Friday, June 28, 2013



To get the keys to our first home.

That sounds pretty official, doesn't it.
I suppose that makes us homeowners!!!!!!!!!!

I'll write all about it soon.
Have a wonderful weekend kiddos.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Things you should be reading

  • That they dismissed the ban on Prop 8 !
  • This article about misogyny in music (particularly the rape anthem "Blurred Lines."  I know, I like it too! So catchy and a great summer dance tune, but the lyrics are rotten and that music video...oh boy, the feminists are a-ragin')
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel.  I'm listening to it free at work (check Spotify! YouTube! Audible! It is available if you don't have the time to get the actual book) and it is so good.
    I read it years and years ago and enjoyed it, and it inspired the stories of Zorro and Batman.
    The Pimpernel is the original costumed crime-fighter and boy is he a hootenanny. See above video for an idea of how badass the Scarlet Pimp truly is.
    Read more about the tale and its significance here.
  • About screaming in the Texas Filibuster
  • My best friend's blog.  Life with medical issues for a young woman in Plymouth, England.
    Full of GIFs and hilarity, but also fabulous writing and philosophical posts that are short and sweet so you can get a snippet in over your morning cuppa.
  • The 1966 article on Frank Sinatra written in the early days of New Journalism.
  • About your rights at Flex Your Rights. Dispels common myths and answers all kinds of questions like what to do if the cops arrive at your door, what your rights are at checkpoints on the road, in dorms, and various other situations.  Good to know, just in case!
  • This isn't a read so much as a scroll but it is cute and actually has some neat tips.
  • Maybe everything on this website that covers all kind of abandoned places in the United States.  It is fascinating--the images will shock and thrill your imagination, and the writer has done wonderful research in order to present histories on the background of each site.
  • This original article from The New Yorker about Ted Williams' last game. And how it framed his entire career. Did I mention John Updike wrote it?
    And in this format you can scroll through this 1960 mag and see the old ads and articles. Fabbity rabbity.


After the rough-and-tumble year so far I've had (broken jaw, cracked foot bone, the disappointments and stress of house hunting, and some personal issues I shan't mention here), things have been going so smoothly.
Smoothly enough that it has made Eli and myself suspicious.
Like "when is the shitstorm going to hit??!"  It kind of makes you paranoid when you get used to one thing going wrong after another and then suddenly it is blue skies and good moods and rocky road ice cream every day.

I am feeling quite grateful.
I try to remain grateful even when things are terrible, because it could always be worse, and in the grand perspective of the universe, my awful could be the damned best of someone else.  I am so very fortunate and need to stop letting the little things get my down.  C'est la vie.

I am thankful we have our house.  The seller signed docs, we signed ours yesterday.  The title company offered me drinks and I had a Diet Coke because I was in a celebratory mood and now that there are big changes happening I thought "why not?" No, I am not going to suddenly pick up a bad Coke habit.  I only have soda in my cocktails, and with plenty of ice, but I figured it was the next best thing to champagne.
Ick, I was wrong. Always choose champagne over Coca-Cola (if champagne is an option, otherwise...water).  It reminded me why I don't drink the stuff.  And there wasn't even ice.

Anyhow, Diet Coke aside, all we have to do now is get some of our boxes together for our first trip to the house! We're going to spend the night tomorrow, after getting the keys, and just camp on the floor.
We still have a lot of packing to do--we have all the main, big just the annoying crap is left that fills in the cracks.  You know, shampoo and decorative pillows and end tables and nail polishes and vitamin bottles.  The things you pretend you can do without until suddenly you notice how crappy your nails look and your hair is dirty and your B12 levels are low, and whatever.
That is the stuff that sucks away your precious time.
Sorry for the crap photo but you get the idea.

In other house news, we have picked out the guest bed! It is a bunk with a full on the bottom and a twin on top, so it can sleep 3, or be quite comfortable for just one person on the bottom.
We figured this way we can have 3 of our nephews/nieces sleepover comfortably, or some poor drunk devil(s) (who had one too many "Mare drinks") can crash there. And that room has its own bathroom, so voila!
It even has a darling little ladder to take you to the top bunk and they are all railed in for safety (both for children and drunks).
We need to buy it and pick it up, probably next week. We could pay extra for delivery and setup but Eli loves to be all handy and build that stuff himself, so power to him, and $$ in our pocket to buy a cute throw or accent platter.

GORGEOUS!!! Right??
And we got a dining room table!! We purchased it yesterday and it is something else we can pick up next week.  It is gorgeous oak with a leaf (we insisted on buying a table with a leaf, they are so convenient!) and fresh white accent.  The pattern on the chairs reminds me of French gothic windows, so I was in love.

So we're nearly there with the early critical furniture pieces.  We need a bedroom set for us and stools for the kitchen counter ASAP, and later we'll need a divan for the library and some pieces for the living room (armchairs? love seat?). And patio furniture of course.  But we're doing good!

