Thursday, December 27, 2007

New York Holiday

I turn off the news quickly after finishing my coffee. Benazir Bhutto has been killed this morning, and if the headlines aren't shrieking about that, it's a more local atrocity, or fluff about New Year's Eve champagnes I can't afford. I've got an appointment at a job agency for creative tech workers soon, anyway, and I can't be late.

Exiting the subway, I fish out my umbrella to fend off the oddly warm drizzle. Bryant park looks festive, nonetheless, with a Christmas tree, shopping stalls, a skating rink tent and a small but ornate merry-go-round. I'm rarely in this part of town, so I wish I'd left myself more time to wander and brought my camera, but instead I silently hail Patience and Fortitude, the NY public library lions, over my shoulder as I cross the street.

Some kind of meeting is taking place as I enter the agency, and my interviewing rep asks me to wait outside for a moment. I take off my coat, pat my hair, and check to see if my laces are tied. I should be wearing my good brown shoes, but I couldn't find them, so I ended up in the fraying ones with the recalcitrant laces. They're tied, but I realize just then that these work pants that I haven't worn for weeks sometimes unzip themselves, and my hand flies to my lower belly. Wide open! I sneakily yank it up, but a woman rounds the corner as I finish, and I wonder if she saw me with my hand around my crotch. I turn to examine a nearby print on the wall of a Scottish castle and pretend I was searching my pockets, but I'm sure I'm sporting a giveaway blush.

When I'm taken in for the interview, the rep seems very nice. I'm encouraged, also, that this is a small agency that caters specifically to creative techie types, which is exactly what I've been for the last eleven years. I'm beginning to have a little hope that I won't have to start begging the regular agencies for corporate receptionist work, when she cautions me that while my resume looks good, clients usually look to hire people for a solid week of day hours, an option which my two mornings of classes will not allow. I try to remain upbeat and tell her that I am absolutely open for late night hours, weekends and one-day gigs, if they get them. In my mind, I am already rehearsing the call I intend to make to a local veterinarian, in hopes he has an opening in his office, instead, as a part time assistant or just to update his mess of a website.

Back out into the drizzle. I call my girlfriend and she's feeling so sick she doesn't want me to go to TKTS to look for show tickets, after all. She just wants me to pick up some vegetarian soup. I decide, since I am in the neighborhood, to swing by Grand Central Terminal to see if the holiday light show is still in swing. It is, and I perch on a balcony overlooking the throng in the glorious, historic main concourse waiting for it to begin. While waiting, I people-watch. Mostly I see what looks to be groups of tourists, clutching cameras. I begin a game of spot-the-gays and realize it's almost impossible to pick out gay people in Grand Central, at least today. Is my gaydar damaged? Where are they? I briefly imagine my voice ringing against the marble as I shout out "where my gays at?" à la Kathy Griffin. Fortunately, the light show begins first.

The show is pretty, mainly kaleidoscopic light effects with music, but I find myself disappointed that there are no lasers. What's a light show without lasers? The setting is lovely though, with dancing stars projected over the famous constellation mural on the ceiling. It is even more fun, however, to watch the children who are watching the show; eyes bright, laughing, dancing.

Better get home to continue sending out resumes. I treat myself to a piece of chocolate and a book at Hudson News. It's usually when I'm at my most desperately broke that I find myself compelled to buy fiction I can't afford, just to have some escape. The book is about a young man in veterinary school during the depression, who ends up caring for animals in a traveling circus. It's almost as if it were written for me. I almost wish for a life like that, except I know it would be incredibly hard, especially as a woman. I glance up and see a poster for a new cartoon movie about "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything." On second thought, that sounds more like my ideal lifestyle.

My mood is strange as I exit the subway and head out for soup. It's been a week of grey weather, and I've been alternately bored, wracked with fear and depression over job hunting, and filled with holiday spirit just by looking at our tree or outside decorations. It's almost a miracle I got all A grades my first semester, but I'm finding it hard to be proud of myself while I don't know what kind of work I'll find when, and everything is constantly in flux. As I head up the block I glance at the mini-yard in front of the house where the local evangelist lives. I usually think of the neighbor as a bit of a nut, as he has a giant, bloody cross on the front of his brownstone year-round. This time of year he also breaks out the lighted nativity scene, though, and I observe Joseph, Mary, the wise men and angels standing solemnly in the mist, grubby but steadfast. Suddenly, my pace falters as my eyes flick down at the manger. It holds just some straw and a sign: "please return the baby Jesus."

I know just how he feels.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Homebound Lesbians

It's that time of year - it's sit on our asses time!

Yes, we always plan to do festive stuff, but it seems that every year we are so exhausted from the stress of finishing stuff up at work (or school), that at least one of us gets sick, and we both lie around like cold-stunned sea mammals, intent only on resting and building up our blubber.

Despite our limited budget, we found a cheap performance of the Messiah to go to last weekend. But we ate the tickets, because Mrs. Nator didn't feel well. Then, this weekend, we had tickets to go see Jollyship the Whizbang do a dirty pyrate-themed holiday puppet rock opera. But we are so brain dead that we showed up a day late.

It's Christmas eve, and we don't even have a tree, yet. Mrs. Nator is starting to sneeze. And we keep turning to each other and asking, "do you want to do something," or "what do you want to do," and then replying "I dunno... (snifflemopeshnort...)"

But at least we're doing it together.

Here's some pyrate puppet ridiculous to cheer up your holidays. And remember, Santa likes rum in his milk.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Quandaries of a Privileged White Girl

So, the holidays are upon us. While I should be spending all my time looking for a job (okay, okay - I've started!), I am equally sentimental, hidebound and and premenstrual enough that I've decided to dedicate a few hours to making cookies.

Like many families, mine has a tradition of making Christmas cookies. My mother used to make dozens of dozens, filling large boxes full to send to people as presents (particularly the kids when we went off to school) and keeping plenty on hand to snack on for months. Sometimes there would still be some stored in the freezer by the time the next Christmas rolled around.

For a few years, I followed her example and would wind myself up into a tizzy of cookie making. However, eventually, she and I both realized that, while cookie making is fun in the short term, once you get past a couple hundred dollars' worth of ingredients and a half-day's worth of cooking, it gets overrated real fast. Neither one of wanted to have stress-related breakdowns over whether we'd get all the damn cookies done, or who burned what, or how to get them shipped in time, anymore. And so, every year we try valiantly to resist making too many cookies. Yet, every year, the urge to bake returns.

So, what to do? I want to make a few cookies - enough to make us feel cozy, indulgent and satisfied as we loll around over our break, despite not exchanging presents due to a tight budget. But which to make? When you have multiple kinds of cookies enshrined as family traditions, how can you choose just a few?

It's puzzling enough that Mrs. Nator and I are setting aside a particular time to talk about it. I happen to know that Ma Nator is making gingerbread and chocolate chip, and Sis and Bro-in-law Nator usually make pinwheels and ranger cookies, so those are out. For me, I think I'm going to set the rule that I am not going to make any cookies just because they're someone else's favourite. If the Mrs. & I can do without 'em, they're off the list. Also, we don't need multiples of particular flavours. One kind of chocolate item, like brownies, will do, as will one fruity item and one buttery item. And for heaven's sake, no kinds that have to sit around for several days, or be chilled overnight, or what-have-you, just to get done. Let's keep it simple, people. This is supposed to be fun and fulfilling, not a chore.

So, my short list this far? Brownies, macaroons and jewel brooches (a buttery cookie with jam in the middle). And possibly those white trash concoctions made of Saltines, butter, sugar and chocolate chips that my ex-roommate introduced to us. That's it.

Now watch me break these rules just because we "must" bring those pecan sandies and/or lemon cookies to Mrs. Nator's family in Atlanta, or everyone will cry and think we don't love them.

What are your holiday cookie musts?


Philly lost. Well, congratulations to all the choirs on COTC for working so hard and putting on a good show. I think everyone had a good time, anyway.

Now, let's go cheer ourselves up by playing addictive games to end world hunger (my highest score so far is 48 49) and making plans for Saturday.

Happy Eid al-Adha, everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

GOOOO LIIIMUUUUU!!! (aka Reality TV is Weird)

I've been in studio audiences for shows before, but being there for the live broadcast of Clash of the Choirs last night and seeing my good friend perform was pretty bizarre. I mean it's just cognitive dissonance all over the place.

