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in the hoosegow

Thursday, June 30, 2005

torn jacket

Last night we rented the movie The Jacket from one of the usual chains. The clerk forgot to remove the security device that holds the case together, but we did not discover this until we were ready to play it. At that point, the Good Ex started to force the case apart and once he'd started, we just couldn't stop until we'd wrestled the dvd out. By the end, the paper lining was ripped, the plastic casing completely destroyed, and the dvd was unscathed. I can't wait to see how much they try to charge me for it.

The film, well, it was excellent. Great story (if you suspend some disbelief about the security levels at prison psychiatric wards) and the photography helped the film convey the feeling of claustrophobia the main character felt. It was dark and light at the same time and there were many shots of Adrian Brody half-naked. The story reminded me a lot of a Marge Piercy novel, Woman on the Edge of Time, which I also recommend.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

evaluate this

It's eval time again here at the li-berry. There's nothing like The Year in Review to make you glad it's over and done with. If I had to evaluate my personal life performance, it'd go something like this:

Goals for 2004/5
Pets: obtain a pet and incorporate it into my household and life.
Achieved 4/05.

Boyfriend: interview candidates for this position with the goal of hiring a successful candidate by 6/05.
Although a candidate was interviewed and hired provisionally, he was let go in 1/05. Previous holder of position considered for rehire.

House: locate and buy house by 12/05.
Achieved before goal date.

Personal Development: no specific goals but would like to increase feeling of contentment by 25% by year end.
Progress: contentment, while up and down, has generally increased by approximately 13% through Spanish Classes, "Acting", and a decrease in television viewing.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Let's see if this works. Because, you see, I took the "what muppet are you?" quiz.

is it really only tuesday?

I'd like to report that Something Very Interesting happened yesterday, but I'd be lying. In fact, I spent a lot of my free time paying bills, considering asking my lawn guy to skip mowing this week since it's been so dry and wondering if I could possibly fit all of my hanging clothes and my shoes into one closet.

Luckily, I have a Rich Inner Life (and a penchant for capitalizing, apparently), so I was also perusing the Leisure Learning catalog, circling any classes I might possibly want to take, making my wardrobe for my newest movie role, and wondering if my profession is going to make me feel happy and fulfilled in the long term. Jury is still out on that one.

Monday, June 27, 2005

"my head feels full of cheese"

One of my favorite websites: MuffinFilms.

Do not skip playing Feed Me and when she's full, go ahead, give her one more.

repeat performances

I re-watched and re-read this weekend. I re-watched Withnail and I, expecting to be a tiny bit disappointed at this third viewing. Ha! My favorite part ("Get in the back of the van!") was just as funny, even funnier, than it was the last time I saw it.

I re-read Anne of Avonlea, the second of the Anne of Green Gables series. I read it in part to reinstill in myself the feeling that that novel gives me, a feeling of calm and hope, imagination and accomplishment.

After that, I went through my old poetry to see if any of it was worthy of spiffing and public display. I found that I still liked several but that I might need to snip off the last line or two. I have a bad tendency to tack on a summary or trite statement at the ends of things. There was at least one piece that I liked but it would be incomprehensible--every reference from a particular place/in time. So, we'll see if I can get the guts to perform any in the future.

Friday, June 24, 2005

ghost town

Many of my colleagues are away for the next few days at a conference. I believe my entire side of the office is gone except for me and a non-professional colleague. I expect it to be rather quiet, so now's the time if you wanted to call me at work, email me inappropriate websites, or have sex in the office (just kidding, I swear).

Thursday, June 23, 2005

the gooooonnnnng show!

Local venue Continental Club runs a Gong Show every month or so. They have a house band and emcee and three judges and A Gong. You go in, sign up, and get up on stage when they call your name. The house band can play a song with you if you let them know beforehand (and they know the song).

