Clareified

Where does the good go

Archive for January, 2008

Noooo, not Gomez!!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Sigh. But at least we’re finally getting a decent pitcher. I miss Gomez already.

I didn’t have to use my AK

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

I usually don’t do this…for stupid superstitions or whatever, but today has been a great day. And I know it’s not over and I’ll probabaly be crushed to death by a semi on my way home, but sometimes the good days just need to be appreciated.

Not so random thought

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

I hate getting I told you so’d by Karol. She thinks she’s so smart. Groan.

Okay, she just might be that smart.

Dammit.

You were meant for me

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

I also have a slight limp because of my right foot!

Tested

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

So, over the past couple of months I’ve been receiving a lot of pot shots since I came out as a Patriots fan.
I met up with Pauly in Australia rocking my Tom Brady jersey and I gave him a hug. As I pulled away, he said “Patriots, jersey? What the hell? Now I have to shower!” I laughed and Mary said “now ask her how long she’s been a Patriots fan.” I smiled, and started counting on my fingers…NINE WEEKS! I proclaimed.
Pauly laughed and said “well, I can respect that you admit that.”
And that has been the most gentle of the ribbing. Others have said much much nastier things…of course, as a tagline having Clay Aiken fan, I can’t very well imagine that these people think anything they say is going to shame me in anyway about my choice of the best and only undefeated team in the NFL as my favorite football team. Or MVP Tom Brady as the love of my life.
I mean, the phrase sasat was invented for this very reason.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand the bitterness. Fandom is supposed to involve suffering and tears and hope and longing and then, only after many many years of misery, should you be rewarded with the happiness and joy of victory. You know, like dating. Nobody likes those schmucks that marry their childhood sweethearts.
Believe me, I’m a Mets fan. I get it.
But buck up, because the fact that the Giants somehow managed to weasel their way into the Superbowl against my guys is my comeuppance.
I am now…gulp…standing in a sea of this against my city.
No one loves New York like I do. I was born and raised here and have never lived more than 90 miles away. And lord knows, as a proud blue Yalie the only thing I hate more than Boston is Harvard. Shudder.
Now, I’m sure if I hadn’t fallen in love with Tom Brady The Patriots, I’d be rooting for Eli and his merry band of assholes who tried to hurt Tom Brady last month, stupid jerkfaced punt returning for a touchdown punks. Not that I’d really care, The Jets/Giants never really captured my passion. But that it was New York against Boston would have been enough to get me rooting for Big Blue, albeit casually.
But as it stands, here’s to hoping the Giants go down in a big fiery flame of “And it’s Brady to Moss…touchdown!” All night long.
I’ll be watching with my entirely hostile Giants loving, but probably more specifically Brady ating, crew over in Jersey City, in front of Alceste’s ever-so-slightly larger than mine, plasma. And Mary’s bringing the bacon.
I’ll be wearing Patriots colors, drooling over Tom and booing Manning. But know, that a little part of me will die inside when I’m jumping up and down with…shudder…the Bahstan fans.
Oh, and I’ve decided to start a movement to change the abbreviation for the Patriots, from “The Pats” to “The Riots!”
GO RIOTS!!

