Wednesday, June 28, 2006 Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish...

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish...


http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/06/27/railroad.killer.ap/index.html

Angel Maturino Resendez was executed last night. In 1997 the so-called "Railroad Killer" tortured and killed a friend of mine. Resendez has been given almost nine years of life since he took Chris's life. I'm glad he is dead and I hope that there is an especially hot place in hell where he can feel a hundred times the pain he caused for eternity.

Monday, June 26, 2006 Tell me what you like and I'll tell you what you are. - John Ruskin

Tell me what you like and I'll tell you what you are. - John Ruskin



Today I have no thoughts or stories to share, my brain is fried. I wanted to take some time to share a few of my recent favorite things. Please share yours too in the comments section.

Books:
1. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
2. Happiness by Will Ferguson
3. The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle

Bands:
1. Radiohead
2. Get Up Kids
3. Jets to Brazil (and Jawbreaker by association)

Cities:
1. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
2. St. Petersburg, Russia
3. Hong Kong, China
4. Paris, France
5. St. Marys, GA USA

Magazines:
1. Chunklette
2. Giant Robot
3. Esquire

T-shirt Companies:
1. Y2K
2. Hanes (boys tees - plain white)

Artists:
1. Yves Klein
2. Marcel Duchamp
3. Henri Matisse
4. Rene Magritte

Sunday, June 25, 2006 It's Your Wedding Day*

It's Your Wedding Day*


As I mentioned in my previous post, I journeyed to the old homestead this weekend to attend my 21 year old cousin's wedding to the man our family knew only as Chuck.

I'll begin by describing the marital candidates.

Samantha is a sweet Southern blonde with big innocent blue eyes and the disposition of a yellow lab puppy. She is calm, loyal, and exceedingly affectionate. The girl has never met a stranger, only a potential friend. She was (placing the emphasis on WAS) a pharmacy student.

Chuck is very tall...and blocky. He is not disagreeable, he is merely silent. No one in our rather close family was sure of Chuck's full name until the engagement announcement was in the newspaper. We believe that Chuck either works in a factory or a stockroom, but that cannot be verified due to his disinclination to speak.

The wedding party arrived in a blaze of hot pink and black. It was like a Barbie wedding without the smiles and anatomically freakish figures. Chuck's family (who had remained hidden up to this point, much like Chuck's personality) were resplendent in their many tattoos (several of which resembled pentagrams). Our family was a sea of orthodontics finest work, straight white teeth bared in blocks of grimacing smiles. Aunt H. and I made a dash to the bathroom to spike our pink, alcohol-free punch and returned to find that our entire family had managed to squeeze around our grandparents table, condensed from the originally assigned two tables. Apparently, this lapse in decorum occurred for three reasons: 1) The discovery of my purse full of mini-bottles 2) It is much more polite to mock the other guests in a quiet tone of voice (hence the centralized location) 3) Their table was closer to the exit.

The celebratory toasts began just as we were formulating a plan of escape. Transcripts of these toasts are below.
Maid-of-honor (the bride's 16 year old sister): I have always looked up to Samantha. She is kind and loyal. Her only weakness is her inability to refuse a dare. One time at band camp she drank toilet water and now she is getting married. Congratulations! (At this point my mother leaned over and whispered, "Is she high?". This was not meant in snide way, I admitted to my parents that I dabbled in drugs during my college years and now they treat me as a drug dog to sniff out substance abuse in others).
Best man: I remember in college when Chuck got fleas. He didn't want me to say that, but Samantha told me I could say whatever I want. I hope it works out!
Father-of-the-bride (who tried to bribe Samantha to wait a few years to get married): I have two wonderful daughters (18 second pause) and now I guess I have a son-in-law.

I'm thinking I should bring the mini bottles to Christmas this year...

*song by Stephen Lynch

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 Wedding Supplies

Wedding Supplies



Friday morning I depart for the land of bluegrass for my cousin's wedding. I thought I should bring supplies. It is a Baptist wedding.

Invasion of the Tourists

The air is warm, humidity has reached the dew point, and I am blinded by the glare of untanned legs in line for Starbucks.

It is time...For everyone from the area I refer to as the Mid-South to gather in Atlanta for (choke) vacation (?).

