Friday, July 28, 2006

Oh no.

I was reading helloyvetty and she had filled out a little meme quiz. I must confess, I really like reading those and filling them out. I don’t know why, I also like taking the quizzes in magazines too. Yeah, I’m a little strange. Anyway, one of the questions was, “What would God say when you reach the pearly gates?” and for some reason it made me pause. Not so much because I have an answer or don’t have an answer (I can only imagine the response to be “Who?”) but because it actually reminded me of one of my college professors.

We called him Dr. Steve but pretty much only to annoy him. He was a biology professor but the first class I took with him was an honors seminar (oooh, don’t I sound smart?) on creation and evolution. It was interesting because my college had some religious ties but was very much about science at the same time. I actually found the class fascinating and entertaining. We read the Origin of Species, which I really need to read again, and a bunch of creationist stories. But somehow along the way, I found a way to really…well, I guess I irritated Dr. Steve. I strongly suspect that it had something to do with the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but I don’t quite remember. At the end of the semester, I left the class, with high marks, I might add, and didn’t really think about it again.

The next semester I was required to take a biology class and since my college was quite small Dr. Steve was my biology professor. That was fine. I had enjoyed my previous class with him and I thought he was an interesting guy. Much to my surprise, while he was taking roll on the first day he said the name of the person before me on the alphabetical list and then he just said…“Oh no” and looked up at me.

“Oh no.”

He never actually called my name once the whole semester. Even when he called on me in class he pretty just pointed to me and said “You.” I did fine. I think I may have even earned an A. And when I went from his lecture class to the practical lab he would come by and check on my work and tell the lab professor, “Watch that one.”

But I still don’t know what I ever did to provoke an “Oh no.”

My senior year I took a bird watching class with him. Yeah, yeah, I hear you mocking me but it was a tough class. I had to identify birds by both sight and sound, log twenty sightings a week and wake up early to go hiking in the college swamp. Oh yes, my college had it’s own swamp. This was in the slightly earlier days of computing so the college had a very limited number of terminals available to students. Dr. Steve had us all come to his office at scheduled hours to log in our bird books. I would wear my headphones and listen to James Brown while I typed. He would roll his eyes and yell at me when I sang along.

But when I read that question “What would God say when you reach the pearly gates?”, all I could think of was Dr. Steve’s voice saying…“Oh no.”

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Before I left for San Diego…before I ruined my voice and immune system forever…I had some great things I wanted to blog about. Now I can’t remember any of them. I suspect one had something to do with zombies but I really can’t be sure. In the end though, isn’t there always something with the zombies?


So here is a photo of the table if you care. There are some more on flickr. It was a grand time but not being much of a talker it really put a strain on my vocal cords to spend my entire day chatting…
“Hey, how are you ladies doing?”
“Hi! How’s it going?”
“Find anything interesting on the floor today?”

And then the pimping. Oh I can pimp! I was once a shoe salesperson. I can sell.

“Well, that’s a little book of haiku about hamsters. The poet photographs her own pet hamster and then is inspired to write haiku about him.”
“These short stories are by noted Y.A. author Sherri Smith, who has two books published by Random House. This is her speculative fiction…”

And it just goes on and on. I’ve got the patter, people. I can sell stuff. But it wears me out.

But if you haven’t been to a comic book convention…no, scratch that…if you haven’t been to the San Diego Comic Con, I highly recommend it as a good day out (Other comic cons…maybe a little too freaky for the uninitiated). It’s so much more than just comic books…and freaks. Actually, I had a slightly drunken conversation with some hip chicks in a bar in San Diego. One of them was overheard saying “Isn’t there some freak show where all these people are dressed up down at the convention center?” I had to explain to her that we are not all freaks and we don’t all dress up. But that’s the entertaining part of the con. Who doesn’t like to see a Klingon holding hands with Batman? Who doesn’t like men in tight shiny pants? Who doesn’t like hot chicks with wings…from a distance, anyway. Don’t get too close, people. The freak…it’s easily transferable.

Last year I posted pictures of my daily comic-con purchases. This year I barely bought anything. Some art from Tom Neeley and Jesse Reklaw. A few books from Young American Comics (I am a fan of “Snakepit”). The new Ellen Forney book…that was about it. For once I actually came back with less stuff in my bag then when I had arrived. Oh, but I did get a new bag from Kid Evil.

So, anyway…make friends with your local geeks. We are nice people. Not nearly as scary as we appear. No…seriously. We don’t all have the costumes in our closets…as far as you know.

wonder woman

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dear Little Bloggy thing...

