Tuesday, April 25, 2006

ms scissors goes to washington

i spent a large part of the afternoon reading and emailing about september 11th conspiracy theories - rm sent along a video that examines how the plane that crashed into the pentagon was really probably a missle or a fighter jet or some shit like that (watch here). they do a good job setting up the proof of a cover-up, other than being rational. i went to wikipedia's sept 11 conspiracy page (and was mocked for looking for answers on wikipedia) and found that popular mechanics ruined a lot of fun paranoia by having experts and scientists chime in with proven fact and empirical evidence. the psychology of conspiracy theories is fun to me. people like to believe that the world is being tugged around by shadowy figures - mere chance, random violence and closed-case terrible events performed by enemies that you can pin-point seem to be too hard to accept. blame a web of lies, preferably from the guv'ment.

hey, here's an asshole: a republican rep from north carolina doesn't want to erect a monument in shanksville to commemorate united flight 93. he's like the ONLY person in congress who doesn't want to fund it - too expensive. no comment on how he feels about the bargain-basement deal that the war in iraq is.

and my friend ds is running for congress (district 3, connecticut - green party). i was surprised to read his email (good god, aren't i too young to have college friends actually do something important?) but am excited for him - regardless of how his campaign goes, this is only the beginning of his long illustrious career in grassroots politics and meaningful change. i am also thrilled that ds is the first of my friends to step up his game. we used to stay up for the majority of the night talking and arguing, and i have been known to purposefully dump my beer on him. i used to be sort of an irrational drunk. he is no trust fund kid that is dabbling in politics as some sort of narcissistic hobby, either - dude has been broke forever. he bummed so many cigarettes from me that after i realized that i was funding his nicotine habit, when i would hear "hey, burd?" (his nickname for me) and chopstick his crooked fingers at me, pantomiming that he wanted a smoke, i would toss one into the far corner of the room and say, "sure," making him go fetch. i used to be sort of a bitch as well as an irrational drunk.

so all of this is just an introduction to my new week in my Year of Something Different: it's politics week! tomorrow i go to dc, former home and the city i love, for work, and have lobbying appointments thursday (in a group, but whatevs) with dick durbin and every democrat's boyfriend, barack obama. i have to stay through the weekend to attend meetings, and i'll be there until wednesday night to see friends, enjoy the weather, hit the pharmacy bar (read this hilarious review from some georgetown prick) and the black cat, and see how much dc has transformed in the few months since i've been there last. different neighborhoods are gentrified and renewed all the time - i'll stay in mob's new condo in logan circle, which used to be overrun with hookers and crack, and i seriously can barely believe how disney-fied chinatown has become - i used to work near there, and it was not a place you'd want to wander around at night. now you have to dodge the hoardes of shoppers and tourists.

so i wont be blogging for a while. since it's politics week, i will direct you to the syracusan, good buddy who was a dc housemate. just skip over his sports posts.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

everything sells or everything burns

tb had an entire apartment full of stuff he has collected for his past 32 years as a bachelor that he needed to purge so he can move in with js. read his post on plant camp here. our parents have never had a yard sale and i have to admit that i love them, or that i used to, at least (i haven't stopped by one in forever). my hometown would have a city-wide rummage sale weekend where everyone would have one at the same time and i would skip school to go with my friends on the friday afternoon of the event to score ridiculous crap like 70s sunglasses and bad homemade handbags. when tb decided to have a yard sale of his own i was all about it. i dragged a suitcase full of cds and video tapes that i couldn't make any money off of on amazon, plus a box of shoes (all size 11, which is too big for almost all women, and all really unfashionable - red boots, silver loafers, beat-up brown doc marten mary janes) to his apartment saturday afternoon, spread my junk out on a patch of lawn in front of his building, and watched as shit got funny.

highlights of the day:

$2 vodka lemonade stand also coincided with the yard sale. they were good sellers, but we pretty much drank away any profits.

a guy in an airbrushed wolf t-shirt bought the three really bad wild-animals-in-nature posters (each shrinkwrapped to a piece of cardboard) that tb bought at the grocery store in our hometown a few years ago. they were originally purchased because they were so lame, but i have a feeling that they'll really add a certain something to that dude's home.

two punker skateboarders who couldn't have been older than 15 snatched up a cool olive military jacket that all of us tried on but was too small. the one that bought it was obviously the less-kool of the pair (the kooler one had a blonde mohawk with pink in it, and wore pants that nicole richie would have had a hard time fitting into while the other one had a mom-sanctioned haircut and looked a little chubby in his skintight jeans) and you could tell that he really wanted to make sure the kool one liked it before he plunked down his $2.

a harley dude pulled up, went through my cds for a long time, and walked away with 10 of them.

a crazy lady who apparently wanted to be js bought all of her shoes and a bunch of the old jewelry she had been given by her grandmother (plus my sheryl crow cd), and spent a lot of time talking to her. tb thinks that she is the traffic cross-guard up near the el. she came back at least one other time to look at stuff.

tb had two stacks of playboys and penthouses. i now understand how irritating it is for newsstand owners - don't just flip through them! you can read it if you buy it! a cabdriver (who pulled his cab over, i hear - this is before i arrived) and a couple of latino guys bought about half of them, plus the playboy videos).

a woman from the cuban restaurant across the street bought the blender. to use at the restaurant.

a girl returned the vaccum cleaner because she said it spewed dust and crap all over the carpet and didn't have any suction. he apologized, gave her the $10 back, and immediately put it back on the lawn next to everything else. i started laughing so hard there were tears. it was later sold for $5 but the couple was warned and the guy seemed to be confident he could fix it.

most of tb's clothes weren't sold - men don't buy clothes, especially winter coats and sweaters in the spring, particulary when tb is 6'4" and many of the men that dropped by were about 5'2". all of the clothes hung from hangers along the wroght-iron fence in front of the building, which was a nice, colorful advertisement that there was shit for sale. right before we packed up around 6:00 an old guy on a bike pulled up and ended up buying a pair of green umbro soccer shorts, a pair of cargo shorts, and a forest green button-down shirt. i note this because he told me that he was happy that the button-down and the soccer shorts match so well (both green). "great new outfit!" he told me.

the mattress was on the lawn for about 15 mins before tb just brought it to the dumpster in the alley. no one thought it would sell for any amount of money, and we were concerned that it was "junking up" our yard sale. hahahahhahaahahha.

the pull-out couch was so freaking heavy - and ugly - that tb and his friends heaved it off of the back porch (from the fourth floor). it landed on its legs but was totally busted, only held together by its fabric. this, unfortunately, had to be shoved over to the dumpster as well.

a nice thing to say, but what struck me as weird, is that a lot of people said as they left (even a little kid on a bike), "good luck!"

the best moment came around 5:00, after things had wound down quite a bit. tb dragged a ikea-type computer desk over to the corner near the stop sign with a xeroxed flyer for the sale taped to it to garner more interest in the desk and the sale. a middle-aged african guy pulled up in his car and asked how much it was for; tb wanted to get rid of it, so he said $5. the guy said okay. just then a crazy white middle-aged dude in a mini-van, real hyper, stopped in the middle of the intersection and yelled "how much for the desk?" tb said "this guy just bought it for $5." the minivan guy yelled "i'll give you ten!" tb said "er, okay," and it totally looked like a staged shake-down (for five bucks). the guy pulled the minivan in a crazy 180-degree circle and hopped the curb, and the african guy was like "i'm a student! you can't do this!" but he agreed to pay tb $10, so he got it for $10. capitalism.

i made about $50 selling cds, vhs tapes (all $1 each), some cigarette cases that rj reynolds had mailed to me to thank me for being such a good slave/customer, and a water spritzer bottle. the shoes didn't sell, and i don't blame anyone for not wanting them. it's funny to see your possessions spread out on the grass, just waiting for someone to come along and want them. you find yourself not caring if you only get a dollar for things that a few hours ago were on your shelves in your apartment. tb made about $80, sold a lot of his things to people that probably needed them more anyway, or are at least in the market for a $5 microwave, and cleaned out a good portion of his apartment. a beautiful spring day, all in all. i made just enough to cover my cab fare and go out that night. we did not, unfortunately, burn anything.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

13 links - i'm back

Q: am i alive?
Q: am i okay?
Q: have i given up on blog?

A: yep, yes, nope.

i've been to five states since i last wrote. going to dc for a week soon, but other than that i ought to be around. except for when i go to denver, and when i go to philly. really, i ought to just try more.

exercise week was not "intense" per se but it was a nice start to spring. the atlanta hilton has an outdoor track off of the fourth floor with really nice unobstructed views of downtown (and the goose bumps adult entertainment complex next door) that i quite enjoyed walking and, yes, jogging. there was a lot more walking. now i'm on short stories week. i love short stories: they're so to-the-point and artful - no extra words, no tangents, nothing that isn't important. i read speaking with the angel, a collection edited by nick hornby, and at night i've been reading out of this big old school anthology i picked up at the coffeehouse/bookshop i worked at in college, which is called, simply, fictions. i reread guy de maupassant's "the necklace," which is one of my all-time favorites, and one by alice munro, one by alice adams, and a creepy one by joyce carol oates. saying that you read a creepy story by jco is like saying that you heard a shitty song by jennifer lopez - it's just sort of obvious.

i keep meaning to look into whether the andrew bird song "fake palindromes" was inspired by jco's book zombie. the narrator of the song describes pretty much what the guy in the book does ("some lonely night we can get together / and I'm gonna tie your wrists with leather / and drill a tiny hole into your head").

lots of things to link t

1. dave chappelle tells us where aids comes from. you'll piss yourself, for real, it's so funny. really not safe for work (thanks, tb).

2. relieve stress by popping this bubble wrap. not as satisfying as the real thing, but i like "manic mode" and what you hear when you click "fresh sheet." got this from pos.

3. how is this allowed to happen? am scared! i can hear the clippity-clop of the four horsemen. revolt against the automatons!

4. the cyberweb is a very random place.

5. i take exception to this list from Q magazine about the worst albums ever recorded. btw, i adore british music magazines. i bought the latest uncut issue at the atlanta airport, which had gorgeous old wayne coyne on the cover and came with a cd featuring new tracks from morr
issey, the flaming lips, my latest novel, josh ritter and a bunch of bands i had never heard of. anyway, read the list here. some of them are obvious, but beck's midnight vultures is awesome, and i have a soft spot for alanis and oasis.

6. not to get into a "what is art?" and "what is appropriate subject matter for art?" discussion, but this website has a painting of what kurt cobain's corpse looked like after he pulled the trigger. i don't know what the website has to say (i don't speak german), but it's creepy.

7. living by principle: the founder of ikea is a cheap bastard. i want to know if his 80-year-old bones can stand to sleep on one of his futons.

8. the raconteurs' website is real apple-iie-rad.

9. how do we feel about jack white writing a song for a worthless product that dissolves nails and has destroyed the bodies of three generations? better or worse than just leasing a song for a product? it's still a cool commercial. thanks all who sent it to me. btw, have you seen the freakish new doublemint gum/mint commercial where the tall, fat, bald white man and the chipper middle-aged black woman sing about them being the doublemint twins (but different)?

10. wanna listen to ted kennedy read part of his new book? click here. love the accent - stories about his mutha's fahtha and all that. i know there are many reasons not to, but i heart tedward.

11. september 11th movies - ugggh. this trailer, for united 93, brought up a lot of depressing thoughts and feelings for me. just reading about the moussauoi trial - and that they released the calls to 911 (only the dispatchers' voices and instructions) - make me shake my head and feel shitty. it will be interesting to see how this film (from the guy that made the bourne supremecy) and the one that oliver stone are making turn out. it will also be really interesting to see the box office receipts. the onion was so right when they went back to press that fall.

12. you know your city has a crack epidemic when your mayor is busted by the feds smoking it in a hotel room with a hooker ("bitch set me up!"). crack paraphenelia may be illegal to sell, but manufacturers have come up with innovative ways to sell the glass you need to make a decent pipe (i'm writing this like i know the difference). interesting washington post article about the crack-down found here. CRACK-down. good one.

13. cool story about a gustav klimt masterpiece being returned to its rightful owner, a jewish family that lost it when the nazis stole it.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

trump ice - so smooooove.

so i haven't blogged in almost two weeks. i've been busy, and sometimes i just . . . hmmm . . . don't care about blog. sorry blog. sometimes i quite enjoy posting the bullshit i am forwarded and find online, and every now and then i like typing out a good rant, and i pretend that i am a critic of sorts by writing show reviews, and i regale my friends (and strangers, and possibly enemies) with randomness and things that amuse me, and i ought to receive some sort of ad revenue from the washington post and the new york times for all of the times i link to them; regardless, sometimes it's nice to not bother.

i had to go to atlantic city on thursday for work; i found this out at 4:00 pm on wednesday. i got an actually sort-of-affordable ticket to philly considering it was a mere 20 hours prior to leaving, and i had to hire a car service to drive me down to atlantic city (to fly direct would have been $1,300). i take true perverse pleasure and satisfaction in walking up to a man in a suit holding my last name on a sign in the baggage claim and being like "hi, that's me" - especially when i'm wearing jeans, skull shoes, and a nose piercing. i also don't happen to think i look 29, and i certainly don't look like i have the kind of job that requires an hour-long chauffered ride to the trump taj mahal hotel in a tinted-windowed lincoln towncar, and arranging to be picked up the next afternoon to go back to the airport. ha. i think my dad - who has a blue-collar job and is currently working a job that has him on 12-hour days, 7 days a week, for a solid month - would take real pride in the fact that not only do i get to have these ridiculous Professional Lady experiences, but that i find real joy in not presuming that i should act like a soulless corporate Professional Lady.

i was in atlantic city for 24 hours, two of which i actually spent working. the rest of the time was spent in my retarded leaopard-print hotel room, eating at a cuban restaurant with my buddy mc, who was in town for the same conference, and sitting with mc at a local dive for a solid 4 hours, drinking with the locals. atlantic city is what happens when you build garish gigantic casino/hotels in the middle of the ghetto, and surround them with outlet malls and a cheesy boardwalk. it, in a word, sucks. and check out the donald trump water i bought at the "trump times" newsstand in the hotel. narcissist needs to get over himself.

tomorrow i go to des moines until tuesday morning, i'm back at work and go to passover dinner at eb's on wednesday (for a catholic girl, i make a good kugel), and then go to atlanta thursday until saturday. then it's up to wisconsin for easter until monday night. so this is all of the blogging you're going to get - and this isn't even interesting.

fb emailed me, after i announced my Year of Something Different, that he gave this project two weeks, and so far i'm still stickin to my word. i hereby declare that last week was No Blog week, which wasn't all that hard, and this week was going to be No News week - since i am a media junkie, i read the wapo, the nyt, and tons of websites and blogs everyday, plus the week and the new yorker every week, and i subscribe to like five other magazines, and i am known to have cnn on as background noise - but since i am travelling, that just seemed cruel, although it would be interesting to see how far behind i would fall if i avoided all headlines, articles, and newscasts for a week. so since i did yoga yesterday and walked for an hour tonight, maybe i will make this Exercise Week, something that i am so terrible at, especially since it's been fucking freezing and/or insanely windy all winter. i've been packing on the pounds, though - ag made a joke that she was seemingly "bulking up for summer," which i can relate to, unfortunately - and i looooooove walking and doing yoga, so there is no reason why i can't ensure that i do something every day for a week. maybe i'll even attempt to jog. and promptly cough out one of my smoker's lungs.