First of all, TV production sets are always way smaller and rattier than they appear onscreen. Even though I knew this, it surprised Mrs. Nator, and it still makes things feel a bit strange. The whole time you're wondering, "how can that chipped, spray-painted construction of particle board even hold together, much less come across as nice-looking on television?" I guess it can, although I wonder about it as HD becomes the norm. Considering that, it makes even more sense that they filled the room with some kind of artificial smoke or mist, to pick out the spotlights and give everything a soft-focus glow.

Secondly, they are almost always cold. David Letterman's set is notoriously freezing (I can attest to that), but this was outside-temperature cold. I don't think Mrs. Nator took off her coat once last night. Maybe they wanted everybody to feel like they were outdoors caroling for the holidays.

Then comes the lead-in comic. Pretty much all comedy or live contest shows have a lead-in, who tries to whip the audience into a frenzy of adrenaline while convincing them to follow his cues to clap, cheer or quickly become silent like a bunch of lemmings. He is sort of the extremely annoying, unfunny horse trainer to the audience. In this case, the guy was even more annoying and unfunny than usual. In short order, the audience were amusing ourselves by making jokes about him to his face. I'm sure he's more than used to it, however, and he gets the paycheck in the end, so whatever works, I suppose.

Now for the most discomfiting part. When we watch reality shows at home, Mrs. Nator and I, like most normal people, spend the entire show making nonstop snarky comments about the contestants, the judges, the production values, the hammy oversell of sob stories, poor choices of song and choreography and just about everything else. Yes, we usually end up rooting for someone, but you and I both know that the running bitchy voice-over from the couch is what brings families together. But when you're at a live event where people clearly are emotional in earnest, trying their best and sometimes even in earshot (and one of you has cramps), in makes it a little more difficult to bring the cynical observational humour.

Difficult, but not impossible. At the beginning of the show, Mrs. Nator stated flatly that she was not going to stand up and clap like a trained monkey (or horse or lemming, if they could clap) for just anyone. She would only reward actual good performances, or things she gave a crap about. She was surprised at how often I clapped, but I told her that in person one should be a wee bit nicer and show appreciation for people's efforts, even if they were not the best. I also told her that if she sung again at the office Christmas party this year, I would be sure to only be supportive of her if she sounded like Renée Fleming. She clapped a few more times after that.

Despite applauding, we were able to keep up a few closely whispered snark sessions between us. We had fun mocking the comic, of course, and the bizarre sinister version of holiday music they played for suspense during the voting results sections. However, the most maligned thing that evening was probably Michael Bolton's ridiculously obvious hairpiece, which looked like a yarmulke made of cheap carpet remnants. Everybody knows you have a bald spot, girlfriend. If you're going to go the short-hair route and try to make everybody forget about the (unforgettable) mullet years, why ruin it by slapping a dead monchichi on your pate? Embrace the bald, honey child, and live with it.

However, we couldn't mock everything. The most difficult part was reconciling our feelings of being jaded about and sick of the milking of sob stories with the fact that we knew the people who had been forced to talk about their sob stories were actually sobbing about them. In fact, my friend Liimu, the very person we were rooting for, actually broke down sobbing onstage twice that night.

So I found myself with these mixed feelings of being proud of her for her solo, and understanding all the backstory that made her cry (her father died of cancer, her mother survived two bouts with it, her association of the song with song seriously crappy parts of her life, she's worked all her life for the opportunity to sing for a large audience and her only chance could be taken away if the were voted off, etc.), but at the same time feeling oddly manipulated and like the whole thing was inappropriate. I wanted to protect her by getting the damn camera out of her face, and yet I knew she had worked to get it there. I knew that, overall, the important things were both this opportunity for her and the chance to bring home some money for the cancer charity Patti LaBelle had chosen, even while I knew any of those celebrities could have made a greater contribution out of their pocket change if they wanted to. Most of all, I had to appreciate her performance, emotion, and the awesome Philly choir, while they were singing Jesus Take the Wheel, one of the most appallingly hokey, eyeroll-inducing songs to come down the popular music pike in the last couple decades, at least. In the span of a few short minutes, I found myself going from loathing the song to cheering for it.

I think I sprained my brain, people. I slept until one in the afternoon today, and I still feel concussed. Doctor, will I ever be able to make fun of people freely again?

I will say, however, that there were some wonderful high moments. I was very proud of Liimu, and team LaBelle, and actually was impressed by how much better every choir and performer sounded live than on television. Seriously, they must have the dreaded awards-show bad-mixing problem on COTC, because watching it back at home on TiVo did not do them justice.

Also, seeing Patti LaBelle sing Over the Rainbow live with her choir has to be, as Mrs. Nator put it, one of the Top Ten Gay Experiences of our lives. Miss Patti is a force of nature, and she was spectacular. I cannot believe they missed some of the best parts on the live broadcast, where she hurled the mic stand across the stage and kicked her shoes into the sky during the climax of the song. They referred to it later, but the cameras missed it. And she knocked everybody else's shoes off, too. To quote Mrs. Nator again, Patti LaBelle is like a wonderful drag queen homage to herself. Halleluia!

Finally, I was thrilled that Liimu got such a long solo, and really did well with it, despite all the stress, hard work and emotion she has been going through for the past month over this. I really hope she gets more opportunities out of this, because she is awesome and deserves it. I love her a lot and am so proud of her! You Go, Girl!

I just hope she will still love me when she learns I really don't like that song.

P.S.: I actually feel a little uncomfortable sharing her emotional breakdown here, but since it's been on national TV and YouTube already, here's a video of her performance for those who missed it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hot Hot Hot!

What's so hot around here? Is it the fact that I just found out that I got all A grades in my courses this semester, despite the hospitalization?

Is it these views of the Pu'u O'o vent and flowing lava as taken by me from a helicopter over Kilauea volcano in Hawai'i?

(clicky makey biggy)

No! It is my stepsister and old friend Liimu and the rest of Patti LaBelle's choir on Clash of the Choirs, 8:00 PM on NBC, tonight and tomorrow! I mean, sure, the show's a little cheesy, but watch them tear it up in this video. Be sure to watch and vote, Vote, VOTE as Liimu is supposed to have a solo on one of the last two nights. Note: she's the one in the front left, light skinned with a black skirt and sparkly top, dancin' like a natural-born foo'.


Saturday, December 15, 2007


Two more of my photos got randomly picked up for, a travel guide site. No money in it, but it was another nice surprise. The odd thing is, I think the pictures they chose (this and this) are some of the crappiest ones I have up on Flickr. No accounting for taste, I guess.

Anyway, this may just have motivated me to finally process the photos of Hawaii and NYC I've had on my computer for ages, and get them up. I may have a bit of free time, now that I'm on winter break.

Also, maybe I'll take some photos of the Messiah concert we're going to at Trinity Church tomorrow. Unless I fall over and injure myself on the ice and snow we're supposed to get overnight. Hey, this is me we're talking about.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Things Made of Awesome

Last week of finals, my lovelies, but I haven't forgotten you. Here are a couple little things to entertain you in my absence.

1. I love the National Geographic Atmosphere podcast. Here is one filled with faboo cinematography and surprising animals. Bonus points if you know the name of the first critter without looking it up.

2. If that's not enough for you, spend some time perusing American Science & Surplus. It's not just the fun products and cheap prices; it's the little drawings and droll descriptions that get me.

Stay warm, kiddies!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Can't Talk, Studying

Heading into finals. Will I ever be mildly interesting again? Talk amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gobble Gobble Hey

Sorry I've been such an absent blogger and not commented on others' blogs, lately. School has been beating my ass.

The good news is, I seem to be beginning to beat its ass back. That's right, I got the results of my latest Chem exam this morning. This was the one I was fairly sure I'd be lucky if I got a 70 on, and figured would probably indicate that there was no way I'd be getting into the clinical program (thus meaning my whole school time was a waste, I was a failure, I should go live in my mother's basement, etc.). Well, guesswhatholycrap I got a 94 on it! Apparently, I didn't have to get all the answers right exactly (although I did almost all of them right, to my surprise), I could get credit for using the correct formulas, setting up my problem accordingly, and showing I did the work. Go know!

