Wednesday, May 31, 2006 Dolorous and chafed

Dolorous and chafed

Tonight I can't sleep. Maybe it is the antibiotics, maybe it is the fact that I haven't had a FUCKING moment alone since sometime last week, maybe it is because I just keep listening to music rather than attempting to finish Swann's Way so I can be bored to sleep. Tonight, it is just me and the music...wishing that I was alone, wishing that someone wasn't always talking to me, wishing that I didn't have to smile, wishing that I was in my car driving with no destination...

What Would You Have Me Do by David Ford
Night After Night by The Sounds
The Hollows by Matt Pond PA
Your Ex-Lover is Dead by Stars
Gray or Blue by Jaymay
To Let Myself Go by Ane Brun

I left my health in San Francisco...

I have never enjoyed myself in San Francisco. It’s odd, the city has all of the things I enjoy most; eclectic people and places, a plethora of great bookstores, the best Chinese food outside of Hong Kong, and it’s pedestrian friendly. Somehow, every time I go to San Francisco I come back with some kind of horrible ailment and an unreasonable amount of happiness that I live in Atlanta.

A brief synopsis of my trip

Friday: arrival- lunch – food poisoning
Saturday: Cody’s Bookstore – pit stop at Tiffany and Co. – tumble off a curb and into the street resulting in a bruised and bloody kneecap
Sunday: Buddhist wedding – step throat and sinus infection – departure

After spending all day in bed on Monday, I called in sick for the first time since 2001 because I could not physically stand up. After a penicillin shot and an outrageous dose of Omnicef I am once again among the upright. My body apparently loves the steamy humidity and searing heat of Atlanta. I have decided to avoid travel to places where the temperature is less than 80 degrees for the next few months.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 Irritation


ir·ri·ta·tion - a : the act of irritating b : something that irritates c : the state of being irritated2 : a condition of irritability , soreness, roughness, or inflammation of a bodily part

The opposite of irritation

Alone - Etymology: Middle English, from al all + one one1 : separated from others : ISOLATED2 : exclusive of anyone or anything else : ONLY3 a : considered without reference to any other b : INCOMPARABLE, UNIQUE - alone·ness /-'lOn-n&s/ nounsynonyms ALONE, SOLITARY, LONELY, LONESOME, LONE, FORLORN, DESOLATE mean isolated from others. ALONE stresses the objective fact of being by oneself with slighter notion of emotional involvement than most of the remaining terms . SOLITARY may indicate isolation as a chosen course but more often it suggests sadness and a sense of loss . LONELY adds to SOLITARY a suggestion of longing for companionship . LONESOME heightens the suggestion of sadness and poignancy . LONE may replace LONELY or LONESOME but typically is as objective as ALONE . FORLORN stresses dejection, woe, and listlessness at separation from one held dear . DESOLATE implies inconsolable grief at loss or bereavement .

In my opinion Merriam-Webster is wrong, alone and lonely are two very different things.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 Contemporary Southern Euphemisms

Contemporary Southern Euphemisms

Unique = bat shit crazy
Different = socially inept
Sweet = stupid
Nice = ugly
Artistic = unemployed
Discriminating = unnecessarily choosy
Special = a person only their mother could love
Similar Background = at least as wealthy as his/her parents

Used in conversation

Clementine is so unique. Since her breakup with Beauford she has been in a bit of a funk. I tried to fix her up with Alston’s friend Trey, but she has discriminating taste and he’s artistic and they’re not from a similar background. I just hope she finds a nice man. She is such a sweet and special girl.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 Whitest Boy Alive

Whitest Boy Alive

I love them! Listen...words cannot describe. The best of Kings of Convenience, without the flotsam.

Guest Spotlight: PdT "Why I Don't Dance"

About the author: PdT is an architect in Miami who I have had the pleasure of knowing for the past seven or eight years. He has his own blog on MySpace, but his layout of many flashing lights and moving icons could cause epileptic fits.

