Friday, May 28, 2010

Vacation over and out

Vacation is over. Here's some photos to remind me that it actually existed.

The main drag in Flint. This view reminds me of being a teen and heading out to dance clubs with unfortunate names like The Copa, or The Hot Rock. Which then makes me think of wine coolers. Despite this, I like this view.

Alli took this photo of a Flint pimp car. You can't see the pimpliciousness, but trust me, it was happening. Alli had the sense not to try and take a photo of the actual pimps that emerged from this car, but let me just tell you that Flint has full on pimps of the old school variety. Gold-topped walking canes, full length fur coats, zooty hats with feathers on them. They always remind me of peacocks when I see them.

My favorite store when I was growing up was Value City, where sometimes you could buy clothes by the pound. And now? CLOSED. Broke my heart. Not as much as when the doughnut shop (called Dyn-O-Bite, for god's sake) closed, but almost.

Frankenmuth, the fake-German town, all bedecked in Disney-ish Bavarianism. I don't care much for Frankenmuth, but yet somehow I always end up there. This trip was no exception. I must have a deep seated need to see people in Technicolor lederhosen or something.

This 7-11 played a pivotal role in my teen years. That's right, I said PIVOTAL.

Factories, factories, everywhere, even if they aren't functioning.

My pops.

My moms and pops. SO CUTE.

A display on the streets of Frankenmuth. Oh yeah.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lunch before leaving

Raita, Bhaji, Channa, Alloo Benghan, Tamatar, Poori.

(Spiced yogurt, sauteed spinach, chick pea curry, potato and eggplant curry, tomato chutney, fried bread).
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last night of vacation.

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I imagine that the person who invented croquet thought this to him/herself:
"If only I could make up some sort of game that would require one to look as doofy as humanly possible. Perhaps there should be squatting. Also a long mallet that you swing as if it was an out-of-control pendulum that has grown from your crotchal area that you can't help but swing with both hands. Really, it would be grand."

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Apple orchards = run like hell

This is where the neighborhood kids would congregate at dusk on summer nights to play Bloody Murder or Ghost in the Graveyard to scare the bejeezus out of each other. I was the littlest so every round I didn't piss myself from fear was a victory. Chances of me going into this place at night now that I'm grown? Not likely.

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Nothing hits the spot like braided food.

P.S. My parents just reupholstered those Saarinen Tulip chairs. Aren't they lovely?
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Hot and breezy, Weezy

This sums up my day today.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tilling on Sunday

This morning we got up and walked over to Alli's mom's house. I was trying to think how many times in my life I have made that trek via foot, bike, or car. The first 18 years of my life there were times that I made that trip multiple times a day. Who knew after over THIRTY YEARS I would still be walking my ass over there? Nutsorama. And also, who has active friendships for over thirty years? Dorothy Zbornak and Rose Nyland, that's who.

Alli came to my house yesterday and my mom fed her until I'm quite sure a gastric explosion was imminent. This morning her mom returned the favor. The combination of our two moms could bring down entire governments, I assure you. They should work for the Pentagon where they could break enemy combatants using nothing but the power of okra masala and spinach pie.

I was going to take a photo of the spread over there this morning, but I thought that might have been rude. So you'll just have to take my word for it. But just for future reference, would that have been rude?

And while we are on the subject of Alli, I just have to interject that I love that girl. For the official record.

When we got back we got our Ma and Pa Ingalls on and turned over the soil in my parents' veggie garden. Well, if you want to get technical, Ma would never till soil on a Sunday, but Pa was known to so I suppose we were double Pa-ing it. Except everyone kept their shirts on.

The parents' yard is just all sorts of gorgeousness. Ima go back out now and nap in the hammock. Ahhhh...


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Saturday, May 22, 2010

My first library love

Many librarians have lovey memories of their first library. The only other professions I have had have been artistic, and I find arty types to have similar lovey feelings about childhood arty memories. I will never forget the first dance show I saw, or the first professional play. Do other professions have this? Do builders always remember some childhood structure that moved them? Do computer programmers get choked up about their first Commodore Vic-20?

Today I swung by the first library that I ever went to as a child, and in my mind it was a dilapidated mess of a joint. And sheeit was my memory right. Still, I loved that place.


The liquor store next door even has PIZZA, you guys. All the amenities, I tell you.

