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Thursday, December 29, 2005

overheard at my own dinner table last night:

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

Person A: how could he have not heard about the riots in france?

Person B: he doesn't read the paper.

Person A: what? how can you not read the paper? what about the news? he doesn't watch the news?

Person B: he doesn't watch the news.

Person A: how can you NOT have heard about the riots in france? that's so embarrassing!

Person B: it's very embarrassing.

Me: what about the internet? it was on the internet.

Person A: yeah, it was on the INTERNET.

Person B: well, it may have been on the internet, but not the part he was looking at.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

you people

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

not too long ago, i was waiting by my car for my boyfriend to show up for our dinner date. i'm not used to having to wait for him - it's usually the other way around – so i left our meeting place to see what his hold up was. as i was walking along the sidewalk, a car careened through the 4-way intersection and crashed into a telephone pole/back of a van 20 feet in front of me. had i left, say, 10 seconds earlier, i would have been crushed. but luckily, no one was in his path.

people rushed over to his car to find the driver having a seizure. we undid his seat belt and waited for the ambulance. a woman threw herself on the man and wailed, "don't die! oh please don't die." someone peeled her off of him and said, "he's not going to die."

my boyfriend still had not shown up after all this hubbub. i walked over to his place and collected him. "there's a huge accident!" i proclaimed.

as we walked back to my car and past the driver of the car being loaded into the ambulance, i saw someone poking his finger into the chest of another man and saying, "you people should learn how to drive."

and by "you people", this tiny ignoramus was referring to hasidic jews. i think my neighborhood has the third largest population, outside of israel and brooklyn.

without thinking, i grabbed this man's arm and jerked him to look at me. "excuse me. he had a seizure! a SEIZURE! he didn't do this on purpose!"

he turned away from me. i jerked him arm again and repeated what i had just said. i was so angry that i was stammering and stuttering my words.

the foolish man spoke again, "well, i was hit once – by one of them when i was on my bike. i just assumed..."

"i think you owe this man an apology." i released his arm.

he turned to the man he just horribly slandered and said he was sorry.

i was reading million little pieces at the time, in which the author talks about people's eyes: the emptiness of a hopelessly drunkenly drug-addicted person’s eyes, the truth in a genuine person's eyes...

i turned to the hasidic man, who hadn't said a single word during this whole exchange. even though i'm not a big believer in apologizing on someone's behalf, i said that i was sorry.

as i did so, i looked straight into his eyes. they were icy blue. big, icy blue, receiving eyes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

not so much

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

when i started this blog, i told myself i wouldn't go longer than a week without a posting. now, here i am at a week with nothing to say. i am officially empty on the inside.

how about a smattering of tiny factoids and drivel? does that suit your fancy? probably not.

i was driving my car without registration. apparently it's totally illegal.

each class, my yoga teacher reads a certain passage of wisdom to us. last night's was about being unencumbered by possessions and not being tied down by anything. some people fit everything they need into a backpack and travel the world. these are the wise ones. anyone who's seen my apartment knows that i have three items in it: this computer, a bed, and a television from 1983 that i collected out of a dumpster. i spent the entire final relaxation getting excited thinking about what else i could throw out. today, i consolidated my shampoos and conditioners, so that i have fewer bottles.

people don't want to know what you *really* think.

someone told me that i was great and sort of gay.

i'm voting for jack layton because he's hot.

i booked a trip to vancouver this week. i emailed another far away friend and asked her if she would meet me there for a weekend. she booked her flight that night. "look at us," she said. "you'd think we were millionaires. you just got back from prague, i'm off to hawaii. who'd think you were unemployed and i will be in 2 months." that made me smile. i like not being imprisoned by the fact that i don't have a job.

i'm currently in between contracts.

you can book a 5 * hotel on for $100. you should do it.

i wish the world would learn how to spell "a lot".

a-trak came home last night. his mom was helping him with his luggage. if i see kanye in my hallway, chances are he will get fondled.

