Saturday, April 29, 2006

Keywords for this weekend: bellydance and chile.

Thursday after work I went on a shopping excursion. I was mostly on the lookout for salad and V-8 and something for supper. I ended up running into BUENO FROZEN RED CHILE in the new ethnic freezer section. Wow. I never expected to see that! So I had to go around and get potatoes and onions and beef and pork so I could make some stew. It's not really the weather for it, but I DON'T CARE! I also got a small bag of Nordic Sweets Salty Licorice Fish, because they made me think of Ryan Roxie and because I LOVE salted licorice. It's a very acquired taste..or maybe not acquired exactly, since I loved it the first minute I had some when Jilly came back from her trip to Amsterdam. But it is a very specialized taste, I suppose. That's fine, I will happily buy up all the frozen hot red chile and salty licorice fish they care to stock. It's gonna be one funky summer!
Friday I was surprised at work with a bag of FROZEN GREEN CHILE from a regular customer and friend who just got back from a trip to New Mexico. Wow wow wow! I put a little into the tortilla soup I was making, but I brought most of it home. It went into breakfast eggs with cheese and potatoes and tortillas and beans this morning, and I don't know if I could possibly be happier with breakfast. Well, yes, I could actually BE in New Mexico, eating a burrito at Frontier, but barring After work on Friday Rebby and I tried desperately to eat Thai food but all the Thai places close at 2pm and it was 2:30. We ended up at The Church Brew Works, where we had another in a series of passable meals that ended in the usual "why do we bother to come here?" The beer is good, but the ambiance in the afternoon is pretty lame and the food is never really good. Just okay. There have to be better places that stay open in the afternoon, right?
We had a nap and then headed out to the bellydance show. I can't really express in words what this was like for me...just a very intense feeling of having found the key. All of the dancers were amazing in their own way....young and old, women and even one dude! all shapes and sizes and styles and levels. There seemed to be such a strong supportive community even across "company" and teacher lines, not to mention the fact that some of the performers were from Erie and Morgantown. My interest in bellydance started out being about health and fitness, but last night I realized that it's really about a lot more than that to me. I also felt very affirmed in my choice of teacher, too...I didn't really get to talk to her at all, but watching her interact with people gave me assurance that she is the person I want to learn from. The other teachers who were there didn't seem anywhere as personable and warm and engaged as she was. And she wasn't even dancing! It was a great evening all around, and I left feeling more excited than ever.
This morning after the nostalgia breakfast I did some dishes and started copying down all my contact information out of my cellphone in preparation for my NEW PHONE to arrive next week. Woohoo! Camera phone even! I really hope not to turn into one of these people who are constantly snapping cameraphone pictures...and I sort of regret already the fact that I told some of those people I know that I am getting a camera phone. Because now I will no doubt be a recipient of "x drunk at the bar" style pictures. I have already become a recipient of "x drunk at the bar" text messages, and it drives me up the flipping wall. In fact, I am right this minute not joining a group of those people guessed it...get drunk at the bar. I'm just not really much of a getting drunk at the bar girl anymore. Instead I am listening to the new CDs I got today in exchange for a big bag of things I forced myself to clear out. It was a decent cull, and I got $37 for my troubles. Which I promptly spent on a big pile of stuff from the $1 shelves: File Under Easy Listening by Sugar, a Cramps greatest hits, an album by Khaled, some maxi singles by nine inch nails and marilyn manson (I admit it...I like The Beautiful People. sorry), a couple of compilation things of interesting stuff, and....Come Clean by Curve. This is an album that I used to ADORE. I lost it in the great heroin heist and didn't really think of it again until I saw it there in the $2.50 bin. It's incredible. Many comparisons to Garbage have been made and while I don't think they are WRONG, exactly, I think Curve is much more experimental. Garbage is definitely more a rock band with some interesting stuff going on...Curve is very interesting stuff with some rock going on, and a similarly sultry lead singer. I also got Rebby a prince album and a couple of cassettes and a video of Iron Maiden performing on some bizarre pay per view television show with a freaktastic "horror illusionist." You just gotta see this thing. It was apparently Bruce Dickinson's last performance with the band before he took his sabbatical, and I can see why. It's all around kind of appalling, but it is always nice to hear "Hallowed Be Thy Name" and "Run to the Hills."
We went from the Record Exchange to the Best Price, where I turned a big file box of books into....$10.00. Kind of a rip off, I'm sure, but it was nice to get rid of them and I got a couple of things I REALLY wanted. Plus, a video copy of Encino Man for $1.00. Can't beat that. We then went to the mall that time forgot to visit Borders. Rebby got a book by one of the performers on the tranny roadshow, and I got a bellydance instruction DVD. This one is especially cool because it also has yoga warmups that are specific to the bellydance routines, so it's like a dual purpose video. AND, the instructor is WICKED HOT. Whooboy. the mall that time forgot is now featuring a Caribbean restaurant in its "food court" (the rest of the "food court" is one pizza place and about 6 tables) and also a store called STYLES which seemed to sell confirmation dresses for babies and pimp outfits for pimps. One side of the store was all these little pastel taffeta and lace things, and the other side of the store was all these pastel linen suites with hats and shoes to match. Bizarre.
There's a piano sale going on, too....In case you were looking to buy a piano. At the mall.
