the original kStyle blog.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Perhaps I am simply overtired after last night's shoddy sleep, but certain words are striking me as odd today. In my state of false hyperlucidity, it seems strange that, while generally it’s bad to enable someone, no one wants to be disabled. Moreover—although I normally roll my eyes at excessively P.C. terminology—the disabled are really quite able, and I agree that differently abled is a more accurate, if unwieldy, term.

Meanwhile, jam is delicious, but no one wants to be in one, especially if it’s made of traffic. As for turning over something—a new leaf, a piece of paper—over what? Don’t we really turn it upside-down? But turning things upside-down is something else entirely.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Monday Questionnaire

1. What is your least favorite smell?

2. Name something you don't understand about the opposite sex.

3. What has been your most notable invasion of someone else's privacy? Was it justified?

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Friday Fortune Cookie

You can be no more nor no less than who you are.

Lucky numbers: Infinity and Zero

Jesus Saves

It's a strange statement, isn't it? "Jesus Saves." What? What does he save?, one might wonder. Money? Coupons? Old food? Is Jesus obsessive-compulsive--is that why everyone talks about him so much?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Job Perks

Our department's VP is a gourmand. Our top vendor lavishes attention on us. When the two intersect, I enjoy an evening of lively conversation over a multiple appetizers, a $26 plate of quail, high-end drinks, and multiple desserts.

I adore quail.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

Greg met the building manager, Debbie, shortly after we moved into our condo. She immediately warned him about our upstairs neighors: They're renters, not owners, see, and they use too much water and have too many people over sometimes and they're Brazilians! If we had any problems with them, we should call her imemdiately. We were a little mystified about why any of this--especially Brazilianism--should be a problem and a little put off by the apparent pettiness. But hey, we just moved in and didn't know what was going on.

Soon thereafter we met John, a friendly neighbor who lives next to the Brazilians upstairs. "They causing any problems?" he asked. They weren't and we said so. "I'm on the condo board--just let me know if there are any problems and we'll take care of it."

Shortly thereafter The Brazilians began stomping around a lot. At night. Right over my head. I tried to knock on the door to request Less Stomping--rehearsing frantically in Portuguese--but they never answered. This went on for a while. Finally we called the building manager to explain the stomping problem. It didn't stop. At last, I wrote a polite note in Portuguese (posted here previously) and affixed it to their door. Their spokesman, Ronaldo, knocked on our door the next day, we discussed the walking problem (in English) and it hasn't been a problem since. Ronaldo was perfectly nice and polite.

Meanwhile, it became clear that someone in our condo complex had both a color printer and too much time. Signs appeared everywhere reminding everyone Only Two Cars Allowed Per Unit and Violators Would Be Towed--an idle threat, as there is no numbering or tag system. The sign population grew rapidly until there were mere feet between posters. Clearly the sign overpopulation would lead to a shortage of sign habitat and food, so Greg began taking one down per day. The signs magically developed a warning Not To Remove them. Undaunted, Greg continued his stealth war against the tacky signs. (I wanted to put up a "No More Than Two Signs Per Unit" sign, but why make enemies.)

Greg works from home, which puts him in a good vantage point to see the daily condo complex happenings. During the sign debacle, Greg spotted an old retired man, resplendent in hearing aids, actually counting the cars in the parking lot. We surmised he was the sign violator.

I ran into John a few more times. He persisted in asking about The Brazilians: "I hear you were having a noise problem with them." I replied that it was completely resolved, thanks for asking, and they were the very embodiment of respect and neighborliness (but not in such a snarky manner).

A couple of weeks ago I took Noah (the big cat) outside for his semi-regular romp through the sunny yard. Standing between Noah and the road, leaning against the bicycle shed, I noticed that Noah suddenly startled. I stepped forward and looked around the shed in the direction he was staring, saucer-eyed. An old man approached. "Is that your cat?!" I affirmed that Noah was mine (in so much as a feline can ever be anyone's, of course) and explained that I take him outside to enjoy the fresh air once in a while. The man replied, "I saw that cat headed for that grill there"--he pointed to a hibachi squatting on the pavement--"And I thought, that cat's gonna steal someone's dinner!" This was all most ridiculous, as Noah had demonstrated no interest whatsoever in the grill, which had no food on it, and anyway Noah is not nimble enough to steal anyone's dinner, being rather portly and slow. But I politely made small talk with this nosy man. When I indicated which unit I occupied, he, naturally, asked whether Those Brazilians were causing problems. When I relayed this story to Greg inside, we realized that the Cat Police was also the Car Counter.

