Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ode to my iphone

power saving
picture taking
with my iPhone.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Belly of the Buttons

Mira found her bellybutton. She just can't stop touching it. Trying to change her clothes is nearly impossible as she uses every opportunity to pull up her shirt to investigate this very special place. She's obsessed and it's quite amusing as she spins herself in circles trying to examine it from new angles. I thought she was content with her own but last night she started looking for mine. Then E's. After the fourth or tenth time sticking her little fingers in my bellybutton I had enough. It makes me feel queasy, the bellybutton touching.

This is my new favorite photo of her. Mira and her belly touching glory.


The smell of vitamins makes me sick. I walked down the aisle at roots looking for sesame oil (not of the cooking variety) and wandered through the vitamins. The smell hit me as hard as raw sewage. How do people work around that smell? Just how?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just Married!

Today I got married on facebook. E just joined. He's mad that I don't use my married name on it but I just don't think anyone would find me with the new name. And isn't finding people what facebook is all about? Oh that and how many friends you have. I think my sister Chelsea has over 600. How is that possible?! I don't think I could keep that many people straight. I'm keeping it real around 40 something and finding that most people that I know just don't bother with it. But if anyone changes their mind... you know where to look.
In Baltimore lives a man that I have been worried about for the last seven years or so. I saw him first at the Barnes and Noble within the Power Plant monstrosity. I had to go there once after poor Bibelot closed in Canton, this was way back when I lived in the Canton Cove building. I was behind him in the queue - I might have been eyeing a copy of Lucky magazine while I waited. As he was given his change I began to take him in. First I noticed that he was missing a hand, and had a prosthetic hook, then another hook, then I noticed that one leg and the other were also prosthetic. So concerned about his welfare and wishing I had noticed how he retrieved his money to pay and how he had put his change away I couldn't get him out of my mind for weeks. Everything about the damage the RUF in Sierra Leone had done was pretty fresh in my mind and it was the first time I had seen a person with so many amputations. The more I thought about him the more I really wanted to meet him, to know how he survived and what he did for a living. At this point, I thought he had to be making it since he was buying books and somehow able to read them.

Around the same time I had bought my first dooney and bourke bag and imediately decided to return it and to donate the money to Amnesty International instead - hoping the funds would somehow benefit someone in Seirra Leone who had come upon the same misfortune. Knowing of course that even though I was amassing massive credit card debt I still had it better than so many people. Sometime after that I saw him again. He was panhandling downtown. I was so upset because I thought he must have been doing well enough - buying books and all. You don't often see homeless people at the bookstore. I saw him a few times after that - each time I was never at the right location to get my cash to him, or I simply didn't have cash when I saw him. I never give money to the homeless. I donate to pre-screened causes thinking somehow that it's better to work toward the greater good than to the benefit of the individual. But for this man I would give. I always look for him when I drive through the city.

A few days ago we were on our way to Hampden and I saw him on President Street. Older now, and missing one of his AE prosthetics he was at the intersection at Baltimore Street. I knew I had money and rounded up dollars leaving enough for my own emergencies. I asked my husband to roll his window down and to give it to him. As the moments wore on, my man moved slowly, I guess my husband noticed what was wrong faster than me. He hopped out of the car and ran across the lanes to give the man his money. His legs were uneven. Both lower prosthetics were missing and he was clearly in pain. As the light changed and E hopped back in the car I regretted not giving everything in my wallet... how selfish I was when I finally had the opportunity to help him. What has happened to his prosthetics? What kind of a world do we live in where a man must live without the benefit of his limbs? Has someone robbed him? Taunted him, who would do that? Don't we have any public services to offer him? What is Baltimore doing for him? Does he have family, anyone caring for him? And I have some guilt for my own worries over him, like he doesn't need my sympathy and I shouldn't stare in the first place. But I truly wish I could help him or wish I knew that someone was helping him. Does anyone know his story?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yes, I'll take the gas please!

