with a placard next to an upside-down water cooler bottle asking for "just one penny" for the homeless. I get a bad vibe from him so I don't give, but I feel very bad walking by holding my change purse.

• Anywhere from one (1) to four (4) kids -- some with dogs, some alone -- asking for change or a meal.

If the journey doesn't rob you of your appetite, I don't know what will.

9.07.2004

Hey baby.

Tonight is the first band rehearsal in what feels like a very long time, and actually has been a long time -- a few weeks at least.

This weekend I remembered the hard way that playing a solo show can be uniquely frightening. I was at a festival this weekend at Club Passim in Boston, playing in the round with three other women who are quite proficient and fun. In the midst of all this good energy, I suddenly became a timid 14-year-old who had had 2 guitar lessons tops and a swig of her parents' whiskey. I was honking and thunking and couldn't keep time for shit.

It really sucks when you expect to sashay in and nail it, and subsequently blow it.

There are lessons to be learned here. First, don't put all your confidence in your outfit. I was feeling extra fancy and wore my red heels and fat pearls. Perhaps this was too much for a Sunday afternoon in New England.

Second, practice. Duh.

Third, practice the acoustic, even when you've been favoring the Strat lately because it's easier to carry to band rehearsal.

Fourth, practice standing up. In the heels.

Now that we've established a game plan, I'm gonna go practice. With the band. In pink sneakers.

I'm also going to write to the club and see if I blew it for good, or if they'll have me back.

Cross your fingers.

9.03.2004

September Song (aka How Miss Fancypants Took On Hot Buttered Beef . . . And Lived to Tell)

Last night, for a glinting moment, I got to peek into the 'other' New York: the one that is serving cocktails way up high, far above the other rooftops, where you can look out on the huge orange sun setting slowly, slowly as the sky turns pink, the lights in Jersey office buildings come up, and the air suddenly becomes dusky and cool. In this New York, jazz is playing very quietly in the background and trails off, loop-de-looping in the breeze. Glasses clink. Packs of well-dressed young men erupt in a collective dirty-minded chuckle and quiet down again. Packs of shiny-hair women sashay off to the restroom, heels tick-ticking on the tile floor.

Of course, I had to sneak in. No matter. My conspirator and I were treated to a spectacular skyline, went for a dip in a pristine art deco pool, sipped iced tea, and smoked (just one) in leisure.

This is the era of life I'm calling Payback. Acts of faith and daring are being rewarded with friendship and love. I've seen more natural beauty in the past week than I have all year. I can still feel the cold tide of Fire Island rushing over my feet and pulling out fast, shells clattering at my heels. I can still see the bright moon hovering over black water and feel my toes plunge into deep, cool sand step after step. I can still taste the steak from last night saturated with butter and fresh herbs. Yes, I mean that literally (urp). But I don't care. Mmm, Pastis, you woo me with red meat and red wine. What can I do but yield?

Glamour exists only in the imagination, a merging of pure fancy with the means to sculpt an image. Romance, too, is imaginary: fancy, mingled with the mystery of lust, applying itself gingerly to the realities of daily life. Love is when the imagined becomes real, and marks your heart for good.

In the course of a week I will have seen all my family. I will have gotten to play with both nephews and my niece! I had a chance to visit the old neighborhood where my parents grew up, walk streets my mom walked when she was pregnant with me, sit in the park I played in when I was little, and remember my grandparents, who lived there till the end of their life. Almost everyone I loved from that time is gone. New people have come. My heart is marked. My heart is hopeful.

9.01.2004

Happy September 1. How are you?

I was gleefully sun-addled at Fire Island for a spell, and then paid a long-overdue visit to my family. Sun, sand, and sugar dulled the psychological impact of the incoming Republicans. However, upon hearing Giuliani's speech I felt as if I'd been bitchslapped. I can't fathom how one can publicly, wistfully hearken back to 9-11. The comingling of gore and glory in that speech is truly shocking to me.

I hope this convention is just an unsatisfying plot device to an overhyped blockbuster that's about to flop.

More later -- I have to go to the doc. Maybe this time I'll get another wrongful diagnosis! Hmm, what do I want. Scales? Thrush? Bird flu, anyone?

8.23.2004

If you have a website and say you don't check your referring pages . . . you're lying.

Here are the Googles people used to find this. 'Natural Blonde' is a perennial google, but so far my faves are 'bored soul,' 'fat ass pantyhose,' 'lifted niece's shirt' (you pervs!), and 'strange life thing.'

'Projectile vomit record' concerns me.

Here we go:


erica smith
Erica Smith
erica
guppies
natural blonde
nudity
scary thing
Josiah Shufflebotham
The Snow it Melts the Soonest
blog-wonkette
erica smith music
floating life
floating yoga
gay penguins
myriad creatures
pictures of birthday party
1-800-95-TRUCK
2004 email guestbook of erica
Birthday Party Pictures
Bitch Life
Burns bring autumn's pleasant weather
ERICA
Erica Billings
Erica blonde
How to look great naked
Ken Saro's biography
Pictures of Erica Smith
Ryan Adams sighting Village
Smoochie Lite
The Snow It Melts the Soonest
The Uncloudy Day
The snow it melts the soonest
UNCLOUDY DAY
Uncloudy Day
WANDER LUST
Westlin Winds
alan young trifecta
alien octopus graffiti
anna nicole smith boob fall out awards
anna nicole smith trimspa
anna nicole titties
antihoot
aol guestbook 2004
beck paper tiger gainsbourg
become your dream
ben and jerry's free scoop coupon
bored soul
boypants
brazeer wear women
brazeers
bye bye blanky
cat rubbing head against hand
chelsea rec center
chemical smell on ann taylor clothes
chous
coolest album 2004
dann baker
e-sRGB
electricity bridge air gap
emptied her wallet
ennui go
erica americana
erica archer
erica smith frederick
erica smith pictures
erica(blonde)
fat ass pantyhose
floating life movie
floating on ionized air
free homemade body butter recipes
fung wah bus black t-shirt
giant fish
gillian welch and david rawlings
gold stilettos
happy birthday wendy
hopefulness
hot to trot
http://www.maidmusic.com/
hypomania and phone calling
i love you all the way
in love floating feeling
jeans long skrit
judy roderick
july 2004 email address of Rick hotmail.com aol.com
karen dalton it' so hard
li po on a banquet with
life mysteries
life of a waitress
lifted niece's shirt
look busy
lyrics anne briggs
marcucci ice cream
no more my lord
now westlin' winds
nudity life
odd sightings
party life pictures
paula carino
peanuts wah wah
pictures of birthday parties
pictures of ill fitting bras
pictures of thinking caps
projectile vomit record
ron sexsmith and 2004 or 04
scary things that happened in the night
scary things that have happened
sightings about life
snoopy birthday pictures
snows the melt the soonest
snows they melt the soonest
snows they melt the soonest lyrics
strange and scary
strange life thing
tarp laci peterson
the snows they melt the soonest
titties
unclarity
upshirt pictures
what is the song on the trimspa ad
wonkette blog
www.maidmusic.com

8.18.2004

I sense a new phase coming.

As with all life-changing phases, it began with a profound malaise. After a weekend of giddiness listening to a few rough mixes for the new record -- they sound fresh and smashing to my ears -- I crashed badly. I kept thinking how I'm going to be going in for another round of dogged persistence, trying to get gigs where no one wants to book me, or a review from a rag that keeps saying yes yes yes and never comes through.

