Thursday, July 31, 2008

Real-life Weeds?

I love, love, love that show Weeds with Mary Louise Parker et al.

This story in the Washington Post sounds suspiciously like the police have been watching a few too many episodes of that fantastic show.

Top Ten Things that are annoying me today:

10: Bikes on the sidewalk.

9: Bicycle riders without helmets on.

8: Construction workers not working. Stop peering in my windows at work. I will have blinds soon, and when I do... I know you'll miss me, but have a nice life.

7: Needless cosmetic contraptions.

6: Bills. Today's the day. Nearly every bill I have is paid today - on payday. The money comes in, but it goes right back out.

5: City Living in the summer. The heat, seriously, I'm over it. Bring on Fall or get me to a pool.

4: Unnecessary usage of cars. Park. Walk. Stop honking.

3: Materialism. My own and others. Summer cleaning is gonna happen soon. I gotta simplify and purge stuff that's cluttering my place.

2: Aches and pains. I'm old. My body (lower back) hates me.

1: Smoking. If you've known me for more than a minute, you know I grew up in possibly the most intense, anti-smoking family that ever existed. Despite many loved ones that still partake... and my own adolescent experimentation... I now hate smoke. Smokers. Cigarettes. Ugh. Especially on hot days.

*Edit: I hate reading these negative posts. I hate them on other people's blogs and I hate them on my own. Sorry folks. I'll be back to normal soon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My mom's response to my email about my cellphone:

"I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You will be in my prayers.


Sorry about that. I just slipped into priest mode. "

... she's funny. She's a funny, funny mom-priest.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just being neighborly...

I think I was just a big jerk to my new neighbor.

I came home from dinner and there was a strange girl on my stoop. As I was getting out of the car, another strange girl came out of my door and left both the doors to my house open. (Cardinal sin #1, according to the somewhat anal landlord.)

Note: By strange, I mean strangers-to-me, they were in fact both your typical upper-or upper-middle class white girls from Penn.

By the time I said goodbye to my fun-friend Anitha, I had missed saying anything to the girls. So I waited at the entryway, because I know that I would be freaked out if I went to get a box from a car and some weirdo chick bolted into my house and locked the door.

This was the conversation:

Me: Hi! You must be my new neighbor. I didn't want to scare you by going into the house and closing the door without introducing myself.

Her: Hi, my name is ___. Sorry I can't shake your hand with this big box in my hands.

Me: I'm Kathryn. Do you want help? Can I guard the door for you while you and your friend bring the boxes inside?

Her: No, no. I was just going to prop the door open. Is that okay?

Me: (Here's where I get all craptastic in the neighbor department) Oh, this neighborhood can be a little dicey sometimes, and everyone in the building helped me move in, I don't mind helping at all!!! I think I owe something to the universe or something for all the help I got.

Her: No, no. We'll just move the boxes in first and not take them upstairs until we get them inside.

Me: Okay, are you sure you don't want any help.

Her No, thank you. Nice to meet you Kathryn. (Making mental notes about how paranoid and freakish her new neighbor Kathryn is)

Me: Okay! Goodnight! Welcome to the building. (Making mental notes to stop being weird and screechy with new-little-cute-girl neighbors who have no idea how to handle non-frat-boy-non-sorority-girl neighbors.)

Me: (sarcastically in my head) Great. That went well.

PS to this post... I got my new phone. Once I get all the numbers entered and figure it out, then I will resume normal contact with the world.

Great Quote:

No, not poetry, just words of wisdom from Hairspray:

'You two better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly comin' at you from a never-ending parade of stupid.'

Worse problems in the world than my cell phone...

This morning I was reading the Washington Post and I came across this article on a young woman from Uganda that was a former slave of a general there.

The woman is beautiful, her young daughter also beautiful and bright. I simply cannot imagine being abducted at 15 to become a slave to a general. It's like the move Raise the Red Lantern, but so much worse. And now she raises her daughter - born to her from her interactions with the general- by herself, with no help and very little income.

It's appalling. It's crazy-making.

