Monday, October 31, 2005

Tropical Standard Time

When we went on our Disney Cruise in May, we stopped in Mazatlan, where we were morally compelled to purchase a spectacularly gorgeous Oxacan teapot, creamer and sugar bowl at a chi-chi boutique in the fancy tourist district by all the mega-resorts where you never actually have to see a local. Now, the price started at $100 over they-must-be-smoking-crack-as-there's-no-way-I'd-pay-that-much-for-pottery, but I think we ended up spending around $350, which was probably still about 10 times too much, but the items were supposedly painted by a one-eyed paraplegic with severely impaired fashion sense, so we thought it was worthwhile to put food on his table to feed his inevitable 27 children we would have been told about had we refused to purchase the items.

As the items were very heavy and we had to fly home from LA and the idea of schlepping a box full of breakables through the airport filled me with horror, we let them ship the box for $70. They asked for our email and told us that we'd get a DHL confirmation number within a week.

A week turned into a month, turned into two and then three. Christian called and called, but he only ever got a fax tone or someone who couldn't help but PROMISED to have the shipping manager call him back.

Well, lo and behold, Christian checked his junk email and found a message from LAST WEEK stating that our package was shipped and that the store would follow up to ensure that our items were intact. I checked the tracking code and the package should be here today, only five months late.

If anything is broken, I'm flying down to Casa Maya and beating them all round the head and shoulders with pottery shards.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Dear Santa:

I've been very good this year. Well, except for my absences from church because of my disagreement with the American Catholic Church's stance on the ordination of gay priests.... Other than that, though, I've been very good.

I've numbered my list to make it easier to keep track.

I'd like:

1. A video iPod with every episode of Alias loaded on it.
2. Addi Turbo needles in the 47 inch length in sizes I don't yet have (0 and 1, 9-the end).
3. The latest seasons of Gilmore Girls and Alias (see above).
4. These shoes, size 8 1/2. You might have to sell Blitzen to get them, though.

5. A career.

Thank you.

I will not be kind until I'm asked properly.

OK, so I know this is really mean and that the people who have this bumper sticker do so because they want to share the message of love, peace, cooperation and hippie tripe, but I must air my grievance against the appalling structure of the phrase:

"Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty."

Hmph. There is no symmetry in the composition. The implied command is to:

1. Practice random kindness.
2. Practice senseless acts of beauty.

1. I understand this part. You can practice kindness, as kindness is a noun, like football or music, both practiceable things. The adjective describing the noun "kindness" is "random," which defines the type of kindness you are exhorted to practice. Fine. All well and good.

2. Here's where I get annoyed. After the conjunction "and," one would and should expect to find another noun that can be practiced and an adjective describing that noun. I mean, I need to be told what to do here! Give me a clear directive! And we do, but what we get is "(Practice) senseless acts of beauty", which consists of an adjective, a noun and a prepositional phrase. There are two nouns in this half of the sentence, but one of these nouns, "beauty," has been unwillingly conscripted into adjective status, as "beauty" here is used to describe the type of act. It's not a senseless act of whimsy or obfuscation, but "beauty." Here, "acts of beauty" could be interchanged with "beautiful acts," without a change in meaning.

Now, if the lack of consistent adjective usage wasn't enough to make me writhe in agony, I shall deconstruct further and reach the root of my hatred. As we are asked in the beginning of all of this to practice things, we should be able to tell WHAT things by looking at the nouns associated with the verb "practice." To do this, we should be able to take out the adjectives and prepositional phrase and determine our newfound mission. If we do this, we are asked to:

Practice kindness and acts.

Ha! Not much of an order, is it, bumper sticker manufacturers and the sheep who buy their crap!

NOW, if we were asked to "Practice Acts of Random Kindness and Senseless Beauty," we would, in fact, be asked to do one thing, namely, perform ACTS. The type of acts then would be merely adjectives; acts of "Kindness" and "Beauty," which can both be performed conjointly.

Another, lengthier option would be to change the phrase to "Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty." This has a nice symmetry to it and is perfectly correct, but it's a bit bulky. I don't like the repetition of a word in a wordy sentence of words in all its wordiness. It's just too much.

Ha! I win! I shall print up new bumper stickers and go on a spree of scraping and plastering, making sure to achieve maximum penetration of the hippie cars, especially in Fremont! Or not. I need some tea.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Do you think I can pass for Puerto Rican?

I just got a call from the Director of the Seattle Choral Co., for whom I was one of the two mezzo soloists last season. His group is performing West Side Story with the Seattle Symphony on New Year's Eve, and he asked me to sing the part of one of Maria's three friends, so I'll FINALLY GET TO SOLO WITH THE SEATTLE SYMPHONY! Sheesh, every other mezzo I know has done it, so it's my turn!

