amyscoop.com

OCTOBER 2004
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
It seems like I'm out of town every other week! Actually, that's been the pattern this past month, and this coming weekend is no exception. I'm off to New York tomorrow for fun and family time. Plans include going to my cousin's big fancy wedding, meandering around midtown Manhattan, checking out the exhibit at the Guggenheim (or as I like to call it, the Goog), eating what I hear is some excellent sushi, meeting up with "Flapjack," and some important introductions. Back on Sunday.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
I don't usually watch Unwrapped; that Marc Summers guy has annoyed me ever since Double Dare. But I had it on earlier when I was doing stuff around the house, and there was a segment on Chocodiles! I used to love Chocodiles! We always had them in the house when I was really little. I remember one time in particular, when I was maybe three or four, and my parents went out and got a babysitter for me, and there were some Chocodiles left in the box in the cabinet, and the next day I asked for one, and my mom went to get one for me, and the box was still in the cabinet, but it was empty because the babysitter ate them all! Then I sort of forgot about Chocodiles for a while; maybe they stopped selling them where we lived, or maybe my mom was on a health kick and stopped buying them. Anyway, when I was in college, I stopped in the on-campus convenience store one day to get a ridiculously-large soda, and there was a small display of Chocodiles! I bought a dozen and gave them out to friends, encouraging them to taste a chocolatey treat from my youth.

I never saw Chocodiles in that store, or any store, ever again. Not that I've looked much, especially lately -- I've sort of given up junk food and therefore don't pay much attention to the prepackaged snack cake section in the supermarket. Unwrapped said that Chocodiles are mostly sold in the Western U.S., and I don't think that includes Michigan, but the next time I go to the grocery store, I'm going to look for Chocodiles. Yum!

Monday, October 25, 2004
Yesterday I drained the carburetor on my Vino to get it ready for winter -- and this was no small task, I assure you, as I had to find a tiny screw deep in by the exhaust and then screw the hell out of it, only to realize that I was stripping it in the process, and ultimately solicit help from my friend's husband, who seems to know about these types of things. Anyway, after much tinkering, it got drained, and then today was the first 70 degree day in a while, and I wanted to take the scooter out for a ride, but I didn't feel like going through the whole carburetor screw thing again.

Thursday, October 21, 2004
I eat cookies and I vote. The bakery next door to my place of work is doing their own little election, but with cookies! They're keeping track of how many Bush cookies and Kerry cookies they sell to see who the city favors in the real election. I think it is both clever and tasty. Today, one of my coworkers bought a dozen Kerry cookies for our students; one of the kids saw them and asked, "Who's Kerry?" (Sadly, I am not kidding.) I made some joke about Kerry being the new girl in class, but the rest of the kids made fun of him and he soon figured it out. I think if the real election were held in this manner and everyone could just vote by buying and eating a cookie, there would be no voter apathy in this country. (Election day again? Alright!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Update on the iBook: It's fixed. Apple fixed it in like two days. They got it, took care of it, and shipped it back within 48 hours. This was much better than the last time the screen broke. So many of these iBooks have had the same display issues that Apple must know exactly what the problem is without having to run diagnostics. And also, I suppose nothing inspires improved service and lights a fire under a company's proverbial ass like the threat of a nasty class-action lawsuit. Three cheers for justice.

Other news? Not especially. Perhaps tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
One big-ass porch. While we were on Mackinac Island, we checked out the Grand Hotel, the spiffiest place on the island and, in all likelihood, all of Michigan. We were a little put off by the ten dollar entry fee -- ten bucks, just to see the inside of a hotel! -- but we paid it and went on in. The hotel has the longest porch in the world, and when we were there, we more or less had it all to ourselves. It also has some exceedingly cool antique furniture, and it's all in great condition, and you can sit on it, and it's really comfortable, and a lot of it is upholstered in funky colors like lime green and bright orange. Once inside, we passed on the afternoon tea (also expensive) and opted instead for a drink up in the cupola bar at the top of the hotel (expensive as well). While it might be fun to stay there overnight and be totally pampered, and while it is nice that a big breakfast and a five-course dinner are included in the price of the room, it's still (you guessed it) expensive, at around two hundred a night and up. Oh, and that's per person. Crikey. Maybe one day. This time, we stayed at one of the inns on the island (pricey, but not outrageous), where everyone was very nice, and which had a really good full breakfast every morning and those little packets of instant cider all day. I love those little cider packets.