The plan is to spend our first night tomorrow night, and then bust out as much moving as possible before jumping into our glad rags and heading to our friend's wedding.  I wonder if I can get away with not showering first...? I have no shame. Especially since I will be showering tonight, as we are going straight to the new house after work.... why don't they make dry shampoo for your armpits??!
I know, it is called deoderant and blah blah. But that stuff has a point where it just stops working.
And it doesn't get rid of armpit hair.  Mine grows annoyingly quick, or maybe I am paranoid, but I am obsessed with clean-shaven armpits on myself.

I saw the flirty orthopedist again this week. I don't know if I wrote about this dude, so recap--
when I dropped the laptop on my foot in March I really screwed it up and my insurance hooked me up with this orthopedist who was the quickest one to get into, and had the best reviews.
He is way out in BFE and when I saw him before I was wearing my pencil skirt (I went on my work lunch) and he moved his hand from my thigh down to my foot. I was like "errrmmm woah" and he said he was checking some kind of alignment of bones or something.  Which I am sure he was, it wasn't like he put his hand in my skirt or made me feel violated, but he was a young handsome guy and did that intense eye-stare thing and it felt like an episode of Grey's Anatomy.  
Anyhow, he did an X-Ray, we found out I snapped off a piece of bone, and he gave me a steroid shot. Good? Good. It healed up quick.
Almost.  Like 2 weeks later we were dancing at the club and that dear husband of mine trod RIGHT on the injured spot and it killed.
And then it bruised up again but instead of swelling, it started denting in.  WTF?
I figured it would go away but here I am, a month later, and the bruising has started to get worse and spread across the top of my foot gradually, like some purple demented waterfall.
So I went back to flirty dr this week and he did another X-Ray and can't figure out what the devil is going on but is "concerned" and blahblahblah wants me to get an MRI on my foot.
And he told me I need to be careful with it. No high heels or uncomfortable shoes, no extreme exercise.  Which moving obviously counts as. He wants me soaking it in epsom baths and keeping it elevated and here I am about to undergo major moving overhaul.  Great.
I'll have to remember to take breaks.  Anyhow, maybe the hurt foot will prevent too much heavy lifiting for me, and therefore, less sweat?.... though there is the fact that Saturday will be the first 100 degree day of the summer. Whoopee.

I have really digressed here.
What I am trying to say is that I am thankful.
I am thankful for our new home and that we can buy new furniture to go in it.
I am thankful our new home will have a yard! And bathroom and bedroom doors that lock!
I am thankful for my best friend and the awesome friendship we have, even on separate continents, and I cannot wait for her to arrive here (13 days)!
I am thankful I have enough nice things that I can donate many of them to help others.
I am thankful for my working body--especially my vision and sense of hearing.
I am thankful for family that will help us move.
I am thankful for art, that brightens the world every day and can change my outlook on things.

And I am unutterably grateful for my husband.
I sit next to a girl at work that is in an abusive relationship.  Her boyfriend obsessively calls her all day, even when she explains she is busy, and I can hear him yelling at her through the phone. She tries to baby talk him and cries sometimes and does her best to appease him, by demeaning herself and submitting to his bizarre demands.  It is awful to listen to and I feel so bad for her, and it makes me so thankful for the healthy, respectful, communicative marriage I have.

Was that cheesy enough for you? Well better at least than the people who don't say anything grateful ever and then go around the table on Thanksgiving because the holiday insists they do it or whatever.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013



   Something major happened to us today...

Migraines, garlic burgers, and poetry

This weekend is not what I expected.
Friday night I had saved in my phone (which is a big deal, if you know me) that we were going to go on the art stroll downtown.
But then Eli had a bachelor party he had to go to (he is a groomsman) and I had a completely terrible day at work, where I got into a big fight with a loan officer that lasted for about 6 hours. Compliance concluded that I was right, but it was at that point where you are so drained that you cannot even relish in vindication.
So I just collapsed on the couch with a big glass of Merlot and some Seinfeld. 
And went to bed alone. And couldn't sleep and texted Eli around 11:30 to see if the bachelor party was any fun and he responded "I've been playing Uno. For two hours."
Some bachelor party, eh?

The next day we went to the Salt Lake City Arts Festival and were supposed to stay there into the evening, and then hit the bars with some friends and basically do a "redo" of the poor failed bachelor party.
But then I got a massive sinus headache that became a migraine, right in the middle of our fun.
We had the best Thai food from a cart (that chicken satay, my God  yum!!) and some local beers and listened to some beatniks spewing poems and I made a hand puppet and we shopped for some art. We didn't buy any of course because it was so overpriced ($400 for a replica painting you printed--not painted--printed on a canvas? No thanks) but I sneaked a few photos and now I can make my own rendition.
Inspiration is everywhere, ya know? ;)

Oh and they performed a ballet number on the side of the glass library facade. For real! I'll put a photo up of it but it was insane.
We were having a great time and then this headache got worse and then the migraine.. oh and a migraine in the heat of the day when you're stuck outside is not good. I thought I was going to barf and pass out at the same time. So we had to go home and I collapsed with an ice pack over my eyes and went to bed and we didn't go out that night and do the bachelor "redo."