Footloose is the reason I don’t and can’t dance. The movie came out in 1984 and at nine or ten years old I was still an impressionable child. I don’t remember if I actually saw it at the theater, but having an older sister you get exposed to their tween obsessions one way or another. I just wasn’t ready for Kevin Bacon at that age, not to be homophobic or anything, but compared to Lori Singers, who was a fucking mess in this movie, getting beat up and tossed around by her fucking goon boyfriend, it was a close call as to who was the prettiest on the set. In fact during the movie I kind of got them confused.
So apparently dancing was a big deal and this town had banned it. Kevin Bacon shows up and wants to dance and they hate him because he’s from the 80s and they live in Kansas or something. Things are not necessarily "footloose" after all, in fact something as inconsequential and light-hearted as dancing was much more loaded than our title would suggest. John Lithgow the preacher gets on his case and the goons dislike him cause he's pretty and they ain’t, so they fight him. He “looses” it and goes off to an abandoned factory to literally interpret his frustrations and his anger through the most logical form, dance. For weeks I wondered if I should express my displeasure at having to pick up my room by doing a Glissade and demi-plié in the kitchen. He was washing away his frustrations with dancing sweat and consequently purged away my need to dance forever. It was just way too much to out there, I didn't want to bare my soul bro, I just wanted to dance, what’s the big deal. Maybe John Lithgow was right, a man just wasn’t meant to move in that way. I wasn’t ready. It was a form of femininity I did not know men were capable of. He was so lithe, limber and into it, he just threw himself with a reckless abandon at the dance floor (or in this case abandoned factory floor). How could you just do something without thinking I thought? I just knew from watching him that if this is what dancing is about, then I might as well move to a town that has banned it. In the end Bacon was right and I had to learn. Luckily It was later that I discovered alcohol and drugs alleviated self consciousness, but only in perfect balances. - PdT

Monday, May 22, 2006 Signs You May Have Taken A Wrong Turn

Signs You May Have Taken A Wrong Turn

The Totem of Despair

On Saturday I drove to get my hair cut at a new place in a part of town I am not familiar with. M.’s friend M.J. had just broken off her engagement, changed residence, and gone back to the world of hairdressing in a 48 hour period. In a gesture of female solidarity (and because my split ends were out-of control) I found myself mapquesting to the obscure salon where she had very recently found employment. *

As anyone who has ever had the misfortune to drive in Atlanta can confirm, many streets here have the same or similar names. The duplication of street names is what led me to explore the “other” Avondale.

A few of the markers listed below clued me in that I may not be in the right area. I think most of the indicators listed are universal signs that you may be in the wrong neighborhood, unless of course you are looking for an unsavory experience.

Supreme Fish Delight Restaurant
These dining establishments appear to be located exclusively in the ghetto. They serve such tasty treats as: buffalo catfish, fried cornbread, and deep-fried animal parts that are usually only found in Chinatown.

Title Loan Offices
The average middle-class American would not need to borrow money, using their car title as collateral from a place that appears to be a converted Wendy’s. Transcript from imagined conversation with Buckhead Betty and title loan officer.
Buckhead Betty: So, how much will you loan me for the title of my 2005 Mercedes Benz E320 Station Wagon?
Title Loan Officer: Does it got rims?
Buckhead Betty: I’m sorry, rims?
Title Loan Officer: Ya know, chrome, custom, 20 inch?
Buckhead Betty: No I don’t know, so I assume I do not.
Title Loan Officer: I can give you fifteen.
Buckhead Betty: But that won’t pay for a semester at Westminster.
Title Loan Officer: I’ll throw in five for the watch and finger bling.
Buckhead Betty: Hmmm…

The Street as a Community Center
Most residents of better neighborhoods prefer to entertain, barbeque, and chat with their friends in the BACKyard. In what I’ll call “transitional” neighborhoods the street is the playground/kitchen/living room. If you see a Deluxe Barbeque Barrel in the street, surrounded by a group of people dancing to the music blaring out of the 1988 Grand Marquis parked in the center of the road, you should immediately reverse.

*Despite risking life and limb, M.J. is an incredible hair wizard and was worth all of the drama!

Saturday, May 20, 2006 Ah, the quiet Saturday!

Ah, the quiet Saturday!

Live music, nice weather, a perfect end to a day that started much, much too early.

Friday, May 19, 2006 I love my girls!

I love my girls!

