She’s got the look

Posted by andrea - August 31st, 2006

Of autumn, that is — autumn in some other place than Florida. As tomorrow is September, and Halloween stuff is on sale, it’s time to get into the mood of my favorite season that I haven’t really experienced because I live in Florida. Though I must say Orlando is slightly closer to the crispy-cool russet-hued frostiness of which I dream. Which brings me to the point of this post:

I don’t go in for those “list things you want to do before you die” memes, but I might as well admit it now: I do have a list, and near the top (under “finally become solvent and even have enough money left over for trinkets”) is “live somewhere there are four real seasons.” As opposed to Florida, where at best there are two and a half and the half lasts anywhere from one hour to two weeks, depending upon the year. This is one of my plans, and I need to do it soon before I get too old to be able to fool around with my life like that. So I am asking you, dear readers, to tell me where you think I should move, based on your personal experience (living or visiting — but living is preferable, for the plain reason that places you visit are almost invariably more attractive than places you live, due to novelty and the fact that you are away from the cares and responsibilities of home). There are some criteria along with the four seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter — yes, with snow and ice) that I need anywhere I live:

  1. The cost of living has to be reasonable. Unless I do the unlikely and
    attract the attention of a millionaire who lives for random snark, it
    is too late for me to become a high wage earner. Currently my yearly
    income is around $25000, which isn’t much, though it’s (barely) enough
    for me to live on in Florida. So this leaves places like New York City
    and San Francisco out.
  2. The community needs to have decent high-speed internet service. No, I cannot quit any time I want.
  3. No “exciting” high crime areas, please. I grew up in Miami — in other words, been there, done that, I’m too fucking old.
  4. You know those people who say “culture” (meaning, “fringe” fests, gay pride parades where the image of gay people as spokespersons of real culture continues to be destroyed, and “art” exhibits consisting of canvases that seem to have been dabbled upon by manic toddlers who rolled in pots of tempera paint) “is a must”? I’m not one of them. Real culture — meaning classical music performances, ballet shows that you don’t have to sell a kidney to see, and lots of bookstores that don’t feature Michael Moore’s latest wad of pulp in the display case would be great, but unfortunately I plan to stay on this planet. I will be satisfied with a well-stocked Borders and a Starbucks or two for my ventures into public. As for my other cultural needs, I can get them off the internet.
  5. Clubs? No thanks. If your city has a “dynamic club scene” you can keep that information to yourself, because I won’t be trying it out. See “grew up in Miami, been there, done that” above.
  6. There must be some form of accessible nature nearby. I like to walk around in forests and on beaches and things. Nothing too strenuous. But the completely urban life, where the only natural creature one sees is a pigeon or a rat, would drive me out of my mind. I’m a city girl, but I’m also a misanthrope, and I need to get away from my fellow human beings occasionally, even if it’s to a park.
  7. A decent radio station used to be a huge concern of mine, but now that we have satellite radio — and I have outgrown my youthful dependency on certain forms of music to keep my moods on an even keel — that is no longer an issue.
  8. I don’t care about politics, but I have heard that places where more liberal policies hold sway are both higher taxed and higher crimed. (No, I don’t care that that’s not a word.) Something to keep in mind.
  9. Jews: after growing up in Miami, where there are Jews everywhere, and then living in Orlando for the past few years, where the Jewish presence is much smaller and thus much less felt, this shiksa has discovered that she needs more Jews. It’s kind of hard to explain, but there it is. Maybe it’s the fact that O-town caters to the tourist, and thus everything is sort of blanded down and name-branded, and so when you go out for bagels you have a choice of the few real Jewish delis in town (like the one I, thank God, live near), or you can go to Einstein Brothers, which is a chain that doesn’t bother to claim to be even part kosher. Now I realize that in rejecting places like New York I have made things more difficult, but surely there are other cities in the continental US that have communities of Jews of sufficient number that I can get real bagels (and bialys, haven’t had those since I left Miami). So keep that in mind.
  10. The place must be in the continental US. Hawaii is much too expensive, and I refuse to fly, and a boat would be beyond my means. I suspect Alaska would be too much for me. And I’m not moving to a foreign country.

Okay, that’s all I can think of for now. Put your suggestions in the comments.

Emergency Update: Maine is out. Repeat: the state of Maine is out as a possible future destination for me. If I saw these people talking to their cardboard relatives, I think I’d freak out so badly I’d have to be hospitalized. I’m more fragile than I seem, folks. Besides, that’s where Stephen King lives. So, no Maine for me.

Vanity Assassins

Posted by andrea - August 31st, 2006

(This is a rephrase of what a commenter said on Hotair.) Hey, all you “progressive” kidz giggling at the delightful idea of George W. Bush being assassinated? Try this experiment: say to yourself: “President Richard B. Cheney.” Yeah, suddenly your cute film plot doesn’t seem so cool, does it?

God, I hope someone brings this up at a party or something, so I can say that. I love to see smug liberal faces fall in dismay. (Via Kathy Shaidle.)

Poop shoot

Posted by andrea - August 30th, 2006

And I used to think those brass casts that people used to make of their kids’ first baby shoes were bad. I think I need a new category: “No Further Comment Possible.”

