adam

No Taste At All

by adam at 12:06 AM on March 31, 2005

I woke up this morning to find that my tongue was burning. Not from the phosphorus that I'd been eating the night before, but just the sensation of burning. Huh, that doesn't usually happen.

I got out of bed and had a cup of coffee. It smelled great, but ... well, I wouldn't say that it didn't taste good, I'd say that it just didn't taste. Period. I brushed my teeth and felt tingling and cold from the water, but I couldn't taste any mint. I went to the Flagship Diner on Queens Blvd for breakfast, and the orange juice wasn't sweet, the home fries weren't salty, and for all I poured on the syrup the french toast may as well have been warm cardboard.

My better half happened to be with me, and she's almost a doctor, so she checked me out and decided that I had some kind of nerve damage, probably caused by a viral infection. Where I picked this up who knows. I'm going to see my doctor tomorrow afternoon (a panicked phone call works sometimes) but in all odds I won't be able to taste anything until my nerves grow back, and that could take weeks or months.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm seriously disabled or anything; the worst thing that could happen is that I accidentally drink antifreeze mistaking it for Gatoraid and die. But it's weird not even being able to taste the inside of your own mouth. There's only one advantage that I've found so far, and I've got a can of it right here: MGD tastes EXACTLY like Chimay Trappist Ale when you've got no operational taste buds.

comments (25)

anna

I'm just a scared and lonely writer but I've gotta know how it feels

by anna at 08:26 PM on March 30, 2005

Shocker: I wrote a book. It's called We've Come Undone: From the O-Jay Fiasco to Sept 11 and Beyond. It's basic premise is that things began to unravel the day those 12 morons unleashed a crazed killer on us and it culminated when Mohammed Atta piloted that 1st plane into the North Tower. A secondary premise is that so far, these zeros have proven to be a pathetically banal spectacle. Recommended antidote: solitude and alienation. Not surprisingly, agents and publishers didn't exactly flock to it. I actually got non-form letter rejections telling me to never send anything so insulting to them again.

cont'd »

comments (4)

northstar

Isn't it time to dial down the rhetoric and lose the self-righteousness?

by northstar at 03:04 PM on March 30, 2005

Terri Schiavo: Judicial Murder. Her crime was being disabled, voiceless, and at the disposal of our media.

I grow tired of those pundits who feel, that by dint of their moral superiority and vastly superior intellect, have the right to weigh in on the Terry Schiavo case. The latest to wade in where angels rightfully fear to tread is Nat Henthoff, who really should know better.

Normally, I don't try to dismantle someone's argument point by point, but Henthoff's sanctimonious pleadings are just too much to pass up. This ought to be fun....

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comments (7)

leaffin

Closure

by leaffin at 09:42 PM on March 28, 2005

Call me a silly, but I need closure to things. Friendship not going well and you don´t hear from the other party? Worse, your significant other just stops calling you? Or something in between? I can´t stand it. In that regard, I think I´m pretty normal. So, speaking of sex on the beach...

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comments (21)

anna

When I was arrested I was dressed in black

by anna at 07:45 PM on March 28, 2005

There's few more enduring sources of knowing snickering than behind bars lovin'. Folks overlook the brutality involved in it. It's kind of like being someone's bitch is part and parcel of your sentence. Each year in the US, 240,000 men hide the salami against their will in prisons.

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comments (7)

mg

Too sexy for my hat what do you think about that

by mg at 03:29 PM on March 27, 2005

Desiree Goodwin, a library assistant at Harvard is suing the University because she believes she has been passed over for promotion since 1999 (link). The reason she was passed over, her lawsuit contends, is that she dressed too sexy and was "just a pretty girl."

As some of you might remember, I recently graduated with my Master's degree in Library and Information Science. I initially received this story on a professional list-serv, but I didn't want to bore you all with my in-depth professional experiences on this. But, I noticed the story again as a front-page news item on AOL, and figured "Hey, I can jump on that bandwagon!"

Plus, I actually have some insight and experience about discrimination of hot people in libraries; compared to the ignorance I usually bring to topics I write about.

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comments (7)

anna

Sad to say, nice guys finish last

by anna at 10:36 AM on March 27, 2005

The race isn't always to the swift, but that's the way to bet. -old proverb
I deserve to win because I am the best. -Arnold Schwarzenegger

Well, it looks like they are down to the Final Four. I couldn't name a team that is still in. But I'd be willing to bet that Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina or Duke is among them. They always are. This is because they have better players. And because alums are willing to pay players more and the schools have a rep for being among the top teams, this will continue. But this post isn't about basketball or sports in general.

