Monday, February 28, 2005

There's Nothing Wrong With Being a Happy, Lovey, Horny Drunk

And the title has nothing to do with this post, which is about leaving your job, and also about having your subconscious in tune with the local radio station, but after I left my old job forever this afternoon, and was sitting drinking with my friend J., noticing how the satellite radio station was tuned into my subconscious (they played Take the Skinheads Bowling! Which is one of my favorite songs! That nobody plays! Magic is alive! Or not.) and the conversation turned to my penchant for kissing unsuitable people while intoxicated, she said: There is nothing wrong with being a happy, kissy, horny drunk. Which is probably true. Or maybe not.

Meanwhile, I handed in my keys, and cleared my desk, and destroyed any email, to or from, that might be slightly possible, and nearly cried, and walked out, and nearly cried again, and then drank some beer. Talked about sex and love and stress, and now I'm home, making something fattening, and thinking about, oh a million myriad things,

You know what? It might be impossible to make a blog post and make an edible dinner. I recuse myself, therefore.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Old Homework Revisited

I wood like to visit my pirate uncle becws he was cool and I like pirates becws they got to travel all over the world and they got to have a ship. And get to Barry gold and shoot people and blo up ships. But my uncle was blockade runner so he was not that bad but he was still cool so that’s one. Of my family hers a not her I wood also like to visit the first one of my family so if he made fire I wood be his best fiend and I would also want to ride a wollmathna and I whold teach them to fight and to teach them to defend them sells so that’s it bye leve now no not my eye!!!!

My son M, from a couple years back - I just found this and couldn't resist posting it. I had forgotten all about this one - asked the kids who in their family history they would like to go back in time to visit. I like the idea of finding the very first person ever in your family & teaching him to make fire, hee hee, and a wollmathna, for those with spelling issues, is a woolly mammoth.

One Night Stand - a lot of heavy psychological emotional talking to myself

Okay, I had one. First one in a long long time, and it was on Thursday night, and it was because, of course, I was drunk off my ass. Do I regret it? Yes and no. It was with someone I know as a friend, not a close friend, but more than an acquaintance. A drinking buddy, I guess. And obviously I wasn't planning it and I am really surprised at myself; I've been totally celibate for about 7 months and intended to keep it that way.

Tangent: When I think about it at all, I kind of think of my life in relation to other people as being kind of organized like a solar system: I'm the sun, and then there are these orbits of people around me. Not that I think I am really the center of anything, you see, but solely in terms of myself and my relationships. So there are really close orbits: my family, and my closest friends, like J. & C. in Baltimore, and then there are other friends who are a little further out, like D., and then there are friends still a bit further away, like the guy I had the ONS with, and then there are just acquaintances, and then there are work people, who have a differently shaped elliptical orbit which swoops in close from 9 - 5 and then swoops way out again. /tangent.

Anyway. This guy's orbit collided unexpectedly with mine; we were both drunk, and it happened. It was okay; I'm not all damaged or in love or anything, just a little bemused and hoping I'm not pregnant, although that's very very unlikely, still, when you're kind of a walking incarnation of a fertility goddess like I am, you worry. I'm a little angry at myself for letting it happen, and I'm getting more than a little angry with him for not calling me since. Not that I want him to, particularly, this is more wounded pride: he ought to call. It isn't okay to sleep with someone and then disappear. Not unless you've both discussed it, and we didn't. He should make a humble gentlemanly phone call and I could then say, hey look, we were both drunk, it's no big deal, and then we could both forget about it and get on with our lives. Not calling is bullshit, it's mean, it's a low thing.

It takes me back to exactly a year ago, when I got kind of seduced and dumped, and it hurt very badly. I don't know why what happened then cut so deep, but it did, and now I'm kind of feeling like it's happened again, except, of course, in this case I'm really not interested in a relationship for a variety of reasons. In that case, I was; I fell in love at first sight, never a good thing, and he told me a lot of sweet lies, and then vanished, and I went into a long deep dark funk. Since then I've been wary and I've been mostly celibate except for a couple unthreatening times with a close friend, but I stopped even that when I thought it might break through the wall.

This didn't break through the wall but it does stir up the bad old feelings. The ones that say: You are old, you are fat, you are ugly, you have baggage, and the only way you will ever matter - or even appear - again in a mans mind is as someone to fuck when he's dead drunk and all the other more appealing options are not available. I feel like this a lot and so I have put up a lot of barriers to having anything to do with anyone, as much as possible. I have too much stubborn pride to be that - so I don't let it happen.

