Saturday, January 31, 2004

I'm still a good, intelligent, talented person, right?

I love learning things from good, intelligent, talented people, but it makes me temporarily feel worthless. I'll be okay in a couple of days.
I want more. I know I shouldn't. I know that not only is it distasteful, it is one of the seven deadly sins (when did Kitty become religious, you are asking yourself? As soon as I figure that one out, I'll let you know), but I can't help it. I want more. I know I'm capable of more. I know I could handle more. What I have trouble with is seeing more right in front of my face and not being able to have it or knowing it will disappear soon. So I harden my heart against the possible hurt. Not the best coping strategy, I know, but what else can I do? Sit and wish for more. And do everything I can to ensure that one day, I will have more.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Okay, so enough with the cold already. It has penetrated my home and my car and my place of business and that's taking it too far. I should not have to wear two shirts and my arm warmers and flannel pants and socks to bed under four blankets and flannel sheets in order to stay kind of warm enough. My poor houseguest. I hope he stays warm enough while he's at my house. Poor Owen's fur is cool to the touch. I hope he hangs out under blankets or by the radiators today.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

You know, I hate to write a blog like this, but I kind of feel it necessary. I really feel for fucknut and people like fucknut. People who only seem to be able to find the bad things in life and the bad people. Because from personal experience, I have to say it's pretty easy to meet good people. People worth knowing. People who simply won't fuck you over. They're not that hard to find and once you do find them, they're not that hard to get to know or to hang onto. I really feel for people who can't seem to find a good friend, or even someone to hang out with who won't screw up their lives.

That's pretty much it. It's easy to find good people. And it's hard to understand people who either don't find them or don't recognize them when they do find them. I hope those people wake up one day and see what's right in front of their faces.
I would not survive as a homeless person. I don't understand the mindset of a homeless person. What gets you through a day? Are you trying to find ways to get money? Are you trying to eat? Is it all just about staying warm so you can live long enough to see tomorrow? And what's so great about tomorrow if all it means is that you are going to smell worse and some of the garbage you are carrying around with you will be beyond the point where it holds any sort of value?

There was a homeless man on the train this morning with a bag full of garbage. The bag was partially open and it reeked to high heaven. So much so, that most people would only stay on that car for one stop. I rode as far as I had to, sitting in the seat behind the garbage with my scarf over my nose because it smelled so bad. And I couldn't see what, if anything, in the bag would have been of any value. All I could see were some Gatorade bottles with a brown fluid in them. But this man was standing guard by his bag of garbage as if his life depended on it. Part of me wanted to give him my lunch. Part of me wanted to talk to him and find out his story. But I did neither as I'm sure either would have been an insult to him. I felt very...I dunno...worthless maybe, in my long coat and scarf and hat and gloves reading my book. Like he's the one with his priorities straight -- his number one concern is with survival, whereas I couldn't stop thinking about physical appearance and smell, trivial things. And where was he headed with his bag of garbage?

I don't know. It was somehow humbling to see that man on the train. He wasn't asking for anything. He had a plan. I wish I knew what the plan was, because I know there is no way I would survive if I had to come up with something similar.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

I've been on this dried fruit kick as of late and I'm thinking it needs to end very soon. As in now. Because as tasty as dried fruit is, the sulphur is wreaking havoc on my digestive system. And I have a houseguest arriving in two days. No more dried fruit for me until he's gone.
I want snowshoes. Just because I think it would be fun to trek into work on a inch of snow wearing snowshoes.

Don't even try to tell me that's not a funny image.
I went shopping last night and came to a realization. I am never again going to buy clothing in a mall type setting. Why? Because the stores in mall type settings carry clothing to make us look how we wish we looked, whereas independent (though sometimes chain) stores carry clothing to accentuate how we do look. Lemme 'splain.

I went to a mall over the weekend and tried on some clothes. I had an idea in my head for what I wanted the outfit to look like, but when I got there and tried it on, it looked nothing like the picture in my head. Now, I'm not a big girl. Ask anyone. I do have big hips (though I do believe I have lost an inch off my hips since I started working out agan), but I'm not a big girl. I had to put on an extra large t-shirt in order to have it fit over my breasts. They're not that big! And I had to grab an extra large skirt to have it fit over my hips, which of course meant it was hanging open at the waist in the back (you all know what I'm talking about, here, girls). And I found myself thinking, "What do really large people buy if I have to buy the extra large?"

