Ernest Hemingway:

As Ernest Hemingway once said...
'All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.'

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

America, land of the free...

Today I heard GW say on the news that we should all be doing our part to conserve oil. I looked up, and as they were playing the clip, they were showing him stepping off of Air Force One, his private jet. What a hypocrite!

I know, the president has to have some way to travel. But he's still being a hypocrite.

I'm tired of this government being so hypocritical. It's a crime to murder, yet our own government can do it. We're supposed to stand for equal rights, yet even to this day we are stripping rights from our own citizens.

I'm reading The Jungle by Upton Sinclair right now. I'm not far into it, but it's about Lithuanian immigrants moving to Chicago during the height of the meat packing industry in the late 1800s. It's amazing to think of what this country meant to so many immigrants over the years. But it's also depressing that this country has so many great qualities and opportunities, yet we are so filthy and corrupt. We have the means to be great, fair, and inspiring, yet we allow our rich and powerful to use the government for their own personal gain.

It's awful to think that with all of our money, we can't even take care of the poor. We can't make sure that everyone has health care and medicine, or that they all go to decent schools. As Michael Moore said, 'Our vulnerability is not just about dealing with terrorists or natural disasters. We are vulnerable and unsafe because we allow one in eight Americans to live in horrible poverty. We accept an education system where one in six children never graduate and most of those who do can't string a coherent sentence together. The middle class can't pay the mortgage or the hospital bills and 45 million have no health coverage whatsoever.'

We should consider learning how to help ourselves before running all over the world to 'help' them.

Monday, September 26, 2005

porn at 7:50 am?

I watched Kinsey on Sunday with Q while we were recovering from our Saturday night goodbye BBQ for N & M (moving to Ireland - how nifty!). It was a great movie - really well acted - so I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's shocking to see how in the dark Americans were back then about sex. We're still in the dark today, but in a very different way.

The movie reminded me of a class I took in college. I can't remember what it was called, but it was basically a sex psych or sociology class. We learned about Kinsey and others like him, and watched plenty of films. As a way to deter people from taking the class (it filled up very quickly), it was at 7:50 am. I remember that when the prof would show the 'educational' films, the class would be filled to the brim, while on other days, hardly half the seats were taken. I'm convinced that people would show up just to see the films, that they weren't even enrolled in the class.

You've got to be pretty hard up for porn when you're going to a class you're not even getting credit for at 7:50 am.

Friday, September 23, 2005

contact rejection

Why the hell, no matter what I try, do my eyes constantly reject my contacts? I only wear them a couple of times a week, but lately, they just won't stay in. I'll blink my eyes, and poof, they're gone. It's one eye in particular, too. And I know they're in right.

So today, the problem eye is really bothering me. It had already gotten stuck in the corner of my eye (when I blinked, nonetheless), so I had to fish it out and put it in again. But it's scratching like hell, so I go to take it out and see if I can put it in AGAIN, but when I take it out, it's broken! So, I go to take the other one out and put on my glasses in defeat, and it's broken too! What is going on?

I use plenty of eyedrops and solution, so I know that's not the problem. Any ideas out there? Help a girl out.

TGIF Hangover Ramblings

For the most part, I like my job. Great benefits, lots of freedom and flexibility, and good people, mostly. I can pretty much do whatever I want, as long as I get my work done (a monkey could probably do it easily). They throw great parties, always with open bars, don't skimp on much at all, and are very generous around the holidays and our birthdays.

But some days it really grates on my nerves. I sit by two advisors who constantly talk to each other across the hallway. They go on and on about stocks. There are a few that they watch seemingly nonstop, and they discuss the price, why it might have gone up or down, and what is happening with the companies. Most of the time I tune it out, but some days, it just drives me insane. How much can you talk about stocks without your head exploding? It's horrible. I never want to know that much about stocks, ever. Really, isn't the price enough? And just when you think they're done, one of them thinks of something else and has to share. Loudly.

Maybe it's just the hangover from going to see Reggie and the Full Effect and Alkaline Trio last night at the Pageant. We had to down beer in the roped off alcohol area downstairs because I couldn't stand to be in there for long. It was the only place in the whole freaking club to sell alcohol, and you couldn't take it out of that area. It sucked. It was ridiculous.