My aunt has a tag-line on all her emails that reads: "Women are not dying because of diseases we cannot treat. They are dying because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving." Prof Mahmoud Fathalia, Egypt

This much I know to be true.

If you go to the Post website to watch the video... there is still hope in her story. She seems to be okay.

So in a moment of relaxation, you can watch her make ugali and hope that things will be different for her from this moment on. Hope that her daughter Harriet will have a better life. Hope that someday soon, we all find a way to protect young women from this practice of abduction and slavery.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lost my phone!!! *EDIT*

What does one do, if one loses one's phone?

It's not in my office. It's not at the Starbucks.

I know its not at home, because I texted my friend on the way to meet her.

And I've called it several times.

***Edited version***
Let's have a moment of silence for my sweet little phone.

Now, if you did NOT receive an email from me asking for your phone number, but you know that I should have it, then email your phone number to:

That goes for old friends, family, and newish friends... that phone had alot of very special people saved in its sweet little SIM card. So, send me your digits... please?

Look at this...

This photographer takes pictures of his audiences. It's mesmorizing! Half the time I am scared for him to talk to all those people, the other half, I'm sad that he hasn't drawn more of a crowd!

Ennui - A Post for a Blah, Blah, Blah Monday

The middle-end of summer. You've been to the beach. You've had a glass or two of lemonade. You've sweated. And sweated. And sweated. You've watched a blockbuster or two. You've communed with nature. You've communed with friends. You've communed with yourself.

And now, all that's left is the ennui. Here's a very good description: L'ennui est un sujet de réflexion impossible ... il est omniprésent : on peut rêver de changer la vie, mais pas au point d'imaginer qu'elle soit un jour débarrassée de l'ennui. (Rough translation by moi: L'ennui [boredom/depression] is a subject of impossible reflection ...its omnipresent: one can dream of changing your life, but not to the point of imagining a time when you have banished the feeling)

I am truly bored right now - on a deep and cellular level (and I'm not talking about phones, friends). I LOVE my life, my job, my wonderful-and-handsome-boyfriend, my friends, my city, but I am bored.

Not that I need some terrible trauma... please Lord, no-more-drama... but something to awaken something fresh and new would be very nice. Perhaps this is why I move every year, to have something to focus on (it's been 14 months in my apartment, so maybe I'm just in need of a new one... see a few posts ago)

I might just have to get another part-time job, just to have something new to focus on. And so I can save some more money to go somewhere nifty. Because really, I have nothing to complain about in my wonderful life!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned.

When you get paid once a month, things get tight on the last weekend of the month. Whatever is left in your bank account is in danger of being blown on errands and festivities, and there are four long workdays ahead.

But after almost four years, I'm getting much better at handling it. Granted this fall will require some serious belt tightening if I'm going to do any out-of-town vacationing again next year. (Which I really missed in the last few years - cool vacations and visiting family are fun things to have in ones life.)

So I've been making a serious effort to save money, or even just take advantage of the kinds of things that most adults take advantage of, like coupons.

CVS has been the easiest and is serving as my training grounds for savings.

For example, today with the help of one online coupon, several register coupons, and strategic choices of items, I saved $17.80. Which made my total expenses before tax, $17.83. Yes, that's right, I saved 50% on things I both wanted and needed!

Friday, July 25, 2008

If you looking for things to make me happy:

Look no further... I'll tell you...

First, just in case you have an audience with Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, could you please, please ask him to improve the pedestrian experience on the Parkway as they begin the new plans for Parkway improvements.

Also, I want to apply for (and receive) this:

The Kelly Writers House and the Fine Arts Department of the School of
Design (at the University of Pennsylvania) are pleased to announce
ArtsEdge, a new collaborative residency project to encourage the
careers of emergent writers and artists.

Through ArtsEdge, the Kelly Writers House and the Fine Arts Department
will subsidize the rent of a shared live/work space near Penn's campus
for an emergent writer and artist. ArtsEdge aims to support the
creative work of young artists and writers, create a live/work
environment that will inspire interdisciplinary exploration, and
enrich West Philadelphia by encouraging young writers and artists to
live and work here.