I remember the days when I would squeeze myself into jeans that were too tight, hoping nobody would notice the stomach bulge that created. I remember the years I spent walking around holding my breath so my stomach would look flatter. I'm tired of all of that. I want pants that don't ride up and that I can zip without the help of pliers. I want shirts that allow me to breathe. I want shoes that have some cushioning in them so I can wear them all day and still be active. Is that to much to ask?

According to the malls, yes.

But walk into a non-mall store. Not all of them, mind you, but some of them. Typically the ones that aren't branches of stores you would find in a mall. And you will find clothing made for women who are shaped like women. Medium-sized t-shirts for medium-sized women with medium-sized boobs and medium-sized waists. Pants and skirts that fit in the waist and hips without bulging or requiring a belt to cinch the waist shut. I walked into a funky, semi-vintage store in downtown Chicago yesterday and just about everything I tried on fit me. It was a matter of what was the most flattering, what fit with the image I wanted to portray. The t-shirt I ended up buying, I didn't even try on, but I knew it would fit because the tag said "Medium." I love that feeling.

So thank you to non-mall stores for making clothing that the rest of us can actually wear and be comfortable in. And I'm sorry, mall stores, but you have lost yourself a customer. Because I don't want to look like you think I should. I want to look like the picture in my head.
My Bostonian female friend posted a link to this article in her blog today. I have to agree with her that it is worth reading. It goes back to that whole, "there is always an exception" thing I believe in so strongly, but it says it much better than I ever could.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

I love Meryl Streep.

I know, I know, it's Golden Globes night so Kitty gets all weepy about what her career could be if the people I have worked with would just finish up the products. It's distasteful and I can't help it and I apologize for it. But I see these people's dreams coming true in so many cases and I want that, too. I want people to call me for roles instead of having to go audition. I want to make a living from acting. I don't think that's too much to ask.

Though in the category of "steps in a positive direction," I should be getting a copy of Dancing with Gaia in about three weeks. And last time I talked to the director, she said she hoped to have Leftover Voices done by the end of February. And, Mix Tape was invited to be screened at a festival in San Francisco. And I'm doing my first musical concert in a couple of weeks. So things are still moving. Slowly, but they are still moving. And one day, I'll get to go up on stage and forget to thank my agent.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

I love the great big fat snowflakes that just kind of swirl around in the air for hours, making it look almost blizzardy outside, but they never really land so there isn't any real accumulation to deal with.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Not being able to sleep sucks.
You know, I really truly believe that if you sincerely believe that everything will work out okay, it will.

My car was giving me trouble earlier in the week, so I had it towed out to a dealership (it's still under warranty) so they could take a look at it. Turns out, there was a faulty oil filter on it that was pumping air into my engine instead of oil, or some such thing. Which of course, is not under warranty, but that's beside the point. The dealership is out in the 'burbs and I had to figure out a way to get there to pick up my car.

I went to the handy dandy CTA website and used the trip planner to find out that I could take a train and a bus to my destination. I left work, got on the train, got off at my desired stop and could not find the bus I wanted. Not even a sign for the bus I wanted. And it was getting cold outside. So I decided to walk over to a major street and look for a cab. No such luck -- cabs don't really hang out in the 'burbs. So I kept walking. My legs got numb. I could feel the phlegm crystallizing in my nose. It was not really a pleasant experience, but I did some mental cheerleading and reminded myself of all of the calories my body must be burning in order to keep the blood flowing and I kept going. After about a mile, there was a gas station where I decided to stop and warm up for a minute. While I was waiting for the clerk to finish helping a customer so I could ask her if she had a guestimate for how much farther I had to go, I noticed a little map, so I picked it up to examine it for myself. As it just so happened, the station mechanic was just leaving work and he noticed my fascination with the map and asked if I needed help. I told him I was trying to figure out how much farther I had to go. He started giving me directions and asked, "Is this your car right here?" I replied, "I'm walking." He looked at me kind of aghast and said he would give me a ride. I know, I know, I shouldn't have gotten into a car with a strange man, but it was really fuckin' cold outside. And I only had about a mile to go. And he seemed like a nice guy. So I accepted. He drove me to the dealership, saying all the while, "I just hate to see people cold."

So a great big thank you to Eric who works at the Shell station in Park Ridge. You got me to the dealership in time to get my car before the service department closed.

