February 29, 2004

Oscar Fever

The Oscars are but a few short hours away, and as I am not nominated this year, I have lots of time to prepare my commentary. I am trying to keep it abgreviated, because, I could go on, and on, and on, and on....

I did surprisingly well seeing films this year, but there are several that the clock just ran out on me for, so I am going to do my best with my picks here.

Best Picture--Lost in Translation This is the picture that deserves to win, hands down. This is an example of what filmaking is all about. This film makes you feel what the characters are feeling, and is a delightfully human film. Everything from the acting, to the cinematography, to the direction are unified and subtle, allowing the viewers mind to have an active role. What will probably hurt it with the academy is its' subtlety

Return of the King Would be a wonderful choice here also. This film is less of a director's movie than Translation, and there are so many elements involved that work together, it is a fine example of epic filmmaking. Unfortunately, epic filmmaking has become vastly underrated in recent years, which may hurt its' chances. Also, it has no acting noms--ouch! Although, the academy is famous for giving awards based on body of work, and not individual merit, so that may help it.

I have a strong feeling that Mystic River Will win. It is a highly emotional film, and the academy loves that shit. (I thought it was a good movie, well made, but not of the caliber of the previously mentioned films)

Master & Commander was just too full of itself to be a great film. It shouted, "Look at me, look what a great film I should be! I star Russell Crowe! I have ships, and special effects, and a predictable plot! Seriously, look at me!" (BTW, I still want my two hours back)

Seabiscuit I just never saw. Because, I have no desire to sit through it. Namely, it stars Tobey maguire *gag* and if I want to know the heartwarming story of the underdog, I will read the book. Then again, the people love underdogs.

Best Director Sofia Coppola, all the way. Without her, Lost in Translation would not have been what it was. Everything that came out of that film was due to the flawless direction. I can understand it not taking Best picture, but this is a director's film, it deserves it.

Peter Jackson deserves best picture moreso than director. Granted, he had the vision, but without everyone else, it would not have been the film it was.

Clint Eastwood...the academy loves him, and again, this was just the type of movie that they are all over. He has a good chance...I just think there are more deserving directors this year. Although, of it's noms, I feel this one would be the second most deserved to win. (Tim robbins and Marcia Gay Harden, made this film)

Peter Weir...see above mentioned pretention. He had so much to work with, and failed to use any of it to its' full potential.

Fernando Meirelles, I haven't seen this film due to it's screen to video ambiguity. I hear good things, but it is hard to say. We could have another Roberto Begnini on our hands, or not.

Best Actor Sean Penn is the favorite here. His character had all of the emotions that the academy loves to see. I felt it lacked the subtlety that some of the other actors delivered...

I would love to see Bill Murray win here. He showed a range and subtlety here that I think few thought him capable of. He really made this character real.

Now for the disclaimer...I haven't seen the rest of the actor noms. However Ben Kingsley is one of the finest actors of his time, and can do any role with Oscar-worthy quality. Jude Law is beautiful and talented, but from everything I have heard, there is something missing from the performance. Johnny Depp deserves an oscar, and I think if the academy bases his nom on body of work, he will receive one. I think he has deserved noms in his career, I don't think this is the one.

For Best actress I haven't seen the films...I think Charlize Theron is the favorite. The quality of the rest of the movie could hurt her. However, this is the type of role the academy loves.

Another strong contender is Diane Keaton. She's been around, and there's that body of work thing.

for supporting actor & Actress...Tim Robbins& Marcia Gay Harden Hands down....their performances made Mystic River. These are two talented deserving people...and these are the two statues that are most deserved by this film.

I am praying that Renee Zelleweger doesn't get a statue, because I really cannot take much more of this woman. Mediocre, at best.

I will probably comment on some of the other categories post broadcast. I have to say that there are some glaring omissions in noms this year. Return of the King should have been nominated for cinematography. None of the noms there truly deserve a cinematography statue, especially Master and Commander. It had everything at its' disposal and used none of it. Also, I cannot believe that neither Matrix release garnered anything. The technical skill involved in those films was phenomenal. Simply breathtaking. but, it goes to show that the genres of sci-fi and fantasty are highly underrated in the award show world.

Okay, I shall step off my soapbox for now...not being nominated and all, I have lots of other things I could be doing.

Posted by raven at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2004

Mix it up

So, as inspired by G my 15 random MP3's
*drumroll*

Dead Can Dance "The Host of 5"

Moby "Natural Blues"

The Cure "End"

Reel Big Fish "Take on Me"

The Clash "Rock the Casbah"

U2 "Walk On"

Nirvana "Stay Away"

Bjork "Army of Me"

Bauhaus "Bela Lugosi is Dead"

Ultrahorse (aka Sci-Fi Lullaby) "Come on"

Barenaked Ladies "One Week"

Matthew Sweet "Altered Beast"

Faith No More "Easy Like Sunday Morning"

Def Leppard "Pour Some Sugar On Me"

U2 "In a Little While"

Hmmm...nothing too embarassing in there, which is surprising, cuz I have some embarassing MP3's.


And that's all the energy I have for today...since we spent all day saving money.

Posted by raven at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2004

Just for fun....

As part of my lazy Friday, I was all excited to do the Friday Five...but there isn't one, so instead, I shall do a silly e-mail survey.

1. WHAT IS YOUR NAME? Amanda but you can call me Raven

2. WHAT COLOR PANTS ARE YOU WEARING? Purple

3. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The sounds of the guy installing our new front door, and Days of our Lives in the background

4. WHAT'S THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Three small dairy free chocolate chip cookies, to determine if they were still edible. They were, hence the need to have three.

5. DO YOU WISH ON STARS? There was a time when I did, but I haven't recently

6. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Magenta

7. HOW IS THE WEATHER RIGHT NOW? Sunny, about 40

8. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? G

9. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT YOU THIS? Is there any doubt?!

10. HOW ARE YOU TODAY? Tired.

12. FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? Hmmm...I like Madras, cosmos, Guiness, Margaritas, daquiris, good Sangria, Appletinis...

13. FAVORITE SPORT? To watch, I like skating, skiing, pretty much any wintery sport, gymnastics, soccer. To do, I like skiboarding, rollerblading.

