Saturday, April 29, 2006

Got Up Swirly

(Read: So early, read really fast.) (Also: shout-out to my dad, who loves corny old radio shows.)

It's 10:15 am here in Capitol Hill, and let me tell you that in a bar district such as this, it is vewwy, vewwy quiet. You could hunt a wabbit with no problem. Last night at 1:45 it was very loud, and we stopped and got street hot dogs, along with a million otheres, all shouting over each other and trying to avoid being pick-pocketed by the homeless people, and we ate them standing up in my kitchen and I put Male Friend From College on my sofa with a blanket and pillow and Girl Friend From Work next to me in bed, and I fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.

We are all early risers, and they woke up two hours ago and he drove her back to her car in the U-District, and I was already awake so I made coffee and drank some fancy green juice and am spending a very quiet moment at home with Titan, fast asleep on the sofa next to me and curled up in a ball with his tail covering his nose, and we are getting our culture on. We were up s'early that any morning radio programs hadn't started yet, so I listened to twenty minutes of rather whiny politics on KEXP before I came to my senses and turned to KING FM. (Both are available online! Have a listen!)

We caught the end of a musical radio drama about when Tchaikovsky came to the US and now we're listening to a broadcast of Wagner's Lohengrin from the Met in NYC, which is lovely. I meant to get up from this sofa two hours ago and be at the door with my nose on the window when Barnes opened, but I enjoyed my blog reading.

My apartment is slowly, but slowly, being unpacked and arranged, and I'm on my sofa with my computer and my coffee on a gray Saturday Seattle morning, looking at the skyline, and Titan is next to me, and in a little bit I'll wash my face and take Titan out and start the rice pudding for tonight's Fancy Greek Dinner and buy tickets for tomorrow's Common Market show, and really, it's just how I imagined my life would be, and it's heaven.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Anyone want some REALLY CHEAP bedding?

Le sigh. Perhaps T-Town is right: Don't buy sheets or bedding online!

The lovely gray sheets that I bought with so much hope, for $19.

The supercool blue duvet cover that I ALSO bought with so much home, for $5. Yes. $5. I missed the return period on both stores. So sue me.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Oh yeah, comment on me, baby! HARDER! OH BABY, COMMENT AGAIN!

Not really sure what was up with that title.

("Faster, faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!")

There's been a lot of blog traffic recently about hate mail.

This lovely woman has certainly had more than her share, as a chick in San Francisco writing a quirky, amusing and popular blog. (K, if you're out there, can you respond with the links to The Posts Heard 'Round The World?)

That is, if a girl like K with a hot boyfriend and demanding Bob even wants to take time to purposely search for her own hate mail. I did a quick search and couldn't find anything, because I couldn't remember the name of the posts or even what they were about. Why?

The Number One Reason Why Hate Mail Sucks: It totally obscures the original issue.

For examples, look at any Craigslist Rants 'N' Raves Board. Or this now infamous post, or hell, any post on the most famous blog ever, especially this entry, which started my own post. Do an experiment: read those posts, read the comments, and then try to remember what the original poster actually said. See? Totally impossible.

Which didn't used to bug me--I've always been firmly in the mushy-supportive-love youSOMUCH camp of commenting--until last week.

Because in the last week, you see, I've come across several posts that...well...what's a good way to ...they bug the shit out of me.

As in, I TOTALLY disagree with them and think the poster is stupid. (Full disclosure: I was on the rag.)

And of course, after a few minutes of serious contemplation, it becomes clear to me that one post really hasn't obliterated my good opinion of said bloggers. They're all still great, intelligent writers, and I will continue to enjoy their posts. And have.

But there were a couple times there--short-lived--where I was in the middle of composing a vitriol-filled hate mail of a comment--and I suddenly stopped and thought, What the HELL am I doing? What have I become?

So I deleted the comments before they were finished and went on with my life. And I made the write decision. (HA!)

But it got me thinking. Because blogs are all about open discourse, right? The ubiquitous O puts it best: "The internet serves the unique purpose of providing everyone who has access to a computer with a voice, creating channels of communication that we couldn’t even have imagined twenty years ago."

