Sunday, December 19, 2004

Friday was a bear at work once again. Never really got caught up. Plus, the office snitch was on a rampage demanding to know where everybody was at all times and trying to hand out work. It was infuriating.

Friday night we decided we just wanted to stay home and see something silly. Our first choice is always to re-watch "The Ref" -- a very well-written movie with Dennis Leary and Kevin Spacey in it. We've probably watched it 30 times and still enjoy it. But Ravenhub couldn't find it -- it disappeared in the big cleanup before Thanksgiving.

Since we were also running low on junk food I decided to hit the store downtown after work. Bought cookies, nuts, the book "Mystic River" and then started looking for a movie. Man, we are going to have to break down a get a TV built after 1985 so we can hook up a DVD player because Target has reduced their VHS offerings to a row of cassettes for children and one shelf with the top ten movies. That was picked dry, but I decided to try out "13 going on 30". When I got home we took the car, got some wine, picked up some burgers from O'Brien's and flipped the tape in the player.

Jennifer Garner was great at portraying the physical awkwardness of being 13. But the movie spent way too long focusing on shopping trips. Yuck. Of course, the star discovers that childhood isn't as bad as she thought, but this has the added plus of her realizing that her best friend, the boring boy next door, is the man she should have gotten involved with all along. It was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours but this is not a keeper. I'm thinking I'll give it to somebody at work to enjoy.

Saturday morning we were up early to prepare for the anti-war demonstration. I got out my X-acto and my old metal straight-edge to cut down tag board to a 12x18 pieces. Ravenhub tacked on "Bring the Troops Home Now!" signs I made and he copied. He also spent the morning sending out press releases on our fancy fax machine.

We got to Uptown around 10:30 a.m. Ravenhub had more copying to do and I wanted to go over to Orr Books to see if they had some of the broadsides I'd bought from the Laurel Poetry Collective. It turned out they had only the chapbooks. I wandered across to other used bookstores and picked up a book about political posters from the 80s and 90s and also picked up the book "Rat King" by Meiville (sp?). He is apparently a socialist Brit who writes science fiction.

The demo began at noon and about 100 people showed up. Pretty amazing considering the temperatures were hovering around 10 degrees F and dropping. The response from passersby was excellent -- a majority of them honking or giving us the thumbs up. We chanted and marched up and down the block. Three counter-protestors showed up with their bizarre signs that are supposed to be ironic -- they says "Stop the War" and in smaller letters say something snotty like, "I want to buy more lattes." But the type is so small most people can't read it. We ignored them, they didn't bother us.

The Counter-Propaganda coalition brought a bunch of anti-Christmas carols that people enjoyed singing after getting thoroughly cold. At one point a driver pulled over to the curb, rolled down the window on the passenger side and told John, "I'm home on leave from Iraq and I just want to thank you for what you are doing out here." Awesome.

After the rally, Ravenhub and I tried to catch a quick meal. But after being ignored at a local diner we gave up and went to his favorite coffeeshop where they serve sandwiches. This is a great place that is the haunt of mostly gays and lesbians. They have a whole room for smokers, which makes Ravenhub happy. We ate sandwiches and then I headed off to my book group.

All six of us made it to group this time for the first time in a while. We handed out holiday presents and got caught up with each other. Susan, our ex-member who moved to Phoenix sent us each a bag of nuts (typecasting?) and a great card. Priscilla found a book that we can share with great writings by women. We got tea and wine and books. It was wonderful to be together. I brought the three broadsides I had purchased and asked them to pick. They surprised me -- each picking different ones, so I'm glad I didn't decide for myself. We meet again in January.

I went back Uptown to meet with Ravenhub who had gone to the office for a couple of hours. We decided to eat dinner at the Green Mill, then head up to a holiday party. I had shrimp linguini in garlic. Bad idea -- the first thing I did at the party was lose my supper. I've never been able to handle garlic! But I felt better and stayed around for a little while to see old friends and hang out with their four dogs who didn't mind my constant petting. We ended up home at about 8 p.m., completely exhausted and fell into bed.

This morning I slept until ten, did some reading, and slept some more. Basically, we tried to relax, while getting chores done. I went to the dry clothes at the laundry at 5:30. I drove home through very light snow. This probably won't stick -- it's too cold and dry for the fluffy snow -- more like getting a bit of lint thrown about! But it's still cold -- below 10 and staying there for a while.

I'm halfway through Mystic River. I'm not at all surprised that it's much better than the movie. There's lots more about class differences within the neighborhood as well as the encroachment of gentrifiers from the suburbs. There's a lot about Jimmy Marcus being tied in with the Savage family and unable to escape despite his pledge to go straight while raising his daughter alone. I'm sure that will make a great contrast between him and Brendan, who is apparently able to retain his ability to be kind even though he also comes from a criminal family and lives in the midst of it.

Some links:

I saw a similar sculpture on a medical show by Jonathan Miller many years ago on PBS. This one differs in that it is anatomically correct and pretty damn scary!
Sensory homunculus: "This model shows what a man's body would look like if each part grew in proportion to the area of the cortex of the brain concerned with its sensory perception."

You Are From Neptune

You are dreamy and mystical, with a natural psychic ability.
You love music, poetry, dance, and (most of all) the open sea.
Your soul is filled with possibilities, and your heart overflows with compassion.
You can be in a room full of friendly people and feel all alone.
If you don't get carried away with one idea, your spiritual nature will see you through anything.