We did manage to find a little place that sold ice cream. So we got some ice creams and then headed home to eat the chile and watch Iron Maiden. The chile is excellent; the Iron Maiden, not so much. Rebby headed out to do cultured arty things and I opted to stay home and wash some dishes and listen to CDs and tap on the computer. Happy times.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Good morning! The sun is starting to peek out and I am starting to feel awake, and soresoresore! I decided to take the morning off from yoga today since yesterday was pretty jam packed and strenuous. Or maybe I am just copping out....I can't be sure. When I made that decision I picked up my book and started reading (I figured if I wasn't going to actually DO, I would at least READ) and immediately came to a paragraph about resistance. Yes, I've got tons of it. I've been thinking back over my life to the seemingly 300 or so times I have started to do yoga and quit after just a little while, and the pattern is always the same. Physically I immediately feel better....I feel like I am more flexible and straighter and breathe way easier, not to mention feeling calmer and less likely to get stressed out in general. BUT, there is also the emotional component of facing a challenge and working through it, and my ego has a real hard time with that. Somehow I go into yoga expecting to just bend into a pretzel immediately after years and years of bad habits. And when I CANT do that, I get huffy and give up. I feel like I have made a commitment this time and reading this book which actually acknowledges these feelings (most yoga books seem to come from the approach that you are an already enlightened being and that doing yoga is a thrilling and completely conflict-free part of your life) helps a lot. Tomorrow is another day, and another chance to get past a couple of sun salutations.
I started my day early with a couple rounds yesterday, and I got a lot farther than the day before. Just in one day! So that was encouraging. After yoga I showered up and headed in for brunch. It was so nice to walk into the place and have it be CLEAN, after two days last week when the cleaner didn't show up. That's just the most depressing thing ever, to walk into the restaurant with last night's garbage still in the can. Bleah. Brunch was steady and we seemed to fly through the food! It was intense. Good though...I was working with someone who has a lot of equanimity so we didn't stress out. We just DID it. And the front of house brunch girls are such a good team that it felt very effortless. After brunch I stuck around to do a bunch of prep and try to calm the spazboy who had the next shift. I was observing his habits and work style and kept trying to give him very subtle little hints to help make things go a little more smoothly....he is very prone to self sabotage. Plus, he really creates a very psychically cluttered space...not just the "stuff" that's all around him, but also lots of dissonant noise. I could not work in that kind of space. But we all have our own ways, I guess, and some people thrive on the nervous energy.
Walked home and relaxed a little bit, and then made my Sunday night after brunch walk to Whole Foods. My favorite German mineral water was on sale..hooray! I also got some fruit and some lovely dark red kale, and my favorite summer bread and coffee and the makings of tomato basil mozzarella salad. Stocked up on near east couscous favorite thing. Got one nice pretty piece of salmon, but by the time I got home I didn't really feel like eating it. So that will be tonight. I was going to get myself a treat of Out of a Flower Ice Cream but they only had raspberry and pink grapefruit tarragon, and neither of them appealed to me. So I got a Wah! Guru Chew instead. Yummy. I tried not to go into sticker shock when the nice boy was done ringing me up. I basically spent my whole brunch pay, but if having this nice stuff around makes me happy to cook instead of going out, it's worth the price. The walk home was very lovely, just starting to get dark and a little bit windy. I got home and put on Al Stewart and made my tomato basil mozzarella salad and then had some couscous with vegetables and chicken garlic sausage with it. Oh so good. I ended up getting sucked into the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie about the kid who has mentally ill parents and runs away to live with his favorite aunt who is trying to write a novel and get it on with her writing mentor(played with the most awful Irish accent I have ever heard. Reminded me of Keanu Reeves in Dracula. It was that bad) There was a subplot about this group of goth punk kids that the boy gets involved with, but I missed the beginning so it didn't make a whole lot of sense. I don't know if seeing it from the beginning would have helped or not. A lot of the acting was really terrible, but Marcia Gay Harden and the kid were good. The Hallmark commercials were so over the top that when they came on I would run from the room to change the sheets or put something away. Anything to get away from the deliberate heart string tugging of those commercials. The way the camera lovingly lingers on the hallmark stamp on the envelopes really turned my stomach. Ewww.
It's my second to last week at the bookstore, and I couldn't be happier. Having Mondays and Tuesdays off is going to RULE! I think we are into buyback now, so going to work these two weeks isn't going to be so bad. There will be stuff to do. Thank heavens.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

It's a weird sort of day that starts with 20 minutes of power yoga and ends with eating generic captain crunch out of the bag. It's called "Berries Bunch O Crunch" and has blue and red and purple crunchberries, and a pirate dog mascot. It's pretty good...not nearly as sweet at the real thing. It's been on top of my fridge since February, I think, and I want to get rid of it. Right now it is doing a good job of stabilizing my poor tummy after a "dinner" of a veggie sandwich and onion rings and Guinness at Gooskis. The "veggie" sandwich was some sauteed mushrooms, onions, banana peppers, with lettuce and tomato (no cheese) on a hamburger bun. Not what I was thinking of when I thought it would be nice to have a vegetable today. Sigh. Before that unfortunate dinner, all I had eaten today was bacon, eggs, beans, cheese and bread. Oh! I had a couple glasses of V-8 too, thank the heavens. At least I got some vegetable content in there. My body is not at all happy with me, though. This is kind of a dirty trick to pull on it after all the walking, drinking water, and doing yoga. I don't think I'll be doing this again any time soon.
The dinner at Gooskis was a matter of convenience as we were having a LUPEC meeting on the Hill. It was a good meeting, and even though I went to it feeling vaguely like I should just drop out, by the end I felt more like I should hang in there and do what I can. I like hanging with those ladies, and I like doing the research. The parts I don't like I can leave for someone else.
Before the LUPEC meeting I went to the Conservatory to see the flowers with Juli. We had a great time exploring all the different rooms and even walking in the Japanese garden in the rain. Unfortunately, all my favorite trees and plants and flowers seemed to be lacking identifying signage. I filled out a comment card to complain about it. I have to say the orchid room was slightly disappointing as alot of the orchids were not in bloom. Especially the dendrobiums, my favorites. Also, the tumeric plant was dormant which really sucked. I would have loved to see what a tumeric plant looks like. I'll have to go back in May. (pssst: I think the tree you liked was the Japanese dogwood. But I'm not sure) I also got a really nice little silver flower pin that Juli made, and a record cuff bracelet. What a nice surprise!
