31 May 2006

Mid Day Moving Update

All is going swimmingly. I slept til 2pm cause Cass and I were up packing til 6am. The only reason we didn't finish is because I was hoping I could pack all my stuff into the luggage I've assembled over the years. No go. So today I was very fortunate in many ways:

1) A LOT of the packing is done
2) My laundry people are doing a fast load of sheets for me so I can have a fresh set tonight (v important in a new environment :) ) I asked them to do it in three hours and they are. That rocks.
3) The place I get my hippie toothpaste, soap and lotion donated 4 of the most hearty boxes to the cause for a whopping $0
4) Had rocking sushi for lunch
5) Adam U is coming to help me move the stuff
6) Nigel, "Man With A Van", is coming at 7:30 to cart all of it/us to Brooklyn for a mere $30 + $15 if he helps. Again, yes-ah

This reinforces two things I know:

1) Ask and you shall receive
2) I depend on the kindness of strangers

All I need to do now is connect with the guy whose room I'm moving in to today. Keys in Brooklyn and I'm set.

WOO! To the boxes!

Two more things that are GREAT:

1) The weather is perfect: crisp but sunny. It won't be too hot moving all this crap!

You Said It Was Luck?

Every time my dad and I drive through Luck, WI, he exclaims, "We're in Luck!" And on our way out, he undoubtedly remarks, "Opp! We're out of luck!" I laugh, because it's funny-and, as I remember it, it takes about 5 minutes to drive in and out of Luck, which is appropriate for life, etc. He's funny, and, I know that if we're drivin in and out of Luck, I know we are lucky. Otherwise, he wouldn't even joke.

Tonight, I said to Cassie, "I'm so lucky you're here."

She helped me out a LOT packing and getting my, for lack of a better word, shit, together. And I said to her, "If this were any other town any other past year, my mother would be here helping me get my minimal and semi-selective crap together for my Man With A Van tomorrow night at 7:30pm." Nigel. I have a feeling we'll be close by the end of it.

Mom, you're taking care of very important things...I'm thinking of you!

The bottomline is that I am lucky to have people who are interested in taking care of me; and who I contintually look forward to taking care of.



29 May 2006

The Beta Band

I love the Beta Band. I was hooked, like John Cusak said I'd be, in High Fidelity. I bought The Three E.P.s almost immediately following. I've managed to highjack some more and I'm quite pleased with the whole thing. It's a nice mix of new age and electronica and his haunting voice...make it right up mine, ally wise.

I move on Wednesday to Brooklyn. I'm very excited to live with Cassie and Vanessa in a hood I feel more at home in and an apartment that matches my hopes and wishes more than does my current one. I still have to figure out how I'm actually going to get my stuff over there, but I don't have much. Man With Van, per Craigslist is probably the answer.

The are tearing down Snack Dragon. A place where I have eaten many many tacos. I got some still shots of the the steel frame of it. It's sad. I really like that place and Josephine, the owner. It opened the week I moved here and closed the week I'm moving away. I like it because it creates significance.

Sweetest of dreams to all my sweetest people!

28 May 2006


Sunday morning means one thing: New secrets from people who I'll never know, or who I know and will never know their secrets... Can you see why I like it so much?

I read my Minneapolis horoscope. I somehow have myself convinced that since it's closer to where I was born it might be a little more accurate? Today's: "TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Today finds you a little in love, or at least a lot impressed. No matter where you take it from here, a special person is like a magical melody that never leaves your memory." A little in love? A lot impressed? It makes my day even just to think these things are potentially true. Then again, Kate's in town and we get to have ourselves a little dinner today (I say today cause we're intending to meet around 5 since I need to be in bed by 10 to go to work tomorrow at 6:30am-oh the glamour!). She's certainly a magical melody who'll never leave my memory. Oh vague horoscope, is it someone new with that melody or one of my old fabulous friends? Ambiguity is a gift for horoscopes. Bleh.

I also read Yahoo horoscopes. Mostly because I like them and they're always positive. Which may actually be part of the astrologer's code or something. How awful would it be to read something crazy like: "When you wake up in the morning and wonder why you're getting out of bed for a job you don't like, to a partner who you haven't loved in 10 years and to children who only want to suck on your teat (literally or figuratively), hold that thought and move through your day knowing that people only want what you have, and will never be capable of returning the favor." I don't know, if I read that, I'd be depressed. Wouldn't you? HA!

