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Thursday, March 31, 2005


so the pope's gonna die soon.

thinking of that makes me think of my grandfather. my grandfather was a deacon of the Roman Catholic Church. he was also a gigantic asshole. he died a few years ago; i honestly can't even remember what year it was. i didn't go to the funeral nor did i get sad or cry. and it's not one of those grieving cycles that went unfulfilled. therapy is certain not to bring me to sobs after eventually realizing how much i loved him. i never did, really. the flashes of memory i do have of him were that he was somewhat frightening. the stories my mother has told me of her upbringing only seem to validate my judgement. he was abusive and, like many abusers, i'd imagine, he loved his power but hid it from the rest of the world.

my mother once revealed to me that she was raped by one of her brothers when she was a teenager. they still speak, when they are around each other. i find it hard to even look at him. i'm not sure why or how my aunts and uncles have collectively decided that this would be a good way to continue life. i guess, somehow, they just detached themselves from the pain, the anger. i know my mother mourned the death of my grandfather.

these are the skeletons that lie in my family's closet, and i'm not sure what to do with them. they make me want to grieve something i've never encountered. they make me angry. they make me anything other than complacent, quiet.

i think family is a form of religion, and i see myself trying to make it my own.


last night, i saw my 11 year old cousin perform in the All-District Arts Festival at my former high school. he played percussion. his mother and siblings live in the inner city of Newburgh, about two blocks away from the latest murders that have maintained headline status. i picked them all up so he wouldn't have to take a cab to the school. i brought a tie of my brother's for him, and trembled with frustration as i attempted to tie the damn thing around his crisp, taught collar.

we secured some seats and sat through the orchestra and chorus before Jake finally came on. his face, almost immediately, became scrunched with concentration. his first instrument was something that sounded like the infamous cowbell; all i could see were those little ball-ended sticks flailing about his head. then he played the cymbols--to the Star Wars theme! i was so incredibly excited and proud that smiling and laughing nearly resulted in streaming tears on several occasions. he was so adorable, so lovable, so amazing.

it made me yearn for my own child. i want to feel that energy for another human being. i wonder how much of what we know and desire is innate.

(we're fancy mammals; we need to procreate. we need to build firm families so that our offspring survive. )

i seem to be grasping for ones that are already established.

i want to have a good one. i want to start fresh.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

tell me you agree

big, big decision to make, kiddos.

here are the two options:
1. go to see Bishop Allen at CBGBs with a very close friend and her man friend, who will have travelled from Boston to see this gig.
2. run a 5K with "the" co-worker and perhaps some students.

now, the decision seems strikingly clear, but allow me to talk my way through my thoughts...

i suppose here is where i have to tell you about how the drama has come full circle at work. i'll try to be concise, and in return, try not to think of me as a homewrecker.
apparently the wife has been reading his emails. his work emails. she figured out his password and checked his daily correspondance. it wasn't really an issue, as i had put a stop to the flirty emails quite some time ago. seriously, i did. and not because i didn't want the flirting, but because it was just too dangerous of a trail. in a way, however, it did tone down the things we should've been not doing in the first place. so things were going well, considering the near run-in with adultery that had happened about a month or so prior (is it possible to blame you, Jeremy? you totally stood me up! just kidding...).

in place of these emails came little comments that he would drop about how his wife was suspicious. now, there was nothing concrete that every really happened between myself and this very married man. yet, there was still stuff to suspect. hell, most of the building had been suspecting it before even he and i did. eventually, these comments began to show their aftershocks when he didn't join our academy's traditional birthday lunch. my birthday lunch. instead, he stayed behind, rummaged through my desk (god, he must have seen my slip in that drawer...very embarrassing) and watched my Family Guy DVD.

then he decided not to go to the annual Srping Fling. the reason there was obvious, but in the kind of way that no one would speak it. he simply couldn't arrive solo, nor could he very well bring his other half.

so when he was absent from work one Monday, things were kind of sticky, but completely OK. we were both dealing with this mess quietly. but then my other co-worker shared some information that made it very clear to me that things were getting beyond silly and had plunged into the unprofessional. perhaps this had happened long before i saw it, but at least i caught on. it always takes me too long to get angry--about things that matter.

so i sent him an email. it wasn't really too terrible of an email. it was about two lines long and it said, "I realize that our friendship is falling apart, but our professional relationship shouldn't." (yes, i capitalize in the workplace and take off points when my students do not.)