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comments (10)

anna

My Conversation with Tom

by anna at 07:12 PM on March 24, 2005

Tom DeLay: This is a sad day for those of us who believe deeply in the Sanctity of Life. Teri Schiavo is going to die of thirst because no one in the judiciary was willing to come to her rescue.

cont'd »

comments (19)

chris

my little mouse of consciousness

by chris at 10:28 AM on March 24, 2005

I often find myself surprised at the quantum nature of life as most of us know it. People around me are either alive or dead, and it's fairly easy to tell the difference most of the time. I often wonder how it is possible that people remain in fairly stable highly functional states for decades. People go through cycles of happiness and depression, but it's not like they stochastically forget how to speak, how to respond to others, how to put two and two together. Once the system is booted up, it usually continues to function in a highly predictable way, for the majority of one's life.

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comments (12)

anna

I don't want a pearl necklace

by anna at 06:19 PM on March 23, 2005

Once I was riding in a car with a girl. ZZ Topp's Pearl Necklace came on the radio. I'd never paid much attention to the song or its lyrics. Besides, they sing in that twangy Dallas drawl, so I couldn't make them out anyway.

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comments (10)

dominathan

It's Still Rock and Roll to Me

by dominathan at 11:39 PM on March 21, 2005

This past weekend I went to a punk concert. The headlining band was Rise Against, an Australian politics-driven, rock group. I also caught Closet Monster, an opening band, who put on an excellent show. Rise Against was loud and distorted, a high energy mechanism of music. Of course the kids (myself included) went nuts.

You can see the craziest fashions at punk shows. I personally love it. These people must spend hours getting their hair spiked just right, and assembling 20 piece wardrobes, to go jump around and have whatever style they came in with washed away in a pool of sweat, and drinks.

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comments (9)

anna

Riding in cars with boys

by anna at 06:53 PM on March 21, 2005

Besides the thicket of hair burgeoning in my ears and nostrils and the deeply etched map of wrinkles all over my face, there are other signs that my perennial childhood has at last come to an end. I see kids driving cars and think there's no way they are 16. Ditto for kids buying cigarettes. They get carded but they dutifully produce an ID showing that they are, indeed, 18 or older.

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comments (5)

chris

Securely ignorant

by chris at 02:22 PM on March 20, 2005

I was watching Survivor when the phone rang. A woman's voice informed me that the alarm company had not received the monthly test signal. She wanted my password so we could do a test of the system. I'm always wary of calls like this, where someone wants you to reveal something you would never reveal if you knew better. The last time someone called about the alarm system I ended up revealing that we had one but that it wasn't activated. I didn't realize until I hung up that I just told a perfect stranger that if they wanted an easy robbery target they should come to my house because it's completely unprotected.

Hackers call this social engineering. Information is power, and people will reveal almost anything in the right context. A favorite example is Emmanuel Goldstein (publisher of 2600) doing a live demonstration at a recent hackers on planet earth (HOPE) conference in NYC, where with 150 people in the room he called a local Starbucks pretending to be a manager from the corporate office and got the unsuspecting barista to read back credit card numbers from the til. Thus when I receive phone calls asking for information I'm always listening for clues that it may be a trap.

As it turns out, I didn't know the password the woman on the phone from the alarm company was talking about. However near the end of the phone call she asked me if I knew the name and phone number of someone on the alarm contact list. That was easy, I blurted out my own name and phone number. She said thanks and hung up. And I promptly kicked myself realizing I had handed out information for no apparent reason.

So I found the password and called the alarm company to ask if they had just called, and to investigate why the monthly test may have failed. The alarm sales guy had convinced me that the system was wireless when he sold it to us, which seemed reasonable to me as it's just a box on the wall with no wires coming out of it. But the guy on the phone said the test signal may have failed because there could have been a problem with the phone line. "The alarm system goes through the phone line?", I asked. "Yes, that's right.", said the technician. My mind is always wondering how things work. "So I guess if you want to rob somebody, the first thing you should do is cut the phone line. Is that right?" The technician paused for a moment. "I'm sorry, I can't advise on that", came the reply. Imagine my comfort at the security technician's unwillingness to reveal information.

comments (5)

mg

people are talkin, talking 'bout people, i hear them whisper, you won't believe it.

by mg at 10:35 AM on March 19, 2005

I hate the idea that someone might talk about me when I’m not around. That may come as a shock considering I’ve spent the last 4+ years doing what is basically an online, and very public, diary, but it’s absolutely true.