And the next day we were supposed to go to the pool and lay out and actually relax but we ended up packing almost all day.

So, not what I expected.
But whatever.
Instead of trying to be witty and interesting out with friends Friday night, I got to sip wine and relish someone else (Jerry, George, Elaine, Kramer) being witty and interesting and not worry about carrying on a conversation with someone for the first time all week.
I was able to enjoy Eli reading me some of my favorite poems while I reclined in a dark room.
And instead of suffering a sunburn and screaming kids at the pool, we got one step closer to getting into our new house and while packing I found one of my favorite necklaces I thought was lost and a precious baby photo of my brother and I.


Monday night we rounded up the gang and went to Cotton Bottom Inn, this famous dive bar in Holladay none of us had been to. They apparently have the best garlic burgers in Utah.
We knew it was a dive going in, but I didn't expect it to be like that.
We had to sit outside because there were 2 tables intended for no more than 4 people inside, one pool table, and a jukebox. They had no liquor, no wine, just 3 beers on tap.  And the waitress was the most foul mooded hipster I have ever encountered.  She was just plain mean.
We shot some pool while waiting for said garlic burgers and it was quiet as the grave.  I plumped for some tunes on the juke, but they were $1 a song.   A SONG.
So after a few I asked the waitress if she could play something (usually they have a way of playing background music if the customers don't want to go broke livening the place up, ya know. They'll put an override on the juke or plug in their iPod or something) and she said "sure!!!" brightly and then added "just put money in the jukebox." And proceeded to walk off.
I was like "I have been, but when it is $1 per song.... would you rather it be dead quiet?"
She said "well some songs are 2 for $1."  I said "Oh, sure, like what? Willie Nelson?"
I checked the juke. The 50 cent songs were... Willie Nelson.

The waitress ignored us, rarely giving us just enough attention to roll her eyes, and mixed up our orders 3 times.  If you stared at the Idaho tattoo encircling her elbow she glared at you. Well what do you expect when you get a massive tattoo on your body and expose it to the world? Is the world supposed to not look??

The garlic burgers were pretty good, but toooooo garlicky. The kind where you're eating it and going "I'm going to regret this tomorrow" (sure enough we all got ass cancer and acid reflux). The best part was the bun.  But there were no french fries. Like IN THE ESTABLISHMENT.
They serve all their food (keep in mind the "menu" consists of 3 burgers) with a little bag of plain Lay's potato chips.   Not the best thing to eat with your burger.  I want hot greasy fries drowning in ketchup.

The waitress considered to be a sourpuss and we went outside to the big dirty picnic table to avoid her. When we asked for our check she refused to bring it outside (though she would for any other table, as we witnessed), and said we would have to go back inside to pay.

We were glad to leave and will not be back !
Especially for those prices. When I pay $9 for a burger, I expect a little atmosphere and a little respect!

Oh well.  I made some peanut curry chicken last night that more than made up for it !

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Spark in the Powder Keg: Remembering the Watts Riots

48 years ago Los Angeles labored through the most violent riots in its history for 6 long days.
This was the epitome of Civil Rights defiance in urban America.
South L.A. had been the festering ground of racial violence and the heavy minority population was constantly fighting against police discrimination as well.
This was the era when burning crosses on the front lawns of homes was not an uncommon sight.
Whites were also shooting guns and throwing bombs into the homes of black families while those families were sitting down to their evening meal, not bothering anyone, just daring to live their lives as they deserved to, which some extremist whites saw as a personal affront to their way of life.

Blacks suffered higher unemployment, terrible schools, and substandard housing.  They wanted better.
They wanted to end racial discrimination against themselves and their children.

It had been a long hot summer and turmoil was boiling just below the surface, a jagged undercurrent in everyday life.

And then it all exploded.
A young man, Marquette Frye, was pulled over by a white patrolman who accused him of drunk driving.  He was nearly home and as a crowd gathered to protest the treatment of Frye, his mother heard what was happening a few blocks away and hurried down there to help her son.
When she witnessed her son being whacked across the head with a cop's baton, she leapt upon another officer. They were both arrested and the crowd that had gathered was outraged and rapidly magnified from a protesting cluster to an impassioned mob, their pent-up rage finally channeled into a singular purpose for destruction.

The rioting was centered in the commercial center of Watts, though it soon became an unfamiliar war zone full of smoke, broken glass, and National Guardsmen attempting to subdue rioters and looters.