Meaning I got to meet Mr. Hottie Mechanic. He probably could have sold me a new car right then and there and I would have gone for it. *sigh*

So yeah, I have a lot of faith in humanity right now. Partially because of the Avon Walk and the incredible amount of support I am getting for/from it. Partially from a couple of strangers helping me out for no good reason. And partially because I think I want to have faith in humanity, so I am finding reasons to do so. I wish I could impart this lesson to some people -- if you believe bad things will happen to you, they will; if you believe good things will happen to you, they will. So believe in good things. It's as simple as deciding to do so.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

I got into a kind of interesting conversation with a couple of friends the other night about relationships. They both qualify themselves as persons who friends/partners try to fix and I guess I would qualify myself as a person who other people want to fix them. I could be wrong in my assumption, but I am the one that people come to for advice or a sympathetic ear or whatever. I am perfectly happy to give solicited advice. Sometimes I get ahead of myself and give unsolicited advice, but I usually apologize for that and tell the recipient that it is perfectly acceptable to tell me to fuck off. Because truth be told, I don't want to fix people. I am more than happy to help them fix themselves, but I don't want to fix anyone. What I love about the people around me is that they are real people with real problems and real thoughts and real dreams. Who am I to try to take any of that away from them? At the mention of this point of view, the people I was talking to asked if I would give all of their past lovers a seminar on how to not fix people.

Which brings me to my expectations of a relationship, be it romantic or otherwise, and for the sake of this blog, I am going to refer to both parties in one of these relationships as "friends." Because ultimately, your lover should be your friend, too, right? So anyway.

A friend is someone you can talk to. About anything -- good, bad, funny, politically incorrect, anything. And that friend will listen and offer (as appropriate) a sympathetic ear, a chortle, a hug, advice, a differing opinion, or some other reaction that suits the situation. A good friend will not judge his or her friend based on what is discussed in these conversations. And by "not judge," I don't mean "not form an opinion," but say you have a friend who went out one night and tried cocaine. A good friend will listen to the story and not write off the other friend as being a bad person for one experience. A good friend will keep in mind the whole person and the entire history that the two have shared and formulate an opinion based on that. Does that make sense?

I guess what I am trying to say to my friends is that I will not love you less if you call me up after you've had a bad day and you just need someone to talk to. I want to know about those things. I want to know if you were hospitalized. I want to know if you got a new job. I want to know if your baby is talking yet. Because you are my friend and I love you and I want to share in your life and let you share in mine. That's what being a friend is all about.

Or at least that is what it is all about to me, as an INTJ. If you buy into that crap.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I have to admit, I didn't watch the State of the Union address last night. It's probably better that I didn't, seeing as watching our current President speak always makes me want to vomit. But I did read a transcript of the speech right now and all I can really say is that I really, truly hope that he is not re-elected.

To the casual observer, it might look like a good speech. It might look like our country is doing well. He talks about economic growth and the creation of jobs and healthcare and education improvements. But if you look at his record in office for the last three years, you see that none of those things has been a priority for him. It's kind of like taking a small child wth bright hopes for the future, beating him to within an inch of his life, and then bragging about the fact that you remembered to put Neosporin on his band-aids to help him heal faster.

Yes, he mentions a couple of things that have nice, PC-sounding names that are supposed to help our country get out of the hole it is now in. Things like "Jobs in the 21st Century" and the "Leave No Child Behind Act" and stuff. But he didn't fund his own Leave No Child Behind Act in the first place. Now he's talking about increasing their funding. Which would be a lot more impressive if he hadn't cut it in the first place, you know? There is nothing in Bush's track record as President to prove to us that he will keep his word. I almost laughed out loud when he mentioned cutting our dependence on foreign energy sources. You know how he plans to do that? By destroying American wildlife preserves and national parks and forests.

His speech writers have the lingo down. They know this is an election year, so he has to hit all of the key points and try to make everyone believe that he is capable of running our country. Please, when you go to the polls in November, remember the fact that he has proven to us through actions, not words, over the past three years that he is not capable of running this country. He's not a hero because he remembered the Neosporin. He should be ousted for beating the kid in the first place.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

So Kerry won the Iowa caucuses. Groovy. I think I could get behind him. And it helps narrow down my political research.

Monday, January 19, 2004

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I watched "Average Joe" tonight. For those of you with better taste than 95% of the television executives out there, "Average Joe" involves a particuarly lovely lady trying to choose a suitor from a group of average men. Average looking, average intelligence, average occupations. I think what they are trying to prove or disprove on this show is how much physical appearance matters in romantic relationships. Whatever. On tonight's episode, at the very end of it, they brought in eight guys with six packs and excellent fashion sense. And all eight of these new suitors were talking smack before they arrived at the house saying things like, "These guys are in for the shock of their lives." I must express my disgust.

