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January 24, 2002

I added Moonlighting to my TV shows list just now, because I've been home sick the past two days and have been delighted to find that it is still on the air. I would purchase the first two seasons of Moonlighting if they were available. They shot that show with real film and everything.

It's after 4 on Day 2 of Sick. I'm still ill. I can't tell whether I'm getting better. Drank a lot of Gatorade today. Being sick is a bore.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 22, 2002
TV Shows I Might Watch if I Find Them On: An Incomprehensive List

embarrassment level
[0 = good show, no embarrassment]
Trading Spaces TLC 2. I think I like this show a little too much.
Changing Rooms BBC America 3. The British version of Trading Spaces, which I try to catch every day at 7:30 PM.
Real World MTV 8. I should not be wasting time watching generally uninteresting people who are younger than I am try to pretend to be normal in public when there are cameras glued to them. Maybe that's what's interesting about it. Anyway, I watch.
Home Movies Cartoon Network 0. This is a funny cartoon.
FIA World Rally coverage Speed Channel 0. Richard Burns's cheekbones, witty announcer, car crashes, etc.
Columbo Channel 48/A&E 0. Columbo is cool. 1970s episodes preferred.
Ally McBeal PAX/Fox 7. Ally annoys me, but sometimes I watch this show (which gets increasingly worse with time) anyway. This is the hardest one on the list to justify watching.
Connections Discovery Science 0. A brilliant program.
In Search Of... History Channel 3. This has its moments of late-1970s supreme cheesiness, but that may contribute to why I like it.
thirtysomething Bravo 5. It might be historically important for TV, and I might enjoy watching it, but still.
Inside the Actor's Studio Bravo 0. James Lipton is a talented interviewer.
Fashion Emergency Style 4. A waste of time, but I'll still watch it if I'm waiting for something better that comes on next. Also, Emme has got to figure out how to be herself in front of the camera. Her falseness is so irritating.
Nigella Bites Style 0. Nigella is beautiful and voluptuous and shows how to make easy/delicious-looking food.
Iron Chef Food Network 0. Such a bizarre, wonderful thing. I am so glad Japan shared.
Naked Chef Food Network 0. I love the way this show is shot and edited, and the Naked Chef himself is quite appealing.
That '70s Show Fox 2. I used to think it had great writing, but it's starting to decline, I fear. It's well-acted, though, and its characters are likeable.
Extreme Homes HGTV 0. I don't catch this one often, but it's always interesting.
Moonlighting Bravo 1. Some episodes are better than others, and it got painful toward the end of its run, but this is one of my favorite shows ever.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 16, 2002
Get the Message

Quick tip to handle phone solicitors: when they ask for you (to me, they say, "May I speak with Elizabeth?"), say, "She's [or He's] not in right now, may I take a message?" It works brilliantly, and is fun, too, because you get to pretend you're a) someone else, i.e. the person talking to the phone solicitor -- Elizabeth's friend or younger sister or daughter, and b) a glamorized, always out-on-the-town version of yourself, who simply can't be around to take "courtesy calls." I have used the technique twice tonight already, and all in all I've been doing it for about a month now. The conversation always ends quickly and painlessly.

I finally got a haircut tonight. It had been about six months since the last one. It feels really good. And it only cost $5. Thank you, SuperCuts! Signed, Satisfied Customer. At the grocery store I was in over the weekend, they had a huge poster about how the savings are "in the bag" and it was signed " -- Bag Boy."

If you haven't already, please check out the new Link of the Month.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 14, 2002
People Think I'm a Vegetarian

And this is the lovely new... Mitsubishi Lancer, I think. Yes, the sign back there says the LANCER IS HERE. So is the BETH. [Philadelphia Auto Show, January 2002]

So, I bought wood for the kitchen shelves, and Greg cut it to my specs, but I learned this evening that it is 1/4 inch less thick than it should be in order to fit the brackets I bought. So Lowe's lied, and we need to go through the wood purchasing and cutting process again. The other wood will become some kind of Art. I have decided that I want to be an Artist for a living. I like to capitalize the word Art, because it is so lofty.