The show was great though, and my guy went to college with Reggie's singer, so we got to talk to him for a minute or two. He's a big rock star now, and had to sign all sorts of crap at the Euclid Record table after he played (where we were able to catch him). Q got to talk to him for a few minutes between his having to sign CDs, tickets, shoes, t-shirts, body parts, and whatever else was thrown at him.

After the show, Q thought it was funny that James is a big enough rock star to sign body parts. He's also going to be shooting some sort of show for the Fuse channel (I don't know what this is as we don't have cable). I said we should have had him sign something, because even if we can't talk to him much, maybe we can make some money off his fame later. Oh well.

I decided last night that I think people watching at shows is almost more interesting than watching the band. There was a girl dressed up as a pirate, which was funny, but really had nothing to do at all with the show. And what is happening with boys' hairdos nowadays? Apparently the shaggy look is coming back in (along with the rest of the 80s, I guess). There weren't nearly as many mohawks as I would prefer to see, either. Mohawks are a constant source of entertainment, and very thought provoking. How much crap does it take to make your hair do that?

And buying band t-shirts is great and all (I definitely have my fair share of them), but who needs My Chemical Romance socks? Or Reggie underwear? I'm glad the bands are making money with that crap, but please. There is a line. It has now been crossed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I had to go to a new dentist yesterday. Well, I guess he's only about half new, since my old dentist retired and passed on all of his clients to this guy. The new guy is also the dentist for the Blues and the Rams. Hell, that alone would make him rich.

I had to go because I chipped a tooth, one in the very back. So, he had to drill out my old metal filling (which wasn't pretty, believe me) and give me a whole new white one. This was after he somehow took a picture of the affected area and put it on the TV in the room. I was kind of hoping they would turn on the TV so I could catch Oprah, but apparently that's not what it was for. It wasn't bad, as far as fillings go (and I've had my fair share - I can barely get through the metal detector at the airport). The entire time he and two of his nurses (it was late in the day - I'm guessing they were bored) discussed celebrities and the new TV shows.

They talked about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and about Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney. At one point, my dentist said that even he thought Tim McGraw was sexy. If it wasn't for the drill, I would have cracked up. How many people hear their dentist say such things? It was surreal, but I felt right at home. So, if anyone needs a good dentist...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Laziest Dog in the World

My dog is so lazy. I mean, she does nothing but sleep, eat, occasionally play with a 'baby' (one of her stuffed animals), and beg for pets. It's unbelievable. I've never seen a creature that can look so darn comfortable all the time. She'd sleep on a bed of nails and make it look comfortable. And she'll take pets whenever she can get them. She'll nudge the hell out of your hand if she can get to it until you pet her. Or she'll nudge your leg, or your arm, whatever she can reach.

Then again, she's a greyhound, and spent the first half of her life in a crate, occasionally running around a track and eating grade-F meat (or whatever the worst grade is). Who wouldn't crave a lazy day after that?

She's the most laid back dog. She doesn't bark, she doesn't beg for food, she doesn't run around and drive me crazy. As long as there is someone to pet her daily, a couch to sleep on, and someone to feed her every once in a while, she's happy. I am convinced that it does not matter one bit who that person is. My dog has no owner loyalty at all. But she's also lived with three other owners after being rescued from the track. For some reason, they couldn't live with her (well, she did kill a chihuaha in the first house, but she was left alone with it the very first day at their house right after she came from the track. Who can blame her? All that yapping). But I can't imagine it. She's a perfect angel. She's tiger-striped, and she also sings. It's more of a howl, but we call it singing.

Well, she does have a few flaws. She has a broken rib that never healed right, so it sticks out of her side (probably from being kicked). She also has scars on her nose and on her other side, as well as very sparse hair on her butt by her tail from crate rub. She used to cry whenever we touched her ears (which have tattoos in them to mark her racing numbers), because that's one way to discipline them on the track - flick their ears - but now she trusts us. She also split her tongue and it never healed right, so it's got a permanent split on one end. Kind of like the people who pay to have their tongues split, only she can't move each side independently from the rest. That must be a people thing.

