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Habari gani? (What's the news?)
Last updated: Monday, November 24, 2014 10:45 PM CST

THE REPORT

HI. Hello? Who's there? Email is not obsolete
dumb my space page


November 24, 2014
Here we go.

CBS affiliate

STL Post

Fox affiliate

At least 5 business fires (as of 10:55 PM), car fires, looting, I-44 shut down--protesters were standing on stopped cars on the highway. They are not blameless victims. They need to take a hard look at themselves before blaming other people. There isn't any more that needs to be said that hasn't already been said.

November 19, 2014
First, they found me. Then they wanted to know who I was, what I was all about. I told them without hesitation but did not get any verification that it was received in return. I asked when they'd be back for me. They gave me no answer. Silence. I was told to get on with my life--to forget it ever happened--it was assured that this would never happen to me. Then the summons came--I had been chosen. They gave me vague directions. I had to follow them exactly or I would be persecuted. Hunted, they would find me--they knew, they always knew. I listened to the directions on the other end of the receiver--it told me that I was needed. I had to report to them, I had to go with them. I had a duty.

Saturday night, under the cover of darkness, I was told by an automated voice that I needed to report to the county courthouse at 8:30 AM Monday. Still, like everything with this, I was surprised (it was a fast turnaround). Sunday was spent trying to call everyone and their uncles--telling them that I was chosen even though I had informed them of it earlier as well as trying to make a plan of action as to where to park at the courthouse--which involved a parking garage that I vaguely remembered. It was a good plan until I got there and realized that everyone else was already there and that the parking garage was already full. I was right on time when I pulled up in my car so I really needed to find a parking spot and I wasn't going to circle the building a few times just to park at a meter and have it run out on me. So I found an outer lot of the nearby hospital to park in--but it was 3 blocks away. I then ran for it, which I had a hard time doing since it was like 20 degrees out, and some of the sidewalks were covered in ice as well as there was some curb construction I had to maneuver around. I ended up being 15 minutes late and when I did make it up to the fifth floor, I found that it didn't matter because there was already a horde of people standing in a big line. It was what they called Jury week and for all the trials they were having, they had chosen enough people to cover them--around 400 (nice mix of people, I'm not sure if it was all us outlanders of the county though). It was also traffic court day, so that explained why so many people were there in the first place. Eventually they herded us into a room, some got their parking passes validated but we all got buttons to wear that said Jury on them. They briefed us--what we can and cannot do with your phone, where we can and cannot go in the building. Either you get on a jury or but there will be some cases that will be settled out of court so not everyone will be needed. If you are not chosen then you have to call back every day after 4:30 PM to see if you are needed until they dismiss you. Then they herded us back into a break room area that was connected to the jury room (maybe that was a court room--it was weird had one long desk in front, a few rows of desks facing that desk and a viewing area). I found a chair to sit in so I read the paper, read my Entertainment Weekly, then I got tired and took a nap for an hour. Then they started to randomly call the numbers for the trials--for one they called 57 people. After that, I suspect they would interview people but I never got that far because my number wasn't called. So I kept calling (UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Why doesn't anyone want me??!?!?), and finally by Tuesday night the automated voice told me that they were done with me. That was it, it was all over (just use me....)

It was a nice half of day off but then I realized I had time sensitive stuff that was waiting for me at work that I had to hurry up and do when I got back.

Anyway, it appears our friends, Electric Parlor have been funded (I am raising my left eyebrow at you, impressive). At least 3 people ponied up enough to get them over the 3 grand threshold in the last 24 hours. Don't know how or why or who (except for a guy named George?) or what was bought. I still kind of feel like contributing, still not sure what. The $250 pledge is kind of up in the air now--there's talk of another shut down vacation and if that happens, I need to save leave (or not, to tell you the truth it's not as threatening as it was and I'm failing in the caring department). But still, if that happens or when it happens (yes, when? I think the government loses funding or needs a re-up in mid-month December) it could easily screw up going somewhere because I think I need to be around when they do finally call us back in. Regardless of what happens, it still requires advanced notice--because I would like to save money. Buying tickets and hotel rooms cost less the farther out you plan. I really didn't want to go with the 3 grand pledge anyway--there is a distinct possibility that their promises may not last very long due to the fickle nature of the music industry, that their success isn't guaranteed no matter how much they believe that it is (even though they don't suck--although they may need to use more or find some melody--average meatsacks like to dance!). If anything from what I learned from that article, I just wanted a 10% cut of the album sales (still leaves them with roughly 23% each) and a cut in secondary exploitation rights just in case they did make it.

But I was looking forward to molding them into the number one Taylor Swift cover band (Yeah, you wanna know what makes money? Taylor Swift makes money--so your band's name is now Taylor Swift. She does know how to write clever lyrics...).

I'm just surprised that people came through for them--things like that aren't supposed to happen to mortals (it came too easy, never trust anything that comes too easy). There's no way I could make something like this happen for me so I learned I had to take care of my own funding if push comes to shove. Rule number one for women and artists: Don't ever be desperate.

November 16, 2014
Find it, Erin, find it! You get it? You get it right there? Research research research research.. This article pretty much answered some of my questions about our proposition. The bigger the operation, the more convoluted it gets; the more people involved, the more lawyers get involved; the more lawyers and other people are involved the more they tell you what to do (and where to go and how to get there). And then there's the distinct possibility that after all this, the artist pretty much becomes a fancy, well-known hobo because everyone else gets paid first (oh, someone wants a "livable wage" they want to "be able to afford food" pfffffft). The music industry is kind of convoluted when you get down to it, particularly since technology has made it possible to let artists do things on their own off the bat. Despite big music conglomerates being dubious at best (as Hanson has relayed to me, many a year ago), I thought it might be somewhat profitable until they do end up screwing them and dumping them on the side of the road because of the exposure and the money being a bit better at that level (and if they invest well then they don't have to worry about them dumping them on their butts and they could get their own Behind the Music special). I saw Indie record labels as a lesser evil and might provide a happy medium between toiling in obscurity and toiling in the spotlight. And as far as I knew all artists had to do was cut a demo and badger people (or show up in spandex and shake their money makers--something like that).

Even though I haven't thought about mediums I could reach people in, there is a part of me that really wants to land a deal even though the pressure and expectations might make me more crazy, more often. There is just something about having my book existing in this physical world. It would imply that I wasn't hallucinating my talent level. Usually self-publishing implies desperation or insanity (we don't get indie cred in the book world) unless you are writing a smut novel. I hear those do real well in the e-book world.

Anyway, I've consulted curmudgeons and we've come up with really terrible producer ideas. This whole rock thing isn't working for us and we came up with the new direction I would be taking them in as a Yoko Ono tribute band (YES!). Either that or we abandon their current project and go in a more ambitious direction where they will be forced to create an epic rock opera for the ages based off my emo kid haikus that are mostly a meditation on Crabby Cat (Crabby Cat eats souls/Devour what is left here/It used to be yours). Both directions feature copious amounts of safety orange spandex and velvet capes for good measure, I will also be featured as a guest artist by playing the triangle or making inconsistent noises on my didgeridoo or saying the word 'yeah' over and over again. Genius.

At any rate, I still plan on waiting to see what happens to this. I've mulled through the pledges and cut some of the ones that aren't worth it like the $5 level and the $1,000 level. As I have no use or real storage area for a drum set without cymbals (unless this is for California residents, I presume shipping would be more than what they would earn in the pledge itself). I have no event space, or a large grouping of people to make this private showing worth anyone's while (nor am I rich enough eccentric to fly them to an odd location just for giggles). $250 seems pretty decent as I do have to keep bulking up my acting resume as lead extra but that would require planning and enough advanced notice so I may inform everyone and their uncles that I'm taking off. If I would go higher than $1,000 I would want some form of reimbursement as a hands off producer (I know, even though the orange spandex is a great idea). I don't know. The cost may not be an issue, I most likely will not be losing job one--it looks as if I will be getting a pay cut, though.

As for A Very Retarded Alien Christmas movie. Infinitely better than Retarded Alien (which is also available for purchase for 9.99 which you will watch because you hate yourself and they just won't let that turkey die a dignified death). There are believable characters and they have development and witty lines even. The only complaint is that the airport scene that I was in was a throwaway scene. It should have been cut even though it did provide the title of the movie (Seriously, he needs to quit testing his audience's suspension of disbelief--you cannot make paper snowflakes with a pair of fingernail clippers and a small child would not sit through hours of watching a grown man do this.). Perhaps it needed to have been expanded upon (as the main character in that scene had the least amount of character development) or rewritten without schlock. The mother also thought the ending could improve as it was just a feel good montage of singing and ice skating that didn't really wrap anything up. But somehow they managed to find a sales agent for this and he was desperate enough to take Retarded Alien as well and changed the name from Belleville (because it was named as a gimmick, wasn't even about Belleville, and wasn't really shot here--it was in Millstadt) to Retarded Alien (okay, Neila because NEILA IS ALIEN SPELLED BACKWARDS. DO YOU GET IT?). I guess they will keep doing this as long as they can or until something comes out of it. Their next movie is a sports movie titled: "Retarded Alien at the Bat." I worked through my brain again (still, forever!) and I'm getting back into a grove where I know what's going on in my universe (good!)--I just edited in a bunch of things last night.