Until Thursday. Thursday I let it happen, damn damn damn. It validates that view of myself, and I don't like validating that. I'd rather be stubborn and proud and totally alone. Every time over the past few years I've even expressed any interest in a man he's been totally disinterested (except for seduce & dump man) and so I've learned my lesson: I stay away from such things, it's really gotten to be a little too painful. Karma or whatever: I'm slow, but eventually I see reality, which in this case is that I need to be alone for some amount of time. Possibly forever.

Now, why do I care what the fuck I matter in a man's mind? I don't, really - just thinking like that gets me mad at myself, and them too, furious, fuck men, fuck you all - I start to shout and stomp my booted feet. Get out of here you evil fuckers! I hate you all! That's helpful - not. When I'm feeling mentally healthy (which obviously is far from all or even most of the time) I know that it's stupid to think anything at all about what anybody else thinks. I also try to think of right now, and my feelings now, as a transition, a necessary growth period, where I'm going from having been what I thought was a kind of very pretty girl to being, well, a middle aged woman. Middle aged women are invisible and it's a different world, and I haven't been aging into it gracefully, but kicking and screaming like Dylan Thomas' fondest dreamchild. And then, to torment myself even further, I think that maybe, all those years ago, when guys fell for me on a regular basis, and told me how beautiful I was, and all that nice shit, it was all lies then too, but I was just too dumb to see it. That makes me even angrier at myself, angry for being SO goddamn stupid. So stupid -

The problem is, I miss it. I got used to it, pretty lies, whatever - being the pretty party girl, the serial monogamist, and sometimes, let's be honest, not as monogamous as I could/should have been. But it's almost as if I defined myself by that more than I knew, and now that it's all gone, I don't know who I am anymore. That and the kids being gone - I had two things in my life, being attractive and taking care of my kids - and they're both gone now. Well, I had being weird and smart and the fastest reader in the world and funny too, and those are still there. I think. Maybe not the funny part. Once there was this boy named Butt Itches. . . but redefining yourself without any mirror, any Other, to do it in or with, is hard sometimes. That's why, I think, I probably started this blog.

I know about self fulfilling prophecies, thanks, and I know about patterns, and I'm not stupid, just occasionally self destructive. I've been alone a long time and I've mostly (I really need someone to deal with the mice/rat/dead bird issue, yes) done well at it, and, in fact, I like being alone and every time I was in a long term relationship I started feeling like I was shut in a cage and had to get out. And I always did get out - but I used to end up in another one, and now, whether by virtue (or unvirtue) of age or smartness or fear - I don't know - I don't. I stay alone. So, fine - I am nothing if not stubborn. I will walk away from the male/female dance and stand by myself. Which I have done, and done well, until a couple days ago, damn damn damn. But this is just a momentary setback, I know, and I'm back into myself again - deeper than ever now, with a little luck. I don't want to go out again any time soon, that's for sure. So I'm holed up again with piles and piles of fantasy novels, black coffee and cigarettes, and I want to stay here.

So. . once there was this boy named Butt Itches. And one time his mom went to the store and he was supposed to be waiting for her but he got tired of waiting so he went after her but he forgot to look both ways and he went out in the road and his mom saw him get hit by a car and she ran out and she ran to him and she yelled "Oh oh my butt itches! My butt itches!" - funniest joke in the world, told to me by Katie, aged 6, many years ago. And proof, I guess, that there is always darkness under the laughter.

Movies and My Older Brother

I took Scotland, PA over to my mom's tonight for potroast. I have decided that Scotland, PA is my favorite movie EVAH and so I wanted to share it with my mom & my older brother. My older brother, since he quit drinking, has become about the worlds most omnivorous movie fan. When he's not at sea, he sits around over at my mom's and watches movies by the hundreds, but he had never seen Scotland, PA before.

They didn't like it much.

I am horrified. Here I thought they had taste. So I've been thinking about my favorite movies, and why I like them, and why nobody else does. Now, I have two genres of favorite movie: truly bad movies, which I adore, especially if they have terrible monsters in them. I am kind of a one woman MST3K, although if the truth be told, there's nothing that ironic about it: I just love bad movies. Recently, I was very fond of Van Helsing, and The Day After Tomorrow. For older ones, I love everything that Hammer Films ever turned out with a kind of holy adoration, and I love Godzilla in all his incarnations, and his pals Gamara, Mothra and Rodan too. Then, on the other hand, are my more "acceptable" movie favorites. The Man Who Would Be King, The Secret of Roan Inish, The Coca Cola Kid,, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Wizards, Raising Arizona, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. (I'm tired of googling, for heaven's sake, y'all can do it as well as I can.)