We don't like this busybody culture here, but we figured we'd just lie low and ride it out. I came home to a blinking answering machine yesterday. It was Debbie. "We've had a couple calls complaining about your"--A Large Panic Attack was nigh, as I leapt to the conclusion that someone had tattled on our second cat, the sweet Luna Kitten--"grill on the balcony. Grills are not allowed. You must remove it immediately."

Relieved but resentful, I removed the grill. But now...we're on the wrong side of The Law. I fear what will be said if someone new moves in below us.

Wednesday Writing Assignment

I had a bad day recently, the kind of day that makes me feel tired and stupid and ugly and...Well, awkward. I was cursing Life until I remembered a time when those awkward days came fast and furious, days when no matter what I did or didn't do, I felt like a loser. Yes, adolescence! Please, make me feel better by sharing an awkward adolescent moment, one of those "earth-swallow-me-up-NOW!" times forever etched in your brain.

I'll go first.

It was ninth grade, fifth period. I was hungry and my back was sore from toting my textbook-laden backpack all over school the entire morning, carrying extra books that wouldn't fit in the overstuffed bag in my arms. I walked into English class. My desk was near the middle of the room. Justin L. was sitting, as obnoxious, rapidly growing boys are wont to sit, with his legs stretched out into the aisle between the desks. I tripped over his goddamn legs and fell backwards, propelled by the weight of my massive bag, onto my back, papers and other books flying everywhere. Julie L., who sat behind Justin by virtue of alphabetical order, laughed in my face rather than help me pick everything up. Later that year, Julie would announce to every single class that tomorrow was her birthday, even writing it on the board in math class before the teacher arrived. She was a pain.

A Floating Russian

Mix 1 1/2 oz vodka and 3/4 oz coffee liquer (such as Kahlua) in a glass. Float vanilla ice cream on top.

Surely I can't be the first person to think of this.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Monday Questionnaire

(Today's questions are courtesy of James Lipton of "Inside the Actors Studio," and before him, Bernard Pivot of "Bouillon de Culture," and before him, Marcel Proust, of "Remembrance of Things Past.")

1. What profession would you least want to attempt?

2. What is your least favorite word? (Nothing vulgar, please. It's not that we're too sensitive; it's that it would be too easy.)

3. Creatively, emotionally, spiritually--what turns you on?

Saturday, August 21, 2004

The Cream

The Prince concert was truly amazing. The songs, including a few well-placed covers, were superbly chosen and executed, our Lord of Funk commanding a tight band (including renowned saxophonist Maceo Parker) and an enormous crowd, his giant musical stature belying his small physical one. He dances. He sings. He composes, plays tremendous guitar, and generally shines, looking half his 46 years. As Chappelle said: he plays basketball! He makes pancakes!

The visuals were pleasing, of course: mostly purple lighting offsetting dramatic, snappy black-and-white costumes. And The Purple One's ego somehow added to the enjoyment--the sly you-love-me sidelong glances, the admonition that we need to practice singing the ego love song "Cream" to our own reflections. He joked about his own egotism, even, pitching a hissy fit in the middle of a jam, covering his ears and stomping to the side of the stage, displaying a humor I hadn't seen before in this artiste.

The show opened with the title track of his new album, Musicology, then segued into a stunning medley of some top hits, including "Let's Go Crazy", "U Got The Look", "When Doves Cry", "I Would Die 4 U", and "Baby I'm a Star". There was a long funky jam, a few covers, including Chaka Khan's "I Feel for You", followed by solos by Parker and then keyboardist Renato Neto. Prince returned in a haze of dry ice to perform an incredible acoustic set, just Prince and his guitar, which included The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction", his own "Raspberry Beret", and a soulful, melancholy rendition of "Little Red Corvette". The acoustic set was my favorite part, its quietness elucidating the beauty of Prince's songs and his musicality. Prince is normally an Experience, amped-up, costumed-out theatre, making the acoustic cleanliness all the more touching by contrast.

The band returned for a long Zeppelin cover that, although well-executed, I didn't quite "get", before proceeding with more funky, funky shit, including "Kiss". The encore, too, was a highlight, a solid three-song set of those soul-wrenching Prince ballads, culminating, of course, in "Purple Rain".

