who's the ECL?

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm not BAD evil, more like devil's food cake evil.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Zetta Asks, I Talk

Zetta tagged me.

1. Why cake?

I almost don't understand this question, because it is CAKE, people, CAKE! Cake is awesome.

When I was a kid, we had cookies and Cadbury chocolate lying around on a regular basis. My grandma (the Canadian one) would come stay with us every winter and she'd bake pies like there was no tomorrow. But cake, cake would only be served for birthdays. Cake meant something fun and celebratory was going on, cake meant parties and presents, cake meant that for a day, it was all about you. Nobody baked cakes in my family--so we would go to the local bakery, or when that closed, the local Safeway, and the birthday person got to pick out their cake. I would always deliberate carefully about my birthday cake. I didn't want a cake I would regret, but I also didn't want to get stuck in a cake rut.

I loved everything about cake, from the sweet piped frosting made from shortening, to the pretty layers of cake-filling-cake-frosting on the inside, to the contrasting textures of soft, creamy, crunchy. Even as a kid I was a cake connoisseur and knew the difference between a good cake from a real bakery and a shitty one with rubbery layers and terrible cheap tasteless whipped cream frosting with airbrushed pictures. Even as a kid I would be pissed off when I would go to a birthday and the shitty kind of cake would be served.

People don't know anymore what real cake is. That shit from a box isn't real cake. That is shit. That rubbery ass stuff you can get at big box "bakery" sections is ass. Since the decline of the neighborhood bakery the grocery stores have picked up the slack--or maybe the grocery stores ran the bakeries out of business. Their cakes are mediocre to fairly decent at best. But there are even some bakeries in town that make a crappy product. The people want their cake to taste like that shit from a box, and so the bakeries that are still in business have to accommodate that taste. Which is fucked up, people. Bakeries should be educating the unwashed masses: "you want cake people? I said, you want cake? I'll BRING IT, and YOU'LL EAT IT, and YOU'LL LIKE IT."

I bake cakes because I love cake. I love what cake stands for--a celebration, a special occasion, a milestone. I give birthday cakes as the birthday presents because the people I love deserve a real cake for their day. I use the best ingredients that I can get--and that adds up to the best tasting cake. I bake cakes because I have an awesome cake book and I can make an awesome, REAL cake really easy. I don't have magic baking hands. I have a great cookbook and a strong desire to follow directions.

So in a nutshell, I love cake like a fat kid loves cake.

2. Who is your favorite Southpark character, and why?
Please cite examples.

Cartman, hands down. I mean, duh, who else on television can kill a kid's parents, cook them up in a chili, and feed this chili to the kid? And only to get revenge for being duped by a pubic hair joke? Cartman is life's jester; he is the rule breaker that keeps us all free.

Plus, his mom was on the cover of Crack Whore Magazine.

3. What animals do you identify with most?

Bears. My favorite part of Borat was when they were traveling with the bear. I want to travel with a bear! And go swimming with him in the pool!

I have a secret dream of cuddling up with a big ol grizzly bear, all sleepy and bloated from eating huckleberries and moths all day (the bear, not me), and me being able to slide in and be enveloped in the thick, coarse, probably stinky, warm bear fur and the two of us would nap in the afternoon sun.

Besides, I have an ass that resembles a grizzly bear. We must be related.

Dolphins. Squeaky and fast. And they always seem like they are laughing at us hairless monkeys. I like that in an animal. And they live in large community groups and know how to get along, and they are social and fun loving and have sex for the enjoyment of it, not just to procreate, and they are smart and adaptive and some groups have learned to cooperate with tuna to get food and they all feed together. Watching wild dolphins race around in the ocean always makes me cry. Even through a television set their overwhelming joy and exuberance is a palpable force that fills my heart and overwhelms me to tears. It's as if their echolocation can reach me through the tv and I feel it as wild, pure, fiery joy.

There are other animals, of course, but that is a good place to start.