I hope you have all learned a valuable lesson here today. I have to go. I don't know how long I may be gone--I got the word that I must report to the court house. But you need to stay here and work on behaving yourselves.

MONTAGE! WHEEEEEEEEE!

Fin.

November 13, 2014
I'm on a website. Talking. I exist I'm an actual human being! They actually put it up (Top video, I'm at 17:45). I didn't intend on doing this, the Sister and I (fine, she's before me at 16:58) went there just to sign up but they herded us into it. I don't sing or I probably shouldn't on my own and I barely had any recollection of any favorite Christmas memories or any real recollection of at least a good one that wasn't average ("My favorite Christmas memory was that it happened"). I couldn't even make one up about my cousin coming home from like Afghanistan on Christmas or something (been done, contrived). I was also trying to avoid the pauses (Um erm ummmm and erm uhhhhh) like the sister did and I wanted to enunciate. Strange, I thought I had a higher pitched voice than that. I don't think that was my Kmart voice either, I think that one was a lot more pleasant sounding like a flight attendant (I used to do the store closing announcement). The sister's story was slightly true as it was two separate years/incidents that she put together. I want to say the dog one was true. But the tree one is true because she is talking about me crawling behind the tree and knocking it over (WANTON DESTRUCTION! THAT TREE HAD IT COMING! IT WENT AGAINST MY SENSE OF DECOR AT TWO! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!). I'll tell you about the movie later but you can watch it now without my assessment for the low, low price of $9.99, located on the front page picture. Why? You ask too many questions. I need to go get ready anyway, I have to go to jobs tomorrow. Good night, sir!

November 10, 2014
It appears we have a proposition (I found a shiny distraction!) Everyone (or all five of you), meet Electric Parlor an up and coming rawknroll band here to save us from sonic monotony as we crawl our way towards death. Pleasure. I know of such people because I am hip, cool, and totally down with it. No, actually I have a distant connection to one of them from my past and I found this while I was rooting around and getting into things that I should have left alone on the internet (right, dear?). I've been observing them for a while now, and I was actually just going to leave them out of this record just to see if they had the discipline, conviction, resolve, and luck to make it on their own.

So here's the proposition--they need money for general expenses but mainly for mastering their debut album (I knew them before they were a thing)--they have decided to do this through kickstarter.

I have not signed up to kickstarter. I'm not sure if I should now. I'm not really down with getting all this stuff (I've never been into buying band merch, after 17 years with Hanson, I still don't have a shirt). And to tell you the truth, I don't know how much I would like to contribute. I could be a cheapskate and do $5, or to tell you the truth, I could easily fund the whole $7,000 (that's essentially a producer, right?) or I could spend that much going to Florida, riding the Vomit Comet, and staying in a really sweet hotel.

The thing is, I am skittish about charging that much at one time, particularly on the internet (I might have to get over that in the future, particularly if I manage to have kids), I'm not even sure what my limit is on the credit card. That's pretty much what stopped me from doing the Vomit Comet--that and I suck at planning trips or even going through with them on my own. If anything I would just send them a cashier's check or something through the mail.

I have questions concerning this as well (well, I could sign up for it and ask).
Have they considered mastering it in places that aren't LA and are subsequently cheaper? I know around these parts there's a music industry of sorts Nelly created a whole school just for music production. What about college kids, would they do it for next to nothing, if not nothing?

Did they even look into label representation? Or are labels so snooty and full of themselves that they won't consider them at all? What about tiny independent labels? What about weaseling your way into South by Southwest like Hanson did (but then again, I'm sure they're the only people who could get away with that)?

What about the wonders of the internet? They have the youtube but what about paying to get their stuff on Itunes, Spotify, Pitchfork (that's a thing, right?)? What about funding through ads on youtube (somehow people make money doing channels, I'm not sure how)? I want to say there are more outlets out there, I'm just not all up in it (I haven't even begun to research things out there for books--I figured I'd do that when I managed to fart out this book but I have heard that self publishing can cost upwards of $24,000--so I can't be all flippant about this. Then there's the loss of job one possibility--it's been really quiet concerning this).

The touring option is probably limited due to the real jobs and I guess it must be hard booking gigs out in LA since everyone is doing the same out there.

So, what to do? Much to ponder. I might have to consult my curmudgeon associates.

If you're out there and want to convince me, you know where to find me (email linked above--FoxZelda@aol.com)

In the mean time, I'm working through my own brain (just went to Dinkelmann today--more pills more often, he said I should eat more protein--I recently noticed I lost 4 pounds that I didn't need or want to loose most likely due to the fact that I'm just not eating processed junk). On Thursday, my newest film (in which I play the esteemed role of Lead Extra), A Retarded Alien Christmas is having it's world premiere at the theatre in town, so we'll see how that goes.

Okay, let's keep an eye on this, report back to me all your findings. I'm out!

November 5, 2014
Side note: Wow. I see what Illinois did going all republican. Things must be really bad if half the state goes for this (yeah I'm kind of not sure about this guy but I'll give him at least four years--he can't do too much more damage than what's already been done). I kind of figured with Chicago and even some other metropolitan areas (including my county) that we'd always end up Democratic by default but I guess I underestimated people--that there are more people out there that think for themselves. Even my congressional district went republican and I thought they'd never do that (Ultimately, I voted for Enyart on that one, even though he was placed in the position, he seemed to understand the scope of things across party lines and as far as I know he wasn't corrupt.)

I'm starting to feel like I'm over staying my welcome here. But I need to work all this out, get it out of my mind, and stick it in yours (I am a giving individual! Come on, see me through!). Do you want to hear more theories about what's bugging me? Of course you do.

I once heard that children are closer to God and have an inate sense of faith--that as we grow older we lose it. But I don't think we just lose a faith in God (a force beyond yourself, if you will), we're all slowly slowly losing faith in ourselves, each other, and the world around us. Our raw emotions and personal battles are our feeble attempts at hanging on to it. As well as our relentless searches in finding objects that give us value or what we think is value to other people, along with any sort of stimulant to make us feel anything or to help us forget what we lost. Depression is a loss, it's a loss of faith.

When I go analytical and research things relentlessly--I'm looking for a renewal in faith or to keep what I have left imperviously protected. But in order to hang onto what little I have in this world, I have to shut down my emotions in order to not get attached and ultimately disappointed. I'm having a problem writing this book because my characters at this point still have their faith. I'm reliving the moment I got my faith ripped out of me. I know the same fate is coming for my characters and it's like I can't do it to them because this book is an offshoot of myself. I still have a sense of mercy for myself, oddly enough (it's weird, for a depressed person I sure do like myself a lot and I barely let people determine my self-worth).

I need to find my faith again. Otherwise, I'll always be running on the defensive. Good night.

November 4, 2014
One of my inevitable paths in life leads to being a Rich Eccentric Hermit (sometimes, I see no other way). This is my masterpiece--a version of my Halloween ruse for next year with no limits on money, manpower, time, or energy and with a team of lawyers on retainer (otherwise known as not happening, not even with kickstarter because I know there is no way I could bribe people into doing this).

This is also what happens when you leave me to my own devices without any shiny distractions like the internet.

Two of the fates, Clotho and Lachesis stand at the opening of a maze that leads off in three directions. One direction is really awesome looking--the past of least resistance. One is an average looking road, and the last is the hard road (only this time, the path of least resistance is the hardest road you could take). They will tell anyone entering which path they can go down, but you can defy the fates and go down the road of your choosing. Kids can either participate in a group or go it alone, but if they decide to go in a group, they risk getting separated from their group (and they will--but there will be a chance to meet up with your group if you find it later).
The maze is full of obstacles--mostly of mental prowess, I'm not sure how any feats of physical stamina could work here. There are also hidden cheat paths that if the kids find them, that will allow them the ability to avoid obstacles (secret doors). There are some paths that seem empty that have hidden obstacles or just lead you back to where you came from.
Some mental obstacles: Working through a problem with half the resources available to complete the task, making a decision between two evils based on vague information, balancing a budget, basic abstract adult issues that seem so simple to the young yet get complicated as we age. Answers are not right or wrong in the sense that it would stop someone--they just leads down different paths with different challenges. With the exception of one history challenge--A history question is asked, if they get it wrong, they go down a path that leads them back to where they came from where they would repeat themselves until they learned from it.
There will also be video screens of older people trying to give advice on where to go or what to do. Maybe they're right, maybe they're wrong. If a kid struggles too much--a worker (or even other kids if they feel compelled) may come to save them. Maybe not.