I am sorry that I forgot your blogthday. It's not like it's the first time that I've forgotten such a thing. It's not like it will be the last. But nonetheless...I am sorry. Happy Blogthday to you dear little blog like thing that really isn't a blog but more a way to ramble on pointlessly.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A little horse with a frog in her throat.

Tired Girl Collective
Originally uploaded by Snarky Dork.

Oof. It’s been a long few days. Well, they are all twenty-four hours but man they feel longer lately. Comic con time just moves differently.

So…yeah…Comic-Con. That’s where I was. And it was really, really…good. I had a very good time this year and I saw almost none of the con. I worked and worked and drank a bit and then worked some more and it was good.

This convention marks my first time selling my “art” type thingies and it went…well. Better than I could have ever expected. Swimmingly, in fact. I set up shop with the other Tired Girls as part of the Tired Girl Collective and I daresay we effing rocked! We had a lovely table with an amazing array of stuff and we all got really positive feedback. It was a very good and affirming experience for me.

I actually went into this with very low expectations. In fact, all I wanted was:
1) No one to laugh at me.

They didn’t but one guy told me that I was a very funny woman. I’ve been telling people that for years but no one seems to listen to me!

2) I wanted “someone special” to buy something from me.

Last year I was purchasing a book from a girl at a small press table and she was kind of dazed and fanning herself. She apologized and said that Joss Whedon had just bought her book and she was a little giddy. That stuck with me and I thought it would be really cool if an artist I liked bought one of my cards or something. And it happened. Carrie Fisher bought a baby t-shirt and a onesie from me. CARRIE FREAKIN’ FISHER TOLD ME THAT SHE LIKED MY STUFF! Carrie Fisher gave me a hug. Yeah, yeah. You can be all blasé about it but I can’t. It was really cool and I totally nerded out on her. How you ask? Did I ask her about being Princess Leia? Did I mention that she was in one of my favorite movies of all time (Not Star Wars, you dope, THE BLUES BROTHERS?) No, I said, “If you are who I think you are and who your nametag says you are and I DO know who you are…I really like your books!” I’m a dork that way.

Yeah and speaking of dorky, my true colors really shine through when I try to compliment artists that I like.

Transcribed from the horrible memories I now have of me being an idiot:

Me (walking up to the Mr. Toast booth): I have a Mr. Toast poster in my office! I love Mr. Toast!
The dude who draws Mr. Toast: Um…excellent.
Me (hanging my head): I’m…uh…a…fan. (wanders away)

Sorry Mr. Toast dude. I’m really not as “special” as I sound.

Also did that to Jesse Reklaw:

Me: Oh, I love your stuff, I’ve been wanting to buy one of your paintings for years. I’m very excited to have one…now. (claps hands).
Jesse: Um…thanks.
Me: No, don’t worry, I am not a stalker. I won’t cut your hair while you sleep or anything. I’m just saying I really like your art. I’m really excited. Really. I swear.
Jesse: OK.
Me (frantic): You don’t think I’m a freak, do you? Because I really just think you're cool but not like I want to like put you in the freezer or anything. I just like what you do. Not that I know what you do…I mean, I like the way you do things. YOUR ART! I LIKE YOUR ART. I don’t sit outside your window and watch you do things. REALLY! I just...
Jesse (dialing phone and whispering into it): help me. please.

O.K. it didn’t go down exactly like that but I really am a dork. And for that I apologize.

Finally, and most importantly. I got to see a few people that I have been waiting to meet in the flesh. Oh god, that sounds creepy and stalkery again, doesn’t it? No, I just mean I finally met Beaucoup Kevin and justJENN. And it was an exceedingly pleasant experience. On top of that, I got to see Mr. Krach, which is always a pleasure and I spent a little time bickering with the artist dude next to me and teasing the boys at Big Boss Comics. And of course there was The Legend of Cod…I mean…The Legend of Cog. It was…lovely. Let’s do it again some time.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It’s not the heat…it’s the stupidity!

I know, I know. Everyone is talking about how hot it’s been. It’s not all that clever of me to add to the noise but I have photographic evidence that California just sucks.

That was taken at about 4 in the afternoon. It later read 113°. And the upper number? That’s how bloody hot it was inside the apartment…with the air on. Yeech. Under normal circumstances, I would say that 82.9° is pleasant. But it just didn’t seem cool enough this weekend. On the up side of things though…. when you have to go to the bathroom in 113° heat, returning to the relative coolness of 82.9° is a joy.

