Monday, November 30, 2009

What Some People Did Over Their Weekend (hint: Not Me)

My neighbors are timely like the new fallen snow. These were up seriously the DAY after Thanksgiving. It's like they planned out the attack, unraveled all the lights, figured out the circuitry around the dinner table for months before, all so they could be the very first at 12:01 am Friday morning.

Tonight I will be going to sleep with a strange blue glow coming through my window, and for once it will not the computer I forgot to shut down. Or police cars. Or giant inflatable pumpkins.

I, on the other hand, got all teary over a Hugh Grant movie, watched some old people dancing the tango, got drunk and danced to Banditos, did some OT today, and drank some eggnog alone. Which, by the way, is a lonely thing to do. It turns out that drinking thick custard-like stuff by yourself makes you feel inadequate. Eggnog, breaking hearts and minds since 1789.

My favorite part is the penguins.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Facebook Nostalgia is a Disease That Should Be Eradicated

Remember the early 00s, when everybody and their sister had their hair died the same purple red shade? Also, look how freaking clear my skin is. God.

Last Christmas, my sister bought my folks a scanner, so they could go through the tub of family photos and get them on the computer. Of course, they did no such thing. So this Thanksgiving, while Carrie was home, she tried to go through as many as possible. And during the course of digging through that tub, she ran across some old rolls of film I had taken during my City Year stint and while at Kent State. It was a weird coincidence, because a few days before I had decided to start looking for some of the girls I was friends with at Kent.

This is Sarah and Amanda. They lived on the same dorm floor as me and Courtney, and since we were the only girls not members of the Dance Team, and enjoyed certain other recreational activities a lot (Pharcyde, boxed wine, wearing hemp shit), we hung out a lot. I know Sarah went off and got married and pregnant somewhere in Amish country, so I doubt I'll ever find her. But I actually ended up at a party of Amanda's about 4 years ago, when she was living in Cleveland Heights with Grace. I didn't even know it was hers until I ran into her there. I got her number at the time, but have since lost it like three cell phones ago, which makes me sad. I'm terrible at keeping in touch with people. I'm also really bad at remembering last names, which would be helpful.

I've tried to find her and Courtney, the girl below, on FB. I've literally scanned through thousands of profiles. But nothing. It's not surprising. I doubt either of them are in Ohio anymore, and I don't list KSU on my profile, so why would they? I have, however, learned there should be a new exciting field of FB stereotyping, because Courtneys are fucking slutty in their profile pics, and Amandas are almost all blonde, and if I ever have a baby girl I am never letting her have a camera ever.

Then there's this girl below, who I can't even remember the first name of. She and Wendy lived next to me, and they were awesome. Especially this girl though, who was super smart and dorky and fun, and always up for doing something incredibly stupid or dangerous or just weird. I think I even at some point went to her parent's house and stayed over. I remember it was in the middle of nowhere, and they were artsy types, and I was scared to leave my bedroom to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night because it was so fucking dark. It kills me that I can't even remember her first name. I feel like it makes me a bad person. I remember she was always complaining about how hard micro-economics was, and it made me not want to go into advertising. Actually, that might have been Wendy.

This is Mamie. She was super sweet and activisty. Please ignore my mess of a dorm room behind her. Also the towel by the door.

In contrast, here's Wendy, who's room with Mystery Girl was always fucking immaculate and cute. I learned early on that I was not going to be the girl who entertains people in her living space. I am the girl who lives in filth, and dreams about organized neat shit. It was true then. It's true now. I ran into Wendy like 5 years ago at a show. She seemed nice enough still, but we never kept touch. She had really good taste in music, especially in comparison with the Aerosmith brigade on the other side of my room. The problem with finding her is that her last name was Jones, of all things. There are 2,500 Wendy Jones with Ohio in their profile. None of them look like her. Also, she's exactly the kind of girl who's married by now.

That drawing on the bottom right is totally by me, and I wish I could read what it said. Like, maybe it might have her roommate's name on it?

I don't know why I suddenly wanted to find these people. I guess Facebook does this thing where you find yourself in touch with all sorts of people you never thought you would talk to again, and you look at that ever growing list of "friends" and wonder why the people you really considered friends aren't on there. You've got your present life and your present friends, and there isn't sometimes enough room for all of them, so why go searching for more people? But then your pesky sister decides to be all responsible and go through crap that's been boxed up for a decade.

And you find certain pictures and wonder why the hell you're holding a ferret, and who did that ferret belong to, and why is it in your dorm room?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pop Goes the Roc

My sister recently had a conniption when I told her I did not like Beyonce's Videophone video. Or, for that matter, any Lady Gaga video. Cause I know. I'm all white and artsy, I should be fucking in love with Gaga, right? Wrong. I know y'all think that because I like Britney, I like all shitty pop music. But I have a high standard of pop, and that crap does not fit it.

I do however LOVE that Jay-Z/Rhianna/Kanye West video above. And let's break down why:

1. The more post apocalyptic the setting, the more reminiscent of Mad Max and 80's terrorism, the better. And Jay-Z has always had the ability to emanate power, no matter how ridiculous the director's vision. He could be in a room of rabid wolverines, or transported to the Thundercats fortress, and he would still emanate.

2. I love the roles they have. Jay-Z as Caesar. Rhianna as the bloodthirsty prophetic princess (like an evil snitty daddy's girl sidekick demon), Kanye as the hothead court jester who's still better with words than the king. One can easily picture Beyonce as the evil Queen lounging in the inner court. All hip hop should be D&D based.

3. It's catchier. Better. Danceable. I hate this trend of slow the auto-tune down, make it awkward. Gaga does not make me want to dance, or even move slightly. It makes me want to sit very still with a sniper rifle. Beyonce has been hitting fifty fifty on that score. I like her, because after all like Carrie said "she's the world's most beautiful woman who keeps coming up with more and more ways to show creative nudity" or something like that. But I hate serious Beyonce. I'm sure it's why Kelly Rowland doesn't like her either. I mean, she says she does, but we know better.

4. "I can spend my whole life Good Will Hunting, only good that gonna come is its good when I'm fucking" "Don't give a damn about the drama that your dude bring, I'm just tryin to change the color of your mood ring." I love you Kanye. You are the cutest asshole at the bar. Now have some more Riesling.