14. HAIR COLOR? Red, currently I have some darker red in the back and blonde chunks in the front, I need/want something new, but I don't know what. Besides, my stylist moved to NY, and that will be one expensive hairdo.

15. EYE COLOR? Green

16. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? nope

17. SIBLINGS? My little sister Alliecat...key word there being little

18. FAVORITE MONTH? OCTOBER!!!

19. FAVORITE FOOD? hmmm...I don't know....I really like food...

20. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Ummm...I think Get Shorty...but I am not positive.

21. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR? Halloween, or my birthday, or new years...tough call

22. WHAT DO YOU DO TO VENT ANGER? Throw stuff...yell...curse

23. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD? Paper dolls, my bike, my mall puppy (a big white stuffed dog, that came from the mall...hence the name)

24. SUMMER OR WINTER? Fall, followed by spring. if I had to choose though, it would be tough, for in Winter there is skiing, but in summer everything is green and growing...

25. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs They are snuggly and warm, and you can give or receive them to/from nearly anyone!

26. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Umm...either Breyer's now retired three bean vanilla, or any of the chocolate delicacies they serve at Grand Old Creamery

27. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS? Hubby, and 3 kitties

28. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I can't remember

29. WHAT IS UNDER YOUR BED? boxes, one with sweaters, one with wrapping paper, one with gift bags, one with gift boxes, and one with ribbons and bows. And lots of cat hair

30. WHO IS THE FRIEND YOU HAVE HAD LONGEST? Troll, since birth

31. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? Ran errands, cleaned

32. FAVORITE SMELLS? Laundry

33. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Geoffie

34. WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? failure

35. PLAIN, BUTTERED OR SALTED POPCORN? Butter and salt

36. FAVORITE CAR? I love curvy, roadstery cars, but I want either a lime beetle or an aqua mini right now.

37. FAVORITE FLOWER? I love too many to list!

38. NUMBER OF KEYS ON YOUR KEY RING? I don't know off hand

39. CAN YOU JUGGLE? No, though I have tried many times...it's just not my thing.

40. FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK? Sunday, no commitments

41. WHAT DID YOU DO ON YOUR LAST BIRTHDAY? Had a costume party

42. DO YOU OWN A DONOR CARD? Well, I have it on my license, and my family knows my wishes.

Wasn't that fun????

Posted by raven at 01:28 PM | Comments (1)

Yesterday started out so well. Despite my Auntie Flo arriving into town, I was feeling like the hottie wife I am working so hard to be. I was wearing skinny jeans (okay, maybe they were a little too skinny...but they were actually very comfortable) and cute shoes. I was impermeable.

Then I started my after work errands. First, I forgot to go to K-mart and pick up more $3 shoes. I hope they will still have some left this evening. I would leave right now, but some guy is in the middle of installing our new front door. I can't exactly leave with a strange guy hammering around the gaping hole that used to be our door.

Anyway, I was erranding. I did get to OfficeMax to use the awesome coupon I got at work. $10 off a $20 purchase. So, I bought the labels I need to mark our junk, er treasures for our spring yard sale, new Sharpies (seriously, whoever invented Sharpies, is a freaking genius! Almost the genius level of inventor of clear duct tape...well, it's a tie. After all, Sharpies are the clear duct tape of the marker world.) But, I was also able to get a small paper trimmer for scrapbooking. With the coupon, it was like a free bonus just for shopping. I like free bonuses. Bonusis. Bonusi. Bonuses.

I attempted in there to manuever JoAnn Fabrics. What a misnomer. I went because it was convenient, then remembered why I never shop there. They have a whole storeful of nothing. Well, they have lots, but not much of any particular thing. Hence, I was unable to find fabric for any of my projects. I did however get a pattern, long story short, for my atoning.

Finally, I went to the mall. I needed a corset.bra.shaper thing to go under the bridesmaid dress I will be wearing in a few short weeks. The dress is such that nearly anything will show under it. I went to Penney's...nothing even remotely resembling what I needed. So I went to my favoritest lingerie store ever. Unfortunately, they were out of stock in my size. Finally, I wound of at Hudson's...no wait...Dayton's..no wait Marshall Field's Am I bitter that they lost all of the history of the company...not at all. I walked past all of the beautiful vintage inspired clothing (if only I needed a prom dress) to the lingerie. It took some digging, but I found something, that while not ideal, will work, and it was on sale. *note to retailers. Carry more selection in D cups and small band sizes!!* But to find it, I had to go to the dressing room. You would think that if they want women to buy these wisps of clothing, the dressing room mirrors and lighting would be flattering. No. I lamented that despite all my diet and exercise, I still have cottage cheese butt, and inner knee fat, and that body shapers only make that more obvious.

I went home all depressed, as I usually do after shopping for bras. I tried to get motivated to clean...but didn't get as motivated as I hoped. I did get the kitchen passable enough for the door installation, and the bathroom clean in case the installer had a reason to use it. However, Recycling day isn't until Wednesday, and I have several bags of recycling taking over my kitchen, not to mention the huge bag of trash I had G take out this morning, and the ever-growing pile of garage sale treasures. We have enough stuff for a whole commune of people. Hmmm...maybe that's what I should do with my life. Start a commune. That would be fun.

Anyhoo...to brighten things up, I received a lovely e-mail this morning. As I have been in several weddings this year, it reminded me of what is really important. I hope that everyone takes notice.

Here come the brides After 25 years together -- including children, mortgages, intimacy and boredom -- Kay and I stood for six hours in the San Francisco rain to become mundane and unspecial. To be married.
By Carol Adair

Feb. 24, 2004 | SAN FRANCISCO -- The morning after the wedding, I lay in bed for those pre-alarm minutes and beamed at the ceiling. I am,
at least for now, truly and legally married to my dear Kay. After 25 years, after sharing everything that married people share -- children, failures, disappointments, illnesses, successes, adventures, mortgages, intimacy, boredom, in-laws -- after sharing a lifetime, we are mundane and unspecial. We are married.