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Just One More

Ok, one last time. I know no one wants this week's blog posts to turn into Daily Pothole Photography. Well, no one but me. You don't understand the pavement devastation I am witnessing every few feet that I walk or drive though! But ok. I promise I won't do this again after today, but just one more, one last time. Because SRSLY.

Every 3 or 4 feet! Not even kidding! In the middle of every street, everywhere!

I am so turning into Crazy Pothole Lady. I know.

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Really? This is fundamental?

In elementary and middle school, we had the RIF (Reading is Fundamental!) program. Every once in a while, the RIF people would show up with a truckload of free books, and each of us got to pick something up, to keep forever and ever. And man, they had the goods in terms of preteen paperback cheesy goodness.

So, I just dug up a bunch of my RIF books at my parents' house, y'all! And I have decided to re-read one. But which one? That's where you come in. Please tell me which one to read, and dagnabbit I will. Kay?

The candidates!

1. The Secret Life of the Underwear Champ (wherein, judging from the cover, the Underwear Championships involve a baseball bat and are televised).
2. The Great Lakeside High Experiment. I think this is Eliza Doolittle-ish.
3. The Wrong Boy. Cover photo: angry cheerleader being arm-grabbed by burn-out wearing a denim tuxedo.
4. Phone Calls. Mulletted maiden makes phone calls! News at eleven!
5. But This Girl Is Different. Tagline: how trusting should she be? Cover art: Wayne Gretzy-lookalike in a basketball outfit standing with a high school girl in business casual who is carrying a clipboard, which is totally high school, just totally.
6. But In The Fall I'm Leaving. Cover: Dark haired Melissa Sue Anderson looking fucking PISSED.
7. Waiting Games. Sequel to the bestseller called Sooner or Later, which was made into a tv movie of the week, for Pete's sake.
8. Temporary Times, Temporary Places. Cover: girl looking lovingly up at a JC Penny's male model from the teen boy section circa 1982, wearing Sans-a-Belt slacks. Rowr.
9. Blissful Joy and the SATs: a Multiple Choice Romance. That is so Teri Garr on the cover.
10. Second Chance: Could She Leave the Past Behind? I don't know about that, but she definitely needs to leave that frilly blouse behind.
11. Fridays. All y'all on this cover look freaky. Zombie clique girls, stalker girl trailing behind, and two scary thugs in the back. Yikes.
12. The Trouble with Thirteen. This one is giving off a Square Pegs vibe, am i right?
13. The Great Boy Chase. Pastel triangle sweater vest girl uses cartography to chase boys! With bonus neckerchief!
14. Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade. I'm sensing a rip-off of Judy Blume's "Blubber," but i could be wrong.

Which one, friends?
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Flint Farmer's Market

This shit is non-stop nostalgia for me, no lie.

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Friday, May 21, 2010


This trip is making me realize how frickin' tired we must be lately. Because we both can't stop sleeping. Cannot. At all. It's a snoozefest, literally.

And... one more time for the cheap seats.

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They pave paradise, but here, not so much

Dear Hometown,
There's a point at which a paved road ceases to be a paved road and we might just be better off reverting back to plain dirt streets. Just a thought. I'm just telling you this because I love you. And also because you're rattling the teeth right out of my head.

Love, Me

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Itsa Gouda

Homemade foccacia (however the hell you spell it) with tomato, olives, and Gouda.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010


Why yes, I shall most certainly join you for a lawn chair nap. Carrot cake can be so exhausting, it's true.

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Let them eat cake

After lunch carrot cake, my carrot cake lover, and some crazy ass wallpaper. Three things I love.

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Oh hai.

Did I forget to mention that I done up and left to go see 
my parental units? Since they don't have a 'puter, Ima
just upload a buncha photomotography this week instead
to keep you up to speed with my happenings. Be forewarned:
since my mom is involved, there will likely be lots of 
food photos. And also bad formatting, upon which I shall
blame my phone.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Consumables #14

This week in pop culture me-ness!

The Passage, by Justin Cronin
I picked up an advance copy of this based on the marketing buzz that says that this is going to be the next! big! thing! in thriller/sci-fi books. It has movie written all over it. It has to do with the government injecting death row inmates with a virus that turns them into vampire-monsters. Ridley Scott already has the movie rights. And there will be sequels. So there you go, the next movie franchise. I'm thinking Dame Judi Dench as head vampire-monster, you know, to class it up a little.

