Friday, August 22, 2008

A Big Joke

I love this news story: Bigfoot Hoaxers Say It Was a 'Big Joke'

This is exactly and precisely the sort of thing I might have tried to pull off as a kid, had I access to the proper resources. I remember one time, when I was about eight years old, I woke up my mother to tell her that I had seen a large, axe-wielding man with crazy eyes trying to come through our front door. Concerned, though probably sensing that I was lying, my mother sat up and said we would have to call the police. I remember hopping off the bed and slowly backing towards the door, my hands in the air - I clearly hadn't thought this through. Best case scenario, I had imagined, my mom and I would build a fort in the living room and hide in it until we were sure the axe murderer had lost interest. I did not, however, have any desire to deal with the police. "Now, now," I remember saying, "Let's not do anything rash."

Once, when my older sister was very young and spending a few days at my grandparents' house, she made a bizarre claim when my mother came to bring her home.

"How did you enjoy spending time with Grammy?" My mom asked, giving Julie a hug.

"We had a very nice time." My tiny, frail Grammy said, probably giving a gentle smile as she reached out with her fragile hand to touch Julie's red hair.

"Mommy," Julie said, her little voice growing suddenly loud and impassioned, "Grammy kicked me and punched me and threw me down the stairs!"

Julie and I both, it seems, wanted our lives to be more interesting. I suppose constructing imaginary, dark drama was the most appealing way of dealing with the problem.

I didn't stop there, of course. As a teen, instead of gazing out my window and dreaming that a knight in shining armor would take me away, I wished instead to be swept away by a dangerous but handsome kidnapper - one who would seem crazy at first, but would later fall in love with me and take me to his fortress in the woods where he would train me in post-apocalyptic warfare (inspired, probably, by my longtime crush on Kyle Reese from The Terminator). I dreamed of getting cancer - some form that I would ultimately fully recover from, but not before going to the brink of death and subsequently garnering lots of sympathy and praise for how brave and strong I was. I dreamed of joining forces with whoever my current junior high crush was, just the two of us, rare survivors after the earth had been invaded by armies of aliens or robots.

I even began work on a novel, while in seventh grade, based on the invading alien/robot fantasy. In my story, the character I based myself on survived the attack by hiding in a clothes dryer. After the initial attacks let up, I recounted my heroine's discovery of her massacred parents in the swimming pool with such vivid descriptions as, "The pool water looked like Kool-Aid. Red, red Kool-Aid." I didn't get very far with the book, which was too bad because I had made grand plans for a death scene in which my heroine died bravely and beautifully in the arms of her love interest while they sang the duet "A Little Fall of Rain" from Les Miserables.

Ah well. That will have to be my new great goal in life: to someday write a novel that is every bit as fantastic as I imagined my seventh-grade novel would be.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wha' happened?

I became a vegetarian in the summer of 1998 to impress a boy. My ex-boyfriend (who had, after our breakup, become suddenly thin and gorgeous) was dating a new girl. "She's a vegan," he told me, with hushed admiration, "and she doesn't wear bras!"

Well, hell, I didn't wear bras either. The difference, I suppose, was that this new girl actually had boobs. So, in an effort to show off my commitment to a good cause, I stopped eating meat. Time passed, and I got over my attachment to this boy but I stuck with my vegetarianism. After serious thought and a good amount of pamphlet reading, I realized that I was really into it! Being vegetarian was my way of showing responsibility while being part of a privileged culture. If scientific advancements in the food industry made it possible for me to eat healthily and affordably without contributing money towards "factory farming", well, it seemed like the right thing to do. As a friend once told me, "Every person should try to make the world a better place in their own small way." Vegetarian living was my way.

I began eating meat again in the summer of 2006. Arguably, it was again because of a boy. I was so pleased when Jason proposed to me that I broke a personal rule and cooked him a steak that very night. After a while, I grew weary of cooking things that I couldn't partake in myself. So, I shrugged my shoulders and decided that I was ready to rejoin the meat eating masses.

While I'm now comfortably carnivorous, I am still aware of the ongoing issues that once made me so passionate about living a meat-free lifestyle. The vast majority of people, including me, are completely disconnected to the food that we put into our bodies - we don't know where it came from or how exactly it got to our plates. Delicious? Often, the answer is yes. Natural? Ugh, no. I've read accounts of people who grew up on farms in earlier parts of our country's history - people who sweated and strained to ensure the well-being of their crops and livestock. These people were, for the most part, truly connected and honestly grateful.

My sister's husband likes to hunt and fish. He cooks and eats what he brings home. To me, that's responsible meat eating in action, and I'd like to give it a try someday. I'm also reminded of a few friends I had when I was younger, whose families kept a few hens for eggs and tended vegetable gardens. The problem for me there, of course, is that my yardless apartment is not a hospitable environment for chicken coops or gardening.

So... when and where are the farmer's markets on the North Shore?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

un tatuaje de Gorbash

Is there any way to save and print a paused screenshot from YouTube? I would like to have a picture of baby Gorbash from The Flight of Dragons on file for possible future tattoo consideration. A thorough image search online provided me with a few options, but not the exact picture I want. I was able to find a clip from the movie (or, in this case, a clip from El Vuelo de los Dragones) on YouTube, but don't know how preserve the exact image that I like (which can be found at the 3:02 mark, if you care to look).

My inspiration for possibly getting this tattoo comes from both my affection for weirdly animated 80's fantasy movies and my appreciation of the Margaret Atwood quote, "the youngest in a family of dragons is still a dragon from the point of view of those who find dragons alarming."

However, whether this tattoo comes before or after the Watership Down tattoos that I've been planning remains to be seen.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Barbie's Dream House: Not so dreamy

Take a moment to browse through these photos of the current Barbie Dream House.

I'm pretty certain that, proportionately, mine and Jason's small two-bedroom apartment has more square footage. Is this really the best that Barbie can dream up? I mean, come on - one of the house's hottest selling points is a Murphy bed.

My personal dream house would include just a few of the following elements:

An underground bomb shelter

Separate living quarters for my live-in massage therapist

A room where the entire floor is made up of a giant trampoline

Secret passages

What's in your dream house (please don't say, "two songs on the house intercom" because Barbie already beat you to that one)?