Chick Lit Here
Thursday March 17th 2005, 1:23 am
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Ms. Rurality of Rurality just over-cuted me with her chicks and more of her chicks. It gets better: “I love the racing stripes [on the chicks] but I’m trying to resist the temptation to name them all after Formula One drivers.” No, madame, that would be cute beyond all reason. Name thm quick before they grow up!

Then: “A chick can’t stand being left out of something important. And they’re not as gentle as you might think. If one can’t muscle her way in, she’ll make a flying LEAP onto the pile of chicks in front of her. This goes for feeding time as well as nap time.”

Woo hoo for chicks!

(I once had a cast-off chick. It was a black one that got sick. My foster sister gave it to me and then her mother bought her a new, healthy chick.

My little black chick came to live in my bedroom. I put a bowl beside my bed and layered it with a towel. For a week (I stopped going to school) I stayed in my bedroom feeding my chick with an eyedropper. The chick seemed to recuperate.

On the floor, I built it a pen with towels. When I had to go out, I hurried back. My little chick always ran to me as soon as I returned.

Life as a chicken momma ended too soon. Despite this brief interlude, my chick once again succumbed to illness. I hardly moved and lay in bed with the chick on my chest. It couldn’t even drink from the eyedropper. In the afternoon, it died.

I didn’t want to throw it in the garbage, as my foster family suggested. I went to the moat and placed my chick on the water. It floated away.)

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Stupid and Stupider
Thursday March 17th 2005, 12:17 am
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People who know me wish I’d shut up. My family always tells me so. My friends just walk away from me in crowded shopping malls and I never see them again.

But with people I meet for the first time, I don’t talk much. If only I was Clint Eastwood and people would think I am the strong-silent-type, not aloof.

Tonight it started well. I did what all shy people should do at these networking things: get there early, have a glass of some (non-alcoholic) beverage in your hand so at least one hand is not awkward, say a little something to everyone.

Then the rest of them came. There were a whole lot of people. Smile, I prodded myself, smile, damn you!

Don’t forget eye contact. Try to notice what colour the eyes of the person you’re talking to are, said one networking whizkid. I forgot that rule. But the lady I talked to said, “You have the most blue eyes I have ever seen.” What the?! Was I staring? I thought I was just looking.

“Your eyes are a blue I never expected,” she continued. “From far away, you don’t look like you’d have blue eyes, but when you get close, they’re really noticeable.” The more I looked at her, the more I felt like I was staring.

Hands, quick, look at your hands, I told myself.

She asked me what my background was. The conversation ended after that. I still had no idea what colour her eyes were.

Seat-shuffling. Then a new girl sat next to me. For the next hour her back was to me. I think I got a sentence into her conversation; she allowed me to finish my sentence, not looking at me once, then changed the subject.

Someone asked me if this was my first time at this meeting. “Yes,” I said. Then I added, “I don’t usually go out to places where I don’t know anyone.”

“Good,” he said. “You’re leaving your comfort zone.”

Then I relaized I lied. I do go to these things often. Every time, though, I end up with a glass in my hand and plotting my escape.

It’s always so hard to leave. I didn’t want to beat too hasty a retreat. Make sure you say bye to everyone, I told myself. Don’t just rush out as if you hate them.

It all went smoothly.

Except that when I did go out, someone walked out with me. Someone who was obviously at that meeting but not someone with whom I talked. I walked half a block alongside this person trying to come up with something to say. I looked straight ahead or away because until I came up with something to say, I thought that maybe I can’t just look over and smile. You know, they might think I was a lecherous street pervert.

Finally I crossed the street to escape the gap in acknowledging this person’s presence. At some point, it is just too late to say anything.

I felt so dumb after the whole evening, I couldn’t wait to get into my car and hide in my space. Of course, I walked so far that I wandered into the Downtown Eastside. At night.

A wafer-thin junkie woman asked me for money.

“Sorry – I can’t find my car,” I said to her.

“It was probably towed,” she said.

Then she walked up to some man and screamed at him, “You fucking piece of shit!”

I walked back the way I came and found my car in the safe part of town.

Next time, that drink will be a vodka.

