Thursday, July 2, 2009

My D0rk Mistress

After months and months of real estate woe, my social life finally opened up again. I didn't have any classes or fand0m activities to take up my time either. For the first time in years I could just go out and have fun with my friends.

Except now my friends are all busy.

And now the Forbidden Shelf of my bookcase keeps leering at me:


Stacks of rpg manuals. They look so lonely.

On one hand, I miss being an active nerd. I have no fanclubs or larps to run anymore, no stage-combat performances to work on, no costumes to sew. And I don't really miss those past times very much.

On the other hand I've been off the RPG scene for so long I wouldn't know a d20 from a d12. Most of my game-running skills are larp based, so I would need to play for a while to get my role playing legs back in shape.

Oh, wait, my friends are all too busy to run campaigns. *headdesk*

I don't believe that all people need romantic relationships in their lives, but even the most antisocial subjects need some sense of community. And much as I like keeping up with friends online, I miss the old gaming sessions of my college years. Also, I think the Deleria book is whispering to me in my sleep. Damn you Phil Brucato, and your pretty games.

On the up-side, my plans for Dragon Con are coming together :-D Maybe I can put some new costumes together, and the drone of my new sewing machine will drown out the siren song of the Forbidden Shelf.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I was introduced to the book "Against Love" a long time ago. And completely forgot about it until a friend of mine picked it up a few months later. This friend was inspired to fill her mp3 player with songs void of romantic sentiments. Mysteriously, her occasional moody days decreased in number and severity.

So I tried the romance-less playlist too. Even at the research stage I noticed about 99% of popular music is romance-inspired. Hooking up, breaking up, making up, yikes! No wonder people get so depressed when they're single. Western civilization never ceases to amaze and annoy me.

Here is a sampling of what I listen to on my daily commute:

Made to Heal - Our Lady Peace
If you Believe - Our Lady Peace
Still - Alanis Morisette
Crazy - Alanis Morisette (Seal cover)
Wunderkind - Alanis Morisette
Birthday - The Cruxshadows
Windbringer - The Cruxshadows
Spring Ahead, Fall Back - Scott Helland
Rocky Road to Dublin - Dropkick Murphys
Intercede Light - Iris
Let the Bells Ring - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Low Room - Peter Murphy
Gamble Gold (Robin Hood) - Steeleye Span
July, July! - The Decemberists
Feign Amnesia - They Might Be Giants
Midnight Radio - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Tear Me Down - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Freaks - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day - Jethro Tull
Spanish Bombs - The Clash
All Souls Night - Loreena McKennitt
Starseed - Our Lady Peace
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!! - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Ringing of Revolution - Phil Ochs
I ain't marching anymore - Phil Ochs
Lets Get This Party Started - Pink
God is a DJ - Pink
Warlocks - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Make you feel better - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Experimental Film - They Might Be Giants
I will Follow - U2
Come Sweet Death - Voltaire
Kingdom - VNV Nation
Along comes Mary - The Association
Dancing with Myself - Billy Idol
The Reels - Black 47
Clocks - Coldplay
Never Let Me Down AGain - Depeche Mode
Sultans of Swing - Dire Straights
Floaty - Foo Fighters
American Idiot - Green Day
I Wish You Were Here - Incubus
Lady Vagabond - S.J. Tucker
Alligator in the House - S.J. Tucker
Teacher - Jethro Tull
The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
Simple Creed - Live
Southside - Moby + Gwen
No One Knows My Plan - TMBG
Hundred Mile City - Ocean Colour Scene
Cuts you up - Peter Murphy
Final Solution - Peter Murphy
U + Ur Hand - Pink
Can't Stop - RHCP
In the House of Mama Dragon - S.J. Tucker
Crystal CAve - S.J. Tucker
East - Cruxshadows
Flame - Cruxshadows
Dominion/Mother Russia - Sisters of Mercy
This Corrosion - Sisters of Mercy
Birdhouse in Your Soul - TMBG
Beautiful Day - U2
By the Way - RHCP
In the House of Mama Dragon - S.J. Tucker
Crystal CAve - S.J. Tucker
Mummy Medusa - S.J. Tucker

That's an interesting cross-section.

What about you, fellow bloggers?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Apocalypse Me.