And that's why people HAVE blogs--to generate discussion and get in touch with millions of readers we'll never meet. I'm thankful for my IIFs. What would I do without them? And if I withold my comments on a post I disagree with--especially if I cleanse them of vitriol--am I really doing them a favor by witholding my opinion, which surely they desire? Isn't hate mail defined, by connotation, as generally anonymous and hate-filled, and not signed by a familiar IFF and well-thought-out? Is there a difference?

NO. There is not. If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. Who's to say that my well-thought-out isn't someone else's vitriol-filled? How many people have already used that excuse? Don't be them.

So, two personal rules for bad-comment-writing:

1. Sleep on it. Almost anything that you can say in a comment has already been said by the dozens of others who read that blog daily. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake--really, it's not IMPERATIVE that the blogwriter hear YOUR PERSONAL THOUGHTS on this issue. If, in a few days, you still think you have a unique comment, you may make it.

2. If you really want to say something immediately, write about it in your OWN blog! After all, long-drawn-out comments are for suckers! Write in your OWN blog! And if you want to tie it in, you can always send the original blog author a note saying, "Hey, I wrote about this issue in my own blog, take a look if you want", and they can make it their choice.

(Or you can leave a comment to that affect! HA!)

Friday, April 21, 2006

The World's Shortest Fairy Tale

(Blatantly stolen from many email forwards.)

Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl, "Will you marry me?" The girl said "No" and the girl lived happily ever after and went shopping, drank martinis, always had a clean house, never had to cook, stayed skinny, and farted whenever she wanted.

The End.

Effin' beautiful. It brings tears to my eyes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I'm FAMOUS! And I have breasts.

IIFs, I am stuttering and shaking. I'm famous. I'M FAMOUS!

Okay, I'm not, because this lovely lady respected my privacy, but I (me! WOO!) inspired this post on SheWalks today.

(Note to k: I know your blog address so well that I can type the whole thing out from memory. Just sayin', is all.)

And, BREASTS! (I know you just skipped down until here, so go back and read the above, because I'm famous and I want you to know.) Done? Okay. Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite new blogs:

"If you want to date me, you have to like breasts.

Think about it like this. Let’s say you don’t like dogs. And let’s say I have, oh, a Chihuahua. That’s okay, right? I mean, he’s small, we can work around him. The Chihuahua can take a nap in the corner or something and you probably won’t even know he’s there, as long as he doesn’t do the yappy running-around-in-circles thing.

But now pretend I have a Doberman. That’s a little different, isn’t it? There’s no ignoring the Doberman. If the Doberman’s on the bed, well, that’s a lot of Doberman. It’s not like you’ll overlook him. And, I mean, when we go out. Other guys will notice the Doberman, too. They’ll be like, Nice Doberman. Because people NOTICE a Doberman. You don’t overlook a Doberman."

Excerpted from Dobermans, by star firstbaseman.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Pictures! And a political message.

So, I don't own a camera, because I totally suck, but I DO have a friend! With a camera!

(Note: I do actually own a very fine Canon SLR, easily 30 years old, which takes the most gorgeous pictures ever. Note the 30-year-age: NOT DIGITAL. Thank you.)

And this friend brings his camera with him everywhere, becaue he's a man and has a gigantic coat that fits the camera, and thanks to him, here are some brag shots:

The view from my balcony, artistically taken. (Read: drunkenly.)

View again, slightly less blurry.

View to the South

View West by West, towards the water. And my favorite shot.

And you KNEW you couldn't get away without a dog picture:

Titan, in the unpacked mess that is my apartment, wondering if he'll ever be fed again.

And finally, the policital message, taken straight from the Human Rights Campaign:

"The Federal Way School Board is voting on including sexual orientation into the district's Anti-Discrimination Policy. Join us at the meeting (Tuesday, April 25th, 6pm) and show your support for basic equality. Mark your calendar and come stand with the students as they strive for positive change in their schools. Together we can ensure schools are safe for every student."

Not doing anything on Tuesday, one week from today? I'll be there! You can meet me! EVENT DETAILS.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Things That Make a Monday Better

I woke up this morning in the usual way, except that now since I live only eight miles from work, I can wake up at seven and get to work at eight. Assuming that I don't actually wash my hair.

