The prettiest walk

December 31, 2006 at 9:21 am | Posted in life | 2 Comments

tree-tops.jpg

This is from my favorite walk in the world. It’s in the forest along the Chattooga River, though it veers away from the river itself, meandering through a pine forest and rhododendron territory. I love it in part because it’s not steep -I kind of hate climbing- and because you don’t have to match your steps to your breathing to avoid getting a stitch or pay attention to your steps to avoid slipping on the way down, you can take in your surroundings. Not that there’s anything wrong with hiking to a viewpoint, but I will take the walk with the most interesting details, probably because I usually take my camera and there’s nothing more boring than a black and white photograph of some hazy, unclear vista.

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Holiday travel gone awry

December 30, 2006 at 7:30 pm | Posted in life, things that annoy | 3 Comments

So, I’m back. I had a good time in Georgia – there were lots of walks to be had, and it was nice to see my family and an old friend – but I’m glad to be back.

Anyway, I have one of those classic travel horror/clusterfuck stories to tell. I’d like to preface my tale by saying that, although these things are frustrating as hell, I kind of love them because they illustrate the sheer incompetence of the airline industry. Not that I have it out for the airline industry in particular, but I do love displays of incompetence.

I flew out of Toronto last Friday at noon on Delta. I checked one bag; though it was small enough to be considered a carry-on, it had knitting needles, scissors, and cough syrup in it, all of which are either banned or questioned at security.

The flight was scheduled to leave at noon. It was delayed by about 15 minutes, which wasn’t a big deal at all. (Except there was this one guy who was traveling with his family to Disney World [ask me how I know this] and was obsessively concerned about whether they would make their connection. In his squeaky, high-pitched voice, he asked two different gate agents whether the 15 minute delay would affect their chances of making the connection that they had an hour and a half to make. An hour and a half? That’s a lifetime as far as connections are concerned. During the flight, we were apparently flying slower than expected due to the weather, and he cornered the flight attendant and the co-pilot, who was passing by on his way to the bathroom, about his family’s goddamn connection. I sincerely hope they missed it.)

The plane was one of those small ones, sort of a maxi-puddle jumper, with about 50 people on board. From the conversations around me, I gathered that most of the passengers were connecting to other flights, which may sort of account for what happened when we landed. The flight ended up being about an hour late, due to the original delay and then the slow flying speed.

Atlanta is one of those giant airports with a tram between gate blocks, and it’s Delta’s hub – Delta comprises the entire Terminal South, with all of the other airlines clustered in Terminal North. For some reason, whenever bad things have happened to me during travel, Atlanta is usually involved. So, when we landed I headed for the baggage claim area. I didn’t take the tram cause I had no desire to be face-to-armpit with a bunch of other stinky, cranky travellers, and it only took about 5 minutes to walk.

At baggage claim, I had to look for the carousel number on a screen. Carousel 2. Fine, no problem. However, my flight was not listed on the electronic marquee above Carousel 2 -it seemed to be mostly flights from the midwest (Detroit, Kalamazoo, etc.). International flights were at Carousel 3; I thought that maybe Toronto was considered domestic because it’s in North America, but Vancouver was listed on the marquee for Carousel 3. I must have stood there for 40 minutes, watching the carousel go round and round, waiting for my bag and my parents. I didn’t see a single other person from my flight, which I thought was kind of weird. As I stood there, waves of people came, collected their bags, and went.

At that point, I was kind of worried about my luggage, and I was also wondering where my parents were. I was just about to use a pay phone to call them when I saw my mom. I walked over to her and said hi, and she asked me where I’d been and said that she and my dad had been waiting for me, first at the entrance to baggage claim, and then at the carousel, for half an hour. She told me that on the Arrivals monitor, the screen first showed that my flight was on time at its original time, then showed its updated time, then showed the original time, then didn’t show anything, and that they were more than a little confused as to my whereabouts.

Score: Delta 1, Tasha 0.

