Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Please Please Me

64/04





Last night I said these words to my girl
I know you never even try girl
Come on, come on, come on, come on
Come on, come on, come on. come on
Please please me. oh yeah like I please you

You don't need me to show the way love
Why do I always have to say love?
Come on, come on. come on. come on
Come on, come on, come on. come on
Please please me, oh yeah like I please you

I don't want to sound complaining
But you know there's always rain in my heart
I do all the pleasin' with you
It's so hard to reason with you
Oh yeah why do you make me blue

Last night I said these words to my girl
I know you never even try girl
Come on, come on, come on, come on
Come on, come on, come on. come on
Please please me. oh yeah like I please you
Oh yeah like I please you
Oh yeah like I please you

George on John

I've been reading the massive "Beatles Anthology" for the past few days. (That book HURTS after a short while when it's propped up on your stomach when you're trying to read in bed!)

The philosophical George Harrison on John: "...I think we didn't really realise the extent to which John was screwed up... As a kid, I didn't think, 'Oh well, it's because his dad left home and his mother died,' which in reality probably did leave an incredible scar. It wasn't until he made that album about Janov, primal screaming, that I realised he was even more screwed up than I thought."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Jet

Paul McCartney/Wings, 1974.



Jet, I can almost remember
Their funny faces
That time you told me
That you were going to be marrying soon

And Jet, I thought
The only lonely place was on the moon

Jet, ooh, Jet, ooh

Jet, was your father as bold
As the Sergeant Major?
Oh, how come he told you
That you're hardly old enough yet?

And Jet, I thought the Major
Was a Lady Suffragette

Jet, ooh, Jet, ooh

Ah, mater, want Jet to always love me
Ah, mater, want Jet to always love me
Ah, mater, much later

And Jet, I thought the Major
Was a little Lady Suffragette

Jet, ooh, Jet, ooh

Ah, mater, want Jet to always love me
Ah, mater, want Jet to always love me
Ah, mater, much later

Jet, with the wind in your hair
Of a thousand places
Climb on the back and we'll
Go for a ride in the sky

And Jet I thought that the Major
Was a little Lady Suffragette

Jet, ooh, Jet, ooh

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Organizing



Went nuts on eBay last week, ordering at least 10 items of vintage costume jewelry, plus a vintage jewelry box. (Previously, I'd just kept what few items of "jewelry" I had in an old Chanel perfume box, where they all lay entangled with each other. The only piece of real jewelry I own, a diamond ring in the shape of a snake from my dead aunt, I'd been keeping hooked over the ear of that aunt's small Egyptian "Bestet" cat statue sitting on the shelf by my bed. It was time to get organized!)

Things have started trickling in! Three necklaces, two sets of earrings, plus the jewelry box so far.

One worry that I had while ordering earrings: What if my piercings had grown in over the past 5 years? Sad but true, I couldn't remember the last time I'd worn earrings... In New York from 2007 to 2010, I wasn't going out to swank places, just sight-seeing and looking for work and being depressed around the house, so I just kind of "put on clothes" every day without accessorizing! :) And since NY, 2010 to present, I'd been busy doing nothing, or freelancing from home, or working at an office only sporadically. And being depressed around the house. So, again... no need for earrings! If my ears had grown in, where in the world do people get ears pierced nowadays? I got mine done when I was 17 at a pagoda in a mall in Fort Worth (birthday present from Ginny). That was, um, nearly 30 years ago! I don't think they do piercings in malls any more... Would I have to go to a tattoo/piercing shop just for something as mundane as my ears?!

Long story short: My left ear hadn't closed up; my right ear just had a thin layer at the back that an earring post easily, unpainfully went right through with a quick jab! I's in business! :)

Spent the evening organizing my few bits of costume jewelry in their new box. While wearing one of my new pairs of earrings and tossing them and my hair at myself in the mirror! Then, inspired, started weeding out my closet, putting a few things in a pile for donation, then packing away all of my winter clothes/shoes in containers for storage at the top of my closet so they're not taking up viewing space.

I don't have very many spring/summer clothes at all, but I symbolically wanted to clear out the hanging space. The glaringly not-very-many seasonal clothes an inspiration to GET ME SOME...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

In the "non-new-shirt" department...