If I had any reservation, it was minor, and this: the show sometimes felt like segments rather than a unified whole. Perhaps this disjointedness was an inevitable byproduct of Prince's versatility and the concert's two-and-a-half hour length. If I had any revelations, they were these: Prince has written an incredible volume of incredibly good music; it takes an extraordinary performer--one willing to be vulnerable before a whole lot of strangers--to pull off as dramatic a song as "Purple Rain" without campiness and with heartfelt emotion; and music has an incredible uplifting force.

Friday, August 20, 2004

You're Such a Teas II

Upon further reflection, perhaps I would like English Breakfast more if I loaded it with cream, sugar, and lemon, as our Anglo cousins do. In England--in my experience--tea serves the role that coffee does in America: strong and bitter, it's extra caffeinated to keep us awake, and loaded with goodies to cut the bitterness. If I didn't have the habit of drinking my tea straight up, perhaps I would favor English Breakfast.

Meanwhile, I've found a great resource on English Breakfast's milder brother, the exotic Earl Grey.

A Good One

Sometimes the Vatican is just plain weird.

Friday Fortune Cookie

Kick a bad habit before it kicks you.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Tea Time; Or, You're Such a Teas

I've been experimenting to find the right teas for the right times of day. Early results are below. These are pending further testing.

Jasmine Tea. English Breakfast for variety. Homemade chai in winter. Breakfast tea is well-suited to honey.

Mint or Chamomile. (Takes off the morning-meetings edge.)

Water. Maybe ginger tea in winter.

Earl Grey. Soothes while perking up. English Breakfast is too strong and is NOT recommended at this time--can cause jumpiness.


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Benefit Race

One of my coworkers, with whom I share a love of expensive lotions and community service, will be running a marathon to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (Although she is not an athlete, which makes it even cooler.) I told her about my friend Adam, who died from Hodgkin's Lymphoma this winter at age 25. She generously offered to add his name to her shirt and bracelet to honor him.

She's set the lofty goal of raising $3800 to benefit the Society. If you'd like to donate, visit the Team in Training web site and search for member number 227656. And THANKS!

Like It's 1999

OK, so tonight, we're just going to make dinner and watch some tube and go to bed. But tomorrow, oh, tomorrow, we're gonna party like it's 1999.

Wednesday Writing Assignment

In honor of the Olympics, please tell a story, real or imagined, of striving for something.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

At the Risk of Beating a Dead Horse

Salon.com has an article today that encapsulates very well the concerns about convention protests. I don't think I've ever been so frustrated with people on my side of the political spectrum. All furiousness, no strategy; all self-indulgence, no greater good. This could be the election, folks.

Our Future Together

So. I'm close, I think, to having a new job, which is a scary/exciting/scary thing. If I get the job, and accept, I won't have much latitude to hang out here during the workday. Likely I'll tappity-tappity-type in the evenings. But Float might become sparser.

Meanwhile, my gut is in tangles about this job thing.

Monday, August 16, 2004


To celebrate the MA state sales tax holiday, I bought a shiny new toaster oven from KMart. Out old toaster oven had lost its will, and we would have to hit “toast” 4 or 5 times before it conceded to toast anything. Sometimes it would spark. Our new model, also a Black and Decker, is twice as big an thrice as shiny, with fancy dials and even a timer.

I also picked up Bebel Gilberto's new album, which is gorgeous, a sensual auditory ocean. (Except for the first track, which is so-so.) She'll be playing at the Avalon tonight, but I'm going to see Prince on Thursday, and we can't have it all.

It really was a nice weekend; we had ensured that we’d have time to relax. The last few weekends have been as hectic as the weeks, and it was getting tiring. Free time! With nothing planned! What a beautiful thing.

Notes on the Weekend

1. The Olympics--amazing. The opening ceremonies Friday night were a pageant befitting the country that gave us the Parthenon and Homer’s poems. I watched in awe, the dreamt that night of moving half-human statues. The events themselves are stunning: equestrian and swimming and women’s weightlifting (teeny Japanese and Thai women with giant necks, lifting twice their weight like prize-seeking ants!) and women’s gymnastics and men’s soccer and and…I began to wonder if there’s a set amount of athleticism in the world, and the Olympians drain ours as we sit affixed before the flickering TV, channeling the energy we would expend at the gym to perform Herculean feats. Michael Phelps, sadly, lost his shot at 8 golds with the men’s relay, but perhaps he will enjoy the competition more now, with less pressure. TV Guide reports that the 19-year-old swimming superstar consumes 8,000-10,000 calories a day and swims 50 miles a week. Meanwhile, Brendan Hansen, men’s 100-meter breaststroke swimmer from Texas, earned a silver yesterday on his 23rd birthday…but I could tell that he didn’t feel he earned the silver so much as lost the gold to his rival, Japanese swimmer Kosume Kitajama. This morning, Aaron Peirsol, a member of the U.S. team, gracelessly accused Kitajama of cheating with a “dolphin kick”. Meanwhile, I missed the synchronized diving, which everyone says was a stunning event. Luna, the kitten, enjoys watching soccer.