Disclaimer: I live in Atlanta. I am not originally from Atlanta. I moved here by choice (versus economic necessity or family pressure) shortly after my rather long (six year) college career that FINALLY ended in two degrees.

Atlanta has a lot of people, a lot of traffic, and some neat hidden niches. Before I MOVED to Atlanta I did not vacation here. Atlanta is not exactly the place where one would summer. Regardless of the city's landlocked geography and malarial climate, hordes of vacationers descend on our fair city every June and July.

How does one tell tourists from the local yokels you may ask? Well, the tourist have a few distinguishing features that are outlined below.
1. Skin tone - Our visitors only come in two shades, deep-sea pale or tanning bed orange. I have a theory that Atlanta may be promoted on "Melanin Challenged" websites.
2. Clothing - Atlanta is not New York. Well-heeled Atlantans seem to prefer the schizophrenic prints of Lily Pulitzer to the clean lines and neutral colors of Prada. The demographic that the Atlanta Tourism Board obviously markets to has a predilection for Big Dog wear and NASCAR branded body coverage.
3. Voice modulation disorder - Some of you may remember the SNL Will Ferrell skit in which Will plays a man who yells, even when he is whispering. Our guest residents cannot seem to talk below a level of 'light yell'.
4. They raise their eyes to the sky - Atlanta has no skyline. Are these tourists searching for God? Do they think that in Atlanta it rains Coca-Cola and by extending their scrawny or corpulent necks upward they will get a free taste of caramel colored, high-fructose corn syrup delight?
5. Directionally challenged - If one more person asks me for directions to the CNN Center (usually asked while they are standing directly in front of the building), the Georgia Aquarium, or 'the Mall' (Atlanta has a mall on every corner) I will tell them to get back in their car, get on the highway, and return to whatever culture and gentility forsaken place they have come from, and mapquest it.

If you are thinking of visiting Atlanta this summer, my advice is DON'T. Stay at home, there is nothing for you here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 Stolen Ideas - Read my answers and post your own

Stolen Ideas - Read my answers and post your own

Five things in my fridge/freezer
1. Bottled water
2. Ginger-soy salad dressing
3. Brita pitcher
4. Stoneyfield Fat-Free Yogurt (Blackberry)
5. Grey Goose

Five (unusual) things in my closets
1. Lowe Alpine internal frame backpack
2. Ball gown
3. Dead Milkmen t-shirt from 1994 tour
4. Dance Dance Revolution
5. "The 120 Days of Sodom" by Donatien Aldonse Francois le Marquis de Sade (a good southern girl would never keep it on her bookshelf)

Five things in my bag (purse/messenger bag/backpack)
1. Ipod Video
2. Slender notebook with "The Son of Man" by Rene Magritte printed on it
3. Cartier cigarettes
4. Toothbrush
5. Printed copy of recent JC Report

Five things on my bookcase
1. Numerous Norton Anthologies kept from my school days
2. "Sociology of Deviant Behavior" by Marshall Clinard
3. Well worn (highlighted, underlined, and page marked) copy of "The Beat Reader"
4. Equally well-worn copy of "A Guide to Elegance" by Genevieve Antoine Dariax
5. "Everything You Know Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Secrets and Lies" by Russ Kick

Sunday, June 18, 2006 The World is Shrinking and the Spread of the Preppie Pirate

The World is Shrinking and the Spread of the Preppie Pirate



In 2005 I stumbled across a blogger based in Boston that posted about a new store, Ralph Lauren Rugby. Rugby stores are located exclusively near college campuses and are currently limited to eight stores. I perused the info on the Boston blog ambivalently, knowing that when in NYC I would never find the store and I wouldn't want to travel to the other cities where the stores are located. The writer of the Boston-based blog included some pictures of the store and merchandise, at which I glanced. Suddenly my eyes were drawn to a photo of the pants from my dreams: flat front khakis with tiny skull and crossbones embroidered on them in black. I had to own these pants! I called and store, had the pants sent to me, and yearned for more. "Clothing for preppie pirates!", I thought, "How novel!". After my initial rush of joy, I began to question what this might mean for what I considered to be my own uncommon aesthetics. When did the preppie pirate look go mainstream? More importantly, what is this development a reflection of?

