Wednesday, November 26, 2003
ATQ project #2 - carbonbased goodness
ed note: early due to holiday
1. What’s an embarrassing story that your family or friends could tell about you?
"Embarrassing", in my particular microcosm, is a relative concept, especially when one considers that it is perfectly normal to walk into cabbage pickling operations performed by pajama-clad fathers on my very own balcony on any given winter day. That said, there was a certain incident hilariously gauche even by my robust south-eastern european standards having to do with a certain wooden outhouse, an autumn day in 1992, math class jitters, a pair of white cotton underpants, and the river Danube.
2. Tell me about a time where you cried so hard you thought you were coming apart at the seams.
Peep this: You've just spent the summer all alone (work home work home work home), its a beautiful august day outside, you havent talked to your long-distance soulmate in a good week, your best friend is far away - and not only far away but in your dream place - hanging out with your long-distance soulmate, before you. Effectively it seems to you like she now knows him better then you do by the virtue of having met him out there in the "real" world. You desperately need him to dash these ridiculous thoughts from your head.You're sick, you have killer first-day cramps, you're chemically pms vulnerable. You're about to go away on a 14-day trip in the opposite direction of where you want to go. You've done nothing but think about him and check your empty inbox 500 times a day like a total loser. You remember how strong and cool you used to be once. Finally at the 11th hour, he calls and you talk for 5 minutes - strained weird conversation - you need to talk to him, you need to hear great words, sweet words, - but there is only curtness, too many people around. He cuts you off because he has to go pick up your best friend at the train station. Then you hang up. Go to your bathtub, open the tap, and scream. The crying comes like an afterthought.
3. What or where is the most inappropriate situation or place you’ve ever been turned on? Extra points if it involves famous people or religious institutions!
Four words: Captain Jean Luc Picard.
4. Tell me about your relationship with your parents or parent figures.
My nuclear family is an island. Here, all we really have is each other, so we are extremely close - to the point where I believe it will take moving across the world to convince them that I'm not 5 years old anymore. My parents have taught me that true love, happy marriage, gender equality, grace, decency and human goodness are not myths. My parents prove to me the existance of that "happily ever after" thing.
5. Recall a moment in your past that you remember as being absolutely perfect harmony in your life.
Standing around in my kitchen with my family and best friend eating my mother's homemade ajvar, talking star trek and laughing. Also: Eggplant-colored Buick crusing, hilarious conversation, and mp3 player tunes jacked into faux-wood dashboard.
carbonbased likes italian men and "fuck lukewarm!"
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Tuesday, November 25, 2003
new crush or yes, i realize this is my third post in an hour, shut up and listen because i'm feeling chatty, aight?
i've spent the past twenty minutes reading andrew the poor man and snickering at my desk. as an example of why you should also read andrew and snicker at his biting wit on current affairs, i present you with the perfect attack of noam chomsky:
"Also interviewed [by Robert Kaplan] is Noam Chomsky, who shows his usual passionate intellectual commitment to changing the subject, and offering up the blindingly obvious as something only he has the moral courage to understand (wait, we didn't invade Afghanistan to make life better for foreigners? - do tell!) although he does manage to stop himself short of actually christening the studio "Golgotha North" and nailing himself to the lighting scaffold. Another fine performance by America's most prominant public intellectual. He also accuses Kaplan of being an "ultra right wing jingoist," and Kaplan calls him a big baby. Meow." - from november 23rd
after three years of reading the man's work, i was always reduced to flapping my hands, madeleine-kahn-like, when asked what i "thought" of chomsky. from now on, i'll just imagine him nailed to a studio stage and still blathering about consent and laugh, laugh, laugh. thanks, andrew.
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PSA, pH style
we interrupt the prior earnest sincere post with the following two public service announcements. the following are two googled phrases that brought readers to pH in the last two days.
dear mr/ms "fool around with her sister":
i understand you must be seeking advice on this complicated matter. we offer the simple solution. DON'T.
yours in christ,
and even more disturbing -
dear mr/ms "i fool around with my little daughter":
YOU SICK FUCK.
jesus loves you,
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girl, you'll be a ..
i stepped from the sidewalk into the revolving door of my building and caught a glimpse of my own reflection in the smooth approaching glass to my left. on most days, i see a girl, playing dress-up as an adult. usually there's a droop in the eyes from too much computer-staring by day, late-nighting by night. usually, the hair is tousled [as described by others] and shapeless [described by me]. usually, a sweater of some kind, khakis or jeans or a skirt, a dark wool coat, perhaps a chirpily-colored scarf. usually when i catch this sliding reflection she's a girl.
today she surprised me. today she looked like someone completely unknown to me. today, in the nanosecond before my brain registered it's sense of self, i thought, who's that woman? perhaps its the red lipstick and the flushed cheeks. perhaps it's that my hair suddenly looks stylish and carefree as opposed to the usual helmet of stubborn waves. perhaps it's my mother's pearls around my neck, or the fur collar on my black coat. whatever prompts it, i'm suddenly struck by the fact that i'm a woman. a woman that the girl-krissa might have looked at, six years ago, and thought beautiful.
