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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Argiope, Am I Bored

I am bored. In case you haven't noticed, most of my posts deal with the past -- the past where I had a life. Seriously, nothing much has been happening to me or around me lately. I haven't even found anything of interest to comment on here. Seriously, not even one of the articles with a "Boobies" tag. This weekend I'll be in Raleigh with Chavez. Hopefully something will happen then. I'm counting on you Chavez.

In August, Aaron and I were hiking in the middle of nowhere in South Carolina. It was a hiking trail near the beach that had fresh and saline bodies of water. There was a sign hanging up that said, "Great for Hiking in Fall, Winter and Spring." We were stupid enough to wonder why there wasn't good hiking in the summer. I'm a yankee; that's my excuse. Aaron on the other hand ... Anyway, the first thing we saw were alligator prints. We also saw frogs and crabs and reed marshes, but mostly we saw mosquitoes. We saw the biggest mosquites ever. They were so big that you could actually feel the little proboscis enter your skin. We also had no insect repellant. So, between walking in high grasses with no boots on (the sign which told us when the good hiking seasons were also told us about the three varieties of poisonous snakes to be found in the park) and being eaten alive, we decided we'd better turn around and go back.

On the way back to the car, we decided to take a slightly different trail that seemed to be a shortcut. Aaron was ahead of me as we were walking. All of a sudden he just stopped dead in his tracks and I fell into his back. At that moment I looked up to see what in the world he was looking at. A hairy, nasty, evil, five-inch long argiope had made a web spanning the entire path. Now I was lookingf at it too, and it was only about 4 inches away from my face. I am definitely not what anyone would consider a "girlie" girl. I have always been a tomboy (my forays into fashion aside) who loves dirt and creatures of almost all kinds, but this was just a little too close for comfort.

I'd always wondered what I would do in an extrememly frightening situation -- would I piss my pants? would I scream? would I, heaven forbid, shit my pants? The answers to all of these is no. I hyperventilated instead. Boy, did I ever hyperventilate. My husband thought it was hilarious that I was afraid. For the rest of the night I had to hear about how cool this spider was (and it was, really, when I think about it), and how it had scared me to death. He loved it. He had never seen me so scared before. One day soon, I'll be saying the same thing about him (insert diabolical laughter here).



Monday, September 29, 2003

Yet Another Story About Cows

This story goes out to Jood, one of my friends in England who I hope to see in Cornwall in 2004, because she loves cows as much as I do -- the real ones, not those cheesy, country cows that are all over some peoples' kitchens on refrigerator magnets and cookie jars and salt and pepper shakers. The cows we love are soft and warm and serene. And real. But even cows have a dark side, and this is a story about evil cows, cows gone bad, intelligent yet nasty cows, cows with no sense of cheerfulness.

It was Christmas 1976. I was 7 years old, and I was happy because it was Christmas and I got exactly what I wanted -- a pair of over-the-calf boots (vinyl) and a blue parka (Sears). I thought I was the bomb, as you can see from the shots of me modeling later on Christmas morning. I had boots and a parka and you didn't. Well, I don't think you did, anyway. These two items weren't exactly "in style," per se, in 1977. You wouldn't see a picture of Lauren Hutton with a pair of vinyl boots and a blue parka with a fluorescent orange lining and fake German shepherd fur around the collar in Vogue or in any other fashion magazine or book in 1977, but they were the coolest in my book, and I always did have a slightly different take on the latest fashions.

My sister (her, again?) had just started dating this guy named Robert, and he had a dairy farm. I had a secret crush on Robert. He was so tall, handsome and strong. And he had the best 70's beard going. He invited my sister to bring me over to meet the cows in the afternoon and to watch them get milked. I was excited, what with the new threads, the cows being milked and Robert. I couldn't wait to get there, so we left shortly after I modeled for these photos. After we got there, Robert took me into the freezingly cold barn where the cows were all lined up, munching on hay and waiting to be milked. They were a lot bigger than I thought they'd be and they smelled really bad, but I wanted to look cool in front of Robert, so I never let him know I was scared and grossed out. After the tour, he said I could walk around and watch them for a while, but "Be sure to watch their tails. If they lift up their tails, they're going to crap." Okay, so now I'm scared of the cows because they're so big; I'm ready to vomit because it stinks so bad in there; and now, I have to keep an eye out for flying crap. I wanted him to think I'm cool, I'm hip, I'm down with the whole cow scene, so I tell myself I'm just going to casually stroll the length of the entire barn once and that will be enough.

