Saturday, July 30, 2005

It's late, but I'm home

Finally, the move is done. I've been trying to get some stuff unpacked, but I think that at 4AM, by the laws of diminishing returns, it's time to sit back on the bed, post-shower (which was sorely needed), and drink a lovely glass of merlot. Well, pretend like you're going to finish it, even though we all know it'll be a miracle if you stay awake long enough to finish this post. And by you, I mean me. And by me, I mean worn out.

But I'm happy. And, boy, is that nice.

Goodnight, fair ones.

Friday, July 29, 2005

And the Next Blog button does me right...

and leads me to this blog: The Swill Files. Today's post concerns the lyrics of a soon to be smash hit "Shit Cookie." With a link to said song. YOU MUST GO THERE NOW!!!

The Brendar has spoken.

PS - Nothing much ever came of the cage match. My opponent seemed slightly listless and bored, and must have moved onto another borough. Or Boston.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I'm only happy when it...

The weather just got all WRATH OF GOD-like out here in Brooklyn. If I didn't know better, my Western PA Spidey Sense would tell me to get the heck out of Dodge, thar be a turnado on the way.

But, nah, it's just Brooklyn with yellow-gray skies and heavy winds.

Sigh, where's the excitement in that? If you're going to go acting all WRATH OF GOD-like, then you should be able to back it up. You hear me, wuss-ass storm clouds out there? I even turned off my A/C so I could hear the violent loveliness of your whirling dervish-like gusts of air. The trees beckon me with the backs of their leaves, yet still I think I will be singularly unimpressed.

Whoa! What was that? The first little inkling of a rumble? Bring it on, storm! I can take it!

Stay tuned for updates from the Brenda vs. WRATH OF GOD-like Mother Nature Cage Match.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I'm a fool to do your dirty work...oh, yeah...

I don't want to do your dirty work, oh, no...

Today, my putatively last day on this job, is the day that my boss would like me to threaten everyone...either for unpaid invoices, or for shoddy work on his condo. Now, the problem with this is that, if you know me, you would know that I am stranger-phoning-aphobic, by which I mean I don't even like to call to order pizza and will foist the responsibility onto someone else at the nearest opportunity. This being said, apparently my boss has gotten it into his head that I'M GOOD AT DOING IT. AAAAAAAAARGHHHHHH!!!


Sunday, July 24, 2005

Not The Greatest, but The Longest Story Ever Told

And it doesn't star Charlton Heston. Seriously, if you've only got one beer left in the fridge, do yourself a favor, run out to the bodega now and get a fresh six pack. You'll be glad you did.

Way back in the year 2000, our cavalier adventurer was lured into the borough of Manhattan by her relationship with a boy...let's call him Billy. Brenda spent A LOT of time with Billy, who could never come to her lovely one-bedroom apartment in Astoria because he had a dog that would need to be walked. Never mind that he had a car and the apartment was dog-friendly...this is beside the point (still bitter, apparently). Since young Brenda seemed to be spending most of her nights at his place, she decided it would be best if she moved closer to his place (taking the train to Astoria to pick up clothes was getting to be a drag, never mind that her cat was well nigh on calling the ASPCA to report her for neglect). So our intrepid explorer took a 6 x 8 room in an apartment in Gramercy. For $1000/month. Actually, I think it was $1027, but you get the drift. And the full, true, one-bedroom that had been hers and hers alone in Astoria? $800/month. But I digress...

At the same time as our fearless wanderer was moving, her car, a 1984 Buick Riviera named Mabel, died. We pause and take a moment of silence to remember Mabel.

Since Mabel was indeed old, and not worth rescuing given the impossibility of parking her in the new Manhattan abode, Brenda called the junkyard fairies to take her away to heaven. Papers were signed, plates were removed, insurance was canceled, and Brenda was once more a vehicle-less denizen of New York.

Flash forward to 2001. Brenda's driver's license is due to expire in March, but she knows she has a grace period of one year after it's expiry to renew it. Since she isn't driving, she puts it off. Plus, she's just really talented at putting things off.

Flash forward to 2002. Brenda's friends Giff and Lisl are getting married in Hawaii. Yay! The want her to sing in the wedding. Yay! She needs a valid ID to board a plane. Boo! So Brenda finally goes to the DMV to renew her license.