5. Rich people pretending they are dirty, downtrodden revolutionaries is HAWT. And good for anthem songs. Also I'm pretty sure Jay-Z just told God to knock off.

So, in the future, Beyonce should make a video where she's Kali, and she decapitates men's heads and turns them into gold. Please.

Edit: I don't know why this video isn't showing up all of a sudden. I assume it's the Evil Empire. It will be remedied later tonight.

Edit Edit: okay, so it's working. Also, I think these three should do a vampire movie. Like, they're the vampires. Only just like this. It'll be like Lost Boys. We could call it Lost In Da Hood.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Liveblogging Thanksgiving Dinner

1:30pm "If we're going to be an evil empire, then we can't do it halfway."

2:15pm - "she's teaching people how to cut condoms in half and use them as dental dams." "I think that's so bad, you don't need to be ingesting spermicide" "Doesn't clingwrap work?"

2:45pm - "So other than not liking to be on the wrong side of domination games, how's your life going?"

3:15 "We should make a video where God's voice is the window start-up noise"

3:20 "Time for the most useful part of my education, how to dissolve salt into water."
"What if something happens and you're in charge of getting all the salt back into the ocean to restore the universe's balance?" "Then let's start with the layer of salt that the ocean has exploded, covering the land in a death shroud." "Okay, let's start there."

3:30pm - "So they found your well with a forked stick?"
"Yeah, it turns out that's just how they assume you do that."

3:40pm-"You just want to say to him, just tell me what you want."
"Levi, was it because you were inefficient, or do you screw something up?"

3:45pm -"Have you seen New Moon yet? I've heard it's great if you like topless American Indian guys acting homoerotic around each other"

4:00pm- "This came to our house for you. What is it?"
"It's a square dressing dance"
"It's part of my one woman show."

"Jay-Z is also good at talking smack. I was thinking about some smack I should have talked yesterday and I wish Jay-Z had been there to help me."

4:05pm " I think Kanye West is my spirit animal"

4:18pm "Does mom like the table wine or the Dago wine?" "I don't see any dago wine"

4:19pm "I'm not doing shit until 4:45pm."

4:20pm "He goes absolutely nuts when he's discussing biological membranes. It's hypnotizing to watch."

4:24pm- "wouldn't it be awesome if we could just replace our muscles with spider silk" "That's a lot of spider silk" "They can mass synthesize it in Germany now." "Well, that would take care of cannibalism right? World wide problem."

4:32pm iphone fun

5:05pm - "I lost my pumpkin pie recipe." "I'll need the southern comfort under that cabinet,"

4 laptops. 1 Death Cab for Cutie.

5:15 "Dad should lift the turkey." "Its only 21 pounds. I'm a 27 yr old girl in her prime. That's all I am. Up in here."

5:10pm "Want a jigger?" "That's not even a jigger" "Take it Dad."

5:20pm - "you should taste it to see if it's too salty." "pshaw" "don't pshaw me, I'm always right." "'your not always right." "Yes I am." "You got a lot of gall."

5:45pm Dinner

6:15pm "I'm doing a country revue/adult sex education one woman show"

6:20pm "I think the Benedictine monks are trying to muscle out the Genessee Monks with those products." "Monk wars." "Fruitcake wars."

6:30pm "You picked the least fun dog ever." "C'mon baby, you wanna go outside. You don't have to take that from her. She's the middle child"

6:40pm "Wampanoag were the tribe at the first thanksgiving." "I have watched so much Angel lately, I automatically heard demon after Wampanoag."

7pm Nobody wants to play Risk.


7:45pm "Oh my god, you mean, teeth are right next to each other in your mouth? Amazing."

8:09pm "Everyone is so down on the 2nd law of Thermodynamics." "No, nobody says that."

8:10pm "You and friends should do a parady of the Glenn Beck show where you get really upset and riled up about our freedoms being taken away by the universe."

8:25pm I'm taking a to-go cup of Schnapps.

8:27pm "There's also this dating game where everyone is a flesh eating monster except this one girl, and she then eats all the flesh eating monsters."

8:30pm. "Mother, leave the pie out."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A 30 yr old American Woman's List

- I am thankful that I have a home, and in that home I have a computer, and for that computer I can easily buy as much access to the Internet that I want without having it rationed or go out all the time, enabling me to instantly search for things like “actual entrances to hell” and “cranberry chutney”, or read about new designer drugs in the UK, or waste my time refreshing Mystery Google.

- I am thankful that the police do not beat down my door, and drag me off to a dirty prison in a cave, where they tear off my fingernails and toenails because I wanted to take a class in political science or religious history, and that I am daily concerned with how my hair looks because I don’t have to walk around with it covered, or shaved because my husband died.

- I am thankful for the fact that if I get raped, I know where to go and what to do, and I know it’s not my fault, and I’m not going to hell.

- I am very thankful that I know I’m not going to hell. Or anywhere else. I am thankful for the opportunity to know that.

- I am thankful for having a job that does not require me to get dirty or slaughter things or get a terrible lung disease or have awful back problems or stand up all day.

- I am thankful that my biggest concern with food is the inconvenience of going to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving just to buy garlic, which I forgot when I went to the grocery store Monday, because I can go to the grocery store whenever I want.

- I am thankful that as a single unmarried girl, I can own a large, expensive, complicated machine that is entirely mine and takes me wherever I want to go when I want to.

- I am also thankful that I can rent my own place.

- I am thankful for having the skills and means to meet lots of different kinds of people, whomever I feel like meeting, and collecting a large and varied group of friends who make all different kinds of salaries, and come from different places around the country, and know all sorts of different things.

- I am thankful for having thumbs, and not being a cat or a cow or a bug.

- I am thankful for having an entire closet of clothes, even if I wear the same 5 shirts every week.

- I am thankful for not being shunned by the community because I don’t go to church and sometimes show cleavage.

- I am thankful for not having children, and for cheap accessible birth control.

- I am thankful for having no diseases or major health problems. I am thankful for having health insurance, free clinics, county hospitals, free flu vaccinations, student loans, unemployment services, and welfare.

- I am thankful my country owns most of the guns, even if I don’t always agree with how they use them.

- I am thankful I live in a temperate zone, with seemingly endless fresh water within walking distance, fertile land, and very few monsoons/hurricanes/tornadoes/hail storms/ blizzards/man eating animals.
- I am thankful for being aware of how much I don't know, so I can be continuously interested in stuff.