I generally have an easier time identifying with mammals over other life forms, although sometimes a tree and me can get into a pretty heavy conversation. Trees like to laugh at us hairless monkeys too. I like that in a plant.

4. Do you think there is a such thing as impossible?

Only if you believe impossible is possible.

5. Is natural childbirth for everyone, or are there some people who just need drugs and surgery?

Yes and no.

There was a time, before hospitals and pharmaceuticals, where natural childbirth was for everyone because we had no choice. Women had to figure out how to do it. The only other option was death.

And death happened, a lot.

I have a lot of theories about how life might have been like back then, how pain and hardship might have been accepted as a normal part of everyday, and that we might have had a better understanding of how to roll with life's punches.

But also, a lot of women and babies died.

Now we have choices. Almost too many choices. And sometimes it seems as though all of our choices end up saving us from ourselves. Sometimes it seems like we can opt out by choosing modern medicine instead of muddling through the trials of fire and ice and learning about our own deepest strengths.

But all of that is just my judgment call, you know?

A woman gets a stack of cards at the beginning of her child's labor. Sometimes her deck includes a gentle birth, or a textbook birth, or fetal distress, a fourth degree tear, a precipitous birth, or prodromal labor. She doesn't get to control what goes into her deck; she can only control how she works with and responds to her circumstances.

Sometimes a woman gets the four day birth and stalls out at 8 cm dilated in the early morning of the 4th day. Sometimes she needs some help to finish. Before modern medicine, what could she have done? If she hemorrhaged really seriously or tore really deeply or the baby had trouble thriving in the first hours of life, chances are she or the baby might die.

Death, maternal or fetal, is not an option in modern medicine. Death has become unacceptable in our culture as an outcome of a situation.

So modern medicine does everything it can to control the uncontrollable, and in 99.9% of the time, it can guarantee freedom from the possibility of death.

What laboring mother wouldn't ask for those odds when her child is at stake?

So natural childbirth is for everyone, because childbirth is a natural process.

However, sometimes a woman needs to opt out of the journey to the underworld (where she goes to get her baby) because she doesn't have the right support, or she wasn't prepared, or she doesn't believe in her own depths of strength.

And sometimes a woman gets handed a deck stacked against a natural birth such that if there will be two lives at the end of the process, modern medicine must intervene and control the process.

Friday, April 20, 2007

SNL - Digital Short - A Special Christmas Box

I know you have already seen it, and seen it, and seen it. But what the hell, see it one more time. It will be a good way to start the weekend.

Sing with me now: "it's my dick in a box..."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Vader Sessions

i probably need to get out more often...but not until i see this one more time.

(found on OK Go's youtube profile.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Spring Snowfall, Loud Coffeeshops

It is spring in Portland, Oregon.

This is a photo from my flickr page. I am obligated to tell you that.

Click on the photo to see it big, so that you can see the petal snow in the air.

All those lovely flowers and all those petals and pollen?

Make my eyes all puffy and swollen like this:

me, puffy eyed from allergies and sleepy

And also:
I was in the WORST coffee shop yesterday evening with yelling children, semi-orgiastic teenage girls on the couches, stupid adults yelling over the loud cacophonous music the dead-eyed servatron decided to play, and idiots who decided their large party of 5-8 people had to crowd around the 2-top right behind me instead of sitting across the room where there were plenty of empty tables.

It was an exercise in patience, and I failed.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Poor Keira, and How Cool is Gmail!

1. Poor Keira Knightley. She got fugged again. And I laughed out loud in the coffee shop--them fug girls are funny.

2. I am currently IM chatting with my sister using the gmail IM thingy! How fun is that! We are talking about setting up a petting zoo. She and I have terribly large and very soft spots for animals. I sometimes prefer stinky animals to people. No offense, people.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Story About a Donkey and a Horse

As this post stands it isn't my favorite because it changes narrative style or what-have-you halfway through, but I can't seem to find a good way to fix it am extraordinarily lazy and it is a cute little piece of fiction.

