Friday I saw Tahmi for

February 29th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (1 Comments)

Friday I saw Tahmi for lunch and a visit, then picked up my satellite card and went home. I watched a show, I napped; I ate half a dozen jalapeno poppers around nine thirty. That was pretty much my evening.

Saturday I went to town in the late morning and met up with Tahmi again; we went to a rummage sale where I bought a couple of skirts and some little shallow dishes I thought would work nicely for wasabi or other condiments. Tahmi went off to a Noah’s Ark thing and I came home. Mike showed up, showered, and went straight to bed.

I left for town around six-ish. Stopped at Anna’s, and then she and I and her friend all went over to Misty’s for a few minutes. Then we went to the Red Rock. I called Tahmi at 9:15 when the band started, and she came out.

I danced for about two sets – it was great. I need to do it more often.

I sat in for my obligatory blues song, and was, as always, gratified by the great response I got: cheering and clapping and grinning and people saying with slight awe, “I had no idea you could do THAT.”

It’s so weird. You have no idea.

My voice is utterly out of shape; there are runs I used to do in Rock Me Baby that I couldn’t hit now if my life depended on it. After a week of practicing I could, of course, but I just can’t do it cold any more. I haven’t sung in years, and the voice is a muscle after all.

In essence, I now sing out of tune on a regular basis, but people oddly don’t seem to hold that against me. I myself am such a critical listener that I’m forever amazed at the things an audience will overlook if you just give ‘em a good stage persona to look at.

I watched a Liz Phair special on the Freeview channel yesterday. I have never seen a more uncomfortable, awkward, odd rock star in my life. Apparently she had (has?) stage fright and prefers the studio; her body english is weird on stage, her facial expressions are weird, and she just plain makes me want to smack her. It was so bizarre I had to watch the show twice just because I’ve never seen a worse performer on TV. She’s like watching a church talent show or something equally horrific. She should learn more about drugs or something; she’s just awful.

She was being interviewed by Billy Corrigan in part of the show, and it turns out that she knows she’s got zero stage presence and apparently it’s something she admires in other performers and is working on. But honestly, it baffles me that someone would be born with a fair amount of musical talent and be given absolutely no charisma whatsoever. It seems rather sad, really.

At any rate, the point is people react probably more to charisma that the music itself. At least, that’s what I’m forced to conclude. I am no longer a great singer – my tone’s reedy, the voice is not supple, and my pitch is really mediocre – but people are SO nice to me anyway.

I think that seeing someone simply having fun on stage has as equal impact on non-performers as the music itself. Yet, how can that be when people react so strongly to music?

For me, as a performer, seeing someone enjoy what they’re doing is so basic to performance that I don’t even count it as a virtue; it would be like congratulating a diver for being able to swim. I judge a performer not on their ability to be on stage but their ability to execute whatever they’re up there to do. In music, in singing, what I judge is a performer’s ability to sing – and by sing I mean tune, tone, timber, and time.

There are a lot of extroverts that look comfortable on stage. But most of ‘em are shitty garage rock wannabees. Charisma is, to me, the least of the stage musician’s virtues. Look at Liz Phair. She’s famous and people dig her.

I watched a special on Chicago blues recently and half the bitches on that show couldn’t sing their way out of a bag. The standards in that genre are phenominally low. Most pop singers can use their voices better than a lot of working blues singers in Chi-town. Of course, some of those Chi-town blues mammas rock the world, but some of ‘em don’t.

I just don’t know. I never have known. If I were in my own audience, I’d probably clap for me, I might concede that I could groove a little, but I wouldn’t jump up and whoop and scream and try to buy me a drink. I’m not a phenominal voice, I’m not a phenominal performer. I’ve always suspected that the reactions I get are entirely inappropriate, and I’ve always wondered why I get them.