Monday, October 18, 2004
No, it's not colorized. Despite the cold, wind, rain, and even (whisper it!) snow, Mackinac Island was awesome, and I am fully ready to drop this mainland nonsense and move there year-round. I don't know if it's the cool architecture, or the nearly-total lack of motorized vehicles, or the company I'm with when I'm there, or the sheer isolation of it all, but for whatever reason, something about it really appeals to me. Sure, it would be an adjustment, but I could get used to walking everywhere and dodging horses and ten-speeds rather than SUVs. I've lived in Michigan and in Buffalo -- Buffalo! -- so the cold winters are something I'm used to, and the idea of never having to brush off my car again is a good one. I like the thought of being surrounded by water, and maybe running a business that would take advantage of (but by no means gouge) the thousands of tourists that visit every summer. Yeah, so the only ways to and from the island are ferry, prop plane, or snowmobile when the lake freezes: that's fine with me. I've always sort of wondered what it might be like to live out the winter in a summer place. Frankly, I think I'd get a lot of reading and writing and editing done, what with the lack of distractions and all. So it's an idea. For now.

All in all, it was a great weekend away, with the fast but jolting exception of the scariest ferry ride ever back to the lower peninsula. All the wind and waves bounced us around for the brief but not-brief-enough trip. That was 15 minutes of panic, and I was dizzy and a little disoriented for a good 30 minutes after we got to shore. Still, I am eagerly awaiting the spring, when the Mackinac Island ferries start up again and the hotels open up again and the bars start pouring beers again. My only concern: how do you get a moving van there?

Friday, October 15, 2004
Up north was so much fun last time, I'm going again. More specifically, here. Yeah, it's cold, but it's still good. Back after the weekend.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004
My head hurts.

Monday, October 11, 2004
My stupid iBook is busted. Again! I guess it's been a year and a half since it last broke down, but I take pretty good care of it, and I don't think laptops should be in repair so often. And like last time, the screen is broken! Last time it took Apple three times to fix it right, and I was without it for an entire month. And it wasn't like when your car breaks down and you get a free rental until your car is fixed -- I got no temporary replacement. And it wasn't like I asked for a PowerBook with a superdrive or anything; I just wanted an iBook to use when mine was getting fixed. But I didn't get one.

Now I have the ill fresh killa G5 in addition to the iBook, so I transferred the important files from my laptop (umm...like this one) over to it for the next week or two. But I mostly use the iBook for music: it's the computer with the fat iTunes library, and I use it to transfer mp3s to my iPod. The worst part of all of this is that I can't download music for the 'Pod for the next week. Uhh...I mean, legally buy music off the iTunes store.

Another topic? Alexandra Pelosi, they're all making fun of you.

And another? In two months from today, I get to eat dinner here.

Another still? This is way cooler than Puppy.

Thursday, October 7, 2004
I was sitting in the park earlier, over near the bandshell, and this guy, maybe 18 or so, was listening to a discman and singing along badly and loudly to some really angry music, something about my life being fucked up good, and because he was in the bandshell, his singing got amplified, so pretty much everyone within thirty feet could hear, and he saw us all looking at him, and he looked back and kept right on singing. At first I thought he was kind of dumb, but the more I think about him singing that pissed-off song in the empty bandshell and not caring who was watching or listening, the more I like him. In a weird way.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004
Boom. I mean squirt. When we were at Coney Island this weekend, it started to rain, and we took cover in one of the boardwalk arcades. It was empty, since the summer fun season is pretty much over, and the balloon gun race looked kind of sinister. Maybe someone could turn this photo into a gun-control ad. (Interesting: I initially typed "fun-control." No, Dr. Freud, there's nothing wrong.)

I wanted to drop some of my quarters at the arcade, but I couldn't believe it: there was nothing I wanted to play. Arcades usually have at least one old school game, but this arcade had exclusively first-person-shooters, which I don't like, or those sports games where you control the on-screen action by doing the movements yourself on a slick plastic version of the game equipment. Since I am entirely too self-conscious, I didn't feel like pretending to skateboard in front of a video screen, no matter how empty the place was. There was skee ball, but without one of my brothers there to beat, it seemed lame. What the hell was I going to do with those prize tickets? I dropped fifty cents into a crane and almost won my mom a gorilla, took a few photos, and left. The rain had stopped anyway.

Monday, October 4, 2004
100 years of wooooooo. After two surprisingly decent plane rides, I am back from Coney Island. I still don't know if I won anything, since the festival website hasn't posted any winners, even though it says it has, and the festival itself wasn't huge, but it was still fun. I had some family members there, plus some of my parents' friends (hi Barbara), and we all had a really good time. We ate at Nathan's (just so-so, but definitely historic), dodged the rain, and were impressed at the not-gross bathrooms. My dad and I hit the swinging cars on the Wonder Wheel, and then Susan, Bill, and my brother Randy and I paid five bucks and took a ride on the Cyclone! This was one of the best coasters I've ever been on, and we screamed our heads off as the rest of our gang watched from the sidewalk.

I got to see Other People's Pictures, a very cool documentary about people who collect snapshots of people they don't know. I talked with the producers, and it looks like we'll both be at the Detroit Documentary Festival; maybe they'll screen our movies together there too.

We also had a kickass dinner at Gargiulo's and sat across the room from Paulie Walnuts! And his hair is just as fucked up in real life as it is on the show!

All in all, a good trip. I will definitely be back to Coney Island again. I'm a little embarrassed that it took me this long to get out there.


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