Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Dolls from hell

Spooky: Someone is selling an interesting collection of haunted dolls on eBay. I can't tell if it's real or just bad fiction writing to try and get more for the dolls.

"You are bidding on part of a collection assembled by my great uncle...
This beautiful doll belonged to a girl named Loretta. Loretta
suffered from severe epilepsy. She insisted that she could avoid seizures by
keeping this doll, which she called, “Molly Malone”, close by her

Curiously, Loretta claimed that she could see the future
during her epileptic fits. She correctly predicted the pregnancy of her sister
and the death of her grandmother. In her most recent grand mal seizure, she had
seen signs that her own death was approaching. She was not sure whether her
premonition indicated that her death would result from a seizure or from an
upcoming surgical procedure to separate the two hemispheres of her

In the weeks before her surgery, Loretta began to let it be
known that she did not want the surgery. After thoroughly questioning the girl,
Loretta’s mother determined that Loretta didn’t want to be separated from Molly
Malone; that’s why she had begun to resist the idea of the surgery. Her mother
assured her that she would see to it that Molly Malone was allowed to accompany
her into surgery.

The day of the operation came. Loretta and Molly
Malone were wheeled to the operating room. After Loretta was under anesthesia,
the surgeon began the grueling procedure. Within five minutes the surgeon
requested that Molly Malone be taken to the recovery room. He had tried to work
around the doll and wicker chair, but the two items were just too big to
navigate safely.

Loretta didn’t make it through the surgery. She
had a seizure and died on the operating table.

It is said that
people staying in the same house as this doll have fallen to the floor in
seizure-like fits. Some reported having premonitions while they were in the
seizure-like state. In every case, the premonitions later came true…"

Weird and funny stuff. Gave me a chill reading it. What I can't explain is why I'm up after midnight looking through random eBay listings. I think I'm going through one of those acquiring moods--I just want to get stuff. My timing is good, except that I'm supposed to be buying stuff for other people. I don't mind buying stuff for other people--I enjoy it even--but it interferes with the aforementioned acquiring mood. What I want right now is the satisfaction of something new: in my closet, on my feet or on my daughter. Something I can catch out of the corner of my eye and wonder, for a moment, what it is. And I know I'm not going to find it on eBay, but there's just so much goddamn stuff to look at.

I don't know. You go through these moods where you just crave something different. Baby steps of change. The odd part is that it isn't a really wholly satisfying feeling, but then, my consumerism is not my religion.

This was a pretty random post.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


My breasts are starting to shrink up. Is that a shocking first sentence? It’s no surprise to me, as I have been expecting it to happen eventually. Zoey and I have cut way back on nursing, although we haven’t weaned completely yet. Still, it’s enough to create a notable difference in my bosom. Yesterday I actually wore a non-maternity bra—more than that, it was a lovely, feminine black satin thing. Also, it’s a size smaller than what I’ve been wearing for the past two years. Of course, they’re sagging too. Oh well, there goes my porn career. (Wait, scratch that, it seems like they’ll take anyone in porn.) (Not that I would know.)

Oh, what you pregnant-types have to look forward to!

I’ve put a collection of photos taken while driving to and from various places and put them in a Yahoo photo book. If you get a chance, look at them in a slideshow while playing some good road music (of your choice), and you can pretend you’re traveling home to see your family for Thanksgiving.

Have a good holiday! Here's today's photo:

I took this picture at sunset yesterday. There was a rather violent storm heading our way, but the storm was still a few hours off. I thought the picture kept nicely with today's boobie topic. Cheers.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

tunes for toddlers

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. It's been hard to find the time/ideas to write about. Sometimes you just don't have that much to say.

I’ve been trying to take in some new music lately: The Magnetic Fields, Broken Social Scene and The New Pornographers. So far my favorite is the New Pornographers and their poppy melodies. It’s free and easy fun. I hadn’t spent much time looking for new music in the last few years or so, but lately I’ve been so inundated with toddler music I think it’s inspired me to ingest more for myself. And I mean inundated. Zoey has two CDs that she adores and wants to listen to over and over again. Sometimes it is a specific song. A lot is said about the shortness of the toddler attention span, but when they love something, they can really do it into the ground.

