Saturday, July 30, 2005

The belly of a woman

Vincenzo has taught me a new phrase - "femina panze". It means woman's belly - but more than that, it means the center of feminine strength. While most of Italian is filled with dicks - il cazo (pronounce it kahtzo with emphasis on the 'zo') - for emphasis and immediacy (Que cazo fai? means "What the fuck are you doing?"), the femina panza represents the secret and the source of a woman's power. How lovely.

A home for little Shanas everywhere

The house where I grew up - my room is the attic, with the open skylight.

My dad holding his beloved kitty, Alma.

The best steak in the world - raised locally and grilled perfectly (char on the outside - dark pink on the inside...
how does he do it?)

Templar Road...dust then mud then ruts then ice. I miss it so.

At home.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Oui, c'est tu.

My walk to and from the gym brings me through the Georgetown hospital campus. In the mornings, there are angry, busy doctors being followed by earnest young medical students in short white coats.

I remember when Alexis used to have two short coats - one dirty and one dirtier...covered in sweat and blood and vomit and pen. Now I see her (when I'm lucky) swooping along the corridors, having donned the now clean, long coat to play nice with the other doctors. It brings a smile to my heart.

Oui, c'est tu.

It's always been you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Why I love Vincenzo:

Snippet of conversation from dinner (modified slightly for your reading enjoyment):

Vincenzo: I don't like it here, it's so snooty, so fancy (motions to his shoulders as if wearing a suit). In New York, you can piss on the Subway. And they do! Here - carpeting! What is this? (motions in outraged confusion)

The Underwear Chronicles and the Further Adventures of the Pink Dress

So, I've been working myself up to a really good bout of depressive ennui. I have not, however, managed to make the full transition, and have been hovering in a limbo of "meh." In the interest of hastening the descent, I took the morning off to engage in a thoroughly defeating past time -

Bra Shopping.

(I believe that most women feel this way about shopping for swimsuits, but I consider that quest to be of a more utilitarian nature, and therefore not as emotionally devastating.)

For me, bra shopping is a truly demeaning process - one in which the department stores of the world gather forces and reject me as a group. I usually head for Penney's - where at least they carry my size, but I end up with a drawer full of bras for seventy-year-old women. Normally, I could give a shit, but it's so damn hot in DC that I've been wearing stuff that shows off either
A. my running bras (grey, broken, and mournful), or
B. my selection of cross-your-heart, 18-hour, girdle-y things.

So, I Googled for the nearest Penney's and headed out over the Key Bridge, found a station playing my favoritist reggae that I haven't heard since I was traveling down the East coast of Central America, and made it to the mall on my map. Unfortunately, the Penney's had been consumed by the Hecht's years before (damn you Google), so I decided to make a go of it in an unfamiliar department store.

The Bra Ladies at Penneys are unflappable - you can tell them that you have three breasts, all different cup sizes, and they'll find something that works for you. When I found the one saleslady at Hecht's, I leaned over the counter and told her my size. Her eyes widened, she put her hand to her chest and said "Miss, I usually work in the Children's Department!" I was so ashamed, as if I'd despoiled her innocence and the innocence of the children she mentioned - as if I'd leaned over and said: "I have two 36Fs in here. Wanna see 'em?" She gathered herself together, and proceeded to tell me that there was nothing there for me, and went back to her pricing.

(Believe me, I've heard it before..."Please exit our store with a minimum of fuss and take those massive dirty pillows with you!")

Unexpectedly, I managed to ferret out two very nice bras. They're even a bit pretty...and have the word "comfort" on their tags. My other bras don't dare mention the word comfort. The tags on my other bras say things like: "Now with flesh-hooks for a secure lift." and "Tightening chest band for full motion restriction" (that's a good running bra, though it's impossible to breath deeply while wearing it)

So, here I am, feeling a bit giddy about my percieved acceptance by society (as evidenced by a store actually having something that fits me), and not at all mopey. Plus, I locked my keys in the car and was rescued by a guy who drove back to his office, got a new set of tools, and opened my door - all for my phone number. The Pink Dress strikes again!

