08:17 AM, from txt

This morning on the drive to work we were stopped at the light at Kedzie and Peterson. Just as the light was turning green there was this kid, like this high school kid, in front of the car—he was still crossing, moving slowly through the crosswalk. He wasn’t scared of being hit. He had his hood up, and he looked morosely pleased with himself as he shuffled by and made the cars wait.

I told Chris, “That kid is so like, ‘Dude, I just cheated death.'”

“You know that’s going to be his Twitter today,” Chris said.

Hold that thought

Ten words I did not know were real words until I played Scrabulous: qat, ghi, hup, taw, pah, gey, ors, yoni, mana, and cowbird. I’d actually come across “yoni” before, but it was in this book, which has a distressing amount of kooky blithering mixed in with the important stuff, and I guess I thought it was just a word she made up while drinking pennyroyal birth-control tea, but what do you know, it’s for real.  And now that I write them out here, those first six or so sound like I’m counting in Quechua or something.

Ten words I’d hoped would be real words in Scrabulous but are not (along with their surmised meanings): aith (melancholy); feo (Spanish for ugly; maybe it’s caught on?); nomen (the names of many); hitee (the person who is hit); feveree (the person with a fever); sia (some kind of martial-arts thingy); kithen (plural of kith); avise (to hold fast), and nas (a benign skin growth). Oh, the scores I could’ve scored had these words been for real.

But truth be told, I haven’t even been playing Scrabulous all that much over the past week or so, since I had to write my column. Now I have another article due next week, and on Friday we’re headed to Wisconsin for the weekend, so I can’t update the way I’d like to until next month. But in the meantime please dig how these folks got in the New York Times yesterday, and especially read Mo’s recent posts (and gawk at some of the hater comments) about the awesomely complicated subject of body image and fat acceptance and the whole crazy chalupa of controversy that comes with it. I wish I could write an entry about it right now, if I wasn’t so fat and lazy. I mean, busy. Whatever! See you in February.

Various pleas to the universe

First: Bring back the dark chocolate Bounty Bars. I know that officially Bounty Bars haven’t been sold in the U.S. in years and years, but you can find the milk chocolate ones at any one of the four or five Greek and/or Mexican produce stores I shop at, and for a few exquisite months this summer and fall, they all carried the dark chocolate ones, too. The dark Bountys are sort of like Mounds, but Bounty : Mounds :: Belvedere : Absolut. Or Barbra : Celine. Or, if this were 1984, Guess Jeans : Palmettos. (And guess which kind I owned.) But anyway, dark chocolate Bountys are awesome, and have no almond traces to poison my boyfriend the way Mounds bars do. And so we’d snag one every couple of weeks until I guess the stock was depleted, and they gradually disappeared from one Bouzouki-muzak-blaring produce-mart checkout aisle after another. Now there’s only the dubious Balkan candy, and those sawdusty honey-and-sesame-seed thingies, and, of course, the totally unremarkable milk chocolate Bountys (in the blue wrappers) to remind us of what we’re missing. O red-wrappered Bounty goodness, when will you return? And if anyone has seen them lately at other Eurotrashy grocery locations around Chicago, please let us know.

Also, we wish the universe could bring back the little bitty grocery store around the corner from our place. We don’t know how long it was open; we thought it had opened shortly after we moved to the neighborhood because we went by and saw a “Grand Opening” banner inside, and we thought, hey, let’s give this guy our business, because he just opened and it’s the nice thing to do. And then after a year we realized that the banner was still up, and then we wondered if perhaps the owner kept it up all the time because he read in Ghetto Grocer Monthly that it was good for business if people thought you’d just opened; but by then it didn’t matter to us, because we liked that it was close, and that it was a half-decent produce store where you could get eggplants and ginger and lemongrass and coconut milk. And the guy was nice, too. And then on New Year’s eve afternoon we went over there to get limes and it was closed, with all the signs down and the windows ominously covered, and it appears to be very profoundly gone, and we are sad, and we hope Mr. Owner guy is okay.