What else can I tell you. I had the privilege of watching An inconvenient Truth last night at a gorgeous screening room where my friend is a projectionist and employee of said screening room. It was just four of us. I think it's the best way to see a movie. Anywho, it made me thing, which I think is the point of it. But one of the things it made me think is that Global Warming is irreversible and maybe I shouldn't have children (this has been an ongoing thought process for me, I think much to my mother's dismay. At this point, I do want rugrats. But taking as objective a look as I can at the world today, it does not seem prudent). Then Al Gore said something to the effect of our next generation, my friends' and my children, saying, "How could you let this happen? What did you do to try to stop it?" And I feel impotent.

When I got home last night, Global Warming issues and articles were "above the fold (on the web page)" on both the New York Times and on Huffington Post. It's no longer on HuffPo, I can't remember which one it was, either. But the movie has certainly put Gore back in the headlines. And in a major way: Frank Rich is calling on him to run in '08? And after last night's movie, I would work for him in a heart beat. My passions echo his and to work for someone with passion for social, moral and ethical issues...Ah, what a dream.

The article on NYT.com is about two coal industry leaders who believe that coal is still the answer, but differ on ways to use and produce it. I don't know, but it seems to me there are two things going on here. One is something Gore talks about in AIT, there's still an air of doubt in this article, as though the answer to STOP USING COAL, FOSSIL FUELS and anything else that is going to hinder the planet's ability to utilize its natural cooling system, isn't THE ONLY CHOICE. Like there might be some way to burn coal "cleaner". F that. And f you for trying to make it seem real. The second thing that makes me mad is the arguement that since there's 20 years left of energy in coal, we ought to use it. It's like a test of the short sighted, and these guys are getting A's! Do they think they'll be doing anything else with their Hummers other than driving state to state looking for water to DRINK?

Thanks to Natalie and Drew

It's going to make this post really long, but I'm going to post the NYT story out of fear they may take it and put it in the pay-per-view box. Which I do not appreciate at ALL. First, though, a Grandpa update: Same story. My mom is there with my cousin Nate, now. He's apparently holding out so that my grandmother can have his full pension check come June 1. Oy. It's very sweet, though. And through and through Grandpa.

On to NYT:

May 28, 2006
The Energy Challenge
2 Industry Leaders Bet on Coal but Split on Cleaner Approach

WRIGHT, Wyo. — More than a century ago a blustery Wyoming politician named Fenimore Chatterton boasted that his state alone had enough coal to "weld every tie that binds, drive every wheel, change the North Pole into a tropical region, or smelt all hell!"

His words seem prophetic.

The future for American energy users is playing out in coal-rich areas like northeastern Wyoming, where dump trucks and bulldozers swarm around 80-foot-thick seams at a Peabody Energy strip mine here, one of the largest in the world.

Coal, the nation's favorite fuel in much of the 19th century and early 20th century, could become so again in the 21st. The United States has enough to last at least two centuries at current use rates — reserves far greater than those of oil or natural gas. And for all the public interest in alternatives like wind and solar power, or ethanol from the heartland, coal will play a far bigger role.

But the conventional process for burning coal in power plants has one huge drawback: it is one of the largest manmade sources of the gases responsible for global warming.

Many scientists say that sharply reducing emissions of these gases could make more difference in slowing climate change than any other move worldwide. And they point out that American companies are best positioned to set an example for other nations in adopting a new technique that could limit the environmental impact of the more than 1,000 coal-fired power projects on drawing boards around the world.

It is on this issue, however, that executives of some of the most important companies in the coal business diverge. Their disagreement is crucial in the debate over how to satisfy Americans' energy appetite without accelerating climate change.

One of those executives, Michael G. Morris, runs American Electric Power, the nation's largest coal consumer and biggest producer of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions from its existing plants. He is spearheading a small movement within the industry to embrace the new technology. His company plans to build at least two 600-megawatt plants, in Ohio and West Virginia, at an estimated cost of as much as $1.3 billion each.