More than 30 people were killed, more than 1,000 seriously injured, and more than 4,000 arrested.
While it was happening public officials refused to examine the true, justifiable causes behind the origin of the rioting and instead blamed outside hippie agitators.

After they were over a commission revealed the true cause, and the result?
No measures were implemented to improve the socio-economic conditions of blacks in Watts.
But Watts did incite riots in other cities, shock the white American public, and bring dramatic attention tot he Civil Rights cause.

I write this because Rena Price has passed away.  She was the mother defending her son from police brutality one August afternoon that started it all.  She was 97 years old.

 Much has improved since 1965, much has seen a turn for the worse.  Are things better?
Could race riots happen in this day and age?
Would we peel ourselves away from our engrossing personal lives to participate in something we believe in, or just follow it on Twitter and Instagram?

Watts today--could it happen again?
More on Rena
Timeline of the riots
Context--what else was going on in 1965?

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Realness Has Been Bolstered By a Sofa

In 5 days we will have signed our Closing documents (I work for a mortgage firm so we capitalize words that would not normally be, like Compliant and Initial).

In 7 days we will be getting the keys to our first house!
We would be doing a huuuuuuuge moving day in 8 days but found out Eli is the groomsman in a wedding on that day--surprise! So maybe moving a little bit before the wedding...? A little bit after..?
We don't want to be sweaty and gross for the wedding (moving before) or exhausted from dancing (moving after), so maybe no moving at all will happen on those days.  Maybe we will just stop by our house after the wedding (which, coincidentally, is happening about 3 minutes from our house) and sit in the empty rooms, me in my dress, and Eli in his rented tuxedo.  We'll see.

It is all at the surreal stage.
It's like reading Peter Pan all your life and then hearing that the place exists and you have a trip booked to go there soon. You're kind of like "oh really??! Cool!" and then you stagger around for a while in a daze, being really excited but also confused.  What does one wear to NeverNeverLand? What should I pack?
Does this mean I don't have to grow up?

You know that something is going to happen, but you can't really prepare because you've never done this before, and it becomes sort of intangible thing in your mind, like when you're a kid and you think I'll be a grown up one day... weird! 

We've been planning for the house, where things will go and how to decorate certain rooms, and packing up all of our stuff, but it still has not sunk in.  It hasn't sunk in that I won't have to scrape my car off anymore in the winter or come down to a sun-baked version in the summer--because we'll have a garage!!
It hasn't solidified in my mind that I will be able to cook things in a spacious kitchen, rather than having to shoo Eli out of the area when I want to open the oven door... I haven't registered how simple laundry is going to be! As it is now we have to go to my parent's house every weekend and do 3-4 loads at a time, hang around and wait for them to dry, then fold the whole bunch into 2 big plastic bins, drive them home, and haul them up 3 flights of stairs. During which they get incredibly wrinkly because everything is stacked in.
Being able to hang a dress up fresh from the dryer is an experience I have yet to..experience.
And that is just the beginning.

But those are still imagined and planned things.
Until yesterday, when a sofa helped bolster the reality of owning a house.

We finally found one we both loved and bought it! Can you imagine, you just walk into a store, test the merchandise, and say "we'll take it!" and lay the money down??
Well that is precisely what we did.
I found the sofa on World Market's website and it looked great--one of those L shapes with a corner, but not too big (the ones we have seen everywhere else are fit to hold a family of 10), a great color, and it looked comfy.  All the reviews attested to the above, so we dropped by during lunch and plopped down on the floor model.  It is firm but nice, and our asses will break it in to our liking. Oh and it was 20% off.
So we bought it! Now we're just trying to figure the logistics of picking it up from the store (they don't deliver).
Buying it and walking out of the store exclaiming "OUR FIRST SOFA!!!" (everything we have had previously has been an old hand-me-down) made it all sink in.

We got a house and we're going to be LIVING IN IT.
Maybe I'll be used to it by this time next month..? Which, by the way, will be a time when my best friend will be in my actual presence. Rather than a floating head over FaceTime, or my phone vibrating with a text from her.  We don't get to see each other often, and cheers our wine glasses in person (rather than clumsily knocking them against our computer cameras), or hug for real instead of just greeting or consoling with words, and we can dance! And shop! And go to Las Vegas together! We are going to live up those 3 weeks, Torie.

And by the way, I solved my dilemma (which I wrote about yesterday).
If I let the coffee cool I can use a regular big straw. It isn't ideal, as I still can't get as much coffee in my mouth with one sip as I can drinking straight from the cup, and I like to sip my coffee piping hot, but if I want to save my crappy enamel, this is my best option.  So frabjous day, there it is.

Feliz Viernes!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

In which the authoress sips a cup of coffee. Through a little red straw

So I am the member of a highly selective Kaffeeklatsch at the office.
We only drink the good stuff and rotate on who buys the beans.
If you're on the first floor around 10 after 8 in the am, you will hear the whir of the grinder and the air will be anatomized with the scent of the Garden of Eden.
Or the Garden of High Altitude Low Acidity Strong Flavor Blend, depending on your views of coffee.

