apples to bourbon

Two weeks ago I went to Pine Knot, Kentucky with Matthew to visit his grandma Jane.

Have YOU been to Pine Knot? Ever heard of McCreary County? Well, that's too bad.

It's a few skips away from the Tennessee border and features the Daniel Boone National Forest, several burned down barns, and delicious food if you're staying with Grandma Jane.

GJ fried us fish that she'd caught in her front yard pond, taught us a card game (We played five rounds of 500 Rummy. I won. Just want to slip that in there.) and gave us twenty apples from her yard to take home.

Twenty apples is a lot of apples. There is only so much peanut butter that I can smear on twenty apples and I'm not interested in apple pie so I started looking for other apple recipes.

And it's weird how fun that was because until like three seconds ago, I wasn't that into cooking. Sometimes I'd buy cookbooks with the idea that I'd want to know more, that I just needed to be inspired by the pretty pictures or something. But no, I just ignored the books and made more stir-fries, throwing in a different spice now and again. Woo!

Until this apple binge that brought apple zucchini bread, parsnip and apple soup, italian sausage and apple stuffing, and apple and cheese salad made by my undomesticated hands.

It was all good, too, except for the soup, which reminded me of baby food. Matthew asked how it was and I told him, 'Good. If you're five months old.' It was my fault; I didn't puree it enough and didn't use the spices that Roopa recommended. I made another of her soups, a Thai butternut squash number which ruled so hard I wanted to take a bath in it so I'm not hating on a Roopa recipe. I have lived with this girl. She knows how to mix up food REAL GOOD.

Now that I know that cooking can actually be relaxing, that it doesn't have to induce waves of panic and fear, I'm thinking I'll put on my black apron necromance apron and do it sometimes.

Next binge: recipes containing bourbon.

tweet this bitches!

I don't get Twitter.

Maybe I'll get it later. Right now, though? I don't want to be more switched on than I already am. My back hurts from the hours I sit at my computer every day. My brain hurts from the amount of crap I sift through to say what I want / read what I want / learn what I want from the electronic world.

Do I want more information flooding my phone or inbox? No, I want to read a book.

I get irritated every single time Facebook asks me what I'm doing right now. I ignore it except for last week when it was early in the morning and I broadcast to my network, 'Jessica is translating a spanish radiology report and thinks life is super fun.'

I keep my television back in the bedroom, out of the living room, for a reason. I walk into the Verizon store and say I want a phone that doesn't do ANYTHING except make phone calls. Do you know how hard this to get? I don't even like making phone calls. But I make them and I text and then I max out with blogging.

This is why you'd not expect to find me at a tweet-up. Yes, you heard that right. TWEET-UP. It's a live meet-up, for tweeters, I mean, tweeple, people, whatever. People who tweet each other on Twitter.

I went to this tweet-up at a local bar because my cousin Mary Beth tweets the hell out of her iPhone. She follows people and people follow her. Some of the tweets are personal and some are professional. She follows trends in her field - marketing - and networks through twitter. It sounds useful to her.

I went partially a) because she said I'd meet local bloggers but mostly and almost entirely b) because it's one of her things and she is very supportive of me and it would be a nice cousinly thing to do.

Matthew went for the free cookies.

Well, we didn't know there'd be free cookies but that ended up being major. We sucked at tweeting-up. Mary Beth was awesome: mingling, working the crowd, introducing herself to groups of strangers, if you can call someone a stranger when you know details of their daily life through Twitter. But I'm not knocking the tweet-up, it's cool that the tweeters went live.

I'd be somewhere else today if Mary Beth hadn't made me join Friendster. I met Ariel in New York on Friendster. Ariel became an in-person friend after he invited me to see Nancy Sinatra sing in a lounge. We sat in a booth, feeling kind of bad for Nancy who seemed bummed, if not totally drugged up, to still be singing about what her boots were made to do. That song came out in 1966, after all.

Ariel was generous with inviting me to dinners and parties and introducing me to his friends. I met his friends who work in music tour management. I helped Ariel with his application to grad school in Israel, he left for Jerusalem, and I started working on tours. He's a friend I made online who impacted my life FOR REAL.

But I still feel a disconnect with the idea of getting a regular Twitter-style update on what people are doing every second. I don't care what people are doing. Unless it's part of a story with some context or it makes me laugh, it's just another distraction. I have a hard enough time keeping up with the friends I already have.