Not only that, but the teacher decided to throw in an extra 5 points for everybody, just as "Thanksgiving points" - which means my grade will go down as a 99!

I think I frightened some of my classmates when I got my exam back and doubled over yelping "WHAT??!!" It was a happy yelp, though. This takes so much pressure off me, you can't imagine. I mean, maybe you can, and I still have to keep working hard, but it means my studying paid off, and I'm not in danger of getting below a C (which would surely knock me out of running for the clinical program). I'd started to consider what kind of full-time work I'd have to start looking for when I failed out at the end of the semester, and convinced myself that no matter how hard I studied, I'd never grasp anything about Chemistry, and now this.

I think I can enjoy my Thanksgiving, now.

So, thanks being in order this time of year, thank you to all of you who read my self-involved rants and leave supportive comments. It really does help. Now I'm taking a long nap before I start my reading for my final Intro to Vet Tech project on green sea turtles, and reviewing chapters of Chem. I hope you all have a great holiday, and have some time and space to remember what you have to be thankful for, too.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tired Old Lady

How is it that I am pooped just from traveling to MD see my family this weekend? My dad's wife got sick, unfortunately, so he couldn't make it, and it was just me and my sister, bro-in-law, niece and nephew hanging out. Mostly I made the young'uns happy by watching their favourite videos with them, so it wasn't like we were out running marathons. So why do I feel like it should be Saturday on Monday?

Also, am I a terrible aunt because my nephew seems to have a meltdown every time I visit? I think our family is just genetically predisposed to wanting our usual, secure, homebody routines. Here I am exhausted just from being away for a couple days, and every time I visit my nephew seems to be thrown off track and act out, and then his father gets cranky, and then my sister gets quiet. (My niece does just fine, as long as she's not the one getting in trouble.) I had a really nice time with them most of the time - because, let's face it, my sibs are fun and my niece and nephew are adorable - but I think we all need to figure out a way to be less routine-bound. I guess it's not surprising that no Nators have been world explorers or astronauts, yet.

I wouldn't put it past niece Nator, in the future, though. She's a firecracker.

Anyway, I'm knackered, and I have school work to do, and today is my first job interview in, oh, say... nine years? EEEEEK! I need to figure out a way to wake up and put on a charming, positive exterior without slipping into some disturbing rictus of a false smile. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

REALLY Lucky Seven

I have a whole lot going on what with school, job interviews, family visits and so on. However, all of that pales next to one event: this weekend is my and Mrs. Nator's seventh anniversary.

I have no idea how I got so lucky. All this time, and we still amuse each other, attract each other, and feel we are absolute soul-mates. I mean, let's face it, we're both pretty weird. What were the odds that we'd find each other?

So much love. It makes everything better. I am so thankful. What else can I say?

Not the slightest itch.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Brooklyn's Got Talent

Lots of talent. And I've got... a little tiny piece of it.

Which means, aside from working feverishly to catch up in school and get my grades up (which is going... well, it's going), plus beginning to kick the search for any kind of semi-decent paying job into high gear (two interviews with temp agencies coming up, and pouring over listings on the student employment site and various others), I've had a little bit something good going on. I got some unexpected recognition for some of my photos.

Yep, when I recently checked my Flickr account for the first time in weeks, I had two requests to use some of my photos. One of them was a request to us this photo as a slide for a Remembrance Day musical performance in Vancouver. It's a local theatre project and pays nothing, but I was surprised and tickled to have someone just randomly discover one of my photos and ask to use it. I will get some sort of credit in the program, I'm told.

The second request came from a representative at, a MasterCard promotion site that posts people's stories and photos of "priceless" experiences they've had. I guess she was searching Flickr, trying to drum up interest in their site, and she liked this set of my photos, because she asked me to submit a brief description of them and let them post them there. This one actually pays something, too. A nominal amount, really, but it's the first time anyone's paid me anything for my photos, so... neat, eh?

Anyway, it's nice to get a little encouragement and recognition while I'm so stressed out about other things. Now if only I could start making more money off my photography, maybe I wouldn't have to resort to temporary admin assistant work to get by for a while... sigh.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Habblthy Habbloweenthbl! is having their annual Halloween Freakiest Fish Contest. While I don't think any of this year's nominees are quite as disturbing as last year's winner, the Blobfish (aka Fathead, see above), it's always fun to see some of the alien life forms our deep seas have to offer. So, go vote. I'll let you know who I voted for, if you tell me who you picked.

P.S.: For some more fun, freaky fish fotos, check out the links from this page. The specimens seen are from deep-sea expeditions, not the tsunami, as labeled, but they are certainly interesting. My favourite has got to be the spotted pink gunard. How is that not an Sanrio character?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sugar and Blood: The Definitive Halloween Candy List IV

I don't know, I'm running out of titles.

Anyway, it's that time of year, again. Since my favourite holiday is approaching (and I'm recuperating from the week of Cramming and Exam-ing Hell), it's time to repost the old Halloween candy list.

I sure wish I could go down to my mom's and help her give out candy next week. Stupid Thursday morning class. Halloween should allow for the next day off, so kids can come down from their sugar highs and induced vomiting, and adults can come down from their drunken apple bobbing, inhalation of smoke machine fumes and... induced vomiting. Stupid America.

Anyway, what with all that's been going on, the most I've got going on to celebrate is that I had a couple completely melted Reese Peanut Butter Cups the other day. Oh, and my mom gave me a tiny, acorn-squash sized pumpkin. Um... woo.

Perhaps it's just as well. I'm sure if I had my own house in an area where kids still trick-or-treat, I couldn't just stop at jack-o-lanterns and black lights. I'd have to blow ridiculous wads of cash on decorations, effects, and possibly even turning my living room into a haunted maze. Since that's not in the cards, maybe I'll get lucky next year and FN will fly me to her house to celebrate Satanically. Uh, I mean, properly.

So, on to the list. As usual, my disclaimer is that it features the major candy food groups of my youth, and therefore your definitive list may vary depending on your age and where you grew up. What would you add or remove?

$100,000 Bar Chewy caramel, milk chocolate and crispy crunchies. Later changed to "100 Grand," which annoyed me, 'cause I liked the old jingle.

3 Musketeers Puffy nougat covered in milk chocolate. Light and sweet. The major appeal for me was the cool Musketeers emblem. I always wanted to be a Musketeer.

5th Avenue Probably my favourite of the crunchy peanut stuff in chocolate variety, just because of the swank name and wrapper design.

Almond Joy & Mounds Because sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't! Have I mentioned I really dig coconut?

Apple Watch out for razor blades!

Astro Pops I know a kid on Gun Hill Road who got his eye put out by one of those things!

Atomic Fire Balls The classic hot cinnamon ball of the time. Only a quick burn before you got to the sweet part.

Bar None bar A brief-lived chocolate, wafer and nut bar. Pretty good.

Baby Ruth Nuts, caramel and chocolate, in a fetching red-white-and-blue wrapper. The most interesting thing about this candy bar is the controversy over its name.

Bazooka gum Rock hard and covered in powder, an American classic. Came with cartoon strips that were never funny, and offers for items in exchange for 7 bajillion wrappers. Did anyone ever send in for those things?

BB Bat Hard taffy on a stick, like a fruity Sugar Daddy. Acceptable.

Beeman's gum (Blackjack, Clove & regular) VERY rare in my era of Trick-or-Treating but classic. Either you love 'em or you hate 'em. I fall on the loving side.

Big League Chew "The Original Tobacco style Bubble Gum!" Shredded gum in a pouch originally invented to turn ballplayers off from tobacco, but actually a great way to train your kids for the weed and the throat cancer. The best part of this was the ad campaign of ball players playing ball and blowing huge bubbles, and the drawings on the pouches that looked like they were by one of the Mad magazine illustrators.

Bit O Honey Almond bits blended into a honey flavored taffy. A danger to your fillings but sooooo addictive! If you were lucky enough to get a whole bar of these divided by the distinctive interwoven wax paper, you might try to save some for later - but always fail.

Blow Pops The classic sugary bubble gum inside a lollipop. A bit sweet for me, but fondly remembered.