So be it. It's like old the tradeoff that love brings pain. You know it's going to hurt, but you must go ahead with it.

Pushing music made by your little ole self is exhausting, humiliating, and expensive. It's also the closest I'll ever come to having true freedom. I can make the songs say whatever I want, sound however I want. I also got the best boys around to help make the music come into flower, and that's something.

Many of you reading this are artists; you know what I'm talking about. It might be the only taste of glory we feel in our lifetime.

Coincidentally, when I got home last night a little alt-music rag was waiting in my mailbox. For the past few months I've been throwing the mags on the pile without reading them. I'm simply too jealous to read about so-and-so playing the Beeswax festival and what a great time it was. I want to play the Beeswax festival, but the queen bee never returned my calls.

Yet I opened up this issue of the mag. And bingo: first I got bugged. Tell me: In times like these, why do articles, presskits, and the like describe someone who 'deserves' a wider audience? About half the people they're talking about already get Christmas calls from Sir Elton, and the other half are sixth cousins of a Wainwright. Who 'deserves' more than they have? Or less? Do I 'deserve' to get hit in the head and killed by a falling flowerpot, or do I 'deserve' a hit single? If I profess that my pet has been kidnapped, and then 'discover' that she was at home sleeping under a blanky the whole time, do I 'deserve' a full page of publicity in the Post?

So I had my requisite snit. Then, however, I actually started to enjoy reading. Fuck if I've forgotten there's a new Wilco record out. And a new Tift Merritt coming! She's so good, goddamn her, I love her.

So I was getting happy and excited. I started wanting to make music (and not minding having to make obnoxious phone calls).

And a new record is coming.

Eventually.

Nitey nite.

8.17.2004

A Short Psychohistory of My Ass

I'll come up with a Milosz poem as soon as I can dig through my books at home. It seems so long ago that I used to read loads of poetry.

In fact, lately I worry that I have regressed and become stupid.

You know what I'm talkin bout. If you've been tuning in to these pages with regularity, surely you have noticed an unhealthy obsession with food, animals, and shoes. Where o where are the lists of books-2-read of my youth? Have they been supplanted by a fixation on the lists of flavors of Tasti D-lite?

Part of me thinks this is overcompensation for an overserious adolescence. Living in a world of ideas with which I had no real experience, I diatribed over the Duchess of Malfi and Dostoyevsky. But how long can you pull that off while wearing shit brown chipmunk shoes?

Such aggressive disregard for taste only got worse when I graduated and got a job. Neurotically insisting on wearing pantyhose even in the summer, at a job where my colleagues couldn't care less, I sweltered and went through cans and cans of Static Guard. Becoming immersed in Shakespeare and Bukowski at the same time triggered a psychic catastrophe that brought me an even worse curse on the overly intellectual: Psychotherapy.

Perhaps psychotherapy has been my true downfall. It's a mosh pit of the mind in which dreams, thoughts, urges, and actions come together as their own big, humming reality––a veritable playpen for egobrainiacs. Somewhere along the line, wrestling with the beasties, I stopped reading so much. I also started dressing a little sexier and graduated to pilgrim shoes.

But I wonder if, as a result of tapping into my unconscious urges, the frivolometer has gone in to the red. Perhaps there is a tradeoff to feeling more free, more honest, and more sharp and daring. Maybe you lose your mind a little. I can't stuff myself back into the shell of my old self, much like I can't stuff my ass into most of my dresses (but do anyway), and the result is a kind of teetering 3-martini embarrassment.

Maybe it isn't psychoanalysis to blame -- it's rock 'n roll.

And we're out of time.

8.16.2004

RIP Czeslaw Milosz

Odds 'n Ends! Odds 'n Ends!

1. Alien octopus sighting! I was on the bus when I noticed a bright yellow truck parked at Union Square South. It was covered in all kinds of colorful graffiti. I was admiring the mélange when suddenly I saw 2 familiar almond eyes staring back at me. Octopus dude! The bus pulled away, and our friend receded into the background. I gotta get one of those teensy digital cameras so I can be prepared to snap it at any moment.

2. My mind wandered to Neck Face, another favorite, and my subsequent Googling of him was much more satisfying.

3. This random Internet photo is evocative of Saro's formative months, as she and her littermates were raised by a German Shepherd by the name of Bear.

8.11.2004

Black slingbacks, black slingbacks/Put a little money in the piggy bank/Cheese fries, chicken, jump rope skippin/Hide the tuna from the kitten/I got heels and he's got wheels/We'll be sliding on banana peels

8.10.2004

To the inquiring mind

. . . who, somewhere in the comments section, had politely asked about my body products:

"Hi, I would like to know where you got your ideas to sell your products and what you use as a preservative so that the products don't go bad?"

I decided to make my own products when buying others' products was becoming insanely expensive. The fact that Origins charges you $30 for their salt scrub is nothing short of thievery. I'll custom-make something fresh for one-fifth of that price.

I also don't like the additives and crap that are put into a lot of products. Most lotions have alcohol in them, which cannot possibly be moisturizing. Commercial lotions are nice because they have a light texture. But if I want a light texture I'll make a light oil-based concoction. If I want deep, power moisture, I'll use my booty butter.

Thirdly, I like giving people unique homemade gifts.

As for preservatives, I don't use any so far, with the exception of the fridge. There are a few natural products such as rosemary oil that would work if needed. I have borax as a emulsifier, but I haven't used it in earnest yet.

Soon I'll have a webpage up so you can buy products if you want them.

Thanks for asking!

8.09.2004

Hey, what day is it?

For the benefit of the 2 of you reading this, I apologize for being blog delinquent as of late. It's been a joyous and harrowing week or so. I've been wrestling with a backlist catalog that eerily resembles The Blob, boogieing among killer waves, vanquishing evil bacteria and viruses, and much, much more.

The little ditty that follows is officially too much information, but I'm going to share it with you anyway because it's amusing and I have no class.

There was a phone message on my work machine this morning from my girl-doctor's office. I had gone for a tune-up a few weeks ago. They call you when something is wrong, so immediately my antennae go up. It was a familiar, deliberate voice with an Eastern European accent.

"Yes, hello, Erica. This is Marika from Dr. Krause's office. I just wanted to follow up with you about the tests you had done . . . "

I start to think fast. Test, test test . . . ok they tested me for chlamydia . . .

"and I wanted to let you know that it came up positive . . . "

Now that's a new one. The blood plummets to my feet.

"and I think this is what you and Dr. Krause were expecting . . . "

Oh, really? Speak for yourself!

"So give us a call at the office . . . "

I'm standing and leaning over hard, my elbows on the desk.

"Oh wait. I'm sorry. Your test is negative."

Now my head is on the desk.

"I'm so sorry. Well, give us a call if you like. Thank you, Erica."

click.

7.28.2004

Mysteries Solved

I found out the mystery of the fish mosaic at Delancey: It's because the station is located below the fish market on Essex.

I found out the mystery of the photo of my great-uncle's father: He was in the Texas militia circa 1899.

However, the mystery of the origins of the alien octopus is still unsolved.

Alien octopus at large. News at 11.

