January 24th, 2005

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Today's "Dear Diary" (my favorite New York Times feature) has a story in it which illustrates the concept of "small town city" so well I thought I'd share it here:

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Even in Downtown Atlanta, certainly no Chelsea, I am enmeshed in the community. For example, say I go out to the CVS Pharmacy a couple blocks over. It's entirely possible and typical that on the way over I could 1) run into my hall neighbor Sam and his dog Murph coming home from their walk, 2) run into another neighbor I know on the elevator, 3) chat with the security guard at the desk in the lobby, 4) wave hi to / chat with the gallery director, hair stylists, or any of the chefs at either lobby restaurant, 5) run into a neighbor or two on the street, 6) chat with the pharmacy tech, who knows me by name after years of prescriptions, 7) on a whim decide to go to R&R produce run by Luke, our neighborhood produce man, and 8) meet my neighbors and local workers and such on the way back again. If I lived in the suburbs I'd have driven to the CVS and back, not met anybody, and maybe only the pharmacist would have recognized me or said hello. As it is, I sometimes feel like I live in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood!

P.S. One of my clients called me, on my mobile phone, at 8 a.m. and woke me up, although I managed to respond to him like I was awake. I guess it's the will of God I start my new day of promises bright and early?
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    chipper chipper
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Funereal thoughts

I'm curious: Does anybody besides me have parents who mention in soothing, assuring tones that they've got a burial spot lined up for you?

Around 15 years ago parents bought a 4-spot lot at my hometown's cemetery, where my aunt and uncle are buried. I got to go gravestone shopping with my dad which was pretty interesting but weird (talking to a tomstone salesman, for example).

Now I've heard, first from a sister and then directly, that my parents are worried that I'll need the spot since I don't have any family. To quote my mom, "Just in case, you have somewhere to go." I guess they also presume I'm dying before them, since there are only 2 spots left. Where does the extra body go? I feel like we're doing restauant reservations and they're about to ask the waiter to pull up an extra chair.

P.S. Just b/c I'm thinking about burial doesn't mean I'm in a bad mood. In fact I'm quite perky today. Got a lingering headache caused by yesterday's distress but my enthusiasm for the day seems to be overriding it.
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    thoughtful thoughtful
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Left Behind on Taxis

This cracks me up!

Survey: Thousands leave laptops, mobiles in cabs

It's just not computers and phones though -- people have (says this article) left behind artificial limbs and babies. Dude! That totally reminds me of a sample in a Tit Wrench album where this guy leaves an answering machine msg. and goes "I was wondering if I could borrow back my artificial leg? I loaned it to you but now I need it back."

Meanwhile somebody in Atlanta may be enjoying the clove cigarettes that MAY have falled out of my bag on the train yesterday. Either that or they said "WTF, these are bogus" and trashed them.
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Yay! On a second try, I sold my copy of Bending the Landscape: Horror, an gay short fic anthology I really didn't fancy reading ever again. And meanwhile I just listed this nearly unused pair of black wing tips (size 9 1/2, if anybody's interested) that I bought 3 years ago but didn't wear b/c they turned out to be a wee bit too small. Seems like shoes actually sell well on eBay, so let's hope. The listing is cheap enough I don't care. On the receiving end of eBay, I just got a cool retro camera case, arrived today. It's not like the one I currently use as my purse, but bigger. I guess I can use it for when I have bigger needs or maybe even as a picnic basket. It's very nice.
  • Current Music
    "I Am Stretched On Your Grave"
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Eggplant sandwich

I made a really yummy (and healthy) sandwich for lunch. It does require a stovetop but other than that, simple to make.

Grilled Eggplant Sandwich
Makes one

3-4 slices eggplant (sliced 1/4" inch)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (w/bit of oregano)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 slices tomatoes
1/2 tsp. capers

1. Dunk eggplant slices in mix of milk and 1/2 tsp. olive oil. (I used soy milk, it was fine.)
2. Dunk wet slices in breadcrumbs, cover each with crumbs.
3. Fry/sautee eggplants in 1/4 cup olive oil. Start high temp, go to medium. Cover pan to avoid flying oil. Cook both sides 'til brown.
4. While eggplant cooking, zap tomato slices for 1 min. in microwave, or heat up on stove/oven.
5. When eggplant browned on both sides, remove, remove any excess oil with towel, newspaper, etc.
6. Make a sandwich with the eggplant, warm tomatoes and capers on top. For bread, I used rye and it was delicious.
7. Suggested side: Mixed olives.


Killing time

I heard this on NPR news tonight. A symptom of a major infection, I think.

Guantanamo Detainees Attempted Mass Suicide in 2003
The U.S. military confirms that 23 terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay attempted a mass suicide in 2003. The detainees tried to hang or strangle themselves between Aug. 18 and Aug. 26 that year. Jackie Northam reports. (You can listen, plus read the military's statement.)

Apparently besides this coordinated event, there have been something like 300 suicide or "self-harm" incidents at the camp. The military is working to reduce the numbers, but upping the number of MPs per cell block, so somebody walks by a cell every 10 seconds (that's what *I* heard, hard to believe though it is) but there were still like 100 incidents last year.

A couple times during the on-air report, it was mentioned that last year (?) an intennational (UN?) team that had gone in noted that a lot of the detainees appeared to be undergoing a mental slide downward, mainly due to the open-ended legal limbo (sans charges, sans lawyer or legal advice) they've been stuck in for 2-3 years. So even if they aren't phsyically abusing the prisoners (which, it seems they probably have been) they are certainly mentally abusing them. And now they're killing themselves.


Oh, and in spectacular other news, the boondoggle continues...

Bush 'to ask for more war funds'
The US administration is expected to ask Congress for an additional $80bn (£42.5bn) for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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