Maybe tweets spark something for people that I don't understand because I haven't tried. Maybe it'll become a professional necessity for me later. Until 2001, I thought cell phones were frivolous. I don't know.

At the tweet-up last week, Matthew and I ordered drinks from the bar and stationed ourselves next to the cookie tray. One of the organizers came up to us, 'Are you here for the tweet-up? Are you on Twitter?'

Yes and no, I told her. But my cousin is on Twitter, I said, 'And so is he,' gesturing to Matthew. Matthew told her the truth, that he is indeed on Twitter but he doesn't follow anyone and no one follows him. (Takes another bite out of cookie)

This struck both of us as really funny. He is such a lame tweeter. We were already getting drunk. An hour later I was more drunk and talking to a blogger who told me I have to Twitter. I asked her husband if he tweets and he said, 'NO.'

'So you're just here to be supportive? I asked.

'Yes,' he said, taking a gulp of what I'm going to say was a double cocktail.

Matthew joined me at the bar and showed me the message he'd just sent to no one since no one follows him:

Tweet this bitches!

We snorted and started negotiating how long we'd need to sober up before one of us could drive home.


Field trip: Creation Museum

I've been ranting a lot lately so I thought I'd try to say something positive. Try.

I was impressed by the Creation Museum.


It was well thought out. Serious, serious money went into that place. I don't agree with what the museum is teaching but LORD, did the creationists do a slick job trying to convince me of their garbage.

Multi-millions went into it: planetarium, botanical gardens, full-sized theater, huge bookstore, Noah's Cafe, walking tour that takes two hours to go through. It was modeled off a classic natural history museum with statues and flags and big money exhibits. See, we're not provincial at all! kind of vibe.

This is me posing with a dinosaur who's 5,000 years old, not, I don't know, 100 million years old.

This dinosaur was supposedly created by God on Day Six, along with all other land animals including Adam and Eve. They all lived happily and perfectly together without strife until the whole serpent/apple/sin/Fall of Man issue.

I wondered if other people in the museum would cast me and Jocardo looks, if we'd reek of sin and stand out as non-believers. Actually, the museum employees were nice, like so nice you wanted them to chill out a little. The other visitors, however, they knew. We were getting so many head-to-toe check outs, I whispered to Jocardo through gritted teeth, without moving my lips, "I feel like I'm in a bar."

But like he pointed out to me before we went in, for all they know we're in a Christian rock band. No matter how different we look - even if I left my long skirt and hair piece bun bonnet thing at home and don't have eight kids yapping at my feet - we could be Christian rockers. Totally possible.

Here's Jocardo taking a stroll through the morality ghetto. Around the corner, spray painted on a few 2x4s it reads: modern world abandons the Bible, the message being that Scripture abandoned in the culture leads to relative morality, hopelessness, and meaninglessness. Everyone knows that garbage cans and graffiti symbolize a lack of ethics and that the suburbs are riddled with meaning.

After a few hours, Jocardo and I were exhausted, our personal spirituality suffocated. I'd digested the burrito I bought at Noah's Cafe and I was still pissed about the book I leafed through in the bookstore, the one Jocardo kept telling me to put down, the one about how feminism in the church is leading to a lack of obedience by women. Damn straight it is, you idiots.

We sat on a bench in the lobby and decided to do one more thing, go to the Men in White movie. Because the Men in White have the Answers. Oh, how novel.

And I'm so glad we went because that thing was the highlight of the afternoon. No matter how much the movie pretended to re-enact the Flood, we were not expecting the chairs in the theater to shake and actual water to squirt on us. From the ceiling? From the walls? I don't know! All I know is that it was really surprising and that it got in our eyes, a couple times, and that it felt good to laugh.

Kentucky postcard challenge #3

Oh, I forgot to tell you!

#3 got here, too.

Another Yoshitomo Nara painting called "too young to die".

This pissy little girl reminds me a lot of the eight-year-old I saw smoking in Berlin, the one who I couldn't stop staring at because he seemed awfully young to be squinting through a plume of smoke and shooting me dirty looks.

Then again, whatever. Life is complicated and that German third-grader just figured it out kinda early.

