Friday, December 16, 2005

why everyone gotta have typepad

I'm a little bored. Nothing to read!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Why I think the social worker doesn't like us

There are things she has said that seem like she is just trying to tick us off. She's not encouraging. She talks about the adoption process a lot and about parenting very little. Here are some things she's said that I interpret as negative:

1. "You don't have a car? What if you have to take the baby to the hospital?"
Why of course, we will now purchase an automobile for the rare and unlikely event that we need to take the child to the hospital, and the situation is not urgent enough for an ambulance, yet too urgent for a taxi, a neighbor, a zipcar. Despite having no place to park said car and very poor driving skills. That would make our lives safer, not more dangerous.
2. "Your families are supportive but they live so far away. It's just the two of you here all alone."
Yes. We are friendless, we have no telephones, and despite living in a major urban center, no one would ever come to our aid. It's surprising we have not yet been devoured by bears or starved to death, without our mothers living upstairs.
3. "I have been working in adoption for twelve years and I have never met anyone with such low expectations." This one is just like, what the fuck? What the hell do you want from us? You want us to meet you at the door demanding our baby?
4. (Smugly, when she asked a question about the placing agency we didn't know the answer to) "I guess I ask more questions than you do." okay, now you're just a bitch

I'm just tired. Just exhausted from trying to figure out how to please her. WE ARE AWESOME. Why doesn't she believe us?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Is something I do well!
Here's today's batch of whine:
-Our social worker thinks we're stupid idiots, I swear
-And she doesn't like us very much, I think
-And the office holiday party is really just a meeting with booze
-I hate meetings
-and I don't drink
-So what's the point?
-It is also mandatory
-And the social worker unfavorably compared us to another couple

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Breakin all the rules

I know the rules about not talking about work in a blog.
But how else will I think things out?

I haven't told anyone at work that we're adopting. I'm not really friends with anyone so it's never going to just come up. (There's a bit of a running joke between my boss and co-workers, when the projects are getting really rough and things are going badly, they joke that they're going to have or adopt a baby "tomorrow" so they won't be in to work! So would they even believe me if I told them??) But eventually I kind of have to say something. And I've been wondering. Can they, like, fire my ass for planning to take time off?
My company doesn't have any parental leave policy. They have a short-term disability leave that you can take if you are a woman and you "have" a baby. That's more for the medical status than the parental status. So I'm planning to just use FMLA to get my 3 months off. If I declare that I am planning to, at some point in the next year or so, call in one morning and then not show for 12 weeks--can they say, um no, we're replacing you? I know they couldn't fire me if I were pregnant and said I was going to take 12 weeks off after having a baby. But that's because there's a law against firing women for being pregnant. Is there any law against firing someone for planning to take leave in the future? I know you can't be fired for USING FMLA. but could you be let go before you did? I wonder.

Monday, December 12, 2005


is the sound I make after eating
barbecue chicken
fruit salad
mashed potatoes
piece of chocolate cake the size of my head

Tis the season for other departments to have luncheons, and for me to loiter around conference rooms in order to score the leftovers. god bless caterers with poor estimation skills.

Home visit on Tuesday Afternoon. or Tomorrow. CRAP!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Nemesis

