Clareified

Where does the good go

Archive for June, 2008

Conversation of the Day

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Gay Train: You guys play Rockband in the nude?
Dawn 2: Yeah, pretty much.
Alceste: yeah, boobies everywhere.

Not so random question

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Guy in a wheelchair rolls over your foot, how mad are you allowed to get? I mean he *is* in a wheelchair and you’re looking down at him while clutching your throbbing foot. You can’t very well be all “look buddy, you may not understand this, but most people have feeling in their feet so you can’t be all rolling around crunching our toes!”

Definitions, by Dawn Summers

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Unacceptable: Adj. Walking out to the pool in flipflops and a onepiece with a towel over your shoulder in the 102 degree Vegas heat and finding a sign which reads ‘Pool Closed.’

Not so random thought

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

The only difference between a bribe and a tip is timing.

Say Cheese

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

I am not a photographer.
Ask anybody.
I’ve lost track of the many various and expressive ways the G-train has used to describe the flickr stream where I dump all the shit off my camera without caring whether a thing is in focus or centered or has a big form of my thumb pressed smack down the middle. Peter, or maybe Karol used to mock my inability to frame a shot, whatever that means. When I was in junior high school, seventh grade to be exact, I knew that in a few months I would be leaving my friends and heading off to prep school. So, I thought I should capture some memories. You know, to tape to the inside of my locker like those girls all did in the Sweet Valley High books.
My mother bought me one of those long rectangular Candies camera dealies. You know, the kind that was light purple with pink trim, used two double A batteries and a 110 film. I ripped the film out of its
cumbersome foil, plopped it into the back and went off to school. I took some shots of my locker in homeroom. I stood in front of the rows and rows of gray squares, turned on the flash, stood at the ready while the thing warmed up and a gentle whirring and faint yellow light let me know it was ready to go, and then snap! I hit the pink square button.
Success!
Memory number one. I will never forget this locker and this lock in this moment in time.
I turned the prying eye on my friends Michelle and Janine. They held
still while I scraped the pink wheel forward with my thumb in order to advance
the film, and readied the camera for another memory.
“Wait, I think you guys need to stand by the window, so the sun can light up the picture!”
They dutifully shuffled over to the classroom window and I snapped the
picture of them beneath the sun’s glare filtering through the bars on the class window.
Ms. Hyde was our homeroom teacher and I wanted to take a picture of
her too. This posed several problems, not the least of which was, well,
Ms. Hyde was the most severe woman I had ever known. She never smiled, spoke only the words necessary to elicit whether a student was absent or present and she, and here was my
greatest stumbling block, sustained herself on a steady diet of seventh graders.
Now, obviously I don’t mean to say that she gorged herself on an open buffet of my classmates and I, say the way Mr. DeFrietas, my science teacher did with babies, that would just be reckless. She couldn’t work her way through an entire class of students, people would notice that sort of thing and
she’d be removed. Possibly sent to teach shop to the remedial kids or some other appropriate punishment for those with a taste for seventh graders. No,the way we figured it, Ms. Hyde took one child a year, selected at the year’s end, so that no one would notice, and she ate that child, a
finger for lunch, a slice or two of thigh for dinner, slowly until Christmas break of the following year, when she’d take her nextvictim. That child again lasting until the Spring break and so on. A
routine which both explained her gaunt look and why a woman who so clearly hated every thing we said or did would choose a career in which her principle function was to keep track of and teach seventh graders. There was no question that after eight months of carefully staying off Ms. Hyde’s radar, that I would risk being the end of year selection by
asking her to stand in front of the window while I wound up my camera and waited for the whirr to tell me the flash was ready. No, Sir.
But I had a project and she was a memory. So when the bell rang, I slowly advanced the film, readied the flash and as my classmates poured out of the classroom, I put my backpack on, pushed myself into
the crowd, turned to face Ms. Hyde’s desk and pressed the pink button. Then I ran.
I took a shot of the grey hallways and the girl’s bathoom.
I took pictures of Anita in the yard…making sure that she stood in the shade, while I stood under the sun because I heard that outside pictures are the opposite of inside pictures.