- I am thankful for being safe, independent, alive, and educated.

- I am thankful my family members are not Republicans, or Evangelicals, mean, or stupid. I would still love them. But it’s nice that I don’t have to try too hard.

- Oh, and cats.

- And cable.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why isn't Thanksgiving here already?

I seriously just want an excuse to cook and drink all day. In my mother's kitchen, which is nicer and has counter space. Also, I want permission to put my Christmas lights up without being pigeonholed as a scum sucking obnoxious twat. Or being struck by lightning. Which is what happens, right?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Alton solves Thanksgiving

My mother refuses to brine the turkey she is cooking.
I cannot convince her otherwise, which means I'm going to have to buy my own turkey. Like, a small one. I'll buy it now and stick it in the freezer for February. However, I wish my mother would watch this.

Also, Alton and I feel the same way about stuffing. I'm okay with dressing. When it gets crispy and such in the oven. Not soggy inside the birds EMPTIED CAVITY.

I have celebrity flutters for Alton. Don't we all? Look how cute his watch is!

I don't know. Maybe I'll just drive through Southern Ohio and try to run a turkey over. I remember those damn turkeys at Lake Hope, gathering next to the cabin at 4am and making more noise than a freight train. I have motivation. I will make a headband out of it's feathers.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Something Wicked This Way Comes.

A Not Very Complete List of Harbingers

1. The glaciers are melting.

2. The jellyfish are swarming.

3. The Queen is abdicating.

4. The vampires are winning.

5. 17 year olds still suck, but in a worse way.

6. The Princess lost her magic touch. Also she changed her last name.

7. "Meat" is no longer murder.

8. The Universe is now our Skip-It.

9. And the Lamb shall nurse from the Lion, and grow strong on the milk of enemies.

10. The roads through the sacred cities are infested with fish tacos, I mean Pishtacos.

11. The Vatican is preparing for war.

12. Famine is definitely coming.

13. The Hellmouth is the happiest place in America.

14. This:
15. Just don't call it rape. Incidents of concussion by knocking head against wall have skyrocketed.

16. The Ghost Rider and Werner Herzog are collaborating.

17. Feet have started eating mice.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday TV Night:: 1 Down, 1 To Go

America's Next Top Model is Finally Over Folks.

I'll make this recap quick.
First, the producers had the girls reintroduce themselves to the audience. Because there is apparently a large section of viewers who only tune in for the finales of reality shows.
After that sweet trip down made up memory lane, a strange green Hawaiian leprechaun made the girls get lost hiking, by leading down tricky paths that disappeared into volcanic dust when they tried to find them again. Laura tried leaving pineapple pieces, to get them home, but the starving camera crew which has been forced to follow them day and night for months ate them. After hours in the hot sun, the leprechaun told them the secret to getting home before night, which was to film this commercial for mascara. A vampire showed up, and kept trying to psyche them out, cause if they lost they would be left in the wilderness overnight, and this particular vamp had been living on liquid eyeshadow for years. But luckily, the plucky little dyslexic and the snotty east coast liberal managed to do alright with their scripts. Even though the hostage video of them together was OBVIOUSLY a hostage video, I mean, c'mon.

Two interruptions: 1)The best part of this ANTM season has been the fucking Nutella for Breakfast commercials. 2) The CW would like you to go green, and get the "West Bev" look, by wearing incredible expensive vintage clothes. No really, their tip was "wear vintage".

Back to the show. Laura brings up an interesting idea; the milkshake as an emotion. Nigel made fun of her for it, but I think milkshake is a very valid emotion. I can definitely think of times in my life when I've been feeling milkshakey. The editors keep trying to stress the competition throughout, with all the judges talking about "how close it is". Tyra has one on one talks with them, where she's basically like "look how awesome my show is and how lucky these loser girls were and also I'm going to turn them into gingerbread cookies and eat them." Laura talks about how being on ANTM means she's been more successful than the entire rest of her family, and cries some. Nicole sits there and analyzes her competitor's commercial vs. resale value.

Then onto the runway show. Seems the Cash for Clunkers program did more than cause a shortage in used cars, it also caused a shortage in short models. Aw snap. Tyra can't find any petite models at all, anywhere in the world, so she brings back all the kicked off contestants and also Eddie Murphy's daughter? The dresses they wear are ABSOLUTELY HIDEOUS. Seriously, who is this designer, and somebody please make her live in Canada for a little while, because Hawaii has fucked her brain. Laura is wearing the sequin equivalent of a tramp stamp, and Nicole is dressed in a thrift store prom dress from 1967 dyed pink to clash with her hair. Nicole is so mad about her dress, she stomps down the runway like a Terminator. Tyra calls it her signature walk. I call it her "I don't know how to walk on a runway at all, because we've had zilch practice at it this season, and also I learned to walk last year. " Laura does pretty well. At the end, Laura and Nicole make a porno. Tyra comes backstage after the show to look completely horrified while lying through her teeth about how well they did.

In the end, Nicole won. Duh. But she used her victory for good, as she completely undermined Tyra's whole Tiny Girls Farm theme, and went with this takeaway instead...

"I'm a dork, and I'm America's Next Top Model!"

On Glee
that music teacher tries to persuade Rachel not to like him by singing her THIS SONG. THE MOST PERVERTED SONG ON THE OLDIES STATION THAT I AM SO HAPPY THEY USED ON NATIONAL TELEVISION.

Top Chef: Jennifer Versus Eli

I learned about the Bucose D'Or this episode. I suspect most of America learned about it this episode, which explained why the winner of this episode got an invite for the qualifying rounds, because the advisory board finally caught on that unless they get some money for this thing, USA is never gonna get in the finishing three. Apparently, an American competitor has never placed higher than sixth in this "culinary olympics". So obviously its a foolish European thing we can safely ignore.

But this is all not very interesting. The real question of the night was would my top four make it to the finale intact, or would I lose a lot of money on the internet and have to sell my eggs?

For the Quickfire, Padma was joined by an abnormally large dwarf, who challenged the chefs to make a Turducken, only not really, cause that's gross. Jennifer scared me, by making some quip about actually making a turducken. But when Padma tasted her dish, and graced her with a warm "Welcome back Jennifer", I knew all was well. Jenn in fact won the challenge. Take that Eli!

Then everyone talked about how much they loved Eli, and I knew it was in the bag.