I drink a lot of it, sometimes 2 cups in the morning, an extra top-off in the early afternoon if I'm lucky.
And this is in addition to my teas.
When you ponder this, along with the glass of red wine I tend to indulge in with my supper,
It is a miracle my teeth don't end up looking like those pictures of meth-head progression they hand out in the 8th grade.

But they are getting stained. And more stained.
So I decided to start drinking my coffee through a straw. But they only have the dinky little red straws here (do the regular white ones melt in coffee or something??) so I tried to make due this morning with that.

It takes so long to suck your coffee through that hollowed-out hair follicle that it is cold by the time you reach the dredges of it!
It took me longer to drink that cup without stopping as it did to write this post.
And I probably look like an idiot too, working at it unnaturally. I was 2 ounces of coffee slurping away from breaking a sweat!

Next time I will use 6 of those dinky red straws.
Or as many as I can fit in my mouth.

Yes, please notice the slop of coffee around the side of the cup.  I never claimed to be neat.

Still sipping....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Best Snack Ever

Some of the greatest inventions came about via complete accident. Like champagne and Post-Its.
As is such with this marvelous snack I have come across.

It sounds super weird, I know, but give it a shot (so far I am the only one that is eating it, I can't get anyone else to try it), especially if you love salty/sweet treats.
The mixed textures is the real killer here, it just brings it all home! You've got some crunch and some stretch.

What is it?
Cashews (just the raw salted ones) and Haribo gummy frogs.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The smell of rain in the air

It has been hectic.  It has been stressful.
The angst and anxiety of the past few months snowballed itself into a nasty ice chunk with rocks in it (have you seen those lurking around the mountain resorts when spring comes, blocking your hiking path with their muddy demands?), and then hurled itself down the hillside where it has been rolling, rolling, rolling, until it entered the valley of our minds in the past few days.

Without saying too much, shit has been going down.
This week has been hellish and we're only on day 2, and coming off of the most unrestful weekend I've had in a while (packing, cleaning, planning, driving 2 hours to get to a wedding and then nearly missing it, cooking multiple foods for father's day and then traipsing around the valley to see everyone for Father's Day and visit Eli's visiting family from Texas...) I am already out of the momentum I need to survive the week.

Eli and I have been getting about 5 hours sleep for the last few nights and there is a lot of drama.

The worst part of it is the foreboding.
Do you ever get those bad feelings?
It is like old people that get aches before it rains, only I get that ache in my soul.
Have you read Peyton Place, during the long hot summer when everyone knows something terrible is coming and the men are standing watching the dry hillside for wildfires?
I feel like a cowboy hearing a rumble of thunder on the horizon and squinting my eyes against the prairie dust to see the first streaks of lightning that I know are going to come.
Something is amiss.  Something not good is on the horizon, so I feel like I am constantly bracing myself for it due to this premonition of anxiety I am experiencing.

Good things are on the horizon too of course--after the storm passes (unless it is even further off than I am thinking, which I doubt) there is the sunshine of our home--our first real house!! and my best friend Victoria coming for her summer holiday to live with us. We have a countdown even.  I need those things.

I am holding them in my pocket like stones I can rub smooth for reassurance and cling to when the storm comes.

Can you smell that rain in the air?

Other stones in my pocket:

--Looking through the photos on Abandoned NYC. Hauntingly beautiful and a story in each one! It makes my imagination go a'whirling.

--blueberry jam.  I got the nice Maine kind from the market and eat it on my English muffins and am so happy!

--Reading crazy everyday tricks on Lifehacker.

--Watching Keeping up Appearances (though once Netflix did the search wrong and turned on Keeping up with the Kardashians and for 2 horrifying minutes instead of lighthearted British shenanigans I was subjected to shrieking and ass shots of some overly tan bitches).

--Reading this blog.  It is a regular person with depression expressing it in witty cartoons that anyone can relate to. Black humor at its (healing) best!

--Scrolling through these funnies.

--Re-reading Breakfast at Tiffany's.

--Donating clothes. It feels good.

--and this.  Most of all, this.

I had a dream the other night that Leo was trying to kill me.
He was a really terrifying killer too, but it was Leonardo. 
All in all, not a half bad dream to have.

And let me tell you, based on this dream (it counts as an audition, right?) he would make an incredible murdering character, like a taunting serial killer type? Yup.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Was Marilyn Monroe Dumb?

That is for you to be the judge of. Your notion of "smart" is completely different than mine, and I also adhere firmly to the idea that there are different varieties of "smart."  Could Albert Einstein dismantle a car and put it back together?  Would Teddy Roosevelt been able to create software? Did Aristotle know how to construct a paper airplane?