I'm not actually surprised that this postcard sailed past the postal division of the Kentucky Values Board, assuming that there is one - not a safe assumption to make since it's just something that Halle and I made up on the phone one day - but no doubt they WOULD let this little smoker through, since Kentucky has a long history as a tobacco-growing state.


People who live in glass houses

My mom sent me an article in August from The Wall Street Journal. Attached to the article was a note she wrote on the back of a raffle ticket, "I thought you'd like this article about the poor people with glass walls + great views + their problems with too much sun! xxoo"

I love it when my mom is sarcastic. And I smiled because if there is one thing my mom likes to do, it's cut out an article and send it to me. She always cuts out the name and date of the newspaper and staples that little rectangle of information to the top of the page. I tried to read this article with an open mind. I wanted to read without scorn or derision but a few minutes in, I didn't care anymore and arched my eyebrows.

People Who Live in Glass Houses: It's Not All Sunshine; Faded Furniture, Nosy Neighbors and Baking Heat Among Gripes proclaimed the headline. A photo of a young woman sitting on a sectional sofa. A wall of windows through which the Hudson River twinkles. She stares, unsmiling, at her laptop screen. It's a sob story!

The sun faded Sara Antani's sofas and made it tough to read her laptop until she installed shades in her Manhattan high-rise.

Poor Sara Antani paid 1.5 million dollars for a glass-walled condo and $20,000 for a sofa and then suffered the indignity of having to wear sunglasses INSIDE. Psst, Sara Antani? That is, like, the epitome of cool.

So she's pissed at having to wear sunglasses in her home, the same home that she might have noticed was lined with glass when she first looked at it. That much glass calls for blinds or roman shades or curtains. Unless you're not into that in which case I'd think you'd understand both the properties of glass and the consequences of such properties. (Flashing your neighbors, fading your furniture, shading your eyes)

Listen, newspaper editor who I'm mad at right now, I know The Wall Street Journal isn't exactly Streetvibes but a millionaire realizing she needs curtains isn't exactly oppressive or newsworthy either. By paragraph three, Sara Antani, who is a 23-year-old grad student, gives in and buys $12,000 motorized shades. Aren't grad students supposed to be donating plasma or taking out crippling loans to get by? Damn!

The article left Sara Antani operating her shades over on the west side and made some more general points about heat transfer and energy costs and how people don't consider these things when going for glass. I hoped, when I read the words "energy costs" that the article would go green and become somehow environmentally aware and not just a really lame human interest story for rich people. I wondered if I would understand such things one day when I eventually bought a piece of new furniture.

Now I do own some new furniture AND I've been too lazy to put up blinds in my living room. And every day the morning and early afternoon sun blasts my red ottoman through two windows. I sit on the couch and type and read and I watch the triangles of light shift across the ottoman and I think about Sara Antani. I still don't feel sorry for her.

IKEA meatball effect

After I picked on Joanna Friberg last week and said that she was too busy gardening and sailing to keep me up on Swedish music, I tried to act Swedish. With the exception of publicly disrobing and casually wandering around in teal-colored underwear, I did everything I could think of: I put The Knife on repeat, I listened to The Mary Onettes, I watched a video by Matthew's favorite Swedish hardcore band, Refused, and I smiled when The Hives came on the iPod. I admired the clean lines of my Poäng chair, I thought a lot about peace and social justice and, of course, I went to IKEA.

Now, IKEA wasn't my idea. Dennis actually asked me if I would go to IKEA with him. I was wary because I didn't need anything from IKEA and the last time I stopped in that store and didn't need anything, I spent six hundred dollars. SIX HUNDRED. And the time before that, when I actually needed something and went with Matthew and his mom, I had a near breakdown in the lighting section because there were too many choices and we'd been there for three hours and my blood sugar had dropped.

"Never mind, I don't care. I don't even want a lamp anymore!"

It might have been worse if I hadn't been on "good" behavior due to my boyfriend's mother's presence. Were it not for Judy, I might have grabbed the long neck of a floor lamp and wept. I'm telling you that it was possible.

This memory flashed through my brain when Dennis asked me to go to IKEA. He added that he'd never been before and I freaked. "You need to have a plan, Dennis!" I said. "You need a catalog! We can't just WALK IN THERE."

He assured me that he had a catalog and knew exactly what he wanted so I decided that it would be a fun field trip. Besides a few random kitchen utensils I could use, this trip would be more about IKEA-mentoring an old friend and feeding my Swedish kick. FEEDING being the word that should stand out in that sentence.