I told her that my bag was missing, and she went over to speak to the Delta agent who was on hand. I provided my baggage check number, and the agent cheerfully informed me that my bag was indeed not there, and that it was coming in from Toronto on a later flight and would arrive at 7 pm.

Score: Delta 2, Tasha 0.

Now, I’ve had luggage lost before, and it’s been delivered when it’s come in, and everyone goes on their merry way. However, my final destination wasn’t Atlanta; our cabin is outside of Clayton, which is about 2 hours from Atlanta, which was going to complicate things. The agent assured us that it wouldn’t be a problem and that we could expect the bag late that night or early the next morning.

Meanwhile, I was still pretty sick at that point and had only made it through the flight thanks to DayQuil, which I’d packed in my bag, along with NyQuil, my toothbrush and toothpaste, and all of my clothes. I didn’t bother to pack any of that stuff in my carry-on, cause I only took a small bag that held my camera and a book. When we stopped for gas on the way home, I made my mom buy me some NyQuil (actually, it was a generic brand, because my mother balked at the $7.99 price tag on the NyQuil; to be fair to her, I had bought the generic stuff too, but I can’t remember what it was called) but couldn’t stand the thought of stopping at a grocery store for DayQuil or anything else.

That night, despite having to use someone else’s toothbrush, I slept like a log or a dead baby or whatever, thanks to the good people at Vicks. In the morning, my bag was nowhere to be found, so I called the Delta Baggage Information number I’d been provided with, and entered my confirmation number to find out about my luggage. I was informed that it was being flown to Asheville, NC.

Score: Delta 3, Tasha 0.

I called back and got an operator, who was able to tell me that not only was my bag indeed not being delivered to Clayton, but it was also on its way to Asheville. The next day.

Score: Delta 4, Tasha 0.

I was more than a little bit pissed off at this point, but the woman on the phone had done all she could: she called Delta in Atlanta THREE TIMES to try to speak to someone about the situation but no one picked up. She told me to call back after noon to get the updated information. When I called back at 4 pm (we had gone on a hike in the early afternoon), I was put on hold for 20 minutes. As soon as a representative picked up, I was disconnected.

Score: Delta 5, Tasha 0.

Woe be to the person who has to deal with me after I’ve been put on hold, have listened to Delta’s shitty Muzak for 20, been disconnected on, been put on hold again, and have listened to Delta’s shitty Muzak for another 20 minutes. The woman who took my call was surely cursing me when we hung up, because I was not a pleasant person to deal with. This is a rough estimate of how the interaction went:

Woman with a suspiciously Indian accent, though I won’t hold that against her, but oh my God I fucking hate outsourcing to Bombay or Indonesia or wherever: Hello, thank you for calling Delta, how may I help you?

Me: Here’s my confirmation number: blah blah blah blah blah blah.

WWASIA,TIWHTAH,BOMGIFHOTBOIOW: It looks as though your bag is being sent to Asheville, North Carolina, at 10 o’ clock tomorrow morning, and will arrive at 11:11 am.

Me: Is it? Well, what I would like to know is why my bag wasn’t on my flight YESTERDAY? And, because it wasn’t on my flight yesterday, why wasn’t it delivered to my house THIS MORNING? And, because it wasn’t delivered to my house this morning, why isn’t it on a goddamn flight to Asheville NOW?

WWASIA,TIWHTAH,BOMGIFHOTBOIOW: [In a small voice.] M’am [grrrr], I apologize for your inconvenience, but that is all the information I have.

Me: Oh really? You don’t have any other information? All you know is that my luggage is going to be in Asheville tomorrow morning? You can’t tell me why it wasn’t on my flight in the first place? You can’t tell me why it’s not at my house now? You can’t get it on an earlier flight to Asheville?

WWASIA,TIWHTAH,BOMGIFHOTBOIOW: [In a smaller voice.] M’am, I apologize for your inconvenience, but there’s nothing I can do. If you would call back in 5 hours, you can get updated information.