Kay and I got to San Francisco City Hall on Feb. 16 at 5 a.m. It was drizzling, cold and dark. A dim line of shivering, paired lumps led from the entrance on Polk Street, around the corner, along a whole block of Grove Street and onto Van Ness Avenue. I let Kay off at Van Ness and went to park the car. By the time I got back to her, I knew that our umbrellas, rain jackets and three-legged camp chairs were going to be inadequate. We had packed our wedding finery (Kay's tux jacket, my heels and my new, blue Ralph Lauren angora sweater) in backpacks that became damp in minutes as the drizzle turned to
earnest rain. We had dressed warmly but I still had to walk back to the car and pull a down vest and some plastic bags from the trunk. We covered what we could. It was going to be a long wait.

In a red, plastic envelope I carried all the domestic partnership documents Kay and I have collected over the decades -- from Marin County, from the state of California, from the college, each document signed and sealed and notarized in the most proper way, each document treasured, but none a real marriage certificate. I tucked the papers deep into the pack, twice wrapped in plastic, precious records from a long-fought civil war.

The sun came up at 7. The sky went from gray-black to gray-white and the streetlights went off. A wind snaked its way around the corner
and whipped at the umbrellas and blue camping tarps. Every now and then Kay or I would try to bring our toes alive by walking around the block. I tried to count the people ahead of us. Rumor was that 500 would make the cut. Were there 250 couples ahead of us? It was so hard to tell how many people there were under the plastic sheets and makeshift tents. Even when I asked, I found it impossible to tell how many were waiting to be married and how many were guests. I had no way of knowing how many people ahead of us were, like us, saving a place for others.

Our dear friends Greg and Ben had tried the City Hall line on Saturday and on Sunday, two days in a row. They had gathered family as witnesses. They had gone without sleep. And both days, they had been turned away. By Sunday night, they were exhausted and disappointed, but we convinced them to try once more. We sent them home to sleep promising to call and wake them in time.

The line behind grew by twos every few minutes. By dawn, the queue had lengthened around the corner of McAllister Street and was starting back toward Polk. A McDonald's opened two blocks up Van Ness. I got coffee, hash potato sticks and a chance to dry my knees under the hand dryer in the bathroom. Kay left her coffee with me to use the McDonald's bathroom too. And in the light we could finally see the people with whom we had been trading life stories. Asa, who on Friday had married his partner of 28 years, had returned to witness the marriage of his nephew, who had driven down from the Sierras. Sherry and Sharon, together for 11 years, had made the trip from Oregon. At dawn, the stories gained faces.

And the dawn brought something else: the support of people all around us. Suddenly we had more than the fellowship of those soggy people in line, but from commuters and passersby too. Cars and buses honked and the people inside them waved at us happily. A teenage girl on a bicycle rode by saying, "This is so great! This is so great!" People started coming by with Styrofoam cups and big cartons of Peet's coffee. Not just gay people, but straight people with children came by with bagels and doughnuts and biscotti. A beautiful little boy walked along the sidewalk with his mother giving out yellow roses. An SUV was parked at one corner dispensing juice and hot drinks. Breakfast and smiles and cheers. These people, who left their warm beds to support us, were genuinely happy. "Congratulations! A wedding breakfast! Good for you!" They beamed like proud family. It was still raining, but it wasn't cold.

I am a proud and reserved person. I constantly protect myself from the danger of condescending sentimentality. I carefully filter out the world's opinions and judgments. But these kindnesses broke my heart. I was frequently in tears.

At 8 o'clock, I was on one of my walks when I heard a City Hall worker announce to the people on McAllister that the first 200 people were going to be allowed in. She said that volunteers were arriving and would work as hard as possible to take in people as quickly as they could. We hadn't expected the doors to open until 10! I dashed back to my place in line, and it was already moving. I tried frantically to use my phone. My fingers were frozen as I punched in Greg's number. I missed a half-dozen times, trying to keep the phone under my hood, carry the umbrella, move the packs, keep in line. I hung up on someone named Jennifer. I got the screech of no such number three times. Finally, I heard Ben's voice. "The line's moving. Get here fast," I yelled. "We're in the car. We're on our way," he said.

I needn't have panicked. We rounded the corner onto Grove Street, but then the line stopped. And there we stayed again. Long after our friends found us. Long after we dressed ourselves in complete gowns of black plastic for warmth, long after we learned the names and lives of dozens of fellow travelers. Our line turtled its way, pair by pair. It took us until 11 o'clock to reach the warmth of City Hall.

Standing for six hours in the rain does something to one's resolve. It either deepens it or dissolves it. By the time we got inside and passed security, we were a cold, soaked, directed knot of determination. We would be married, and we would witness for each other. We lost an umbrella somewhere in line, but we never lost sight of each other.

It wasn't until I had peed, washed, changed and repacked that I was able to reestablish the context and reason for what we were doing. I drank a cup of water and remembered that somewhere in South Dakota there was a 13-year-old kid watching this on TV. No matter how the TV cameras searched for the bizarre and weird, they would have to include the ordinary among us, the mothers with their children, the overweight, the buff, those beautifully dressed in Filipino wedding shirts, and those who were left in their rain gear. That kid in South Dakota would see that ordinary people like the people in his neighborhood are gay, love each other and want to be married. That kid will see that there are options.

I was there for that kid. But I was also there because back in the 1950s I had been arrested helping to integrate restaurants in Sausalito and car dealerships in San Francisco. I was there because I have spent my career making my classrooms a place of safety, a place where bigotry is banned. I was there because I deeply believe that religion and civil rights must be separate. I was there because I honor my partnership. I was there because I want my grandchildren to be brave. And I was there because I'm so privileged to live now and here, where a whole city, the mayor, the workers, the people would allow -- no -- would support this grand act of theater and civil disobedience. I was there because it is right that I should marry. I was there because, no matter how this goes, something is changing. Once a child is born, you can't put him back. Once a person holds a piece of freedom, he's not giving it up. Not easily.

Ben said, "You know. Before I started this, I thought, Who needs such a thing as marriage. Now I know. I do. I need it." I want to tell you. The people who got married during this long weekend include lawyers and writers and doctors and teachers, many of them newly politicized. These people are not going to give up their marriages lightly. They are going to hold on. This is going to make a difference.