When Lightning Strikes

As cloud formation continues, the two opposite charges increase in strength. Since unlike charges attract, there is a powerful tendency for the charges to join and neutralize each other. Each charge exerts a strong electrical potential, or pressure, in an effort to bridge the air gap from cloud to ground. Air, a poor electrical conductor, resists the passage of the charges. At some critical point, however, the resistance of the air is overcome. A small discharge, called a pilot streamer, moves toward the Earth carrying negative charge. A stronger current, called a stepped leader, follows and ionizes the air in its path (see Electricity). The stepped leader moves in a series of jagged spurts, each about 150 feet (45 meters) long. When the pilot streamer touches the Earth, a high-current return streamer leaps from the ground toward the cloud. It travels along the path of ionized air created by the stepped leader. This is the part of the stroke that produces the brilliant flash we see.

7.22.2004

Chicken Soup for A Bored Slut's Soul

It's 88 degrees out and I'm having hot homemade soup. Why? Because it's free, and I only have a wee bit of money left in my food budget for the next 7 days. Too many Tasti D-lites this month. I have about 12 little containers of soup left in my freezer if anyone is in a similar quagmire.

The soup is delicious, and I'm air-conditioned, so I don't mind its being hot. I wish I had brought a bit of lemon to squirt into it, though.

I feel bad I talked mean about Republicans yesterday. It's not nice. Unfortunately, though, I meant it. They probably think they're doing NYC a huge favor by coming here to stimulate the local economy (something W. couldn't quite accomplish on his own) and to 'prove' that the city is not only secure, but festive and fabulous. I just see it as unbelievably hubristic, inconvenient, and potentially threatening. Why not have it in Santa Barbara? --Everybody likes Republicans there anyway, and our culture won't suffer if the whole town blows.

The one thing i don't like about soup is the occasional piece of bone or skin. It's a little too much veritas. The hypocrisy of the meat eater.

Also; even though I call myself a slut all the time, I'm not really. Just like to say it. (And, occasionally, dress like it.) I am bored, however. Anyone got news?

7.21.2004

More Odd Sightings

Maybe I'm just noticing this after the fact, but aren't the Manhattan streets looking much better labeled as of late? Giant, legible signs denoting Park Ave. South and various environs. Could this be because the Republicans are coming?

Mayor Koch is making those silly commercials telling us to be nice to the Republicans, and smile as we give them directions. No problem. Madison Square Garden? Get on this uptown 6 train here. Switch to the 4 at Grand Central. Stay the course. You'll pop out above ground eventually. When you see a big stadium on your left, exit in single file. Have a nice day.

Taken by the Faeries; back at 30 o'clock

Here's an excerpt from a not-yet-published book on shamanism. (Is this unethical? Please advise.) This passage intrigued me. Sounds like suffering that one goes through during one's twenties:

"Taken by the faeries" is a common phrase used to explain odd behavior and debilitating illness with no obvious cause or cure. When the Celtic society was still shamanic, "taken by the faeries" meant one had been called into the initiation crisis of the shaman. It was common that the illness or madness lasted for seven years. To others it would appear that the individual was depressed, in the throws of some unknown physical illness, or simply behaving in odd, socially unacceptable ways. For the individual, the journey had begun. He or she had stumbled or been drawn into the Otherworld and was engaged in an adventure of some kind with the Faere Folk. How the individual resolves the journey, and if he or she does, determines whether or he or she becomes a shaman.

7.20.2004

Calling All Alien Octopi Investigators

I love the new Beastie Boys song. Anyone see the video? My favorite graffiti appears in it: the alien octopus.

Does anyone know about the alien octopus? Its creators, its real name, its significance?

My google turned up nothing recognizable.

7.19.2004

The 7 Habits of Highly Neurotic Freelancers

7. Wash the dishes, just for a change of pace.

6. Take a drugstore break. Go looking for matching toenail polish to cover up your chips, and realize in the store that you have sneakers on. Consider removing your shoes in the store to match the bottle against your toe. Reconsider.

5. Put on the kitty show and get sucked in.

4. Listen to the entire Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks series, obsessing over chronology.

3. Have a snack.

2. Have a little something to help wash it down.

1. Wake up the cats, asking for playtime.

7.14.2004

Swimming with the Giant Guppies

Today I had my last swim a the Y. It was a good little swim -- a quickie, since it was the lunch hour. Just enough time to dunk, power through enough laps to feel the endorphins kick in, shower, sauna (just for a second, to dry off), and bolt, sporting a giant wet mop of hair (I forgot my comb) and a sweat mustache.

I'm giving up the Y for financial reasons. Has anyone gone to the pool at the new Chelsea rec center? They have those cool dolphin mosaics. And the NYC rec centers are so affordable.

Speaking of mosaics, can anyone tell me why the 'new' Delancey stop has a mosaic of giant fish? It's so scary. I feel watched. Why didn't they make a mosaic of pickle barrels?

7.12.2004

Public Service Announcement

Hi folks. I've talked to some of you about this already, but it's been a little nervewracking over here at Maidmusic Headquarters (aka "MaidHead") lately. Two people in my world, women under 35, have been diagnosed with conditions that could lead, or possibly have led already, to cervical cancer.

My cursory research has revealed that this is becoming more and more common among young women. It can be brought on by a virus that people don't necessarily know they carry. The good news is that this kind of cancer can be curable if caught early.

I'm going to my girl-doc tomorrow to find out more, get my biannual schmear, and find out what's going on "downtown." Of course, I would encourage you to do the same.

Have a great, healthy day!

7.09.2004

Gratuitous soul nudity

Here's the gratuitous reminder that I will be baring my soul in public tonight at Pete's Candy Store, preceded by the lovely Robin Aigner of many musical styles and flairs, and followed by the formidable Love Camp 7 of many twists and turns.

Something happened to my friend and I can't get it out of my head. At the Queensboro Plaza subway stop, a dog spontaneously wandered onto the train. No collar, no tags. The subway car community had to decide what to do. A woman came forth to take responsibility for him. The dog was friendly; but without a collar, he wasn't too easy to shepherd off the train. So finally, my buddy yielded up her headphones to place around the dog's neck. It served as a leash of sorts, and the woman led him off the train and into her world, promising to try to find his parents.

I can't stop imagining that dog just kind of popping in on this group of unsuspecting people. Where did he come from? Was he scared, or overjoyed to be free? Did some bastard who deserves to rot in hell just dump him somewhere? Why no collar or tags? Isn't the headphone-collar a stroke of brilliance?

I wish I could have seen it, but on the other hand I'm kind of glad I didn't, because if I had, I'd probably have a dog right now, and certainly my cats would be trying to kill him, and I would be evicted.

Godspeed, dog.

7.02.2004

Hey! Did anybody out there do a portrait? Mail 'em in! I wanna see!

What a great dinner last night with my friend the charming hostess. We went to Chez Napoleon, which seems to have been shaken out of its slump (last time, there were cards on the table threatening imminent closure, but a recent feaure in a local paper -- I can't remember which -- has done it a good turn; the place was packed). There is an 82-year-old woman in the back cooking all the meals. She is a very good cook, and the white wine and Edith Piaf music didn't hurt neither.

I'm having trouble thinking of words. Must . . . have . . . coffee. Perhaps I'll sign off and resume later. . .

7.01.2004

Doodles

Thanks to a browse through Philip's site, I came upon a place where you can make fun portraits.

Here's mine.

6.30.2004

Last night's band practice has left me cheerful as can be. We played new songs, worked on fragments of new unfinished songs, and just kind of space jammed. Dave's imperative -- to carry the flame now that Elvin is gone -- is going to elevate all of us. Finishing the songs for the second half of the record doesn't seem so intimidating anymore.