Before the conservatory was the yoga. Boy did I hit the wall fast! It's been a really long time since I've done any yoga and there are some parts of me that just don't bend like they used to. I know it will get easier the more I do it, but this morning was sort of a slap in the face. I have been reading my book and sort of nodding and theorizing but actually getting in there and doing it is a whole other animal. I will definitely be practicing with my tape for quite a while before I consider going to a class! Tomorrow I intend to get up early and crank up the heat and do it all again before I have to go to work. I am beta brunch, so I don't have to be there till 9ish. That should give me plenty of time to sweat through some yoga and shower. Speaking of showering, I had my first Dr Bronner's Peppermint shower of the season (and of my new 32oz bottle) I don't know if there is anything better in the realm of cleanliness. Seriously.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Woah! I was just writing how seriously bummed I was that I had volunteered to cover the Monday night dinner shift of a co-worker so he could travel and then found out that AL STEWART is coming to play at the Club Cafe. But then I realized that Al Stewart is playing on SUNDAY, not Monday. So now, I have to decide if I really want to pay $22 to see Al Stewart. I'm betting that I do. He's one of my all time favorites. That will be a theme brunch day (theme: VEGETARIANS!) and I am alpha, which means I will walk out of there with at least $70. So yes, I think I shall go and see Al Stewart! I can already tell how great it is going to be to sit in those big chairs and drink a very expensive martini and listen to Al Stewart sing Time Passages and try not to stare at Peter the sound guy, on whom I had the mother of all crushes when he was a dirty little goth boy. Oh yes I did. You should see the poetry.....
It's a blustery storm going on right now, and I am happier than happy that I decided not to go downtown to the gallery crawl. I hope that everyone didn't wuss out like me, that's for sure, but I am very content with my coffee and girl scout cookies, making a mix CD. I like to experience the stormy weather from inside my apartment, thank you very much. Tomorrow, weather be damned, Juli and I are going to the Conservatory to look at the Spring Flower Show! I am really hoping that it isn't too rainy so we can check out the outdoors herb garden, but I will be content with the orchid room. I think it has probably been 15 years since I was in the orchid room, but I think about it alot. You should see the poetry.....
Yesterday's trip to the Waterfront was very fruitful. I got a really nice yoga mat that came with a block and strap and instructional DVD. I also got a hot pink sports bra, and a fannypack dealio to hold my tape or CD player. To hold me over till I can invest in an MP3 dealio, which is coming soon. After the shoes, probably. I looked at a lot of different walking shoes, but I was completely overwhelmed. I was also seriously creeped out by the saleslady in the New Balance store, who stood about two inches from me while I looked at her very expensive shoes. She didn't say anything, she just hovered. It was creepy!
I was also successful in my hanging basket mission, though I did not get the bracket to attach it to the wall (our ceilings are way too high to hang it from the ceiling) I did, however, get a little package of citrus condoms. I saw some lady on one of the cooking shows last weekend using these and it blew my mind. It's a little mesh bag that you fit around your cut lemon or lime half so you can squeeze it and the seeds won't come out. How fucking cool is that?!?! I'm thrilled. And I was buying them for the Quiet Storm, so I don't have to feel guilty in the slightest! Woohoo.
I stopped in to Bath and Body Works where I was again hovered over by a sales girl. She seemed a little disappointed when I decided on four trial sized bottles for $10, but she couldn't help me when I asked her where the full sized versions of those bottles were. Hmm. This rosemary mint body lotion is really treating me well, though. Maybe next time I can brave the yankee candle odor and spend more time looking for this stuff in there.
I also had to stop in Giant Eagle since I was there and had time to kill. I don't like that Giant Eagle much. But I managed to find V-8 and some really, really good roasted garlic chicken sausage. Yum. They had that thing going on there where they have someone stationed at every self check out to bag groceries. Now, isn't that just a little ridiculous? WHY have a self check out if you are still going to schedule someone to stand there? It seems silly to me.
OK, here's a question I can't answer for myself....should I go see Ani Difranco? I'm sitting here listening to her old stuff and I REALLY love it. But what are the chances that she'll play much from "imperfectly"? What are the chances I'll be really annoyed by a lot of the crowd? Any help is appreciated.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hello there!
It's another super gorgeous is supposed to hit 80! It's also PAYDAY, which means I am on my way out to the Waterfront to purchase the yoga mat of my dreams. I will also peruse walking shoes, although I'm not sure I'm going to take the plunge yet on those. Sports bra, yes. Also, I have an EXCUSE to shop at Bed Bath and Beyond today, as the QS kitchen is in desperate need of hanging baskets for garlic and ginger. I normally ban myself from that store as there are so many (expensive) nifty gadgets in there that I do not NEED, but which I am pretty likely to convince myself to buy given the chance. So I just don't go there. But today, I have a mission. Yippee Skippy!
Yesterday was just lovely, after I got done with my job...things at the Quiz were really weird and I felt a little edgy all day. Wednesdays are always rough for me because I am going back in after sometimes as much as 4 days off, and in those 4 days the place can get pretty trashed. Yesterday was particularly bad, but I got through. Then, it was GYM TIME! I cut down on my treadmill time so that I could get all the machines in. I did much better on the ab cruncher than the last time, and I got to hit the LEG MACHINES. Wooboy. The "hip abductor" is a dirty little machine, but man is it a good workout. Definitely my favorite after the "seated leg press". I was really impressed that I was able to increase the weight on all the machines I had done last time, even though it had been two weeks since my last time. I guess the muscles have been there all along, they just have been in hiding for the past 20 years. Heh.
After the gym I walked home, down lovely Moorewood Ave. That is really a very pretty street once you get past the frat houses and before you hit the busy traffic of Bates St. I turned onto Ellsworth(another tree lined beauty) to Negley and stopped in to the Giant Eagle to get some watermelon. I was craving it. I also got some tuna steaks that I think maybe were not the best....I had some tummy upset last night. I think I am just going to have to do all my fish shopping at Whole Foods...I have been trying to convince myself that there isn't any difference, but I think there really is. Oh well. It's a nice walk to Whole Foods, I just get so claustrophobic in there.