Everyone has their nemesis. Their Lex Luthor. Their Joker. Their baby with the one eyebrow. If you can't think of your rival, then it's probably because I have claimed him as my own and he's busy battling me for world domination, and can't be bothered to foil your plans at every turn. I have my hands full with these types, though.
In college, there was Marian. Marian was the ultimate over-acheiver. As I recall, one of the first times I encountered her, she was detailing her plans to get a double major while graduating a year early. As if that wasn't nauseating enough, one of these majors was MY MAJOR. My weird, no one has ever heard of it major. You know, the only thing making me unique in a sea of sameness. She started showing up in my (small) classes, and I totally resented her. Resentment is a word which was probably invented at the time, to describe my feelings for her, which had been heretofore unknown by humankind. I was that awful. Marian was better than me, I'm not ashamed to admit. She always understood the reading, while it flew over my head. She asked insightful questions. She actually worked on research projects, while I scraped through school barely understanding the point of education, period. She was ambitious, and smart, and I pretty much wasn't, but they were traits I wished to have.
When I was very young, I had a friend who had been a similar figure to me. She was always one step ahead of me in every endeavor. She and I had a lot in common, but she was just one notch up. The problem was that we were friends and I admired her more than hated her, so I probably came off as a sidekick rather than a matched adversary. Alas. At the time, I had a picture book called "Timothy Goes to School." It was about a racoon or badger or other little creature who is constantly being one-upped by another little woodland animal, Claude. Eventually Timothy makes friends with a little girl rabbit who has her own competition. The little rabbit, Violet, describes her foe, saying, "She sings, she dances, she counts up to a thousand, and she sits next to me!"
I have always treasured that story and that description. Because while I will always know that there are people better than me at whatever I attempt, I don't really mind as long as they are TV champions, internet stars, historical figures. It's the proximity that really makes me look bad.
So anyway, here at work we are in the holiday season, when ordinary offices become minefields of forced activities like canned-food drives, luncheons, office-wide parties, white elephant games, and of course, the cookie swap.
Oh, the cookie swap. There is a particular cookie that I have been baking since I was about 14 years old. It is buttery and flavorful and just about the best cookie I make. I've perfected it over the years, and I like to think it's my signature cookie. It's called Double Gingersnap. I was planning on making that for the godforsaken cookie swap.
And of course, today I overhear that my Nemesis, Captain Loud, is making--you guessed it--ginger cookies. It's a Christmas Miracle! I mean Nightmare!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Well golly!

Texas Attorney General prevents a couple from getting married.

Gosh, that's terrible. A silly old state law is standing in the way of true love? How ridiculous! Why, Texas isn't like that!

Oh wait.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Which was the style at the time

This weekend my grandmother told us that my father and his cousin once went to a party wearing white flannel pants and polka-dot shorts underneath. Apparently the idea was that the shorts showed through the pants. I just about died laughing, and I truly am sorry that digital cameras did not exist at the time. Today I spent some time looking for pictures of this fashion debacle from 1967 or thereabouts, but so far no mention of it on the interweb. Maybe it was their own particular fashion venture.

Friday, November 18, 2005

People Who are Supposedly Gorgeous But I Don't See It

Ashton Kutcher
Jude Law
Orlando Bloom
Jessica Simpson + that dude she's married to, whatshisname
That econ professor who slept with students in college
Uma Thurman
Tom Cruise
Yer Mom

Friday, November 11, 2005

Oh, why must words mean things?

A big delivery has arrived and I kind of want to go tell the person it's addressed to. But how can I go down the hall shouting "Lulu! You have a giant package!"? Or possibly worse, "Lulu! I see you have a huge box here!"

who decided that normal office words had to have naughty secondary meanings? Now I just have to wait for her to go to the mail drop herself, which is kind of assholish. But I probably can't lift that ENORMOUS PACKAGE anyway.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Eau de New York

Went to NYC this weekend, which was warm and pungent. Sometimes I am a little jealous of New York. The subway system, though flawed, is superior to the T in some ways, like late nights and connections and frequent trains and express versions. The urban design of the whole city is also better (don't hate, Boston, it's just the truth) and makes people come out and be outside and having fun and being cool and I feel like the cool might rub off on me, just a little.
The whole city was chock-a-block with babies, too. We always joke about picking the best one and running away with it, which nice people probably find sick and unfunny. But it amuses us. We do the same with dogs. What's with all the dogs, New York? Where the hell do you keep them? in your 6th floor walk ups?
I don't think I could ever really have a dog. They need to go out in the snow to pee and so on. That's not really my style. Sorry, dogs. But I do find them cute and funny and I like watching them play insane dog games. That's another thing--my town does not have dog runs like New York has dog runs.
Boston does have some problems with tradition and unexamined regulations that I feel prevent the city from improving itself. It's really hard to change things here. I feel like a lot of people have a suburban attitude even in the middle of the city.

Of course, New York also has these events, which I long to attend, but haven't been able to swing it yet.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Which is weirder?