So the four of us dried ourselves with paper towels and joined a new line. Kay's tux jacket had gotten wet in the pack and smelled musty, like cleaning fluid. My soft blue sweater topped soaking pants. Greg's tan cashmere was moist. But we were slicked and ready and strangely emotional. Four lifetimes of witty repartee dropped to the tiled floor. Four once-ironic people were quiet. We were as wide-eyed and sincere as babies.

The volunteers took over. There must have been hundreds of them. They checked our papers for us. They helped us fill out forms. They walked our group of four from station to station. Each clerk congratulated
us with a giant grin. Each asked, "How long have you been together?" "Where are you from?" We could hear the answers from other groups. Fourteen years. Twenty-six years. Nine years. Nevada, San Anselmo, Sacramento, Seattle. I was grateful to each volunteer. "Thank you. This is so good of you," I said. Over and over, the person replied, "I couldn't do anything more important. This is the best day of my life. I'm so happy to be here." These people -- clerks, janitors, ministers, students -- gave their whole weekend, canceled trips and vacation, to be part of our grand event.

Each step was performed in a marvel of efficiency. Hundreds of
people, a constant crush, a huge swirling mass of humans, were moved from station to station by these wonderful volunteers, from form to license to the giant rotunda where each couple was met by a minister or deputy and taken to a spot for the ceremony. A flute and harp played. We were pulled from the line by our minister, a man who works at Stanford University with Ben. Our minister is the husband -- he calls himself the "lifetime partner" -- of Mabel Teng, the city's assessor and recorder, responsible for issuing the wedding permits and one of the great heroes of this day and of this event. He had been watching for us. He told Ben, "I was hoping to find you all weekend."

We were married at the top of the big marble steps. First Kay and I exchanged rings. I looked at my dearest one and promised trust and honor and loyalty, gifts long ago given freely, gifts openly given for decades. A gift here, finally, consecrated and witnessed. "I thee wed, partners for life." First Kay and I were married. Then Greg and Ben were married.

Partners for life.

We took pictures of each other with my wet camera, pictures that are all smeared by mist and movement. We filed our licenses and walked out of City Hall, through a gauntlet of tap dancers and loud applause. Outside, the steps and sidewalks and streets were filled with people, cheering each couple as they left. Through my tears, I saw a taxi going up McAllister. There was a sign on its side: "Free rides for newlyweds!"

Posted by raven at 10:59 AM | Comments (2)

February 26, 2004

Yom Kippur

Day of atonement. I realize that today is not, in fact, Yom Kippur. I am not trying to offend my Jewish reader base. Well, my reader base period. Do I even have a reader base??

Anyway, this is my day of atonement. Remember the hiatus I talked about? Well, when I took said hiatus, I fucked up a lot of things. Not intentionally, mind you, but yet, I still fucked them up. So now, I am stoning for my sins, so to speak, and hoping for forgiveness.

Jon Stewart talked about it once. "Yom Kippur. The Jewish day of atonement. You don't eat for one day, and all your sins for an entire year are wiped clean. Beat that with your silly little Lent. Even in sin you're paying retail. Bargain with the man!"

Which as of yesterday, it is Lent. It probably would have made more sense for me to have titled the post that way...being raised Catholic and all. Then again, I am not practicing anything at the moment...just trying to find my path. So, ultimately, the title and the timing aren't what is important. I'm really just trying to focus on fixing my fuck-ups, er, uh, sins. Slowly mending the fences as it were. Or tearing them down. Yeah, that makes more sense. See, I went on hiatus rather unexpectedly, hence the fucking up. Then I was too ashamed to face my failures, and became a virtual hermit. The actor in me made every appearance of being a normal functioning member of society. The reality was that I was holed up in a cabin in the woods

So here I am, atoning. If you are reading this, and I have somehow wronged you, I am sorry. I will right it. For you see, I have discovered it is too hard to care about others, when you are too busy not caring about yourself.

Beat that with your silly little Lent. My therapist would be so proud.

Posted by raven at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2004

What a busy day

Sigh...I just remembered reading the above titled book as a child. My sister thought I was so adorable, she tape recorded me reading it in my little voice (which at that time, was also able to accurately reproduce ET's voice...frightening). She then proceeded to pretend to be a reporter interviewing me. I don't remember much, except that when describing her, I said she was kind of short and stubby. She may be short, but she sure ain't stubby. I knew that at the time, yet somehow thought it was a cool thing to say.

The last few days have been full of excitement...well, at least for me. You see, I have been on hiatus for the last year-and-a-half or so. I don't mean just from one thing...from life. I am finally stepping back in....getting a feel for things...seeing if I want to pick it up full time again.

Friday, my day off. I actually showered, got dressed, and left the house. You see, if it weren't for work, I would lie in bed all the time. My wardrobe would only consist of Pajamas...nice pajamas. I left the house, acting on my own free will, and went to the bank and the grocery store. I couldn't tell you the last time I went to the bank before this. I've been to the grocery store, but only if G takes me...and he sort of has to force me to go...and I wear my pajamas.

Saturday, G was geeking around, so I joined my friend LaLa for some scrapbooking. I already know what you are thinking...no, I am not a soccer mom with too much time on her hands. I always thought scrapbooking was either for kids who ate paste, or for dorky soccer moms. I thought scrapbook pages were frou-frou things covered with stickers, and pre-fab letters....nothing an artist like myself would ever consider doing. Then I realized, that like every other stinking thing I do...I don't have to follow what everyone else does. So, I have finally started a scrapbook. I started with the trip I took to jolly old England in 1997. I realize that I can make it me. Anyway, we were at the scrapbooking lady's home...and she was hawking her scrapbooking tools. Some of which I did need (not only for scrapbooking, but for other artsy functions) and some I chose to ignore (like letter stickers). Despite having been chided previously for including things like airline tickets and other non-archival quality things, I did it anyway. After all, it may be selfish of me, but this scrapbook is for me, for now. If anyone else is into it, cool...but I don't feel the need to force my memories on anyone else. Anyway, I was very scrapbookish...though I felt outclassed. I do need to get more scrapbook equipped, but I will never be a scrapbooking lady with the scary rolling tote. That's just going too far.