Actually, I'm tired of this whole post. I had a theory when I started out that I really only like dark movies where there are no clear cut bad and good guys, or they shift around, but that might not be true. Who knows why I like those movies? I just can't understand why my family didn't. But then, go figure. My other brother thinks Ice Storm and the Royal Tenenbaums are not only wonderful, but possibly the keys to understanding our family, whereas I think that Ice Storm is horrifyingly depressing and our family, while bad no doubt, wasn't quite that dysfunctional. I don't think we were ever as mannerist as the Royal Tenenbaums, either, which was too affected for me.

The other point of this post was that I need to muse on my very early birthday gift from my older brother: two pretty much antique Apple laptops and tons and tons of accoutrements thereto. He's been trying to give them to me for ages and in a moment of weakness I said, okay, maybe I can use them. He got very excited and even bought new batteries for the damn things. I have some strange idea of putting linux on one of them, why, I don't know. Maybe just because. I don't have a clue how I'd go about doing that, I hate Apples, and these things are so old (10.1s) that I doubt I can use them for much of anything. I do have this weird obsessive compulsive desire to catalog my library and it occurred to me that a laptop would be good for that so I could carry it from bookcase to bookcase rather than carrying the books to the computer, but why I want to do something so utterly pointless is beyond me. I also thought that maybe I wanted them for travel, but let's face it: I don't travel. I go to the beach once every two years for a couple days. I can probably continue to live without a computer for that long. And, I am not even sure if I can possibly get these dinosaurs online. Well. Now I have them, and they're taking up my whole dining room table, and there's an antique scanner and an even older printer (it takes ribbons, not cartridges) in my car. What on earth should I do with them?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

PMS and My Dog Toby

I'm really worried about Toby but I'm not entirely sure if this worry is justified or if it's just PMS. I tend to get obsessively concerned about things this time of the month, it is true. It is also true that Toby is a natural subject for concern: he's 14, which is damn old for a 70 lb german shepherd mix, he has what my vet is 80% sure is Cushings disease, and 4 years ago two of his discs fused, he couldn't walk, and we had to take him to the University of Tennessee animal clinic in Knoxville for a huge and expensive science fiction operation that somehow miraculously repaired his spine. For a long time after that he couldn't walk very well; he moved around in an odd sideways crablike shuffle. Combined with his shaven back and tail (turns out that he is a yellow dog under all that black fur) he was one of the stranger looking creatures ever seen around Asheville. Which is saying a lot. We took to calling him the Possum Crab - hey possum traaab! - drawled out affectionately. He was embarrassed but okay with it; Toby, although a naturally dignified dog, still has a good sense of humor.

My vet decided he probably had Cushings about 18 months ago. She advised against doing the blood test - it's expensive - and advised against treatment, given his advanced age and the expense of the treatment and the fact that treatment for Cushings doesn't cure it, exactly, it just keeps the patient alive a bit longer.

Toby has just been going along as usual, very slow these days, pants all the time, thirsty all the time, and hobbles and limps as he has for years now, but manages to be mostly okay. Until the last couple of days when he has been eating huge amounts of grass and throwing up. And having trouble sleeping, panting like he can't breathe, getting up and walking around - and crying. I am freaking out. So I sent an email to the Long Beach Animal Hospital who I found after an evening googling Cushings and learning more than I ever wanted to know.

They got back to me this morning, which was nice of them, I wasn't really expecting an answer of any kind, and they suggested VOM. Which sounds hippie dippie and a little too good to be true, but wtf, I'm desperate. SO I looked up North Carolina in their directory, and there, interestingly enough, was my mother's vet.

Now, I wish I could end this story by saying "and then he was all better!" and I'm hoping that eventually I can say that - Toby has rallied before, amazingly - but I called the vet to make an appointment and he's out of town until mid March. Which could be too late. I don't really know what to do. I accept that I will have to make the decision eventually to euthanize this dog, but I'm resisting it fiercely. I don't want him to live in pain, I don't want him unhappy, but I love him, he's been part of my life for 14 years, there is no other dog like him, and I can't stand the thought of losing him. I am afraid, very afraid. I hope this is just PMS and he's actually pretty much fine and I will get him to the VOM doctor and it will work - we'll have another 2 years - oh I really hope so.

Monday, February 21, 2005


There are times, however - and this is one of them - when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring rain on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison scum right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation.

It's a strange world. Some people will get rich and others eat shit and die. A fat man will feel his heart burst and call it beautiful. Who knows? If there is, in fact, a Heaven and a Hell, all we know for sure is that Hell will be a viciously overcrowded version of Phoenix - a clean well lighted place full of sunshine and bromides and fast cars where almost everyone sweems vagulely happy, except for the ones who know in their hearts what is missing. . . And being driven slowly and quietly into the kind of terminal craziness that comes with finally understanding that the one thing you want is not there. Missing. Back-ordered. No tengo. Vaya con Dios. Grow up! Small is better. Take what you can get. . .

Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish, a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found out a way to live out there where the real winds blow- to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested. . .

Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.

Hunter S. Thompson
Introduction to Generation of Swine, 1988.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Dumb Girls Debtors Prison

I met with my bankruptcy lawyer again, and today, in fact, I actually gave her money, so it's formally under way now. Woot yee haw. Or something. It's a very strange feeling, I'm kind of simultaneously horrified and delighted. I don't feel guilty about the credit cards - I think I've paid those asshole companies well over 200% of what I originally bought by now, if not more - but I do feel kind of strange about just writing off M's psych bills. Which my health insurance is refusing to pay (remind me again why I give them $450 a month? So they can refuse to pay for almost everything?) and which are rapidly mounting up into the multiple thousands.

Also, I have this strange fear that some Dickensian characters are now going to come stomping through my house, smoking cigars, dressed in caps, shouting in cockney and seizing things. They will probably look something like these guys although less animated, and they will take all my stuff and put it in a big hellish moving van. Then M. will have to grow up as a debtors child in debtor's prison, and he'll have to run in and out of the big iron gates in an oversized coat. It will all be black and white, and I will have consumption.
"cough, cough. . .why thankee kindly dear for the soup. . oh I am so sorry we have come to such a pass!"
"Fear not, mother. I have gotten a job delivering lumps of coal and sweeping chimneys, and I will soon join you with the consumption thing"
"Oh if only ee could go to school, poor tyke. . but my evil behaviour will be visited on the heads of the generations unto forever, alas. . "
The lawyer says no, calm down, this won't happen and nobody is interested in my stuff. I do have friends who have been through this process, and they haven't mentioned Cockney villains (you'd think they would), so it's probably okay. I'm still worried. And I can't quite figure out where this scene is coming from, or why I think they'll be yelling "Assez! Assez there!" Did I mention that it would, of course, be snowing? Cough, cough.

It was strange, I had to list all my stuff in terms of what it's worth. I really have no idea: my mother says "You have nothing, this is all junk" and my friends say, "Wow, that's a really great chair, I can't believe you got it at the Goodwill for only $20." I mean, what's the blue book value on an Ikea dining room table from 1992? Is it increased or decreased by the dog claw marks from the days when Toby figured out he could jump up on the table and eat the cat food? And what about the tile tables I made, and the end table Trish gave me when she moved, that I then painted with purple and gold spirals? It's hard to value your stuff - she wanted a value on the art in my house; does that include mine? So the whole thing began to devolve into kind of a melancholy philosophic dialogue: what is worth, anyway? And can it be applied to 4000 or so paperback books?

The lawyer persevered, however, and it turns out that my monthly expenses are about $300 more than my income, which explains a lot. Years ago my friend Lu & I came up with the concept of Bad Girls Debtor's Prison, which is where you go when you have been not only really dumb about money but have also taken the completely insanely stupid step of being dumb about money WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND. To wit, giving him a credit card, or a car, or something. Don't laugh. I have done both of these things, and in fact that was what started me into this long slow spiral of credit card doom.

Meanwhile, and appropriately, it would seem that my cable internet has been shut off for nonpayment, so until I get that sorted out, I am without internet at home. This always produces a feeling of panic - what if I NEED mapquest, or something? Yahoo weather. I mean, how can they DO this? Evil capitalist bastards.

Monday, February 14, 2005

happy surreal valentines to you too

So it's valentines day, horrible manufactured bane of single peoples existence everywhere. I'm ignoring it myself, plus I have either the beginnings of a miserable cold or some new death inducing virus. Or so I said all day. Then, the love of my life, my unrequited utter love, otherwise known as my friend D, said, let's go for beers after work. So of course I did. And we ended up at Hannah Flanagans, or Flanna Hanigans.

Horrible bar as always, we had 3 pints & were working our way into our usual cynical self pitying artsy etcetera when a guy in full tux comes over. It's my old friend J (not to be confused with, like, my 5 other friends J.) who is this guy who got 86ed from Broadways some time back, but was my alcoholic drunken guy to kiss at 2:00 am. Back in the day. And before I was dumb enough to give him my phone number and he started calling me regularly at 2 am. Which eventually led to me shaking him completely from my life, thanks in large part to yet another friend J, who was kind enough to completely run with the scenario when we ran into J the drunk on the street and I grabbed friend J by the elbow and introduced him as my fiancee.

