Postings are in chronological order, with the most recent entry at the top.

May 2002

Caution: Proceed at your own risk - I was in a muy bitchy mood this month...

What light from yonder window breaks?

No, it's me, sorry.

As the world turns, thus setting my sensitive inner ears at an angle and causing me a case of cosmic vertigo... I thought I'd drop into your lives again and tell you something of no import whatsoever.

My shoelaces are dirty.

There, has your insatiable appetite for the inane been quenched? Have you slaked your thirst for the banal? Probably not, which is why you're still reading.

Speaking of the insatiable and thirsty - it's damn near summer. We'll be at the beach in no time. This is good news. I'm looking forward to it. More than the beach, I'm looking forward to the camping. Look out ticks! We're headed your way.

Speaking of nothing in particular, I once thought that I felt the earth turning. I did. And I'm pretty sure it wasn't just my first head rush. I'll never forget it, it was an odd feeling to get of a sudden. I was standing on the porch of my home as an adolescent. I looked up at the sky to watch some clouds. They were going by at a good clip and I thought that there was something strange in how they were moving. I spent a lot of time looking at clouds given one thing and another, but this was different. I looked around and down and then back up. It was like I could feel something else - it took me a minute to figure out what it was. "That must be what it's like to feel the earth moving." I thought. And who knows, maybe I did.

I wasn't faint or drugged when I felt that. Those are different feelings. I once nearly fainted at the sight of a woman. But the earth turning feeling was different - way more subtle. Not to mention less embarrassing.

Had enough yet? Go read some Shakespeare or something.

Here's a new spin on an old concept...

"Many people suffer needlessly from emotional pain. InnerPeace programs can help. Angers, grudges, guilts, resentments, regrets, and more can all be handled. InnerPeace programs can also be used as Human Resources Department tools at work."

Right up 'til now you're thinking, "That sounds nice." Well here's the next sentance in the paragraph...

"Set up InnerPeace software on old computers in the HR office and let people handle their issues. Please help us pass word about InnerPeace software."

Yes people, the time has come for us to deal with our problems through machines. I knew if I sat at this machine and typed long enough, that something would come of it. But I thought it would be more along the lines of a repetative strain injury or eye strain... Inner peace was not what I was expecting. Shows what I know.

Their site page where you can find this software reads:

Inner Peace.Org:          
Computer Science Applied To Healing The Human Psyche
InnerPeace is free self-help software for your inner peace.

Let's harp on these good hearted folks a bit more, shall we? Let's look at one of the computer programs they offer:

"Effective Prayer - Free Self-Help Chatterbot  v1.0B6.02"

They even have a "secular sister program" to Effective Prayer called Effective Goal Setting!!!

My favorite program was "BeyondSuffering":

"BeyondSuffering has over 100 programs specifically designed to handle issues in areas ranging from addiction to worry."

Though I admit a fondness for the program "Monkey Mind":

"MonkeyMind is simple, fast, light, and fun. Take 10 minutes to do this process and quiet your internal chatter. Try it. It works."

I was in the market for a new therapist until I found their site. I'm all set now! You can even "Download InnerPeace" on their site - I'm dyin' here. I love this! I'm chuckin' out my meditation cushion tomorrow - apparently, I've been wasting my time on that thing.

Okay, okay, now that I've finished harping on these people, I'll throw them a bone: They have a freeware utility to stop e-mail spamcrawlers from culling e-mail addresses out of your website code:

I know dink about programming, but I figure this is a pretty cool thing to offer. Not that what they're trying to offer isn't cool, I just don't agree that they can offer it through their programs (yes, I tried them - go ahead, it's fun).

Hey, remember me? I'm that itch in the middle of your back that you can't quite reach. Or maybe I'm something less intimate, but equally frustrating. I've known people intimately who I'd wished were itches and not people. I could list them... but let's not bore ourselves.

We've been keeping ourselves busy. Not just the royal We - Ume and I have been going to events and whatnot. The season to be out and about has landed upon us. Fresh air is a good thing...

I made a trip across our great country to celebrate a family member's success. A lifetime achievement type of deal. It was kinda cool. And I got to stay in a hotel room all by myself - that was cool too. I could'a stayed in ordering pizza and watching cable, but my siblings tend to inhabit the manic end of the mental spectrum and they ran me ragged most of the time. Hotel pool? What pool? I'll have to play in the pool next time.

Speaking of manic... we saw "A Beautiful Mind". Good movie, despite the fact that it won an Oscar. As we left Ume said in a disappointed tone, "I thought there'd be more about him being a mathmatician..."

"But it's a movie about mental illness Sweetie."

"But he was a mathmatician too."

