Wednesday, January 24, 2007


So...stable economy, eh?

Pfizer is picking up its skirts and heading out of town. This means a loss of 2100 jobs in the area and a glut of houses on the market that're gonna take a LONG while to clear out. Town's in a tizzy.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The citrus crisis of ought seven

Good lord.

I knew we were in for a roller coaster with this global warming thing, I mean I knew about possible shifting in thermohaline circulation, I knew about the rising waters and the paradoxically desicating earth, but NOBODY TOLD ME ABOUT THE ORANGES.

Ruined! They're all ruined in California! What kind of God allows this to happen?

I know this sounds silly, but please, try to understand the role fruit plays in my life. (Hint: It's a big one.) We spend about half of our impressive weekly grocery bill on fruit - and I'm usually so desperate for it that by the time we've pulled out of the parking lot, my glasses are sticky and I've got peels in my hair. When I'm home working, I'll eat between five and ten pieces of hand fruit (that's right...hand fruit) daily, and, if I've got access, an unflattering number of grapes and berries. I consume entire canteloupes and pineapples at a single sitting, I hide bananas in desk drawers, I could be lured to capture with kiwis, if I were given a Golden Globe for best actress in a musical, I would thank every fruit individually including obscure tropical ones that I only know the (dirty) colloquial name for. I ate a year's supply of blueberries in three days...

And winter is a critical time - there is not much in the what am I going to do without oranges?

(Don't tell me orange juice, either, orange juice for oranges is like Czarina (sweet duck's blood soup with egg noodles) for roast duck.)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hebraic negotiations

So, I, um, jewed my Yiddish teacher down to three letters today. My name has, thus far, been spelled with four letters, but when you're a modern maydle on the go, you want the shortest possible way to write. Who has time for an extra letter?

Alright, I admit it, it wasn't about the letters...It was about the Bible.

Not much in my life is related to the Bible, except for the entirity of it being LIVED IN SIN. But when we went around the room on the first day of Yiddish class, there was a line drawn between those of us with Biblical names, and those of us without. The kids with Biblical names (let's call them the bibblekinder) - Aaron, Rachel, Adam, Daniel - have very specific spellings, spelled the same way for five thousand years.

Aaron: Alef, Reysh, Vov, Nun
Rachel: Reysh, Khof, Lamed (with a Hey added on for diminutivity, "Rockhele")
even my Mom: Daled, Veys, Reysh, Hey

But me and all the Buffys? I get my damn name spelled PHONETICALLY, as if I'm some Jonah-come-lately and named after a soap star (Alexis, by the way, is named after the Russian, not the Denver Dynasty). My name has shofar been spelled with four letters: Shin, Alef, Nun, Alef.

So, I finally confronted my teacher this afternoon...She tried to get me to accept "shayna" (Shin, Pasekh Tvey Yudn, Nun, Ayin) as an alternative, which means nice, or pretty. I've always hated that pronounciation, and I'll do anything to avoid being called "pretty".

So, I told the partial truth that I've told many a time: that my name is short for Shoshana. Which it is, in concept, but isn't, in reality. This, my friends, is an actual biblical name, and I am now claiming the second half: Shin, Nun, Hey.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Panera sucks

Their baked goods taste like raw flour paste mixed with Corn Pops.

That's just nasty, yo.

They listened in waves.

Alexis got me "Greetings From Michigan" - the Sufjan Stevens album for depressives, (No, I am aware that all his albums are relatively depressing - but this one is REALLY depressing. It is v. good.) and I had to drive to Lansing yesterday and took it along for company. I snagged two of his other albums from Jess ages ago, and listened to them non-stop for a semester.

But...I use albums all wrong, it goes like this:
1. Scan through album.
2. Declare it crap.
3. Find a song I only kind of like.
4. Listen to this song between 60-80 times, gradually increasing the volume until the bass line makes me nauseated. Keep playing it anyway.
5. Declare this song the best of all songs...EVER, and tell people around me that this song means everything to me, that it speaks my experience clearer than anything I've heard before. Consider calling friends and family and singing the song to them over the phone. Quash the impulse.
6. Continue listening to the song over a set of weeks, and gradually grow lazy about pressing "skip" back to the beginning of the song. Grow fond of the song immediately following.
7. Repeat steps 3-6, until I love the entire album.
Note: The process may be interrupted by making playlists of the same song 20 or 30 times. It's convenient if one has be-mittened hands and cannot properly operate an iPod, but will not lead to whole-album-love.

(It's song three, about Ypsilanti, by the way. I think it's obviously a song about social work, and accurately reflects the paradoxical experience of tenderly loving humanity while vociferously hating humans...Or is it that I adore humans while detesting humanity? Hmmm. Challenging.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Who knew...

That rubber platform boots would be ideal for cleaning up large puddles of sewage in one's basement? Makes sense in hindsight.

Best quotes from the crisis:

Marcus (from Roto-Rooter): Call us right away next time. There's no reason you should be living in raw sewage.

Marcus (from Roto-Rooter, after unwinding a tampon from the end of a 6" bladed auger tip): This was not your problem.

Me (yesterday afternoon, at the end of my rope): This is the beginning of the end... I'm going to get Cholera or something.
Alexis: Just don't drink off of the basement floor.
Me: Now you tell me.

Also, best story from Marcus: He cleaned out the clogged toilet drain of a house belonging to a single father of three teenage daughters (ages 14-17). What was the clog? A massive wad of approximately 150 condoms. Seriously.

(Mom, remember the time I flushed the banana peel? I promise I will NEVER do that again.)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

They make the pain...go away!

No, not brains.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Since you asked...