It's not absolutely certain yet, but wouldn't that be cool???

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Lucky, lucky me.

I hate my boobs, hate them with the white hot intensity of a thousand burning suns. They're huge and ungainly and have caused me no end of grief, discomfort and misery. From the moment in the sixth grade when I embarrassingly realized I had them after seeing a picture taken of only my midsection when I stood up too soon in a photo booth, I wished that I could stay 10 forever. I hated the knowing, "she's growing up so fast" look adults gave me when they saw the bra lines through the back of my lavender polo shirt, I hated the snickers of the boys and the angry and resentful comments of the girls whose friendship I so desperately craved who hadn't yet had to go to JC Penney's and be humiliated by the kindly older woman in the lingerie section when she came into the dressing room and checked the fit of the industrial, 1980's, white cotton bralette. I hated the fact that when I got to high school, boys would stare overtly at my chest and comment on the size of my bra in front of their girlfriends. I was awkward and anxious and despised being the center of that kind of attention. I ached to be slim and boyish and be able to wear tank tops in the summer and pretty, frilly strapless dresses, and not have to hide in oversized sweaters stolen from my dad, who would then get irritated when his sweaters came back stretched out.

I have never understood why any woman would pay any sum of money to increase their bust size and why so many of them have told me how lucky I am to have such an ample bosom. Why could they just not be happy to have clothing fit them, to be able to button sweaters and shirts without gaping and pulling and wear the same size on top and on bottom? I've kept the dress I wore to my rehearsal dinner in my closet as I love the crazy pattern and the memories, but despite the fact that it still fits through the hips and butt, my boobs have gotten two cup sizes bigger in four years. I'm wearing the dress at work today, unbuttoned on top, with a slip underneath and a sweater over, but the sweater keeps slipping off my chest due to the slinky fabric, so I've been walking around all day surreptitiously holding things in front of my chest and pinching the fabric closed with my fingers, like a nervous habit.

After my hysterectomy, my ovaries kept churning out hormones, but my uterus wasn't there any more to tell them when to stop. So, for a year, my boobs would get bigger every month and never shrink back after the estrogen flood stopped. I went from being a 36DDD to a 36G or H. Most people scoff disbelievingly when I tell them that I'm a 36, as I'm such a big girl, but I have teeny, tiny bones-little itty bitty fingers are my proof. My wedding ring is a size 5 1/2. Besides, it isn't the rib cage size that indicates breast size, it's the cup size. I remember watching a terrible daytime talk show where young women dressed too provocatively and their families were ashamed. One such woman's sister was saying that, because her trampy little sis had a size 38 D chest, she felt as though she had the obligation to expose it. I blinked disbelievingly at the screen. 38 D?? Whoopee. The D is the only thing that matters in boob sizing, not the 38, and D is absolutely nothing.

Even now, as an adult, I have grown men in my workplace who have never looked me in the eye. During a production where I wore a corset and had extraordinary cleavage, my torso was under great discussion in the men's dressing room. Even the other girls in mine had to ask what size I was, as my God, they're just so huge.

Every large chested girl will sing the lament of the baggy waist and tight chest in everything she tries on. If it fits in the bust, it will be massive in the waist. All of my shirts need to be tailored, but I don't have the skill or the money, and if I do end up having clothes that fit both my bust and waist, my bust looks even more enormous by comparison.

I think I will inevitably have to get a reduction, but I don't want to get a divorce, which would probably be a preoperative procedure for me. Breasts hold a weird fascination for straight men for two sacs of fat and glands.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Just give me a trench coat and a D&D name and I'll take my place in the Pantheon of geekdom.

I have snakes and I'm obsessed with early music, science fiction and Disney. I'm one step away from living in my parents' basement, partying on the sly with my SCA friends in their parents' basements, smoking pot and giving boys I like obscure and mythologically significant names.

Despite feeding the nerd fire with my extremely dorky posts, I must talk about my pets AGAIN. Just when I think I have them all figured out, they spin me around and make me pin the tail on the donkey. Frederick magically (or should it be magickally?) started eating again last week, Gwendolyn is constantly out of her shell, Stanze walked RIGHT INTO my hand last's madness, I tell you. MADNESS.