I didn't end up going out last night....I really wanted to take it easy and truthfully, as much as I wanted to see the music, I was in no mood to be in a smoky bar. Or even to drink beer at all. I watched television and drifted off to sleep early. Nice. Rebby stopped by to see me before going to the show and then taking off this morning for another tranny weekend. This time to DC. I hope it's a good trip for her....driving to DC is not that much fun.
So...I think I better get going on my shopping adventure. Happy 4-20,dude!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Wow. Another gorgeous day in the neighborhood! The sun is streaming in the windows, the slightest breeze is ruffling the curtains, and the birdies are singing what I want to sing. (obscure Pere Ubu reference)
Yesterday I did not go to the bookstore in the morning like I said I might (it was only open till 2pm) Instead I did some more closet excavation, a whole bunch more straightening up in the bedroom, and took a long walk to my local library. My local library is pretty sad, but it kinda reminded me of the public library in Elyria where I grew up. Except that the public library in Elyria was a lot better organized. This library, though, has an absolutely stellar collection of VEGAN cookbooks. Seriously, someone must have bequeathed a fortune to the library for the acquisition of vegan cookbooks because they took up at least two full shelves. Cool! I got out a really big one called Vegan Planet that I had never seen. It is full of yummy stuff.
I also got out Journey Into Power by the dude who "invented" power yoga. It's a pretty good read so far. I really liked his analogy about how people treat their cars better than their bodies. I don't own a car, but I totally get what he is saying. I can't wait to get a yoga mat (roll on payday!) so I can start doing this stuff!
The VHS/DVD/Cd collection at my local library is totally pathetic, but they did have a VHS tape called "Learn the 80s Dances!" where you can learn the robot and moonwalk and the like. I almost got it out, but then....nah. Too silly. The cool thing is that I can go online and order a book or tape or DVD or CD from any of the branches to be transferred to my local branch and they will email me when I can pick it up. How cool is that? So I can make my Monday library walk a regular thing.
Next week I hope to also make the Labyrinth Walk a regular thing. It was closed yesterday on account of it being Easter Monday, but in the future I should be able to go on Monday afternoons. Sweet!
Speaking of Mondays, my bellydance class was cancelled! Aroo, aroo. Apparently the new owners of Stanwix Towers were rude to the teacher, so she had to cancel the class. She is looking for new spaces to hold it, but I am temporarily crushed. I plan to go to this, though, to meet her and see what she's all about. I feel like I really want her to be my teacher, so I'll wait until she gets things worked out.
In other news, I got Exotica by Martin Denny and New Boots and Panties by Ian Dury yesterday, at the chichi Goodwill for 69 cents each. I have actually removed Japan from the turntable two days in a row now to listen to them. Both these albums make me extraordinarily happy.
Tomorrow I will say something about Celebrity Cooking Trainwreck, the first episode of which I watched last night. I will watch the second episode tonight, after Gilmore Girls and before Law and Order SVU. Tuesday is SOOO the best TV night for me.
My new myspace friend Sebastian Bach is going to be on Gilmore Girls tonight too, making it extra special.
Through the sleepless nights, and every endless day......

PS! Since this entry is so linktastic, I should point you in the direction of sad kermit. It's hard to know if I should laugh or cry.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter! Easter totally caught me by surprise...I don't have any candy or eggs or nothin. Oh well. I guess that's really for the best in the long run. I might watch Jesus Christ Superstar later on today to commemorate. I got an invite to dinner at dad's but I don't know that I want to negotiate the transportation. Plus, there's all this laundry to do!
So, weekend update: Friday was another hard day at the QS. I worked a long shift on the line, from 8am-3pm, and people kept coming in clumps. So I would get like 6 orders in at once, totally spazz out and get them all done, then sit for 20 minutes until the next clump of 10 people came in. I really prefer a steady flow of 2-3 people at a time, but what can you do. You can't make them wait.
After work I got home and chilled a little bit, then went to the store to get ingredients for dinner. Bought all the stuff for tuna casserole(it was all on sale, it being Good Friday and all...hooorah!) and came home and got to work. I have to say that the tuna casserole was exceptionally good, on account of the mushroom soup with roasted garlic, I think. Threw together a side salad and garlic toast and then took a shower. Juli showed up right on time with a six pack of some really yummy organic beer(I can't remember the name!) and we ate and drank and watched the end of the Simpsons and then some Love and Rockets videos. At 9:30pm I got all antsy because the Science Fiction Idols had sent me a message saying it was going to be an EARLY SHOW!!!!! so we climbed in the truck and headed down to the Pub. Of course, the SciFiIdols were just bluffing so that people would not miss THEIR set, since they never go on first. We got some beers and sat at a table, and Joel came and sat with us. He was so happy to see Juli! It seriously was the most animated and happy I have seen Joel in a really long time. We shot the shit (that man can work fuck into a sentence more times than anyone else I know, and make it sound completely natural!) and other people came to say hello to Joel. Including Smith and his new husband, very drunk and flaming the place up like crazy. It struck me as very funny how sitting in the middle of the Pub with Joel for half an hour made me privy to so much juicy gossip about the Pittsburgh music scene....ha! People like to tell Joel their secrets, I guess.
So finally the show got started. The crowd was sparse and weird, and the Idols seemed to lack energy because of it. Or maybe it was just going on first, I don't know. They played a very short set and while nothing was BAD, it didn't really sparkle either. Oh well. I'm always happy just to hear Bobby's guitar playing. We got some more beers and sat back down for the changeover.....the Sex Slaves had the SHINIEST amplifiers I have ever seen. It looked like they were covered in hubcaps. I'll bet they were very expensive, cuz boy did they sound GREAT! So they got on stage and we got up front, and I was accosted by a girl I met on a drunken night at Gooskis very long ago. She was the person who tried to get me into the leather basement at Donny's. Good times. She had driven all the way from NY to see the Sex Slaves(well, not just to see the Sex Slaves, also to see Smith and the Cynics) and she was VERY into it. I have to say that I was not so very into it....they were tight, and their sound was really good, but the songs were pretty stupid. They did some fun covers... the Misfits and David Allen Coe, and they had a lot of energy. And they were pretty sexy boys. But overall, I didn't feel like they had that SOMETHING. They certainly were no 7 Shot Screamers, I can say that for sure.
