Clareified

Where does the good go

Archive for the 'Personal' Category

Everything’s Coming Up…

Sunday, December 29th, 2013 by Dawn Summers

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You can’t even really tell from that photo, but baby Rose is THEEE mostest gorgeousest person on the planet. AND this year’s Clareified person of the year.

I want to say it’s because she was born in 2013, but I’m not sure, nobody told me when she was born cause I’m not important and nobody likes me (insert downcast eyes and shuffling feet) so I didn’t find out till my once a year Facebook login and I didn’t get to meet her till around August.

But no matter, she is like the perfectest person!

Totally smart and curious and kind, she didn’t even cry during my whole visit, and babies HATE me! Plus, she’s still little enough that she let me put a Mets cap on her head AND take a picture! (Of course, she then promptly took it off… toldya, smart!)

So, for being the highlight of a cruddy summer and making me laugh with her misadventures on the playmat, Rose is totes magotes the Clareified POTY.

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Happy New Year, everybody! I wish you health, happiness and hope in 2014!

Never give up!

Monday, December 9th, 2013 by Dawn Summers

Yesterday, I was at Dawn 2’s birthday gathering for her 29th, 29th birthday —wait… that’s not right — anyway, so it was Patriots sunday, but I was on the road headed to New Jersey.

Thankfully, I have paid an undisclosed amount of money to be able to watch Patriots games on my phone. Of course, we were losing to the hapless Cleveland Browns, so I wasn’t feeling very thankful. I listened as drive after Patriots drive was stalled by the Browns defense. I heard Rob Gronkowski sustain a leg shattering injury and looked down (at a red light for a milisecond, officer) to see him carted off the field to a standing ovation.
And then the Patriots finally scored a touchdown and opted to go for the two point conversion instead of just kicking the easy PAT. I was annoyed. So I was complaining to Alceste. Then with two minutes left in the game, we’re down by 12. And suddenly, Brady is completing every pass and they score an easy touchdown.

“BAH! WHO CARES AT THIS POINT?!” I whine. STOOPID BROWNS!

“Ooh la di da, now they’re gonna try to get a possession from the on-side kick. The TV stat box says the Patriots haven’t recovered an on-side kick since 1994. I roll my eyes. My eyes, still midroll, do not really see the play. Alceste says the Patriots recover. I think he’s mocking me.

“Shut up.”

“No, really.”

I look at the TV. Play is under review! Sure, enough the Patriots did recover it!

I won’t go into further details, but the Patriots came back to win their third game in a row after trailing at the half.

I feel like the universe is telling me not quit. But I’m going to need to see 7 more Patriots wins like this to really believe it. *whistles*

Stuff in my head

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 by Dawn Summers

I’m not great about fixing things. And by “not great,” I pretty much mean I’m awful about it. Once a thing stops working, I chuck it in the back of a closet somewhere and buy a new one.

I feel like there might be a story about how my lamp stopped working, so I bought a new one and then when my friend came to assemble the new one, he noticed that the old one wasn’t broken, the bulb had just burned out.

However, I’m only 92% sure that happened, and I’m terrible at math and boy, does that story make me sound like a grade A jabroni, so, let’s say that never happened. (Shut up, Fischel.) (Okay, I might now be 96% sure that happened. *whistles*)

Anyway, so the lamp was absolutely definitely probably not at all broken, and I quickly replaced it. I needed light, it wasn’t giving me any, end of story. Lamp, dumpster; dumpster lamp.

When my transmission went kaput, I bought a new car.

Repairs? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I do admire the handy types though. The ones with a tool box, a light touch and elbow grease. They bring the dead things back to life; they see opportunity in the trash pile.

Random thought #2,788,901

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 by Dawn Summers

I found this sitting in my draft folder. Empty. What the hell Past Dawn Summers. What. The. Hell???

Farewell my sweet R train and 22 minute commute…

Friday, August 2nd, 2013 by Dawn Summers

hello, horrible 5 train and 55 minute commute. Take it away Savage Garden…

Have a good weekend.

