Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How much snark can a sassmouth snark.....

My husband is hiring for a new position at his work, so I sent an e-mail outlining my qualifications:
"Qualifications: I can harvest the energy of the sun and create an atomic force out of my own bottom. A force that can clear a room."

His reply which I rec'd today:

Dear Snarkface,
Thank you for your sassy interest in the position with Solar One. Your
resume for has been received and will be reviewed and laughed at in the
coming days. Those candidates that we feel best meet our needs will be
contacted for interviews once a schedule can be set - this does not apply to
you, monkey-butt. Sorry for the impersonal nature of this reply - we're not
some mega-corp. with a bunch of form letters but we are strapped for time,
so stop wasting ours and go apply for something that you're qualified for
like cleaning up after an elephant or something. Rest assured that we will
be giving consideration to each applicant that is not you and that when you
aren't chosen for an interview, it's because you are a terrible person who
is unworthy of love. Best of luck.

The love knows no bounds.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Play in One Act

idiot woman on phone: i need a(n) order for wednesday
me: today is wednesday. do you mean next wednesday?
iw: no this wednesday.
me: that's today. do you need something messengered over today?
iw: no, WEDNESDAY!
me: today is wednesday. wednesday nov. 2nd.
iw: oh. then tomorrow i guess.
me: what can i get you?
iw: a round table.
me: what size?
iw: you know, whatever's normal.
me: how many people do you need to seat?
iw: 150.
me: how many at each table?
iw: i don't know. (aside to her idiot co-worker)--what size table?
iw: 140
me: 140 what?
iw: 140 inches
me: we don't make an 11 1/2 foot round table.
iw: can i talk to someone else?
me: of course!

she proceeds to torture 2 others in my department with her relentless stupidity.

Friday, September 23, 2005

(One of)My Worst Nightmares

So today I'm wearing a cute and breezy long silk top. Almost a tunic I guess, paired with kicky jeans, smart shoes and a snazzy belt. Yes, snazzy. Feeling kind of casually lovely, buoyed by it being Friday, I left for work. At the far too early time of 6:45 am today I got on the N train at Atlantic Ave and as usual, there was no seat to be had. But seeing the large clusters of people doing the pole dance, I opted to move further in and simply hold on to the overhead bar. Almost immediately a mid-20's-ish guy offers me his seat. I'm flummoxed for a moment, but I gratefully thank him and sit down. I proceed to have a conversation with myself about his action. Wow, you never see men in NYC acting in this traditional, old-fashioned way. What would it be like if more men behaved like this? Followed quickly by the feminist in me and 'well, it's nice to not have to stand, but I certainly don't need or want men doing something nice just because I'm a woman' blah, blah, blah. And then halfway across the Manhattan Bridge it dawns on me: he thinks I'm PREGNANT. This stupid fucking shirt (and my gut) makes me look pregnant. While the gesture was nice of him, it's a bit of a blow to my self-esteem. Now I just need to actually be pregnant so I can justify my gut. And walk around like an asshole with my hands on my lower back.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

This Little Light of Mine

When I was 2 or 3 I got my first turntable, used mostly to play my books on record(Ding!). My favorite was Thumbelina, even though the music during the kidnapping scene always scared the bejesus out of me.

And speaking of bejesus, I owned, and according to my mother thoroughly enjoyed, a large collection of Little Marcy albums. For those of you luckily not in the know, Little Marcy was the ultimate in Creepy Christian Puppetry and frankly, it's a wonder I'm not more mentally deranged from her. On that last link, go through to Lil' Markie, who we actually listened to in bible school. The evil genius behind Little Marcy was Big Marcy Tigner, a failed musician with a voice that reminds me of chewing on tin foil. High, sharp, child-like and cringe-inducing.There was even one song where she essentially "dueted" with Smokey the Bear. My collection is still at my mother's house with the exception of a couple of them which I found as an adult at thrift stores.

My childhood listening habits were formed entirely out of my mother's album collection, with the exception of Marcy. I blame her for that creepshow, but all she really knew was it kept me from constantly talking her ear off, which was my usual pasttime. I usually listened to the Bee Gees, Dave & Sugar (the bland, "country" Tony Orlando & Dawn), Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson. A note on Dave & Sugar, despite the fact that most of you have probably never heard of them, they actually won the Country Music Association's Vocal Group of the Year for 4 years running, 1976-79. I can't find the exact album cover I'm looking for, but it was awesome. It was like the old Olan Mills photos my brother and I always had taken with his floating head in the foreground and my smaller floating head in the background, all against a misty black backdrop.

