Saturday, October 31, 2009

you push upon/ this/ taken

is the last line.

the first(s):

Blessed be the moment

what grappling we've become

the rest is in there somewhere. just want ta be startin' something.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

love letters pending

one song after the next assailing the ol' heartbrain these days. got the itch to make a song mix and share with you some something, maybe a lyric love letter to home. but which - chicago or california?

what with all the nostalgia and lovefeelings lately, it's difficult to do much but miss the west, or rather some very specific and dear things in it. my family. the pacific and a handful of favorite faces. the mountains and wine and also, yes, obviously the weather. seasons are lovely and i've a weakness for scarves and boots, sure. but here and there, i wouldn't mind heading to the huntington gardens on a 68 degree sunday and gorgeous in december. wouldn't bother me one bit and i'd no doubt make for that sunday an excellent soundtrack. something to make the heart sing and dance a bit.

but here i am in chicago where i am and i am well enough in this city that shamelessly wades knee deep in its own filth; no pretenses of glamor at all. chicago is corrupted and cold and mired in a history of greed, racial tension, industrial terror, and meteorological assfuckery. yet, in spite or perhaps even because of all of this, this place has humility and headstrength and what grown-ups call "character" for days. and there is the fucking soul it saturates everything, giving life round these parts a swing and a swagger that comes tough and correct and lord hold me closer i do love this city.

so what is it then, a love letter written full o' wists and with affection shaped by lacking?
or one to what i've got here mucking up my own two hands, here and not just but so, so fine, here what is quotidian but cozy?

new york is of course never in the running, as it is certifiably the silliest and i've never written a lovey note to anything silly in my life.

Monday, October 26, 2009

i am a terrible person.

sometimes i get some bad ideas in my head.

on the rare occasion, however, it is a great idea gone horrifically, pathetically awry.
like that time i [had what seemed like a great idea and then did that really ridiculous, awkward thing i told you i wasn't gonna talk about here. still not talking about it.].
how about when i thought a trip to argentina with a boyfriend might salvage our profoundly broken relationship and came back single and terrified of the sound of raised voices and decisions?!
or when, in an attempt to win $20 for being so awesome and totally badass, i ended up with two infected cigarette burns that eventually hit my left arm up keloid style, bound to elicit for years raised eyebrows and suspicion as to what kind of home did i grow up in anyway? also, didn't even get the $20. (hint: you cannot burn through a linen bill with a cigarette. science!)

those last two may have been bad ideas all along. 

it was, however, a fantastic idea to take a few inches off the fast-spiraling-out-of-control mop-thing that was growing atop oliver and contributing to his very specific scent. even still, i don't know why we thought it would turn out alright when it was i who took a pair of snippers to the beloved pup.

here, lookit what a lovefluff he was 28 hours ago:
what a looker!

gimme an an hour with a pair of scissors and absolutely no discipline or regard for things like aesthetics or feelings, and this is what we end up with:

i'm not a (totally) shallow person. i have cherished this guy hard for a year now and i love his insides (excluding whatever inside is responsible for his rancid, rotting-cabbage-and-death breath) as much as i've loved his criminally adorable face.

but dude looks like an anemic gremlin given the rough hand through a suck n cut for real.

if you don't think this second photo truly demonstrates a dog gone uggo on the double serious, just take my word for it. he looks like a dickhead.

i blame only myself. i do. i accept, like a responsible adult, full responsibility for the stupid, stupid thing i've done and i accept that when i awake in the middle of the night, it is his creepy, crazy-eared mug that will be staring back at me, haunting me like the ghost of so many past mistakes.

but in two weeks, when this horrorshow has grown out a bit, i will look back on sunday, october 25th and laugh the way i've laughed at the whole silly lot of it because really, what's the big deal? so something got ugly for a minute. bfd. hair grows back. cigarette burns and flushed cheeks fade. the clamor dies down and what's left is the memory of an incredible week in south america speaking shitty castellano and drinking cheap red wine with friends.

and in any case, mishaps aside, lookit this punim:

some things are just too lovely any ol goddamn way.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

if it's awards season, "best at being the worst" goes to you, laurie fendrich

The NY Times, in its infinite wisdom and unfailing stewardship, provided the world with a jewel of an article the other day (in the U.S. politics / education section, which is an issue for another day). The piece was something of a case study in the tribulations of the job search today, an inside look at how managers in the position to hire someone at the administrative assistant level in a company sift through 500 resumes to find their lucky new employee.

