30 September 2008

What's Down?

So I was doing the waitressing thing last night and had a party of two come in around 7:30, without reservations. They were waiting for two more friends, seemed fairly commonplace, ordered some Coconut Curry Vegetable soup, etc. Once their friends got there, I went to the table with more menus, ice waters, and I think I said, "what's up". One of the newbies laughed towards the table at large and said, "what's down rather?!" He kept on laughing kind of maniacally after that and made some other "what's up" jokes. They then proceeded to order a bottle of Yalumba Y Series (a very nice wine from our "bottle list"). When I came to the table with it, they told me to forget about the whole pour-a-little, tasting-ritual-nicety and slog each of them a full glass. They ordered another bottle after that, but the atmosphere of the group seemed to lag a bit near the end. I noticed the other newbie guy staring off, away from the table, and they all tore into their food like people who are trying to forget other matters. That said, they made for great tippers.

Until I was laying in bed last night, I didn't realize the significance of the fact that they were talking about stocks and portfolios too. Looks like yesterdays 777.68-point drop in the stock market had gotten to 'em. Only 6.98% of the total though (not a record-breaker itself.)

26 September 2008

So I Found My "First" on Facebook...

...and now I'm conflicted between wanting to contact him vs. wanting to preserve this wax-seal of restraint that has built up over six some-odd years of not communicating (after unanswering a barrage of 16 final calls in a row, from him.) Hmmm. There wouldn't be a quizzical wrinkle running down the middle of my forehead right now if Facebook didn't exist, but I guess the issue itself a product of the time and there's no use being nostalgic for an era that I'm not a part of. Hmmm encore.

There's many other places I could go with this (the cheap, petty irony of "Friending" people that you otherwise wouldn't be "friends" with, how the stomach reflects the state of the mind, the way a profile is just that - so harsh, but not now. Now I have to go sip a latte and read The Hours.)


24 September 2008

Mount Holyoke: Elevation. 940'

Happy Mountain Day! Now go climb that mountain or whatever!

This is the the kitchen and it's sooo delicious.

So the John and I are moving to the place attached to this kitchen, above and below, starting Nov. 1. I have been quelling little attacks of "I don't know about this" (the place being nicey-nice and making me feel fairly domestic and all) with the simple, solemn fact that we're renting it for nine simple months from a fresh, young couple that have decided to rent after not being able to sell the place for a while. I figure that nine months is long enough to survive winter/enjoy summer and to cull a little interior design habit whilst enjoying an aesthetically-pleasing livin' 'n workin' space. I also figure that it's short enough to not feel too tied down to [insert random anxiety-maker here.] In the end, the place is really lovely, full of character(s?), in mah current neighborhood, and has tomato plants outside along the walk. It feels as if things are boding bon.

22 September 2008

19 September 2008

How Do You Say Ojibwe?

So the first session of volunteering went well yesterday. I spent a little over an hour with these two 4th graders, O** and A*****, during the classes regular "language arts" time right before their lunch period. I guess I must have learned like this too, but I couldn't believe that a class of roughly 15 (this is a downtown charter school with kids from all different counties) was learning by listening to a recording of some patronizing woman reading the book - it just seemed so sterile. That said, I guess I realize teachers would probably like the respite to grade papers or, I don't know, do whatever teachers do when they get a free moment at school (call their husbands? Check their email? Go to the bathroom?)

Anyways, both the kids seemed to benefit from the extra, close attention (we read a chapter out loud together and answered some comprehension and vocabulary questions.) God I know their type: smart, easily drop under the radar so they don't have to think too hard which they don't need to as they'll get good grades at a 4th grade level no matter what. Looking back on it, it's not surprising that there were a few semi-awkward moments of contention: A***** didn't like being reminded to not read ahead while someone else was reading out loud (I think he just processes words and doesn't quite get the meaning) and O** was kind of flabbergasted when I pointed out she was wrong by saying that Nokomis, the grandma in the story, wasn't weary as she had answered but wary of the bears in the forest. Funny stuff.