*if there was dramatic something bad is going to happen music, it's cue would be NOW*

Apparently, little Miss Thang failed to realize that in New York State, one must return their license plates when no longer in possession of the car to which they were registered. In other words, according to the DMV, our heroine was still driving around a 1984 Buick Riviera without insurance. Which is a no-no in our fine society. Never mind that they only need look through their records to see the precipitous drop-off in parking tickets as of November 2000. In their eyes I was a law-breaking miscreant. Needless to say, you are not allowed to renew your license while under the cloud of suspicion of illegal car usage.

Panic ensues. Must go to Hawaii. Must sing at wedding. Giff & Lisl will KILL me for being such an idiot.

Realize that I must have left the plates in the old apartment in ASTORIA. Try to get in touch with the landlord there - he doesn't return my calls (just like he never returned my deposit by the way, but again, I digress (are you getting that sinking feeling that I have an innate disability to deal with should be)).

Now, if you're not from NY you may not know this, but NY State licenses have their expiry printed in red. I had a red marker pen. 2001, can easily convert to 2004 with a lovely red marker pen.

You're saying, "No, you didn't!"

Yes. Yes, I did. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Hawaii was calling and I wasn't backing down. But, oh, what a tense flight that was for me - there was a layover in San Francisco, so I knew I was going to have to show that ID three times. Once upon arriving at JFK. Once at the gate at JFK. And once at the gate at SFO. Hell, I didn't even go outside to smoke at SFO, because I knew that would add an additional chance of scrutiny of the ID. And as you all know, I was a pretty good smoker back then, and that meant that for about 10 hours I didn't have one at all. Yes, the shock on your face says it all.

Needless to say, with much trepidation and stress, I made it to Hawaii and the wedding...which was one of the best experiences I've ever had. But I won't digress here about that. "Were you worried about getting back?" you ask. Hells, no. What better excuse to be stuck in Hawaii!!! But, unfortunately (or fortunately, we'll never know for sure) I made it back with the same doctored ID.

Now, you may think this is the end of the story. Ha! You are SO wrong.

Flash forward again to 2003. Since the last time we visited our girl with the dubious judgment, she has fallen in love and become engaged. However, to get married, she has to have a valid ID to apply for a marriage license.

*remember that dark, bad things happen music from before? well the composer has made a variation on it, and it has begun playing NOW*

You ask, "Why not report the plates lost or stolen?" Brenda has an unjustifiable, pathological fear of all things cop. Actually, she is just terrified of any unfamiliar situation, place or thing. So she thinks, and who's to convince her otherwise, that since she doesn't really know all the laws that go into auto-owning-dom, there's a sincere chance that she could be arrested and thrown into jail. Or more likely, they'll just all look at her like she's a really, really stupid girl. And that is more than she can bear, thin-skinned as she is.

So, instead of doing what any normal person (you know, the ones who balance their checkbooks, pay their bills mostly on time, and see the dentist once a year) would do, Brenda decides (since all of her foreign friends have bugged her about it for years) to get a Passport.

Passport? Our card-carrying adventurer didn't ever have a passport?!?!? Yes, dear shocked reader, it is true. Little Miss B is not a world traveler. She has not left the country (except to go to the 51st and 52nd states, Puerto Rico and Canada). She has never seen Paris. Or the Taj Mahal. Or Amsterdam. Or even freakin' London, for that matter. But I digress...

So, using a connection she had at Turkish Airlines, Brenda obtains a "false" itinerary that makes it possible for her to obtain a last minute passport. Why, you ask? Oh, don't ask why. Let's leave it at rushing headlong into a marriage that hindsight now informs me wasn't meant to last. I'm sure I'll write of that topic another day.

Which leads me to today. I, the most brilliant and fairest in the land, have done perhaps the most stupid thing ever.

I laundered my passport.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Weekend in... New England?

Well not exactly New England...more like the Catskills. Still a great song by our friend Barry - it always makes me cry. And it was used in The Muppets Take Manhattan, as the love song between Kermie & Miss Piggy. Which also makes me cry.