The job: For $13 an hour, the employee will facilitate processes at the training-school division of a truck driving company in Indiana. Tasks include data entry, paperwork management, and photocopy production.

The winner: Tiffany Block, 28, was one of the 500 or so individuals to apply for this job via a Careerbuilder posting that stayed live for three days. She also submitted an application directly to the company. She had been an accounts receivable manager in a nearby building company, but was laid off. This interview was her first in months.

The strategy: Chris Kelsey, the boss, described to the NYT his everyman approach (ripped off from the Pats) to take middling talent and build it up through the company. He liked Ms. Block's consistency and independence through the hourlong, 128-question interview. He knew she was the one when she responded affirmatively to his question about whether she would catch a fly ball at a game.

Now, what does this have to do with Laurie Fendrich being the worst?

1. Assess this picture of Tiffany Block sitting across a table from Chris Kelsey:

She looks like a nice young lady. She has blond hair, which I like, and a black shirt, which I also like. She has a necklace and a little cleavage and some eyeliner. Ok, ok. Kind of a lot of eyeliner.

2. Guess when this picture was taken.

This graphic is totally unnecessary. But I googled "question mark" and was so thoroughly tickled by this, I couldn't resist.

Besides, I don't know when this picture was taken. But I know a thing or two about the news, and I'm not convinced that a New York Times reporter was on the ground in Indiana, documenting photographically every twist and turn of this job search ("all right, merv. we got this hot piece happening over in indiana. I need you to get in there and get in there good. get some snaps of the girl for me. make em juicy"). I imagine this picture was taken after Ms. Block was hired, and the whole sordid tale was leaked to the press.

3. Ponder the relationship between Ms. Block's good looks, esp. the hint of cleavage, and all the job she got. Related? Not related? It's true that Mr. Kelsey's co-interviewer scored her one point lower than he did on Ms. Block's initial interview. Does that mean he just wanted some office eye candy?

4. Presume that the answer to (3) is yes. How does that make you feel?

(a) outraged. why aren't people more concerned about her personality? or the back of her?
(b) unsurprised. people are always hiring administrative assistant that they want to do it with.
(c) jealous. why doesn't anyone hire me for my cleavage?
(d) enlightened. why haven't I thought of using my body to achieve the goals I set for myself?

5. If you answered (d), then you share something in common with Hofstra faculty member (humanities, art history, and fine arts department) and blogger for the Chronicle of Higher Education's Brainstorm (opinion is what other people call that section). Her take on the article follows:

On how the above photograph indisputably proves that Tiffany Block was hired for her body:

Uh, anybody ever heard about how a picture tells a thousand words? Forget reading the article. Instead, click “Enlarge”* on the Times’ photograph of Ms. Block -- who is facing us -- sitting across from Mr. Kelsey, whom we see only from the back.

Does anyone need to have me point out the obvious? That’s a spicy bit of cleavage peaking up above what looks like a nice tight black Lycra top—the kind that clings to the chest the way Cling Wrap hugs a cheese ball. Note the body language (being female, I hereby assert my expertise in interpreting females). Ms. Block is leaning ever so slightly forward toward Mr. Kelsey, smiling a big, feisty, all-American smile. And why not? She got the job. Not for Mr. Kelsey any of those lumpy-looking men in the other picture (to see what I mean by this, click on “Enlarge” for the second Times picture accompanying the article).

*nice pun, Laurie. that'll make your thoughts seem more right.

On all the people Chris Kelsey did not feel like hiring because they were less hott:

Really, when all is said and done, would Mr. Kelsey prefer to work with a guy looking like one of the lumpy-looking males shown in the second picture in the Times article or with Ms. Block?* How about Mr. Kelsey and some middle-aged woman wearing a blouse with a neckline as tall as the Sears Tower, or a young man struggling with a bit of acne, or a stutter? How about a black guy, who seems a bit shy? Or an older man -- you know, a guy in his thirties -- who never took care of that crooked, slightly brown tooth?

*none of the captions indicate that this picture is of other candidates. in fact, this is probably a picture of some of the constituencies Ms. Block will serve in her work. anyone who looked at the second picture can see that it's likely to be a "Ms. Block: on the job!" photo.

On the lesson Laurie Fendrich learned:

Today, of course, the fashion for young women is to display lots of cleavage, in all sorts of places where it seems -- at least to women like me -- that the display of cleavage doesn’t belong. Cleavage shows up at the bank, or the doctor’s office. It’s all over college and university campuses -- especially come springtime. One should never get one’s knickers in a bundle. Breasts are breasts, after all, and half the species possess them. Besides, it’s no more than a matter of fashion (in Jane Austen’s day, women practically presented their breasts on platters).

One could readily dismiss everything I’m saying as the rantings of a modern prude (which I happily admit I am). But heck, who better than a prude like me to remind other prudes that they’d do well to lower their necklines if they really want employment.

Congratulations to Ms. Block on her new job.

I know. I've quoted almost the whole silly piece. But here's a link in case you want the full text of this crazy lady describing body parts as weapons in the feminine arsenal ("gotta get my lipstick and my machete, boys. tonight's gonna be tough.")

Thursday, October 22, 2009

october 2k9 fingers' choice awards!


the october 2k9 fingers' choice awards
celebrating the best in internet mishapping since some arbitrary point in time when we decided talking on the internet was way better than on the phone.

we are now accepting nominations for the month's or year's or really any of the best typos, freudian slips, and syntactic cluster fucks ever committed to the interwebpages, including but most certainly not limited to: 
  • the google chats
  • facebook machines
  • the tumblr blogs 
  • some netscape messengers (what? crazy!)
really, we'll accept anything written anywhere on the internet where you can fire through the fingers and muck it up with no recourse to salvation because once they are in the tubes, they are in the tubes forever.

feel free to nominate yourself because honestly, we already know that - like the rest us of here on the nets - you're your own worst critic and biggest fan.  so don't be shy - let me know how exactly you've completely effed up some electronic communication for the inadvertent amusement of the whole world (wide web), that special someone you chat up on your perpetual lunch hour, or even just yourself really.  

some early submissions include: 
klooky: who the f knows what i'm doing. i certainly don't. i [do truly ridiculous and awkward things that i will not talk about in this space in lame attempts to coolly lure a boy] like a goddamn nutterbutter.
lindsey (name changed to protect the innocent): a butternutter!
haha! i didn't say butternutter at all! what a card.

and lindsey once again, attempting to explain that she'd like to dress up as an idiom for halloween (how droll!):
lindsey: well. i kept thinking i was gonna be some kind of idiot.
oh ho ho! smells like someone's got some latent self-image issues.

and what about the time, following up on her own suggestion that i look into procuring these little numbers - if for nothing else than for the opportunity to "meet new people easily and start wonderful conversations" - ab crapped this crap on my wall and called it a comment:
Yes, and to dress up for Halloween as the medium those people you will meet will talk to you about being awesome on. That sentence never had a chance, btw.
that sentence doesn't mean anything, ab! i am putting your language on notice!

and a nomination coming in for lindsey's good dear brooklyn pal whitney, who covers this corner over here:
whitney: recently, i signed off my name as Shitney.
lindsey:  on purpose.
right?  yes.
whitney:  no by mistake.

what kind of name is shitney? that's no kind of name but a dirty word is what!that ol' qwerty set-up. it'll get you not every time, but sometimes, and when it does, it's reasonably funny.