Beiber Fever
Does anyone remember Margaret Cho's routine where she talks about how she rented a porno (stay with me here) and then forgot to return it before she went on a long vacation so that when she came back she had two weeks' worth of daily messages from an embarrassed video store clerk asking her to please return "Beaver Fever"? Well, I remember it. And anytime anyone says "Beiber Fever" I sort of think that's what they are saying.

ANTM, the Kimonos and Jumpsuits Cycle
I watched another whole season of Tyra. I don't think I would have made it through the whole thing this year but for the jumpsuits. I was tuning in to see the jumpsuit madness, and that's about it. "Oh Mylanta!"

Barnaby Jones
This used to be my dad's favorite show when I was a kid. I had almost forgotten that. Then I went to one of my favorite places-my local indie video store that magically owns everything-(seriously, I go there almost as much as I go to the grocery store), and they had Barnaby Jones dvds on display. And this made me remember it, and think about how excited my dad would be (maybe?) to see that they were on dvd, and before I knew it, I had screamed out, really loudly and with palpable excitement "OH MY GOD THEY HAVE BARNABY JONES HERE!" and maybe the whole store might have looked at me and appreciated my crazy. Just maybe.

"What a very special time for me..."
Nordic Boy and I were driving somewhere that was kind of far away (well, it was like 20 minutes away) and the car was quiet. "Sing me a song or something, it's too quiet," he says. And I did. The first one that came into my mind. And I sang it with gusto. From the very beginning to the very end. I didn't even know I knew all the words, but SHIT, I did. And I belted it. All a cappella and everything.

That'll teach him to want a serenade.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Good. Yep.

I have been pretty busy lately, in a good way. I have had something social and fun to do pretty much every night for the past couple of weeks, and there is just a lot going on in my world these days.

Yet, for some reason, I don't seem to have anything to say about any of it. Instead, this is what I sound like.

Other Person: So what's new with you lately?
Me: know. Same old.
Other Person: But you're good? What's been happening?
Me: Yeah. I'm good. Just, you know, living life. I'm...good. Yep, doing good.

What the hell? Dead-behind-the-eyes, party of one, please.

So this is how I am feeling bloggy-wise as well. So instead of me writing a whole post of "yep, I'm doing good. Real good. Did I mention that things are going well? Also, I am feeling fine. And life is good. Yessirree" I shall just give you something pretty to look at.

Dancing in the streets like they always did on Fame. Dang, I used to love Fame.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why You Should Never Send Me In to Negotiate a Treaty

There was a five-year period when BioGirl went off to Stanferd to get her Doctor Doolittle Doctorate. During that period of time, I would go visit her in the Bay Area quite a lot, usually over a weekend. The first time I went to visit her, I was introduced to her gaggle of friends, many of whom were also of the scientist ilk. "They are AWESOME," she told me. And they were. "They are kind of disorganized," she also said. "Brace yourself."

We met up outside the lab where she worked, the time was something like 6pm, with the idea that we would figure out where to go get dinner. Everyone showed up. Dinner options were discussed. Time ticked by. No decision was made. Talking, talking, options, options. The sands of the hourglass trickling away. Hunger growing. An hour went by. A whole hour. Then more.

Finally, something happened. Someone said sushi (marine biologists, you know) and the Dinner Option Treaty looked like it might have a leg to stand on. But then? It all went terribly wrong once again. Someone started to talk about whose cars would be driven to the restaurant, and who would ride in which of the cars. This, once again, took for-flippin'-ever.

When the Carpooling Accord was finally settled, we all got in cars and drove to the restaurant. Following the Dinner Option Treaty negotiations and the Carpooling Accord came the No Reservation Group Seating Agreement. How many people did we have again? I forgot to count! Me too! And half of the group isn't here yet! How will we know how many people we have? Who has a cell phone? Sorry, hostess who is trying to seat us! Oh, ok, most of the group is here now, let's count. Wait, where's Joe, Steve, and Mike? Anyone seen Joe, Steve and Mike? They were just here. Did they leave? What? They are going to pick up more people? Which people? How many?

The No Reservation Group Seating Agreement almost broke me. But I persevered.

We finally got ourselves seated (after the Who Will Sit By Who Charter, followed by the Who is Going to Share a Plate with Who Deal), and ate.