**Ed note. I am not intending to offend any soccer moms, letter-sticker-users, or rolling tote people, or imply that any of these things are in any way related. If that's your thang...that's cool...it just ain't mine. And I am perfectly content to co-exist with you, for our differences make us interesting**

After spending the night at Las, I left for home. In my pajamas. My halloween pajamas. I proceeded to get gas, in white-bread suburbia, which required me to go into the convenience store to pay, in my screaming orange Halloween pants. It was oddly satisfying.

Somewhere in there, I cleaned my closet. I actually put some shoes in the yard sale box, along with some clothes. I found things that I forgot I owned, and remembered that I should wear some things that were hiding in back. I also discovered that I can wear my favorite jeans again, and am close to getting into those last three pairs of skinny pants. It was satisfying.

Of course, cleaning the closet made room for the bargains I found on Monday! At K-mart, I found super cute Mary-jane-athletic-mules. The were $3. I bought a pair in red. I found them comfy...I shall return tomorrow to buy a pair in black, and one in Brown. The red ones match lots of my pajama pants, and I look forward to wearing the shoes with pajamas and cropped pants all summer long.

Last night, I auditioned for the first time in I don't know how long. I was terrified, and as usual before an audition, I talked myself out of it, then back in several times. However, I spiffed myself up, and with G dropping me off at the door, I went for it. Fortunately, I ran into a friend, which helped. And despite auditioning with a man who could have been in Waiting for Guffman (he was nice), I thought I did okay. Today consisted of me trying not to vomit from the anxiety of waiting for a callback...but alas, the phone didn't ring. (well, it did...but it was mostly telemarketers and bill collectors, but that doesn't count).

Oh well, that's life. I think I might do this life thing full time.

Posted by raven at 10:16 PM | Comments (2)

February 23, 2004

...and...I've got nothing...

So, I discovered a couple of new blogs within the last few days. Part of me is excited...new blogs to read...some of them even belong to friends, it's almost like my old days of journaling! But the more I read, the less my blog measures up. No artsy photographs. No witty writing. I've got nothing. When I used to journal, pretty much everyone was at least as mundane as I...but alas, no more. It's like high school, and I'm the oddball. Only this time I care. I wanna be one of the cool kids now. The mysterious cool kid, the one that no one knows why is cool, but somehow is.

Sigh.

Posted by raven at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2004

It's Friday already???

Just a little Friday Five action on this lazy day...

1) When was the last time you went to the doctor? Hmmm...I really should remember this. I do not know the date, but it was to see my psychologist...and it was sometime early spring of last year. I had to go before our insurance changed and stopped covering such things.

2) When was the last time you went to the dentist? Almost exactly five years ago. Yes, I know I should call 1-800-dentist. But, our insurance sucks, and I brush and floss everyday, so there.

3) When was the last time you filled your gas tank? I don't know. I only put in $5-$10 at a time, because I never have more cash than that on me. I know it's a waste of time, but since I don't put many miles on my car, it's not a huge waste of time.

4) When was the last time you got enough sleep? Last night. Unfortunately, I have a cold that is fighting to take over my body, so I still feel sleepy.

5) When was the last time you backed up your computer? Technically they belong to G so you'd have to ask him.

Posted by raven at 09:00 PM | Comments (1)

February 18, 2004

I am getting sleepy...very sleepy...

So sleepy that i can't come up with some sort of bloggish saying...sad isn't it?

As the queen of procrastination, I have been putting off the daily posts that I think of every day...and now they have been forgotten. So, I guess I will backtrack to Friday the 13th *cue ominous music*...I actually had the day off, and as usual, did squat. Man, I am good at that. A friend I work with (fellow actor also) told me about a Valentine's related show she and her boy were doing a scene in. It was called "Love Bites" and was various scenes of love gone sour. Also, BIL was in it. So, we went. I dressed festively, in my red and black vinyl corset, a long black skirt, and my red platform boots, and even used a curling iron in my hair (I should mention that I have straight hair. Maybe it's mean, but I laugh at people who spend money on having someone straighten their hair to be stylish...since no matter what I do...my hair be straight. In the eighth grade, I got a perm. three hours of rolling my hair, two bottles of solution, my hair was straight within about two weeks. Even stylists marvel at my hairs inability to hold curl) to be extra festive, in an attempt to get some sort of cute flip in my hair (and it looked cute, for at least five minutes). Anyway, we went to the show...some people were good, some not so much, but it was enjoyable...and more importantly it was followed by a partay! We paid our five bucks for a cup to drink beer. I know beer isn't on the plan, but dagnamit, I wanted to party! The apartment hosting said party was three levels, the first of which seemed like a tiny little club. I knew a total of three people at the party, so I mainly chatted with them. My friend and I danced to some great industrial/goth music...and even some other fun music. And, if I do say so myself, we were hot. Later some other friends showed up, and we had a great time. G & I stayed until 3:30 in the morning! I was very proud of us. It was as though we were young & fun! Imagine!

Saturday, we slept in. We were tired. We did go to Olive Garden at about 4. I wore my traditional V-day dress (a red/white striped waitress-style dress, with a red satin collar, and red satin heart, white fishnets and white go-go boots)...we were quoted a half hour wait...so we went to the bar to have an appetizer (we were STARVING) . It didn't take very long to get seated, and man, did I eat way too much. The appetizer (which could have been called coronary on a platter) was fried calamari, fried mozzarella, and fried zucchini. We had breadsticks, salad, pasta, and dessert (tiramisu, and chocolate lasagna). I even had a glass of wine (which was Riunite Lambrusco. So cheap, but so good)...I figured if I was going to be naughty, I might as well do it whole-heartedly. We also exchanged gifts. I got my DVD! We decided to nix going to a movie after, because it was a)Saturday b)V-day 3) We just didn't want to deal with a & b. So, we went home. So we aren't so young and adventurous after all.

Sunday we cleaned. We got rid of a lot of stuff. However, I feel like I am battling the hydra. Every limb I cut off, two more grow back (that's the hydra, right? something like that?). We have a long way to go, but G did lots of stuff to help the cleaning, and I appreciate it. I only hope that when it comes time to sell out cast-offs at a yard sale, people buy them.