2. Friends and food. Had a nice dinner with some friends Saturday. G. and I prepared a tasty and nutritious dinner, including tomatoes Provencal (a tribute to Julia Child, of course), salad, grilled shrimp, and spinach-feta foccacia. We had a grand time, dining, chatting, and mini-golfing. We’re lucky to know such great people. Friday night, G. and I tried a local Indian bistro—dee—licious. I experienced dosa for the first time, a sort of Indian crepe made of lentils and rice, I ordered mine stuffed with chicken and potatoes. It was spiced to perfection.

3. Books. Sorry, Austen fans, I couldn’t do it. Not only was I not reading Pride and Prejudice, I wasn’t reading anything else because I had to read Pride and Prejudice. I just couldn’t get past Austen’s style. I returned Ms. A. to the library Sunday, and, because the library was closed, I indulged myself in browsing through the local bookstore and choosing a book to purchase. At a friend’s recommendation, I picked up Possession by A.S. Byatt. The cashier exclaimed that she loved the book. I’ll let you know.

4. I also had an adventure to a Chinese apothecary. Maybe more on that later.

5. Finally, sorry that this post, which should be link-rich, is utterly devoid of links. This Mac doesn’t allow for easy linkage the way a PC does.

Monday Questionnaire

1. What do you wish you didn't like as much as you do?

2. What is your least favorite necessary daily ritual?

3. Fill in the blank: I don't fully trust anyone who has never __________ .

Friday, August 13, 2004

A Fond Adieu

Julia Child has cooked her last, and now she rests. She was an inspirational chef who encouraged Americans to enjoy their food, to bring a playfulness and a warmth to their cooking and eating. In her words:

"What's dangerous and discouraging about this era is that people really are afraid of their food," she told The Associated Press in 1989. "Sitting down to dinner is a trap, not something to enjoy. People should take their food more seriously. Learn what you can eat and enjoy it thoroughly."

Amen, Julia.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Friday Fortune Cookie

The Cookie is on vacation this week. Filling in we have a special guest, Friday Bibliomancy. Turning to The Best American Essays 2003, we have:

My mother was a shrewd and cunning woman. And I suspect that for the past few weeks, ever since the armistice had divided France into an Occupied Zone and a so-called Free Zone, she had been wondering how to obtain an Ausweis, a permit, to get us to the Free Zone. What luck! she had immediately thought when the accident occurred. She could finally meet the Kommandant of Tours! I was a brave child who had survived some serious illnesses, and as our car reached our destination, she lovingly commended me for my calm as she wiped blood from my face and combed my hair for our important visit.

--from The Debacle by Francine du Plessix Gray
Go forth and apply.

Misguided passion

I keep reading about folks planning protests in New York City for the Republican Convention. Not just the obviously large-scale stuff, but blocking traffic, getting arrested, causing mayhem, etc.

Am I the only liberal who thinks this is not only ridiculous, but damaging to the cause?

Who exactly are they protesting for? The Republicans? News flash: the Republicans don't give a shit. So who? The media? Yes, the media is known for its careful articulation of the thoughtful positions of left-wing twentysomethings. Swing voters? Seems to me that chaining yourself to a car in the middle of Madison Avenue, and getting on the news for it, would only play to the swing voter's stereotype of liberal-as-heedless-lawbreaker, hardly the one we want to be putting out there right now.

None of this is to condone "free speech zones" and other such crap that's descended from local law enforcement in the last year or so. Obviously there's nothing that's American, and much that's disgusting, about such things. But here are two thoughts: (1) Republicans do actually deserve to congregate in New York City without all of this crap getting in their way. It's just a convention, after all. It's just for show, which means so are the protests. And even if one disagrees, then certainly the owners of small businesses in the area certainly have the right not to have their business further curtailed by this kind of silliness. A little respect, people. This isn't Wesleyan.

