Wednesday, December 29, 2010

100 Fires- Give Them Money!

"I think donating to a film like this would be a great way for people to put their karmic balance in the black for the start of 2011." -Lee

Check it out.

From the website:

"100 Fires: Living From a Landfill" is a feature length documentary about the smoking dump that crouches outside the city of Santiago in the Dominican Republic. The film follows the buzos, or trash divers, who support themselves solely off what they can scavenge from the dump. They build their houses out of trash, feed their children with rotten food, and make less than a dollar a day by finding and selling piles of metal, plastic, cardboard, and anything else people will buy. We want to give voices to this community; ignored by their own government, invisible to society, and threatened by the toxic dump upon which they rely for survival.

What we need:
Filming for "100 Fires" is complete. We now need your help for post-production. Funds will be used for offline/online editing, coloring, and sound composing, engineering, and mixing. We will also use the funds for DVD graphic art, DVD printing, and film festival submission fees.

If anything, it's just good to know that people are trying to do good things in the world and bring awareness to social justice via artistic means. If you really feel connected, send a few bucks their way so that the project can take flight.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Couch Woman

It took no time at all, really.

Jackal came over this morning to exchange gifts. And by "this morning," I mean "approximately 1:30pm." And I was still on the couch in my pajamas. Watching "United States of Tara" which, as expected, I am now obsessed with. Netflix had better get me those next two DVDs STAT or I'm going to fall into a withdrawal fit.

It's freezing cold out, I have nowhere to be and nothing pressing (aside from the novel I still haven't written, but...well...we all have our things) and so the slide from Normal Functioning Human Being to Couch Woman was swifter then I thought. I was even eating soup. Out of a coffee mug. How slippery the slope.

I had brief grand delusions of going to DC for the day, art museuming it up, injecting a little culture into my life and kick-starting my creative organ again. Take the train, listen to all the awesome new music I've been gifted lately on my iPod, finish a bunch of books, write in my journal. Day tripping.

And then....the couch happened, and it was just all downhill from there. Comfy pants. Hot tea. Wine. On Demand. "United States of Tara." Blankets. Cats curled up all over me. Ohhhhhh, it was a swift decline. Did I shower yet today? Who cares? The cats certainly don't seem to. Hair sticky outy in ten thousand directions. I am....attractive. Blatantly clear that I am going nowhere fast.

Some exaggeration here, however slight. I actually showered and am out and about in the world, sitting in Teavolve with Lee. I'm supposed to be working on my writing. Instead, I'm blogging and day dreaming couch.

I can see how people become hermits. If Jackal hadn't come over and forced me to interact socially like a normal human being, and if Lee hadn't then called me and reminded me that we had a writing date at Teavolve, it's entirely possible I would still be on the couch under my blankets. When it's cold like this, I just want to hibernate.

Wake me up when it's spring. Or when I have to go back to work, I guess. One or the other.

In the meantime....I'll be on the couch.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Miracle

I made it.

Somehow, I got through Hell Week. It was kind of a nightmare. On the other side of it, I can breathe again but in the midst of it was a kind of stress I hadn't tapped into since Masters comps. I had known December was going to be busy, knew that deadlines before the end of the year were looming, but what I hadn't anticipated was the sort of batshit crazy that can only crop up working for a non-profit. Oh, and Mercury has been in retrograde. Thanksssssssssss.

Zero sleep, too much caffeine, skipping meals and then eating odd things at strange hours, all while trying to balance some fun in there too (Book Club dinner, gingerbread house making, dinner parties with friends, and maybe a few minutes here and there to try and read a page of The Hunger Games [my new favorite thing]) and attempt to maintain HOLIDAY CHEER all led to me feeling more burned out then I think I have ever been. It's a miracle I am not completely sick, because the only times I get sick are when I am totally run down. I worry that now that I have said this, I am about to be hit with a freight train of flu. But so far so good.

In the last hour of my day yesterday, just as it was looking as though I was going to have to work forever, I was called into my boss's office and granted the most precious holiday gift I have ever been given- leave request granted. I suddenly have time off. I got everything (mostly) done! I HAVE DAYS OFF! I can...I can....READ BOOKS! I can watch all the seasons of United States of Tara! I can finally finish my subversive cross stitch! I can go for runs in the middle of the day! I can....SLEEP. I can SLEEP. Ohhh, sleep.

Honestly, I could go without a single present this year so grateful am I for this one. I do have to work a couple of days next week but, mostly, I'm free until January 3. I've never had such a long stretch of unplanned, unscheduled time. It feels so luxurious I might overdose. Come next Friday I might find myself still in pajamas at 5pm, unshowered for days, eating peanut butter straight out of the jar with a spoon. Classy.

Or, knowing me, I will attempt to fill this time with "productivity." Organizing, cleaning, errand-running, writing. Blah. I need to not let my inner PRODUCTIVITY VOICE take over this delicious vacation time.

So I come into this Christmas Eve a happy, happy girl. Despite everything, I love my job, I love what I do, and I especially love the sweet, sweet relief of reward that comes after so much hard work. And I get to spend the holidays with my family and friends. This is one happy girl right here.