Monday, July 25, 2005

The very bestest thing in all of the wide world

The beanPod woke up.

I am truly not worthy of this level of luck and good Karma.
(being pretty much a jackass who can't take care of her stuff)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Just taze me

1. People - if I ever say I will drive from NYC to Washington again on a pleasant Sunday afternoon, please, for the love of all that's holy...

2. Referred to DC as "home" while talking with Alexis. The slip was met with significant silence before I was told what I had done.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Out of it

My body knows this place - my eyes still know the misted rolls of hills, and my hands still know the dangerous parts of the road. But my mind is screaming: "Where the fuck am I?"

Rifling through the ephemera of an over-thought youth I find I am pretty much the same as I ever was: the same thoughts, the same cadence, the same amused acceptance.

Also, please note: it takes an entire working day to get from my apartment in Georgetown to my family farm in Watkins Glen, NY. 8:30am-5:00pm, with a stop for the best fried shrimp in the world at Doug's Fish Fry in Cortland.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

For Bethany

I found a perfect mouth marble yesterday on the locker room floor.

Clear glass - bubbles (no swirls) - and smaller than a regulation marble (probably from someone's cheap-ass flower arrangment). I know, I know, a locker room floor...but one must be fearless about these things.

I rinsed it in the sink and popped it in.

Nice...good weight, good size, clear sound, relatively low choking hazard. I poked it with my index finger until it clacked all of my Wisdom Teeth in order - upper right, lower right, upper left, lower left - Samuel, Saul, Edgewood and Hanson (okay, I have not actually named them, but isn't that funny?).

Then to the front, tongued across my teeth:

Ta-tick, ta-tick,
Ta-tick, ta-tick.


Tiddle ta-tick, tiddle ta-tick.

I spit it into my fist, grasped it hard in the crook of my index finger, and squinted through at the bright, round world...and, don't laugh - I think I saw your face.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Pink: The color you yell at.

My recent acquisition of several pink dresses has led me to experience a whole new aspect of being a girl: getting yelled at regularly on the street. I've been yelled at before, but not all the freaking time.

This sort of thing does not happen in Ann Arbor.

Who's yelling? Of course those spending their time hanging out on sidewalks -

Man in Georgetown: "Baby, you need someone to *take care* of you!"
Me: "Yeah, you too. Do you have access to social services?"

Man near my office: "Honey, you look so beautiful. Don't get too hot today, you should stay in the shade (eyebrow wiggle)."

Then, of course, there're the guys who yell in Spanish and make noises that are exquisitely embarrassing for all involved (or should be).

Dang, these men suck.
I do, however, admire their moxie.

Owen Wilson with Breasts

There is a girl who rides the D1 and looks exactly like Owen Wilson. Right down to the broken nose and the chronically pouty/open mouth.

On him, it's hysterical. On her, being a long, lean slip of a tousled blond, it creates an air of traditional fuckability. Her mouth hangs open and moist, attracting both dicks and flies. I looked over her shoulder at the magazine she was reading: "This Summer: Half Pony-Tails!" Now that's some easy fodder for my hate-machine.

Heavens, how I detest women.

And now, from the annals of deep hypocrisy - I have to run for my 10am pedicure.

Monday, July 18, 2005

4 Banner Day

I can't tell you why my posts are so unusual these last few weeks. First it was days of drivel that I paid some 16-year-old to write. Now, I can't stop talking about nothing. Unusual, to be sure, but go with me here...

That being said, it was a four-banner day:

1. Began a 45-minute fight/discussion (I prefer to think of it as a fight) in my weekly intern's meeting, which included me uttering such gems as: "from a social work perspective, I consider improperly researched social service or civic engagement arts programming completely unethical" and "I could give a shit about your funding, and I don't care how the organizations got along, I want to know how your actions are affecting individual's lives. How are they affecting me, my family, and my community?" -okay, I don't think I said shit, but it reads better-

2. Played the aforementioned 87 million game. 'Nuf said: I feel pretty. Oh yeah.

3. Kicked up my speed - now running a good distance at my goal speed for the summer! Calves a bit ouchy, but otherwise okay.

