Archive for February, 2004

Feb 29 2004

Fight to the finish

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I don’t think my computer loves me anymore. It happens.

Maybe it’s tired of being hauled all over the world, where it not only has to cope with the hard work and horror of dial-up, but being fondled by airport security and endless changes of time zone.

It won’t tell me what’s wrong, even though I have begged and pleaded. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and I never know why. There is no discernible pattern.

Finally, I decided to wine it and dine it with expensive new software, which it seemed to like at first, but now it’s being diva-like again. It may be even more temperamental than I am.

It will be even more annoyed when I blame my lack of posting and inability to respond to emails on its bad behavior, despite the fact that it’s completely true, and will probably punish me by acting even worse.

That, or it will act all perfect just to make me look bad. We’ll see.

5 responses so far

Feb 16 2004

Bar Mitzvah

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I have been invited to the first Bar Mitzvah of my life. It is, presumably, the first Bar Mitzvah of the kid in question as well, but he has the advantage over me of having a religious tradition which he must also understand to a reasonable extent. Those of us who have been brought up with no religious tradition are at a notable disadvantage as guests at ceremonies of any religious description, such as this one, or a Catholic funeral Mass. I can?t even fake it convincingly.

Apparently, it?s a very long service, so I?ll have to practice looking serious and/or interested for extended periods of time. It shouldn?t be that hard ? I mean, I had to do it for hours at a time back when I had a job. However, I?m not sure what to wear, and whether there?s a traditional gift besides money. Not working and sudden trips to Florida combined with shopping cardio tend to lead to cash flow issues, even temporary ones, and rumor has it that the money you give on these occasions is supposed to be pretty serious. Maybe not Sopranos serious, but of an amount to help towards education and other weighty, grown-up things, since the poor kid, at 13 or whatever, is now supposed to be a grown-up. Which means the fun part of his life is over.

Actually, the entire endeavor seems to be remarkably lacking in fun (though perhaps this is appropriate, given how remarkably lacking in fun it is to be a grown-up most of the time) for the guest of honor. Long before the ceremony, s/he has to learn a lot of Hebrew, a lot of religious stuff, and then have this very long ceremony at which s/he must not only be the center of attention, but give a speech. And after all that, not even any presents, other than money, which your parents immediately put in a college fund.

Maybe there?ll be cake, though.

8 responses so far

Feb 12 2004


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Remember the Kathleen who saved Christmas? The one who couldn?t bear the Grinchitude of our pathetic little family not having presents, so she made them and mailed them to us? The picture I posted of her then with her lovely handiwork did not do her loveliness justice at all, but I have since been fortunate enough to locate a picture of her which actually does. She?s the one in the middle. So you can see that her outer beauty matches her inner beauty.

She is one of the least judgmental and most giving people I know. And she?s gotta be one of the few girls in the US of A who look like that and love hockey and race car driving as much as the symphony and Iggy Pop. She?s not only a giver of gifts, she is a gift.

One response so far

Feb 09 2004

Florida, Part II

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I say adventurettes, because we really didn?t do much, if anything. It was all about escaping from reality and hanging out and enjoying the sun.

And sun there was. It was in the neighborhood of 80 to 85 degrees, and that?s a really nice neighborhood to be in. The air was all soft and tropical, and I think I may finally understand why Florida women often seem to go for the big hair: the humidity in the air just makes it big. Ain?t nothing you can do about it. Even my normally flat, straight hair got puffed up and slightly wavy. It was all part of being Florida Suzy.

Not only was it the first trip ever to Florida for my sis and me (Florida virgins!), it was our first sight of the Gulf of Mexico. Both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans are old friends to us, but the Gulf was all new. It?s very blue in the manner of the Mediterranean, but with a more translucent quality. It?s also way more pacific than the Pacific, with about as much wave action as a lake or the bathtub when I step out of it. Surfers, go somewhere else!

But Megan had a great time scuba diving in the Gulf, where she met dolphins, giant turtles, and manatees. She is now totally in love with manatees. I think she snuck one home in her suitcase. Lazy Me just swam in the fabulous pool under the bright blue sky and palm trees, and when I got slightly chilled, like a bottle of white wine, I hung out in the hot tub beside the pool. Repeat as needed. You gotta love swimming outside in February. Not to mention having your morning coffee outside under the orange tree and your dinner on the patio under the stars. At one dinner, we were even serenaded by an acapella men?s chorus, who happen to adjourn to that particular restaurant on Monday evenings following their practice. They drink beer, talk about the rehearsal, and practice a little more. They are something like a barbershop quartet, only there were about 10 of them. It was a pleasure to hear them, and it must be a dying, or at least declining, art, so it was a privilege, too.

Florida, at least the little I saw of it, is (look out, you know what?s coming next!) what the French would call jolie-laide (roughly translated, “ugly-beautiful”). It has great natural beauty: the blue waters of the Gulf; the beaches with sand like white sugar, scattered with exotic shells; tropical trees and flowers (in the dead of winter!), but all this is tempered considerably by endless strip malls (which, oddly, often seemed to contain both churches and porn emporia), billboards, and thousands of trailer parks. Pretty much the epitome of that part of Florida for me was when we went to a beautiful beach near St. Petersburg (quite unlike the Russian one, I can tell you from personal experience) and watched the sun set. Right across the road from the beach was, yes, you guessed it, a strip mall. There you have it. And it didn?t make the beach any less beautiful.

Next time, I?ll venture over to Colin?s and Aim&eacutee?s coast, check that out, and of course, give an Oscar-worthy performance in my teeny part in their next film. If I?m really good, I might get a line or two instead of just a walk-on part.

8 responses so far

Feb 07 2004

Back from Florida

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My lack of posting while in Florida was entirely due to a fatal combination of Florida Suzy1 and the cabana boys? complete inability to understand that “Please write something witty and tropical in my blog” does not in fact mean “Please bring me yet another in a series of mojitos” or “Please bring me more of that delicious coconut shrimp, and what about some Key lime pie2 while you?re at it?”

I?ll fill you in on the adventurettes of Florida Suzy when I get unpacked. Look out.

1Florida Suzy is an even more frightening version of Vacation Suzy. In addition to the Vacation Suzy qualities of eating too much, drinking too much, going to bed late and getting up late (rarely, if ever, going to bed on the same day she finally got up on), with shopping as her only cardio, Florida Suzy wears sequined sandals, toe rings, and glittery t-shirts and fits right in.

2If you haven?t had Key lime pie made from actual Key limes, which grow in Florida, you haven?t had Key lime pie. Though I normally don?t eat dessert, I ate that pie every chance I got, which was pretty much every day. Good thing there was lots of shopping cardio and swimming.

10 responses so far