31 October 2008

My kind of costume parade

I'm a little in love with everyone who dressed up as someone from The Venture Brothers right now.

To all the women who had the confidence to don the skimpy attire of Molotov Cocktease and Dr. Girlfriend/Dr. Mrs. The Monarch: Brava!

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Two years ago on TTaT: Trick or Treat

29 October 2008


The cute and for that matter only boy at the library addressed me by name for the first time yesterday, and not just once. It was before I handed him my card, so I knew he actually knew it. I've been in numerous times to pick stuff up since he started working at the beginning of summer, so it's about frakkin' time.

When I said, "I think I've got the trifecta to pick up today," he grinned and said "Great use of 'trifecta.'"

Of course, I blanked on what his name was. We've never been formally introduced. He's scanned my card and seen my name as well as heard co-workers address me at least a dozen times. Despite the fact that the library finally has staff wearing name tags, he never wears one. Based on two or three instances of hearing him referred to, I'm reasonably certain his name is Nick. This even occurred to me before our exchange was done, but I wasn't certain enough to try it out.

I just need to say, "Nick, right?" next time.

He was wearing jeans, a t-shirt with some sort of graphic, and a hoodie. Guys have always gotten away with slack attire there; having worked there a million years ago, I was jealous, and incidentally wearing the same thing plus a jacket.

He's probably at least ten years younger than I am and he works with my mom's best friend and a couple of other women I know there, so it's probably best if he just stays the cute boy at the library.

Still, it's nice that he finally knows my name.

A year ago on TTaT: Pinky pain

28 October 2008

Your free clicks help donate mammograms, really

Go to The Breast Cancer Site and click now to help donate mammograms to underprivileged women in the US.

According to Snopes, it's legit. There's no cost to you, no sign-up or registration to fool with. Just click the button that says "Click Here to Give – it's FREE!"

Clicks are worth double this month, but you can only click once per day (or per ISP address, I suppose). If there are enough clicks in October for 500 mammograms (Snopes says 45,000 clicks = 1 mammogram), their premiere sponsor this month, bare necessities, will donate an additional 200 mammograms.

Right now, they are at 91% of their goal. Click today and the rest of this week, and get your friends to do the same to help them get those additional 200 mammograms donated.

Five o'clock water tower

WS water tower profile
MS water tower
WS water tower

A year ago on TTaT: The Off-Season Vacation (part 3)

After 4 years

If I remember what the photos I've been searching for look like, why is it so important to me to find them?

Nothing gets under my skin like not being able to find something I know I have. When more than half your life is in storage however, keeping track of it all gets more complicated.

My latest inspiration was the spiral-topped notebook with the hot pink cover and diagonal elastics on the bottom corners. Over four years ago, that might've seemed like a good place to put some 7 or 8 stray photos for the drive cross-country. Shoulda kept them with the rest of the small wall items; I found those.

Anyway, I know the hot pink notebook is in storage, but even though I cut open and searched several likely boxes, I did not find it. Maybe I repacked that box with the plastic crate from even older storage. It might be there.

This is evolving into an obsession.


24 October 2008

Trick-or-Treating, at the mall?

At the mall the other day, I noticed some signs that said some stores would be giving out candy for Halloween some upcoming afternoon. I'd seen pictures of my niece doing that where they live last year (or maybe the year before), but it still seems totally strange to me.

Did any of you do that?

Where I lived, we didn't even have a mall until I was in high school, and I'm pretty sure no stores gave out candy back then. I would've been out of the 6-12 age range in any case.

I get that it's for safety, but trick-or-treating just isn't the same if it isn't dark and you always have to have your parents along.

Two years ago on TTaT: The Road is my Favorite Place: Day 9

21 October 2008

Note to self, ed. XIV

When buying bathroom curtains, sheers are more transparent at home than they appear under store lighting.


Milkweed MCU
Milkweed MS
Milkweed WS

Two years ago on TTaT: Better and better

20 October 2008

It could've been a good Monday

Instead, though the scientist within knows better, I feel a bit like I'm being punished.

I was dragging when I woke up this morning, so I stayed in bed for a bit trying to convince myself to get up.

Five minutes. Less even. If I'd just gotten up five minutes earlier, I might've been rewarded: I might've seen bears.

Instead, when the frantic yelling began, I'd just gotten out of the shower. The exhaust fan was still sucking up steam, so I wasn't even sure the yelling was aimed at me. If the house was on fire, it seems clear now that I wasn't awake enough to care. Then my brain pieced together two words from the vocal barrage: "Claire" and "bears."