All paths lead to the wheel of candy fortune that is spun by the last fate--Atropos. The wheel is filled with a wide variety of treats, and even some empty spaces because even if you put all that effort into getting something you could still end up with nothing (or if you skim through the maze, you still might end up with nothing). This also has to change every year.

This is the perfect allegory to the life that awaits them--that kids are rarely told about--it's also a perfect plan to give a whole generation a mental complex.
The curmudgeons and I had a good laugh at the prospect of this and the aftermath--one considered it borderline Willy Wonka.

Anyway, back in reality (oh come on, must we?) I see the election there. Hi, election. I'm not too worried about it, I'll wait for results later. I voted all over the place on Saturday, even for some of those Libertarians, who can be dangerous (to sum them up, their mantra seems to be "Do what you want, but we won't save you." Even I see disaster is eminent with that kind of thinking but I voted for them for small positions). And if you must know, I found out more about Cook--he apparently changed the spelling of his first name to run for county treasurer and his stint as mayor was apparently real bad. So I went with the corrupt individual already in office instead of the individual who is vying to be corrupt in office. They rely on us to not pay attention to the corruption, because if they aren't blatantly corrupt then the average voter won't stay mad at them long enough to remember to vote them out at the next election. And yet, there is no website devoted to a collection of information from the news for people to research these jerks (and we all know how google can be manipulated in what shows up first). Ultimately we must remember that this is our country and not a sporting event.

Yay! Book? Slow and steady--this foray into madness proves I still have it, whatever it is. I guess I just have to believe in it--just like younger Erin used to do. Well, good night.

November 2, 2014
I'm sorry, whoever is out there. I'm sorry for my depression as of late. It's just that I sometimes wonder if I am wasting my time and if I'm good enough or worth anything and it gets to me that I can't do much due to said problems. So I end up ever the observer, and then I see flaws and I want to change those flaws but I can't explain anything to anyone and I can't stand it as the world goes on without me (but I live two lives, how is it that I can never get anything done in either?). It was connected to my book, as this book is rather foreign to me. But I'm good right now, so quick, let's go write something before my brain changes it's mind (this regimen I've started is doing something, my brain sometimes stops feeling so bad for no good reason but it doesn't stop it completely and I do reach my conclusions as to why things are bothering me faster). I think that's the thing about depression, once it starts you have to go find a reason or an understanding of why you're agitated. And it's hard to find a reason when your brain is content on dwelling on everything sucking.

I was also rereading the kitsune page and I realized something about my costume.
I must think an awful lot about myself (inadvertently).

Physically, kitsune are noted for having as many as nine tails. Generally, a greater number of tails indicates an older and more powerful fox; in fact, some folktales say that a fox will only grow additional tails after it has lived 100 years. One, five, seven, and nine tails are the most common numbers in folk stories. When a kitsune gains its ninth tail, its fur becomes white or gold. These kyūbi no kitsune (nine-tailed foxes) gain the abilities to see and hear anything happening anywhere in the world. Other tales credit them with infinite wisdom (omniscience).

1) That makeup is really cheap.
2) The fox species I chose was the Arctic Fox because I have a particular affinity towards them and it would blend in with and match the geisha costume better than a red fox. Arctic Foxes don't live in Japan but I didn't care.
3) I'm missing a few tails due to the color choices I made (Yes these things matter, accuracy counts even if no one understands it!).

Anyway, I got an idea for next year's costume already!
1) Dress as One of the Moirai preferably Clotho.
2) Have people not really get who I am because of lack of other two ladies to stand next to me
3) Set up a wheel of treats outside my house.
4) Have kids spin wheel of treats--all options land on nasty candies like those gross peanut butter flavored sugar wad things, except for one which gets good chocolate
5) Watch them really not get what just happened to them.
6) Watch them get mad at me
7) Profit?

It's awesome, you know it is. Why must I always get these ideas and have no way of doing them right? That is frustrating.
I also put up some pictures from New York. Myspace makes it hard to upload a lot of them all at once like it used to so I don't think I will be doing that. Most of the pictures I have probably are already out there and have been taken a million times before anyway so it's not like it's anything new. I have some other pictures of myself but I think I look extra weird in them so I don't want to put them up. Some of them have the family in them as well, and it's a policy here not to share their pictures on the interwebs (even though the sister does photos on some site--with the photoshop and whatnot, I forget where). I could try to crop them out but as of now I don't feel like it. I should really clean the pictures up a bit. Myspace made it all jumbled in and amongst itself and I think it deleted some pictures (I don't see the pictures of when I saw My Chem). Balderdash.

Fine, let's be good for now. Nobody make any sudden movements for a while. Smarten up, please, and be sure you don't quote things out of context. I care about you for some strange reason. Good night.

October 31, 2014
Mediocrely. Is that even a word? I read back on my last entry here--I see that sentence about either bad or mediocre politicians and I used mediocrity instead of mediocrely. The great and powerful google says mediocrely is a word but spell check doesn't like it. I like to edit sometimes, so it ends up being what I meant to say (yes, that too). But usually I just leave it as is here--I'm all authentic like that, you know, folky. I know my grammar is barely passable, so I guess editing other stuff can only take me so far here. I did manage to get through all 12 years of school without having a teacher properly go in depth on grammar with me. I also stunk at spelling but through my writing, Microsoft taught me. So until the grammar bot gets with it, figures out what exactly I'm saying in sentences, and how to correct it I am going to keep my spaz grammar. ?? I usin be grammar, do what I want! ,

The time is now 9:02 in the PM, I am done with the trick or treating, I had around 15 kids. I think that's my average despite the mother saying that the kids will be elsewhere as it is Friday and the kids do this weird thing called Trunk or Treating (Yes, small child come to my open car trunk for the candies, I ran out a few minutes ago go crawl in there and get a new bag. Sigh.). You know, when I was younger, we walked blocks, froze to death, and were happy for it. We didn't go wandering around in some parking lot looking for candy in people's car trunks. We got hit by cars, got threatened with razor blades in candies, and we liked it! Get off my lawn! I don't know what to do anymore about Halloween. Every year I go through this and I thought I had found a lesser evil of a solution. I don't like to give out the normal Halloween candy. All holiday candy is garbage. Since sugar is not my friend, I do not give out the sugar pellet candies. I like to give out chocolate, since even I know not to give out healthy snack things (though they had prepackaged popcorn balls or pretzels--I could have gone down that road). I have many options but I hate them all. Why? What they call chocolate is not chocolate--it's a waxy sugar wad with a hint of chocolate scent. I am a 25 year kind-o-sewer of chocolate and I know the quality has been going downhill for at least the past 5 years. Cracked always knows what I'm talking about and so does the healthy lady. In fact, I gave up completely on Hershey's and I will not waste my time on Milk Chocolate. Kids need to know what actual chocolate tastes like so they'll know that they're getting conned and promptly do nothing about it. It's just that it's hard to find half decent sized individually wrapped quality dark chocolate candies to pass out to the kids. My first year and this year I passed out mounds bars (a hard find as well). But then, I was at the Aldi store one year, I saw individually wrapped candy apples with chocolate and peanuts on them. Carmel is the devil but at least they would be getting something out of it--that is if they eat it. I wanted to do the same this year but they only had peanut and sprinkle covered ones, I was running low on time, and I have to buy them at the last minute because I don't know how long they'll keep fresh. Then there's the issue of buying just enough (I think one year I had at least 20 kids, they always seem different they usually come up by car because my neighborhood is kind of hard to walk--doesn't have sidewalks)--they're inexpensive but I hate being stuck with leftovers particularly since I can't eat it. But I may have to go back to the drawing board on this issue. Not only are the mounds bars half of what they used to be (and it's not just fun sized vs snack size) and the same price, I read the back of the package and realized that chocolate isn't the first ingredient. It's corn syrup. I thought out of all the candy bars, mounds were the best choice quality wise. I guess not. And yes, there is usually one weird kid who agrees with my treat buying choices and is ecstatic. Though one kid politely declined my candy apple. It was his loss.