Residencies last for one year and include a dedicated studio for each
writer/artist, shared living space, and close affiliation with the
writing and artistic communities at Penn. During the course of their
residencies, writers and artists will be encouraged to develop at
least one collaborative project with the Writers House or Fine Arts
Department. Qualified applicants may also be considered to teach one
course at Penn in the spring semester.

Terms: Artist and writer will each pay $500 per month; rent will
include shared living space, private work space, and utilities.
Writers House and Fine Arts Department will subsidize remaining rent.

To apply: Send letter of interest, bio or artist statement, and
portfolio (10 pages of written work or 20 images minimum (PDFs, PPTs,
CDs, DVDs are all acceptable) to
Please include personal contact information and the names and contact
information of at least two professional references. If you would like
to be considered for a
course, please also submit a brief description of your teaching
experience or qualifications.

Submissions may be made electronically, or sent to:

ArtsEdge Residency
Kelly Writers House
3805 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Application deadline: August 8, 2008.
Project start date/move-in: October 1, 2008.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Article I should not have read...

I love the Washington Post. I love the in-depth political analysis, I love the larger section of world-news, and I love the special columnists, the humorists, and even the sports-writers.

But I just read part of this article: A Germ Zapper's Guide to Clean and I may never eat at home again.

Some of the little gems to remember are:

- "The kitchen sponge (or dishcloth) consistently reigns as the dirtiest item in the home, decisively out-pathogenizing more infamous culprits, such as the toilet."

- A cutting board, for example, was found to have 200 times more fecal bacteria than the toilet seat. (How the HECK does that much fecal matter get on the cutting board?)

- And our laundry is being tainted by our underwear... so "laundry should be washed in water that's at least 140 degrees and dried for at least 45 minutes" or you have enough fecal contamination in the load to cause serious problems. And when I think about the number of times I've washed my dishtowels with my bathtowels and the rest of my clothes... well, let's just say I've got some laundry to do this weekend!

So my advice... DON'T read this article. Don't even continue to read this post. It's insane. Our lives are literally covered in shit.

... ugh ... I may never recover.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Keep Calm and Carry On.

I just saw a fancy image of this poster above a pretty bed. I laughed out loud!

I love it.

See more pretty prints here:

Lazy summer questions...

Grab a glass of lemonade, find a patch of shade, and let's discuss random things:

1) If you were an animal, what animal would you want to be?

2) If you could make one thing different today, what would that be?

3) If you had to leave the country at a moment's notice, where would you go?

4) If you had to leave all your possessions behind, what do you think you would miss the most?

5) What's your favorite song right now?

6) What's one thing you do on a regular basis that would surprise someone that you just met?

7) Who do you wish you had more time with?

8) What is your favorite thing to wear when its really, really hot?

9) What was the last movie you saw? Did you like it?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sports Talk...

For many of you that know me well, it may come as a surprise to you that I once was fluent in Sports. Washington was a great place to learn about sports thanks to its transient population, good cross-section of options, and great sportscasters.

There is a blight on the world of Washington Sports though. His name is Daniel Snyder.

The tyrannical reign of Mr. Snyder has seen the construction of a new Redskins stadium, an increase in cost of everything from season tickets to parking, the return and ultimate failure of one of the greatest Redskins coaches of all time.

Now, he's trying to control the media.

Man, I really hate that guy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Number 5!

Yay! Philadelphia has been named number 5 on the country's MOST WALKABLE CITIES scale.

I actually... totally agree!

While I love walking in DC, Boston, and NYC... Philly has such an awesome, cohesive city-center that walking here is easy. Now, we need to work on the bike-lanes, the pedestrian walk-signals, and do some driver education, but I'm sure that's coming.

The Visitor: a movie review

In an effort to escape the heat again yesterday, I went to see the Visitor. I had seen a preview for it, so I knew what it was about.

I knew it was about a terrifically handsome couple: both without proper paperwork. One is a Syrian drummer, played by the charismatic, Haaz Sleimann, the other is a jewelry artist from Senegal, played by the stunning Danai Jekesai Gurira.