Bonkers Your basic extremely artificial "fruit chew". Like Starbursts, but cheaper and waxier.

Boston Baked Beans Mere candy coated peanuts, yet somehow better than the sum of their parts. The colonial brick-style packaging whispered of patriotism in the bicentennial era. Seriously awesome.

Bottle Caps Sugar candy shaped like bottle caps. Some people loved 'em. To me? No big whoop.

Bubble Gum Cigars Another training device for smokers, these were generally made of low-class gum, although the banana variety was intriguing. Chocolate cigars also existed, but were rarer in Trick-or-Treat bags.

Bubble Yum One of the many of the multi-variety gums that came out during the 80s bubble-blowing-contest craze. Innocent times, man. Probably my favourite of the type.

Bubblicious Another of the big bubble gums.

Butterfinger A version of the crunchy peanut bar covered in chocolate. A bit crisper and sweeter than some of the others. Maybe too much so for me.

Butterscotch An olde-timey favourite, whether in disks, rectangles, balls or squares.

Candy Buttons Dots Oh, yeeaaahhh! Suckin' the nasty cardboard-y sugar from the soggy paper! Rock the f**k ON!

Candy & Bubble Gum Cigarettes Came in all different kinds of packaging designed to look like popular deathstick brands. Tasted like crap, but they made you look too cool and grown-up to resist.

Candy Corn Dare I say it? THE ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN CANDY. Brach's is the hands-down favourite version, made softer and richer with a touch of honey. "Indian" candy corn and even pumpkin and other novelty shapes are acceptable for kitsch value, but the standard orange, yellow and white type is still number one. Which section of each kernel do you eat first?

Candy Necklaces and Bracelets The number one way to be stylin' AND chip-toothed.

Charleston Chew Sort of a taffy-ish nougat in vanilla, chocolate or strawberry, covered in chocolate. They were a favourite with my older siblings, especially frozen into cement-like blocks. Not high on my list back then, but bring some nostalgia.

Charms Square hard fruit candies. Whatever. Good name, though.

Cherry Clan Ooh, me so racist! Later renamed to "Cherryheads" to go with the other varieties in the Lemonhead family, but who can forget the slanty eyed-little buggers in straw coolie hats? I think I was horrified even then.

Chiclets The name and advertising made them seem so fun, but really? Just little rectangles of hard gum. What a disappointment.

Chick-O-Sticks Apparently, these were quite popular with some people. I don't know if I ever ate one, as the once or twice I got one I mistakenly took it for a cylindrical form of Chicken-in-a-Biskit and traded them off.

Chocodiles Yes, one did occasionally get snack cakes in one's treat bag (or jack-o-lantern shaped plastic bucket, as the case may be), and if one did, it was most likely these, due to their popularity and the fact that they came in single packets. Basically a Twinkie covered in chocolate, but definitely a product kids of my generation were screaming for after seeing the lovable cartoon crocodile mascot, "Chauncey."

Choward's Violet gum and candies Not common in trick-or-treat sacks but a classic nonetheless. Taste like that perfume you were given as a kid. No, not the Love's Baby Soft, the Violet! Duh.

Chuckles Your standard sugar coated jelly-gum drops. Bleah.

Chunky Ah, yes. Your basic huge block of chocolate. My favourite was the raisin and nut variety. Open Wide For Chunky!

Circus Peanuts Evil. EEEEE-VIIIILLLLL!!!

Clark Bar Another one in the vein of 5th Avenue and Butterfinger. I believe this is the earliest version, though. Nice wrapper.

Cow Tails I didn't get many of these, but they are basically a long version of the Goetze's Caramel Creams. I never was sure whether I found the name attractive or off-putting.

Cracker Jack Not usually found in treat bags as the boxes were pretty big, but OH BOY if you got one! Slightly over-caramelized sugar on popcorn with peanuts, AND a surprise treat with a joke or riddle. Too bad the surprises have been getting lamer and lamer as time goes by.

Dentyne What the…? You've been given adult cinnamon gum! KAAAAHHHHHNNN!!!

Dots Another gum drop incarnation of the slightly firmer type. Meh.

Dubble Bubble Remember when you used to, like, blow a big bubble? And then, no wait, you would, like, blow ANOTHER big bubble INSIDE of that one? Yeah. You could do it with any other bubble gum, too.

Dum Dum Pops Does it get any more iconic? Root Beer and cream soda flavours were high on my list, but who could resist the mysterious "?" flavour?

Freshen Up A gum with a syrupy liquid inside. The commercials made it look like a huge burst of flavour. Not so much.

Fruit Stripe Gum Yipes, stripes! It's Fruit Stripe gum!! SOOOO awesome. That zebra! Those stripes! That strikingly tart-sweet fake fruit flavour that fades in seconds! And later on it came with temporary tattoos?! Bow before their majesty.

Garbage Pail Candy Hard, sour candy shaped like various pieces of garbage that came in a small replica of a garbage can. Dig it.Not to be confused with…

Garbage Pail Kids Candy A chewy candy that came with a card featuring one of the popular 80s gross-out cartoon characters, the Garbage Pail Kids. These kids were a phenomenon born from an unholy union of Rat Fink and Cabbage Patch Dolls. Not my cup of tea, but very popular.
Note: and yes, there was a Garbage Pail Kids movie.

GatorGum Gum made to taste like Gatorade. Hmm. Do I hate it, or do I love it? Well, I'll keep trying it to make up my mind.

Gobstopper Otherwise known as the Everlasting Gobstopper. Balls made up of layers of candy that change colours AND flavours as you suck them away. Pure genius!

Goetze's Caramel Creams Now this is old school, son. A little carboard-y, a lot sweet, 100% memory lane.

Goldenberg's Peanut Chews I think I just had an orgasm. Again, like the caramel creams, a bit oddly carboard-y, but rich and addictive. Slightly bitter dark chocolate surrounding a fudgy chopped peanut filling. And who else has the guts to include a name like "Goldenberg" in their candy's moniker?
NB: Since the original writing of this list it has come to my attention that the Goldenberg company has changed the old, familiar packaging to a new, "playful" version. I am not amused. What's next, "New" Coke? Oh, wait a minute...

Goobers Chocolate covered peanuts. Better known as movie snacks. 'nuff said.

Good & Fruity Cylindrical fruit gummi chews with a resistant coating. See Mike & Ikes. Meh.

Good & Plenty Charlie says: Love my Good & Plenty! The much loved licorice in snazzy white and pink candy coating. Not the most decadent of candies, but very classy.

Gummi Bears The first of the multi-flavour gummi incarnations. At one time, they were positively ubiquitous.

Gummi Worms A later gummi item. Softer and more popular amongst some kids due to the gross-out factor. Gummi continued to spawn umpteenthousand varities, with no doubt some gummi gonads in there somewhere.

Heath Bar A nut toffee bar with a slightly burnt taste, covered in chocolate. A more adult item, which made one feel classy because it contained the word "English" in the description.

Hershey's varieties (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, Mr. Goodbar, Krackel & various Kisses) Do I really need to elaborate, here? Standard fare. Big points for the special dark and Mr. Goodbars, especially since your friend at school told you that Mr. Goodbar was named after a dirty movie.

Hot Tamales Hot cinnamon version of Ike & Mikes… or is that Good & Fruity?

Hubba Bubba Another big-bubble gum, this time with cowboys in the commercials. I do think this one had the most flavours, though.

Ice Cubes Basically a cube of smooth, decent chocolate. Hmm.

Jaw Breakers Ow! OwOwOW! I bit through it!

Jelly Bellies jelly beans A bit more of an Easter snack, but well loved for its many varieties, despite the fact that it got tied in with Ronald Reagan, somehow.

Jelly Rings Ew.

Jolly Ranchers You know you traded them at school. What beats watermelon? Sour apple, my friend. Sour apple.

Junior Mints More movie oriented, but enjoyed in your treat box.(Did that just sound dirty?)

Jujubes A firm fruit gum drop.

Jujyfruits <Coach Z voice> Jeeorrgyfruits! </Coach Z voice> A firm fruit gum drop, but I think shaped like fruits. I don't know, I always traded 'em.

Kit Kat Gimme a break! Wafers and milk chocolate. Not high up there, but the chocolate was deceptively good.