Certainly sedation dentistry seems the way to go. I'm just back from a 3.5 hour visit with the dentist. It was a joyous occasion. I took the gas, because really why even ask - doesn't everyone want a little laughing gas with their dental pain? I've had it once before, back when I had my wisdom teeth removed by a pervy dentist in Catonsville that took every opportunity to look down my shirt. Perhaps that's why he so eagerly introduced me to the world of nitrous oxide with your dentistry. That day I wore a turtleneck even though it was the summertime.

So I opt for the vanilla scented gas because I really can't stand the smell of a drill and feeling tugging in my mouth. It just upsets me. But I could sit through it if I wanted to. However, for 200 dollars a little controlled substance seems worth it. I have so few opportunities for these things nowadays.

As they hooked me up to the pulse ox I watched my readings 61 over 97 to 70 over 97 and tried to control it down again. It's funny how you can do that. They told me to let them know if I felt woozy and then all of the sudden I did. I remembered my sister once described her nitrous exposure to feeling like she was on a game show. Maybe it was the beeping of the machines that made her think of buzzers. My reaction was slightly different. I felt giddy at first. Everything was very funny but because of the gauze and giant q-tip sticking out of my face I felt like I couldn't laugh. But I did in my head and thought the technicians must see this and think the patients are crazy; this made me squint my eyes a little bit. Someone asks if I'm okay. If they only knew! Definitely not okay. The wooziness comes in and I feel like a drunk person that has said too much. They ask you questions but you really can't respond reasonably because you're temporarily without reason. Then the gas comes off and all is well again. One final thought I had whilst I wiggled my legs in the chair was that it would be even more comfortable to have the procedure in a massage chair, maybe even to have had a pedicure. Next time dentist, next time.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

of ray and 300

Can't stop listening to this record. The song "Empty" is making me feel like i need to write something poetic again. There's a line that says, "will I always feel this way. so empty so estranged." I love it and the staccato way he places the words ever so... Just love that it makes me think of when I was 20 and of all the crazy things that I might have done but can't remember anymore and I just can't turn my ipod off to stop the feeling. And now 2 hours have passed with the headphones stuck in my ears.

Of all things recently the ridiculous movie, "300" gave me some visual inspiration that is making me feel ready to paint helmets of warriors and flowers. I even have a title for the series worked out and am ready to head to the library to start researching armour and victorian wall prints. Certainly the two things have no relation but I am making one. You never really know what is going to inspire movement from inertia. The last time I felt this welling up was when I listened to ok computer's exit music (for a film). I felt it was connected to the film until the end of the world and was so inspired that I could not separate the two. There is something inspiring about the end of the world... reminds me of something I read in the nytimes.... ;-)

have you got the times?

I have some concerns about my obsession with the nytimes. A few weeks ago, after a three year standoff, I renewed my weekend subscription and haven't been the same since. All week long I find myself declaring to anyone who will listen what connections I have made back to "something I read in the newyorktimes." Not only that, but I read so many articles that I'm becoming delighted by all the story lines that link back and around to oil, air quality, conservation, Japan, China, the Olympics, and France. The only trouble is that there are so very many connections that I'm starting to get things confused (as if I didn't have that problem already).
It hearkens back to my old days printing in the darkroom at Grace's hopped up on dorito's and an apple while NPR warned of the dangers of Russia bombing us that very weekend (I think it had something to do with Iraq/n selling things to them or them to Iraq/n that allowed for creation of nuclear weapons.... can't remember the details anymore but I was quite upset that weekend).
For me, getting the actual newspaper is not the same as reading the articles online. When I read the online version I selectively read the articles about fashion, cocktails and travel. I rarely read anything negative, dare I say newsworthy unless it has to do with a gruesome discovery. I prefer the entertainment columns as I click through the headlines. And the times caters to people like me. They have a beta program - called "MY TIMES" where I have ticked off various categories that interest me and thereby created my own paper. It works well enough, but I can't change the layout and most of my headlines go down the left side of the page creating an unequal and very long distribution of food, chocolate, and shoe headlines next to the more universal headlines that fall in the middle of the page. Not too many photos appear which is usually what draws me in anyway. What can I say... even the times could stand to learn a little something new.
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