I didn't catch the whole thing but what I did see was rather reminiscent of the old Gong Show tv program. First, two kids got up on stage and sang Tiny Bubbles. They were disqualified, possibly because the emcee was prompting them with the lyrics. An older dude did an excellent imitation of Jerry Lee Lewis singing (what else) Great Balls of Fire. Another old timer performed his own song about his car, but he got gonged off (gongued? anyway). Then my new pal got up with his banjolele and did an old timey song that didn't get good response from the judges because, well, they hate the ukelele. The first woman got up and hula hooped while she played the violin. Excellent Gong Show fare. I heard later that she won the whole thing. Another woman in an M&M costume danced to an Eminem song and got gonged. I was actually yelling out for the judges to gong her, it was so painful. The next guy got up and started to do a Doors song, but the Continental has a No Doors policy, so they gave him a second chance and he got gonged off doing Brown Sugar. Finally, the last fellow I saw danced to Saturday Night Fever. He did a pretty good job and even got the knees of his pants dirty.

I can't say I really enjoyed any of the acts, but the overall program was funny. I'd definitely go again, and it would be fun to put an act together for it. Anyone up for playing the Chinese whistle while I breakdance?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

but msn told me to...

From my horrorscope:

For the next two weeks, break things down with people in an honest and realistic way. Cut through the fluff ["crap"--ed] so that you can discuss the real issues.

So, if I tell you I don't like your toenail polish or that you should rethink your career goals, remember that MSN told me to be honest and cut the crap. Of course, I don't exactly sugarcoat things as it is, so maybe I should ignore this particular piece of advice.

funny haha

A colleague gave me an article on using humor in the (library) classroom. The authors include a humor scale, where you answer several questions and it tells you your Humor Orientation ("I'm a bisexual jokester, baby!". Some of the questions ask "do people ask you to tell stories or jokes?" and "do people NOT ask you to tell stories or jokes?"

In high school my best guy friend used to gently chide me for my "pointless stories". I'd ramble on and on about something, rarely getting to the meat of the thing and eventually run out of steam somewhere left of my intended witty/poignant/meaningful anecdote.

I made a conscious effort to curb that tendency, but I had to answer truthfully. No, people do not ask me to tell jokes or stories. As you can tell from the mere existence of my blog, that hasn't stopped me. I continue with my sometimes pointless ramblings, knowing that I am really writing this for myself, and if anyone else is amused or touched or somewhat less bored, then that's cool too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

calling nurse ratchet

My friend is working on a new movie project. Apparently it's something for the gay & lesbian film festival. I have no idea what it's about or who I'll play, but there was mention of a nurse's uniform...

I'll keep you informed when it's finished and ready to view, unless of course I am wearing only a glove or something else embarrassing. Good thing I have a stage name, eh?

Monday, June 20, 2005

weekend movie wrap

Oh lordy, it sure was lovely to leave work at noon last Friday. I enjoyed a tasty meal at Niko Nikos with the good ex and one of this other exes. We'd planned to go see a movie but at the last second decided to drink coffee, read books and then get snacks and watch Team America at home. Much has already been said about the naughty puppet bits in this film, so I'll skip right to the part that amazed me. Puppet vomit. At first I thought "hey, this puppet is vomiting." Then, "hey, this puppet keeps on vomiting." And finally, "well, better fast forward since this is not going to end anytime soon." Gross.

Luckily there was not nearly the volume of puke in 21 Grams, although the comic and upbeat factors were completely missing. On the other hand, Sean Penn appeared in both films and looked better as a puppet than in person. Not only is he is not aging well, I kept wanting to shout out "Hey, Spiccoli!" during his scenes.

Finally, I watched the last of the Battle of Algiers bonus discs. Totally worth it. Made me really want to see more of Pontecorvo's work and anticipating watching it caused me to check The Plague out from the library. So, in conclusion, Team America is silly but fun, 21 Grams depressing and The Battle of Algiers, well, if you haven't seen it, it's a classic and should be watched immediately.

note to self

Do not wear pinchy shoes when feet are slightly swollen.