Sydney, and I don’t mean Bristow

Monday, January 28th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

After a grueling 27 or 28 hours in the air, including fourteen hours where Mary was assigned to the “naughty seat” 69C, we finally landed in Sydney, Australia. The bulk of our trip was scheduled to take place in Melbourne, but we decided to spend the first few days in the Olympic City. Take in the Opera House views, enjoy the beaches at Bondi and eat kangaroo. Okay, that last one was me. We stepped into the cab, Mary gave the driver our address and we sat in silence for a few moments.
I looked around as we wound through the streets from the airport. Wow…dude…Sydney is a dump. Ratty buildings, twisted sidewalks…man, this place looks like D.C. I expected magical awesomeness from the moment I landed to the moment I grabbed the nearest Australian in khaki shorts and a boomerang and defected. I was disappointed. We made it to the hotel in about twenty minutes and got our first introduction to the change economy. Mary tipped the driver something that made him very very very happy and we checked in to the hotel.
The minute we got upstairs, Mary hopped in a shower. I sat on the floor battling the rank odor in my own clothes and feeling very certain that my turtleneck had come to life and was trying to choke me. This did not surprise Mary, who was wearing a very sensible T-shirt and jeans for the Australian summer. I, on the other hand was wearing a T-shirt, a homicidal turtle neck, a wool sweater, a jean jacket and a winter nylon black coat, jeans and leggings.
“Enjoy your heatstroke.”
Hmm…now is probably a good time to tell you about Mary. She comes across as the friendly, altogether self-made business woman with a good head on her shoulders and a fondness for cards.
She is in reality so much more. From what I gathered, and shhh, some of this is very sensitive information and I may have to go into deep hiding if it gets out.
Mary is almost certainly the last surviving heir of the Romanov dynasty, as a baby she was adopted into a seemingly normal Maryland family where she became an accomplished equestrian rider by the age of ten. (You may inquire exactly how old Mary is, but I’ve seen her passport and drivers license like two hundred times this month and I still couldn’t tell you…I can only imagine that like Rasputin, she is timeless, if not immortal…if not Rasputin himself!!!) She used her riding skill to lead a successful attack on Dubai by the age of thirteen. With a stronghold in the Middle East and unlimited wealth, she trained as an assassin and mastered the art of mind reading and hypnosis. She is one of only four women who can kill a man sixty different ways using just her index finger and thumb. She does not need sleep or food. She now runs almost entirely on coffee and apples…and quite possibly (this is the only part of my story that I have yet to confirm) the blood of young infants. Oh, and she talks to animals.
Again, due to the sensitivity of the information, I cannot say how I came to learn all of this information, but on the flight to Sydney, the sky waitress handed her a sandwich, Mary took one look at it and the stewardess apologized profusely and replaced the sandwich with an apple.
(On the flight from Sydney I was handed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I attempted to replicate Mary’s look and get the sandwich replaced by a double cheeseburger, as would have been my preference, instead I also got an apple. I think Mary had something to do with it.)
So here I was exhausted, stinky and fighting off my clothes in the most populated city in Australia, while my assassin roommate showered. I didn’t know anyone in Australia, so I was psyched when Karol sent me a facebook introduction to her friend down under. He was a nice bloke, but sadly he was away on holiday for the duration of my trip and wouldn’t be able to help us. I was sad. I thought Australians were super friendly and helpful. I expected our cab driver to offer to show us around the city and our hotel receptionist to invite us to her house for dinner. And now this guy wasn’t going to cancel his vacation plans to show strangers around? Bill Bryson is a lying liar who lies!
I showered while Mary got dressed and afterward we tried to figure out what to do.
We were tired, but it was only four in the afternoon. Mary had booked us at the only casino in Sydney, so there was definitely going to be poker played later…what to do, what to do.
“Oh, I know! Make Dawn shut the hell up,” Mary must have thought to herself, because she suggested that we go down to Luna Park that afternoon.
I love amusement parks, so when I read online that Sydney had one I gently suggested to Mary, once, maybe twice, that we go there if we have a chance, but if it wasn’t going to happen, then not to worry about it because I’m totally flexible about the matter.