(i just realized that i'd forgotten to be concise. sorry.)

she intercepted the email. he'd called the classroom; a student handed me the phone.

jesus christ, this is getting riciculous.

yeah, i know. he was still jovial. i was running my hand through my hair, stressing. well, she may have sent you something in response, and i just wanted to let you know that you shouldn't read into it very much.


i read the email. she'd sent it from his work account. i guess it was the type of email i'd send to the other woman. i didn't respond. i was completely furious, but i did not respond. not because i felt bad for her, but because i wanted to win this. my maturity and self-control would surely get me the purse. the next day, however, i let my married co-worker know exactly how big of an ass he really is. i also cried a lot. i'm not the kind of girl to keep my mouth shut.

...and now i'm on Easter Break. the tide is retreating; but doesn't it always return?

so, i got into running because of him. i signed up for this fucking 5K for me, though dammit. i found out about it, have been working toward it, and was the one to share it with him. i thought it would be a nice "practice" for the 10K i've agreed to do in June. but now this mess. i'm trying to eliminate him as a friend. go for the complete opposite of what we'd been creating. i mean, none of this is fair. (yes, he started it. yes, i tried to stop it...kind of. but that doesn't work anymore; not when you're 26.) so to say it's not fair for me not to run is illogical.

but i know that if i don't go, i'll use it as a guilt card. i'd rather not do that either. but i have no fucking self control, people!

i think i should go see Bishop Allen. tell me you agree. sometimes i just need to hear it.

Monday, March 28, 2005

he doesn't find me amusing

Read the Complete Interview Here

*note: after reading this interview, he has requested that i do him a "favor" and not contact him again. either he is very touchy, or i am a poor journalist.

So, what's it like being a rockstar? You guys have been creeping into the spotlight lately. I even saw you on some featured iTunes mix!

I wouldn't know what being a rockstar is like but yes, things have been going well for us lately. We've all been working our assess off for a long time, and we all believe in this and have all made a lot of sacrifices to keep doing it so its gratifying that things seem to be moving forward.

What are the best and worst things about being on tour?

Best thing - playing shows every night with 4 people who I love and respect, and meeting new people every night.

Worst things - having little to no control over where and when we eat and sleep.

And, mostimportantly, have you signed any women's breasts?


Who, in the music industry, do you look up to?

I used to work in the music industry. I learned a ton working for Ken Weinstein and Jim Merlis at Big Hassle Media, and they are both great people who pretty much cheered me on when I quit my job there to be able to devote more time to the band. And Jim has given me his Mets
tickets on occasion. I'll usually choose a Mets game over a rock show if given the option.

How about outside the industry?

Elliott Spitzer, Joe Biden, Al Franken, Brian Lehrer, Seymour Hersh, Philip Roth, Wes Anderson, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze... The list goes on.

Where would you like to see the band in five years?

Still together making records and touring for a living.

So your new album is in the works; what can your fans expect on this latest release? What were some of your inspirations, motivations, and good vibrations for its creation?

Emblems was the first record that I played on - even when I first heard Matt's demos (just acoustic guitar and vocals) I thought that there was something of a shift in the songwriting; nothing dramatically different, but everything was more immediate and direct both musically
and lyrically. I think the new record will take that shift a step further. There was a conscious effort to make this record more aggressive, with more songs with faster tempos, but its still us. I
think people who already like the band will be a bit surprised by parts of the new record but they will hopefully still like it. We did the bulk of the recording over a week of 12 hour days at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock. I was sick as hell the whole time and it was one of the best weeks of my life.

Is there a tentative release date?


Any funny or fantastic stories of events during the recording process?

We just worked our asses off the entire time. We went to a bar one night and Matt sang Time after Time karaoke style.

Who do you think would win in a fight: Anne Coulter or Ellen DeGeneres?

I'd be rooting for Ellen but Anne Coulter is made of evil and would probably fight dirty, so I assume she would win.

Is it true that you are the real reason behind the Pitt/Aniston split?

I can't think of anything in the world I care about less than the personal lives of celebrities.

Describe a typical day in the life of Brian Pearl of matt pond PA.