i'll leave a few more in the comments and you should, too. we revel in our own inanity and misfires with unabashed aplomb 'round these parts, kids.

keeps us humble.
keeps us laughing.

truth, hollered from every corner of the internet.

everyone seems to be knitting these days 'cept me. and you know what? i don't give a shit. cause you can't knit and drink at the same time.  physical impossibility.

stop scamming on our kool-aid

this was published a few days ago:

Undergrad Seeks Personal Assistant

Vox Populi, a Georgetown University blog, has identified a sophomore whose ad for a personal assistant "takes premature self-importance to a whole new level." The ad describes duties this way: "PA example tasks -Organize closet -make bed -Drop off / pick up dry cleaning -Drop me off / pick me up from work -Do laundry -Fill up gas tank -bring car for servicing -schedule appointment for haircut -Pay parking tickets -manage electronic accounts -shopping and running errands -other random tasks." The pay is hourly, but the student isn't just opening his wallet. Consider this description of how time will be counted: "Tasks such as doing laundry that involve a lot of waiting around (time when you could be doing other tasks or doing your own stuff) will be counted for the approximate amount of time it would take to do the labor involved. For instance, laundry will be counted for half an hour even though a laundry cycle takes 1.5 hrs to complete." A Georgetown spokeswoman confirmed that the position is a real posting, and that the job remains open. That is all.

and this update came in today:

Student Defends Need for Personal Assistant

Charley Cooper, a Georgetown University sophomore whose ad for a personal assistant has attracted attention (much of it mocking) on blogs and here at Inside Higher Ed, has come forth to defend himself. Cooper told The Washington Post that he was very busy, and was just trying to get things done. While hiring an assistant may be unusual, the article noted that many Georgetown students use laundry services or other businesses that cater to their needs. Cooper said he has received a number of applications for the position and plans to start interviews soon.

god bless charley cooper's audacious little heart. he's just a v. busy guy who doesn't seem to know that college kids these days use adderall, not a p.a., to get through all those student government meetings and still have time for laundry.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

pabo for wednesday

Is it true that autumn seems to wait
for something to happen?

Perhaps the trembling of a leaf
or the movement of the universe?
from neruda's the book of questions. i hope you purchase it straight away, immediately  read it three times through, then spend the rest of your gorgeous life occasionally opening to a random page; put something in your pocket and go about your day.

bonus questions, because i love them:
And what did the rubies say
standing before the juice of pomegranates?

Why doesn't Thursday talk itself
into coming after Friday?

Who shouted with glee
when the color blue was born?

Why does the earth grieve
when the violets appear?

just read them and enjoy them. i'll explain everything soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

here's one for october

we were recently reunited, this one and i.

you ought to know i love.

Autumn like a Room
The insects are empty. 
It happens
that I hold.

Prudence, or else.
I knit a heart
of coats.

Welcome, autumn,
to my room
of empty things.

Welcome to a room
like you.

- Graham Foust

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


after not so many sunday tipples, naomi shares all her secrets.
this is valuable information for the many weekends ahead that will not likely stray too far from the funblock.

what we learned this sunday past:

mount tumbledown lodge is not just a figment of your nightmarish twee imagination. it is a real place, unseen from the road, set a mile or two back on a precipitous drive. not hospitable to rollerblades or neighborhood friends, perhaps, but ideal for cultivating melancholy ingenues with a penchant for moody lyricism and l.j. smith's adolescent angstporn.

this is the name, see, of naomi's childhood home.

the site of the great vampire slash fiction burning of 1999, where if one wanted to be heard one had only to scream louder than everyone else. mount tumbledown lodge, nestled in the woods of the pacific northwest where there are no fewer than eight species of woodpecker haunting the grounds.

