Tuesday, October 31, 2006


”It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear . . . . It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to.”

- Marilyn Ferguson

She makes a good point. We think we fear change but we really fear that place of insecurity that occurs during change - the place in between. Still, “change” is a frightening and exciting word. Our fear of the unknown is instinctual.

This year I’m going as a vampire for Halloween (hey - it’s a quick, cheap costume and I have a party to attend so I needed to wear something). I think next year I should go as something really scary; like “commitment” or “old age” or “change” or one of a million other things adults tend to place above vampires, mummies and witches on the fear scale.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Random Goofyness

©1996-2003 Petoffice, Inc.

So I need to start smiling again. And animals in silly costumes make me smile. I know. It’s dumb. And I should be ashamed that I am supporting the humiliation of what are probably some normally very dignified cats. But click here to view the Catprin “Tailor for Cats” website. I am not sure what’s better: the peeved expressions on the cat’s faces or the bizarro translation of the original Japanese text to English. One photo has the caption, “Do I look sexy?” and the website instructs you, “After you are enough with your joy, take a photo! Take some poses and leave her some cute photos!”

Oh, the depths I have sunk to. Cats somewhere in Japan are wearing unflattering headgear just so I can muster up a grin.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ethel Barrymore

”You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.”

- Ethel Barrymore

Friday, October 20, 2006

"I'll tell you one thing, Fred, darling... I'd marry you for your money in a minute."

”Do I detect a look of disapproval in your eye? ...Tough beans buddy, 'cause that's the way it's gonna be. ”

- Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Tomorrow I go to New York. Which I associate with a great number of things, but mostly with John Lennon’s death, Liza singing “New York, New York”, myriad period dramas about immigrants coming to Ellis Island, ridiculously large pastrami sandwiches at the Carnegie Deli and women in impossible clothing and sky high heels chain smoking on Sex and The City.

This week I just keep thinking about Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The marketing for that film gave the impression that it was about this impeccably well-dressed, light-hearted woman in New York. When I was little, that’s what I thought. I saw the svelte caricature on the poster and thought, “THAT is what a woman should be.” Little did I know. When I watched it at 14 I was shocked to learn that the film isn’t really about a perfect, happy glamour girl at all.

Holly Golightly is a lost creature beneath her glossy (and, admittedly, quite impressive) surface. At a glance she appears to be full of life but closer examination reveals that she is running from her humble beginnings, from life’s ugly truths and from any connection that might force her to wake up. She has a checkered past and dark secrets. Her life in New York is a hollow, beautiful sham.

It’s almost disturbing how glamorous the image of the film is, as if the studio didn’t get the plot. It makes me think of reading a book and halfway through realizing that the cover artist couldn’t possibly have read the book. But I realize the impression is intentional. Promoting a film as being about an emotionally disturbed con woman who is trying to find herself in all the wrong places and some morally compromising ways might not have been considered an easy sell in 1961. It’s also a quasi-romance between Hepburn's damaged female escort and George Peppard's (really dreamy) writer/gigolo character. Racy stuff, really.

I find Holly unbearably sad. As I have been sad lately, the terribly lost Ms. Golightly keeps coming to mind as I plan my trip. Of course, I’m not as nearly confused as she is, but I am trying to find some part of myself that's gone missing, or at the very least my equilibrium. So I suppose that explains hearing “Moon River” running through my head. And this weekend, for me, is about getting lost.

”I'm like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don't even belong to each other.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles

Since I’m feeling melancholy and cantankerous, this seems like an appropriate thing to blog about : Wikipedia’s List of Fictional Expletives. For the most part, the colorful curses and bizarro exclamations on this list far surpass anything I could think of to say right now on my own. They are gathered from television, films, books and sometimes have simply evolved from curses used in various cultures. If clicking the link, keep in mind that some of the curses may offend.

I am particularly entertained by explitives that don't employ "bad words," although some of the obscene ones are funny. I know I've come across a lot of other creative curses in my reading that aren't featured here. Some of my favorites from the Wikipedia list:

Billions of blue blistering barnacles! - A favorite curse of Captain Haddock from The Adventures of Tintin series of comics (see list of exclamations used by Captain Haddock).

bitchcakes - from NewsRadio, crazy, frenetic ("he went all bitchcakes").

catastrophuck - A situation (i.e. a poorly-planned, under-manned, under-equipped, mismanaged war) that reaches a point of horrific disarray. -- from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"

elbow head - used in the Weebl and Bob episode titled "Fishing".

holy flerking shnit - Phrase used by Kang of The Simpsons in one of the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes.

Oh my stars and garters - from X-men's Beast (comics); denotes shock or surprise.

zarking fardwarks - from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "What in the name of zarking fardwarks is the old fool doing?" spoken by Ford Prefect, about Slartibartfast, originally in Life, the Universe and Everything and also in the third radio series. Also spoken as just "Zarking fardwarks!" by Arthur Dent when that character misses a telephone call in the fourth radio series. Alternative form: "zarking photon". Approximate meaning: "fuckin' hell."

I was also interested to see the listing for “asshat”, as my younger sister has been saying that for years and recently I have noticed more and more people saying it. According to Wikipedia: “ass-hat - ‘the term 'asshat' was first used in Sweden as an alternative for the word ‘asshole.’ In modern times refers to an office worker with limited upward mobility. Also refers to an unlikeable or generally pitiful character.”

I had no idea.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Susan B. Anthony

”It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.”