Finally they were done and we went back to sit down and try to keep from falling asleep before the Cheats. Seriously, we were all yawning pretty much constantly...full bellies and 4-6 beers each will do that. They got set up pretty quick though, and then we ran back down front to watch. I think the Cheats are my new favorite local band, just seriously fun punk rock. People love to throw beer on them. They love it too. They didn't do either of my favorite covers (Jet Boy Jet Girl or Surrender) but they did the Sex Pistols and the Heatbreakers, and it was just a good ole time. We beat it out of there pretty quick afterwards, and totally crashed when we got home. So sleepy.
So sleepy, and so hungover that I didn't wake up for my shows! I woke up with a pounding headache at 9:25, ran into the livingroom and turned on the TV, only to see that my political analyst boyfriend was on McLaughlin Group. Dang! I got to see him talk a little bit about the possibility that Bush is going to Nuke Iran (he said it was completely impossible that this administration would do something that stupid) I took some aspirin and made some coffee, and Rebby made some breakfast. Yay! We watched Bob Abernathy and a little bit of the cooking shows, then we had to figure out what to do with the gorgeous day.
Ended up taking a thrift store field trip....first to the St Vincent De Paul store in Sharpsburg. I had no desire to look at clothes, but I found a gorgeous 12 cup electric percolator pot (very Jetson's looking) and a Kris Kristofferson album, and a Power Yoga video. Rebby got a bunch of records, including two really good Jackson 5 albums in great condition. Then we decided to take the leisurely drive to the American Thrift in West Mifflin. On the way, I began to have the most intense craving for a chili dog (we figured that it had to do with John Cougar Mellencamp because we had passed the Tastee Freeze on the way to Sharpsburg) Lo and behold, there is an A&W on the way to the American Thrift! So we stopped for lunch and had coney dogs and root beer floats, which we ate sitting on the tailgate of the truck in the parking lot. It was absolutely gorgeous, bright blue sky. The prettiest day evah!
We got over to the American Thrift where everything but green tags was 1/2 off. Of course, everything I REALLY wanted had a green tag, but oh well. I got a Galloping Gourmet cookbook(SCORE!) a pile of Natural Health and Organic Style magazines, a cassette of Pyromania(SCORE!) a pair of gray work out pants, and.....a David J hat. I think it is an Amish hat, but it looks very much like the one that David J wears in the No New Tale to Tell video. I can't find a know the one I mean. It made me so happy! I want to wear it all the time. I want to be in a band immediately so I can wear it onstage and in promotional photos. It looks GOOD!
So, after that fantastic score (oh! Rebby found a pair of red Pumas in great condition, and the Wayne's World movie! woohoo!) we went to the Foodland in the same plaza to get stuff for dinner on the grill. Let me just say that it is a sad experience to shop at a place like that when you are used to the Market District Shopping Wonderland. Not only did they have no goat cheese, they had no couscous. Nowhere in the store. Sigh. So we got beets and asparagus, sirloin steaks, some red beans and rice mix, blue cheese to put on the beets, and then headed to the new place for a grilltastic adventure. I sat in the backyard and read magazines whilst Rebby got everything ready. We had a fabulous grilled dinner under the was blissful. Then we came home and even though I fired up my new percolator pot and had a cup of coffee, we crashed hard by 11pm. A good, good day.
I plan to spend Easter doing laundry and cleaning. One of the magazines I got yesterday had a great article on cleaning out the closets that I want to use. I seriously want to get rid of more stuff. I'm obsessed!

Friday, April 14, 2006

So, no gym for me on Wednesday, and no Saul either. I had to do a quick last minute change of schedule because a catering job that was supposed to be Friday got pushed up one day. It all worked out for the best though, I think, as I got quite a workout at work yesterday. I was up and down the stairs in the heat with 12-25 pound weights at least 8 times, putting away the frankferd order and then the restaurant depot shopping. That coupled with a brisk walk home and a little dancing around the livingroom to Japan set me right.
I had exactly three puffs on a tiny little handrolled cigarette yesterday...after three puffs I didn't want it anymore at all. I feel fine about allowing myself one tiny handrolled cigarette a day....especially if I am totally over it after three puffs! Tonight will be the big test though....
I am SO EXCITED about the show tonight! I haven't seen the Science Fiction Idols in a while...they are at their best at the Pub, I think. I just hope they don't play the Cars cover again. They know so many GREAT covers, and yet the last three times I've seen them they've played the Cars one. Which is a fine song, but I don't think it really shows them off as well as say, "Queen Bitch" or "Jeepster." Though maybe they are tired of playing those tunes, I don't know. They should learn an Alice Cooper song, for real!
The Cheats are always awesome..well, I've seen them twice and they were awesome both times. I can't imagine being disappointed. And the Sex Slaves look good. Plus, it will be a night out at the Pub and Juli is coming with us which will make it even more fun! Juli hasn't been back to the Pub since she moved back to Pittsburgh, and that is going on ONE YEAR this weekend! Shame. Glad I can help to rectify that! Before we go out, I am going to make dinner for us...just like the old times.(except I don't have a pimpy porch to sit on while we eat :( ) I think I am going to make tuna noodle casserole. I'm just in the mood. Also, it's Good Friday and even though there isn't a Catholic molecule in my body, I feel like eating fish on good friday is a good thing to do.