After breezing through the showrooms, I paid him a compliment.

"I admire your approach, Dennis. You're not f**king around."

He stayed on point in the marketplace section so much as to become a mockery of himself. Who wheels around a cart containing only two ice cube trays?

He checked out cabinets and giggled, "Oooh, I love plumbing fixtures!" but was faithful to the ice cube trays. I became alarmed at one point when I looked back to see him standing in the middle of an aisle, bent at the waist, head hanging.

"Hyperventilation," I thought to myself.

I went over to him, "Are you okay?"

His head popped up, "Yeah! Just checking out this scale."

I looked down and he was weighing himself. I laughed nervously.

Finally we got to the art section, the section that's equally a) depressing since it means that people like mass-marketed art that means nothing to them and b) uplifting since it means you're close to the exit. At the last minute, I convinced him to buy a mouse-shaped pillow for his cat, Little Bastard, and we checked out.

And that would have been it had I missed the food the way I did the other times I went to IKEA. This time, however, I noticed the mini Swedish grocery and I bought Swedish bread and that salmon paste that you squeeze out of what looks like a tube of toothpaste. And I bought meatballs.

I made meatballs for dinner that night. And another night. Last Thursday I went to an art opening and was psyched because someone told me there were meatballs in the other room. I went in to find an empty meatball tray. Disappointed, I nibbled zucchini and talked about meatballs. I made meatballs when I got home. I made meatballs for dinner last night and ate the leftovers for breakfast this morning. Thanks IKEA.


Marriage, beyond definition


I'm so sick of the rhetoric surrounding opposition to gay marriage. Guess what? Marriage is already being redefined. It's been reconstructed over and over again and it hadn't, black men and women wouldn't be able to marry and interracial marriage would still be illegal.

If marriage had never been redefined, we wouldn't choose our own partners and it would be arranged by others in the interest of economics and property and politics, never mind romance.

Some of the people who are screaming about homosexuals redefining marriage are the ones who redefined it themselves in 1996 with the Defense of Marriage Act, which said that marriage is only a legal union between one man and one woman and defined spouse as a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

I was born into a white body that happens to be attracted to men. I don't have to fight to get married, I have the privilege to roll over and dream about my fairy tale ending but that's kinda bullshit.

There is no fairy tale. Grace Kelly was not normal. The royal family of Monaco is fucked. We're all fucked! It's the human condition! The fairy tale is a myth that's being sold to us. And if we buy it, we aren't using our imagination.

I'm allowed to legalize my commitment to another person and reap the benefits of the state, which has its stake in heterosexual marriage. The state is desperately and sadly protecting its interests, its laws, its policies, and its money when it opposes gay marriage. Other countries are not so backward (see: Europe). All the moral quibbling and religious hoo-ha should be arbitrary, outside of American law. What's up, First Amendment? It's exhausting.

So don't tell me that marriage is static and can't evolve because you can be sure that in my wedding there will be no hint of me being "given away" or me wearing some virginal white princess dress which would require a massive suspension of disbelief by anyone who knows me. If I thought I had to trade in my identity, I wouldn't get married. As it is, I just think it means I legalize my commitment to another person, something that anyone should be able to do.

Krak Attack

Jocardo and I stood in line outside Bogart's, waiting. It was 7pm, it was cold, it was dark.

"Doors were at seven, right?" I asked, putting my hands in my pockets and digging my elbows into my body.

I don't remember the last time I saw a show at Bogart's. I was supposed to see N.E.R.D in March but they were canceled by a blizzard. I was probably a teenager the last time I was here.

"You do realize," Jocardo said through clenched teeth, "That we're old enough to be half of these kids' parents?" I did some quick math. Yep, it's true. Had we been super slutty in high school, we could have birthed any one of these kids going to see Girl Talk, an all-ages show.

"The good news," I pointed out, "Is that we don't LOOK old enough to be their parents."

But no amount of leather jacket (both of us) or hair bleach (me) or cute knit hat with bill cocked to the side (him) could prevent us from acting elderly.

"Someone needs to tell that girl to put a coat on, it's too cold for a tank top," we muttered back and forth, "Her mom let her leave the house like that?" Grumble etc.

