Post-Birthday de- Briefing

Yesterday was my birthday, and I got some fantastic gifts and homemade cards (Holly's card was amazing). My dad sent me a Decemberists album, which is awesome, thanks, and Brian gave me the obscure movie I have been wanting since Christmas, "Christmas on Mars". We watched it last night. I expected it to be weird, I expecting it to be a little nonsensical, but I did not expect all of those giant clitorises and vaginas! That was something else.

It was definitely worth seeing. My favorite part was actually Wayne's commentary (Wayne Coyne was technically the director of this film, which was 7 years in the making). He told this great story about how he and his brothers came home one night, at around 3 AM, and their mother was crying, because she had just seen the saddest movie on television. The movie was about this space station that had something horribly wrong with it, and everyone on it knew they were going to die- but then, a miracle happened and they were all saved. He said that sounded like a great movie to him, and when videos came out and such, he looked long and far for this movie, and never found it. He finally decided it didn't exist at all, that his mother must have fallen asleep while watching television and dreamed it, but he realized that he himself was destined to make this film.

After seeing that interview, I said to myself, "Oh! So that's what that movie was about!"

I guess I should have warned you that this was a spoiler, except that knowing what the movie is about before you see it will probably enhance your viewing pleasure, so it's all good!

I really liked it. Brian got me the sound track, too, which is just a bunch of funky synth and weird noises. It's great.


I opened up the newspaper today, and on page seven of the Isthmus, found this:

"Tuesday, 3.17

* Michael L. Simmons, 28, of Chicago, a wheelchair-bound paraplegic, is sentenced in federal court to six years and three months in prison for his role in a Dane County bank robbery last year. Simmons was paralyzed in 2003 when he was shot during a carjacking."

I guess it would be more impressive if he didn't get caught, but still...

Back when we couldn't afford technicolor, all the world was in black and white.

Us with our old black and white garden. I'm the little one. The bigger one is my dad.

In this shot, I teach Aunt Donna the proper way to plant tomatoes:

"And this way, they will never mildew."

Tightwad Tuesday

In this economy, you can’t afford not to be cheap! I was born cheap, personally, so I now feel obliged to give my fellow minions some advice to help you wade your way through this difficult financial climate. I think this may be a regular feature: “Tightwad Tuesday”.

My first chunk of gold for you is a bit obvious, but it’s amazing how few people actually do it. The best way to save money is, of course, not to pay for anything! Now, if you find the idea of thievery repugnant, I have a step by step program for you to help you ease into it naturally. (I’m a great fan of “Kaizen” or the power of small steps for great change.) By the time you are done with my program, you’ll be shoplifting with the stars!*

Step 1:

The next time you go out to eat, put a few condiments in your purse, maybe some butter or cream if you live here in Wisconsin. If you don’t carry a purse now, you need to start. Men, it’s okay. You can have a man bag. If you’re a French man, you may even enjoy calling it your “purse” without irony.

Step 2:

The next time you go on vacation, get a library card, check out a bunch of books you enjoy, and then take them home.

Step 3:

Wear a giant fur coat to the movies, with lots of popcorn inside. Alternately: wear a giant fur coat to the movies, with your young daughter inside.

Step 4:

Visit your local college and take two rolls of toilet paper out of a restroom.

Step 5:

Go to a very busy bus stop. When a bus stops there, and someone gets out the back door, slip inside and ride around town a bit. (If you’re having difficulty getting up the nerve to do this, pop a valium before hand. It works wonders. Most doctors will prescribe valium for terrible back pain.)

Step 6:

Go to your local Sears store, and wander around the hardware department until you see a register with no one attending to it. Take a roll of their security tape.

Step 7:

Late at night, go to a Goodwill store with a drop-off area for donations. Make sure it’s near a really expensive neighborhood. It doesn’t matter if there is a sign to say not to - most people will leave good clothes there after hours. Just drive up and throw a bunch of stuff in your trunk. Don’t have a car? Hitchhike or ask a friend.

