Friday, July 29, 2005

Regret to inform...

Anonymous comments will no longer be allowed on this blog. Sorry if this inconveniences any friends of mine who simply wish to guard their privacy. I just can't stand anonymous anything. If it's good enough for you to write, it's good enough for you to stand behind the writing.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

How refreshing!

Please read this and this:
I think more people than just my beloved friends read my blog!

(I'll thank you not to crush my tender illusions)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Warning! Not Politically Correct!

Allow me to preface this rantzilla with a bit of explanation: My father, raised a devout Catholic and converted later in life to a feel-good version of Christianity, is quite the philosophy/religion scholar and in particular is an expert on Islam. Since my mom, and therefore I, am Jewish, he and I have had many an enlighting discussion on the topic of religion. A massive chunk of what I've learned, I've learned from him.

Dad is a kind and generous man who almost always has a sunny disposition. I say almost, because he gets feral when watching hockey on TV. Everyone at his church adores him, and he's a big favorite at the Bible College, due probably to his bottomless love for his faith and his phenomenal knowledge of the world's religions.

My father told me the Koran is a fictionalized account of the life and times of a dangerously violent lunatic. My (admittedly) half-hearted attempts to read the Koran and root out some meaning from it came to naught. I have Muslim friends, including an especially sweet and rosy-cheeked girl from Oregon who became a Sunii Muslim as an adult. They tell me true Islam is a peaceful, meaningful religion. I don't buy it. I'm inclined to think my father is right about the Koran being a madman's diary, something amended and appended over time according to who was using it to control their populace.

You may be thinking: "Gee, that sounds familiar!" I'm getting to that. When I try to espouse my opinion to Dad that I feel more or less the same way about Christians and the Bible (although I don't suppose Jesus of Nazareth was a madman, rather a well-meaning and probably ideologically ahead-of-his-time street corner prophet)You certainly can draw parallels between Christian terrorism in other centuries to Islamic terrorism today.

Which is why I have no tolerance for criminals of any religion. To my mind, it's equally hard to tell a peaceful Christian or Muslim from a deranged one. In both cases, the deranged ones try to pass themselves off as the peaceful ones in order to carry out their despicable acts. To crazy Muslim credit, they are generally straightforward in expressing their intent, where crazy Christians delight in subterfuge and bald-faced lies.

These extreme versions of religion, both offshoots of Judaism, which is in turn an amalgamation of oral history and ritualistic paganism, are running things in their respective religious communities. They manage this the same way: fear. Why the vast, peaceful majorities of each faiths do not assert themselves is what they should be asking themselves, instead of What Would Jesus Do? or How do I get my 40 virgins?

The other world's religions, those that survived forcible conversions by the Christians and/or Muslims, are by-and-large thriving, peaceful communities. Go figure! Ever hear of Tibetan Buddhists strapping explosives to themselves and blowing up a Chinese nightclub? They probably have more incentive to do so than those Arabs in Israel who like to call themseles "Palestinians", but they don't. Hindus running into Southeast Asia and forcing agrarian natives to accept Hinduism or die? Nope.

Anyway, what I'm getting at, and what makes my wonderful Superfly boyfriend gnash his teeth, is that I don't trust Muslims or Christians. They may look nice and normal, but how do I know they aren't on their way to blow up my subway train, or lobbying Congress to take away my rights that are at odds with their personal belief?

Does that make me a bigot? I don't care if it does. Besides, they're probably looking at me and thinking, "Infidel/Dirty Jew/American scum/Feminist/etc."

:end rant"

Monday, July 25, 2005

This guy...has an awesome blog!

Make sure you check out the "Steve, Don't Eat It!" section

Trouble Jr.

My mini-supermodel girl underwent surgery today to repair torn tendons in her hand. You see, she was carrying a glass of water down a short flight of stairs and her flip-flops banana-peeled right out from under her. She slammed into a wall, breaking the glass in her hand. Literally.

She's tough like her mama, so she didn't blink an eye at the injections and IV and whatnot. Came out of anaesthesia none the worse for wear; complaining about her cast, remarking on how cute her doctor is, and demanding Burger King, all while dressing herself with her "good" arm. She's just fine.

The nurses all thought I was her sister, which is cheering. Still, I'm not her sister and I was spine-tingly-dingly nervous the whole 2 1/2 hours.

She just left, having turned one of my good scarves into a makeshift sling for her "ugly" cast. Off to hang out with friends, as if she wasn't under general anaesthesia for most of the day. Ah, to be 15 again.