Or, I said “I wanna go to Luna Park, I wanna go to Luna Park, I wanna go to Luna Park, I wanna go to Luna Park,” nonstop from the moment I read about it online to the point where I was crying and threatening to hold my breath in the hotel if we didn’t go.
One or the other. I don’t rightfully remember.
The park was cheesy, I took pictures, went on the rides I enjoyed as a child. Contemplated what kind of sick masochistic kid I must have been and did all I could not to throw up. No regurgitate in oh eight!
Not that it would have mattered, except for half the sandwich Mary refused on the Sydney flight, I had not eaten in days.
Somehow I fell asleep on the flight to New Zealand and I didn’t wake up until about half an hour before landing.
I missed all the meals! Curiously, no one was the least bit sympathetic as I pouted and said “This sucks, I slept for twelve hours and missed all the free food.”
In fact, I think someone kicked me. I think it might’ve been Mary.
The coolest thing about Luna Park is that like Coney Island, it’s right by the water. However, they do a much better job about integrating the water into their rides…the scary spinning whipping machine takes your body right out over the bay and leaves you hanging there with nothing but your plastic harnesses for protection.
Similarly, the dead man’s drop ride takes you ten feet up in the air and lets you take in the breathtaking sky view of the city. (The ride operator was the same man who had scared the living crap our of me during the Haunted House ride, so he was taking special pleasure in giving us mini tease drops, before he finally let us plummet to our fate in the end.) But anyway, as I sat there looking around Sydney, pretty sure that if anything went wrong with the ride Mary would disapparate safely leaving me to die alone shattered into a million bloodied pieces, I thought about how life is much like the deadman’s drop, one minute you’re on top of the world and the next, you’re free falling uncertainly through space.
“Well, let’s go get something to eat,” Mary suggested as I stumbled off my last ride…the bumper cars…except they don’t call them that in Australia. I did push my fair share of kids out of the way to get my car…and when they came after me during the ensuing four minutes of bumping I showed them what happens when you come after an immature twenty-nine year old with a New York driver’s license. I used to be so bad at bumper cars when I was younger. I was that kid stuck against the rail, with sparks flying from the top, crying while the other horrible kids slammed into her until they got around. Fuckers. We had one of those kids during our four minutes, but the carnie stopped the ride and let him walk out of the car to safety. Loser.
Mary and I then took a ferry over to the Opera House, where we sat next to this blond woman holding a four year old. She smiled at Mary and me.
“Where you girls off to?”
Um…over there, I said pointing to the familiar white slats.
“Ah, good, how long are you here for”
“Just a few days in Sydney, then off to Melbourne.”
She then gave us suggestions for restaurants and dance clubs where we could meet some cute Aussies boy because they are “quite fun.”
She waved us goodbye when we deplanked? (Disembarked?) And my heart swelled with Aussie pride, there is that friendly, helpful Aussie spirit. I owe you an apology, Bryson.
Little did I know then that would be the last I would see of that Aussie spirit.
Mary and I settled on a small bayside grill for dinner. It looked fancy, so I tried to hide my brown skin with my gold American Express card and hide inconspicuously behind Mary, just in case they really were racist.
Thankfully we had no problem getting a seat; service on the other hand, was another matter.
Waiters in Australia don’t work for tips and oh, you can tell. It’s like by the end you are so frustrated about your empty water glass, and missing miso soup that you’re like, I am so not leaving a tip for this…oh…right…well played Australian waiter, well played.
I chickened out of ordering the kangaroo, or should I say “lambed” out. Lamb chops were so cheap there; I just couldn’t pass it up. Mary ordered the barramundi and it was more expensive.
We walked toward the harbor to take more pictures of the opera house. Every one of my shots came out dark and blurred as the darkness swallowed the flash…Mary said “eh, just buy some postcards with it.”
I was freezing because I’d taken the polar opposite tack from my earlier attire and was now rocking shorts, sandals and a T-shirt…but the Sydney night (especially on the waterfront) was not so mild.
My teeth chattered all the way back to the hotel.
I was spent.
“No poker for me, man”
Mary laughed.
“Lightweight.”
“Dude, casino will be there tomorrow.”
Oh, dear God…what has happened to me and what did they do to Dawn?
Humiliation or no, I still couldn’t do it. I was fast asleep by 10 and didn’t wake up until 6 the next morning.
I hopped onto the internet, stealthy making now sounds, lest I wake up Mary. I did not trip over the alarm clock cord and send it crashing from the nightstand to the floor. I did not call room service to come take away our laundry. I did not make loud booting sounds with the laptop as I turned it on. Or accidentally hit the master light switch and illuminate the whole room. Stealth, people. I was the very definition. That Mary also somehow wakes up five minutes after I did was just happy coincidence.
I left in search of a cell phone, so that my mother could have a phone number for me while I was away for weeks (masochistic childhood rears its ugly head). I settled for a calling card, and spent some thirty minutes explaining why I hadn’t called in days and how it was Thursday where I was. (My mother has this habit of taunting me with Eastern Standard Time whenever I go away. Like if I’m in California and I say I’m going to dinner, it’s 7 o clock, she say “Ha! Well, it’s ten o’clock here,” Like ten o’clock is the cat’s meow and sasat to any suckers who happen to be somewhere where it’s only 7. She now did this with the day. “Ha! It’s Wednesday,” she said as if Wednesday was the most awesome day ever in the history of days and ha ha, I’d lost mine and would never get it back even if I lived to be a hundred.) Mary also gave me money, so that I could get us some Australian currency at the casino cashier. She somehow saw right through my nefarious plan of the day before when we had to pay for anything and I would shrug my shoulders and say “oh, I haven’t gotten any Australian money yet…I just have tens of US hundred dollar bills…sorry.”
But I ran into trouble at the cashier.
Once I changed the hundreds Mary gave me, and safely wrapped the bills and coins in the receipt for her, I tried to change my own hundreds.
“You want more currency changed?”
“Um…yes, please.”
“That’s a lot of money; I’m going to need to see your passport.”
“Oh, well, it’s up in the room…I’m staying here…I’m American…um…from New York…9/11 was sad.”
She was unmoved.
“I need to see a passport to change more than five hundred dollars.”
“Oh, okay, then here…just change this three hundred.”
I’m pretty sure she was now hitting a silent alarm to alert the authority of the international currency smuggler on the casino floor.”
I backed away from the window and bolted.
When I got back upstairs, Mary was dressed and surfing the net. I handed Mary her changed money and I said “okay, you are so gonna think this is a total scam, but the lady wouldn’t change my American dollars. I still don’t have any currency, so breakfast is on you.”
I grinned broadly.
We breakfasted in the hotel restaurant. I ordered porridge, broke a cappuccino machine and knocked Mary’s coffee over. Inexplicably, the next morning, she disappeared from the room and had breakfast on her own.
But that day we had a plan to see all the sites: zoo, aquarium, the rocks, and the Royal Botanical Gardens and of course, play poker.
It was going to be a long day, but we were rested and carbo loaded.
Instead of cabs, we settled on ferry travel. We bought a day pass and took the first ferry to the zoo.
Australians have a weird sense of “zoo.” Personally, I like zoos because it’s like animal jail. You go, you press your face to glass, you point, laugh and walk away.
Not here.
The Sydney zoo had these walkabouts, where you open a gate…OPEN IT…walk inside and traipse around while kangaroos and wallabies hop around. Oh and they have all these warning signs that say “stay on the path,” YAH, like the cobblestones are gonna protect you when the kanga gets hungry. THAT. People. Is what the GATE is supposed to be for.
That’s why they call it a gate.
IT’S A GATE!
Anyway, Mary takes to it like a dude on safari and I take pictures while running at top speed. (They came out fine, I’m fat and still recovering from foot surgery, so top speed isn’t that fast.)
The zoos also had seals in there for some reason. We decided to skip any non-Australian animals and so walked around about a quarter of the zoo. We saw koalas and echidnas and of course, kangaroos. They had a pretty cool clock made out of roses…or some other kind of flower, pretty much all flowers are roses to me.
Afterward, we took another ferry to the aquarium.
I ended up getting in free when my clerk guy got frazzled by the coupon I gave him, so I thoroughly enjoyed every inch of the place. Mary, sadistic bastard that she is, went up to the barramundi window to let him know that she ate his brother the night before.
I was mesmerized by the jellyfish and I came up with a money making scheme to rid Australian beaches of the deadly jellyfish! I’m still working out the details…but let me just say lots and lots of nets will play a part.
