The Standoff

Dog versus squirrel.  Very intense.


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Mall rats.

Russ and I had a great day today and I’m very grateful whenever we get good amounts of quality time strung together just having fun.    I spent my morning in jammies doing a crossword puzzle from yesterday’s paper while Russ was at class.  When he returned home we decided to go to the mall, to mall-walk.   Really, we were supposed to be scouting out potential Christmas gifts for our loved ones, but the first purchase I zoomed in on was a gooey, ranchy, cheesy sandwich from Charley’s.  (Although, one down side:  I got a new “Buy 7 Sandwiches and the 8th Sandwich is Free!” card, and then remembered the almost-completed-punched-up one was lost when some asshole stole my wallet and ditched it in a Taco Bell men’s room.  Ohwell, I start again.)

Then we began walking around.  Our first stop was the wacky pet store where they have a lemur in the front window, which is on Russ’s must-see list for this particular mall.  Unfortunately, within seconds I declared we had to leave when I looked up and saw Glenn Beck, Obama Sucks, etc. t-shirts stapled to the walls accompanied by a large poster declaring I was a “whiner” for having a problem with any of these t-shirts.  Whine, whine, I’m outta here.  Your lemur probably misses his real family in the wild, you dicks.

Get me out of here!!!

Things turned for the much better when we went into The Arcade!  By arcade, I mean an empty store someone filled up with quarter-a-turn games across from Le Nails.   I had a chance to show off my brilliant Skee-Ball skills, and Russ his mediocre ones.  We pooled our tickets so I could score a sweet fake mustache set and a oversized foam die.  I asked Russ if he wanted to don the mustaches right away, but he said no.  Maybe because he already has a real one of his own…

I so own at this game.

We decided not to have pretzels at the pretzel place.  I regret this.

Other fun stops included Brookstone, where I held fancy binoculars up to my eyes for like, 5 whole minutes waiting for Russ to turn and look at me looking at him.  I swear whenever I’m trying to be funny and want him to notice, his noticing skills simply vanish.   I skipped stopping in Aveda where they give you free hot tea and ask if there is anything in particular you’re looking for with warm smiles.  I also regret this.  Finally, we spent at least a half an hour in Williams-Sonoma and emerged with but a small jar of curing salts so Russ can make his own bacon.

We're big fans of cured meat in this house.

Now the day is done, Russ and dog are both upstairs in bed and I’m enjoying my last hours of freedom before my work week begins again tomorrow.  I’m watching On the Waterfront.  This movie will further serve to educate me as to the fact that Marlon Brando was once seen as hot (as did A Streetcar Named Desire). I also adore Eva Marie Saint, and I would totally use her name as my alias if she weren’t a famous person, and I didn’t already have an alias picked out.

Brando, 1954 aaaaaaaand Brando, 2000. Yeesh.

Oh!  We also took Elka to the vet for her yearly check-up.  She’s perfectly healthy and only peed on the floor in fear once.  We stopped and got her a doggy pastry on the way home.  Sleeping well tonight with my little family.

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It’s Sunday, my day off (and technically my Saturday) so I get very excited when it arrives.   Right now Russ and I are both spending a lazy Sunday doing the things that we like to do, only his things are cool and mine are not.

I am currently typing this for you fine people, sprawled on the couch with a new book and a Mr. Pibb lined up beside me.  Bliss, but less than exciting.  Russ is outside in the garage working on his car.  He drives a 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit that refuses to give up, and whenever it suffers any injury, Russ is able to spend next to no money fixing it himself and loving every minute of it.  I admire so much that he has *real skills* that not everyone has, and in particular skills that are super super useful (hey he works on my car too).

Here's a sexy lil pic of his car.