I took a picture of the back of the head of the boy that Anita liked because, well, she was my best
friend and she asked me to.
I took a picture of the class bully because she was sitting on a lunch table, with her feet on the benches usually reserved for butts, and I was on the other side of the cafeteria, so I don’t think she saw me.
I took a picture of my lunch tray and the cheeseburger in silver foil that I ate everyday. I took a picture of the burger king cup that I had bought for .69 the first week of school and kept in my locker because Burger King offered free refills. This was the year I perfected the
exact ratio of orange soda to Pepsi for the patented Dawn Summers orange Pepsi.
It was also the year that made sure Coke never tasted quite right to
me.
I had a roll of 24, but I maybe got up to 18 when I decided that I had collected quite enough memories of the seventh grade.
Incidentally, there were no pictures of me because my mother warned me that if the camera was lost or stolen, I would “pay for it with [my] ass.” This is what happens when you spend your elementary school days carelessly losing one hand of gloves or hats or video games and
then coming home with tears in your eyes about how they were tragically stolen by sheer brute force, only to find them stuffed at the bottom of your bookbag a month or so later.
The trust, it goes.
I took the film out and my mom mailed it away to one of those mail order developers that offered double prints for the low price of ten cents each. I waited six to eight weeks for my seventh grade memories.
I quickly flicked through them when they arrived. Shadowy black girls, blurry shapeless figures, pictures of just the color black, pictures of just white streaks, ooh, my cheeseburger! I gave Anita the
picture that I thought was the back of Jose’s head. That was the name of the boy she liked. It was hard to tell whether it was him or not, but it wasn’t not him, and that was the best I could do by way of identification at that point.
She kissed it and rocked it against her chest lovingly.
I put the Candies camera in my mother’s bureau and stuffed the prints in my desk drawer.
No, I was not a photographer, but my mother spent fifteen dollars on that camera and ten dollars getting them developed and mailed to me, so I wasn’t going to make that pronouncement anytime soon.
I stayed away from the picture taking business for a goodly three years. But when I was chosen to represent my parish at Catholic World Youth day in Poland, my mom’s supervisor at work — an elderly Jewish woman — lamented that it would be a shame if I didn’t have any pictures to show when I got back. She bought me a brand new Canon. It was small, black, had a zoom lens and a flash. It was worlds better than my old pink/purple camera. I, alas, remained the same. I took pictures with the shutters closed, pictures with the zoom too far in, those with the zoom too far out. And that was when I remembered to bring the camera with me at all. I saw some amazing things in Poland – from piles of shoes and glasses of dead Holocaust victims at Auswitz to the black Madonna at Cestahova — my camera, on the other hand, saw rapid fire shot of roads and billboards on my way to the airport on my last day because ‘aw, shoot, I’ve only taken fourteen pictures in 12 days!”
That was the last camera I was ever given, and I used it all through college, law school and well, most of the new millenium.
In 2006, I bought myself a schmancy new digital camera — but again, the results were the same. Except that now I don’t waste any money on developing film. (I was telling my friend Sun about how I hate modern day romantic comedies because whenever the couple breaks up — like in Losing Sarah Marshall or I hate you Sarah Marshall, whatever it’s called — the protaganist always sits there in bed crying over a picture of his lost beloved and I’m just like ‘bullshit!’ Nobody has actual pictures of people they’ve only known for a year or two. They’ve got a million pictures in the cellphone or on their flickr page!’ And then the whole movie is just ruined for me…though I guess sitting in front of a cellphone screen crying as you delete your memory card is just not a dramatic enough moment for movies.)
Why, am I telling you all of this now, you’re probably asking yourselves. Though, if you’ve read this far, it probably means you’re killing time and work and well, must be so bored out of your minds, you’d even be willing to read cooking blogs at this point.
Anyway, I was on the plane out to Las Vegas and I am sitting next to these two beautiful Russian models. I am in the window, they are in the middle and aisle seats.
One girl towers above me at about 5’10 or so, her sister is slightly shorter. They have shoulder lenth bright yellow blonde hair. One girl is wearing a Hugo Boss ribbed white baby tee about two sizes to small for her, so her breasts strain against the material. She is also wearing hip hugger mini shorts with the word SPORT across the backside, when she stands, the shorts droop a bit and reveal the butterfly tatoo on the small of her back. Her sister was wearing a simple summer dress. They both wore diamond studded flip flops. Now, we were on a plane, so these girls were clearly freezing. I could tell this just by looking at them. Well, certain parts of them. At one point, the one crawled into the seat with the other and they pulled themselves into a ball, both legs on the seat, with their knees curled under their chins, put their heads together and drifted off to sleep. Yeah, they were both about size negative eights.