Anyone got good plans for the 4th?

6.28.2004

Bonjour mes petits chous!

J.J. and I are finally back from the land of the café au lait-addled. We had a lovely time, and when I see you in person I will force you to marvel at the $5 gold stilettos and $8 cowgirl boots I plucked off of the abundant, flowering Quebecois vintage clothing trees. In the meantime, it has come to my attention that some of you find these bloggings disproportionately nasty compared to my usual sunny demeanor. Of course, y'all can just go jump in a lake if you like. But you're my friends, and I trust you to tell me when I'm being a pill. So I will now make an upbeat list of things I love, and you can add to it if you like.

I LOVE lavender ice cream on the rue St.-Denis. I LOVE having pedicures with a buddy. I LOVE cats and dogs and people who love cats and dogs. I LOVE claymation. I LOVE Homer. I LOVE walking down Central Park West at dusk. I LOVE nieces and nephews. I LOVE picking out fun underwear. I LOVE the smell of a wood-burning stove. I LOVE swimming in a backyard pool when it's hot but not too hot.

And on another bright note: My 'blended' family has been together for twenty-four years as of today. Pretty amazing.

6.18.2004

En vacances

This will be my last post for a few days, as Just Jill and I are heading to the French-speaking Northern regions. We intend to drink cappuccino out of porridge bowls and snap up every $5 thrift shop dress in town. See you later!

6.15.2004

A Hot White Jolt of Fun

26 hours, 4 takeout meals, 3 scones, 24 ounces of Diet Pepsi, and 36 ginger candies later, we cut enough songs for half a record at least. Thanks to Jason "Big Poppa" Marcucci and all the band for being so lovely. Thanks also to Scotty Aldrich for loaning out his Les Paul.

At this time I can start to approximate what the new record might sound like, and it sounds mighty fine. Fast. Poppy. With a hit of the blues for good measure.

I'm still in recovery. If anyone else feels like a slug tonight, drop on by; I'll be on the couch with some ice pops, watching Saro go nuts for the kitty show!

6.11.2004

Thanks, people, for coming out to the Wednesday show. I finally drug myself out of bed. However, upon looking around, I think perhaps I should have drugged myself back in bed.

Enough of the Reagan homage already. Enough of all the newscasters wearing black, and catching themselves mid-perky-smile and squelching it. Enough coffin shots! I call this one "Coffin in a Rotunda." "Coffin Descending Plane." "Coffin on Steps."

Enough tabloid court case coverage. I do hope that whoever murdered Laci Peterson is brought to justice. But enough already. The Patriot Act, environmental laws, immigration laws, court cases affecting a woman's right to choose . . . I really wish I could hear those discussed with the same fervor. I don't want just to hear about them when they're over and done with.

Is there a decent channel to watch in the morning? My brain is rotting.



6.09.2004

Why I Stay Inside.

I went for a long walk over the lunch hour and stopped in at a designer sample sale. I was a little heat damaged and allowed myself to be seduced by the chartreuse and magenta silks and satins in the window; lured by the mod prints and promise of discounts; beckoned by the air conditioning blasting through the open doorway and cooling my cheeks.

Lines and lines of rolling racks! Sorted by size! I scooped up some lovely satin camis and dresses that looked vaguely wide enough for my ass, reminding myself that in fashion, 12 is the new 14. As a precaution I quickly grabbed some clothes off the maternity rack. I was shaking a little, feeling as if I wasn't supposed to be there, trying not to look at the women around me with their designer rodeo belts.

The line to the dressing room was snaking longer and longer so I hopped on. Someone was inside howling like a square-dance caller. "Next on line!" (me: "You'll look fine!") I ducked in. It was a big space cordoned off with tarp. The woman who had called was beckoning me toward a spot she had staked out in-between 2 bronzed cokehead debutantes. Maybe they were PR assistants. Soon, without being obtrusive, I would come to wonder how neither of them had tan lines on their tits.

You know, size "large" is a curious thing. Larger than . . . a rabbit? A badger? Surely not larger than me. One of the camis fit. It was a gorgeous baby blue with black lace. There was a stretchy silk dress that was cool, but too snug even for this slut: what's the purpose of going couture if you're going to hoe it up anyway? Nothing else, save the wrap dress, even fit over my head.

This all took a very long time: Tangling and untangling my hair out of the dress, bending over looking for armholes, shaking the dress off over my head, making sure I really was putting my arms in the right place, taking a humiliation break, trying again.

I had fantasized about owning one of these holy grail wrap dresses for a very long time, and it looked nice, but I let it go. I wasn't in love with the pattern.

Mystery Photo: military buffs, can you help?

While looking at the archived family photos my dad gave to me, I came across this one of my great-uncle Beryl's father. Can anyone identify the circumstances based on the uniform he's wearing? We know Beryl was from Texas.

This photo looks very nineteenth-century to me. Isn't the kid handsome? He looks like Johnny Depp.

Here's a larger image.

Write a letter, get a free scoop

Here's a place you can go to quickly and easily urge your lawmakers to cut global warming pollution by voting for the Climate Stewardship Act. You will be rewarded for your efforts by getting a coupon for a free scoop of Ben and Jerry's!

6.08.2004

Bitch break

Can someone please explain to me why O.J.'s sorry mug is all over the television again? Yes, I know it's ten years after. But this morning, as I was doing my rodent run on the treadmill, I couldn't get away from the bastard. First he's pissing all over Miss Couric, saying how GREAT! his kids are doing. Disgusted, I jumped over to Good Morning America, where in the queue they've got the sister of the dismembered mother of said children preparing her insults.

ENOUGH!

INTELLECTUAL!

POLLUTION!

Yes, You Really Want To

Just a reminder: the band and I are playing at the Lakeside Lounge tomorrow night.

I'll be selling delicious homemade body products: body butter, lip balm in limited-edition repro vintage tins, bath salts, and a very special summer salt scrub designed to cool and moisturize your delicate skin. And everything is $5 or less.

Yes, I'll be singing and all that, too. And selling records.

I will welcome suggestions for more body products, especially seasonal ones. Cooling foot spritz? Poof powder? Shower gel? I'll make it for you.

6.06.2004

For this 60th anniversary of D-Day, I learned something new: my great uncle (my grandmother's brother) landed at Normandy with the Canadian army. If I had known this as a child, it faded away behind stories of Uncle Dody's other exploits: They may have seemed more colorful at the time, but certainly were less staggering in consequence. I never knew him -- he survived the war, but passed away when I was little. So today I'll raise my hot cup of tea to Donald MacKenzie, Jr. (pictured here with his father).

6.02.2004

More good news!

Eleni Mandell's new record is out.

All the News That's Good News

I'm feeling exceptionally bitter and defeated today, but I won't trouble you with that. On a brighter note, I periodically Google my record to see if any new reviews have rolled in, and by golly, I just found one.

A correction: I'm Canadian by heritage, but I wasn't born there. However, as the song goes, if Bush gets re-elected . . .

6.01.2004

I hope you all had a good long weekend. Mine was very nice, thank you. Sunday involved a trip to Jones Beach. It was gorgeous: sunny, breezy, though too chilly for me to do any real prancing in the water. My Favorite Newlyweds had brought a baby grill, so eating sufficed as the chief entertainment. And lying down came up a close second. If you lay flat, it felt a little warmer than it was.