I think what it comes down to is not knowing how people really think about me. And, as long as it is just thinking, I can be kind of okay with it. But if that thinking becomes talking, and that talking involves another person… well, I’d rather not know. There are 6 billion people in the world, and if they have conversations about the other 5,999,999,999 people out there without me, that’s fine. But if any of those bastards are talking about me when I’m not in the room it makes me feel uncomfortable. What the hell could they be talking about?

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comments (12)

anna

Just that I didn't think this would happen again

by anna at 08:44 AM on March 19, 2005

On nights when either Lost, 24 or Desperate Housewives aren't on, I do a quaint thing: I go to the video stores and prowl the aisles. In choosing a movie, I must strike a delicate balance. For there to be a decent chance my wife will join me, it can't be anything with the words "sexy" or "erotic" on the box. It also can't center on high school kids or so-called "coming of age" stories.

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comments (6)

anna

Just another day in paradise

by anna at 10:27 AM on March 17, 2005

Sometimes the best stuff on albums is between the cuts. My favorites are:

From Jackson Browne's Running on Empty:

*snort, snort*
*distinctive sound of blood dripping on a mirror*
Unknown Person: Blood on the highway.
Browne: I dunno. I either gotta take more of it or less of it. I can't figure out which one.
Sounds Like A Brother: Well, I'll tell you what it does take. It takes a clear mind.
Browne: You mean it takes a clear mind to take it or a clear mind not to take it?
SLAB: It takes a clear mind to... make it.
Laughter all around.

From Tom Petty's Damn the Torpedos:

What sounds like a teenage girl's voice: It's just the normal noises in here!
The implication being obviously lewd.

Oh, and it's my b-day. I'm 46. I have a 30 year life expectancy. But somehow I just don't see that happening. Then again, those last few years aren't all they're cracked up to be. You're broke, addled, brittle, homeless, crippled by ailments and probably alone in this world. You can have that. I can't use it.

comments (11)

leaffin

Gotcher beach story coming right up

by leaffin at 05:54 PM on March 16, 2005

Based on my experience, sex on the beach is highly overrated. Sand everywhere -- in clothes, in ears, in random orafices (sp?). And it doesn´t go away for about a week.

Anyone else agree/disagree?

comments (18)

anna

Green Grass and High Times Forever

by anna at 07:07 PM on March 15, 2005

So I'm talking to this PI. She says the firm derives most of its income from tailing alduterous women around. Evidently this is some national trend. To hear her tell it, every sleazy Motel 8 is full of lusty gals pursuing nooners. I'm not sure I believe it. Maybe it's just a result of guy's insane jealousy and vivid imaginations.

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comments (16)

leaffin

Seven women for every man

by leaffin at 08:20 PM on March 14, 2005

I have been told multiple times by the men of Nicaraguan men that they are allowed to have 7 girlfriends. I laugh and tell them that that´s bullshit, but they tell me that that´s truly the ratio of men to women in Nicaragua.

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comments (9)

anna

Eat drink and be merry

by anna at 02:39 PM on March 13, 2005

As a kid one of my friends' and I's favorite passtimes was mudball fights. We'd make golf ball sized globs of mud and leave them out in the sun to dry. We'd stack them the way they used to stack cannonballs. On cue we'd start flinging them at one another at point blank range. With practice you'd develop deadly accuracy.

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comments (11)

anna

I love a man in a uniform

by anna at 09:19 PM on March 10, 2005

Here in Virginia, if you take a sip of beer and then get behind the wheel, you will face the death penalty. Well not really, but they have passed the most Draconian drunk driving laws in the country. All those convicted lose their licenses for at least six months, must pay huge fines, go to classes and see their insurance rates triple. Second-time offenders must do jail time. A .08 qualifies you for a DWI.

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comments (7)

leaffin

A day in the life...

by leaffin at 01:36 PM on March 10, 2005

Yesterday I put in a 9am-7pm day. It was long, it was tiring, but luckily, I didn`t hear the constant ringing of a phone nor was I staring at a computer all day. I was on the road.