When the pilot put on his seatbelt sign, the stewardess gently said “girls” you need to put seatbelts on.” They uncurled, separated into their assigned seats and snapped the way too large for them belts across their waists. In time they fell asleep again. These women fascinated me. I wondered about their lives and jobs and what were they thinking right now. Or now! Or now! They seemed downright chimerical. I couldn’t wait to blog about the randomness of my seatmates and had already started drafting the posts in my head. They became so much a part of my inner monologue that I almost jumped out of my seat when one of them tapped me on the shoulder.
“Do you know what time we land in Vegas?”
I did not. But I was startled and I blurted out “Eleven…um…thirty.”
“Vegas time?”
Her voice was soft, she actually had a Valley girl accent. It suddenly dawned on me that I assumed that they were Russian because they look so much like Anna Kournikouva.
“Um…yes.”
I checked my watch. What time were we supposed to land in Vegas…what is Vegas time anyway…three hours ahead? Behind? I cannont believe I just made up an answer. It’s not like they aren’t going to find out.
But my head was already swimming with my shattered assumptions. They certainly weren’t Russian. Delete whole paragraph from imaginary post. Were they models? Why were they wearing no clothes….on an airplane! How did they do that whole contortionist trick?
I went back to my book and stole glances of them. I checked my watch. Looks like we’re supposed to get to Vegas at around 9:30…if my math is correct.
Grin.
I stole another look, they were asleep.
I took out my camera and snapped a picture. My hands were shaking and I was terrified the flash would betray my intrusion.
They stirred, but didn’t wake.
My heart was still pounding. It occures to me for the first time, that maybe I just don’t like taking pictures. Thinking about my flickr stream, there are side of heads, backs of heads, hands of unwilling photography subjects covering their faces. My photography is messy. I am always trying to capture a moment. An errant smile, a victory, a sarcastic look — but the minute I put the little window to my eye, they know that I’m watching. And I know that they know that I’m watching. It changes it. It becomes wrong. But with my words, I can write whole tomes about my subjects. Capture their words and repeat them for all the world to read and they are never the wiser. Ocassionally someone who knows me well can spot the blank look on my face that generally means I’m rewinding what was just said and doing my pre-blog prep, but for the most part, my writing is clean. I can steal as many souls as I’d like and I don’t have to rush and sweat the machinations of my instrument.
I got into the taxi and gave the driver my hotel name.
I scanned through my camera to find the picture I stole of the sleeping girls. Dammit.
You could make out blurs of some kind…there were certainly bright yellow spots, in the general area of their blond heads. You could possibly tell that the photo was taken on a plane.
But not much more.
I am no photographer. Never have been, never will be. But that’s okay, I’d prefer to use the 1,000 words everyday and twice on Sundays.
(more…)

Sex and violence are dead

Monday, June 23rd, 2008 by Dawn Summers

LOS ANGELES – George Carlin, the frenzied performer whose routine “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” led to a key Supreme Court ruling on obscenity, has died.

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. He was 71.

George Carlin dies at 71

Quote of the Day

Monday, June 23rd, 2008 by Dawn Summers

“Dawn, I didn’t think it was possible, but you’ve broken every traffic law ever written…I’m going to make Clareified tomorrow aren’t I? — a pale faced KJ from the passenger seat.

In my defense, I only broke like four or five laws…maybe six. But that last one was a stupid law anyway.

A misunderstanding: In One Act

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 by Dawn Summers

I am walking to the elevators holding an armful of boxes.
I set them down and turn one over.
My mother says: Don’t break the box.
I pull the tape off the bottom.
My mother says: Don’t break the box.
I punch my fist through the bottom.
My mother says: NO! DON’T BREAK THE BOX.
I look up and say “You have to break it to recycle it.”
My mother says: I’m not recycling it. I’m keeping it.
I say “ohh, so you don’t want me to break the box?

Song of the Week

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Jamie’s kids are screwed

Saturday, June 21st, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Heirs stuck with casino memorabilia collecting parents’ crap.