31 December 2006

Happy New Year

I looked back in my blog archive to see what foolish resolutions I had made and broken last year at this time. There is nothing. Great - no evidence to haunt me.

It is 8:30 pm and I sit here alone, thanks to a confluence of unforeseen events. My friends and I were supposed to meet up at a restaurant and Mr Stapler was going to meet us too. I went there - it was closed with a note on the door to meet at a different restaurant. I went there and told Mr Stapler to go there, too.

It was also closed. No note, no friends. So the Man and I went to a place where the food sucked and we both felt tragically done in by the high-fat, high-carb, high-garlic offering...we took a walk and he departed.

I am left sitting here listening to what is going on outside, which just reminds me how much more fun Latinos have than white people. Okay, call me racist, but I can hear the gritos and music and firecrackers and it is still 3 1/2 hours til the New Year. More fun, really. Sorry, gabachos.

Resolutions? Oh crimeny, why not, I have time.

1. Stop swearing. I have been saying this every year for 10 years now. My only reason for this is that I fear I will be a little old lady in a nursing home yelling "Stupid bastard asshole fuckwads!" It is just so unattractive. But on the other hand, who am I fooling? I will never be able to afford a nursing home.

2. Lose weight, get in shape, yadayada. I mean it. This sitting on my ass (oh there I go again) in front of a computer 8 hours a day plus the 90 minutes in the car on the way is just leading to waaaay too much lumpishness. Must be more active. Hopefully have fun doing it.

3. Visit 2 Channel Islands. I have only been to one and I want to visit all of them. I think there are 6 - Catalina, Santa Rosa, Anacapa, San Nicholas, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara...One is a military installation, but I have an in. I just have to marry this and he can get me a visitor's pass.

4. Go to BlogHer

5. Go to Mexico again. I want to go to Veracruz this time.

6. Decide what to do about THAT PROBLEM. It's a secret but someone who reads the blog knows what I am talking about.

7. Deal with my wardrobe issues. Honestly. Would it kill me to not dress like a lunatic?

8. Start taking my calcium and pectin and drink more water.

Eight is enough. Now I have something to look back on next year.

Hope you are safe and well.

Watch the Rose Parade tomorrow! Billions of braincells were sacrificed by the float decorators, who work with some really crazy get-you-high glues, for your entertainment. I know. I remember balancing on a scaffolding with my head spinning and my hands covered in yellow chrysanthemum petals. The least pleasant and quite possibly most dangerous high of my life...but on parade day, all is forgotten and everything is beautiful. Long live the Tournament of Roses.

30 December 2006


To tolerate my family, you have to be able to tolerate boredom. My dad retired when I was in college - the first time, about 20 years ago - and he and my mom have been pretty much sitting in their lounge chairs ever since, watching Judge Judy or whatever other Judge is on these days.

To tolerate Mr Stapler's family, you need to be able to tolerate ADD behavior. Conversations are begun and not finished. Arguments veer off track. Four people are talking at once while outsiders look on, bug-eyed.

I'm not sure quite which I prefer.

There is new stuff up at both Linkateria and True Employee Confessions. And please feel free to send confessions, past or present, to snackishblogATyahooDOTcom.

Throwing DVDs across the room

Do you like Colin Ferrell?

He's not really my fantasy-figure cup of tea, but I can see how people are attracted to him. He is dark and muscular and handsome and a pretty good actor, so if you like that kind of thing, you might fancy him.

I watched "A Home at the End of the World" last night on DVD. I should say "I watched way too much of 'A Home at the End of the World' before I got sick of it and yelled at the DVD player and turned it off, mad."

The movie is obviously taken from the writer's real life, and I am afraid that they made the mistake of putting a little too much reality in their story.

I once got to spend an evening with Dennis Palumbo, who has written a great book about writing.

He talked about how, if you have a great true story, you don't HAVE to stick to the truth - you can change things, embellish them, make real life BETTER. That's why writing is fun. That's why we keep doing it.

(As long as you don't do a James Frey and claim it is non-fiction.)

But my main problem with "A Home at the End of the World," is that Colin Ferrell is totally misused and I guess miscast in the movie. He walks around wearing a bad wig in the first half of the movie with this stupid moon-pie expression that is supposed to signify that he is a perfect innocent who doesn't see evil anywhere. He is forced to maintain that level of vapidity through the whole stupid movie (or at least the part I was able to choke down).

My message to the moviemakers is: Do not waste the Ferrell, people. It is one thing if a bad actor is cast in a stupid role. But when a good actor is stuck flailing around in the muck of a terrible part, it seems so much more tragic.

27 December 2006

Year end round up meme

I found this meme over at Sundry Mourning

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before? Went to BlogHer, broke up a dogfight, lived by myself for a year
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? No and yes. Eternally hopeful, I suppose. I keep swearing to quit swearing.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Stephanie, Sarah and about 5,000 mommybloggers
4. Did anyone close to you die? Fucking Troy. He was more close to Mr Stapler than me, but still...ouch
5. What countries did you visit? How about counties? Do they count?
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? Hot crazy sex
7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Etched on my memory is kind of a big order.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Being happy by myself
9. What was your biggest failure? Letting myself get further out of shape
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? 2 nasty colds back to back
11. What was the best thing you bought? New brakes
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? David Eckstein
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? President Bush. Mel Gibson
14. Where did most of your money go? Fucking rent
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Do I have to keep saying Blogher?
16. What song will always remind you of 2006? It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer? Happier, fatter, poorer. I gotta work on those last 2
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? See question 6
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Sitting on my fat ass in a cubicle
20. How will you be spending Christmas? Too late! But it was fun
21. Did you fall in love in 2006? With Kelly the new dog
22. How many one-night stands? That idea is way past its time
23. What was your favorite TV program? Top Chef - which is the ONLY TV show I watched
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Don't be a hater
25. What was the best book you read? My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
26. What was your greatest musical discovery? There really wasn't one because I never listen to music, oddly enough
27. What did you want and get? Peace and quiet
28. What did you want and not get? Question 6, question 6
29. What was your favorite film of this year? Stranger than Fiction
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I worked and Mr Stapler took me to dinner at a place that was supposed to be great - the Sidecar Cafe - but which failed miserably. 45
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Would you please just go to question 6 and shut up?
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? Baggy and nondescript
33. What kept you sane? Walking my dog
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Craig Ferguson
35. What political issue stirred you the most? U.S human rights violations, including torture and incommunicado detention
36. Who did you miss? My sister Laura
37. Who was the best new person you met? CC
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006. The world deserves to know the real you
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Well, how did I get here?

26 December 2006

Say it loud

James Brown was so cool that he could shout "Say it loud! I'm black and I'm proud!" and no matter what color you were, you wanted to be black just so you could proclaim YOUR blackness and YOUR proudness, too. I admit it - I sing along even though I'm the biggest white fool on the planet doing it.

Mr Stapler and I were driving home late Sunday night when we heard the news that James Brown had died. We agreed that he could make the simplest of songs mean so much. Like when he said "I feel good!" you automatically thought, "Dang, I want to feel like HIM."

Genius, pure genius.

I am praying for the spirit of James Brown to enter me. Despite all the appearances of me being a busy, active person, I am actually bored as hell. I want to bust out, but I don't know how or where yet. And I want it to feel GOOD.

Please please please PLEASE.

25 December 2006

Traditional Christmas

Mr Stapler and I went to the Jewish deli for lunch because 1) we love deli food and 2) it had the all-important qualification of being open on Christmas.

He dined on traditional Jewish huevos rancheros (must be Sephardic, not Ashkenazi and I settled on a falafel salad. Yum. I am a big fan of the garbanzo bean.

Our next stop was to get the traditional post-deli Christmas latte. There were three workers in the coffee place and no other customers. They were about half an hour from closing for the day and the two younger girls working there, who looked to be about 18, had spun themselves into a giddy pre-closing frenzy.

One was wearing reindeer horns and they were both talking and laughing really, really loud. We ordered our drinks (iced for me - it was about 80 degrees outside) and as we were waiting, Reindeer Girl began telling Short Girl how some guy was bugging her, and how she would deal with him next time.

She had a big latte foam spoon in her hand and said, "If he ever comes near me, I will..." and she swung the spoon around as hard as she could, to demonstrate.

Too bad she didn't notice Short Girl standing right behind her. The result of this was that she clocked Short Girl HARD right above the eye. Luckily it was with the bowl of the spoon and not an edge, which would have split Short Girl's noggin open.

Still, it must have hurt like hell. Short Girl fell to her knees, clutching her head. Mr Stapler and I watched helplessly as the other worker ran over and said "Oh my God, are you ok?"

"It was an ACCIDENT!!" yelled Reindeer Girl over and over.

"You HIT me!" said Short Girl, who ran in the back to ice her head. "Oh my God I think I'm bleeding."

"Good God, let's leave before there is more violence," said Mr Stapler. He and I gazed glumly at the counter where our completed order should have been appearing, had Reindeer Girl not struck.

"And then there was an embarrassed silence as she finished the drinks," said Reindeer Girl, looking at us.

"Indeed," said Mr Stapler.

The good news is that the drinks were actually pretty good.

I hope you all had pain-free Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all warm and snug and happy with family and friends.

Mr Stapler and I cooked a fabulous Christmas Eve feast for his family yesterday (Where we explored the age-old question: can you put too much butter in the garlic mashed potatoes? The answer is no, you cannot).

