Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I get by with a lil help from my friends, OOH I get high with lil help from my friends...

PLEASE click above for a hearty laugh at a TV legend's expense.

Yet further proof of love:

Letter from Sarah! (Or SMI, which makes me think of the Peter Pan character, Smee. But Sarah's cuter and she's no slave to a pirate captain. Actually, she is in no way like Smee.) She wrote me a lovely letter, replete with Spiderman stickers, glitter glue, and de-stressing card thingies. Gollee she's crafty. And a giver by nature.

I frickin' love mail.

Received some news from Miss Meera, but I suspect she'll want to tell you herself. Oh goodness... that doesn't mean you should all attack her at once. I'm sure she'll tell y'all when she catches her breath. But I do feel some anxiety for her, and paradoxically I also have to indulge in a long sigh of relief.

Sweet Meera. I think things will be okay.

I hope we actually keep up with this Book Club idea of Sarah's. Very good one, I have to say. I'm hoping it will help me to feel a bit more connected on a day-to-day basis. Or a month to month basis?

And I am not ashamed at all to talk about TMWB in my blog. After all, there is a slight chance that she'll assume it's the OTHER MWB. Hahahahaha... I'm not a nice girl. (Sarah, do you get it yet?)

Saturday, November 27, 2004

It's Raining Fish! ...and other tales of wonder

No, really, TRUST the Gorton's fisherman.

JoBiv, what are you talking about?

I'm talkin' bout Sus, who sent me a buttload of coupons for free Gorton's products. Free, I tell you! And I thought, when she asked me if I'd eat any Gorton's products, that a big truck would back up to the doors of the Warwick building (my building, that is - it does have a fancy name), and dump 60 pounds of fish in the foyer. Boy would my neighbors be mad. Boy would it be funny. Regardless, coupons are preferable. And now I can have protein! Yay! For FRIZZLE.

Sus also answered all of my many questions in her letter, and my curiosity is now satisfied. Except for the new questions that have sprung up. She also very lovingly lectured me on a few points, and I needed that. Thanks, Sus.

Yet further proof that I have the best friends in the world:

I called MeeraLove yesterday, as requested previously, and she invited me to see A Shot in the Dark (second Inspector Clousseau movie) at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square. Her treat! The movie, if you've never seen any of them, was very funny and silly and groovily representative of the swell '60's. Much enjoyed.

Then, wonder of wonders, Meera treated me to Chinese food! It was almost too much to take! Such niceness! I do love Meera and Ross and their matching scarves.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Gracias mucho

Happy Thanksgiving, people.

I finished my meal a few hours ago. Quite proud of myself... corn pudding, a sweet potato, mashed potatoes, turkey leg, TJ's cranberry sauce, green beans... yum. I'm a chef, it turns out.

Did I mention that my parents sent me flowers? A dozen white long-stemmed roses. Or is it long-stemmed white roses? Anyway, they sent them. Nice of 'em.

Still not answering the phone, but ended up talking to people anyway. I called the house and talked to my cousin Mixx, who sometimes acknowledges our family (especially when his parents are in Rome during Thanksgiving). Talked to my brother Smacks, who mentioned his girlfriend (the twin sister of Tom's best friend) at least sixteen times. Cripps was not present, but my parents managed to import a baby to replace our Baby for the holiday. Two, actually... family friends of ours appeared. Baby Sam (2 weeks older than Baby) talked to me on the phone. He said, "egeesh?" which is baby for "did you know they all hate you right now?"

I did, Sam. Thanks for pointing it out.

Time for movie #3 and another glass of wine. Pumpkin pie later if my tummy ever rumbles again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Bah frickin' humbug

I'm not going home, so stop asking.

Okay, to your credit, none of you asked. But everyone else did.

I'm having what has become JoBiv's Traditional Thanksgiving. I watch the parade, cook dessert and some kinda bread, watch some movies, cook mashed potatoes, turkey legs, open a can of cranberry sauce, microwave a sweet potato, pour a glass of wine, clean up after the meal, call my parents, get annoyed with my dad who has invariably kept the phone off the hook so he won't get telemarketer calls (like that happens on holidays), pour another glass of wine, watch another movie, fall asleep due to the effects of turkey and wine combined...