The company says these plants are not only better for the environment but also in the best interests of even its cost-conscious shareholders. While they would cost 15 to 20 percent more to build, Mr. Morris says they would be far less expensive to retrofit with the equipment needed to move carbon dioxide deep underground, instead of releasing it to the sky, if limits are placed on emissions of global warming gases.

"Leave the science alone for a minute," Mr. Morris said in an interview at the Columbus, Ohio, headquarters of his company. "The politics around climate issues are very real. That's why we need to move on this now."

But most in the industry are not making that bet. Among them is Gregory H. Boyce, chief executive of Peabody Energy, the largest private-sector coal producer in the world thanks in part to its growing operations here in Wyoming and with aspirations to operate coal-fired plants of its own. Mr. Boyce's company alone controls reserves with more energy potential than the oil and gas reserves of Exxon Mobil.

"We're still not convinced that the technology or cost structure is there to justify going down a path where we're not comfortable," Mr. Boyce said.

Mr. Boyce's view has prevailed. No more than a dozen of the 140 new coal-fired power plants planned in the United States expect to use the new approach.

The decisions being made right now in industry and government on how quickly to adopt any new but more costly technologies will be monumental.

"Coal isn't going away, so you have to think ahead," said Gavin A. Schmidt, a climate modeler at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, part of NASA. "Many of these power stations are built to last 50 years."

Promise and Perils

Michael Morris and Gregory Boyce, both kingpins in their industries, have a lot in common. They do a lot of business together — Mr. Morris is one of Mr. Boyce's largest customers. They are solid Republicans. And they serve together on various industry initiatives.

They agree that energy from coal — the nation's most important source of electricity — is cheaper than energy from oil and natural gas and is competitive with the uranium used in nuclear power plants. And coal could serve new uses: replacing petroleum in making chemicals, for example, or even fueling vehicles.

But while sooty smokestacks are no longer a big problem in modern coal-burning power plants, the increase in global warming gases is. A typical 500-megawatt coal-fired electricity plant, supplying enough power to run roughly 500,000 homes, alone produces as much in emissions annually as about 750,000 cars, according to estimates from Royal Dutch Shell.

Coal has no stronger evangelist than Mr. Boyce, who grew up on Long Island, the son of a mining executive, and studied engineering in Arizona. He argues that a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions can be found without having to switch from the existing cheaper coal-burning technology.

Much in the way that Exxon Mobil influences discussion of climate issues in the oil industry, Peabody is a backer of industry-supported organizations that seek to prevent mandatory reductions in global warming emissions and promote demand for coal.

Peabody's executives are also by far the coal industry's largest political contributors to federal candidates and parties, giving $641,059 in the 2004 election cycle, with 93 percent of that amount going to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, an independent research group in Washington that tracks money in politics. And while Peabody says it expects contributions to Democrats to increase, under Mr. Boyce the company has cultivated close contact with the Bush administration.

Mr. Boyce was chairman of an advisory panel for the Energy Department, organized by the National Coal Council, that produced a controversial report in March calling for exemptions to the Clean Air Act to encourage greater consumption of coal through 2025. The thrust of the report, which Mr. Boyce outlined in an interview, is that improvements in technology to limit carbon dioxide emissions should be left to the market instead of government regulation.

By contrast, the environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council, which has brought many lawsuits aimed at controlling pollution, described the report as an "energy fantasy" that would increase carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2 billion tons a year.

But it is Peabody's economic argument, not the environmental opposition's, that is resonating throughout the electricity industry and among energy regulators.

Led by Peabody, dozens of energy companies have embarked on the most ambitious construction of coal-fired electricity plants since the 1950's.

Coal, as Mr. Boyce notes, is a bargain. Despite a doubling in domestic prices in the last two years, a surge in prices for natural gas, the preferred fuel for new power plants in the 1990's, has made coal more attractive.

With coal so favorably priced, Peabody saw an opportunity to enter the power-plant business itself, setting out to build two of the largest in the world, the 1,500-megawatt Prairie State Energy Campus in southern Illinois and the 1,500-megawatt Thoroughbred Energy Campus in western Kentucky. Both are in areas where the St. Louis-based company has substantial coal reserves.