Then we headed over to St. Joseph's Episcopal Church for the midnight service. The congregation is getting older, so the midnight mass is now held at 7 pm so everyone can get home for a nice snooze - which is okay by me.

There was a 16-page order of service, and that didn't even include the homily. Being a pagan Unity heathen, I had never experienced such a thing. My church is more Religion Lite or rush service dry cleaning - in and out in about one hour.

We sang all the carols! And all the verses! And then some verses that were not in the program! And the youth group did 3 skits on the "what if Christmas happened today?" theme.

The homily touched on the evils of fast food - "God gave Adam and Eve all the fruits and vegetables and herbs of the garden, and man invented McDonalds. And man gained 10 pounds..." Which was kind of odd, but as a vegetarian I appreciate the hat tip. It swung on into more traditional subjects by the end - Christ's redeeming love, and the importance of getting enough fiber. Alleluia.

This morning I am at Mr Stapler's, where there is no tree and no decorations. But there was one present for me...a new digital camera. Sweeeeeet!

Photos to come as soon as I read the 300 page manual.

23 December 2006

Ho ho ho

Yesterday my holiday spirit was running on empty. By the end of the day, I had left a snippy phone message for my mom about Christmas dinner, had hung up on Mr Stapler and had let my dog run through a giant patch of poison oak.

At that point I was fairly convinced that I was going to spend the next 3 days by myself eating pop tarts and drinking massive quantities of whatever was within reach - hell, cocoa spiked with cooking sherry was sounding just fabulous.

Then evening came and my friend Alicia arrived and hauled me off for some tasty and filling Mexican food, girl talk and book shopping, all topped off by a glass of wine at an outdoor cafe next to a blazing fireplace.

Dear sweet Alicia listened to me, told me hilarious courthouse stories from her work ("So my boss said, 'Did you notice that she may have been on drugs?'") (with the identities changed to protect the guilty and innocent alike) and generally talked me off my ledge.

See what friends can do? Now the holiday season is back on. As soon as I begin speaking to my family and boyfriend again.

22 December 2006

A Yule Story

In honor of the solstice, I offer a trip down memory lane.

I will never forget a Yule that I spent celebrating with the Unitarian Universalist Pagans. Being exceptionally broad-minded, many Unitarian fellowships have a pagan branch called CUUPS, the covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans.

This ritual was organized by a very earnest and serious woman whom I will call Anna for the purposes of our discussion. Anna was a classic hippie old school pagan with flowing long skirts, a cotton peasant blouse, and long braided hair twisted about her head. If you were going to draw a picture of a California hippie pagan chick (or a milkmaid), Anna would be what you would draw.

She was to portray the goddess in the speaking part of the ritual, but the guy playing the god couldn’t show up. He probably ran away when he got a look at the outfit, which involved wearing an evergreen wreath, complete with hazardous lit candles á la Santa Lucia, on your head. (I think Anna might have had some Swedish in her).

So my friend Jack, a very handsome, muscular blonde guy in his 20’s, kindly stepped in. Jack usually had a graceful dignity, the kind of regal bearing that one would not normally associate with the wearing of be-candled evergreen wreaths as a hat. And he knew it.

I could see him eyeballing me as he took his place next to Anna in the tiny pulpit area of the UU church, giving me a “You better not f***ing laugh” look.

There is usually no way to make me laugh harder than to give me the “You better not f***ing laugh” look, but I did my best to control myself, pasting a smile of respectful paganhood on my face.

Anna had written her little pageant in a florid, poetic style. The original guy probably had his part memorized, but Jack had to read his lines off a Xerox copy as he stood there in his jeans, leather vest (his usual outfit) and flaming head wreath.

I have to admit that I don’t remember any of the text, except for one line Jack said, in the most morose voice possible: “I come like the winter wind.” Unfortunately, he put the emphasis on "come."

That did it. I completely lost it. Lip biting, crying, red, unable to contain myself. Anna probably wanted to brain me with the Yule log.

Fortunately I wasn’t the only one laughing - because a good-looking, muscular young guy with a wreath on his head sadly intoning double entendres? Comedy gold. I’m surprised that Carrot Top hasn’t tried it.

There was still more ritual to come – a symbolic recreation of birth with the all women who were present standing, legs apart, in a snakelike line as the attendees wriggled on the ground on their backs through them. Ridiculous weird California hippie stuff.

But it was hard work. When you were done wriggling 30 feet on your back, you felt like you had been through the birth process all over again, except the first time you did it, you probably weren’t laughing that hard. More fun than Twister or any Christian church I have ever been to, that's for sure.

Every pagan ritual I have ever been to ends with a really nice song:

The circle is open, yet unbroken,
May the spirit of the Goddess be ever in our hearts.
Merry meet, and merry part and merry meet again.

Then you eat, of course.

Good memories. It's almost enough to make me want to be a pagan all over again.

21 December 2006

So this is Christmas

Well, actually it is not Christmas. This is Yule, the shortest day and longest night of the year, a sacred pagan holiday. It is the reason for the season.

I do not have a fireplace to burn a Yule log and I am not up to extinguishing and relighting all the fires in my home (Hello, Gas Company?). I did manage to put the traditional light in my window to show the way for all the travelers (alive and dead) who may be about on this long, dark night.

You may also put Christmas on the list of things I am done with. It really doesn't mean much to me to start with. I don't believe in the virgin birth or the wise men or the star. Nice story, but a little fanciful. I like Jesus just fine without any miraculous backstory, thank you.

The fact that it now starts in early October is more than a little wearying, too. Nothing could be worth THAT buildup. It just loses all its charm by the time the parking lot decorations have begun to fade in the 10 weeks of sunlight. A fifth of the year dedicated to...what?

Tonight took the cake, though. My family is so weird. And we are led by the Queen of the Odd, my dear mother.

Mr Stapler and I had decided to take Mom and Dad out to a nice place for Christmas dinner. My mom first refused, saying we could call out for a pizza or something, but Dad took the reins and said yes. That was about 10 days ago.

Tonight my mom said "I don't think anything will be open on Christmas."

I said, "We're going to the Pierpont." The only grand old hotel in town. Nice ocean view dining room, a good Christmas menu.

Mom: (in an anguished tone that would do Scarlett O'Hara proud) "No! Nooooo! Don't make me go there! Oh, please, no."

Me: "WHY NOT?"

Mom: "Oh, it is so expensive and I feel like a frumpy old lady when I go there and you shouldn't spend all that money and I would be happier if we just ordered Chinese and ate here or something."

Me: "It's Christmas. One nice meal at a nice place."

Mom: "I went to Burger King yesterday and I had a salad that was so good, I was perfectly happy eating that salad."

Me: "We are NOT eating Burger King on Christmas."

Mom: "I wasn't suggesting it. I was just saying..."

Me: "I already have reservations."

Mom: (sighing deeply and in a martyred tone) "I suppose if that is what Mr Stapler wants, then we have to go there."

Me: "Oh no. Oh no. We do not haveto go anywhere."

By then my head hurt so bad that I felt like someone had cracked me across the bridge of the nose with a yardstick.

What IS it with these people? This Great Depression-haunted life, this exaggerated sense of humility, this failure to grab the brass ring, even when people are handing out brass rings for free.

I just can't make my actual family match the well-behaved, charming family that I have in my head. A family who enjoys going out together for Christmas dinner at a place with cloth napkins and who will smile deep into each other's eyes as they toast the holiday with a nice bottle of burgundy. My genteel, imaginary, well-behaved family.

What my mom doesn't realize is that her refusal to let us do nice things for her doesn't make us happy because then, in her words "You don't have to make a fuss over me."

It makes us miserable by denying us the pleasure of providing pleasure, by saying in an indirect way that our gifts aren't wanted, and by making no day any more special than the one preceding it.

Being a gracious receiver is an honorable place to be. It brings joy. Don't say "You shouldn't have." Because sometimes, really, they should have and they want to. Don't ruin it.

Update: I decided that the only thing that would make me happy would be to make Christmas dinner for my family, since I love to cook. I am cooking on Christmas eve, too.

Mr Stapler called and said no. Cooking 2 days in a row is not an option, in his mind. He does not want to be bored out of his mind chitchatting with my parents while I cook a feast.

This made me almost burst into tears. Caught between take out Chinese and a mad boyfriend.

I am now considering running away for the next four days. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section. No locale is too improbable. But I suppose Denver is out.

Update #2. I think I have pinkeye.

19 December 2006

Remains of the Day

I left a comment over on Amanda's blog, Very Zen about how I felt like my life was a mess, but just how messed up it was would be a subject for my own blog post.

Later that day I checked my stats and a bunch of people had come over here from that comment. What a bunch of voyeurs we are! I would have done the same thing.

I don't feel like writing about my existential angst today, so I will stick to my fallback position, whining about the state of the world.

Things I am done with:

- Bloggers who write a long, impassioned post on why they are quitting blogging, only to return to blogging because everyone leaves such nice comments begging them not to. If you decide you want to quit blogging, I will tell you to go for it. There are enough blogs to go around and there are plenty of better things to do than blogging.

- People who are offended because they don't understand the constitution. It is a nice document. Yes, it does let people say whatever they want to say even if what they are saying is batshit crazy. And it does specifically keep religion out of government. Your religion, their religion, all religion. It doesn't matter what the founding fathers said in letters or speeches. The document that is the foundation of our system of government says no religion, so I am going with that.