Scientology, or Kabbalah?
I really can't decide. What would be great is if some celebrities jumped on the Raelian train. Then there'd be a perfect trio of lunatic sorta-kinda-religions to shake our heads at.
My lady once worked with a Raelian dude. He seemed ordinary, except then he'd offer to loan you his book explaining the whole aliens created humans by cloning thing. The book was weird, dude. It even had pictures. He only had one copy, so we had to give it back. I should have scanned it first.

And HMBalison...I'm sorry you had someone try to take advantage of you like that. That is really rough. I am glad you adopted in the end. I agree that we have to be patient. It's not really a part of my personality to be so, so that's my main challenge in this endeavor. That, and picking a placing agency. I still can't decide! It's like choosing between Scientology and Kabbalah!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Dullsville, baby

That's work lately. There is little for me to do. Desk still messy. Mostly it's papers, papers that technically could be filed, but I hate filing. Home has some of the same stuff. I figure that eventually, the piles of paper will biodegrade and return to the earth, in the circle of life. Right?
Adoption proceedings are proceeding. We had the interviews. I felt awkward. I do hate answering those kinds of questions--the "tell me about yourself" questions. Who doesn't? Well, this one dude at work. But he must be an exception. But it wasn't too bad. I think. We didn't get a big red stamp on our foreheads that says "BAD PARENT MATERIAL".
I have been thinking more and more lately about the actual waiting, matching, placing process. Some days, I feel like no one could ever possibly choose us as parents. We don't have a big house, or a backyard. We don't have a loyal family dog. We don't even have a car. We don't go to church, and our families live in other places. Strike, strike, strike, etc.
Other days I think, why not pick us? We're young. We're cute. We're fun and funny. We have educations. Jobs. We spend time with kids of all ages and we like it. We are great together. We have a cute place to live. We live in a nice city. It's diverse. It has good schools. Our families are excited. Our 17 year old cat proves we can take care of small crying things and stick with it. We have nice friends.
Other times I don't think about any of this stuff. I think about other people who have adopted. Lots of them have flaws, too. They're not perfect. They got a kid. Someone chose them, and they're doing okay.
Then I'll read about someone who never got chosen.
That's sad and I don't know what to think then. It's easy to see us in that position. That makes me glum, chum.
We haven't chosen a placing agency yet. That's hard.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I like to read snopes. I think it's funny. But lately it has all these disgusting email forwards that must be circulating in some unpleasant social network full of assholes. Seriously. I feel sick reading them. They're so horrid and racist. Who writes them? Who forwards them? Who stays friends with someone who forwarded them? Ugh.
It's not snopes' fault.
But it is icky.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


17 year old BAD CAT starts meowing at 5 AM. She sits in the hallway (OUT OF RANGE of shoes or squirt gun) and cries like a baby.
Dude, I have tried the water squirting thing. She never caught on.
I have tried ignoring. She can cry continuously for 2.5 hours.
I have tried getting up, picking her up, putting her under the covers of the bed, which confuses her but soon she escapes and is back in the hall, shouting.
I've tried getting up and giving her food and water. She is like, Stupid, That is NOT what I said.
I tried kicking her this morning, but she is fast and I am slow. Plus, that's just mean.
You know the only thing that makes her happy? If we both get up, get out of bed, shower, and get dressed. We come back and she is sleeping peacefully on the middle of the bed. She's all, "Thanks, Morons, for finally getting out of my bed."

She also howls a lot when we come home in the evening. The only thing that shuts her up is picking her up and carrying her around. Most cats hate that, right? This one only shuts up when you're holding her. If you put her down, she'll howl. Pick her up, she gives you a big hug. it's very cute but how the hell am I supposed to do make dinner? Do you think she would stay in a baby sling? I do NOT.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

That One Dude At Work Who Will Not Give it a Rest

I know This Dude works at other offices, too. He's the guy with Super Racism Detecting Antennae. (also works to detect classism! and heterosexual privilege!) Actually, I probably would never know who the hell he is except for the bulletin board. (Yeah! Bulletin board. It's like 1996 all over again at my rockin' workplace. ) I Swear To GOSH there is nothing, NOTHING you can post without he makes it some kind of SCREED against THE MAN (or rather, against you, for posting).