Despite concern among some large energy companies over the liabilities they face if global warming advances or legal limits on emissions become a reality, Peabody remains loyal to its technology choice. Vic Svec, Peabody's senior vice president for investor relations, said the possibility of near-term caps on carbon emissions was not viewed as a "material threat."

Mr. Morris, at American Electric Power, sees things differently. He cites cost concerns in arguing for its move to cleaner technology. At the request of environmental groups that hold shares in the company, A.E.P. agreed in 2004, shortly after Mr. Morris arrived, to report on the potential costs it would face if emissions rules were tightened. The company recognized that its growth beyond 2010 could be limited if it stuck with old technology.

The company has since won important allies in its push for cleaner coal, including General Electric, which is pinning much of its hopes for growth in the electricity industry on new technology and is working with A.E.P. on designing its plants.

One vital element of A.E.P.'s ambitions, and by extension those of other energy companies with similar projects, fell into place in April when the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio allowed the company to bill customers for a portion of the higher pre-construction costs for the plant it is planning in the state. The company hopes to complete construction of its first such plant by 2010.

Proponents of these plants, which turn coal into a gas that is burned to produce energy, say they would also emit much lower amounts of other pollutants that contribute to acid rain, smog and respiratory illness.

But for every small advance of the new technology, there are bigger setbacks. Many within the industry argue that it would be a waste of time and money to build such plants in the United States unless China, which passed the United States several years ago as the largest coal-consuming nation, also moves to limit carbon dioxide emissions from its rapidly growing array of coal-fired plants.

Will Government Act?

With widespread uncertainty in the state-regulated power industry, the debate has moved to the federal level, where testimony by senior energy executives before the Senate Energy Committee in April revealed a sharp fault line within the industry.

On one side, A.E.P., lined up with Peabody and other heavy coal users against mandatory limits on global warming gases if industrializing countries like China and India are not included. Others that have less to lose from carbon caps — like Exelon and Duke Energy, which rely much more on nuclear power — spoke in favor of national limits that would include coal consumers.

The Bush administration has rejected mandatory limits on carbon dioxide emissions. Michele St. Martin, a spokeswoman for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said, "such regulations would lead to higher energy prices, slower economic growth and fewer jobs for the U.S. as industries move overseas where greenhouse gas emissions are not similarly controlled."

But there is some support in Washington for such legislation. The two senators from New Mexico, Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat, and Pete V. Domenici, a Republican, are working on a bill that could require limits on carbon dioxide emissions.

Ahead of the 2008 presidential election, two senators often mentioned as candidates, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, and John McCain, Republican of Arizona, have endorsed mandatory cuts in emissions. Mr. Morris of A.E.P. said such support has persuaded him that limits might be imposed in coming years.

While Peabody supports some coal gasification projects, it remains skeptical about departing from traditional coal-burning methods to produce electricity.

The pulverized coal plants it wants to build, which grind coal into a dust before burning it to make electricity, currently cost about $2 billion each, or 15 percent to 20 percent less to build than the cleaner "integrated gasification combined cycle," or I.G.C.C., plants, which convert coal into a gas.

The hope among scientists is that I.G.C.C. plants could be relatively quickly fitted with systems to sequester deep underground the carbon dioxide created from making electricity. Without such controls, the new coal plants under development worldwide could pump as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over their lifetimes as all the coal burned in the last 250 years, according to Jeff Goodell, who has written on coal for several publications, including The New York Times, and is author of a new book on the coal industry.

But state and federal regulators have been hesitant to endorse the technology. Peabody and other companies remain skeptical that carbon-capture methods, whether for pulverized coal or combined cycle plants, will become commercially or technologically feasible until the next decade.

Legal battles over this reluctance have begun, with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the American Lung Association this year challenging the Environmental Protection Agency for allowing electric companies to move ahead with projects without evaluating the new technology.

In one key decision on the state level, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission rejected a proposal from WE Energies of Milwaukee in 2003 to build a plant with the new technology, saying it was too expensive and would result in higher electricity prices.

Capturing the Gas

Engineers have known how to make gas from coal for more than a century, using this method in the gaslights that first illuminated many American cities. A handful of coal gasification plants are already in operation in the United States, Spain and the Netherlands, built with generous government assistance.