I used to think it was a sign that performing was my dharma, but now I think it’s just some weird bennie I’m entitled to. Like, no matter what happens in your journey, you’ll always be able to sit in with some bar band and get a warm reception, no matter how you sound. (Nothing can ever truly be bad in life if you’ve got a guarantee like that! Heh.)

I talked to Brett yesterday for a few minutes and he recited a litany of gastronomic excesses: red snapper, steak, rack of ribs, whole barbequed chickens… I’m looking forward to seeing him late tonight when he gets home. I miss him when he’s away.

As for me, I haven’t done anything constructive all weekend and I don’t intend to start now. The entry way is still a mud pit, so all the floors are nasty but I don’t see any reason to do anything about it since it’ll just get muddy again in ten minutes. I’ll do the laundry tomorrow; it’s warm enough to hang stuff outside so I can do several loads in a row and get it all done in one day. I also never finished paying all the February bills so I guess I’d better get on the phone manyana and catch up on that before they shut off our power or something. But today? No plans whatsoever. Except maybe I feel a nap coming on. After all, I was out until two in the morning!

Empty nest

February 27th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (0 Comments)

Went home after work to an empty house. It’s weird; I’m used to being the one who travels! I built a fire, ate some leftovers, and read a book. Drank a glass of wine. Meditated.

Went to town and met Anna at the bar, and she gave me hand knitted socks for my Amma doll, along with a cute mala for her, too! Adorable.

We went bowling and Tahmi came out to visit. It’s fun to have an audience while bowling. I bowled my average for the evening. I’m pretty consistently mediocre in that way.

Brett called at about 11:00 to say they’d all arrived in Atlanta; Anna, Tahmi, and I took turns with my cell and we kept it to one call for all of us. The boys apparently planned to get drunk in the hotel and worry about “doing something” the next day. They’re probably eating lunch at or near the tool convention by now.

After bowling, we went to the Backroads and had another drunken sing-fest. I had oodles of fun, and Miss Tahmi commented that she was up way past her bedtime. Tee-hee! “Do you feel like you’ve stayed out late and imbibed lots of toxins?” I asked her as we were leaving. “Oh, WAY late and LOTS of toxins,” she replied.

This morning I meant to sleep until at least 8:30 but the dogs woke me up at 7:20 to be let out. (Damn Brett training them to expect such insanity!) I moved to the couch, reset my alarm, and slept until 8:45. I prefer nine hours of sleep to six, but I got up and showered and came to town for my 9:30 meeting about the cable pair database.

Now it’s noon and we just got finished; apparently there’s some pizza on the way so I might wait a few minutes to check that out, then I’m off to Tahmi’s for chai and to show her my Amma’s new socks. (I brought my Amma doll with me; she’s still in her jammies but I have her clothes. I know it’s weird to have a doll at my age but I fucking love that doll and it makes me so very happy. Anna and I are always having to remind each other that it’s okay to be in love with your Amma doll, even if you’re a “grown up”!)

After I visit Tahmi’s I don’t know what my plans are. I’ll need to go home and excercise Meathead before he eats some furniture, of course, and I think I need to pick up a bag of cat fud. I’m wondering if it’s nice enough to hang laundry out on the line and have it dry before dark.

I brought Miss Bindu to town with me; she was a big hit here in Engineering and it seems the majority of people who work in this section have dogs at home and she’s done lots of exploratory ankle sniffing. She rested under the conference table during my meeting, and now she’s under my desk taking a snooze. Love my blue dog.
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Hotlanta!

February 26th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (0 Comments)

Brett left this morning for “Hotlanta” with Jason, Bo, and Jimbo. They’re officially going to visit a tool convention for 1-Stop Rental stuff, but Atlanta’s famous for its titty bars, so I’ll be surprized if they don’t visit one while they’re there. Brett seemed pretty excited to go and it’s certainly his turn; I think I’ve been out of town three or four times since the last time he got to go anywhere! I hope he has a great time.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping we ‘widows’ can all get together this weekend and do something fun. Anna and I were thinking about taking Tahmi and Joy out for some pool and some beers, perhaps. And there’s always the possibility of a little stitch ‘n bitch if Joy can’t find anyone to watch Ella for a few hours.