It'll be a nice day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Symptom #2

Who needs sleep? No you're never gonna get it
Who needs sleep? Tell me what's that for...

Symptom numero duo: Insomnia.

The facts are as follows. On a good night, I get seven hours of sleep. On MOST nights, I get about four interrupted hours. In the peak of insomnia I get a half hour of drifting before I jolt awake again. This is peak time.

I am tired.

When I do sleep enough to dream, the dreams are vivid and usually distressing. F'rinstance, I dream about my teeth falling out, over and over. I nudge around my mouth with my tongue and they loosen. Or I bite into something and they topple out. Or they somehow end up crushed into rubble. In one dream my bottom teeth tipped out, but as they fell they never clinked on the floor. They flew around like a tiny flock of birds and hid up in the corners of the room where I couldn't reach them.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Simmer down now...

Life, I've heard it said, is but a series of ups and downs. And so it goes and so it goes. Blahditty blah. This particular down stems from several things: my slow math skills, a conversation with my parents, and lingering insomnia.

Here's the math problem for you.

I had $340 in my account. I received a paycheck for $700, so now I have $1040. My rent is $825 a month, so soon I'll have $215. Then I pay the regular bills and I'll have about $150. Then I'll have to send the minimum payments of $15 for my two credit cards (to which I owe about $1000 altogether). And I owe H-Bomb $10 for last month's rent, because she kindly gave me a little leeway by paying $10 extra. If you're keeping track, that leaves me with $110.

Okay... That'll get me by, right? That's just fine until the next check comes, right?

The next check will be in the mail around December 2nd. $700.00. I won't get paid again until mid-January.


Okay, so, NONE OF YOU are getting Christmas presents. I love you and everything, but I have to conserve my resources. Let's see... I have rice and glue. I need to eat the rice, so I can't use it for art projects. I have some frozen green beans, too. They're not even mine. They're leftovers from K-Dawg. They'd rot before they got to you, though, so they're not much of a gift. And I should prolly eat them, too.

"JoBiv," you say, "why don't you get a job for the holidays in the retail industry?" Well, I'll need every moment up to my December 13th deadline for these projects, so if they still want me then...

There was also a nannying job for the month of December in Beacon Hill. No, I wouldn't get the holidays off. 55 hours a week. Craploads of money. I think my brothers would officially disown me. My mother would send me migraines telepathically. My father would just cry into his scotch and let my brothers soothe him with reminders of how uppity and useless I've become anyway.

My parents, by the way, have offered to fly me to Rochester for Christmas. I was theees close to telling them to send me the money and let me buy a train ticket and keep the rest. But of course they think this is the nicest thing they could ever do to me... send me to an airport during the holidays. Yeah, your anxiety-ridden daughter will LOVE that. No worries, I still have about 5 panic pills left. I feel a little like I'm in that Zelda game and I have 5 of those heart/lives left before GAME OVER pops up on my screen.

Jesus H fucking shitballs.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Pennies from heaven

Every time it rains, it rains
Pennies from heaven
Each silver cloud contains
Pennies from heaven...

I GOT PAID! And in rapid succession:

a. I rode on the T in the company of four men in colonial dress
b. I ate a fabulous dinner, with MEAT in it!
c. I got a free drink at the Pour House! Sweet!
d. I talked with two brits who needed advice on which club to go to because they refused to stand in line for Foggle My Goggle.
e. I received two long-stem red roses from a girl on the T who was headed to Germany the next day and didn't want the flowers to rot in her absence.

Wow. And now I'm going to buy the following luxury items: fresh fruit, ground beef, and CEREAL!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

First Light madness

PHEW... spent the morning bleaching the kitchen, sweeping and vaccuuming the whole apartment, cleaning the toilet, tidying in general. Don't I have a project to work on? Oh silly me, I meant TWO projects simultaneaously. Does anyone else love that word as much as I do? Simultaneaously. It's fantastic.

Tonight! It should be interesting. I know, I know Mr. Brunsen (my 12th grade English teacher), interesting is a meaningless word. There are a couple of conflicting expectations for tonight, however, and so I cannot say, "Tonight will be loads of fun," or "Tonight will be a circus of horrors."