Yesterday's rain showers made me so happy! I was sitting on the floor putting my records away, listening to Visage and the rain with all the windows open and a hot cup of coffee. Just smiling a mile wide. Sometimes I really love my little apartment! Speaking of which, I gotta sign the lease.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Yesterday was a sort of momentous day, even though it didn't really feel that way. It was momentous because I basically gave my notice at the bookstore. I will be done with it at the end of April. I have been sort of dreading going in for a few months now.....there is really NOTHING much that I can do in 10 hours a week, and mostly I just go in, hear about everyone's weekends, read magazines, and sit around until closing time. So in my 10 hrs a week, I have been doing roughly 2hrs of work. This would be a dream come true for some people, I suppose, but it makes me cranky as hell. So last week I found out that one of our cooks at the QS is leaving to have more time to work on the house he just bought, and then I found out that there is a bellydance class starting in May on Monday nights. So those two things combined to make me just up and give my notice. Once the semester is over there will be plenty of people to close the store on the two nights I am currently working, not to mention the fact that they are getting another manager trainee. The thought of cramming one more person into that office makes me twitch. I can't do it. So now I am FREE!!! Well, in a couple of weeks. Money might be a little tight till the catering $$ start rolling in, but I'll figure something out. Not smoking will help.
That's right...I think this time the not smoking is going to take. It's been a 10 days since my last cigarette, and I haven't really even been tempted. The big test will come this Friday when I go out to a smoky club to see rock and roll for the first time since quitting the evil weed. You know what though? It is so nice to not smell like smoke all the time. And also, both Monday and yesterday I took the stairs at Carlow instead of the elevator ON PURPOSE and I was not a complete mess by the time I got to the top, like I would have been even two weeks ago. I just have to convince myself that these benefits outweigh my romantic attachment to smoking. Seriously, I LOVE smoking. Sigh.
I am right now drinking something called AM Detox tea courtesy of Celestial Seasonings. It is supposed to be helping my liver get rid of toxins. I don't know how that is going, but I do know that it has a really weird mouthfeel that I am kinda into. Very mucilaginous. I think it's the milk thistle. It's probably pretty stupid to drink this stuff and then head right for the coffee, but I'm not ready to give up coffee too. One thing at a time, please.
Today is gym day, hopefully, and then hopefully I will get to see Saul Williams afterward. He is performing at CMU this evening. It may be sold out, but if not, I am definitely going to go. That man is amazing.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Whooooooboy! I have a brand new obsession!
Last night, in my effort to combat the musical anarchy coming from upstairs and next door, I decided to try to make myself a new workout music tape. I was alternating between "classic rock" and "new wave" (my own totally dodgy and unsupportable definitions of these genres) using only my record albums. I started off with "Doctor Doctor" by UFO and ran through all kinds of stuff. When I got to the Js, I pulled out my copy of Adolescent Sex by Japan, thinking "hmm...I don't know if I've ever actually even listened to this." And so I did. And so I am, over and over. My god, is this an amazing album! David Sylvian's voice sounded COMPLETELY different on this. Really, really sexy in a down and dirty way that doesn't hint in the slightest at the smooth cocoabutter crooning that was to come. Musically, you can see signs of where they would eventually go, but this is just a big glam trashy delight from start to finish. I am super in love! And the sad thing is, it's not like discovering a new band where I can look forward to going out and getting everything else they did. I already know everything else they did is not the same. It's brilliant and beautiful and dear to my heart, sure, but it's completely different from this sexy groovy dance music. Sigh. Oh least I have this new surprise to dance around and do housework to.
Another gem I pulled out of the stacks is Extricate by the Fall. "Telephone Thing" had me bopping around the living room at 11pm last night like I was in my own private dance hall.
It's an absolutely gorgeous sunny Sunday. My honeygirl is due home tonight. I've got clean sheets, quarters for laundry, and a sweet potato calling my name. Not to mention David Sylvian singing perversely in the livingroom. I declare this life to be awesome!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Upstairs, the gazelle and some of her zoo friends are galloping around the apartment to "Come On Eileen." Next door, Charles and some of his friends have put the newspaper under the door(which I assume is a sign that they are smokin the wacky) and are blaring Barry White.
I have a feeling I am going to have to fight back with some Tesla.
To: Poster in the personals section on craigslist
From: the acronym police

Just wanted to make sure you know that the acronym BBW means big beautiful woman.
To follow your request for a big beautiful woman with the phrase "size and looks unimportant" sends a pretty powerful mixed message.

Good luck sorting that out, dude.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Ack! The cough is really starting to kick my ass. It just comes up all sudden like, after long periods of feeling totally normal. I am right now kicking back with this. I don't know if it's the alcohol or the Tonka bean, but something is working. Of course, I don't have much left in my bottle, so hopefully it will completely knock the evil cough meanies out of my system by the time I go to bed tonight.
I was intending to bake some chocolate vegan cupcakes tonight, but that ain't happenin. The Roboto kids are going to have to be satisfied with muffins and cookies and veggie wraps which I will lovingly craft for them early in the morning tomorrow. I really had one hell of a work day today! I cranked out a Moroccan sweet potato soup, and Cuban black beans, and stewed green beans with tomatoes and garlic. I also cranked out smashed taters and crumbled soysage and chopped about 5 heads of lettuce and grated 8 carrots and de-seeded and cut 4 cucumbers and diced two onions. (that was prep for the wraps I will be lovingly crafting tomorrow) I did a lot of cleaning and organizing in the walk in. I swept out a few months worth of onion skins from under the onion shelf. In doing so, I found a pretzel. How do you suppose a pretzel ended up in the walk in? It's a mystery.
Anyway, amidst all this work, I was making three, no wait four, orders of QS Homefries for people who showed up late. I was taking the last plate out of the microwave when suddenly the glass plate from the micro slid out and shattered into a gazillion tiny shards, all over the food. It was one of the scariest things ever. I didn't get hurt, and thankfully all the prep items on the counter were covered, so all I had to throw out was the four plates I had just specially made for the late arrivals. Dammit. Anyway, it really pissed me off that the thing shattered into a gazillion shards. Shouldn't something that was MADE to be in a food prep area be a little more resilient? I mean, every other micro plate I've seen break has broken into three or four chunks. This one just fell completely apart all over the place. Weird. There were a lot of other weird accidents today too....not a full moon though, I don't think.