Final plea: That How To Look Good Naked keeps on being an impressive show. I’d heard good things about it, but sometimes I can be really steadfastly cold and tiny-hearted when it comes to unabashedly cheerleaderish love-your-body sentiment, and I figured the show would be just a lot of chirpy encouragement to Love Our Curves with help from Carson Kressley, the Magical Gay. And while I guess it was a lot like that, I wasn’t at all prepared for how sniffly and verklempt I got during the first ten minutes, possibly because Carson and the girl on the show were both so very open about the distinctly fatty nature of her initial unhappiness and not just making vague mumblings about being “too curvy” or “plus-sized.” But while I was won over, I still nurse an icy little shard of skepticism in wondering how long it can keep going, how many bits of Jedi self-estreem wizardry can Carson really have—he won’t always get to work the miracle of the better-fitting bra, will he? Or the “really great skin” thing? But maybe an even better question is: so what if it is just the same little tricks over and over? So what if they only interviewed the nice strangers on the street, the ones who looked at her picture and said she was pretty? So what, maybe my stingy bitter soul will be saved after all? We shall see!

Why "Blog Delurking Week" will not be observed on this site during this week or any other time, ever

1. “Delurking” is not a real word. And as a fake word, it’s horrible. It sounds like acid reflux.

2. Okay, so why do we need this week again? Because people are too shy… to post a comment on a blog? Are we maybe overthinking this shit just a little? How socially stunted have we become if we have to devise quasi-official special occasions just to defreak ourselves out? Do we need that much reassurance that our brief, indirect little public interactions are perfectly acceptable and decreepy?

I’ll admit that maybe I just don’t understand, because I started writing online back when journals and weblogs didn’t have the feedback feature—you’d post your stuff and except for the emails that would trickle in from readers, there’d always be that silence, so I guess I never minded. Now that I have comments on the site, I deeply appreciate that practically everyone who posts here is funny and cool, and I don’t think I’ve ever even had a real troll, or a flamewar, or anything like that. But, like I’ve said, I’ve never been inspired to have fuzzy feelings about these Preordained High Holy Delurking Days, where people post apropos of nothing at all; nothing but “delurking.” And look, if you’ve never felt like saying anything before, I really don’t mind.

3. Here’s where I just wrote—and deleted—a long passage about something that happened a year ago, when I had to post an entry telling readers my mother was dying and that I was flying to New Mexico to be with her during her final days. And how so many of you responded with kind words, and gave your condolences, and said you were thinking of me and my family, which was such a comfort during the subsequent week. Some of you said you were posting for the first time ever, and even if you used that d-word, I definitely understood that you were breaking the silence to express your sympathies, and not because some stupid made-up internet holiday encouraged you to do so.

But then (and here’s where I’ll try not to go into it too much) last year someone actually thought that saying just, “it’s Delurking Week and I love this blog!” was an appropriate comment in response to the news about my mom. Which made me crazy, for reasons that I hope are obvious, because to go into detail otherwise would be really pointless and ugly and no doubt full of all kinds of displaced anger about my mom’s death. Just suffice it to say I have some stunningly awful associations with you-know-what-week. I felt compelled to explain just in case someone was planning on spreading delurking cheer around here anytime soon, and I hope this has spared us all some horrible awkwardness. Which, ironically, is probably what the spirit of Delurking Week was supposed to about in the first place.

4. But you know, if you’ve never commented before, please don’t let any of this stop you. I know, it’s weird, but it’s always weird one way or another, isn’t it? But I’m sure we’ll get past it somehow.



It was the best New Year’s Eve in a long time. We spent most of the long weekend reading: I was reading a book about the 1914 murders at the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Wisconsin and even before it got to the grisly part I was digging all the backstory about what a tool Wright was, what with his free-love ways and “knee-panties and long hair” (actual primary source quotation!) and whatnot, and Chris was finishing up The Golden Compass so we could see the movie. Monday afternoon we went out to a very late breakfast and then braved the holiday clusterfuck of a moderately Bad-Times Jewel to stock up on beer and food. And then, for New Year’s Eve, we had a dozen or so friends over for drinks and assorted video junk and peppermint pig bludgeoning (many thanks to Brenda for bringing the victim) and glimpses of fireworks off in the snow-hazy sky beyond our back porch. When everyone had gone home we turned out the lights and looked out at the street and the trees bright with snow.

Then we slept good and late on New Year’s day, and took the train over to see the movie (and since then we’ve been considering daemon logistics, like what if your daemon was a Clydesdale or a planarian flatworm, and how inconvenient that would be), and then home again to make some Hoppin’ John with kale and cornbread, hoping all the while that the rewards of Southern culinary superstitions are valid for us pasty Midwestern crackers, too; and then one last drink before bedtime to consider whatever’s ahead.

Hope it was—and is—good for you, too.