Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The Miller's Tale

from Roomie's email this morning to me:

I have blown out three ribs, 2 spinal discs, the equivalent of eight drinks, 4 potatoes, 6 haystacks, 2 cows, a cornfield and a Buick into the toilet since I saw you last.

Holding oneself in the Iron Cross position, and LITERALLY blowing yourself into the air for a few seconds is neither liberating nor cleansing. It hurts.

And I think that the clams have finally left the building.
Random things...

It's like we're in a movie. We all know who the bad guy is but he seems to be getting away with everything--he tied up the heroine on the railroad tracks, he shot the sheriff, he intimidated the town council, he stole the land from the homesteader (who probably displaced a native brown person.) But there's only a quarter of the movie left and it looks like he'll win: he'll get the town, the land, the sassy saloon broad and your little dog, too.

In a couple of days, 2003 will be over and the election year will ramp up with the grinding force of a military column moving through a town. On the surface, it looks like our economy is picking up; it looks like our Iraq adventure could maybe, sorta, probably end soon? maybe? It looks like domestic life is settling down and we're successfully keeping our borders safe. It looks like this because the news is so quiet lately, huh? We keep being told everything's better, but is it really?

The economy: Paul Krugman's column today nicely sums up the fissure that lies between our 'booming' economy and our reality. Think about it: how many of our laid off friends have found jobs equal to or better than the one they had to leave? how long have our friends been laid off? How many of our families that we visited over the holidays are showing signs that they're working harder for less?

Iraq: what is there to say? it was done badly, wrongly; i used to think "I totally disagreed with going in but now that we're there, we might as well stay and finish what we started" but it's almost like finding yourself in the middle of a clusterfuck without your realizing and thinking, "Well, this is really gross, but now that I'm here I might as well stay and get off." And whatever happened to our embedded reporters? Now that things are really difficult, we can't see what our soldiers see?

All the ire from the other 8 candidates focused on Dean amazes me, too; come on, guys, quit whining, grow a set and run your own race.

Monday, December 29, 2003

cold mountain...

it had the picaresque quality of The Odyssey, the mind-numbing pace of Snow Falling on Cedars, the sacrificial romance of The English Patient and 'the Civil War is all about white people' of Somersby all rolled into one.

if it wins an oscar, i'll puke.
at work...sleepy...reading the paper online...
last week was a full one, current event-ly. but being in LA meant i was essentially quarantined from the rest of the world.

almost end of year resolution: wear jeans to work every day this week.

lost and found

(ok, a weird technical blip happened, so this may actually double post)

take-aways from the final days of Holiday Hell:
1. crying at the airport while saying good bye to your daddy is not very pretty.
2. if you're in la you must go to the lost and found on national and overland. it's the kind of dive bar in a strip mall where the bartendress has a voice like 40 miles of bad road and the customers bring their own food. there's wood paneling, a christmas tree, tinsel and you can smoke there.
3. the smoking garden/oasis at LAX is genius. where else can you suck nicotine into your system and simultaneously inhale jet fuel?

African American Vernacular Phrase of the Day: "losing my religion" [as in "ATA fucking lost my luggage on the direct flight from LAX and I was so pissed I damn well lost my religion in front of that stupid baggage claim guy. I couldn't see straight for 15 minutes."]

Saturday, December 27, 2003


dynamite hacks' cover of nwa's 'boyz-N-the-hood'.
my sister and i blew snot we laughed so hard, listening to kroq, driving from the westside pavillion.
it's almost over. i will be sad when i leave, but i will also be glad to sleep in my own bed and eat my own doritos.

christmas was stormy--flash floods, winds, mudslides. an earthquake. heightened security at lax. i'll have to be at the airport 5 hours ahead of time to make a noon flight. my niece and nephew have had more tantrums i can shake my ass at, and my sister and brother-in-law need to get out more. i feel so bad when i see how tired they get and how their time really isn't their own.

but it's almost over. next week, i'll be back in chicago, back at my office, back in my life. missing them while i'm back in my life.

have also had inordinate conversations about anal sex while here and it's unnerving. who knew evangelical christians were so into it?

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

i don't have much time.

the children are up and leslie is looking efficient.

quickly, my holiday so far, bridget jones style:

3 cigarettes, 2 cocktails, 4 toddler sized tantrums, 1 time-out, 1 bad santa, 3
adult tantrums over not getting my way, 1 sales clerk yelled at when i couldn't find gift boxes, 1 whispering niece who says i
smell like smoke, 1 hobbit movie i haven't seen yet (dammit), 1 christmas dinner
yet to be cooked, 3 nights on my sister's couch, and 1 hugely round nephew who
makes me laugh.

oh, and one hysterical phone call to ali from sav-on about how much my holiday
is sucking right now.  i am NEVER having children.  NEVER.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

merry hell

i'm hiding in my father's study, quickly checking email messages and scribbling this blog. my holiday thus far in los angeles:
1. my sister's kids are driving me insane. ok, they're adorable, but fighting with a 4-year old over my walkman and arguing why the shins are better than 'jingle bell rock' is, frankly, undignified.

2. haven't had a serious cocktail since i landed. i'm shaking from the lack of scotch, gin or vodka in this god-forsaken land.

3. neither have i had a cigarette. still shaking.

4. it's 74 degrees here.