Well tonight, there was drunk J, all dressed up in a full tux. And he came over to me at the bar and said, Happy Valentines Day Felicity. And I said, Happy to you too J. And he put on white gloves, reached into his bag, and gave me a meticulously wrapped small box with two chocolate covered cherries inside it. He had, of course, a stash of them, and of course, he was thinking he'd get laid for this stunt, as he was handing them out to every girl there. And I hope he does.

Because that, other than the at best bittersweet feeling of drinking with a guy you love madly who likes you only as a friend, is the nicest most Valentines thing that maybe has ever happened to me. Even if it is one of those grand alcoholic gestures with nothing behind it - it's a grand gesture, and I admire it. And him.

He wasn't half a bad kisser either.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Obverse Viewpoint, or, Asheville's Getting Too Damn Big

I just went for a long walk. Here I was, last night all happy about the multicultural growing vibrant nature of my city, today is a beautiful day, I'm taking Theo down to the dog park.

Where, of course, he was viciously attacked by a couple of dogs within 30 seconds.

I'm glad he has so much fur around his neck, so nothing broke the skin, but I'm still shaking, and I'm mad at the world. 5 years ago, I went to the park all the time. You used to be able to let your dog off leash there, it was usually mostly deserted, and the few people who were there were friendly and pleasant. But Asheville is growing, growing, growing - so fast that I think we've passed the tipping point. The progression at the park has been like this: 5 years ago, friendly people, dogs loose in the whole park. 3 years ago, leash law enacted, the park is no longer so pleasant, but they put up a dog park, and that was nice. Friendly people, friendly dogs. Today (and the last time I went there too, about 6 months ago)the park is packed. People are surly and don't meet your eyes. The dog park is overrun, and a lot of the people are not controlling their dogs at all. Theo has always gotten along well with all other dogs - but not there. I think it was the same goddamn dog as last time, too, and I'm going, probably unfairly, to blame the spaced out dreadlocked hippies in a stupor along the side of the fence.

I feel like I'm turning into a Republican or something, I know it's bullshit for me to say, hey, after I moved here they should have locked the gates, but I feel that way. Things that used to be great about Asheville, like the river park, like Downtown After Five, like Bent Creek, and like just being downtown, are not fun anymore and it's because they are insanely overcrowded. It bums me out. That, and the tourists, and the gentrification, are making me miserable.

Yesterday some tourists downtown asked me where they could go for a picnic. This was a bit strange, since it was freezing and miserable outside, but whatever. They wanted a picnic table. I could have sent them to Pritchard Park, in the heart of downtown, but I knew if I did they would be hassled by mashies. So I sent them to the river park, a long drive for them (hope my directions worked) but safer, all in all. That sucks - it sucks that I felt that I couldn't direct people to the heart of downtown. A few years ago I would have had no qualms about it.

And, of course, a few years ago you could afford to live in Asheville on the salary you could make in Asheville. Now, as the retirees and their ilk come in droves, buying up houses for more money than they're worth, living off money from elsewhere, those of us who need to make a living here are having a harder and harder time. This is one of the things that killed Charleston as a viable place to live, years ago killed Aspen and Santa Fe and Taos - and I hate watching it kill Asheville. Argh.

And, to the asshole with the aggessive dog at the dog park, you suck, I hate you, and you are a shithead. Keep your dog at home if he can't play nice with others. Also, though, thanks to whoever it was who pulled him off my dog, since I was too afraid to reach into a dog fight.

Multi Temporal

So I wanted to go out tonight - bad - but D didn't call me, and J said she was going to call me, but didn't, and I watched 3 or 4 episodes of Upstairs, Downstairs until I was going crazy and then I thought, oh what the hell, and went out with my other friend J to see this band The Dorchesters. One of the museum volunteers, P, who I have always liked, is the mother of the drummer. Well I went down there with no hopes. . . I've heard the Dorchesters before and okay, they're very nice. I still pretty much feel the same way - they're very nice, if you're into doowop, and all - but I ended up having a great time.

I talked to P at great length and realized what a cool, fascinating, awesome woman she is. She's lived all over the world, done all kinds of amazing things, raised 5 kids, been married twice, widowed at 47 - she is extremely awesome, and I wouldn't have learned this if I hadn't gone out tonight. And I was very grudging - I was like, I do not want to go to this bar, I don't want to hear this band, I don't want to hang out with these people - really not psyched, in fact negatively psyched, and it was great.

Even though I was whiny to start, and then I forgot my cigarettes, so I had to go over to College Street Pub to buy some, which is deeply ick, and the cigarette machine at College St. ate one of my dollars, but I realized that it would be way over $1 worth of annoyance and aggravation to get it back, so I ate it - $4.75 for a pack of camel lights, when I smoke American Spirits. So I was extremely cranky.