It took me no longer than 3 minutes to do the loop. I was relieved because I knew that now I could get the hell out of that barn and into a warm car and go home. I stop to talk to Robert and my sister before we go to the car. I am unaware that my back and side are still in front of a few cows' rear ends, but that ignorance won't last for long. I hear it before I see it and smell it. It sounds like someone stuffed a whoopee cushion with vaseline. It hits my hood (including the fake German shepherd fur), my hair, my back, my arms and , yes, the side of my face. "But I am so cool! This can't possibly be happening to me," I thought to myself. But, cool or not, I was covered in cow crap and everyone was laughing.
Not me, though, I can tell you that much. I could smell that crap in my coat for months afterward, and so could everyone else. I learned two big lessons that day that still hold true to this day: 1) Never, ever, turn your back on a cow.
2) I am such a dork. Just look at these pictures.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Back in (Jack) Black

Last night, Aaron and I did something we hardly ever do: We went to the movies. We didn't even go to the Manor; it was a regular theater. We were both in the mood for a comedy, and they were having a "sneak preview" of the new Jack Black comedy School of Rock. The movie was directed by Richard Linklater of Slacker and Dazed and Confused fame and was written by Mike White of Chuck & Buck and The Good Girl fame, and as Jack Black is probably the funniest person living right now, we thought it'd probably be worth a watch.

By the way, if you haven't seen Chuck & Buck, it's one of the creepiest and best-acted, best-written and gut-wrenchingly disturbing movies I've seen in a long time. So, you should see it, but with a few caveats: 1) Do not see on a first date or any other type of romantic outing, unless the person you are dating has already seen it and says s/he loves it and it's their favorite movie of all time; in which case you should run away screaming from said person immediately and never go out on another date with her/him. If they know where you live, consider moving. 2) If you are in a "funk" or just aren't feeling comfortable in your own skin, don't see it. 3) Do not see it under any circumstances with your best friend from childhood, especially if you are a male and your childhood friend is too.

The first 1/4 of School of Rock was atrociously bad, as bad as I feared it would be when I saw the movie poster and there were a bunch of little kids, all decked out in rockerphenalia, standing behind Jack Black. If I had noticed this before I was actually walking around inside the theatre, I never would have agreed to see the film. I can't stand movies who use a bunch of creepy, actor kids to get a few mediocre and obvious laughs from the audience. The remaining 3/4's of the film were pretty fun. A few moments were out and out hilarious. The most unbelievable thing about this movie, which is about a slacker who tries to form a rock band out of a bunch of 3rd graders, is that all of the children could actually play the instrument to which they were assigned in the movie. Aaron is one of those people I love to hate -- those people who can pick up just about any instrument and play it -- so, he really appreciated the fact that they found children who could go about (and were, for the most part) playing music. I'm sure most of you know that Jack Black is a great musician who is wonderful at parodying the whole hard rock genre with his friend Kyle. I'd certainly recommend this movie as a rental, when you just feel like not having to think at all and laughing at something silly.

Although, I just saw that Lost in Translation is playing at the Manor. I wish I'd seen that instead!

Friday, September 26, 2003

Dr. Shock Zawislak, R.I.P.

Anyone born and raised in the Philadelphia area with one iota of coolness remembers Dr. Shock. Dr. Shock was the host of all the Saturday horror movies in town. He was creepy, cheesy and ugly, but you had to love him. I lived for Saturday afternoons and all the horror and science-fiction movies he showed then. Thanks to Dr. Shock, I got to see all of the classic horror films -- Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy; many, many different Hammer Films -- Brides of Dracula, Dracula A.D. 1972, Captain Kronos:Vampire Hunter, Curse of Frankenstein; and lots classic sci-fi movies -- Them, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Thing, Tarantula, Day Of The Triffids. I watched him every single Saturday, unless we were out of town.