I did have a few other ideas about Halloween costumes but I guess what it came down to was that I didn't have the time or energy to give it a good effort and I know they would end up looking shoddy. I'm particular with my costumes, not only do they have to be a good idea or unique that reflect my frame of mind, but they have to be executed well (and aside from the kitsune outfit I did a few times in the past 10 years, I don't think I ever have had the resources, talent, or manpower to pull that off). I had some other ideas this year but there are restrictions at work that cancel out most of my ideas and it's almost not worth going all out for one day. An easy idea I had was a news channel talking head, a mushroom,sexy Ben Franklin to the sister's Babraham Lincoln, and the Yip yip. But what I really wanted to do, especially for work was to be a giant eyeball.

Anyway, the matter at hand. I'm not exactly ready to go into my universe or able to. I'm tired, we had a potluck and perhaps something in the potluck was not my friend. I decided to get a flu shot this year and I was feeling a bit sick aside from that, I had to fix myself with congaplex and the neti pot. I ate my roughage with a bottle of kombucha for dinner tonight. I think that helped balance things out. I thought I was doing better with sugar and could do this occasional partaking but I guess not. I know that whatever it was is that gave me a bad reaction is essentially crap and not worth eating but I have to wonder if there isn't some way I can make my body break it down because it's annoying. I want to still say that my liver is having issues--the reaction this time was constant sneezing (or a histamine reaction) and a bit of a face breakout.

Let us rectify, still, forever (yes I do feel like I'm going around in circles, it has been noted). I was watching the tv while waiting for the trick or treaters and I turned on the Oprah channel on demand. I used to watch Oprah all the time growing up and she was probably the reason why I still had a grip on sanity--she always discussed ideas instead of just talking. But I turned on an old episode tonight on spirituality (what to do when your life goes to crap?) and I found I couldn't relate anymore. Younger Erin related. Younger Erin understood all this. I remember younger Erin, she was driven by compulsion and strived for goals with an unrelenting passion and optimism even though everything else sucked. She knew there was more to the universe than what we all knew, even though when she voiced that opinion she was called crazy. Not many people took her seriously mainly because she had problems talking to people but it was okay because she had her purpose in writing. She was going to make it and it didn't matter how long it took--all that mattered was that the story had to be good.

There was a problem, she wasn't that good at coming up with good consistent plot ideas though but at least she could come up with something. She also had this unrelenting faith in trusting people (even though people came and went), and trusting that she was going to meet someone who would help her see all this through because she knew she couldn't on her own. She couldn't convince anyone about anything. I originally thought that once I started to change into this Erin that it was for the best--that this was a loss of delusion, that this would help solidify my goals. It was a necessary death as well to survive in my past condition, even though it was at the hands of careless and merciless people. I think I was wrong and I think I still need that part of myself but I'm not sure if I can get it back or if the condition of my life allows her to come back. I need a balance between the two but for some reason, balance just isn't a theme in my life. I still want to believe that she's still there along with what I constitute as my heart because if I do get angry, I think that ultimately, I am defending her.

There's a part of me that seems to think that I knew I wouldn't be allowed to be completely myself if I didn't succeed at writing. Yet in order to write, I have to completely be myself and not edit myself in order to fill in whatever role anyone needs me to be (So it's not a shallow thing, it's a usefulness thing. I am a cog in a wheel of a machine that I don't fully understand what it does and on the occasion, do not care to know what it does.). The problem with that is that it threatens the employment as I have learned that not many people tolerate younger Erin and I need the employment because I am sickly. I could take care of that weakness more effectively if I did successfully make it as a writer. So on, and so forth.

In short, I guess life is just going to kick the crap out of me no matter what I do. I would like to believe that the sooner that I accept this, the sooner I can get on with my life or something. But I need to regroup and sleep (again--sleeping is good, sleeping is my friend). Perhaps one day then. Good night.

October 30, 2014
First, they found me. Then they wanted to know who I was, what I was all about. I told them without hesitation. Now they've come for me and I must go with them. I have been chosen. The summoning to jury duty has commenced! Mid November.
That was quick. I was almost convinced that maybe my education level would be a hindrance in being chosen. But I guess I'm one of the few people who actually filled it out. I have to call the Friday before the due date to see if they need me.

I thought I figured out why I was feeling voided (have I really? probably not) and was getting ready to try to leave this universe for a while to get back to my own. I was getting sucked into this madness by trying to do something about the problems that persist here then finding that most of these problems are too big and complicated for me to take on alone. Why do I take it on alone? I can't say that I trust other people's judgments. I presented the situation of the county treasurer position to a curmudgeon at work and didn't mention parties. He thought about it for a moment and said I should vote by the party I trust more (he's actually more into the democrats). It's like most people don't really want to see the situation as it is, they don't want the complications--they just want their strange fantasy that one party works over the other until it doesn't and not the reality that this reliance on the two parties to tell everyone what to think and how to feel or what they want to hear allows under qualified corrupted individuals to run our societies poorly or mediocrely at best. Politicians want people to get in line to these parties--to be taken by empty battle cries, glossy images, and soundbites. Thinking for yourself is hard particularly when the rest of your life is hard to contend with.

Aside from that no one really listens to me anyway so I usually receive little if any help if I do decide to do something. Because of this and the fact that I had to do something (chose what is right out of two options that are ultimately both wrong), I was getting into analytical mode (I am a cold, cold woman). I had to pay close attention, build an impervious argument, and take the responsibility instead of tune it out (technically, I am old enough to have inherited this world now, particularly the responsibility to keep it functional instead of being powerless at it's whims). I miss tuning it out, though. It used to be so easy.

I also didn't have the distraction at work of the internet whenever a whim prompted it anymore (I'm not constantly needed so I read a lot and I don't do facebook. I go after ideas and thoughts, I research my book (space stuff), I am a bastion of useless information that may come in handy some time later). So it's kind of hard to not be frustrated at everything which leads to my indifference and overall surrender in trying.

But enough of this, I need to sleep. I must do this all over again. It's Halloween tomorrow and I have to hand out terrible "candies" to the children. More on that later. I also had a hard time coming up with a costume until today and it's too late now to do it. I was going to be a sea hag or Baba Yaga. Meh.

Where can I find a half decent house with chicken feet at this late in the season?

October 25, 2014
Oh look at that, Ebola finally made it to New York City. I'm actually surprised it took so long.

Also a specification: I do not work for Ed who causes me problems by making me fill out more paperwork's past employers--we don't deal with what they do. I just don't put anything past them. I do wonder why we watch people like lone wolves if we never really do anything about it (because it makes them think they are doing something?). But what would be done if they did do something about it? Send out special ops team to go collect people from their houses once they detect suspicion--that right there is even worse than being violated by potentially being monitored. I do find it down right impossible for average individuals to be singled out if they have no connections to anything nefarious so technically speaking I don't think there's anything to worry about in that respect. I don't think there's enough servers to hold all the information on the vast majority of the population of the US--but then again we still don't know exactly what the great and powerful google is doing offshore. All I know is that once it's offshore a few miles off, it's no longer under US laws. Personally, I think marketing tactics, underhanded online surveillance and data collection are more suspect than anything. But what can you do about it? It is interesting to note that this is my generation's legacy--this is what we brought to the world--new and easy ways to watch each other.

But really, I think I get these attacks aside from the fact that the attackers are not well. They're trying to find a purpose, it's always a disaffected young man and they're desperate to do something to change (and it's sad that once they pull the trigger any humanity that they were once born with was already long gone). It's kind of a which came first thing with mental illness. The world has an effect on those of us with genetic dispositions but once it takes an effect, the world usually has no patience, tolerance, forgiveness, empathy, or compassion to deal with us which can perpetuate it further and solidify viewpoints that the world must change somehow or in these extreme cases, pay. The western ideas that glorify fighters who fight for what's right against this faceless tyranny must also play into this. But like most people they don't see perspective beyond themselves (I am fighting for what is right but what is right? We classify ourselves as freedom fighters or social warriors but others may see us as ter rorists.). It is concerning, because the vast majority of the mentally ill are not violent despite being much maligned (if anything, we're just unkind to ourselves). But I don't know what can be done to help these guys nor do I think the normals know either. A war of ideas can't be easily won with weapons. But how do you defend yourself in the meantime?

Anyway
Tonight's adventure: voting research
In the local paper, I have received the voter's information booklet that lists all the jobs and proposals that can be voted on November 4th. I've figured out which ones I will be voting on and now I am researching. I know Illinois is broke and as far as I know it was due to some of our governors who decided to take an early retirement in jail. But it's hard to tell if we're less broke than before or if it's just going to be a long slog out of it and this is the best that they can do due to the circumstance or if the current leadership is still failing and we could have recovered already. I don't think I'm being unfairly taxed out of my rear end (but then again, I don't know any other way) and despite everything we haven't gone all bear apocalypse (there's still functioning schools, running water, infrastructure, even road work--road work is saying something usually those north of Springfield don't bother with roads in the south). I honestly don't mind paying taxes, the money for our stuff has to come from somewhere and I do live here and use things so I should contribute something. But anyway, I'm sitting here researching the candidates and it's so hard to find how they feel about anything or what some of them do for a living already. If they can't simply tell me what they're even running for aside from kicking out the old guard, I think that's a bad sign that they don't really know the job they're running for.