Look, I'm sure Eli is really talented. I'm doing him the honor of actually spelling his name right finally, so that should mean something. But he's a baby. And he was ruining my prediction.

So for the Elimination, they hold a fake Bucose D'Or, and Thomas Keller comes and dusts everyone with French Laundry crumbs (which bestow upon the winner every James Beard award ever). Everyone has to make some really technically perfect salmon or lamb dishes, and it looks like everyone kind of failed, but that doesn't stop the guests at the table from congratulating themselves on how great they, the judges, are. After all, it's awfully intimidating to cook for their level of genius right?

All the lamb is undercooked. All the salmon is overcooked. Kevin wins. Eli goes home. And the Voltron brothers spend most of their time trying to convince the audience that they are villains, which sort of works, except Bryan is too nice to ever be a real villain. There should be a sci-fi corollary here. I'm too tired to think of it.

But the time has come. My magic Final Four are off to Napa Valley, and next episode! Stay tuned! Padma in bangs!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oh Sarah...

The transcript of my notes from yesterday's Sarah Palin interview on Oprah. I was going to liveblog it, but like a snake eating an alligator, I was transfixed and couldn't be bothered to post this right away. I needed time to digest.

November 16th, 4pm I have not watched Oprah since her damn book club put Ulysses on their list, which made me want to vomit my eyeballs from my nose.

Oprah immediately brings up the "snubbing" ie the fact that she didn't have Palin on last year during the campaign because she absolutely hated all Republicans and thought they were morons and was hypnotized by Obama's magnetic stare. Oprah +2

Sarah shrugs this off. Apparently, she wasn't even "aware" this snubbing was going on. "I didn't hear anything, it wasn't the center of my universe". It's a free market, you can have whoever you want on, cause you're a tv host and I was running for vice president. Fuck off Oprah. Palin +3 (c'mon, it a classic Queen Bitch move)

Who's hair is bigger? I think Palin's is, but she also has glasses that match her jacket. With those wide colored sides? Palin +1

Oprah asks why Palin thought she was "qualified" to run for office, only in a nicer more backhanded way. With a thoroughly incredulous look. Oprah +1

Palin says she didn't even take the rumors about getting the spot seriously, because of the grand ol' names that were also being bandied about. Which raises serious questions about what the vetting process found out about those guys. Palin -1.

Sarah says she came right out to McCain with the dirtiest thing in her past, which was a D in college. There is a collective "really?" from Oprah and all of us, heard around the world. It disrupts the migration pattern of a flock of cranes, who then mistakenly land 300 miles from their destination. -4

Oprah brings up Bristol really early on. -1

Sarah says she wasn't given an "allowance to deal with it in a more productive way", and that she was surprised the media was interested in Bristol's pregnancy at all. She talks like a low level human resources manager. Palin -4

Sarah is actually incapable of finishing a sentence... -1
No, really... -1

Now she makes some point about her kids didn't have the same privilege of being left alone as the Obama kids did. Lay off Sasha and Malia yo. I don't see Sasha sleeping with an high school oxycotin dealer and getting knocked up. -3

Oprah brings up the stupid wardrobe crap. -3

Palin says that all her debate answers were written on note cards for her, and were "non-answers". She tells us that her handlers "couldn't find the script to stay on script". Did you hear McCain has been getting book offers to write about her? +2

Now we're on to Couric. Apparently Sarah really really hates "the perky one" who just kept "badgering" her with questions.

Oprah points out Sarah is pretty perky too. +2

Sarah says she couldn't answer the question about what books and magazines she reads, because she was so annoyed with Couric. She felt that it was such a condescending question, and that Couric was saying something about how Alaska is like a wilderness with no media or electricity or paper-making. Which it is. Palin -2.

Is there another kind of partisan besides political? Palin -1.

Sarah calls Levi "Ricky Hollywood", says he's doing "aspiring porn", and extends him an open invitation to Thanksgiving, because Oprah makes her. Palin +1 Cause Levi is a douche. Also Oprah +1, cause Palin is a hypocritical dancing monkey.

More importantly
, she wasn't being mean, he's actually been calling himself Ricky Hollywood. Levi -14

There's a video segment
about Sarah's home life. She lives in a big red house that looks like the petting zoo portion of the actual zoo.She takes her youngest daughter Piper to the gym with her. Piper tells her not to get out of the car for trick or treating. Oprah +2

Oprah asks her about how she would handle the vice presidency and being mother to 22 children. Palin points out TLC would have sponsored her.

No, that didn't happen.

But Palin is also pointing out that you can't be a career mom without a support system of ten million aunts and uncles and grandpappies. I think she meant to say "unless you have less than 4 children, in which case it's fine". Palin -2

Oprah looks like she's kind of vomiting a little in her mouth. Oprah +1

Sarah is telling everyone how her marriage has worked with Todd because she never sees him, because he's gone half the year. Palin +1

Then she says she gets by "with Todd and God". Palin -3

She refers to her grandson as the "most beautiful baby boy" so many times, I'm starting to believe she's organized a Palin supporters drinking game on her facebook profile. +1

I should have had a drinking game. Dammnit. Me -3

Finally we talk about why she quit as governor. Apparently there were so many opposition researchers and ethics violation investigators, invading Alaska like mosquitoes, that she couldn't do her job properly. She felt "shackled behind a governors desk". I take this to mean that before the campaign, she didn't really have to do, you know, governor stuff. But after the election, every one kept looking at her, and expecting her to do all this stuff, and she had to be so careful with money things, that it just wasn't so much fun anymore. Palin -2

Oprah asks her if she's going to be thinking about running in 2012, Palin evades. Then she asks her if she's going to be getting a talk show. Palin KIND OF evades. Palin -2.

But then Sarah
points out that Oprah is the queen of daytime television, and that she used to watch her every day when she was a stay at home mom. Which means OPRAH CREATED SARAH PALIN. Oprah -32.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our Old People Dinner (because we don't need no stinking teeth)

Rebecca and I had to brainstorm about our awesome screenplay (science!), so Marty made us pho, which is a world wide known brain food. Oh, also it was her birthday. Happy Birthday Doctor! You have to ask him for the recipe. It was warm and salty and gingery and fragrant, everything pho is supposed to be. The brisket was melting. The noodles were glassy. Lots of umami. Which has become my least favorite word, ever since Kikkoman started sponsoring Food Network shows.