- Susan B. Anthony

I don’t think I need to tell anyone who Susan B. Anthony is. But I find that a lot of the details have slipped away from me in the years since my last history class, so I go back and re-read and try to remember things that, at the time, I wasn’t paying nearly enough attention to anyhow.

The majority of her accomplishments were in the Women's Suffrage movement, but in the decade preceding the outbreak of the American Civil War, she also took a prominent part in the anti-slavery and temperance movements in New York (The temperance movement attempted to reduce the amount of alcohol sold and consumed and found most of it's support in women who were opposed to the domestic violence associated with alcohol.)

I found this list of some of Susan B. Anthony's accomplishments online, which I think serve as an important reminder of how much we owe to her and to the other women who came before us and fought for rights we now take for granted:

• Founded the National Woman's Suffrage Association in 1869 with life-long friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Together they worked for women's suffrage for over 50 years.

• Published "The Revolution" from 1868-1870, a weekly paper about the woman suffrage movement whose motto read, "Men their rights and nothing more, women their rights and nothing less."

• First person arrested, put on trial and fined for voting on November 5, 1872. Unable to speak in her defense she refuse to pay "a dollar of your unjust penalty."

• Wrote the Susan B. Anthony Amendment in 1878 which later became the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

• Helped found the National American Woman's Suffrage Association in 1890 which focused on a national amendment to secure women the vote. She served as president until 1900.

• Compiled and published "The History of Woman Suffrage (4 vols. 1881-1902) with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage.

• Founded the International Council of Women (1888) and the International Woman Suffrage Council (1904) which brought international attention to suffrage.

• An organization genius -- her canvassing plan is still used today by grassroot and political organizations.

• Gave 75-100 speeches a year for 45 years, traveling throughout the the United States by stage coach, wagon, carriage and train.

• Led the only non-violent revolution in our country's history -- the 72 year struggle to win women the right to vote.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

If A Tree Falls in The Woods

The Urban Legends of Food:

1. Crumbs don't count. You want a cookie, but you feel guilty eating a cookie. So you open the bag and look at the cookies. There are crumbled bits in the bottom of the bag and you reason that normally you would just throw away the bits and you don't want to eat a WHOLE cookie. So instead, you pull out several slivers of cookie-that-once-was and eat them - the equaivalent of one and a half cookies.

2. If no one witnesses it, it didn't really happen. I personally have never been a member of the "purse full of hidden sno-balls and ho-hos" school of food consumption. But I HAVE learned that I enjoy a slice of chocolate cake more if no one is looking at me. I attribute these two things to the same basic principle: what no one else sees can't hurt me. Kind of like how there hasn't been a murder unless you can locate the body... I mean, your thighs will expand but no one can PROVE that it was the brownies that did it.

3. You NEED chocolate. I am told that (shockingly) no one has ever died of chocolate deprivation. If I could magically wish I had never eaten any chocolate - I would probably "POOF!" drop multiple dress sizes and suddenly be super skinny stick woman because chocolate must account for the vast majority of "extra" calories that have passed my lips over the years. Chocolate supposedly has something in it akin to a substance found in marijuana. It gives your body a feeling of euphoria and THAT is why we love it. My reasoning is that I DO need chocolate because I have never done any drugs EVER (seriously). Chocolate is keeping me on the straight and narrow. If I weren't a chocoholic I would be some other kind of junkie. I am actually saving my family and friends years of heartache and the expense of putting me into some fancy rehab clinic by doing Dove bars and Godiva truffles instead of crack.

4. Diet coke will cancel out the cheeseburger. No one REALLY thinks this, right? I mean we KNOW that it doesn’t cancel it out. But it’s kind of like going to the big 50% off sale and when you get home you don’t think “I just spent fifty dollars!” You think, “I just SAVED fifty dollars!” You can see the math flow through a woman’s head as she places her fast food order: “A regular soda is something like, what? like 96 calories for a can so that means a 20 ounce drink is at least 150-200 calories. so the burger is 450 calories but if I add the regular soda it’s 650 total so actually by getting the diet soda I am only eating a 250 calorie burger because the diet soda accounts for the other 200 calories. SCORE!”

5. Eating salad will make me skinny (pass the Thousand Island dressing). Condiments count. They just do. The mayo on your 99% fat free turkey sandwich. The Caesar dressing that takes the salad from 3 grams of fat (in the croutons) to 25 grams of fat total because Caesar dressing is evil fat incarnate. My personal crime is ordering those Subway sandwiches that have “6 grams of fat or less” and then having them put cheese on it. I literally refuse to acknowledge that the cheese adds anything. I tell myself that the cheese is window dressing. It doesn’t count. It’s just on there because the Roast Beef was lonely and sad and needed a companion. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, I tell myself. I am a sucker. I always fall for it.

6. Caffeine cancels out creamer and sugar. I may be the only one. I just stand there at the counter looking at my coffee and then looking at the variety of sweeteners and I think, “I could use artificial sweetener BUT A) it will give me cancer and make my nose fall off (a pet theory of mine) and B) there is so much caffeine in this coffee that it will just jitter away those pesky sugar calories anyway!” Yes. That is my solution. Any sugar/fat that is added to caffeine does not count because the caffeine will shake and twitch away any extra caloric intake. I like this theory and am thinking that I can finally eat Hagen Dazs again. It is high time I tried to make an ice cream float in a quadruple shot of espresso.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Amelia Earhart

click photo to visit the official Ameila Earhart website

”Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”

- Amelia Earhart