Selling the captured carbon dioxide from coal gasification plants could make them more competitive with pulverized coal plants. One gasification plant in North Dakota, though different from an electric plant, already sends its carbon dioxide to Saskatchewan, where it is injected in aging oilfields to force more crude from the ground. And the oil giant BP announced a similar project in March for a refinery it owns near Los Angeles, using petroleum coke as a fuel there instead of coal.

Scientists have developed numerous other plans to pump away carbon dioxide, like shipping it to offshore platforms to inject it below the ocean floor. These plans are not without risk, with some officials concerned that carbon dioxide sequestration could trigger earthquakes. Yet, time and again, the most limiting factor remains economics.

As they proceed with plans to build pulverized coal plants, Peabody and other companies often point to their support of the alternative technology through their participation in Futuregen, a $1 billion project started three years ago by the Bush administration to build a showcase 275-megawatt power station that could sequester carbon dioxide and reduce other pollutants.

Futuregen's 10 members include some of the world's largest coal mining companies, among them Peabody and BHP Billiton of Australia, as well as large coal-burning utilities like A.E.P. and the Southern Company.

One Chinese company, the China Huaneng Group, is also a member of Futuregen, while India's government signed on in March. Washington is financing the bulk of the project, more than $600 million, with about $250 million coming from coal and electricity companies and the rest from foreign governments.

But Futuregen is already behind schedule, with planners now hoping to choose a site for the plant by the end of the year, with an eye on starting operation by 2012. Environmental groups have criticized the project as too little, too late.

"Futuregen is a smokescreen, since it's not intended to bring technology to the market at the pace required to deal with the problem," said Daniel Lashoff, science director at the climate center at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "We don't have that kind of time."

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

24 May 2006

Art in the Hiz-ous

From Inhabitat.

I love the concept and the commentary on this!

23 May 2006

On The Brain

I'm still thinking about my grandfather. My mom's in Auburn now, with him and my grandmother. He's on lots of morphine and is not in pain, well at least as we understand pain.

Sadly, we'll never understand death until we do it. Conveniently so we cannot relate it (maybe we can? I hope!) to the living who, too, will not even stand close to what it means to die until we do it for our selves. (Is that a really awkward sentence? I've been up for a long time...)

Anyway, I'm thinking of him on the edge of his bed, looking (staring?) forward. He must have been in worse shape than I understood while I was there. I bet that he's still with it, just sleepy as hell on pain killers. But, I talked to him, hoping he could read my lips, like he has for years since he's been completely deaf (thank you war), but there's hardly any way he could have seen me. Let alone hear me, although he always put on his hearing aid. Old habits die hard? But he would talk to me when he could, or had the energy.

One of the things he said to me while I was visiting was at dinner the evening I left. He made me take him down prior to my grandmother and my aunt Susan joining us. I think he knew he'd be too tired after dinner to tell me: "our society doesn't talk about death. It's silly, we all do it, and it's not so bad." There was more, but it'll take time for me to process that first sentence. I started bawling at the dinner table. It was remarkable to be in a room with all elderly people, who've all come here as their last living place to live, while talking to my grandfather about his death. I've never felt so understood as I did in that moment. No shame, no judgement and complete understanding of my grandfather's impending death.

Must go to bed. I anticipate public discussion of this continuing. New things just keep popping up and this is sort of my journal. So...be it.


(Adendum: I was looking at some pictures my mom had sent our friend Cabe and there were some of my grandfather. He made me laugh even in the state he was in when I was there. And he DID listen to me. We were at dinner with some people who my grandfather (oddly, I think) does not care for. He made some comment about leaving before dinner began. Now, I know I wrote earlier that when he said go, he meant go. But to this, I responded, "this [dinner] is not for you, it's for them." He patted me on my hand twice and ate. Then we went. He must have heard me. Or he just thought I was ignoring his request. Which I was, then again maybe he heard me. And agreed. I hope that's the case, because that's what I assumed at the time. I just think it'd be so awful if he left on a sour note with my grandmother's sister and husband. It'd be awful for all of them, maybe not him... The dinner was an opportunity for my grandmother to rebuild bonds so that when he died, she'd have people to call/be with/depend on. Networking. On the other end.