And more importantly, (2): If all of these people who have spent months figuring out how they're going to screw up a convention would put that energy into going to a swing state, registering voters, and canvassing for Kerry--that is, getting their hands dirty with actual electoral politics, which is what this race will turn on--then come November 2nd, we might see an actual return on the investment of our outrage.

We might not have gotten to scream our heads off for four days, but hey, life's a compromise.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Done Figgered It Out

So, here's why I'm overweight: I eat too few calories at meals and then snack on convenience foods--read: vending machine crap--later. The crap isn't filling and burns quickly, so I end up eating too many net calories. Bigger breakfasts and lunches, here I come.

Wednesday Writing Assignment

Courtesy of Eric.

I was thinking about travel lately, and it seems everyone has a good travel story. Since it’s late summer and everyone’s travels are either winding down or gearing up for one last hurrah, please share a tale of being on the road or in the sky. Feel free to write creatively, anecdotally, stream-of-consciousnessly, poetically, or whatever else you like.

Smitten for Kitten

The long-awaited kitten photos, starring Luna as the kitten and Noah as the giant cat. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

More on The 'Cos

Bill Cosby rocks.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Just Have to Vent

I had a conversation with someone at work today, a good friend actually, a woman in her late forties, early fifties. She knows I'm a Democrat; I know she isn't. I hadn't planned to talk politics.

She told me that she'd thought of me this morning after getting some right-wing e-mail of some kind, that she knew it would anger me. She said it had a great response for liberals who complain about the Iraqi civilians we've killed.

As I've never heard a "great response" to that particular "complaint," I asked what it was.

She said, "Well, what about all the Americans who die on our streets every day?"

Umm... huh?

"I mean the Americans who die here, because of government programs."

"The Americans who are killed by government programs?" I said. I didn't know what she was talking about.

It turns out she was talking about welfare. I haven't heard someone demonize welfare in a long time, certainly since Clinton basically cancelled it, so I was unprepared a little. And very unprepared indeed for her assertion that despite all my moralizing about Iraq, the real moral crisis in this country is that of women having babies even though they're getting government handouts.

Needless to say, a debate ensued. It turns out that in addition to this, she is aggrieved by the high taxes she pays. You know, 'cause she's rich and all. So the taxes bother her, and welfare bothers her, and she wants to know Where Our Morals Are, so I asked her why all of her moral outrage was being directed at poor Americans instead of, oh, the killing of innocent Iraqi civilians. Over ten thousand of them.

She said, "What makes you think they're innocent?"

Oh my god.

So that was basically it, though I did, perhaps, at some point, say something that could have been construed, by some, possibly, as a suggestion that many of her views were shared by, umm, the KKK. She took offense at that. She thought I was calling her a bigot.

(Which I wasn't. I was merely commenting on the astounding correlation between her own views and those held by racists and stupid people.)

But what I really wanted to say was something like this: It makes me sad to hear you talk this way. It makes me sad that someone I respect as an individual and a friend, someone who is smart and funny and interesting and kind, has this deeply-rooted cynicism, these misplaced ideals, this corrupted intelligence, this amoral worldview. Some of these things you think and say, they are sick. And in a moral world, you would be shouted down for saying them, I would shout you down, right here in this office, and not be accused of being some wild-eyed radical leftist for doing it. Your ignorance has bred a myopia that has bred narrowness of the worst and unkindest sort, and none of that is in keeping with anything American or anything good.

But I didn't say any of that. I work with her, after all, and that's how that goes. I went back to my desk and sighed, not only about her but about all those who agree with her, those who lead me to suspect, on days like this, that America is just fucked.


Monday Questionnaire

1. What is your favorite Shakespeare play?

2. Fill in the blank with anything but a person's name: "Most people would disagree or think I'm overreacting, but I believe that _________ is evil."

3. Name a question you wish people would stop asking you.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

New School

Shiatsu school has moved! We're in a new location, a larger location, a sunny location with exposed brick walls and windows that open, allowing light and qi to enter, and even one enormous room with gorgeous hardwood floors.

Our school's founder, president, and head teacher is very excited. She's little-kid-at-Christmas excited, and she should be. It's beautiful.

I feel very proud of our leader and of the school. The Year of the Monkey sure is good for business and growth, eh?