There was an airshow going on. We watched four parachuters jump out of a plane and swing on the wind, slowly making their way down to the water. There also was a Red Baron-type plane making crazy eights, spinning, diving, and swooping. The scariest part was when he would shoot straight up and cut the engine, hang in suspension for a few seconds, and then whirlybird nosedive straight down. Of course, just as it looked as if he was going to hit water, he would yank himself back up and go back to his frenetic loops, a stream of pink smoke trailing behind him.

The part of the airshow I didn't like involved the big military planes. They whizzed, whined, and screamed over us almost at all times. Sometimes they looked like giant flying rats, other times like dildos sailing and tilting in unison. And they were loud. I was reminded of the days after 9/11 when we heard the churning of F-14s overhead pretty much constantly. This was not pleasantly evocative as we lay on the sand. Not long after the sonic boom, we packed it up.

5.27.2004

Is it a full moon or something? I've had the strangest interactions while walking around today. I've almost been broadsided by a guy with a handtruck not once, but twice. (Helpful Hint: when leaving an apartment building with a handtruck, back out -- don't barrel out the door and swing around, pushing the cart ahead of you, when you are looking over your opposite shoulder.) I also had to walk around many clumps of slow-walking people. As a slow walker myself, I don't normally have problems of this kind. But today a lot of folks seem to be in slow motion.

Also, I got oinked at. Not meowed at. Not hissed at, growled at, or smooched at like I'm an errant dog. Oinked.

And I almost forgot. A big drop of water splatted me on the forehead. At least, let's hope it was water. And I stepped in a yucky puddle. Ew.

And this is so patronizing I can hardly discuss it. However, the webmaster is clearly having fun naming the urls.

5.25.2004

Often, I think on how empty my life would be if it wasn't for food. Take now, for instance. I'd be just another minion at just another publishing house, keying in text corrections and wearing worn out clothes. However, the whole experience is elevated by virtue of the fact that I am eating delicious apples and cheeses. Yes -- a LOT of cheese. There is no tolerance for daintiness here. Brie and cheddar, baby, and a crispy Macintosh. It feels so sexy. Fat ass be damned. This is living.

5.24.2004

FYI

The guys who staff the phones at the Salvation Army are some smooth operators: Twice I called, twice I got asked out.

I just needed a furniture pickup, but if you're in need of more, call 1-800-95-TRUCK. Ask for operator 226 or 227.

Have a nice day.


5.21.2004

A correction

Per the Chicago Manual of Style, it should be "Jesus' Clown."[ No extra " 's "]

Please update your records accordingly. Thank you.
You're gong to have to prepare yourself; I share an office with a photo researcher now, so there will be many more cute/annoying animal photos coming down the road.

Wee haw! We will be recording soon. I'm hoping we can bust out an EP before the summer is over. Perhaps the Republican National Convention will pick "Jesus's Clown" to be their theme song!

5.19.2004

A Moment of Cuteness

A Moment of Hopefulness

Speaking of awestruck . . . I saw Neko Case this weekend, backed by the Sadies and looking spiffy in a fine sparkly blouse. Her voice was unlike anything I could have prepared myself for: Clear, potent, flawless, swooping up cleanly for those yodels. Shit, Neko! You're writing some great songs. I like that you write about animals and drench Bowery Ballroom in lots of reverb. I like that you play with your hair, twisting it into a bun and shaking it out in-between songs. I like that you're really good. Thank you!

A Moment of Unclarity

I know Elvin Jones had been ill for a long time, and his passing should be no surprise, but I'm hurting. For weeks now, I have been in a prolonged awestruck state listening to his drumming, specifically on "India" from Coltrane's Live at the Village Vanguard. Something about it has gotten under my skin.

Listen -- he plays the riff differently each time. I try counting and can't always pinpoint where it begins or ends. It lulls me into some other place. And then of course, Coltrane (and Dolphy, yes?) bust a gut. But instead of spiking and plummeting, it's as if they are skating in circles around Elvin.

I don't know how I'll ever get there, but someday I hope to make music that feels like that.

RIP Elvin Jones.

5.17.2004

And Now . . . a Word from Confucius

The noble person places demands on himself, while the petty person blames others; the noble person thinks of what is i or righteous, whereas the petty person thinks of what is li or profitable; the noble person holds to virtues, as the petty person holds to objects.


(Just a time out from the Sageliest of them all. Carry on!)

5.14.2004

Dear Lord,

Give me strength so that someday I will write a song that is half as great as one of Paula Carino's. Please help me use my imagination to make melody, rhythm, and wit converge in an ecstatic rock bacchanale. Please help me learn how to play those fancy chords with lots of energy and look pretty while singing. And also, may my lip balm come out good like hers. Thank you Lord, amen.

5.13.2004

What do you think of this? I saw an ad for it and can't quite wrap my mind around the idea.

I'd buy one, but only if it was fashioned out of real Campbell's Soup cans.
So, you're jonesing for a new acoustic guitar? Let me recommend Curt, who will build you one for a fair price. Isn't the guitar cool? Isn't Curt cute? And what a groovy-looking workshop.

5.11.2004

Whoops, looks as if I lost all my links. They'll be back soon.

The old comments might be gone for good, though. I'll check into it.
Today we inaugurate a new look, a new feel, a whole new can-do attitude!

I woke up in the middle of the night as the storm was rolling in. I wandered into the dark living room and looked out the window at the little lights all across Delancey and downtown. Then lightning struck over Delancey and sent a flash bouncing against the walls of the apartment. I was shocked to see how lightning strikes like a snake: unfurling, hitting, retreating in an instant. I opened the shade in the bedroom so that I could see it as I was falling back asleep.

Then before I knew it, the bedroom was bright again, everything was quiet, and the kitten was tapping my face.

5.06.2004

Having prolonged lunch until my head was fizzing, I just went on a bender at the taco joint. I hoped to keep it down to one mile-high veggie taco, but no, it wasn't enough. I ordered a second -- chorizo, please-o. Then frozen yogurt from the tragically named yogurt joint "Smoochie's Lite & Creamy." Something must be wrong, because usually I can't eat this much. Is it for the love of spring that one is inspired to eat one's way across a whole city block?

The best news today is that, after not seeing him for years, I spotted Scotty the Cat back at his outpost. I had heard horrible rumors that everyone's favorite flower store cat -- the "Dean of 23rd Street," if you will -- had run away, had been run over, passed on, and/or retired to Belize. But there he was today, back on the beat, squinting in the sun. He wasn't too eager to socialize: he's a good 3 years older than he was when I last saw him, and perhaps not as game to jump up on shoulders. But it sure was nice to see an old friend.
Yesterday's second post seems rather naive today. Thanks for your indulgence.

What will you be doing tonight? I'll tell you what I won't be doing: watching those crazy moptop Friends cry over finally having to become grownups. Instead, I'll be listening to the new Sam Phillips record. Who's heard it?

5.05.2004

Advice Needed

I'm putting a question out there, and I hope someone will be kind enough to dispense some advice. What are the preferred methods of wearing a vintage full slip as day/nightwear? As a tunic over jeans or capris? On its own, with snappy shoes? Pantyhose or no? More important, what are the bad ways of wearing one? The things that make you say yuck, what was she thinking?

I have a delightful new item in my closet, but I need help.
Good morning!

Just a few strays today.