I guarantee that, after my procedure tomorrow, I will be a complete waste of carbon. Maybe I can talk Superfly boyfriend into posting for me.

Hope all is well with LB, Rackerella, and TWJones! Much love, yo!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ahh, Bliss

We went away for the weekend, went to the Beach. Neener, neener. Who sunburns one shoulder? Who else. All I gotta say is, I don't tan. I think if I went to one of those cheesy spray-on tan places the strippers go to, my extra-fair skin would simply repel the paint like Teflon. That's it! I'm Teflon-pasty.

Back to the grind, but this Tuesday is that medical procedure I mentioned a few blogs back. Please send out them no-cancer vibes for me, ok? Not trying to be melodramatic, honestly: I hear that collective good thoughts/prayer has magic properties, that's all. LOVE

Will blog upon my return from the land of the Amish.

Friday, July 22, 2005

MTA and super psychic coinkydinks! An Update

I wrote yesterday's bloggerooni because I'd just stepped off the subway and needed to vent like Mt. St. Helen's.

Imagine my delight and amazement when I find my very thoughts echoed in the New York Post, the Bay Ridge whatever-it's-called, and on a blog I like to read. Apparently I'm not alone in ranting on this subject, if comments on blogs are anything to believe. In fact, I rather enjoy the comments section of some blogs more interesting than the blog itself! Some bloggers take exception to this and delete or disallow comments on their blog. To those precious online diarists I say: the internet is a ginormous public forum. You can't expect only people you agree with, or people you prefer for one reason or another, to view your blog.

It isn't even "yours" to begin with, y'know? Blogspot hosts my blog, so I figger it's their party, I'm just a tiki lamp. Fortunately, my blog is boring, so only people who already tolerate me post comments. Consider yourself honored by the people who comment on your blog, even the anonymous and the blubbering idiots. They found your blog somehow, and were moved by whatever you wrote enough to add their thoughts to the comment fray. Commenters love to fight with one another and promote their own blogs. Let 'em!

Why even read the comments, if you're so dang sensitive? If someone actually has something to say to you directly, they'll email you, or maybe spray paint "YOU SUCK!" on your apartment building. In any case, the Comments section is part of the show, don't be a sissy.

I'm far too lazy and yearning for a full-on shabbes dinner to post more tonight.

Shabbat Shalom, lovebubbles, and have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

the MTA blues

Riding the subway really blows goats. Yeah, yeah, I know it's the smartest way to transport Manhattan's teeming masses, but being a mass on the teem is about as fun as synchronized swimming in the Florida Everglades.

Anyway. My commute is a daily, hour-long, train-hopping fresh torture. I am a small person so the lummoxes and walking Stay-Puft people don't notice their elbows crushing my windpipe, or their Hulk feet pulverizing my dainty feet. People smell bad. People chomp gum, sweat, pick at themselves, expel fluid, emit body sounds freely, share the perfume/cologne/body spray they've been marinating in, and generally behave like they're home alone in their bathroom instead of crammed elbow-to-asshole with 100 other people in an airless metal chamber hurtling through the underground of New York City.

Each day, I read the Post and pretend I'm Judy Jetson, piloting a single-occupant space ship to work and arriving just as fabulous as I was when I exited the apartment building in Brooklyn. This only rarely works, but it's a fun diversion. What really twists my thong, though, are the Sloth People. Gingerly descending or ascending stairways or mega-carefully entering/exiting subway cars, they somehow always manage to block my forward progress, invariably making me late and volcanically irritated. They aren't always heavy, or elderly, or tourists. I'm beginning to believe some of them are DOING IT ON PURPOSE!

Now before you jump to any conclusions, dear reader, I'm not inclined to suspect conspiracies. In fact, I distrust the idea of conspiracies, in general. It's phenomenally hard to get a group of any kind of people to agree to anything long-term. I do believe, however, in coincidences. Laws of averages have to apply to everything, don't you think? In any case, I have witness unrelated people doing, saying, or thinking the precise exact thing and believing themselves unique, on many non-consecutive occasions. Just as I've seen men and women of all shapes, sizes, age, etc., plod along in the subway station like they are 78 records in a radio station that only plays 45 records. SO! There are people in normal physical health who are capable of moving their asses at or near the same speed of others around them, who choose not to, for some diabolical reason. They must be stopped.

