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Friday, September 29, 2006

ExFest 06

So in one week I managed to see three exes. And I did it without excessive drinking or antidepressants!

First off, I saw the CFEx when I was in Chicago. You may remember that after I saw him in Pittsburgh in June, I realized I was finally totally cured of about five years of residual feelings for him. So seeing him in Chicago was going to be an interesting test: did I just feel over him in June because I was with the JC, or was I really truly done forever? Happily enough, despite not being with the JC anymore I can say that I'm cured of the notion that the CFEx and I will ever have anything more than a friendship ever. Which is good, because we make good friends and we're both too crazy to work well together as a couple. Anyway, I am also happy to report that he had no bad facial hair though he is converting to hipster-ness. Even sans beard. And he is apparently planning to sleep his way through the female hipster population of Chicago, so watch out if you're in that city. I guess that's just what happens to MFA students, right?

I also saw Original Matt (guess I can't even refer to him as ExMatt anymore!) and I went to Korean barbecue. I'd never been and it was like my food fantasy had come to life: they give you a big plate of raw meat and there is an open flame in the middle of the table. Except they gave us squid and shrimp too, and I don't eat sea bugs. But Original Matt has a massive appetite (his Indian buffet prowess is legendary) so he just ate all that. It was weird to actually technically cook our own dinner, but I think that handing me a giant platter of raw meat is probably the fastest way to make me happy after handing me a giant bottle of Stoli and some cashmere yarn. Original Matt is doing okay and you will be happy to know that he did not have a dorky haircut.

And I saw the JC. This did not go so well. He wanted to meet up to talk to me because I was furious with him (he basically ignored me on the street - though he insists he didn't see me, he was with his father at the time so I don't know whether I believe him) and he wanted to clear things up. Basically, he is still confused and doesn't know what he wants. However, I had a deadline (six weeks from when we first broke up) and it has passed and I said so. I gave him the opportunity to really, finally end things and he refused. I said that I didn't want to be with someone who didn't know if he wanted to be with me and that I thought that not knowing was really knowing but he didn't agree. He asked if that was it, I'd never have him back no matter what and while I sort of wanted to say yes I didn't because that would have made things too easy and enabled him to just stop thinking about it and put all the responsibility on me, which I refuse to allow him to do.

I was not in good shape for a few days, but now I actually feel good. I feel fresh and clean and new somehow. I think I'd been clinging a little to hard to the hope that he'd come back and that it was awful when I basically lost that hope. I'm having to re-frame my thinking to exclude him, but it is working. I'm even forgetting what I liked about him. So far I have:
-never ever gave me beard burn
-smells really, really good. Better than any other boy I have ever met.
But those don't really seem like much to base a relationship on.

Now I just have to do a crazy amount of work before I leave for the big annual neuroscience convention in two weeks. I really don't want to go at all, except that I'll get to see Rachel. So science, boo; drinking with Rachel, yay!


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Adventures in Central Time

I went to Chicago this weekend. Somehow I'd managed never to visit before. It was a really awesome city and it is now on my list of "places I might possibly be able to tolerate living in." While there I got to see my uncle, who is fun and showed me around his neighborhood, and the CFEx, who took me to a bar filled with hipsters. The CFEx is not currently sporting any outlandish facial hair, though he was wearing skinny jeans and Vans slip-ons. But he has to, he's an MFA student now. I also got to go to the Renegade Craft show which wasn't quite as fun as I was expecting (too many ironic screenprinted T-shirts, not enough wacky knitting goodies) and see a bunch of crafty people, some of whom I'd met before and others I hadn't.

In Chicago, they have dirty dirty street signs:
so much dirtier than

I also got to (try to) teach people to knit:
teaching people to knit

Because while I may be Jewish, I will spread the gospel of the goodness of the knitting wherever I may go.

It would've been nice had BOTH my flights not been delayed, but I did get an awful lot of airport terminal knitting done. In fact, I now just have 8 rounds left on a really neat hat that I only had about two inches done on when I left. Thankfully, the TSA didn't confiscate my needles. But then, size 8 bamboo DPNs are really only maybe deadly to vampires. Plus, I'm one of those anal people who prints and highlights the section of the TSA site where they explicitly state that knitting needles are permitted. From my cold dead hands!

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Rock my Socks

I finished a pair of socks. These socks are special for three reasons:
- I did them from the toe up, which means they actually fit my stumpy little feet because I could try them on as I went and adjust the instep length to my foot far easier than with top-down socks
- I did them both at once, so not only did I not experience the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome, I know they're exactly the same size
- I did them both at once on the Magic Loop, a totally new knitting experience for me

Plus, it was my first time making a picot edge as well. Go me!

I really like how they turned out:

first toe-up socks

I'm already up to the heel on another pair!

And yes, I'm pretty much that pale, even in summer.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Bucky Update

Well, they caught him. I'm sort of sad at the whole thing, it was sort of a letdown of an ending at least in dramatic terms. I guess I'm glad he was caught and I'm glad he's not dead, but I hate the gloating done by the troopers, especially Superintendent Bennett, spokesmodel for trooper arrogance. My next question is: can he get a fair trial anywhere in WNY?

I was talking to my mom yesterday and she pointed out that now my hometown is known for Bucky and that whole Nushawn Williams mess. Doesn't seem like the nicest place to live, does it? Though I suppose small towns don't make the national papers for good news. I don't know if we're really that different from any other small rural town anywhere in the country but it is certainly a mindset totally unlike what I've seen in cities. Or even actual suburbs.

In MTP news, Tim had that wretched hunched-over neck-less hobgoblin of doom, Dick Cheney, on this weekend. Tim was relatively good in his questioning this time, he didn't seem to defer to Cheney like he's done in the past. I don't think I need to sum up any more than the NYT. The transcript is here. There was a point in the interview that I thought fully summed up the attitude of the administration - "I don't buy the terms of the question, Tim" - though according to the transcript what he actually said was "I don't buy the premature question" which can still work if you figure that all questioning of this administration is considered by them to be premature, in the sense that they don't feel they should ever be questioned at all. But I like what I heard better, anyway.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Beware of Bucky!

So I have been totally remiss in my duties as a Western NY expat blogger by not posting about Bucky until now, though those close to me will already know the details because I keep emailing them the NYT articles.

Ralph "Bucky" Phillips escaped from prison in April. The NYS police (the State Troopers) have been looking for him ever since. Three troopers have been shot (allegedly) by Bucky and one has died. In their manhunt, the troopers shot and killed a 25-year-old ATVer in murky circumstances. This isn't the first time he's escapted from prison, either. Back when I was in fifth grade, he escaped. We thought it was a joke and we wrote the number for the police on our hands along with "beware of Bucky!" It was funny until I got home and got yelled at by my parents for making light of the situation, especially since my dad had prosecuted him for something back in the day and they were a wee bit concerned that Bucky could be cranky about that. But they caught him...that time.

In the process of looking for Bucky, the troopers have disrupted everyone's lives and somehow managed to give the locals an even lower opinion of the state police than we already had. I never once had a positive interaction with a trooper. Even my father, who by virtue of both his jobs (EMT and attorney) has had a lot of dealings with them, admits that they're arrogant jerks. And they didn't help the PR much with the Friday am news conference (held in my old high school auditorium!) in which the superintendent of the troopers basically said "fuck you" to all the locals whose lives have been totally disrupted by the search. Technically, he was answering a question posed about the local community's growing resentment over the roadblocks, searches, helicopters, and other search-related annoyances but his response - that the community should just deal with it and that it was our fault that the troopers couldn't catch him anyway - basically sums up everything wrong with the NYS police and their attitude.

It is obviously very very bad that three troopers have been shot and that one is dead. And I don't think the excuse some are giving (that the cops got what's coming to them becasue in an effort to pressure Bucky, CPS took his grandkids away from their mother becasue she'd allowed the kids to be around him and he was armed. Ignoring the fact that if the standard is "don't have your kids around people with guns" there are about seven fit parents in the whole county.) is justification. But what reason (other than the $250,000 reward, I suppose) do people have to cooperate with the troopers, who so obviously have no regard for the actual residents of the community they're so intent on turning upside down?

The gross part is that this is all making me weirdly homesick. People that know me can't seem to belive that I'm from somewhere so small. Last I checked, my town had about 10,000 residents. There are about 160,000 in the entire county. All the back roads they're blocking are the places I used to go in a certain boy's 1984 Ford Tempo in search of abandoned grape roads that we could go park on. For the love of God, my high school mascot was the hillbilly. What people don't realize and what I've tried desperately to forget is that Chautauqua County is technically part of Appalachia. We may be in New York, but we're hicks, okay? I may have escaped but most people don't. All the interviews with the locals and the Bucky merchandise and his whole folk-hero status thing isn't really helping our image but bringing in hundreds of troopers from other parts of the state who obviously don't care to integrate into the community they're supposed to be serving. Add that to the fact that all these troopers can't even find the guy and no wonder people aren't being more helpful.

As the JC said while telling me about all the coverage we were getting on CNN, "wow. You really are from nowhere." Hail hail Fredonia, indeed.