When we're home its pretty boring. I work then go to the gym if I'm not being lazy and usually have band practice or something band-related at night. Sometimes that just consists of getting drunk with people I play music with. On tour, every day is identical: wake up hung over,
get in the van, arrive at the club, sound check, sit around, try and find something ok to eat, start drinking, play show, drink more, go to sleep.

What's your biggest pet peeve?

I have no idea. I don't get along very well with people who consider Fox News a legitimate place to find out what's going on in the world. Other than that, I don't know.

East Coast or West Coast?

Both. I'm from California and I've lived in New York for almost 9 years.

What are some of the bands you're listening to!

Hayden, Daft Punk, R Kelly, Cam'Ron.

Who are your top 5 favorite bands at the moment?

I'm bad at these lists. These are just five bands I love in no particular order: Luna, Pavement, Broadcast, Blur, Pinback.

I have some embarrassing photos of your sweaty armpits. Will you be angry and/or sue me when I release them to the general public after you're rich and desired by the finest women in the land?

I doubt it.

Be honest; no one important will read this interview. Does Hartford really suck?

We didn't really have much fun there.

Do you enjoy the smell of Windex?

I hate it actually.

Did you feel as awkward as I did as you half-walked me to my car after the Pixies show?

That's a pretty bizarre question to ask.

Friday, March 25, 2005

the kangaroo

moments when you can just giggle with someone that you normally cannot fully giggle with are so outstanding.

today, my mother and i went out for a "fun" day of shopping. really, it was me carting her ass to places such as TJ Maxx (which isn't so bad), The Rag Shop, and Home Goods. by our third store and fifth hour, i was getting anxious and tense. before erupting at my mother without provocation, i told her i was getting restless and then began wandering the aisles in a state of daydream. then...

i saw this:


look closely...

yes, that does appear to be a large penis coming out of the groin region of what appears to be a horse.

i was only equipped with my camera phone, so i apologize for this crude photo. actually, it's better if you see it this way; you are now reacting the same way i did in the middle of Home Goods, Middletown, NY. i do believe i even voiced my shock aloud...what the hell?!

it was some sort of paper machier creature that, i assume, would adorn a mantle or table in some quirky abode. of course, it did appear to be an anotomically correct, and aroused, horse. however, it was in fact a kangaroo...and the penis was in fact the head (ha) of the marsupial's child. the pouch was evidently not to scale.

i scurried back through the aisles and found my mother still wandering, her basket full of bargains that she would inevitably talk herself out of by the time we left the store.

hey kiddo, what do you think of...

wait...come here; i have something hilarious to show you!

she looks up and puts the green Easter platter back on the shelf.

what? she smirks.

i'm cracking up, allowing for pause...

oh wait, i think i know what you're talking about! the kangaroo?

she'd already seen it! yes! oh my god, what the hell is that thing?

now we're both full of giggles, finding our way back to this odd knick-knack. when we find it, there are more giggles and some photo ops:


we even pointed it out to the woman you can partially see behind my mother.

it was a boring day of shopping.

poor Easter bunny

Thursday, March 24, 2005

interview with a rockstar

it's been entirely too long since i've posted something substantial. and i actually attempted to earlier this evening, but then a bill collector called and i got all responsible for a while with my financial matters.

but now i'm back to sitting here thinking about how i should be writing. i could outline the drama that has now come full circle at work, but it would cause me to do too much introspecting. and let's be honest: no good is gonna come out of that!

so instead, i'm going to share the questions that i've developed to use in an interview with Brian Pearl. he's a musician in the band matt pond PA. i have never done an interview before, and was even more bumbling when i actually hung out with this dude on once occasion so i tried to mask my deficiencies with humor. try to pretend there are some really witty responses following each of these questions--responses that were triggered by my own cleverness.