Tonight there is a First Light Festival in Brookline. For those of you who don't live in Brookline, or do live in Brookline but don't know about it, First Light is a celebration of consumerism with a general nod of support for small businesses. It is also the night that the town of Brookline first turns on their Winter Holiday lights (snowflakes shapes, of course, because anything else would offend somebody).

By the way, that's just dandy with me. I like thinking of some 4 yr old saying to himself, "Look, they lit up the Christmas lights," while another little kid says to herself, "Look, they lit up the Channukah lights!"

First Light was fun last year. K-Dawg and I cruised about and collected free cupcakes here and free cider there and watched youth choruses and cringed at out-of-tune violin quartets. Yes, all of these things, and more, can be found at the First Light Festival.

I have two concerns, however, for this night of nights.

1. H-Bomb's mom is flying in to stay for the weekend. H thinks that this festival is the perfect way to welcome her mom to Brookline. That's generally okay with me. I won't necessarily have to keep up my end of a conversation. Instead, I can say, "Oh, gee, we'd better get down to the flower shop before all of the free roses run out." I don't think it will be THAT easy, though. H-Bomb's mom, I should mention, does not like the following things: jazz music, museums, cultural enrichment in general. (She voted for Bush.)

2. I have been SO GOOD at avoiding crowds of people, and tonight I will thrust myself into the center of the throng. Not a delicious thought. I should see lots of people from the preschool, too, and they're sure to ask me what I'm doing and I'm sure to fake-smile them to death and lie through my teeth about how fabulous life has been as they lie throught THEIR teeth and tell me how great I look. And God help me if I forget a child's name!

I will also miss K-Dawg a lot and try not to pout.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Liar liar pants on fire

space odyssey3

Even when I told the H-Bomb that I'd have the text of this Mars project written today, I knew it was a lie. As the words formed in my mind, I knew it was a lie, and as they somehow made it past my lips I nearly laughed out loud.

I don't have a natural interest in Mars. I can't tell you why that is. I have no natural interest in space exploration whatsoever (which makes my affection for Star Trek: The Next Generation all the more misplaced). When I think of humans in space, my innards go all cold with terror and this sense of bewilderment comes over me.

I'd like to take this moment to blame my father for making me watch Important Films as a child. I don't think he noticed that I was only seven when the Very Important Film 2001: A Space Odyssey was on TV for some reason. (I believe I was even younger when I somehow got trapped into a viewing of The Birds.) Cripps and I were particularly vulnerable to my father's Important Film moments. Dan didn't have the stamina. And Tom was high somewhere. I think Cripps and I would try to out-cool each other by watching these movies with my dad. I thought it was doubly impressive that I was a mere tot compared to Cripps.

I'd also like to blame my mother for watching those boring-ass Nova shows on PBS. Again, I would try to show everyone my incredible maturity by sitting through these shows without yawning or fidgeting. It was a matter of pride. I always felt like I had bested some clever enemy if I made it all the way through, as though I'd survived 13 consecutive days of Chinese Water Torture.

I'm trying to summon a bit of that moxie now. When I get these assignments I think, "Oh, I wouldn't choose to research this, but I'm sure I can find something that interests me." I remember opening up the cover sheet for this assignment. I groped for my usual reassurance. I found nothing.

Mars. Hoo boy.

Allow me just one more moment to spread blame, if you can muster the patience. I find the NASA websites unimpressive. The information is scattered and written with deadpan exactness. I have no personalities to draw on, no stories from which to elaborate, no thrill of discovery to propel me forward. I somehow can't force a chipper tone while telling 4th graders that we've sent rovers to Mars because scientists are pretty sure we've ruined our planet and we might need a back-up plan as Armageddon approaches.

Anyone else I can blame? Ah yes! I blame The Yankees and El Nino, and the Bush administration. Will alla y'all get off my back so I can write this ding-danged thing? Christ in a bucket...