The four best friends anyone could ask for, masked for purposes of anonymity. Four very special women (who usually look much cuter*), who embody the attributes of strength, beauty, intelligence and skill. I feel honored to have them as my friends.

*The picture was taken after many hours of festivities at the cabin.

Found in Bars

What would possess an otherwise sane person to drag their Bugaboo stroller into a bar? I am not a “kid person”, I prefer the company of my dog to that of children, but even I realize that there are certain characters found in bars that children should not be exposed to until they are too old and jaded to care.

Young Investment Banker Guy – This guy (and it’s always a guy) has just graduated from college and has suddenly found himself receiving a six figure salary and working 20 hours a day. On his rare Saturday away from the office he is simultaneously: trying to score; trying to stay awake, and trying to out-drink his buddies to prove that in addition to being Lehman Brothers ‘Spencer’ that “the man” has not killed his college persona ‘The Spencmeister’.

Alcohol is dangerous to this fragile soul, who has seen the movie Wall Street 27 times too many and has the book Less Than Zero in the top drawer of his nightstand like the Bible. This guy illustrates the Rick James quote, “Cocaine is a hell of a drug”.

Fun Drunk Girl – She is best friends with the entire bar! She sings, she dances, she may flash some gratuitous nudity before puking in your cheese fries, but one thing is for sure…before the night is over she will be your responsibility.

Fun Drunk Girl always has pain behind her smile and slurred laughter. After her 14th Pink Lady, all hell will break loose. You may be her hostage listener on such interesting topics as: her eating disorder (past or present); how she is getting old and lonely; or her loose moral hook ups. She will sob at your table as all of her friends from the hours before drift away and you will have to help her find her way home.

The Armchair Philosophers – In the morning they haunt your favorite coffee shop and monopolize the outdoor setting, at night they can be found in the coziest pub or dive bar in your area. This group looks eclectic, but they have a few identifying marks (much like the Mark of the Beast) such as:
1. The sulky sneer – These people are NEVER happy and they love to share their misery with each other, innocent passersby, and anyone within earshot of their one hard of hearing member that talks at 80 decibels.
2. One item made of hemp – It will vary, from the linen-look hemp pants the closeted corporate lawyer is wearing to the rough hemp hair wraps in the fat masseuse’ hair.
3. A solution – These people are the thwarted leaders. They have the answers to the energy crisis, terrorism, Medicare, etc. All of these answers seem to involve some kind of socialist/communist government that they would of course be involved in. Hate to tell you folks, but under a socialist government’s 35% tax rate it may be hard to pay for your golf club membership or children’s Episcopalian education.

This is a real group of people who take ALL of the outdoor seating and prime parking at my favorite coffee spot every Sunday from 9am to noon. They only order one cup of coffee and nurse it for three hours and never tip the servers. If anyone from that group is reading this, I just want you to know that I hate you.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 Happy Birthday Principe de Tristeza!

Happy Birthday Principe de Tristeza!

I am vain enough to believe that the birthday boy (Principe de Tristeza) will read this today, perhaps not so much out of curiousity concerning my daily thoughts, but to see if he is mentioned (or because I email him and say, "LOOK AT MY BLOG, you're on it". People love seeing a tribute to themselves in print! Below is my birthday note to PdT, it can apply to most people's lives.

Dear PdT,

You are not so old and you have accomplished so much. You are a professional. You are self-sufficient. You are living back in the place that you love. Despite your newly elevated age, you are still the hippest of the hipsters! You would never disgrace yourself by doing any of the following.
1. Wearing tight jeans, a wife beater, and a blazer together
2. Proclaiming that "Float On" is the BEST Modest Mouse song and bragging that you saw them on The O.C. (
3. Going to a club owned by Gloria Estefan or frequented by Ricky Martin

Happy birthday, you bring laughter, knowledge and light to so many people. If it weren't for your influence during my college years I would probably still be listening to Phish and Widespread Panic, have dirty hair, and make my own clothing.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 MySpace and the fountain of eternal youth!

MySpace and the fountain of eternal youth!