Her medical records are sketchy, but hey, we know her exact birth date, who her parents were, and who her grandparents were. It's amazing how they can keep such detailed records on these dogs, yet treat them like such crap. She also can't sit, which might explain all the laying down she does. She's too lanky to sit unless it's on a hill or on a couch. It's really funny to watch her try though! But she's one of the lucky ones that wasn't killed as a pup because she couldn't race or killed after her racing career was over. There are actually people who make a living destroying greyhounds.

In Kansas, they aren't recognized as a breed. article They're not bred to be pets, so therefore, they aren't pets. Interesting, since they make incredible pets.

I can't imagine a better dog. She's so darn easy. Anyone looking for a great, laid-back dog should go for a greyhound. Plus, you're saving them from an almost certain death. And usually not a pretty death either.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Mondays are Crap

Why do Mondays always suck? It's not just that the weekend is over. Bad stuff always happens on Mondays. Maybe because I'm in a bad mood anyway, I just invite the bad stuff. But not always.

For instance, today my jump drive freaked and won't let me open one of my documents. A 110 page document. I've tried a couple of times - no luck. I'm pretty computer savvy, so this one is definitely not my fault. I backed up the document, like a good girl, but at page 77, not 110. Technology. Guess I'll try to make it work on my home computer.

Then, I got on the Cardinals website right before 9 (when postseason tickets went up for sale), and got into the 'virtual waiting room' exactly at 9, and waited there for almost 2 hours. By the time I finally gave up, the only seats left were random single seats. Not even any standing room only. What kind of crap is that? I did everything right. My guess is that somehow, though they say they've done a lot to prevent it, people are getting into the system and screwing the rest of us. That sucks. All of those seats at all of those games, and I couldn't even get 2 next to each other. And the 'virtual waiting room' refreshes every 30 seconds to update where you are in 'line'. So this thing refreshed 120 times. It's so annoying to watch it do this! I didn't even have the page up, but the little button on my toolbar flashes every time it refreshes. It's like every thirty seconds it taunts you. You think surely this time I'll get in, but you never do. And the worst part is that it never lets you know how close you are.

And to top it off, the AC sucks at work, so it's hot as hell in here. They make us wear jackets with pants, so that makes it even worse. What is so hard about having a consistent temperature? If it's hot outside, make it cool inside. If it's cold outside, make it warm. This was a problem at my last 2 jobs as well. And no matter what, if I am in a skirt and short sleeves, the AC is on full blast. If I wear pants and a jacket, the AC isn't working right.

Blah. Enough complaining for today.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Truffle Shuffle

I am way into 80s music these days. I'm way into all music, but at work, on LaunchCast (Yahoo's imitation Sirius - poor imitation, at that), I listen to the 'Hits of the 80s' channel. It's completely hilarious. There's something about the 80s synth pop, the 80s ballads, and the great 80s punk. It's so damn funny. I love the cheesiness, and also the brilliance, depending on the song or band. The cheesier the better, in my opinion. The clothes, the trendy words, the movies - it's all so great. What is better than Cyndi Lauper, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Duran Duran, and the countless others like them? I find it so very comforting. Maybe because much of my formative childhood years occured during the 80s. It's just embedded in my mind.

I think that's one of the reasons I am so obsessed with Donnie Darko. The soundtrack is genuis. INXS, Tears for Fears, Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen - someone delicious person hand picked some of the greatest songs of the era. If you don't have it, I highly recommend picking it up. And Gary Jules' rendition of 'Mad World' is excellent.

I'll leave you today with the image of Chunk doing the Truffle Shuffle. Remember, GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I Have Three Names

I hate it when people call me Jennifer. I haven't gone by Jennifer since grade school. Most of my friends call me Jen, but at my last job, I went by Jenny. There were three Jennifers in the department. One went by Jen, one by Jennie, and then there was me, Jenny. I wasn't going to do Jennifer, so Jenny it had to be. I just got used to it.