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Stupid
Wednesday March 16th 2005, 10:43 pm
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Here I go. It isn’t easy for me to write about personal things anymore. I know so many of you, albeit online, I think you’ll all run screaming from this blog.

So here’s the deal. If someone says he thinks you’re fat, you say “so long, buster!” If someone says you should get plastic surgery to whittle down your jawbones to more feminine proportions, again you give them a one way ticket out of your life. If someone says that he never, in the six years together, found you physically attractive, you drive into the sunset with a roadmap to Mexico. If that person called you selfish for wanting to live close to your parents and not his, alarms would be clanging in your head.

If someone who is supposed to be the calm one, while you were the bad-tempered one (who never once lost her legendary temper in the six years you were together and who never once allowed herself to say anything that might be regretted later), if that supposedly calm person suddenly freaked out for your getting upset at being called fat yet again by his father, and he physically pushed you, you would read that as the start of domestic violence and leave before you got a black eye and lost a few teeth. Right?!

That’s what you’re supposed to do, right?!! That’s what girls are taught, to say “no” and be tough bitches who meet some other bloke the very next day. Did I or did I not learn my lessons in feminism?

Now if that person were to do cute things for you, like vacuum because you keep sneezing during that heinous chore, you should overlook everything else, right?

Because I related that one little story to someone else and she said I was crazy to leave him.

I went to bed and thought and thought and cried some more. I traded in a perfectly good relationship for lots of crappy relationships with people I don’t even find attractive. I gave up on my one and only chance for love to be some ridiculous notion of “not abused.”

Sex and the City
has got to be the worst show on tv. There’s that stupid Charlotte, the one who is marriage-obsessed, the one who I hate and wonder why she was ever part of the show since in real life her friends wouldn’t put up with her.

Then there is that old woman in one episode, the episode that is always on when I happen to walk by a tv set. It’s the episode when the only woman put lithium on her ice cream. She says that she left someone back in the eighties thinking that she could meet someone better. “Never did,” she says, as if to me.

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Weird Blog Roundup
Sunday March 13th 2005, 1:45 am
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Cromulent: the web dictionary of self-created words.

Today’s nugget of joy:

Entry: Treebling
Pronunciation: ‘trE-bli[ng]
Function: noun
Etymology: coined from “tree” and “bling” (slang for ostentatious jewelry)

Sweet Thunder Tape Findings: “an archive of one of a kind cassette tape recordings and other odd sounds discovered…searching thrift stores and garage sales.”

Week 16′s nugget of joy:

“If I show you this picture, will you come to my house?”

Blink O Rama: Photos of blinking people.

No nugget of joy:

People are ugly when they blink. Check out Angelina Jolie.

He Looks Like: The morbid game of psychoanalyzing strangers in pictures (and making up thier backstories).

Today’s nugget of joy:

“He looks like Samy Choy, the owner of Samy Choy’s Holistic Pest Control, who uses his training in martial arts and meditative mind control to extract pests.”

Trashlog: collecting a piece of trash for the internet every day.

Every day is a nugget of joy:

Eurotrash sure is pretty.

*See also Nico Van Hoorn: bird droppings.

Please give us more nuggets of joy.

The unfortunately now-defunct Street Pizza: the study of violent intersections between life and technology.

Imogene, make him give us nuggets of joy! There must be more dead animals in Portland.

Baby Doll’s Blog: the great American adventures of Baby Doll.

No more daily nuggets of joy: people should not start something and then dump their fans. Grr!

Postsecret: anonymous contributors send postcards with the stuff they haven’t told anyone else.

To get more nuggets of joy, send yours to: PostSecret, 13345 Copper Ridge Road, Germantown, Maryland USA 20874-3454

Girls Are Pretty: what to do with your life.

Today’s nugget of joy:

“Rooting through your wife’s handbag looking for her cocaine, you’ll find an invite to a masquerade ball that occurred three weeks ago. Confront her.”

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TV Meme for the TV Celibate
Sunday March 13th 2005, 1:13 am
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A while ago, Justy memed me.

“You do realize I don’t watch TV,” I said.

“You’re the second person I sent the meme to, who doesn’t watch TV,” she said.

But, I like Justy so much and she kindly helped me every time I became paralyzed with knitting fear, that I watched TV today just for her.