My co-worker and I were walking out of the coffee room today and noticed a girl with a tattoo on her leg and this co-worker turned to me and said "I love retro stuff... but I hate Marilyn Monroe."
Excluding the fact that this tattoo was the famous over-the-shoulder of Betty Grable, and not Marilyn (I didn't have the heart to correct her), it was interesting to hear the stereotypes of dumb blonde coming out of her mouth.
She asked if I had ever seen Some Like It Hot (DUH ONLY ONE OF MY TOP 3 FAVORITE MOVIES) and went on some story about how the director hated her because she was so stupid (that oft-told story of Marilyn's line with the drawers we've all heard).

I let her rant on for a bit and didn't say much because it's obvious she knows nothing about Marilyn the person and everything about Marilyn the icon, and heard some behind-the-scenes factoid and immediately judged her.  Which is too bad, but c'est la vie, so is the way of the celebrity.
Also, it is interesting to note how much more common it is for women to deride and judge Miss Monroe, more so than men...

I did tell this co-worker that Marilyn created the Dumb Blonde stereotype herself, and not as a mirror of her true personality.  It takes a quick-witted character actress to do that (why do you think they kept casting her in that role? Because she came up with it and was damn talented at it).
And she was troubled.  People think of her as a lush that offed herself, but frankly she could have ended up in the gutter at age 14 and she was one tough broad who used her looks to get somewhere and in turn was used by Hollywood.  They used her all up.  But what a life!  What a legacy!

About her brains--she was not formally educated and this was a sore spot for her, but she fought the big studio system of the 1950s and won, that takes guts and smarts. If Arthur Miller married her, she couldn't have been dumb. At parties held for great novelists of the time, they marveled that she held her own among them, despite her dyslexia and mental illness (which is now believed to have been bipolarism... I know, diagnosis post-mortem is ridiculous, but nonetheless insightful).
She also aspired to improve her intelligence, and the ambition to learn is wasted on dummies.
She was well-read and studiued
I'm not saying she was this incredibly profound, astute mind crushed under the wheel of her profession, but girl had gumption and reason.

We've just got to keep the balance--don't label her as a stupid pretty face, and don't assume on the other end of the spectrum that "if she had lived" she would have cured cancer or something.
Like I always say, educate yourself and make your own conclusions. Read her book, listen to her interviews, watch her films.  It is daunting, but Joyce Carol Oates' Blonde is incredible.

Did I mention she read Ulysses? which is one of my life goals?

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” 

“When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I'm already better than them.” 

“I've never fooled anyone. I've let people fool themselves. They didn't bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn't argue with them."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Maybe you didn't know

  • That the fighting scenes from "Power Rangers" were taken from a Japanese show and they dubbed the voices??? Just the scenes where they are all in their colorful uniforms and helmets. Which explains why the pink Ranger had a skirt uniform but the yellow one didn't (In Japan the yellow ranger was a boy)!
  • That IKEA used forced labor in Cold War Germany...
    During the 1970s and 80s, political prisoners in East Germany built products for IKEA and were paid pennies (approximately 4% of the typical German worker's salary).
    IKEA has said they regret that this happened at the time and blame less strict controls than they have today...
  • That Barry Manilow wrote the "Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There!" jingle
  • Shel Silverstein wrote "A Boy Named Sue"
    Suddenly the lyrics and their whimsical flow make a lot more sense, when you know they came from the same guy who wrote "Where the Sidewalk Ends".
  • Space Jam has a Pulp Fiction reference.
  • Studies reveal that cussing while in pain actually releases pain-subduing endorphins!F&#^ SH(*
  • In 2011, China banned movies and TV shows from portraying time travel.

Maybe you didn't know how out of control Photoshop has become.....
Which explains the body image crisis plaguing Americans, particularly young women.
Look at these Before/Afters. Apparently freckles are unacceptable.

And most of all...

Did you know that pugs serve a purpose (albeit a nerdy Star Wars reference one) in this world?


Those Days

You know the ones I mean.
They happen whether you don't work, or have a full-time job.
Whether you are energetic or lethargic or just in-between.

Those days when you can't force yourself to seem interested in anything anyone has to say, and you just stand there, eyes glazed over, waiting for them to stop talking.

When you search through Spotify but no song can satisfy your mood.

When you don't pay any of the bills or make any of those important phone calls.

When you make a huge mess (spilled the cereal! Peeled your nail polish off all over the couch!) but you can't be bothered to clean it up.

Those days when you did the laundry, and you pulled it out of the basket, but you don't actually put it away.

When you ignore the bulbous screaming eyes of the goldfish whose tank hasn't been cleaned in...who knows how long, but it ain't good.

When you run every yellow light you hit.
And that last one back there might have been red.

When you hit "ignore" to all of your phone calls and only answer the funny text messages.