Rip Van Winkle is after me

Posted by andrea - August 30th, 2006

I have things I want to write about but I am having trouble keeping my eyes open. You see, the sound of peacefully-falling rain (as opposed to “maximum sustained winds of up to 45 miles per hour and possible tornadoes”) makes me want to go to sleep. Of course I have no intention of doing so — it’s only seven pm and I have just arranged for the outdoor cat to stay inside and have been moving around little trays and things and putting my own cat inside my bedroom so she won’t try to attack the intruding alien, or at least so she’ll stop making those annoying moaning growls and hisses — so I am making some mate tea blend I bought at Teavana to see if it will keep me awake better than regular tea or coffee. I thought of just making coffee but my stores are kind of low.

I moved my cat’s litter box into my bedroom so of course she is taking primo revenge by getting litter all over the rug. That’ll teach me to fool around with other cats. The outdoor cat, being a guest (and also to piss off my cat, the brat), has been given the run of the rest of the place. I made an improvised litter tray for her and she seemed to know what it is for. At least I hope she does. I’m only doing this because the apartment building has no gutters and my patio always gets flooded when it rains heavily, or at all. Also I am a sucker.

Oh God, is the herbal tea crap finished? I don’t want to make any coffee. I want to stay awake until bedtime, not until morning.

Ernesto’s depressed

Posted by andrea - August 30th, 2006

But I’m not, ‘cos I got off work early anyway, ha ha. Not that I’ve done anything very interesting or valuable with my time. Oh — and it finally started raining, at least in my neighborhood.

“Storm” update

Posted by andrea - August 30th, 2006

Is it possible for the windspeed to be measured in negative numbers? I poked my head outside a minute ago and the air was so still and hot and humid it was like the inside of someone’s mouth. Someone who had just been boiled to death. However, it is cloudy and it looked like there was a bit of a sprinkle so I guess the Storm of Doom is still upon us.


Posted by andrea - August 29th, 2006

Well, I brought my crap in from the patio (plants, stands, the one chair I had out there). Later I am going to try to coax the stray cat I’ve been feeding (because I’m a sucker, duh) inside. She poked her head in and got the Glare of Doom from my cat, and it seems to have turned her off from wanting indoors. But if the winds and rain pick up she won’t be so happy.

Of course, it’s quiet and dry with hardly a breath of wind outside right now. At least the rain will cool things off. I probably didn’t really need to bring anything inside, but there might be a stray gust. Also, they want me to come into work tomorrow. They’re planning to close up at noon — I think my bosses don’t know that the time of “arrival” of a storm usually refers to the eye, not the outlying bands that have all the wind and rain. It’s going to be fun tomorrow. At least I don’t have to take the bus — I couldn’t anyway, they shut the buses down when the winds go above 35 miles per hour.

So far if you ask me this has been a big bust. But it’s been the most excitement we’ve had all year. If the globe is supposed to be warming I think someone forgot to tell this part of the world — it’s been the mildest summer I’ve experienced in years. True, last year June was solid rain, and this year it’s been the dryest in years, but the temperatures have been lower than normal. There have been a few days of burning heat, but most of that had been in the middle of the day. And this is the first serious storm we’ve gotten, and it’s not even a hurricane.

Speaking of hurricanes, what’s with all this Katrina-one-year-anniversary garbage? I’m sick of of these natural disaster anniversary gloomfests, which for the most part are just an opportunity for people to cry on national tv and make everyone feel sorry for them. Supposedly we are to “remember” the victims as some sort of tribute to them, but I don’t see why that is necessary. All it does is make the living victims feel worse by dredging up bad memories (or worse, enable too many of them suck some more pity — and attention — out of others), and it reinforces the idea that it’s unfair that we are subject to the laws of nature. And of all the storms I think people would like to remember the least, Katrina would be near the top. Or am I the only one who remembers the disgraceful national meltdown, on live tv, of Our Betters in the Media? And worst of all, New Orleans gets all the attention, even though the worst that happened was due to the negligence and corruption of that city’s and its state’s government. The people of Gulfport and Biloxi and all the other non-Louisianan cities and towns that got pasted by the actual storm itself must feel like crap when they see all the sobbing and crying and carrying on going on today about New Orleans. Include me out of the pity party.

Whip it good

Posted by andrea - August 28th, 2006

Guess what the new, preferred response is to the suggestion that newcomers to one’s country either accept the laws and customs of their new home or move someplace else where they would be happier? “Racist!

I sometimes think it would be worth donning a burka just to see these masochistic retards get the comeuppance they deserve. Then again, they might enjoy it.

(Via Tim Blair.)

Splish Splash

Posted by andrea - August 27th, 2006

Oh well this is just great:

Tropical Storm Ernesto
They’re already evacuating visitors from the Keys.

Drive, she said

Posted by andrea - August 26th, 2006

At last, they’ve invented a sport for me:

A car destined to die, bought for the price of pocket change. A route
with a reputation. Four days filled with quirky assignments you swore
you’d never do in public.

A currency you don’t carry. A language you don’t speak. A
car on its last leg. A roadway with no mercy. Every roadtrip nightmare.
Recipe for disaster?

As that describes most of my driving life, I’ve been a player all along and didn’t know it. The latest event seems to be scheduled for Prague. Sigh. I’ve always wanted to go to Prague.

Oh well. The current plan is to get me into some sort of four-wheeled conveyance by Christmas. At my current state of financial disaster I’m not sure how that’s going to work out — time has a way of flying, just like my biweekly paycheck out of the bank account, faster than the speed of light — but we’ll see.

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