Counting kCals and Cooking Light

Far from feeling deprived, I'm enjoying food more, and I don't feel hungry when I go to sleep or anything. I do feel very, very hungry between lunch and dinner--I always have--so I'm going to make sure to have a snackie with me no matter where I am at that time, to shield against the evils of gooey cookies and trail mixes with sesame sticks. (I always eat waaay too much sesame stick trail mix. I'm a sucker.)

I think I have the good people at Cooking Light to thank for my satisfaction-while-dieting. Their magazine is first a feast for the eyes--the photos!--and, later, for the nose and palate. The recipes, so far, are filling and tasty and nutritious. They even do this great thing: The Game Plan. When they pair a main dish with a side dish or two--you know, a recommended menu--they give a little Game Plan Box, which explains how to tackle both recipes at once. For example, if you're making a pasta dish with a salad, it might say--

The Game Plan
Put on pasta water to boil.

While water heats, chop the onions.

Place pasta in water.

While pasta cooks, rinse the arugula.

And so on.

This is a delight for me, because the lack of a Game Plan is precisely why cooking becomes stressful for me. Invariably we end up eating a bizarre two- or three- course dinner when I cook, the potatoes finishing 40 minutes after the chicken. Or perhaps the garlic burns in my mad dash to drain the pasta, and I burn myself in the rush. It's the timing, ya dig?

Saturday, August 07, 2004


Going to see Bill Cosby at the South Shore Music Theater tonight! WOOO-HOOO! He is one funny man.

Chewing the Fat

Let's be frank: I'm getting fatter.

I've stepped up my exercise routing enormously over the last 2 months, but my weight keeps going up...up...up... It's like the numbers of the scale are filled with helium and I am filled with lead. I am, congratulations to me, now 20-25 lbs overweight, depending on the time of day and level of bloat.

There are several factors at work here. An obvious one is the aforementioned sweet tooth. Oh, it's a bugger. Another--no surprise to Float readers--is job dissatisfaction: eating out of boredom or stress, depending on the day. (I'm more social than my job allows me to be. Holed away in my cubicle checking page proofs I get bored and, because we're all too busy to socialize, I meet with my friends M and M. Or, we have a terribly stressful meeting where everyone's mean and/or passive-aggressive and I turn to my surrogate mother, Snickers.) Also a factor is busy-ness. Proper nutrition--shopping and preparing meals--often falls by the wayside.

But I've been varying degrees of chubby my whole life, and when I've lost or gained weight, it's been quite by surprise. I realized, then, that the root problem is that I have no idea what constitutes a proper calorie intake, nor how many calories foods contain. Really, Atkins, South Beach, and even macrobiotics help people lose weight because they're cutting the kcals. Many people find calorie counting to be too much math, in addition to their checkbook balancing and all else, so those diets get people to cut calories in a sneaky way. Weight Watchers is a system to count calories more easily, without saying you're counting calories. It also, I believe, involves support and meetings and such, but have neither the time nor the money to invest in Florene's system.

So: armed with the weight loss advice on So You Wanna, the latest issue of Cooking Light, a pen, a pad of paper, and determination, I embark upon my quest to slay the Dragon of Pudge who fiercely guards Princess Abdomen from the beautiful outside world. I've also ordered a book of calorie counts, which even includes adzuki beans, so I know we'll get along, and a nicely bound food journal, to make it more official than my pad of paper.

Note: This will not become a weight-loss blog. I'm just sharing what's current in my life. You'll get updates, yes, but weight loss won't take over Float. I'm not interested in the politics of fat; I'm interested in health.

A Hairy Tale

So. I went to my hairdresser for a cut on Wednesday, sheepish for my brassy highlights.

"What did you DO?" she asked, laughing.
"I did it myself," I cringed, knowing I was in for it.
"You're too funny! Can I fix it? Would that be OK?"
"I'd appreciate that."

So Diane gave me a great cut and took the time to tone down those yellow streaks. It was very kind of her. I asked her if, with her expertise, she highlighted her own hair. The answer was an emphatic, don't-you-get-any-ideas, NO. Apparently one should nevereverever highlight her own hair.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Summer Songs

I was singing along with "Summer Soft" by Stevie Wonder the other day--a gorgeous and heartbreaking song--and it brought to mind other great summer songs. I'm especially partial to "Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, of course. What are a few of your favorite summer songs?