We live in a world where the rise of user-generated content makes everything customized or customizable. Itunes enables the masses to discover semi-obscure indie rock bands whereas in earlier years these bands would only have been accessible by prowling clubs in Brooklyn or near Midwest universities. Coolhunter blogs expose us to products from around the world and e-commerce makes it possible to purchase these products from the pulsating comfort of our Kota Nezu Jellyfish Stool. Is the world becoming a "country without borders"*?

I'm torn between rejoicing that residents of first world countries now have the chance to purchase inspired goods (that would have only enjoyed miniscule sales in the years before meme spread by internet) and sadness that knowledge of these 'alternative' products is no longer a marker of the subculture (tribe) that I belonged to.

To use a cliche...The world is definitely becoming a smaller place and I'm claustrophobic.

*quote from "Pattern Recognition" by William Gibson

Friday, June 16, 2006 Date night

Date night



At what point in a relationship does a couple start planning 'date night'? At the beginning of a relationship every time you see each other is date night. You always wear makeup, cute lingerie, and an adorable outfit to meet, even if it is a late night tryst. Is a pre-planned 'date night' a sign that you don't care the other days of the week when you see your beau? Is 'date night' an attempt to recapture the excitement and passion that marked those first few months of togetherness?

Thursday, June 15, 2006 Eugenics

Eugenics

Main Entry: eu·gen·ics Pronunciation: yu-'je-niks Function: noun plural but singular or plural in construction: a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed

Being a small (5' 1.5" without shoes and 5' 5" in my regular heels), somewhat attractive girl, I am often subject to the attentions of small men. They notice I am below their line of site (an elevated line of site due to their ridiculous cowboy boots or elevator shoes) and immediately hone in on my space like flies to shit. *

Ironically, I have never been attracted to a man under 5' 10". Although I have no desire and little likelihood of reproducing it seems that my brain has been imprinted by some kind of eugenic code that will only allow me to date men of heights that would produce a child of at least 5' 6".

Nature has a sense of humor.

*Rage inspired by the Association of Athletic Trainers event (which surrounded my building) full of 'vertically challenged' men trying to lecture me on smoking while I hid behind a grove of bamboo.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 Maybe....

Maybe....

I feel simultaneously manic and depressive today. I feel tired, but hyper. I feel expectant, but bored. I feel lonely, but suffocated. I feel grandiose, but paranoid. I can physically feel the dark circles beneath my eyes deepen.

Maybe my blood sugar is making me feel so fucked up. Maybe I need to get my meds adjusted. Maybe I just need to sleep again. Maybe I should look outward rather than inward. Maybe tomorrow this will seem funny. Maybe...maybe...maybe..soon I'll be fine.

The Dead Letter Office


Written late last night
Since I was very young I have found the thought of the dead letter office chilling. All of the sentiments, greetings, and thoughts hanging in limbo make my heart hurt. Blogs that suddenly end make me feel similarly disquieted. What happened? Is there a happy ending? Did the writer die and leave their thoughts for posterity? Why was May 24th, 2004 the last day you posted? These abrupt endings to someone else's string of thought makes me confront my own mortality. What would I want to leave behind? Would the replies sent to nowhere tell a story?
http://www.thedeadletter.com/

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 Cleanin' Out My Closet...*

Cleanin' Out My Closet...*



On Sunday night, in the grip of an organizational anxiety attack I edited my bookshelves. Purging makes me feel empty (in a good way) and open to new possibilities. I throw out the broken, the obsolete, and the tarnished to make room for the treasured, the new, and the brilliant. As a result of my book purge, the entire cargo section of my Volvo wagon is filled with the refuse that includes the notable titles and genres below.

Six Months Off; Finding Work You Love; Managing Your Manager; Resume Updates - All purchased during my time with a cable channel start-up while reporting to a boss that makes Meryl Streep's character in the movie The Devil Wears Prada look like a saint.
Numerous 'society' tomes on Atlanta - Acquired during my non-profit job, when I spent the days trolling for donors and begging for event sponsors.
Prozac Nation (the only book I have read where the MOVIE is better); More, Now, Again; Better Than Beauty; numerous books by Simone de Beauvoir (most unread) - These books are the carcass of my ill-fated affair with a much older married man looking for a waif/muse. He was not worth the research or the effort.
Zen in America; several books written by the Dali Lama; even more books written by Deepak Chopra - Obviously purchased during my attempt to karma-cleanse after being the 'twenty years younger, other woman'.
Philadelphia Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places; Philadelphia (Eyewitness Travel Guides); Streetwise Philadelphia - Precursor to the move to Philly that I backed out of because the boy I was moving for deserved someone who loved him more and differently than I could.
Lovers' I-Ching - Bought at the beginning of my relationship with 'D.' before I realized that I didn't need witchcraft, I just needed to recognize our compatibility.
All my books on marketing - I hated marketing, with the removal of all my reference materials I have finally decided never to go back.