After that, it's a whole lotta blah, blah, blah...so I'll spare you. Til next time, hope it's as sunny there as it is here.

Posted by raven at 06:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2004

Just another manic Friday...

Makes me wish it was sunday...whoahawhoa...that's my blogday....

Okay, today isn't so much manic as it is lazy. I had big plans for last night, but instead I just crashed. Today, G is ill...so he's been sleeping all day. he had a doc appointment yesterday, and they attempted to take blood, and he hasn't felt well since. Anyway, doesn't help so much with my motivation.

I made a list yesterday of all the things I wanted to get done, and I haven't started that yet. It's twenty minutes after two. We are planning to go to this show tonight (we have friends performing in it, and it's a v-day fundraiser),which isn't unitl 8pm, thankfully. Anyway, I have lots to do. I mentioned yesterday that our place is a sty. It seems to continue to get worse instead of better.

I have a PILE of laundry that's taking over our bathroom. And I want to have our bedroom clean by the end of the weekend. It will be tough with the lump in the bed, but it's possible...I just need some motivation..isn't that just the story of my life??

Posted by raven at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2004

So no one told you life was gonna be this way....

...your blog's a joke, you're broke...

So last weekend we saw Kill Bill: Volume one. This was a seriously excellent film, definitely one of Tarantino's best acheivements. It spurred a sort of Tarantino lovefest for us, as we rented Jackie Brown the next night. I had never seen it (blasphemy, I know!). I liked it, but definitely not his best. It could be that it was based on an Elmore Leonard novel, it seemed a lot like The Big Bounce in that it moved really slowly, then everything got revealed at once. It should have been paced more quickly, which I know Quentin is capable of. I am dissappointed that Kill Bill isn't up for more Oscar action.

Which leads me to say, I love Uma Thurman. She's on my Lesbian/threesome list (to be further explained in a later post)...she's talented, drop-dead gorgeous, and she depresses me. I was thinking about it after seeing her kick major ass in KB (I'm just too lazy to type the whole thing again)...I will never be as good looking as she is, but I am totally capable of being a great actor. However,I am wayyyy fucking behind. I realized that she made Pulp Fiction when she was 23/24. It was not her first movie. She'd already been in some fantastic films prior to that. I'm 25. I have done community theatre. I work in a coffee shop. I have 20 pounds to lose. It doesn't help that every time I look up someone whose work I admire, I find that they are either younger than I am currently, or by the time they were my age, they already had a sizable body of work. I'm not older than dirt yet, but I certainoly ain't getting younger. I know I need to buckle down and make something happen, and fast. If you would have asked me where I'd be in five years, five years ago...it wouldn't be here.

Right now, I am struggling with a dillemma. Do I do whatever I can to put a roof over G's and my heads (not including anything that would sacrifice my personal beliefs), and focus on doing work that is important to me? The whole reason that I love acting/performing is for the effect it has on people. Because it is a way to put out important messages, make people think, make them feel...It makes me think about new situations, makes me learn...I like the creative process, putting together a piece of art...in live theatre I love the energy exchange...I long to create a piece like one of the many that has shaped the way I think/feel/live...anyway, do I do that, and figure that eventually the projects I take will progress into something big? That eventually the acting can pay my bills?

Or do I ditch the idea of a day job, and just take any acting gig that comes my way, regardless of what it is (not including porn) and hope that some of the work will be good stuff...that somehow doing the crap acting gigs will lead to doing important things...

I thought that by now I would know what I want to do with my life. Instead I question it all...I feel like no matter what I do, it will not be important enough. I long to leave the earth a better place than it was before I arrived, but is that too tall an order? Damn...Iknow that I will do whatever I am meant to do...I just wish I knew what that was.

Posted by raven at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2004

One hump, or two?

A blog written in fear is a blog half written....

Happy Wednesday all!

So I have been feeling tired. I was thinking it was just me, but it seems everyone is a little sleepier than usual. Maybe it's the beautiful grey weather we are currently enjoying here. Don't get me wrong, outside of clearing my car of it each morning, the snow is beautiful. However, I don't like the dismal skies that accompany the snowfall. I also don't like that all my driving pet peeves seem to be multiplied in the snow, for instance people driving without their lights on in said dismal greyness and snowfall. Oh well, the ground hog said 6 more weeks of winter, and that was already over a week ago, so we are in the home stretch, right?

So, in cleaning the sty (and I mean this literally. When I say the place is a mess, I mean it...not like I used to say when the place was what most people call clean.) G and I found a Sears gift card from our wedding. We discovered it had a nearly $70 balance, and expired today. So, I finally got a scale, with a body fat calculator no less. We were hoping to put it towards an A/V receiver, or an area rug we saw there, but they no longer carry either item. So, I got to get two pairs of shoes to go with the new scale. Yay! I love new shoes. One pair is a chunky black Mary Jane, which will actually replace a pair I had to throw away (I had them for nearly 10 years, paid $5 for them, and they hung in that whole time) when the buckle fell off the right shoe. That was a year ago they passed, so I am happy to get this pair. The other pair is sort of a burgundy/brown T-strap MJ, that is also chunky. I found a cute pair of brown boots, but they had tons of them, so I just stuck with the MJs and firgured I would watch for the boots to be marked down more. I suppose we could have gotten something more useful, but we couldn't find anything to aid our current state of dissarray. Anyway, I look forward to wearing a new pair of shoes to work tomorrow!

As for the scale, I can now track my diet progress a little better. Even if the pounds don't drop so quickly, I hope I can make a sizeable dent in my body fat percentage. I'm down 10.5 pounds from starting the SBD. Yay! I am hoping once I get my wokrout space in usable condition, that will aid the loss of fat. I am well on my way to being a good trophy wife to G in time for his class reunion this June. i am even perfecting my trophy wife act, which resembles Juliette Lewis in Old School.