- To follow that last one up, I am also done with people who claim that science is some kind of religion. Or that religion is scientific. Hint: if it involves taking things on faith, it isn't science. There were no saddles on dinosaurs. Really.

- People who think stopping at stop signs is optional. They just roll up, whip their head around and then take off, hoping no pedestrians or dogs are in their way.

- The argument over whether lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment. People who support the death penalty don't care whether Mr. Murderer feels icky before he goes to his Just Reward.

People who are against the death penalty think that the pain and suffering the condemned feels right before death is only a drop in the bucket compared to what is wrong with the rest of the process.

- The low angle of the sun. Ouch in the morning on the way to work, ouch on the way home. I can't see a freaking thing, either. If I run someone over, I am going to use a "the sun made me do it" defense.
Now - a game to pimp True Employee Confessions. Let's play True Employee Madlibs. Leave your entries in the comments section.

What do you do when your co-worker is so (adjective) that you want to (verb) every time you see them? What makes them (verb) the way they always (phrase or verb)? Do they really think you want to (verb or phrase) all day long? And are they (adjective) or what?

18 December 2006

The Invasion, Day One

Do you have any idea how dusty 25 year-old carpet gets in a stairwell that never gets used, except for bi-annual fire drills? Are you ready for the eeew-factor answer?

It is a pink carpet. The edges are black. Blaaaaaack. THAT is how dusty.

I arrived late at work to find Andres sneezing and sitting in his little corner of the stairwell. In the dark. Yes, no one thought that the security guard might need light if he was going to spend 8 hours a day in a cramped, unheated stairwell.

The words "rueful laughter" do not begin to describe how Andres greeted me. Because of his love for music and his limited English skills, he and I often communicate in little songs.

I am seeeeeeting....in the dark..." he sang. We both cracked up.

I started coughing this special way that my doctor describes as an "allergic barking cough." Bark bark bark. Bark bark bark.

The cool thing about sitting by the entry door is that you get to see everyone come to work, including the 2 cute guys who work in the building - the tall IT guy and one of the Vice Presidents, who is Mr. McDreamy himself.

The only problem is that the Vice President gets to observe you screwing around at your desk, like you do every morning before settling down to a hard day of more screwing around. Ah well. He is not, technically, MY vice president. Yeah, like that will matter when they start canning people.

By noon, they had gotten someone to vacuum the rug, though I fear the black borders are permanent. But Andres sat there in the dark all day long.

Pray for me

Today is the first day of my new Situation At Work.

The building is being remodeled, so the side door, for the next month or so, will be the front door. The side door is usually an emergency exit. Conveniently enough, it is also right behind my desk.

So each and every day, 300 people will be coming in and out my door all day long. Between entries, breaks, and exits, that is only about 1000 door slams a day. Did I mention how sensitive to noise and people I am? And how quiet my little area usually is? Just wondering.

I don't even have it the worst. Our security guard Andres is stuck at a tiny table in a corner of the stairwell, windowless, in an area about 3 feet by 3 feet.

So pray for us. Of course you will find out how it went.

17 December 2006

Who rocks?

Who is continuing an undefeated streak as Champion of All Things Church Potluckish?

That would be me!

Tonight's victory: Raspberry Trifle made with lemon poundcake and cardamom cream sauce. It beat out the chocolate mousse cake by 2 votes. And the chocolate mousse cake woman admitted that she had purchased her cake and just added custom decorations. So there.

Do you want the recipe? Too bad, because it is too difficult for normal mortals. But for those of us touched by the Holy Fire of Kitchen Wizardry, it was a snap. And yes, I made it up myself. Well, I combined the lemon poundcake recipe from Payard with the cardamom pastry cream recipe from epicurious with the trifle recipe from former White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier...and threw in some raspberries just for fun.

Merely 2 days in the kitchen, 17 dirty pans, and 14,000 calories. Easy peasy.

To be honest, it wasn't that much of a snap. At one point when I moved my mixer cord and spilled coffee ALL over the place (there was so much coffee that the animals began scrambling two by two up into the boat) I got so cranky that I tossed my cookbook out the front door into the driveway. In the rain. Oh, yeah, I am mentally well. Sure.

Is it a wonder I never get around to scrubbing the shower?

PS Any NBA fans out there? Did you see that Knicks/Nuggets game/fight? Wow. If you haven't seen it, go over to YouTube. (they took it down) In all my years, I have never seen ANYTHING like that.

Fawlty Bungalow

As my faithful readers know, my neighbor Jay has a big brown dog, Oscar. Jay told me he was going away for 4 days at Christmas and asked me to take care of the dog. Arg.

Taking care of Oscar is a pain because he sleeps inside Jay's house (he can't sleep in my house because it isn't big enough for big old me and 2 big dogs) and needs to go out first thing in the morning.

This would mean a 4-day holiday weekend of getting up before 6 a.m. to let Oscar out. While I'm not a REAL late sleeper, I do like to snooze until 8 or so on weekends...is that asking too much?

So I told Jay no. But he went on and on and pleaded and begged, so I said yes.

Then a couple weeks later I told him I was going out of town for the weekend so I couldn't do it. Not technically a lie, because I am going to spend one night away, maybe.

The problem is that Jay changed his plans and isn't going away after all.

So now I am caught in my own deception, á la Basil Fawlty. I have to either 1) leave town for the weekend or 2) sneak into my own house and not turn on any lights for 4 days or 3) make up some lie about staying here.

Good work, Suebob. You'd think I'd learn that it is easier to tell the truth, but no.

15 December 2006

Not joking

My friend Jim said his father would yell at him when he was a kid and would run out of the house: "Go ahead, leave the door open! That way the whole world can get warm!"

As I sit here enjoying a 65 degree winter evening, I'm starting to think that Mr. Low was right.

I am still collecting employment stories over at True Employee Confessions. Also any links would be appreciated. You can email confessions to snackishblogATyahoo.com

13 December 2006

Brain dead

This time of year is sloooooow at work. We will get hammered in January and the fun won't stop til July or so, but right now we are all busy polishing paper clips and drawing murals on the whiteboard. I know, it's rough, but it pays the bills.

While I am daydreaming at work, I always have these great blog post ideas. What about those idiot drivers? How messed up is Christianity today? And why does Katie Couric photograph like she has been dipped in wax? Yes, fabulous blogging possibilities race through my head.

But I don't write them down because work is PC and home is Mac and they still, despite everything, don't work and play well together. I can create a PC word doc at work and come home and I have to fix every single punctuation mark so it won't look like some weird alien language. And inevitably I miss one and have to go back again and again and by the time I am done fixing my 200 word diatribe on people who don't use turn signals, it is 9 pm and the dog is still waiting to be walked.

So I come home and think "What was it that I was going to write about?" and you get this instead.

Poor you.

True Employee Confessions is off to a slow start. Please email your confessions to snackisblogATyahoo.com. Someone mentioned that I should get the new blog its own email but yikes, I have at least 7 email addresses that I neglect on a regular basis. I don't know how many more I can handle.

Oh, yeah, there is Linkateria, too. Good stuff like this 15-second video of a sneezing Panda that I have only watched about 10 times now.

12 December 2006

ROFL Award December goes to...

When Mommy Off the Record invited me to participate in December's ROFL Awards, I knew immediately who I would nominate.

Jonniker makes me ROFL almost every day. I think she is a hilarious genius. She is insightful, and smart, and a great writer. And did I mention hilarious?

But this post, previously featured on Linkateria made me laugh so hard that I hurt my ribs. It made me laugh so hard the dog became concerned about me, got up from her doggy bed and came close to me and stared, hard, as if she were considering how she could dial 911 with no opposable thumbs to flip my phone open with.

Jonniker is one blog that is worth going way back in the archives and reading. At least go back to the point where you can learn what the phrase "Jimmy doesn't have asthma" means, because I am going to be using it in virtually every conversation from now on - that's how brilliant I think she is.

PLUS - new goodness over at True Employee Confessions. I am also soliciting confessions at snackishblogATyahoo.com

11 December 2006

File under "Moral Outrage"

Away from Chile, where both opponents and supporters of the former leader gathered on the streets, reaction to Gen Pinochet’s death was generally muted. Margaret Thatcher, the former UK prime minister and firm supporter of the general, was reported to be “deeply saddened” by his death.

From Wikipedia: It is not known exactly how many people were killed by government and military forces during the 17 years that he was in power, but estimates give 3,000 deaths (Rettig Report), at least 30,000 tortured (Valech Report) and several thousands exilees. The latter were chased all over the world in the frame of Operation Condor, a cooperation plan between the various intelligence agencies of South American countries, assisted by a US communication base in Panama.

"Deeply saddened." I wonder if Mrs. Thatcher was deeply saddened by any of the killing and torture that Pinochet did. Or was that just business as usual for the old gal?

As my nephew Lyal said when he was a little guy and completely beside himself with disgust: "It makes me stink!"

New stuff up at Linkateria AND our first confession at True Employee Confessions.

10 December 2006

Life on the farm

It was a stellar day. The weather turned rainy and grey shortly after church, so Goldie and I stayed warm and cozy in the house.

I finished a freelance article and did some housework. Made roasted turnips and ate them all (I am a weird vegetarian, I know). Made a pot of beans. Watched a DVD. Talked on the phone. Saw my Dad.