So, I met him through Friendster (which I realize is so passe, but I'm sorry; I just cannot get into Myspace). I think the premise was that I thought he was hot--even before the rockstar factor! After weeks of flirty emails and Instant Messaging, we met face-to-face at one of the several NYC Pixies dates, gulping down several beers at a dive bar rather than suffer through the Le Tigre, who was opening that particular night. I was very nervous walking in to meet him because I was really self-conscious about the size of my puffy jacket. However, he'd voiced great concern about me finding street parking rather than paying at a lot during our conversations leading up to this first encounter, and the fact that I had managed to do so was something to brag about. At least I had an ice breaker. If that failed, I'd simply bail out by mocking my own jacket. But here I am talking about myself already when this really is all about Brian Pearl of matt pond PA. After some more prominent media attention with appearances on The Carson Daly Show and spots on Fox's The O.C., I still wasn't surprised to learn that this modest guitarist agreed to give me a bit of his time for this incredibly professional interview as he is on tour in Hartford, CT. I promised him that the questions would not be boring or tedious, so don't expect to learn anything too profound about this musician other than his sentiments on random things that amuse me.

So, what's it like being a rockstar? You guys have been creeping into the spotlight lately. I even saw you on some featured iTunes mix!

What are the best and worst things about being on tour? And, most importantly, have you signed any women's breasts?

Who, in the music industry, do you look up to?

How about outside the industry?

Where would you like to see the band in five years?

So your new album is in the works; what can your fans expect on this latest release? What were some of your inspirations, motivations, and good vibrations for its creation?

Is there a tentative release date?

Any funny or fantastic stories of events during the recording process?

Who do you think would win in a fight: Anne Coulter or Ellen DeGeneres?

Is it true that you are the real reason behind the Pitt/Aniston split?

Describe a typical day in the life of Brian Pearl of matt pond PA.

What's your biggest pet peeve?

East Coast or West Coast?

What are some of the bands you're listening to!

Who are your top 5 favorite bands at the moment?

I have some embarrassing photos of your sweaty armpits. Will you be angry and/or sue me when I release them to the general public after you're rich and desired by the finest women in the land?

Be honest; no one important will read this interview. Does Hartford really suck?

Do you enjoy the smell of Windex?

Did you feel as awkward as I did as you half-walked me to my car after the Pixies show?

Were you satisfied with this interview? (Please respond via Friendster testimonial.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

as a child...

i believed these things:

1. that when the snow would melt along the mountains, then refreeze into gigantic, colorful iced waterfalls, that someone had actually put food coloring on them to make them prettier.

2. unicorns were magical.

3. that the lyrics to Don Henley's song were actually "poison summer"

4. my mother's scent, a mixture of cool breeze, perfumed soap, faint cigarettes, and warm skin, was the most glorious thing on the planet.

5. that life was just about living.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

spring cleaning

ok, i think i'm emerging from the funk. (or i'm now able to supress it sufficiently) and i've decided that it's time for me to be funny again. this depressing shit is annoying me, so i can only imagine that it's annoying the crap out of you too.

i'm thinking essays...if anyone has any interesting topics, feel free to suggest. so far, i've only come up with the idea of religion--specifically, how Christianity got the popular vote. i mean, there are so many more religions out there that are more fun, no? or at least less similar to the anguish of doing ab-crunches while trying to hold in a fart. there's some offensive humor just begging to be explored there.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


And I'm not sure what the trouble was that started all of this
The reasons have run away but the feeling never did
It's not something I would recommend, but it is one way to live
Cause what is simple in the moonlight, by the morning never is
What's so simple in the moonlight, by the morning is so complicated.
What's so simple in the moonlight, so simple in the moonlight

my friday night consisted primarily of hairspray and red wine.

my saturday, children and cameras.

(life can be so much more pure and manageable when we have fewer words with which we clutter the empty, stagnant spaces.)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

wash your hands

i've been feeling sorry for myself a lot lately.

it happens to everyone; you get that mountain of "little things" stacked so high that you can no longer see that view you're walking toward. so you cry. or you yell. you do whatever it is that you do to remind yourself that this is just the way things work.

so, saturday was my breaking point. i cried, but not enough. i drank, but too much. i yelled...probably not enough. so things are still lingering. the clouds dissipate, but i'm still chilly from the mist. obviously i did not plan properly for this journey.

inevitably, things happen or you talk with someone and you realize that you're being a complete schmuck by being down. over the past few days, someone has been ringing a gigantic fucking gong over my head with these not-so-little signs that i need to wake up.

1. my students are working on an assignment that i call their "personal statement." kind of a gerneric thing that is similar to the kind of BS you write for college admissions. maybe 10 or 15 out of my 100 have finished so i was reading them over during lunch on Monday. out of that small percentage, one wrote about having a child that was quite possibly the result of rape. two wrote about watching their mothers die of either cancer or AIDS. two more discussed dealing with having a parent deported for criminal activity. and no, i don't teach in the ghetto. farms surround my campus.