One of the albums is actually pretty good: “Sesame Street Platinum.” It’s basically their greatest hits, and as sentimentally beautiful to you as it is entertaining and danceable for your kid. I highly recommend this CD to all you baby-types out there (at this point basically everyone except the Sweeney’s….). It has all the classics: “The People in Your Neighborhood,” “Rubber Duckie,” “It’s not easy being green,” and many, many more! (Imagine high-pitched sales voice.) Plus, there’s a lot of more recent Sesame Street songs that are fantastic, like “I don’t want to live on the moon,” sung by a plaintive and homesick Ernie; Oscar celebrates in “I Love Trash;” and Bert turns in the performance of a lifetime on his “Doin’ the Pigeon.” It’s extremely listenable, which is good because at my house we listen to this CD over and over and over again.

Zoey’s other favorite is, hmmm, not so good from an adult perspective. It’s a three CD set called “Tunes for Toddlers” that I picked up on a rack near the check-out counter at Marshall’s for about $6.99. There are about a hundred songs, mostly classic children’s ditties and nursery rhymes like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” “Jack Sprat”—he of the no-fat eating lifestyle, while his wife could eat no lean (porker alert!). Between the two of them they licked the platter clean, and then took turns with the Milk of Magnesia. These are sung either by a well-trained woman’s voice or a chorus of British kids. It just doesn’t really rock, ya know? Zoey’s favorite is “Skip to My Lou,” and again, she must hear it over and over and over and over again. Unfortunately, our stereo doesn’t have a repeat song button, so one must be interactive. But then, she makes you dance with her, so you really can’t do anything else anyway.

Zoey dancing…it’s a sight to behold. She doesn’t dance like you would expect most babies to dance. Olivia was over the other day and she danced like a proper toddler, bouncing at the knees vaguely to the beat of the music. It was cute. Zoey on the other hand walks intensely in a circle, like she’s a one-baby mosh pit, sometimes shaking her doll violently to the beat. I’m afraid that this means she’ll grow up and become some kind of self-loathing skinhead like the kid Paul who used to live next door to me on Barkdull. He was a half-Mexican skinhead whose friends would regularly scream “White Power” while they hung out at his apartment every weekend night. It was awkward.

Anyway, she’ll dance for hours. I have lots of video on this and I’m hoping to edit together some examples to share with you guys at some point. It takes time, though, so bear with me.

I love that she loves music, though, and would much rather her listen to cheesy nursery rhymes than watch lots of TV. I’m sure she’s destined to be a rock star…or at least, really into music, when she gets older. She’s already learned how to crank it up. Literally, she turns the volume way, way up. I have to tell her to turn it down (because I’m too old). But really, only Zoey wants to hear “Skip to my Lou” at 11. We play a fun game (fun for me) where she turns it up and I use the remote to turn it back down, which confuses her, so she turns it up more. At some point, I turn it way down, so when she turns the knob upward we end up at a compromise.

I wonder sometimes if the neighbors just think we’re jamming to some Tejano, because the bass line of the song is remarkably similar to a polka.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Before I forget

First go here, then go here, and finally here.

I think people are prettier on the first two sites....

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Fun with Next Blog

I've spent the past 30 minutes entertaining myself with the "Next Blog" button on the top right hand of your screen. It sends you to a random blogger blog. Some random thoughts:
  1. I'm amazed at the work some people have put into the look of their blog. It inspires me to work on my own design, though I have no idea what I really want it to look like.
  2. There are blogs from all over the world. I came across ones from Canada, Norway, Israel, India and Singapore.
  3. People are obsessed with lots of random things. I found one that focused entirely on knives. (Sorry, I forgot which one that was.) There was one dedicated to Sony products, one on Manga (Japanese graphic novels), privacy law, Joss Stone, etc.
  4. Spammers use blogger! They all look the same, which makes me think they're computer generated. Some random names blog (http://pamelacarmel1727.blogspot.com) and the text is all "buy ritalin" or "big tits." Why? It would suck if my name was Pamela Carmel and I had a blog, but people kept accidently going to the ritalin blog. Or a porn blog.
  5. Lots of college students blog. I would have blogged in college if it was around. Instead, I kept a journal. How quaint.
  6. I think the spammers use the blogs so they'll come up in search engines.
  7. Hmmm, just tested that theory by googling my name to see if my blog came up. Nope. Just a bunch of random stuff from foreign sites (apparently, the press photographers pool that covers the pope is called the "Mari Pool"). There was only one entry on the first page that references me. I'm just a drop in the bucket.
  8. This blog is interesting. It's from a girl who lives in Mosul, Iraq. Oops, sorry, forgot to get the url. Here it is: http://astarfrommosul.blogspot.com/
  9. People post cataloges on blogger. http://buyfloweronline.blogspot.com/ http://cheapautoinsurance.blogspot.com/
  10. Just go to this one. It's the best one. http://bluangelevolyou.blogspot.com/

Okay, that's it for now. I have to go pick up Zoey from the grandfolks.