Last night, using the dowels Christian bought to make the birds perches for when they're out of the cage (they need foraging areas you know, as we couldn't POSSIBLY let them think they weren't in the wild jungles of Ecuador), I managed to get Stanze out of her cage without grievous bodily injury. I figured out that, if you use one dowel to distract her beak and the other one to press against her abdomen, she's too busy concentrating on annihilating the first to fly away from the second. Some birdie instict kicks in and, while teaching that first dowel who's boss (she is, in all things), she'll unconsciously step onto the second. Now, this only works for as long as it takes to actually lift her from the cage, as she quickly figures out that she can run up the dowel on which she's sitting and bite bite bite those hateful fingers, so I have to have the first dowel ready to intercept her as she guns for my offending hand. She's speedy.

Bloated with my success at getting her out of her cage, I removed her from the living room (and her cage area) into the bedroom to lessen her sense of protectiveness for her daily stepping up practice. I was still a little leery of offering my hand as a sacrificial meal, so I passed her from dowel to dowel for about fifteen minutes until she stopped running at my digits and could sit still and take the proffered dowel with her feet rather than her beak. However, after about another five minutes, she got a really cheesed off look on her face as though to say that she got the point and look how good of a bird she was being, not having bitten me in ten whole minues, so could she please fly about a bit. Please?? She flapped pathetically to my bedside table without waiting for permission and hid beside a glass and back scratcher as though she thought the horrible probing stick couldn't see her through the magnifying properties of the water. I didn't want her to get the crazy idea that she was in charge, so I set my hand about six inches in front of her and said "come here" in my most stern and "I'm actually terrified of you but am pretending that I'm not" voice. She ran across the top of the table right into my palm and looked up at me with those little black, blinking eyes. Crack. My heart split in two and lay throbbing on the floor. I picked her up and she kept cocking her head and looking at me with the same bewildered expression which I'm sure I was giving her. She let me kiss her and kiss her and kiss her and I gave her a good scratch in return. It was the happiest I've been in months.

Of course, when she got within five feet of her cage, she whipped herself into a frenzy of hormones and fluff and chattered angrily at me when I put the cover over the cage, but I knew we had made progress.

My bird loves me.

Monday, October 17, 2005

More from the preening orgy.

I've been waiting for this moment for months..I must preen your neck:

A little more....

Ah, yes, there....THERE!!!


I can hear my vet's fangs growing as I write this.

We gave in. We're weak and frail and pathetic and couldn't take the whining and the screaming any more. I need love, not hate when I come home at the end of a long, thankless day, and the only way I could forsee getting that love was to give the birds exactly what they wanted: each other. So, on Saturday, the crankiest bird in the West and the sweetest bird in the Universe met, and there was much rejoicing. And preening. And letting of blood (human blood, not bird blood. I'd never allow any pet blood to be spilled, only my own).

First, they saw each other across the seed-strewn carpet:

Then, they rushed into each other's beaky embrace:

Then, they realized that we, their humans, had done a terrible job keeping their feathers tidy, so they preened:

And preened:

And preened into total submission:

And all was well and right in the world (well, until I got too near Fritz and Stanze charged me and bit my leg, but I don't have a picture of that).

Friday, October 14, 2005

It beats taxidermy, I suppose.

I'm not quite sure where to begin mocking this. I mean, I know that shedding an undesirable side effect of pet ownership, and I suppose that this COULD remedy the problem, but I can't imagine what I'd have to wear under an article knitted per this book's instructions to keep it from instantly knocking me dead the second I put it on. Oh, and imagine how long it would take to get enough fiber to make the yarn, especially if you had a small dog. By the time you got enough, your pet would be dead. Well, maybe that's the point...a memento of your beloved Rover.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Why are the words bunny and giggle such vomitously cutsey words?

And why am I using them both in the same post?

Anyway, I'm completely in love with the bunnies from Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Why do they have such piggy little noses? I don't know, but they make me giggle every time I look at the picture on my desktop.

Go see this movie! Give Aardman your money so they can rebuild!

Why am I suddenly feeling so hungry for pineapple?

Ever since I was a kid, I've tried very hard to not let myself get too excited about trips as I'm convinced that something terrible is going to happen and I won't be able to go and the devastation would be more than I could handle, so I repress....repress....repress....until about three or so weeks before I go, and then the stomach-clenching begins. This doesn't mean I don't plan. Oh no. I plan. I plan for any ten people. I read enough books and online boards for everyone that goes where I'm going within a year to have their entire day mapped out from breakfast buffet to mid-afternoon coffee break to late night snack. Hmmmm...that's only food. Well, priorities. Anyway, I refuse to be caught off guard. I want to know EVERYTHING about the current situation at my destination. This is all the more important when we're going to Disneyland, as we are on November 5th. I mean, if Splash Mountain is closed when I get to the park and I haven't prepared myself beforehand by reading every website that lists ride closures every day for months leading up to the trip so that if there are any changes I'll know the second they are confirmed, the disappointment at the first sight of the ride closure notice could be fatal, and that would really be a downer for the rest of the group.