2. i met with a personal trainer the other evening as part of my new membership package at the local gym. she was nice enough and seemed to know what she was talking about. as i whined to her that i'd already done 60 minutes of cardio that day, she cheerfully acknowledged, appropriately pitied, and warmly encouraged me to continue my weight training. later in our session, when we were discussing how we typically only know our weight after a doctor's visit, she revealed that she is scheduled to have a hysterectomy--at age 23.

3. yesterday afternoon we were dismissed early due to some inclimate weather. i naviagted the Interstate smoothly in my 4x4 until about two exits from my home. i hit a patch of ice and fishtailed for some time before quietly coming to a rest on a perfectly located exit ramp. i pulled over, started to cry, and shook for the rest of the ride home, traveling at no more than 25 mph.

i guess that's it. i mean, i see others around me with their problems and i really am looking for someone to blame. i'm looking for a free pass here. but yeah, there are none. those little games that used to bring relief are no longer working. no more whining, no more grudges, no more self pity masked with beer or excessive eating. life is hard. i'm realizing it's time to clean up my own mess.

(still, the urge...just to grab him by the shoulders or shirt...or maybe a firm shove. Don't you realize you're ruining me? Can you not fucking see this with those eyes? Why aren't you crying for me? I am screaming for you, shaking you, hating and loving you...I need you to break down just a fucking little here! I am in torment from you....)

today is my birthday.
they say that you should wash your hands and brush your teeth for the duration of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

neighborhood watchman

well, the evening began with good eats...


and some card playing (and cheating)



it was my birthday celebretory weekend and it turned out being a horrible evening. i do share, however, because there is the story of the Manhattan Neighborhood Watch.

there was a bit of drama early in the evening that erupted with my tears and curses. it was a culmination of many things i hate about my life coupled with the unequal levels of drunkenness between members of our party. somehow, i managed to stop crying, reapply makeup, and even begin laughing again as we made our way into the city. it was dramatic and gross, but i'm still certain that i'm completely right in my assertations during that explosion.

once in the city, we all started drinking heavily--likely to help ignore the fact that some of us actually hated one another. we found a foosball table, and much to my surprise, i performed very well. my excitement lead to many photographs of us pretending to be incredibly sexy, kickass sportsmembers.


when that got old or we ran out of quarters, we relocated to the back of the bar where i began flirting heavily with one of the members of our party. he was the one i didn't hate at the time. he was also the one that is not dating my best friend. so at least i was being logical. at one point, we encountered what may have been the creepiest lurker in the entire city. i'm not sure where he came from, but he was suddenly there. i had my friends pose so that i could capture him. i'm convinced i was really slick about the whole deal, but he probably caught on when i started cracking up and showing everyone the thumbnail shot on my digital camera. hopefully he isn't stalking me with future intentions of a gruesome murder.


after this, things became much less jovial. the boys were exceedingly more drunk than us gals were and "dick-boy" mode was beginning to emerge in one. when my friend ran into an old college dude at our next bar stop, the violence began. the two boys had been playing pool on the other side of the bar when B made a direct line from his spot at the table to the exact position between L and her friend. it was really obvious that he was being a dick, and the innocent (and ugly, i pleaded later with B...i was trying everything) friend began showing off his girlfriend's phone number in an effort to calm this other ass down. nothing worked.

somehow B ended up outside with our other male party member. i remember seeing the other male fall to the ground, and the recoiling, shoving arms of B. so now L and i are outside. me, ever the loud drunken diplomat, positioned myself between the two boys only to be caught up in thrown punches. random men, and one girl, on the streets were now more concerned than interested and amused. out of nowhere, a very large man appeared and identified himself to me as a member of the neighborhood watch. i think i may have laughed at him before briefly explaining the situation, but i'm not exactly certain because i was then approached by the previously mentioned female. she tapped me on the shoulder and begain proclaiming, with great certainty, that i was the most beautiful woman out that evening. i think i was flattered, and i'm not even sure that she was hitting on me. it was just a nice break from the warring boys.

i looked to find my neighborhood watchman when the other male member returned. we both searched together and quickly found B being yoked up against a brick wall by our glorious giant friend. that pretty much put an end to the street fighting.

and that's also pretty much the end of the humor to be found in this evening. the drive home consisted of my trying to keep the two boys from hitting each other in the moving vehicle, B punching his dashboard until his knuckles bled, and me and L taking turns crying.

i still love you both, though.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

bachelor #2 & the DARPA challenge

his name was Fred. he'd joined our entourage at some point during our bar hopping. i think it was the third bar. it must have been during a quest for a cigarette or something. i only remember T introducing him to me with disbelief:

do you know who this is?! it's Mr. Clark's son!