22 May 2006

Manhattanhenge; Grandpa

Manhattanhenge sounds pretty awesome. I hope I don't forget to remember it. Maybe I'll put it in my calendar.

I know why I was thinking about my grandparents so hard last night. My mom called today to tell me she's headed out to California because he's declining quickly. She'll arrive late tonight and I'll have a status update tomorrow morning. Aw, Gramps! I'm gonna miss you, guy!

It's hard to believe that this picture was taken in early March. It's just two and a half months later and it's such a different picture. I wish I could be with my mom right now and with my grandfolks tomorrow. Anyhow, that is Joe and Helen. At the computer. He was, up until recently, a pretty big emailer. He has so many stories and family history in his brain. He shared so much with us. My grandma has started to email a little bit. She's hilarious. She also plays hearts on the computer. I love it!

I think one of the saddest things for me right now is the thought my brother getting the news of my grandfather's death on a research boat in the middle of the ocean. I will be sad not to be able to be there and be with him when he hears of the news. I don't know, maybe he's in the best place TO hear it...

To those of you who I've not had a chance to tell lately: I really appreciate you and likely miss you very much.

Even rainy days are beautiful.

21 May 2006


No one ever said death was easy but I found that the more information I had about my grandfather's last days, the better. My aunt told me of the wheelchair walks around the property, and to listen when he says he needs to leave a situation. When he says go, it means go, now.

What I appreciate is the briefing. To know what Grandma was enduring and to know where Grandpa was when I arrived.

They, amazingly, still fend for themselves.

My grandfather, Joe, had been very explicit about how goodbye would happen with me. "Let's have supper, then you put me to bed, then you go."

Putting him to bed means helping him out of his clothes, which he does quite well on his own, dressing him in his nightgown and after he lifts his legs into bed I pull the covers over him. He must be cold, he is so thin and just...so thin.

After I put him to bed I did the dishes and my grandmother and aunt were out on the porch. I wanted to spend time with them. I needed to collect my self, so the dishes were an obvious answer.

I have been a wreck after leaving him for the last 10 years. I love him so much. Until this time, when I knew leaving him was the last time I'd see him, I'd cry because I didn't know if I'd see him again. I walked out all right. But on my way out, I stopped to thank two of the managers of the home where my grandfolks are. One, a new guy, Paul, who is apparantly a minister also, said, "I have been what you're going through, and I know how it is." The tears well up and I thank them for being good to the people I love.

I had to bustle out because we'd already said our goodbyes and I was still talking to Grandma and Susan when he got up from his post dinner nap. I rushed out. I will never forget the image I have of him, sitting on the edge of his bed, eye patch, new fangled hearing aid, so skinny, looking straight ahead, probably because he couldn't see, waiting for Susan to put him in a wheelchair to take him around the grounds.

I left. I got in my rental car and cried like normal. I cried all down I80. I think I cry partially out of astonishment of life and...death. Tonight, though, I'm a little confused. Helen and Joe are just occupying my entire mind.

When I was there I could lift him in his wheel chair. I caught him once, when he almost fell. I wasn't concerned because catching him was so easy. He's so small.

I don't know why I am thinking about him so hard right now. In that vein, I am thinking of you Grandpa. If nothing else, to have a pain free death, and some sort of last laugh.

I love you.

18 May 2006

Tactile Hallucinations

So, I have a work phone (in our "triming the fat" days these may get taken away. Because we don't need to be contacted at all hours for a lot of things by our coworkers. And I'm going to willingly donate my personal phone minutes? Yessum, I don't think so.

Anyway, that was completely off point. This phone that I currently have is on vibrate alls the time. That's because noise sucks in supposedly peaceful environs. I usually hang it off the back right pocket of my pants. This results in tactile hallucinations, because when I'm not wearing the phone, I hallucinate that my phone is vibrating on my butt.

Sara...Is that good enough? What you got, woman?

You know what Ben? You mentioned censoring yourself in your blog and I'm totally doing it right now. I have so much to write about it's appauling.

I'm gaining weight. Not exciting, but I think I'm running around less at work. Or my birth control is affecting me differently than it was for the last 9 months.