Also, my home computer decided suddenly to restart today, and now one of my email program files is corrupted, and all of the messages in my inbox are unable to be displayed (about 1500, because I am lazy about filing), and I cannot receive any email right now. It tells me to use ScanDisk to repair the broken file, but ScanDisk gets stuck in a loop. Yes, it was only a matter of time before this cheap machine would self-destruct. It also refuses to acknowledge my CD-rom and zip drives. Aghughughughblugh! (the sound Joe Strummer makes imitating Montgomery Clift dying in "The Right Profile")

Someday, things will start to go my way, la la la la la.

I eat meat, but I've been noticing that people often assume that I don't. "Do you eat meat, Beth?" they ask me. Yes, yes I do.

Potential reasons people would think I am a vegetarian (this is not meant to insult vegetarians or promote any misconceptions about vegetarians, but obviously something about me says "I am a vegetarian"):

  1. I am pale. Maybe being pale > anemic looking > not enough iron due to no meat eating.
  2. I am not terribly thin, but sometimes being tall makes people assume I am very thin (despite noticeable chubbiness). Thinness > healthy non-meat-eater.
  3. I dress super hip (tongue is in cheek, even though secretly I think I dress hip, but I don't think anyone else thinks so). Being vegetarian is what all the hip urban kids are doing.
  4. I can't think of any other reasons. If you know why people think I am a vegetarian, please use the form to your left to let me know. You can write anything in the fields. Thank you.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 09, 2002
My Kitchen Still Hates Me


I make a salad. Attempt to open jar of savory sweet french dressing. Jar lid is too tight. Open fridge to return salad dressing, thinking of how I will admonish Greg for closing lid with too much force.

Jar mysteriously falls onto ground due to evil will of kitchen that hates me. Lid breaks. "That works," I say out loud. But there is salad dressing all over floor. Looks like kitchen floor has bled. It's the color of blood from Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video where someone bleeds.

Takes many paper towels to clean up spill, leaving approximately three plies left. Must visit grocery store tonight for more towels. Use saran wrap/rubber band combo as new lid for salad dressing, but have doubts about its skill.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 07, 2002
[when i was young...]

Climbing a wall, August 2001.

When I was young, I used to want to vacuum. It seemed like it would be fun to make the rugs clean. Jealousy consumed me whenever I saw my mom vacuum the living room. Once I was old enough to do chores, I stopped wanting to vacuum. But vacuuming was better than dishes. And dishes were better than cleaning bathrooms. Too bad there was no choice; Chris and I had to do all of these things, plus dust things. Using Windex on TVs and mirrors has always rated as my top chore.

Currently, I have no vacuum cleaner. It took me about fourteen months of living here before I vacuumed at all. Indeed, I have vacuumed my carpets only twice since moving in in July of 2000. Borrowing my parents' vacuum cleaner is kind of a drag, though.

So, American Express is offering me the Oreck XL for $29.50/month for like three years, and I might have to take them up on it. How exciting. But at the same time, I frown upon long-term debt like that. It's like a fly that keeps swooping down on your food, except "food" is in this case "credit card." (They are quite similar, though, aren't they?)

When I sit down to write an update, I often don't know what it will be about. A lot of times I approach my computer with a plan, but then other words come out. Last night, for instance, as I lay awake in bed, I thought about what I would say about the weekend. It was a busy, fairly productive weekend. Kitchen sink clog was fixed, after pipes were broken and water was leaked all over floor. Dry skin was made drier by backlog of dishes due to clogged sink.

But that, of course, it not at all how I was going to say it. And there was more: the Auto Show, which was fun. And cooking, which yielded satisfying meals and an unsatisfying amount of new dishes to clean. There was a pleasant domestic feeling about at least certain parts of the weekend.