Let's take a look at the county treasurer race. Rodger Cook vs Charles Suarez. I see a lot of accusations against Suarez--that doesn't look good even though he's the incumbent and we're still functional. Rodger Cook has a background in politics as the former mayor of Belleville (between 93-97 which I couldn't tell you how good or bad it was but that was only one term and I don't know why he was voted out) but he seems exceptionally vague. Neither seem to have a background with accounting or even bookkeeping. Which one is the lesser evil?

I also think I figured out how we can analyze politicians on their effectiveness in office. We can take their voting record and manually skim through it and have the results next to it (which some people could do if they feel like it and don't trust anyone or computers) but we could also get an algorithm to do it because some records are decades long. I'm not sure what we would do about novices to politics aside from ask them their work history. Give them a list of word problems concerning their job position and post the results? But honestly, I'm tired of these over simplified solutions to everything (raise taxes, don't raise taxes!). It seems like we just don't go anywhere with it.

I'm feeling good, balanced, and I dare say stable again. I don't think I'll keep taking sertraline on a consistent basis, only if it gets real bad or if I can't control it anymore because I can't have it numbing me out of existence or threatening future Erin with Alzheimers (though Alzheimers might be caused by a different class of antidepressants). I did not miss the nausea and that was only half of a pill, I'd hate to see what would have happened with a whole pill. I took it wrong--once I took it, I remembered that I used to take it at lunch. This matters because I would work through the nausea while awake and by the time it was time to sleep I could sleep it off instead of be in a state of twilight due to an upset stomach but still be mostly asleep because the pill made me. Let's see if I can make it another year or longer.

As for the book, I'm contemplating a scene in a game. I struggle to make it interesting and am finding it hard to put in dialog (You don't talk in the game, you're in it to win it!). This section has a point but if I point out that point too well, it has a good chance of becoming pedantic.

Despite feeling pretty good, I still feel kind of voided in creativity. How do I get it back? God? Universe? Someone? Myself? Hello? I was doing so well earlier this year and I wasn't even delusional about it.

Fine, I need to go to sleep again. Good night

October 20, 2014
Happy Spaziversary! I made it a year and I couldn't take it anymore. I had to take a half of pill so that maybe it won't do too much damage to me. Work is doing things again and I was just too depressed and was getting angry at them. I seem to notice a pattern in my life--generations before ours but pretty much the baby boomers do what they want, get away with it, then everyone gets tired of it because it usually brings corruption, and then they create a bunch of rules. It's not that I hate rules and regulations, I tend feel insulted like I can't be trusted with my own life or like I'm still in grade school (and they created what they might end up blaming me for). They still let the smokers run out every hour on the hour (though there might be less of them now) but I have to be watched? So I dealt with it because it was interfering with my writing, I was drained--I was hating my book as well, I wanted to quit everything and find a hermit job. Which reminds me, I also felt like I was slowly being fazed out (they're serious about budgets now--like I said baby boomers do what they want) so I need to write down all my career contingency plans in case I'm right and not ready with the book--I had thoughts but I forgot to write it down. I didn't feel like writing stuff down anyway because too much depression was interfering and shutting down my creativity (I just can't be moody and productive, can I? It's just too much to ask?).

I almost had it under control, I would shift between calm and anxiety/depression, which is weird and it was real bad anxiety wise when I laid down (could barely relax my mind just kept going). I did realize why I was going through what I was going through. I was burning out a bit. My anger was actually fear. But at the same time, I've been through so much with this place that I didn't care if I was fazed out or not. But if that happened, I would have a hard time wanting to go work with people again (all they do is get in the way and cause trouble)--so I would wonder how long I could last on my savings--probably not long given my health problems. I did realize early that I needed to have savings. I'm unconventional and there aren't many jobs out there for depressive/anxious people that pay well. For the most part, I'm sure there aren't many companies that want to hire self aware crazy people--though there are probably a certain percentage of unchecked ones already working for them, so I needed to take desperation out of the equation (desperation can lead women to do very bad things) and to make it so that I could work any job regardless of pay and not be hurting financially.

Sure I could go back to job two full time but I'm not sure how long I would accept that, particularly without the pill. Ideally I would want it to remain part time while I put more effort into the book but I don't think I could get away with that--particularly with health insurance. I'm glad there's a better option out there than useless COBRA but I still think it sucks. When creating the affordable care act they should have just gotten rid of insurance companies and found some other way to scam people with health care costs and created new rules to annoy and/or ruin people with.

I'm drifting through time and space again. I took it at dinner--spaghetti--after eating a regular piece of bread. I'm not sure how I worked second job while on this. I became really floppy during yoga tonight and once they told me to lay on the floor, I wanted to stay there and not move. It was nice. I'm slightly nauseated and I'm trying to find light songs with a good bass line. Nothing too noisy. We were also doing proto-yoga, for some reason the teachers keep calling in subs for this session so we get people who don't normally do yoga but other exercising. So their ipoods are often filled with techno music--or something called Rally music. It's really hard to chill out with this going on.

So anyway, other things: turns out there is a social program to keep tax instability from happening in one concentrated area and wouldn't you know, it was already corrupted (way to go, meatsacks!). It's called Section 8! It's supposed to help with the rent by paying in full or contributing to the rent depending on where you choose to live--in theory that can be anywhere. But like all human endeavors, we manipulated the best of plans. Some complexes don't accept section 8, I've heard the excuses that it brings down property values to the houses around it. But then there are some complexes who want it all because of taxes and stuff (yes, that's the technical phrasing). I've heard of Section 8 before this, but I always was under the impression that section 8 was supposed to be kept together in section 8 complexes.

I also stand to be corrected. Apparently, the date has been pushed back so far because the evidence is a convoluted mess. I'm also hearing it might be released by the end of November but I wouldn't take anything concerning this as gospel until it happens. Things also have been leaked but I'm not going to get into that either. I just hope that when it does come out--that whatever the outcome (if he goes to jail, then so be it)--that all evidence is put out there, on a website, anywhere as it appeared in the court with detailed explanations of the law in layman's terms since everyone has an opinion on it from both sides.

Washington Post: light reading--Why we need to fix St. Louis

Other agitations recently included the elections as both parties and normal people aside from me realize that they suck. I've gotten tired of campaign promises (promises promises, but promises can be broken.) and I was over smear commercials. What I wanted was a record of their voting records and the outcome of the vote if there is one. The Belleville paper actually asked what makes the candidate think they're qualified for the job. I may also need a job description of the position. Yes, we all know the gist of the job but I'm sure there are things in the job that we don't realize that needs to happen that may prevent them from fulfilling promises.

It also came out in a slate.com article (Sins of Omission) that Ed--the one who creates problems for me with his releasing of documents isn't all that he seemed (which I won't post here--go find it yourself). I thought it must have been bad considering what he did but ultimately he threw away his nice life for nothing because he changed nothing. He could have changed it easier by rising rapidly through the ranks being as smart as he is. But I also heard he didn't read half he took to know if it was actually incriminating and this article also points to other issues of his that seem rather dubious.

In conclusion: Everyone sucks! And I don't feel anything! Yay! Back to writing. Or sleep. Good night!

October 15, 2014
I wondered if the protests were actually doing any good--the news got back to me. In short, the consensus seems to be no.

Lesley McSpadden: Do Not Write in My Son's Name for St. Louis County Executive or use him in any other unauthorized ways to push your own agenda

I know the original intent was to get justice but recently, I couldn't make heads or tails of what exactly the protesters were after, apparently, I wasn't just seeing it, there is a bit of a splinter going on.
Activists tally FergusonOctober's strengths, weaknesses

Most of the demands like cameras on cops are actually being met due to the initial event anyway. Police brutality is just a tip of an iceberg of a much larger multifaceted problem. There was a call for a civilian review board as well, but only 33 people applied to be a part of it

. Weariness of Ferguson protests grow.

Ferguson protests frustrate and worry some.

Clergy led protest raises questions over nature of repentance

Light reading: 1992 LA Riots

I'm sorry the world did this to his family. I'm sorry that this is the way the world wants to test their personal strength and stability of mind. I'm sorry that the world keeps ripping out their hearts. There are others out there who are doing constructive things, so it isn't completely hopeless, there just isn't much press about them on an everyday basis. I keep thinking about taxes and infrastructure, if there is a disproportionate amount of people supported on a small tax base, problems like this arise and then the taxes are depleted more when crime increases. You can't stop people from moving away from danger and a socialist structure where maybe a rich area or the state (unless that state is broke) supports blighted areas most definitely would not work (Believe me, the nature of man would corrupt this, people would become too dependent on it or resent it, and then if it was the state was doing it bureaucracy would erupt among other stupid nonsense and everyone would choke on paperwork), yet this tax system isn't working either.

Other stuff: Here's some other links pertaining to the New York entry: How many flyover states equal that to the population of NYC?
Roughly 99,283 square miles around my county--that's most of Illinois without the far north/Chicago, half of Missouri, a bit of Indiana, and a bit of Kentucky.

Plus cracked being smart again, particularly in the second page. 7 creepy ways corporations are turning you into an addict

I also did the Jury thing--they just wanted to know about me like my job, level of education, my race, my age, gender, relationship status, etc.--I guess this saves everyone time from having me go up to the courthouse and doing this in person.

I should leave for a while, perhaps I will. Let's go out with a nice song.

Keep an eye out on the Post. Keep reading. Good night.

October 13, 2014
Where was Erin?

IT's THE ERIN SUPER SPECIAL #30 NEW YORK, NEW YORK (Oct 1-7)! What did I get myself into?
Or how many times can a person be probed before they’re no longer considered a threat?

There have been outings in the past with the family. The end result was usually internal chaos and although I did like going out, there was often a large amount of anxiety attached to these situations beforehand. Ultimately I was happy to have it end because I was wore out by the end of it—not exactly a vacation by that definition. The happy pill changed that for the past 3 outings (Vancouver—2009, Hawaii—2012 (it was a complete Godsend for the plane rides), and the Mayan Apocalypse 2012).

But now I had no happy pill and despite the fact I could have taken one of the leftover pills, I decided not to in a bid to protect my digestive system’s progress (as the happy pill shuts it down). Furthermore, this was the first outing since my dietary overhaul and I had to contend with the knowledge of what certain prevalent travel foods can do to me.

Needless to say, the prospects were not looking good for me on this trip as I found conflicts with travel and my new regulations.
-There will be no fancy salt or wheatgrass powder (I don’t think the TSA would look favorably upon a suitcase full of small unmarked containers of powdery substances. Taking the whole container probably wouldn’t go over too well either aside from being cumbersome).
-No Kombucha or straight cranberry juice unless I somehow find it (Though I could pack 5 3 oz bottles of it and fill the baggie with that but I also had to bring soap and stuff because for some reason people think I should bathe. No, I do not be using the stuff the hotel provides, it usually disagrees with my hair)
-Not too many vegetables, at least not on a consistent basis.
-Sugar everywhere
-Carb overload
-Everything on the go is processed!
-No good yogurt
-None of my fancy teas, not sure if I can pack boxes of tea
-Questionable water, particularly in airports
-No neti pot to clear sinuses if they become compacted from the plane or New York

Plus there was the added fun of other mental tormenters beforehand and during the trip:
-Threats of terrorist activities in subways with a very special threat appearance by Ebola (JFK airport started to screen for it, I thought they had found one recently while I was there but apparently it happened back in August and was a false alarm.)!

And with the price of the hotel room per night for the family and myself being only $250 less than my mortgage, there was no place for me to decompress in silence away from the outside noise and the noise within (snoooooooooooooooooooore—this doesn’t even begin to describe it, you have no idea how bad it is). We stayed at the Pearl—as you can see, it looks like it is a similar price for just one person (Yikes. I do not have the ability to fart quarters to afford such expenses).

I was sure that this would not only end in madness but sickness, as I vaguely remember getting sick after these vacations in the past due to similar conditions.

So, I had to prepare my arsenal.
-Clorox wipes for the plane—I always wipe down my area.
-Wheatgrass pellets
-All of my supplement pellets, including upping the oregano oil pills from 2 to 3 per day. PILLS FOREVER!
-THE GRAYL— The number 1, super awesome, TSA compliant actual functional water filtration system for a person on the go.
-My sleeping towel (instead of a pillow)
-Earplugs
-KT tape for my legs on the plane—which quickly fell off, it must have a shelf life.
-MELATONIN!
-And before I left I took a shot of liquid vitamin/mineral stuff, neti potted my face out, took a melatonin every night the week before to consistently get enough rest as I could, and sucked down the last of a newly discovered juice called Aronia. Dierbergs just started to carry it a month before, and I never heard of it but I decided I was going to eat it anyway. Turns out Aronia is also known as the chokeberry and has all these benefits including reducing inflammation but tastes like suffering.

Get on your traveling trousers!

October 1, day 1:
Probe #1: The usual at the airport. I didn’t sign up to the trusted traveler program. I thought I could just put up with it because I don’t do air travel that much.
Panic Attacks: 2
While on the happy pill, I noticed that as the years wore on, I had a hard time imagining things or visualizing anything in my mind. I would wonder about what happened to that ability and what I was going to do with all those notebooks that I collected for cheap after back to school time while working at the Kmart—as that was where I usually put such things. But since this August broke all bonds that the pill had me under, my brain had returned to its old habits (I know, I probably shouldn’t complain, things have been working in my favor so this probably goes along with it).

This time it wanted to let me know before I went to sleep the night before what it would be like to fall out of a crashing plane while strapped into a seat. It was hard to rationalize this as nothing as it felt exceptionally real and even plausible in this day and age (rare, but plausible). I was able to calm it down as I realized there was nothing I could do about either way by heeding it or ignoring it (this ability to control it is way different than in years past).

It was a lesser attack when getting ready. I knew what was needed—I make lists in a bid to keep whatever’s left of my sanity. But the hassle of punctuality and airports in general are nothing I care for, I could feel the tension in my neck and did what I could to calm down.

Good thing: I had a hard time finding the time to input all the new edits from my traveling hard copy but I managed to do it, and I had enough toner to print out a fresh copy for the trip. I often think of buying a laptop or tablet-y thing for this purpose but being low tech makes me less of a target for thieving and makes security less of a hassle. It also makes me look more authentic or something, sure (ha...)

Breakfast: 1 egg, 1 yogurt.
Lunch: Seemingly less processed chicken wrap in whole wheat at airport.
Mental condition: Fair, still apprehensive. Able to calm down for brief moments instead of stew in chaos. I was even able to sleep on the flight which was something I have never done, though this might have been out of exhaustion from the anxiety.

We landed at LaGuardia (the only one with direct flights from St. Louis) and hailed a cab to get into Midtown--it was rush hour. I’m not sure how long it would have taken us without all the other cars but just experiencing the constant stopping and the starting during the ride would have driven me crazy if I had to live with something like this. It takes me a grand total of 15 minutes tops to drive through downtown St. Louis in the mornings.

I didn’t quite understand what it meant to be a boutique hotel—it means that overall it’s tiny. The Pearl has 14 floors and the rooms, while really nice are a bit smaller than the normal hotel room. I didn’t quite consider the noise of the city when packing earplugs—but apparently it’s so much of an issue that the hotel had soundproof windows and they also provided earplugs. Unfortunately, they like many other hotels; they believed that squishy beds equal comfort.

After dropping off the bags we went walking around the block to get dinner—it was overwhelming at first with all these people everywhere. In town it was like there were four lanes of traffic crammed on a two lane street, though two of the lanes were for parking and bikes. The hotel told us to go to a pizza place, the family thought it was good but I thought it was terrible pizza—the crust was made of I think corn meal. We wandered around after that and ran into a street level studio that we didn’t recognize called SNY but we ended up staring at it for a few minutes (it was bright and shiny). We also went down into a subway stop and got lost, which was under Rockefeller Plaza (is this Rock bottom?) where the mole people lived because there were these subterranean stores down there—it was strangely warm with really low ceilings.

Later that night, we found the SNY channel. There are apparently two local 24 hour stations—one is NY1—the news station and the other is SNY—the sport channel. What we were staring at was a show called The Covino and Rich Show. They rebroadcast what they filmed that afternoon at 10 PM so I was able to watch myself stare at this thing for five minutes.

October 2, day 2:
Short explanation story (though why do I need to explain myself to anyone!?): The father’s Aunt Betty had a distinctive writing style in like Christmas letters. In those letters when she would mention something her mom did, she would refer to her as The Mother (“The Mother likes chocolate cake”). I have decided to carry on this tradition when referring to the family here because I think it’s funny.

The David Letterman Show called us to let us know that there were tickets available for today’s show. The mother had requested them and didn’t know if we were able to get any. Most shows shot here don’t like non-New Yorkers because I guess due to all the no-shows. Had it been a little bit easier, we would have seen a lot more tapings.