Me: You want me to call back at 9 o’ clock TONIGHT for information about a bag that should’ve been with me when I arrived in Atlanta yesterday at 4? I don’t think so. I want to know where my goddamn bag is NOW, and I want it on an earlier flight to Asheville.

WWASIA,TIWHTAH,BOMGIFHOTBOIOW: [Practically whispering.] M’am, I apologize for your inconvenience, but if you would just call back in 5 hours–

Me: Stop apologizing for my inconvenience. I cannot believe this. All you can do is give me some out-of-date information that appears on your screen and expect me to call back in 5 hours?

WWASIA,TIWHTAH,BOMGIFHOTBOIOW: M’am, there’s nothing more I can do.

Score: Delta 6, Tasha .5 (I know it was wrong, but God it felt good to yell at someone.)

I spent a total of 2 hours on the phone on Saturday evening, trying to find someone who knew something about anything. After failing miserably, I called the Baggage Information people back to let them know that I was planning to pick up the bag in Asheville, rather than rely on them to deliver it, because they were clearly not capable of doing so.

Less than two hours after I got off the phone, we got a call from a guy who was just leaving the airport in Asheville with my bag and needed directions to our house.

Delta, why is it that whenever I fly with you, something goes wrong? I have nothing against you in particular, but you seem to be incapable of dealing with things like snowstorms and holidays. (To give them credit, the flight yesterday was perfect, my bag was there when we landed, and all is well.)

Bonus: the customs agent that I got on my return? Absolutely fucking gorgeous. Streaky blond hair, well built, and turquoise -not blue, fucking TURQUOISE- eyes. And? Charming and personable, which is a miracle. To say that I wanted to bring him home with me would be an understatement. Tell me, is it illegal to hit on a customs official? It’s not like propositioning a cop or anything, is it? I behaved completely appropriately, but only because I don’t want to get deported. If I were a customs agent, I would totally pull aside every hot guy and be like, “Excuse me, sir, you’re going to need to step into my office.” Then I would interrogate the living shit out of them and, when they were at their most terrified and vulnerable, tell them that I’ll let them go, if they “help a lady out, if you know what I mean.”

Get thee to the AGO

December 21, 2006 at 9:27 pm | Posted in photography | 2 Comments

Last night, I met up with my friends Eddie (of almost boy-version-of-me fame) and Stephanie (non blog-reader, but I forgave her for that a long time ago) for a gut-bomb of a Mexican meal at Margarita’s – and I mean that in the nicest way possible – after which we took in the photography exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Currently, the AGO is displaying photographs by Ansel Adams and Alfred Eisenstaedt. It’s kind of a weird pairing – the master of the meticulous zone system and the original California photographer meets the much more of-the-moment German photographer, whose pre-Hitler portraits of ordinary Germans are almost impossible to take at face value – but the photographs are magnificent.

I’d honestly never heard of Eisenstaedt before, though a quick Wikipedia check reveals him to be the artist behind that famous photo of the sailor kissing the nurse on V-J Day in New York. Though that photo captures a certain spirit, I have to say that I enjoyed his earlier works much more, maybe because I’d never seen them before. He did several series of occupations in Germany – bakers, the sewing industry, etc. – and they all generally have that Henri Cartier Bresson-like sense of capturing the moment. The kind of neat thing about Eisenstaedt is that he was working in Germany during its Weimar, pre-Hitler, period, which is when the photomontage artists John Heartfield and Hannah Hoch were also producing art that greatly criticized the emerging leader and challenged the racial and sexual discriminatory practices of the time. (Interesting, isn’t it, that German culture flourished so much right before what has to be considered the country’s bleakest period? It’s so easy to forget that twentieth-century German history goes far, far beyond WWII and the Holocaust.) Anyway, my point is that Eisenstaedt was working in Germany at the beginning of a very volatile time, and some of his images – some, but not all- reflect this. However, regardless of whether or not they include members of the Third Reich, I found myself considering the photos in the context of a world existing in the most fragile of peaces, between two enormously devastating world wars, entirely unaware of what was to come. Knowing now what the subjects of the photos did not know then is quite a way to view art…

