Saturday, February 21, 2009

ye olde diy gonads

I just wanted to remind you that you've had several weeks of DIY-free posts.

You're welcome.

We're not done but viruses (human) and visits (human again) have conspired to slow down our awesome progress.

That said, I told our good friend Suzanne that I would give her credit (once, then it's mine to use as if I thought of it all by myself) for her summation of my spectacular home repair skills: "I think your ovaries have descended!"

Yes, indeed.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

no. please. don't. stop.

A few months ago a new crossing guard started working on the main street I drive down to get to work. The fact that there are never any children, EVER, when I slow to a crawl in this school zone has nothing to do with my feelings towards this guard.

Because I have no feelings towards the guard. I mean other than a vague sense of mammalian connectedness that prevents me from running over humans and animals. Nothing teary, just you know, just that we have fur, we shit, hakuna matata.

Oooo, she's one of those über-friendly types. Big smile to every passing car. And a wave. Using the stop sign. Let me repeat that: She waves at passing motorists with her stop sign.

I so wanted to be there when that behavior came to a screeching halt.

Waving with hand. Stop sign held in "off" position at her side.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

when logos copulate

I am being chased by zombie logos. It was either get this out of my head and into my blog or go completely mad.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

tweet status yawn

Today's topic: Twitter and Facebook Status Updates; Who Gives a Shit? may irritate some people. Well, then we're even.

Sure. There are worthwhile twitter and status entries amidst the update sludge being spewed out like factory offal into the ocean. Just like there are worthwhile comments following the news stories in the Chronicle. If you wade through a lot of floating three-eyed fish and old condoms you're sure to find a completely serviceable milk crate (just wash it off, it'll be fine!).

I admit it. It's easier to poke fun than to provide constructive criticism. But constructive criticism is for thesis advisors, pastors and therapists. Not for my meanderings. Okay, shit. I'll try and be more...constructive. Here are my suggestions for improving banal status posts:

Tedious status update
Improved status update
Boy, am I tired.
Boy, am I tired of embezzling.
Thank goodness it's Friday.
Thank goodness it's Friday, my BDSM dungeon is open late.
I'm eating some oatmeal.
I'm eating some oatmeal and found a boll weevil.
I hate my job.
I hate my job and I brought gasoline in my lunch bag.
I am so happy to be outside.
I am so happy to be outside buck naked.
I am walking the dog.
I am walking the dog and can't stop thinking about taxidermy.
I'm making an omelette.
I'm making an omelette for 350 people.
Life is wonderful.
Life is wonderful with two sets of genitalia.
I heart diet coke.
I heart diet coke enemas.
I've met a great guy!
I've met a great guy who gave me scabies!
We're on our way to visit family.
We're on our way to visit family and I'm high as a kite.
Just had a yummy tall, lowfat, extra shot Starbucks caramel macchiato.
I'm a marketer's wet dream.

Do you see where I'm going with this? Just a little more information and your status updates become snippets of joy. You don't have to thank me.

(Go on, you try it: leave me a comment about your improved one-liners.)

cyrano deserves vd

I have long been a fan of Cyrano de Bergerac. My high school yearbook quote was attributed to Edmond Rostand's protagonist:

To sing, to laugh, to dream,
To walk in my own way and be alone,
Free, with an eye to see things as they are.
~ Cyrano de Bergerac
Now, I don't know if this is a 100% accurate quote–no Google, no Wikipedia in my senior year–but that is beside the point. Because it symbolized my 17-year old soul crying out for understanding. Of course, I identified with Cyrano. Of course. A high school girl who felt witty and brilliant on the inside (gack) and never quite attractive enough on the outside. Swooning over some boy who couldn't keep his eyes off of the prom queen, pleasant though simple girl that she was. Sweet colicky jesus, I can hardly stand the thought that I was ever like that.