Also I'm not sleeping particularly well. Again. Because, although falling asleep on my futon/sofa (how DID I sleep on that thing all these years?) while an open can of Sparks goes to waste and my dog whines at the door is not as restful a way to sleep as you might expect, I also have OTHER things on my mind.

1. Like, for instance: cops in Fairax County don't like it when you go 97 mph.
2. In fact, they get really shirty about it.
4. Sigh.

(But the title of this post was not faceitious, really.)

Because I got to work pretty close to on time and I was okay, and now I have plans for lunch, and Mentor just leaned over and said, "I want to compliment you. This has nothing to do with work, but I've watched three young women of my acquaintance actively try to ruin their lives with terrible men this past month, and you have never done that in the time I've known you. I realize that that's a serious accomplishment. Good on you."

I am not a complete failure. Some days, that's all you can ask for.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Snapshots, and if you're male, be careful at the end.

I'm still alive. Barely.

Last night I got home after being gone for four days in DC on business travel and was so overcome that I crawled underneath my kitchen table for security. I clasped my knees to my chest to take up as little space as possible, under the big marble table, and rocked back and forth on my bum a little, because it felt comforting, and talked on the phone to some very sympathetic people, all of whom were a little concerened to hear that I was rocking myself under my kitchen table. But they cleverly hid their "You're doing WHAT?" reactions, and as far as I know no one called the EMTs to come take me away to the loony bin, and after awhile I felt better, crawled out from under the table, and went to bed.

Today is much better. (Not difficult, right?)

And out of curiousity, I checked Mandy Moore's Celebrity Playlist on iTunes. She has access to a lot of bands that no one else does, and she knows her music, but our music styles are in NO way similar. One more angsty, accoustic girl-music song and I was going to puke.

Also, has anyone tried the new Tampax Compact? What do you think?

Friday, April 07, 2006

My dog is my child and I'm dating a plant

I have a dog, right? You know this. (And by "you" I mean "everyone".)

And we just moved to a new apartment.

And BY GOD I WILL NOT BE EVICTED FROM THIS ONE, BY ALL THAT IS HOLY, may Coco Chanel give me strength.

So, in addition to spending my life savings on a bark collar, which I did, and making him wear it all the time, which he does, and let me take this moment to say that he is SO ADORABLE, I am working on separation anxiety techniques, which I enforce on everyone else but not myself (especially my mother, who I really like to punish by forcibly reminding her that Titan is MY DOG NOW)...anyway, where was I? Right. I'm possessive about my dog, obessessed with his behavior and his GI tract and his poop, and protective of my training techniques, or lack thereof. Really. Tell me how to raise my dog, even lightly as a joke, and I will snarl at you, refuse to talk to you for hours, and break up with you.

Really. Even if I'm NOT dating you. Ask anyone. In fact, really do ask anyone, because I think I've dated almost everyone worth dating. Go on and ask the person next to you. Go ahead, I'll wait.

See what I mean?

Anyway. Moral of the story: DO NOT MENTION MY DOG AROUND ME, except to mention how adorable and well-behaved he is. And we'll be the best of friends.

Moving on: in fact, getting back to moving, I'm all by myself now in the apartment, which gives me a lot of time for...navel gazing. A lot of time. I stare at my own navel all the time. (Joke.) (Not funny.)

Uh...which means I obsess a lot, as in, more than I did before. And since there's a point at which I can't obsess about myself anymore--really, even I get bored of myself sometimes--guess who gets it?

Let's just say this: I own a plant now! Who is steadily withdrawing from me, and it's not even animate. That's how smothering I am. (Joking.) (But I really do have a plant. More on that later.)

But seriously folks, Titan gets the brunt of it, and although he doesn't yet seem to mind, I'm rapidly becoming that crazy lady on my block. Besides staring at his poop while trying to magically diving his state of health (the folks at the dog park think I'm really weird) I also stare at his butt when he walks, trying to determine how bad his hips hurt him. (Also, I've taken to starting at my own teeth in the mirror. I've become convinced that I'm losing gum tissue, and that MUST BE STOPPED.) (Total tangent.)