There was one time when I agreed with him (therefore of course he was right, on that one and only occasion), when he called out this total asshole for being racist (the asshole, he is racist, I know because he brings his racism to meetings I attend. Seriously! Asshole!). And even that one time, he did it in a way that was like a big, floppy bag of nonsense, basically going on for a page without just saying "Hey! That was a racist thing to say! I am embarrassed for you!".

This Dude is a total downer. If someone posts "Hi! Where should I stay on my tropical vacation in the Caribbean!", he'll respond with something about how Caribbean nations suffer from years of white colonialism and misrule. OKAY, fine, that is totally true. I don't argue! But man, what a buzzkill if you're planning a vacation. Or say, maybe you want to know where you can buy a certain product. Chances are, that product is made by slaves! in asia! from the blood of kittens! and it's poisonous to boot! You ask where to park, he points out that riding a bike is much less destructive to the environment. It never ends!

Honestly I don't know why he gets under my skin so much. I probably agree with everything he says. But I hate to admit it, just because he comes off as this total self-righteous prick. Also, he refers to his girlfriend as his "partner". what on earth does that mean? I KNOW, I KNOW, it's totally none of my business. But it does itch me raw. I go to all this trouble to NOT de-genderize my relationship, and he goes around doing the opposite? Why? What does he think that does? What goes on in his hemp-coated head?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bow down before me, for I have conquered Tivo

I am the master of tivo! I have successfully hooked that bitch up to the internets and can now enjoy scheduling recordings from work! A whole new way to slack off. Not that there is much to do here lately; no one is on vacation so I am not filling in, which means there is only my own work, which is scanty this month. Every morning on the train I tell myself I will use the slow time to clean my desk and make it look like the desk of a virgo (I'm the world's worst virgo) once and for all, but then, like today, I throw out a bunch of stuff, my recycle bin is full, and I call it quits, leaving all kinds of crap on and under the desk. I LIKE organization, but I don't DO organization.
Adoption preparations are proceeding well. Except that all doctors take the month of August off. So medical forms will have to wait. And wait.
Do you know what is awesome? ordering a book from every day for a week. Then you get a package every day for a week! What could be better?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

National Freakout Day

This morning the red line was its usual self, creeping along from station to station as if being pulled by mules. It was crowded and I was late, of course. I love that. There was some afflicted dude on the train, he was seriously freaked out by the stops in the tunnel. He was sort of singing his lament: "Why isn't it mooo-ving, why isn't it mooo-ving, why is it so sloooooow, what's the problem with the train?" He was also one of those people with the personal space issue, like "get out of my way" woman and the guy on the tricycle who makes a siren noise as he rides. "Excuuuuse me, do me a faaaavor, excuuuuuse meeeee!" he sang. He kind of kept his eyes closed and swayed in place. Everyone ignored him, until Charles St, when a drunk guy got on, and engaged in a mumbling "conversation" with Singing Loon. Singing Loon would say "Why are we stopped, what's the prooooooblem, we should be moooooooving," and Drunk Guy would mumble, "waitinfuhtheguy,thuhtrainguy,gottamovethuhtrain,theguy,waitinfuhthetrainguy."
Dueling nutjobs!
on the train!
the city is the place to be.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


one of most uncomfortable business lunches ever. Not the most. The most was this other time when my boss' boss, who was horrible and unpleasant and, like, allergic to everything the restaurant had, that was THE worst.
but this was bad
ig'nant comments that make me bury my face in my glass of water to stop myself snorting in disbelief? check.
mr. annoying telling the same story again? check
mr. annoying pontificating on the 'secret' of good food? check
boring chow? check
host who talks incessantly about the price of fish! the price of gas! the price of blueberries! the price of the filet mignon! check