The music we listen to as kids does influence us to some degree certainly. If anything, I know that in my teens and early 20's, I shunned anything resembling country, classic or not. Somewhere in my mid-20's, I began to embrace the solid country of my childhood and now in my early 30's I derive most of my comfort from that music. Unlike Listmaker, I don't have record of my annual song listening habits, but I wish I did. I can only hope to expose my kids to a wide variety of music without scarring them with through maniacal Jesus loving puppets.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Idiots On Parade

I am definitely not a summer lovin' kind of person. I was born in the middle of Death Valley on a 112 degree day. I suppose that did something to make me despise sweating when I'm just sitting there. But fall and winter are something else. The leaves, the snow, the cute sweaters. Colder weather is cuddley and romantic and fun.

One more reason now to look forward to winter is the NYC Idiotarod. I remember hearing about it last year and being very intrigued and now I think we're putting a team together for the 2006 race. If anyone has heard when exactly this year's race will be held, I'd love to know. Now we need to come up with our theme, team name, etc, which is half the fun!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Pleasant Island

What is the world's smallest independant republic?

Apparently it is the Republic of Nauru in the South Pacific.

Now, I am not the walking, breathing geography savant that my husband is frequently accused of being (mostly by me), but I don't think I'm a total idiot either. But I had never heard of this place until yesterday. I am now working with the Ambassador to the Republic of Nauru on a thing at work. Once I got off the phone with her and was dealing with her assistant I had to wear my ignorance for the world to see because I didn't even know how to spell it, let alone find it.

So now I know.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Unless your name is Flo

Am I alone in feeling utter irritation at random people calling others "Sweetie" or "Honey"? I deal with people on the phone all day at work and every day I am inevitably referred to by one of these annoying, pedestrian, condescending names, always by another woman. I even work with a woman who addresses many people by these names (usually Sweetie) and she is only a year older than me. Is it intellectual laziness? Hell, that's not even intellectual. How hard is it to use someone's name? One time I got so ticked off on the phone at a woman who repeatedly addressed me as "Honey" that I called her "Dollface". Psychologically, economically, what do you think the reasons could be for this way of addressing another adult? It doesn't bother me as much if I'm in a diner and it's a waitress (thank you very much Polly Holliday), but in a business setting?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


So the grandmother of which I have spoken has been ill for some time. The official diagnosis has been peripheral neuropathy which can best be defined in her case as all over pain and numbness. After 3 years of searching for the underlying cause, there may now be a culprit. The doctors found something in her lung and possibly on her lymph nodes.

My grandmother smoked for nearly 60 years and just quit 3 years ago. That car trip from Tennessee to Kentucky? She smoked with the window rolled up the whole time (didn't want to mess up her hair). My childhood summers were spent wandering in and out of my grandma's big kitchen all evening, passing through billowing smoke. Hidden somewhere in that smoke I would find my grandparents and parents, playing cards, smoking and listening to old timey country and western on the radio. All except my dad, who quit smoking before I can even remember. It's funny because in so many ways it was an ideal and typical American childhood. And smoking was typical. My grandma and mother always smelled like Benson & Hedges and Tabu perfume.

So Sunday night was an MRI. This morning she is having a biopsy. They are hoping to do a needle biopsy, but may have to do an open incision. I'm feeling a bit shocked at the moment. My grandmother and I have always had a very close, occasionally conflicted relationship. My brother recently said that if grandma had been born later, she likely would have lived her life much as I have lived mine. I'm struggling at the moment to accept that fact that this is happening and try to be strong for her because she seems to want touse me as her punching bag/anger outlet at the moment. At least I hope it's for the moment because I don't know if I can handle having such a mean relationship with her. She's certainly a strong headed and sharp tongued lady.

I just hate that she will probably never know my children. I hate that no description I can ever give will make them know what she sounds like when she's incredulous. And I hate that I can't be shielded from this because now I'm a grown up.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Cat Scratch Fever

Excerpted from this week's New York Magazine: "Nor was Kai the only As Four [a NY fashion collective] member with pugilistic tendencies. One night, Ange had an altercation with Chan Marshall, the rock-folk singer known as Cat Power. Ange says it was because Marshall's boyfriend was "trying to chat me up and she pulled me to the floor." Marshall says Ange was throwing drinks on her because "she thought I looked like trash."

"The southern lady I am," Marshall continues, "asked the Lord for guidance, and when she approached a third time, the Lord said, 'Fuck it!' and I grabbed her by the back of her skull, bent her backward down to the ground, and told her she just doesn't do that to people. I still feel guilty, but anybody else would have destroyed her face and called Immigration."