So, when I started my new job, Jennifer went on all the paperwork. Did they really expect me to put Jenny on there? There was all sorts of legal paperwork to fill out (I work for a finance company), so I figured I had to go with what was on my legal documents. So, as a result, my name tag reads 'Jennifer', and so does my email address. Most people got the hint, as I sign all of my correspondence with 'Jenny'. Even with all of this effort, though, there are still some who call me Jennifer.

I've worked here for 9 months. If you haven't picked up on my preferred name by now, then you suck. I'm not being nice to you. I've noticed that it's the people I don't especially get along with that call me Jennifer. I can't decide whether I don't like them because of this, or maybe it's just that they all seem to be very self-centered (I have a problem with self-centered people).

Maybe I just don't like people who, for nine months and countless emails, can't figure out that I like to be called Jenny. It annoys the hell out of me. So, one word of advice from Norma Jean - please, take a minute to figure out what people like to be called. It's not hard. Look at their emails, or listen to what others call them. Or god forbid, ask them.

Anne Rice on Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans

Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans?

Published: September 4, 2005
La Jolla, Calif.

WHAT do people really know about New Orleans?
Do they take away with them an awareness that it has always been not only a great white metropolis but also a great black city, a city where African-Americans have come together again and again to form the strongest African-American culture in the land?

The first literary magazine ever published in Louisiana was the work of black men, French-speaking poets and writers who brought together their work in three issues of a little book called L'Album Littéraire. That was in the 1840's, and by that time the city had a prosperous class of free black artisans, sculptors, businessmen, property owners, skilled laborers in all fields. Thousands of slaves lived on their own in the city, too, making a living at various jobs, and sending home a few dollars to their owners in the country at the end of the month.
This is not to diminish the horror of the slave market in the middle of the famous St. Louis Hotel, or the injustice of the slave labor on plantations from one end of the state to the other. It is merely to say that it was never all "have or have not" in this strange and beautiful city.
Later in the 19th century, as the Irish immigrants poured in by the thousands, filling the holds of ships that had emptied their cargoes of cotton in Liverpool, and as the German and Italian immigrants soon followed, a vital and complex culture emerged. Huge churches went up to serve the great faith of the city's European-born Catholics; convents and schools and orphanages were built for the newly arrived and the struggling; the city expanded in all directions with new neighborhoods of large, graceful houses, or areas of more humble cottages, even the smallest of which, with their floor-length shutters and deep-pitched roofs, possessed an undeniable Caribbean charm.

Through this all, black culture never declined in Louisiana. In fact, New Orleans became home to blacks in a way, perhaps, that few other American cities have ever been. Dillard University and Xavier University became two of the most outstanding black colleges in America; and once the battles of desegregation had been won, black New Orleanians entered all levels of life, building a visible middle class that is absent in far too many Western and Northern American cities to this day.

The influence of blacks on the music of the city and the nation is too immense and too well known to be described. It was black musicians coming down to New Orleans for work who nicknamed the city "the Big Easy" because it was a place where they could always find a job. But it's not fair to the nature of New Orleans to think of jazz and the blues as the poor man's music, or the music of the oppressed.

Something else was going on in New Orleans. The living was good there. The clock ticked more slowly; people laughed more easily; people kissed; people loved; there was joy.
Which is why so many New Orleanians, black and white, never went north. They didn't want to leave a place where they felt at home in neighborhoods that dated back centuries; they didn't want to leave families whose rounds of weddings, births and funerals had become the fabric of their lives. They didn't want to leave a city where tolerance had always been able to outweigh prejudice, where patience had always been able to outweigh rage. They didn't want to leave a place that was theirs.

And so New Orleans prospered, slowly, unevenly, but surely - home to Protestants and Catholics, including the Irish parading through the old neighborhood on St. Patrick's Day as they hand out cabbages and potatoes and onions to the eager crowds; including the Italians, with their lavish St. Joseph's altars spread out with cakes and cookies in homes and restaurants and churches every March; including the uptown traditionalists who seek to preserve the peace and beauty of the Garden District; including the Germans with their clubs and traditions; including the black population playing an ever increasing role in the city's civic affairs.
Now nature has done what the Civil War couldn't do. Nature has done what the labor riots of the 1920's couldn't do. Nature had done what "modern life" with its relentless pursuit of efficiency couldn't do. It has done what racism couldn't do, and what segregation couldn't do either. Nature has laid the city waste - with a scope that brings to mind the end of Pompeii.