But after talking to P, my attitude changed. And then the bar filled up, with this amazing mix of people and I started to think, you know, for all I complain incessantly, I really am fond of this century, this time, this place. I love it that I'm listening to music from before I was born, played by people of all ages, which is being enjoyed by people from 20 to 70, all colors, with spiked hair, dreadlocks, bouffants and banker do's. We underestimate the strength of the switch that has quietly taken place over the last few decades, where this is possible, where things are multi cultural and, oddly enough, multi temporal. Super retro band, crowd from all over the damn place, and it's all okay. Music from every decade, and everybody can like it: the field is open.

When I was in high school and college, you would never, ever see a black person in a bar in downtown Charleston, like Myskyns, or wherever, unless s/he was pushing a mop or playing in the band. We used to go to Captain Harry's to hear reggae: an all white crowd drinking Bud, listening to a black band. And the punk kids didn't go, and the hippies had their own place, and the preppies had theirs (which was Captain Harry's - or the Oyster Bar) and you never, ever saw anybody under 16 or over 26. Now, it's all mixed up, and we're so much the richer for it.

Okay, I confess to hating swing bands with a passion, and stuff like the Squirrel Nut Zippers makes me ill, and I still have no interest in listening to doo wop at home - but I do listen to old time, and blue grass which was written before my grandfather could walk, and I love it. The fact that that is all around me now, that I can pick and choose from the decades, meet people from all backgrounds, it's an open world - is good, and we forget just how actually incredibly surprisingly amazing it is. We take it for granted, and we shouldn't, because it is a New Thing.

Next post will return to our usual depressing angst, I promise. This is just a temporary outbreak of optimism, soon to be followed by complete misery ridden Valentines blues. God I hate Valentines Day!

Friday, February 11, 2005

halloween queen 2

halloween queen 2
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
The first time I saw this picture, last November, I was horrified. Somehow, by February it no longer looks as awful, in fact it's kind of cute in a deeply disturbing way. It was awesome fun to walk around that night shouting "Obey, minions! Subdue! Kill, crush, destroy!" If I always had minions I wouldn't need lexapro.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Complete Rambling Meanderings

It's snowing; maybe I won't have to go to work tomorrow? No, I will, I'm sure. Does it even matter? I only have 11 more working days - well 12 actually, I have to work an event - before I change jobs. Still no contract in the mail. I have to email or call him and tell him that I need a contract, I need to know various things like the exact salary, the exact health insurance skinny, and how much time I get off. Normal people have all this info before they take a job. But this is not a normal job. The funny thing is how all my friends have reacted: they all say "This is so YOU! This is perfect for you!" I guess, yes, because it's disorganized, involves beer and music, and seems a bit drifty and amorphous. Maybe I should go to law school and prove them all wrong! Ha! Hmmm, no, too much work. . . maybe I should go down to the bar and work on my cutting edge contemporary arts center business plan with my friend D - that's realism. I wish.

Before I go to sleep at night I daydream and sometimes I start in designing odd things. Last night it was a cozy small waterproof cat house (no, not a cathouse, a house for cats) to put on my back porch for the evenings when Mr. Bill and Barbieri won't come inside by the time I go to bed. It was like a dogloo but better - OMG. I went looking for a link to explain dogloos and found THIS. I have to get it for my mom, it's brilliant and horrifying, and she has a horrid little dog like that. Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled paragraph: last week I was trying to design the perfect chicken coop. I still want to have chickens, but I recognize the deep insanity of this. It's right up there with my brilliant business plan of the late 90s: Felicity's Rent a Llama. I still have a warm spot for that one. . . maybe it could be Felicity's Rent a Llama and Fresh Eggs. Or egg rental, that's an undeveloped market. Strange rentals, niche marketing at its finest. Rent a bag of groceries to carry around for a while, rent a kid to take to a company picnic, rent a dog to walk, rent me and my friends to liven up your party. Rent my house for your office during the day, rent my car all day long when I'm not using it - if I lived in a bigger city those would actually work.

I don't know why I would want more pets when the ones I have are so unsatisfactory. My one dog is a terrible pervert: he chews up my underwear and takes my socks out in the yard and in the morning he actually licks my sheets. If a boyfriend did that I'd be charmed, but, not just yet being at the full Xaviera Hollander pitch of sexual frustration, I don't want to date a collie. The other dog is a Milkbone addict who needs a 12 step program and some therapy. He comes apart waiting for his milkbone fix every evening; he's always trying to nudge the appointed hour (9:30) up. Also, but this is sad, he's so old, and getting so decrepit that I no longer take him out for a walk, I take him for a hobble. He likes to hobble around the front yard and then make a daring 10 fph (feet per hour) dash towards the neighbor's mailbox. I pretend I can't catch him and it really cheers him up, it's a truly pathetic thing. Even more so when I talk to him in his own patented grumpy old geezer voice. One of these days the neighbors will stage an intervention. And the cats love only each other. Barbieri will bite my legs at night when he's hungry; this is cute now, when I have like 5 heavy comforters on my bed to ward off the $200 tank of oil induced 62 degree thermostat, but I can tell that it will not be cute at all in the summer. Mr. Bill, who I foolishly adore, merely tolerates me, and sometimes not even that. No wonder I love him; as always, I'm a sucker for unrequited love.