Finally, who drives these subway trains? We put an awful lot of trust into them, and I'd feel better knowing they are qualified and well-trained for their job. If this is not the case, for the love of Maude, don't tell me!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Dreams come true

My beloved friends know how hard my life has been up to this point--especially the last four years. Because I hate to suffer, I fought and worked and railed against the heavens for change. Never did I give up hope that change would be for the better, eventually. Cynicism equals weakness of character, on Planet Trouble, so no matter how diabolically I've been treated by people I trusted, or how often I've been on the losing end of a great cosmic banana peel, I persist in believing that being a good person, doing the right thing, and observing some pretty basic Golden rules will take you where you want to go. I did, however, learn the hard way that the decisions we make can be life-altering ones and should be taken very seriously.

Reality can indeed be harsh, but we can't let that affect our dreaming.

It took 16 years, but I'm finally moving back to New York: a dream fulfillment.

After ridiculous, pitiful, and time-wasting relationships with Mr. Wrongs (including a 6-yr stint as Mrs. Wrong), I found Superfly boyfriend, half-drunk and popping Listerine Breath Strips, at a party on the UES: My dream man.

Without a drop of sarcasm (because I hate it) I'll tell you I've never been happier in my life, nor loved another person more.

Even if our relationship doesn't last and even if I have to leave New York again, I will have seen my dreams come true, my faith restored, and happiness to last and last.

I wish all of you the fulfillment of your dreams, and scads of happiness! Love, T

Thursday, July 14, 2005


I got a job, yo. Fashion/Design house in midtown Manhattan. I so impressed them in my interview today, they cancelled their other interviews and offered me the job.

Oh, and no: they did NOT ask the doom question, although I was prepared.

Any New Yorkers who feel like celebrating with me, get in touch!

Attitude *snap, snap*

Bad enough to put up with it at work; your miserable, good-for-nothing boss has the affrontery to demand you respect them for no other reason than they've been in your job market a few years longer than you and your snivelling co-workers plot against you and swipe your brilliant ideas and your lunch. Because you're well-grounded and not a self-loathing nutcase, you are ostracized and generally picked-on, from the gum-chomping receptionist to the HR bots, the IT malcontents to the bloated aging yuppies who make up "Leadership".

So you leave for the day--a fleeting 5:00 liberation--only to find more hassle walking down the street and getting on the subway, locating your black Jetta amongst the hundreds of its cousins in the parking garage, sitting in traffic for eons, getting caught in the rain without your umbrella, Death Marching in 90 degree/90% humidity city streets, get the idea.

Second fleeting liberation, when you walk through the door of your place. Changing out of your monkey business suit, you listen to your voicemail messages and read your mail. One or the other is bound to ratchet your stress right back up. So you grab a cold one and watch TV, try to relax. If you have a significant other, this last part is a fantasy. Instead, you will listen attentively and supportively as your loved one gripes about their crappy job and all the jerks they encountered in their day.

Finally, you settle down in front of your computer to do a little surfing, a little sneaky peeping, instant messaging, and a little blogging. Your own blog features things you think are funny and/or interesting, rants, raves, jokes, and pictures you thieved off images. Friends, relations, and the clan of Anonymous post comments on your various entries, and you do the same for them. All in good fun and friendship, no?

You check out weblogs from people you don't know, but have heard of or read about. Political blogs like Wonkette and the Drudge Report, for instance, or entertainment and special interest blogs. Then there are people who are trying to find a shortcut to fame through their blog. You'll recognize them by the palpable pretentiousness of their language and the sneering contempt for the unworthy readers of their stupid blog. More and more, you equate "attitude" with pettiness, insecurity, complete obnoxiousness--everything opposite of "cool", and you yearn for the days when blogs were depositories for people's bad poetry and sad life stories. What will become of blogging, do you suppose? Will it run its course and end up a ha-ha on a VH1 remember when show? Will it morph into something else entirely? Is it a vast right-wing conspiracy and we are unwittingly sealing our fates with each posting of a Am-I-Hot-or-Not photo?

Wait--was it viruses that made the internet into just another hassle, or was it spammers, online forum trolls, or people who write things that thoroughly bum you out?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I used to live to read. Books, magazines, cereal boxes, you name it. Because I was one of THOSE kids in school, in Gifted/Talented programs since 1st grade, the teacher would usually allow me to read something while the rest of the class caught up with the assignment. Reading became an escape from boredom, tedium and, eventually, existential depression.

Of course I started out with Nancy Drew, Judy Blume, and Roald Dahl. School assignments piqued interest in history, mythology and religion. My passion for Russian literature started with Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Pushkin, but reading Nabokov really set me free. Sure, astounding intelligence, beautiful language and intriguing stories; what hooked me, though, was the clever word-play, the inside jokes, the riddles and puns. Not inserted into the stories---"Ta da!"---they were instead elemental to the story itself and discovering and gleefully solving them enhance the twists of plot or development of character to spine-tingly degrees, making the whole experience of reading a Nabokov a damn religious experience.