First of all, I will bet you a million dollars every one of the average guys has been in a situation before where they were chatting up a beautiful woman and some really hot guy came along and started chatting her up, too. This is not unfamiliar territory for the less than stellar.

Secondly, I don't know about the particular lady on that show, but men with attitudes like that and six packs are very unattractive to me. I'm not diggin' on guys who feel the need to belittle every other person who doesn't spend seventeen hours a day in the gym. And, to be perfectly honest, I'm intimidated by physically attractive men. Men who even other men will admit are hot. I'm not painful to look at, but I know I'm not drop dead gorgeous -- what on earth would a really hot guy want with me? I don't want to spend tons of time with someone around whom I'm always on edge. I would much rather be with someone around whom I am comfortable. Then I get to be me. Simple as that.

So yeah, if I was the girl on that show, things would not change in the least. I would find myself skeptical of everything the hot guys would say to me. Does this mean I am prejudiced against really hot people? Maybe. Is this something I should work on? Probably. Would this make me an interesting candidate for this particular reality dating show? Probably. Am I going to apply for this particular reality dating show? No. So does any of this matter? Not in the least.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

So I decided to put together another blog to document my training efforts and fundraising efforts and whatnot for the Avon Walk so you don't have to read about it unless you want to. Or, if you are only interested in reading about that stuff, you don't have to muck about through the rest of my brain droppings to find what you're looking for. The new blog can be found at I've put a link to it over on the side, too. Gasp! A link that has a proper name! Yeah, so have fun poking around over there. As I start training and stuff, I may even upgrade so I can post pictures of my blisters and stuff. Yay blisters.

Friday, January 16, 2004

I hate to say this because it's all sappy and everything, but I have to say this, too, because I don't want to forget it.

I am consistently amazed at the generosity of the people around me. I thought when I signed up to do this Avon Walk that it would be hard for me to raise the money to participate and whatnot and I am finding exactly the opposite to be the case. Everyone I have talked to knows someone who has or had breast cancer and they are thrilled to help out. They are thanking me for doing this. People I've never met face to face are pitching in money that they may not really be able to afford, just to help out. Because this cause means something to them. And because it means something to me, I get all misty-eyed when I get an e-mail saying I have received another donation. Yes, I'm a dork. But this whole experience is renewing my faith in humans in general. We're not all bad. We're not all selfish. We're not all out to screw each other over. There are a lot of really good, generous, passionate people out there and the knowledge of that fact makes me happier than I could ever tell you.

I'm so excited to do this walk. I'm so in love with the people making donations. Thank you, guys. I can't say it better than that. Thank you.
So how come people in movies never screw up what they are saying? Or if they do, it is a intentional flub and a big deal is made out of it? Seriously. Think about it. You see all these movie out-takes wherein people mess up a line or something and they have to do it over. But in real life, things come out wrong all the time. For example, I was in a meeting yesterday and I was asked about a deadline. I tried to say, "November 17th," but it came out more like, "Nizmemver 17th." Everyone in there knew what I was saying. Nobody laughed. I didn't fumble and try to correct myself; the meeting just went on as if I had been able to pronounce "November." So how come they always feel the need to correct that in movies?

One notable exception: documentaries/mockumentaries. In Dancing with Gaia, one woman (leaving in a huff) is trying to explain that she will do another woman a favor free of charge and she says, "It will be gratuitous." It's funny. It's sincere. It's an honest mistake. I'd like to see more of that in movies.

Thank you.
Okay, so like most people I know, I am currently working my way out of debt. I have two big things to pay off -- my car and my credit card. I am half-way through with the payments on my car -- only 24 of those puppies to go. And I had gotten a loan to pay off the credit card debt and I am down to only 15 payments to go on that loan. The end is near! Just over a year and I will actually be able to start saving money! What a concept, huh? To not have to scrimp for the week before payday. To be able to buy new socks whenever I want instead of having to wait for a good month. Ah, such a good feeling it will be to not owe anyone any money anymore. Yes, I still have over a year of this scrimping business to go, but it's just one more year. It's almost over. I can do it! And man, am I looking forward to being done with it.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

It is 2004.