The May Disney cruise planning was absolutely the worst. I was so terrified that I would miss something that EVERYONE ELSE KNEW ABOUT that I was physically and psychologically unable to detach myself from the Diz Boards Disney Cruise forum. I mean, what if there was a late night dessert buffet that I missed and it had the best tiramisu in the HISTORY OF DESSERTS, and everyone was talking about it the next morning but us??? God, the trauma.

All of this planning, however, did not take the worrying away. Oh no. Every night I dreamt that we missed our flight, that the boat took off early, that they lost our reservation, that I was, in fact, married to a terrorist and they wouldn't let him on the boat...blah blah blah. I only unclenched the sphincter when we were actually on board and in our room. Then I started to cry and couldn't enjoy myself for four days because I couldn't ACTUALLY BELIEVE that I was on the ship and that it wasn't a dream where I was going to wake up and have to go to work at Telect at 6 am and assemble sprockets like I did when I had just graduated college. Thank God that vacation was two weeks otherwise I wouldn't have had time to enjoy it before it was over.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that every post from now until we go will, most likely, be Disney related. Tee hee and I want a Dole Whip!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

See! SEE! I wasn't lying.

Seattle Opera finally updated their website and it now lists me as a Regular Chorister.

Also, why is it that when I wear mascara it ends up smudged under my eyes and doesn't cling to my lashes, which is its whole reason for being?? Even waterproof mascara dribbles off and makes me look like a heroin addict. Well, a really well-fed heroin addict. Not that I've ever seen a heroin addict up close. Hem. Anyway, I wonder if it's because I put lotion on my face in the morning, per my dermatologist's instruction, and maybe that makes my lashes greasy so the mascara can't adhere properly. Whatever it is, I'm irritated. I like things that do their job well. Especially when I paid $32 for the job to be done. The other mascara-related drama I'm dealing with today, as I'm actually wearing it as opposed to merely letting it languish in my purse, is that, when I wear mascara with glasses, my lashes squoosh against the lenses. I never thought I had very long lashes, but apparently I do. Either that, or my eye sockets are really shallow. Hmmmm.

Monday, October 10, 2005


After opening at #1 with Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit this weekend, poor Aardman woke up to this terrible tragedy:

Blaze Destroys Wallace and Gromit's History
Published: October 10, 2005
LONDON (Reuters) - All the props and sets from the Wallace and Gromit movies were feared destroyed in a fire on Monday, the day after the plasticine pals' debut feature film went straight to the top of the North American box office.

Production house Aardman Animations said a blaze at a warehouse in Bristol, western England, was thought to have wiped out its entire history, including models, memorabilia and awards from the Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit short films.

"We woke up to the most fantastic news this morning that 'Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit' had debuted in the United States at number one,'' said company spokesman Arthur Sheriff. But this has really thrown us,'' he added. "It's our entire history.''

Sixty firefighters battled flames 100 feet high that engulfed the warehouse at around 5.30 a.m. on Monday, causing the roof to collapse, a fire service spokeswoman said.

"It looks like most of the contents of the building have been destroyed,'' she said, adding the cause of the blaze was under investigation.

Wallace and Gromit are the creations of animator Nick Park, who was also the brains behind the 2000 animated feature film ''Chicken Run.'' He was said to be philosophical about the fire, saying it was put into context by the massive earthquake in Pakistan.

"Nick has been on the phone and while this is devastating, in light of the other news he has been hearing on the radio, it is immaterial,'' Sheriff said.

Park's latest chart-topping film revolves around intrepid inventor Wallace and his faithful canine sidekick Gromit. The adventure sees the pair using a complex vacuum system to protect vegetables from a rabbit problem in their village. The film took $16 million in its first three days of release in North America, more than movies featuring the likes of Cameron Diaz and Jodie Foster.

Aardman Productions, established in 1976, was also behind ''Morph'', another plasticine figure whose adventures on BBC TV won an army of young fans, and helped make the celebrated video "Sledgehammer'' for singer Peter Gabriel.