Up here there was much fun to be had. Today, there were treats such as deep-fried pickles and Hurley Mountain Lager. And baby...

But earlier there was adventure to be had at the watering hole. Yes, I said watering hole.

But at the end of the day, none of it would be nearly as much fun without...

Friday, July 22, 2005

Ommmmm...or how prenatal yoga saved my life

Well, my life may be an exaggeration...but suffice it to say the yoga class I attended this afternoon (my first yoga class ever, to be precise) was completely awesome. And just incase you're thrown by the prenatal part - it's my friend's class (who just had a baby (it's actually pre and post natal specific)) and additionally I am in I'm not pregnant yet. Which puts me clearly in the pre category. End of sidetrack.! It was SO what I needed. This in addition to the fact that I decided to throw caution to the wind and come upstate with Giff & Lisl despite the fact that I'm moving next Friday and desperately need to start packing. So Plus #1: weekend in country with great friends and their smooshy little baby (and awesome dog). Plus #2: Yoga class that didn't threaten to justify my almost always unjustifiable anxiety and fear of things new and foreign that I may just very well not be good at right away. Plus #3: brought up my favorite fucked-up Gore Vidal book, Kalki, to reread. Minus #1: No boy. But we can't have everything, can we? Well, at least not this weekend. Oh, I forgot Plus #4: great leisurely cooking and wine. I will more than likely add to my impending girth this weekend. Which, hopefully, six story walk-up will make a dent in.

Additionally, I've come to the conclusion that since this yoga class proved not to be scary that perhaps I should find one in the city and actually exercise for the first time in 10 years. Maybe that will help with the weird post-quitting smoking fluctuations that my body seems to be going through.

Sorry for lack of pithy in this missive. I guess I'm just too relaxed and in too good of a mood to be sardonic. Yay for me.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Well, now I've done it...

This morning, I broke (what I perceive) to be Blogging's First Law:
Thou shalt not take down thy post once thou hast posteth it.

I wrote a somewhat scathing post last night, which, through checking sitemeter, no one had seen. Reflecting upon it this morning, I realized that it may imply things that I did not necessarily mean to imply - i.e., it may seem to go farther than what I had intended.

Which is a pity, because it WAS scathing.

(imagine that last bit in Baby Stooey's voice, and you've got it)

On a brighter note, two new songs. No happy ones yet, though. Wonder why that could be?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Well, it was only a matter of time...

...before we found out that George Lucas was right all along.

'Tatooine' Planet Discovered

Next, watch out for Bespin!

Chalk up yet another for the side of Stupid


Authorities arrested a woman after finding her one-year-old girl hanging out a second floor apartment window while the woman was asleep on the couch.

Ontario County Sheriff's deputies were called to the apartment shortly before 4:30pm by report of an unattended child in the window. Deputies say the girl was hanging out an open window when they arrived.

Twenty-year-old Jennifer King of Phelps was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Her daughter was unharmed and put into the care of her father.

Because he did such a good job in bringing up the mother...

I hate when I forget the pithy title...

Okay, get ready, because this is going to be a long post. If you smoke, light one up. If it's morning, pour yourself some coffee first (or perhaps some instant Chai - I've heard it's lovely). If it's evening, you definitely have time to shake up a martini. Or stir. Whatever works best for you.

For little over a week I have been dog-sitting for my wonderful friends Giff & Lisl, who live on the UWS. Now, having not spent a consistent amount of time in that harbinger of khakis, baby carriages and frat boys, I was amazed by what I found.

The Upper West Side stinks. It reeks to high heaven. The stench as I walk the dog every morning is actually unbelieveable. As in I still can't believe that such a family-oriented, upper-to-middle-income neighborhood could possibly smell that bad. You ever notice how grease congeals in the pan after you've fried, let's say, hamburgers? It gets that cloudy sort of sheen to it? That is what the gutters and curbside roadways are like. If someone out there has an industrial-neighborhood sized bottle of 409, it needs to be dumped on every street and sidewalk in the UWS. I mean, really, it makes the meat-packing district seem clean. Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but not much.