When I was in high school, I had tons of dreams about apocalypses (apocalypsi?). It was a different scenario every time, so I wasn't worried about it being prophetic. I always survived with the people in the dream that I liked to build a new world. Metaphorically speaking, my subconscious totally backed me up on getting out of suburban NJ. When I went to NYU the world stopped ending in my dreams, probably because I was rebuilding my life within a place and a people I liked.

Years later I'm still very affected by apocalypse fiction. There was an NYC Radio Theater production of War of the Worlds that moved me to tears. Promethea* was made of awesome and reflects how I think of "apocalypse," after studying mysticism at NYU. It's not a disaster, but a great revelation at the end of an era:

Rejoice. Your world is ended. The beliefs whereupon it was founded turn to air before the quantum scrutiny of your new science; were never truly there. Time's jail-yards are unlocked, the prison of material ambition that reduced you now demolished. Rejoice. Return now to your separate moments, selves, and rooms, and know that separation for ILLUSION. Know that you were one, were here, and in eternity are here forever. Here, where sudden firelight in your soul startled you from your worldly slumber. Stay awake.

Promethea, book 5.

And then there was last week.

Monday a blogger I read started a new short fiction blog called Apocalypse Daily, within the obvious theme.

Tuesday held another episode of The End of the World at UCB theater. It's a limited engagement improv show for the month of June, very fun so far.

Wednesday I went to an awesome Fantastic Fiction nite at KGB, where Brian Francis Slattery read/sang excerpts of his book Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America backed up by his own bluegrass band. This is the only recording of it so far, and I'm sad I didn't bring my own sneaky recording device. (And this is what the band looked like with better lighting, for reference) It was absolutely magical.

Friday, XKCD puts in a witty two cents, tho the punchline only really makes sense if you work in mathematics and/or academia (like me).

I wouldn't say I believe in Synchronicity per se. I look at the other way around: what you put out into the universe, it sometimes returns in kind or in synch. Reminding you of your own choices and plans, and things that need to be changed or finished.

So what exactly am I doing or creating to attract apocalypsi NOW?

*If anyone ever tries to make Promethea into a movie, I will handcuff myself to relevant office furniture in Hollywood until they stop. Unfortunately, I don't think Moore has control over that book anymore.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Save Our Cat!

So remember that book I raved about a few days ago? The author is in some financial trouble, like so many indie artists and writers right now.

But her cult of loyal fans have banded together to help, and it's super heart warming:

Help Catherynne M. Valente

There are instructions on where to buy her awesome e-books, information on a serialized novel (that cameos in Palimpsest, yay), more of her projects, and a smorgasbord of goods and services for auction from her cult/army of artists. Jewelry, crafts, offerings from other indie writers, all full of awesome.

What's the best way to help any writer or artist? BUY THEIR STUFF.

If you are a professional artisan, see my appeal to professionals here on my jewelry blog. I don't cross-post these blogs often. This is a special case.

Go forth, feel the love, spread the word. Save our Cat!

Breaking all the right laws ;-)

I have the Soul Flu today :-/ To combat it, I'm trying to focus on happy stuff.

This is just about the happiest thing I see happening in my circles of friends right now. Ironically for this blog, it's a wedding. But it's a really fantastically awesome wedding.

From their blog, because of course they are blogging this:

In a few short months, my fiancée and I hope to be the first couple married in zero gravity.

When we started talking about marriage, Noah joked that we should have our wedding “in space”. Although most girls would take this to mean Noah didn’t want to get married, Erin knew he was sincere, and that this was a serious request. We decided marrying on the zero gravity plane would be a good compromise.

As kids, we both wanted to be astronauts - at least until we discovered the extensive higher-level mathematics skills involved. Erin attended space camp at the Michigan Space Center, and Noah volunteered at his local planetarium.

We hope that by having the first zero gravity wedding, we can promote the new wave of private space travel and space tourism. We hope that we can one day experience space flight and perhaps make a small contribution towards space exploration.