Those days when you can feel your brain just falling asleep, though your eyes are still open and you have this sensation that you should be doing something important... oh yeah, you're still at work.  And it is only 11am.

When you desperately need to go grocery shopping and end up picking up something for dinner and that's it.  Until the next night when you come home to an empty pantry and go to the grocery store again.

Those days when you put on your exercise clothes and tennis shoes and end up not exercising.  And maybe just watching TV instead.

When people are coming over and you're too tired to pick up or vacuum so you just spray some air freshener and light a candle.

This is just to say, we all get em.


It doesn't mean you are a bad person, or a lazy schmuck (though you might be lazy, who knows? I'm not one to pass judgement on my readers) or a bad wife/husband/parent/sister/brother/child/second niece/employee/employer.  It just mean you are human.
And probably that you need a rest.  So take a rest. Treat yourself.  Don't worry about doing anything or thinking anything and just collapse anywhere--the couch, floor, bed, bathtub (just don't drown) and just be.

This whole thing has been around since the beginning of time.  Every ancient culture and modern one has experienced it to boot.  In I Love Lucy they even have a word for it -- "dauncy."

Evidence that it isn't just you:

"When late morning rolls around and you're feeling a bit out of sorts,
Don't worry; you're probably just a little eleven o'clockish."
-A.A. Milne

"Man was made at the end of the week's work when God was tired."
-Mark Twain

“I must be overtired', Buttercup managed. 'The excitement and all.'
'Rest then', her mother cautioned. 'Terrible things can happen when you're overtired. I was overtired the night your father proposed.” 

-William Goldman

“Rest and peace should not be left until you're deceased. They are two vital life incredients everybody needs and seeks.” 
-Rasheed Ogunlaru

 "Once I worked hard and thought a lot but I never got tired; now I do nothing and think of nothing, but I'm tired in body and spirit."

“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.” 
-Jane Austen

“Just breathing can be such a luxury sometimes.” 
-Walter Kirn

See??? And these hieroglyphics are all about the significance of an afternoon nap in the Ancient Egyptian culture.  Maybe.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shape without form, shade without color

Apologies, my mind as all ajumble. All is happening so fast.
Can you feel your country changing?  I do.  Can you feel the differences in the modern world?
Call me paranoid and dramatic, call me Hunter S. Thompson on a bad trip, but the days Eisenhower and Orwell warned us about are here. ["I
n the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."  -President Eisenhower, 1961]

The Deputy Director of the CIA, Michael Morell, has resigned.
Coincidence?  I think not.
Also interesting, considering Patreaus resigned in November.
His replacement is the Legal Adviser to the National Security Counsel and Deputy Counsel to the President, Avril Haines, the first woman to hold this position. And she sounds like a saucy one--she used to read erotica aloud at a bookstore in Baltimore.
Is that what we need? A sexy literary nerd turned spy?  A sassy-pants lady in charge?

I wonder what's going on behind the curtain? 

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself."
John Adams

"If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
Samuel Adams

"Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."
Benjamin Franklin

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
Abraham Lincoln

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."
Abraham Lincoln

What kind of power do we hold as individuals?  As citizens?
 Are we evolving for good, devolving negatively?  What can one person do?

What have we become when we can go to the moon but won't walk across the street to visit our neighbor?
When we have the Constitution and Bill of Rights to protect us and our privacy from the government, but it is exempt from these laws?

Are you afraid yet?

From T.S. Eliot:

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
                                Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

whis·tle·blow·er; Truth Liberator; Myth Emancipator; Deceit Opponent; Patriot

Last night Eli and I were lying in bed. He was half-asleep and I was reading my book (Frank Abagnale is such an interesting guy!!!!) and Eli blurted out "I HATE the term 'whistle blower.'"
I couldn't agree more.
This phrase indicates beady-eyed informants, an uptight person low on the totem condemning those above him, perhaps even someone greedy for recognition, compensation, or revenge.

It certainly is not flattering.
I remember being in a talk at a job once about a Whistle-blower's hotline and the speaker reassuring us we would not be punished for calling the 1-800 number to report our superiors and that it is all strictly anonymous, blah blah blah.  The guy I was sitting next to in the meeting turned to his co-worker and said "that's what they tell you, but it's certainly different than what happened to Jim."
When I saw those posters in the office, advertising the hotline, I thought who would actually call them? They hang these signs with the phone number over the drinking fountain, as if someone wants to be caught writing it down on a sticky note or typing it into their cell phone...Is it even possible to remain fully anonymous?  Anyone could call in and report any company, pretending they work there. You would have to prove who you are and that your information is valid.
And most of all, you have to trust the person on the other end of the phone.

And considering our phone calls are all monitored by the eye in the sky, it is highly doubtful you'd have time to report Big Brother before your house combusted or some mysterious guys came around to pick you up.
Which is to say, I understand why Snowden did what he did, in lying to everyone and leaving the country.