My mom hated him, and for good reason. Even though I was utterly fascinated by monsters and ghosts and the like, I wasn't able to sleep on Saturday nights. And every single Saturday night, I ended up begging my dad to sleep in my room so that I could sleep in his place in my parent's bedroom. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. When it didn't work, I would call my mom out of a dead sleep to get me a glass of water over and over again, or I would sit in my closet because there was a light in there, petrified, wanting to know what was lurking just outside that closet door. Sometimes I would even camp out in the hallway next to my parent's half opened door, scaring them witless if they got up to go to the bathroom. Every Saturday, my mom would ask me if I was sure I wanted to watch Dr. Shock because of what had happened the previous Saturday and every Saturday for years before, and I would always make sure she understood that tonight was going to be different: I'd sleep in my own bed and be happy about it. I should have been a lawyer. I could make her believe that every time, and she wasn't gullible. Well, maybe not too gullible. Okay, she might have been gullible.

I started thinking about Dr. Shock because I read that there is a horror movie convention with a tribute to him taking place in Cherry Hill, NJ, which is kind of odd. Cherry Hill is the Gastonia of the Philly area -- anyone from the Piedmont will know what I mean. Well, that just makes it creepier, I guess. I learned today in that article that Dr. Shock went off the air in 1979, when I was 10 years old. I didn't know it at the time, but the man who played him died then. His name was Joseph Zawislak, and he was only 42 when he passed on. I hope he knew how much he meant to all of the strange kids in the Philly area, like me, who just lived for Saturday afternoons and his movies.


Thursday, September 25, 2003

Third Time's a Charm

Well, this is the third time I've tried to post this story. A few days ago I tried to post, and it merged with someone else's lame blog. Yesterday, I saved it and it disappeared. Thanks to Chavez and his infinite wisdom, I have now started to write in Notebook and cut and paste the darn thing. I started thinking that maybe my father doesn't want me to tell this story, and he's trying to let me know from beyond. Tough, Dad. You know how stubborn I can be. Although, that may be that's why it keeps getting less and less amusing with each attempt ...

Attempt #3 SNL, the Stones and My Father:
The year was 1978, and I was 9 years old. My mother was away somewhere -- I can't recall where -- and that left my dad in charge. I got to do a number of things that other kids weren't allowed to do when my father was the only one around to ask. My father was one of those people who's so mathematically inclined, he didn't always have the inclination toward common sense. I loved that about him.

I'd been hearing about Saturday night Live for a few years now, and I asked my dad if I could stay up and watch it. He agreed as long as he got to watch the 11:00 news first. No problem. The hosts and musical guests that night were the Rolling Stones. I'd always liked the Stones, especially our 8-track of Goat's Head Soup and their newest one Some Girls, which I particularly liked because Mick said "sex" and "drugs" a whole bunch. To this day, I still get the feeling that I'm listening to something I shouldn't because it's "dirty," which probably explains why it's only one of maybe 3 recordings I've ever owned on 8-track, cassette, album and CD.

The news was over and it was me, my sister, who was home for some reason at age 19 on a Saturday night, and my dad sitting in the living room. The show begins and I notice a few risque remarks are being said (you know how 9 year olds are -- we live for that stuff), and every time there is an off-color remark I look over at my dad to see whether or not he notices, and luckily he's still reading the evening edition of the Reading Eagle, not paying any attention at all. Well, the Stones come out and sang a song from Some Girls. I can't remember if it was on their first song or their second when it happened, but it happened -- Mick and Keith wound up in a tongue joust for all the world to see. I just sat there with my eyes wide open and my jaw dropped. I was amazed. I was stunned. I was in love. I had never even conceived of such a thing in my 9-year-old brain before. And even though I know now that it was a major manipulation of the audience and the media, I didn't know that then and couldn't have cared less. This sight awakened feelings in me that I didn't even know I was capable of having. It was great and I was off in another dimension, until I heard ... "One of those screwballs had better be a G--D--- woman! What the hell are we watching here?!!?" Of course, right at that moment my dad decided to look up from his newspaper. First, he attacked the show: "How the hell can they show crap like that on TV? Who wants to see that crap, anyway?" Then he attacked my sister: "How the hell can you let your little sister watch this filth?!!?" And then he attacked me: "What in the hell are doing still up? Go to bed!" As I made my way up the stairs, I could still hear his complaining. Eventually, my sister had to turn it off, but he still kept going about it. He was as shocked as I was but in a different kind of way. I wonder why it made him so uncomfortable? Hmmm. Just kidding, Dad.