I was dry but naked. Though I'm not surprised, I learned that in a moment of crisis, modesty prevails (when I don't know where everyone is). I grabbed a black towel, but it was too short, so I yanked the larger pale blue one off the rack and wrapped it around my waist. I immediately reversed the towels because I did not want to risk staining the pale blue with blood. By the time I manged to clutch both towels relatively shut and open the door, I heard, "I lost sight of them. ... Yup, they're gone."

I closed the door and resumed my routine. Within five minutes, I was dressed, save for socks, menstrual blood held at bay. If I'd been a man, concern for blood dripping wouldn't have been an issue and one towel would have been enough.

Knowing I'd missed the bears felt worse than not knowing they were there. I told myself: It's nice to know they're around at least. And even if I'd reacted instantaneously I still might've missed them because I couldn't understand most of the yelling, including where to look.

Just yesterday, I emailed someone about the bears' appearances last spring. I've never seen them in autumn. Though it's irrational, part of me feels like thinking about them yesterday conjured their appearance today. My reason, however, takes it as evidence that I should keep an eye out for them.

Maybe next time.

A year ago on TTaT: Misunderstood once

19 October 2008

Curvy Clock & Counter-clock Lock

curvy lock of hair

Natural can be odd.

It's not as clear in the photo as it was in the mirror, but the curl changes direction about halfway down.

Two years ago on TTaT: The Go-To Name

17 October 2008

Horizontal or vertical?

Or maybe by color, then size...

Curious what light does, isn't it?

Two years ago on TTaT: Fine, be that way!

16 October 2008

If you don't understand...

...why someone straight would stand up for the rights of someone gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, then keep an open mind and read Dave2's excellent post on the topic.

If you live in California, vote NO on Proposition 8 and make this world a better place.

If you live in Arkansas, vote NO on Proposition 1 and make this world a better place.

Dave2, thank you for supporting the rights of LGBT people on Blogography.

Two years ago on TTaT: The 11th Dimension is Time

13 October 2008

Under $3 a gallon

I actually saw gas for as low as $2.87/gallon yesterday. Alas, I was not in my car at the time, and all the gas stations with prices from $2.87 to $2.99/gal were much too far away from home to be worth the drive.


A year ago on TTaT: Knuckle burn

11 October 2008

Dudes on pointe

What more could you ask for?


Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The Trocks, as they are fondly called, are a group of male dancers with a sense of humor about ballet. Camp, silliness, and technique. On stage, the dancers are clearly having a good time making sure the audience is having fun.

They tour internationally, so see if they turn up near you.

A year ago on TTaT: The Off-Season Vacation (part 1)

07 October 2008

10 Second Mystery

The day after the gas man came to do yearly maintenance, I took a brisk cold shower despite turning off the cold tap entirely.

3 years ago on TTaT: Nate Cushman (part 2 of 2), Seven words I despise

06 October 2008


sparkling leaves 1sparkling leaves 2sparkling leaves 3
It means "sparkling."

The photos don't do justice to that first moment I looked out. Just shy of blinding, the droplets reflecting the sun on all those quivering leaves was mesmerizing.

However, I do like how the photos seem like abstractions of color.

Two years ago on TTaT: The Road is my Favorite Place: Day 6

05 October 2008

04 October 2008

I believe it

From Mark Vonnegut’s introduction to Armageddon in Retrospect by his father Kurt Vonnegut:
“If you can’t write clearly, you probably don’t think nearly as well as you think you do,” he told me. If you ever think something he wrote was sloppy, you might be right, but just to be sure, read it again.

A year ago on TTaT: Pink!; Awe, is that the right word?

03 October 2008

Armageddon In Retrospect

Killing time at the library while waiting for someone the other night, I perused their display for Banned Books Week (September 27–October 4, 2008). I was pleased to see that I'd read nearly all of the books in the case.

I've got stuff at home that I'm reading so I wasn't really looking for anything, but then among the new books I saw one by Kurt Vonnegut. Ah, serendipity! The author of Slaughterhouse Five made an excellent choice for Banned Books Week.

38. Armageddon In Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut (4/5)

Armageddon In Retrospect is a collection of 12 previously unpublished non-fiction and fiction writings about war and peace by Kurt Vonnegut with a very good introduction by his son Mark. The non-fiction portions, including a letter he wrote to his family after he was freed from being a POW during World War 2, provide so much insight into the author and his fiction stories. The destruction of Dresden by American bombers, which he witnessed from the ground as a POW, clearly had a profound effect on him and his writing. The story "The Commandant's Desk" is as relevant to today as it is to WWII.

It's a quick read, definitely worth checking out.

According to the American Library Association (ALA),
The 10 most challenged books of 2007 reflect a range of themes, and are:

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
2. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
3. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language
4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism
6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,
7. TTYL, by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit
9. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit
10. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

The most frequently challenged authors of 2007

1. Robert Cormier
2. Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
3. Mark Twain
4. Toni Morrison
5. Philip Pullman
6. Kevin Henkes
7. Lois Lowry
8. Chris Crutcher
9. Lauren Myracle
10. Joann Sfar
Now get out there and read some banned books!

3 years ago on TTaT: The top of the hill, tip of the week- electricity, Nerves a-twitter

02 October 2008

What are you wearing?

37. The Hakawati by Rabih Alemeddine (4/5)

A book of fiction that masterly interweaves a family's history with myths and stories within stories. Most of it takes place in and around Lebanon at different periods which is compelling to read about in and of itself. This paragraph has been on my mind for a couple of weeks:
So my boy comes up with the wisest thing. He said, ‘Everything here is too big for me. I couldn’t grow into it.’ At first, I thought he was talking about his physical size, so I tried to reassure him–it can’t be easy being small. But then I realized he was talking about something else. He really couldn’t make those clothes fit him. In his mind, the Boss suit was made for that blond model, not him. And that’s the secret. Never wear clothes that are bigger than you are unless you intend to grow into them. If you want to wear a great suit, either you believe it belongs to you or you’ll look like you’re thirteen and wearing your mother’s clothes. Doesn’t that make sense? It’s the same in life. Never live a life too big for you. You either grow bigger to encompass it or shrink it to fit you.
Fashion, tailored clothing, the look of it has always appealed to me, but it's never been something I've sought out to wear (which typically leaves me in a bind for weddings and funerals). I don't feel like I have the life for those clothes. Besides, who wants to hassle with dry cleaning if they don't have to? Despite my education, my outlook is pretty blue-collar when it comes to clothing.

Still, What Not To Wear and its US version wouldn't be the successes they are if there wasn't something to the idea of changing from the outside in.

But then there's Henry David Thoreau's argument in Walden:
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. If there is not a new man, how can the new clothes be made to fit? If you have any enterprise before you, try it in your old clothes. All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be. Perhaps we should never procure a new suit, however ragged or dirty the old, until we have so conducted, so enterprised or sailed in some way, that we feel like new men in the old, and that to retain it would be like keeping new wine in old bottles. Our moulting season, like that of the fowls, must be a crisis in our lives. The loon retires to solitary ponds to spend it. Thus also the snake casts its slough, and the caterpillar its wormy coat, by an internal industry and expansion; for clothes are but our outmost cuticle and mortal coil. Otherwise we shall be found sailing under false colors, and be inevitably cashiered at last by our own opinion, as well as that of mankind.
Change first, then change the wardrobe. This is more my route at present which mostly means I'm talking myself out of buying stuff similar to what I currently wear. There are stray garments in my closet that belong to the sassy fashionista within, but I very rarely wear them because most of the time, they don't metaphorically fit. Talking your brain out of self-consciousness is not so simple, especially when you're not convinced you want to be noticed.

The clothes I wear reflect the life I'm leading at present; I just envision something different for myself, bigger. However, even in this life, the clothes I've relied on for so long are losing their appeal. What to replace them with though?

Do your clothes fit your life, or the life you want to have?

Two years ago on TTaT: Time for college

01 October 2008

Non partisan PSA: Don't Vote!

If you're not registered to vote yet, you need to do it right now. Deadlines to register are as early as Oct. 4 in some states.

Name that mythological monster

Going through old boxes, I recently rediscovered these clay creations of mine, part of a social studies project from middle school. If there was a way to use art to get out of or reduce the amount I had to write, I was all over it.*

A. What a handsome fellow!
George front George back
Ooh, just look at that fine hair detail!

Alex frontAlex back

*In tenth grade, I drew a poster illustrating differences between W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington for US History. For English that year, I painted a representation of the themes in Shakespeare's Macbeth. I still dig that painting actually.

The real trick of it is that they were right to give me credit for that artwork even though I feel like I managed to get away with something. Just because it's art doesn't mean it's not work.

Two years ago on TTaT: Amen