I promise I will post the Gingerbread Incident. Now that I have all of this excuses!

Cheers, Glitteratis- may your holidays be merry and bright, and may you take time for a breath and some relaxation. And by relaxation I mean passing out on the couch under 17 blankets watching terrible daytime television and reading British chick lit. Ohhh, heaven.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Sniper-crawling into the holiday season this year. Face-down in the dirt, bogged down by the gravitational forces of work compounded with not nearly enough sleep, too many cookies, and the constant anxiety that, somehow, I have forgotten to do 47 things.

I have a feeling I'm going to sleep through Christmas this year. If I make it through this week.

In other news- 3rd Annual Book Club Holiday Party this evening. I look forward to this every year. The food is always fantastic, the board games are competitive, and the wine never stops. I love these girls/Joel-The-Only-Guy-In-Book-Club. Highlight of the evening: the annual White Elephant Gift Exchange. I still have not forgiven Catalano for prying out of my desperate hands a copy of Twilight: The DVD.

In other news- I have some pretty fantastic pictures of gingerbread house construction and a hilarious narrative to post. Maybe I'll get around to it....oohhh...sometime in 2011.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz................................I wish.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Best. Present. Ever.

Sometimes, people do things that are stupid.

Or, if I'm feeling particularly insensitive, I might quote Jaunt and express that someone has "little success at life."

When people do stupid things that snare my own personal agenda, be it at work or at play, I have little patience for such idiocy. Overly sensitive though I may be, I do not suffer fools gladly and I am not one of those "graciously patient" individuals who taps into endless pools of kindness and understanding when stupidity rears its insidious head.

I am far more likely to reach for the more convenient reaction: "FAIL."

"I need something like a....a fail stamp," I said to my friend VBC one day. "A stamp that I can just use whenever someone has failed to be successful at life and therefore made my life more difficult."

You missed your exit and are now backing down the freeway with your hazard lights on? FAIL STAMP, right on your forehead.

You are in line in front of me and cashing out at the grocery store when you suddenly remember that you need just one more item from an aisle on the other side of the western hemisphere? FAIL STAMP.

You are going to feed me some lame-ass excuse about why you've been a terrible human being that has unnecessarily complicated my life and caused a disruption in my day? FAIL STAMP.

And then, VBC gave me a Christmas present:

My Fail Stamp's first mission: when I got out tonight, losers who attempt to talk to me in a way I find offensive, annoying, or simply boring are going to get Fail Stamped right on the forehead. Really, it's perfect.

I can automatically think of a thousand uses for my new Fail Stamp. I don't feel like paying this bill- so I'm going to Fail Stamp the memo line of the check. I dislike your attitude. FAIL STAMPED ON THE HAND AS A WARNING. I find your general presence to be a downer. FAIL STAMP ON YOUR PSYCHE.

The possibilities are endless.

Lee has a lot of competition for Best Christmas Present Ever this year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Smells Like Snow

NPR kindly informed me that snow will most likely disrupt my afternoon commute.

I'm ok with this. I have on my new boots (thanks, Zappos, for mailing them so very promptly!) and a jaunty hat. Snow away!

Tonight: my friend Josh had expressed some anxiety about gift-giving, and so we agreed to forego (after all, it is next to impossible to follow in Lee's footsteps in terms of ultimate gift-giving) and instead throw ourselves a little holiday Fete. For us this means take-out sushi and Mystery Science Theater. (Nerd alert!) Quite frankly, I think Lee's going to have a hard time topping that. Really, it's my ultimate evening.

Christmas is next week, by the way. In case you weren't aware. I prepared very well this year, buying all of the gifts ahead of time. What I neglected to do, however, was allot time for a giant trip to the post office to mail said gifts. Maybe some year I'll get it all together.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tweet This

For as media-savvy as I pretend to be, I pretty much never update my Twitter. Primarily because my phone is circa 1995 (OK, 2008, but seriously...) and I can't update on some new-fangled smart phone.

UNTIL! Nickle taught me how to text in my Tweets. So here we go. My third attempt at Twitter.

Follow me @NewGlitterati. I will try to keep up the hilarity.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Weekend

I think it's a pretty good sign if you're rolling into work Monday morning covered in bruises from ice skating, and still full of cookies from all the baking you did over the weekend.

Oh, and I spent all of Friday evening shaking cocktails for my friends at a very nice holiday party. Bartending skills do so come in handy, especially around the holidays.

More to come.

Check out ice skating at Patterson Park Ice Rink. Tremendous fun, and duly cheap. ($4 to skate, $2 for rentals. Where else can you have two hours of fun for six bucks?)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Give Peace a Chance

Ten years ago, when I was eighteen and stupid, I sat on a bus for eight hours from Salisbury to New York City just to go to the Imagine Circle and commemorate the twentieth anniversary of John Lennon's death with my hippy boyfriend at the time.

I should mention that I am stupid mostly because I had mono at the time.

Regardless, we stood around the Imagine Circle in Central Park late at night, absolutely freezing, with hundreds of people who had also made the trek to stand in a giant circle and wave lighters in the air. It's cliche, really, but certainly there is something powerful that compels people to participate in these things. I was young and feverishly sick, but somehow I knew that it was something I wanted to be- and should have been- a part of. Ten years later, I'm glad we made the trip.

