Friday, August 27, 2010

Retail Flummery

"How many do you have?" the my-age, appropriately "thick" Avenue salesclerk inquired as I strode toward the precious dressing room, bundle of possible vestments held close to my bosom. Sure, it was late and the store was quiet and they were doing their closing activities, but they didn't actually close for an hour.

"Six," I replied.

"The limit is four," she said. ("Hmph. Industry standard is six. Y'all can't count higher than that?" I thought to myself.) I tried to just put 2 on the back of the door so I could swap them and not go looking for her again. She seized them away and put them on an unrelated rack an inconvenient distance away.

I finished the trying ons, the selectings and rejectings, and had to go hunt her down again to find where the other two garments were. She was none too eager or swift to assist me.

In the passing between however, a bait and switch occurred. She gave me the two shirts I still needed to try on, taking three rejected items as I took the three items I wanted back into the dressing room with me. I closed the door, looked down at the clothings clutched in my hand, and did a little jiggling dance while mouthing in the mirror, "That's five! I got five in here!"

Why tiny victories such as these make me joyous I don't know.


"It's all mixed up." -- Ocasek, et al.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


As I'm yet aboard the dating train (Weird. A snippet from Billy Joel's "Piano Man" -- "and probably will be for life" -- just came into my head. Tsk, tsk, that's not positive thinking!), I'm still conducting and being observed through a series of bizarre interviews (a.k.a. online profiles, messaging, phone conversations, and meetups).

Recently, I've given some of my prospective partner candidates the address of my blog, and even, horror of horrors, my Twitta. Some seemed to enjoy it, but in some, it produced intimidation. When I whined about this to some friends, they claimed similar experiences. Do men need a woman who's not quite as smart or less independent than they are to feel good about themselves? Maybe some do. If that's so, this blog serves as a double-edged sword, slicing some out of the equation.

It just underscores what I've said before: writing both validates and betrays me. It allows me to show crystalline facets of who I am, but those facets slice into people and their feelings sometimes. I'll keep doing it though, and truly, I don't do enough. If no one tells the truth, how will we ever know more than we do now?


"And they sit at the bar, and put bread in my jar, and say, 'Man, what are you doing here?'" -- B. Joel

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Stairway to Snow Cones

The dream realm, which I sometimes refer to as The Marches, has produced some interesting storylines lately. Last night, I returned (Yes, returned.... do you ever go back to particular worlds, scenarios or lands in your nightly travels? 'Cause I do.) to some kind of a building with a staircase that went up probably nine or ten floors. The interesting thing about the staircase though, was that it had branches that went in different directions, dead ends, and switchbacks of a sort, so you never really knew, even if you traipsed up and down, exactly where you would end up.

Unlike most stairways - lonely, drafty, and used only as a last resort when the elevator's broken or calories grudgingly need to be burned - this stairway was packed with people. If you took a random sampling of hundreds of people at some kind of huge celebratory event, like a St. Patrick's Day parade in Boston, or Mardi Gras, and put them on this stairway, that's what it would be: mostly young hipster types, but a mix of older people, adventurers, travelers, costumed folk, musicians, and lots of others.

The thing was, this stairway was more or less a hangout, like a nightclub in a way. The point was to go up and down and around and up and down, sometimes getting caught in a corner and having to turn around and go down against the flow, and seeing who you'd be able to meet or talk to or poke fun at or brush against as you went. I was there alone, but for some reason wearing a jaunty $6.00 cowboy hat that I bought at K-Mart on a recent trip to the beach - somewhat like this, only brown and with colorful beads on the front:

So up and down I trudged, elegantly hatted, seeing all sorts of different people, getting trapped, and wandering up and down. Of course you got tired, but that was sort of the point - keep trudging through the protest of your aching quads, because there was something more to see and a new flight that you hadn't gone up or down yet.

When I went to this place before, I discovered that if you wandered long enough, and lucked into taking the right turns, you discovered an oasis in the form of a tiny snack bar, run by two bearded guys who appeared to be post-college but pre-thirty, which sold only cherry flavored snow cones in styrofoam cups. They weren't alcoholic, and there didn't seem to be any other flavor available.

On this trudge, I reached the stand, and went to pay for my much-needed cone. Digging in my wallet hurriedly, I accidentally gave the guy two $1.00 bills and two $5.00 bills to pay the $3.71 charge for four ounces of snowy cherry goodness (expensive! I know!) He laughed, flirted with me, and then did some sleight of hand to return the bills, but when he did, he gave back two $1.00 bills and two $20.00 bills, just to mess with me. Of course I laughed, returned them, paid, and went on my way back to the madness, and that was the end of the dream. I woke up with that feeling of enjoyment at interacting with people like that, and of being chosen as the person to be messed with out of all the hundreds of people.