Perhaps it's not fair to dismiss all of the high-drama longings of teenagers. Most of us had to pass through (while many of us stayed) that period of idealistic, egotistic hyperbole. It's kind of like disdaining the fact that I sat in a diaper full of poop as a baby. It was a necessary phase. However, I stopped beshitting myself and grew the fuck up.

One of my love's favorite movies is the Steve Martin knock-off of Cyrano: Roxanne. It's amusing. Fodder for Martin's wit. But the last viewing ended any vestige of affection I had for Rostand's hero.

I'm done with Cyrano, Phantom and Pretty Woman. No romance there for me. Why is it that we're supposed to hurt for the homely, scarred and common when they fix their passion on the very ideal that rejects them (and not incidently, the majority of us)? Why can't Cyrano find beauty in a woman with buckteeth? Why didn't the Phantom fall in love with an obese contralto? How come we don't laud the prostitute who sees beauty in the mechanic? Why is there no big story there?

I know this is mundane and what's-the-big-deal but I see this so often I could retch. If we feel compassion for the "unlovely" and applaud the "success" of landing the "perfect" mate, then we reinforce the bigotry that started it all. I'm tired of seeing the "less attractive" vindicated by landing the "hottie" (a word, by the way, that is wholly reminiscent of middle school idiocy). Or conversely, look askance at the "beauty" who chooses someone so "plain." I am similarly irritated when I hear some smug shithead talk about how two people are "so right" for each other because they're similarly sized, similarly judged unattractive or they both have a limp or something.

So, should "ugly" people only marry/love "ugly" people? Obese with the obese? Big nose with the big nose? No. It doesn't fucking matter how the pairing is "balanced" according to society's capricious rules. That's my point. My idealistic point.

P.S. I know this post is teeming with quotation marks. I just couldn't use all those inane qualifiers without marking them as outside my viewpoint.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Do you remember some years ago that Philip Morris did that whole campaign to stop teenage smoking? It was probably mandated or something but here's an example of the creative:

Nobody bought their feel good tactics. Even if you didn't believe there were subliminal messages (like some educators and anti-smoking groups did): that the clouds look like smoke, the snowboard like a lit cigarette and the mountains like piles of tobacco leaves, the idea that a corporation that made its money off tobacco sales would seriously want to discourage the next generation of salary-paying consumers from smoking is pretty ludicrous.

Which brings me to Chevron's latest media blitz. Tagging onto the feel-good, planet-saving conservation wave moving across the country/world:

Sorry. I just don't buy it. Chevron makes its money, and plenty of it, when we don't leave the car at home. This feels like such blatant bullshit to me. Marketing-driven bullshit to put a green tint on Oil & Gas. I admit, we all would be in a shitpile of trouble if the Oil & Gas industry went belly-up tomorrow. We need oil and we need gas. At least until we come up with a plethora of working alternatives. That said, don't insult our intelligence. BIG Oil wants you to put BIG miles on your BIG cars. It's their bread and butter. Or their crude and diesel.

It's like Whole Foods promoting the nutritional value of Velveeta. Like Hustler publishing an article on the importance of abstinence. We are not fooled. And we are not amused.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

how long i have waited

FDA Approves Depressant Drug For The Annoyingly Cheerful

Thank you, Joe. Despondex gives me hope for a felony-free future.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

facebook me me meme

I did this thing because I've drunk the kool-aid and been facebooked. Since I went to all the ridiculous trouble to catalog myself, I thought I'd dump a copy here for those of you not thoroughly bored by self-congratulatory list-making. Here are 25 damn things about me:

1. I'm a Puerto-Rican/Irish, ex-New Yorker, naturalized Texan, ex-Mormon (attended BYU—no shit), narcoleptic queer. (for the love of labels, people...)

2. I am now a happy atheist. Going from nun to heathen was one of the most liberating experiences of my life.

3. Design is one of my life's passions. I think about it all the time. Typography. Tea kettles. Book covers. Bass violins. China. Chaise lounges. Keyboards. Kiwi salad.