that's it. i almost got hit by a car a little while ago... and i got something to say about it. but not today.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


i recently spent an evening in new york with a friend that i met there about 10 years ago. we don't get in touch that often ("i HATE the phone." "well, i HATE email.") but when we do get together, there's a lot of talking to be done. this time he told me, after two tequila-based cocktails, a story about how, when he and his siblings were young, their mom left their negligent father. she packed all four of her kids in a car and moved as far away from him as possible to a trailer park in florida. they left with nothing but what they could fit in the car.

one day their mom stepped out to get some milk. it was the first time she had left them all alone. my friend was the eldest at 7, so he was in charge. as soon as she pulled out of the driveway, the kids started to run amuck. they took off their clothes. one of the brothers started trying to light matches. the others were digging up other sources of trouble. once the brother succeeded in lighting a match, a bit of the sulfur fell off and burned his hand. his instinct was to throw the match. he threw it onto the curtains. it started a fire. my friend rounded up all his siblings and got them out of the trailer. once they got outside, their mom pulled up. they all stood and watched their house burn down. the mom and her naked children. everything they had burned to the ground.

"oh my gawd." i said. "you lost everything - you didn't even have any clothes."

"no clothes. all of our pictures - pictures of us as kids. that's all gone." he said.

this past weekend, i tried to transfer all the info from my old computer to this new one. nothing would work: the new computer would freeze, then the old computer would freeze. it took three days to get absolutely nothing done. i finally got on the phone with applecare. i spent hours on the phone with them.

"what's on your screen now?" the 2nd tier technician asked, completely exasperated with me.

"a flashing question mark."

"oh...." his voice trailed off. "okay. listen up, we have a couple of options now."

with each option, i got lighter and lighter headed. my hard drive had exploded. it was no longer recognized.

it took about two days for the news to sink in. i tried not to cry, but it didn't work. i lost my pictures of prague, videos of my niece in her jolly jumper, videos of martha's vineyard, emails from friends that i keep because they inspire me to write... none of these can ever be replaced.

we often see images of people's homes that were destroyed by hurricanes, tornadoes, fires... and the owners always return to the ruins and dig up their photos.

i'll start over. i'll start building up this new hard drive. worse things have happened, as i'm constantly told. but i wonder what i would have been able to construct with those images and those emails, that i calculatedly saved. they meant nothing to anyone else, but they meant the world to me.

so why the image of jessica simpson and her ex-husband whatshisname? because i currently don't have any images and i figure jessica might bring up my number of page hits.

Friday, December 09, 2005

in like a lamb...

they say what happens in our childhood shapes and molds us as adults. when i was in grade 2, i had a teacher, whose name was, ironically, mrs. lamb. whenever we got too rowdy or unruly, as 7-year olds are apt to do, she would take her pointer stick and slam it against either her chalkboard or the top of her desk. whenever we heard this loud crack, we immediately stopped talking and sat up properly in our seats. she had us conditioned to do so. i believe her words on our first day of school were:

"my name is mrs. lamb. this is my stick. when you become too disorderly, disobedient, and boisterous, i will slam this stick on my desk or on the chalkboard. when you hear this noise, you are to stop talking and stop moving. i don't want to hear a peep out of any one of you."

her tactic worked. we heard that stick crack a number of times over the year. i remember talking to my friend who sat behind me when i heard the stick. i swung around in my seat and clasped my hands in front of me. i saw her standing in front of me, giving me the cold, hard stare.

i remember casually mentioning mrs. lamb and her stick to my mom - like it was nothing out of the ordinary. i saw my mom's eyes widen and look a tad horrified. it was then that my suspicions about it being a questionable means of discipline were confirmed. she asked a few questions about the stick.

"how long has this been going on?"

"all year."