Anyway, I didn't mean to write about vacuuming, and it has started to occur to me that I'm beginning to become some kind of Apartment Nazi, because bettering my living space has become a top concern, which seems wrong. But then, each room features its own special Mess Area that needs attention. I should purchase a digital camera to illustrate my woes.

Or I should get a life, right?

Also, the picture: that's from rock climbing. It's the only one where my distance from the camera is great enough such that the sweat and general disgustingness that washes over you as you climb rocks in a very hot rock gym has been disguised.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 03, 2002
[pessism comes in fits...]

Pessimism comes in fits with me, and lately it's been a kind of plague. The sense of renewal that's supposed to arrive with the start of a year is eluding me. I have allergies; my eyes itch during the day, and it annoys me, and when I get home, my apartment is cold, even though the heat is at 69 degrees. The electricity bill, I'm sure, will reflect the high setting and not the coldness. My kitchen sink is clogged. Two champagne glasses -- Christmas gifts from Greg -- committed suicide today. Or rather, my bulky coat knocked them over as I tried to turn on the party lights in the dark. The crash of the thin glass on the floor was a satisfying, if unexpected, sound. At lunch, there was a hair in my soup, and I don't think it was mine, because I don't have short black hair. My next paycheck will be about $600 lower than usual. My skin is breaking out. And the rest.

So it's a new year, and maybe I started it off wrong. Christmas week was too hectic and demanding, and I wanted to have some time to myself, so instead of traveling to New York to be with friends over the New Year, I stayed in and painted my kitchen. The walls don't look much different than they did pre-makeover, and I took out some wall shelving that had been sagging, so I have less space for my stuff, and the part where the shelving had been looks sad and empty. So right now it seems like I just made the kitchen worse, and I mean, how long am I going to be in this place? Why did I make the effort? There must be some deep-seated reason, something beyond my fondness for (obsession with?) Trading Spaces. Litza mentioned it being like a sort of cleansing. I don't know. I feel like I'm talking about it too much, so it must be symbolic of some other struggle. A need for change and control of my environment?

Also, I realized that I am a yuppie. A materialistic girl too concerned with the way things look. I've been sort of coasting lately, not really setting goals, just living life, but not really living it. Just existing, sort of, and being okay with that. I think it's a step in coming to terms with not knowing how to respond to being out of school. First, there was pervasive, unsettling confusion. Now, acceptance. Soon, ennui, which will lead to action: a return to school.

So, let's review last year's list of tasks to complete during 2001:

shake my booty more, must lose the tummy I didn't shake my booty that often, but I did lose 12 pounds.
start writing fiction; at least think about what a novel would be about if I wrote one I didn't do this at all, and that upsets me.
contribute to more girly web sites I didn't do this at all, either, but I don't really care. Girly web sites? I don't even know which ones I was thinking about.
buy 16mm camera from ebay, buy motion picture film from Kodak, waste some money on learning not to be scared of filmmaking Nope, nope, nope. I would still like to.
read more Argh... I read a few books, but I used to be so much more avid (I hate the phrase "avid reader").
start taking more pictures of people I love I did do this, sort of! Yay!

Particularly memorable items for 2001 include: buying a new car; spending a week with my brother in a foreign country; attending an autocross race (an interesting, almost entirely male event) and getting stranded in a tiny Pennsylvania river town; painting for the first time in six years; discovering the joys of wine; reuniting with friends I hadn't hung out with since high school.

This year, hmm:

  1. Get in shape, girl! This will provide energy to achieve all other things on list.
  2. Visit doctors for "healthy" check-ups, including dentist and eye. Bleh.
  3. Invest/save responsibly.
  4. Figure out what to do about continuing education.
  5. Read physical things, not just things on the web.
  6. Write.
  7. Spend more time with friends.
  8. Try not to sponge off parents so much.
  9. Make a meaningful (not half-assed) effort to help people.
  10. Create art (not necessarily good art), and be somewhat prolific about it.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM