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in the hoosegow

Friday, July 29, 2005

long quiet day

The one colleague who is actually here today went home sick, so I am pretty much alone over here. It's probably good. I need some quiet and to finish up a bunch of projects.

I watched Requiem for a Dream last night. I loved how the editing enhanced each drug the characters were taking, speeding up and stretching time, making you feel. One of my favorite lines was when Marian said, "you make me feel like a person".

I'm very ponderous for 9:30...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

happy anni

According to my blogger dashboard, this is my 300th post in this blog. That seems like quite a lot of blather, doesn't it?

To continue in the blather vein, I'm now back from vacation, at least physically. I walked in to some major chaos here at work but after one minor blowup things seem to be back on track. An ongoing problem is that I have been really not nice to people lately, which may be related to...

...a long time ago, the good ex and I decided that I'd keep our personal biz out of this blog for the most part. I've tried to stick to that but since you'll all ask anyway, we are definitely not together right now and won't be in the future. I won't bore you with the details but simply say that it's probably for the best.

And finally, the best part of my vacation (besides getting to meet baby dracula): swimming in Lake Michigan, attacking the huge waves and letting them knock me down, feeling like I was the only person in the world and loving every sensation.

Friday, July 22, 2005


Well, that's over. Second symposium over and done with and only the evaluation, posting of presentation material, thank you sort of stuff left to deal with. Happily, I'm heading off to sister land to spend some quality time with the fam so I probably won't post much at all until next Thursday.

Ooog, my brain hurts!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

what's that stench

I've spent the last three hours moving furniture around, making sure rooms have paper on easels, finding enough easels to put our directional signs on, cleaning furniture and, oh yes, eating cake.

So I smell kind of bad.

You know that saying, it takes a village to raise a child? Well folks, I'm here to tell you, it takes an entire library to put on a symposium.

Though I'm exhausted, I'm sitting here wondering what I've forgotten...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Rough night last night. Post-two hour crying jag, I fell back to sleep and had a nightmare that kept on going and going and going.

I was in a big house owned by some rich folk. They had a prince visiting from Saudi Arabia and put him on their private jet to fly back home. The jet carried a bomb and crashed into the house. I ran to the basement (oddly enough, with a colleague from work) where we hid while the house above us shook and slowly collapsed. I remember thinking that I needed to create an airspace around my head and also protect the back of my neck, like when you're caught in an avalanche. After the house was down, I saw that a window nearby was accessible, so I opened it and ran out. I felt awful about leaving the colleague but was afraid that if I went in after him, I'd be crushed.

Slowly, the survivors crawled out from the rubble, including a large hispanic family who had a baby. The baby was sitting by itself and the mother looked over and realized that it has died.

Over the next half hour, plane after plane took off from SeaTac (this was in Seattle, apparently) and then crashed within minutes. Planes were crashing all around and with each one I could hear and feel the impact. When planes stopped crashing, fighter-type jets flew over, dumping crystals everywhere. People didn't understand but I knew that they were some kind of poison and in fact they started letting out gas and people were gasping and dying. Somehow I survived all of this and the dream was prepared to go on, but I willed myself to wake up.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I just sat through one of those godawful trainings. My real question was "when do I use this database instead of these others that look alarmingly similar?" which was sort of answered soon into the 2 hours.

Then I sat there, feeling my butt growing numb, checking my email, reading lots of blogs I don't normally get the time to check, checking my email again, until finally my time in training hell was up.

more delirious conversations

Last night, the good ex called and said something like, "Hey, that thing starts at 7, so can you pick me up at 7:40?" I said, "7:40?" "Yes, so we can be there ontime."

We quickly realized he was too delirious to go and should get back into bed.

Monday, July 18, 2005


The symposium I am co-coordinating is this Friday. On that day, 50-75 liberrians from the area will descend upon our liberry to learn more about ejournals and to eat lots of food and chit chat with each other. Our speakers are coming from all over the country (3 are out of state) so I am especially hopeful that any new natural disasters wait until the weekend, preferably after I've had a chance to get to my sister's house.

sea (of tears) inside

**warning, spoilers**
In the 1990s, a Spanish man who'd been a quadraplegic for over 20 years was finally able to achieve his dream: to die. He'd asked the government for permission to receive euthanasia but it was consistently denied. Ramon Sampedro was a writer and rather popular with the ladies, despite his handicap, and his character was interesting enough to carry a 2 hour film. Most of the movie was touching and sweet and funny but toward the end I started to feel for his family, especially his father. When Ramon was in the van saying goodbye to everyone else, his father was upstairs sitting by his bed, looking so sad and alone. That was when the sea inside was unabashedly gushing from my eyeballs. The very end was the saddest and most bitter part. His friend and lover who suffered from a degenerative disease had forgotten him and was slowly wasting away because her husband could not let her go.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Sometimes it's hard not to think the universe is squarely against you. For instance, I've been incredibly stressed about a symposium we're having here next week, but I had managed to get to sleep despite that. At 2am on the dot, some jerkwad with a hotrod decided to take a tire squealing tour of the neighborhood, paying special attention to doing donuts in the parking lot right behind my house. That was over pretty quickly but then I was awake....eyes open, staring ahead, sleep nowhere to be found. After a while, I got up and read. That cat thought I was nuts and was blinking like crazy in the light. Sometime after 3 I finally went back to bed, to wake up again at 6 to crazy thunder and lightning.

So, I'm here at work, but I'm not all there, if you know what I mean.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

taco salad of my heart

Last night I made the primo taco salad. It involves freezing tofu, then squeezing the water out and frying it up like hamburger along with taco seasoning. Then you add it to all of the normal taco salad stuff. I made it with lettuce, tomatoes, kidney beans, cheese, avocadoes, sour cream and tortilla chips. It nearly made up for my crappy day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

follow up poop

So things were going fairly well today, despite my earlier post and despite a fire alarm during the inaugural meeting of my very own committee, until my last meeting. I then completely lost my sh*t and stormed out. Luckily, when I returned, it was with solid backup for my argument. I think I made up with my colleagues, but they deserve a lollipop for putting up with me today.

After all of that dust settled, we discovered a gigantic leak where two parts of our building are joined. The worst of it is in a data closet, disasterously close to a lot of cabling and servers.

It is indeed time to go home.

poopy buttheads

Do you have those days when you hate everyone? I've been building up to that over the past few days, in fact, and today my stomach hurts, I ran out of both allergy medicine and coffee, and I still haven't fixed my da**ed toilet. So I'm gearing up for a not so hot day today. Consider yourself warned.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

whities move in

I live in a mainly hispanic neighborhood and so the local park is usually full of, you guessed it, my hispanic neighbors. In the mornings when I go to run or walk (or huff and puff), I usually see this one tall white dude and several hispanic ladies and often a group of dudes all getting their exercise. I've noticed lately that there's been an influx of whities. It makes me feel weird. White and brown people are different in parks, at least in my experience. We move at different paces, we do different activities. Heck, when's the last time you spent the day at the park with your entire extended family or went to watch somebody's baseball game in 95 degree weather? I thought so!

Anyway, I've liked being in the minority, feeling like for once I was the one adding a little variety and spice to the mix. Now I'm back to grunting at the other pasty joggers instead of trying to coax a shy smile out of senioritas.

Monday, July 11, 2005

on the phone

The Good Ex called yesterday and asked if I could pick him up. "I'm at Bookstop", he said. I drove to Bookstop and couldn't find him, so I called his cell. "Where are you exactly?" "I'm toward the back, in Sociology." This is a place with two entrances, so I wasn't sure what he meant by "the back". "Where are you?" he asked. "I'm in the middle." A few minutes pass. "Where are you exactly? Are you sure you're at Bookstop?" "Yes. Where are you? I'm right at the entrance." "Which entrance?" "The one where the parking lot is."

Now, this is where I became convinced that he was delirious, because there are parking lots on both sides. "Are you really at Bookstop, or are you at Half Price Books?"


"Half Price Books." "Okay, I'll be over there in a minute."

Saturday, July 09, 2005

in the closet

I have a class to teach this morning and on my way out the door I paused to say goodbye to the cat. Then I realized I hadn't seen her for a while and started looking in her usual haunts. No Annika. Finally I opened up the closet where I keep my shoes. She came bounding out. I'm glad I stopped to find her--she hadn't meowed or anything and who knows when I'll get home this afternoon.

Friday, July 08, 2005

scared white folks

So guess who I saw last night...that's right, it was Paul Mooney. Not only did I see him at the Improv, I got in for free.

I have to issue my usual post-black comedian warning: if I accidentally pop out the N word, I know I'm not allowed to use it but when I hear it 200 times in the space of an hour, it kind of gets imprinted on my frontal lobe.