5. we had a 6.5 earthquake yesterday.

i'll stop there before i burst into tears. what next?? mudslides? brush fires? the pacific ocean turning to blood?

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Us Girls

Forget about sex and the single girl, what about politics? It turns out that we're more important than we think. Here's a short article taken from Diversity Inc:

Are Single Women the New 'Soccer Moms'?
Forget about soccer moms. The prized voter of next year's presidential election could be single women, according to a new study. But they need to get to the polls. Using census and other voting data analyzed by two Democratic polling firms, the study released Tuesday found there would have been 6 million more ballots to count in 2000 if single women had voted at the same rate as their married counterparts.
The study, the first phase of a project designed to help get single women to the polls, showed that they are the largest nonvoting group and also one of the most dissatisfied with the country's direction. Study authors Christina Desser and Page Gardner, who received funding from some nonpartisan sources for their broader project, "Women's Voices. Women Vote.," said one reason single women stay home on Election Day is because they think their concerns about education, jobs and health care are routinely ignored.
Exit poll data from the 2000 election indicates that more single women voting next November could help the Democratic presidential nominee. George W. Bush slightly edged out Al Gore among married women, while married women preferred Gore by more than 30 percentage points. (AP)

I find that stunning--single women not participating in our political process. Too busy? Indifferent? Apathetic? I think it's time for us to be a bit more visible.

Friday, December 12, 2003

i haven't really given a lot of time to write about politics (other than my angry screeds against the Opt Out women and marriage) but here is a link to a Washington Post article about Dean and the Dem's outsider status.

it just made me go 'hm.' haven't quite decided who i'm for, yet.

at work: huge team party last night, there are only 4 of us here. i have $10 to my name until monday (grr). i have to write holiday cards for Madame.

(btw, i'm proud of the fact i just figured out how to do the link thing...)

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

a full day of divorce proceedings by proxy. two grownups fighting over breast implants, art, books, computers, contents of security deposit boxes, horse boarding, and phone bills--oh, and children.

and gay couples make a mockery of marriage?


Tuesday, December 09, 2003


i have a tree.

(well, *we* have a tree.) there it is--square in the middle of the princess turret, naked, waiting for a bulb or two. years into adulthood and this is my first tree. i know, big deal. it's not like owning a home, or having a kid, or whatever the proper marker of adulthood is.

but it's ours--mine and my roommate's. we bought it; her boyfriend strapped it onto his truck and i watched him carry it up three flights of stairs.

now it feels like christmas.

(yes, i'm totally PMSing and...cue mood swing)

the new issue of W has a remarkably disgusting article about how much money it takes to be rich.

i had just finished saying to my roomie, 'you know, this magazine doesn't annoy me the way it used to...' when i turned the page and saw the article.

if i didn't have *work* tomorrow morning, i'd vent.

when did this become my job?

this is my life right now: helping my boss' brother pore through domestic detritus as his wife divorces him. for the rest of the week i have to help him as he narrows his marriage to assets, property and valuations. then, i'll make folders for him, create tables and graphs, and watch as we figure out where his wife's breast implants go.

my boss says to me, 'i'd really appreciate if you could work with him and just try and get him organized.'
i say, 'sure, no problem.'
she says, 'if you could sit with him...'
i say, 'uh, sure. no problem.'
and then she says, 'we can't really leave him alone...'
i think, jesus. i'm babysitting.
but i just say, 'i understand. it'll be no problem.'

i was feeling full of holiday cheer (i'll be in l.a. next weekend!) but now all i wanna do is find a dark bar and drink.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

merry merry...whatever

the holiday season is here.
i'm already too tired to deal with it.

but there's a party tonight and i should go...even though i really just want to throw on a turtleneck sweater, jeans, boots and go to the movies for a few hours. last year, at this same party, i abandoned my friend A. as she was accosted by a bisexual short order cook going through a rough divorce. when he wagged his tongue at her and suggested a threesome i ran for the buffet.

let's hope tonight provides more entertainment than that.

Thursday, December 04, 2003


it's a slow day. i've managed to get my boss out the office for the next two days and the silence is heaven sent. i've skimmed the papers, predictably gritting my teeth at various bits: bush's turkey was fake, the 'healthy forest' thing passed, his poll numbers have stopped their spiral downward, and the goopers have decided to abandon their ship...

but nothing is grabbing me by the hips and making me jiggle. it's hard being politically feisty all the time, you know? and then, when your sap is running high and all that, the concentration starts to wander.

it sort of saunters over to sunday night and that guilt-inducing cocktail (then dinner, then nightcap) shared with the Older Guy. the concentration lollygags in front of that memory and waves at it, fluttering its fingers at it, trying to catch its attention again...and fiercely ignores guilt's hand tugging on her faux fur collar.

what are the obligations to someone with whom you've been intimate, exchanged the L-word (albeit drunkenly) and who lives several states away? how far does one's (gulp) commitment go?

Monday, December 01, 2003

guilt guilt guilt....

if temptation was a pint of ice cream, i'd be sitting in a barco-lounger wearing a muu-muu, stuffing my face with it.

mercury is in retrograde (not that i'm totally into this) but word has it that things from our past will make sudden and alarming appearances in the next few days.

the thought of my 'past' stumbling into the light makes my ass clench.