Brett split a “few days worth” of wood last night at the last minute, bless his heart. He’d almost gone out of town and left me with no firewood! I told him he was a Bad Husband and he just giggled at me, as usual.

Gomez was whisked away by the Pappins last night; he came home with Brett, ate some dinner, made a phone call, showered, and Reni picked him up! I was hoping he’d be at the farm on Friday so that I could party after bowling tonight and crash at Anna’s, but alas I’ll have to go home to do dog duty AND I have a meeting tomorrow at 9:30 anyway, so I guess it’s okay.

Have I mentioned lately how much I adore my USB thumb drive?!?! It’s the coolest thing since indoor plumbing. I bought a couple of books from Baen books earlier, and threw them on my removeable drive. Tonight when I get home I’ll be able to transfer them onto my PPC. Bliss!
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I was waked this morning

February 25th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (0 Comments)

I was waked this morning by my amorous hubby – men and their morning nookie. Ugh! How can anyone wake up horny, I ask you? It’s just weird.

I wasn’t hungry for dinner last night, so I was starving this morning and had a breakfast of scrambled eggs and veggie bacon on rye. Then Brett and Gomez left for work and I didn’t need to leave for half an hour (I don’t have keys to this building and the doors aren’t unlocked until nine). I went to watch a bit of the weather… and fell asleep on the couch! Didn’t get to work until twenty after.

I’m quitting coffee. Had about a quarter cup of it this morning, and all it did was make me tired. I feel quasi-depressed this morning, fuzzy, and what do they call it? disassociated. Yesterday I felt great, laughed a lot, had a fairly good day.

Mood swings suck ass. I feel like my world is ending, but nothing’s happening at all.

I’d sure like to see The Passion, mostly to hear what Aramaic is thought to sound like. I am prepared to love or to hate the film as a whole; I’m not yet attached either way. I feel like people spend so much time thinking about the Christ that they end up attaching a lot of weird stuff to the idea, so I won’t be surprized if I don’t like the portrayal.

I need to get to work; I a busy day ahead of me. Yesterday I stayed an hour after work to catch up on the Rants board, because now that I have an actual job I can’t spend as much time there as I’d like. I like being busy, but it sucks to not have time to troll the board all day! I wrote a reply to the Amma quotes thread, and on the drive home decided it wasn’t a worthwhile communication and tried to get online to delete it, but couldn’t connect. So probably I’ve started another flame war, through my own stupid inability to shut the fuck up… I’ll check at lunch to see what’s happened. All I want to do is explain my experience and beliefs, but I’ve too caustic a mouth, I think, and it comes out aggressive. Plus all the other problems of online communication – lack of nuance, body language, all the other clues that include heart value and that are missing from a typed missive.

Anyway: off to do DNS for a bunch of websites I’m moving. TTFN, all.
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PPC Skins

January 8th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (0 Comments)

Please visit the new ppcskins.png section! Custom Today themes, Wisbar Advance skins, and Dashboard skins too. (Optomized for surfing via a PPC.)

Education?

December 31st, 2003 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (0 Comments)

Education was a recurring theme for me for awhile. I took the liberty of collecting some correspondence below. Hopefully it stimulates some thoughts for everyone who reads it.

Mr Bungle said:

Our daughter, Jessi, is 14. She is, frankly, a square peg–we have raised her so on purpose. She is artistically expressive, a thoughtful and interesting person, an active scuba diver with her sights on becoming a Marine Biologist, and a pretty damn cool kid.

She identifies most with a quasi-punk ethic. She likes taking responsibility for the kind of image she presents.

She saved up for and bought a longish velvet coat, which she loves and wears a great deal of the time. I had clothing affectations myself as a kid: pretty much everyone goes through this.

