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Afghanistan.

I'm going to keep this one short and sweet, but somewhat to the point.

I found out that my brother was being deployed to Afghanistan in a few months. Now, I have faith that his training will serve him well and all that, but quite honestly I'm not excited one bit that he's being sent. For those of you who remember, my younger brother was shot in Iraq in 2006. We weren't sure he was going to make it through, and now that he has and it seems like a distant memory... these weird feelings are just back and I can't help but worry. I'll never tell him this, of course.

He's serving his country, doing a justice so that many who don't appreciate the soldier's sacrifice will never have to see a minute of combat. And that's the beauty of our country, even if it is unfair. But he's already done multiple tours of the Middle East and barely came back alive once. I'm sure there has to be someone who can go instead of him...

Wishful thinking, I know. I'm proud of my brother. I stood by his decision to re-enlist, even knowing this could happen. I just really wanted the military's word to mean something when they said it wouldn't happen again.

Annie Doo!



I finally picked up Annie! It took a while for me to get her, with her foster mom being off on vacation and such, but she's finally home!

Now, I realized that dogs would be a big undertaking, but I honestly don't think I realized all the things she could get herself into. Like mom's koi pond. Or learning how to roll down the windows of my car as we're driving down 93.

She's at home this afternoon alone, and I'm kind of hoping that she's there and in one piece when I come home. My hunch is that she'll eat the gun for my Call of Duty Wii game before she eats anything else. I'll keep you posted.

Down with the crapper!

A friend of mine was looking through some internet sites on what I'm assuming to be the digestive tract, and he came across this gem of a site.

http://www.toilet-related-ailments.com/index.html

Now, before you get a hearty laugh at all the accusations on this page (toilets cause colon cancer), there is some benefit to crapping in a squatting position. But after having lived in a third world country, and experienced a squatting choo, I'm not entirely sure that I would actually want to do this in my own house.

1) Yes, squatting may give a better body position, but how many men piss all over the toilet seat? THAT, my friends, is a BIG HOLE. You can use the excuse "oh, but it's so far away!"... not buying it. Now think of what happens when you put a hole below you that you can't really even see (unless your rectum has eyes too) and is much smaller. What is the likelihood that those same men who piss all over the seat will actually hit the squat hole? My guess? Few to none.

2) I have two words for you: loose bowels. Solid poop is one thing to try and land in a hole. Liquid poop that goes everywhere? Completely different story. And like I said previously, having experienced a squatter while staying in a small village in the middle of the Ghanaian rainforest with runny stool (dysentery, thank you very much)... I needed to take a bucket after every time I pooped. It got EVERYWHERE. Legs, pants, shoes, toes, you name it. And then imagine how horrible I felt using my drinking water to clean my crap off the slats. Yuck.

3) Hygiene. Will squatting holes flush? If not, I don't know that I'd want to deal with that.

4) Physical body position. I don't think I could EVER squat like the guy in the picture. That would require serious quads... which I don't have. And I would hesitate to put my butt so close to the hole, especially if others have pooped there.

Overall, I could see myself just plopping down and sitting regardless. I may as well have the flushing toilet.

Not trying to be culturally insensitive, but it just seems like it would work better for me.


And look! There's even a book on why squatting is best!

http://www.toilet-related-ailments.com/book-on-squatting.html

I wonder if Amazon has it.

it's not genetic, it's greed

Recently around Kendall Square, there have been a few interesting billboards and protestors lately.



As someone who works in biotech and walks by this every day on my way to and from work, I've kind of been wondering what the hell these are about. My assumptions have been that maybe it had something to do with the state funding biotech growth, and some angry hippie is pissed because there might be animal research going on down the road from their house. I was somewhat right. And even after reading not only the website of the cause and some news articles, I'm still not certain I fully understand what the hell is going on. I have a good idea though.

Apparently, the Local 103 IBEW is pissed that some of the major local biotechnology companies will not be using union men to do the work when they are building/expanding. These same companies are also benefitting from the state via the Life Sciences Act (Chapter 130 of the Acts of 2008- http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/seslaw08/sl080130.htm), which aims to bring money and jobs into the Commonwealth by investing taxpayer money in biotechnology corporations.

Since the Local 103 is pissed, they're not only taking their ball and going home, but trying to kick the MBC in the groin for not playing by their rules. They want the Life Sciences Act to take a hike.

But before we get into that, first let's look at some of the appropriations.

1- Small business capital access program. This will allow small companies to get the capital to start up. Pending approval of the MBC and allocation of funds, of course.