Paul Mooney is way smart. I especially like his jokes that don't make sense unless you were really listening. He pointed out a woman in the audience who was getting everything he said, telling her husband/companion to hold onto her.

I cannot repeat any of his jokes. Not only would it not be funny but almost all of them involve the N word in some way or another, even my favorite, which was his imitation of a whitey getting overwhelmed after hearing his act and saying "I've got a N-headache." He's at the Improv the rest of the weekend, so if you're smart you'll go see him. Just make sure you remember the aspirin.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


A few friends came over last night so that we could send our Fairie Princess (she drinks pomegranate wine, what can I say?) off to South America in style. When she arrived, I was trying to get the coals going by repeatedly dousing them with lighter fluid. We finally got those babies going but not before I was half drunk on Big Red and vodka. For the entire evening I smelled like charcoal, meat and bugspray.

I drank a lot of water before bed, but I still had a bit of a vodka hang this morning. After two hours with ten teachers from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakstan (all misspellings purely my own fault), said hangover is all gone and I can have purely fond memories of my BR&V.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Have you seen Abigail's Party? It's one of Mike Leigh's films from the 70s, complete with so so 70s clothes and furniture and sensibilities. I watched it recently with the Good Ex, one of his other exes and her husband. They'd all seen it multiple times but refrained from shouting out the lines before the characters said them (thank you, because I really hate that) but we did all shout out a particular line when it the character reprised it twice within 5 minutes. It's a film that's a play, like Uncle Vanya on 42nd, or Dogville, so the actors are always climbing over each other in the living room set or shouting from the kitchen/entryway.

As the film goes on, the dominating main character, Beverly, grates on the nerves as she orchestrates the evening. The mousy character, Ang (Angela), makes retarded comments and agrees with everything Beverly says, as she grows slowly drunker and sillier. Her husband, Tony, sits mute and glowering through much of the film. Beverly's husband, Laurence, tries to save his dignity by engaging Sue, the mother of the titular Abigail, in conversation about art. About 2/3 of the way through, I was groaning and rolling around in my chair, wishing the damned thing would end. While it was funny, it was extremely uncomfortable, much like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

I tried to block it out of my memory, but yesterday the good ex kept saying "We got the price of the house down from 22,000 to 21,000" and giggling maniacally.

that new tire smell

I gave my donut spare tire to a friend on the 4th of July because his was flat, we couldn't fix it, and no tire shops were open. Yesterday, I shopped for a replacement. I discovered that those tiny little donuts cost about $200 and you can only get them from a car dealer. If you have the rim and want a new tire mounted on it, it costs about $100, which turns out to be the price of a new full-size spare for my car.

I'm now the proud owner of a sparkly full-size, roaming around in my trunk, giving off rubbery new tire smell.

On another topic, I noticed that the men who work at tire shops have very dirty fingernails. That makes sense. However, I also saw that many of the men shopping at the tire place also had dirty nails. Not just a little schmutzy, but heinously, blackly dirty.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


I saw Mysterious Skin this weekend. It's a film adaptation of a Scott Heim novel and according to the Good Ex, an excellent adaptation at that. The story is about two men, one who was abused as a child and has become a hustler. The other believes he was abducted by aliens. It's one of the few films I've seen that does a good job of portraying abuse and rape in a human way, meaning you can almost understand the motivations of the aggressors and you can definitely understand the ways people cope with horrendous events. The subject matter makes it difficult to watch at times but it's worth seeing, especially for those who dislike copout Hollywood endings.

Friday, July 01, 2005

waiting and waiting and waiting

Last night we finally shot the scene that I'm in. I have no idea what the name of the movie is, but I'll let you know when I find out. As far as I can figure, the story is about a lesbian couple who decides to get some sperm and have a baby. Meanwhile, a gay guy is trying to donate sperm to a clinic that doesn't want his tainted jism. Of course, this is all cobbled together from seeing the scenes filmed last night (night 3). In a way, the waiting was worthwhile, because we got to shoot the scenes in a real doctor's office. It's a lot easier to act like a snooty nurse when you're surrounded by medical stuff.

By the way, in case you were wondering, either I completely stink at acting (not a far fetched idea!) or I need more than a few hours to learn my lines. Seriously. We had to shoot my big scene 5 times before I got through the whole thing, but I did get through it twice. Luckily, everyone was all patience and smiles, despite the late hour (11pm). The other actors were much more professional, so I think the project will be a winner. As always, I'll keep you posted.