So, long story made longer, Titan is old, and he's developing that classic German Shepherd low-rider walk, where the butt sags a little like the poor dog's about to take a poop at any time, because the hips hurt too badly to straighten out. To say that this scares me is an understatement; I have nightmares about it. Intellectually, I know it's inevitable, but BY GODDESS I WILL OVERCOME SCIENCE. Paris Hilton give me strength. Because I have overpriced supplements from the purely natural organic dog food store (duh), and I am NOT AFRAID TO USE THEM.

On the vitamin bottle it says: "Add one tablespoon of liquid to dog's meal morning and evening."

Here's what they don't tell you: "Your dog will hate the taste of these vitamins and refuse to eat his dinner, driving you into a panic. You will wonder if you've turned him into a picky eater by giving him samples of fancier food. You will assume he has a GI bug and is about to throw up all over your (brand-new) carpet. You will stare at his poop even more than you already do. You will wonder, vaguely, about the cost of ripping out your brand-new carpet and applying pergo flooring instead, or if it'd be easier to cover the whole apartment in saran wrap instead. And while you wonder all this, your dog will quietly eat his dinner, and you'll notice four hours later."

They don't tell you that part.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Electroshock Therapy and My Bowels.

Yes. Isn't that a sexy title?

At any rate, it's a lot more interesting than Things I Have Learned in the Past 48 Hours.

See? WAY more sexy!

Anyway, onto the actual things. That I have learned.

1. Whether I'm the worst or best dog mommy ever--the jury is still out on that, but you can form your own opinion based off this shocking piece of news: I have bought Titan a Shock Collar. (Although the marketing department at PetSafe calls it a "static" collar, you know what I'm saying?) I thought about it and felt awful. I bought it and still felt awful. I let it sit in the bag when I brought it home. (Titan was with me at PetSmart when I bought it. I swear I didn't do it behind his back. And I had a ten dollar gift certificate, so the collar was only HALF my life savings!) (I can't believe how much they charge--if I wanted to torture my dog, I could just beat him for free!) (Joke.) (Not funny.) (Also, can you tell me why human nature makes us buy the mid-range whatever it is? They had a cheap, a middle, and an expensively priced collar, and I bought the middle. Why? WHY? Wouldn't the cheap have been as good? But...I digress. Again.)

Ah. Where was I? Yes, the shock collar, half my life savings, used at first as a paperweight. And I thought, Well, I kept the receipt, he's not barking here, I can just return it.

Ha HA! Said Fate. And then Titan and I had a little incident. (Update: the closet door guys are supposed to come TODAY!)

So I got home that night, took Titan to the dog park like normal, and then brought him home and thought well, here goes nothing and put it on. He was so patient standing there for the collar, too, and I knew he was being patient for his own hurt, and a little part of me inside died, but I gritted my teeth and went on. And then I let him stand on the deck outside. For awhile there was nothing, and I was about to take it off, and then someone walked through the bottom gate, and WOOF! Zzzzzzzzz!

Okay, so you really can't hear it. That's exaggeration. But I knew it worked because he suddenly leaned his neck back, instinctively trying to get away from the prongs on the underside of his neck, and his ears flared a little. Silence. Then a test bark: Woof! And the ears flared again.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I got a dog who used to bark his head off at every opportunity, including, but not limited to: squirrels, cats, other dogs, people, being tied up outside places, postmen, any men in uniform, be a dog that sleeps happily in the car and waits patiently outside stores when we go on walks! In the space of two days!

Okay, so that was a really long Number One.

Onto Number Two: (HA!) Number Two! Because this is ABOUT Number Two!

Sort of.

Because, okay, my metabolism is changing, and apparently my body is, too. Some days I have terrible gas and other days I don't, and I don't know why. I thought it was greens. Today I learned a lesson: I think it's greens with NO OIL, which is what I was doing because I'm weird, but greens drowned in olive oil are awesome!

Which is weird because milk doesn't give me a problem, but cheese and ice cream do. So is it animal fat? Or greens with no oil? Or both?