Mostly because I still believe in John's mission and now I'm lucky enough to incorporate his values of social justice, art, and aesthetics in my everyday personal and professional life. There is no one on the pop culture radar these days doing what John and Yoko did (which I've talked about before.) The silencing of his voice was the silencing of a lot of voices, although Yoko has further pursued their shared vision in her work with Amnesty International and other world justice organizations.

Lighting a candle for you today, John. I would have jumped on a bus to go wave my lighter around at the Imagine Circle but, my old age I prefer to remember you in the warmth of my home. I should stage a bed-in. Comfy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


On NPR this morning:
"And a fire broke out in Baltimore's Cultural District last night causing multiple street closures...."

I thought this was in reference to the fire on East Baltimore street last night. "Hmm. Is that what we're calling The Block these days? The 'Cultural District?' How interesting. Mount Vernon is going to be pissed."

Imagine my surprise when, as I made my way up Charles to work this morning, I discover that Mount Vernon is, in fact, "a'far."

What is going on? Why is everything on fire? And why is this now routinely messing up my commute? (Is that self-centric?)

Even worse- Fox News's coverage of last night's fire on East Baltimore street. Why do they routinely look for "Man on the Street" interviews with the most unarticulate people? Do they purposefully seek out the pedestrian who's going to drawl, "Weeeeellllll, there wuz alla this smoooke and then the garls ran out buck-nayked in the streets." Congratulations, Baltimore. A fire has flushed out the "buck-nayked garls."

Can you imagine a throng of disoriented, anxious people being evacuated from their buildings and this sudden post-apolcolyptic mesh of bankers and lawyers in their suits alongside "buck-nayked garls" in the middle of downtown Baltimore? Did anyone politely offer their coat to a "buck-nayked garl?"

I just hope My Thai and Donna's didn't burn.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Longest. Documentary. Ever.

The documentary last night was fantastic: creative, artistic, enthralling, poignant, pithy, and lllllloooooooooonnnnnnggg.

I don't know what possessed me to think this thing was going to be brief, or why it would be a good idea to go to dinner AFTER the event. I got so hungry halfway through that I had to dig some gum out of my purse and chew it to keep my stomach from protesting too loudly.

It's hard to get really into art and politics when you're hungry. I think that goes without saying. I can be sophisticated, mature, and articulate most of the time, but when I'm hungry and it's late I am reduced to an antsy four-year-old whose only focus is blood-sugar maintenance. I should probably keep snacks in my bag for such occasions.

Four of us piled into Donna's in Charles Village immediately after, ordered more food then was probably necessary, and polished off a bottle of wine far too quickly for four people who had had nothing to eat prior. Still, it was a lovely evening and even though I couldn't seem to properly pin the red ribbon to my sweater (it kept turning itself sideways and looked more like a small snarl of discarded fluff) I do think that I adequately supported HIV/AIDS education and prevention.

Tonight: the lighting of the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon. Every single year, I say that I am going to this event. Every single year, something "comes up." THIS YEAR, I AM GOING. HOLIDAY CHEER, DAMMIT.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World Aids Day

World Aids Day today, and in commemoration tonight I will be attending the BMA-Planned Parenthood's screening of the Keith Haring documentary.

The year I turned sixteen was the year AIDS first appeared on my radar. Initially, it was due to the very kind and still-appreciated gift my grandparents gave me for my birthday: tickets to see RENT on Broadway. At the time, it was still the original cast. I was addicted to the soundtrack that year, and played it over and over on my portable Disc man. I was all about gunmetal gray nail polish and gay men that year. (Really, what has changed? Except now I'm on an endless quest for matte gray nail polish. Which is next to impossible to find. Honestly.) It was also the year that I saw the AIDS quilt on display at my mother's college when we went to an alumni event. I think it was the first time in my life that I felt connected to some cause. I didn't know anyone with AIDS, but I was old enough to start parsing out the social implications of a disease that brought stigma. And it was 1998, nearly ten years after AIDS was incorporated into the mainstream and was no longer relegated to being the "gay disease" sequestered away to certain pockets of New York City and San Francisco.

AIDS has become so...well, widely-accepted isn't the appropriate wording, but...I suppose a better way to put it would be to mention that medical breakthroughs have made it a much more manageable disease which has, in turn, somewhat reduced the stigma of it. I've even heard through various interviews that diabetes can be a far more crippling disease in terms of lifestyle and symptoms. Regardless, AIDS might no longer be the "gay disease" but neither should it be written off as some third-world country affliction like cholera that feels too distant to connect. It's still a huge threat, it's still rampant, and it's still debilitating. The stigma is not- and possibly will never be- wholly gone, and even in third-world countries the best defense is still education.

Looking forward to the documentary tonight. Keith Haring's artwork is ubiquitous- even if you don't know his name, I can guarantee you're familiar with his work, which dominated the 1980's and 90's pop art world.

And, of course, let's not forget the focus of today: act aware, reduce prejudice, and practice protection.