I guess too many complex issues do not a Hollywood movie make. I thought they did a super job nonetheless. Hey, I might even read the book... But maybe not too soon. I read Kay Redfield Jameson's An Unquiet Mind recently and I think a breather from all things menatlly curious is in order. Killer book though. If you're looking for a greater understanding and insight into bipolar disorder - she's your woman. I think that book is fantastic. No easy feat, helping people understand the workings of the inconstant mind. K. R. Jameson gets my vote for way cool.

Okay, okay, so I'm probably the last dyke on the planet to read Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. But I did! And what a marvelous time I had. It was slow going in the beginning and so I was wondering what all the fuss was about - Ume had enjoyed it tremendously and it's like pulling teeth to get her to look at any book that's not crawling with critters and the like (this isn't exactly true, but close enough that I'll leave it in).

Anyway, I managed to get through the bits I found passably interesting and then that book sucked me in and held me in thrall.

If there's a remote chance that I'm not the last lesbian on the planet to read this book and you are, what a treat you have in store for you!

Kudos to Ms. Waters. I can't wait to read her new one!

What would you do with three jars of hot pickled peppers, 10 lbs. of chicken pieces, a bag of black beans, a chocolate bar and twelve cans of Sprite?

This was what the lady in front of me in the supermarket was buying. I bet it's going to be good. She had the look of someone who could make something good of it. Unless she soaks and simmers the beans in the Sprite, rubs the chicken with the chocolate and stuffs it with the peppers. Then I'd pass. Or pass out. Not sure which.

What is up with people who cook with soda anyway? I've never quite figured that one out.

P.S. I am not interested in hearing about Coca Cola cake or barbeque sauce recipes. Ew. I'll start regailing you with my pimento cheese sandwich stories again. And I mean it.

When I've traveled to foreign parts people have often mistaken me for a Brit.

"Is this due to your habits of dress, accent or mannerisms Brulee?"

Well, I sometimes tend to be polite to the point of formal, but no - it's due to my crooked teeth.

My dentist retired recently. This was a great blow. Not to him, he's in his seventies and has decided that he's going to take some time for himself (the selfish cad). He's too good to retire! I'll never find another like him. He'd probably be surprised to know this. I rarely went to see him. Let's call him Dr. Porter...

I didn't visit Dr. Porter regularly because I dislike visiting doctors of any kind in a professional capacity, but dentists in particular. This, no doubt, has something to do with the time I was at the dentist as a tot and the jerk hit me. Kinda sticks in a kid's head, being hit by an adult who's sticking sharp things in your gums and telling you to stop moving (don't feel too badly about him, my mother just about castrated him when she finally figured out what I was being so quiet about that day - me and quiet was a rare mix...).

Anyway, I liked Dr. Porter right off because when he looked at my fillings he commented on the fine workmanship of the dentist who'd installed them. An appreciation of craft is a good sign. I'd had a dentist that was very good for a while (he had to replace all of my early fillings, installed by guess who?). We'll call this dental artisan, Dr. Dapper. Dr. Dapper always joked that I was the most quiet and still adolescent that he'd ever had in his chair (he once thought I'd fallen to sleep while he was drilling one of my teeth).

Anyway, Dr. Porter complimented Dr. Dapper's work and we were off to a good start. I always learned interesting things while at Dr. Porter's office. He was really into teeth. One day, while working on mine, he noted that people my age rarely have as many fillings as I do. I'm practically at short wave radio capacity... Cell phone? I don't need no stinkin' cell phone. He wasn't being unkind, just noting it. He asked if I'd grown up drinking well water instead of municipal water (water piped directly into the house by a town or city).

"Well water." I told him.

He nodded. "That's why you have as many cavities as you do." Municipal water (since the seventies in most places in the US) is fluoridated, which helps prevent cavities.

"You mean there's nothing wrong with my teeth? I'm not prone to them?" I asked.

"You've got very healthy teeth, Ms. Brulee" Dr. Porter always called me Ms. Brulee and I called him Dr. Porter.

"Do you think I should have braces?" I tested him (a dentist once said to me, "I'd love to see you in braces." I swear, from the tone of his voice, you'd have thought he was talking about a negligee).

Dr. Porter looked at my crooked teeth. And said in his gentle way... "You could get braces, but your teeth are healthy. You'll have them until you're old and gray. Do they bother you?"

"No." I answered.

"You don't need braces unless you want them to be straight." He shrugged.

I like that kind of answer. Besides, I also like being mistaken for a Brit when I'm in foreign parts, especially when there's a rude American complaining about the food at the next table. That way, when the waitperson asks me, "British?" I can smile and say, "Non, American." And score a surprise point for our side.