1) My new favorite restaurant isn't a restaurant, really: just a cubbyhole on the south side of 23rd St. at 6th Avenue. Two huge, delicious tacos (veggie, chorizo) for $4.50! I took them to go, and they stayed impeccably wrapped and fresh after a 45-minute trek home. I can't remember the name of the place, but THANK YOU ALAN for taking me there!

2) The fitness center just opened in the basement of my building. I am very excited, not for the prospect of biking, skiing, running, and going nowhere, but for being able to watch TV while I'm doing it. I have almost a decade's worth of The Simpsons to catch up on -- I remember them back when they were the intermission on the Tracey Ullman show. Some of us remember them from even earlier than that . . .

This morning I lured myself out of bed for a morning workout by thinking about how I will be able to watch the Today Show! Whooee, I'll be on the pulse of the zeitgeist! Unfortunately, I never actually got to see more than a few minutes of Scary Couric, because the whole time I was trotting on the treadmill it was commercial after commercial. Target, Kmart, dog food, xanax, Hallmark . . . in case you haven't realized after the last ten minutes of bombast, Sunday is Mother's Day, and it isn't all about flowers anymore. You can just as easily paint her walls or hook up a new electrical fixture while she's upstairs sleeping late. And when she wakes up, it won't be Jesus-Christ-what-are-you-doing-you're-getting-paint-all-over-the-floor or for-God's-sake-get-down-from-there-you're-going-to-electrocute-yourself, but instead a wistful smile. Jeepers: I certainly wouldn't want my little ruffians (if I had any) touching my walls if they're not going to remember to spackle first! Let's all do ourselves a favor and stick to flowers.

4.29.2004

All the hottest, gloppiest news!

Good morning everyone.

I just had a breakfast treat: a toasted sesame bagel positively glopping with scallion cream cheese. So wicked, so good.

Here's all the news fit to blog:

1) After a wonderful dinnner with my favorite ten-year-married couple and friends, a question comes up: when you think of the Dakota, do you think first of John Lennon's murder or Rosemary's Baby?

2) CELEBRITY SIGHTING! I saw Ryan Adams at the vet. He was
with an adorable dog, a bijon I think. He told the assistant her name is Daisy Posey (I assume it's Parker Posey's dog). Daisy looked pretty nervous and Ryan seemed nice. I did not say hi to him. He did not punch me.

3) This morning I realized that I read Gawker before the Times. Shame, shame.

That's all I can muster. I've been feeling like roadkill ever since the kitten started pawing my face at 6 every morning.

4.27.2004

Tragedy averted

I won't go into too many gory details, but last night I had a rather distressing spill of coffee down the front of my trenchcoat.

I learned something helpful as a result. BAKING SODA mixed with WATER, if applied directly to a coffee spill while it's still fresh, will soak it up.

Whew! That saves me a nasty dry cleaning bill.

(Bonus factoid, courtesy of those in the know: the same paste will also serve as an effective deodorant.)

Have a good day.
Last night at yoga class I confronted again the spectre of what is often called the King of All Poses: the headstand. As long as I've been doing yoga, I have not been able to navigate this pose. Much like a pregnant woman who, upon going into labor, has second thoughts about the whole thing, I get into set-up position, try kicking up, and freak.

A long time ago my shrink asked me to identify my fear. I said I didn't like the pressure on my head. She asked me if I had ever seen anyone's head explode in yoga class. I replied that I hadn't. Still, the fears persisted.

Physically, it doesn't seem feasible to invert my torso over my head. Is this a balance or centering issue? I had trouble later in class, too, with shoulder stand. I couldn't tuck in my lower back strongly enough to stay vertical. Swinging too much forward, too far back. Splat.

I wonder if this is all about finding one's core, or center. In all senses of the term. I figure, best case scenario, I'm just a little disoriented that day. Worst case, my soul is a vacuum chamber and I'm flailing all around it.

Perhaps I shoud just hush myself and keep kicking up.

4.26.2004

So

How was Beefstock? I missed you guys . . .

4.23.2004

Style, part 4

I hope the depression lifts soon: I just bought 3 pair of black shoes.

One (1) sensible ballet flat (round toe).

One (1) T-strap low heel, very 40s.

One (1) smashing, yet comfy, black pump. (Finally replacing the trashed pair I used to wear to to Jr. High Chorus concerts. Score!)

These all came from the Price Slash Section of my local sensible-shoe store.

Blame it on the rain: last night I was showered with love and secondhand clothes (and taco salad and margarita and amaretto and s'mores . . . ugh, that sounds horrible, but it was good, really) by My Favorite Newlyweds. THANK YOU! I LOVE YOU KIDS!

4.20.2004

Become Your Dream

You may or may not have heard that De La Vega was arrested. This article sums up what's happening, plus it has a gallery of a few of his murals. Anyone have more info?

4.19.2004

Celebrity Weekend, Part Deux: Wander. Lust.

I continued to traipse through the West Village, hitting my favorite haunts: the 100-year-old coffee shop, the herbal apothecary. By the time I got to Soho, my mojo was rising. And just in time, too: I got an eyeful of Monica Lewinsky on Prince Street. I noticed her simply because she was pretty and not scary-thin. Good show, Monica!

It was all I could do to drag myself home after such excitement. Waving my arms like a scythe, I cut a swath through the rest of Soho and beat it back to the LES.

The absolute best part of Celebrity Weekend was Sunday, though. Passing the Living Room on Ludlow, I noticed a familiar name on the easel: Ron Sexsmith. Ron? At 10? Dude, a secret show! And you-know-who was right up there in the front row, snuffling through "Strawberry Blonde."

It's . . . Celebrity Weekend!

Wow, kids! This weekend was a wirlwhind of fun. A Truly. Heady. Experience.

First, energized by the warm breezes (and pine sol, from mopping my floor in an early a.m. frenzy), I sashayed off to hit the bake sales on the Lower East Side. I stepped up to the line of hipsters snaking down the block from Teany. Rumor had it that Al Franken was going to be selling muffins there, and dammit, I wanted to pinch his cheeks and tell him how much I enjoy having him as my steady lunch date.

A lot of young people were milling around in expensive sunglasses, perfectly unkempt hair, and t-shirts with clever slogans. My hair was unkempt, but in the bad way. However, I strengthened my resolve on the grounds that I am certain Bush must get flushed in November, and I'm happy to give my money to the cause. And boy, did it pay off! Unfortunately Señor Franken was taking a pee break when it was time for me to order. But who was sitting there in his stead but Reverend Al Sharpton! And wait, there's Moby! Vanilla with chocolate frosting, please!

I bought a bottle of water from the non-celebrity bake sale around the corner and ate and drank in the shade. Democracy never tasted so good -- or looked so fabulous.

4.15.2004

Something Sweet

Don't forget that Subway is giving out free cookies today.

Bitter (and liking it)

I just saw an advert on a subway shelter featuring Joss Stone: "It was like soul found me."

My mind automatically superimposed: "It was like this pie found my face."

SPLAT!

4.14.2004

Did anyone else catch this?

George W. called both Powell and Rumsfeld Secretary of State.

It's in the transcript.

Sorry = caving in to my inner nitpicker. On the whole, though, I thought the speech was fluid, albeit confused, since every discussion on Iraq seemed to end in a reference to 9/11. I finally tuned out during the Q & A, at a point when W stopped giving answers and started sounding like Rosie from the Jetsons, mid-short-circuit. "No inkling whatsoever . . . . boing boing . . . would have moved heaven and earth . . . brrrrrp . . . stay the course."