I find this endlessly funny for some reason. Maybe because I'm secretly happy to imagine some pretentious fashionista getting yanked by Cat Power (or anyone for that matter). Or maybe it's because I love Cat Power's music but she personally has never done anything for me.......until now. Maybe because she sites "the Lord", or maybe the INS comment. I don't know, but I like it.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Someday That Day Will Come

My husband and I don't have anything resembling a plan (really for anything in our lives), but we do know that we won't live in Brooklyn for forever. Part of me thinks that even if we could afford to buy in Brooklyn, I don't want to stay forever. As much as I love almost everything about living here, I miss having a big yard and the quiet of a smaller place. That said, we made little lists a year or so ago of all of the things that we find important about an environment. Based on our overlapping needs, I've been trying to research different areas that seem like a good match. Recently I found this awesome web site that pretty much does a lot of the hard work for you. The city comparison is my favorite feature because the whole cost of living is a major factor. Really, short of moving to Tokyo, there aren't many places we could end up that would be more expensive.

So now we just need to take a few exploratory trips to check out some of these places. My current short list of potential new home bases:

1.Portland, OR
2. Philadelphia
3. Asheville, NC
4. Ann Arbor, MI
5. Pittsburg

Really, you can remove numbers 2 through 5. I'm pretty much fixated/obsessed with Portland at this point. I always used to think it was just too far away, but I no longer feel that way. It really appeals to the hippie in me and Jet Blue goes there. So we're hoping to take a trip out there in the near future. Some friends are moving to Vancouver this weekend and some other friends live in Seattle and SF. I smell a road trip.

Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches

I'm not the type to snack on fruit out of hand. Except for maybe bananas which I don't consider fruit, just more like General Food, Breakfast. Perhaps this has something to do with the 3 times I knocked out my front teeth, forever removing the possibility of corn on the cob or crisp apples. A good knife is always involved in any decision I make to eat either of those foods. If want a healthy snack I always reach for vegetables. The one big exception to this habit would be the peach.

I have been on a quest for the perfect peach for the past 6-7 years. A peach that reminds me of the ones we ate when I was kid living in Georgia, age 8. One that reminds me of the nightly dessert of sliced peaches with whole milk poured over top at my grandma's house. Knowing that I sound like an irritating old lady, they just don't make 'em like they used to.

This summer has managed to lift my spirits on the peach front. On a recent trip to Durango, CO for a friend's wedding I tasted what is most certainly the perfect peach.
Colorado Palisades Peaches. I bought a bag of 9 gigantic peaches for 10 dollars from the back of a pick up truck in a nursery parking lot and frankly, they looked too pretty to actually taste good. I took my first bite then and there and the juice just poured out of it and down my face and arm. It was sweet, a tiny bit tart and completely perfect. Describing a perfect peach is nearly impossible, so you'll have to take my word for it. Just imagine your memory of an ideal piece of fruit and there you are.

And then today I discovered another amazing peach available for purchase right here in my neighborhood. Since moving to this neighborhood last year, the husband and I go to our local produce place, Rossman Farms , at least twice a week. The selection and prices are outstanding and I'm constantly finding new varieties of fruits and veggies to try out. Today I bought what they referred to as "Tiger" peaches, but upon further research I think they are also known as Indian Blood Peaches. Fushia and white flesh, sweet tart, actually they taste a little bit like raspberries. The juiciest, sweetest, eat it over the sink and change shirts when you're done peach/raspberries you've ever had.

Speaking of Rossman Farms, I know the government recently filed suit against them because of their horrible labor practices (not adhering to minimum wage, no overtime, not keeping any employee wage/hour records). I'm curious if anyone knows what is becoming of the case? I'm sure their lack of ethics contributes to the rock bottom prices. Even so, a 25% price increase would still be a fair price on most everything they sell and their stuff is the best around.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ketchup is a Vegetable

My mother's family is from Kentucky and Tennessee and I was raised with very Southern grandparents and extended family. Until recent years my grandparents lived in Lynchburg, TN where it seemed everyone in town was either a Motlow, a Bobo or a Tipps (my family). My Aunt Bobbie and Aunt Bettie still live there, strong Southern women both. My grandparents take what I find an interesting and occasionally uncharitable view towards poverty. Having been raised "poor and proud" as the saying goes, they can't understand how someone in this modern world could not pull themselves up from poverty. Along with that, there is also a traditional femininity about my grandmother (Miss Ernestine as her Southern friends call her), that means that until failing health forced her hand, she'd never been seen without her false teeth by my grandfather. She also once told me that she had never passed gas in front of him. I can't help but believe her. And yes, I am her blood relative(see last entry). So I found this article recently and it made me think about one particular trip I took to visit my grandparents 7 or 8 years ago.