About the Picture

I love this picture of me and my dad. It was taken at my first wedding. I am obviously complaining about something, which was typical of me at 22. My dad is making the exact same face he made 90% of the time I opened my mouth to say something.

Bonus Story about My Dad

Just a quick one to let you know just how noncommon-sensical (is that a word?) he could be. My sister, my niece (who was between the ages of 1 1/2 years and 2), my mom and I are going out the door to go shopping and grab something to eat. My dad starts laying this really heavy guilt trip on us, which we can't figure out at all. He saying stuff like: "Oh, it's such a shame." "It's gotta be in the 90's today." "You aren't even supposed to let animals stay in the car in this heat." "I can't believe you guys do this to her all the time." Yep, you guessed it, he thought we left my niece, the baby, in the car while we ate and shopped! What was he thinking? We laughed all the way in the car, until one of us wondered what he did with the baby when he took her out somewhere.

I miss you, Dad.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Wasting My Time

Well, as always happens after I have dental work done, I feel like utter crap. Speaking of crap, I have been spending an awful lot of time here as I've been moping around the house. I actually think I've now seen every thing there is to see on the site, except of course any new "Strong Bad Emails" that may come along. It took me a little while to get into it, but now I just love it. It always seems as I am the last to hear about this kind of stuff, so if you know of any other sites I may like, hit the "contact me" button on the left and let me know about them.

Okay, I have to admit that I am a huge fan of classic movies, all kinds -- westerns, war, comedy, horror, romance, film noir, etc. I also have to admit that since I was I little girl Katharine Hepburn has been one of my favorite actresses. It's cliche, I know, but who cares?

In my boredom today I started to read Kate Remembered by A. Scott Berg. I'm enjoying it so far; then again ,I love biographies and the like. The one way-- and it's a big way -- it differs from her own biography, Me, is her sexual candor. I had often heard quoted a famous line of hers, "I have lived like a man," but I always thought she was talking about the business side of her career. I mean, she was one of the first actresses to truly run her own career. In actuality, though, she meant in a business sense and in a sexual sense. She slept with whomever she wanted whenever she wanted and never to any particular gain. She usually didn't sleep with a director that caught her eye until after they finished shooting a picture. What I'm trying to get across is that her seductions in Hollywood were never manipulations. It makes me wonder what exactly she did for birth control in the 30's. Condoms, I suppose. The other oddity in this admission is that, unlike men, a lot of her conquests she chose solely by their personality, not their looks. Spencer Tracey, even though I think he was one of the best actors to ever appear on a screen, was a prime example. Talent, not beauty won her affections. Good for you, Kate.

Quote of the Day

"Holy crap."
Strong Bad

Monday, September 22, 2003

So, I Saved My Blog and This is What I Got ... Stoicism

I was at my dentist's office today, an office that I used to manage. I love them all like family and love to spend time with them, but not for an almost 4-hour stretch in the dental chair. I felt used, abused, battered and, yes, shattered, which started me thinking about the Rolling Stones. I had written a great story about me seeing the episode of SNL where Keith and Mick locked tongues when I was 9 with my dad in the room, but when I saved it, I got some other lady's blog interconnected with mine. I'm sure she's pissed right about now because she has a picture of me and my dad and lots of comments about two men kissing and fondling each other. Well, maybe she'll at least get some hits from that topic. So, I decided to leave it and just make comments/corrections to it becasue I am just too tired to do the darn thing again. If you thought my blog was bad, take a gander at this. It's scary for oh-so-many reasons. It starts at the "***."