So, the big V-day is coming up. We are probably going to Olive Garden for an early dinner (to hopefully beat the crowds) and to a matinee film. I decided in advance the the diet will be abandoned for the weekend, and I will go to phase one on Monday, for a week. I am too excited to eat those nummy breadsticks, and pasta, and nummy dessert, and wine. I got something neat (I think) for G, so I hope he likes it. I would love to get him something really spectacular, but we be po. In a dream world, he would get me a pair of 1/2 carat tw stud earrings, or a 3 diamond ring, or a 3 diamond pendant (hmmm...is there a theme here??)...or a certain DVD set I may or may not be addicted to or a pair of dragon shoes that cost what I make in two weeks. However, I accept the reality, and would be thrilled with just about anything. Of course if that something were a chococat pill box, or a leather strap charm bracelet...all the better ;)

So I was telling G the other day, that my dear friend LaLa and I are like Dharma & Jane from Dharma and Greg or Grace & Karen from Will and Grace. Well, the first would be because of our strong resemblance, both in looks and the way we act. Las looks just like Jenna Elfman, and she is very free-spirited like Dharma. The latter is because we are a lot like them too. She is the tall one, with quirks, and I am the shorter one with big boobs and a drinking problem (that last part is mostly tongue in cheek!). Anyhoo, we were watching Will & Grace last night, and I pointed out to G that the episode was just like Las and me. Except Las would never pull anything out of the hamper to wear. Ewww. Of course, G is either Chandler from Friends, or JD from Scrubs. Etiher of those could be G. In fact, whenever we are watching either of those two shows, I am constantly looking at G, because those characters are constantly doing or saying things that could easily be said or done by G. So, if you have seen any of these shows....you practically know us.

I had lots of fantastic things I was going to write all about...but I don't have access to a computah at work...and I forgot them between then and now...so this will have to do. I promise I will be more endearing next time.

Posted by raven at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2004

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, no good, very bad day

Here comes the blog...

Remember when I said this week would be better? Not so much. It started with the snow Sunday and Monday. Apparently it was trying to make up for lost time. Monday, it took my almost 40 minutes to get to work. I live about 2 and a half miles from work. Tuesday, I blew a tire on my way to work. I made the decision to just drive the rest of the way, since every towing company in town was way behind schedule due to all the snow. After work, I went across the street to the tire place, and told them to put some tires on my car (my car needed tires anyway, I think this was a sign), and to check the battery while they were at it. So, Wednesday afternoon, close to $500 later, my car had new tires and battery. Outside of the dent on the back, she's practically like new.

Fortunately, my Dad told me that he would buy me tires for Christmas. (talk about a fun gift!!). So, G called them to tell them the cost of said gift. My 'rents were thrilled that I was finally getting new tires. They no longer had to worry about me driving on the old tires. I conveniently neglected to mention blowing of said tire.

I got home from picking up my car, and realized that I left my set of keys with a house key at the tire place. So, I got to go back, then come back home again...yay! It was fun to drive in the by-that-time-rush-hour traffic. Then to top it all off we didn't find the medallion (see yesterday's post). So, I went to bed at 5 Thursday (and by 5, I don't mean I was up all night...I mean the news wasn't on yet). I woke up about 9, and got up at 11 Friday morning. That's a lot of sleep. And, I be sore. I guess several hours of climbing and digging in the snow will do that to someone who hasn't worked out since, well, hmmm...last, no wait, umm...okay, so I don't remember the last time. On the bright side, I think G managed to tape must-see TV for me Thursday, I had Friday off, and G found a theater (I use that word loosely) showing Kill Bill: Volume One . The theatre was skanky, but hey, we got to see it.

Today was a whole lot of suckage. I got to work yet again. Now, back in the day, we had someone who opened the shop every day, prior to going to her day job, and she worked Saturdays. She moved away, and the manager asked me if I would mind being on a Saturday rotation. It was put to me that there would be four people on said rotation, so that I would be working only one Saturday a month, maybe two if someone needed a day off. I talked to my main co-worker, we thought that wasn't a bad deal. Well, apparently by four people, she meant two. And by one Saturday, she meant more. Now, my main co-worker is in France until April. The person hired to replace her doesn't want to work weekends (which to me, that should have been a requirement of whoever was hired, but the hiring process at this place is sketchy at best). So, I get to work them. Lots of them. Including today. Well, it started with the Saturday regulars, which is a large group of people that meet there every Saturday. There's one that I don't know if she was buddies with the owners/management before, or if that resulted from sheer volume of coffee consumption. Anyhoo, she always finds some random thing to complain about, usually something that is fine, but I think she likes to bitch. One of the women brings her two boys, who spilled their drink all over, and they neglected to tell me this until they left. Bah. As my shift progresses, I start to feel shittier, and shittier. My head was throbbing, my stomach was pukey, I could barely stand up. My job is not such that I can leave if I feel crappy, or if I nearly wretch on someone, so I just hoped that as the clock ticked 12:30, I would be nearly done with my closing routine, and be able to boogie out the door. Nope. Apparently hours of operation mean nothing to people. Nor does, "I'm sorry that's the last sandwich. We are getting ready to close so we are low on everything." I had a family...at least maybe they were a family, they all sat together, but ordered and paid one at a time, with a rude little girl, come in right about close to chill. Then two older ladies, one of whom brought her own beverage, came just after we closed (unfortunately I can't lock doors if anyone is in the store due to fire codes). So, G comes to pick me up, I put him to work helping me close, but there is only so much we can do, with a herd of people chillin' without a care. Turning off the neon open signs, cleaning tables, pulling things from the condiment table...none of this worked. Finally everyone left half-an-hour after we closed. I wish I could do like they do at Target and shut off all the lights and basically say, get the hell out at the stroke of closing, but my bosses frown upon that.

well, enough of my whining...this week has got to be better. For real this time.

Posted by raven at 03:50 PM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2004

Medallion, Schmedallion...

I blog, therefore I am.

I was all set to write my bizarre Winter Carnival experience yesterday, but I was le tired. Hence, I came home from work, I saw the bed, and I crashed.

So, here I backtrack.

As you may or may not know, G and I are medallion hunt junkies. Every year, we hunt, some more than others. Last year, we didn't give it our all, as we hadn't gotten buttons in time to register them. For those unfamiliar with the hunt, someone hides the official Winter Carnival Medallion somewhere in Ramsey county, MN prior to the start of the Winter Carnival. Then, The Pioneer Press publishes a clue each day for 12 days, each of which should bring one closer to the medallion. If you find said medallion, you win $2500. If you also have clipped all of the clues from the paper, you get an additional $2500. If you have a registered button, you get another $5000. So, there is a possible $10K at stake.