I feel as if I have erased part of the whiteboard in my head and now I have room to write a new story.

* Song from Eminem's CD "The Eminem Show"

Thursday, June 08, 2006 Perdition Revisited...

Perdition Revisited...

I open my email on Wednesday and all is normal. I delete the twenty junk emails, check out the jcrew sale, catch up with a few friends, save the 14th email from the guy the girls and I met on vacation that I mean to write back, then happen to notice a familiar address that makes my blood run cold. The 'crazy' guy has written me again.

There have been a lot of conventionally questionable men in my life, but the 'crazy' guy stands alone.

Two years ago some acquaintances got me liquored up and dragged me to Cowboys, a country music dance club where rednecks go to find mates. I loathe country music and rednecks, but when I've had a few too many seabreezes I am a sucker for beautiful eyes and a strong jaw. I ended up talking to Adam for an hour. He was nice, he was definitely cute, and in my inebriated state I thought it was neat that he was an airline mechanic for the airline that I was spending way too much time on. I gave Adam my cellphone number (and apparently my email address). Adam called, I went out on ONE date with him, was reminded that my cerebral attraction to men is much stronger than my physical attraction and wrote him off, but that was not the last of Adam. Adam sent flowers, he sent poems, he sent a Build-a-Bear workshop rabbit with a note attached telling me about his hopes and dreams. Adam began sending emails and text messages before I boarded a flight telling me that he "hoped I had a safe flight in seat 3B". Adam freaked me the HELL out! After about three months (during which time I moved) I didn't hear from him anymore. I was happy that Adam has exhausted himself and was unable to find me.

Fast-forward to Wednesday. Adam had emailed me. He had apparently come across a momento of our ONE date and thought he should get in touch. I did not respond.

Monday, June 05, 2006 Too tired...

Too tired...

To have coherent thoughts.

Friday, June 02, 2006 Stifling Domesticity

Stifling Domesticity


Boredom is a dangerous emotion. I feel trapped in slow motion. I keep having dreams of flying. In my waking life my wings are clipped. Is this what getting older is about? Do we make our own cages of relationships, responsibilities, and obligations? When I was younger and I felt trapped I would jump in the car and take off. I would drive, listening to loud music, my windows open, Dunhill in hand, without a destination and only stop when I was so exhausted that I started hallucinating. Now I drive, listening to loud music, with the windows rolled up and the AC turned on so I won't muss my hair or irritate my allergies, to the dry cleaners, the grocery, the vet, the bank...the journey of mediocrity.

"When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire." - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead by Stars

The Day of Denim

Today I wore jeans to work for the first time. My definition of office casual is a suit without the jacket. Other people in my department wear jeans on casual Friday; it is just a custom that I have chosen to ignore up to today.

I keep my work life and my personal life segmented into two totally different spheres, so much so that I do not allow the people, clothing, or personas of in work/out work to meet.

I wondered if my denim experiment would cause people to treat me differently or illicit comment. Below are the results.

My boss (male): Asked me if “everything was okay?”
The camera training crew that sits near our office (male): Said “hello” for the first time in the eleven months I have worked on this floor
The 30-something year old analyst on the other side of the floor (male): Journeyed across the floor to my office to ask if “I had fun weekend plans?”
The newest Russian analyst (female): asked if I could help her fix her blackberry
Random homeless man in food court: Told me I was ‘lookin’ good’

Conclusion: Jeans apparently make me seem more approachable to men. To authority figures the denim casing implies illness (mental or physical) and a lapse in professionalism. To women (or perhaps just in Russia) denim equals technical knowledge.

I can’t wait for this day to be over….

Thursday, June 01, 2006 Politically Correct in DR?!

Politically Correct in DR?!


Above are pictures of the chocolate friends and the signage announcing them...does this seem wrong to anyone else?