The movie is about an aging, depressed, ambivalent professor who finds this young couple staying in his New York apartment. He befriends them, tries on their life, and then when tragedy strikes, he tries to help.

The music is amazing, the story is depressing. The way this country treats immigrants. Ugh.

Towards the end of the film, something interesting happened... I had to go to the bathroom. As I walked out of the theater, I realized that I didn't care what happened in the movie anymore. If the characters were deported, it would be too tragic to watch. If they weren't, then it would be too fictional for comfort.

So I left.

I wanted this couple to be joyful, to have full and interesting characters. I wanted to watch them drum and dance and laugh. They are young and beautiful - isn't that what they are supposed to do? But their lives in this country did not allow the comfort for all of that. And their lives in their own countries CERTAINLY did not allow for that. So instead they were tense, they were struggling, and they were dependant on some old, white dude to take mercy upon them and help.

The reality of life was everywhere in this film... and it made me so sad. The state of our world can be so depressing. Even if you have means, there are so many that struggle with so much.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Oh, it's ON now...

Dear Mr. Squirrel:
You are lucky that you were up on my roof making all that noise and stratching at my skylight during the day - when I could see your cute little feet.

... cuz try that crap at 3am, and I will totally call the cops on your furry little ass.


Movie Review: Mongol

I went to see Mongol today - to escape the heat.

It was beautiful. Tragic, wonderful and a little bit violent.

The movie is really about loyalty. The main character is a brave, and fiercely loyal man. He lives by a strict code of conduct.

It had me thinking about morality, laws, and order. How some laws seem frivolous, outdated, or unfair, but how some codes - if followed - could alleviate much of the pain and suffering that we inflict upon one another.

The movie also reminded me that pacifism is a luxury of modern times and of wealth. I will continue to try to practice it, but it is difficult to tell someone else that peace is the way if they are be brutalized either by an individual or by a society at large.

The film has a pace that allows for a great deal of contemplation. I loved it, others might not. But it also has me thinking about the sheer brillance of the 10 Commandments. They really do cover alot! The Mongolian code of conduct is a bit more convoluted, but it was interesting to see it upheld by the protagonist.

I know the majority of this audience will roll their eyes if I reprint the 10 commandments here, so I'll spare you all. But I'll say this, it was a fascinating afternoon...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Funny Friday.

I had planned a whole post about how the new parkway renovations should set one of its goals as addressing instead of displacing the homeless in the parks.

But instead, I offer you this:

There is a factory in Northern Minnesota which makes the Tickle Me Elmo toys. The toy laughs when you tickle it under the arms.

Well, Lena is hired at The Tickle Me Elmo factory and she reports for her first day promptly at 8 a.m.

The next day at 8:45 am there is a knock at the Personnel Manager's door. The Foreman throws open the door and begins to rant about the new employee.

He complains that she is incredibly slow and the whole line is backing up, putting the entire production line behind schedule.

The Personnel Manager decides he should see this for himself, so the two men march down to the factory floor. When they get there the line is so backed up that there are Tickle Me Elmo's all over the factory floor and they're really beginning to pile up.

AT the end of the line stands Lena surrounded by mountains of Tickle Me Elmo's. She has a roll of plush Red fabric and a huge bag of small marbles.

The two men watch in amazement as she cuts a little piece of fabric, wraps it around two marbles and begins to carefully sew the little package between Elmo's legs.

The Personnel Manager bursts into laughter. After several minutes of hysterics he pulls himself together and approaches Lena...

'I'm sorry' he says to her, barely able to keep a straight face, 'but I think you misunderstood the instructions I gave you yesterday...'

'Your job is to give Elmo two test tickles'

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Poet Laureate Announced...

I don't know how many people get excited about seeing who the new poet laureate is... I do.

But I was raised on poetry. My parents used to delight in reading poems to me at night, often in place of stories. Now I understand why. To read a sweet, condensed William Carlos Williams poem instead of a long drawn-out fairy tale would make me happy too. To read a dark, foreboding Edgar Allen Poe poem instead of a scary ghost-story would be more appropriate for a sensitive child like myself.