That just kind of hit me. Two thousand four. It was five years ago that the whole Y2K scare was going on and people were stocking up on toilet paper and bottled water. It was almost six years ago that I graduated from college. The movie 2001 is now referring to the past. The "present" in Twelve Monkeys is now the past. Two thousand four.

Yes, I know I'm a dork. I'm just amazed sometimes at how time passes when a million things seem to be changing, but nothing is ever really different, you know? Probably not. I'll shut up now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Okay, I'm going to bitch about the swing scene for a moment because there is a discussion going on about what people want out of the scene and I know that if I write this stuff there, I will be lambasted for it. So I'm going to put it here where nobody can publicly respond to it. So there.

What do I want out of the swing scene? I want to be inspired. That is why I started dancing in the first place. I used to watch movies as a kid where people would just meet each other on the dance floor and create this wonderful, beautiful thing together and then go back to their normal lives and it was so magical. And I remember when I first got the chance to go out and see swing dancing in clubs, I was in awe of everyone else out there. In awe, but determined that I could do it, too, and that one day, I would have a partner who I could just meet on the floor to create something magical for three minutes.

So I danced my ass off for years. I was in a professional performance troupe, I competed with another troupe, I was on TV, I was in movies, I was in parades, I danced six and seven nights a week and hardly sat out a song. I watched competitions and determined that I wanted to dance with those people one day. And that day came and I had an opportunity to dance with those people and I set my sights higher and higher. Granted, I am not good at asking people to dance, and the higher the skill level of my partner, the more it freaks me out to ask him to dance. But the ones where it has really really mattered to me, I have asked them to dance.

But I started to notice something strange. Dancers of a certain level tend to only dance with other dancers who they feel are of the same level. I have been outwardly and rudely turned down by dancers of a certain level who then went on to dance the same song with someone else (read: major dancing etiquette faux pas). Or, on the few occasions when a dancer of a certain level has agreed to dance with me, he has spent the majority of the dance scanning the rest of the floor to see who else he could be dancing with, looking extremely bored and put out, and not paying the slightest bit of attention to what I am doing as a follow. I might as well be a coat rack on wheels. Call me a defeatist, but I stopped asking certain dancers or dancers of a certain level to dance with me because I knew I wouldn't enjoy it. I wouldn't be inspired. I would be made to feel like crap, even though I knew I could hold my own.

Now, here is where the problem comes in. When I go out dancing, I want to be inspired. I want to be challenged. Not necessarily in every dance, but I want to be able to have fun, too. Meaning that while I am not at all opposed to dancing with new dancers, I don't want to spend my entire evening fighting to keep my arm in it's socket, reading my partner's lips as he counts out the rhythm, and having any of my sad, pathetic attempts at styling be squashed because my partner doesn't have the concept of the dance as a conversation yet. I'm not saying these people should stop dancing. I'm saying these people should keep practicing and improving their skills. And I'm saying I can only take a certain number of these dances in a night. If that makes me a snob, then fine, I'm a snob. I've put close to five years into the swing scene, working on my skills, fundraising, helping out wherever I could. You just get to a certain point where you need a really good dance, you know?

And then throw into the mix the fact that I went back to school and it means I haven't been going out dancing much lately. Which means I have experienced yet another interesting phenomenon since I have gone out dancing a few times recently -- I am not asked to dance. At all. By anyone except maybe my one friend who always goofs off with me on the dance floor. That's it. Out of a scene of probably sixty or seventy people, if my one friend isn't there, I won't be dancing that night.

Yes, I could ask people to dance, and when I went out on Sunday night, I did ask people to dance. But I also took the time to watch people dancing and I found something really interesting. Nobody looked like they were having any fun. Nobody looked like they were inspired, either by the music, or their partner, or by the dance in general. It was bizarre. I felt the desire to dance, but there was only one guy there who looked like he would be fun to dance with -- so I asked him and we had a pretty good dance. Nothing to write home about, but still fun. Pretty much the rest of the floor was people with blank expressions all doing the same moves as everybody else, but maybe in a different order.

Why is this? Is it because dancers in similar situations as myself have given up and stopped going out dancing? Is it because old school dancers aren't newbie-friendly enough? Is it because the venues are too remote or the music not to our tastes? Is it because of the teachers we do or don't have in Chicago? Is it because of the laid-back attitude that Chicago dancers in general have adopted that prevents them from pushing themselves farther in the dance and makes every dance routine? Is it just me? I don't know, but it kind of makes me sad. I loved dancing. I loved dancing with my friends. I loved dancing with people I had never met before, yet somehow I felt as if I had known them for years after three minutes on the floor.