My answers to the TV Meme:

1. How much space is left on your Tivo or Comcast box?

Already this is too complicated. I have just figured out what a TV is and now you’re throwing new technology at me? I have no idea what a Tivo or Comcast box or iPod or any of those other dangfangled new gadgets are. My first job out of university was tech-related and the dread of those years still reverberates to this day. Next question, please.

2. Have you ever bought a DVD of a TV series and if so which one?
Yes. I had DVDs of Cheburashka and some Czech cartoons, and I am the proud owner of only one DVD now: Krazy Kat. I do miss those Iron Curtain cartoons, though! (The ex got custody of our great collection of DVDs, art catalogues, the digital video camera, my camera, the multiregional DVD player and MY guide to the birds of Japan.)

3. What was the last TV show that you all watched before reading this message?

Crybaby! Oh, Johnny Baby!

4. List 5 shows you won’t miss.

All of them. I stopped watching TV in April 2003 thanks to the Bible Belt Chimp and some Czech bats recruited my TV.

5. Name 3 people to whom you will pass this stick.

A) The girl who writes the Supermodel Personals.

B) The guy who writes Overthinking, because he’s still in Costa Rica and fun things must be on TV there.

C) The kid whose blog came up on the first click on that Next Blog button. Just make sure, lad, that you increase your font size. Bigger is always better.

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O-zone Schmo-zone
Sunday March 13th 2005, 12:52 am
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Here is that link to that other Gary Brolsma video. I read somewhere today that the original video had clips of Brolsma’s friends; those guys all look like that could be friends, I suppose. But why do people keep hearing cheese and beef?

Meanwhile, Mr. Prentiss Riddle did a whole post about my obsession with O-zone. Mr. Riddle also indulged my other little obsession of cute men in drag. Johnny, you can wear my panties any day! Hoyay!

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Fame & Fortune
Thursday March 10th 2005, 6:03 pm
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“You wrote Fanny Hill?” he asked.

“Yes, I use the pseudonym John Cleland, you know, for privacy’s sake. I can’t deal with all those autograph hounds and the paparazzi – good heavens! Luckily my pitt bulls -”

“You writers have paparazzi swarming over you?”

“Well, those of us writers who’ve won Booker Prizes…you know like the Nobel Peace Prize?”

His eyes grew wider.

My tenth high school reunion was sweet revenge over those miserable years spent trapped in my locker, drinking puréed celery from a straw my friends supplied through the door slots.

On the day of my high school graduation, when the School Board finally hired the fire department to cut me out of the locker and I crawled home to my parents, I vowed vengeance upon those who thrust me into that four-year imprisonment.

I spent years feverishly reading everything about John Cleland and his Fanny Hill. Every night, while others slept, I memorized the complete Sonnets from the Portuguese and other tidbits from Cleland’s oeuvre. Most especially, I practiced for hours in front of the mirror, reciting “I have nothing to declare but my genius” over and over again.

Unlike the ditzy girl in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, I have no Janeane Garofalo to blow my Post-It Note cover. All of John Cleland’s schoolmates are reassuringly dead.

And just like Post-It Notes, Fanny Hill is commonplace enough that everyone has a half dozen copies lying about. Everyone therefore knows that I am a serious big-time author.

Yet, no one associates John Cleland with any famous face.

And, with Fanny Hill’s tricky subtitle, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, everyone already half-suspects the writer’s gender is a farce, making it harder for anyone to pin down what exactly John Cleland was. On the internet it usually works that way; anyone claiming to be a woman is a man and vice versa. Especially if that person is writing as a lady of dubious means. Everybody knows that the Diary of a London Call Girl is written by a huge Yorkshireman with a beard like a rhododendron bush*.

No feeling in my existence so far has ever been as life-affirming as the night of my high school reunion. By the end of the evening, the former high school jocks, then the stars of the football team, now stockbrokers, they were licking the pebbles wedged in the ridges on the soles of my boots. I gave them all autographs, of course, along with my fees for entertainment at children’s birthday parties.

I think I’ll publish The Canterbury Tales or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before the twentieth-year reunion.

*My sincerest apologies to Messieurs Curtis & Elton.