I share this history for a reason - and to answer questions that have arisen these last few days. Almost as soon as the cameras began panning over the rooftops, and the helicopters began chopping free those trapped in their attics, a chorus of voices rose. "Why didn't they leave?" people asked both on and off camera. "Why did they stay there when they knew a storm was coming?" One reporter even asked me, "Why do people live in such a place?"
Then as conditions became unbearable, the looters took to the streets. Windows were smashed, jewelry snatched, stores broken open, water and food and televisions carried out by fierce and uninhibited crowds.

Now the voices grew even louder. How could these thieves loot and pillage in a time of such crisis? How could people shoot one another? Because the faces of those drowning and the faces of those looting were largely black faces, race came into the picture. What kind of people are these, the people of New Orleans, who stay in a city about to be flooded, and then turn on one another?

Well, here's an answer. Thousands didn't leave New Orleans because they couldn't leave. They didn't have the money. They didn't have the vehicles. They didn't have any place to go. They are the poor, black and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they could do - they huddled together in the strongest houses they could find. There was no way to up and leave and check into the nearest Ramada Inn.
What's more, thousands more who could have left stayed behind to help others. They went out in the helicopters and pulled the survivors off rooftops; they went through the flooded streets in their boats trying to gather those they could find. Meanwhile, city officials tried desperately to alleviate the worsening conditions in the Superdome, while makeshift shelters and hotels and hospitals struggled.

And where was everyone else during all this? Oh, help is coming, New Orleans was told. We are a rich country. Congress is acting. Someone will come to stop the looting and care for the refugees.

And it's true: eventually, help did come. But how many times did Gov. Kathleen Blanco have to say that the situation was desperate? How many times did Mayor Ray Nagin have to call for aid? Why did America ask a city cherished by millions and excoriated by some, but ignored by no one, to fight for its own life for so long? That's my question.
I know that New Orleans will win its fight in the end. I was born in the city and lived there for many years. It shaped who and what I am. Never have I experienced a place where people knew more about love, about family, about loyalty and about getting along than the people of New Orleans. It is perhaps their very gentleness that gives them their endurance.
They will rebuild as they have after storms of the past; and they will stay in New Orleans because it is where they have always lived, where their mothers and their fathers lived, where their churches were built by their ancestors, where their family graves carry names that go back 200 years. They will stay in New Orleans where they can enjoy a sweetness of family life that other communities lost long ago.

But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us "Sin City," and turned your backs.
Well, we are a lot more than all that. And though we may seem the most exotic, the most atmospheric and, at times, the most downtrodden part of this land, we are still part of it. We are Americans. We are you.

Anne Rice is the author of the forthcoming novel "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sticking It to the Man

Today, while returning to my office after lunch (yes, I'm a corporate drone), I passed by a speed trap (luckily not speeding). I made an effort, after leaving view of the cop, to flash everyone that passed to alert them. I realized, while doing this, that I couldn't even remember the last time someone did this for me. What happened to sticking it to the man?

I thought about how no one looks out for one another anymore, how no one gives a shit about anyone else. It has really made this world more miserable. I try to rise above this, and help out when I see that someone needs it, but even I find myself being dragged down by the masses. Maybe if there was accessible / reliable public transportation in this damn city, I wouldn't have to deal with the crappy drivers during my commute (my 25 minute commute from south county to mid county, mind you), but alas, though they are building a metrolink station close to my house, it won't deliver me close to work. And my work is close to a highway, 170. Why doesn't the metrolink follow the highways? It's so close at one point, then veers way off. It's maddening. Plus, they're way behind on getting it finished. How hard is it? It's not like the entire thing is new. They've already built a lot of it. How could they be that far off schedule?

When will St. Louis get a clue?


Well, I finally decided to get my own blog after being entertained for countless hours by friends' blogs. I have always kept a journal (since 4th grade, when I called it a diary, of course), and want to be a writer, so this seemed like a good place to practice my skillz. My brain is always running, so this may end up being sort of a dumping ground. Enjoy!