At this point, I just want to say three things.
1. We started, may I remind you, at about 6pm.
2. By the time we actually ate dinner, it was 10pm. TEN. PEE EM. IN THE NIGHT. FOUR HOURS AFTER MEETING UP.
3. I was in the midst of the most highly educated group of mothereffers in the middle of a world class institute of braininess. These people were brimming with headmeats and they all have the papers to prove it.

This was all topped off by the Splitting of the Bill Pact which was seriously the part where I HAD TO GO HOME. RIGHT NOW. Rightnowrightnowrightnow. Uncle! I said Uncle! I give!

I had never, in my life, witnessed such a prolonged, sustained period of disorganization, where no one seemed to know what was going on. There was no sense of clarity, not a moment of cohesion. I had never seen such a display. Not even in college, where for a short time I lived in a suite of hippie kids who were chronically on The Chronic. It was amazing, what I witnessed.

And I continued to witness it, whenever I went to visit. And don't get me wrong, Biogirl's posse were all awesome people. I now consider them my friends as well. One on one, they rock my world. But the bigger the group? The more they get bogged down by the decisions they have to make. I don't know why. I never figured out why.

So this weekend, Biogirl invited a bunch of people to go out for a belated birthdayfest. Most of the people were sciencey work people. We got there early and cordoned off a bunch of tables in the pizza joint. And when everyone got there? They started to talk about the tables. How should we arrange the tables to optimize sociability, to be precise. And the discussion started, and kept going, and...going. I started to panic. Crap, oh crap. It was happening again! With an entirely different group of people! Am I not going to be able to eat dinner for another 4 hours? IS THAT WHAT IS HAPPENING AGAIN??

Thankfully, that didn't happen again. But it did turn out to be a longer-than-really-necessary discussion about table placement. It was maybe...twenty minutes. And what we ended up with? Was a pretty jacked up table geography, to be honest, whereby most of the party guests were literally locked into their spots. The only way to get out of there was to perhaps crawl underneath the tables.

I want to be clear here that in each situation? I kept my mouth SHUT. Because there is so much talking, so many ideas, so much confusion, that adding one more opinion into the mix just seems like more than I can bear. I just sort of wait, in total amazement, for it to be over. And maybe I pray, for Jesus to send me some food soon, just a little bit.

So perhaps I am not exactly helpful, is what I want to cop to.

I am left to contemplate what this group had in common with the California group. What is the common denominator? What causes a group dynamic to fall apart in such a way? What makes a group turn into The Keystone Kops of Project Management?

1. Brainy scientists have TOO MUCH BRAINS and so they get Absent-minded Professor-ish when faced with everyday social tasking.
2. BioGirl has a superpower whereby, the larger the number of people around her, the more they lose their minds due to her sheer fabulousness. Sort of like how people lose their shit around celebrities.

It's got to be one of the two. Brains or Biogirl's animal magnetism. Maybe both.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

"Dirty Mother- (don't you say that)"

The word of the day yesterday? Mothereffer, and its relations.

I didn't sleep well, which caused me to sleep in. I woke up, looked at the clock and the first word of my day was: muthaheifer!

I had a bunch of errands to run in the morning, and they didn't get done.

I ran out of milk for my cereal, so no breakfast for me.

I went to work and worked my hiney off, got super hungry, and realized I had forgotten to pack my lunch and didn't have time to go out and get anything. Muthernutsack.

Worked until 8pm OMG starving starving starving.

Started to drive home and realized that for some reason, my car wouldn't accelerate past 25 miles an hour.

Car crapped out totally a few miles from the grocery store where they carry all the nice foodstuffs that I NEED RIGHT NOW.

Called Delium to come pick me up.

While waiting for him, I tried to call a tow truck place and my phone ran out of juice. MotherFRACKER.

Delium showed up and I tried the car again, which started and we drove it to my mechanic who is not far away.

Since it was after hours I had to put my key in the mechanic's drop box in the envelopes that they provide, along with a note. I licked the envelope to shut it and PAPER CUT MY FACE. MOTHERSUCKER.

Delium takes me to Whole Foods where I almost cry from happiness.

I get home and eat my only meal of the day. The time is somewhere after 10pm.

I plug my phone in to see that Nordic Boy, who is out of town, has called me about a hundred times and thinks that I am surely dead by now.