Trayvon Martin was killed on February 26 because of a vigilante in his neighborhood. The 17-year-old kid had been on his way home from the corner store with a bag of Skittles and an iced-tea. The local "rent-a-cop," George Zimmermann, decided that Martin looked suspicious, and so he called him in. The police told Zimmermann to NOT follow Martin. Zimmermann followed Martin. And shot him to death.

Zimmermann was a cop wannabe. Zimmermann had called in over 50 reports in a 2-month time frame. Zimmermann was obviously upset by "suspicious-looking characters" roaming around his 'hood. As he said in his recorded phone call to the police after they told him to back off in this case: "These assholes. They always get away."

It's clear that Zimmermann had an agenda. To catch who he perceived as being "wrong-doers" in his neighborhood. To him, Trayvon Martin, with his hoodie and "something in his hand," looked suspicious... And so Zimmermann chased him. And so Martin ran (after asking his girlfriend on his cell-phone what he should do since he saw a weird guy following him... she said, "Run!" He said, "No, I'm not gonna run..." He ended up running...)

The two ended up in a scuffle on the ground. Martin yelling "Help!" (as multiple calls to 911 from bystanders revealed). But Zimmermann also ending up with, according to police reports, abrasions to the back of his head and a bloody nose.

I'm guessing that Zimmermann chased Martin, confronted him, then the two ended up in a scuffle, Martin finally getting Zimmermann down on the ground. (The abrasions to the back of Zimmermann's head and bloody nose indicating that Martin was on top of him.)

At this point, Zimmermann got scared for his life and shot Martin to death.

I don't think this is an example of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, passed in 2005 (in which you have the right to defend yourself if someone threatens your home or being). Zimmermann clearly chased after Martin, which disqualifies him from the "Stand Your Ground" provision.

Nor do I think this is an example of a hate crime. Some media outlets have been playing and re-playing the tape of Zimmermann calling in his report to the police, in which he allegedly says "fuckin' COONS." Or he could be saying "fuckin' PUNKS." (After listening to the murky recording, the latter "punks" sounds more plausible. Plus, what actual racist today refers to black people as "coons"? "Coons" -- a pre-1960 term -- not exactly on the lips of today's younger racists.)

Zimmermann = probably guilty of manslaughter.

What bugs me, on a shallow level, about the whole media coverage, though:

(1) The cable media keeps showing photos of Martin as a junior-high kid. He was 17 when he was shot to death, not 12 or 13, as he's being shown in the photos. At 17, you're bigger. And perhaps more threatening in appearance to paranoid neighborhood-watchman Zimmermann.

(2) In the cable media, Zimmermann is constantly referred to as being "Hispanic." Hispanic? Zimmermann?

Monday, March 19, 2012

As god is my witness...

... I'll not be schlumpy this season! (Notice I didn't say "never be schlumpy again"!) :)

And these shirts are partially why.



I don't think anyone realizes the full extent of my clothing/shoe/accessory decrepitude over something like the last 5 YEARS! All the to-New York and in-New York and recuperating-from-New York led to, whenever I had a few extra dollars to spare -- which was seldom, getting just basics. (Which was embarrassingly noted last summer by my 8-year-old nephew; the family had met for whatever dinner occasions maybe twice in 2 months, and in the middle of the second get-together, he blurted out: "Aunt Steffie, that's the shirt you wore last time." Aaaaaargh! Which led to my internal Scarlett O'Hara moment: "As god is my witness, I'll never be called out on clothing ineptitude by an 8-year-old straight boy again!")

Well, it took a year to work my way up to enacting that defiant vow. I've been making for the past 2 weeks, and I'm going to be making until the end of April, boatloads of money, and in that time period, I'm going to earn enough to (a) pay my rent through July; (b) get a new state-of-the-art computer; and (c) spend a TON of money on clothes.

The clothes-spending started this weekend at Marshall's. (Still too paranoid about not having a permanent job to go to a full-priced store...) Where I told myself just to get everything I felt like getting. (At Marshall's, that's not overly dramatic, since it's a discount place; this "spree" only cost me $252 -- but... how odd and scary it felt, nonetheless, to shell out $252 all at once after all of these years of penury!)