Naturally, this ruined me on almost all other writers. I read on airplanes and in Dr.'s offices, and usually feel ashamed, after. Everything I read now is so disappointing. The last book I read in one sitting, with the door closed and the phone off, soaking up every beautifully-written word was Infinite Jest, and that writer seems to have spent himself on that one.

Writers take themselves way too seriously. Possessing good skills in spelling and grammar do NOT make one a good writer. Nor does a gift for dialogue or an ability to turn a cute phrase. Attending a particular program at a particular university doesn't improve your writer-worthiness one bit. In fact, most working writers today are appalling hacks writing astonishingly boring and self-promoting drivel.

What's missing is art. Forget about voice, forget about storytelling. Where are the artists?

Note: I consider myself among the aforementioned lazy hack writers. I just try to keep it to a bare minimum.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

When it Rains, it Motherf#$%# Pours

Superfly boyfriend and I did a lot of driving this past weekend. My usual PA-Brooklyn trek, plus we drove all the way the hell to Boston for a friend's wedding (our tribe has the BEST weddings! We had loads of fun) and stopped at my sister's house in lovely Rhode Island for a delightful visit before heading back to NYC.

Received an nastygram email from someone, something that would usually make me go apeshit and start an unholy war.(1) My wonderful, super-duper Superfly boyfriend just put his arms around me and made it vanish and made it all bettah. Much as I didn't want to, headed back to PA this morning (2). Frustratingly, my bank was not allowing me to access money in my account, even though there was plenty of money in there and I made a deposit almost a week ago (3). I race back to Lancaster to make an appointment, only to have the Dr. reschedule it for a week later (4). Turns out my bank "accidentally" closed my account, when they meant to close someone else's. While they sort it out, I have no money. Zero.(5) I'm supposed to go back up to NYC tonight, to go to a fabulous job interview tomorrow. I have to (hopefully) reschedule, since I don't have gas or toll money (6) Thank you, pigfucking bank. Just as I'm reeling from all this, I get a call from my OB/GYN.(7)

You see, I decided to go get tested for every bad thing I could think of (STD, cancer) so I could rule it out and erase it from my litany of worry. Everything came back negative, normal, fine, perfect, good. But one result was taking forever to come back from the lab. "There were slighty abnormal cells," she says, "we need to schedule more tests." Then she launches into all the advances that have been made in detecting and treating cervical cancer, especially when it's caught early.

Hey, great, thanks. Well, I'm off to do things which cheer me up. Thanks for reading my Extra Ranty-Flavored blog.

Friday, July 08, 2005

A Quick "Yay Me"

Love karaoke. Love being asked to host a karaoke show. Love kicking ass in that endeavor. I'm a mic hog, an outgoing and funny extemporaneous loudmouth, a total ham. Of course! And now I have groupies.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

A few words on the London terrorist attack

We, as self-proclaimed civilized people, must do more to prevent, contain, and punish crime. Those bug-eyed Islamic extremists who bombed the city of London today are not "terrorists". That term only serves to romanticize their crimes. They are criminals. Similarly, leaders who drag their people into war and lie to them about their reasons for doing so are criminals. So are people who self-righteously claim their religion and their spiritual leader as the one true, using this righteousness to enslave, kill, or simply put down, those who do not agree.

I don't think any of the aforementioned are above "common" criminals in any way, shape, or form, and it astounds me they continue to walk free. An unknown criminal, having robbed a bank, not having ordered the murder of thousands of Americans, is hunted down and tried and jailed with intense scrutiny and bloodlust. Martha Stewart went to jail, but Tom DeLay is still in political power. Saddam Hussein is disgraced, eating Doritos in a jail cell, while GWB continues to mime leadership for a country in which he's committed twice the crimes of Hussein in his.

9/11 was more complicated than a criminal act on the part of Al-Quaeda. Still, Al-Quaeda is alive and well, bombing away at Western devils. And you can count on them being around for some time, as our own homegrown religious extremists build their case for Christian Fascism on the foundation of the evil Muslim enemy.

Can we stop them? Yes. They are criminals--we know how to catch, prosecute, and jail criminals. The trick is seeing them for what they really are, and not what publicity seeks to manipulate you into seeing.

My heart aches for the victims of the London bombing attack and their families. It still aches for everyone affected by 9/11. And I continue to rage against criminals everywhere.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

This question spells your doom!