Kits Taffy Weird little low-quality taffy bits. Why did we love them so?

Laffy Taffy Kicks Kits' butt, if just for the name alone. Not to mention the greater size.

Lemonheads (+Grapeheads and Appleheads) A series of slightly sour hard sucker candies. Lemonheads was the first and most popular.

Lifesavers Oh, you know. The only cool part was when you got something like Wint-O-Green so you could try to make sparks in your mouth or Butter Rum so you could think "Oooh, I'm eating RUM and my parents don't know it!"

Lifesaver Lollipops Do they still make these? Remember when they came in swirled flavours? Good times. The Crème Savers are just not the same. Bring them back. And while you're at it, where the hell are the Pudding Pops?!

Lik-M-Aid Wait, you get a stick of sugar, and you get to cover it in spit and then dunk into different varieties of sweet-sour powder? I am SO THERE.

M&Ms (plain and peanut) Old faithful. You know 'em. But remember when they were tan and not red?

Mallow Cup Truly seems like a candy Homer Simpson would have invented.

Marathon 1 inch by 8 inches of braided caramel covered with milk chocolate. Delicious, but discontinued. Now available as the "Curly Wurly." Who thought that one up?

Mars Bars Kind of like a milky way with almonds. Originally more often found in the UK.

Mary Janes Most people hated them, but I loved them. That peanutty taffy goodness! That coy, come-hither look on the little girl's face! Definitely a treat for a developing lesbian.

Melster Peanut Butter Kisses Much like Mary Janes, but with no name on 'em. Oh, come on, you remember them. They came in orange waxy twisted wrappers. Yes, they had a name. Yes, usually old people gave them out. Remember now?

Mike & Ike See Good & Fruity.

Milk Duds Chocolate sacs filled with milky caramel goodness! What's not to love?
(Shut up, Bunche.)

Milky Way You got your nougat, your caramel and your chocolate. Next.

Necco Wafers Why? Why on God's green Earth are these so beloved? I would have used them as poker chips, if they didn't all break in the bottom of my bag.

Neopolitan Coconut candies I know, ew. But, kinda yum, too.

Nerds A box with two separated flavours and some cute little cartoons really sold this one. Admit it - you loved 'em.

Nestlé Crunch (Yawn.) Moving along…

Now and Laters Eat some now and save some for later? Yeah, right. These rocked with a severe righteousness. Also, you could build up a little business of selling off the singles from the packs at a ridiculous markup to desperate kids in the cafeteria. What? No, I didn't end up a Wall Street trader…

Oh, Henry! Kind of like a Goldenberg's Peanut Chew, but bigger, sweeter and softer. Another one that's had some controversy over it's name.

Palmer's Chocolates You know the ones. Those little balls or discs covered in brightly decorated seasonal foil wrappers. You open them up and… the chocolate is seriously foul. They also made those chocolate footballs - you know, the ones that always ended up at the bottom of the bag as the dregs? I hear Palmer's has improved a lot since back then, but for now all ridiculously bad and disappointing off-brand chocolates will retain the name "Palmer's" in my mind.

Pay Day Gotta love me some peanuts. Of course, you can simulate these with a bowl of candy corn mixed with Planter's.


Planter's Peanut Bar Your basic very peanutty brittle thingy. Satisfying.

Pop Rocks Yes, they rocked. No, Mikey didn't die by eating them with Coke. Haven't you watched VH1?

Push Pops I don't know. These seem dangerous, somehow.

Rain-Blo Gum Er. Kinda lame hollow gumballs. Okay.

Raisinets Oh, you know.

Raisins Just... no.

Razzles "…first it's a candy and then it's a gum!" Unfortunately, the whole time it sucks.

Red Vines/Switzer's/Twizzlers Everybody has their favourite version of these, but they're basically red fruity "licorice". Only good in a pinch, as far as I'm concerned.

Reese's Peanut Butter CupsALL HAIL THE REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER CUP!!! So simple yet so perfect in it's salty sweet-ness, this was the number one sought-after item in my treat bucket. WOE BE TO THE MAN WHO EATS MY PEANUT BUTTER CUPS! I HAVE SPOKEN!

Reese's Pieces E.T…. phone home…
I'm sure Mars, Inc is still kicking themselves.

Reggie Bar Only memorable for having been named for Reggie Jackson.

Ring Pops Candy Bling!

Rolo You can roll a Rolo to your pal… but why would you? Save them all for yourself.

Root Beer Barrels Me and pappy used to suck 'em on th' porch at th' gen'ral store. Pappy liked 'em cause he didn't have no teeth.

Runts What was so good about pressed candy shaped like fruits? I don't know, but didn't you always save your favourite fruits for last?

Sixlets Gum Kind of like Rain-Blo but a bit better, and more attractively packaged, 'cause… there were six.

Skor Bar Another classy toffee bar variety, but this time with a harder butter toffee. And yes, I did know a girl who went on a Skor Bar diet in High School.

Sky Bar This candy bar is divided into four sections with four different centers... caramel, vanilla, peanut and fudge covered in milk chocolate. Pretty awesome, but it would be better if the candy itself were of higher quality.

Smarties/Rockets Little rolls of pill-like sugar candies. A bit overrated, in my book, but much reminisced over in pop culture.

Smith Bros. Cough Drops What, you never got these as a treat from some cheap-ass jokester? Hey, they were really candy, anyway…

Snickers A Milky Way with peanuts. What will they think of next?

Snowcaps Nonpareils, mon ami. But of course.

Sour Patch Kids One of the first seriously sour candies. Frightening, yet compelling.

Squirrel Nut Zippers Another peanutty taffy thingy. Very popular in the South. Got a band named after 'em.

Squirt Like Freshen Up, but more hyped.

Starburst Probably the best known of the fruit taffy chews. Remember when they only came in the yellow wrapper variety?

Starlight peppermints Okay, whose freakin' grandma put these in here? No, I do not want fresh breath, it's HALLOWEEN for f**k's sake!

Sugar Babies Mini, even sugary-er Sugar Daddies. Wow. That's a lot of sugar.

Sugar Daddy A caramelly thing on a stick. You know.

Sugar Mama A caramelly thing on a stick. Covered in chocolate.
That's one sweet chocolate mama!

Swedish Fish Originally only in red, probably the first popular gummi animal. How… Nordic.

SweeTarts Like they say, sweet…and tart.

Tangy Taffy Another taffy, this time from Wonka.

Teaberry gum What the hell is a teaberry? I don't know. But I feel very sophisticated chewing this gum.

Tidal Wave Bubble Gum See Squirt and Freshen Up. Enough, already!

Toffifay Marketed as a premium chocolate, this one captured my snobby little heart with it's "European" flavoured advertisements. A nougat enrobed hazelnut topped with a dollop of chocolate and placed in a caramel cup, it even came in a gold plastic tart-pan setting. Niiiiiiiice.

Tootsie Flavor Rolls Tootsie rolls in different flavours?! Let me try that…

Tootsie Pop Mr. Turtle, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
I never made it without biting, ask Mr. Owl.
Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Let's find out. One… Two-whoooo… Three. CRUNCH! Three.
How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? CRUNCH!
The world may never know.

P.S.: My favourite flavours are orange and chocolate.

Tootsie Roll "The world looks mighty good to me, 'cause tootsie rolls are all I see..."

Trident Gum What the hell are you, a dentist?! See Dentyne.

Twix & Peanut Butter Twix I just love me some Twix. They came a little late for my trick-or-treating, but I've gotta include them. A cookie covered by caramel and chocolate? Right on. The peanut butter version? Equally good. I tip my hat to you, Mars, Inc.

Wax Bottles, Lips, Fangs, Mustaches, Harmonicas, etc. Fangs for the memories...
Ok, seriously, can there be any doubt that the wax fangs were the best? Oh, sure the bottles had liquid in them and the harmonica could be played, but WAX FANGS? Ruled.

Werther’s candies Relatively high-quality butterscotches, toffees, and the much coveted Reisen chew. How European!

Whatchamacallit Another great marketing campaign for this one, a crunchy peanut crisp wafer with caramel and chocolate. I was very much into them for a while.

Whistle Pops Okay, sugar that makes a piercing noise, and you give it to children. There is a Satan.