Then, for screenplay inspiration, we watched Ice Twisters, starring Duck from Mad Men. What's nice about SyFy Channel movies is the amount of yelling at the TV you can fit into a 90 minute time period. It's something all three of us appreciate. Knowing exactly the right asinine concepts to mock, and how to predict which character will be flash frozen next is an art form. We are professionals. Do not fuck with us. We know just enough science to sound like we know what we're talking about.

For dessert, I tried to make rice pudding. I mean, eventually it was made, and the end product was indeed pudding made of rice, but the process was arduous. I'm not used to making it on a stove top. My mom always baked it or made it in the crockpot. So I found a Jamie Oliver recipe that seemed simple enough. But I kept adding things to it as it went. I put 1 and 1/3 cups rice in with 2 cups milk, 2 cups vanilla soymilk, 1 cup brown sugar, a tbsp ginger, several whole cloves, and a tbsp cinnamon in a pot, and started simmering it. When it had failed to thicken appropriately after an hour of cooking, I added 1/2 cup whipped cream, 2 tbsp cream cheese, more brown sugar, a splash of maple syrup, 2 actual cinnamon sticks, more ginger, some salt, a white tube sock, a used dog toy, a thimbleful of beef stock, 3 unripe lemons, a granola bar, 5 caramel candies, one of Marty's stocking caps, a rabbit foot, 2 pieces broken china, and one large cup of unadulterated hope.

Can you tell I was drinking a little?

In the end, the cream cheese was a great idea, and it turned out really yummy. After it almost set the house on fire. We ate it warm with chopped pears. Oh pears, I will never ever ever get enough of you. For Thanksgiving, I want to try this David Leibovitz recipe for Pear Almond tart, and I'm terrified the pears will all be gone in a week when I need them. Please stay pears, stay all year round. You can live under my bed. I need you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This is What I Think About These Things, Though I Should Be the Last Person You Ask

1. The moon water thing is pretty fucking awesome, mostly because anytime there is an ice record of anything, I have fantasies of the life I probably should have had, staring at long sample tubes of interstellar ice history and discovering weird alien bacterial greatness. I mean, yes, the fuel thing is nice, but I think they're just throwing that out to the public to make the mission seem useful and practical. For some insane reason, people don't see getting a history of this corner of the universe frozen in time as a reason to throw things at the moon, which I don't understand. It's the moon! It's ice! Or, I should say, the possibility of ice!

It bothers me that people have lost their enthusiasm when it comes to space programs. It's like, if this doesn't advance weapons systems, what's the point? Oh, I don't know, maybe having some sort of knowledge of the way the rest of Existence works, and therefore not being completely helpless and defenseless to the whims of the universe? We'd get a lot further, with a lot more funding, if we could somehow convince people that really, they should search for proof of God. Let's track God down. Let's find his fucking home address.

2. As you might have heard, there was this serial killer in Cleveland. He killed a bunch of women, most of whom were the kind of women who disappear and nobody does anything about it, which is a hard, sad fact. This story gets to me, because it happened in a neighborhood that I have come to know better this past year, because a lot of my buildings have been in or near there. The police actually searched a school I went to earlier in the year for bodies related to this case. And there has been a lot of outrage in the community about the fact that the police never put the pieces together, and they should have done more to find these women, and did this happen because it's a poor black neighborhood? There were apparently complaints, and smells, and missing person reports.

I have no idea whether or not the police dropped the ball on this, but I'm sick of the Cleveland media encouraging this kind of community martyrdom like some sort of blood sport. I've heard exactly one interview that didn't make me mad, and it was with a guy who actually lives in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood where this happened. He pointed out that the reason this happened in this neighborhood is because this is a place where you can get away with bad stuff. It's the kind of neighborhood where people who live there do disappear, because they have drug problems. And the people with drug problems live there because its cheap and they don't get caught. There are tons of empty houses. Lots of squatters. And then there are also decent people who are just poor, and would prefer to live in a safe neighborhood. This guy pointed out that the people who live there need to take responsibility, and police their own streets if they really want things to change. They need to be aware of their neighbors, and their families, and notice when strange things happen. They need to talk to each other and build networks.

In the end, a serial killer is a strange, unique event. It's very possible that something like this could have occurred in a middle class white neighborhood too. While it is a terrible thing to have happened, a nightmarish thing for those people who lived near him, the lessons we take out of this should not only be criticism of the police procedures, but also a lesson about how easily we let people disappear in our society. The people who could have told us how awful and dangerous this man was were people getting high with him, and they didn't say anything because they didn't want to get in trouble, or they knew no one would believe them. They were so used to being in terrible situations, because they were homeless, or crackheads, or otherwise unwanted, that it never even occurred to them to tell anyone at all.

We should think about how this might not have happened if drugs were not illegal, therefore controlled, and if we wouldn't have whole populations that we've made into criminals instead of helping with their emotional and pyschological problems and giving them treatment for their addictions. Or we need to think about how we raise our little girls, how we give them self-esteem to help them deal with life's problems, so when they are broke or beaten down by consequences, they don't turn to strange men with drugs, they care enough about themselves to not get into dangerous situations, and they feel comfortable going to family or friends for help.

When something like this happens, everyone is at fault, and no one is at fault. Monsters are monsters either way.

Also, as a sidenote, with all the poor people, missing people, and uncounted people in the world, I guess I'm constantly surprised I'm not walking around a world littered with corpses. It seems like there should be skeletons and dead bodies and remains in every inch of the earth, there's just so many of us!

3. I wish people would stop attributing things to Racism or Sexism that are actually issues of Classism. It wasn't because they were black that the police didn't pay enough attention to the Mt. Pleasant complaints. They didn't pay attention to them because they were poor. The Healthcare war isn't about defying Socialism, it's about paying for poor people. You know who gets cancer from pollution? People who are poor and live next to industry.You know who dies in the War? Poor people. You know what kind of women need abortions and rape clinics? Mostly poor ones. Oh, also any social programs? There for poor people. Given all this, it would seem to make sense if rich people supported abortions, because then they might have less poor people bothering them. Yet another example of Republicans not having a lot of logic on their side.

4. This Stupak Amendment thing. I am not a moral supporter of abortion, though my morals seems to get grayer and fuzzier the older I get. I am however a practical supporter of abortion. Until the sex education system in our country is reformed to focus on preventative measures and realistic contraception, I think it is irresponsible to not make abortion available. Plus, who am I to dictate what you do and don't do to your own fucking body? If I'm going to be anti-choice, then that's also going to have to include anti-joining the army, anti-bubblegum vodka, and anti- plastic surgery of all kinds.

Living in a democracy is pretty fucked up. Because whether or not we like it, most people in this country are Pro-Life. Which means as a majority, they should get what they want. We lean on this principle of Majority Wins when it's something we want, like an end to a war, or a public healthcare option. But the majority in this country is also pro-God, anti-gay, and pretty fucking selfish. So how much should we actually let the Majority get away with? If the Majority had won, would we have had an end to slavery, or let women get the vote? When it comes down to it, the Populace is pretty fucking stupid and petty.

So either compromises will be made in the name of the Majority, or we divide up different sections of the country by political doctrine. Like, all the really really liberals move to the West Coast. And the moderates get the Plains States. And the super hard core Born Agains get Florida.

I don't know. In my perfect world, there are no elections, and all the rules jive with my moral view, and people just have to live with it. I'm kind of a fascist. Nobody should put me in charge of anything.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday TV Should Quiver Like a 17th Century Courtesan's Inner Thigh

ANTM recap: The Joy of Modeling

First of all, did everybody see the super sweet interview with Miss Jay on the Tyra Banks Show yesterday?

Is it weird that Miss Jay reminds me of Bill Cosby a little?

This episode we're down to the three sweetest girls and one very not grownup yet girl who will probably be kinda nice when she gets a little more used to rejection. Oh Erin. I mean, she's 18 and gorgeous, so you shouldn't expect much maybe. Give her some college, a dreadful first day, a few years of ramen, and a son of a bitch cheating boyfriend. Then you'll want to drink with her.

Nicole, who is a shoe-in to win. What's more certain that a shoe-in? A given? A foregone conclusion? A destined prophetic totally already written ending? Girl has had some fucking awesome dresses for judges panel too.

Jennifer, who has really won me over. I think it started with the news host challenge. It's her perfect career. And when she talked about how proud she was of herself, because she doesn't normally succeed at anything, cause she's a big giant quitter? I really want her to get a show on E! like, right now.

And finally, Laura. How can anyone dislike Kentucky girl? I just wish Tyra would be nicer to her grandmother.

All four of these girls have really learned from this show, and that's kind of amazing. It takes a crazy supernatural farce of a show, and adds sincerity and meaning. I'll talk about this more in a little bit.

But first, to sum up. The girls are forced to participate in a hotel exercise class for seniors and divorcees called Hip hop Hula. Laura proves to everybody she knows how to move that junk in her trunk, and win a free trip to teach that class next semester.

Then the girls are dressed up like Pele, the international soccer star, and pose barefoot on incredibly painful volcanic rock while sea water is splashed all over their incredibly expensive soccer outfits. Erin, who it turns out is actually a 60 yr old divorcee herself, learns to soften the inborn bitterness in her face by "singing one of those pop songs that teenagers listen to." It works, but will it be enough to save her? Because, oh yeah, they're doing a double elimination for no apparent reason.

Tyra comes to panel in the act of being eaten alive by a giant flesh colored leg warmer, and creates a new word! Smozing! Smizing and posing at the same time! She is a fucking gift to the English language people.

The ax swings, and Jennifer and Erin are sent home, one to start her incredibly lucrative podcast career, and the other to become an American Apparel girl. Nicole the Classic and Laura the Cute are left, and it's great. Here are two girls who came in very awkward, not pretty in any hip sense of the word, and they both discovered they were good at this on this show. It really makes me happy. Yes people, that's right, ANTM really made me genuinely happy, with no smarminess or sarcasm or mean social evaluation. It means this will probably be my last season of watching this crap, because I've been turned. Did you notice my non-sarcastic link to a Tyra clip up there? I'm ruined.

Glee: I think the relationship between gay Kurt and his father is the single best thing about this show. I came to tears at that final scene. The writers are playing it really really well. I'm so done with Rachel though, and her not-boyfriend. And WTF Wheelchair Kid, way to be overly self-righteous and snotty to Asian Girl. Are you only going to date people with disabilities? And not even real ones, but stuttering of all things? Shithead.

Top Chef recap: Finally that Woman Goes Home.

Every season, it gets to be sorta towards the end of Top Chef, I'm watching the intro to the show, and I cannot remember who at least a third of those people are. With this season, I wish I could forget almost all of them. From the beginning, it's been just waiting and waiting and waiting for the competition to get down to the final four. KJMB. JKBM, MKBJ. BKMJ. Wish we could have done a double elimination on this show.

For the quickfire, Padma and Nigella had sex. Or maybe you were just supposed to think that, right Bravo? The chefs have to prepare breakfast room service for the ladies, who basically get to sit in bed for 90 minutes and eat six breakfasts. Fuck you Padma.

Ely makes some reuben benedict which wins over Nigella's cold culinary cockles. Kevin, of course, does something awesome. And Jennifer makes Shit on a Shingle.

I had never heard of this dish before my ex-boyfriend made it. It is one of his father's favorite things to eat. I tried it and really couldn't dig it. Creamed and Chipped are not two words that make me salivate. Add Beef, and it spells Dinty Moore in my head. Unfairly, I'm sure. But there you go. The point is, even his dad doesn't think of this as a BREAKFAST DISH. Ely wins, and instead of 15,000 dollars, he gets his recipe in the new Top Chef Quickfire Cookbook, out just in time for Christmas. I don't know why I would buy a cookbook filled with recipes made up on the fly in thirty minutes, but I probably will.

For the main challenge, each chef spends a day being "inspired" by a famous casino on The Strip. For example, Mike Voltron gets New York, New York, and decides to make a boneless chicken wing. Ely gets Circus Circus and makes peanut soup. Ect. It was pretty boring. Jennifer, who really is losing it, makes a big unappealing chunk of meat to represent Excalibur, which seems pretty accurately medieval to me. Bryan Voltron makes an excellent fish thing that wets Nigella's panties, and talks about his son a lot. Kevin says something dumb about how everyone assumes he's a redneck, which makes zero sense to me. I don't think you're a redneck Ginger. I do think you probably listened to too much Rage Against the Machine at some point, but not a redneck. He makes some spicy tomato water, which is apparently an actual thing people say instead of broth.

And then there's Robin. There's always fucking Robin right? Not any more! Robin makes panna cotta of all things, and screws that up even. Nigella makes some quip about the firmness of her P&C, see the headline, and Toby vows to step up his English Mean Girl game. But not even Robin's comedic value can save her forever, and she's sent packing. One of the Voltron brothers wins. It's really not important who. The only question left is will it be Jennifer or Ely next week? Jennifer is Petra Arkanian. Ely is Crazy Tom. Padma is the Hive Queen.

Finally, Macy's would like you to know that there is a Santa Claus, and her name is Queen Latifah.

Pretend this is the inside of my body

Those are my alveoli worshipping the ascension of the Holy Lung Snot Ball in the Bronchi of my Discontent.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Van Dorn Don't

When the sun started to get brighter and brighter, we headed for the dark and cool places.

For a while we were safe in the manufacturing caves. The shadows were dirty, but they didn't burn your eyeballs out, or give you melanoma, or make you look like your skin was made of hot dogs.

We stayed away from the edges of the building, which seemed to get edgier and edgier with every passing day.

Eventually we noticed our cave was castling, our castle was caving in. We retreated into other, more interior rooms. The light took over more and more territory, an invading photon army, but we couldn't do anything about it. There wasn't a lot to patch the holes up with. The once nice and cool concrete steamed , and we blockaded doors. We were stuck in the center of a burning piece of paper.

We realized we were definitely, for sure losing. We sort of gave up. It was only a matter of time before the tar of the roof completely melted away. The sunlight pooled like lava lakes around us.

Even the steel walls started to get little deadly holes in them. They might as well have been made of sandstone or salt. Stupid metal walls. Stupid rust.

We sat in the middle of tinderblock floors, and stared at the crumbling glass and mortar above us. We sweat silently. We took off our clothes and pressed our burning skin to the non-sunny parts of the floor. We fanned each other with old user manuals.

I went to the very center of the machine, to the Brain. And I asked the Brain why the ceiling and walls were abandoning us, leaving us as refugees in the brightening gloom. Why was the machine falling apart? How could we put it back together? The Brain said nothing. It never said anything. It was solid and metal too, magical and floaty, but it knew it's time was coming, even if that time came way after ours. It didn't concern itself with soft little fleshies living in its corners. I threw shards of floor metal at it, chips of concrete, old pens and chairs. I spit my very last piece of gum in the whole world at it, which stuck on it's stupid shiny belly. Then we sat down in its shadow, which was the darkest place, and waited.

More Van Dorn pics can be seen here.
The End.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Indian Summer

Did you know it's probably called that because this was the most common time for Indian raids on settler in the Western Reserve?

Or that in England it used to be called St. Martin's Summer, because it usually ends on St. Martin's Day, 11/11?

Or maybe elsewhere they called it Gypsy's Christmas?

But I like to call it the Days of Last Chance to Wear Only A T-Shirt Around the House Before Winter Comes and You Don't See Your Skin for 4 Months.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Figured Out Beyonce's Secret

She's She-Ra.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Oh seriously, you, movies.

So this past week has been one wonderful jaunt through the marvels of modern socio-economically created super viruses. I've been dehydrated, delirious, congested, barely in control, and bored as shit. I know. I've been pretty vocal about it. What the hell else am I supposed to talk about? All these deep uninterrupted thoughts I've been having? I think the deepest my thought processes went this week was planning out where I would move to when my neighbors convinced the local authorities I was a noise nuisance, because of my awesome Typhoid Mary impression.

But, so, you know, I had time. I played with the cats a lot. They liked that. I read some old 60s pulp novels I had lying around. One is about the secret shame a rich wife wreaks on her developer husband, when he discovers she's been sleeping with the same woman he's been cheating on her with! And conspiring with his evil land manager against him! But it's okay, cause after he saves his misguided and possessed wife from the fire, and she gets carted away as criminally insane, he goes home with the Joan Holloway character, a nice "uncomplicated" girl with heaving bosoms and red hair and a good heart despite her taste for Scotch. The two women illustrated on the cover, I discovered through a good hour of staring at it on the bathroom tile while in the bathtub, have the exact same face. Very symmetrical and doll-like. They actually kind of have the same hair style too, only he changed the colors. Which is the weird part, because why wouldn't you draw the brunette as pert and cute, and the blond as dramatic and sculptural? Isn't that how it's normally done? The artist who created this book cover, which was printed, not drawn by fucking hand like a album poster in Xanadu, couldn't be bothered to take the time to draw individual faces on these Sapphic witches. It makes me feel bad for him, since he probably wanted to be a real artist. But it also makes me kinda hate him.

I actually think that book is Nate's, I should give that back to him. I wonder if he even remembers that he had that.

So I read some stuff. But as I started to get better, I got antsy. The first few days, when you're really feverish and out of it, its awesome to lay in bed, read, pass out, read some more. You don't even notice time, just judge its passage by the liters of juice and gingerale you force down your throat and how tall the mountain of tissues by your bed grows. But then you wake up some, and the coughing and congestion and sinuses really hit you, and you need something way more in your face, to distract you from the nastiness that is your entire aura and physical being on this world. You watch some cable, but the same problem you had in middle school still exists, mid day television sucks. They don't even always show Bonanza anymore. Which is when it's movie time.

First surprisingly good movie I watched was The Brothers Bloom. This was actually before I got sick, but it was really good, and it had a trailer that totally did not do it justice, so I have to mention it. The trailer made me think it was going to be like In Bruges, which was also a good film. Very slick and con. And Brothers was slick as well, but it was also very very sweet and charming and well drawn. It's the story of two brothers who run grand epic cons, written like Russian novels by the older brother Stephen(Mark Ruffalo!), and all starring his young brother Bloom (Adrian Brody!)as the dark, melancholy hero. Stephen says a good con is one in which everyone gets what they want, and loves to have his criminal endings tie up perfectly, with flare and finesse. When Bloom starts to get heartsick, Stephen tries to write the perfect con for him, involving a weird adorable highly intelligent orphan heiress (Rachel Weisz!) and a Belgian, and a heist, and Russian mobsters. It was seriously wonderful. It was like, Pushing Daisies wonderful. There was this great running idea of how to tell stories through the movie, and all these quirks that sometimes you think maybe Wes Anderson has ruined for everybody else, but are awfully redeemed here. It made you feel stoned when you weren't, or drunk on good wine. It reminded me of the first time I watched Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Second, I finally watched Hannah Takes the Stairs. I remember when this first came out at SXSW and everyone was like "oh you stupid hipsters with your stupid mumblecore crap, what is that crap, make real movies." Well, at least that was the general vibe from the NYTimes. I mean, the mere description was enough to drive me away. Low budget film made with a video camera, with no scripts, and people just make stuff up and nothing really happens. Sounds fucking perfect, sign me up. But since I was already half-conked, and there weren't any Amy Adams films on On Demand that I hadn't watched, I decided it couldn't be so bad as to not deserve a mere hour and twenty minutes of my time.

I liked it. At first I wasn't sure, because it starts off with a naked Hannah (there's a lot of Hannah skin in the movie), and I was like, shit, some guy just made this so he could get this girl naked. But by the middle of it, you realize that this is kind of like hanging out with some people you know, and then you kinda think maybe this reminds you of your younger sister now, or yourself that one time, and that chair is pretty fucking cute but you could totally afford it, and maybe those hipster snobs who made fun of this crap outta be nicer to the hipster snobs that made this crap cause actually its pretty cute. So there you go. That last sentence is my review of this movie.

Finally, today, I watched Away We Go, which was that baby film that came out with Jim from the Office and Maya Rudolph. I remember I did want to see this when it was in theaters, but there's not a lot of reason to go watch a baby film at the actual theater is there? I mean, you don't go there with a date. You don't say "Hey, random friend, lets go watch a sentimental movie about parenthood, that's a good way to spend Saturday afternoon." I didn't know about this film's pedigree until the credits, which is good cause I went in expecting something trite and cute, but not super indie trite and cute. So when Good Ol' Mr. Eggers was weaving his magically disarming dialogue, I was caught without my McSweeneys armour on. Plus who doesn't like Sam Mendes? Doesn't he always get a free pass, like always? I never liked Maya Rudolph on SNL, in fact I hated her on SNL, but she's a good straight foil to Krasinki's goofiness. And by the way, she could still be on SNL, I have no idea, that show sucks so bad now. John's basically playing Jim from the Office, which is totally fine, that's Cusack worthy crack to me. Melanie Lynskey and Maggie Gyllenhaal are both great, and I usually won't say that about somebody who spells their name unnecessarily tricky like. The story is less about having the baby, and more about a couple building themselves an identity separate from the rest of the world. You're watching them achieve solidarity with every new dysfunctional situation they meet. It makes you happy they fell in love, which is something that happened way before the movie started, and is never in question the whole film. So the fact that it makes you a cheerleader for them is impressive, because there's no dramatic arc to root for.

Having said all this nice stuff though, I would like to now point out that it is the STUPIDEST MARKETING MOVE EVER to disable your movie's trailer from embedding on YouTube. Here, watch this trailer, but don't you dare go SHARING IT or SHOWING OTHER PEOPLE ON YOUR BLOG. What the hell? Look at all the nice things I'm writing about you, why would you make me search for a fucking viable link?

Other movies I watched this week: Dirty Dancing, I Love You Beth Cooper, Fargo, Anna Karenina, The Girl Next Door, Another Cinderella Story, a bunch of old westerns. I really need to go back to work.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday TV was Cancelled This Week

Because I was too busy treading the hazy line between delirium and consciousness, having fevered nightmares involving all the Top Chef all stars from last night's crappy reunion episode. They were all kidnapped and decapitated by Jasmine, and Tiffany was the only one who escaped and she had to figure out how to match the severed limbs to the various Hungs and Carlas before they could be brought back to life and save the world.

I blame you Andy Fabio Cohen.

I think my neighbors might decapitate me themselves if I don't stop coughing soon.

Monday, November 2, 2009


No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--
No road--no street--no "t'other side this way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--
No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!
No traveling at all--no locomotion--
No inkling of the way--no notion--
"No go" by land or ocean--
No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No Park, no Ring, no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds--

-- Thomas Hood

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Seriously, sturgeon scare the crap out of me

In the early grey morning, the fisherman unloaded his gear on the shore of The Great Lake. He set a bucket of minnows at his side, unfolded the old camping chair, and settled in with his pole for a quiet morning. The jagged break wall was empty. In the not so far distance, the city was only barely awake. It was damp and chilly in the spray of the waves, and he pulled his hooded sweatshirt close around his neck.

There are things to think about and things to not think about, as you sit on slick rocks and stare ahead but not behind you. The fisherman thought about his job, his yard work, this girl he knew when he was about 25. The waves curled quietly towards him, and away again. The perpetual October clouds stubbornly refused to let the sun break.

A man walked towards him on the break wall, and stood about 50 feet away, looking out at the lake. The fisherman noticed him, and took stock. No fishing equipment, no chair. The stranger was young, and made no movement to acknowledge him. Just stood there, staring at the water.

Our man became uneasy. There was no else at the shore, no other fishermen, which was to be expected in late October, early morning, before morning. Days like this had no morning. He tried to ignore his silent companion, and concentrate on the slight movements of the pole, being sucked in and out. He tried to think about that girl again. She had dirty blonde hair, and had danced at the bar to Bon Jovi. He had liked her then, drank with her. He couldn’t remember her name, which bothered him. Fifteen years? 20 years. He took a drink from his thermos, and remembered the way she had clutched at his neck, making out in his Buick at 3 am. Was it Heather? Crystal? She had stopped coming to the bar suddenly, and people had talked about a boyfriend, a pregnancy, probation? Years before he had met Whitney, and before the kids and the house in Brookpark. Whitney had liked to come with him to the lake when they first met. How excited she had been to catch her first fish. But then work came, and the boy, and now she merely nodded at him and went back to sleep when he woke up on Sundays morning and took out the tackle box. He thought about taking them out for breakfast when he got back. He would take them to IHOP, she loved the stuffed French toast.

When he turned to look again, the man was gone. He had left as silently as he had come. The fisherman glanced up and down the path, but there was no sign of him. He buried his hands in the sweatshirt.

Suddenly the pole went slack. He reeled it up, expected that the line had been caught in the rocks, and took out his pocket knife to cut it off. What a bitch, to lose that hook. But when he pulled it up, the line was broken, it slipped out of the waves like floss.

Underneath the waves, a dark shape moved.