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More O-zone
Wednesday March 09th 2005, 7:11 pm
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I don’t know who this person is, but he has another motherload of Dragostea din Tei spoof links: a lego version, the Spanish version about gay men, one by a perplexed guy whose middle fingers seem to be stuck on cruise mode, and a Gnome version that mistakes iubirea mea, primeÅŸte fericirea (my darling, accept happiness) for you-beer-a fettucine and sunt eu Picasso (I am Picasso) becomes something about Pikachu and mi-amintesc (I remember) becomes mintesque.

I also found a spoof spoofing the Gary Brolsma version, but at this moment I can’t remember where I put the link.

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O-zone Kicks Bubble Gum Pop’s Ass
Monday March 07th 2005, 1:41 pm
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One of my favourite bands is O-zone, a Moldovan band* that sings in Romanian.

Before I go on, a little about Moldova. Moldova is a country beside Romania. According to the books, Moldovans speak Moldavian, which is suspicious. I always thought it was Romanian, only with the regionalisms so frequent in Romania. (I mean, one of my cousins from the south says bebeloÅŸ (baby), not bebeluÅŸ, and I figured she was a country hick.) The differences between Romanian and Moldavian seem dialectal, they are not different languages.

Moldova was part of the Soviet Union until the big split last century. So everyone there now speaks Russian. Or they did all along. My grandmother grew up speaking Russian. She complains that when she went to Romania, even though she is enthnically Romanian, not Russian, but a Russian-only-speaking Romanian, she got flack for her accent when she did learn Romanian.

My sister went on a couple of vacations to Moldova to meet all the cousins we never knew we had. So in a world where everyone thinks Transylvania is a fictional place, she is an authority on Moldova. My sister (who I like to believe was a minor celebrity in Moldova – she is an up-and-coming photographer in the ChiÅŸinău arts scene) always complains about meeting Moldavians of Romanian ethnicity who only speak Russian.

That’s Moldova for you.

Now Moldova appears to be a hotbed of nice-looking young men. I was disappointed to discover that my cousin, Roman, was indeed a cousin and genetically off-limits. (Plus, he’s getting married to some tramp.) Again, I digress. Mmm, a hot bed…

O-zone’s song Dragostea din Tei (Love from a Linden Tree) – a name that is problematic in itself as it is apparently a satire on something else – was such a big hit in France and Italy** that people began whispering Macarena. Unfortunately, that lead New Jersey’s Gary Brolsma to produce his own version of the video.

Unlike the Brolsma video now making the online rounds, the Japanese satires of the song are even more delightful. Now my Japanese is getting flakier by the day, but from what I got from ieT niD aetsogarD is a review of my hiraganaha hi fu he ho!

More preferable was this Japanese spoof: substituting arrow and alone for alo (as in hello) and saru, or monkey, for salut (hi there). There were other parts where my Japanese proves inadequate but I got something about beef and sînt voinic (I am strong) became something about niku (meat). The funniest part was the bit about numa numa, which spawned that horrid Brolsma video. Stefan explained nu mă nu mă iei as as “you don’t take me [away with you]“; in Japanese it became noma (to drink). I also got to practice my katakana: ha hi fu he ho!

Now if only the West would discover the O-zone self-satirical Despre Tine video.

*Ok, I admit it. It’s a boy band. But I was never into New Kids on the Block.

**It was big on one radio station here in Vancouver for two whole days, when the station pitted our song against some boring English song. Plenty of with-it young Romanians across the Lower Mainland called in to vote for our song. My sister phoned in to vote for it and corrected the DJ’s prononciation. It won the first day, then I lost track of what happened to it.

Update: My mother phoned from Romania yesterday with the news that O-zone broke up as lead Dan seeks a solo career.

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Kikkoman Kicks Worcestershireman’s Ass
Sunday March 06th 2005, 10:38 am
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A few months ago, my friend Hideki and I were talking about the Japanese classroom cartoon. He remembered that there was a similar cartoon out there and found me the link. As I peered over his shoulder at this new cartoon, I told him it would be perfect for my cartoon section. Yet, inexplicably, Hideki turned off the computer before I could memorize the address.

But now – ha! – I found the link and with English subtitles, no less!

Here it is. (Via one of Antipixel’s commenters)

Now if anyone can tell me where I can find Ken’s New Specs.

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