The problem with California is that it’s dry heat. And I hear all you east coast people saying “Yeah! It’s dry heat! We have the humidity, which makes it much worse.” And clearly, the only people silly enough to say that are people who have never stood outside in 113° heat. Your lips dry to parchment the moment you step across the threshold of your moderately air conditioned house. Your eyeballs shrivel up in their sockets like raisins and you swear you can feel your lungs turn to dust from the first gasp. Look, I know humidity is unpleasant; I lived on the east coast for a long, long time. But my skin was never this dry on the east coast. I never had melted tar stick my shoes to the pavement. Well, to be fair, I did once run across the street to the beach on a hot day and got second-degree burns on my feet on the east coast. But I don’t even dare walk barefoot around here.

Hot is hot. Humid or dry. When it gets above 90° it’s miserable. The end.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Too tired to make sense.

Just a few things:

-The new “Fantanas” are not nearly as hot as the old “Fantanas.”

-I never thought that I would live long enough to see “city shorts” come back into style. Clearly I did not drink enough during my youth.

-And while I confess that I never needed to see city shorts again…I did buy a pair of gauchos. Sorry.

-This weekend is shaping up to be a work-fest. I am, for the first time (well, I think it is, I can’t remember) selling my “art” sort of things for…money. Well, what else would I sell them for? Yeah, I mean, I am selling some stuff at comic-con and this is a first for me. And to be honest, it’s a little scary. I know some people who do it all the time with nary a blink but when I consider how critical I can be of other people’s endevours, I know what people will be saying about mine. In the end, if no one out and out laughs at me, I will be ahead of the curve. Oh, but the work-fest part…my office printer up and died on me this morning. I sent my husband out on a grand quest to find me a new one and miracle of miracles, he did. So this weekend is all about printing, collating and stapling in order to have people point at my hard work and say “That’s crap. Who’d pay $2 for that?” You could say that I have mixed feelings about this whole thing.

-I was actually hoping to make Vegan Twinkies this weekend but I’m starting to think that won’t happen. No tofu brownies either, I imagine.

-I am far to tired to be blogggggging and really, really too tired to figure out how to make bullet lists. Nor do I really care.

-I should really stop.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's getting better. How about yours?

Today was not shaping up to be a particularly happy day. I woke up from dreams of a zombie Bill Clinton attacking me at a beach house. No, seriously, zombie Bill Clinton. But in retrospect, at least I was at the beach. Then it took me 40 minutes to get from home to the 405. That’s about 6 miles. Of my 23 mile drive. It was a long drive to work this morning.

On the bright side, I did have the ingredients for my favorite breakfast on hand this morning. You probably wouldn’t like it. Chocolate soymilk, a frozen banana, two big spoonfuls of soft tofu, a few ice cubes and a handful of flax seeds. Told you that you wouldn’t like it. And even though my husband doesn’t like soy milk, tofu (unless it’s been deep fried) or flax, he wanted to know where his smoothie was. So the darkside returned just a little bit.

But then I got to work and Schwee greeted me with the information that she had brought me SOY TACOS for lunch. I love her so much right now. They were excellent tacos and soy to boot. And there also appears to be some sort of oatmeal cookie with nuts and raisins in it, which is also very nice.

And then on top of that, a book that I had been waiting for was finally delivered and it’s really, really good.

In fact, here is a stanza from Wendy Cope’s From June to December, a very entertaining poem:

I Prelude

It wouldn’t be a good idea
To let him stay.
When they knew each other better-
Not today.
But she put on her new black knickers
Heh. It’s funny stuff. And I like the word “knickers.” Who doesn’t?

Monday, July 10, 2006

I confess.

I have a confession. It’s bad, I know. I have committed a deadly sin, repeatedly. I feel bad about it but I can’t stop. I do it in the bathroom. No, wait…that sounds bad. Ok here it is…I confess, I covet the J. Jill catalog. I know, I know. It’s awful. And it’s not even the clothes that I want. It’s the idea. Don’t get me wrong. They make some mighty nice clothes. I like that most things are made of natural fabrics and I like the palette they use, mmm…neutrals. But what I really want is that life. That easy, breezy, “just got out of yoga class and got a full workout but never broke a sweat” life. That “just wandering on the prairie before brunch with my beautiful artsy-fartsy friends” life. That “look at this adorable little pigtailed girl that I can play with but I do not need to feed or clothe or send to college, I will pat her head before I continue wandering along this quaint village street with my pink bakery box and sporty bicycle.”