Everyone is familiar with Ansel Adams. His images of Yosemite are world renowned, and many a student has proudly displayed Adams’ elm trees or mountain scenes on her dorm room wall. Again, it’s easy to forget that behind the sort of American cliche of Adams as the ultimate in black and white photography, there lies a very real artist. Adams started out the way most artists begin – you copy what you see, what is popular at the time, until you find your own vision – but once he found his style, he really never looked back. And, cliche or not, his work is gorgeous. The AGO has many of the most well-known works, including Moonrise over Hernandez, Half-Dome, and the tide series; and up close, they are breathtaking. The exhibit goes far beyond the masterpieces, however, and displays some of Adams’ early images and many of his lesser-known photos.

Adams and Eisenstaedt were working at roughly the same time, and one gets the sense that the US was operating in an entirely different world, perhaps to to its uninvolvement in WWI and WWII, in the sense that US turf was not involved until Pearl Harbour – this afforded artists the opportunity to meditate on the landscape in a way that Germany/Europe were unable to offer their culture-makers. However, this is a pretty limited way to take it all in, considering that the US was facing the Depression in the 1930s and many a bleak portrait was created to illuminate that particular milestone in twentieth-century US history (Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans).

Anyway. I don’t even know what I’m talking about any more. I’m tired and sick and I’m off to Deliverance country tomorrow, so no more posts for a while, darlings.

Ch-ch-ch-changes. Sort of.

December 20, 2006 at 2:53 pm | Posted in photography, things that annoy | 1 Comment

I’ve been developing and printing my black and white images from Turkey for the past few months. I’ve been meaning to scan them and upload them to this blog, but as with most of my endeavors, that fell by the wayside as school picked up.

However, school’s out, baby, and you know what that means –knitting (a Fair Isle hat in the works, a pair of socks), spinning (just finished spinning lacy singles for a scarf), and photography.

I scanned some of my black and white pictures today and uploaded them to WordPress. tried to upload them to WordPress. While the uploading worked fine, sending the saved images to the editor in the proper format did not. I thought I could fiddle with the code and figure it out, but I have only sporadic access to the code. Why, I do not know. So, be that as it may, I have now one (1) zero five black and white photos from Turkey up on the photos page, with more to come as WordPress decides to start cooperating I scan them (I figured it out).

I hope.

What I love about my mother

December 19, 2006 at 8:32 am | Posted in family, life | Leave a comment

Is that she’s always willing to assume I’m thinking the worst of myself.

Case in point, this conversation, which occurred last night, when I called her to discuss my perpetual failure with boys and dating:

Me: And, Mom, I’m sick.

Mom: Well, you’re not sick.

Me: No, I am. I have a cold.

Mom: [Laughs.] Oh.

Rejection, part a million

December 18, 2006 at 9:08 pm | Posted in boys | 1 Comment

Why is it that when you meet someone you could maybe possibly like if you got to know them a bit more, they think pretty much the opposite of you? And why is it that when you meet someone you don’t like all that much, they think that you are fabulous and wonderful?

I hate dating. Or maybe I hate being single, since “dating” is not a word one would apply to the current situation. Or maybe I hate being young. Contrary to what we’re led to believe, it sucks.

Oh, and? My own mother thinks I’m a whore. She told me to stop making out with boys! I finally found something I’m good at, and now she wants me to stop? That’s like asking me to stop breathing. It ain’t gonna happen, mom.

EDIT I’m sorry, I know that I posted this last night, but I was thinking about what my mom said as I was walking to work this morning and I wanted to make a point.  I honestly cannot believe that, in 2006, I am being told to not kiss boys.  It’s not as if I’m having casual, or any, sex, with these guys; all I’m doing is kissing them.  Usually, it’s not even horizontal kissing.  And I’m being given a guilt trip about it?