she is currently westward bound, for mount tumbledown lodge, with a man called coyote by her side and a heart full of memories. memories like that of rudolph the red-nosed reindeer: the sinister reprise, which according to a misinformed but creative 4 year old naomi begins:

you know dasher and dancer and prancer and autumn
comet and cupid and donner and victim
a precocious - if slightly creepy - child. of course.

i hope to see many photographs of the place. i like to learn about dear ones' childhoods because, as naomi's case so clearly demonstrates, a person can suddenly make miles more sense in ways totally unnecessary and endlessly endearing. mount tumbledown lodge figured significantly into whatever math makes a naomi and everybody knows - or ought to by now - how we do adore visuals around the office. i want a clear image in which to place my friend and neighbor, reimagined with ten to twelve years of smart ass shaved off her smirk and singing not wrong but differently, so differently and gosh just so damn hilarious/incredible/disturbing. hilaredbing. inturbious. appropriate.

what i would not sacrifice to spend some hours with each and every one of you so we can share our origin stories and make more sense of one another. we've long seasons here ahead and i find myself falling easy prey this autumn to nostalgia and to all things intangibly precious.

so keep on wearing me down, you darling assholes, the lot of you. your charms will be the death of me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

help wanted (se busca ayuda)

a few weeks ago in the dizzying depths of work bustle, a glimmer of an idea skimmed over my synapses and now it's taken over.

the corporation is in need of some interns.

oliver has not pulled his weight around this household since ever, our old new neighbor is tied up with convalescent care (updates on the heel coming soon), and our new naomber is jetting across the country to ditch her volvo in seattle (the only town that will take good care of that wagon). and we're busy girls.


WANTED: young, motivated persons seeking professional experience to complement academic credentials. daily tasks to include production in the culinary and domestic arts, design of the fashion and interior varieties, and leadership in new initiatives. the weak of knees or faint of heart need not apply. flexibility and ambition key. priority goes to applicants who can find worthwhile bit torrent files in less time than the leadership team becomes indifferent to the music they purportedly contain. applicants should expect travel to satellite offices. smokers acceptable (contingent on brand). ability to create an attractive and meaningful visual of social networking capacity a bonus. salary paid in fun dollars; wages garnished upon complaint.

referrals rewarded in intern dollars.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sir Oliver "dudemeister" William Wallace McGillicuddy Leroy McDaniel McQueen McAwesome Lovebottom

Tomorrow (not Friday as an insidious public relations campaign might have had you believe) is the one-year anniversary of Olivier's adoption.

Despite all of the bad smelling, all of the untimely barking, all of the freeloading, we love him ever so dearly. The following photoessay skates across the many looks of Oliver (enjoy some background music: ).

Oliver, after a hard day at the office.

Oliver, napping.

Oliver, post-first-haircut-fiasco, looking inquisitive. He also looks here like an old dog with a young heart. Notice the thick, thick cataracts.

Oliver, compared to my arm. Contrary to pupular belief, he's really a very tiny little guy.

Oliver is very into cameras. He enjoys having his picture taken quite a lot.

Oliver loved the love sack the moment it rolled through the front door.

Spectacles, and

Spectacles. He's getting his own pair as soon as he gets a job.

His first day home,



One year ago tomorrow, this happened:

Named for a street urchin, with histories untold, brimming with joy and crabbiness, he's our dog. and we love him so.

Friday, October 9, 2009

el capitan del friendship

i am incredibly blessed to love and be loved by people willing to leave california for days at a time to spare a couple hugs for a girl stuck in the middle.

jonny, mama, papa bear, bailey, and even pablo my brother (soon so soon!): you're adored.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

that was the part that ruined everything

i do not know nearly enough about great love or great loss to say the heart is any one thing and it aches a certain way. i could maybe say, though, about the temperature of the floor one was sitting cross-legged upon the moment it became clear that nothing worth keeping was in the room.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

something else entirely

kyle from this part of the internet here occasionally takes a moment from publishing novels and not growing beards and using his unfathomable wiles to get into independent rock music shows for free to make things known to me that i'm certain will somehow be important.

this is one of them.

the song inside the bird song