To all the wild horse boys and their little donkey girls.

Once upon a time there a was little donkey who lived by the river in a delicious patch of clover. She was a fairly happy donkey, but she always dreamed of having a horse boy for a friend. She thought he'd be strong in his sense of self, a good protector, a little wild and very firey. She thought he would be someone who carried a lot of joy, and expressed it with every move he made, who knew who he was and what he wanted, who was a little proud and maybe even a little arrogant, who loved to laugh and laughed about life. Even though the little donkey hoped to meet such a wild and free horse who loved to explore and experience new things, who loved to run and run and run, she hoped he would be the kind of horse that would always, at the end of the day, come running back to the little patch of meadow where she would be. Sometimes she hoped he would be so excited about whatever was out there to see that his enthusiasm would incite the cute little donkey to go run with him for a little bit.

This little donkey girl would be happy munching away at her patch of tasty clover by the bubbling stream, but would love her crazy horse for all his joy and passion and enthusiasm for life. Even though the two of them might seem a little mismatched, they would love each other for their differences, and the donkey would give the horse a little stability and the horse would incite the donkey into playful explorations.

She hoped for a horse who would love his little donkey girl and find her little habits and ways very endearing. Someone who would be as deeply loyal to her as she would be to him, and even though their social circle would be fairly busy and exciting, as both are social creatures, at the end of the day they would be happy to be just the two of them together under the night sky.

Maybe sometimes they wouldn't quite get each other, but they would accept each other for the creatures that they were, and that acceptance would make the both of them feel loved and understood beyond anything they had ever experienced before.

Even though the little donkey girl would be left alone often by the wild and firey horse, she would know that the horse would come back to be with her when he was done running. She thought she'd be okay with that. She trusted the horse to come back--he always did--and when he did he would be so happy to see her, and her him, and they would graze in her favorite patch of clover as he told her all about his explorations, and they would cuddle together under the moon and stars and all would be right with the world.

The horse loved the little donkey so much, and felt so free with her because she understood who he was and accepted him for it. And in return he did the same for her.

Eventually, however, the little donkey began to really miss her horse when he was gone running. She thought she'd be okay with his need to leave and be wild, but it began to wear on her. When he was around he made her feel like the most important donkey in the world, the most loved and understood little donkey ever. The donkey girl realized that she wanted her horse boy to be around more often, so she could show him all the new things in her world, and so he could comfort and cheer her up when she was feeling blue (which seemed to happen every four or five weeks for days at a time).

The little donkey understood that he was who he was, and understood that even when he was off running and running and running (you could see the fire in his eyes when he ran), that she remained a presence in a little corner of his heart.

One day, her horse boy found a vast new landscape to run and run in, and in that new landscape he met a herd of horses who wanted him to join them. The horse boy had been dreaming of a herd such as this, in a promising new landscape such as this, for all of his life. He agreed to join this new herd, and eventually went back to the little donkey girl to tell her.

The little donkey didn't understand why the horse had to leave her completely to go be with the new herd. She didn't understand why he didn't want her to come along, even though she knew her little legs and donkey body would only slow the herd down. She thought she could find a new patch of clover in the new landscape, but the horse thought she'd be better left in her familiar environment. Looking into his eyes, the donkey could see that he was already running with the other herd in his soul, and that nothing she could do or say would keep him with her, unless she did her best to tether him to her. She loved and respected his wildness enough to reject taming him, so she knew he would be gone by sunrise.

And off he ran, with one backward glance at his little donkey girl that he loved, standing in her favorite patch of clover.

Epilogue: every now and then the wild horse boy, who loved his new herd, would look up from wherever they were grazing, and he would look back in the direction of his little donkey girl. He would think of her and hoped that she could feel him thinking of her, back in her little clover patch by the river. He hoped she understood why he needed to leave, and why he needed her to stay. He hoped she understood that he still carried her around in his heart, and the wild horse boy hoped she understood that he didn't consider their story to be over.