So what do I want from the swing scene? I want to be inspired. I want to look out on a crowded dance floor and think to myself, "Wow, I wish I could do that." I want to know that if I ask someone to dance, he will not only accept, but at least pretend to enjoy himself and/or pay attention to the dance for the three minutes we're on the floor together. I want people to ask me to dance and to not be afraid to just kind of go nuts. I want to look out on a crowded dance floor and see people dancing with the music that is being played, not just to the music.

I know, it's a tall order. But someone asked what we want, so that's what I want.
When I signed up to do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, I was all scared that I wouldn't be able to raise the $1800 necessary to participate and that people would yell at me for hassling them to donate money and stuff like that. What I didn't expect was all the support I am getting from both likely and unlikely sources. I didn't expect the people donating on my behalf to thank me for doing this. I didn't expect half-strangers to stop me in coffee shops and wish me luck and share their stories with me. I didn't expect a room full of applause when I mentioned at the open mic last night that I was participating in the Walk. It is stunning and overwhelming and really really wonderful. This is something I'm doing because I want to. And there are tons of people out there ready, willing and able to help me, be it through words of encouragement or participation in fundraising events or through straight monetary donations. I never expected to feel so much love from other people for doing this. I'm only five days into it and I'm learning things about myself and the community in which I live. It is incredible. Thank you, guys. Already this Walk is one of the best things I have ever done and I've hardly taken my first step.

Monday, January 12, 2004

The thing that really irritates me about politics is how stubborn people get when they talk about it. Especially in this country -- if you're a Democrat, you're a Democrat; if you're a Republican, you're a Republican; if you are anything else, nobody wants to listen to what you have to say anyway.

With the impending election, we have a lot of Democrats running around trying to illustrate just how horrible Bush has been as a President. And in response, we have a lot of Republicans running around saying, "You're a bunch of crazy ass liberals. The economy is getting better. And Clinton wasn't all that great, either." Yes, I have a tendency to lean towards the Democratic side of things -- I can't help that. I don't like what has happened to my country in the past three years. But there are times when I just want to say, "Look, here's what's going on. Forget about Clinton -- the 2004 election is not about whether Clinton was a better president than Bush. Take a good, honest look at our economy -- yes, it is doing better than it was six months ago, but it is still much, much worse than it could/should be. And now, with the statements made by Mr. O'Neill (one of Bush's former cabinet members) saying that Bush had it in for Hussein from the moment he stepped into office and that there was never any evidence of weapons of mass destruction, how much more proof do you need?" I guess it could be argued that O'Neill has it in for Bush for one reason or another so he is making these statements to spite the shrub, but think for a moment about the implications if his statements are true. It means we have a liar in the White House. Simple as that. The current most powerful man in the world lied to both houses of Congress and the American people -- something that should be grounds for impeachment. I'm not saying other presidents throughout history haven't lied about one thing or another. But Bush's lies have led to hundreds of American soldiers losing their lives needlessly. Bush's lies have lost millions of American jobs. Bush's lies have weakened the American dollar in the global marketplace. These may not seem like such colossal problems as previous generations have had to face, but when you think about the fact that they all could have been avoided if a) Bush hadn't lied or b) the man the majority of the country wanted to be president had actually gotten to serve his elected term, they seem to carry a little more weight.

So I guess in my mind, the only question left, then, when talking about the election in November should be, "Do you want a liar in the White House?" I'd have to say no. And yes, I hate my own stubbornness on this issue, but in this case, I can't help it.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

So I saw this little article on the Apple homepage or some such place talking about what a woman's clothing says about her bedroom style. According to this article, women who wear tight, revealing clothing tend to want to be looked at, not touched, and may be boring in the bedroom. A similar story for women on top of every new trend. Women who wear jeans and t-shirts are comfortable in their clothes and usually with themselves, so they can be more fun in the bedroom (just don't let them break you heart). And women who dress in a more eclectic style tend to be crazy in the sack, but in the good way.

And I have to say, I kind of agree with this assessment, just based on what I know of my girlfriends and such. I have one friend who always looks sexy, but is unsure of herself in bed and is really squeamish even talking about sex or sex-related topics. One woman I know pulls of looks that nobody else could pull off and I've been to her apartment and seen some of the toys. And me? Well, I'm a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl and I have yet to get any real complaints.

So I'm feeling pretty good about myself. Too bad there is no boyfriend in the picture with whom I can celebrate.

Friday, January 09, 2004

I'm doing it. I am going to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this summer. I'm all buzzed and excited and happy and weepy about it and I feel the need to talk about my first stepmother for a few minutes.

If you look at my dad, you would never in a million years think he would be married three times. I'm sure he didn't think he would be married three times when he was growing up on the farm. But here he is, on his third wife -- all three lovely women. His first wife was my mother and after seventeen-ish years of marriage, they divorced. I was about twelve at the time and I remember being very scared and very angry about the whole thing. I had a birthday the summer while the whole thing was going on and I remember that all I had asked for was that my parents not fight for one whole day. And I also remember that at the time, I had these barettes for my hair that said "Daddy's Girl," and I was so proud to wear them. I loved being my daddy's girl. So the first time I saw him cry...well, I didn't actually see it, I heard it. He went into the basement and wept so that we wouldn't have to see him cry, but the sound is something I don't think I will ever forget. My heart really went out to him.

And just for the record, I would like to say that now, fourteen-ish years after the fact, I am thankful that my parents got divorced. I know that it was the better decision. I'm not angry about any of it; I'm not holding on to grudges or anything. I am totally cool with the fact that I have divorced parents. But at the time, it was really rough.

So when my dad met his second wife, I was thrilled. I remember him asking me for advice about which tie he should wear to a dance that he knew she was going to be at. He called her a "bathing beauty" and smiled when he talked about her. I hadn't seen my dad smile like that in a really long time and it was beautiful. Not long after that, the two of them were dating and my brother and I got to meet the woman who would later become my stepmother. She was not what I would have called a "bathing beauty," but she was nice and she made my dad happy. She was much more proper than my mother had been, but she always treated my brother and I nicely. While she was dating my dad, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through chemo and radiation and all of that stuff, and they thought they got rid of it. I remember her taking me to McDonald's one day after her chemo treatment because she said she always craved a chocolate milkshake after chemo. And she got strong again and she and my dad started making plans to get married. I remember her taking me shopping for a bridesmaid dress -- she wanted to make sure we would get something I could wear again. And in about March (I think), they were married. It was a lovely ceremony, the first in which I had ever stood up. She moved into our house without her crazy, smelly, but very sweet dog Elliot (he had been put to sleep) and things were changed around a little bit, but it was cool. I liked her. My dad loved her. And she loved my dad. And then the cancer came back. Hard and strong and fast. Granted, I was only at my dad's house half of the time, but it was enough for me to get to see her wasting away. They had to move a hospital bed into the den downstairs because she couldn't make it upstairs anymore. And her mind started to go. By October, she was gone.

I remember watching her suffer and wishing I could have done something or wishing it would all just go away. I remember watching my dad suffer as he lost his second wife and wishing there was something I could do to ease his pain. I remember how long he mourned for her. I would not wish any of that on anyone. Yes, I believe in the "don't knock it 'til you try it" school of thought, but I also think that most people could get through their entire lives just fine without ever having to deal with the pain of cancer or the pain of watching a loved one fight it.

So I finally get a chance to feel like I am doing something about it. On June 5 and 6, I will walk a marathon and a half (39.3 miles) and raise hopefully $2,000 (or more) for breast cancer research and treatment. I know it's not a lot, but it is what I can do.

And truth be told, I'm afraid to ask people for money in my fundraising campaign. But within an hour of sending out my first e-mail to let people know I am doing this, two people made very generous donations. My heart lept in my chest and my eyes started tearing up when I saw the e-mail notifications of the donations. Thank you, guys. I can't tell you how much your support means to me, and to the charities who will be receiving your donations. Thank you.

[shameless plug]If you want more information about the walk itself or would like to make a donation to help me reach my goal, please visit my Avon Walk Home Page.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

So they got the first color photographs back from Mars. Wow. Kind of spooky. I can't imagine an entire planet with nothing but windtrails and wind polished rocks on it. Not even footprints. The photo is of just a huge, flat, red nothing. It's like being in Arizona without the foliage and without the knowledge that there is a town nearby with snacks and cold beverages. I can't imagine the feeling of isolation a person would feel, standing on the surface of Mars, taking a photograph. Good thing it wasn't a person taking the photograph, huh? It's just...immense. And empty. And would you freak out if you were there? Knowing that even if some horrible creature inhabited Mars and wanted to eat you, there would be nothing you or anybody else could do about it? Nowhere to hide. No one to help. Your family just deciding after x number of years to not worry anymore about when you might come home.