New Deal, Day 3


Yesterday's tally:

Lucky Person #1: the cleaning guy in my building. Something about the weather. I was going to make fun of his proton-pack style vaccuum, which is our usual topic of conversation when I'm not clammed up, but he pointed to the sky and smiled and mumbled something about the "nice day."

Lucky Person #2: the T driver.

Lucky Person #3: H-Bomb.

I'm losing enthusiasm.

Monday, November 15, 2004

The New Deal

This weekend was a tad lonely, despite the comforting company of bubble wrap and other friendly items from Miss Imholt. And I decided something. Last week I saw and talked to a total of maybe 6 people. One of those might be two conversations with the same person, actually. That's pathetic.

So yesterday, I decided that I'm going to TRY to run into people. I mean, actually attempt to talk to them. Yesterday's tally is as such:

Lucky Person #1: the Liquors Foods guy with the bad haircut. I went beyond the usual, "Hi, how are you," to comment on the snow. He commented back. Oh, the thrill!

LP2: Liz T., my pal and guitar teacher!

LP3: Nadene, another student of Liz's, as well as friend of K-Dawg.

LP4: Guy at concierge desk at Berklee. I asked him for a pen. FEARLESSLY!

LP5: Katya the Great! I visited her at Sorento's after finding that I forgot my T fare back to Brookline. I like visiting her on Sundays and watching the kitchen at work.

LP's 6, 7, 8: other employees of Sorento's, especially Pointy Head Guy who looked straight at my boobs and said, "How you doin'?" every time he passed me.

I know what you're thinking... Eight people in one day! That's outrageous! How does she do it? Well, I have to say, it hasn't been easy. Right now I can only strive for quantity, but I'm sure quality is riding the coattails...

Saturday, November 13, 2004

bubble wrappiness happiness

bubble wrappiness happiness
Originally uploaded by JoBiv!.
Last night I was in a bit of a dark mood, in case you need me to spell it out. I neglected to tell you how beautiful the world is with the first snow frosting everything, especially the trees that have managed to retain their orange and red leaves. There's a particularly lovely Japanese maple on Park Drive that looks like a thing of heaven.

So when I entered the building's foyer last night, I was in a dreamy snow-sprinkled, but still solitary mood. Then I noticed a package on the floor below my mailbox. It was for ME! It was from Sarah! It's still from Sarah, actually, and a mess of goodies sits on my kitchen table now: bubble wrap, Tazo tea, the Amelie soundtrack, and a pencil. There was a magnet, too, but I put that on the fridge right away. Goodies! For me! I am loved. Thank you, Miss Sarah. You have made my November.

Friday, November 12, 2004

if I ain't dead already... girl you know the reason why

Originally uploaded by JoBiv!.
JoBiv, stop looking at Kathe Kollwitz prints online, put your coat on and go home to your warm apartment, turn on the TV and watch something funny, or something that's supposed to be funny, chuckle if you please, answer the teapot when it whistles, pour the water over teabags and watch them float up like bloated frogs, gaze at your guitar as though you might play it, change into your pineapple pants during a commercial and wrap yourself back into a calm solitude like you wrap your hands around the tea mug. Fold in, where everything is warm, small and quiet.

The H-Bomb is on a plane headed to Florida. She takes her inferior taste in television and her all-night dinner and ice cream eating and her penchant for interrupting and scolding with her. When I go home there will be no one to ask me, "So, how's your work coming?" and so there will be no reason to say, "Slowly, but I think it's coming." There will be no reason to tuck myself into the kitchen so she can't watch me eat and I don't have to listen to her smacking her lips as she eats. That will be good. I won't blush and start guiltily as she catches me pulling the bad hairs out. For three days I will be H-Bomb free. It could be glorious.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

it's oh so quiet... shhh... shhh...

JoBiv's Accomplishments of the Day:

1. got out of my bed and got dressed
2. filled out and mailed MassHealth application
3. emptied and de-molded the trash cans
4. put on shoes (harder than you think when I have a monster blister)
5. left apartment
6. said "Thank you" to T operator before exiting the train (sans stutter)
7. talked to one person (Sarah Allen) and waved to another (Dana) in library
8. performed jobsearch on yahoo and boston book builders
9. completed two pages of text for Mars project

If you'll notice, I neglected to shower and eat. Since it is safely past rush hour, I shall go home to do those things now.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

less and less

There was a boy on the T today who sat in front of me. We were in those single seats, facing backwards. He had bleached hair - really bleached, almost white. His ears were small and tidy, like pink seashells tucked against his head. When the train lurched and I rocked forward a bit, I thought maybe I could kiss one.