4.13.2004

Wait, There's More

I'm really enjoying the articles on my Netscape homepage today.

• Thinnest People Eat This Food
• Think You're Clever? Take Test
• How to Look Great Naked
• How to Survive Being Fired
• Renters: Don't Be A Victim
• Want to Be Sexy? Don't Do This
• Oh My! Men Do WHAT in Private?


In case you're curious, the answert to the last one is . . . moisturize.

Talkin' About the Cat

Several of you have expressed interest in knowing more about the four-eared cat. No, I don't know her personally. You can read more about her here.

Good morning.

Another escargot episode on the bus. Each stop took 5 minutes to load. I really dislike these double buses. I have already gone on at length in these pages about how chronically annoying the behemoths are, simply by virtue their lateness and crowdedness. But wait, there's more.

* Imagine you're a motorist driving down east 14th street when a bus is pulled over to the right, picking up passengers. You're driving past the bus and suddenly it pulls out left, rearing its head out in front of you, craning like a blind seal. The driver doesn't see you (or doesn't care) and unless you swerve violently into the left lane, you're gonna smack him.

* It takes so long to walk down to the back of the bus to exit, sometimes the driver starts to pull away. Then you scream "back door!" The bus comes to a screeching halt, and if you don't hold on to something you will be thrown to the floor. (Although one should be used to the flinging by now. Especially if you're in the back of the bus, you're in a chronic state of vertigo. Last night I gave my seat to this poor little kid who was holding on to the back of a bench with both hands and still whipping around willy-nilly.)

And all of this happens if you're lucky. If you're unlucky, the driver didn't hear you, you've missed the back door exit, and have to get off at the next stop.

* My favorite is the spinny fundial in the center of the beast. It's like that carnival ride of the huge spinning barrels that Danny and Sandy skip-de-lou through at the end of "Grease." Only instead of cavorting with my honey, I'm trying to get home, carrying a purse, a bag full of gym clothes and library books, and -- my one concession to being an annoying New Yorker, relish it -- a latté. I'm very wary of crossing that dial, man. One false move and it's wipeout.

Any more tales from the darkside, friends?

4.09.2004

This cat has 4 ears!

Style, part 3

I decided I can't wear ugly black clogs with everything. I would aspire to own something nicer, to wear with skirts.

I went shoe browsing, and was intoxicated by the parade of magenta, turquoise, orange, and fire engine red flats and pumps on display. The flats by Chinese Laundry were the most adorable in my estimation, and they run nice and wide.

I ended up sticking with black: a nice pair of flats by Bronx with a big honking flower on them. Pointy toe, yet again, nice and wide. Good with pants or skirts. Affordable.

I wore them to work yesterday to break them in. They ate my feet. I bought a pair of peds and they slid off my heel and bunched under the ball of my foot. I have a raw spot on my big toe fom where all the skin rubbed off. It hurts.

Today I'm back wearing my ugly black clogs.

Forgive my shallowness, but it seems futile to blog about what's really on my mind when others do so with much more panache.

4.08.2004

This afternoon I was explaining to my (non-music-fan) officemate about the rules of music "buzz": most likely, in order to get some you'll either have to punch someone out or die.

Then, later this afternoon, this comes up on Gawker. (I didn't catch part one, but i guess it had much the same theme.)

Ah! Validation!

4.06.2004

Put On Your Thinking Caps

Stereogum asks this question in honor of the anniversary of Kurt's death, and I think it's worth asking here: What were you doing 10 years ago?

Paula, please bring us up to speed on what happened in the months following that gig at Spiral.

4.05.2004

Sorry I've been keeping a low profile lately.

I've been too consumed with the new radio station we have on at the office.

As their station ID says: "Air America Radio. Because life isn't fair."

4.01.2004

Did anyone else wake up to a lightning storm at 6:30 am?

I've been reading a lot about the 9/11 hearings. Salon.com seems to be making its own cottage industry out of interviewing those who have been excommunicated from the Bush administration. These people may now officially qualify as "multitudes." They seem to have a lot on their mind. For the uninitiated, I'd recommend starting here.

3.31.2004

A Tale of Two Judys

A very cool confuence of events today. I was contacted by the sister of the late Judy Roderick, telling me of a new website for Judy that's now up and running. Cool!

I also am having an e-tango with Judy Henske. Granted, I stalked her first. But it looks as if she's going back out on the road. Hello, Billings! She's playing there on Saturday.

Both of these women are idols of mine, and if you don't already have their records, you'd best get cracking!
Whee, New England was fun. Plus, I got to careen down I-95 at 1 in the morning Sunday, courtesy of the Fung Wah Bus.

Our show in Portland was swell, and no harm was done by (or to) the McGarrigles.

Many thanks to Chris Darling: "The DJ who lives up to his name."

I just discovered this product and it's completely delicious.

3.24.2004

Okay, so off I go to Portland, Maine. I'll be on WMPG with Chris Darling early in the morning Friday, and then playing at Acoustic Coffee with Rebecca and Ken at night. Details here.

Just found out that the same night I'm playing, Kate and Anna McGarrigle will be appearing at the Big Venue in Town. Bring me my sword . . . I must impale myself. Those Canuck bitches! Of all the nights to play, in all the towns, they're choosing mine!

Well, maybe if we sing real fast, we can zoom across town and catch the end of their show.

3.23.2004

Pictures from a Birthday Party

Picture 1:
The table is set for six: six plates, six cone hats on the plates, six paper cups. A paper tablecloth is spread out, the Peanuts gang printed on it. The centerpiece: Snoopy lying on his doghouse. Six chairs with high, straight yellow backs and wicker seats. The table is in front of the window, and the thin curtains are flooded with light.

Picture 2:
Six kids sit at the table wearing Snoopy cone hats. The chair backs tower over their heads and their legs dangle from the seat. The cups are half-filled with red juice. One boy has his hand on another boy's back and is leaning in hard, as if he's about to impart financial advice. He is wearing a blue button-up shirt with a wide collar. One girl in a red plaid dress stares into space away from the camera. The girl at the head of the table looks toward the camera, eyes half closed, and smiles with Kool-aid lips.

A Fresh, New Voice

Coincidentally as I was roadtrippin' through Loserland yesterday, this piece appeared in Salon. And of course, the attack dogs were unleashed with due speed. I guess, rather than examine their own failings and frustrations, some people find it easier to cultivate the art of snark and then hope to get namedropped in the New Yorker . . .
On the stereo:

Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire de Melody Nelson
John Coltrane Festival on WKCR

I'm finishing the Sandy Denny bio that Helter Skelter ended up publishing. My favorite line so far: "Despite millenia of mothering instincts in her genes and years of longing in her loins, Sandy was simply not ready to have a child."

Listening to Serge, a light bulb went on: I see where Beck got the nugget for "Paper Tiger" (my favorite song from Sea Change). Which leads me to wonder . . . how often can you trace a song to its source so easily? Conversely, are you conscious of the sources for stuff you've written? I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

3.22.2004

Love Is . . . part II

Perhaps I'm trying to strike an imaginary blow to the Coolsters by deliberately blogging about kids and felines. But there's nothing like kids and animals to snap you out whatever brainfuck you're ensconced in.

Over the past few months, I've had what seems to be a steady unravelling of confidence. Maybe this had been a natural correction of the blinding hubris it takes to finish and promote your own record. You finish with a feeling of great hope and victory; you bask in it for a few weeks; soon enough, the feeling of victory evaporates and, as you get rejected by your fifth folk festival, you're left wondering if you just might suck.

In this new, loser mentality, I started noticing things that had eluded me during the hubris period. My ass looked kinda big and my hair was all wrong. I might as well have been fitted with orthodonture and made to wear acid wash jeans and go back to junior high.

The natural thing to do in these situations is drink, and drinking is what most people do to forget that deep down inside them resides a little loser. But I can't do that. I don't do drugs, either. I don't know where to find them.

I know where to find kids and animals, though. And even a smidgeon of their love makes me feel so alive and so high.

So on we go.

Love Is . . .

A sudden revelation of hope and good mood. Did it come as I was sitting on the floor yesterday, watching the guys play?

Big Nephew, facing the corner: OKAY everybody now I'm countinnnnng! One, two, three, fourfivesixseven . . .

[Closet open, shut, Brother-in-Law dashes into Little Niece's room, jumps in closet among baby dresses]

[Little Nephew, giggling, runs across hallway into off-limits bedroom where grandparents are staying for the weekend. He runs out and back across wearing a straw hat, still giggling]

Big Nephew: "Here I come! Ready! or Not! I am going . . . . to get you!"

Brother, with a heavy, deliberate jump out of bathroom: "Waah!"

Big Nephew: "Waaaah!"

[Little Nephew runs out of room still wearing hat, jumps up and down, still giggling, and dashes back into room]

Big Nephew to Little Nephew: "Hey you have to hide!"

A disembodied voice calling out from dress closet: "What about me? Helloooo! Lululu!"

[Big Nephew approaches closet, and Little Nephew sneaks up behind him and grabs him]

Little Nephew: "Ah gotcha!"

Brother-in-Law jumps out of closet: "Rowf!"

3.18.2004

Update

Hey.

Saro is home and fine. She drooled a lot in the car on the way home, but didn't cry as much. The doctor says she is "perfect."

We lunched at home, and I gave both felines some of my chicken salad.

Thus ends today's rampant cat-blogging. Thank you.
When I woke up this morning I had black-and-white cat earmuffs, as usual. Saro looked particularly elegant: as I rose out of bed, she elongated her neck, her front right paw extended. She looked sleepy and swanlike.

Unfortunately, I was about to betray her: we were going to the vet for some boosters.

I brought the cat carrier out of the closet last night so she could sniff it and check it out: she becomes alarmed at even the slightest shift in the timbre of the household. I had explained to her several times over the past few days that we were gong to have to make this trip, but she must have thought I was kidding, because when I opened the door to the carrier she made a break for the bathroom.

Poor Saro. I loped in after her, holding the big t-shirt I wore last night. She's pretty small and malleable so I scooped her up and bundled her in the shirt. Her 2 legs were sticking straight out -- no good. Hmmm. I lifted her out of the shirt, opened the hem, and this time put the shirt over her head. Tah-dah.

Through all of this Saro was purring. Cats purr when they're scared, but Saro also likes this kind of thing: She is a fan of the pillowcase and laundry bag. Before she could start wiggling, I hustled her over to the carrier and gently somersaulted her in.

As I had been walking with Saro-in-shirt, Rox crossed in front of me and scooted under the bed: "I-think-I'll-just-go-right-under-here-and-rest-now-see-you-later-thank-you."

Saro's little head was visible behind the grating of the carrier door. Then she disappeared, and the box rattled a bit. Thus commenced the soul-piercing cries. They continued in the foyer (echoing loudly, triggering Yappydog down the hall, which in turn made Saro even more terrified), in the elevator (where I ran into my lovely neighbor and her small daughter, who unfortunately seemed petrified of the yowling creature in the carrier -- as well as the explanation that we were going to the doctor), and in the cab (where I got stared down by a cabdriver who possessed a heart of stone).

There were brief moments of repose in the cab, when Saro was neither yowling nor hyperventilating, in which she and I just looked at each other. She really is extraordinarily beautiful: shiny black-and-white fur, huge, alert eyes that are a striking gold and kelly green, elegant white whiskers arching over her eyes.

The ride to the vet wasn't long. With any luck I'll see her after lunch. I'm quite worried about her right now. When I go on an airplane, at least I can throw back a Dewar's and ginger ale to calm my nerves. At least I know why I'm there, and what is going to happen afterward. Saro has neither the benefit of that cognizance nor Dewar's.

I love the folks at the Cat Practice, though, and they will take good care of Saro today.

For those of you who might remember Arthur, I have some sad news: he passed away in January. Even though he dissed me, I'll still miss him!

3.17.2004

So anyone (or anyone you know) at SXSW?

[If you were there, you wouldn't be reading this; you'd be drunk and music-sated and definitely less bored than I am now.]

Is there an acceptable way of pronouncing this abbreviation? In my mind, I keep calling it "Sex-wah."

3.16.2004

I'll do it -- will you do it with me?

A Sound of Silence for Madrid

RIP Lucinda Williams' mom.

Secret Heart, Parts I and II

A confession: in my secret heart, I was looking forward to a time when the culture would get a bit less pornographic. The way we had been going, it was like wearing stilettos as your everyday shoes. It just takes the fun and specialness out of it.

So now we're all supposed to tone it down a bit. But it's going all wrong.

This would be hilarious if it weren't so scary.

In other news, according to my sources two of you (or, possibly one of you, twice) were delivered unto me after visiting this site. And four of you after this one. Wow! I hope we're proving to be an ok comedown.

3.15.2004

I'm honored that someone with such exquisite taste would make poster girls out of my girls.

A polite bum-smack to all the Cooler than Thou who look down their pretty little noses at pet-blogging.

Thank you, all you commenters. I promise to stop my whining. Starting now!

3.12.2004

No Comment

I have comments sections here, but hardly anyone comments.

(No, nice deviled-egg person, I know you commented -- and I still appreciate it).

This is getting humiliating. Should I eliminate the Comments section?
For those of you reading today and onward, the Sloganator I linked to yesterday (via Wonkette) is gone. It's still worth gong through and reading all the Sloganator-related Wonkette articles, though. Make sure you take a pee first.

I never came up with my own good slogan to type in. I did get a kick out of finding out that there is, indeed, an Arab-American coalition for Bush. I thought he flew them all back to Saudi Arabia right after 9/11!

3.11.2004

Working for Peanuts, Living for Rock 'n Roll

I Windexed my desk today and that signals the beginning of a newer, healthier frame of mind.

(Perhaps it was the coffee stains -- or is that mouse pee?-- that was bringing us down.)

No one got laid off yet.

This is hilarious.

Come see the Ambulance tonight at Rodeo Bar. They will be sizzling. I'll be warbling in the background.

Eat. Drink. Be merry!

3.10.2004

My apologies -- the last post was rather cryptic. My frustration stems from the fact that I edit encyclopedias for a living. These books have no chance of going digital. In fact, no more encyclopedias are coming down the pipeline after the 2 I'm working on now. However, I carry on, secure in my demi-dinosaur status, assured by Those in the Know that I am impervious to the falling of the axe -- which, by the way, is rumored to be falling again today.

I bought cheap pink pumps.

Another strange thing is happening: I've been welcomed into the acid reflux club. It's interesting to be sitting at one's desk, or engaged in conversation, and suddenly spew bile. How can this not be psychosomatic?