least it was free.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

what to do

The social worker at our adoption agency has labeled us a biracial couple (this is an advantage in many agencies, because birth families often request biracial families). The problem is, in the adoption context, I have only ever seen the word "biracial" used to mean black and 'other'. When children are labeled biracial, it means they have one black parent and one "other" parent--white, asian, whatever. So it seems like a very narrow definition, in the adoption world. Now, in the regular world, we are definitely different races, whatever that means, I mean I am white and she is not white, but she's not black either. So I'm not sure we fit the biracial category as adoption people would use it.
We're a little nervous that the social worker has mistaken (we met her face to face). Sometimes people see what they're expecting, you know? In south and central america, she has been briefly mistaken for a south or central american by other travellers. People of her own heritage usually spot her as "one of us", but other people--not so much. You know, people ask "where are you from" and that kind of thing. So could the social worker have identified her as black without realizing? How do you correct someone when they've done that? Will she think we misrepresented ourselves? (She said, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but you are a biracial couple, aren't you?" and we said yes, cause, you know, we are.) Will she be embarassed? will it no longer be an advantage in the matching?
Do adoption workers every use biracial to mean 'two different races' instead of 'black plus one'?
Ok, I just realize this sounds vague. She is Indian. The actual color of her skin is brown, you know, like people call "black" for some reason.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Subway quiz

Which of the following is an excellent way to get past someone in the doorway?
B) Grab person by arm, and pull
C) "If you MOVED outta the DOORWAY, I could get BY!"
D) Any of the above

Seriously, I've seen all of these employed today. Very classy, Boston.

In other strangers-are-rude news, a bag lady told me to sit up straight as I lounged in the park reading yesterday. Uh, thanks, except not. Have I a sign on me that says "Please Boss Around"?

Monday, June 06, 2005

New Project

My lady and I have embarked upon a new big project. Bigger than when we bought a condo! Bigger than replacing the thermostat! Almost as big as the laundry pile!
We're starting the process to adopt some kid. HOLY SHIT BATMAN.
The first thing I did was obsessively scour the internet for information. There is a lot, if you are a rich white straight christian couple. People are practically THROWING babies at you if you are. Taking your money, too. There's relatively little information about gays adopting. There's lots of outdated stuff (I damn well hope it's outdated) and understandably, since it's only been a year, not a whisper about married gays adopting. So, screw the internet.
The next thing was an "information session" at a local social service agency. There were no other couples there--one guy was there alone, and one woman was there alone. That was it. There were two social workers who kept looking at us with apologetic faces. They went through a whole thing about the different kinds of adoption: DSS, private domestic, and private international.
I was eager to show that I wasn't totally ignorant about the system. I GOOGLED, dammit! I know stuff! So when International came up, I tried to show that I knew we weren't allowed to think of this option. (You're not. This was hard information to get, because no one seems to like to come out and say it. But whatever. Other countries don't like the gays any more than the US does. No babies for 'mos!) So I kind of stared aimlessly around the conference room while the social workers kind of talked to the air. I'm not being RUDE, it's just not APPLICABLE. Right? Ok. It was rude.
The basic message of the session was that ANYONE can adopt! You don't have to be rich! You don't have to be married! You don't have to be religious! But, you pretty much have to be straight. Ahem. Sorry. They were apologetic but not encouraging. I could tell they wanted to steer us toward DSS adoption. But I don't feel experienced enough to deal with a teenager or anything, you know? So I'm not sure about that. They basically said (apologetically...they seem good at that) that it would be hard to get a birthmother to pick us out, and the wait would be long, and so on. Still, they wouldn't flat out say Forget it, chumps, so we're going to pretend that we didn't hear all that crap, and go for it. A long wait actually doesn't bother us. Fuck, we waited almost six years to get married.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


OK, semi-new. Same company, same building, Different floor, different boss. That last bit makes all the difference in the world. Illustration:
March 8, 2004: 17 emails from boss
March 8, 2005: 0 emails from boss


