Sunday, September 30, 2007


Breast cancer toothbrushes. Fabulous!

Dream #6

I dreamt that I was part of the security detail for my childhood best friend, now grown up (Cindy Scott). We were in a high rise hotel and heard there was going to be a gangland-style attack on her. As the security team was organizing to protect her, I realized that both of my guns were unarmed. Someone handed me a bottle of hairspray to use as a fake weapon. This led to a crisis of confidence - do I use the hairspray, knowing I was 100% vulnerable, or do I skip my role in the security detail in order to save my life? I didn't resolve it in the dream.


BMG says the dream represents the dilemma I feel over having to be good all the time, to the detriment of myself.


Jacked up on coffee on Friday, I was startled almost off the road when I noticed a baboon standing in a neighbor's front yard. As I whizzed by, I took a second look. Not a baboon. A fake scarecrow. D'oh!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dream #5

I dreamt last night I was eating animal crackers. There was an enormous amount of activity swirling around me, and the dominant part of the dream was my methodical amputation of each animal cracker. I would then use my teeth to gently pry the cookie animal in half laterally, slicing with my front teeth at the vulnerable part where the legs were once attached. Once the cookie was halved, I would then let each side disintegrate into my mouth.


I think the dream was about my little self being soothed in the midst of the wackiness of my adult life. (I used food when I was a kid to comfort myself.) Not sure why I needed soothing, but the dream was a little insight into one reason for eating when I am not hungry.


Before I owned my Sony Cybershot camera, I had a Kodak Disk camera. I got it for my 15th or 16th birthday, and owned it through college. I have no idea what happened to the camera, but I was wondering if it would still be possible to get Disk film. I checked on eBay tonight - nothing. A google search also turned up nada. I did find an article that indicated Kodak stopped making the film in 1998.

I wish I still had that camera. I bet it would be worth something. Oh, no, wait a minute! I saw the camera on eBay, selling for around $3.99. Oy, for whom is that worth it - to either sell or buy?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Creativity boosts

Writer Jeff Cutler continues to post creativity exercises on his website. Good writing takes time and discipline. The exercises created by Jeff Cutler provide a quick (under a hour) exercise to get your creative juices flowing - whether you are a writer, a painter, a sculptor, a story teller or movie maker. I recommend them. And I write on the site, so if you visit, you get more of me me me.

And who doesn't want that?

What goes around, comes around

I excitedly knocked off one of the items in the "Things I MUST do" list kept here in this blog. I finally sorted and filed more than 12 months of bills, mementos, photos and correspondence. The mound of paper, once tossed in a decorative basket hung on the wall, had long ago collapsed onto the floor, leaving a small gash in the wall where the tack that served as its anchor groaned its way to the ground.

In the process, I cleared out my filing cabinet. I tossed the cell phone bills from a service I cancelled more than one year ago, shredded the electricity bills in my ex-boyfriend's name from the first of two apartments we shared, and threw away the quarterly prospectuses (prospecti?) from my two teeny tiny mutual funds.

It is so satisfying to me, to complete a project that has been on my "to do" list for more than six months.

Like the item, "Take plastic off windows." The Collected Works of Clownface, launched in February 2007, has had this on the "Things I MUST Do" list from the beginning. I live in an enormously drafty basement apartment with poorly sealed casement windows. The quality of the air is questionable, and the heating situation is sketchy. Plastic on the windows in the New England winter is essential. And I hate the way it looks, like I'm living in a jet stream trailer in post-Katrina Alabama.

So, in the glow of my having completed the "Clear pile of paper off floor" item, I looked ambitiously at "Take plastic off windows." And I realized it is nearly October. Fall starts in one day. I no longer need to take the plastic off, but instead need to check the plastic to make sure the seals are tight, and I'll be safe and cozy through Fall, Winter, and early Spring.

I'll try again next year.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fascination Street

I cannot explain it, but I am fascinated with the history of the Mormon Church. Er, what I mean is the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints. Sorry. Some people are obsessed with the Manson family (and who can blame them). Others with Elvis or Paris Hilton or Stephen Hawking. You know what your dirty and guilty pleasures are.

Mine is Mormonism. Maybe it is because I once lived with someone who started his own religion. Or maybe it is a Central New York thing (you know this is where Mormonism was founded)?

