Monday, July 31, 2006

Hi. Stop.

Still hot. Stop.

No, really, stop. I'm very much looking forward to the theoretical impending rain due to cool off the greater Chicagoland area come Tuesday or Wednesday. More for the sake of my cat than anything else. Poor baby is so hot. I'm doing whatever I can tokeep him cool, and he's finding the coolest places in the house to sleep, but he's sluggish. I feel really bad for him.

And of course today, the day they are predicting will break heat records, they decide to work on the plumbing in my building so they shut off the water. Good idea, guys. Granted, most people are at work so it doesn't make that much difference to them. But on the hottest day of the year, let's shut off the water in the building so that if there was someone at home, he/she couldn't drink water, go to the toilet, take a cold shower, etc.

I'm going to a friend's house where it's air conditioned to paint puppets. I might even skip my class and go straight to band practice, just to keep my moving around/physical activity to a minimum. We'll see.

Stay cool everybody.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

So just because it's stinkin' hot doesn't mean my cat doesn't still need a lot of attention. It's actually really cute and very sweet. He'll lie down next to me so that he's touching my leg or something. Given a choice, he prefers that I sit on the floor with my legs extended, but he will sometimes still crawl into my lap and suffer the heat and stickiness for a little scritching. It honestly melts me. But in a totally different way than the heat does.

People who have never had a pet don't get how people who do have pets get so attached to them. Animals have so much personality! I have to remind myself every now and again that he's a cat and not another person. And I know I didn't start out on this whole vegan thing for ethical reasons, but they have kind of developed over the years. I'm really glad that my lifestyle doesn't involve another creature being robbed of his/her chance to be scritched behind the ears or to run through a nice grassy field. Animals are awesome and amazing and beautiful and I'm glad that none of them have to die so I can live.

Okay, I'll stop now.

Friday, July 28, 2006


It's hot.

Almost oppressively so.

It's been hot for a lot of days now.

It will continue to be hot for a lot more days.

I know at least a half-dozen people who have offered up their air conditioned residences as a place of refuge for me during the hot. For that, I thank them. One even said I could bring Owen with. Thing is, at this point, the thought of packing up everything that would be necessary to make such a move is really daunting. Moving a cat you have to bring food, bowls, toys, litter box, scoopy thing for the litter box, cat in carrier, treats, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention all the crap I would have to bring for me (clothes, toiletries, food, etc. etc. etc.). Don't worry; I am spending a couple of hours every day in air conditioning of some sort. And believe it or not, I am still sleeping okay. It's amazing what a fan on high pointed directly at your face can do. But if I'm a little slow or irratable, it's because the heat is getting to me a bit. Just a bit. I'd still rather this than forty below.

In other news, I was over at my brother's house a few weeks ago and his girlfriend offered me this concoction she has dreamed up. At the time I passed, but I have since tried to replicate it on my own, with a little bit of augmentation, and I have to say, it is one of the most wonderful things ever. So for those of you who are always asking for vegan recipes, get out your pens and recipe cards and give props to my brother's girlfriend when you make this and serve it and people say, "Damn, that's tasty!"

Step one: Go to Trader Joe's. If there is not a Trader Joe's near you, stop and cry for a minute. Then think about other kinds of grocery stores that might have whole grain type healthy grass eater kinds of food and try one of those. But for argument's sake, we're going to pretend that there is a Trader Joe's near you.
Step two: In the produce section, get one pint of cherry, plum or grape tomatoes and one package of pre-cooked steamed lentils.
Step three: In the frozen section, get one box of pre-cooked organic brown rice.
Step four: In that strange nebulous refrigerated section that isn't quite produce but kind of feels like it should be, get one tub of organic black bean and corn salsa. I think it's organic. Maybe not. Either way, get a tub of it.
Step five: Pay for your purchases. This step is very important as it will prevent you from going to jail and being unable to get a decent job in the future.
Step six: Go home.
Step seven: Prepare the steamed lentils per the instructions on the box (which consists of cutting slits in the plastic and microwaving them for about two or three minutes).
Step eight: Prepare one package of brown rice as per the instructions on th box (which consists of cutting a small hole in the bag and microwaving it for about three minutes).
Step eight: Wash the tomatoes and drain the lentils.
Step nine: Pour the lentils, the rice, and the salsa into a large bowl.
Step ten: Mix.
Step eleven: Serve, using the cherry, plum, or grape tomatoes as garnish.