4. I minored in Art History and wept when I saw Florence's Duomo for the first time.

5. As far as I'm concerned, wood, flour, metal, fabric, paper, cement, leather and glass are all the same: raw materials. Knitting, carpentry, baking,'s just the tools and joins that differ. And I love all the tools. I want to learn all the joins.

6. I am a late blooming feminist and believe that no woman should have children if she doesn’t want them. Ironically, my favorite job was raising my two children.

7. I loathe deferential treatment based on my gonads. I am not, nor will I ever be, a "lady."

8. I find it disturbing when women take their husband’s name. Sorry. It harks back to the days of being property. Besides, you're getting married, not adopted.

9. I was über-dedicated to being the BEST parent ever and fancied myself well qualified and successful. Over time the idealism of early parenting has gotten a solid ass-kicking. When all is said and done, I think I did a decent job but owe my parents an apology for making such a fuss about "not making all the mistakes they made."

10. My (grown) children are amazing. Even Especially when we don't agree.

11. I am ambidextrous. (Yes, Virginia, it's a euphemism.)

12. I have been married (not legally, of course--this IS Texas, after all--but in every way that counts) to the same woman for 22 years. I am still stupidly in love with her.

13. Facebook is too fucking public...okay, even when I was the most obedient, god-fearing, letter-of-the-law little prig, my secret sin was how much I LOVED to swear.

14. I am driven to be financially stable. Obsessed about becoming debt-free.

15. I grew up blue-collar and aim to be a balanced intellectual. Whenever I get too up my own ass about things, my common sense mocks me. Without mercy.

16. I am unfazed by title, degree or position. I have neither reverence nor irreverence for those in power. The only people I am in awe of are those who have done something awesome.

17. Humor has saved my life. Most people survive a shitload of things and credit God, psychotherapy or macrobiotics with their survival. Thanks to my mother I survived a crisis of faith, a divorce, a custody battle, dear friends dying of AIDS and other scary-as-shit events because she'd taught me to laugh.

18. I wouldn't have sex with anyone who didn't love good food.

19. As much as I love design and building and fixing things, writing is dearer to me.

20. I have a job that I truly enjoy. While the process (animation) is very satisfying, the end product (banner advertising) is meh. I'm surprised at how good I am with that. It doesn't hurt that I work with funny, talented people.

21. I love fixing my home. Because we have no option, we've learned to fix almost everything. Ignorance is a valuable asset.

22. I love being at home. With my partner or by myself. It is my favorite place.

23. I have been lucky enough to travel to Europe many times. I lived in Spain for three months. I also woke up in Paris on my 50th birthday. That was fucking awesome.

24. I am a shameless math, word, design, grammar, cooking, technology geek. And I love me some puns.

25. I don't believe that monogamy is a sacrament.

26. I was once a juror on a torture/murder trial.

27. I hardly ever watch television. But I'm not too proud. I'm online way too much.

28. I will get a tattoo someday.

29. I hate what image-obsession and dieting has done to our individual and collective sense of self-worth.

30. I taught myself not to be afraid of the dark when I was young by walking around our basement with the lights out.

31. I am not superstitious.

32. I love adhesives. Epoxy, wood glue, duct tape and...don't get between me and my stash of double-sided tape.

33. Jesus, I’ve reached 33 (too). Oh, I‘m also wordy.

Monday, February 09, 2009

this is me...

...posting a link to a sneak preview of a game. Called Cogs.
I am in love with the concept.

This is just a screen capture and will not play in the window but will take you to the page I found it on...via boing boing, link

But it's an electronic GAME. Why is this happening? (Is this real? I have 2 fingers.) What's next?
  • Heated discussions about Star Trek costumes?
  • Dice fetishes?
  • Obscure SciFi jargon? (yes, dear fimbulwinter, I mock you.)
But just look at those cogs and pipes. Sigh.

we fought the tax man...

...and the women won!

Property taxes protested successfully: Check!

Phew. Is that a relief.

breaks my heart

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

it is sunday, after all.

My favorite literal translation of signs in Spanish is the one on a church that says, "Jesus es El Señor."