This year we were ready. We had registered buttons. We faithfully clipped the clues from each days Pioneer Press. We thought about the clues, deciphered them. For once, some of the useless trivia ratting around in my head became useful. On the night of Day 10/morning of Day 11, G went to Phalen Park after getting the latest clue. He had a gut feeling of where it was. However, he did not prepare himself by bringing a rake and shovel to dig around in the snow and mass of leaves in the hiding place (a wildflower patch). So, on Day 11, he picked me up from work. We bundled up...we could have been Columbia poster children. We had all of the clues stapled together and in G's hidden pocket. We had a pitchfork and rake, and a Maglite. We were ready. We headed to Phalen, and arrived just after 6. There were a lot of people there, but according to G, not as many as the previous night. We started at the spot he believed to be the hiding spot. We looked for a while there, then did some other exploring of the park. Eventually, we were starving, and decided to take a warm-up/food break, and come of with a plan of attack. At Perkins, we determined that the medallion must be in the Wildflower patch, we were just on the wrong side of the hill.

We went back to the park, which was packed at this point, many people awaiting a call from a loved one to get the last clue. We went to the Wildflower patch, we went to the other side of its' hill, and starting sifting through the mass of snow and leaves. After a bit, I noticed that everyone in the park had started moving. I asked G if we should follow them, though we weren't sure where they were going. However, within moments, it was clear. They were coming to us. Within a few minutes, we were surrounded. It was like being in an outdoor moshpit, only everyone had shovels, flashlights and pitchforks. Some were better equipped than others. All were hoping that luck was on their side. The whole thing was very surreal. As the search progressed, many were discouraged and left. They were either too cold, too frustrated, or believed the medallion was found.

At 2:15 AM, I realized I could no longer feel my toes, and felt we should warm up in the car. The hillside that at the start of the night had between 1-2' of snowfall, with drifts around 3' was bare of snow. It had worked its way to the bottom where there were a few die hards still digging. Unfortunately, once we were in our car, we noticed how filthy we were, how cold, and how tired. Apparently about 6-7 hours of digging in the snow will do that to a person. We made a decision to go home, clean up, nap, if it hadn't been found, we would head over before work for one last sweep. Unfortunately, getting to bed at 3:30 doesn't make that easy. I arrived at work about * to hear that the medallion had just been turned in. I wouldn't be bitter, if they had been out there freezing just like everyone else, and if they would have bothered to register a stinking button!! Last year, the people that found it had their shit together...and as I said we didn't, hence we didn't put that much effort in. I was happy for those guys. In previous years, the people that found it were rarely prepared. Oh well, next year, it's all about us. We learned a lot through this years hunt. And, I'll admit it was a rush just to be hunting. Oh, and the medallion was supposed to be hidden in a donut. They used a REAL donut...WTF?? So, when the couple found it, there was just the medallion....no donut. No wonder it was so stinking hard.

All in all, I guess we were miserable failures.

Posted by raven at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2004

The TMI Post

I'm bloggin' on up (bloggin' on up) To the east side (to the east side) To a de-luxe computah, in the sky-yi-yi-yi...

So, there it is...you were waiting for the juice...here it is. Actually there's probably more juice than you want, but if you like-a the juice, the juice is good...lemme get you the juice (accompanied by a side of whining...or is that the other way around???)

So let's backtrack shall we? I had that delightful copper detox nearly two weeks ago. I can't say for sure, but that may be where it all started. The week from hell, that is. What you need to know for this first part of the story (and subsequent portions) is that I am on the pill. While I like babies...no babies for me. At least not for 5-10 years. Maybe more. Before the pill, my aunt Flo was a beeee-yatch, always showing up when I least would expect it, she was abusive.... But since the pill, my Aunt Flo, always arrives on Thursday. She starts packing Sunday morning, and is gone by Monday morning...unless she leaves her make-up bag, but I return it to her, and she's fully away by Monday night. Only comes once a month, she can get grouchy, but for the most part, we have come to an agreement. However, last Saturday, I am exhausted, and starving. This usually is not the case unless AF is on her way into town. But, since it's Saturday, I don't even think anything of the kind. But, come Sunday morning, there she is, standing on the doorstep, with every bag she owns. This does not please me. She stays until Wednesday. I think she's on the plane, but apparently not, because she surprises me again at work on Thursday.

Now I could deal with this...really I could. Because after all, better to have her early than not at all...heck, I'll take her second visit. But, here in the arctic where I have chosen to settle for the time being, it be cold. Have you seen Fight Club? I am in Jack's power cave. They had to close the Ice Palace...yes, it was too bloody cold for an Ice-fucking-palace!! My car hates the arctic, and so she likes to not start. Lucky G gets to jump her every morning. It's a special bond they share. I get to go to work, in the lovely little coffee house, where hardly anyone wants to stop. They don't care how hot the coffee is, only how cold it is outside. This, however, is mundane. come Thursday morning, we wake up...G goes to take his shower in the duck bathroom. (this is the bathroom attached to our room...it is decorated in rubber ducks. As opposed to the pretty bathroom...which is, well, pretty)....and the floor is covered in blood. Not pure blood, but bloody pee. We suspect it is from a cat, namely a tiny cat named Ziggie. Since we have three cats, we isolate them (they LOVE this), G makes a vet appointment, and we head to work. Throughout the course of the day (this would be when my darling Aunt surprised me), we confirm the leaver of the bloody pee. I rush home after work, gather up the sick kittie, and go out to my car, which I left for five minutes.

It won't start. So, I call G...and long story short, he has to get me, take me to the vet with the cat, and try to get to school. They had to keep him (Ziggie, not G) for a few hours to get a sample...but fortunately, he will be okay. He has a bladder infection, and crystals in his urine. We really didn't need the vet bill on top of everything, but darn it if we don't love our little furballs. He gets to eat special food, and G gets to give him antibiotics (which he LOVES). He is pretty pissy right now...but all should be well.

Plus, this is the official start of a new week, so it has to get better...doesn't it??

Posted by raven at 02:09 PM | Comments (1)