Step 8:

Shoplift a maternity shirt somewhere. If you’re a man, shoplift a big shirt somewhere, or shoplift a maternity shirt, a wig, and some cosmetics from Walgreens. Get a little balloon, and blow it up and put it under your shirt. Now you are ready to grocery shop! Just gently release the air from the balloon as you stock up on necessary food items.

Step 9:

Take a lined overcoat from Goodwill. Unzip the lining, then sew ten or more large pockets into the lining. Make them the size of things you buy a lot. For example, if you enjoy vintage vinyl, make a pocket big enough for a record inside. Then, try it out. (Bonus tip: here’s a good getting-to-know-you game for a first date: Your date can fake a seizure in the record shop while you stuff your coat with records! You can split the loot when all is said and done. Be sure and lift some Barry White for late night fun!)

Step 10:

Take that roll of security tape you took from Sears, and go to Sears with it. Put tape around a chain saw and a color television. Walk home with the t.v. in one hand, the chain saw in the other.

Gone through all the steps? Congratulations! In this economy, knowledge is power. You heard it here.

* I’d like to credit my mother for teaching me everything I know.

Puke Day Cake

"Puke Day" is March 9. It's the day we celebrate, each year, the day we were going to get married, but had to postpone the wedding until the next day, because we both had food poisoning. I used to bake cakes for the occassion, but they generally turned out awful, so this year, we bought one. It's a "torte".

I had a conversation with the baker which isn't really blog worthy, but whatever:

Me: "I know it's kind of weird, but I don't like chocolate."

Old Man Baker: "Hey, I'm not here to judge! You're the customer!" *

* [Later that night, Old Man Baker blogged about his true feelings, "I met this freak today who wanted a cake with no chocolate..."]

Happy Decade, Mr. Door!

Today is our anniversary. I have now been married a decade. Wow! I feel emboldened to give unwanted advice.

Cellar Door gives ten orders on marriage:

1. Marry someone way cooler than you are.
2. Be nice.
3. Recognize that most fights are really stupid, and if you insist on fighting, go to Target and fight in public. It will give you a new perspective.
4. Give compliments as often as they come to mind.
5. Shut up when you have nothing nice to say.
6. That being said, speak up if you have a problem, just try to frame it as honestly as possible.
7. If you want children, marry someone who enjoys children, and who also embodies the traits you would like to see in your child, although you may be lacking in them yourself. I, for instance, always wanted my child to have a prominent chin (it brings business success, I’m sure) but I have a bit of an overbite and a small chin, so I married a Morrissey look-alike [he doesn’t look a thing like Morrissey now- see number 10], and this way, Little Z. had a fifty fifty chance of having a desirably prominent chin.
8. Realize that everyone has nasty habits. It may be smoking, dribbling, or chewing with your mouth open, chewing snuff, spitting in public, scratching his balls a lot, farting all night, or all of the above. Really, it’s no big deal. Get over it.
9. Never compare your marriage with anyone else’s marriage. You didn’t marry anyone but the person you married.
10. That being said, realize that the person you married is not the person you are married to. People change. Love and life are transient things. “Change is the nature of the Tao,” as it says in that really frustratingly vague book about life. But it’s true. All we can do is cherish this moment. And that's a really, really good thing.

Missing the human touch...

I went to the post office today to buy stamps from the vending machine, and the stamp vending machine was gone. On the wall, behind where it used to stand, was a sign: "Buy stamps on line!"

Well, okay. I bought stamps on the old internet tubes.

Did you know, though, that buying stamps on line is more difficult than purchasing a goat on ebay? Among other things, the USPS asked me my mother's maiden name, my nickname (what?), and whether my stamps would be purchased for personal or business use. (I only bought the LOVE stamps for myself! I swear! I mean, I might give one or two to my husband, but-) I was then instructed to visit a nearby park at exactly 23:11 hours and collect a suitcase from the northernmost park bench, which would contain a dossier with further instructions as to how to procure said stamps.

I guess, in this economy, you can't be too careful.