They had a cool feature were you could walk under the shark tank. It was packed. Idiot tourists and their cameras, blocking the way, so that I had to wait a good ten minutes before getting to take my pictures. There was one shark lying at the bottom of the tank, while another shark made mournful laps around the body. At first I thought the shark was dead, but when we circled around the other side of the tank, I could see the gills still moving and the tail flutter a bit as the other shark circled around.
I watched for a bit and then I shuddered at the thought of watching a dying shark and had to leave.
“This is creepy.”
I wouldn’t know from creepy, later that night we went to a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown and someone must have ordered fish, because moments later a waiter came out gripping a huge plastic baggie with a giant fish flapping around inside. You heard the flailing long before you saw the waiter struggling with the animal suffocating inside. The flapping was deafening as her held the bag up to the table for customer approval. I looked over and cold see the pink inside of the fish’s mouth as it sucked in the plastic bag trying to catch a breath of…water, I guess. It flapped and sucked seemingly forever before the father at the table nodded that this fish was okay and the waiter turned back toward the kitchen. I closed my eyes as he passed my table because I didn’t want to see the fish take its last breath. I heard the flapping as the waiter disappeared back into the kitchen and knew the fish was still alive.
Sad.
After the aquarium, we went off to the Botanical Gardens.
There was plaque that said memory is the end of creation. This, I thought, is true. I took a picture.
Mary let me pick the path to walk down, I chose left and she shrugged and said “ugh, terrible choice.” I quickly said “no, no…right” And she said “even worse.”
Mary = evil.
It was a pretty walk. Miles and miles of grass and trees. We saw a dead pigeon, but no other animals for miles. I was skipping. The air was fresh, our slope was down, I was in Australia!
We walked around the gift shop, I toyed with getting a Panama hat…but decided agin it.
We left the shop and I heard and unnatural fluttering above me.
“AHHHHHHHHH….BATS!” I screamed jumping behind Mary.
“Ooh, flying foxes!” She said with delight.
“RUUUNNNN.” One of us screamed.
The other one stood there and took pictures.
Suddenly all around me, in every tree top, I could see their ratlike claws curled in the branches…hundreds, nay thousands, NAY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of beady eyed BATS EVERYWHERE!
My heart was pounding.
A sign on the grounds casually said blah blah blah, the flying foxes come alive at dusk. Not coincidentally, the botanical gardens also closed at dusk.
Now, I don’t own a watch or have any idea what dusk was, but I suggested we get the hell out of there…immediately!
“No, let’s go see the statues.”
So we follow the signpost arrow pointing to statues. We walk for a good ten minutes, but end up back at the gift shop, in the heart of vampire country.
I bet the bats switched the signs!! They’re trying to trap us here to turn us into bats at dusk.
I very calmly reasoned.
Mary seemed unconvinced.
We stayed another hour or so, taking pictures and fearing for our lives.
Then it was off to the final destination of our day “The Rocks.”
Mary looked at the map and said “okay, we should walk this way.”
Four hours later, we were still walking. I was tired and thirsty. I stopped at a 7-11 (they are everywhere in Australia) and bought something I thought was flavored seltzer water. I wasn’t. I haven’t gag reflex spit out liquid like that since my roommates used to make me laugh in the dining hall while I was mid swallow. I had to buy like three waters to wash the taste out.
Finally, we approached the harbor again where we had dinner the night before and I sat on a bench, highly irritated.
“WHAT THE FUCK…where are the rocks???”
“This is it.”
“What?”
“I told you Dawn, the rocks is where we had dinner last night…right here.”
“Dude, this is a harbor. There are no rocks…why would we walk four hours to go someplace we’d already been by ferry.”
“I don’t know…I told you…you said you wanted to see it.”
“Now, when you supposedly told me, did my face register understanding or was I smiling and nodding, while singing Clay Aiken songs in my head because I wasn’t really listening?”
My feet were killing me, I was hungry and tired and dammit I expected to see ROCKS. Who names a thing “The Rocks” when it’s all water and shops?
What the hell.
Mary found this all very amusing.
We went back to the hotel and headed to the casino. I needed a drink.
Now whether I needed to order the mystery drink that I saw this dude pounding at the bar because it looked “pretty,” is a whole other question.
But the Sydney leg of the journey was over, I was passed out in bed and we were headed for the Outback…