It was 1978 and I was 9 years old. I don't know where she was, but my mom was out of town***t's hard to be stoic about one thing when other things have already affected your thinking. (What? Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my blog?)Well my week went great. I didn't have to deal with traffic, babies crying, or dumb drivers at all while I was in San Diego. (Why, has San Diego outlawed all three?) My stoic levels (Can levels be stoic?) were back up to a 10. (Phew, I was worried. Thought we might have to send you out for a stoicism booster, honey) Then it was time to go home. Friday came around and my sister and her children came down to the condo to stay. Her son and my daughter are the same age, and they began to run around and fight, then the yelling began. (Really? Kids yelling and running around? The horror.) Oh no, my levels of happiness were beginning to drop. (Yeah, but I'll bet those childrens' were soaring, what with the yelling and running around and such!) Leaving San Diego is bad enough, (Yeah, it's bad ... real bad. I actually can't think of anything worse.) I love it down there. (Awh, me, too. I love it so much that leaving it is actually kind of ... well, bad.) We get packed up and (to?)leave, (and?) everything is starting to bother me again. Pretty bad when we haven't even got (gotten, sheesh) on the road for home yet. My husband desides (deCides -- are you a writer for the Charlotte Observer or is English your second language?) to drive, (. T) that helps a little because I don't have to deal with the dumb drivers, (Yeah, now that you're outside of San Diego.) I just have to see them. To begin with I wasn't doing to bad with begin stoic on the way home. (Does she know what "stoic" means?) No bad drivers and we even got to go through the boarder (just people who rent a room from someone else need to stop, I suppose) check point without having to stop or even slow down. Things changed when we got to Temecula though, my son began to cry, and he cryed all the way home. (If your some is 3, that's normal. If he 47, seek professional help.) Just to let you know, thats (that's) about a forty five (forty-five) minute drive. To combat the crying we left the windows down in the car, (. H)he cryed (does she have a spellchecker?) but the window dulled alot of the noice. (Did Dr. Spock teach you that? No, it's Mr. Spock that talks about children and the noice problem, isn't it, from the episode The Nuisance with Noices?) For the most part I didn't let it bother me, I just tried to relax and think possitively (Now, I feel guilty about making fun of her. She obviously has a lisp.) It wasn't that bad. The toy I bought to try and combat the crying sure doesn't work. Maybe he's just to (I give up, I'm not correcting anymore of your mistakes.)little still. Any how thats how my experience went this weekend with trying to be stoic. (Well, aren't you just a little Stoic Stacey!) This week I think the real challenge will begin, my husband is going back to work, after being off for two monthes (oh, dear lord, monthes?) for the birth of my son. Now most all road trips I will be driving and it will just be me and the kids. I will fill you in on the way. (Oh, please do. Please interrupt my french-kissing Rolling Stones story for this type of stoic story anytime. It's just inspiring.) Think stoically! (Act locally.) will just be me and the kids. I will fill you in on the way. Think stoically! (Good God.)

Well, that's it. Hope I wasn't too harsh. Nah.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

UNC and Madison, Wyoming?
I just happened to overhear this conversation while at a coffee shop in Chapel Hill yesterday after a coffee clerk noticed the patron's UNC t-shirt and pom-pom:

Coffee Clerk: Oh, is there a game today?

Patron: Football game? Yeah, not at home, though. I believe it was in Wisconsin. I was actually at the field hockey game.

CC: In Madison? That's a big college town, right?

P: Well, I'm not sure. Probably, because I doubt that Wyoming has more than one college town, considering that it's not very densely populated.

CC: (after a 5-second, blank stare) Oh, so you like field hockey, huh?

Unfortunately, the "Patron" was yours truly. I was on my way home late in the afternoon when I started thinking, "Hmmm. What football team would we be playing that far away? What universities are in Wyoming?" I've been having a lot of them lately and even though I really despise the term "brain fart," there really isn't a better way to describe it. If there's one thing I'm relatively knowledgeable about, it's geography; I love it. What was I thinking? I mean, I was the one who brought up Wisconsin anyway. I can pretty much guess what the clerk was thinking after I said that. When the conversation was taking place and he was looking at me blankly after my last statement, I just assumed he was taking a second to thoughtfully consider my wisdom concerning college towns and geography in general. Probably not.