Some people are calling him a coward for it, or doubting his credibility.
A lot of people are comparing him to Daniel Ellsberg (I wrote about him here) and protesting with "Ellsberg didn't leave! He stood behind his story on American soil instead of turning tail.." They do not respect Snowden because he fled.
But times have changed.
Ellsberg put out the Pentagon Papers in the 1970s, long before the extensive wire-tapping, satellite, and internet access of today.  Ellsberg had his evidence against the government published in multiple national newspapers (back when people read the newspaper) and his story was so prominent that once he had ensured the American people were informed, he turned himself in, and he was too recognized at this point for anyone to "take him out" (you know, kill the messenger, stop the transmission).

But Snowden ran a much higher risk simply because of modern technologies capabilities.
He had less time and higher risk to get the story out while maintaining anonymity. And considering all of the distractions and bullshit priorities of Americans today, it is quite a bit more difficult to turn this leak into a story big enough to get global attention and make citizens sit up and inform themselves.
When we've got Facebook, tweets, and all the other random social media that gives us snippets of the personal lives of others, it is difficult to comprehend the fact that the government is interested in all of this too, though for a more sinister purpose than a little daytime stalking of your friends/crush/co-workers.

A lot of people have trouble reading (and grasping) anything longer than a paragraph update nowadays, let alone an article about a guy revealing just what the government is doing to curtail our personal privacy.

Things working in his favor: 1. the fact that he was interviewed and released a video explaining what he did and why.  2. His age.  3. The fact that he is a "normal guy"-- a high school dropout that happens to be brilliant, has a girlfriend, had a sick pad in Hawaii. He isn't Jason Bourne or James Bond, he has glasses and a goatee and a weird haircut and he probably can't twist someone's neck in one motion so swift and angled that it kills them. Maybe he can't even fire a gun, who knows?
A lot of my generation can sympathize with him.  If he were a single PhD-holder in his mid-fifties, this would not have gotten near as much buzz.
The benefit of his age also makes young people go "could I have done that????" and ponder the personal risks for us and when it is worth it to call out a major government organization for the benefit of your country.

Eli and I agree that we don't much like Assange--he is aloof, kind of grotesque looking, and just comes across as this guy with an "I don't have anything to lose and I want attention" attitude.
He does not have a voice. He is slightly unpleasant. His damning record is not too inspiring to his cause either (no, I don't necessarily believe he raped those women, it could have been a gov't ploy to capture him, but he does have a dating record of being a total creeper).

On the other hand, we have Snowden.  A guy you could have a beer and normal conversation with.
A guy that has sacrificed so much, possible the remainder of his free life, to get the word out to US.

I think if he had tried to do the same thing while on American soil, he would have had a hell of a harder time and perhaps not have succeeded.
And now that his word is out and has been highly circulated, it amounts to a small magnitude of protection for him. If he disappears or dies at this point, everyone will know why and what it means and it will only make his voice louder.
Remember that the military-industrial complex has the capacity to take out a standing president...they did it to Kennedy.

So no, I do not think Snowden is a whistle-blower.
To me, that term is belittling and too limited to fathom just what this man has done.

So can we just call him what he is--A PATRIOT-- and be done with this whistle-blower nonsense?

Also, some 1984 quotes that ring true today, particularly regarding this issue.
Orwell saw it all coming.

"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

"When memory failed and written records were falsified—when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested."  (it's only a matter of time).

"You think there’s no other way of saving yourself and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself."  (We have become so removed for each other and it is selfish self-protection is becoming more and more the status quo).

" His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre."  (When critical thought and self-expression become demonized, we become sheep that those in power can herd as they will).

I think this snipper from Orwell in particular can be directed at Snowden, in countenance of a thank you:

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Blueberry Bagel

A few months ago when I got tiddly on a late Wednesday night and had to work a 10 hour shift the next day, I vowed to never be drunk again on a weeknight.  I broke that vow yesterday.

But a blueberry bagel really helped things shape up this morning.
And a few hours later I snuck downstairs for a second one, and as I spread that blueberry schmear on my blueberry bagel (I am the blueberry whore of Utah I swear it), I started singing out of the complete blue the song from A Muppet Christmas Carol--not one of the whimsical upbeat ones, but that depressing one the girl sings to Ebeneezer and you fast forward through because you're like "geeez lady this is boring! You aren't even a Muppet, what are you doing here??"

Plus it is just kind of annoying, the way she sings. Is it just me?
Anyhow, this was just so unexpected and bizarre even for me, to be singing the crappiest song from my favorite Muppets movie in the workplace that I didn't even know I knew the lyrics to. I had to share it.

Am I a complete freak?
Maybe. But that isn't a bad way to be. Or...bee! 
I am loving this new app far too much.  See that chunker on my shoulder? He's my favorite.

Hope your Tuesday is less hungover than mine.