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Choke on them pearls

I went to college at a kind of snotty school, in that it thought pretty highly of itself, and the students thought pretty highly of themselves, when they weren't thinking the opposite and being bulimic. Like all schools, mine likes to talk up successful grads (also already-successful freshmen, like olympic athletes) which makes failures, such as me, detest the alum magazine more than is reasonable. And yet, I'm always drawn to stories about alums and their lives when I hear or read about them. Did I know that one? Was she in my class? It's like a type of self-hatred because I usually end up disgusted.
There is one person from my class who has a blog, and she is kind of funny. Not, like, Cockeyed funny, but pretty funny. She's a doctor, and married to this other doctor, and I never wanted to be a doctor so that's OK. Doctors, when I meet them, are kind of annoying, because they turn every topic into a medical topic--they'll comment on what kind of syndrome they think an American Idol contestant has and bullshit like that, while at the same time lamenting (read bragging) that people always bring up ailments in social situations. Like, who started it? Also, don't get me started on Dr. Defensive who is very ultra sensitive about her medical cred--once I was joking about how doctors make shit up, she got all snappy and was like "I never make things up! I am honorable and upright and would never do that!". Shut up!
Wait, back to my classmate with the web page. She lives in Manhattan, she has this enormous apartment with a balcony, she has a dog and a housekeeper and a dogwalker and sends her laundry out to be washed and folded, la la la, so to 89% of America, she is disgustingly wealthy and has all the acoutrements of the yuppie lifestyle. Yet to her mind, she and her husband are the struggling poor, and she's trying to get a nanny for her expected child but is getting shot down because she can't afford the going price for Manhattan nannies, or so she says. Insert lots of jibba-jabba about how she's poor, a resident only, and can't afford...blah blah blah. This from an enlightened, educated person who ought to recognize that she is at the top 1% of the income scale! I think bell hooks wrote something once about how many people at the top only think about those above them, and how the tip-top is topper than the top, while truly enlightened people (OK, am I making this all up now?) remember the people who are further down the money chain. Guess what? there are millions of people who not only can't afford a nanny, they can't afford a baby, they can't afford a dog, they wash their own clothes, and some people can't afford that either. I would think she should pretty much shut up and go with normal people daycare, you know, live the life you claim to inhabit.

Friday, January 21, 2005


My lady and I, we hate making salad. Well, first off, we eat vegetables basically the same way we do laundry, shovel snow, clean the litterbox, and empty the dishwasher--with extreme prejudice, and not promptly. Any meal I make has vegetables, because without them clearly the universe would collapse, or so my mother led me to believe, growing up. But due to varsity-level laziness, this usually means frozen peas, microwaved, or frozen spinach, fried, or salad. Not creative. But of these, salad is so hard to make! aaaa! It has more than one component, usually, and those items are not stored on the kitchen counter but all the way over in the fridge! and you have to wash the lettuce! and cut things up! It's all too much, and we've reached the point where "salad" means lettuce, with entire baby carrots piled on top. dressing is way, way beyond us. Last night we agreed that from now on, we'll just get salad-in-a-bag and fuck this weary lettuce-tearing. To me this seems like the ultimate in lazyness. So I'm feeling pretty sluglike.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

And my eyes rolled out of my head, down the street, and out of town

The daily Moron News brings us this hard-hitting science story!

I get annoyed by entertainment--movies and tv and so on--where "gay" is used as a character all by itself. It comes from lazy, stupid writing and weak acting, obviously, but it persists because there are just too many other lazy, stupid people watching and jollying along with Jack and Will. Look! He is getting a manicure! ha ha ha! Oh! he irons his jeans! Jesus fuck, it's like 1952 on TV. Uh-oh! She asked out a boy who rides a vespa! She is in for a disappointment! It's lame, lamer than lame, hyperlame, massively boring face-slappingly hackneyed worn-out bullshit. Plus, it is not funny.
The idea behind the abovementioned article is just like that. The idea that there is anything "scientific" about having people look at dudes and guess whether they are some of those GAYS is heart-stoppingly ridiculous, obviously, but how much harm will it do? really?
Well, when I was in college, there was a girl across the hall. She was an international student, from Greece or something like that. One day we were watching Jerry Springer or some damn thing, and there was some skinhead or something on there, he said something about how some people "look jewish." Someone goggled that anyone in 199X could possibly think that way. Then the girl from across the hall goes "Well, you can tell. Jewish people look different." Well hell. That conviction, in 1930's Europe, was harmful, but in a college lounge in the present day, in a harmless college kid, is less dangerous, because context does matter, obviously. Stupid though.

So, in a context of jokey ha ha wink wink attitudes toward gays, the idea that some people can pick gays like picking winners at the track is merely stupid and annoying and will probably end in some humorous anecdotes, HO HO HO. But, in a context of governmental and institutional discrimination against gays, it's pretty fucking offensive. It de-individualizes and de-personalizes people until they become just part of a fashion trend called THE GAYS and probably ends in some nasty fucker on AM radio saying something megatasticaly obnoxious and me slashing the tires on his car.