Matthew found us and we went inside. We bought Guinness and parked ourselves at the back, right above the monitors, a few steps above the floor. Great view. We didn't know who was opening for Girl Talk but Jocardo thought it was a band with "death" in the name so we jumped to the incorrect conclusion that it would involve little white hardcore boys thrashing each other a mosh pit.

What really happened was this: CX Kidtronik took the stage and busted out some industrial-sounding factory-like screeching and gear-grinding noises. Which I don't mind, actually. That kind of intro can go in a lot of directions.

Tchaka Diallo, CX's sidekick and the other half of Krak Attack, made his entrance and the two men pounced around for a minute before exposing the theme of their set: BUTT CRACK.

One image after another of ladies' crack creeping out of their jeans flashed on the large screen. For emphasis, the photos were jiggled up and down because, you know, that's what butts do.

It was kind of funny and we were kind of laughing and making comments like, "Brooklyn is a much quieter place tonight without Krak Attack," and giggling when CX said stuff like, "Fuck you Cincinnati! Thanks for coming out!"

THEN he makes a request for ladies with lowrider jeans to join him on stage. I immediately and unconsciously start pulling my Lee jeans, which aren't lowriders but aren't exactly high-waisted either, up as high as they can go.

Soon several girls go onstage. Young girls, girls I could have parented. Girls I would have made put a coat on because it's cold out. "How old is she?" I think, "She looks 14!" And then a few more are up there. There's a line of them, all booty dancing as professionally as they can.

"Okay," I say, "I'm officially crotchety because this is making me uncomfortable."

Matthew and Jocardo turn away and hide their faces while the crowd closes in behind us.

People move forward, smiling, mouths hanging open, watching CX approach the girls and stick his hand into the backs of their pants as they wiggle and air-fuck harder and harder.

"Okay," I keep making proclamations, "Even if I hadn't gone to Evergreen and worked at the Feminist Press, this would disturb me. This is flat-out disturbing."

"People need to back up," Jocardo says of the crowd who keeps pushing into us for a better view of the stage.

"We've got the prime real estate here," I say.

"Well there's about to be some urban sprawl if these motherfuckers don't get off my ass," he replies.

His reply keeps me laughing just long enough to get me through the rest of the Krak Attack set.

Later I read in XLR8R magazine:

This is CX. He's a maniac, delivering 32 tracks of ass worship so freakin' nuts that it's pointless to compare it to almost anything. Make a list of the weirdest people in hip-hop, punk, and electronic music, put them in a blender, take those bloody body parts and sew 'em back together Frankenstein-style.

That sounds about right.

ps Girl Talk was pretty fun.


Speaking of the cave of sorrows

I joined Facebook two days ago and it is FREAKING. ME. OUT.

People have been telling me - not asking, not suggesting - to join Facebook for a year and I've been totally disinterested until I caved two days ago. Now my email inbox is on fire with alerts as to what everyone is doing and thinking every three and a half minutes.

They are writing on my wall and adding me to their tree and tagging me and doing other things I don't fully understand.

Probably the most twenty-first century Facebook exchange I've had so far is with Brett Berk wherein we talk about Sunny behind her back except it's not really behind her back because I text her, 'Brett and I are talking about you.'

Or I'll be like, 'Brett told me this about you on Facebook,' and she'll be like, 'Sick,' and not in the surfer/snowboard way but in the that is disgusting sort of way and I'll think, 'Yeah.'

Kentucky postcard challenge #2

Right before I moved home, I found the link to the Creation Museum. Gulp.

The Creation Museum website celebrates "creation, evolution, science, dinosaurs, family, and a Christian worldview". A pretty hefty mix if you ask me. The museum is 20 miles from Covington, KY where I'd be living and, according to the museum website, I should PREPARE TO BELIEVE.

Well, how about I pick a few beliefs off that list up there and ignore the rest? I love dinosaurs. Science is cool. Biology class was interesting.

I didn't want to make any assumptions. Assumptions like the museum discredits evolution. Batshit stuff like that. Even though the name Creation Museum pretty much says it all, I investigated. I clicked on "good news" and The Gospel of Jesus Christ popped up in my browser to provide helpful info on how the origin of the world is related to what a sinner I am.