Maybe these are thoughts I only have when I don't talk to other human beings enough.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Eggs and bananas.

Less words these days. Less and less.

But today I walked down Beacon to buy eggs at Trader Joe's. On the way back I passed Thai Basil, a restaurant much-frequented by JoBiv. Over the past few weeks I've noticed a Phenomenon. Most days, if I'm paying attention, I notice a styrofoam bowl full of thai noodles or soup or fried rice, and a styrofoam cup of soda sitting on the brick ledge that lines the restaurant's front.

At first I thought it was sitting there for some chef or waitron's break. (Don't you hate the term waitron?) I don't tend to walk back and forth enough to know if it's gone at the end of the day. Over the last week I've noticed that it's there in the morning, before the restaurant opens.

I think, maybe, there's some lone homeless person in Brookline who profits from the chef's charity. Being homeless in Brookline is frowned upon, however, and maybe a cop made him shove on to other pastures, like Roxbury.

OR, it could be an offering to some god I don't know of, or some snarling night beast that only appears after the last waitron (there's that word again) wraps his/her last bundle of fork, knife and spoon for the night.

Or it could be for me. I could use the free meal. I've thought about taking it. If it weren't for my fear of spinach and embedded seafood, I might just walk off with it.

For now, it's bananas and eggs for JoBiv. Thank you, Mrs. Warhover, for the stroke of brilliance.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Fie on thee, pumpkin pie spice!

The question of the night: Why do I ever talk to my parents?

This is what happened. The H-bomb needed an ingredient for her famous Pumpkin Pudding.

I asked, because I'm a culinary expert on Saturdays at around 6pm, "What is the ingredient? I might just have it already."

H-bomb replied, "Pumpkin pie spice."

I sez, "Um... really?"

She showed me the recipe. Sure enough, it read "pumpkin pie spice." I thought that was a little silly, and being an expert (sometimes), I thought to myself, "I bet it's actually allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg."

And being a know-it-all, I made a BIG MISTAKE. I called Them. YOU know who... M&P. The Parents.

Phew... they didn't answer. I left a voicemail. "Hey Mom n' Pop, do you happen to know the spices for pumpkin pie? My guess is allspice, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Lemme know. Bye."

The bastards called me back.

Now usually I screen my calls, much to the annoyance of my friends. Tonight, hoping I'd spare aforementioned friends some annoyance, I picked up. It was my Dad.

The important points of the entire painful phone experience are thus:

1. I was right, those are the spices in pumpkin pie, however you can buy them in the form of Pumpkin Pie Spice, all in one go. Clever.

2. My parents are "there for me" if I have a mental breakdown from my current jobless status and not-so-subtley hinted that I should move home if I can't handle things on my own, which is to say, "We knew you couldn't handle it on your own."

3. My mother badgered me into releasing the following top secret information: I don't have health insurance (what did they think?), I broke up with my therapist (I didn't tell her that it was because she kept telling me my dad is an alcoholic) and I am no longer on the very helpful drugs as a result. Whew.

4. During conversation number 3, I located my lingering stash of Ativan and let one dissolve beneath my tongue while my mother reminded me that if I would only get pregnant and move home she'd love to take care of me...


And, to all of my patient friends, I'm not answering the g-damn phone EVOR AGAIN.

What does Nope do, again?

Just to make sure you look at this, I'm leaving you links galore.

Hee hee.

Nora baby!

Click click! Lookee! Baby Nor and jLiz are famous!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Let's move to Canada, eh?

be afraid
Originally uploaded by JoBiv!.

If anyone wants to help in the apartment-to-bomb-shelter remodeling process, come on by any time!

