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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
9:50 pm
My absolute most favorite improv teacher and director I've ever had is mourning the untimely, accidental death of his husband. Steve wrote an essay about what it meant for both of them to be able to marry, and what it's meant to him recently as he's dealt with the practicalities associated with his loss.

Check it out, and maybe even pass it along to someone who needs to see it:

In Massachusetts, a husband's death shows how important marriage is -- and how absolutely ordinary and accepted same-sex marriage has become

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Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
8:37 pm - You got me there
Little kid at the pottery studio, painting a ceramic monster: Are monsters' teeth white?

Me: Hm, I bet they aren't.

Kid: Why?

Me: Because monsters eat gross things!

Kid: What color is gross?

P.S. I have not been any better about reading than writing. Just mentioning that. I might read back a ways. If I don't know something you posted, it's not that I don't love you. Maybe.

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Monday, February 23rd, 2009
10:28 pm
So last night rawrin and I went to see Emmylou Harris. She's touring with Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin (and Buddy Miller, but he was sick), and they all took turns playing favorite songs, and it was a fantastic show. It was the kind of show that makes you feel like maybe you could do something creative really well, like, genius level, and maybe you'll run right out and do it as soon as the show is over.

But I sure would like to know what makes people think they have to yell shit during concerts. For chrissake, who heckles Emmylou Harris? Sometimes I want to shake Boston.

Also, Patty Griffin has this song called "Mary," which I had never heard before, and the three sang it all together as the final encore song. It starts off with a whole bunch of this: "Mary, you're covered in roses, you're covered in ashes, you're covered in rain, you're covered in babies, you're covered in slashes... Etc.

I was fine up to "covered in babies," at which point, my brain started going, "I'm covered in bees!" and I couldn't shut it up. Kind of ruined the last song for me, but still, great show.

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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
8:12 pm
As long as you still miss someone, they're never all the way gone.

Today would have been Dad's 80th birthday.

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Sunday, January 25th, 2009
8:35 pm - I will bring you the funny
Hey, Bostonites--if you need an alternative to the Superbowl, come see me at ImprovBoston's Sgt. Culpepper Comedy Jamboree at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 1st.

Not only will you get half an hour of me--you'll also get to see my friend and standup mentor, the hilarious Dana Jay Bein.

ImprovBoston is at 40 Prospect Street in Cambridge, half a block from the Central Square T-stop. There are more directions at http://www.improvboston.com.

Tickets are $10. If you'd like to get advance tickets, you can order them through the ImprovBoston web site; here's a direct link.

If I had to make a bet, I would bet that the show would not sell out on Superbowl Sunday, but the last time I thought it would be a slow night at ImprovBoston, a busload of people from New Jersey showed up. I don't make these things up. Also, IB's ticket vendor isn't Ticketmaster--the per ticket processing fee is only $1.50. So absolute certainty is relatively cheap.

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11:29 am - Do you get a kiss with that?
I just noticed that you can buy frequent flyer miles. For $625, I can buy the number of miles it would cost me to make the $218 flight I just priced.


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Sunday, January 11th, 2009
8:41 pm - I enjoy being a girl
I was just checking the Victoria's Secret sale catalog and noticed that a whole bunch of the bra descriptions read, "If you don't have the same size, why would you have the same padding?"

I thought they meant, you know, on each side, because most women are slightly lopsided, but nothing to get excited about, and for awhile I felt like I had crossed some threshold and ever after this, life was going to be one endless needlessly precise decision after another. You know, like the couch will have a cushion contoured to the ass of each member of the household, and when I buy a phone they'll measure the size of my hand and the distance from my ear to my mouth.

After a few moments of something like panic, I realized it's just marketing trying to make it seem innovative that they don't put the same amount of padding in a B cup as in a D cup.

But then I started to wonder: if it's a push-up bra, does a B cup get more padding in order to help create something to push up, or does a D cup get the most padding, because it has to lift more?

All this because VS writes terrible sentences.

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Sunday, December 21st, 2008
10:03 pm
Instead of telling you in detail how much I hate Hate HATE winter, I will show you a mug I painted lately.

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Friday, December 5th, 2008
8:49 pm
The other day I was in an antique store and I saw this old tin on a shelf. Not the category of thing I usually even notice. So I was puzzled to find it in my hands--but only for the second or two it took me to recognize it.

It's the exact tin we had in the cabinet when I was little. I loved the stupid thing the way a kid loves a colorful, shiny object. I thought it looked like something that should be magic.

Shut up, I was little.

I don't really know when the tin disappeared, and I don't really remember ever thinking about it again. So it's a little freaky how quickly and certainly and almost unconsciously I recognized it, and how right it feels every time I see it in my kitchen. Maybe it is magic!

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Sunday, November 30th, 2008
10:41 pm

What would you do with an unopened 1965 bottle of Canadian Club?

Throw that crap out--it's poison by now.
Put it back in the cabinet--someone will deal with it when you die.
For chrissake, just drink it already.

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Sunday, November 23rd, 2008
7:28 pm - A big-ass theory about people
The pottery studio event that caused me to think up the big-ass theory...Collapse )

People who want to solve a problem state the problem in a polite and friendly way and ask you to help them solve it. They're happy when they get a solution to the problem (oh, say, an idea on how to put the frame together in a way that meets your stated requirement).

People who want to argue state the problem like a threat, and they've already decided that there's no solution to the problem that they'll accept. They're happy when they can rant about how many ways you suck while you scramble around trying one solution after another. They can't allow any solution to work, because they wouldn't be able to keep pounding on you. In fact, if you say, "You're right," they'll immediately find a way to disagree some more. If you somehow managed to create a resolution, they'd lose power over you.

Now that I've said it, that seems really obvious. And at some level we all know that politely asking for a solution usually gets us a solution, and acting like a jackass usually gets us an unpleasant experience.

But I don't think I've ever put it quite so clearly to myself before. In fact, now I'm thinking that an argument (in the "verbal warfare" sense of the word) is almost always about some kind of complicated power/entitlement thing, and is rarely part of solving a problem.

Of course, I still don't know what the hell is WRONG with the Myras, but at least I know not to waste my time trying to please them or letting them suck me into arguments.

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Sunday, October 19th, 2008
10:08 am - Buy this book
All right, you suspense and spy novel fans--and other fans of well-written recreational fiction--I have one for you: Operation Sheba.

It's only available electronically right now. If you don't have a Kindle or something, you can buy it in PDF. It's only $5.50; how can you go wrong? It'll be out in print in the spring, but you don't want to wait that long; by that time the cool kids will be ready for the next book from this new author (and it's already finished, so don't get behind).

I admit this publisher and their bookstore might have a slightly Harlequin romance-ish air about it, so in case you're thinking you're too cool for that, just ask yourself, "Has Perci ever steered me wrong? No...no, she hasn't." This is Misty Evans's first published novel, and new authors have to start somewhere, even when they're very talented and have written a well-researched book that not only entertains you but also makes you wonder how they know so much about the CIA.

Besides which, for the love of God, you can't subsist on a steady diet of books from the New York Times review list and the DWM* canon. You need mental dessert! I have degrees in English literature, and I read this book and liked it. So quit posing and go read Operation Sheba.

*Dead White Male

P.S. Okay, okay, Misty Evans is my sister-in-law, and that may or may not be her actual name. But listen, I read this book before recommending it. I enjoyed the story. A lot. If I thought it was lame, I wouldn't be posting it. You know me better than that.

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Thursday, October 16th, 2008
10:03 pm
If you're in Cambridge during the day tomorrow, go donate blood at ImprovBoston's Blood Drive. There's even going to be comedy in the recovery room--you know, where they make you sit for 15 minutes and eat sandwiches or cookies or whatever. I'm not sure if there's comedy all day, but I know there are several acts around lunchtime, because I'm one of them. I doubt you could figure out the timing such that you ended up in the recovery room for my set (which is at 12:45), but go donate blood anyhow. You'll get some kind of comedy. And free food. And a warm fuzzy feeling.

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Friday, October 10th, 2008
9:49 am
I'm in love with this guy. For 2 minutes and 42 seconds at a time.

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Sunday, October 5th, 2008
7:38 am - the coconut water cure
I'd been attributing my headaches--migraine and otherwise--to a variety of causes. I need more sleep, I should drink more water, I need a new glasses prescription, I'm suffering from my fall allergies, I had two glasses of wine yesterday, I've inherited my mother's headaches, etc.