At the end of a feverish 2 hours and $252, I wound up with:

2 pairs of capris (jean and salmon)
2 pairs of pants (white and bright orange)
4 shirts
a camisole for a see-through shirt
3 pairs of shoes (black dressy, black flats, salmon/pink-toned sandals)

Now, two months ago, scrimping along, I was just telling myself that all I needed for the spring/summer were a pair of white pants and white espadrilles, plus a couple of new T-shirts and maybe 2 pairs of shorts...if I was lucky enough to be able to afford THAT. Again, just the basics to get me by, nothing "crazy" since I'd have nothing to match...

Wooooooo! I got me some orange pants and some salmon capris and a hot-pink shirt! And I spent half my day at work today shopping on eBay for necklaces and earrings to match! (The job that started out so mean and scary last week turned into, after the second day, yet another job of "sitting-around-and-waiting-for-work-to-come-in." Plus my boss told my graphics co-workers that I had been hired as a COPY EDITOR and that THEY needed to do the graphics work that I'd been asked to do my first day!)

Just the beginning, folks, just the beginning.

Still to come (that I KNOW I want/need):

white espadrilles or flats
white sandals
multi-colored (reddish) espadrilles from Blowfish that I've already picked out
dark blue espadrilles
dark blue Levis
t-shirts (2 white, 2 black, 1 tan, 1 smoky pink, 1 dark blue)
tank-tops/camisoles (1 white, 1 black)
5 pairs of shorts (khaki, army green, white, jean, pink)

And after I fulfill that "needed" list, I'm going for more, more, and crazy more! Especially shirts and necklaces and bracelets and earrings to match everything else. Won't quit 'til I hit $1000.

I'm going to have a GODDAMN GOOD SUMMER with GOOD CLOTHES! Dammit. I'm sick to death of feeling schlumpy and deprived.

Oh yeah: And I'm going to have good hair, too! :) My haircut has sucked for the past 4 months or so; guess my regular stylist and my hair are just burnt out on each other. Since Christmas I've been wishing for a fresh start with a new stylist (preferably downtown or east), but having no idea where I'd find such -- it's HARD to switch hairdressers when you're used to one. (You may not be completely satisfied, but, as with a girlfriend, you also know that it could be massively worse and so you tend to stay put...)

While on the bus home from my new temp job last week, caught a glimpse of a big ol' sign -- "VAIN" -- in front of a renovated old house maybe 3 blocks from the house where I used to live back before I moved to NY in 2007 (and still within walking distance of where I live now)... Curious, and hoping that "VAIN" could only mean a hair salon, I looked it up on the 'net --- sure 'nuff: A salon that opened about 5 months after I moved! And the Yelp reviews were very good. Made an appointment for this Wednesday!

And this coming weekend, I'm also getting a pedicure to kick off the spring. My first pedi in over 3 years!

Enuff with the schlump! For this season, at least! :) (There might be a new red love-seat in my future, too, but that's pushin' it. I'm just hoping for the computer and clothes and rent-through-July for now.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Everything's the same



If the rain comes they run and hide their heads
They might as well be dead
If the rain comes, if the rain comes

When the sun shines they slip into the shade
And sip their lemonade
When the sun shines, when the sun shines

Rain, I don't mind
Shine, the weather's fine

I can show you that when it starts to rain
Everything's the same
I can show you, I can show you

Rain, I don't mind
Shine, the weather's fine

Can you hear me, that when it rains and shines
It's just a state of mind
Can you hear me, can you hear me?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In the "cut off your nose to spite your face" department...

... I always do! I did it when I was 6, and I've done it many a time since then, and, I swear to god, I'm about to do it right now, even if it means throwing away $5000 that I need very much to pay my rent/bills for the next 3 months...

In general, I've always HATED office environments. Some -- a few -- offices are well-run, but the vast majority are stuck in a weird, paranoiac sheep-mode where even the best of people kowtow to the boss and the corporate group-think handed down through the boss and refuse to speak up even when something's crazily irrational. And why not? Many people's livelihoods depend on being able to "go along to get along." This numb, mind-turning-off mentality always, always happens in an office. It's creepy and a fearful thing.