2- Housing and economic development- MA Life Sciences Center. Money is to be given to help develop centers in Framingham, Andover, Wilmington, Tewksbury, Lowell, and Springfield among other cities-- Boston and Cambridge remain largely unnamed. But the money is to be used to do things like develop roads/improve road conditions. Improving building conditions so that certain biological safety levels can be attained. Educational facilities are to be built. They will also increase salaries for post-docs and graduate stipends by giving grants. Adding retirement funds. Subsidizing research costs. There's an emphasis on collaborations locally and regionally. Basically, the powers that be want to turn MA into a huge science hub. Or at least an even larger hub than we currently are.

Now granted I didn't cover EVERYTHING. There's a lot of text on that page. But the majority of the money does not seem to be going to places like construction. There is a good chunk of change designated to developing roads, other infrastructure, and buildings. But the bigger chunk of change seems to be allocated to the actual science, as long as the human form is the final beneficiary of these allocations and research.

Let's look at some numbers.

There are over 600 biotechnology companies/research institutions in Massachusetts, according to the MBC (Mass Biotech Council) website.

Venture capitalists invested $879 mil in biotechnology in 2006, and 387.3 mil in medical devices. The largest and third largest investments in the state. The second-largest was software development.

As of 2005, biotechnology employed 25% of the state's population. They earn a salary of 100k (on average).

21 of the top 50 biotech companies are based in Massachusetts. They average a revenue of 21 billion a year (as of 2007)-- EACH. That's 21 companies bringing in 21 billion dollars each. That revenue doesn't include all of the non-top 50 companies. You do the math. I suck at it. It's a ton of money, though.

Consider me crazy, but that sounds like an important chunk of jobs, taxed revenue, and other stuff that helps to keep the Commonwealth running. You know, a big enough chunk that we'd want to keep in the state. Maybe improve on the conditions?

Now this wonderful union, Local 103, thinks it's a great idea to push to repeal the Life Sciences Act because they're pissed.

What are they smoking?

Now their website, stopbiotechlooting.org says that they're hoping to get quality, affordable healthcare for all (MA already has this- MA Health and Commonwealth Care), as well as making sure the jobs are protected and buildings are safe. What they're not saying is that they want THEIR jobs to be protected.

They quote corporate greed, saying that the heads of companies want to enrich their own pockets. They post billboards around the city focusing on how much these CEOs make. But do these unions realize that most of the workers that would be hurt by the Commonwealth canning the idea of the Life Sciences Act would be the ones making like 35k/year.

For their own greed, they want the rest of the state to potentially suffer.

Why would you EVER want to do something in this economy that could hurt the stability of the State? The MBC and its 600 companies will be bringing in more money for the state by making the atmosphere a conducive one for more companies to potentially bring their multi-million dollar revenues in? It would add the number of workers paying state taxes in an unstable economy.

I understand that 30% of the IBEW is unemployed. Rather than point the finger at biotech companies for not hiring you, why not look at the crap and negative stigma that being part of a union has caused? Why should we pay some inbred with a knack for setting things on fire the same amount of money that we pay someone else who is fully competent and slightly more experienced? I'd go for the cheaper alternative too. Lower your union wages! Most people aren't out there making $30/hr, and you're going to bust the balls of some guy who runs a billion dollar company and brings tons of money and jobs to the state just because they went with the cheaper alternative?

There's nothing in the Act that says "you must hire the local union." Rich people don't get richer by spending lots of money. Yes, in an ideal world it would be nice for everyone to get paid millions a year doing what they love, but that's not reality. My reality is that if the biotech industry in Massachusetts goes unstable and we lose funding, I lose my job. I move to another state that can support my job in my field. Along with thousands of others. And then, Mr. Union Electric Guy, what happens to YOUR job? Oh, that's right. It goes down the tubes too. Or you're stuck doing homes and other small-budget jobs that won't really support you. And since the economy is further going down the tubes with the mass exodus of people making 50-300k/year, chances are you're not going to get many home building opportunities.

Do you people realize how important the life sciences are to the vitality of the Commonwealth?

If your aim is to TRULY be pissed off and want to have union men hired, stop trying to get rid of the blood that will hold this state together. Make your fight more pointed. Don't aim it at the Life Sciences Act unless you really want to fuck up the state.

Getting rid of the Life Sciences Act would also get rid of jobs that would be created for people who are improving the roads. For people who want to teach future generations of the Commonwealth. For people who enjoy and thrive on good, solid science. For many of your other local union workers.