I can sort of see her point: after hooking up with a boy, I do tend to wonder if there’s anything behind it, and when it turns out that there isn’t (as it usually does), I get upset.  But it’s not like, upset upset.  It’s more the blow of rejection, which hurts no matter where it comes from.  And truthfully, I would rather make out with someone and eventually be rejected by them than not kiss them at all.  Why?  Because kissing is fun and it’s usually harmless.  Also, I want to test drive the car before I buy it.  If a guy can’t even kiss well, why would I want to spend any more time with him?  Anyway, if my mother is merely concerned about my well-being, that’s fine, and I’ll allow her that with no more said on the subject.

But if she’s concerned about my moral looseness or something similar, I’m going to have to call bullshit on it.  This isn’t parochial school (though really, weren’t the biggest whores you knew in high school Catholic school girls?) and it’s not the 1800s; we don’t have to keep three feet on the floor at all times when in a room with a boy, and we don’t have to wear letters on our chests to proclaim our infidelity.  There can’t still be some sort of crazy double standard about what girls do and what boys do and what those actions say about the genders’ characters.  And certainly not over kissing!

Ok.  That’s all.  End rant.

You know you are addicted to the internet when

December 18, 2006 at 7:49 pm | Posted in boys | 1 Comment

you begin to use Google as a magic 8-ball. This evening, I caught myself asking the search engine questions about my personal life that I used to ask of the 8-ball when I was 15: “Should I call so-and-so?” “Does he like me?” “Dear Google/8-ball, will I ever, ever get a boyfriend?”. As if either the internet oracle or the 8-ball has the answers!

Dear careless photography students: fuck off

December 16, 2006 at 4:24 pm | Posted in photography, things that annoy | Leave a comment

(Background: I have been doing creative black-and-white film photography since 7th grade, and it’s a pretty important part of my life. A couple of years ago, before I left Portland, I bought a Bronica ETR-Si (a single lens reflex medium format camera), which takes film that is several times larger than 35mm. Because the film is larger, the normal lens that is on an enlarger won’t accommodate the entire negative; if you make a print from 120 film using a 50mm lens, you get vignetting, which is generally not a desirable effect. Thus, you must use an 80mm lens with 120 size film.

In Toronto, I’ve been using the darkroom facilities at Hart House, the student center at UofT. For a student-run space, the facilities are pretty good: they have several individual darkrooms with a variety of enlargers, including a couple of color enlargers and one with an 80mm lens; a color printer (not a piece of computer equipment!); a digital darkroom; and a new shared darkroom with 7 enlargers. For $30 bucks a year (for students), you get access to all of this, which is a sweet deal: photography is a very expensive art.

The downside of using a communal space is, of course, having to share. Though there are equipment and chemicals curators, who do a lot of maintenance and general darkroom upkeep, students are expected to do their share of the work. We must clean up after ourselves in the darkrooms, pick up our dry prints and film after a reasonable length of time, and return darkroom accessories to the common space once we have finished using them. Unfortunately, it’s rare for me to open the door to “my” darkroom –the one I use because the enlarger has the lens I need– and not find some kind of mess. Alternatively, the darkroom is clean and organized, but the 11×14 trays are missing from the common space, or the drying racks are littered with prints that look like they’ve been there for weeks. I would expect and/or understand this from middle school students, but university students? It’s ridiculous. And so, this is my letter to the careless students I have to put up with.)

Dear careless photography students,

I have had to share the Hart House darkroom space with you for over a year now, and I have noticed that some of you seem to have forgotten –or maybe you never knew in the first place– how to properly use and return the darkroom equipment, and how to clean up after yourselves. In the interest of us getting along, I took the liberty of making a list, full of helpful reminders.

Without further ado, here it is:

1. Remeber, we do not develop film and make prints using rainbows and smiles. The chemicals we use are of varying degrees of toxicity and therefore, it is important that you wipe down any and all surfaces on which you inevitably spill them. I am tired of walking into the darkroom, only to find that the stainless steel sink and counter space are covered in brown and red sludge. And none of the chemicals we use are either brown or red.