You do notice however, the lack of men in the J. Jill catalog, don’t you? That’s ok though, along with my J. Jill life, I also have a Banana Republic boyfriend. He’s breezy and casual too but in a very sophisticated way. He’s always perfectly rumpled and yet he never looks messy. And in fact, he doesn’t actually BUY his clothes at Banana Republic, he actually gets them all at thrift stores (brand new vintage, old clothes that have never been worn!) and local shops that support the anti-sweatshop philosophy and don’t hurt puppies.

It’s not that I don’t love my life. Despite all the daily aggravations, I really do. But there’s just something about all those mellow colors and cotton blends that makes me jealous. All that artfully windblown hair and hand hammered silver jewelry puts me in a bit of a tizzy and all I can think about is keeping the Santa Fe evening (all their photos have that south west but not at all ethnic look to them) chill off my graceful shoulders with a silk and cotton shrug in “meadowfoam.”

I know. I know. It’s a sickness.

Bitch, bitch, bitch.

Another weekend, another lack of achievement. Well, that’s not entirely true. The house is pretty clean because my new temporary roommate moved in on Friday. I now live with two boys. Not men…boys. There was some poo joke on TV last night and they both dissolved in giggles for about five minutes. Sigh.

I did a lot of cooking too. Spinach and tomato pie with a biscuit crust. Turkey meatballs and sauce. Dozens of tortillas, two kinds. And coconut cupcakes with coconut frosting. I spent most of the day in the kitchen, which is nice and not nice. I like cooking but it was pretty hot. And our tiny window air conditioner doesn’t really do much for the kitchen. And I get tired of washing all my dishes. It’s kind of like living in the dark ages…one small window unit air conditioner, no dishwasher, no washer or dryer…although, come to think of it, we never had any of that stuff when I lived with my parents either. Oh they do NOW! But when I was a kid we had to go to the laundromat once a week. Fun.

I guess I could just choose to look at it as “living simply” instead of “living hot with dishpan hands and no clean knickers until someone decides to do the laundry” but then I don’t get to complain.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Oh it made me MAD!

Look, I make an effort to be pleasant here. No, really, I do, you should see how unpleasant I am off-line. But I really try to avoid the rants. But I gotta rant today. I am sorry. If you aren’t in the mood for some (self) righteous indignation, turn away now. But if you really want to know how to make my blood boil…read on.

Last night my husband got a call from a friend. The two of them had been out of touch for years and they have only recently gotten back together. In fact, in the 11 years we have been together, I have seen this guy once. So that just shows you how close they are, in other words, not very. So the husband is talking on the phone, I am cooking dinner and I go to ask him how many eggs he would like with his French toast. We had French toast and strawberries for dinner. It was good. Anyway, he tells his friend that he has to go and then I hear him say, “What do you mean, “why?” and I yell, jokingly, “Because it is late and his wife wants to eat dinner!” then the guy asks to talk to me.

So this is how the conversation goes:

“Hey dude, how are you?”
“Good, but how are you and your husband doing?”
“We’re good. Thanks”
“Um…yeah, as far as I know.”
“So when are you going to have a baby?”
“No? What do you mean no? No babies? You should have a baby!”
“I am not having this discussion with you. No. I am cooking dinner and I have to go.”
“Wait. I think you should have a baby. And name him after me. Have a baby.”
“I am hanging up now. Bye.”
(Actually, it was a little longer and more aggressive on his part.)

Now…why, you ask does this make me so angry? Because HE DOESN’T KNOW ME! How rude a question is that to ask when you have no idea of a person’s situation? Very rude. I don’t accept it from my mother, my aunts or any other member of the family. I don’t accept it from friends so why would I accept it from a dude I have seen once in the TWENTY years I have known my husband? What if I have lost babies? What if I have reproductive issues? What if I desperately want a baby but can’t afford it? Or perhaps I don’t want a baby at all. Maybe I just don’t like them. What gives anyone the right to ask such a question and then INSIST on answers?

My husband says “Oh he’s just being nice, he doesn’t mean anything by it”, but that’s not really the point. If I demand that the government keep out of my knickers, then I think it’s safe to say that I also demand that of casual acquaintances.

It may seem like a little thing to most people but to me it’s a peeve. And not a pet peeve unless that pet is a roaring, rabid, starving mountain lion. Don’t ask women about their reproductive choices unless you are their partner or doctor. Just don’t. It’s none of your damn business and I really think it’s rude and cruel. Do I take it so personally for a reason? you ask. Not really, I just want people to think about what comes out of their mouths. You wouldn’t ask a virtual stranger when they were finally going to get around to that nose job, would you? Or if they were doing anything to treat that acne? Or how about how much pain they are in now that they have lost their mother? No, you wouldn’t. At least I hope you wouldn’t…

OK, sorry, done. I had to get that off my chest. It just makes me crazy. Well…crazier, I suppose.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

That's how they sound.