However, the school identified it as a “red flag”. We got a letter home, concerned that Jessi might have “body image issues” and hides her body under the coat.
(more…)

List of Wishlists

December 31st, 2003 | Posted by administratrix in Wishlists - (0 Comments)

Off-site wish lists

  • ThinkGeek.com
    All the wonderful, geeky, non-essentials a gril could ever want!
  • Amazon.com A long, long list of crap I’d like to have. Books, A/V, and kitchenware, mostly.

Stuff for my PPC

  • PocketGPS…..$299.00
    So I’ll never get lost in Chi-town (or anywhere else) again!

Kitchen and bath

Multimedia

Groovy devices

Misc

  • socks, socks, socks
  • books
  • knitting stuff (cool yarns, needles, patterns, books)

Spinach Enchiladas Suizas

December 1st, 2003 | Posted by administratrix in Recipes - (Comments Off)

The most amazing enchiladas ever. Trust me. Even at a whopping 650 calories per serving, they’re so freakin’ worth it!

Spinach Enchiladas Suizas

1-1/2 lbs. trimmed spinach
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. butter
1/2 lg. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
3/4 lb. Swiss cheese, grated
10 corn tortillas
vegetable oil

Sauce
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. flour
1 c. milk, heated
1 c. sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 c. diced green chilis

Optional Garnish
sour cream
hot sauce

1 Wash the spinach leaves carefully, drain them, and chop them. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet; saut? the onions and garlic in it until they are golden. Add the spinach and toss it in the hot oil until all of it is wilted. Salt it to your taste and continue cooking it over medium heat, stirring often, until all the liquid is gone.
2 Grate the Swiss cheese coarsely. Take a tortilla, brush it very lightly with vegetable oil, and heat it quickly on both sides in a skillet until it is very soft and flexible. Spread a heaping tablespoon of grated cheese in a line down the center of it, then spread a heaping tablespoon of the spinach over the cheese. Fold one end of the tortilla over the filling and roll it up. Continue in this manner until all the tortillas and spinach are used up.
3 Lightly oil a large, shallow casserole and arrange the enchiladas in it in such a way that they won’t unroll.
4 To make the sauce, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pot and stir in the flour. Cook this roux over low heat, stirring constantly, until it is golden. Add the heated milk and stir with a whisk until it is slightly thickened. Add the room-temperature sour cream, diced chilis, and the remaining cheese and cook the sauce over low heat until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is quite smooth. Season it lightly with salt and pepper and pour it over the enchiladas.
5 Cover the casserole and bake the enchiladas in a preheated oven at 350? for abot 20 to 25 minutes. They should be very hot all the way through. If you like, you can uncover the casserole and brown the sauce under the broiler for a few minutes before serving.
6 Serve the enchiladas hot, and garnish them with extra sour cream and hot sauce if desired.

Servings: 5
Yield: 10 enchiladas
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour

Recipe Source
Author: Anna Thomas
Source: The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1986)

The Detroit retreat was held in the airport Westin. I don’t know if you’ve ever stayed in a Westin, but they have this wonderful thing called a Heavenly Bed and man-oh-man are they not kidding! The bed is so great they actually sell them online. The next time I have two grand I’m gonna order me one. They’re awesome. Down pillowtop, down pillows, down everywhere! And so comfortable! It really is the best hotel bed I’ve ever slept in.

The rest of the hotel was gorgeous and I really had a lovely time staying there. The service was great, the Japanese-style design was lovely, and for being under flight paths it was surprizingly quiet. Tahmi liked the look so much she took a whole roll of film of it so she could show some of the nifty design points to Jason (they’re always threatening to remodel parts of their house, and they both like the Japanese aesthetic).