In other words, perfect.

In other news, my little banana tree of last year has turned into a vertiable banana farm. I have five fine bunches of bananas hanging down above the dark purple flowers:
Banana Flower Feb 2 06
For some reason, this makes me strangely proud.

The only problem with those strange-looking flowers is that they are not hollow like normal flowers, but solid and very, very heavy.

I have learned from watching them that the big "petals" (which I suppose are technically bracts if you are a botany nerd) flip up to reveal a row of tiny flowers at the end of banana-shaped stalks. Hummingbirds and bees come to drink at the flowers, which drip with sweet sap.

Eventually the purple bracts fall off and there is a row of bananas there that keep getting larger and larger. The remaining flower hangs below the green bananas.

The flowers hang down at head level and one would think they would be easy to avoid getting bonked with, given how large and colorful they are.

Wrong. Only about 100 times so far.

09 December 2006

We have a winner

One Smarmy Mama is the carefully selected winner of the WTF contest from a few days ago. If you send me your address, I will gladly mail you a Somewhat Valuable Prize!! Woo hoo.

Second, (edited) please remember my new blog, True Employee Confessions email your stories to snackishblogATyahoo.com and/or send out some link love to get this thing rolling. I can't wait to read everyone's wacky work stories.

Third, Elizabeth of Table for Five has a great post on feeling like a grownup - or not.

I think she nails how so many of us feel - here we are, at our advanced age, and we still have some seemingly basic skills that we cannot seem to master. We can't save money. Or we can't put together a cute outfit. Or we can't seem to get anywhere on time. Or to find a job that satisfies us. Or to stick with a commitment to get in shape. It's always something.

I have a whole laundry list of these things, but tonight, because Mr Stapler is on his way over, I have been thinking about my lack of Feminine WilesTM. I just missed out on that whole thing.

When he said he was coming over, I brushed my teeth and then went on folding laundry. I thought about how some women would be doing makeup, fixing their hair, deciding on what to wear.

So I went in and put on some brown eyeliner and a tiny bit of eyeshadow. One of my makeup fears is that I don't want people to think I am wearing makeup. Because that would mean what? That I'm trying to look pretty? Well, yes! And I am a smart girl, not a pretty girl. Everyone must love me for my brain and my brain only. What am I, Barbie?

This logic has taken me to some stupid extremes that I hesitate to write about lest you realize how messed up in the head I actually am.

There was the time when crazy crazy stylist Billy Yamaguchi "feng shui'ed" my hair and decided, with all his assistants swarming around, that I needed to dye it a shade darker. At that point I had never dyed my hair.

So I promptly burst into hot, furious tears. I was embarassed in front of a boatload of hairstylists that someone would think I was so vain as to want to dye my hair. Like that is a new concept to them and that they would be shocked! shocked! that someone as unvain as me would stoop to such a thing.

What a ninny.

At least I got over that. Hair dye in a box is my best pal now. I buy it on sale in bulk to save a couple bucks.

But I still can't dress myself or make my hair work or pick out clothing to save my life. I am usually just content if my naughty bits and cellulite are covered, nothing has a big stain on it, and it isn't so terribly, awfully wrinkly.

I think I have to set my standards higher. Of course I have been saying that for years. And I am sitting here in my baggy ass jeans, waiting for Mr Stapler to arrive.

08 December 2006

True Employee Confessions

Heads up, kids and kittens. There's a new blog in town.

Inspired by Dawn of Baleful Regards, who hosts the gritty, gruesome and sometimes sweet True Wife Confessions, I have created True Employee Confessions.

If you hate your job, think your boss is stark raving crazy, can't stand your idiot co-workers OR if you just want to make the rest of us jealous by talking about your sweet gig, send your stories to me at snackishblogATyahoo.com

You can also send memories of hateful past jobs and past associates that you wish you could forget but who somehow live on in your memory. Purge those files right here in public, so we call all enjoy the misery.

Your confidentiality is guaranteed. No one will be Dooced for their confession. No one from the HR department will visit your home.

Please give me a hand in getting the party started by giving me some link love.

Dish. I want to know. And maybe, just maybe, I will post a little something myself sometime.

Big love

I have written at length about my decision not to have children.

I think it is a good thing for everyone involved - for me, who needs 4 or 5 hours of alone time every day, and for my non-existent progeny, who don't have to put up with my cranky ways.

(Oh, yes I am. Everyone who meets me thinks "Oh, Suebob, she's so nice, so kind, such a good listener." For about 2 weeks. People who have known me longer than that admit "Yeah, Suebob, she is one cranky wench!")

The one thing I think I have missed out on is getting to feel the love parents feel for their children. I gush about my dog (the best dog in the world) but I have a feeling that nothing can compare to the love you have for a child that you are doing your best to grow into a good human.

Petroville has a heart-wrenching post about recognizing her own mother's love for her and apologizing for not realizing it at the time.

I had a glimpse of it the other day, when my mother, who is 80, was remembering a time 40 years ago.

We had gone camping and I had gotten terribly chapped skin from playing in a creek and in the sun. She put some lotion on me that, instead of soothing my sensitive skin, made me feel like I was being boiled alive. Something in it, perfume maybe, just reacted badly with me.

"You SCREAMED, oh," she said, tears filling her eyes. I could see the pain was as fresh then as it had been 4 decades before.

That's Big Momma Love.

How do you bear it?

06 December 2006

Frequent Farter Miles

As a vegetarian and someone who produces more than her fair share of noxious emissions, I have got to feel sorry for this woman who lit matches on an airplane.
The FBI questioned a passenger who admitted she struck the matches in an attempt to conceal body odor, Lowrance said. The woman lives near Dallas and has a medical condition.
Yeah, right, a medical condition called Stinko Fartosis. I know it well.

She is just trying to hide her farts and ends up creating an international terrorist incident and is on the American Airlines No Fly List. Poor gal.

05 December 2006

The disease is spreading

Yesterday's blog post listed some weird word usage I had found lately around the blogosphere. Little did I know at the time, I wrote a doozy over at Mothergoosemouse just yesterday...

"...for a battle of Amazon warrioresses to hold him down..."

A battle of Amazon warrioresses? The funny part is I can't even remember what I was trying to say. Maybe "battalion." Who knows? My brain, honestly!

Some new stuff is up over at Linkateria. Make sure to click on the "Seinfeld: the Lost Episode - Kramer" link. OMG, funny.

04 December 2006

Time for a Game

Yes, everybody, it's time for America's favorite game show, "WTF is up with that?"

Leave your entry in the comments section and I will decide, in a scientific process, who deserves a Somewhat Valuable Prize. It will probably be a book but you never know.

As your hostess, I will start:

Women who, when they laugh, put their hand up about 3 inches in front of their face. My favorite example of this is Dr. Phil's wife, whatshername.

WTF is up with that?

Ok, your turn. What do YOU want to know WTF is up with?


And while we are having a random post, here are my nominees for Web Weird Word usage, collected from around the blogosphere. If you spot one of your own, let me know and you, too, may win a Somewhat Valuable Prize.

This is not to make fun of the writers. English is such a wacky, wonderful language that it could happen to anyone.

"With one felled swoop, it went flying into the air."

"Be a big boy. as in, have some initiative, drive, onus and purpose in your life!!"

"Mixed with yoghurt or thickened cream it makes an instant chocolate moose that is hard to resist."
Personally I prefer the instant elk.

"I get a pit in my stomach just thinking about it."

"They strike a cord with me so much"

"...after having 11 viles of blood forcibly removed from your body..."

03 December 2006

Call me "Mom"

That's it. I am done. I am so over low-rise jeans that you can slap some rib-huggers on me and call me "Momma." I won't mind, I swear.

Evidence Item #1: The other day when I was trying to put air in my tires with non-working air hoses, one of the chief things irritating me, beyond having to drive around in a death-on-4-wheels automobile, was the fact that I knew my ass was hanging out of my jeans as I squatted beside my car.

Here's the scene: I drop two quarters in the machine, which is supposed to give me three minutes of air. I hustle around the car connecting the hose to the tires and waiting for the air compressor to kick on as I feel a cold breeze where there should not be a breeze. I become aware that my booty is bulging out the top of my jeans for all to see. But damn it, I am risking life and limb by driving on underinflated tires! So I continue to squat and swear, praying that no one I know is driving by to see my special show as I try to get up to 29 PSI.

Evidence Item #2: I have freakishly short legs. Though I am 5 foot 8, I have a 28 inch inseam. That is not a typo. 28 inch. 2 legal-sized sheets, taped together, that equals how long my legs are. I do not need low-cut jeans to help draw attention to this. Good lord, when will this suffering end?

Evidence Item #3: I was picking up my dry cleaning at the strip mall the other day. A little girl, maybe 4 years old, was playing on the floor at the cell phone store next door with her cute little fashionable jeans on. Her back was to the window, and her little 4-year-old buttcrack was clearly visible to the whole world.

People! Stop this madness! Do I need to remind anyone that there are really good reasons that your 4-year-old should not be dressed like a tiny stripper? I mean, yuk. Give the little girl some pants she can bend over in without looking like a plumber, please.