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comments (15)

anna

Slack jaw, not much to say

by anna at 06:39 PM on March 09, 2005

The government/multinational corporation complex prizes predictability above all else. They'll tolerate all manner of diverse behavior so long as it can be predicted and thus managed. They cannot tolerate erratic behavior as it is volatile and unpredictable. That's why terrorists, rapists and serial killers can flourish. You never know how or when they'll strike. It's also why society holds them in the worst disdain.

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comments (3)

leaffin

Land of the Sandinistas

by leaffin at 12:49 PM on March 08, 2005

Up until a week ago, I was living in Nicaragua. Shift those images of a war-torn and dangerous country from the present to the past. These days, it´s relatively safe, but it´s also the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. Rampant unemployment and underemployment.

Despite the poverty, the Nicaraguans I´ve met have been amazing! I worked at a beachside backpacker hostel for nearly 4 1/2 months, and with time, I gradually got to hear the stories of some of my co-workers. Since they did have jobs, my co-workers were in a good position compared to other Nicaraguans. I hope to share a few of their stories and others that I encountered on this site (along with some lighter stuff).

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comments (10)

anna

Goddamn right, it's a beautiful day

by anna at 06:41 PM on March 07, 2005

It really is here, weather-wise. But my day started badly. I got out of bed and stumbled over some strange pit bull sleeping on the bedroom floor. I opened the coffee canister but alas, not a flake to be had. Up to 7-11, where swarms of Hispanic landscapers and construction workers huddle around the coffee area, chatting in their native tongues. I'm the only non-Hispanic there as usual. The lind snakes all the way back to the beer. They want coffee, Gatorade and Red Bull. Or beer.

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comments (5)

jean

West down Ventura Boulevard

by jean at 01:15 AM on March 07, 2005

I was driving to work the other day when I saw a Nissan Altima with a body kit. This was wrong. Altimas should not ever be installed with body kits. I know that some teenagers itch so badly to show off how awesome they are that the moment their parents give them a car, they'll slap a body kit on it no matter what it is, but this opportunity is actually their first big chance to exercise some maturity. If your parents give you a hand-me-down car that is in no way sexy or sporty, do not install a body kit even if kits are made for it. Please.

I think about cars a fair amount. When I interviewed for a special projects position at an automobile publication, I tried to push my car knowledge as hard as I could. It's not that I know a ton about cars. But I do know more than "It just goes" and turning the key in the ignition. I can name or make a decent guess what's behind me on the road at night by looking at the headlights. I know roughly which cars accelerate and handle better than mine. About the interview... I did know something about online distribution of direct marketing materials, and I got the job.

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comments (11)

anna

Nutmeg is a spice

by anna at 09:31 AM on March 05, 2005

In college I briefly dated a girl named Nutmeg. Her real name was Meghan but that got shortened to Meg and somehow that morphed into Nutmeg. She was like Dean's list smart and a chemistry major to boot. She'd explain the mechanics of physical attraction in chemical terms, with the detached air of a scientist. She had long hair that she always wore in tightly wound braids.

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comments (7)

mg

you need the money so you got to play it dumb

by mg at 05:13 PM on March 03, 2005

I have a wife and (relatively) new daughter. I like them. A lot.

So, when I’m at home, I want to spend time with them. The kid goes to bed only an hour or two after I usually get home, so I try to enjoy as much time with her as I possibly can. And the wife and I try to spend less time sitting silently staring at the TV and more time actually interacting with each other. It is a completely radical idea, I know, and it doesn’t always work (damn the allure of three nights of American Idol). But when it does, we talk, or play games (something family-oriented like Scrabble, or something naughty, like strip Scrabble).

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comments (15)

dominathan

Monopoly in Sports

by dominathan at 12:17 PM on March 03, 2005

Today an unprecedanted offer hit the table, possibly a solution to the recent lockout and tragic loss of hockey to so many Canadians this winter.

The prospect is one owner, the same owner for all 30 teams in the league. Where will this lead. It is without a doubt a monopoly, we have laws preventing this from happenning in many form of business, yet now some are to be seen embracing it.

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comments (7)

anna

Sneaking through the alley with Sally

by anna at 08:14 PM on March 02, 2005

This has been a weird smoking week for me. I smoke, but I'm on a business trip with a bunch of people that don't. This means a lot of awkwardness, what with the need for breaks, the awful smells, people rolling their eyes about said smells etc. I've set new records for going without just to avoid dealing with all these issues. In fact, I'm very near being able to quit. But back at the hotel, it's been a different story altogether. I make up for lost time by smoking like a chimney.

cont'd »

comments (6)