Whoppers I loves me some malted milk. I just do.

Wrigley's gum (Juicy Fruit, Spearmint, Doublemint, Big Red) Juicy Fruit was the bigger winner in my book, even though it lost its flavour pretty fast. Big Red, however, was popular and benefitted from some good marketing, as did Doublemint. Who knew there were so many blandly attractive twins in the world?

York Peppermint Patties When I bite into a York Peppermint Patty, I get the sensation that my teeth are rotting out… but I like it!

Zagnut See Clark, 5th Avenue, Butterfinger, etc. This one did benefit from a cool name, though.

Zero Bar Caramel, peanut butter, almond nougat bar covered with white fudge. Honestly, I rarely saw these things, but they do strike me as a bit weird. Um, okay.

And that's it! 'til next, spooooky year! WoooooOOOOOOooooo!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Chemistry exam on Friday! Help!


- DN

P.S.: Anybody got a freelance or part-time job I can do? I gots lotsa skillz. You don't want us having to move in with one of our mothers on your conscience, do you?

P.P.S.: Anybody know a good malpractice lawyer? Hello?

P.P.S.: Yes, I am still boring. Check back sometime when I'm not in a panic.

Monday, October 22, 2007


O, hai.

I has a paper, a quiz, three science labs and chemistree hmwrks due tomorrow.

Chemistree makes me dumbm and I no remember partz of cells.

I also has to interviewz at employmentz agencees.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hello, Old Friend

One of my major problems has been that I seem to cling to negative emotions. There are stupid slights and embarrassing situations that happened to me as a child that no-one else would still remember, or hold against me if they did. Yet, excruciatingly detailed recollections of them will spring to my mind unbidden, and the rush of emotions that come with them will leave me stunned. It doesn't help that I had a rather odd childhood, with plenty of opportunities for bad feelings and embarrassment.

This is why, over the last couple years, I had decided it was alright that I had fallen out of touch with my closest childhood friend. Yes, we had taken different paths in a number of ways, and changed. She has become a great believer in and advocate of twelve-step programs and a mother of three, while I have a bohemian lifestyle of lesbian partnership, rejection of traditional work and religion and too many cats. But I came to feel that, as it seemed I would never be able to view my childhood calmly, from a distance, much less with affection, it was for the best that I detach from childhood friendships that remind me of it.

For a while, it seemed to work. I felt guilty about the ebbing of the friendship, but relieved to be able to blank out on memories that fed my angst. I tried to tell myself that this was a natural evolution and the way of the world.

But when I checked my voicemail and found a message from her while I was in the hospital, I was excited.

The truth is, I missed her. Not only was she my friend, but my stepsister. We shared a checkered and difficult past within our dysfunctional family, different in some ways but, in many, similar. And as many awful, disturbing memories and feelings we may share, we were also always there for each other from our single-digit years through our early twenties. Even though we have changed, we still know each other's cores better than perhaps anyone else, save our partners.

So, despite knowing it would dredge up old wounds, I called her back. We've been in contact many times over the last few weeks, and have shared some biographical writing we've both been working on. It has been difficult facing some issues, and I can't say it's been easy. I'm also not completely confident in the return of our relationship, yet. But I'm so glad to hear her voice on the phone, and I'm hoping that, together, we can put together the stories of our past and learn to be a little bit kinder to ourselves.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Please Pardon The Interruption

What kind of idiot mutilates herself with a granny cart?

I have a giant hole in my leg!

I am so behind on everything in school I am never going to catch up!

The universe is trying to tell me that I made a mistake in going back to school!

I don't WANT to have to go back to doing computer work to make enough money!

I don't deserve anything better!

I am a failure! And unlovable!




Well. I wonder if that got it out of my system?

Saturday, October 13, 2007


That's right, Natorettes, children have playdates, but lesbians have gaydates.

My gaydate last night with Mrs. Nator - the first since going to the hospital! - was particularly gay, too. We started off with cheese fondue and red wine at a little place near the Theatre District (or Hell's Kitchen, as the real estate agents are calling everything between Chelsea and the Upper West Side nowadays.) There was some drunken fumbling with baklava and some faulty bandaging (caution: your neighbours at the next café table might not appreciate seeing your red, beefy leg insides right when they are about to tuck into an entrée of fondued meatballs), and then we went on to a show.

What show, may you ask? Why Charles Busch's off-Broadway theatrical version of Die Mommy Die!, of course. I've been a fan of Busch's since the early nineties, when I heard him singing in the shower via our apartment building shaftway. Sadly, as many times as I meant to go see it, I missed seeing Vampire Lesbians of Sodom during its NY run (revival, anyone?). But Busch was in full high drag effect as washed-up starlet Angela Arden (or is she?), desperate murderess, last night, which partially made up for that loss. Actually, as Mrs. Nator put it, what Busch does is beyond high drag. We're not exactly sure what to call it, except that it is both drag and Art. Camp surpassed by intimate understanding and acting ability and then twisted back into itself as gasp-inducing, physically trembling, poop-humour hilarious camp.

The rest of the cast was wonderful, too, especially newcomer Ashley Morris as Edith and the delightfully physical Chris Hoch, whom we remembered fondly from Spamalot, as Tony Parker. However, just to put it all over the top into squee-inducing homofabulosity was soap opera twinkie-boy Van Hansis as the dimwitted sexbomb Lance. Why? Because Van Hansis not only plays the sad, blonde, recently paralyzed (or is he?) half of the gay boy duo Luke and Noah (AKA "Nuke," in gaymo/fangirl circles) on ABC's As The World Turns, but his stage name is Van Hansis for Christ's sake. I mean, is that the sobriquet of a closeted, hunky, 1950s movie star, or what? "Tab Hunter, Rock Hudson, meet Van Hansis. I'm sure you'll have a lot to talk about."

Van is also our latest gay fantasy boyfriend, along with being one of the models for my latest haircut. I'm still clinging to Dan Gillespie Sells of The Feeling, as well, myself, but I haven't seen him lithely hump a couch up close from the front row, lately.

To top it all off, we saw reportedly-straight lesbian heartthrob Sigourney Weaver in the theatre, who sadly seems to have segued from looking potentially dykey into the librarian spinster look. We love you, Sigourney, but a bouffant, granny coat and femme-ified penny loafers do not do you justice. Were you undercover, or what?

Nevermind, it was a gay old time, and I hope we can do it again, soon, barring further accidents, study-induced mental breakdowns or ending up on the bread line. Next time, won't you go on a gaydate with us?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm OK, You're OK

Good news: I just got back from the surgeon's office, and he said my wound is healing excellently. Thanks to Mrs. Nator's vigilant and attentive care, it is now no longer acute, but "red, beefy and granular," which is apparently how the inside of one's leg is supposed to look.

This means that I am okayed to go back to all my normal activities. Yay! So, it's back to class for me on Tuesday, and back to pet sitting sometime this weekend. Now, if I can get all caught up with my studying and other duties, maybe I will have something more interesting to blog about than fevers and misapplied stitches. (I'm working on it.)

As an aside, I found out today that there's a good reason that surgeons aren't usually the ones bandaging their own work. Ten minutes out of the doctor's office and my ace bandage had exploded, leaving me trailing gauze out my jeans leg and down the street. As a consequence, I also found out today that I can dress my own wound! Either I'm just getting used to the sight of a big hole in my shin, or it really is getting a lot better looking. Maybe both.

P.S.: For those or you (sickos) who requested photos (and you know who you are), this is the closest you're going to get. Actually, at first it looked a lot worse than that, so maybe for Halloween I should just ditch the dressing and wear shorts...?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Art for Art's Sake

I've finally got some more photos of my mom's paintings up at her art blog site. Some of the ones that weren't yet up were older paintings, so I put them towards the bottom.

If you know anyone in the Mercer County, NJ area, tell them to go by and take a look at her exhibition at Orpha's coffee shop in Stillwell... maybe even buy, if they're that type.

But don't order the Toffee Frappeccino. It sucks.

P.S.: Next stop: MoMA! Chaaarge!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Well, Then.

So, remember how I said I was back from the hospital? Well, that lasted all of about three hours.