Straight teeth, like Ume's teeth, are fascinating. I can see why so many people want them. I can see why so many people want their kids to have them. They improve the overall look of some people and in a culture where smiling like a maniac is practically regulation, they're not a bad idea (not necessary, but not bad).

I inherited my mother's teeth (my father has perfect teeth with nary a cavity in them), they've got character. Those, plus the lines that have started to etch their way across my face, give me quite a lot of character... Since the option to do something about my teeth has been available to me, I haven't seen the point. Sure, if I had straight teeth, I could, maybe, increase my market value... appeal to a broader audience... but really, I've never cared enough. And besides all of that, Ume likes crooked teeth (thank you David Bowie!).

I was privileged to be one of Dr. Porter's (remember him?) very last patients. I had an appointment on his last day (I even had a clean bill of dental health that visit!). I think he was taken aback by my effusive farewell. I nearly hugged the man, but felt that respecting our congenial formality was best and shook his hand heartily. I told him he was my favorite dentist and wished him luck. I'm sure he was surprised. Like I said, I rarely went to see him.

So he's retired. I fully expect to be barraged with every newfangled dentistry dohickey out there as soon as I sit in another dentist's chair. I'll miss the congenial formality and friendly atmosphere of Dr. Porter's office.

So long, Dr. Porter. May you enjoy your chosen pastimes with all of the understated relish that you did fixing teeth.

Spring is a wonderful time in New England, even after such a mild winter as this passed one. There's the green that starts taking over the gray of the winter landscape... The flowers are a plus too; colorful, aromatic, cheerful. The warmer days... it's those that bring about this thing, this thing I've noticed over the years. It's what that warmth in the air does to one's skin. Every spring, Ume and I near go blind trying to adjust to how good each other's skin feels. It's truly distracting. And it lasts right up until the daily temperature goes over the 85 (F) degree mark. And it can't be replicated with air conditioning.

I can't explain it. There's something to the cool softness that's just different. It's like having new skin. It's a good thing.

Anyway, if you're wondering why I'm not posting much these days... blame it on the weather.

PS. Especially over the next two weeks.

For some unknown reason, Ume and I will start singing bits and pieces of songs at each other. Perhaps when you've cohabitated long enough, the actual content of your verbal communications have less import... dunno. There's one song fragment in particular, we enjoy a great deal. If you've ever seen the film, "The Philadelphia Story", you may recognize it. It's the tune that Dinah plays on the piano and sings when she and her sister are trying to freak out the reporters who've snuck into their home under false pretenses (apparently it's also featured in a Marx Brother's film).

I love "The Philidelphia Story". It's as silly as all get out - but I'm a sucker for a movie with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant in it. "Bringing Up Baby" is my all time favorite, of course. So much fun to watch madcap heiress screwball comedy... they're so... real...

Lydia, the Tattoed Lady
(E.Y. Harburg)

Oh Lydia, Oh Lydia
Now have you met Lydia
Lydia the tattooed lady
She has muscles men adore-so
And a torso even more-so
Oh, Lydia, Oh Lydia
Now have you met Lydia
Lydia the queen of tattoo
On her back is the battle of Waterloo
Beside it the wreck of the Hesperus too
and proudly above waves the red white and blue
You can learn a lot from Lydia

There's Grover Walen unveilin' the Trylon
Over on the West Coast we have Treasure Island
There's Captain Spaulding exploring the Amazon
And Lady Godiva--but with her pajamas on
She can give you a view of the world in tattoo
If you step up and tell her where
Mon Paree, Kankakee, even Perth by the sea
Or of Washington crossing the Delaware.

Oh Lydia, Oh Lydia, now have you met Lydia
Lydia the queen of them all
She has a view of Niagara which nobody has
And Basin Street known as the birthplace of jazz
And on a clear day you can see Alcatraz!
You can learn a lot from Lydia!
--Lydia the queen of tattoo!

Lydia, oh Lydia, have you met
Lydia, the queen of them all!
She once knocked an admiral off of his feet,
The ships on her hips made his heart skip a beat.
And now the old man is in command of the fleet,
For he went and married Lydia!

I been surfing and whatnot, here's a random sampling...

Found this site by way of this page - it's an RAQ (rarely asked questions) for androgyny:
But I enjoyed the site for it's primary focus - terrific stuff:

Ooh, ooh! Loren Cameron has a site! Ooh!
Link to the gallery:
Link to the bio:

And let's hear it for reality online!

Skeptics dictionary:
Skeptics home page:
The Museum of Hoaxes:

A site for the Humanists among you:

2002 Déjà vu- April - March - Feb. - Jan.

2001 Déjà vu - Dec. - Nov. - Oct. - Sept. - August - July - June - Misadventures- April

Compassion Fatigue Entries - 2001

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