I want to be a flip-flop girl. Is that what you call them? That’s what we always called but them but I guess they are also known as thongs or zories…actually, it would appear that they have lots of names but I only ever called them flip-flops.

I know I wore them when I was a kid but not as a teen-ager. Since I moved to California though, I have desperately tried to be a flip-flop girl. They are the shoe of choice out here in L.A. It seems to be pretty much flip-flops or Jimmy Choos down by the beach. I can’t afford the Jimmys but I can afford cheap rubber sandals. In fact I can afford them in lots of colors. But I did learn the dangers of cheap thongs. I bought a sparkly pair of faux Birkenstock style thongs for a party last year and suffered blisters…BETWEEN MY TOES! Do you have any idea how painful that is? Just take my word for it…very painful. But I am, as you know, kind of stupid when it comes to some things and just last week I bought two pairs of rubber thongs for $5. What a bargain! What a pain! Now I have blisters on top of my feet. Why do I never learn?

I really want that casual beach girl thing. I want that “Hey, I just went surfing and I am all windblown and sunburnt but in a really cute way” look. But that’s so very not me. I love the comfort (well, relative comfort when they don’t give you blisters that is) and ease of flip-flops. I like the look. I can get them in any color! I like the cheerful slapping sounds they make when I walk. But more than any of that…I love my feet not being frozen. As I type this, I sit here wearing cropped pants, a long sleeved top, a sweat jacket, socks and Birkenstocks. And I am still cold. And yes, that is a sexy, sexy filthy hippie look, Birkenstocks and socks. Ooh. My flip-flops lay abandoned under my desk because the socks won’t slip through the thongy part.

I want to be a California-type girl. I mean, I know I could never actually be a California girl but I want to look breezy and casual. But when it is 110° outside, it’s 40 freaking below inside and dressing for the weather actually means dressing for the air conditioning. And me and air conditioning, we have a love/hate relationship. I love it for about twenty minutes and then it hates me and gives me the cold shoulder, the really cold shoulder. The wool sweater in the dead of summer type of cold shoulder. The socks and Birkenstocks type of cold shoulder.

And to add insult to injury, I live in the valley but work near the beach. If you don’t live in L.A. you may just think, “Oh how nice for her” and it is nice, in a way. But what it really means is a 20° differential in temperature on any given day. I wake up in the desert and travel to the lovely cool coast. I dress in light summer clothes to leave the house, bundle up in sweaters to work in my artic tundra of an office and then have to peel the layers off before heading back over the hill. Socks off, Birkenstocks stowed under the car seat, flip-flops back on for the evening.

I want to be a flip-flop girl but my cold blood won’t allow it. I am lizard like. And lizards have cold feet. And cold feet need socks. And feet with socks don’t fit in thongs. Sigh.

Long weekend

Boy, I haven’t blogged in a while. Now, see, if you worked where I work someone would pop in and say “Man, I blogged this morning!” and make a bathroom reference. We are classy like that around here.

I’ve been meaning to but I don’t really have anything to say. But then I think of something to write about and it’s genius! I swear. But then I fall asleep and totally forget about it by morning. But it was total genius. Really.

I was lucky to have a long vacation weekend but I really didn’t do much. Which is not at all true. I did do a lot but none of it seemed like much of anything. Dinner and a few too many drinks on Friday…hey, do you think it’s bad when I say “this drink is pretty mild” and offer it to someone else and they nearly spit it out and say “IT’S NOTHING BUT GIN!”? I mean, does that reflect poorly on me? Saturday I went to a little barbeque with work friends. That was nice but it was so bloody hot out that we stayed inside the whole time. Sunday…I don’t think I did anything on Sunday…Oh, I baked some peanut butter cupcakes to take to Jodi-odi-odi’s on Monday, when we watched Superman, a movie I remember liking as a kid but was kind of bored by as an adult Although I do admit that Christopher Reeve was well chosen for the part and very, very pretty. We didn’t stay for Superman II because I was pretty tired since we had spent the afternoon shopping at the outlets. I bought some flip-flops. I learned my lesson about cheap flip-flops and bought the pricey two for ten dollars kind this time. Finally Tuesday was a day of pure panic as I realized that I have a new, temporary roommate coming at the end of the week and my house is a mess. Eh. It is cleaner. I’m not saying it’s clean but it is cleaner.

And that was it. Not genius. But a long weekend nonetheless.