I'm not yet trapped like that. I'm poor and relatively, kinda desperate for money, sure, but... Not THAT trapped and desperate. Not yet.

What the hell am I talking about? A new high-paying temp job that I just started Monday. I was hired as a copyeditor/proofreader (thank you very much, that's what I do best and like doing). The spanner in the works, after I was asked to make a few minor edits: "Now, fix all of the formatting of the doc, add headers and footers, create a TOC, combine this doc with another one, convert everything to a PDF." And get bitched at when I ask for help doing all of the above, which I've never done before (and have never claimed to have done before on ANY resume or in any interview).

I don't mind asking for help, but in this case, the boss was too busy AND dismissive (she said to me, on my first day on the job: "You need to learn to problem-solve"), and the "help" in the room was a drama-queen who rolled his eyes every time I approached him, and then threw a fit (both in front of me and privately to the boss) about how busy he was and how he didn't have time to teach me anything. On the FIRST day of the job for me!

It's fucking ridiculous. I'm hanging on, eeking out every $25-an-hour of salary, and trying my hardest to figure out all of the formatting that they're asking me to do. I don't mind trying to figure out a hard task, but what I DO very much mind is the crappy attitudes of the co-workers. There is no excuse for being shitty to a new person, only begrudgingly helping them. (Again: I've been on the job for 2 DAYS! And I came in as a COPY EDITOR, not as an expert in doc formatting!)

But it's nice to know that I have an out: A freelance contract through the end of May with another company, also for a good hourly fee (I'd agreed to work 20 hours a week for them, on top of my 40 hours 9-to-5 at the other place). If my current temp boss fires me, or if I do decide to walk out because of the horrible psychological environment there, I'll just bump up the 20-hours-a-week for the other company to full-time.

What a very great treat to have that option. No one should EVER have to put up with other people's unreasonable shit. I think that I would choose a one-room apartment for the rest of my life as opposed to having to sell my soul to someone else for my financial livelihood.

For sanity to exist, you have to have the option to walk away.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Midnight Shows

When I was a freshman at college, back in '83, the midnight showings at theaters on/around campus were along the lines of "Clockwork Orange," "The Wall," "The Graduate," and Fellini's "8-1/2."

While working on campus for the past month or so, noticed these films advertised around campus as midnight shows: "Jurassic Park," "Aladdin."

Really? We've dumbed down THAT much in 30 years?

Amazingly Sweet (!)

Years ago, just after George Bush the Senior got out of office (post-1992), his wife Barbara was unusually candid in an interview (that I can't remember the source of now). She talked about a troubled time in their marriage decades earlier that she'd gotten through by doing charity work. Big Surprise, a rich lady doing charity work, but her honesty stood out for me at the time (when I was still a very callow 20-something and wasn't paying any attention at all to ideas about "how to make it through" since I was still just "barreling through" haphazardly).

Today I was thinking about what she'd said because I've recently been somewhat healed by doing, not "charity work," but just plain ol' regular work, 8 to 5. It wasn't just the regular schedule for 5 weeks that was healing, but more of having to work with the public, specifically students.

My temp assignment was being the receptionist for a college student-advising office: taking calls, making appointments, greeting students who came in. After nearly 2 years of being isolated and feeling miserable, I initially wondered if I could do it. I was not happy with my own life: Could I greet people and take their queries and try to help them?

As it turned out, I could, indeed. I felt comfortable there almost from the beginning (after all, I'd been around the campus for forever in my old days). It felt good to know that I could still put on a silky phone voice, as well as a kindly, matter-of-fact info-giving persona.

Every student that checked into the office had to swipe their ID card, which generated an e-mail to each, asking how their experience at the advising office had been. My temp boss passed on one subsequent comment to me: "...and the new lady at the front desk was amazingly sweet."