So, we have a new leader... Kay Ryan. I hope she won't mind if I reprint one of her most famous poems here. It is lovely. Sad and lovely.

Kay Ryan
Who would be a turtle who could help it?
A barely mobile hard roll, a four-oared helmet,
She can ill afford the chances she must take
In rowing toward the grasses that she eats.
Her track is graceless, like dragging
A packing-case places, and almost any slope
Defeats her modest hopes. Even being practical,
She’s often stuck up to the axle on her way
To something edible. With everything optimal,
She skirts the ditch which would convert
Her shell into a serving dish. She lives
Below luck-level, never imagining some lottery
Will change her load of pottery to wings.
Her only levity is patience,
The sport of truly chastened things.

From Flamingo Watching
Copper Beach Press, 1994

Copyright Kay Ryan.
All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How Good Are We?

On a similar topic as yesterday, this article in the Washington Post today examines several news stories of people in great peril - where bystanders did nothing.

I have great stories in my life of times when strangers helped me. Or helped my friends. I shudder to think of some of the things that could have happened if there weren't people there at the right moment who were willing to help.

This general apathy has really be concerning me for some time now. Some of you might remember my "Who's Job is it to Care" moment from a year or so ago. I worry about it even more now that city life is desensitizing me to extreme poverty, to homelessness, and to crime.

About six months ago I watched a man punch a woman in the face outside a train station. I was sitting on a bus. I didn't know what to do. I did nothing.

About four or five days ago, I walked by a young woman lying on the street. She looked normal but was asleep with a star-patterned notebook in her hand. I wanted to wake her up and make sure she was okay, but I was alone. Instead, I did nothing.

I already told the story of the little baby at the coffee shop. Again, I did nothing.

I think its important for me to find a safe way to reconnect to the work I used to do. A safe and productive way to help people in need. And I simply cannot continue to do nothing. I need to find a way to say something. A way to do something. A way to interact with all those people that need help - without compromising my safety. I don't quite know how to do that, but I need to try.

(We all do.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Child in need.

This post could easily be titled "Why I sometimes hate living in the city, Part two" but it's too serious and too disturbing to attach any jokes.

Last night while enjoying a sandwich at the corner coffee shop with some friends, a couple and their little girl came to the shop. The couple was distracted and loud. The little girl was about 2, but unusually small.

Over the course of the next 20 minutes or so, we witnessed some of the most disturbing parenting (and lack of parenting) behavior I have ever seen. We sat uncomfortably, joked about calling child services, and after reading this article this morning in the paper, I wish we had.

This is a partial list of what we witnessed. The mother was inside, the father on the phone, pacing back and forth with little or no regard to the girl. In the meantime, she was:

- Going up to my friend's dogs, poking them in the eye, holding their snouts, and pulling their tail. Even after my friends gently removed her hands she kept going back for more. Any other dogs and she would have been bitten.

- She was eating a bag of Spicy Pork Rinds. Which in my official capacity as the NUTRITION POLICE of the under 5 set - I can tell you is in-and-of-itself is bad enough, but at one point the father picked her up about 3 feet in the air, by one arm, (while she screamed in pain), said "Give ME one!," took a pork rind, and set her back down to resume his conversation on his bluetooth.

- She stole some guys keys, ran outside, threw them in the street and went running in the other direction.

- When the family finally sat down and she had their attention, they were yelling at her and threatening her.

I know that it is difficult to live with a 2 year old. I know that. I do not judge normal parents, or even parents that I do not agree with - because who am I to judge. This was different. This was scary. I was scared for her.

We talked as we walked away about how it was not too late to save her, but that it seemed like soon it would be. I pray for this little girl and her parents.

Monday, July 14, 2008

There's this couple I want to be friends with...

Their names are Jonathan Safron Foer and Nicole Krauss.

The link above is to the devastating article by my future friend Jonathan about an explosion. If the link doesn't work, its called EXPLOSION and its in the Washington Post's weekend section. It's so well written. It left me teary and mournful - for the wounds of life that we all have - the ones that never really heal.

Yesterday, I was desperate to find another book like the one written by my future friend Nicole's History of Love. I think I might just reread hers instead.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Why I HATE the City sometimes... A one-act play.