I went to see The Life Aquatic last night and it was cute, nothing more, nothing less. I liked the little animatronic fish & lizard things though, and the snakes, and the 3 legged dog, but Wes Anderson's movies always strike me as cold, hard things, and I was sad when they didn't rescue the dog, and when Bill Murray flipped the lizard away.

I've been sitting here on the net for about 3 hours, surfing mindlessly. I love the fact that you can just click next blog and wander from blog to blog to blog, I could do it forever. In fact, I do.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I Got A New Job la la la la la

Yup, I did, it's official, as of February 25 I will no longer be enslaved by the art museum! I will then move on to servitude of a quite different kind, in the food & bev world, working as a sort of PA/general manager type person for an Irish pub, a vegetarian restaurant and a small brewing company. Wahooo!!! I am partly terrified and partly elated and actually I don't quite believe it yet, but I turned in my resignation letter on Monday and there you have it: I am free. And for the first time for many many years I have slipped the chains of nonprofit arts management and I am venturing into this strange capitalist thing: the For Profit Business. I have this crazy desire to make actual money; I am really tired of starving for a Noble Cause.

I still had to spend the day at a stupid workshop on cultural tourism - I did see my friend C. there though, she's an artist, ex gallery owner and I told her how I had quit and all and said, "Wish I wasn't here - I hate tourists and I'm not even in the arts anymore!" Wow. So much for my career. The hell with it. It got me precisely nowhere.

Anyway I am seeing the hand of fate in all this, it has been serendipitous, eerie, and if I believed in such things I would think that it was meant. Definitely it was past time for me to get out of the museum, I had become embittered and disgruntled and it was all no good, for me or anyone else. Although I do feel a bit of a pang at losing my 3 weeks vacation, sigh, that would have kicked in in September. I have walked into this job kind of blind, I still don't have a contract, I have nothing in writing, I don't know the vacation specs or any of that, all I have is three meetings, a handshake, a verbal promise of a salary that's about 7 grand more than my current one and assurance of health insurance. So this may be one of the dumber moves of my life yet - it is quite possible that Leap First, Look Later, my perennial personal philosophy, has gotten me again - but I don't care. If it doesn't work out it doesn't work out and something else will come along: meanwhile at least I got the hell out of the fucking museum and broke the chains of inertia. WAHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
An illustration from my bum out of Sunday - something about that road makes me sad, even, or because, it is really beautiful & this picture does it no justice at all. But anyway. Here it is.

st catherine print

st catherine print
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.

Over the years I've been slowly making a series of prints called Saints for a New Generation, or something like that (it changes). This is St. Catherine's New Wheels. The whole thing is an attempt to sort of subvert & change all the horrible martyrdoms and make them okay; it's the product of too much art history or time in churches or something, who knows. The other theme running through the series is a kind of combination of Eastern & Western thought, thus, St. Catherine's wheels say Dharma & stuff like that. SO. This is my art, it's dangerous! /beetlejuice

st anthony print

st anthony print
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.

And this one, from 2002, is St. Anthony Resists the Temptation of the Devil Mara. I like this one, a lot.

Oh yeah, and ART FOR SALE! ART FOR SALE!! Hee hee.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Basket Case

M was home for the weekend; I went to pick him up on Friday evening. As I drove throught that long, interminable, beautiful bit between the highway and Burnsville a great blue heron rose out of the ditch by the road and swooped near the car for a moment, than gained speed and pulled up, huge ungainly wings flapping madly, rising bit by bit. Scared the hell out of me, then stunned with that odd recognition that I tend to call grace, lacking another word. Tonight after I took M back, driving along, crying bitterly, a hawk rose, circled, circled, became indistinct.

So, birds must fly, kids must leave, I am still home and actually I am ready to go see a shrink. Actually I think I have to. I'm stupidly anxious and I worry all the time about everyone I care about. I think I have somehow become a Hemulen. I would link here to a Moomin page - if there was one. But there isn't. So this is the best I can do: an Amazon link, forgive me and if you haven't read the Moomin books, you should, and then you would know why I am being a Hemulen.