Pleasant dreams like that are rare, but stick in your mind. If you opened a building like that and touted it as a nightclub, maybe making stop-off rooms so it wasn't just only a stairway, would it get off the ground? I wonder. And I copyright this nutty idea, so if you use it, I get a cut. And free snow cones.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Digital Immigrants? I Beg Your Pardon, Ma'am.

Recently I was at a technological staff development session, which is a fancy name for teachers being taught. In our day, teachers were sage repositories into which we inserted a coin marked with our name, grade and age and received a preformulated serving of knowledge, encapsulated in a cylindrical package. We were to drink of this can, forged of the strong steel of tradition, stamped with dates and vitamins and things that were surely good for us. Some of us drank this draught deeply and wanted more, some played with the can so it got dented, some spilled it entirely, and if you did, you were out of luck. It was your fault you flunked, even if you were allergic to the contents of the can, even if it was spoiled, even if you couldn’t bear the taste.

Nowadays, teaching isn’t about what the teacher is presenting, but about what the students learn. It doesn’t matter if your lesson is phenomenal, if no one you’re teaching understands it. Instead of a processed beverage of knowledge, today’s teacher must know the specific nutritional needs of each of her students, and prepare a meal that will be appealing and nourishing for each and every consumer of her wisdom. This weaves in new threads of motivation, choice and interest levels.

In an effort to address these, a few other teachers and I were taking a class on how to introduce technology more effectively. Our instructor told us that the students in our classrooms were “digital natives,” having been born into a world that had always had the benefit of highly technological devices, and because they were proficient, usually before entering formal schooling, with the use of computers, technological toys, and even cellphones. We teacher learners under her tutelage, however, were deemed “digital immigrants.” My geek cred responded with indignance. Au contraire. I had a Commodore 64, which I programmed in BASIC, by the time I was 15. Sure, this programming primarily repeated the name of my favorite band in an infinite stream, or made asterisk snowflakes stream down, but it was something. These “digital natives” not only were not in the womb, but some of their parents were not even yet gestated at that time.

Feh. Ask a nine-year-old what a BBS is. They’ve got no idea. They never played “Forbidden Forest” as run off of a tape drive. They don’t know what the screech of a dialup modem sounds like, and they have no concept of pay-by-the-hour internet. If you asked them to pick “computer beige” from a color chart, they’d be without even a pixel of a clue.

So I don’t think that I qualify as a digital immigrant. First generation, maybe. But not even that. That’s Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Case. We built upon our forebears’ foundations, forging the technological frontier of now: Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and the blogosphere. It is up to us, the digital Gen-Xers, the second generation, to bridge the natives and the immigrants. We can translate, able to relate to both ways of life, that of the Old World (before tech), and the new (where life without tech is unthinkable).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Time was, we used to game* for days. There was a flophouse apartment, of near the lowest ilk, with a blue mix of shag mess on the floor. It had two floors, and there were beds strewn about. We all worked at crap jobs, and made things like Magic Cookie Bars to share whilst running down kobolds or evil shadow dragons or the like.

Concomitant with this gaming and flopping were the presence of many an oddball. My GM** is the bestest in the world, so she attracted itinerant gamer types. One such fellow traveler was a guy named George, a portly, blonde and bearded soul who clearly was operating a few notches below fourth gear in the old brain box department. He wasn't mentally disabled, so much as just slower than most.

So one day we're sitting around between battles and such, and he whips out an acoustic guitar. "Oh," I think. "Maybe we're going to see where his genius lies." So he starts strumming, saying he's going to play a song he wrote. I agree to listen. After all, my own character was and is a bard herself, so bringing a little music into real never hurt, I thought.

George starts his song, a melancholy yarn, and goes on through several chord changes before singing, "Whyyy.... oh whyyyy" and then going on for many, many more bars before piping up again in song, "Whyyyyy" and then going on for many, many more measures, then "Oh whyyyy" -- more song styling, and finally, the other shoe drops,

"do the birds have to die?"

That was the whole entire song, even though it went on for a few more minutes.

Tonight I was listening to singer/songwriter/guy with guitar vids, and that gentle, avian-loving simpleton came to mind. Bless him, wherever he may be today.


* - play roleplaying games such as D&D, GURPS, Shadowrun, and such
** - Game Master


"I see myself in you. I know you don't want me to."
-- John Daly (not a George but a decent singer/songwriter -- check him out!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

You Can't Tell Anyone Anything

You just can't. And if you do, they will hate you for it.


p.s. Blogposts that are less than 140 characters should've been a tweet.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hell (of a) Week

pretty shitty this week
but I'm alive

Oh dear
What happened?
omg do you really want to know the whole string of events? haha
it's nuts
one of my student's mom passed away
my heating and a/c broke, was fixed, broke again and is now fixed again
(yay for that one)
I got sick
went to the dr for that

oh yuch
had to take my dog to the vet, the vet got sick, so had to reschedule, go in today to find out my pug has lost his sight completely, no idea why,doing blood work, probably not going to regain
anddddd i had a huge filling pop out while I was flossing in the car and spent all day yesterday getting a root canal
you can't make this shit up

Never rains but it pours
Are you still sick?
getting better
today I was taking vicodin for tooth pain but it made me so nauseous I actually barfed so off that
but tooth isnt that bad hurting
so that's good!
all this mess has cost like $1000 so far

thankfully, next week is spring break
you'll need that to recover
right on


"I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one." -- Jay Z

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Your result for The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test...

7 - the Adventurer

Thanks for taking the test !

you chose AX - your Enneagram type is SEVEN (aka "The Enthusiast").

"I am happy and open to new things"

Adventurers are energetic, lively, and optimistic. They want to contribute to the world.

How to Get Along with Me

• Give me companionship, affection, and freedom.

• Engage with me in stimulating conversation and laughter.

• Appreciate my grand visions and listen to my stories.

• Don't try to change my style. Accept me the way I am.

• Be responsible for youself. I dislike clingy or needy people.

• Don't tell me what to do.

What I Like About Being a SEVEN

• being optimistic and not letting life's troubles get me down

• being spontaneous and free-spirited

• being outspoken and outrageous. It's part of the fun.

• being generous and trying to make the world a better place

• having the guts to take risks and to try exciting adventures

• having such varied interests and abilities

What's hard about being a SEVEN

• not having enough time to do all the things I want

• not completing things I start

• not being able to profit from the benefits that come from specializing; not making a commitment to a career

• having a tendency to be ungrounded; getting lost in plans or fantasies

• feeling confined when I'm in a one-to-one relationship

SEVENs as Children Often

• are action oriented and adventuresome

• drum up excitement

• prefer being with other children to being alone

• finesse their way around adults

• dream of the freedom they'll have when they grow up

SEVENs as Parents

• are often enthusiastic and generous

• want their children to be exposed to many adventures in life

• may be too busy with their own activities to be attentive

Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele, The Enneagram Made Easy. Discover the 9 Types of People.

Harper: San Francisco, 1994, 161 pages

You liked the test? so S P R E A D I T ! tell everyone!!!

(copypaste the HTML-code from below to your profile or blog!)

please, leave a comment HERE

you wanna know MORE? so check out, what Wikipedia says about your type... ...even more you'll find in Google


You are not completely happy with the result?!

You chose AX. Use the BACK-button of your browser to see the other options!

Take The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test at OkCupid

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Wit

Your result for The 3 Variable Funny Test...

the Wit

(52% dark, 15% spontaneous, 26% vulgar)

your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.

Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

You probably loved the Office. If you don't know what I'm
talking about, check it out here:

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais


The 3-Variable Funny Test!
- it rules -

Take The 3 Variable Funny Test at OkCupid

The Sisterhood?

I was reading this morning in a newly arrived issue of Glamour, which I never ordered but which replaced the dear departed Domino, where Wendy Williams (a member of the growing number of People Who I Don't Know Who They Are, as opposed to Wendy O. Williams, who I do know who was) advises us to, "Believe in the sisterhood," i.e. not all other women want your man, job, etc.

I very much enjoy being a girl, do not mistake me, but I've never been a joiner or a sorority member. Nor do I believe that all other women want what I have. I'm capable of being catty and snarky, but not so much that I have to urge myself to stop doing so and subscribe to some credo of togetherness. So the only slogan I can offer is this:

The sisterhood: blood and holes unite us.


"I got all my sisters and me." -- Sister Sledge (but ironically composed by TWO DUDES, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers!!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Eyebrow Shaper Loyalty: Does it exist? Is it important?

I get them done all over town. I don't just have one person I rely on. I traverse the entire city every work day, so when I need my eyebrows waxed, I just stop whereever I'm closest.

So today I go to my local place and the lady who works there, after shoving the remainder of some cabbage-based delicacy (I know because I could smell it on her hands) (and the weird thing is, I ate a cabbage-based delicacy for dinner later on) into her mouth, came out from the back. "Just eyebrows," I cheerfully informed her.

She looked me over, made some conversation, asked me if I was off today, and doing errands, and then I found out why her eyes were narrowed a bit as she spoke to me.

"It's been a long time," she said.

"Yes, it has," I said.

Was I cheating on my local eyebrow waxing lady? Because I think she thought I was.

If nothing else, it explains why her cleanup tweezing is so damn painful.


"Sorry, Ms. Jackson." -- Outkast
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