It was also a great hotel for an Amma program because the program basically had its own floor – the hall and kitchen were all together in the basement, so devotees didn’t have as large an impact on the normal operation of the hotel as they do in most other hotels – it was somewhat sequestered. There were still a lot of devotees in the lobby, but not like there are in Chicago or other program sites I’ve been to. You didn’t see people sleeping in the lobby where people are trying to do business. Instead they slept downstairs out of the general areas or in their rooms.

Amma’s flight out of Europe was delayed, so She missed the first program at the Holiday Inn. There was only one program there, and then we moved over to the Westin for the retreat. This was my third retreat and as usual it seems She pours on the juice when She knows She’s got your undivided attention for a few days. Her physical body is in great shape considering what She does to it; Her voice is getting a bit hoarser than it once was but that’s the only noticeable wear and tear. I am always aware intellectually of the impossibility of what She does, but it’s nothing like seeing it in person. Imagine sitting in a chair hugging four thousand people and never getting up to eat, sleep, or pee! She’s always fresh, the first darshan She gives is just like the last. And when She leaves the hall She doesn’t sleep, she travels around to devotees’ houses and does pujas, then visits hospitals, and maybe rests two hours out of every 24. In Cochin during the birthday celebration, she gave twenty thousand or more darshans without a break. She hugged almost a hundred thousand people in just a few days. I mean, it’s impossible for a normal human being to do that. I don’t think most people could do it for ten hours once or twice; She’s been doing it almost daily since 1987.

Devi Bhava went until ten in the morning. I think She did well over four thousand darshans, and then there were several first feedings and first letters followed by two weddings. (I didn’t make it past eight in the morning, I was just too exhausted.) Tahmi did ten hours of line entry seva and stayed up until the very end. She’s my hero.

I usually stay for the end of Devi Bhava because I love it so much, but when at eight in the morning the lines were still full and I fell asleep every time I blinked, I just had to go lie down. I felt at my darshan around three in the morning that I wouldn’t make it ’til the end – you could just tell She was taking her time and was in no hurry to finish early – but I tried really hard! The end of Devi Bhava is so cool because it’s one of the only times you can see Her alone, not surrounded by devotees. She stands on the stage and pelts people with flowers for about ten minutes while the swamis rock out on “Amma Amma Taye,” which is the funkiest, rockin’est bhajan ever.

I bought a few new bhajan books, a Kali Bhava outfit for my Amma doll, and a mantra bracelet. I also bought a large rudraksha bead, but I lost it within an hour of putting it on and just didn’t feel compelled to replace it when it never showed up at lost and found. I tried to get Brett a t-shirt, but they didn’t have his size in the styles he would wear. The only 2XL they had showed the blue and pink Amma website logo on the front, and I just don’t think he’d wear that, it’s too cute and too Amma-oriented.

As usual I spent awhile looking at all the families going up together for darshan and wished my husband were also a devotee, but also as usual I got over it and decided to be thankful he’s open minded enough not to try to prevent me from going. (THAT would suck.) He went once, for me, and got Mother’s darshan. I promised him then if he’d only go once I’d never ask him again, and I intend to keep my word. I harbor a secret desire of course that he’ll one day discover an interest in spirituality, and I glom onto every story told about husbands who finally become devotees after years (I talked to at least three men who said they never were interested before but their wives have been into Amma for years and then they started coming)… but Brett probably harbors a secret desire that I’ll one day suddenly want to built a hotrod and learn to drive it. (Hah! Not that a hot rod could possibly compare to an incarnated avatar, but it’s the best analogy I’ve got.)

I was so happy to get home last night and see my husband whom I’d missed so much, so par for the course he promptly managed to really hurt my feelings. I don’t know how it works, but it seems whenever I come home from a trip this happens. Last night it was a very brief but very mean and grumpy lecture on how I can’t sit in front of the fireplace anymore because I leave it wide open and waste wood and his way is so much better and I’m forbidden from operating the stove basically at all. He announced that since I’d been gone for a week he’d discovered that running the stove closed keeps the house much warmer and uses much less wood and it never went out and blah blah blah blah. I kept my own council and said nothing about the house being so cold I thought there was no fire going when I walked in, nor about him being the one who always left the ash door open, not me. But that’s not the point: regardless of right or wrong, he yelled at me and it hurt my feelings. A simple “I learned this while you were away and want us to change our behavior,” would have been fine.