2. Please do not hoard the 11×14 developing trays. Normally, there are fifty billion trays, ranging from 5×7 inches to 4×5 feet, and when I can only find three lousy 8x10s, it doesn’t make for an awesome printing experience. You may feel like you are the only person who prints 11×14, and that therefore, it is perfectly okay to keep them in “your” darkroom, but I assure you, you are mistaken.

3. We have a limited amount of space on which to dry our film and our prints. There are six or seven drying screens, and the highest ones are out of my reach; the highest ones are out of everyone’s reach, and as a result, the lower ones fill up fast. I have no idea how many people use the facilities in a given week, but regardless of the number, there seem to be two camps:

a. Those who leave their (goddamn RC*) prints on the screens for what feels like years, so that when I make room for my (fiber*) prints, I am seeing the same muddy, dirty, craptastic shots over and over and over again. (These may or may not be the same people who steal prints; I’m not sure. I am sure, however, that these are the same people who clog the (tiny) film closet with their bone-dry rolls of film.) Just pick them up already!

b. Those who do us all a favor and pick up their prints and film on time. I love you, I really do.

Thank you for your attention to these points. Feel free to start taking them into consideration when using the Hart House darkrooms.

Yours,

Tasha

*The reason that the RC (resin coated) prints do not generally belong on the drying rack is that, as far as I know, we have a print dryer. If we don’t have a print dryer, my mistake, and I apologize for being bitchy about your RC prints. RC prints are strong enough when wet to go through the print dryer. Fiber prints are much more fragile, and have to be air-dried, preferrably on screens.

My Christmas vacation

December 14, 2006 at 2:42 pm | Posted in life | 3 Comments

My family has a cabin in the mountains of northeast Georgia, right at the base of the Appalachian mountains. It’s our vacation home, and my family built it. The cabin sits on three acres of land, surrounded by woods, on a mountain. My grandfather, uncle, and parents built the cabin, starting when I was about 3 or so, and ending in… oh wait, that’s right, it’s an ongoing project and my dad is constantly working on it. I mean, it’s entirely livable and all that, and has been for years, it’s just that there’s always something to do–put in a deck, put in a porch, convert the basement to an apartment (which will be stupid adorable when it’s done)…

I have such a love-hate relationship with that place. The house itself, for sure, but also the surrounding area and just the whole experience of being there. When I was little, like really little, it was so much fun to go up there, even though it required a 14-hour drive(now whittled down to 12, thanks to an increase in the turnpike speed limit and some rather careless driving on my brother’s and my parts), in a Toyota Corolla wagon with two kids and an Old English sheepdog whose slobber would eventually cover the vinyl seats, to which our sweaty skin was already sticking.

But once we got there, it was like summer camp every single day–it really is a gorgeous part of the country, and if you even slightly like the outdoors, there’s an unlimited number of things to do, and we would do them all. We spent hours at the beach on Lake Rabun; went out in a rowboat or, if I could convince my dad, a powerboat, on Lake Burton; went white-water rafting and canoeing; rode horses; “mined” for gems; and went on numerous hikes. My brother learned to kayak; I took horseback riding lessons. We learned to ski in the winter. We played Pooh sticks in the creek on “our” mountain and discovered the waterfalls, hidden behind the rhododendrons that line the road leading to the rifle range.

Once I got older and entered my teenage years, also known to my family as “What the hell happened to my sweet and agreeable daughter?”, going to the cabin became a chore of epic proportions. Why would I want to spend two weeks or a month in the middle of nowhere with my family when I could be hanging out with my friends in Miami? To give me some credit, it really is the middle of nowhere. The closest town is Clayton, Georgia, and I’m sorry to say that I’ve not discovered much redeeming about it in the twenty years that I’ve been going there. It’s not its fault, of course–it’s in a poor part of the country (Appalachia, while wild and unquestionably beautiful, is not known for its wealth, after all), and I can’t expect it to have quaint boutiques and art galleries when what it needs are hardware stores and discount clothing stores: and what it needs is what it has.