Which would be discouraging -

as discouraging as the idea that biblical history is the key to understanding dinosaurs

and as discouraging as walking through the Cave of Sorrows to see the horrific effects of the Fall of Man

and as discouraging as hearing the sounds of a sin-ravaged world echoing through the room

AND, finally, as discouraging as seeing the sacrificial Lamb on the cross and the hope of redemption, all of which one can do at the Creation Museum up the road -

yes, it'd all be discouraging, if I were someone else.

But that sacrificial lamb-like redemptive hope doesn't really apply to me. My hope springs from an entirely different well. It's quite easy for me to disconnect the Bible and science. Just as I am able to separate church and state. I don't tangle up the threads of theology and philosophy and biology.

I was done getting all worked up about this until Halle's second Kentucky postcard challenge postcard arrived. You may remember that #1 did not make into my sinful fingers. It was too obscene with its f-word.

#2 (which I'll post photos of once I get the dang scanner to work) arrived! It's of a big dinosaur fighting with four little green dinosaurs and I mean they look like they're really going at it. On the back, Halle wrote:

I'll give you three guesses as to how hard this made me laugh. Maybe my postal carrier isn't into the Cave of Sorrows, either.


I just want your music tonight

How I've lived this long without listening to The Knife is inexplicable. I blame Joanna Friberg. As my in to Swedish culture, she needs to tell me these things. I think she owes me more than Ace of Base.

This video was shot in April 2006 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Joanna may very well have been at this concert. Even though she lives outside of the city and MIGHT have been too busy gardening or sailing with Pepe or cooking meatballs or whatever it is that she does, she could have easily called up the bus and asked them to pick her up and bring her to the city to see The Knife.

Joanna told me that's how it works and it makes me love Sweden: The bus doesn't run regularly to her house out in the woods but it's cool because you can just call the bus and it'll come get you. Anyway, The Knife.

I just found another The Knife video that made me vaguely nervous until I just started laughing.


Sexy, sexy bean bags

I'm slowing down but still secretly keeping an eye out for things to buy for my new apartment. Not that I'm acting nearly as compulsive as I was a month ago NOT AT ALL. It's just that when I reflect on what I appreciate about other people's spaces, and by space I mean anything larger than one room because I'm very good at throwing together a room especially when someone gives me a mattress, I know that I want it to be beautiful and comfortable.

I want pillows and blankets and music and booze and tea to be always at hand. Are your feet cold? Here, let me open up my large red ottoman and get you the soft fleecy blanket I liberated from an American Idol's fan package two years ago. Like the American Idol needed it. He had a record deal! His path to Hollywood success was paved not in fleecy blankets but in red carpets. He wouldn't miss it.

Are you thirsty? Feeling weak? I'll brew a mug of detox tea and crack a Bud Light. I believe in the curative powers of both. I've shopped at local stores, particularly ones with sales, and IKEA. I've been on Ebay and Craigslist and most recently, thanks to Mandy, an online auction site where I bid on, and won, a collection of antique glass jars and vases. Matt Sperling asked me about my decorating style and I've decided to call it manic modern gothtique.

I'm now at the point where I'm out of room. Walk in the big open front room which quadruples as kitchen, living room, dining room and DJ booth and there's no less than 13 different places to sit. I offer serious seating options. No one will be forced to stand in my home. This maybe should have, but didn't, keep me from ogling bean bag beds online.

For weeks I considered buying a bean bag bed. I fondly remember the brown bean bag I grew up with and my dad's teaching days, when two of his groovy 70s students hung out in our living room, lounging in the bean bag with their sideburns and fros and hoodies. I was too young to actually remember the groovy student night but the photos look cozy and relaxed and that's what I want.

Then I watched the demonstration video on the bean bag website. The video shows how the bean bag turns into a bed when you take the cover off and this appeals to me. The bean bag bed would be gracious AND clever. Nostalgic, versatile, and useful.

The video, however? WTF, my friends, WTF. The video pretends to be all wholesome and mainstream, the picture of middle America normality with its fireplace TV room clean cut vibe, but it harbors sly smutty undertones. It's amateur porn done badly. Is it ever done any other way?

The two stars of the video are the antithesis of my groovy 70s target audience: a blond in lowrider jeans and her enthusiastic muscle-bound buddy. Look how he cracks up at the beginning of the demonstration. What did she say to him? Perhaps he's laughing at the porn soundtrack the video is set to. Yes, that must be it.