We got up late and went to the Today show to go stand in the plaza for the 9AM hour during segments for Kate Walsh and Susan Boyle. The camera managed to miss us. But I got probing number 2. In order to get into the plaza, your bag has to be rifled through and you have to be metal detected.

Susan Boyle segment
Kate Walsh segment

Then after a few minutes of that, we went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral which was getting a good scrub down and/or repair. We really didn’t plan this very well, the NBC studio tour was off because they were remodeling, in fact they had announced while we were there that they had reopened the Rainbow Room—but it was already booked a few weeks in advanced. The weather was not cooperating with what I thought it would be, the mother said it was going to be 70, so I didn’t pack a traveling hat, gloves, or a very thick coat—just the going to town sweatshirt (it’s sweatshirt material but all fancy like, for those times you’re going to town). So by that time I was freezing. I was also finding it hard to get my bearings as to where I was exactly, in the light of day I realized that all the buildings look the same on all four sides, so there was no real way of memorizing where I was by landmarks.

After that short tour, we decided to go to the Top of the Rock (30 Rockefeller Plaza).
Panic Attack #3: I do not like heights, or at least being outside on something really tall where the wind is blowing in my face. It was a lot worse when I was younger and was possibly due to an inner ear imbalance because I was freaking out less often while up there. I’m not really sure what the allure is to standing up on an exceptionally tall sky scraper but there I was.
Then we had to go to the Ed Sullivan Theatre to go get David Letterman tickets. They told us to be outside the theatre at 1 or noon to wait in line in a special group designation to get the tickets. We went back to the hotel for a bit, and left the cameras (NO CAMERAS). Then we had to get back into another special grouping and waited in line for an hour just to get into the theatre, got probing number 3, and both times we had to listen to these peppy interns or pages telling us how awesome it is and we are while spouting off trivia.
Eventually, we were herded in, and it was tiny in the theatre, it’s strange being that it looks rather big on the TV. We sat on some rickety velvet chairs, our seats were really close, we were in the third row on the floor next to the band and they were loud. It was also really cold in there, I want to say that’s a long running joke/observation but it’s still true. Before the show, they showed us a funny informational video about taping and then Alan Kalter explained a bit how the show was going to go down. After that it was basically watching a whole show with the whole songs left in that the band plays—done in one take—guests were popular actor Johnny Galecki, popular musician/actor Andre Benjamin, and Delta Spirit.

They did one pan of the audience and in the video you can kind of see us at 29:35 we are to the right of the graphic for Simon Amstell.

After that it was on to Times Square which was rather disappointing particularly with those hordes of sad looking characters (fancy hobos?). I’m sorry New York, you missed your chance by about 15 years to dazzle me with copious amounts of flashing lights. It won’t make up for the fact that the vast majority of stores in Times Square are just crappy tourist junk stores and restaurant chains I can go to at home (and it’s weird, I thought there was more to it). We stumbled upon an Irish Pub soon thereafter called Connolly’s where I was able to get a smoked salmon salad for dinner. I didn’t quite realize what smoked salmon entailed but I ate it anyway (chewy…mmm).

October 3, day 3
Slight brain agitation: Because I’m low tech, I disconnect from the internet while on these trips. It made me feel kind of aloof like something was missing. The way tv reports nowadays, I felt I might miss actual news. Not sure why I felt I needed to be on top of any news whatsoever (dooooom?!?!).

At this point I figured out exactly what made me feel out of sorts about navigating in New York. There is no direct sunlight, so I had no idea which direction the sun was moving or which direction I was going in. In fact, by 3:30 PM my sunglasses were useless and often during the day, particularly on overcast days, I was having a problem getting a good shot with my digital camera. I still own a film camera and had it with me but I’m more discerning about what I take pictures of with it, even though I should probably use it up already as the places where I can get it developed are slowly dwindling.

Because of this, I finally saw a need for the happy phones that everyone has. I only have a cell phone that makes phone calls that is turned off most of the time. Why? Quit asking questions, that’s why. Well, that and those happy phones seem a bit off putting, particularly Apple products. They’re so sleek, so bright, so shiiiiiiny—they whisper gently to the masses “Tell me your secrets…you can trust me” then laugh softly under their breaths and never expect anything in return (you and the great and powerful Google). They keep updating them constantly so it kind of seems like a waste of money at this point when it’s still new-ish.

There’s also the matter of the rivers in New York. St. Louis has one, it’s big and you can’t miss it. One side is dilapidated and is Illinois; the other is built up, with a big shiny object on it and is Missouri. That’s it, the end. When you’re up on a sky scraper, it all looks the same on all sides. I couldn’t tell Brooklyn from New Jersey (or was that Staten Island?). Uptown, downtown, midtown? All looks the same.

It was Yom Kippur, so according to my superstition of predicting what’s to come in the next year by what I’m doing during the New Year (I use the Jewish one, the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), it just might be a busy, dynamic year.

Anyway, we opted not to rent a car in New York, the mother figured we would walk, use mass transit with a week long metro pass, or take a cab. So for the most part, I got to experience the subway in all of its glory—even during the massive tides of rush hour. There were so many people on the ride we took that morning that I had to bust out the sea legs (thunder thighs, go!) to stabilize myself because there was nothing I could grab onto. The subway is also very confusing (we have the metrolink, it goes in two directions--East and West, there are also two lines--red and blue) Manhattanites are also very helpful when they overhear you discussing various subway lines and all the possible directions that line could take you, though for the most part they only know which lines they need to use on an everyday basis. Apparently the subway was also a lot dirtier at one point in time, so considering that what I experienced probably wasn’t that bad. I would say they should take a power washer to it or have some convicts clean them up but I bet once they did that it look the same as if they did nothing the next day.

We got on the right train and rode it to the end of the line to Battery Park, then it was onto the Ferry (not before probing number 4) to the Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty.

We got radio tours which we used incorrectly, doing it backwards), received probe number 5, went around the pedestal of the statue, and then into the museum. Like most things in New York, in order to get up into the crown you have to request tickets 3 months in advanced—they only let a certain number of people up there per year. Can't say that I was disappointed.

Lunch on the island was an expensive Panini but healthy (a theme here) but up to that point, I was impressed because the city was actually pretty forgiving to my dietary needs (I should have figured so much, I'm not sure why I didn't).

Then it was back on the boat to Ellis Island, I had to get the sea legs out again, only I had to stabilize myself in actual rough waters while the sister was attempting to cling onto me and ultimately making me lose my balance.

Fun fact: Ellis Island used to be tiny, but then they added onto it with all the dirt from digging out the subway. There wasn’t much to look at out there, it’s a giant room and some of the artifacts were damaged during Super Storm Sandy so they were elsewhere or getting repaired. As far as we knew, we had no ancestors who went through there. Most of ours were late comers in the mid 19th century, one side of the family came as late as 1912 and my best guess was because they were Austrian and WWI started (the rest were chased out of Europe because they were horse thieves... Fine, I made that up).

After that we looked around Battery Park at all the statues—and I reached my tolerance for selfies. No matter what statue we went to, there was a group of people there taking a dumb selfie, and it was particularly bad at the Statue of Liberty (sure, as expected). But like one of the statues in the park was a giant eagle that was a WWII monument, and I don’t think those who were taking selfies really understood that--it just looked looked cool to them.

It was really self evident when we walked up into the financial district (another side of Broadway?) and found the golden Wall Street Bull statue outside of the American Exchange building (members only). A horde of people were fondling it from both ends, particularly the back end to get the perfect selfie—like one guy who crawled under it to pretend like it just crapped him out or the other guy who stuck his face in its butt. I didn’t bother to take a picture of any of that.

We moved onto Ground Zero (.6 of a mile walking—seemed longer--my legs were a tiny bit sore from the boat and subway by that time), aside from the memorial, there isn’t a whole lot over there (lunch places, Men’s Wearhouse, Joseph A. Bank). I’m glad they left the holes of the buildings and turned them into fountains, it’s the only way to keep it moored in reality. But at least there wasn’t anyone I could see taking selfies at it like at Pearl Harbor.

We took the subway back to the hotel and got lost in Times Square again because we might have gotten off at the wrong stop. It was around rush hour again and it was almost overwhelming moving amongst twice the people and cars just to find one place to eat—we kept running into overly trendy bars that didn't really serve food. When I looked into those bars, I saw that it was an experience but then I wondered if there was anything more in life than that. It freaked me out if that was it.

We didn’t find anything good or relatively cheap (it was a bit much to spend $30 on one meal) so we ordered room service where I got a salad. I also got to stretch my mind watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune for the first time in years. I didn't get the What Are You Doing? puzzle right on Wheel of Fortune—the answer was not “Sitting on my butt, Pat.”