No matter, I solved a big part today. And that's a good thing.

Number Three: This super cute haircut that I takes on a whole new meaning in Capitol Hill. (For those non-Seattle types: Gay/Lesian Central.) When I wear it with my big sunglasses and my muscle tank, hoodie, and gas station know what I look like?

That's right. Every other slim androgynous lesbian in Cap Hill.

For right now, I'm kinda liking it. Fun to be someone else for awhile. :)

Monday, April 03, 2006

And the beat goes on

The end of last night's depressing story is that my mother called, so I had to stand up and answer the phone, and then I turned on some lights, walked Titan, bought Sparks, set up my sound system, and unpacked most of my kitchen. So I snapped out of the funk and made progress. The move itself, on Saturday, was the longest move I've ever had. God forbid that I even own this much stuff! We moved for 12 hours straight. My friend Chris gave up his entire Saturday to help me move. He really needs Mariners tickets. (Note to self: next time, just hire the damn truck. You'll spend less by the time you're done repaying people for favors!)

This morning: WOW. This morning was, in short, a little rough. There's no good or funny summary in my head yet. Suffice it to say: I have Titan in my car, we almost made it past the guard at the gate (remember, secure site!) and then Titan barked at him, the guard read me the riot act, we turned around and pulled out of the property and I pulled over so I could cry because the guard was mean and also properly scream my head off at Titan, who is apparently trying to make my life as difficult as possible. Now we're parked far away from the gate, but still technically on B-----'s property, so I'm still breaking the rules. Right after I finish this email I'm going to move Jeep and Titan to the Museum of Flight parking lot across the street, which is NOT B----- property. Fuck THEM.

Because you're not allowed to have animals on company property. Because the Lazy B wants to turn all of us into robots with no problems, schedule changes, or emotions. Not that I'm bitter.

And the whole reason I have Titan in the car is because some guys are supposed to come to my apartment today to replace one of the three sliding mirrored doors in my closet. But the apartment manager hasn't really kept me in the loop and I don't want to bug him because I'm living there rent free for the time being. (Shhhh!) So if they don't come today, I'll be a little mad, but not half as mad as before--now that I know how to work around the rules and bring Titan to work if I park in the right spot, it won't be a problem.

The only problem with TODAY is that I'm wearing the wrong shoes. They're really cute, but I've never worn them before and after Titan's walk this morning and walking in from the car, parked far away in Mars, I have gigantic blisters on my heels. This is not improving my mood. I walked in from the car barefoot carrying my shoes, and I was just WAITING for the guard to give me a hard time about being barefoot. His body would never be found.

Fortunately for him and his family, he simply smiled at me.

Did I mention also that I had to have a different kind of fancy coffee this morning that I wanted because apparently the closest Starbucks to Bob is OUT of the Cinnamon Dulce syrup? And breakfast sandwiches? Can I tell you how unhappy I am about that?

And did I ALSO mention that I forgot to sign my electronic time card at the end of Thursday (remember, B likes to treat us like lab rats and not like professionals on salary) so my manager is mad at me and that the next time I forget to sign my time, I'll get all my flex time and virtual office privileges yanked? Because I'm apparently still in high school and the Fucking B thinks that allowing my manager to effectively ground me is a good plan for employee relations and not at all blatant ageist abuse? Did I mention that?

Sigh. Send Sparks.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I am sitting.

In my new and very dark apartment, on the floor, by myself. My dog is asleep behind me, also on the floor. I cannot see the keyboard; this is how dark it is.

I am facing my new balcony. The sliding glass doors and the windows on either side of the balcony face the other fifty apartments that face me. My blinds are fully up, exposing me sitting on the floor with only my computer. Someone in another apartment facing me would see only my head and upper torso, illuminated by my computer, floating in a sea of blackness.

I cannot grasp the fact that it is 8:00 pm and I don't have to go bed soon because I don't have to get up any earlier than six. I may not fully shake the feeling of having to go to bed before 9 on Sundays for a very long time. I may never shake it.

I feel like I will never move from this spot, that I will die here with my computer, with my windows staring at the fifty sets of windows across from me, forever.