I... just... DON'T YOU PEOPLE UNDERSTAND??? This man no longer gives a flying fuck about his approval ratings. He's IN! He can do whatever he wants with, we can be sure, NO reprimand from the legislative branch and little more than weak protest from the judicial. Let's sit back and watch what happens in North Korea, shall we? That'll be a ball. And you can stay healthy until you're 85, right?

Oh, and you're blissfully happy that no one's going to raise your taxes. I'm so happy for you. I guess you DON'T want health care, or literate children, or advancements in technology that could prevent us from turning Alaska into one, big, ugly, oil mine and keep us from incinerating planet Earth like a giant flaming marshmallow. You NEED that money for other things, like assault rifles. Go on, get out there and buy one! PERFECTLY legal, my friend, and it's your God-given right to use that rifle of yours to kill living things. God LOVES it when you kill living things. Especially with assault rifles.

It's gonna take a LOT MORE than bubble wrap to calm THIS JoBiv down.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Symptom number one

It's funny how I largely avoid serious topics in this blog. I might hint sometimes, but I don't really talk about anything close to useful. I don't think any strangers read this blog, but if they did they MIGHT assume I'm somewhat normal, which is erroneous.

For the rest of you, I thought I'd update you on my symptoms, because, as symptoms, they let you know the status of The Problem (though we're not sure what that is).

So, Symptom Numero Uno: hair-pulling. It is SN1 because it's the most obvious and I have trouble controlling it, even in public. I REFUSE to say that I can't control it, because I refuse to surrender to a bad habit. Anyway, I pull out the hairs that I feel don't belong on my head - they're coarse and wiry and stick out in weird directions. I don't like how they feel. They're easy to pick out, but I tend to pull out three or four innocent hairs with the bad ones. And then, because I have proof of bad ones, I go back in for more, fishing the same little pond until there's nothing left or until I wig out and sit on my hands.

Status: Still in progress, but the patch near my neck on the left side is growing back. I look like a bit like a late-80's skater with the shaved under, long on top look. But not really. I had a bad spell the other day while watching Mystic River. There was no one there to warn me not to watch it, which is a bloomin' shame. H-bomb couldn't know any better.

Prognosis: The problem with stopping the hair-pulling is that the bad hairs come back. And I feel like I have to take them out again. And right now the Resistance has reconvened, I just know it. I'm feeling antsy. Not a good sign. Imagine piles of hair on the floor to allay election anxiety.

Suggested treatment: I could play with my FOM pillow, but it makes me sad because KDawg gave it to me and it appears we're not talking. I sometimes paint my nails so I can scrape off the polish. Other good replacements: bubble wrap, removing stickers, tearing napkins, scraping wax.

I'm taking bubble wrap donations.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Anachronistic Hair: a rant

anachronistic hair 5
Originally uploaded by JoBiv!.
Why? WHY have I never watched American Dreams, you ask? I'LL TELL YOU WHY! It's an Anachronistic Hair Offender, that's why!

Look at this picture. Look at all of the lovely young people gathered. What era do they represent? Hmm, well the girls in the orange and red dresses seem to come from the 60's, the guys could be rather conservative fellas from any post-WWII decade (in fact, the white dude could be my gun-totin' Carolina cousin). But that girl in the purple... with the tonal dye job and the elaborate head of curls... she's your local high school's nightmare princess, circa 2004.

I HATE anachronistic hair. This show supposedly submerges the viewer in the politics and culture of the 1960's, and yet they couldn't give THAT girl a beehive or a flip or a Twiggy boy cut. It is as though the producers are unwilling to disguise her in full 1960's charm, lest we think the show was actually filmed in the 60's and lose the point that they are very clever to have artifically rejuvenated an era for our viewing pleasure. They had to leave one hint, right?

One GLARING hint!! AGH. So annoying.

I had the same problem with Kiera Knightly in Pirates of the Carribean. With Hollywood highlights and yet more artful curls in otherwise straight hair, she looked ready for a cardboard cut-out beer display than a film set in the 18th century. Oh yes, I get it, she's spritely and rebellious, and therefore a modern audience identifies with her far more than we would with a wigged and constantly corsetted embroiderer.

I'm telling you people... anachronistic hair ruins all chance of my viewing enjoyment!

And that's not fair, considering how much I love Johnny Depp.