4. During laps, something clicked into place. My backstroke went from jerky and harsh to smooth, liquid and light. Like a ribbon twisting through the water, the stroke became effortless. It was as if I finally learned to swim. Everything's changed for me, and I never want to be out of the water again.

5,6,7&8: Talked to Kate, John, Dad, and Alexis while walking to and from the Georgetown Barnes and Noble. And, no, my HP06 has not arrived, and no, they did not have any on the shelves. I'm terrified that I'm going to accidently find out something from the book and may run screaming from anyone who hints anything.

And, Satadru, I'm not falling for it. Ginny's only gay in femslash...though who hasn't cuddled up to a little Narcissa/Ginny on a storm-tossed Autumn night?

Such Great Heights

People -

I have officially entered "My Pinball Phase".

Yes, I just played an 87,000,000 game on Creature of the Black Lagoon - a game with a 72,000,000 replay.

That's right.


I am so irrepressably proud.

(Plus a man on the street asked me to smell his finger, but that's only coincidental.)

Knee status:

Pretty damn good.

Ran for the first time in a long time without my patellar strap (forgot it at home) - so far, so good, and no pain this morning.

On a disappointing note - the big guy who has been harrassing me at the gym isn't hanging around much anymore. My workouts are suffering...I've been trying to achieve the same level of intensity in the pool, but the impetus is just not there. Last time he watched me, I was trying so hard to seem occupied that I swam much, much harder than I normally do. I couldn't raise my arms above shoulder level for two days. Ah, that was nice.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Please excuse our choppy cadence

There are unforseen currents.
Hurricane-related - this too, will pass.

Girls, Interrupted

1&2. I forgot about housemates - it's been so long since we've lived in a dorm. When engaging in actions which offer the option of certain statements of private nature, I never expect the knock at the door, quietly asking how hot my laundry gets dried.

And the next morning. After a while, quite a while, I realized the door was partly ajar. During a break, I got up to shut it and found my other housemate seated outside. There was banging downstairs, so she phoned from my hallway, and kept on talking right through my surprise.

3. In a loud corner of an overrated restaurant, Alexis watched me suck down oysters. Hand on my thigh, eyes locked with mine, when the waiter loudly asked if we'd decided on dinner. Poor, poor service.

4. For the umpteenth time, we got caught in a downpour - this time with shelter, others times without. In a glass and brick walkway, pressed firmly against it, one arm blocks egress, the other one, well... I acknowledge it's public, but regular people wouldn't chose this time to ask us for donations.

(Almost as bad, but never as funny (or forgivable) as Cyrus calling us in our jacuzzi suite on the ocean from 684 miles ask for the phone number of the Papa Johns around the corner from him in Ann Arbor.)

Friday, July 15, 2005


In an square, squat building just North of the city is the bullet that killed Lincoln, trephening sets, dozens of foetuses floating in liquid, and a photo of legs piled off of a battlefield that made me cry and cry and cry.

Along the shelves of demonstrative femurs, infection-riddled and neatly sawed-off, are the stories of soldiers, maimed and recorded, displayed quite near their now-dry bones.

Civil War Colons of Medical Interest are neatly whipstiched and proudly displayed - some with rectums, some without (dysentery was the third martial force in the war) - bleached and ragged as they are.

As we walked to the Metro, the sky opened up, the roads became rivers, and we went drip, drip, drip all the way home.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

It overwhelms me

It's good to take it slow and breath it deep. It's good to be small, to live small, to look down at small things. It's good to examine what is mostly unseen. It's good to trace veins through papery skin, to predict the path of cracks in concrete, to inhale a stranger's curling breath, to hold something dirty and hurt in your hands and to cuddle it close.

Listen to just one song.
Know just one person.
Name your only shoes.
Claim one small corner-
you don't have to travel.

