Boondocks on TV
Dooce's content is losing ground against the turf claimed by adsense messages, but on the upside, one of those ads filled me in that there is a 30-minute Boondocks program starting on Adult Swim! I might just have to get cable again. Boondocks daily comics are here.
copyright Darrin Bell
Looking forward to the holidays
(sure I am)
Over at Kitty's Corner, Kitty shares the memo her grandmother just sent outlining the expectations for family Christmas this year. I've been venting about insane family functions over in her comments since I found the post at lunchtime, and Kitty has been very understanding (thanks, Kitty!).
In the memo, Kitty's grandmother lists several categories of family members and the corresponding gift value for each category. But grown grandchildren don't fit the categories - not that it matters for reasons of gift value and personal gains from attending Christmas. If my stepmother wrote a memo like this, it would totally confirm my feelings of alienation if she listed off family relationships in a way that left me right out. As I just wrote over there: I've had ten years of quasi-adulthood to get used to little kids asking me if, since I'm not anybody's mother, I am an adult or a kid. But I'm always surprised and annoyed when I see the same confused look on the faces of my stepmother and my stepsisters.
Family functions at my dad and stepmom's house are designed for parents and small children (some of the small children are now teenagers but that just means they have been deputized and are now honorary parents, or at least child-herds). 2002 was the first Christmas I had spent with them for six years and I was just barely able to hold it together. The main problem was that I was now an adult and was expecting to fit right in at the adult table. It didn't hit me until that week that although the 6-10-12 year age gap between me and my stepsisters felt less significant at 26 than 11, I still wasn't going to be part of their circle. Certainly not as long as I'm single and not a parent, but probably just-plain-never. It was a shattering insight, particularly as I had just moved 1600 miles back across the country, with "being closer to my family" part of my motivation. (Of course I was much too broke to un-move. I could just about pull it off now . . .) Three years later, no longer shattered, I have adjusted my expectations - I don't expect to bask in sisterly warmth, I expect to be annoyed.
[I want to post this tonight as an apology for taking over Kitty's comments today. Knowing that I'll wish for a less-bitchy tone when I read it tomorrow. So it goes.]
Modder's Porn, or Why I am not a Woodworker
I have this strange tenativeness (or maybe it's good old Scots thriftiness) when it comes to any kind of craft-work. I'm really unlikely to sacrifice a pretty and new and perfect piece of lumber (/fabric/et cetera) to the saw, just to make something that might not come out right anyway. I'm much more likely to say, "Oh, I need something to hold up/cover/decorate that ________" and go rummaging through the basement (or, in a pinch, the alley behind the local dorms) in search of some piece of near-trash that's just begging to be modded into whatever I need. Pocket-knife on polymer, baby. Wood screws. And duck tape in many decor-friendly colors.
There is a new drool-mag for DIYers of my stripe: MAKE magazine. Ooooh it's cool. Make your own, well, you name it. A cigar box guitar, a Hi-Fi modded into an MP3 player, a 2-wheeled doggy cart, and that's just the current issue. The website has links to directions to make a woolen knit DNA model and articles on a Pez MP3 player and the concept of wabi-sabi. I love these people and I haven't even got my hands on a copy of the magazine yet.
Thanks to Teresa Nielson Hayden at Making Light for news of this magazine, now in its fourth issue. I will let you know if my neighborhood Barnes and Noble is tuned in yet.
"You are not enough people."
In the introduction to God Bless you, Dr. Kevorkian, Kurt Vonnegut tells us what he has learned about discord in relationships:
OK, now let's have some fun. Let's talk about sex. Let's
talk about women. Freud said he didn't know what
women wanted. I know what women want. They want
a whole lot of people to talk to. What do they want to
talk about? They want to talk about everything.
What do men want? They want a lot of pals, and
they wish people wouldn't get so mad at them.
Why are so many people getting divorced today?
It's because most of us don't have extended families
anymore. It used to be that when a man and a woman
got married, the bride got a lot more people to talk to
about everything. The groom got a lot more pals to tell
dumb jokes to.