Evidence Item #4: I am going to have to pussyfoot around this one, lest anyone recognize themselves...I was at a group function. A certain lovely young friend was there. She happens to be a bit overweight. She leaned back in her chair and stretched her arms above her head. Normally, this would not be a problem, but her very low-rise jeans revealed waaay too much flesh squeezed above the top seam and below her now-hiked-up shirt. It was, to put it mildly, off-putting.

Bring on the mom jeans. I have one pair and they have become my best friends. I don't care if I look like Urkel. As long as my rear end stays out of the breeze and well out of sight, I am happy.

Next week's subject: why pantyhose with sandals rock.

02 December 2006

Shadow boxing

Mr Stapler and I used to live next to this crankypants nutjob, Tim, who had, according to other neighbors, been a nice guy until his wife left him 10 years before, at which time he decided to take his heartache out on the rest of the world by being a jerk at every opportunity.

One of Tim's pet peeves was barking dogs. Thankfully, Goldie was not much of a yapper. But the beagle down the street met with Tim's frequent ire. The dog would start that stupid baying that beagles do and Tim would yell "Stop barking! Stop barking!"

You can guess how much good that did.

Today is the Big Game, So Cal style. USC and UCLA meet for their annual football match. If you are a rich BMW-driving dick, you usually root for USC, or as we of the proletariat like to call it, the University of Spoiled Children. State-college types hope for the brave Bruins of UCLA to put a stop to USC's juggernaut.

I don't really care, to tell the truth. But the game is on and it is a fine So Cal afternoon, warm and breezy and all the windows are open (sorry, Chicago). The guy behind me has chosen this opportunity to try and mow his grass with his temperamental old lawnmower. He starts it with a roar and in a cloud of blue smoke and manages to mow for a minute or two before it conks out again.

Of course the neighbor on the left is going apeshit. "Turn that shit off!!" he yells, while the mower is blasting.

Then it dies and he is quiet. Then it roars again and "Turn that shit off!" always the same phrase, over and over again.

I don't suppose it would occur to him to walk over and speak to the guy. Especially when the mower is off. No, that would be too simple.

I just hope no one gets shot.

Speaking of stupidity, my landlord came over because I was complaining that the door on my 1947 O'Keefe and Merritt stove (love it) won't shut tight and it takes forever to bake anything and the kitchen gets soooo hot. He could fix it if he bought a part, but that would take money and the one thing my landlord loathes above all is spending a buck.

"I had this same problem," he said. "It's going to sound strange, but maybe we could fix it the way I fixed mine."

He wanted to wedge a board between my oven door and the wall. This would require a six-foot length of board that would bisect my kitchen.

I looked at him, stunned. "That ain't gonna happen," I said.

I'm still shaking my head about it. Wedge a board between the oven and the wall. Every single time I wanted to bake something. Yikes.

As Mr Stapler would say "That's not the cowboy way."

01 December 2006

Entertain me

We saw Charles Phoenix last night. He is a bit of a Los Angeles institution, a real local treasure.

His shtick is this: he collects other people's old slides and puts on a narrated show that is part mid-century history, part catty comedy routine. He picks the weirdest and most wonderful slides - many of people living it up with lots of cigarettes, booze and aluminum Christmas trees - and points out all the little funky details you might have missed.

For instance, was every U.S. home required to have a ruffled lampshade in the 50s and 60s? And all that wood paneling! Future generations need to know about these things and to learn from our mistakes!

If you are in the L.A. area, check out his shows. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

Anyway, here's Charles himself, preparing a little holiday treat that you might like to make for your guests:

29 November 2006

Nibble nibble nibble

Update: I broke down and bought a light box to try and cure my seasonal depression. They have cute little ones now. I had been imagining a Major Home ApplianceTM type of thing, so finding that there are small makeup mirror-sized ones pleased me greatly.

It was Mir's comment that talked me into it. She is my ultimate arbiter of all things Sane and Good. I figure if she can be chic and fabulous and raise 2 kids on a freelancer's salary, well, I have to trust her completely.

I will let you know how it goes.

Tim Cahill is not only one of my favorite travel writers, but he also has some of the best all-time book titles. A Wolverine is Eating My Leg,Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, and my all-time favorite Pecked to Death by Ducks.

"Pecked to Death by Ducks" just so perfectly describes how I often feel. Not hurting, not in deep trouble - just worn down by the thousand tiny bites life takes out of me every day. Today, of course, was one of those days.

First, it was cold. Boo hoo, I know - it's winter, right? But I protest! I am a fourth-generation Californian and my people did not move here to be cold. I do not pay extra to live here and put up with this. AND it was windy - a ripping 50 mph windstorm that kicked up all kinds of dust and trash and just generally made life kinda sucky. I went outside and ended up with dirt in my teeth. Ech.

Second, my Mac laptop decided to lay down and die. Not all the way, just the video board. Which is also the logic board. Which is $300 and 5 days of repair time.

Here's what happened: my Mac caught me looking at other Macs. Yes, I was online at the Apple Store looking at new laptops, just looking but my Mac caught me and we had a big fight and soon enough, my Mac's display turned into these freaky little colored bars and then went to black. True story.

So I went to the Apple store in the mall and the cute young acne-faced boy helped me. Within 2 seconds, he had accessed my records, ALL my records, of everything that has ever been done to my Mac.

Here is what I want: I want Apple to start a cell phone company, because when I go to the Nextel store, they claim that there is no way on earth they can access my records unless I did the transaction with them AT THAT PARTICULAR STORE AND IF I KNEW WHICH CASH REGISTER IT HAD GONE THROUGH. It's like the computer age never touched Nextel. I think my calling records are probably stored on 3x5 cards and written in pencil. Sigh. Anyway.

The other thing was that one of my tires were dangerously underinflated and I went to FIVE gas stations before I found one with a working air pump. And there's nothing I love more to do with a dangerously underinflated tire than to drive around a lot, looking for something.

And the dog was sick. When I was at the Apple store, my mom called in a panic, telling me to get home asap. I had had a nice evening planned with Mr Stapler. Peck, peck.

Like I am going to be able to somehow stop the dog from having digestive issues by my mere presence. But what am I going to say - "Mom - YOU deal with it." Goldie IS my dog, after all...

I at least got to have dinner with Mr Stapler. I got to his house he had a glass of wine poured and dinner on the stove. What a guy. And then I had to leave right away to go fetch the hound.

So now you are saying, "But Suebob - you don't have a computer. How is it possible that you are writing a blog post??"

Well, let me tell you. Mr Stapler, that's how. He lent me his shiny new Dell laptop. What a nice man. It was the best thing that had happened to me all day.

Forget all the bad stuff I have been saying about him. He's really all right. He made me feel much, much less pecked to death by ducks.

27 November 2006

And proud of it

Apparently I AM a B-list blogger for reals:

B-List Blogger

Click the graphic, scroll down, enter your url and find out how you stand.


About a month ago, Mr Stapler brought me a brochure for Wellbutrin for seasonal affective disorder. Very funny, ha ha, we all know how I hate the dark days of winter.

Or maybe it's not such a big joke. There has got to be a reason that Thanksgiving is always the beginning of an annual tailspin. Melancholy, tired, numb. I moved out from his house last year at this time.

I don't want to talk to anyone, do anything. I feel like I am wrapped in fuzzy dense wool. It is 8:20 pm and I am thinking of crawling in bed.

Arg. I don't want to take Wellbutrin OR sit in front of a light box. I suppose moving to Australia for a few months is my only hope. Or Argentina, where I could mess with my Mexican Spanish. I will check on plane tickets. As soon as I manage to wake up a little.

26 November 2006

Movie review: Stranger than Fiction

My friends and I saw "Stranger Than Fiction" last night. I had been wanting to see it ever since Des highly recommended it. From Des's blogging, I know we have the same taste in many things - cats (tabby), co-workers (silent or non-existent) and jewelry (handmade). So I figured I could trust her on movies, and I was right.

I don't think this will be a popular movie, though. Like "Adaptation," this is a thinky comedy, not a laugh-out-loud comedy. Will Ferrell plays the lead with a perfect bland blankness. Emma Thompson sort of annoyed me with her neurotic novelist routine, but maybe I'm just sensitive at how writers are portrayed.

But Dustin Hoffman slayed me. It was obvious that he was having a ball with the part, and it was just so much fun to watch him go.

It's not a movie you "get" all at once. All day today, little realizations have been bubbling up to the surface and delighting me. Those are the kind of movies I like and am willing to shell out the $9.50 for the privilege of seeing on the big screen.

In other movie news, I watched "The Lake House" and "Therese" this weekend on DVD.

"The Lake House" was ok, despite being one of those time-travel things that make me scratch my head and have to try and count on my fingers..."ok, he was back then and she was in the future but he met her but how could he have met her because it was 2 years before..." Time-travel always messes with my head.

My sister saw it too and she agreed that if she started getting magic letters from the past or future in HER mailbox, there would be a lot more "Holy Cats!" and "What the Hell?" and general yelling going on before she started just standing there calmly mailing letters through time like Keanu and Sandra Bullock did.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, no, Keanu has NOT learned to act his way out of a paper bag yet.

And "Therese"? I rented it because I have always been fascinated with St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower of Jesus. For a non-Catholic, my love of some saints (Anthony, the Simeon Stylites) is pretty strange. But it is easy to like St. Therese, with her simple, beautiful message of love and devotion.

So I rented the movie, which is less a dramatic piece than a press release for Catholicism. Total waste of time. Therese is little and pious and good. Her family is pious and good. Then she grows a bit older and is pious and good. Then she gets sick and is pious and good.