i struggle, often, with the fact that my self-perception caught a snag at seventeen and stayed there. some days, i almost don't recognize myself in the mirror, expecting instead a fresh faced, wide-eyed, innocent girl. i always feel a seedling of disappointment when friends look at pictures of that seventeen year old girl and say, oh my god you looked different then. i know they're not seeing physical differences - i have the same colored hair, if shorter and curlier, the same big eyes, the same mouth and give or take twenty pounds, the same curvy petite frame. it's not that, then, that we see in those pictures. it's a youth, a carefree childishness and innocence, that mocks me from the past.
i've grown up so much since then that while my smile remains the same, the knowledge in my eyes is different. and perhaps because of that, it's sometimes difficult to face what i see in the mirror, or in current photographs. sometimes i see sadness flicker across my eyes. my smile isn't always as wide as it once was, my joy and vigor no longer quite on the sleeve but more reserved, saved for real moments of happiness. so sometimes, the current-me doesn't even look like my own ideas of who i am, lodged stubbornly at seventeen and constantly comparing backwards.
but what is self-perception, anyway, except a projection of who you think you are, mirrored back at you? do i really think of myself as a less-happy shadow of my former innocent self? am i doomed to spend life wishing i still had that carefree perfection? is ignorance bliss?
but then, for no reason at all, there was that beautiful woman in the passing reflection of a revolving door. when i'm feeling strong, when i'm feeling proud, i don't see a grown-up seventeen year-old girl in the mirror, unsure how to compose her face, unsure of her place here. sometimes, like today, i catch my reflection and in it, i catch my strength and i catch my breath and think, i'm a woman.
or maybe it's just the pearls and the lipstick.
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photographers get to be narcissists too
ain't she a beauty? i may not have taken that picture [my photographic other half did] but i know a gorgeous photograph of a gorgeous face when i see one.
shivery - charming the pants off new york city. next stop? the world!
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Monday, November 24, 2003
spring cleaning in autumn
i don't know what came over me on saturday night. there i was, watching the telly, munching on a cookie, and suddenly.
like something flew into my subconscience and scolded [probably in my mother's voice], "this place is an unholy flap of a mess, you lazy slobbering git, now get up off that couch and clean like your life depends on it." on second thought, my mother's much nicer about her scoldings. picture, instead, carol burnett of annie fame.
with threats about hot/cold mush and chrysler buildings batting around my frazzled mind, i suddenly started cleaning. putting on a cleaning-appropriate record [cleaning music includes but is not limited to elvis, josie and the pussycats, squirrel nut zippers, ben folds five and louis armstrong], i pushed up my shirt sleeves and:
reorganized my music cabinet/photo equiptment.
dusted and cleaned music/photo cabinet.
removed books/movies from book/movie shelf.
cleaned book/movie shelf.
cleaned wall-hangings [including all glass in photographs].
cleaned coffee tables/end tables.
reorganized coffee table Drawer of Doom.
mopped hardwood floors.
scrubbed and cleaned baseboard molding.
vaccuumed upholstery chairs.
cleaned walls with disinfectant.
and that was just the living room. the kitchen required:
washed twenty dishes.
reorganized china cabinet.
cleaned all silverware, not just dirty silverware.
emptied out fridge of moldy produce.
cleaned and reorganized cooking-book cabinet.
varnished dining room table.
cleaned dining room window.
dusted vases and glassware.
although tendrils of realization re: my madness were starting to waft into my nose, i assumed this was simply a bi-product of the four different cleansing agents i was using, and the toxic fumes thereof. i mean, sure, i'd cleaned the resevoir of my coffee pot by percolating vinegar water in it [half a cup of white vinegar to 1.5 cups water, kids, let it run through the machine and then run two or three cycles of pure water - it takes all the clogged residue out of the pipes for a fresher, purer cup of coffee], i mean, sure, that seems like madness, but i needed delicious-tasting coffee, right?
but soon after, i stopped myself, because i realized at some point in my frenzied mad cleaning, i'd actually started windexing the spice bottles in my pantry cabinet. windex on the spice bottles. the worst part was, i had a good reason. growing increasingly loony, i actually said it aloud in the middle of my empty kitchen at four in the morning.
"well, you use the spices while you're cooking. cooking grease gets on the plastic bottles and makes them smell funny. then the inside of the cabinet smells funny, and that's where i keep my coffee and sugar, i don't want those smelling funny."
i'm off my head, kids. but when i simply collapse from the weight of lunacy and am found singing to the mommy dearest voices in my head, make sure you mop up the drool from the sparkling kitchen floor.
hollander house floor-washing liquid does the trick nicely but make sure you use a white cotton help me.
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