Two days after flying in to visit, they got a phone call that my grandmother's brother, Uncle Cornett, was dying and we needed to get there right away. "There" is Inez, Kentucky where my grandma grew up, where our family cemetary is and where my mamaw and daddo are buried(great grandparents). Grandma had long since left Kentucky and had never had a desire to go back and be that poor again. My grandfather, being a native Tennessean, actually makes fun of her for being a Kentucky hillbilly. As he says, at least they had toilet paper in their outhouses and not a catalog. So the 3 of us set off in their huge Cadillac and floated along to eastern Kentucky for a vigil. Uncle Cornett was a coal miner his entire life and died that week of black lung. While I was there I had the opportunity to meet my extended family in Kentucky for the first time. Cousins mainly, but some great aunts and uncles I had only heard about. Their names are the kind of names that make a kid wonder why their own name is so boring; Doc, Dodie, Trigger, Punk, Stirrie, etc.

I felt like the out of place Northerner. My own family teased me for saying pop, whereas all dark soda is known to them as Co-Cola. I met a cousin who was a couple of years older than me, which put her right around 27-28 at the time. She had 4 children, about half of her teeth and would be considered morbidly obese (as would half of my Kentucky family). The state of the general population's teeth and bodies in general can be attributed in part to the diet of modern Appalachia. I was on a workcamp this past summer in Southern Ohio and saw the same thing as in Kentucky; mile after mile of delapidated trailers with not a single garden. People are eating processed foods primarily and not gardening or canning their own foods with nearly the regularity that there used to be. As a child I remember my grandma's garden was overwhelmingly large and canning was something that the entire family participated in for days on end. It probably wasn't even the financial neccessity it had been when my grandparent's were younger; it was just what you did because it was ostentatious/foolish to buy tomatoes in a grocery store. I don't know if I even had a store bought tomato until I was at least a teenager.

It seems that a lot of the tools that were in place to help a person move out of poverty are skills that have passed over recent generations in modern Appalachia. Gardening, canning, sewing and mending your own clothes. It feels like a processed, disposable society these days, one in which we all participate to some degree. Being on workcamps in Appalachia and West Virginia really opened my eyes to differences between rural poverty today and rural poverty 25 years ago. For an incredibly true telling of poverty in America today, you should read The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David Shipler When I was in my late teens, I was homeless, totally broke, on food stamps, completely dependant on the kindness of my friends and their friends for quite some time. Despite these major hinderences (is that the best word?), I always had the ability to make the most of my food and clothing purchases because I was raised to know how. On my most recent trip to Appalachia I saw that they were teaching free classes on how to can fruits and vegetables and upon speaking to people in the community, came to find that not a single one of them knew how to can, although almost all of them remember watching their mothers do it as children.

This post is a real rambler, I know. Welcome to my incoherent, jumbled brain. Just some thoughts. Oh yes, and I don't know squat about setting up a blog or links or anything, so I apologize for the lengthy links. The husband will help me with all of that when we actually see each other.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Kaci The Gassy

While browsing the 2005 World Almanac (alright, I'm a liar. I'm actually reading it cover to cover), I came upon a run down of French monarchs and was reminded of how wonderfully whimsical some of their nicknames were.
Charles I (the Bald)
Louis II (the Stammerer)
Charles II (the Fat)
Charles III (the Simple)---apparently the Charles legacy was not a fine one
Louis V (the Sluggard) left no heirs----wonder why

And then the more positively viewed monarchs:
Robert II (the Wise)
Phillip I (the Fair)
Louis VII (the Lion)
Phillip V (the Tall)
John II (the Good)
Charles VII (the Affable)

For anyone who does not own one, I recommend purchasing a world almanac. It is mighty fine subway reading, never dull, not too bulky. I can't believe that until recently I've gotten by periodically browsing the totally dogeared, 10 year old almanac at O'Connors.

It's a Lonely Planet

So due to a recent stroke of familial luck, the husband and I are finally going to have the opportunity to take a honeymoon (2 years after the there a statute of limitations?). Now we just have to decide where to go in the middle of January. My instincts are pushing me towards Thailand. Someplace exotic, warm, friendly and cheap. The added bonus of Thailand is the potential for an extended layover visiting friends in Hawaii, essentially cutting the travel time spent waiting to throw a blood clot in half. Lonely Planet has pointed us to some compelling options, but I really seem have Thailand on the brain. Argentina is still in the running though. Nothing like a collapsed economy to pique our interest.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Feel the Team

Oh man, I am such a cliche at this moment, but whatever. How many people have started blogs because they have a boss who says things like the above to them? Seriously, feel the team??!! Mostly I feel the indigestion.