Her sister goes to a convent, which is good news for the pious and good family. Are you sensing a theme?

Anyway, after about 40 minutes of total piousness and goodness, I turned it off to watch the cutthroat bastards on Top Chef, which is not, unlike Therese, approved by the Vatican. But the plot is a lot stronger.

25 November 2006

I imagine this is the same with diapers

Can anyone provide me answers to the following questions:

Why does the dog have to poop in the yard 3 minutes after I have cleaned up all the poop piles?

What do you do with a brillo scrubber once you have used it once and it is there all damp and threatening to get rusty? Is this a one-use item?

What do you say to strangers who want to give you stupid advice about your dog (or child)?

You know there's a story about the last one, don't you?

Goldie and I got in the Subaru Forester of LoveTM to go to the bank and then the beach. Sunroof open. Sunroof is about 18 square feet of open space (huge!!) but leaves the dog in the shade.

Parked at the bank for 30 seconds, filling out deposit slip.

"Excuse me" I hear someone say in a kind of peevish tone.

Oh, crap. This is the bank where lots of vagrants hang around the bushes. I look up at a nervous looking red-haired woman.

"Can you roll down your window so you can hear me?" she says, looking mad.

Dude. No. I am not in the habit of opening my car window for random parking lot women.

"I can hear you through the sunroof," I said.

"I'm a veterinarian and your dog is going into heatstroke. He is shaking and panting. It is very important that you give him some air."

Me: blank, hateful look.

"You REALLY NEED to give him some air if you care about him."

Me: blank, hateful look.

Normally I'm a lot kinder and more engaged. It's not that I don't appreciate the concern. Well, yeah, it is - I don't. And I especially don't appreciate the tone. And I didn't think she was a veterinarian or she wouldn't be making random, blanket statement every time saw a dog sitting in the back of the car panting after 5 minutes in the car on a 63 degree day with a huge sunroof open.

Goldie trembles. In the car. That's what she does. I have spoken to her about it and she will not stop. Going in the car sets off her trembling device and there is no way to short-circuit that.

And she pants. She pants about 80 percent of the time in the car - day, night, raining, freezing, whatever. The car is an exciting place for my girl. But when she goes by the beach where we walk almost every day, she pants like a divorcee on a date with George Clooney. Ok, maybe not that much. But a lot.

The upshot? The check got deposited. Goldie got her walk by the beach. And I talked to the stupid red-haired woman in my head all the way out to the point and back.

Update: I forgot that I should have simply pulled out my Air Book and written her advice down. Silly me.

23 November 2006

Crap on a cracker

**UPDATE: Because of all the spam comments, I have lost access to my food blog until blogger can determine that it is not a spam blog. Do I need to try and express how happy it makes me to be cut off from posting on MY OWN blog because of &*%$#@! spammers??

I wasn't sure what I was going to do tonight. I was just hanging around the house, so I decided to go post at my long-abandoned food blog Snackish for the first time in six months.

I tried to publish and it took forever. Then I got an error message.

I started looking at comments, and even with comment word verification turned on, every single post since April of last year had become infested by spam comments. Spam comments consisting solely of thousands of links, literally thousands, mostly to p00rn-looking sites (ana1 f1sting, anyone? or 1llegal t33n sex acts? yuk.)

It felt icky and dirty just looking at it, like my dear little recipe blog had become polluted.

So I spent the evening deleting p00rn spam. Fun. Assholes.

One more time

I realize that I forgot to tag anyone for that meme, but I think you could see my heart just wasn't in it. What kind of meme has questions like "Name a word that rhymes with Door"? Yawn.

It was perhaps my weirdest Thanksgiving ever.

Weirder than the one in high school where my BF's charming aunt announced as we were doing dishes, looking at me - "We have a guest here, so we will have to count the silver"?

Personally, I think accusing someone of thievery takes you out of the running for Hostess of the Year, right? Klassy with a k, that one.

Was it weirder than the one where my housemate Curt disappeared next door for an hour? It wouldn't have been so bad except the only two guests were my loud, opinionated, liberal, brash attorney BF Keith and my housemate's reserved Midwestern ladylike mom.

The minutes passed in a crawl as I tried to referee conversation. Or make conversation. Or just keep breating without descending into a full-blown panic attack. Time has not passed that slowly since my high school algebra classes.

Finally I went to see what was keeping Curt and found him sprawled on the neighbor's couch, a victim of the kind of California Thanksgiving-day hospitality that involves the offering of a huge bongload of sticky icky green bud. He was baked and had totally forgotten to come home.

Ok, maybe not that weird. But there was no turkey, no fake turkey, no mashed potatoes or yams and certainly no famous fennel chestnut confit. There were squash enchiladas at my parents' house, just the three of us.

Mr Stapler is in Napa and my sibs won't arrive til tomorrow. Mom said she is sick of turkey and didn't want to make a fuss, thus the low-key lunch.

To tell you the truth, I kind of miss the fuss.

Public service announcement: Dear Friends,

Now that Thanksgiving is over and you are on to the Christmas season, please consider your annual holiday photo card.

You have been my friends for years. So why do I get a holiday photo card with JUST your children in the photo? I know you love the precious little darlings, but does their existence erase yours? They look so cute in their holiday outfits, but to tell the truth, I am actually more interested in you than them, difficult as that is to believe, given their absolute perfection.

So sit your butt down with the kids and hand the camera to a responsible adult. And smile. No, not like that, a REAL smile.

Thank you. You look marvelous.

22 November 2006

Dang you, Ventura Mom!

There is a sweet post up just in time for Thanksgiving over at Linkateria

VenturaMom tagged me for THE WORLD'S LONGEST MEME!

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? Bedhead!
2. How much cash do you have on you? Too much to count. Joking, all you would-be robbers who read my blog.
3. What's a word that rhymes with "DOOR?" This is confidential information.
4. Favorite planet? Jupiter. It is so big.
5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? Landlord. I am only saying this because I am too lazy to get up and look.
6. What is your favorite ring tone? I use one that goes ring, ring, ring. It came with the phone.
7. What shirt are you wearing? Stripey short sleeved sweater.
8. Do you "label" yourself? Goddess-in-training
9. Name the brand of the shoes you're currently wearing? Have I mentioned that some of these questions are kinda stupid?
10. Bright or Dark Room? Bright.
11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? She is amazing and a great mom and local, too.
12. What does your watch look like? It is the Hamilton that Elvis wore in Blue Hawaii.
13. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping!!
14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say? "I paved the driveway - don't park on it." Except it took 5 minutes to say that one thing. Bless my landlord's heart.
15. Where is your nearest 7-11? Downtown. Why, are you looking for a slurpee?
16. What's a word that you say a lot? "Right!" "Okay!"
17. Who told you he/she loved you last? Steve. In a friendly, Thanksgiving holiday kind of way.
18. Last furry thing you touched? Goldie dog.
19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? Does Gin count?
20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? One. And it only has one picture on it.
21. Favorite age you have been so far? 45. I am 45.
22. Your worst enemy? "Your enemy is someone whose story you have not yet heard." That, and the guy with the boom car in the next block.
23. What is your current desktop picture? They rotate every 5 seconds. Nature photos from Flickr.
24. What was the last thing you said to someone? Have a great thanksgiving.
25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? Flying
26. Do you like someone? Are you implying something?
27. The last song you listened to? Something by Bob Marley that my neighbor Jay is playing right now.
28. What time of day were you born? 2:00 a.m.
29. What's your favorite number? 23. No, 9. No, 23.
30. Where did you live in 1987? Central California.
31. Are you jealous of anyone? I am possessed by jealousy but I try to deny it by making fun of those I am jealous of.
32. Is anyone jealous of you? Only of my beauty and brilliance.
33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Getting ready for work. GandhiRules called me.
34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Shake it. Talk to anyone nearby.
35. Do you consider yourself kind? Absolutely.
36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? Tattoos make me queasy.
37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? Espanol, por cierto.
38. Would you move for the person you loved? Yep, did it in ‘02
39. Are you touchy feely? Yes.
40. What's your life motto? Life is too mysterious. Don't take it so serious.
41. Name three things that you have on you at all times? There are no three things. But usually wallet, cell phone, work badge.
42. What's your favourite town/city? Ventura dude, home is where the heart is. (This was VenturaMom's answer and I totally agree. But I would take a whack at Sevilla to see what it is like.)
43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? DVD rental
44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? One to my Women For Women sponsored sister.
45. Can you change the oil on a car? Yea, but it is too icky.
46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? Hm. How big of a first love are we talking?
47. How far back do you know about your ancestry? Great grandparents on both sides.
48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy? Fancy? Me?
49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? Everything. Dude, I am old. (See question 21).
50. Have you been burned by love? Marius, this one is all for you. But I love you now, man, and always will.

21 November 2006

Thanks for being a feminist

I just deleted someone from my bloglines for proudly saying that she is not a feminist (no, not Jennster or Julie - people I love can get away with anything!). In this case, it was just my latest indication that this particular blogger was kind of a dunce.

I just had heard it one time too many..."I'm all for equality, but I'm not a feminist!" I think it is just inconceivably stupid and short-sighted.