"has she ever hit... any kids?"

i paused. "not yet, i don't think."

from that day onward, mrs. lamb never used her stick again. but she did make her mark, so to speak.

i've recently found a few uses for this stick, and had it been legal, i would have been wont to use it myself.

two weeks ago i was at a ray lamontagne concert with my boyfriend. ray is a very talented, folksy singer. it was a civilized affair, so the couple having a fight in the row in front of us were being most disruptive. first, she got up and stormed out, only to unfortunately return 10 minutes later. their bickering continued through the opening act. he was next to depart, grazing everyone in the face with his bulky coat in the process. it was when he returned and their bickering resumed that i desired my stick. i'd toggle it mercilessly between their two empty heads.

[tap tap tap tap tap tap] "hey ike and tina. shut it."

they'd give me a "mind-your-own-business" look and i'd give them another rap each for bad attitudes. i'd point to the corner with my stick and send one of them to stand there, so everyone in our vicinity could enjoy the show without any further disruptions.

shopping in new york this time of year is a bad idea. this is why i need my stick. lollygaggers are to be prodded from behind.

[tap tap] "step aside. no dawdling."

[tap tap] "pick up the pace, tiny shoppers."

[tap tap tap] "move along now." i’d point with my stick in the direction in which they need to move.

i had dinner with friends at a restaurant that we usually love. this time, however, the service was terribly lacking. we sat for about 45 minutes before someone came over to offer us cocktails. if i had my stick, it would have been put to good use. i would have broken up the waiters' little party by tapping one of them on the shoulder. i would then rap the top of our table.

"we are empty handed. cocktails. posthaste."

the waiters would roll their eyes and i’d dole out individual floggings for rude behavior.

"BRING IT!" my friend carolyn would bang her fists on the table.

oh wait, that last part DID happen.

i want my stick. i'll walk so softy, you won't hear me coming...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

new york stories

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

everyone's got one. here's mine:

it was a friday afternoon. i had just finished work and had to deliver something to my boss at her home. she was the evil president of the NGO that i worked for. she used the donated dollars from hard-working people who gave thinking they were helping women in third world countries to pay for $6000 plane tickets to uganda so she could cut a ribbon, complain, and then fly home 10 minutes later. she also had a hook nose, and that, in conjunction with her evil character, made her to be a witch. she also made her subordinates crawl under her desk and massage her feet.

she was heinous.

in any case, i had to take a cab to her smelly house this friday at 5pm. getting a cab at this hour is IMPOSSIBLE. i had been standing on the corner for about 30 minutes when i finally saw someone getting out of a cab. i ran to it and as i reached for the door handle, i instead grabbed another woman's hand.

oh shit, i thought.

"this cab is MINE!" she was in my face and inching herself past me into the backseat.

"lady," i said. "i've been waiting for 45 minutes!"

"i got here first!"

"we got here at the same time." i reasoned.

she didn't like reason and continued to yell at me. she was a rampant businesswoman and was used to bitching her way to what she wanted.

in the midst of her tirade, i timed her out.

"stop! WHERE are you going? WHERE ARE YOU GOING?"

"uh, the upper east side."

"okay, look. i need to get to hell's kitchen. we can share this cab - i'll pay the entire trip to hell's kitchen - you'll get half your ride for free."

"get in," she said.

in the cab, she turned to me and very sweetly asked, "so what do you do?"

i explained that i worked for a not-for-profit organization that educates and fights for women's reproductive rights in developing nations. “i set up a school for girls in senegal,” i beamed.

she grabbed my arm. "oh my gawd! that's so wonderful, so meaningful." she asked about a hundred questions during the cab ride. when i told her about my project to prevent women from dying during childbirth, tears welled in her eyes. she no longer was holding onto my arm, but my hand.

we got to my witchy boss's house and i pulled out my wallet to pay.

"no - NO!" she protested. 'don't pay. i’ve got it. put your money away." she crumpled my money in my hand.

"it's okay - my company is paying."

"no, you don't make any money. you're non-profit. please - it's on me."

i thanked her - not so much for the ride, but for the opportunity to see her tune change so radically. she was now heading crosstown. the detour to the west side was going to cost her a fortune, especially in this traffic.

oddly enough, i thought as I traipsed up to see demonwoman, our company would be much better off with a president like the woman in the cab than the two-faced, two timing witch we had.