It appears that no one ever gets older than 30 on MySpace. For example:
1. I am 29 on MySpace, when I celebrated my 30th birthday last month, the first thing I did the morning of was change my birth year from 1976 to 1977. Let me emphasize that I changed my birth year at approximately 7am, before having my morning Dunhill, brushing my teeth or even using the bathroom I changed my age on my MySpace account.
2. My political science teacher from HIGH SCHOOL is on MySpace, his age is 29. Unless Mr. Ortiz was negative one when I was a senior in high school, he is lying. The fact that he also proclaims to love the band Sugarcult (demographic of average fan is a 15 to 16 year old girl) makes me think he may be, in the words of Waylon Jennings, ‘lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.
3. People who I went to college with who were in grad school when I was a freshman (and were not early admission prodigies) are listed as 29 years old. If you were a Teaching Assistant with a full beard and salt and pepper hair when I was 18, you are not 29 years old.

I know that extended adolescence ( is a part of our culture, but what is so bad about growing up?

Signs of depression

Signs of Depression
Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
Restlessness, irritability
Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

I wonder what it means if you have eight out of eleven?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 2006 book reviews...

2006 book reviews...

Marley and Me - I laughed. I cried. Dogs are better than cats.
Haunted - Funny and sick! I was physically ill reading some of the stories contained in this book. Not Palahniuk's finest, but still a damn good read.
Guns, Germs, and Steel - If I ever read more than 20 pages of this book without falling asleep, it will be a miracle.
The Debutante Divorcee - Not highbrow, but a semi-amusing beach read...if you've had at least five drinks.
The Drinking Den - Good translation. Great book.
PostSecret - Although it is more of a coffee table book than a piece of literature, it stirs a spirit of voyeurism and sadness.
Stoned, Naked, and Looking in My Neighbors Window - The website is a better read than the book
Alias Grace - A well-written and engaging historical novel about accused murderess Grace Marks.
A Year in The Merde by Stephen Clarke - As someone who had a terrible time in Paris, I am in sympatico with Stephen Clarke. The Parisians are inefficient, the waiters are rude, and the people are intimidatingly stylish and intellectual.
Radical Simplicity by Dan Price - Dan Price has lived in 'alternative' structures for the past 10 years, his book is a diary of his many homemade homes. This book made ME want to live in a tepee and I think roughing it is a 3 1/2 star hotel.
Old School by Tobias Wolff - This book was incredible! As an Ayn Rand fan, it was interesting to see her depicted in an unflattering light.
Hey Nostradamus by Douglas Coupland - Wow, this book left me feeling whirled. I'm still trying to forget Jason, Heather, and Reg's stories.
Welcome to Higby by Mark Dunn - Bizarre, but fascinating.
Happiness by Will Ferguson - Interesting premise on how misery makes the world go round.
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson - Riveting mystery.

Monday, May 15, 2006 One more reason why I can never live in the suburbs

One more reason why I can never live in the suburbs

A few things about suburbanites that Zack does not mention:
1. They think it is acceptable to leave the house in anything with a drawstring and/or elastic waistband. (Sidenote: I have recently noticed they also allow their children to leave the house in pajama pants.)
2. The women all have the same haircut. It is a choppy, Meg Ryan circa 1995 (Think "French Kiss") that never looks adorably gamine ala Meg, but always looks like the crazed mother of four has just cut her own hair with a kitchen knife ala Kathy Bates.
3. No one outside of the perimeter drives a car that weighs less than 6,000 pounds.

I am so tired...

I'm tired. I'm tired of the construction on my house. I'm tired of giving the dog medicine every morning. I'm tired of taking my own medicine every night. I'm tired of going to work. I'm tired of strangers, at co-workers, at friends. I'm tired of eating, smoking, and drinking. I just want to sit somewhere and watch the world go by for a few hours. I don't want to think, interact, or feel. My head needs a break.

I hope tomorrow I'm not so tired.

Friday, May 12, 2006 The raccoon with the orange tail and other crazy shit my parents have done…

The raccoon with the orange tail and other crazy shit my parents have done…

Let me preface this post with following disclaimer. My parents are seemingly normal people. They do not hate animals, nor do they use DDT based fertilizer. Unfortunately, they have a love for their landscaping that surpasses any consideration for the wildlife that ventures into their personal Giverny

My mother smuggled tulip bulbs back from a trip they took to Holland. When she arrived back in the states, she lovingly planted these treasured bulbs in a prize spot in her garden. Days later the tulip bulbs began disappearing. Determined to humanely catch the varmint ( who was feasting on her little piece of the Netherlands she persuaded my father to set up steel cage traps.