On a separate note, after I finished walking Ellie I proceeded to walk to the subway, wearing what I call my "Santa Camo" (my camoflauge jeans that are red, green, black and white). I received two unsolicited compliments on them, one from a man pulling a shopping cart and clearly drinking some form of alcohol from a paper bag. My question is this: when your fashion sense appeals to habitual drunks, is it time to rethink your style? Or is it simply that my choices are so universal as to appeal to whinos and hipsters alike? Note I didn't say whiners and hipsters. Because that would be the same thing. Disturbing morning.

And finally - I can hardly believe that spam faxing still exists. Yet, as I walked into the office this morning, there it was in black & white, a barely resistible offer to reduce my mortgage rates! Because, when shopping for a mortgage for the property I don't have, my first thought is - hey, I should look on the fax machine! That's a reliable source of offers for financial services! What makes it even better is that the fax assures me that it is information that I requested for my employees. Boy, I must've been having one of those multiple-personality days last week, cause, gosh darn, I just don't remember asking for this!

It also claims:
Bruised Credit? No Problem!

What if I have beheaded credit? What if I have credit that makes investing in an internet start-up with a boll weevil look more attractive? Cause, guess what...Mama Brenda ain't never gonna be no property-owner, no-sir-ee Bob!


I hope you are now finished with your ciggie/coffee/Chai/martini, and with any luck, are ready for another. Because I'm all about caring. And sharing is caring. But Sharon is just a city in Pennsylvania. Where, mind you, they have some of the best wings - at Quaker Steak & Lube, my friend, that's where.

ramble ramble ramble ramble ramble.............

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Houston, we have a problem...

Scarily enough, this post is not about the postponement of the first shuttle launch in 2 and 1/2 years...I'm way too self-absorbed for that.

No, the title refers to the job I am working right now, where the person here before me left things in quite a state. As a result, I am constantly finding myself trying to resolve situations that a)I didn't cause and b)that I have no clue as to how they got that way in the first place. Yet, somehow, I will be the one to be made to feel stupid for it. Thank God this isn't permanent. And I don't even believe in God.

I do, however, believe in comeuppance - so maybe this is mine. Oh, the agony.

Whoever was here before me shipped items with the wrong style number and the wrong price and invoiced them as such. Oh, it's just such a headache. I just don't understand how people can be that stupid. I accept that people are that stupid and more, every day. I just still can't understand it.

Chalk another one up to the unfathomable.

No, I don't know ANYONE like this...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Oh, the mind-numbing ness of it all!!!!

I just want to smash my head between a door and its frame. Repeatedly.

I really wish I cared about your problems. I wish I could find some motivation to do the myriad of pointless tasks you have assigned to me. I wish that I cared enough to fix things.

But, you see, if wishes were real and actually came true - MY ASS WOULD NOT BE HERE!

When does your intelligence go from insulted to assaulted?

Why plug the leak in the boat when someone is busy hauling bucketfuls of water INTO it?

And once again, a fellow Pennsylvanian makes a name for himself...

You gotta hand it to the Republicans - they really know how to righteously use inflammatory remarks. If a Democrat said the same thing they'd be called on the carpet for "clouding" the debate, or worse, sensationalizing it. But Republicans? They really get people to believe their shit does not stink.

Apparently, my fellow PA'er Rick Santorum has got it into his head that abortion is equal to slavery. Please, let's try to follow his logic:
In the book, Santorum makes the case that abortion puts the liberty rights of the mother before those of her child, just as the rights of slave owners were put before those of slaves.

"This was tried once before in America," Santorum writes. "But unlike abortion today, in most states even the slaveholder did not have the unlimited right to kill his slave."

A few quibbles - unlimited right? Since the "partial birth" act, how is abortion an unlimited right? And liberty rights? That fetus is at liberty to get out of the woman's body. In fact, aren't its rights to liberty threatened by its dependent state on the womb? Okay, I'm stretching it here a little, folks, but I get patently offended when people misappropriate an argument from a volatile subject. You cannot apply the same measures to both situations. And to use an argument that will only elicit screed from all sides, just BECAUSE it will do precisely that.

I just don't understand how they get away with it.

Monday, July 11, 2005

This is not a joke

If only all of us were as motivated as this artist/entrepreneur:


Thanks to TK for posting this on her site, where I found it.