Voila! Amazing! It's got a nice little kick to it from the salsa, tons of protein and iron, and some good whole grain carbohydrates. The tomatoes just add a little bit of cool and wet to counterbalance the spice in the salsa. So good! And seriously, I know I wrote it out as eleven steps, but this is one of the easiest meals you'll ever make. You nuke stuff for about six minutes total and then mix it all together. How easy is that?

So yeah, it's delish. And thanks to my brother's girlfriend for planting the idea in my head. You could always cook your own brown rice and lentils, and make your own salsa if you're feeling ambitious. Or you can give props where they are deserved and just call Trader Joe's the most wonderful store on the planet. Nobody will think you're exaggerating. Promise.

Monday, July 24, 2006


So Blogger wasn't letting me log on for a day or two there, so you missed out on some lovely bits of nothing. Sorry. I had stuff to say, stuff that I'm probably glad now that I didn't say, but it wouldn't let me post. It wouldn't even really let me log on. Seriously, has that whole internet neutrality thing started yet, where if your site is not owned by AT&T you can only pull it up once every six weeks? Or whatever. The thing that makes some websites more equal than others, if you know what I mean. 'Cuz if this is what it's going to be like once that happens, shit. Might as well not even have internet. Anyway.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my connections to people and mostly I'm thinking it's kind of odd that the people I feel closest to are often hundreds if not thousands of miles away. Yet when some random person says hello to me on the street, I pretend he or she isn't there. Why is that? Why is it okay to answer an email from a total stranger, but if some one you don't know is sitting next to you at the bar and says "gesundheit" when you sneeze, you think he/she is a freak show? Or desperate? Or a killer/mugger/rapist?

Part of this has to do with my personal life right now. I knew that if I didn't start dating someone instantly after the run in with The Boy, that I'd lose my interest in dating all together. And I didn't start dating right away. And I've lost my interest in the subject. I've been asked out by four different men in the past week (they actually all happened within about three days of one another) and I've managed to turn them all down or piss them all off. They are all great guys in their own right -- great senses of humor, good taste in movies and music, good conversationalists, etc, etc, etc. But I've lost my interest in dating. I've lost the desire to get to know another human being in that sense and to devote that kind of time to someone, to let someone get to know me that intimately. I think a lot of it might be that it all seems a waste of time.

Clarification: getting to know other people is not a waste of time. Finding a connection with other people is not a waste of time. These things are what life is all about.

But I have friends who I connect with. My best friend lives in Texas and I don't remember what my life was like before I met her. My best guy friend is the sort I can call up on short notice just to go grab a beer or something. And the kicker, a guy I had a thing for for just about as long as I can remember finally came out to me and I think we're better friends for it. So why muck it all up with romantic gestures and physical intimacy? One person says, "let's get coffee" and the other hears "we're dating exclusively" and when the communication misfire is talked through, one party or the other ends up fantastically hurt and angry and the friendship bit is therefore ruined. Or at the very least, put on a very fragile shelf for a while until support beams can be installed. Why not spend time cultivating friendships without all of the societal pressure to pair off?

I dunno. I think that if I were to date someone right now, it would have to be rather surface level. Part of me wants to be really shallow and start dating a male model or an athlete or someone with an amazing body who makes me feel insecure about my own physique, but I intimidate the hell out of him intellectually. And we'd have a really hot romance until, like, November when he takes me home for Thanksgiving and I see all kinds of pictures of him with old girlfriends on the mantel piece and his mother makes snide comments under her breath about the size of my ass (I've never seen a vegetarian with that much junk in her trunk. How does that even happen if she doesn't eat cheese?) and he and I finally realize that all we really have is a mutual love of Kevin Smith films so we end it and are both better people for it.

But I think we all know I'm not that kind of person. I don't know that I'm capable of a surface level relationship of any sort. Hell, I get sick of party small talk after about ten minutes. Though if it came wrapped in a six-pack...I'm kidding! Sheesh, I'm totally kidding. For as much as you guys read this thing, you'd think you'd know me better than that.

Thanks for letting me feel connected to the world somehow. Even if I have problems connecting face to face.

Friday, July 21, 2006

I think it's just an accepted fact now that I live a very odd life. My friend pointed this out to me this evening and I really couldn't argue with him. It's just odd. I kind of can't wait until I'm seventy or eighty and somebody decides to write a biography about me. People will read it and go, "Really? Huh. Didn't see that coming."

Or is it really that odd? Do these things happen to other people, too? I guess maybe it only seems odd because the "normal" things that happen to people don't seem to happen to me, but just about everything else does. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I like it that I got to shave my head to play a woman, and then let my hair grow back out to play a man. I like it that I left a very secure corporate type job to be an artist. I like it that there are hundreds of people out there who only know what my singing voice sounds like, not my speaking voice. Or that there are people out there who feel like they know me very well because of what I write in this little journal right here. I like talking to those people. I like knowing that they are there. Are these things really that odd, or is our world just like that now?

Though I think I'm still going to have to agree with my friend. I lead an odd life. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's been occurring to me more and more that there is a growing segement of the population that only knows what I sound like when I'm singing. They've never heard me speak. Which amuses me to no end, considering the years I spent absolutely terrified of singing in front of people. I guess I got that fear conquered, huh?
You know, I don't mind the hot. I actually kind of like it. It feels safe somehow. And it's a good excuse to sit still and eat popsicles and watch movies and stuff. I enjoy hot weather.

I feel bad for my cat, though. Not only do cats have higher body temperatures than humans, but he's wearing a fur coat all of the time, so I'm sure the hot is not pleasant for him. And to make matters worse, when it's really hot and sticky, we just can't be snuggly, you know? He's a very affectionate cat and likes being scritched and stuff. But when there's a heat index of 102 with 90% humidity, he's not going to curl up on my stomach for a nap, you know? It's just too darn hot.

So this morning, it was a little cooler in my apartment and I was sleeping in my living room (coolest room in the place) and my cat came and laid down next to my hip on the bed. It was like he missed me. I scritched his head for a little while and just put in some quality time and he was loving it. I think we both missed that.

It never ceases to amaze me how much personality he has. How much of an individual he is. And not to get all self-righteous on y'all, but it makes me really happy that I'm a vegan and that no animals have to suffer or die so that I can live. Hugs and scritches and treats and kisses, yes. Meat and wool and leather and silk and dairy, no. I'm good with that.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

So if you were ever going to come see one of my shows, last night's show is the one you should have gone to. Not to rub it in for those of you who couldn't be there for one reason or another, but last night's show was amazing. I had so much fun! Probably the highlight of my set, though, was when Michael Main of Willowshoes or Mr. Happy's or whatever their name is (sorry, guys) joined me to play the drums on "Skyrocket." We plugged my acoustic guitar into a Marshall amp, too, so it would sound crunchy. And we rocked out! It was so cool to play with another musician! It almost has me feeling like I don't want to play out again until I have a full band together. We'll see. I do like to play. I'm sure I've said it before, but I'll say it again: music alone is wonderful, music shared with others is magical.

So thank you to everyone who came out last night to make it such a blast! Thank you, Michael, for not only putting the whole evening together, but for learning my pain-in-the-ass-for-the-percussionist song and kicking ass with it. Thank you to the other musicians for a night full of great sounds. And thanks to Jak's Tap for letting us take over their back room. I had a blast.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

So I bought new towels last week. They are nice and soft and plushy and they were ridiculously on sale, so considering the fact that I'd not bought new towels since I left for college, I felt justified in making this purchase.

Seeing as I had not bought new towels since I left for college, I forgot that new towels shed like crazy. I've washed them all twice, and they still leave fuzzies all over me. And of course, damp towel fuzzies stick for as long as they possibly can, so I spend the rest of the day brushing off slowly drying towel fuzzies, or just feeling like there's a hair on me somewhere, or looking like I really just like touching my chest. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you, but I will be very happy when my towels stop shedding so much. Two or three more washes ought to do it, huh?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Imagine, if you will, one of the absolute worst things that could happen to you. Like, your family is on vacation. Your whole extended family. And one of the condos you have rented out explodes, killing two of your family members and injuring four more. I don't know if you guys read about this in the news, but that exact thing happened in Wisconsin last weekend. To one of my friends. One of my dear friends. We've worked together, we've gotten drunk together, we've played many a round of darts. And his family was vacationing together and now two of them never get to come home. Three children are left without parents. Two sets of parents are left without their children.

I know in the grand scheme of things, it's not that bad. But right now, it's not the grand scheme of things. It is real and present and painful. I can't imagine what is going through my friend's mind right now. I can't imagine how he is feeling. Honestly, I think I would have a breakdown of some sort, or a meltdown. You read about things like this in the news, but it's different when the people aren't faceless strangers, but rather are people you've met at some point or another.

My heart aches for your family right now. If I was the sort who prayed, I'd be praying like crazy for you and your family to find some kind of peace with what happened. As it stands, I'm going to ask everyone who reads this entry to send some positive energy to my friend and his family. God knows they need it right now.

I love you.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I can't believe July is half over already. When did that happen?

And I'd also like to state for the record that four days with no Chicago Cubs baseball is really hard. I'm not looking forward to October.

Yeah, that's all I got.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

So, did the whole internet non-neutrality thing go into effect yet, or is my connection just being old and stupid? (insert footage of old Jaws ride at Universal Studios theme park. Bonus points to you if you get the reference. Have a wine cooler.)

I've been having these really weird moments lately wherein I'll pass someone on the stairs in my building and we'll nod politely at each other and go on about our way, and I realize that someday, when I'm famous, that person will then hurry to the closest internet connection and send a note out to all of his/her friends saying, "You'll never believe who lives in my building! Yeah, and somebody forgot to do her hair this morning..." and things of the like.


I dunno.

You all know I'd been doing really well for a while there, and then, well, a boy happened, and I ended up thinking very little of myself. Note to self: boys screw everything up, so don't bother with them. I'm currently working very hard on getting back to a place where I am once again doing well. Or at least have the confidence in myself to know that one day, all of my dreams will come true and all of the goals I set for myself will be achieved. And the first step in doing that, I think, is to talk about it like it's a given. Not, "I hope I make it one day," but "When I make it..." Yes, it's all semantics, but attitude has a lot to do with it. Mind over matter, so to speak. So I've been having these weird moments wherein I picture my everyday life as if I was a famous person. To tell the truth, it's not a whole lot different than it is now, except maybe I wouldn't worry about money so much. And I'd get to sleep in a lot less. Meh. Some sacrifices are worth it.

Monday, July 10, 2006


So I promised myself that I wouldn't post anything today because I am mildly inebriated and nothing good ever comes of posting while intoxicated, but here I am anyway. I blame my best friend. She's pregnant and in Texas and we made a deal that while she's pregnant, I have to dress slutty and drink a lot to balance out the universe. Not that she usually dresses slutty or anything, but when you take two women's cute outfits and combine them, it often comes off as slutty. She's eating for two, I'm dressing for two. Anyway, I'm doing my best to help her out as she's feeling not so attractive in maternity clothes (even though pregnant women are, by definition, sexy as all get out), so I dressed extra trampy before I went out tonight. Mini skirt with laces in the front. Camo espadrilles. Camo tank top with black death hoodie over it. Toenails painted. Yeah, I felt like a whore. My friends told me I just looked cute, though. I'm not used to dressing like that, so I felt trampy. But apparently, I wasn't. Whatever.

I'm really happy that the Cubs won today. That makes three in a row, and it's a really good way to go into the All Star break. Finish the first half on a positive note. But how sad is it that the season is half over already?

And I spent most of my day today feeling really girlie, moving furniture around. I got some new stuff (it was about time) and I put it together (yay Ikea!) and moved stuff around and it felt girlie. Women have a reputation for needing to move furniture after a break up, or just on random Thursdays when the soaps are showing reruns. So I was all domestic and moved furniture. It felt good. In combination with looking amazing going out tonight, that's the best revenge, right?

Friday, July 07, 2006


So two things that I wanted to mention yesterday but didn't get the chance to because yesterday was insane and when you only have a dial-up connection...well, sometimes journal updates fall to the wayside. Anyway.

First of all, a very happy birthday (yesterday) to my mother. She is one of the most amazing people I know. I look around at so many of my friends who have strained relationships with one or both parents, and I feel that much more blessed that my relationship with my mom is so good. She is intelligent and loving and generous and supportive and creative. I love her more than I can possibly tell you, or tell her, so I'll just say that I love you, Mom. Happy birthday.

And the other thing I wanted to mention was Mike Doughty. Finally got to see him live on Wednesday night in Milwaukee. I have to say first of all, that Summerfest is not only the world's largest music festival, but probably my favorite as well. Yes, there are a gagillion people there at any given time, but they don't irritate me as much as they do at other large festival type things. There's usually a pretty good flow of traffic happening, which helps. But I've seen some of my absolute favorite artists there, and I love the stages, the sound is almost always awesome, and even when it's pouring down rain, you still have a good time. So anyway, I finally got to see Mike Doughty play at Summerfest and all I can say is wow. Worth every penny. Worth twice as much as I paid to get in. I was in the fifth row and had a pretty good view of him. He played just about everything I wanted him to, and some that I totally wasn't expecting. And you can tell that he just loves to make music. Not much "banter" between songs, but I think that's because he and his band would rather be playing than chatting. And that's fine because it meant we got a lot of songs out of him. And I was dancing and singing along and it was brilliant. I so needed a show like that. So thank you, Mike Doughty, for putting on a really great show. And to all of the rest of you out there, go buy his CDs, love his music, see him play live. You will not regret it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth of July, everybody! In honor of this great country we call home, I think we should all spend the day telling people exactly what is on our minds. Unless, of course, you're one of my European/Asian/Australian/South American/Middle Eastern readers who could get injured or otherwise punished for speaking your mind. But then again, you wouldn't really be celebrating today anyway, now would you? I still wish you a Happy Fourth of July. Because as much as I disagree with a lot of what's going on in America today, I still know that it is an honor and a priviledge to be able to publish that on the internet without fear. That kind of thing. Anyway...

So this morning as I was on my way to the south side of the city to be in a parade, it occurred to me that I've been in a lot of parades in my life. I'd say about one a year. I've been in the big Chicago Thanksgiving Day parade, the Gay Pride Parade, the Blue Island Fourth of July parade, the LaGrange Fourth of July parade, the Northbrook Memorial Day parade (when it wasn't raining), and I think a few others. I've been in parades in a marching band, as a swing dancer, in a rock band, and as a creepy janitor. I've been in a ridiculous amount of parades doing a lot of different stuff. Is that normal?

It really is fun to be in them. Even if we are on the crappy float every now and again. It's still fun to be in a parade.

Happy Fourth, everybody!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Happy July!

Okay, so there are certain words commonly used in England/Britain/whatever they want to call that lovely island grouping over there, that I want to adopt into my everyday speech. For instance:

Futbol instead of soccer (I'm using the Spanish spelling of the word 'cuz it implies a slightly different pronunciation than football and would make it easier for me to distinguish between futbol and American football when talking to people).

Trousers instead of pants.

Pants instead of panties.

Braces instead of suspenders.

Phoning instead of calling.

I thought there were others, but those are the only ones I can think of at the moment. But I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you hear me using some of these words. I mean them in the British sense.