A few Americans, but very few, still have extended
families. The Navahos.The Kennedys.
But most of us, if we get married nowadays, are just
one more person for the other person. The groom gets
one more pal, but it's a woman. The woman gets one
more person to talk to about everything, but it's a man.
When a couple has an argument, they may think it's
about money or power or sex, or how to raise the
kids, or whatever. What they're really saying to each
other, though, without realizing it, is this:
"You are not enough people!"
I'm grateful to live in a world with Kurt Vonnegut's ideas in it. He shakes things up in my mind and the pieces fall into place better afterwards.
Greg Behrendt is right about everything
Have I mentioned that Greg Behrendt is right about everything? Because he's right about everything. The deeper I get into post-mortem on my relationship-that-never-quite-was, the one that ended for sure a week ago, the more I see that he is right. I wanted my situation to be the exception to the rule, just like he warned. I made up happy stories (stopping just short of unicorns and rainbows and fluffy technicolor bunnies) about how this guy would turn out to be the one, my sweetie-for-life. Even when he didn't call like he said. Even when any objective observer could have told me, "He's going to cop out, and his band will be his excuse." Even when he was breaking up with me. Right up until I yelled at him and he yelled back "I'm not that into you." (It really happened - pretty much exactly that way. I was reading HJNTIY and telling him about it way back two months ago when we were still flirting over the phone and hadn't so much as hugged each other since high school).
Well, okay, Greg Behrendt was wrong about one thing - he said a guy would rather eat broken glass (or something like that) than admit that we're not the one for him. Maybe my situation was the exception to the rule after all, at least in that small painful way.
So now the guy who turns out to have the eq of a ten-year-old, the guy who wooed me at a distance for six months and then didn't call for three weeks (the three weeks just after I traveled to where he lives and spent a weekend in his bed) and then broke it off suddenly, has called. No, really. He called. His voice was on my answering machine. If he just broke up with me, why is he calling me? His message was all casual, which kind of says it all. I really really don't want to pick up that phone. But it's not nice. Well, Internet, what do I do?
I've been here at the computer for almost two hours taking an unscientific poll of cool people I know, asking if I will still be a nice girl if I don't return the call. You see, calling now is not good enough. Not even close. And chances are he's just calling me to tell me how wrong I am. Actually, I would rather be a not-nice girl whose world view is stable, than let my ex screw my head up all fresh any time he wants to make a friendly phone call. I mean, six days! It's been six days since he said, "Sorry, my life, it is soooo full, and so I don't want to be in a relationship." I don't think I need to let him anywhere near my mind. Nope. So I guess the poll is just a formality and a possible source of moral support.
Full color photo-plugs of Greg Behrendt's books. Maybe even an amazon.com link - I wonder what I would have to do to set up that piece of shameless commercialism for Ticklish Ideas (tm) (not really).
I'm Feeling Lucky
1- Go to Google (http://www.google.com )
2- Type in the word "Failure"
3- Instead of clicking "Google Search," click "I'm Feeling Lucky."
4- Spread the word before the people at Google "fix" it.
"Dirt and migrating and more dirt"
The Grapes of Wrath (1939)This particular quote struck me as very, very familiar, and it took me a few minutes to remember why. I have an acute case of just-been-dumped illness, and I am self-medicating with extreme self indulgence treatment. Because I find words and ideas soothing, my treatment has included devouring the archives of several favorite websites including briantology. Check out these comments from May:
Author: John Steinbeck
"While the story did have a great moral to go along with it, it was about dirt! Dirt and migrating. Dirt and migrating and more dirt."
See the similarity? It's one of those times when the tickling of ideas is almost literal.
All I have to say is that parenthood is magic and unicorns.
That is all.
Enjoy! Posted by: melissaS at May 25, 2005 12:42 PM
MAGIC AND UNICORNS? No no no. It is screaming pooping screaming screaming and pooping and screaming. Posted by: jess at May 25, 2005 03:22 PM
The book reviews are funny in several ways at once - I'm laughing at the ignoramuses (or is it ignorami?) and at the same time I agree with a lot of the statements. I choose not to read Toni Morrison because I don't want to put mental images of a hundred different kinds of sexual violence into my memory. And I thought Holden Caulfield was lame and his story was boring.