Then I read this theory about lack of magnesium causing headaches. And apparently some ways to drain magnesium from your body include taking calcium supplements, working out, and drinking alcohol. Coincidentally, I take calcium supplements, which doctors tell women to do, and I ride my bike for an hour every morning unless it's raining. On weekends, when I tend to get worse headaches, I ride my bike for hours at a time, and sometimes I have a couple of drinks.

I was skeptical, but I figured, well, the worst thing you could get from upping your magnesium intake is, well, you know--I mean, I didn't look it up, but I assume that's what's in Milk of Magnesia.

So I looked for foods that are high in magnesium, which led me to coconut water. (Just to be clear, for anyone who might not already know about this: coconut water, not coconut milk.)

I had no idea coconut water is considered a natural sports drink, but it's freaky how fast I can cure a headache with this stuff. In fact, I've started to just drink it after a long bike ride or a dinner with wine--without waiting for a headache. On the side of the carton it says it'll even cure a hangover. I'm not willing to give myself a hangover in order to find out, but if you accidentally trash yourself, drink some coconut water and report back.

Warning: I don't think it tastes all that good, and you might not, either, so don't think I'm telling you about something I think you'd want to drink for pleasure. It's not gagworthy or anything; I don't even have to make a face when I drink it. It's just not, you know, the drink I'd relax in front of the TV with. They make it with added fruit juice, but that just adds calories and sugar, so I prefer to just drink the plain stuff. I dunno about you, but if I'm going to eat needless calories and sugar, they're going to be in carrot cake.

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Sunday, September 28th, 2008
10:32 pm
Whenever I make a plane reservation, I feel like I've done something that's going to turn out to be a huge pain in the ass later.

And I'm usually right.

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10:02 pm
Oh hi. I have fallen hopelessly behind on LJ reading and I'm unlikely to catch up. So if I failed to comment on something important that's happened to you in like the last month, it's because I've fallen hopelessly behind on LJ reading and I'm unlikely to catch up. So like let me know if you got married or had a baby or moved into the other side of my duplex or something. Maybe I'll bring you a casserole.

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Saturday, September 6th, 2008
9:52 pm
Each morning and each evening when I take the bowl of cat food from the kitchen up to the study, where we keep all the cat things, including their food mat, the cats wait till I start up the steps and then race by me, one on each side.

But recently they've started this new variation: I start up the steps, then Two Star starts up the steps. Minute, who is the fastest of all of us, waits a beat or two, then races up the same side of the steps as Two Star and runs right over the top of him.

And neither of them acknowledges in any way that this happens--they just keep running toward their feeding station.

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Monday, August 11th, 2008
11:03 pm - Needs no translation
A woman came into the pottery studio today with a toddler who only spoke German. I don't actually speak German, but it's a good bet it was German, because the mother said they just moved here from Germany. Anyhow, the toddler hollered "Mama," followed by something that was clearly toddler German for "Get me out of this stroller already." Mama replied with something that was clearly German for "If I let you out, you can't touch anything," which got a big nod of the little head.

So Mama lifted the little girl out of the stroller, and she immediately toddled over to a shelf of pottery, stuck out just one finger, carefully put it on a bowl, and turned a big grin on Mama.

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Sunday, August 3rd, 2008
9:46 pm
Today I got to see parisgreen, who is in town for a conference. We had breakfast and fun conversation at the Trident cafe and bookstore, where I used to go nearly every Sunday and where I haven't been in about 10 years.

Then we walked most of the way from there to the Institute of Contemporary Art before we hopped a bus for the last little bit due to being unable to figure out where the hell we were. The ICA's new building is very cool, but it's in a super ugly, not to mention confusing, location. To get there we had to pass the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Voyage. I took a picture with my phone but I have no way to get pictures off my phone without paying an extra fee. Anyhow, I highly recommend the ICA, if you can find it.

Afterwards I bought accessories for my bike: a water bottle cage, a lock, a rear bag and rack, and tire pump. Lucky for me they were having a sale. Now in addition to riding Around, I can ride my bike to destinations, because I can bring things and I can lock the bike up.

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