August movie reviews

Thursday, August 1st, 2013 by Dawn Summers

Should I worry that I haven’t seen ANY of the summer blockbusters? This used to be my FAVORITE time of year! But I guess with all the birthday traveling, I just haven’t had the time; but honestly, I do not have the inclination either. Superman… the giant robot thing…Wolverine…Eh… I guess I’ll wait for the DVDs. *Coco Shrugs*

The Chernobyl Diaries

I saw this movie a while ago, but when I scrolled through my past review recaps it wasn’t there. It’s a decent enough faux documentary horror flick. (Though, the premise, twenty-somethings decide to go on “an adventure tour” of a nuclear disaster site smacks of the hashtag #whitepeople.) I liked the end.

Sharknado

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAH Am I really going to review a Syfy movie starring Tara Reid and Ian Ziering called Sharknado? HAHAHAHAHAHA No.

The Revisionaries

This is a documentary about the 2010 Texas schoolboard process of updating the state’s public school textbooks. And yet, it wasn’t boring. Actually, at the point where the one guy makes a motion to “remove references to ‘hip-hop’ and replace them with ‘country and western music’ because *that* music doesn’t have a place in our schools,” I was laughing hysterically. Racism makes people insane, y’all. There was also a motion to remove the philosophies of Thomas Jefferson and insert President Obama’s middle name AND declare Ronald Reagan a national treasure. *IN TEXTBOOKS* Textbooks that students will learn from for the next decade. Oh, and I didn’t even write about the evolution “debate.” HAHAHA Spoiler… it did not go well for evolution. TAKE THAT DARWIN! WHO’S THE FITTEST NOW, BITCH? HAHAHAHHAAHHAAH Oh, Texas.

The Shawshank Redemption

“…hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” So, this entire movie is pretty much bullshit, amirite? I don’t understand why it’s so revered, I saw it once in college and promptly forgot about it, so I thought I’d missed something and decided to watch it again. Nope. It’s your standard prison fantasy. Though, I guess I don’t know anything about prison in the 50s, prisons that I got to know in the aughts are nothing like that. And Red would never have been paroled. Shrug.

Shadow of a Doubt

No clue why I rented this movie about a strange man who comes to stay with his sister’s family. It’s funny, I think Hitchcock suffers from his later successes, because I kept waiting for something terrible to happen, but nothing does till the very very end when there’s just no choice. So, I’d jump at every frame change or camera closeup and then be disappointed that nothing happened. It’s okay.

Thirst

Yo, this is a creepy ass Korean vampire movie. I don’t know whose fault it is that I saw this, but I will find you and make you watch some creepy ass movie with creepy ass smiling vampires who stab people in the neck. And old stroke victim mothers who are out for revenge. Shudders. *Turns on all the lights*

The Last Stand

Oh man, Arnold Schwarzenegger, why can’t I quit you? You’re a liar, and a cheat and a Republican, and yet… I loved the last stand. There’s high speed chases and a helicopter attacks stuff and an old lady is all shooting people with a shotgun and Arnold is all “Ahm too old for dis shit” and then he like pulls the pin out of a grenade with his teeth! I can’t help it, I LIKE ASPLOSIONS!!!! *puts self on timeout*

Stoker

This movie is so gotdamn pretentious. It’s like “Shadow of a Doubt” in that an uncle comes to live with his brother’s family after his brother dies, but it’s not like it because you’re just mostly rolling your eyes at the pretension. Jaysus. Terrible. Oh, it’s also like “Thirst” in that there’s a creepy ass chick stabbing people in the neck.

Won’t Back Down

Eh, I don’t think they meant to make a movie that celebrates union busting, but that’s what they did. It was alright, but the whole teacher teams up with dyslexic kid’s mom seemed contrived. I don’t care if it IS based on a real life story.

Ella Enchanted

I love me some Anne Hathaway. This movie about a girl cursed with obedience but who changes the world anyway, is a tad silly, but Anne Hathaway and Matt Damon’s famously dumped ex-girlfriend, Mia Driver? Minnie Driver? Something like that, are charming. The supporting cast is terrible. Though, it’s always nice to see Westley from “The Princess Bride.”

Gangster Squad

This movie was AWESOME! I don’t know why it didn’t get at least as much traction as LA Confidential – it has that same film noir vibe about it – except the plot made sense and didn’t put me to sleep after an hour. PLUS there are black people and Mexicans! Brava, Gangster Squad, Brava. Also, Ryan Gosling is shirtless. Oh hey, and he’s paired up with Emma Stone AGAIN… Hmm… note to self, keep an eye on that Emma Stone. Grr.