The day after the trap was set both mom and dad ventured to the garden to find a rather large raccoon inside the trap. My father took the raccoon (still in the cage) to nearby Darty’s farm and released it. In the days following, tulip bulbs were still disappearing and my mother (in a fit of paranoia) became convinced that the same raccoon was returning to their home from Darty’s farm, where they were being relocated. To prove my mother wrong, my dad began spray painting the tails of the captured raccoons orange before releasing them. Months later my dad ran into a friend of his (we’ll call him Cletus) that was on his way to Darty’s farm with his collection of shotguns. When asked what he was going to do there, Cletus told my father about the raccoon infestation on Darty’s farm and how some sicko had spray painted some of them orange (

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 2006 3rd and 4th Quarter

2006 3rd and 4th Quarter

Reading a posting on (a friend's blog) today made me realize how I need a list of things I would like to do/accomplish this year. It's good to have goals. I mostly live aimlessly, without direction or destination and try to have some fun along the way. Below is my TO DO LIST for 3rd and 4th Quarter of 2006. Any advice or comments are welcome.
1. Lose the remaining 'relationship related' 15 lbs I've gained
a. Run at least three times a week
b. Walk the dog at least three times a week
2. Travel to a new place (domestic or international)
3. Stop consuming, start saving more (Really, how many handbags does one person need?)
4. Dance (Alone or with others, but always like Shakira)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 What I said versus What I Thought

What I said versus What I Thought

The many things that a smile can this picture I was saying..
Are you ready Ms. DMV photographer?
I was thinking...
What horrible crime could you possibly have committed to be sentenced to working at the DMV?

I have noticed lately that what I say and what I actually think have a correlation. For example.

What I said is...
You look happy!
What I thought is...
You look FAT!

What I said is...
You're baby is soooo sweet!
What I thought is...
Your baby is so NOT CUTE!

What I said is...
I bet you had a lot of fun! (In reference to other's descriptions of dates, weekends, trips, etc.)
What I thought is...
I'm glad my life isn't as empty and boring as yours.

Life without credit cards!

In a fit of rage over the $85 "membership fee" on my Amex, I paid off, cancelled, and cut up my only remaining credit card on Monday...I feel so empty...

There was an aura of unknown possibilities and potential recklessness attached to my $28,100 credit limit. It would have taken me YEARS to pay off the bill if I ever did max out the card, but I liked thinking about what I could do if I hit a point in my life when I didn't care...
1. Do a transfer to checking, withdraw the cash, and disappear to a Third World country with a nice climate for a year.
2. Get a nose job and liposuction to "change my look"
3. Live at the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong for two weeks.

What would you do with $28K?

Monday, May 08, 2006 I am living like a Parisian peasant

I am living like a Parisian peasant

A bit of background....
I grew up in an upper-middle class family. My parents are still married. I had a dog, a pool, every color of Ralph Lauren oxford made (with matching socks), and have always been given Volvos to drive.
Now I'm lower upper-middle class. I still have all the oxfords I can wear, a dog, and a Volvo, but no pool. Due to my aspirations to make our formerly two bedroom/one bath house (with a kitchen that has not been updated since the 1940s, into a modern three bedroom/two bath with an open (modern) kitchen, I am now living in a construction zone. There is dust in the air, we are confined to only two rooms of our house, and our Irishwolfhound mix has turned into a dustmop.

Now that the background is out of the way...

Over the weekend I was reading The Drinking Den (also known as L'Assommoir Emile Zola . The Drinking Den is part of the Les Rougon Macquart series that explores the squalid conditions of the lives of the Parisian working class during the late 1800s. In the book Gervaise and her husband Coupeau slowly but surely sink into a mire of drink and sloth because of their alcoholism. Obviously, I have nothing in common with the characters in the book. Despite the facts, I still found myself comparing my home under construction with their hovel in the tenements. I even drank a bit of muscadine for solidarity.