Well, I guess you learn something new every day...

Saturday night I performed a set of my own stuff for a second time. This time, since I managed to get on top of inviting more than 24 hours before, I had an actual audience. Or, I should say, an audience of size. The first audience (and I love you all) was fantastic...but, as any performer knows, there is something to be said for numbers. And, well actually, as any audience knows, as an audience member you find yourself much more free with your energy/kudos/laughing/clapping when you are in a larger crowd than in a small. Safety in numbers. I performed Saturday night...and I was actually overwhelmed by the reaction/reception I got from my audience. Granted most, if not all, were friends, but I never expected that my friends would find my material good beyond a friend level (i.e. how one always supports their friends, whether what they're doing is good or not, just because you love them).

I guess I just never really believed that my songs were going to be thought of as good. It's hard to get enough distance (if not nigh on impossible) from your own work to evaluate it with any semblance of impartiality. I just never thought that if I got the opportunity to play for my friends that they would actually like it. I always thought that they would just humor me. That's what I expected. It isn't what I got. So, either, my stuff is actually listenable, or my friends are REALLY talented at making me feel good. However, as much as I like to belittle myself, I actually do think it is the former.

Which is amazing to me. You know, John said to me today, that, being selfish, this is exactly why he did this. To get me to perform my songs. To get interest in them. To get me to realize that I'm good. Worth hearing. And the insane thing about that is that he calls it selfish. I know what he means, but it's the furthest from selfish you can get.

Anyway, maybe I actually have something. That's a big thing to take in. I try to say a lot with my songs...I don't think that I could ever have a "popular" audience...but, maybe down the line...

One of the reasons I ever considered trying to get my songwriting "out there" is that I want someone to be able to say, "I'm not the only one who feels this way. I'm not alone." Like I felt a lot growing up...except for the music that saved me: A-ha, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys...and a little Scorpions. Music meant (and does still mean) a lot to has really gotten me through so much in life.

But I do think that I'm one of the only people I know who can be brought to tears by instrumental music. (And I don't mean Barber's Adagio for Strings (Platoon) or Paganini's Theme (Somewhere In Time) where you rely on the subtext of the movie it was in to cry). I am just physically affected by music.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Mrs. Brightside

Feeling much more calm today. Was not a happy worker-bee yesterday. No, no, not at all.

Great weather we're having, eh? Although I guess the air is no more saturated with moisture than it has been the past few days - just now it's being honest about it. Is this the life aquatic?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

When "You're Out of Touch" is not just a song by Hall & Oates

So, since I don't listen to the news in the morning or watch it on TV as I'm getting ready, I was just blindsided by some information that most people were already aware of: the bombing of the Underground in London. I now have that sick sensation of being angry and horrified at exactly the same time. I don't know whether to be more shocked or more livid. I mean, where do you go, what do you do?

Makes you yearn for the old days, where people who had some control over the problem were targeted (not that that's necessarily justified) instead of just random mayhem against the general public. Just why does collateral damage not matter to these people?

These people. I just made myself sound 50.

I wish you well, my British friends. I wish you well.

Color Me Stupid...

But I have to admit my surprise at Derek Jeter not making the All-Star team. Now, I'm not going to purport to be a baseball fan, because we all know that I'm about the pigskin (as opposed to the foreskin, but that's for a different blog), however, even I am aware of Jeter's consistency, talent and respect for the game. I just think he's a damn good well-rounded player, not some fly-by-night, flash-in-the-pan trickster (A-Rod, can you hear me?) or a washed up good-for-nothing moneysucker (I won't even dignify by ALL know who I mean (and if you don't, then you wouldn't even if I named him)). There. That is possibly the only time I'll ever blog about baseball. Unless the Pirates start actually playing it.

Pittsburgh does still have a team, right?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I am milk.

If Shirley Manson is milk. I, my friends, am half & half.

Naughty & nice, richer & poorer, scared & alone.

That doesn't make any's...

THE 5:30 BLOG!!!

This is the blog that attempts to answer the question: What the hell am I still doing here? At work, not on earth, silly.