Identity Thief

This movie about Jason Bateman going to look for Mellissa McCarthy, who has stolen his identity, does all the right things to be a heartwarming comedy, but it just wasn’t heartwarming or particularly funny. This is definitely one of those movies where all the funny parts are in the trailer. I can’t quite put my finger on why it didn’t work for me, but at the end I was just kinda like “Meh.”

A Good Day to Die Hard

Wooo! All the asplosions and “too old for this shit”ness of The Last Stand without having to feel all dirty about liking the lead. I’M IN! Also, there is a shocking double double cross! *slow claps* Keep on dying hard, Mr. Willis!

Hello? Argentina? Go ahead and shed those tears

Monday, July 29th, 2013 by Dawn Summers

The birthday season is almost over! It was super awesome as always! Kaz and Tito made me a birthday song and Notorious LIG and Vero rented friends for me, Mary gave me a beach house with free cupcakes and Grange ensured that I will spend a fortune on wine for the rest of my life because NOTHING will ever be good enough for those glasses.

I’ve also started to get my literary life in order and my friends have been so great with “offering” to “voluntarily” edit my crap. So, yay, Dawn.

But why all the Argentinian tears? Remember my awful day job? Well, somehow my project was this self contained island free of interference. We were able to use the internet and really do what we wanted absent much supervision. Do you already see where this is going?
One of my co-workers, who I call #methlady for… reasons, decides to call in the IT guy because her AOL is slow. O_o

Of course, they shut our environment the very next day. Everyone was sad. And very very angry at the stupid crackhead #methlady.

BUT THEN the black guy, who I call #blackguy cause… lazy, figures out a way to reset the settings to restore the internet. You have to do it everyday, but who cares because… internet.
Sadly, the reset works for EVERYONE except me. Sad panda.
So, for a week and a half, I’ve watched them reading their stupid department store sites and their entertainment gossip pages, while I get a hunchback and carpal tunnel from hitting refresh on my phone – which doesnt even get 4G from 9-6.

Sheer misery.

The reading this Sunday was the story of Sodom. And how God was gonna burn that whole shizz down, but Abraham was all “what if I find 50 good men”? And God was all “alright, I’ll spare the city for 50 good men.” And then Abraham was all “weelll, what about 45?” God, is like fine, forty-five. And then Abraham goes “can we say 30”? God is totally giving him the side-eye now, but goes “mmm 30. ok. I’ve got other stuff to do here, Abraham!”
But Abraham persists, going lower and lower with his good man count and keeping God from inventing television all that much sooner. Suddenly, I realize that it’s like a message! I should be happy to be the one honest man saving the project from total unproductivity.
But today as I looked from pig to man and man to pig, I thought, nuts to this! I’m going to call the IT guy about why my cracked.com doesn’t work anymore, but no one else seems to have a problem.
The roof! The roof! The roof is!

Don’t look back in anger

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 by Dawn Summers

I’m working on a couple of new projects. But, since I’m lazy, I decided to mine the Clareified archives to see if there’s anything I could recycle. This blog is almost TEN gotdamn years old. It was fun to see when I met some of my friends, less fun noting the not-friends anymore. I have to say the 2003-2007 years were hilarious, the 2008-2011 years were sad and I had to stop reading for the day.

I noticed SO many people that I used to link to have quit blogging — and most of those links are dead now. But there was one guy who I used to read religiously. He was like this white, male Southern version of me, but without the attempts to be social or upbeat. I found his blog AND HE’S JUST THE SAME STILL. Depressed, despondent, broke, and anti-social. Kinda made me feel good. I know, I know, I’m a horrible person.

I did find a couple of things that I’ll try to repurpose, but mostly it was just a fun diary of a borderline shut-in. LOL.

Ah, good times, good times.

SURPRISE!