Think back to your last job interview. Did the interviewer ask you this question (or some variation on the theme)?: "Tell us three positive things about you, and three negative things."

You probably either completely panicked, or thought, "Ooh, here's my chance to nail this interview!" So you said something knuckleheaded or you said something that was completely misread by the interviewer. Know why? It's a flawed question, that's why. Whatever you say, the interviewer's been indoctrinated into believing that you are subconsciously telling them what you are REALLY like, by your choice of words, your darting eyes, your sweaty palms, and your shuffling feet.

It is indeed dangerous to get me started on HR concepts (snort), but I will throw this one little swipe out there: HR Departments should be abolished. They are an abomination and they know it. A full-length rant is available by request.

What is the secret to answering the doom question? Pencils ready, people. Preparation. Know that they will ask, and have your answers ready, but not obviously ready. Maintain eye contact and don't be afraid to smile. Relax. Breathe. Now answer the question without really answering it. What? You read me.

In preparation for this interview, dummy, you matched your previous experience with the job description. You now have the rapt attention of the people interviewing you, who are waiting to plug your standard responses into their chart of deviant behavior signals. Instead, you will sell yourself for the job in question, which is (DER!) what you should be doing, anyway, not submitting to a psychological exam.

The trick, of course, is being smooth and subtle about it. You have to work the words "positive" (often) and "negative" (once) into your spiel, and it better be good. If the job description calls for someone with a specialized skill, you are a damn guru at it. If it calls for someone with initiative, pepper your speech with words such as: bold, innovative, creative, unprecedented, etc. They are looking for you to say "I am..." instead, you will say, "I do..."

How do I know this? I studied HR Concepts with the same pigfuckers who are driving everyone batshit in Corporate America. I kid you not: most HR classes were centered around moving up through the corporate ranks as a HR professional--the rest was bullshit you feed to said corporate ranks to make you look necessary.

So, Congratulations on your job interview! Go get 'em, Tiger, and don't ever forget that the HR person is your enemy. Ergo, prepare for battle.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Blog Networking Powers---Activate!

I need a job! Posted by Picasa

As I've mentioned blogpreviously, I am a writer. Everyone well knows that one can spit a sunflower seed in New York City and take out a writer's eye with it. I'm under no illusion of ever seeing my own work in print. That's why I took a job in publishing long ago, working for the corporate honchos of a newspaper chain. That's why I got a business degree and entertained ideas of law school. Also why I started up my own successful event planning business, and why I've worked in P/R, sales, insurance, non-profit, law, real estate, medical research and bartending. Because for the vast majority of writers, writing is a hobby, not an occupation.

And all that blather leads up to me asking--nay, pleading--for your help: I need a job in New York City, and I want you to summon all your networking power in an effort to produce leads. I'm smart! Talented! Versatile! Possessing great skills!

I will be delighted to send you my resume if that is helpful, and thank you! We will certainly talk finder's fees, yo.

Obviously, I'm also going about this the standard way, but my lovely friend LB suggested a blog appeal, so wonder no longer if I am crazy. I am.


Wandering Jew Flower Posted by Picasa

Ever feel set adrift in the world, uprooted and walking the Earth alone like the Incredible Hulk? Yeah, me too. In fact, I feel that way now. I've wandered the Earth for two years. People I love live in places far from me, if I could I'd live in all those different places at once, to be near to them.

I haven't had my own place for many years--the house I shared with my former spouse never felt like my home, despite the fact I ran the sucker like Martha Stewart on Ritalin. I want a home of my own to share with the people I love, the way those people have opened their homes to me. I want to fill a space with me and my life, hang my pictures and organize my books in a shelf.

The trick is figuring out where my home ought to be. The same struggle I've wrestled with for two years: Do I live where I'm happy or do I live where I'm needed? This impossible decision is the reason for my homelessness. Of course, I immediately decided to move where I was needed. This was such a disastrous decision, I became so unhappy, that I moved away from there feeling twice as much a failure as before.

Now, on the verge of moving somewhere I've always loved, where I've been happiest in my life, where Superfly boyfriend happens to live (whom I indeed love), where there is opportunity and where there are wonderful friends, I am afraid to make the selfish choice. I can only hope this works like the oxygen masks on airplanes: you put the mask on yourself, first, before helping the people who need you.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Courtesy the inimitable Twatwaffle Jones....

"Trouble is part of your life, and if you don't share it, you don't give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough." - Dinah Shore

Good Advice, Dinah Shore!