Friday, November 12, 2004

I've read a couple of articles this morning on "votergate," and they've gotten me to thinking. Even though I'm not particularly sad that Kerry got defeated--I'm of the mind that Bush made his bed and now he needs to lie in it, a la Nixon in 1972--I did get a little upset at the article in the Chronicle, "The Swift Rise and Fall of Votergate." (link: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/2897192). This article basically states that despite attempts in the blogworld to make a story out of it, there's really nothing there. But from my reading, there's plenty. And the biggest issue, in my mind, is there's enough evidence to warrant a complete rejection of electronic voting as we now use it. We're choosing the leaders of the free world, dammit! This is important stuff.

There are far too many instances of machine instability and unreliability. My concern is not so much that the machines can be hacked, but that they are generally unreliable due to internal errors and software glitches. Computers are not problem free machines. They never will be. That's why there are hundreds of thousands people out there who get paid to fix them. So who's fixing the voting machines? It's like no one really cares that these are flawed machines.

Perhaps this election was not illicit, but that certainly doesn't mean that future ones won't be. Too many people out there pride themselves into thinking they can get away with things...

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Geeks love Guided by Voices

Well, Trey’s back in Pueblo for a little while, hopefully just a little while. It looks like Albuquerque is next, which should be fun, and very close to Theresa. I’d like to experience some kind of winter, even if just to be able to bitch about it.

I took him to the airport yesterday, seemingly an easy enough task, only I had to drive there and back twice because he left his keys on the counter. Wouldn’t have discovered this mistake except for the fact that he was pulled out of the security line and searched. (The official term is apparently POW—person one way, which is an automatic search.) He then accused the transportation security experts of losing his keys. Heh heh, he felt a little sheepish later on. It was a painful and frustrating experience, but better than going to Colorado and being left on the doorstep to your apartment unable to get inside. Colorado’s pretty cold at night, these days. Also, on the second trip up there, as I was speeding down 59, there was an absolutely gorgeous sunset. A real fire-kissed sky. If I’d had my camera I’d have tried to snap a picture, but it’s probably best I didn’t, as I was speeding down the freeway during rush hour traffic. Sometimes the universe takes care of you in irritating ways.

Sunday night, Kelly invited me to go with her to see GBV at the Engine Room. Her husband had bought her the tickets, but had to work himself. Lucky for me, I like GBV plenty, and Trey agreed to watch the little one. So, she and I had a nice little girls’ night out. It was a good show, but it would have been better if a) we hadn’t gotten there so early that we were through drinking by the time GBV started their set, which was b) so long that we both wanted to take a nap during the middle. The thought of leaving came to us, but Trey had reminded me to stay until the encore, when they’ll play their best stuff (at least, best in my opinion). So we waited, yawning—I mean, come on, we’re old mommas these days—and playing Tri-Towers on the Megatouch, until the encore, which came approximately two hours after they started. It was a long, energetic set by a band that had put out, as Bob Pollard kept reminding the crowd, “Fifteen albums, 80 EPs and 756 singles.” They only played the smallest portion of their songs. Fortunately, he played a lot of fun ones, though my knowledge of GBV songs is really limited to “Alien Lanes” and Bee Thousand.” We walked away from the Megatouch for the encore, and jumped around a bit in our tired, way-past-our-bedtime-stopped-drinking-two-hours-ago kind of way. By this time, the better drinkers and more dedicated fans were a massively hypnotized throng of writhing bodies in front of the stage, fists full of beers raised and pumped to the beat of every song, worshipping the throne of Bob, the former elementary school teacher. I wondered if it was so very different from being in front of the class. Okay, sure, there’s a LOT more alcohol involved, but the hero worship must be a little similar.

Not being drunk or familiar enough with most of the songs, I looked to the crowd itself for entertainment and was not disappointed. It was a sea of software engineers and other computer geeks; people who stare at a screen all day listening to obscure music. Yes, that’s a sweeping generalization, but here are a few facts: the crowd was predominantly male, like 80 percent, and many of these guys were either funky-shirt wearing skinny, or clever T-shirt wearing chubby. The few girls there were obviously on a date with their boyfriends (who no doubt introduced them to the band, hee hee, like mine did). Kelly and I were each hit on by one of the many single guys there, and each was summarily rejected, politely. And finally, we were nowhere near the oldest people in the room. Which made us happy, for we are simple folk.