I've often thought that it would be really cool to see the Earth from above once in my life. As in if I had a billion dollars to blow, I might just pull a Lance Bass and try to get into space. Because think about it -- that is a sight that only a few people ever get to see live, you know? How incredible would that experience be? But truth be told, I think the solitude and isolation would kill me. Me. The girl who values her personal time so much it has killed any number of relationships. To be that far away from everything familiar would be really hard. I picture myself enjoying the view for about ten minutes and then wanting to come home and hug every person I know for about three hours. You guys know who you are. I love you. Thank you for being in my life. If I go to Mars, will you come with me?
My blogs have been really boring as of late and I apologize for that. I've been feeling kind of boring. I'm really enjoying spending time at my house, playing with my cat or just relaxing. I've started working out again, which is a good thing. And I think I have decided to do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Research this summer. Meaning if you are at all interested in contributing money to a worthy cause, shoot me an e-mail and I'll get you the details as soon as my registration goes through and whatnot.

Man, even this blog is boring.

I think I'm in a "reality" stage of my life. If you've seen Big Fish, you know that there are "reality" sequences and "tall tale" sequences. If you haven't seen Big Fish, shame on you. But anyway, I think I am in a "reality" sequence right now. Because if you sit and think about it, like I do, I have already done a lot of things in my life that most people never have or never will. I've been in parades. I've been in movies. I've been on TV. I've played my own music in front of rooms full of people. I've made two CDs and many music videos. I had my entire body airbrushed. I went to Australia. I've been involved in multiple fake marriages. I have a lot of good stories to tell my kids which will sound like tall tales to them, but that I know are true. So I guess I shouldn't complain so much when I'm in a little down slump. Things will get crazy again soon. I have friends coming to visit and an upcoming trip to Europe and concerts and ideas for fundraising events for the Avon Walk and all kinds of stuff. I guess that is the good thing about my life -- it never stays boring for too long.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Up until just about today (maybe yesterday), I was starting to think that global warming is a reality. It was fifty degrees outside on January 2. Fifty degrees. In Chicago. In January. This could only mean the coming of the anti-Christ. But sadly (for him, good for us), the anti-Christ is not on his way because it is now freezing cold outside. Literally. We are expected to hit a whopping fifteen degrees today. When I woke up this morning, it was minus three. And there is snow everywhere and blustery winds. If the sun wasn't shining, I'd say we're back to our typical Chicago winter. No more of the nice, mild weather that has been hovering over the city for the past year. We're in it good now.

Though as long as this means we'll al still get to wake up tomorrow and go about our lives as we always have, or perhaps as we have always wanted to, then I guess a typical cold, snowy Chicago winter is okay. It's only four months 'til April anyway.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Yeah, so it is hard to be back at work. Truth be told, I don't want to be a paralegal. I don't want to be a desk monkey. Maybe a spider monkey. They're so cute. And seriously, how cool would it be to have a prehensile tail? I'd be able to walk down the slippery, snow-covered stairs of the gangway with both bags of garbage, holding on to the railing with my tail instead of having to make two trips like I had to yesterday. I know, I know, the middle of a snowstorm is not the best time in the world to take out the garbage, but honestly, I was getting desperate. I am very good at procrastinating. If I did the whole New Year's Resolution thing, that might be one of them -- to stop procrastinating so much. Maybe that's why I'm not necessarily all jazzed about being a paralegal -- too many deadlines. Though I do work well under pressure. But I do not blog well when I am hungry, and for that, I apologize. I'm going to go eat my lunch now.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

It feels like forever since I've been to work. Probably because it's been forever since I've been to work. It has been really nice to have some time off. Days to take care of my house and my life and my health and whatnot. It's going to be really weird to go back tomorrow, too. And really hard to make it through a full week. Wish me luck.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Time for the New Year's purge. That's right -- time to clean out the closets and get rid of things that are not vegan friendly or that I haven't worn/looked at in years. Time to get rid of the unnecessaries. It can be a very freeing process, and a very sad process, but I think I'm ready for it. Make space in my life for new things, literally and metaphorically.

And I have to say that it is really nice outside today. Maybe I'll go play in the park for a little while before I start purging.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

So far, 2004 is kind of anticlimatic. Here's hoping that doesn't last too long.

Happy New Year, kids.