I always translate that in my head, "Jesus, He da MAN."


Ach. I finally re-amped up my Google Reader after losing the original list in an email change...had a peaceful period of ignorance-filled light reading there...and now I'm whorling (yes, I verbified it) into a high-calorie, full-fat maelstrom of TED, boing-boing, fail, cake wrecks, make and all the words of my favorite bloggers, famous and infamous.

My head overfloweth.

DIY ends needing to be tied up. Post DIY detritus still clinging to every room of the house. A protest with my local property tax board looming. My project lists copulating (fertile little fuckers are they). The delightful anticipation of my son and a dear friend coming to visit...must clear a space.

Haven't seen any of the award-nominated movies. Cinematic mouth-breather that I've become. Want to. Feel compelled to see Milk but the time, man, where do I find the time?

And the grocery shopping! The uninspired meal plan! I am loathe. But daylight's burning and there's urgency on every horizontal surface. Fuck, fuck, fuck, where's the housekeeper cook chauffeur accountant gardener personal shopper when you need her? And why is the call to write loudest when everything else is screaming? Don't answer that.

Symptomatic of the State of Chaos I've relocated to: lost my tenant's rent check while walking in the tunnels this past week. Her first rent check. Out of my back pocket (where checks NEVER live). Freaked me the fuck out. Not the potential $35 stop payment fee, just the fact that I would do something so uncharacteristically careless. Good ending, though. Cynical as I sound, I think most people are honest. I mean in a 60/40 sense. Still good odds of getting fucked over but erring on the side of optimism. Someone DID find my check/deposit slip and turned it in to security at one of the corporations that anchor the tunnel. All is saved.

The odd side note: every security person I ended up talking to in the rescue effort reacted to my relief with a bit o' ol' time religion. "God is great." "Have a blessed day." And the weirdest, upon stating that I was pleased that there were still honest people in this big city, "well, honey, we all worship the same God." WTholyF? Is that a sensible rejoinder? How does one extrapolate to universal theism by the return of a lost item? But I'm not going to argue with the person holding my check ransom. PTL and pass the negotiable instrument.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

superbowl bullets

  • All I ever needed to know about XLIII, I learned from crossword puzzles.
  • I resent that different sports teams use the same name. It's confusing as hell to those of us just trying to keep up. If Cardinals is taken, pick something else. Call me, I can help. You could be the Arizona Dry Heat or the St. Louis Archies but no, you took the boring route and used the same damn name.
  • My dad is working security at the Superbowl. He hates sports. Really. Never saw him sit down to a game in my life. My little mother, on the other hand, loves football and baseball. He couldn't get her tickets. How's that for proof that the Fates are capricious?
  • Did I mention my father was helping protect the Superbowl from the forces of evil? It's true. He is there right now, not watching the game, saving the American Way. Cue the anthem.
  • Football is a violent sport. It has strategy and some interesting things going for it but it's violent and typifies masculinity in a way that should offend most men.
  • Jesus has not. one. thing. to do with professional sports. Not blessing the quarterback, not sanctifying the ball. Because He doesn't exist. And if He did exist, my believing friends, the idea that He would pay one iota of attention to the idiocies of a sports game in the face of world issues such as genocide, starvation, epidemics, etc. should chill your Christian hearts. Chill them.

Not liking sports is just one of the many ways I fail as a queer woman. My love is a former athlete. She really likes baseball and football. I have learned the rudiments of these games so she can talk to me without seeing that jocktarded* look on my face. That is just one of the ways I have compensated for my shortcomings. That and sex.

Speaking of compensating. I took apart an old chain link fence at the rear of our property that borders the alley. For reasons too tedious to explain (my little gift to you), I am replacing a section of fence with a gate. While I ruined one clamp putting the thing back together, it was SO gratifying to figure it all out. I feel like I made a fence. Touchdown.

*I'm copyrighting this one. Ironically, it works to explain both the athletically-challenged and John Madden's expression.