The reason I have been in Chapel Hill so frequently lately is that my niece got a scholarship to UNC for field hockey. This is her first semester of school, and she is one of the starters on her team. I don't have any children of my own, but I can tell you that I have recently experienced the sense of pride a parent feels when a child is so successful. Although, I probably have only felt an inkling of what my sister, her mother, has felt about the whole thing.

My niece is a great kid. She's one of the funniest people I have ever met. She has a very universal sense of humor, unlike her Aunt Annie, whose wit only seems to beguile men who played Dungeons and Dragons in school and know every Monty Python movie and sketch by heart. She owns her own copy of Young Frankenstein and has for years. She asked for a copy after seeing it with me when she was about 11 years old. At the age of 17, her school newspaper did a "bio" on her and asked her who would she like to be stranded on a deserted island with. Her answer was Gene Wilder. That's a girl after her aunt's heart, that is. And she's good with people. She definitely didn't get that from her aunt, though.

About the picture
This is a picture of my niece when she was two years old. She was just the most adorable kid, and she's grown into a beautiful, well-rounded, intelligent and humorous adult. And, yes, we did let her out of the corn flakes box once in a while.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

The Raw Deal or Why You Should Send My Butt to Cornwall
Okay, I thought I'd take this opportunity to explain the Send Annie to Cornwall Fund, as I'm really tired of so many people asking me about it. How many? Well, none, actually, but I know you're thinking it. Just bear with this story. I promise I won't post many like them.

Background
I have always been an active person, but an active person who would sometimes have inexplicable spells of fatigue and general malaise. I was a runner; I did step aerobics and yoga; I hiked and swam whenever possible. I was usually busy doing something. In May of 2002, all of that changed.

I had a vacation in Paris for 8 days in May 2002. Before I had left for France, I had sought the advice of a naturopathic physician because of some digestive difficulties. I took a blood test that revealed sensitivities/allergies to many foods. I eliminated all of the foods that I tested poorly on, most of which were basic things like wheat, dairy, and eggs. The foods that I was allowed to eat, I had to eat on a 4-day rotation diet. I followed this program without cheating for eight weeks prior to my trip to Paris. While in Paris, I decided I was going to eat whatever the hell I wanted, as I was a sous-chef and had never been to France before. Everything was fine while in Paris. I ate anything and everything with little or no side effects.

Upon my return to the U.S., I was hit with debilitating exhaustion for two weeks. When I say "debilitating" I mean I remember waking up in the morning and having to gather all of my strength to get out of bed and walk to the sofa, just to lay down again. I also remember being on the sofa and having an intense urge to get up and go to the bathroom but waiting as long as I possible could because the trip to the bathroom was even worse than the one to the sofa initially -- it was a two-way trip. I missed two solid weeks of work at my new job managing a dental office. After the initial two weeks, I continued to miss work on almost a weekly basis until I was eventually terminated a couple of months later.

My allopathic (regular) doctor could not figure out what was wrong with me. I started to think that maybe there was nothing wrong with me -- I was just either lazy or insane, and I became very depressed. She did one last test; one that my insurance didn't cover. The test was for the Epstein-Barr virus. It turns out that I had a very high level of the antibodies in my system. I had CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome . How could such an anti-yuppie come be infected with the yuppie flu? Anyway, my doctor is great and she told me the truth: There is no reasonable, conventional treatment for CFS. None.

Well, I floundered for a while, not knowing what to do, hoping that it would leave just as quickly as it came, which sometimes happens for people. Some bastard-type people. We were living on my husband's salary alone, which was lessened because he decided to go back to school full time about 3 months before I got sick. Our combined income had been more than cut in half, and we had just purchased a new house. We quickly went from virtually no debt (except the mortgage) to mountains of debt, even with watching every penny. I eventually got a part-time job working only 12 hours a week, but sometimes even that was too much. Something had to give.