Wow! I came in a defensive and hurt person, trying to do my best at interacting with other people, thinking that I'd come off awkwardly... And here is a stranger saying that I was "sweet"! And "amazingly" so! :)

I understood then what Barbara Bush had been talking about.

p.s. My only snarky office moment: One day a 40-something man walked into the office. He announced himself: "I'm a parent." Only, I heard what he said as "I'm apparent." I responded: "Yes, yes you are! I see you right there!" He didn't understand what the hell I was talking about, but I quickly switched over to, "How can I help you?"

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Puppetmeister

I think I was a bitch today, despite my very good start of waking up at 8, getting groceries shopped and dishes washed by 11, then getting to the city library (to return books and do freelance work) by 12.

The problem started when I sat down at a library table, mentally prepped for hours of peaceful work. But there was a young Indian guy who kept pacing up and down the aisle next to my table. And he was carrying a puppet. And he was talking out loud to the puppet. After his 3rd or so pass while he was talking, I made glaring eye contact with him. He interrupted his puppet conversation to say "Hello" to me. I said a very loud, abrasive "HELLO!" back. He seemed startled (which I'd intended him to be) and moved on. But then in the next 15 minutes, he came back a 4th and 5th time up and down the aisle, still talking OUT LOUD to the fucking puppet!

At his 5th or so pass by my table, I said to him, "WHY do you keep walking around talking to yourself? It's annoying." He again looked startled. No answer.

Silence/no walking for maybe another 15 minutes. Then he started going up and down the aisles again. (This time sans puppet.) By this time, I'd had enough already. When he again passed my table and looked over at me, I said, "What is your problem?" He said, "I'm just looking for books for my class." ME: "You're NOT looking for books! You're just walking around talking to yourself and acting weird! I WILL go downstairs and report you! Do you want me to report you?" HIM: No answer/walks off. Thank god, nothing out of him for the next several hours that I was there.

Jesus! I know that the public libraries are havens for homeless guys to hang out in during the day, but the homeless guys are usually well-behaved. They actually have a book or a magazine to look at while they're camping out. And they're quiet! This young guy didn't look homeless; and he actually appeared to be busy at a table once he got back to his table and quit roaming around making stupid puppet-noise.

I did feel like a bitch for bitching at him. But still: What the fuck? Enough with the stupid puppets and talking and what-not! It's a LIBRARY! Git yer books and then SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Word

Just finished reading "A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination." And am about to start: "America in White, Black, and Gray: A History of the Stormy 1960s."

The first book has the epigraph:

We learn, as the thread plays out, that we belong
Less to what flatters us than to what scars.

--Stanley Kunitz, "The Dark and the Fair"
--------------------------------------------------------

Kunitz's poem isn't really about an era, though; it's actually a personal poem, about an anonymous "Dark Lady" (which I learned from an interview with him that I read online). I find the whole poem profound, but especially the last line: "Who taught me the serpent's word, but yet the word." Such a complicated thing to fully understand and accept: "The Word" -- Knowledge, which is all there is -- comes in many, often painful and frightening, forms.

A roaring company that festive night;
The beast of dialectic dragged his chains,
Prowling from chair to chair is the smoking light,
While the snow hissed against the windowpanes.

Our politics, our science, and our faith
Were whiskey on the tongue; I, being rent
By the fierce divisions of our time, cried death
And death again, and my own dying meant.

Out of her secret life, the griffin-land
Where ivory empires build their stage she came,
Putting in mine her small impulsive hand,
Five-fingered gift, and the palm not tame.

The moment clanged: beauty and terror danced
To the wild vibration of a sister-bell,
Whose unremitting stroke discountenanced
The marvel that the mirrors blazed to tell.

A darker image took this fairer form
Who once, in the purgatory of my pride,
When innocence betrayed me in a room
Of mocking elders, swept handsome to my side,

Until we rose together, arm in arm,
And fled together back into the world.
What brought her now, in the semblance of the warm,
Out of cold spaces, damned by colder blood?

That furied woman did me grievous wrong,
But does it matter much, given our years?
We learn, as the thread plays out, that we belong
Less to what flatters us than to what scars;

So, freshly turning, as the turn condones,
For her I killed the propitiatory bird,
Kissing her down. Peace to her bitter bones,
Who taught me the serpent's word, but yet the word.