I thought at one point that there were all these unique restaurants in New York. Did I miss something?

October 4, day 4:
Perhaps I need to eat more or I need to eat some wheat based products when I'm feeling anxious but not go overboard. I started to calm down at this point. Every morning we had continental breakfast which mine usually consisted of 3 regular croissants, 2 hard boiled eggs, and either an organic yogurt or a banana with milk that I put a bit of coffee in. But there really isn’t a need to eat that much at home (1 egg, 1 yogurt, 1 piece of Ezekiel bread--that has no gluten)—all I do is sit at my desk.

Day four’s adventure was The Met.
I don’t know where we got off from the subway (we were in a fancy digital car that time that had a display board of the stops that the train was going to) but we had to ask a lot of people where we were and walk a long ways to get to the museum, on top of that it was raining. We went in and received probing number 6, checked our stuff at the fancy coat check, then paid $25 dollars each for the pleasure of having a lady kind of walk us through and explain some of the pieces (‘This painting is deliberately vague and it makes people uncomfortable’—I just kind of thought it was mediocre at best and rather clear as to what it was depicting—some diner). The mother had heard that people can contest the price and pay what they want but we decided to make a contribution to the arts as we never do at home because our art museum is always free with the exception of special exhibits.

I finally couldn’t take my feet being soaked from the rain so I dried them off in the bathroom with the hand dryer before we ate lunch in the Met Cafeteria where the cost of the food was determined by weight and it ended up being around $60 dollars for the four of us. It was good. It was worth it? Well, it was at least for the next part of our trek.

It got busy at around noon, all these Chinese and Jewish folk showed up. The rain let up so we decided to walk towards Central Park down a busy road. I’m not sure what road that was. We were looking for Belvedere Castle—and according to google it was around .7 of a mile away. My legs were starting to hurt at that point but we went up this side staircase and somehow found it. There wasn’t much to look at there either. They closed half of it due to the rain.

From there, I think it was 1 mile to another part of 5th Avenue—we almost got lost in a place called the Ramble which we didn’t feel like rambling in at that point. We got on a bus to get to the drop off point of carriage rides in the park—it was short but nice. I suspect we were in the fancy part of town.

Then our tour of not really looking at anything continued with a short trip into Grand Central Station. We walked into it and down the stairs when I heard multiple whispers of ‘shiiiiiiny object’ and ‘marketing ploy’ amongst the crowd. I turned around and was blinded by a bright light. It was drawing me closer, telling me to walk towards the light. All my troubles would be over; it would take care of them for me, it would always take care of me. Forever. It was the Apple Store. It wasn’t historically accurate. I poked one for a few minutes and didn’t really get anywhere with it so I broke away from its shiny grasp. Don’t you know I have to beware of a snake brandishing an apple?

We got lost on the subway yet again getting back to the hotel then ate left over room service (I ordered a veggie Panini which was severely lacking in taste). The answer to the wheel of fortune puzzle of What are you doing? that night was not “None of your business, stop asking, Pat.’

The tv also had to inform us that it was after 10 PM and had to ask where our children were. I screamed incoherently that I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know where my children were either but then I realized I didn’t have any.

October 5, day 5:
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING! We had to get there fast and early—9 AM—to beat the waiting in what was quite possibly the longest and most ridiculous waiting area and that was before we got to probing number 8, airport style. They gave us fancy ipood tours and that was interesting as well as seeing the fantastic Art Deco décor. I didn’t much like it up there either though it was better than Top of the Rock—there was too many people in too little of a space (a theme here), and after circling it once I had to go back inside not because of any anxiety but because I was freezing again. We only went up the 86th floor, to go to the 102nd, cost $17 more dollars than that of what we already paid. I finally had enough of freezing so we went to the trendy H&M so I could buy an inexpensive traveling hat that despite its trendiness, did not serve its purpose very well by keeping me very warm (Hélas, j'étais devenu prétentieux).

Which was followed by looking at the Flat Iron building (Yeah! Building!) and taking a ride on the Staten Island Ferry where I continued to freeze—people opened the windows the whole trip and kept getting in the way to take….selfies.

From there we walked from the Whitehall Terminal to the Brooklyn Bridge (roughly 1 mile) because the streets were blocked for some deaf person street fair and we couldn't ride the bus. We got to the bridge and walked to the first tower when we decided to go back to Manhattan. There were just too many people on the bridge and they were all taking….SELFIES. I did my best to give them my best Kennedy family impression when I noticed them doing it and was in the camera view but mostly my annoyance was getting the better of me.

We got back to Times Square and were almost attacked by a heard of Hello Kitties while trying to get into the very popular Shake Shack—I’m kind of jealous of New York for having such good quality food. I had a Portobello burger and they said the milk was organic in this place (I stuck with a small peanut butter shake—chocolate shakes really don’t taste that good to me). At the hotel, we managed to catch the last of the 5 hour St. Malachy shrine parade at the church next to the Pearl—St. Malachy’s, the Actor’s Chapel (apparently a lot of famous actors went there). Basically they were hauling around this massive shrine get up around the block with a brass band while burning incense. We were told this is a common practice in South America and that it happens here every year.

October 6, day 6
Roosevelt Island.
While researching about doing things there I was looking for something old like an ancient gilded age mansion that was perhaps open for public tours. The mother found Roosevelt Island and said the internet told her that there was some neat old stuff on it. So it was something to go see and ride on the tram to get to it. We got off and hopped on the free bus there and drove around the island, picking up various residents but as far as we could see, there wasn’t anything old or weird out there with the exception of like an old round church.

After that we took a trip downtown to Chinatown. Of all the places in New York, I felt like I was going to get robbed there or taken for some scam. You get off the subway and there are these women on the sidewalks trying to herd you into these New York tourist junk stores (but no Chinese style junk stores like in Vancouver or Honolulu—which I found odd but they did have open air fish/produce markets on the sidewalks). People stand on street corners and ask you if you want to buy a knockoff watch or a purse in accented, broken English. It’s impressive in a way being that it’s one of the oldest Chinatowns out there, and it’s like they plopped a piece of China in New York but it was so rough. I guess the thing about New York that there is enough of everyone from everywhere that there is no need to assimilate to anyone else if you don’t want to or don’t ever leave your respective area.

We ate lunch at the Jing Fong—a popular and successful dim sum place. It was good, though I don’t particularly care for dim sum mainly because I don’t always know what I’m eating and this round gave me massive indigestion. I swear I need to make a website called “What did I just eat?” just for dim sum.

Then we hoped the subway yet again to take a long ride to Coney Island. We didn’t really know what else to do and were sure that it was mostly closed, which it was. We wandered on the boardwalk—it was incredibly windy so we got sand blasted in our faces while we tried to look at the ocean.

On the seventh, we went back home and had fun riding in a car that was trying to drive in the morning rush hour (which was everywhere, all over the place), around Columbus Circle which was a block the other way from the hotel and I didn't even know it, and ultimately through Queens to get back to LaGuardia. There I got the final probing—number 9 because my shoes had some metal parts in it even though I mistakenly got to go through the Precheck (it’s niiice, I want to sign up now). They had to wipe my hands down for gun powder or something just to make sure. I had another salad at an overpriced airport restaurant and finally saw my preferred brand of yogurt, Chobani for sale. Guess how much they wanted for a 5.3 oz cup--$4.00—-more than double the mark up as I usually get it for a dollar.

New York was interesting. I felt that there was a real sense of community there--they weren’t whatever nationality first, they were New Yorkers first and that was nice. I didn’t really feel lost amongst the horde but I started to see myself as a background character to all the life stories that surrounded and walked past me. They do have a great potential for pretension but they don’t go there—they’re not trying to prove anything to anyone and I like that. They’re just trying to work around each other and keep everything moving. I understand all those references in tv shows better now. It was hard to find things (but that was the authentic tourist experience without the happy phones) and after a while I did miss direct sunlight on my skin (it was so odd to feel it on the Metrolink train home after a week), but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It is also because of my obsessive prepping that I was able to enjoy some of this trip and be the only one in the family to come out of it unscathed (the parents had back issues, the sister got sick). It sucks that I have to prep myself so much in order to go anywhere.

Ultimately, I don’t love you, New York—you are still kind of full of hype unless I didn’t do this right but I like you well enough and can tolerate you more than most things. I just better have enough money and my own mattress, if I go next time.

Pictures might come soon—I need to sleep first and get back on the story. The Myspace changed stuff for uploading or something. It’s been a while since I logged in so I don't know (see, always changes). Anyway, good night.

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