My boss has ducked out. I must wait for him to come back. But, why, oh, why? I didn't even take lunch today (well, I wasn't hungry when he told me to, and then he clearly forgot that I hadn't by the time our clients left and took off). Oh, insulin, where art thou?

Or even some joe. I could use a java pick-me-up and throw me about the room like the little whore that I am right about now.

Oh, well...c'est la vie. And then some.

Just when I think I've seen it all...

The world shows me yet another heinous surprise. This time, it is a new definition of honor. Please read:

"Honor" Rape

I just don't understand how an entire culture can justify senseless cruelty. Sure, we think rapists and molesters are weird, unusual, fringe of society types. But are they? In this case, we are talking about a society in which not only is this type of action allowed, it's CONDONED. Yet another thing for me to chalk up to unfathomable.

I think castration by paper cuts is too good for those assholes. But, hey, that's just me.

Why don't we all talk like we're on Monty Python

I scanned this in for your viewing pleasure.

And the number of the counting shall be three...

Let the posting BEGIN!

Well, since little Brenda did not have any drink-i-poos last night, methinks there may be a lot of posting today, since there are quite a few more brain cells present and accounted for than usual. And that means rambling, meandering, nonsensical thoughts. Unless I do a nooner.

Okay, just watched the video of the Trafalgar Square celebration (of London winning the Olympic bid). Some disturbing things. I don't have sound at my work computer (which I forgot about, because I ostensibly clicked the link to see if the cheering involved "huzzah" or "hip-hip-hooray"), so I can't be held accountable for the audio. However...if you watch this dreck, you will see that the ONLY woman anywhere in the room is the 16-year-old they've dressed up to be their handmaiden (silent, smiling, foreign). I mean COME ON! Throw me a bone here! You mean to tell me there isn't a single broad involved with the IOC. At least invite the damn French figure skating judge who screwed up Salt Lake (and tried to screw that nice Canadian couple - I mean, really, Canada is no longer French, get over it).

Next disturbing thing - it seems that a swarm of locusts descends upon the square halfway through the video. Multi-colored locusts. If I were the IOC, I'd certainly reconsider choosing a city that's susceptible to locust attacks.

And, finally...


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Give and Take

God motherfucking taketh away...and then God giveth, and oh, man, did he give today.

I finally blew up at my unfathomable roommate last night. To make a long, drunken tirade short, it ended in my telling him that he should start looking for another roommate.

Now, I don't know if you've perused the "real estate" (there is nothing real, nor estate-like about it...discuss) market lately, but in my week of "fantasy apartment browsing" I've found that things are despairingly bleak. So it was with great glee that I remembered a garbled voice mail message from a friend this weekend that may have mentioned a room opening up in her apartment.

Which it did. Which she has. Which I'm taking. Never mind that it's a seven-story walk-up (I'm sure I'll come to regret saying that, but right now it's still preferable to a yappy dog that pisses & shits wherever and whenever she wants - which is more pitiful than anything, because it really isn't her fault - it's a lack of training/being left cooped up in an apartment for 14-17 hour stretches at a time). Never mind that I REALLY liked living in Brooklyn. Never mind that I have to leave the roof deck behind. Ah, fair roof deck, you have given me many memories and my base tan. Remember that time I christened you, oh, fair roof deck? I do. Oh, yes, yes, yes, I do.

But now I must leave all that behind. I'll just have to think of those 7 stories as my permanent stairmaster. I pity the poor movers. Oh, there will DEFINITELY be movers involved...I value my friendships too much for that one.

True Dat

Is anyone else disturbed by the ads that state "we screen for marrieds and felons" (see link above)? Firstly, when did "marrieds" become a word? Secondly, when did they get lumped in with felons? I mean, I'm just as anxious as the next person to see more honesty in the dating world, but c'mon, isn't there a nicer way of saying, "if you're wearing a ring, get off of this thing?"

What's next? DNA testing? Perhaps the Jewish dating services can screen for circumicision - "Uncut doesn't make OUR cut!" Or maybe the Catholic site can screen for birth control - "Ortho Trycylcen? Ortho Try Somewhere Else!"

Ow, my hangover just suddenly got worse. Maybe I should take something. Yeah, like maybe I should take down a note and paste it to my forehead, "No more red wine for her. Seriously."