I know women who don't like to associate themselves with feminists. They don't want to get dragged into the fray with those noisy, pesky, messy trouble-makers. Oh, no, they're much nicer than that. They think we have already achieved everything that needs to be achieved and they did it all by themselves. Because they are so smart! And clever! And they never needed anyone to give them anything!

It just makes me want to start screaming at their stupid little ungrateful idiotic selves. Their sense of privilege makes the fur stand up on my neck.

Let's take a little trip down feminist memory lane.

How bad were things for women before feminism? Try this on for size: when former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor graduated from Stanford Law in the 50's, no one would hire her. Because she was a woman. She took a job as a legal secretary.

Sex-segregated want ads were legal until 1968. There were many jobs that were just not open to women. There was no recourse. No one to appeal to. And that was okay.

A married woman who wanted to establish credit in her own name usually could not. It wasn't until 1974 that a US law prohibiting discrimination in lending was passed.

Spousal rape was legal. The first law in the US prohibiting spousal rape was passed in 1976. Until then, if you were married, your body was your husband's to do with what he wanted.

But now everything is better, right?

Right now in 28 states it is still legal for employers to ask about your marital status and whether you have children or not before they hire you. Is that right?

Women have made wage gains, but still only make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. No big deal?
Over a lifetime of work, the 23 cents-on-the-dollar we're losing adds up. The average 25-year-old working woman will lose about $455,000 to unequal pay during her working life.

And because we're paid less now, we have less to save for our futures and we'll earn smaller pensions than men. Half of all women with income from a pension in 2002 received less than $5,600 per year, compared with $10,340 per year for men.

I know, boring statistics. Always complaining, those icky rude feminists. Why can't they be more positive??
Don't get me wrong. I'm thankful for all the gains women have made. Women are outpacing men in getting university educations. Law and medical schools all over the country are filled with female students. Opportunities are better than they ever have been for men as well as women.

But there is a long way to go in our country and an even longer way to go in other parts of the world. If you think things are fine as a woman here, just take a look around and lend a hand to our sisters somewhere else. Female genital mutilation. Sharia law. Domestic violence. Rape. There are plenty of things to stand up and shout about.

Because we have gained so much from their efforts, I think we owe early feminists a debt of gratitude that can only be repaid by continuing their work. Only when every woman and man is treated with equality, dignity and respect will our task as feminists be done.

20 November 2006

What Thanksgiving?

I have been hearing a lot of whining about Thanksgiving. People don't like the food their family prepares. Or they don't like the hellish travel. But mostly, they don't like to spend time with their family members.

It has all become one big bloated food fest, where people gather for a few miserable hours, stuff themselves, nod off in front of a football game, then pack up to face the horrible holiday traffic on the way home.

Super Suebob is here to rescue your holiday from total drudgery and meaninglessness. I have a few suggestions on how to put some Thanks back into Thanksgiving.

For the repressed and WASPy among us (like my family): Tape a big sheet of butcher paper on the fridge. Butcher paper because it does not bleed through. Or regular thick paper if that is all you can find. Write "What We Are Thankful For 2006" at the top, and let people write or draw what they are thankful for as they wander into the kitchen to get drinks or snacks. You can save these and show them in future years.

Slightly more interactive: Get some pieces of paper or cards. Have people write or draw what they are thankful for. Take their picture as they hold up the signs. Make a flickr set. Share.

To keep the kiddos out of your hair, if you trust them with the digital camera: assign them to take photos of what they are thankful for. Upload the photos between dinner and dessert. Make a digital slide show.

And if you aren't a shy bunch and don't mind talking to each other: Place five kernels of dried corn on one side of each plate. If you can't find dried corn, use popcorn. This is to remind us that, during the first winter when they were dumbasses, the pilgrims got down to the point where they had only 5 corn kernels a person to eat. During the meal, go around the table, having people hold one kernel and say one thing they are thankful for. Go around five times, once for each kernel, so people will have given thanks for five things.

I hope this helps. I hate to think of everyone out there miserable, dragging themselves through a hated holiday. I think a little meaning can go a long way.

Thanksgiving Week

When I take the trash out and I turn around and see my tiny house with the light in the window and the banana leaves arching over the driveway, my heart just squinches up with happiness and I gasp at my good fortune.

My house. I don't even own it, but it makes me so happy to have this little haven on earth.

I can smell the ocean from here. I can hear my neighbors playing happy Mexican norteno music. I can walk in and see my dog sleeping on the couch drumming her big feet in time to a doggy dream.

A roof over my head. A cozy bed. A big old 1940's gas stove.

I am thankful for this particular spot on the planet. I make my life here, and I appreciate every day of it.

19 November 2006


I am so cranky due to a combination of Blogger and Bloglines problems that I have gone to bed early.

Question: Why, oh why, do the genuises at Blogger keep their status page on the same server as everything else?

*As Ali G would say

18 November 2006

What are the odds?

You won't believe this, but my email says I won both the British Lottery AND the Canadian Lottery. Both! In one week! I can't even remember buying a ticket.


I'm off to quit my job and buy round-the-world tickets on the QEII.

Woo hoo.

17 November 2006

Don't kid a kidder

I had the following email exchange with Yankee Candle Company. They obviously didn't realize that I write bullshit for a living. So here is the email exchange, a la The Lazlo Letters.

To: YankeeCatalog Service
Subject: Vanilla cookie


I heard that the Vanilla Cookie scented candle had been retired. I think it may have been too easily confused with the many other vanilla flavors. I think it smells like creme brulee. You might try renaming it creme brulee and seeing how it sells, since that is such a popular dessert.

Just a suggestion.




Dear Suebob,

Thank you for being a valued Yankee Candle guest and for taking time to write to us with your suggestion. We appreciate the time and effort you took to write to us. While we would like to accept all of our valued guests' suggestions and ideas, unfortunately, we are unable to do so at this time.

Please accept our apologies for your disappointment regarding this matter.WTF kind of sentence is THAT, anyway?

Please contact us again with any future questions or concerns.


Heather D.


so then I HAD to write back

That's probably the worst form letter I have ever received. It just seems unnecessarily mean. Here is my new, improved version:

Thank you for being a valued Yankee Candle guest and for taking time to write to us with your suggestion. We appreciate all of our valued guests' suggestions and ideas. We consider many factors when developing products, which is a long and often complex process. We may take input from our customers into consideration at times. We cannot make any promises or offer comments about specific suggestions, but we appreciate the time and effort you took to write to us.

Please contact us again with any future questions or concerns.

That way you can still dismiss people without seeming dismissive. You aren't making any promises - since you "may" take input into consideration, and you may not...Isn't that nicer?


Do I think they will listen? Hm...would I listen if someone tried to correct the crap I write? Good question.

16 November 2006

Must see

The video up at Linkateria is especially hilarious. To me, at least. Go check and see if you think so, too.

I went to a party tonight. One of THOSE parties. Ladies, you know what I mean. A party that is not really a party, but a shopping experience. They lure you in with the white wine and brie and then hit you with the overpriced crap.

Do men ever do this? Do they ever gather at some friend's house and eat pretzels and drink beer and shop for computer peripherals or car parts or whatever it is guys like these days? I didn't think so.

This was a jewelry party, a first for me. Throughout the ages I have been to my share of kitchenware parties. I (fortunately) skipped the candle party rage, pleading scent allergies. I have never been invited to a sex toy party, much to my chagrin, because I have always been too shy to go into a sex shop and ask about the merits of various vibrators.

But I really like the woman who was throwing the party and wanted to get to know her a little better, so I went, figuring I could spend maybe $50 and get out with a piece or two of cute jewelry.

But everything was WAAAAY overpriced. Silver earrings $49. The sales rep kept saying "This is really GOOD quality," but I kept wondering, "Then why is all the turquoise made of plastic?"

I was having a quandry about buying stuff that was a slight notch above street fair junk and having to spend $50 for it. My inner skinflint was NOT happy.

Then Heather showed up. She is the wife of a friend and the more I know her, the more I like her. She got her plate of snackies and chatted people up and then announced "I don't wear jewelry."

Gasp. How bold! How wonderful! A person who got a party invitation and assumed that she was being invited for the sake of having a party, not because she was a cash cow.

Her chutzpah emboldened me, too. I thought "Hey! I don't actually have to buy this overpriced crap for the sake of being polite!" Duh. It may seem stupid, but this thought had never occurred to me before. Suddenly I was free.

So I grabbed some more crackers and brie and socialized until I couldn't socialize anymore. It felt good. Thanks, Heather.

15 November 2006

Not like the other kids

I hope you get to meet Karen Walrond someday. She is so beautiful - yes, physically, but she also has a powerful spirit and open heart that must be experienced to be understood.

Enough crushing on Karen. But really, meeting her is worth a trip to BlogHer all in itself. Ok, ok, I'm done.

The other day Karen wrote this post about her beautiful (apple doesn't fall too far from the tree) young daughter, Alex.

It made me wince with recognition. Alex's preschool teacher doesn't like the way Alex plays by herself and thinks it is time for her to make a little friend. Meanwhile, Alex seems perfectly happy and loves to hang out with adults and other interesting people. Karen wanted to know what we, the blogosphere, thought.

Sigh. I think her teacher is an average person, and I think Alex is far above average.

Average people always try to make you act like them. They are always thinking they can whack above-average people into their molds and not have anything spill over.

But if you are more intelligent than the average bear, you often find your peers boring, silly or a little daft. In fact, quite a few people of all ages that you encounter seem boring, silly and daft.