Setting: Perfectly nice Sunday afternoon after a nearly-magical weekend. Warm and Clear July day. Corner one block from my house.

On the stage: Two late-teen young men. No more than 20. Caucasian. Obviously barely lucid after some substance-related high. Dark, probing eyes, sunken into deep red pockets. Would-be handsome, except for the souless feeling they emit... and the sores.

Woman walks towards them, meets their gaze, and quickly changes course - despite the fact they are standing on a busy street-corner. She enters local store. Realizes its the middle of the day and decides to try walking by the two young men. Sees another man, an African American man, approaching the corner and decides to try to "hide" behind him as he walks by the pair.

Young Man 1: "Hey man, don't even look this way"

Young Man 2: "Yeah, it would be a shame if you ended up getting shot."

Normal Man looks at them over his shoulder, smirks, and keeps walking.

Young Man 1: (yelling) "Don't fucking LOOK at us! Yeah, we said it. What! What!"

Young Man 2: (also yelling now) "You will be dead in an hour dude, DEAD!"


Friday, July 11, 2008

Less green, more cute.

I have emerged -after 12 hours of sleep- feeling a little better. I had breakfast this morning. That's real progress.

I got into work okay this morning, with some help from the bus. And what did I have in my inbox? Pictures of little bo, the super-cute-nephew-with-the-mostest!

So, Happy Friday. May you not catch this bug. May you relax and enjoy your weekend. May you someday have a baby in your life - yours or others - that will give you a will to live. (Man, look at that smile on my sister - proof she has given birth to the sweetest baby in the world.)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Worst Night in History...

Last night was terrible.

I had a fun time early on, but when I got home I started feeling bad. Within an hour I was vomiting uncontrollably. I was so sick and crampy it was hard to lie down comfortably. Then the migraine came.

My head hurt so much the pillow was hurting it.

Fast forward to now. I just ate a toasted bagel and I'm not sure I will even keep that down. Yet here I am at work, with three crazy appointments this afternoon and plans tonight. Ugh.

And I'm worried about several different friends that are having some rough stuff. I would like to be there for everyone today, but I might just lose my cookies. Literally.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What to get for the Banjo Player in your life?

This one is a natural for the dog-lover. What could be better than a African-American Dog playing the banjo? I'm kinda sure this is racist. It makes me feel uncomfortable in my tummy.

A lady banjo player? No freakin way! That's so cool. I wish I knew a lady banjo player. If I did, I would want her to have cooler clothes.

I always knew that monkey's played the banjo. I think its hard-wired in their DNA.

All of these lovely images are available at -- but beware, they aren't cheap!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I think I kinda, sorta, hate my hair...

I am really not liking my new haircut. I believe it is nearly indistinguishable from my first, super-short haircut. For almost a week, I've been trying to figure out why it feels so different.

Here's what I have come up with:

1) It's more humid than Satan's trousers. That translates to mean shrinkage. Not the kind you fellas worry about this time of year, but the super curly, Shirley-Temple kind of shrinkage.

2) The BANGS. Sweet Heidi had a last-minute impulse at the LAST haircut to give me some wispy bangs. BAD IDEA. Now I look like a combination of our friends at the top.

So expect that I will straighten as much as I can in the coming weeks. And eat alot of protein to try to encourage growth. I may even buy some topical treatment to see if I can get it to grow faster.

Wondrous Oblivion - Movie review

I had really high hopes for this movie. It's about a Jewish family in London in the 50s and the Jamaican family that moves next door. It's also about cricket.

The protagonist is a 13 year-old boy that seems very familiar. Think Brighton Beach Memoirs, but a tad younger. The idea of a boy who is not really British, not really Jewish, and not really German was very familiar. I've watched so many people straddle the divide between their immigrant parents and their adopted culture. It's difficult, its painful, and its confusing.

Add to it the race relations of the 50s and you have some very cringe-worthy scenes. I might even have squeaked out a tear or two. It could have happened.

It would be a good Saturday afternoon rental, if you had a bad cold or some light housework to do, but it did not leave me reeling into wondrous oblivion, it was too schmaltzy for that.