Any minute now, a torch-wielding mob of liberal arts graduates and unemployed philosophers will arrive to break down the door and to proclaim (over my sob-wracked form) that I have been found guilty of literary blasphemy. I expect I will be given a choice between exile and death.
Smiling with lots of sharp teeth
I made this months ago with my friend Skipperella in mind but it's perfect for the mood-of-the-day: smiling girl wielding the chainsaw of insight.
The brand new ex and I had very angry words over the weekend and everything that was getting better was ripped open again for an evening. I was healing by bedtime and today is a day for smiling with lots of sharp teeth.
and his lovely wife
became parents for the first time. The baby girl is gorgeous (well, gorgeous for a squishy red newborn) and healthy and I'm amazed at how relaxed and committed they all are - my brother hasn't set foot outside the hospital since they checked in on Friday, and the baby has only spent a few (required) minutes in the nursery. They're all bonding and bonding and bonding and, wow. Congratulations!
And I get to be an auntie. I want to be a good one.
(the Southpark flash site is here)
Patrick McDonnell's Mutts comic strip, for all of its beautiful and spot-on line drawings, has a funniness problem. Many people have already pointed out that his gags fall flat. I'm still reading it because the art makes me laugh by itself just often enough to keep it in my day - and every so often the gags do work.
Work is at a computer isolated from the rest of the company so I could laugh and almost fall down when I read this post, which is just what I needed today. I'm suffering over the behavior of I'm Totally Into You But My Life, It Is So Full, So I Don't Want A Relationship Guy.
Book prize celebrates audience favourites
Kiss and tell
Now, I may have mentioned *giggle* that I have a new sweetie. He of the Red Hair has a barbell in his tongue. I've always thought that piercing was visually really sexy but this is the first time I've kissed someone with jewelry in their mouth and I got annoyed after about 6 seconds of it rattling against my teeth. Annoyed is not what I want to feel when I'm kissing someone for the first time (bummer!) and a little later I got brave and asked HOTRH to take it out (which he did, shrugging, no big deal).
We live in different cities, in different states, in different parts of the country and so (after 6 months of catching up via email and phone) we packed weeks worth of courting and playing into a 5-day visit in September. And given the rocky (metally) start the kissing didn't really click within that short time span. Nothing like the timid lizard boy experience that Kristy suffered through, just not quite what I like, yet. It'll be fun if we get a chance to learn what we really like to do. I will be bummed if that long weekend was it, was all the exploring we ever do with each other.
My so-called phone calls
What I didn't realize, what is still dawning on me, is how frustrating it is to have good lovin coming in by telephone, or not, according to someone else's whim/mood/plan/boy angst/schedule. Oh boy. I had no idea what I was getting into. I have consistently wonderful conversations with HOTRH when he calls me, but when I call him we talk flatly for two minutes and get off the phone. What's up with that? It makes me ever so grumpy that I have to admit that the pop psychology folks are right, that the girl really does have to let the guy make the call.
So, back to the call from Skipperella. There I was, trying really hard not to let my life turn into a phone vigil, when I came home from an errand to a message from Skipperella. Skipperella who makes me laugh and fall down. Skipperella who knows my stories and sniggers through my latest updates. Skipperella my friend. It was great timing because I needed a chance to laugh and relax and know what to expect, more or less. It got me all loosened up to be myself when he did call and we did talk.
ps I'm liking this HOTRH acronym. He of the Red Hair. HOT RedHead. Hot boy he is, too. He of the Red Hair--which, he says, comes with a genetic predisposition to burn down London. Sweet and funny too. I think the phone bullsh*t is worth it.
Bait and Switch
I'm only 40 pages into the book so far - remind me if I don't follow up with another post.
I'm living in the great plains with one eye on Portland, Oregon. I lived there for 3 years after college and may move there again soon. I just reconnected with a highschool crush and it's going sparklingly so far, except for the geography problem as he lives in Oregon. I'll keep you posted.