I did enjoy the show, and am now going to listen to some more GBV (of course, Alien Lanes and Bee Thousand). A major plus was Tobin Sprout opening, and he played a lot of his GBV songs. Overall, it was a fun night out. We saw Piam and hung out with him, and I got the high score on Tri-Towers. Also, I really, really love it when I go see a band and the people on stage are older than me. It makes me want to rock out again. I miss playing music.

Congratulations if you’ve made it to the end of this post. Your reward is today’s fun Web site: http://www.fuckthesouth.com/. It’s funny because it’s true.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Mommy smells like an ashtray

It's true. One evening out at Rudz and I reek. Oh well, it's a small price to pay for being sociable, like, with adults. Another plus, I went with Trey! It was like a date (sigh!).

Rudz was fun, as it always is, and I saw a lot of people I hadn't seen in awhile. It was almost like old times, with one eye on the person I'm talking to and the other scanning the room. I suppose most of them still go to Rudz on occasion, but I hadn't been there in about six months so I was the victim of a few double takes. I had a nice long conversation with Joe and Jo, who will hopefully come and visit Zoey and me soon.

I feel like I'm struggling for words here. I guess I don't really have that much to say about the night. I do wish they'd pass one of those no smoking in bars laws here, but I'm sure my smoking friends would utterly disagree. I would have sworn I'd never say such a thing three years ago, when I smoked a pack-a-day myself, but even then, I'd come home smelling like a chimney.

I missed my girlfriends. Susan, Tricia, Bethany and Theresa...these are the people I would hang out with and talk to at the bar. They've all scattered. It's just not the same.

Friday, November 05, 2004

A disaster in the making

Hah! I bet you thought that title was about the election! Actually, I can’t decide whether or not to comment on the election. We are so overloaded with commentary right now that it’s making me sick. CNN has a new poll (a POLL! For God’s sake, enough with the polls) that says that 51 per cent of the population is pleased with the results of the election. Well, duh. Thank you CNN. And while we’re at it, thanks to FOX, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, and talk radio for all their insights into our collective minds. Boy, they are a clever bunch, our punditocracy. Without them, whatever would we think.

I should also thank the Internet, for providing a million more outlets for commentary, especially Blogger.com for allowing an outlet for mine (little though that was). And the Handsuphouston.com message board for providing a glimpse into the minds of a small number of dedicated, technologically savvy indie-rock kids (and a few adults).
I just want to smack them all right on the face.

Not that I blame any of them, really, for the state of our nation. After all, what the hell do I know of the state of our nation. It seems that more people want someone like George W. Bush to run this country. He makes them feel safer (from terrarists, sodomites and godless heathens, I guess). He is more moral to them, even god-appointed. He is the “right” choice. I really don’t understand it, or where they are coming from. They crucified Clinton for lying to the American people, yet when Bush is caught in lies, it’s explained away and conveniently forgotten. Somehow, I managed to be upset by the lies of both men. I thought both men were immoral and prone to dishonesty. Aren’t all politicians? Should I really be expecting more from one? I don’t know.

I’m looking forward to seeing Kilian play at Rudz again on Friday, though I wish Tricia had been able to come along. I told her such the other day over the phone, but she gave valid reasons to stay behind, one of which had to do with her coming to Houston “next month.”

“Next month?” I asked.

“For Christmas.”

Oh yeah, those holidays are coming up. In the past, it was more exciting to think about the days off work, but now I find myself looking forward to the actual holidays. I want to see Zoey eat some freshly cooked turkey, to see her reaction to the smorgasbord of Thanksgiving. I imagine her face lighting up when we get our first tree and trim it, and then light it up. Perhaps she’ll start to understand the concept of “presents,” and “Santa Claus.” I don’t know. The whole thing just might scare her. I do expect we’ll have to hang most of the ornaments out of her reach, otherwise she’ll just pull them down and throw them about the house. She’s not quite two, but she already has a pretty good arm.

Since I’m on the subject of Zoey, I thought I’d brag about one of her more amazing talents. She has a favorite CD full of Sesame Street songs, and she asks to play it constantly. And she’ll requests specific songs, usually rather inarticulately, so I’ll have to scroll through the CD song by song. The amazing part is that after hearing two or three notes, she’ll recognize the song and let me know whether or not it’s the song she wants. This kid has musical memory! She also knows some of the words to most of the songs, though, since the song lyrics are made up of longer sentences than she’s able to cope with, she usually just waits until the last word of the line (“….star……are…..high…..sky…etc). What can I say? She’s certainly a genius.