I remember once when I was 16 or 15? my dad took me to our pharmacy. It was unspoken that we were picking up birth control pills. At the counter a lawyer friend of his, someone who it was clear to me that my father respected and liked, walked up and they starting chatting. I'm introduced, we're all chatting away. The pharmacist assistant, maybe?, leaned over the counter and said, "your birth control pills aren't quite ready, would you like to wait?" "How long will it be?" "10 minutes" "(look to dad, look back) we'll wait."

When we went back to the car after that, I said to my dad, I'm really embarassed that the assistant announced that I was on birth control. My dad said, "Edward (and I) is (are) a worldly guy(s) [we did it, too]." It was such a huge relief to know he wasn't judging me or embarssed that his (now I know, crazily) young daughter.

I just hit control z and lost a lot of stuff.

Bullet points:
Making out: how it's hard to date and you're not allowed to booty call while dating said person you're booty calling. Everything seems more serious? Well, with this one it does.
I'm gaining weight and I hate it
Work is sub par
I was at work for almost 17 hours today
I might move, but I'm thinking about it
I'd like to move to Brooklyn
I'd like to win the lottery
I want to play basketball
I am in search of inspiration
I like my small, cozy, ridic expensive room
I wonder what Kate's doing?
Where Michelle is?
How Jean and Jake are planning for the wedding on their boat ;)
How lucky I am to have amazing people in my life, albeit far away
I wonder where Dana, Jim, Tim, Andy, Stacey, Dan, Rich and Brian are all right now. And if they had as much fun as I did. And I wonder how many more loves I'll have. If I had the time, I bet I could fall in love with just about everyone on the planet. People are generally good
Nicole's going to have a baby in July
Little Nicole-Ramiro!
I missed Stephanie's birthday on the 16th and have punished myself longer than it would have taken to make a phone call to the birthday girl
Graca is engaged in Brazil
Elinor is on the spiritual quest that brings wonderment back to me every time we talk/write/communicate.
Brendan's in love?
Fritz is in love with himself, still. Still it's no wonder I love him so much.
Adam Bloom! Arizona I'll never understand. You have to meet Ben (who remembered my birthday) who I went to k-12 with in Minnesota. And come to New York. For G's sake.
Cris...I tried to get in touch with you when I was in the BA
Amber, I missed you!
Cleave, dude.
Stacey, great to see you working at a place that you love
I couldn't understand Tammy's message
My grandfather was really sweet about dying

When I was in Cali last weekend I saw my grandfather and grandmother. They're both sick and fraile. My grandfather is dying of cancer. Fact is, we all go through this. But my grandpa, Joe, is slowly but surely coming to final beliefs. There is a point where you stop questioning. He told me that if he could figure out how to, he'd tell me what it was like in heaven. This is one of the most exciting things I've ever heard. And the thing is, I believe he will. If he can, he will absolutely tell me what's going on up there. Who's playing poker and who's drinking Jack? It was cathartic. I am going to miss him dearly when he dies.

Now sit with that: you, the writer of this crap and any other person you lay eyes on, ever, will die. We die. This can be incredibly motivating.

I'm going to leave this up til tomorrow morning. If it's awful I'll delete it when I wake up tomorrow morning.

Sleeper McSleeperson, da sooz

09 May 2006

Chump vs. Self Preservation

I feel like a dick.

The people I work with are all over worked, tired and vaguely miserable. Myself included. I am working at 7am tomorrow and worked from 10am to 11:30pm today. Now, we had a huge event on tonight. 150 people on almost all rental furniture-which means massively nasty break down in to the 2 o'clock hour at least. (hire more people!) Now, in the interested of my own functioning tomorrow I dipped out early (can I call anything "early" after a 13.5 hour work day?) (fuck salaries!). I feel bad that I left them there. I feel like a chump and a wimp. But I've been on the verge of tears all day. Another night of 6 hours of sleep will not help this state and I'm mildly miserable. Is that coming across effectively?

So I left. I stated to my coworker (one of my favorites) that I felt like a chump. He said, "go, sweetheart." I patted him on the back and high tailed it out of there. F that shit. They can't have my g damn soul. I really really wish I had better things to say about my work right now. I apologize for being a wealth of nothing but complaints.