I just majorly edited this post and took out a lot of self pitying miserable bull. This time of year seems to be tough on me, even with the nice weather - but nobody else needs to read my bummed out drunk ramblings. Let's just say that I'm depressed again, ain't the first time, won't be the last, this too shall pass. Or, more poetically, No matter how bad a state of mind you may get into, if you keep strong and hold out, eventually the floating clouds must vanish and the withering wind must cease. - Dogen, via Beliefnet, where you too can get daily Buddhist wisdom delivered to your inbox.

So fuck it. Fuck it all. In the meantime, M and I watched Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, which was utterly unsuitable for M, but I didn't know that (somehow, my out of touch self had gotten the idea that this movie was a somewhat updated version of My Dinner With Andre, and I thought that M would just be bored) but instead it's a full on, pot smoking, titty baring crazy funny as hell movie. I haven't laughed like that in I don't know how long - and anyway, we watched it all the way through and it was awesome.

So. . I'm a wreck but I know I'm a wreck. Does that count for anything?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Mefi, Church and a Possible New Job

I feel like Sally Field: I did my first Metafilter FPP and it was kindly received. I was really worried. And then, immediately after I finished posting it - at work, of course, and it was about 5 - my friend D came in & hijacked me to the Flying Frog, since it is Wednesday, $2.50 draft and Disgruntled Museum Workers Local 420 meeting place of choice. When I should, of course, have been sitting there obsessing over Metafilter, waiting to be called to MeTa, freaking out in general. But I didn't do that - I sat at the Frog for hours, and J showed up, and the money from her grandfather who died last year just came through, and it's more than she thought it would be, enough for a down payment on a cheap house, and so we celebrated madly. I wanted to get her a flaming drink, but they don't do flaming (drinkwise, at least) at the Frog, and she had an Old Fashioned in honor of her grandfather. How lame is that? I wanted to get her something with fire, and whipped cream, and maybe glitter, and possibly choirs of angels - but no such damn luck, an old fashioned from the World's Worst Waiter. (tm - but he really is, I dread the Frog for this reason: I'm a great bar patron, I spent enough years in food & bev to be humble, and I tip at least 20%, and I'm patient and kind - and this guy plucks my last everloving nerve.)

So then it seemed like a good idea to go to the Basilica, and we did, although D bowed out at this point. J wanted to light a candle for her grandfather, and I lit a candle for my father, and my cousin Buzzy, and did the whole good Catholic girl thing with the genuflecting and the holy water & etc. There was a family in there doing the rosary, big time, so I sat in a pew for a while and then lit a candle for my father in the Mary chapel. There was a girl in the chapel, apparently having a major religious thing, or else just reading a racy novel, it was hard to tell, but the result was that there was nowhere to kneel, so I stood there, saying the rosary to myself and feeling awkward as all hell. Has to be maybe 15 years since I was in a Catholic church, if not longer. I imagined, as I often do in these circumstances, my father scoffing angrily at me, and in the car on the way home I yelled right back: "Okay! It was a hollow observance! Just like your little parenting moments!" and surprised myself by a depth of bitterness I thought was pretty much exorcised by now. Apparently not. But what the fuck, that doesn't really matter anymore, and if it makes me feel a little better to stand in a dimly lit highly domed place and light candles among murmuring, then why not? Maybe I should be Catholic again - doubt it, but you know, why not? I always saw Catholicism as being like the Coke vs. Pepsi, McDonalds vs. Burger King debate: if you're going to go with something horrible and bad for you, at least choose the original, undiluted version. Also, with Catholics, you get incense and guilt, so it can't be all bad. And anyway, in this odd world we now inhabit, I get the feelings that Catholics just aren't considered "Christian" anyway, so at least I could keep on being nonconformist, or something.

I might have a new job. In fact, I am about 85% sure that I do have a new job, but I'm afraid to talk about it in case I jinx it. It has been the strangest couple of days - I was sitting at the bar on Thursday after work having a drink and I threw out the comment that I was looking for a new job, and lo and behold, if I didn't get a call on Friday night from a guy I know a little, who owns several successful businesses in town, that he was looking for a PA who could run the businesses for him. We had lunch on Monday and talked, and talked on the phone a lot on Tuesday, and he is supposed to be getting me some paperwork information, and I think I have this job. I am completely excited but scared, too, I don't want to jinx anything, so I will not be more specific - but whoa, if it does indeed happen, it's considerably more money, and things will be good - crazy busy, no more surfing all day - but good. And fun, even, and a venture into the For Profit world, which looks like it might be Profitable for me. Cross your fingers or hold your thumbs or do whatever odd lucky thing you know of: I need a new job and I think, strangely enough and serendipitously, that this is just the one I need.