I sulked around and unpacked, then filled an entire garbage bag with the crap he’d accumulated during the week I was gone, and finally he figured out I seemed sad and asked me what I was doing and made me come sit on the couch with him. I had to get up and put on another pair of socks, a pair of slippers, a sweater, and a hat. He claimed the house was warm, but in reality it was barely sixty degrees in there.

Finally I decided that I needed to quit feeling sorry for myself. It’s so weird, but that’s my first response to everything these days: self pity. I despise this new trait. I never used to be like this, but now it takes all my focus and strength to pull myself up out of the pit of self pity all the time. I have to deliberately slog back up the hill to equanimity about five times a day. It’s uncomfortable, to put it mildly, to realize what a big fat baby I’ve become.

The second time he decided to yell at me last night about my wanton wood-wasting I said quietly, “Just stop it. Stop. I’d been home barely twenty minutes and you’d already bitched me out twice. I GET IT. I WON’T USE THE STOVE from now on. I haven’t even been in the furnace room since the last time you yelled at me.” I wasn’t very angry, but I just wasn’t about to be dominated again for no apparent reason. Especially since I can wear a hat in the house; I did it last winter. It’s not a gigantic sacrifice in the grand scheme of things.

He’s the one who does all that incredibly hard labor getting wood for the stove; if he doesn’t want to “waste” it keeping the house at a reasonable temperature then who the hell am I to argue? It’s not like I could possibly afford to buy split, delivered, and stacked wood with my income, and there’s no way in hell I could go get it, unload it, and split it myself like he does. I certainly don’t want him to feel like I don’t value all that work, so we’ll run the damn stove totally closed down and I’ll wear extra clothes.

In all truth, it’s not like I really need to sit there reading brain candy sci-fi and smoking cigarettes, as much as it’s a toasty winter pleasure I really really look forward to and enjoy. Surely there’s better shit to do with my time in the the winter. I could maybe clean the house more, or meditate more, or, although it’s unlikely, it wouldn’t hurt me to maybe excersize to keep warm.

Today when we woke up before dawn (damn it all to hell, I’d hoped to sleep until at least seven), it was maybe fifty degrees in the house. Part of the lecture the night before had been about how the “fire had never gone out the whole time I was gone,” but it certainly went right out last night. Since the furnace failed to kick on it was fucking c-c-c-cold. I was pissed. But, bless his heart, he got up first, cranked on the furnace, made coffee, and started a roaring fire while I mummified myself in the duvet and meditated with nothing but my nose exposed, and then when it was warm he came up to offer to start the shower for me. What could be better than a warm bathroom, a hot shower, and a cup of coffee, all prepared by your beloved? Nothing! There couldn’t be a better apology in the world.

Brett and I really don’t have much surface stuff in common, but we do share a basic trait that is the actual heart of our marriage: we may both be selfish, self-involved bastards, but we do know when we’ve been assholes and we take steps to make amends.

I loved my week long sojurn to Motor City to get Mother’s darshan, I can’t even express how nice Tahmi’s car is (I kept thinking there was something wrong with the Jeep in comparison!), and it’s always good to get away, but I’m really quite happy to be home again. Hooray!

TTC Blinkies

November 4th, 2003 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (0 Comments)

Welcome to my website!

Feel free to adopt any of these blinkies for your TCOYF/Ovusoft sig files or posts. I made all of them (except the ‘Women of the Midwest’ one.)

Contact me if you have a custom blinky in mind and I’ll see what I can do. – Michelle (mush)

Hooray!




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