Screw multiple choice and the horror of the vast.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Scenes from a walk

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Our little house

Monday, July 11, 2005

Best. Thing. Ever.

Alexis made the stairs have walls!
No more gaping holes and crumbling plaster for us!

The dogs seem nervous about it.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

I believe...

I was waiting on the metro platform at the airport when I saw them. A sea of young people, some chaperones, all wearing the same black shirt with the statement "I believe" in red and blue stripes and some short manifesto of said belief in tiny white letters. "I believe what," I wondered to myself, and stepped forward to face them bravely. Like other Jews and other Seas, the group parted around me as I squinted at their teenage bosoms. (As an excuse, my contacts have been really bothering me, and I haven't been reading that well. Also: standing on subway platforms squinting at the fervent breasts of Christian Youth is not taken as well as you'd think - It'll probably look as bad on you as it did on me.) I can't help but feel that my actions sped up the flow of teens past me, making it effectively more difficult to decipher their message. Didn't get the whole statement but it revolved around repenting and redemption and Washington, DC, which, honestly, can't be all bad.

If it were my shirt it would say:

I believe...
That gravity and time are sometimes negotiable, sometimes not. That life has inherant, recognizable worth, in any vessel, and judging this worth by percieved magnitude is innappropriate (not that we should let it stop us, but it should give us pause). That cultural relativism is almost universally applicable. That living one's life fully is altruistic. That the fate of giant squid foretells our own.

As they passed, clutching their duffles and pillows, I hoped that their redemption experience in DC was meaningful, effective, and involved bedbugs.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

How can this be?

"There was a big blast followed by the sound of people screaming. I rushed to the window and it was just unbelievable. From what I saw the top half of the bus had been blown off. And people were wandering around in a daze."

"I was on the bus in front and heard an incredible bang, I turned round and half the double-decker bus was in the air ... It was a massive explosion and there were papers and half a bus flying through the air, I think it was the number 205. There must be a lot of people dead as all the buses were packed, they had been turning people away from the tube stops."

"I was on the train and there was a sudden jolt forward ... There was a really hard banging from the carriage next door to us after the explosion - that's where it happened. There was a fire beside me. I saw flames outside on the window of my carriage ... I saw bodies. I think some people may have died."

Oh, London. Oh, no.

I don't understand the allure of a talking fish

Played the new Sopranos game from Stern yesterday. Meh. Perhaps if I had any idea what was going on, or had ever seen the Sopranos I would be more amused. However, it does not, and could not compare with the joy of playing a Fellowship of the Ring Multiball while wearing my ring of power (by the way, I feel my right flipper strength has increased since I was gifted it - yet feel a strange pull towards the East). There's a talking fish (known to Sopranos watchers, I suppose) with blue google-eyes who calls out instructions throughout the play. He speaks with such a horrible fake New York accent that one is hard-pressed to figure out what the hell he's saying. So, when an extra-ball appears, it's always a surprise (which is perhaps part of the fun).

And why, I ask, with all the unjustice and all the despair, with all the hopelessness and pain in the world, why do bar-owners add to it by intentionally setting the front legs too low? Everyone can see the level is way off, and the ball rockets down the chute like it's a magnet (and, um, drawn to something magnetic). This, in a nutshell, is exactly the type of inequity that drew me to social work in the first place. After all, don't we all deserve a level playing field?

So, I say again: join me in fighting the good fight, for equity, for opportunity!

And bring me quarters. Quarters and shims.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

What I learned at the Omani music tent - huzzah for cultural exchange!

1. You know the party is really getting started when the oboist lays down and rolls.
2. People look hot playing the bagpipes, literally and figuratively.
3. Carpeting feels damn good to dance on, especially when the stage had previously been made up of interlocking blocks that pinched when you stepped on them.
4. A person can look good wearing an Ikea tablecloth.
5. There is something magical about dancing next to a really loud drum. You're dancing, others are dancing around you, and the drum is so loud and so near that it modifies your heartbeat. Just a little. And you get to be on someone else's terms, if only for a moment.