Learn how to protest properly if you want people to listen to what you have to say. Don't stupidly point at CEO's. I could be missing the point entirely, but I still fail to see how CEO's and their salaries fit in after really reading what the Act is about. If you're pissed that someone makes 18 mil a year, how does cutting the Act change that? It doesn't. Like I may have said earlier, they'll still make 18 mil, just not here. Wouldn't you rather have that income taxed and benefitting the state and your unemployment check or welfare check?

You're pissed. You're taking your ball, you're going home. You're trying to kick these dorky nerds in the shin or nuts (if you can reach that high), but they've got their hand on your forehead, and you just look like a jackass, swatting at thin air.

false advertising

I realize I've kind of pegged this as being a place for me to kind of ramble about things I have opinions on, but lately I just haven't had much time to blog about anything other than my own personal life and things going on so people can keep up with my life.

I'm going to keep working on making this more interesting.

Less bitching about crap, more bitching about... uh, crap. But political crap, social crap, and all that.

And some fun weekend antics.

Which reminds me of a story about a camera that ended up taking pics of things like Dave's nostril, Joyce's boobs, and my ass crack... that belonged to someone that wasn't just previously named.

East Boston, really?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen... I am moving... again.

I have decided to move to a nice spacious studio in East Boston after the whole crap that has been going on with my landlord (update in a few). I was cruising craigslist looking for some cheap apartment deals for the month of July when I came across this post for a studio, all utils included. I sent off an email to the owner, who said that there was someone interested in the place. Balls. But she'd keep me in mind if that person didn't want it, and sent along pictures.

It was the cutest freaking place EVER. And it had a full-sized tub as well as a full-sized fridge and stove. A little kitchen bar, huge closet, and great sunlight. I kept my fingers crossed that the person didn't want it. And lucky me, I find out on Friday that the original person who was going to move in didn't want it. I stopped by Saturday, met the owner and man is she cool! We chatted a bit, and yep, you got it.

I'm going to be an East Boston resident starting April 15th, when I can move my crap in. And I won't have to deal with roommates again.

Now, on to landlord drama.

I don't know what the fuck my landlord thinks is an OK way to run a place, but man does he suck. He's never cashed the rent checks earlier than the 25th, doesn't even live locally, and doesn't fix things when they need to be fixed. So when his lack of cashing checks really started to fuck up my account I decided to just have my bank send him a check so that at least my account was in order. This way, if the bank sends him the check and he decides to hold on to it for another three weeks, the money is already out of the account.

He hates this. Has sent me a few emails telling me I must send him the rent directly. He's constantly accusing me of not paying rent and asking for records of checks I've sent. So I'm done, and decided to move out a bit earlier than I had planned. Being the nice person I am, I'm giving 6 weeks notice, when I have no written agreements that I have to give any notice. I have no lease, I'm tenant-at-will, and my written agreement with my current roommate doesn't cover anything other than what was paid when.

I could be the ultimate cunt and just leave at the end of the month, but I don't want to fuck anyone over. I just want to be out and living under a more responsible landlord.

So I send along my nice email letting him know I'm leaving after April, and nicely also tell him why I chose to leave now. I got an email back saying "what a ridiculous email, have a nice life."

Wow. So does that mean I can leave earlier and not pay?

Hmmm...

YAHOO FOR MATURITY.

Can we see why I don't want to keep living in this place? Which sucks because it's an amazing location, especially for work. It's also convenient to just about everything I do. But I'll be damned if I'm going to support someone who doesn't have their shit together.

watch out 40's guy

This guy is just as ridiculous, but not nearly as entertaining. Yet I can't stop watching.

http://www.youtube.com/user/MrChiCity3

hahahahaha

holy shit!

Yeah, that's right... a post.

I wish I could say that something really cool has been the reason I stopped posting, but no. It was losing my job, having to look for another one... and then the other one starting up and taking up most of my time.

LAME!

Today is a blog day. I've been so burned out and pissed off at the world, that now is a good time to start the old blog-a-rama again.

So what's been going on?

I finally got rid of 'midget porn' around Thanksgiving. He liked dabbling in me and his ex at the same time (not together, sickos) so I kicked his ass to the curb. I get messages from him occasionally. Like "sorry I caused you so much hurt and pain"... um... W.T.F.?????? No honey, you pissed me off one night and I yelled at you. Then when you tried to come back crawling I told you to go fuck yourself. Where is this hurt and pain? Oh, right... there wasn't any. I'm done with that shit, don't need it AT ALL.