P.S.: I am dying to know more about cricket. What is this crazy game? Anyone? Chao, can you help?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Why are you posting so much today?

Well, friends, funny you should ask.

I'm lonely.

It's my first day back in the office after three weeks of working two days a week or less. My boss is gone. My student-workers are gone. And the window replacement guys just aren't that interesting.

So instead I'm typing away at emails and thinking about fun things to post. Like Top 10 best and worst things about Atlanta. Or Strip Mall or Shopping Malls: which is the worst blight on the modern landscape?

Anything that you all would like me to opine on? I'm ready.

Also, be aware. It's Burrito Monday.

Oh, and I got a new haircut!

Be Kind Rewind

Certainly like most of you, I had my share of fireworks, apple pie, and sparklers this weekend, but I also spent the weekend watching Be Kind Rewind, over and over again.

I had seen it in the theater, but I forgot how quirky and sweet it is.

I might just have to "swede" a couple of my favorites in homage.

Also another wonderful netflix winner from this weekend was Creature Comforts America. The Wallace and Grommit shorts where they interview Americans about all kinds of things and then create sweet claymation characters around their voices. It was hilarious and sweet.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Run for your life!

Usually if asked, I say "I run when chased." But today I had a lovely run out at Valley Forge and I may just have turned over a new leaf.

Back in the late 90s, during a very messy time in my family, I used to run all the time. I would leave my parents house and run a full speed until I was exhausted. Because they lived at the pinacle of several steep hills, I got into very good shape very quickly. Some of you may remember that time, I was about 50 pounds lighter.

But a weird knee injury that took several months to recover from and began a period of weight gain kept me from running for many, many years. I tried to run sometimes, but was always discouraged by the huge difference between the freedom with which I could run at 24 and the effort that it took in later years.

Tonight was quite different. Not easy, but I really feel great. I may just be able to try again in the next couple days and start this back up. Not because I want to lose a significant amount of weight (I love my clothes too much), but because I've noticed recently through my efforts to play tennis with Charles that my cardiovascular health may need some work!

There is something very free about strapping on your shoes and hitting the pavement. If I were to get some tunes, then all the better. Now if Maria is reading, don't get your hopes up... no marathons for me. But maybe I could get back to 5K shape.

Bonus would be some strength to feel like I could run away from an assailant. The city is getting me down. Look for a post titled "Crazy Man followed me Home" in the near future. It's becoming a regular thing.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Sense of Independence...

Its no secret that I am not a great American. I don't like baseball. I prefer creme brulee to apple pie. I rant about all kinds of stuff all the time.

However, I do love the opportunity to relish in a certain sense of Independence. Freedom is a word that I hold very close to me. In all things I want to feel there is a choice involved. As if my whole life is a series of things that could be altered if they no longer serve. Within this feeling of independence and freedom is luxury. Luxury and privilege. And for that I am truly grateful.

So while I wish the calendar date for this celebration of freedom were a couple of months to either side... because I hate the humid, hot conditions that undoubtedly come along with this holiday... I know that any complaint is truly superfluous given the enormous luck I have had in my life up to this point. Why worry about the weather when you have an education, a job, wonderful friends, and the freedom to conduct yourself in just about any way you would like.

So Happy Independence Day to you all. May you all be able to choose the life you want.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Banjos are for Babies.

I am feeling nervous. Nervous like a girl on prom night that didn't wear any underwear, on purpose.

Okay that girl was never, ever me. I didn't even go to prom, I'm such a good-girl-geek. Then, now, and evermore.

But really, my friend Emily just started a blog. And she linked to mine.

While I'm all self-promotin' and stuff with my loved ones on gmail and even linkedin, I've only tried to link my blog to the outside world once and I didn't like it, so I stopped.

But now I'm all linked to the rest of the world and all. I guess that's okay. I still don't have anything interesting or funny to say. So don't go getting your hopes up.

But Miss Em is incredibly funny, so I expect big things from her. Just don't go expecting many capital letters or apostrophes - that's not her thing. Check her out here.