New year, new job, new title

Sunday, January 27th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

IMG_3402

Quote of the Day

Sunday, January 27th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Think about it Dawn, if the Patriots lose, Tom Brady’s self esteem will be crushed…and then, that’s when you make your move. -Jordan

Blog envy

Sunday, January 27th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Welcome bwop to the Clareified blogroll. This chick is smart, funny, sensitive and kicks all kind of poker ass. Too bad she’s an Eagles fan. Oh, and that we have Soxlover to thank for introducing her to our world. Shudder.

Not ready to make nice

Sunday, January 27th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is
You think I should -Dixie Chicks

Jamie has an interesting post up over on his site…it’s about sticking his foot in his mouth and getting a foot up his ass for it.

In particular this passage struck me:

When I was younger, my parents taught me to do the right thing. When you wanted something, you said “Please”. When you needed someone’s attention, you said, “Excuse me”. And when you hurt someone, you said, “I’m sorry”. Too bad they didn’t tell me that doesn’t always work. I hate the feeling that I hurt someone for no good reason. I hate the feeling that I can’t rectify the situation. I hate the helpless feeling that the ripples are spreading.

And it dawned on me, that’s not how I was raised at all. My mother and her mother before her were huge proponents of the “don’t be sorry, be careful” school of “what did you say? Here’s a fistful of knuckles and enjoy your tasty refreshing mouthful of blood. My family doesn’t do forgiveness. If you hurt me, I will hurt you back…probably more than once just for good measure and that will be our last interaction. No one hurts me more than once. In college, I was the designated hurter of others on behalf of my friends. “Dawn…I’m inviting Winston over can you be a total bitch to him?”
Yeah, sure, why not? My Saturday’s open. That’s. How. I. Roll.
Er, I mean rolled.
Sigh.
Just like all things, the new age touchy feelie hippie hop head dope fiends sorta got to me with all their What would Jesus Do? But what happens when someone you really really care about does something shitty? Come on Dawn, you can be right or you can be happy.
And so I tried.
Tried to try.
I really really did.
But I suck at it.
Oh man do I suck at forgiving.
Someone is an asshole to me, they say sorry, I say I forgive them and really I just can’t wait for the day when no one’s looking and I can drive a screwdriver through their neck. Not only because of how I was raised, but because I don’t hurt anyone I don’t intend to. And um…this might be an awkward moment for anyone that I’ve given my doe eyed innocent “oh my gosh, I’m so sorry…I had no idea that would hurt your feelings. Sooorryy.” speech to in the past.
I knew.
I meant it.
And, I’d do it again because you were an asshole and lied to me/wasted my time/hurt my feelings/cost me money/looked at me funny/breathed too hard/said unkind words about Buffy the Vampire Slayer (that’s right, sleep with one eye open Ugarles.)
I figure, if I know what I’m doing, so do they. Or they’re retarded and who the hell wants retarded in their life?
And truth be told, in the past few years I’ve found that when I’ve “forgiven” people one thing, they just end up hurting you again in other ways and if you try to forgive those… new and yet still more awesome disappointments are in store. At some point, enough has to be enough. You shouldn’t have to ban someone from your poker game a third time. (And yes, I can admit that since I never really forgave any of them and instead took continuous retaliatory shots, it’s hard to say I ever really gave peace a chance.)

But Jamie’s post made me realize that this is probably unfair. Not everyone realizes that “I’m sorry” isn’t a magical get out of jail free card. (Heh, in fact, in my book “I’m sorry” is just a guilty plea.) At some point I just need to accept myself for the evil vindicative harpy that I am and stop beating myself up for punishing people for their callous behavior.
Look, and I realize this may cost me friendships, but in some ways that word doesn’t mean very much when you’re quietly plotting deaths during a casual afternoon of friendly chit chat.
The forgiveness thing just doesn’t work for me. It’s who am, take it, leave it, but if you piss me off , you will not be forgiven. You will not get a second chance. It’s like the end of the Simpsons’ Hurricane Neddy episode, where Flanders realized his sunny disposition was just making him crazy and he promised that he would let the townspeople know when they upset him and, he adds, with a certain look in his eye, “And if you really tick me off, I’m gonna run you down with my car.”
So, in sum. Ari, if you’d like me to kick Jamie’s ass, just say the word.
That’s how I roll.
I’ve just got to get my present first.