Biogirl asks me a dating question and I feel about nine thousand years old when she says "has that ever happened to you?" and my honest response is "probably, but I don't remember." GRANNYEFFER.

On the bright side:

My phone battery didn't die until after I had called my friend to come get me.

My friend is awesome and totally dropped what he was doing to come right away.

Not only that, he made me laugh when he showed up by singing me a heartfelt rendition of "That's What Friends Are For," which come on, I totally had to join in on. There is nothing that will break up life tension than a spontaneous duet.

My friends are the type who will duet with me.

I didn't have to get a tow truck after all, which would have added to the pain in the assness.

When you are that hungry, Whole Foods is sort of heaven.

Nordic Boy cares enough to call me a bunch. He also makes good sympathetic comments about face paper cuts and other such.

Biogirl, knowing that my work day the following day involves my having to drive to three different locations that are scheduled in such a way as to make it impractical for me to ride the bus without cancelling a bunch of things, brings me her car at 11pm and lets me borrow it for the day. Awesome.

I could have paper cut my tongue instead, I suppose.

Still, though. MotherFUKKER. Right?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Piercing Eyes

One day, Nordic Boy and I were driving around town, and we remembered that we had to stop at a grocery store to buy a loaf of bread.

Him: Where should we stop? What's around here?
Me: Let's just go to...Metropolis Mah-tar-tar...
Him: Whaat?
Me: Sorry, what did I just say?
Him: You said "Metropolis Matartar." In a freaky zombie voice.
Me: I DID?

What I had meant to say, what I had started to say, was "Metropolitan Market." A run-of-the-mill chain of grocery stores with a run-of-the-mill name. But as I started to say it, something just...happened. I looked out the window, got distracted by something, and then started to talk in a slow, creepy drawl. Met-ropp-oh-liss Mah-tarrrr-tarrrr...

Come on, kind of freaky right? It's like my brain took a little holiday and I went into demon possession mode or something. And also, what the hell is a matartar? What sort of bread-buying speaking in tongues just happened? I can't even remember saying it. I even had my doubts about whether I actually did say it. How could I have left my body for a moment like that and not know? That doesn't really happen to people right? Well, non-senile people anyway. I am skeptical that this really happened the way he said it did.

Ever since then, Nordic Boy has gleefully told all of our friends about me possibly having a small scale stroke wherein I said Metropolis Matartarrr in a scary voice while looking, glassy-eyed, out the car window, before snapping back into reality. All of my friends call it Metropolis Matartar now. I get teased every time a Metropolitan Market is seen. Biogirl has just adopted the phrase into her regular vocabulary without a hint of derision. "I'm going to The Matartar after work today- you need anything?" she'll say.

Even though I am skeptical, I just sort of have to eat that one, I guess. I can't exactly prove it didn't happen.

Then, this week:

Biogirl and I were eating dinner at one of our favorite places. And we were talking about the relative merits of each of the Thomas Crown Affair movies. You know, as you do. We were in 100% solidarity that Steve McQueen wins over Pierce Brosnan. No contest, really.

Biogirl: Yeah, Pierce Brosnan. I just, I'm not feeling him.
Me: Yeah.
Biogirl: I mean, so much of the storyline is about how the female lead is so enamored with him, you know? And Pierce Brosnan just doesn't merit that sort of feeling. Pierce Brosnan is, to me, not attractive. Not in that way. Pierce Brosnan is more attractive to the older ladies maybe. But for me, no thank you Pierce Brosnan!
Me: So, no Pierce for you, eh?
Her: Pierce? Who's Pierce? Hawkeye Pierce?

DUDES. Not only was the topic of conversation directly preceding my statement ALL ABOUT PIERCE BROSNAN, but did she or did she not just say the words "Pierce Brosnan" like, a million times just a second ago? But yet, there she is, looking at me in UTTER CONFUSION as to why I have said the word "Pierce" in her presence.

Me: Pierce BROSNAN. Who you were just talking about.
Her: Oh totally. Right.

And that's when I saw that someone's brain CAN totally shut off. Because when she looked at me and said "Hawkeye Pierce?", she had weird zombie eyes. Like there was NOTHING THERE. And then, as soon as I prompted her, she snapped right back to herself.

This has made me accept the Matartar story. When some people leave their body, they talk nonsense words. When other people leave their body, they talk about Alan Alda. One of the two.