So, I've been entertaining myself with thoughts of going to this. This has everything to do, of course, with the 7 Shot Screamers, but even besides them it looks like a real good time. Well, kinda. I am sure I would feel extraordinarily out of place in a scene like that. But Winston-Salem is a cool place, and who doesn't want to watch a banana puddin eatin contest? Who doesn't want to see Chris Powers mudwrestle? Ha. I have no proof, but I am willing to wager that he is definitely into the mudwrestling.
Last night I made two seemingly incongruous but actually related Amazon purchases: Fitness for Dummies, and Rob Zombie's new album. I suppose if you know me you already know that Rob Zombie is the great motivator---there are few things that can get me moving around at a heart rate increasing clip better than Thunderkiss '65 or Dragula. I just love to think about what a hard time the amazon matching robots are going to have with that combo. "People who liked Rob Zombie and Fitness books also liked.....wait, there are no other people who liked both of those things! You freak!"
Actually, in searching for Rob Zombie, I accidentally came across a book called something like Yoga For Regular Guys by some professional wrestler. Rob apparently wrote the introduction. Fancy that.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I DID IT!!!! I went to the gym! And let me just tell you, I loved every second of it. Well, except for the fact that the gym was sort of crowded with a lot of dudes pumping up and more than a few svelte college girls jogging on treadmills from the time we got there to the time we left. But, there were also a few normal people there so I didn't feel like a total freak. Also, I didn't love the fact that I couldn't figure out a good way to attach my tape player to my body so I had to listen to whatever station they were playing. However, I can't remember the music AT ALL so it was at least innocuous.
The full story...we got there and had to turn on our IDs for wristbands. Then we trudged into the changing area so Jennie could change (I had come already prepared in my working out outfit...just had to braid my hair) We got into the gym room and immediately found two treadmills side by side! So on I climbed, my first time on a treadmill. I got the hang of it pretty quickly, increasing my incline and my speed until I was FEELIN IT. I did a mile on the treadmill and pretty much kept my heartrate at 150 (when you grip the handlebars it can tell you your heartrate. Woah!) When I was done I almost fell flat on my ass! It was quite disorienting. From there I moved on to the ab machine, which is a very oddly constructed torture device. You sit on a seat and the padded weight bar catches you right across the shoulders. You put your hands on you thighs and lock your feet behind the bar and then you push forward with your upper body. "This is great!" I thought after the first two reps. "This is agony" I thought during the last 10. Seriously, I felt the burn. But it was nice to know that there are actually muscles in there somewhere...they just need a little coaxing. Jennie made the hopeful observation that soon most of the kids would be studying for finals and going on summerbreak and the number of other people we will have to look at will go down significantly. Really, no one was looking at each other. Everyone was doing their own thing. But still.
I did a whole bunch of arm things, but never found the twisty machine I was looking forward to. I don't think they have one. I didn't get over to the last wall (the LEG wall!) and there were a few other things I didn't explore, so maybe they have something that does the same thing as the twisty without twisting? I was looking foward to the twist, though. Guess I'll just have to do my own.
After the gym I had a lovely little dinner and watched FREDDIE, the new show I had not heard about where the adorable Freddie Prinze Jr is a chef. He also seems to live in a big house full of people, or maybe all the people just hang out in his house or something like Friends. I dunno. In this episode his best friend had opened a restaurant with no restaurant experience and it all went tragically, comically awry. It was a cute show, but I would have liked to see Freddie in his restaurant. Maybe next week, if I remember to watch it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Well, I'm feeling a lot better as of this moment in time. This has something to do with the tuna I just seared, I am pretty sure. I marinated the tuna in wasabi, hot pepper sesame oil, lots of garlic, tamari and black pepper. When it hit the smoking hot griddle clouds of noxious fumes flew up into my face, causing the mucous to start flowing copiously. And then, when I was done with the steam treatment, I had the bonus of some delicious tuna! Woohoo! I am hoping that this "wasabi cure" will do the trick and knock the last of the sickness right out of me so I can be ready to hit the gym tomorrow. I have been sitting around my apartment pretending I am on various machines for the last couple of days. My muscles are all excited.
Just saw Rebby out the door for her tranny adventure! The show last night was really fantastic, and more well attended than I had expected. Apparently there is a very active Rainbow Alliance at Pitt these days, and they really brought the kids out. It made me so proud! It also made me feel so OLD, because I could seriously be the parent of a lot of those kids. But the performances were amazing, and everyone just had a great time. I think Rebby is going to get some good material for her documentary out of this trip....all the performers on the road seem to be very well spoken and very eager to tell their stories.
Last night I had a weird stress dream that I woke up in a panic because it was Friday morning and Jilly and I had not decided who would work breakfast(we more or less alternate Friday breakfast/dinner) It was not so much a cause for alarm, though, because my bed was on the sidewalk right next to the Quiet Storm. So I was able to watch Jill pull up in her car and look in the window to see if I was in there. She went in and I follwed a few minutes later (in my PJs) and she said she would do it since she had gotten all the way there. So I went back to bed... but somehow my bed had been moved to right in front of the espresso machine. I knew this was going to make it very difficult for Colin to work and that I was going to have to figure out a way to move it back. Then I woke up. Weird.
It's another loverly day in the neighborhood. I don't know what I will do after work this evening...perhaps laundry! Oh...I have to try to catch Gilmore Girls. I saw a commercial the other day which suggested that Rory is getting married. I gotta see how that turns out.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I am officially FED UP with this lingering, on again off again disease. Why can't I just get really sick for a couple of days like normal people, and then be done with it? Why do I have to be sort of sick but not sick enough to take off work with interspersed periods of feeling just fine, for weeks on end? Okay, this particular bout has lasted just about one week. But it seems like every day for the past week I have had at least one minute of feeling TOTALLY FINE and thinking "oh! it's over!" and then a few hours later I am totally wrecked again. This sucks.