I am without a talent.  Sure I have hobbies, things that I like to do, but none of them are special:  lots of people read books and work jigsaw puzzles.  These may be two of my favorite activities, but they are most definitely not remarkable.  No one will ever say to me, “Wow, I’m so impressed with the way you snap those puzzle pieces together.  Genius.”  I can remember having felt this way for a very long time.  I once came across My Old Journal (full of the angsty musings of a 13-year old = priceless shit) and found a entry wholly devoted to my lamenting the fact that my cousins each had a special talent and I did not.  I didn’t exactly want to be Horseback Riding Cousin, Acting Cousin, or Piano Playing Cousin, I just wanted my own *thing*.

Baton twirler? I was one for my second Halloween, so I might have a head start.

I took piano lessons when I was little, but my teacher was a scary bitch so that didn’t last.  I played violin for a year, then became eligible for band and switched to band with every other 5th grader to pursue the clarinet.  That lasted a few short years.  I was in an acting troupe as a Freshman in high school.  We did Shakespeare at nursing homes.  They once put us in the Alzheimer’s ward and all the old people had no idea what was going on so they would walk up on “stage” in the middle of a scene and make a cup of coffee or whatever and talk loudly to themselves.  Sad yes, and embarassing for a 14 year old.  Volleyball I loved best and did stick with–however, high school sports are no means of setting yourself out from the pack; in fact, a volleyball team is a whole *extra* pack to join.

I do think it’s very cool that I know a lot about the history of art, and that I’m becoming increasingly knowledgeable about geography.  But believe or not, asking someone to dare you to name all the countries in Africa from east to west, does not good bar chat make (I know, shocker).

You might have thought that I was working up to some sort of conclusion here, like this was all leading to my announcement that I’m going to pursue my pilot’s license, but sorry no.  I still don’t know what my special talent could be (the pilot thing was just for example, hello I don’t want to die) and remain talentless.

I think I will begin my quest for a Talent by doing a little self-exploration.  I’ve been wanting to since I first saw the list, and I think now I will actually go ahead and answer the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind (  Wish me luck.

This doesn't have to do with anything. I'm just really excited to see Angie kick some ass in Salt.

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Dragon McBeal

…will be the name of my first born.  Just kidding.

I’m currently watching Dragonslayer (1981).  I am doing so because first of all, Netflix instant movies now stream to your TV (instantly) via a Wii:  this is just fucking awesome.  Secondly, someone told me to watch it.  A while ago I was working on an exhibition which involved interviewing the artists and taping these interviews to be archived.

I interviewed Robert Banks, Jr., a filmmaker.  (You can see some of his work here: –I recommend Motion Picture Genocide.)  At the end of the interview (which was intelligent and serious and art-y, etc.) I simply could not resist asking (acknowledging he probably gets asked this a LOT) “What is your favorite movie??” Robert didn’t mind; he said he’d name his top five.  This turned into a list of ten or so, which I furiously scribbled on the back of my notes.  Dragonslayer was one of them.  And the Mad Max movies (which I have also since seen because of Robert: I LOVE THESE MOVIES.), The Hospital, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and more I can’t remember right now.  Don’t worry I still have the list.

Virgins: part of a well-balanced dragon diet.

My first observation about Dragonslayer is that Peter MacNichol cute-peaked too early.  I seriously didn’t even recognize him because when I think of Peter MacNichol I think of John Cage from Ally McBeal.  (Oh another one: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, also a too-early-cute-peaker.)

Before and After

I was a pretty die-hard Ally McBeal watcher, and I loved Cage and Nelle.  And of course Cage’s pet frogs.  And Ally.  My famously wonderful high school English teacher used to call me Ally McBeal because he thought that I looked like her.  That would be great if I did, but I must admit that he also thought a guy in our class looked like Ellen DeGeneres and referred to him as “Ellen.”  This made being called “McBeal” a lot less cool.

Kicking court room ass in a miniskirt since 1997.

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Oh, hi.

I haven’t been here in a while.  I have been, however, buying my first home and fixing it up and continuing to be the only employee running a small museum–how those are  for some good reasons?