Friday Fortune Cookie

You have a glad summer weekend ahead, but don't eat the sushi. I know it looks good, but trust the Cookie, it's a bad idea. Really. No sushi this weekend. Fine, but you'll be sorrrrry.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Laugh 'Til It Hurts

Dave Chapelle as President Black Bush is some of the best satire I've ever seen, bitches.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Wednesday Writing Assignment

What does the devil on your shoulder say? What little bad things are you tempted to do? Write a vignette of you giving in to some temptation. For the purposes of Float, let's keep it, say, PG, if you're going in that direction.

Mac GUI: Designed by Dog People

I find it extremely irritating how the icons in the dock jump up and down like overeager puppies. Go take a nap, you needy icons.

Sunday with the Fam: The Earwax Diaries

I think we all have an earwax problem in my family. I definitely do. When I was 8, I failed the school hearing test and was sent to the center for the deaf for further examination. They cleaned out my ears, gave the test again, and I passed with flying colors.

My dad, mom, and sister visited on Sunday, to see our almost-unpacked condo, deliver an old air conditioner (which turned out to suck too much energy for us to use), and to meet the kitten (whose name, Greg and I at last decided, is Luna).

Shortly after their arrival, a typical scene played out. My dad asked my sister something. She replied, “For the THIRD TIME, Dad…” and asked how he missed her explaining this twice in the car. He became a little defensive: “I was concentrating on driving.” He later asked her the same question again. This is perfectly normal, and one of the reasons my brother, sister, and I have declined my parents’ invitations to move back in after college graduation. (My brother and sister haven’t graduated yet, but have already decided to risk financial failure on a future Boston area apartment.) My parents are wonderful, sweet, generous people, of course, but we grow hoarse and frustrated with repeating things. I can’t wait until they’re actually losing their hearing…

Ah, but even my sister did not escape the Curse of the Earwax. I mentioned that Luna was called Marilyn Monroe at the animal shelter.

Mom: I can see that.
Me: She’s coquettish.
Sister: What! Did you say she’s cokehead-ish?
Me: What? I said she’s coquettish.
Sister: Cokehead-ish?
Me (finally understanding): No, she’s a flirt. But she acts like a cokehead, too.

Musings on our Revolution

I find it interesting, when my mind wanders as I drive, that the U. S. and the U. K. are best, best buddies. It casts the American Revolution in an interesting light, not as colonies fiercely struggling against the yoke of oppression, but as a son’s archetypical battle for independence from, and equality with, father.

“Well fought, chap, you’re a man now,” says England.
“No hard feelings, Pops.”
“I suppose you’re ready to be a partner in the family business, then.”

I’ve noticed, too, that our pop culture’s depiction of the British parallels Brazil’s depiction of the Portuguese: a pasty, uptight, slightly goofy older man stands in for the father country. I think, though, that Brazil and Portugal regard each other with a bit more suspicion. Thrown into the same U. S. city together, Brazilians and Portuguese usually keep their distance, despite speaking the same language. The Portuguese, you see, are uptight oppressors who can't samba to save their lives; the Brazilians are unemployed hooligans. Thrown into, say, France together, I imagine that Americans and Englishman would bond rather tightly. Even visiting England, and meeting Englishmen residing here, I find there's a certain bemused/afffectionate curiosity for the other person and her culture.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Live To Work or Work To Live?

A Float survey.

1. How many hours do you work during an average week?
2. How many hours does your official job description say you work per week?
3. If you work extra hours, why? Pressure? Enjoyment? Nothing else to do? Achievement?
4. What element of your non-work life can get you to leave work on time or earlier? Family? Classes? A dog?

The Whole Tooth

I have a sweet tooth. I first heard about my sweet tooth as a young child, when I heard my mom discussing it with our pediatrician, the venerable Dr. Allen. I was worried to death. Visions of tooth surgery, teeth falling out, tooth disease creeping back through my gums and into my organs, assailed me until I was alone with my mother again and could ask, quaking, what this horrible afflication was, exactly. It turned out a sweet tooth amounted only to an affinity for sweets.


Sweets are my crutch, my dependency, my first true love. I work out, yes, but to burn the calories to allow more chocolate, more caramel popcorn with nuts, more cake and cookies and jam, and remain at stasis. Stasis, yes, is a little overweight. Vegetables and protein act as sweet buffers, as palate cleansers between treats. Cursed sweet tooth! Why do you torment me so?

Monday Questionnaire

1. What is your drink of choice?

2. What, to you, is the highest compliment you can pay someone?

3. Fill in the blanks: "I don't like ________, but oddly enough, I do like _________."