He fluffs and stuffs the bean bag bed like it's an athletic event, like it's a station at the gym. He spins it around for her, muscles rippling. She hops in and leans back, smiling at the camera, knee up, and cocks her head way to the side. She holds the pose and I make a note to self: either never ever do this or do it on a regular basis. Do it even if no one is watching; it's an awesome move.

He brings her a footrest and she slams her legs into it and throws her head back again, still smiling, head still cocked. Who choreographed this? I want a word with them.

He extends a hand from above and she takes it. He lifts her out and she holds and does a TWIRL beneath his arm, a genuine dance move. This commercial is trying to sell romance with their bean bags. This jock and cheerleader are having the time of their lives with their bean bag bed and you can, too. They circle the bean bag and fall into it together, arms around each other. "It's a loveseat!" flashes across the screen. I get it.

Now it's time to make it into a bed, enough of this foreplay. They unzip the cover and she holds it and watches on while he tosses the mattress in circles and lays it out flat. She falls onto it, settling with one arm outstretched above her head and poses. I'm tiring of her insipid smile but whatever, it's still fairly innocently dumb until the next shot, a closeup of a liquid splashing onto the mattress. I understand the rational message: Thank god they got the cover to protect the mattress! That extra 49 bucks sure was worth it!

The less linear part of my brain, however, the part that subconsciously makes associations and draws free-floating conclusions goes further and is pretty sure that the liquid is not supposed to be water. Their dog isn't peeing, their kid isn't doing a science experiment. No, this show is XXX rated and we have reached the climax. The porn music plays and the spurts keep spurting.

Worse is that it totally works. My next thought is that I will buy the mattress cover to protect my investment in case any of my guests have sex on my bean bag bed.


Schwarz, now with more Gökhan

Photo credit: DJ Empirical

good clean fun, a first for both of us

I threw pumpkin in the trash yesterday and felt kind of bad because it had a face so it seemed mean and I had to reason with myself: It's not alive, it's not a person or an animal, it's a vegetable that's already been gutted and knifed. So seriously. Get over it.

Yet? Last week, I wouldn't let it in the house because it scared me. Again, how I've gotten this far through life = a mystery.

I like pumpkins when they've aged and look all elderly and in need of dentures. I think pumpkin is laughing at me, wheezing like an old man through his underbite.

I picked out pumpkin at a patch on Rt. 8 where I went with SOMEONE who looks too cool for a pumpkin patch. We were a couple of the only adults there without kids. Just us and the girl in hooker boots who tripped around, hanging on her man's arm. 'Dang,' I thought, 'Why am I wearing Converse? Why didn't it occur to me to wear my 3 1/2 inch heels and thigh-high stockings? This is such a sexy atmosphere.'

Anyway. We walked through the patch, which had been already largely ravaged - the superior pumpkins piled outside the barn - and made fun of all the sad, gray, and rotting pumpkins. I sat on a pumpkin and posed while a certain someone fixated on apple fritters.

'You've NEVER had an apple fritter?' He was horrified.

So I tried one and guess what? IT'S A DOUGHNUT. I've had doughnuts and I've had apples and now I've had them together so let the healing begin.

Besides the fritters, he was also into the carving. He'd never carved a pumpkin before. As a kid, he was allowed to just draw on the pumpkin with a black marker, I'm guessing because of safety and because pumpkin carving is a sloppy, messy pain in the ass.

As a parent, I'd happily turn to my kids, 'Halloween? I'm sorry, what? You want to dress up like everyone else? I'm sorry I can't hear you. Go do homework.'

I am more than happy to step aside on the carving because a) he's pretty comfortable with a knife, carries a switchblade on a regular basis, and, like, stuck a knife in a guy's leg who tried to steal his wallet yet has never stuck a knife in a stupid squash and b) whatever I carve would probably end badly like when Sara and I tried, six years ago, to carve a pumpkin with a cleft palate but it just looked real smirky.


because apathy is simpy not attractive

I can't blog because I'm waaay behind on several things that must be done today but since it's November 4 and because my friend Matt in LA sent me a photo of Zulu that he took at this Obama gig that he photographed and since Zulu owns the tattoo parlor I went to, oh and because this country has GOT to wake up:

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Saul Williams
ps thanks for a) Slam and b) Blackalicious Release Part 1, 2, &3

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John C. Reilly addresses race:

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