I eventually saw a specialist in Atlanta. He had me read a book which talked about not cooking your food. I Googled "raw food diet," and came up with hundreds and hundreds of sites. The simple basis of the raw food movement is that you eat no food heated over 115 degrees. Heating food any higher destroys many of the nutrients and valuable enzymes that are vital to health and healing. Now, I am a person who loves food, but I was so desperate to feel better, I was willing to go to any length to do so. It has literally changed every facet of my life for the better -- I've lost weight; people comment on how my skin just glows, and I don't break out anymore; I am no longer depressed; I am becoming active again; I have fewer CFS episodes, and when I do, they don't last very long. I feel closer to family and friends, and my meditations have become deeper some how. I just feel great most of the time. I've only been "raw" since mid-April of this year. I can't wait to see what happens next because quite a number of people who eat this way tell me the really incredible changes start happening after the first year.

Anyway, I am definitely not trying to convert anyone to this radical plan. I just wanted to put it out there in case someone reading this is suffering from a chronic and/or "incurable" disease and wants some help. Also, what I'm trying to do is get my butt to Cornwall, England in May 2004 for a retreat to meet the friends I have made all over the world who eat the way I do. I mean, I've seen people purchase an iPod and a digital camera with a little help from Blogger and Paypal, and I thought, what the hell? It couldn't hurt to try!

By the way, I retook a similar food allergy/sensitivity test just recently, and I scored better on it than anyone who had ever taken the test on this particular machine had before. I went from about 75 things I couldn't eat to 4 that I just need to eat in moderation. Incredible, huh?

Quote of the Day

"Send me to Cornwall in 2004, or I will tell that CFS story over and over and over and ship it to your inbox everyday under different names. I will. I promise."

Ann
way down in the hole

About the Photos

The one with me standing is me in Pere Lachaise, arguably the coolest cemetery in the world. Check it out. I nabbed some Canadian college students to take it for me, as I was alone in my interest to travel all that way to see a cemetery.

The other one is just me at a cafe probably drinking one of my 40 cafe au cremes of the day, freezing my ass off because it was really cold that May in Paris.


Friday, September 19, 2003

Did Bruce Springsteen ever write a song about a
souped-up Pinto?

I went to see Bruce Springsteen in Chapel Hill last Sunday. It was such a strange experience. There were so many older people there, and by "old," I mean borderline elderly, at least 70. It has been over 20 years since my last Springsteen concert, but I just don't remember a bunch of 50+ year-olds singing along with me. Another strange thing about it, too, was I just don't listen to much mainstream music anymore. I hadn't even heard his new stuff from The Rising before, and of course a lot of the songs he played were newer.

While I may not care for his newer stuff at all, his older stuff is as close to musical magic as I can find. I'm talking about Thunder Road, Rosalita, She's the one, Born to Run, The River, etc. Then again, I'm from Philadelphia. To that entire area of the Northeast (PA, NJ, NY, DE & sometimes MD), Bruce isn't just a rock legend, he's almost a god.
Listening to those songs takes me right back to childhood. It's the 70's, and I am that little 6-year-old girl, riding around in her 16-year-old sister's souped-up, cobalt blue Pinto, with Hooker headers and a kick-ass 8-track player. Or, maybe I was 8 and my sister was 18, and she was driving her metallic black Camaro Berlinetta with the sheepskin covers and a different kick-ass 8-track player that made a loud "ka-chunk" sound every time it changed programs. We would roll the windows down and sing at the top of our lungs, completely surrounded by the scent of her Coty's Wild Musk and pine-scented car freshener. I'd be wearing my favorite KISS t-shirt, and she'd be dressed in Levi's and a Blazer's tee, her perfectly feathered hair whipping around her face. Dear God, I wanted to be her. She was so cool. She was everything -- she was strong, intelligent, hilarious, pretty, athletic and fun.

I remember staring at the cover of "Darkness on the Edge of Town" a lot. It used to scare me. Bruce in those days looked like a "druggie." My mother told me to run away from druggies, which made me want to hang out with them even more. I guess I would use the term "junkie" now, but he was definitely a scruffy, sexy, talented junkie. If that's possible. I think it is.