Mr. Clark had been our physics teacher in high school. he was a bizarre man that had a passion for the subject he taught. he was a laid-back character with this head of fuzzy hair that seemed indicative of some kind of mulatto heritage. we had lots of theories. he was involved with some kind of project to build a solar car that year and it took over the content of our curriculum. if you volunteered any one Saturday of the academic year, you were likely to receive an A in the course. it was only fun for the geek factor, which inevitably relates to humor. the Sol Machine, paired with our goofy teacher, was a guaranteed good time

so running into his son was a mere coincidence that became fantastic because we were quite drunk. in time it came out that he'd come out to that particular college town alone that evening. it was only natural that he remain a part of our pre-birthday-celebrating party-in-a-box.

he had crazy hair. i've been describing it as a mix between Justin Guarini and Sideshow Bob. and it was blonde. he kind of looked Scandinavian. though, i've only met two Scandinavians in my life. wait, three.

anyway, i think that's what locked in my radar. or it could've been my lack of sexual activity. regardless of the catalyst, i did my best to remain liplocked with this big-haired nordic for the remainder of the evening. evidently, i also did my best to make sure that my two friends knew my feelings about his looks. the next day, T informed me that i would not stop saying "he's so fucking hot!" for much of the evening. i actually didn't even know his name until our original clan was reunited for the drive home.

isn't it weird that Fred was out by himself? T said

who's Fred?

[laughter from both girls] umm...the guy you were making out with all night? T explained.

what? that's not his name, is it?

yeah, you jackass!

damn. that's a dumb name. good thing he's hot.

at some point i'd given him my phone number because he called me the following evening. i'd spent the entire day nursing my hangover with food and mini-naps. i was piecing together the evening and increasing my humiliation in the process so i didn't answer initially. when i called him back we made some tentative plans to hang out again. i didn't want to but when you have not other prospects, it's foolish to come up with reasons not to be social, even if they are completely logical.

a few nights later i drove to his house--well, his parents' house. my former physics teacher's house. over the phone he explained that he was working on something with his brothers but that he'd be done soon so we could watch a movie or something. sure. fine.

Fred answered the door and it was terribly awkward. i didn't expect it not to be. he looked about the same as i'd remembered him, though i can't say i'd insist on proclaiming his hotness while sober. i walked into their entrance way and he offered me a beer which i quickly accepted. cold one in hand, we walked into the living room so i could meet his brothers. oddly, they both were crouched over what appeared to be some sort of remote control vehicle. and they were wearing jumpsuits--the kind of jumpsuits a mechanic would wear. i was instantly amused and glad i'd come if only to be able to share this moment with my friends the next day.

nice jumpsuits, i said with a smirk. this comment was the last of such comments to be made that evening as i noticed their reactions. they were not amused. actually, they almost seemed unable to process the statement as ironic. they were almost confused. Fred began to explain that they were working on building an autonomous vehicle for this national challenge (it's not a contest nor is it a race, i was informed). i'd arrived as the boys were in the process of making a videotape of their creation for submission to some branch of the Discovery Channel. as they did their thing, Fred also geared up in the grey-blue suit.

it was, quite possibly, one of the weirdest social situations that i've encountered.

left to entertain myself as the boys spewed jargon (one said "algorithm" as if it were no big deal! that's right! at the digital camcorder, i studied a wayward copy of Building Robots for Dummies. i spotted my former teacher on a poster that the boys were using as a backdrop for their movie. i petted one of the cats. i came up with theories about smart people and the general disarray of their living space. i stifled laughter. i finished my beer. eventually, i watched part of a movie with Fred and said goodbye without a goodnight kiss. he hasn't called, and i'm kind of glad about that.