Then I had the drama of the crazy houseguest who thought he'd be living with me. Um, no. Not going to happen. I'd get into that one again, but I'm finally over it and no longer complaining! Those of you who experienced it with me know how ridiculous that was.

I started a new job at the beginning of December. I enjoy it so far, but I don't work in cancer any longer. The transition was a little odd, coming around the holidays, but I think I'm finally settling in nicely. I really like my coworkers a lot, and enjoy the work I'm doing. I could see myself in the position for a while, but we'll see what happens. It's right around the corner from my house... so that's an awesome commute. Plus I've been going to the gym. I was bad this week (I'll explain why later), but that's been a welcome change.

Around the New Year, I started seeing/getting to know this other guy P, and he was cool. Liked him enough, but he wasn't local. He ended up not wanting to deal with the distance and thought we were too good of friends, or that he looked at me more like a friend than anything. I'm a little stupefied by the comment still (happened about a week or so ago) since I thought you generally are looking for a friend to date, but it's OK if I'm not what he wants. I don't think he knows what he wants. I'd rather not get caught up in stupidity. No offense P, if you're reading this. He did, however, get me a kickass birthday present from Etsy that I adore.

I celebrated my 29th birthday. It was kind of odd since it happened in the middle of a bunch of other people's 30th birthdays, but I will have all the focus on me next year. WHOO HOO!

I spent my Valentine's Day doing some of the best shit ever-- watching the MONSTER TRUCKS! Well, first I went out for a shopping spree and VDay lunch with mom and Maddy, then went to the trucks with Dave and Nadire. Sunday I went out for a movie, dinner, and drinks with a few friends from HS, absolutely loved it... minus the whole spraining my ankle while cocked thing. How I did that in flats, I can't tell ya. Met some friends at the bar and then left them there... and then Monday went for dim sum again with mom and Nadire. It was a good time.

And it brings me to today. I guess, anyhow. I've had a rough couple of weeks. I'm tired, burned out, and somewhat stressed. But still alive, working... got the chance to buy Green Monster tickets on Saturday. And was blown off for a date tonight, but I'd be a liar if I said I didn't expect it. After all, my grandfather did tell me the other day that I would have better luck in a nunnery finding a man and getting knocked up. Go me!

So if any of you know of someone who might want to go on a date... well, let me know. According to weerd, I need to start looking for band fags and gamer g33ks. Whatever that is.

;)

writing

It's been a while since I"ve posted. I feel like life kind of comes and goes in these waves of complete and utter mayhem.

Tonight in one of those moments of mayhem, I decided to look back through some of my poetry and put it up. Why? I have no clue. They're stories that needed to be told, and were part of my plans to one day put together a book of poems and art that told my life story. Or at least the story of my lovers. Which in essence, is what life is all about-- the loves that come in and out of our life. Not necessarily people, but loves. Passions. Things that make you breathe, things that take your breath away.

These few poems I'm putting up do actually pertain back to men. I don't know that I would change the names to protect their privacy, change any situations. What happened, happened. I feel the way I do about that situation, why cloud it with smoke.

Talking with Adam tonight, he asked if I wrote any happy poems. To some extent, they are all happy. I wouldn't give up these memories for anything-- even the pain of it. Ive grown and become who I am because of these poems and the people behind them. But I do one day plan on writing happier poems. Maybe even for Adam.

Tonight I'm going to give you the gift of looking in to my two favorite sources of inspiration.

I'll give a little bit of an introduction to each person when a poem pops up, and a relative timeline.

First things first. Nick. Freshman year of college. I was so in love with him. But little did I know that love was a relative term back then. That perhaps sex didn't mean love, but just a moment in time to share. Nick ended up kicking me to the curb without telling me why, just kind of moving on to someone else. Occasionally I'd get the booty call again, but I had also moved on. In my anger, I wrote this poem. It was later published.

ten times a full moon.
for nick

the tenth reason, the tenth smile, the tenth time you said my name;
the tenth position with my leg all wrapped around your neck and your breath on my face
all rise from the ten times I have seen you;
the nine times I’ve visited your place,
the nine flights of stairs I have either ascended or descended,
depending upon the time:

eight in the morning—
your voice calls my name.

that sunny morning is the memory that I hold, or the seven
used condoms either flushed down the toilet or thrown in the basket
seven empty memories
seven times I had promised myself you were different.
six,
it’s sex wrapped in blankets
curvy,
seductive,
waiting for you,
waiting for the call you said would come at five

(but really came five hours later, but that would be ten, not five)

five times two—
that’s how many times I’ve said goodbye
and four shooting stars had wishes from me sent to you
four shakes of a magic 8 ball
four times I have wished to be happy in your arms, but
rather I wake up at three am to find you have taken me away.

at three am, you rip me from a sound sleep and
bring me past three doors where you
put on the third track of the third cd

--loud enough so that no one can hear you whisper in my ear all the
empty promises—

twice you said you were different
and twice I believed you.

but only once did you mistreat me,
and that was all it took for me to forget you.