My point being that, hey, local newspaper, stop being a bunch of fucking tools and go write about something FRESH like TEENS WITH CELL PHONES AND BELLY SHIRTS OH MY GOD CAN YOU IMAGINE.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

here's a new one

Here's a new anxiety dream. I was babysitting some toddler kid, and we were walking, and she tripped and fell on her face (as they do). I picked her up and was about to say "You're fine!" when I realized that she was NOT FINE. Her nose had broken off. It was lying on the ground and I had to pick it up and take it to the emergency room, where of course they spoke no english, and have them sew it back on. I was really, really upset about being responsible for a kid's nose falling off, but her parents were cool about it. They said it could have happened to anyone.

Monday, January 10, 2005


The more enraged and depressed I get about my job, the more I dwell on really old memories. Most are probably highly embellished and burnished by the passage of time. Nevertheless, I take some comfort in recalling days gone by when I was not shackled to a brain-dead micromanaging technophobe. Lately I've had dreams about summer camp, especially. Summer camp!
Summer camp was awesome. The camp I went to was a girls only YWCA camp on a lake. It was old (founded 1919!), and not aging gracefully. The structures were shabby and rickety. Anything not covered with eighteen layers of sticky gray paint showed tracks of woodworms or toothmarks from some nocturnal beast. There was a main lodge, where we took our meals, with a glorious old wraparound porch, which balanced precariously over a dry, patchy lawn, which I regarded as equal to the grounds of a royal palace. There was an arts and crafts building, which stood nestled against the forest of poison ivy that surrounded the camp. It had two stories, a narrow, creaky stairway between, and a couldn't-possibly-have-been-legal pottery kiln. There was another large, airy hall at the top of the hill, which was used for "drama class" and evening entertainments. At one end was a large closet filled with musty, torn costumes, matted wigs, and damaged props. The other end housed de-fletched arrows and out-of-fashion longbows for archery. The centerpiece of this building was an enormous, moth-eaten, mounted moose head, which hung crookedly over the unused fireplace. Some campers and counselors called the moose by name.
The first few years I went, the clay tennis courts were in decent shape, but the basketball courts, directly below them, looked more like ancient mayan ball courts than modern sports equipment. The baskets hung at angles, and knee-high weeds had forced their way through the cracked surface. In later years, the disrepair spread to the tennis courts, and the sports shed, which contained grimy tennis balls, deflated basketballs and creatively warped tennis rackets, remained locked.
There was also "lodge" for each age division: at one time, these had been charming cottages with fireplaces, chairs, and books to read on rainy days. During my tenure, they were used to store canoes, snorkeling gear, lawnmowers, broken furniture, and tents awaiting repair. The interior of the senior lodge was covered in decades of graffiti, in-jokes and nicknames long forgotten. I searched in vain for a trace of my mother, finding nothing due to her aversion to vandalism. I committed myself to ensuring that my own children would never search in vain, and painted my name in several locations for good measure. Campers lived not in cabins, like campers in movies and on television, but in platform tents along muddy tracks leading to the main road. The tents were standard army issue (circa 1936), and the platforms were in the same state as the rest of the camp. They were nearly all identical--some held 6 iron cots with thin mattresses; some held four; some were on the high side of the road; those on the low side filled with puddles when it rained. The front and back flaps could be tied open in hot weather, and the sides rolled up. In the rain, there was no point to tying them down, as the roof was filled with holes and de-waterproofed spots in the canvas. There was a bathhouse for each age group. These were brightly-painted, bat-filled, and had running water, hot and cold. My mother admired this advancement--during her camperhood, bathing was limited to sundays, in the lake, where their soap and shampoo possibly helped keep the weeds from choking the bay.

My favorite place was the rocky beach. There were huge stone steps leading down to the shale-covered sliver of shore. In the sun, the dark grey rocks were murder on bare feet. The swimming area had two floats at different distances from shore, and a roped-off area for weak swimmers. I was the most enthusiastic swimmer ever to fail to advance a swim level for five years straight, so I spent most of my time inside the rope, trying desperately to pass up to the next level, which would earn me a green latex bathing cap instead of the conspicuous red I wore.

Next up: meal rituals and mentally ill tentmates