Regardless of the reason, I'm now riveted by the trial of fundamentalist Warren Jeffs for child rape. What will happen? Will the jury find him guilty? Will the polygamist movement go underground? How will it affect Mitt's run for the Presidency (Why is NO ONE talking about the fact that this candidate is an elder in a group of crazy people!!!!)? Who will play Jeff's in the Made For TV Movie? And is it in production yet? I know that when it DOES come out, I'll watch it with gross fascination. Until then, I need to settle for stories in The Boston Globe that I read online at home, while sitting in my bathrobe, without even one husband to share my outrage with. Sigh.

Falling in love

I heard last night, an anti-war activist complaining about Americans who "love their cars." This statement, which gets tossed around for all manner of environmental causes, is not true for me. I don't love my car. It is a metal and plastic box, filled with the inevitable scratches that come from urban living. It has coffee and breakfast crumbs glued to the inside, and it costs money to make it work. What is there to love? It is just a thing.

What I DO love, however, is the freedom my car represents. When I am driving, I have control over my life. I can come and go when I please, I can take a detour whenever I want, and I can go as far as I want to go.

I used to live in a hippie cooperative house, a commune to the untrained eye, where we ate flax seeds and sang Kumbaya with a group of friends after potluck supper every two weeks. We composted, grew our own vegetables, and tried to re-use as much grey water as possible. I've lived in the urban simplicity movement. It is ingrained in a a part of me.

One of the things I struggled with in the voluntary simplicity lifestyle is the interdependence on steroids aspect of it. When I lived in the commune, no decision could be made without calling a house meeting. When I lived simply with just one other person, the guilt associated tossing one bottle in the trash, rather than rinsing it and putting it in the recycling, could be gut wrenching. Mindlessness is not tolerated when one is living with intention.

Living one's values is hard work. So what did I do? I re-examined my values. And I realized that freedom is more important to me than almost any other value. And then I bought a car. And I love it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm a star!

I've started co-hosting a TV program on local cable access television. NOT because I'm a free airwaves kind of freak, but because I have to for my job. My boss and I cohost a talk show about public education in our little town - kind of like "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" for the municipal junkie set.

This is what I've learned so far, in my short TV production career.
1. People actually watch cable access television. I've had probably a dozen colleagues make amused references to my being a "tv star" and wanting to TiVo my next episode. Not just the municipal junkies, but real people - ranging in age from under 30 to over 70.
2. TV shows can be enormously complicated to arrange. I have 14 guests coming on to this little 1 hour program. I'm so stressed out about timing, that I asked an admin if she could play Stage Manager for us.
3. It is hard to watch myself on TV. BMG and I were channel surfing the other night. He heard my laugh come through the speakers and wanted to hold it on the local Education Channel. I said "No." Because I think I look fat and ugly and need a real hairstyle.
4. The sphere of influence in people's lives can be really narrow - so narrow that they take cable access as seriously as if they are appearing on CNN or The Today Show. I've had potential interviewees say no, because they are too anxious about it. Other interviewees have called repeatedly asking for help preparing what to say, what to wear, how to act naturally.

I'm going to learn how to ask for help, how to handle my event manager stress, how to interview people, and how to web stream video on my blog, so you can all watch the show.

Won't that be fun?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Microwave popcorn

I incinerated a bag of microwave popcorn in the office kitchen so intensely that they had the throw the microwave away. It was irreparably damaged. That's good work.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Jeff Cutler's writing assignments

Freelance writer, Jeff Cutler, has started promoting his business with a series of creative and provocative writing assignments on his website that are reminiscent of the type of writing exercise one might find in a creativity self-help book. This is my response to his latest assignment.

"You are such an oaf. Why are you using ME to shovel these elegant, chick pea-stuffed ravioli into your mouth? You, who professes to want an elegant life? You who craves a graceful, lush life? I suppose I should have known the minute you poured this pasta into a cereal bowl - a cereal bowl - that there was no savoring to be had with this meal. You even went to the trouble of stopping at the nearby gourmet market to buy fresh and locally grown zucchini and a nice goat cheese. What is wrong with you?

Sigh. What is my function tonight? To make sure you don’t injure your gums by accidentally stabbing them with the tine of a fork as you gobble this lovely meal, and to prevent you from spilling goat cheese/caper/tomato down the front of your fitted, Ann Taylor t-shirt so you don’t embarrass yourself later when you have to give an impromptu speech at a televised School Committee. Let the record show that I’m embarrassed for you because of your eating habits. And, I’m proud enough of my role in the silverware drawer to not let you down."