Also, a true dilettante is way too flighty to blog super-consistently.  Right? Right.  I so own it.

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What up girlfraaan!

I’m very good at getting excited about a new project, devoting my attention to it for about 1 hour, and then forgetting about the project thereafter for months–sometimes indefinitely, actually.  Well a few MONTHS ago Russ spotted an old sewing machine in a cabinet by the dumpster behind our apartment and even though it had been rained on, I insisted we salvage the beast.  We brushed off some dirt and hauled it up to our (2nd floor) apartment.   I chipped a bit at the peeling veneer on Day 1, and then dragged it to the dining room where it has sat on newspaper ever since.  (Sometimes I wonder how many other cool things Russ has noticed but chosen NOT to tell me about, just so we don’t have to go through this again…)

Well the other day I got the notion to finally DO something with my cabinet.  So I got some proper tools and finished chipping off the veneer, and today I primed and painted it!  It’s here, drying next to me, a lovely muted blue-green.  I’m just tickled.  And the more I stare at it, I swear some part is just screaming to be decoupaged…but one step at a time.

I got a makeover!

ALSO, today on our way back from a late diner breakfast, we both sighted a luciously gaudy mirror by the side of the road in a garbage pile.  It’s cracked, put that’s easily fixed and then I plan to paint it a really fab color–like red, or bright white or something.  (I feel like I should note:  this mirror was not in, like, a garbage bag with banana peels and rancid bits draped all over it…someone was clearly moving or spring cleaning or whatever and ditched their busted mirror–so don’t judge me, I’m not some icko dumpster diver.)

Mirror, Mirror on the wall: I will spray paint you.

I feel wonderfully crafty today.  Martha would be so proud.  Now to really dazzle you, last night I picked up my Lithuanian mp3 lessons and dove back into my studying.  I’m so proactive!

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movies, please

I seriously love to watch movies.  I’m not a full-blown film buff or anything, but it truly is one of my favorite things to do.  I know when people list their “interests” movie-watching tends to get included, so it’s sounds cliche when I say it, but whatever.  (I also am one of those people who claims to like “every kind of music”–but I do dammit!  Maybe I’m not a huge metal fan, but I can still enjoy “Enter Sandman”–so there.)

Here are a couple summarizing examples of how my love of movies manifests itself: 1.) I can watch movies marathon-style.  They don’t even need to relate to one another; I can take an evening and watch three flicks back to back, easy.  2.)  I’m currently pursuing a goal to see all 100 films on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 American Films.  I’m slightly less than half way done.  I just watched Dr. Strangelove and have Sunset Boulevard, West Side Story, and Schindler’s List on deck (rewatching the latter two to refresh my memory).  3.) I am hyper-fascinated with Vincent Price and am in the process of watching all of his films.  And all those directed by Tim Burton.  And Kubrick.

So, right now I am getting really pumped for the Oscars.  Admittedly, I have really sucked at seeing the nominated films this year.  (An even worse admission: I **just saw** Slumdog Millionaire.)  I have only seen two of those up for Best Picture:  Inglourious Basterds and The Hurt Locker.  And still having only seen those two, I can confidently say that THE HURT LOCKER MUST WIN BEST PICTURE.  What an amazing, amazing film.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been so intensely involved in watching a movie.  I really could go on and on about it, but I’ve already done a lot of going on and on, so for now I’ll save it.

I’ve always wanted to host an “Oscars Party” where everyone comes over the watch the awards and must arrive dressed as a character from a nominated film.   Most importantly, such a party would give me to perfect opportunity to justify acquiring a Scarlett O’Hara get-up.  All that’s left is to decide if I want to be Green-and-White-Barbeque-Dress Scarlett, or Green-Velvet-Curtains Scarlett.  (Forget Red-Slutty-Dress Scarlett, I’ve always thought it looked anachronistic.)

Fiddle dee dee!

One day I’ll tell you about the time I met Careen from Gone with the Wind.

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