I find myself now, having gorged on a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios (an obession that comes in and out of popularity with me) and have a box of cookies next to me in bed (they didn't have the ones with hazlenut, but it's the same idea...). Path-etic. And I'm choosing to sit here, write complaints, eat cookies instead of GOING TO BED! Why? Because I've had ZERO satisfying social interaction today. I need a conversation. Some people who I don't have to talk to out of professional obligation (Ben, you're an exception to these gross generalizations, I hope you know. You and AV).

I do admire the GM of the establishment I work for; he handles workers, situations, VIPs and, well, everything, simply expertly. And I met a nice woman at Chelsea Market who helped me get plates for my feisty little (not-so-little) chef. It's not all bad. Just most of it.

And now there's not even enough time between my shifts for my work phone to charge enough to last through a 12 hour day tomorrow.

Thank the good good universe for California this weekend. Thanks, too, for the great friends who read this and still believe that, somewhere in here, is still a fun person! I love you all dearly. And I miss you a LOT!

PS Why am I a manager? For professional gain? To be abused by person after person, chef after chef? To smile pretty and bus when I have to and serve when I have to and take orders when I have to? On long days I make less than $9 an hour. Better than a barback. Not as good as a bartender. See what I'm getting at? If we have an event that isn't going to make the staff "very much money" we charge $25/staff/hour. $9/hour. I'm going to sit with that for a little while.

PPS I'm really frustrated.

I'm happy, too.

08 May 2006

Tired and...

Yes, I'm cranky.

A food runner at work came up to me tonight and said, "Susie, you look tired." My response, which I still believe to be appropriate, was, "fuck you." He said, "maybe not tired, but lethargic."

At least he's observant. I'm so f'ing bored and the paperwork is now overwhelming and still, few benefits. Celebrity sightings and watching other people spend money is only so satisfying. I am learning a lot. I've been saying that phrase for 9 months now. I could have had a baby in the last nine months, but instead, "I've learned a lot." (Truly, I do NOT want to have a baby, in case that's what came across-I am merely trying to say how productive I COULD have been.)


I'm going to California on Thursday. Welcome to mixed feelingsville. I'm very excited to get back to the Bay Area: hopefully see some old friends, soak in the vibe, and have a road trip to the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas and DEFNITELY have brunch at Lynn and Lu's on Grand Ave in Oakland. The best huevos rancheros EVER. I'm going to see my grandfather who is in the process of dying. I'm excited to be with him, and my aunt will be there, too. That should explain all the mixed feelings. I'm excited to drive for a few hours...all alone. New York is not a fan of letting you be alone. I need to be alone for a second.

That was the space that visting Michelle and Adam in Miami a few weeks ago allowed me. I was with them, but I got to be alone, some. In a new environment. That time shed light on what I was doing in my life and how I could change it. I am feinding for the hours in a rental car with me, my iPod and me. Bare foot and driving. Having revelations and making action plans left and right.

Ironically and stupidly, I just wish there was someone special I wanted to be alone with.

See what I'm saying?

On I go. Back to work soon. 6 days straight to earn 4 days off. What am I doing?

My brother just set sail today from Hawai'i to Alaska. Is it possible to be lonely for someone because they've left the continent? Or maybe it's beacause I just saw him last week and miss him anyway. I will wish him well every day for the next six weeks. I won't be able to talk to him for six weeks. I miss him already.

04 May 2006

Hooray Hooray

What does May Day mean? For me it means I'm a year older...every year! I appreciate the day for it being International Workers Day and also the Pagan fertility holiday. My dad used to say (before I was born) a little poem. "Hooray hooray! It's the first of May! Outdoor f***ing begins today!" He stopped saying it when I was born...

I didn't even know he said it til my 16th birthday, when over my birthday cake (angel food, whipped cream, strawberries) they told me this tale. Now we typically recite this little diddy. Good times. Great family. I miss them a lot and it was nice to have them in town.

01 May 2006

Where I've Been...So Far

Whew! Lots left to do! I didn't highlight all the states I've driven through. That would be a fun map, though, if you could highlight the routes you've taken.

Have I told you lately how much I love road trips? And going to different places?

1) Pay off CCs
2) Travel MUCH MORE

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

create your own visited countries map