Monday, July 15th, 2013 by Dawn Summers

I’ve learned the prize for winning the @realdawnsummers bday challenge is picking her up at an airport in the middle of the night. – Notoriouslig

No good deed goes unpunished – Wicked

It’s true. They should do what @grange95 did, get a Dawn face eating dog. No, I mean they should NOT do what @grange95 did. NOT. Face eating dogs BAD. Besides, they already have a cadre of malodorous skunks at the ready. The Notorious L.I.G. picked me up from LAX in the Beamer convertible, top already down.

“LA is a LIE!” I yelled as I wrapped the fleece she brought around the sweatshirt I was already wearing over my jean jacket.

“Just wait till we get skunked!” she said cackling, “Surprise!”

RRUUDDDEEE.

It has been a robber’s age since Pearatty threw my last surprise birthday party in LA. So, since the old crew has long moved away or were out of town for the summer, Laura promised to rent some friends for me. And now it turns out she meant stinky skunks all along!!

HMPH!!!

We got to her house and I looked around skeptically… no skunks yet, but the last time I was here, there were dead baby heads hanging from the trees for their Halloween party.

I searched the branches.

“Where are they!?!”

“Where are what? Don’t worry Dawn… it’s not Halloween, silly.”

She opened the garage door and pulled the car forward. The headlights hit the back wall, lighting up the garage:

AHHHHHHH!!!!!
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“DEAD BABY!! DEAD BABY”

“SURPRISE!” She laughed again.

RRRUUUUUDDDDDDEEEEEE.

The next morning her way way way way better half, Veronica, provided me with bellinis and bacon and eggs for breakfast!

BTW: Bellinis >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Mimosas I don’t even… why have you people been hiding the bellinis?

RACES!!

Hmm… what happened after I had five bellinis…I can’t remember…shrugs…. at some point my rent-a-friends arrived! The first was a super cool 16-year-old girl who liked Dr. Who AND was a Patriots fan!! HA! The skunk thing was just a diversion! Laura got me the PREMIUM rental friends!! The girl’s dad was a Cowboys fan, so we made fun of him for a few hours about that. He was like “she’s usually so quiet!”

“Yeah, so sorry… Dawn is a bad influence.”

“LIES! I’M QUIET TOO… well… you know, not right this second while I’m yelling about how quiet I am… but in general!!!!” (They couldn’t see the exclamation points, but I exuded exclamatory enthusiasm.)

Veronica’s parents stopped by (she had sent them out to buy my piñata (do white people know what that is? Eh, google it. They’re fun. I grew up in a HUGE extremely competitive extended family…so uh… they can also be dangerous as hell.) and told them to get a football one. Which… to elderly latin-american people means this:

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But then Laura pointed out it kinda looks like a decapitated panda, so, you know, that’s cool.

Laura and Vero’s next-door neighbor came by with her teenage kids. The boy was a Patriots fan, the girl was not. Kay, who has been trying to hijack my Tom Brady helmet for the last 20 months, and her state certified Negro girlfriend, Nan were also there. There might have also been another Laura, we’ll call her good Laura… at this point, the bad Laura opens up a bag of water guns. This spawned two hilarious games.

The first: teenage non-Patriots fan girl was all “No, you shouldn’t give guns to anyone associated with the Patriots organization.”

RRRUUUUDDDEEEE.

So, then we played Aaron Hernandez with her. (Uh…should I ever run for office, let the record show that I was outraged at this turn of events and absolutely did NOT yell out “You’re Oden Lloyd!”)

After chasing Oden into the pool, Nan looks at the guns and says “this looks like a penis.”

Inspiring the second: “When was the last time you saw a penis” game.

LOL.

There was a lot of alcohol involved… oh, did that go without saying? Sometime near nightfall, we all moved inside to watch the Trayvon Martin verdict. We gathered around the TV for hours watching the aftermath and listening to commentary. I spent most of this time telling Kay not to tweet death threats to people. At the end of the night, everyone yelled at me for turning on the TV and ruining all their lives.

“THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN TEN YEARS THAT I AM LEAVING THIS HOUSE SOBER, DAWN SUMMERS! SOBER!” Nan shouted and then threw flower vases at my head.

“SURPRISE” Laura yelled, laughing.

MAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNN. Nobody ever throws vases at my head during Toronto birthdays! Though petitedov WILL knock her drink over. (HAHAHAAHAHAH… She is so gonna punch me in my face. #BIRTHDAYSEASON #INNOCENT)

The next day was positively perfect in every way! The weather was excellent, so I sat by the pool reading the Great Gatsby (an actual dusty hardcopy of the book!) and listening to the Mets game (they won) as the sangria and guacamole fairy (#noheterosexes) brought me food and drink. I swear, PERFECT! There was no talking, no exertion, just floating around, drinking and reading and baseball.

Ahhh. The life. Though, it has been (probably) twenty years since I read the Great Gatsby, kind of a bummer ending, no? And I always thought that line “the rich are different from you and me” came from Gatsby… but no. It’s actually a made up quote!

You’re welcome!

My annual Christiany post

Monday, July 8th, 2013 by Dawn Summers

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

I spent an awesome July fourth weekend on the Jersey shore, which Alceste has dubbed “Not stronger than the storm.”

I have deftly hidden a bottle of fake syrup in Mary’s fridge, which like the flag planted in the moon made it America’s, now means I own a beach house (sans any of the financial or legal obligations.)

So, now that I own a place, I figured I should explore the house of worship on the island.

My plan was to wake up at 4 AM, go out to the beach, watch the sunrise and then head to 7 AM mass. Of course, that was my plan before the 1 am scotch drinking and sharknado watching. (Sharknados. I’m not kidding.)

Instead, I ended up barely making it to the 8 AM mass. (Bewildering Alceste and Mary with my disappearance. “Church??! We didn’t even THINK of Church!” LOL. Heathens.)

Now, usually when I go to church *AT 8 AM* parking is ample, the pews are empty and I’ve got mad crazy elbow room.

Not this day.

I guess there’s only one Catholic church for miles and miles, because the line of cars heading into the parking lot wrapped around the block. And there were young kids wearing yellow “event” vests directing the cars into rows — like at Disneyworld.

I squeezed into a pew in the back and grabbed the last Missal in the pocket. There were *at least* 300 people already there. AT EIGHT AM! ON AN ISLAND!

Do I need to say I was also the only black person? No? Okay.

Later, I told Mary that I was mortified because I was also the only person wearing sandals, shorts and a t-shirt! “Why am I walking around reinforcing stereotypes and stuff? At least I pulled up in a Beamer!”

“Hmm,” she said “they probably just figured the people you work for were nice enough to let you borrow their car.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

Mary is the second worst person in America.

The church was nice, less ornate than either of my Brooklyn parishes, but it was huge and the windows were stained glass. They had both an altar boy and an altar girl. The celebrant was a Monsignor and he had a thick Irish brogue, I mostly understood his homily about his sister-in-law who packs two months in advance…sorta maybe? I dunno. They had a full choir that rocked the hymns, including one of my favorites (How Great Thou Art) AND THEN, to close mass on Fourth of July weekend they sang God Bless America! Oh, yeah, I think the Irish Monsignor said some stuff about the Founding Fathers too…like they were risk takers…maybe…sorta…kinda? I dunno.

But the reading that day really struck a chord with me because it touched on some things I had been puzzling over for the past couple of months.

Jesus is getting ready to go to Jerusalem and he sends his disciples ahead of him to get the locals ready to receive him. And basically, he tells them don’t be jerkwads, eat whatever you’re given, find one house and stay there, but most importantly:

Into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.

And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you.

Sometimes I drive myself batty trying to figure out why people have been mean to me, not playful ribbing, but genuine unkindness. And beyond the why, deciding how to respond. Invariably, I know that my Chicago-style instinct prompts me to go too far (send one of ours to the hospital, we send one of yours to the morgue.) So, I tend to just quietly withdraw and seethe in private till I forget about it, which in my old age happens a lot faster than it used to.

But perhaps my charge as a Christian is simply to bring my peace and caring and generosity and hope to find the same. But if I’m met with unkindness, not to worry about it, my own peace will be returned to me and it’s on to the next one.

On that clear Sunday morning, on the eve of my birthday, the sentiment resonated in a meaningful way. It’s one of the reasons I love participating in Catholic services. I’ve attended masses from Cz?stochowa to New Orleans and while there’s always a moment of trepidation before I take my seat (I don’t understand the language, no one knows me) within moments I find that I am in a house of God surrounded by sons of peace.

Safe and welcomed.