I have been eating all this healthy stuff and drinking lots of water and taking my damn vitamin every day. And I am not being rewarded for my troubles. I've even been "taking it easy" for the most part (except for the couple of times when I thought I was TOTALLY FINE, and brunch yesterday, which was non-negotiable) but still. It lingers. Today I went and bought cough medicine with extra congestion relief power so hopefully I can knock it out of the park by Wednesday for gym time.
This morning I was watching a little bit of a Body By Jake infomercial and they showed this awesome machine that I cannot wait to do. It's the one where you sit and put your arms against the two padded bars by your head and then you twist. Man, that looks great, and I can already tell how nice it is going to feel for my poor aching back.
Yes, you're right, I would probably recover a lot faster from these lung related things if I would stop smoking. I hear ya.
Yesterday's brunch, despite the fact that I felt more or less like hell for most of it, went really smoothly. So smoothly, in fact, that we were pretty sure it was one of our slower brunches because we never really felt the pain and we had plenty of sitting down time and no real super slammed time. But, we cracked the magical $700 anyway. Woohoo! I guess it is a testament to our experience and work ethic. The sweet potato bread pudding with praline topping came out SO GOOD. I wanted to eat up a big bowl of it, but I didn't. Instead I ate a smallish bowl of the "spam" with tomatoes on toast, which was actually pretty tasty despite being a scary reddish pink color. People who were brave enough to try it really liked it.
After the brunch I ordered a greek pizza and then napped for most of the rest of the day. Got up and watched Cold Case. I just can't really get into this show, even though it is one of my sister's favorites. There is just too much back and forth and back and forth for me. It's like they keep running around in circles for 45 minutes. I prefer the Law and Orders where there is a more linear progression through the suspects.
Today I go to work and then the Tranny Roadshow!, then I have to see Rebby off for her week long tour with the trannies. She is working on her documentary and is going to travel with them and tape their shows. Cool!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Alright! I'm trying to get jazzed for maximum TCB day. I've got tons of laundry to do, plus cleaning up in general, grocery shopping, getting my head in the game. It is going to require more coffee.
So yesterday after a big day at the restaurant where I kept making things until I had to force myself to stop and go home, we went to Gulifty's for dinner. It was a matter of convenience really since we had to go to the bank in Squill, and Gulifty's is right there. The thing about Gulifty's is that I have almost always been underwhelmed by my meals there and figure that the point is really dessert, right? But this time it was different. I got a grilled salmon fillet that was fantastic, with the most gorgeous, flavorful steamed veggie assortment I have ever encountered. Seriously, it was zucchini, of which I am normally not a fan in the steamed state, broccoli, and carrots. Just steamed, nothing on them at all, but damn, they were perfect. The salmon was a little overcooked for my taste but still delicious. We also shared the baked garlic appetizer which is hunks of bread covered in cheese, a head of baked garlic and some marinara sauce. This was also surprisingly well prepared. Rebby also thoroughly enjoyed her tuna niscoise. (I would not have enjoyed it I could tell because although I can get behind a slightly overcooked salmon, if the tuna isn't pink in the middle you can forget about it.) We shared a piece of Deep Dish Apple Walnut Pie, which was really nice too. I particularly enjoyed the crust, as I am turning into something of a crust connoisseur. Speaking of which, the gorgeous quiche I constructed on Thursday with zucchini and tomato and basil had to go right in the trash yesterday morning because the guy I asked to put it in the fridge after it cooled forgot and left it on the counter all night long. Dammit. The crust was not one of my best, but the quiche looked so nice with the overlapping layers of zucchini and tomato slices that it made my heart break. But I am not one to take chances with eggs left out overnight in a hot room. Next time I am just going to have to babysit my own quiche, I guess.
Okay, so after Gulifty's we had a nap, or at least we tried to have a nap. The Gazelle seemed to be having some sort of Friday afternoon throwdown with some other members of the animal kingdom, including an elephant with no rhythm who kept stomping on the floor in random patterns, and a monkey who would shriek at odd intervals. So it was hard to actually sleep. Eventually the zoo party left, and as they were leaving I heard one of them exclaim "RAINBOW!" and looked out the window to see a giant and very distinct rainbow going basically from one window to the other across East Liberty. It was gorgeous, but only lasted about 5 minutes. I got a little more napping in and then we girded ourselves to go to South Oakland to see STAINLESS.
It took a long ass time to find a place to park, and the walk through south oakland was gross. College students in their natural habitat are just icky. We got to the place and went upstairs and paid our cover. The night was being presented by KOOL cigarettes so there was lots of cigarette propaganda everywhere. Got some beers and settled in to the back bar area to see the show. The members of STAINLESS appear to be about my age, the kind of dudes you see working in guitar shops in Swissvale. Big dudes with "metal hair" and ill fitting leather pants. The lead singer looks a little like Brett Michaels looks now. However, they seriously rock the 80's hair metal. Their Guns'n'Roses and Poison repertoire was spot on. They also played some pretty spot on Metallica and Maiden. From my personal hit parade (besides the expected G'n'R and Poison) they did "18 And Life",and "I'll Remember You",(Skid Row!!) and "Cherry Pie". They also did some really unwise attempts at Aerosmith and Black Sabbath. I realized that while it is possible to cover 80's hair metal and make it sound sort of authentic, when you cover Aerosmith (Dream On, mind you, not Love in an Elevator or something) you just sound like a cover band. They also did some things that I flat out disapproved of (Bryan Adams and Journey) but the college kids were into it so I have to give them points for playing to their audience. All in all, it was a really, really fun night. We got to see some great rock, we got to drink some beers, and we got to see a slice of life which we would never, ever, ever get to see otherwise. At one point a very drunken college girl tried to dirty dance with me. She was wearing a t-shirt that said FREEDOM across her boobs and had angel wings silkscreened on the back. She was also looking at her drunken boyfriend the whole time she was attempting to hump my leg. Ah, college.