Congratulations are in order

Shout outs to the following people for achieving important milestones for those of us human types living in modern Western civilization. In no particular order:
*Coop and Rob on their engagement
*Heather and David on their close to completion pregnancy
*Ben and kloalljidskatiespooaslma on their engagement
*Sitboaf for reasons I'm not supposed to know ANYTHING about.
I'm looking forward to sharing shout outs to those of you trying to get pregnant, trying to sell your homes, hoping to win a free scooter, and working towards new careers.


Hooray! I did it! With almost no training, I biked 102.6 miles in just under 8 hours this weekend (that's an average of a 13.25 miles per hour). I accomplished this century ride , along with 1,999 other riders supported by the Narrangansett Bay Wheelmen on Sunday, September 9th.

I woke up at 4:30 AM on Sunday, expecting to leave BMG's 984 square foot slice of paradise by 5:00 AM, so I'd be at the starting point by 6:30 AM. I was expecting the worst - a 10 hour sojourn on my bike. (How long was my longest training ride you ask? 47 short short miles. Boy was I unprepared for this!) Imagine my disappointment when I noticed bright flashes of lightning in the sky, hardy rolls of thunder, and the sprinkle of warm summer rain moistening the deck. I love to bike, and I am a fair weather biker. The forecast did not predict rain in coastal Southeastern Massachusetts, and I decide to wait out the rain a little bit.

At 5:52 AM, I decided to hit the road, the rain had only gotten more persistent. But, I didn't want to doubly disappoint myself by (a) training poorly, and (b) punking out. So, I folded my bike into my car and hit the road. Worst case scenario? I'd have a groggy drive to UMass Dartmouth, and I'd merely turn around and play video games at BMG's all day.

The weather did clear up just south of Brockton, and my spirits were buoyed as I whizzed past each on ramp to the highway, which dropped increasing numbers of cars stuffed with bikes and spandex-clad people onto my southerly route. After my nervous check-in, I hit the road through flat farm land along the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border.

Biking for me is a solitary sport. I get into a space where I am thinking about nothing but my legs spinning. I watch and listen to the scenery. I saw cows (dairy and beef), sheep, goats, horses, and myriad egrets, cranes and herons. One of the first birds I saw was an ominous hawk slowly circling overhead right after the start of the ride. "Waiting for the first biker to fall?" I wondered as I reverently biked out of the raptor's field of vision.

I was reminded that biking is a team sport by the well-organized pace lines that whizzed by me early in the ride. They apparently assign one person to scream the contents of road signs out for the entire team. I got one scary earful by a petite, middle-aged woman yelling "TRACKS" as we bumped over a railroad crossing. So loud was she that I jumped and yelled "Jeez! I can read the sign too." At which point she apologized, and I later gave her annoyed looks when I espied her at rest areas. "Who is biking at 20-25 miles per hour and needs someone to read street signs to them?" I wondered to myself. These same pace lines also use simple hand signals to point out road hazards. The same query applies. "If I am paying enough attention to watch your hand signals, I'd rather just pay attention to the road." Who needs the screaming middle man?

I had a couple of minor mishaps. One flat tire (predicted by the brilliant and helpful BMG), which was changed with the assistance of Eric and Val from just outside of Providence. Volunteer mechanics from East Providence Cycle gave mechanical support during the ride, and fixed a loose rear derailleur (the mechanism that controls the gear shifting). This helped me smoothly glide into the easy gears as I became progressively more tired along the way.

I talked myself encouragingly through the last 30 miles. "You can bike another 5 miles, come on CF!" and later "You can bike 1 more mile, come on CF!" When I realized I was going to make it, I started to cry. And I was a little worried. Because I did it without training. I struggle so much with my motivation to reach physical goals. Finishing this 102 ride represented the achievement of a goal I had set for myself, and it also represented achievement without much work (except on the day of said goal accomplishment). I lamented this fact to BMG later, as he kindly fed me candy bars and murmured words of congratulations to me in my tired haze. His wise response? "If you trained, you would not be as tired. If you trained, you would have been able to keep up with the pace lines (if I wanted to, which I don't). If you trained, you'd feel even better about what you did today." He's right, and I feel great.