Bonus about the photos

The first picture is me at 6 years old. I'm visiting an aquarium in Bermuda. My dad and I are leaving and we are posing for one last photograph next to The Parrot. My dad had a strange sense of humor, one that I didn't understand until a few years later. He told me that if I didn't keep my eye on The Parrot the entire time, The Parrot would bite me. Notice the look of sheer terror on my face. Thanks, Dad!

The second pic is me at about 8 years old wearing the much-coveted KISS t-shirt. Everybody wanted that t-shirt. I got it made on the boardwalk at the shore. I wish you could see the t-shirt better. I mean, who gives a crap about me, right? Let's see the friggin' tee already. It does look like I'm having a good time, though, I must say.

Quote of the Day

"Don't run back inside darlin', you know just what I'm here for.
So you're scared and you're thinkin' that maybe we ain't that young anymore,
Show a little faith, there's magic in the night,
You ain't a beauty but hey you're alright,
Oh, and that's alright with me."

Thunder Road
Bruce Springsteen

Movie of the Day

Once in a while I will tell you about a movie I have recently seen. I say "once in a while" because I don't actually go to the movies very often. I tend to rent movies instead. There are some movies that I do prefer to see in the theater, movies that are visually stunning, horror movies and releases of classic movies that I've only ever been able to see on the tv screen. I always try to get a letter-boxed version of the rental, if at all possible. My favorite movies and books are nonfiction. Next to nonfiction, my favorite type are "slice-of-life" movies and books, which is exactly what this movie is.

All The Real Girls is beautifully shot, filmed in Asheville, North Carolina and the surrounding area. The story is very slice-of-life, and it remains that way throughout. Although, I do think it loses just a little pace and definition about 3/4's of the way into the movie. Luckily, the last 15 minutes are as stunning as the earlier parts of the film. The acting is some of the best that I have seen in quite some time. The characters were extremely believable and I ended up sympathizing with most of them. One of the things I liked most about it is that just about everyone (with any kind of dating history) will identify with either the male main character or the female main character or both. I enjoyed it so much, I'm going to watch it again with Aaron.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

What Hole?

Well, welcome to my new blog. It's been a long time coming, mainly because I couldn't think of a decent name. That's like giving away your newborn because you can't think of a name for it. Well, not really, but sort of. So, after many suggestions which I will eventually mention in this, my very first ever post, I decided on "way down in the hole" after my husband, Aaron, read it out loud from a book of lyrics, lyrics by this man , one of the sexiest, funniest, most irreverent, and creative musicians/lyricists/singers in the world today. If you knew from whom the line was taken without clicking on the link, I'd marry you ... if I wasn't already married.

One suggestion I received was "Anngazine" from a dear friend of mine. Thank God his blog is better than his suggestion. Some other titles I considered were also gleaned from the pages of the aforementioned book of lyrics were "Yesterday's Here," "Filipino Box Spring Hog" -- still considering this one actually, and "Eyeball Kid" -- "He's not conventionally handsome; he'll never be tall." I also thought about "Funk to Funky," as I am a huge fan of his, but it was just too obviously cheesy. Aaron came up with some other good ones: "Amused to Death," Roger Waters; "Emoshun Sickness," kind of an 80's hair band send up, but it needed a well-placed umlaut to be complete, and I just couldn't figure out how to add one; and last but not least "Smellin' of Troy," which just left too many unanswered questions -- smellin' of the city of Troy? Troy Donahue? some asshole named Troy who went to my high school? like a cologne created by Troy McClure? Troy DeArmitt?

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. Keep your eye out and get your wallets ready, too. I'm trying to Paypal my way to Cornwall, England in May 2004 to meet up with some friends. More on that later.

Quote of the day --

"Jerk meat possum with grapes and figs, old brown betty in a yellow wig,
T'aint the mince meat fil-a-gree, T'aint the turkey neck stew,
T'aint them brulee okra seeds, though she made them a-special for you,
worse just won a prize for her black bottom pie, the beans got thrown to the dogs.
Je-he-se-us Christ, I can always make room when they're cookin' up a filipino box spring hog."

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