Friday, June 17, 2005

pants in my hands

I bought the second Pants book the other day (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Second Summer of the Sisterhood, Girls in Pants, for the uninitiated) and am deep into it now. These books are very engaging, I'm sure for kids, but even for a jaded adult like me. The characters are all developed and interesting and different from each other. They have rich internal lives and strong friendships. They all are smart but act crazy sometimes.

I haven't seen the movie based on the first book, but I've heard they gave it a Hollywood ending. That book did not end all happy and tied up. It ended messy and sad but for the most part hopeful. I read it when I was at a conference and I skipped one program to lie in my hotel room bed finishing it.

Sometimes I wish I could write something like it or like one of my favorite books (see a few posts ago for that whole discussion) but I have a hard enough time squeezing out the occasional short story. I spent many of my junior/senior high years rewriting the first pages of a mystery novel, main characters based on me and the guy I had a crush on in the 6th grade (who turned out not to be all that interesting, but that sort of detail didn't stop me in those days).

I think I named myself Hallie and the dude's name was just the beginning of his last name and the end of his last name + first name. Dumb, but I thought it was so clever. It would be like renaming Pat Sajak Jack Patsa. Funny, no? I spent many many happy hours reading the Ellen Raskin books, which gave me that idea I'm certain. Come to think of it, they'd have to be on the list of books that greatly influenced me as a youngster. The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues, The Westing Game, the Mysterious Disappearance of Leon I Mean Noel. I pretty much had The Westing Game memorized. Man, did anyone else read those?

Thursday, June 16, 2005


This morning Annika would not leave me alone. She kept waking me up by licking my head and making little mrowr noises. When I finally got up and went into the kitchen, I realized what was going on. She let out several of her throaty demanding meows which translate into "Canned Food Now!" Somehow she realized that today was one of the two days of the week that I give her canned food. As soon as I started making preparations for it, she stopped meowing and waited quietly. Then she devoured her chosen* tuna chunks in special sauce.

*I hold two cans, one in each hand. She always picks one. For a while I thought she was always picking the one on her right, but then she picked the one on her left.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

stapling is fun!

Librarians=actors? For our instruction meeting today, we performed several exercises, from breathing and movement all the way to improv skits. In general, people played along and did surprisingly well AND seemed to have fun. One skit was a group of four. Three played passengers on a plane and the fourth a flight attendant. One could say whatever he wanted and he had to convince his aisle mates to let him out to use the bathroom. The person next to him could say anything she liked but had to work the word "Whatever!" into the skit. The person on the aisle was only allowed to say her line, which was "Stapling is fun." Finally, the flight attendant could say what she liked but had to work in "I have to get out of here!" The ensuing scene was fairly hilarious, especially when the person on the aisle pretended to be asleep and mumbled her line as if in a dream. It completely broke up the room.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

more bookishness

Man, I realize how hard it is to limit myself to five. For example, one of the authors I'd have a hard time living without is Carson McCullers, but if I have to choose a book, would it be The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, or Member of the Wedding? I am not sure I could choose. Therefore, I give you 5 authors and up to 3 titles per author:

1. See above.
2. John Irving. Hotel New Hampshire or The World According to Garp.
3. Laurie King. Beekeeper's Apprentice or Folly. Although...each of the Mary Russell series keeps on getting better, so the exact book could change.
4. Isabel Allende. Eva Luna or The Infinite Plan or House of Spirits.
5. Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man, although this book is forever bound in my mind to Dick Gregory's Black Like Me. In fact, there's got to be a direct link between my admiration of DG and my love for Dave Chapelle. Gotta be.

Dang, that's me just getting started. Feel free to give shout-outs to your favorites.

i'm bookish

Following on the meme I saw on Jane's blog, there's the question of whether I can choose 5 books that are the most important ones in my life. I'll give it a try.