For a kid raised in a city, it’s hard to understand the country. Once you’ve exhausted its store of easily-enjoyed activities –the rafting, the horseback riding– you’re left with the bare bones of the place itself which, when you are a teenager, consist mainly of small annoyances. You’re left with the shitty television reception and, since you don’t live there, your parents aren’t going to pay for cable two weeks a year. You’re left with no friends, cause you don’t live there, but the older you get the more you wonder, could you really be friends with people who live in an area where the confederate flag still flies proud? Your parents, not being city folk at heart, don’t offer to take you to Atlanta where you and your brother could maybe burn off some steam. You’re left with the bugs and the chiggers in the summer, and the cold in the winter. You’re left with the sneaking suspicion that while you’re trapped in a stupid cabin with your parents and your little brother, your friends are living it up at home.

Then, in adulthood, you come back around to it. Since I graduated from high school, went to college, and gained some freedom, I haven’t been back many times. The times that I have been there, though, have been pleasant. In the summer, when Atlanta and the other southern cities are simmering in sticky heat, the mountains are warm during the day and cool at night, and the water in the lakes, rivers, and creeks is chill and refreshing. The sun usually shines behind a clear blue sky –unlike the overcast and perpetually-stormy Miami summers– and the afternoon thunderstorms are fierce and brief. My parents, caught up in their projects, alternate between work and play–one day, they will work and I will stay home and read or knit, and the next day, we will go hiking or canoeing. We still have no television reception, so we rent movies and that’s the only time we turn on the tv. There’s no computer. There is a phone but I’m past that stage and anyway, I have nothing to talk about.

I will be spending part of the winter break there, only one week (I wanted to have time to enjoy Toronto minus school and work). It’s been a long time since I have been there in the winter, and I’m not sure what to expect. This is what I remember:

Me: Dad, can we please turn on the heat? [My dad put in central heating a few years ago after using only the wood-burning stove for over a decade. My parents figured if they ever wanted to rent out the place, central air and heating would have to be installed.]

Dad: What, it’s not warm enough in here for you?

Me: Dad, it must be, like, 40 degrees [To non-Americans, that would be about 5] in here and I’m freezing.

Dad: Move closer to the stove. And put on more clothes!

Me: I’m wearing two sweaters, fleece pants, and I have a blanket and the cat on my lap. I’m sitting right next to the goddamn stove.

Dad: [Moving the thermostat dial the tiiiiiniest little bit over to the right.] Fine, I’ll turn on the heat.

[Note: This means that by the time I’m ready for bed, the icicles in my room will have started to melt. Started. And they won’t have gotten very far.]

(It’s funny how, when I have no other option, being cold is approximately my worst nightmare, but the rest of the time, I’m overheating. )

Anyway, I will be spending part of my Christmas vacation in the land of Confederate flags and peaches, Deliverance and the Tallulah Gorge, depressing small towns and the Chattooga River.

Everybody loves Neil

December 14, 2006 at 9:48 am | Posted in life | 2 Comments

I discovered the male version of me last night and man, is he awesome! I was out with my classmates and prof, celebrating our final international organizations class, and Neil started telling me about how he’d found my blog and read it –which of course meant that he nudged out the competition* for the title of male version of me– and that he thought it was hilarious that I hate men. (Which, goddamn it, I do not. I am only a man-hater because I’m a man-lover, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.) That, of course, led to a ridiculously explicit conversation about sex. I love it when I meet guys (or girls, for that matter, but for some reason it’s usually guys) I can be super open, even offensive, with (with whom I can be super open, even offensive… fuckin’ grammar). Oh, and, Neil’s fiance knitted him this super awesome scarf, and you gotta love that. So, Neil, baby: I hope you get laid often and well, and may the force be with you.

*Eddie, Stephanie’s boyfriend, was totally in the running –he and I have the same juvenile sense of humor– but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read my blog all that often. And, seeing as how blogs rock my world, I’m not sure he can be the male version of me without reading this one.

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