This is not by any stretch of the imagination a huge commitment for me, but still a nice little stimulating do-gooder activity that is, in fact, quite interesting. Also, an excuse to be downtown which I love, and to have something yum and probably unhealthy for lunch with real friends and the occasional ex-coworker that I feel kind of obligated to stay in touch with from my former job (like yesterday: spicy chilli at The Loon with Jane and Amanda.) Obligation Chili: like Hate Potatoes but not as hard to choke down.

17 September 2008

The Secular Gym: Hoo-Ha Central.


"For a while we tried to work out at home, using a series of instructional DVDs called 'Abs, Buns, and Brimstone,' which were hosted by a body-builder dressed as a sleeveless pastor, who said things like 'You'll never get raptured with that big ol' butt!' and 'When God looks at you, He says, 'Gee, I don't remember creating all that cellulite!'' Mom and I tried, but we missed the camaraderie of a gym, so we decided to open our own, in a strip mall, and we called our place Jesus Christ You're Fat."

16 September 2008

ah home.


hates: screaming babies in libraries.

likes: still hating screaming babies in libraries.

i'm the first to give babies/kids/old ppl the benefit of the doubt (after all, they have age issues) but when a mom decides to not only piss of hundreds of ppl who are trying to get something done in the relatively quiet and do-gooder atmostphere of the library, but to in fact allow thus teach her baby-child that screaming 'til your red-faced and hysterical in a public space meant for quiet productivity is acceptable, well, that's plain stone-in-your-stomach frustrating. blech.

15 September 2008

2010: The Year of the Target Baseball Field.

There is way too much bullseye in these two towns. What about Minneapolis and St. Paul invite so much salacious corporate groping? Squeal like pigs, baseball fans.


Now I realize that the above could be read as a "morbid, critical interest" into the base motivation of corporate sponsorship, but at least let this help you consider and remember the corporate branding machines (I mean marketing departments) that are out there to stamp their brand on anything that will carry their brand forward in an innocuous, fuzzy way (in this case America's national pastime) and further the culture of cheap, mindless, and ultimately detrimental consumerism that exists so strongly here in this country (what Target wants to be America's national pastime.)

"MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, MN – Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and the Minnesota Twins today announced that they have reached an agreement in principle on an exclusive 25-year partnership that includes the naming rights for Target Field, the new world-class home of the Twins scheduled to open in 2010. Beyond Target Field, Target and the Twins also will collaborate on the design of Target Plaza – a pedestrian bridge and public gathering space connecting Target Field to downtown Minneapolis. The Minnesota Ballpark Authority, the public owner of the facility, will oversee the design, construction and operation of the new ballpark and plaza. Financial terms were not released."

consider: david foster wallace.

06 September 2008

consider this.

"Consider what immense forces society brings to play upon each of us, how that society changes from decade to decade; and also from class to class; well, if we cannot analyse these invisible presences, we know very little of the subject of the memoir; and again how futile life-writing becomes. I see myself as a fish in a stream; deflected; held in place; but cannot describe the stream."

-V Woolf


it's late, everyone is asleep, and i just read a shitty work email. do i have a problem working for anyone?

got to see the end
though it may not be the end
it sure would feel good

05 September 2008


i just heard what i thought was another convention from the other room, and it turned out to be the WWE. retch.

be here now

i should be writing a paper explaining carol bly's letters from the country and its influence on my writing. what i'm doing is reading blogs, looking at 2-bedroom apartments on craigslist, and cuddling the cats.

here's a haiku (idea stolen from old school synth - wow i'm a creeper. nobody should have ever put the internets in my hands) to fully express the situation:

having brewed coffee
i now must procrastinate
"letters from my place"

last weekend i was home in cleveland. the visit itself was relaxing, emotional, and rejuvenating, which could happen to anyone when they're home for less than a week and have no responsibilities.