1. A Sand County Almanac. Aldo Leopold. Basically the reason I became a biologist.
2. The Tao is Silent. This book got me through high school.
3. Jonathan Livingston Seagull. For many years I had to read this book before getting on a plane.
4. Anne of Green Gables (and the rest of the series).
5. Harriet the Spy.

All of these are from my childhood/young adult years. I'll add another entry for adult books.

summer doldrums

Yesterday was one of those long, slow boring days at work. I kept yawning throughout the day...I dreamed of being at home, not relaxing or doing anything exciting, but of cleaning my house. One bright point: someone asked me to help him find out what the current gas price is at the pump in a particular South American country. Delighted, I thought, and dug in. Here's the kicker. We found the gas price as of April, and it was $.03 (per gallon or liter I forget, but either way!).

The bright point in the evening was the Good Ex showing me the first song of the Jana Hunter show we filmed on Saturday, with our three cameras edited together. It looked damned good, considering he put the camera in my hand an hour before the show. Gotta love autofocus. I have a pic of myself filming, but of course I can't post it here. Darned restrictive workplace computing environment!

Monday, June 13, 2005


It was one of those weekends...I worked on Saturday and spent most of yesterday goofing around. So tempted this morning to call in sick so I could clean my house and, you know, take care of things.

One of the fun things I did while goofing around yesterday was go see Night of Cabiri at the MFA. I haven't seen many Fellini films, admittedly, but I really enjoyed this one. We sat in the front row, so my neck and back tired out but it helped me immerse myself in the film. We were talking about it afterwards and I admitted that I'd gotten taken in by the sympathetic man character (don't want to give too much away here) for quite a while and M. said that the change (in him) was very subtle. Anyway, fine performances by Fellini regulars, and kudos to the director of photography. After the show there was a discussion with some local psychiatrists so we skedaddled out of there to get food. I mean, who wants to hear some psychobabble dissection of a film you thought you'd just enjoyed?

Friday, June 10, 2005

scold the mold

We're having a minor crisis at work so I'm a little distracted. That's on top of my normal allergy-head fuzziness. Yesterday my ears were a bit stopped up and I kept having to ask people to repeat themselves.

I'm reading this book at work called College Knowledge. It's about making sure kids are prepared for college work, not just for getting admitted to college. I wanted to see how much the author stressed research skills (something we see lacking here in incoming freshman. Heck, in outgoing seniors!) and he does mention them in a few places but places little stress on them.

I have been asked by a few high school folks (teachers, librarians, etc.) to help them prepare their kids for university but it's tough. If you haven't noticed, schools are focused waaaaay too much on standardized testing and way too little on actual skills and knowledge acquisition. I blame those bottom line straight from the business world administrators and state politician types.

There are a bunch of good tutoring and mentoring programs out there, so if you're working in academia you might consider helping some high school students develop the smarts and the courage they'll need in college. For many, it's the first place they fail. I know it was for me (well, almost, if you don't count high school calculus that I barely passed).

Thursday, June 09, 2005

sad news

My mom called last night to tell me that my grandfather's cancer had recurred and since this is the third time, they won't do any more treatments on him. As one of my sissies said, we just have to wait until it spreads and kills him. Brutal but true. It does make you wonder why we treat our pets more humanely than ourselves. My grandparents have always enjoyed their lives to the fullest, so no moping around allowed. When he's gone, I'll have a screwdriver in his honor and probably drive around the nearest Elks club blasting my horn.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

men i used to know

Last year, right before I met the good ex, I was helping someone at work and he invited me for what turned out to be a date. At the time, I was seeing someone else, so I told him that and it was awkward and I haven't seen him at all for about a year. He came in last night and we got talking and I remembered that he was interesting but at the time I felt weird and didn't pursue a friendship with him, lalalalala. Now I'm wondering if that was a mistake because sure enough we had lots to say and I still feel nothing romantic toward him even though he's pretty good looking and all of that.