As a child, my favorite person was my older (11 years my senior) sister, Laura, who was (and is) the Bomb. The age gap didn't seem to exist, because we understood each other perfectly.

My other favorite person to hang around was my Mom's cousin Jim, who was 40-something when I was 8. He lived in Europe! He was gay! He was well-read. He was super witty and had an acid tongue that would put Dorothy Parker on notice. He was a bit of a bon vivant. All of the qualities that attracted me to him then are things I still love in people today - almost 40 years later. My spirit knew what it wanted, even as a little tiny kid.

But other children my age were generally lost on me. They spazzed out and lied and were mean and told stupid jokes. Why, as an intelligent child, would I want to hang out with other children? There just wasn't anything in it for me.

I could do it, of course. I figured out how to fit in. I figured out how to not seem too smart because I knew what that would get me.

But whenever I had to spend too much time with other children, I would end up thinking "God, I would rather be home alone." I still have this thought a lot, today.

And even back then, stupid adults bored the hell out of me. I had a couple aunts who were classic airheads. Both could prattle on for days without stringing together a lucid sentence.

I remember that once, before the especially talkative Aunt Helen was due to arrive for a 5-day visit, my mother and I solemnly shook hands and said "Talk to you next week," because we knew we wouldn't get a word in edgewise.

At 5, I already knew those aunts were dunces, and I knew I didn't want to be around them. People think kids don't know much. But it is amazing how much that they are already who they are going to become, even before they can tie their own shoes.

What about you? What did you figure out early?

14 November 2006

Unnatural Axe

The U.S. Catholic bishops took up the sticky subject (no pun intended) of homosexuality at their semi-annual conference and decided:
"Because homosexual acts cannot fulfill the natural end of human sexuality they are never morally acceptable," said Bishop Arthur Serratelli, who headed the committee that crafted the guidelines. "Such acts furthermore do not lead to true human happiness."
I suppose by "fulfill the natural end of human sexuality" they mean "make a baby."

What about infertile hetero married couples? Are they acting immorally if they still have sex?

What about hetero married couples who have already procreated and are now past reproductive age? Do they need to become celibate? Mom, Dad, are you listening? NO FUN FOR YOU OLD PEOPLE. BACK TO MATLOCK, YOU TWO.

What about hetero couples who give up on vaginal intercourse and "make sexytime" (as Borat would say) some other way - orally, anally, fetishistically...? Ok, yeah, I agree, that has GOTTA be a sin.

And as far as "true human happiness"? I dunno, but I hear that The Kaiser is quite truly happy on Father's Day, after the Queen takes part in the annual GBJD tradition. And there ain't no baby-making involved in that one.

13 November 2006

Please note

Mr Stapler's blog, Mind Yer Arse is now linked in my sidebar.

So far I am his only commenter. Go take a look and give the man some encouragement.

There are dozens of other people that I want to add to my link list, but so far I have been too disorganized and lazy. I'm sorry. It doesn't mean that I love you less.

Speaking of links, there are some new links up at Linkateria.

12 November 2006

Public Service Announcements

We had a perfectly lovely party at Mr Stapler's house on Friday night. Good food, good company, lots of interesting international students from all over Europe. But am I going to blog about the fun and loveliness?

Don't you know me better than that? Don't you know that the motto on my escutcheon would read "If you don't have anything nice to say, come and sit by me"?

I am going to bitch about the woman who showed up sick as a dog and sneezed all over my beautiful hors d'oevures and sucked down all the red wine, including a $48 bottle of Dutch Henry Pinot Noir that Mr Stapler opened for her in a moment of drunken merriment. (Note: I do not normally purchase $48 wine. It was the result of a long day of wine tasting in Napa Valley, where my good judgement went out the window at about the 3rd winery.)

Honestly, people. I can see going to the grocery store when you are sick because you need Nyquil. I will even cut people some slack who go to work sick because they need to save their sick days to care for their children. But puh-leaze, if you are sick YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO TO PARTIES.

And if you are stupid enough and clueless enough go to a party, please do not hover over the food table with a wadded up kleenex clutched in your evil little claw.

And especially, do not swill down the expensive Pinot that Suebob will need to drink to recover from the thought of your disgusting microbes polluting her St. Andre Triple Cream brie plate. Go home, beyotch!


There is a way to bum money from me and and a way not to. Here are some helpful hints.

"Excuse me, miss, I was wondering if you could help me out. My sister just had a baby and she is real sick and I need to get $37 for a bus ticket to go help her out and I have $28 and I was wondering if you had any change to spare?"

Why this is good:
1. "Excuse me" - you may be a meth freak, but your mama raised you right.
2. "miss" - I am 45. I will take all the "miss" I can get.
3. "My sister just had a baby..." - I appreciate a good story. It may be total fiction but you at least know how to tug at the heartstrings. Good plotline.
4. "$28..." nice detail
5. "If you had any change to spare..." not presumptious.

"Excuse me. I was wondering if you had any spare change."

Why this is okay
See 1 and 5 above. Not too creative, though.

$1 or all the change in my pocket.
"Do you have a dollar?"

Why this is bad
No "excuse me." No backstory. No polite words at all. Just a presumption that I will give some random drunk in the parking lot at the do-it-ur-self car wash a dollar.

Not gonna happen, pal.

09 November 2006


I got caught by my boss today doing the happy dance in the aisles of the cubicles at work.

I had just heard that the Dems had taken the Senate and could not contain myself.

"Oh, so you're a DEMOCRAT?" she asked, not at all approvingly.

"Um, no, a Green, actually," I answered, like an idiot.

Uh oh.

08 November 2006

In which her head explodes

How deluded are some evangelicals? Check this commentary from Mark Driscoll on the Ted Haggard sex scandal:
Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors' wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband's sin, but she may not be helping him either.
Exsqueeze me? Because wifey gains a few pounds and doesn't do her hair, Reverend Dorkwad is going to start dreaming of dudes? I just do not think it works that way.

Gentlemen, care to weigh in? Does the sight of your wife in baggy sweats make you start dreaming of Lance Bass?

All joking aside, doesn't Driscoll fairly seethe with hostility to women? First, they trap men. Then they turn them gay. Yikes.


I hate to rain on the happy happy joy joy election parade, but is anyone else flamingly pissed that bans on gay marriage passed in every state but one where they were on the ballot? Homophobic idjits. Grrrr.


In other news, it is Red Stapler's 1 Year Blogiversary. Yes, one year of spew and silliness. It has been a blast. Thank you for your support.

07 November 2006

Missing out

Once upon a time, I lived in a small college town. I always shopped at the Safeway and I always went to the same checker.

Kirk was friendly and efficient. And cute. Way cute. So what if his line was a little longer? It did a girl's heart good just to bask in the glow of his ultrawhite smile for a minute or two.

Eventually Kirk quit the grocery store and opened a little business across the street from where I worked. On the first day they were open, I went in to see what it was all about and I was impressed by the clean, shiny smoothie bar.

"They could franchise this place," I thought.

I visited Kirk and his co-owners often to get massive, tasty smoothies. I wanted to flirt with Kirk but I didn't. First, he intimidated me with his overwhelming cuteness, and second, I got a gay vibe from him. This does not mean he was or is gay - it just speaks to my tendency to label any man who is cute, clean and well-dressed "probably gay."

His business was a success. How much of a success?

Making-smoothies-for-Oprah-on-the-Oprah-Show kind of successful.

If I had it all to do over again, maybe I would have tried flirting just a little.

06 November 2006

I have a dream today

I dream that someday a Christian minister will be deposed in a scandal when it is discovered that he didn't do enough for the poor and the sick.


Today is the day. Vote.

You don't have too many civic duties. Jury duty. Pay your taxes. Obey the law. And vote.

Voting is your little admission ticket to responsible adulthood in a free society. Will I think less of you if you don't do it? Absolutely.

Am I going to tell you how to vote? Absolutely not.

05 November 2006

You can go home again. You just can't stay.

I am back in the little town I called my own until 5 years ago, when Mr Stapler lured me away.

He and I are just visiting for the weekend, a quick trip to see his folks, who are vacationing here. It's the kind of town you vacation in.

Yesterday morning I went to Farmer's Market and saw old friends and stood around and talked and laughed in the warm November sun, surrounded by piles of squashes and apples and fresh-baked whole-grain breads.

Then I went to my favorite cafe and had coffee and a waffle with the owner, one of the most charming people in the world. And other old friends and others wandered in and out and said hello or talked for a while...

Sigh. I remember that life. It seemed so warm and fun and simple, everyone I liked doing kind of the same thing on the same schedule. I didn't have to plan a social life, because life itself was social.

I made half the money I did now but I only lived 3 minutes from work, so it felt like my days were long and leisurely. I volunteered at the Performing Arts Center, so I got to see fabulous shows ALL THE TIME.


I know I idealize it. I lived in a rental house with 2 roommates, an insane landlady, and 30 year old carpets. I worked at a job that was as much tedium as creativity, for far less pay than I deserved.

And now I have a new life, and it isn't a bad life. Mr Stapler, seeing my folks every day, being able to have my own house where I can have a big yard for Goldie, a job that pays well (even though I still wank about not getting paid enough), fun freelance work...

Yet I can feel that strong pull by the past, even as I march into the future. Does that ever happen to you?

A couple of new things up over at Linkateria.
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