**


And next, you'll get Will. Oh Will... He has been nothing but pure inspiration for me. My muse the past few years, most of my good poems have gone back to him. Will was the type of guy that I shouldn't have EVER been hooking up with. Smart, sexy, drop dead gorgeous, a traveler, a Dylan fan and a writer. More importantly, he was my intellectual equal and completely full of himself. We'd sit at the bar and talk literature. Imagine being in Syracuse NY, sipping back vodka tonics and talking about the finer points of Hemingway. Getting the great idea to go for a walk, and going for a swim in a fountain in town. Or better yet, sitting at a bar in Watertown NY while he dissected Dylan lyrics and wrote me a poem on a bar napkin. Each time barely making it back to our hotel room we were so consumed with passion.

And like every good flame, the promise of something is always there but goes away. I still talk to him, and enjoy every moment of it. He's inspired tons of amazing artwork for me.

These few poems were written after my first encounter with Will, maybe in 2005. And just because one of the poems is about abortion doesn't mean I had one.



last goodbye

you told me that morning you loved me
as your hand was on my cheek
and you looked into my eyes.

i thought i was dreaming.

i never expected you;
this stranger i may have come across only
once before in passing, to now
fully captivate me and
have me in your hands and in the park and in the hotel
taking me somewhere i’d never been;
where the world disappeared and i have no idea
which end is up,
or why i seemed to have lost my footing—
just grass,
just blankets,
just you
wrapping around me
sheltering me from the morning.
prolonging our separation.

and then your absence hits me.

my heart has gone dry.
maybe you forgot it someplace
or let it die away
my skirt forever stained with park dirt,
and your last words to me
a ringing whisper
through the telephone lines.

but it doesn’t matter,
i’ll always have syracuse.


**

Elm Street Baptism Clinic



Plastic buzzer lies cold in my

hand,

impatiently pressing

impatiently awaiting

an answer from the omnipotent;

the door opens.



How long since your last confession?



I search the reaches for an answer but

it doesn't matter.

The look on his face says it all.

I'll be freed from my sins.

No permanent record,

just an absolution.



My mouth opens to receive communion.



The soft white orb

dissolves

on my tongue as I close my fist

around the beaded veins of

Hail Mary full of Grace

and my lips around
each muttered word. Oh

to be free of sin.



To shake the IV keeping me alive

slowly ingesting

salvation

slowly feeling 

sin

wiped from between my thighs;

I am left with a clean slate of

Thank you Jesus,

I will be saved!

even as small part of us

is sucked away.

**




These poems were written after our last encounter a few years ago, as I was starting another relationship (another story). I was ready to say goodbye, ready to move on. He will always have a place in my heart, a secret part of me will always long for the what-if. But I'm OK that we've gone our separate ways. Even if the poetry says otherwise.


Hera Exists

His arms grabbed at my hair,
Pulling
Drawing me closer to him
As if by connecting his mouth to mine
I’d save his mortal soul.

Burning flesh lit beneath me,
Connecting constellations
Directing my ship further to sea

Off in the distance
A low beep of
Several missed calls, and
Babe where are you?
Greets my morning.

As my hand rests under Orion,
I sit and wonder
How the hell I’ll ever explain this to you.

**

Lachrymosity.

At your feet I kneel
a sinner.
Lonely with my wash-bucket,
I anticipate faith.
To fill me, to cleanse me.

The words for my prayer not yet
committed to writing; my
lips move in rhythm,
nonsensically.

Absolve me, glorious one.
Forgive us our trespasses and
give me one more chance.

The scribbled-on bar napkin,
a simple Shroud
containing you, reading words
of times past;
lingers frail and used at my feet.

Your ghost moves in circles;
I blink, trying to
capture you.

The tremor of your voice misleading;
as faint as
the circles of your hand,
deep as
the burgundy of the tipped glass.

All I have left is this prayer
and an empty tumbler with which
to entomb you.

**


There are more in the files. I have to find it, have to want to bring it out to show people, which is the hardest part most days.

Honest opinions always welcome, and please don't steal.

Maybe I will get working on that happy poem for Adam.