Yup, I took a nap and woke up with a high fever and my leg all inflamed again. I do not know why they discharged me, but I don't trust that hospital anymore, so I went to my regular doctor. He took a look at it and sent me immediately to another hospital, where he is friends with the director of the ER. Fortunately, this meant I was able to get in pretty quickly.

Long story short, I was admitted, tested and given many more rounds of antibiotics. On top of that, a surgeon was called in to look at my wound and, after making all of the disgusted faces that everyone seems to be compelled to make when they see it, he said I needed the stitches removed immediately, and to have it debrided. This meant that they knocked me out, opened that puppy back up, and cut out all the worst parts with a scalpel. Fun, fun, fun!

After that, it's been a few days of more antibiotics, wound cleaning, monitoring and Percoset as they saw how things went. It was not until yesterday, Friday, that I was finally allowed to go home, much to my relief (and Mrs. Nator's and Ma Nator's, who had come in to visit me). Now that I'm home, however, I still need a visiting nurse to come in every day for a while to clean the wound and change the packing (yes, packing - it's basically an open trench in my right shin about 7-8 inches long and 1-2 inches wide, and down almost to the bone, stuffed with loose gauze). Plus, I'll be on antibiotics and the occasional narcotic, as well as restricted movement, so I'll be out of classes for at least another week.

It's all so strange. Who knew a shopping cart could be so deadly? The good news is, I can walk - just not for long distances - and it doesn't hurt terribly most of the time. The bad news is, THERE'S A GIANT FREAKIN' HOLE IN MY LEG!

Not only that, but from what I learned from the surgeon, the first hospital did pretty much exactly the wrong thing with my wound (which - did I mention? - he compared to a "serious shrapnel wound"). Stitching it up tight and sending me home without making sure I was on antibiotics - then, later, discharging me after one night and keep thing the stitches in - made everything work. Now we have to talk to a lawyer friend and consider taking some action, which is not something I'd ever expect myself to do, but CARNFARN IT, I'M MAD!!!

Ahem. Anyway, I'm back and all that, for now. Perhaps I'll post next time on Percoset, just to make it entertaining.

P.S.: Shopping cart = my new KHAAAAANNNN!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Well, It Hurts Now

Just popping in to say that I'm back from the hospital. I was admitted overnight for a couple courses of intravenous antibiotics because my wound was infected and it turned out I had a fever of 103.6. Stupid broken home thermometer.

Anyway, being in the hospital was just a barrel of laughs, but at least my fever broke, and I got to get out today. Nobody wanted to be clear on how to treat my wound, and it was like pulling teeth to get an excuse note for school (again) even though they told me I'd have to take a week off. I'm off to see my regular doctor, who I trust more, this evening, in hopes he can make things clearer.

Later, Natorettes...


P.S.: While sweating out my fever last night, I had a dream that I met a couple including Mia Kirshner from The L Word and some random annoying guy, and I ended up having an affair with the random annoying guy. The moral of the story: 1.) Any dream about Mia Kirshner is a nightmare, and 2.) As Jenny on The L Word, Mia Kirshner is so annoying that she could turn me straight.

The End.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


I'm back from the wilds of New Jersey, and I thought I might get a chance to relax for a while today. Unfortunately, I feel like crap and we think my leg might be infected.


Back to the emergency room...


P.S.: No funnel cake, but I lots of photos and a pumpkin donut. I'll have more photos of my mom's art up on her blog soon, too.

Friday, September 28, 2007

What The...?

Y'all, the last week has been doggone crazy. As if the unfortunate Cart of Dooooommmm accident wasn't enough, being out for that one day put me all behind. I think I did alright on the Intro to Vet Tech quiz, despite falling asleep while studying that afternoon and thus being late for class (no blue workbooks, though; I guess my dreams aren't that psychic). But then I had to stay up late that night to finish some materials I promised to design for my mom's art show, and thus ran late this morning, stumbling into Chemistry class to find out we were having a surprise quiz - O, Joy! I don't think I did very well on it. It wasn't that I didn't know the material, per se, so much as I was so exhausted and frazzled that I couldn't tell where the donkey should go, how significant those places between him and the f*ck-chain were, and whether his name was Kelvin or Celsius.

THEN I get my Chemistry homework back, and Yay! because I got all the answers right, but Boo! because the prof took 30% off my score for "lateness." So, I had to follow him around for ten minutes until I could get him to pay attention to the fact that I had contacted him the morning after my night in the freakin' emergency room, so it had been an excused absence. He said he would change it back to 100%, but I have a feeling I'm just another face in the crowd to him, so I'd better watch him like a hawk.

NEXT it turned out that there was a message on my voicemail that I could make my missed lab class up, after all, but ONLY IF I RUN RIGHT NOW TO THE OTHER BUILDING AND TAKE IT CHOP CHOP RIGHT NOW DON'T STOP JUST GO! So, I did. And it was... fine. Like being in junior high once again, really, including having the partner who seemed a little slow and thus I ended up doing everything while she watched and copied my notes, except for the one thing she did do which messed up the experiment and would have ruined our results, had I not gone back and doctored the numbers.

Are we having fun yet?

Then, it was RACE back to Brooklyn to meet with my pet sitting partner, who had been circling in her car for over a half hour with two little dogs, waiting for me to meet them. They are cute, but I am not convinced they won't gnaw my face off when I go to walk them without her. I'm planning to Shake 'n Bake myself in a leaf bag full of crushed dog treats, hoping that they will then decide I'm worth sparing.

Now I'm late to get to my mom's house before the massage she's giving tonight, so I have to pack and await a call from her. Then it's schlepping to New Jerseyfor one day full of hanging her show, printing her materials, doing some store returns and hanging out at some harvest festival for a few hours while she gives chair massages. If there is a God, there will be fair weather and funnel cake.

Finally, on Sunday and Monday, I have to catch up on all the studying I'm behind on, try to do some of the neglected housework, and let Mrs. Nator know I'm still around, as well as resuming pet-sitting duties.

One day, and everything's backed up. And I'm only taking three classes right now (well, more like 2 and 1/2, since the student seminar is a gut course of sorts), y'all. God forbid I get the flu, or something, in Spring, when I'll presumably be taking at least 4 or 5.

Oh, and now my wound and shot site are beginning to hurt pretty regularly, thanks for asking.

And my Mega Millions ticket was not a winner.



...funnel cake?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Your Dreams Explained!

1. If you dream that you are flying, but suddenly start to fall:
You are afraid of success, or that your success and happiness will end. Is there someone or something in your life holding you back?

2. If you dream about turtles:
You will make slow but steady progress. You need to slow down and pace yourself. Alternatively, it indicates that you are sheltering yourself from the realities of life.

3. If you dream about your teeth falling out:
Either you are feeling powerless, or you are lying. Cut that shit out.

4. If you dream there are rocks you must climb:
You are taking too much Prozac. Also, you have issues with shoes. Stay away from pigs, if you know what's good for you.

5. If you dream you are a pirate bearing an uncanny resemblance to Angelina Jolie:
Alright, now you're just making shit up.

6. If you dream you are suddenly back in high school, where you have to take multiple exams you didn't know about in those infernal blue booklets, and you are late for all of them and don't remember how to do anything, and all the kids are teasing you and trying to tell the teacher that you are cheating:
You have returned to school later in life, and most of the students are 20 years younger than you. You just had an unfortunate and unlikely accident with a shopping cart that kept you out of classes that, little did you know, were to prep you for your first Chemistry homework and your first Intro to Vet Tech quiz, which requires extensive memorization of medical terms. Also? You can't ever make up that lab you missed. Oh, and you're so stressed about studying that you're procrastinating my writing stupid blog entries. Nervous, yet?

Or, you will soon come into a big fortune!

Your mileage may vary.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Left My Leg... In Brooklyn, New York!

And my laundry in a bar on Fifth Avenue. Okay, it was just part of my leg. What the hell am I talking about?

Well, I had a little accident last night. I was wheeling my laundry home, thinking about Chem class the next morning and grumbling to myself, when I came to the well-known fucked-up curb ramp on 16th St and 5th Ave. "There's that well-known fucked-up curb ramp," I thought briefly to myself. "I hate that thing. Now I'm going to have to dykehandle my laundry cart over the big holes in it." Which I proceeded to do, while looking away from it for oncoming traffic. And that's when I had the accident.