Friendship with men is uber complicated for me, except with guys who've had no interest in me and vice versa. I have a lot of guy friends at work for just that reason but outside of work, unless they're gay or married or dating one of my friends I don't have a lot of luck.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

baby fest 2005

My sissie, as you may already know, had a baby a little while back. I've been incredibly bummed about not being able to meet him in the flesh. It turns out that the one weekend/weekbeginning I can take off corresponds with the time sissie and nephews will be visiting eldest sissie. I'm there! I imagine it will be a weekend filled with stinkbutt, trains, games and the usual sister bickering.

Monday, June 06, 2005

culture me

There are times when all I do is watch television and read trashy novels. This is necessary for my psyche. My psyche also needs culture and when it asks for it, I try to give it something decent. This weekend we went to hear some poets at Helios. They've been getting together on Fridays and usually have open mic followed by featured poets upstairs. This Friday the event was downstairs, which was nicer in terms of space and created more of a feeling of community.

When it first started, the sound system was messed up (using the wrong microphone, apparently) so I moved away from the posse and sat right by the stage. I found it much easier to focus. Usually I'm trying to concentrate but I'm fidgety and thinking about laundry and sex and what drink to order next.

I can't give props to everyone because I don't remember their names, but I was blown away by a couple of the poets. Some are participating in storytelling event on June 11 (check the H-town press) and they'll be back at Helios on Sundays starting June 19. Believe me, having some spoken word thrown at you when you need it is good for what ails you.

Friday, June 03, 2005

go ahead, i can take it

Stolen directly from my friend's blog:

1. think of the first word that comes to mind when you think of me.
2. go to http://images.google.com/ and search for that word.
3. reply to this post with one of the pictures on the first page of results (don't tell me the word).
4. put this in your own blog so that I can do the same.

more on the N word

Season 2 of the Dave Chappelle show is out so you may notice a corresponding change in my speech for a while. I don't love absolutely everything Dave does, but some of his skits are, well, "freaking hilarious" to quote one.

Many of my faves revolve around racial stereotypes so you know I was eating up the one about the white family named Niggar. I just loved how sweetly they responded to such exclamations as "He sure is one lazy Niggar!"

I've always thought race was a fairly stupid construct. Of course, this was especially true when I was trying to understand why I couldn't get cornrows in my hair or why I had to put sun screen on as soon as I woke up. The skit on the Race Draft made me howl, especially when the White People drafted Colin Powell and the Asians went for the Wu-Tang Clan.

We only got through the first dvd, so there may be further reports and references to Rick James, Negrodamus and the n-word.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

where did he go?

Way back when, a long long time ago, I said that I was reading The Man in the Iron Mask. Well, I finally finished it over Memorial Day Weekend.

I feel like something was missing, though. I mean, the title character is important through the first 2/3 or so of the book, but after some events that I won't describe in case you want to read it, he doesn't appear nor is he mentioned. I found it very strange. I mean, maybe the title should have been "How the Musketeers Got Caught up with the Man in the Iron Mask" to make clear that the book was a continuation of their stories.

Anyway, of the three Dumas stories I've read, it was my least favorite. I'd recommend either The Count of Monte Cristo or The Three Musketeers. I've heard the movie of The Man in the Iron Mask was putrid, so stay away from that too.

is sugar my friend?

So, last year I tried to eliminate all sugar and carbs from my diet. It was too much for me and I only last about 36 hours before I started to feel disgusting and panicky. I'm still thinking about changing my diet though, and I might be able to give up processed sugar for a little while. I would have to get some splenda in my house though. I can't drink my coffee unsweetened. Well, I could give up coffee but one thing at a time, right?

I'm not sure I can do it. I'm a real addict. Would I draw the line at beer? Would I become a fruit junky? Should I wait until I've finished the candy I currently have?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Last night I dreamed that I was trying on new glasses frames. They all looked cute but when I put them on they were really big on my face. I always find it strange when I have a dream where I'm looking at myself in the mirror. Who knew my subconscious had a reflection?