Sheriff said although all archive material could be lost, the fire should not affect the company's future productions.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Smile and say THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

When you call a residency program to which you have applied and tell them that you, BY AN INEXPLICABLE COINCIDENCE, are going to be in town visiting your parents at the exact time they will be holding one of their five days of interviews and could they possibly interview you even though they haven't extended you an invitation because, out of the 275 other applicants, your grades and scores are mediocre at best, and they, out of the goodness of their hearts, say yes against their better judgment and you write back and say gee, that date is so inconvenient and doesn't work for me, can I interview the week before, despite the fact that the week before is completely full of candidates who were actually invited and had applications that didn't make it into the "Ha!" pile, and by giving you a spot to begin with someone more deserving won't get an interview, I'd say the answer would be NO.

Go back to your Devry medical school, you entitlist fuck.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

How many posts can we do with the same subject?

As Christian mentioned in his blog, he just skinned (blechy term) the game Bejeweled with a Halloween theme. Of course, he could only use jack o' lanterns, caramel apples, bats, candy corn and spiders as most Halloween imagery has cultish or satanic connotations, and heaven only knows that if we see a black cat in an online video game we'll immediately want to worship Lucifer and sacrifice puppies over an open fire we've built with the wood from the crucifixes we've stolen from every church in the neighborhood, according to a certain Evil Empire office that rhymes with Neo-Folitical.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Suzy's Rules for Public Transportation

For the Passengers:

1. Shower every day.

2. If you cannot achieve #1, at least wear clean clothes, not the funky-ass sweater and pants that have been on your floor for the past six weeks because you're too lazy to do your laundry. Your mom did not come with you to college. Learn to use the washer. That's what it's there for.

3. Wear deodorant. I don't care what you've read about aluminum causing Alzheimer's. If you get on the bus one more time and raise your arm to hold on to the bar and I have to smell your vile armpit, you'll be dead before you could get the disease anyway.

4. Take off your backpack/purse/messenger bag. It takes up the space another person could comfortably occupy, and when you turn around suddenly, I don't want to be knocked into the doors down those really painful stairs. And you're not a messenger. You don't have the balls or the scars.

5. If the bus is full, move back. I don't care that the chick you're chatting up is sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. I will push you, and you'll look really stupid when you fall over and land with your head in the lap of the SCA guy who hasn't changed clothes in weeks (for him, see numbers 1 and 2.

6. If you're sitting on the aisle and the person next to you has to get off, STAND UP AND MOVE OUT OF THE WAY. Don't just turn to the side. I will stick my ass in your face and you won't like it unless you're a dog or you swing that way. In that case, maybe that's why you don't get up. Freak.

7. Don't talk to me. Ever.

8. If I'm sitting next to the window and the seat next to me is free, only take it if EVERY OTHER seat on the bus is taken, even if the only other one left is next to the SCA guy from #5.

9. If you do have to sit next to me, I have a big ass, but it only takes up one seat; I've checked. Don't sit so close that I can feel your leg through the fabric of my pants. I don't let my husband do that.

10. If you are on your phone, don't speak so loudly that the other bus riders are unwilling participants in your conversation. I don't give a shit that he so totally looked at you in class and that he's just sooooo fine. I also don't care about your smug, self-righteous crusade or your argument with your girlfriend. She should dump your ass for letting everyone hear how you're sorry for forgetting to call her the night before because you were out getting drunk with your reprobate friends.

11. If you are the first person in line to get on the bus, do it fast, have your money/pass out and don't ask questions. I will have no problem stepping over your trampled body if you make me wait.

12. If an old person gets on the bus and you're in one of the front seats and the only other available one is in the back, get up. I will pull you out of the seat if I have to. I don't give a shit if you're tired from your night of 20-something debauchery. Grow up and pull up your pants.

13. Say thank you to the bus driver. His/her job sucks.

For the Driver:

1. Don't pull up so far beyond the bus stop that we have to run to get it. I know you do it because you hate your job and you like to see us pant and get all sweaty in our work clothes, but take out your aggression on other drivers, not on your passengers.

2. Leave the heat off at all times. 100 people + a heater (even in the dead of winter) = nasty

3. Don't check out the college girls. You're 50 and it's disgusting. Take off the Tom Cruise in Topgun shades. You look like you should be driving a Camaro, which, come to think of it, you probably do. Pick up women your own age.

4. Don't call out the names of buildings on campus in a singsong voice. We know where we are, and you reminding us just makes us that much pissier about having to go to work.

5. Don't sail by stops because there might be another bus behind you or because you're running late. It's your fault that you're late, so don't make us late, too.

6. Don't, under any circumstances, start driving when an old person has gotten on and they haven't taken a seat yet. Do you want to have a broken hip on your conscience?

7. Don't tap the breaks. It makes us (well, me) carsick. You do that again, and I'll throw up all over you.

Send me any suggestions of rules I might have missed. I'd be happy to include them.