If you are familiar with New York, you probably know about the Ubiquitous Metal Cart, or UMC. Because most New Yorkers walk everywhere and many don't have laundry facilities in their buildings, on a daily basis you may see dozens of people pushing their UMCs full of groceries, junk, or bags of laundry. What you did not know is that, apparently, the UMCs should also be known as The Carts of DOOOOOM!!!

All of which is to say that my cart wheel wedged in the hole, tipped over forward, and somehow gouged a large chunk out of my leg. I wasn't even sure what happened at first - I was just mad it fell over and thought I had a scrape. Then I saw the blood filling my shoe.

Fortunately, a very kind stranger named Cathy happened to be just behind me with her shopping cart, and saw the whole thing. She righted the cart, helped me fish an old towel out of the laundry to staunch the flow, let me use her cell phone and wheeled the cart into a local bar for safekeeping. If that weren't enough, just a few moments later an ambulance happened to be passing by, and she hailed it so they pulled over to help me. She even hopped into the ambulance with me, asking if I needed her to go to the hospital with me for "emotional support"! By then, I had gone from pissed but calm, to blubbering mini-panic when I actually saw the severity of the wound, and back into bemused but calm again, so I told her thank you and I'd buy her a drink at the bar sometime, but she could go.

I was very lucky during the whole thing, besides the weird sort of foul luck that allows one to get disfigured by a runaway, nine-dollar shopping cart, that is. The truth is, I had almost no pain the whole time, until they did the lavage and numbing shots, and even that was just a sting now and then. I had a kind stranger look after me, some very nice paramedics who just happened to be there at the time (guardian angel, much?) and a cast of cute young doctors out of Scrubs cast by a fashion shoot. I expected to finally be in pain this morning, both from the 29 stitches (8 inside, 21 out) and the infamously sore-making tetanus shot, but so far, barely a twinge. In fact, the only bad consequences so far have been missing my first Chem lab (boo hoo), a probable very ugly scar to come, and the loss of a blood-soaked sock (the paramedics' advice of washing the sneaker in hydrogen peroxide seems to have done the job, which FN might appreciate knowing). Well, those things and a lingering feeling of nausea after seeing my leg open down to the muscle (I'm hoping I'll be able to better handle seeing animal injuries than this, or vet tech school might be a mistake), and washing out my shoe to find sizable... bits of me still clinging to it. You're welcome for that image, by the way.

And that's my story, kids. My lessons learned?

1.) Be careful where you're going, especially when pushing a cheap, sharp metal cart.

2.) Relying on the kindness of strangers really isn't so bad
3.) God as my witness, from now on I will have my laundry picked up and delivered!

P.S.: Do you think I can sue the various nurses who kept walking by and recoiling, then commenting how bad my cut looked, for emotional trauma? What about the one who gasped and said, "oh, that looks so bad! And you had such beautiful skin!" Do they teach that kind of bedside manner in nursing school?

P.P.S.: Can I sue the city for the fucked-up curb? I don't think I was being inordinately clumsy, and I have a witness! Plus, then I wouldn't have to work while in school. Hmmm...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

This Just In - Pigs Can Now Fly

My mother, a woman who, after seven years of not being able to get her computer to work properly, finally gave up on connecting to the Internet, is on YouTube.

Finding this out yesterday was a total surprise. I was doing a search on her in order to decide some things about how I want to update her art blog...

Let me back up here a minute and explain: my mom did not set up the art blog, nor does she know much about it. I set it up for her, when she started painting again after many years, and was considering showing her work to galleries and/or selling it. I think she's only looked at it a couple times. It's also due for an update, which will happen after next weekend, when I visit her to photograph her new works and help her hang them in her first show. Go, Ma Nator! I'm proud of her.

Anyway, long story short, during the search I found that my mother came up in some videos on YouTube. It turns out that she appeared in some short videos the massage school she works at produced, and the videos were posted on YouTube to educate viewers and promote the school.*

Once I got over the shock at seeing my mom on the Intertubes, I called her up.

DN: "Mom! I didn't know you were on YouTube!"

MN: "I am?" (Well, this sounds more like her.)

DN: "Um, yeah. I saw you in those massage videos..."

MN: "Oh, yes. I knew we made the videos, but I forgot they put them on YouTube. How did you find them?"

DN: (Still surprised that she even knows what YouTube is,) "Completely by accident. It's a great video."

MN: "Oh, thank you - I'm told I have thousands of hits!" (Here we both giggle, somewhat incredulously.)

DN: "Yeah, and you have lots of great comments, too. Everyone says your voice is very soothing."

MN: (Chuckles) Really? Well, I have been told that before. I'll have to remember to go check it out, sometime. I've never looked at YouTube before." (Now that sounds more like the Ma Nator I know.)

So, now I have to adjust to a world where, although my mother still hasn't ever actually seen YouTube, she not only knows (sort of) what it is, but is becoming something of a CeWebrity. Now if only I can track down and beat those assholes who are commenting that they want her to give them a blowjob...

*I'm neither going to bore you nor threaten my usual semi-kinda-anonymity on this blog by posting the videos she's in, but if you really want to, you can see one of them here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chemistree fore Eediots!

Hello, and welcome to Chemistree fore Eediots! Our first installment is on significant vs. insignificant figures. And by a significant figure, we don't mean this: No, by significant and insignificant figures, we are referring to the figures in measured numbers that count for something, like this:

Confused? Let's try a simple similie analogy hominy:

Say you're having an orgy.

Oh, where do I begin?

Imagine that each mammal person is a number, except zero, which would mean no person is there, like so:

To have a good orgy, you want everything arranged so that everyone is having a good time. To do this, you want everyone to be sexually engaged with at least one other person at the party. Then, each person will be having a significant relationship, and thus will count as an significant figure.

"But," you may interject, "doesn't Chemisteree have fancy things like decimals involved?" Indeed, it does. So, let's imagine your orgy is taking place in Tijuana. Therefore, the decimal point shall be represented by a donkey.

Thus, we may also include people on either side of the donkey as significant, and picture a number with decimals like so:

So, from looking at these figures, we can determine the rule that All non-zero numbers in a measured number are significant.

Unfortunately, as we all know, Chemissterry can get even more complicated than that. Yes, numbers in Chemisorry Chem include zeros. So, how are we to handle these in our hominorgy? Well, let's imagine they are empty spaces where no one is. This leads us to the next rule: "Sandwiched" zeros occur between nonzero numbers and are significant.

See, for example, this doohickey here:

As you can see, we count each person as significant, on either side of the donkey. We also count the empty spot in the middle as significant, too, as it is in-between the first significant person and the second... or, in this case, the donkey, and thus is a sandwich. Well, it's not actually a sandwich, or we'd have to search Google for images of a sandwich. What we mean is, a space between people, or other mammals, is okay for our purposes. It's probably just because one person needs a little space right now, or is a voyeur.

Um, okay. So next we have another another kind of zeros. These are the kind of zeros that appear at the end of numbers, and are called "trailing zeros." Our rules about trailing zeros are: Trailing zeros follow non-zero numbers in numbers without decimal points, are usually place holders, and are not significant.

Meaning, no matter how many people you have in your orgy, or spaces between them, they are all significant. But, as you'd expect, the space between the last person and the wall or door is not significant, because that's the end of the f***-chain.

fig. sex

Similarly, Leading zeros precede non-zero digits in a decimal number and are not significant.

So, as you will see in fig. 7, like trailing zero empty spaces, leading zero empty spaces are kind of the space between the f***-chain and the other wall, and don't count, despite the donkey, who is off practicing his lines for A Midsummer Night's Dream, or something.

Finally, you may well ask, "but aren't there more complicated numbers in Colostomystery? Like, this thing I've heard of, 'scientific notation'?" Well, yes, but it's really not that complicated at all, as our last figure will illustrate.

As you can see, the multiplication symbol acts as a rift in the space-time continuum, turning the spaces between the people (and donkeys) into trailing zeros by eating the sandwiches. In addition, the midgets or children or whatever at the top right don't count, because they have no legal standing in Tijuana.

We hope you enjoyed this installment of Chem 4 Idjitiots. Tune in next week for Intro to Vet Tech for Total Morons!