I know Erin from the NYU Sci Fi Club (we were both Doctor Who fans before it was cool), and I think this may qualify her as one of our most awesome alumni ;-) This is also the first zero-g wedding of all time, so there are lots more articles about it linked from the blog. Also pics of the wedding dress. *giggles*

This is why I don't want to settle for less than awesome in relationships, romantic or otherwise. Because my friends have set the bar pretty damn high :-D

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kiss and Makeup

It's Summertime, according to the campus calendar. Despite the unseasonably cold/wet spell that hit NYC this month, people aren't wearing giant overcoats anymore. It is nice to have something to look at when I can't focus on whatever book I have with me :-)

Been pondering, as always. I've always turned my head at more women than men in the streets, but in practice I'm bi-curious at most.

The "why" of it finally struck me last week. It's not that women are more attractive then men. Although IMHO the female physique is naturally more attractive & interesting to look at. There's a wider variety of shapes and sizes that develop independently of how many Twinkies we've eaten, and the male physique mostly just expands and contracts via latitude and longitude. (Shapes, I need shapes!) But I digress.

Women may or may not be more attractive than men naturally, but we definitely work harder on our appearances collectively. It's not that men don't try to look their best. I live in NYC, boys definitely know how to dress up (and put on too much cologne :-P). But the average male almost never wears makeup unless it rubs off on him from a female.

I think that's really the base of it. 200 years ago things were different, but in the 21st Century most men don't wear makeup or constrictive, shaping undergarments. And true, women don't have to wear this stuff if they don't want to. Many don't, and still look awesome. But when was the last time you saw a cosmetics company put out an eyeshadow/mascara line for the average male? Or the makers of girdles and tummy-tucking pantyhose? Or home waxing kits? Occasionally I'll see a man in a corset (HAWT) but those aren't your average dudes on the street (sad).

So overall, women are more attractive on the street because they make more of an effort than men. Some want to, but I wonder how many feel they have to? There's a trillion dollar makeup & clothing industry more than happy to back up that work ethic.

It's pleasant to look at, but I'm not sure I like the subtext :-/

Also, I would like to see more girl-loving men in corsets and makeup pls.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An oddity locked away somewhere safe ...

Awesome new song from S.J. Tucker!

<a href="">Girl with the Lion's Tail (Lucia's Song) by Skinny White Chick</a>

It probably makes a lot more sense if you've read the novel Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente (and why haven't you yet?), but I think it stands well on its own :-) I can definitely relate.

Palimpsest is a sexually transmitted dream city full of wonder and ritual. If you've been there you develop a mark on your skin like a tattoo- a small neighborhood map from the city. If you want to get back, you sleep with someone else who has the tattoo. And the city aims to please the souls that love it. A small community of people scattered all over the world spend their nights there as often as possible, most trying to figure out how to emigrate permanently. Persons on both sides of the divide have their own ideas about that...

The myth-punk and surrealism is close to the authors' earlier books (The Labyrinth, The Grass Cutting Sword, and others). She weaves the stories of four different "immigrants" and the city together, similar to her previous book The Orphans Tales, but not in such a septuple-helix-oh-god-get-me-cards-and-string way. I loved both, btw ;-)

Also, sex on the wholesale. With flavours of polyamory and BDSM for good measure. Not a kid friendly book.

Probably not the most eloquent review it's had so far, but it's mine :-)

As for Spinster-ism, there is at least one in the book until she falls in love with the city, it's Matriarch, and it's bees. The book doesn't support singleness as the perfect state, but it is in no way a limited view of love and relationships. Another girl falls in love with a train. Yay for the surreal :-)

Friday, June 5, 2009

In a nutshell

To offset the moodiness of my last post. Today I stumbled across a way to explain paganism quickly and concisely, as compared to mainstream religion.

Mainstream religion - guilt + dragons = Neo Paganism

Enjoy! :-D

Trying hard to understand

Forgive the moodiness. Life is OK overall, but NYC is unseasonably cold and wet this week. Also, the new Our Lady Peace single sounds terrible. *fan girl angst*

Lately I've had some run-ins with people who don't seem happy that I exist. Looking at other social connections with them and working backwards, I can pinpoint a mutual acquaintance that hates my guts. That person spits venom behind my back whenever we end up at the same social events though I make no noise about it. I'm just keeping to myself, why should they care?

To add an extra layer of lame, this person despises me for something stupid I did in a LARP three years ago :-P

(Note to other nerd girls- NEVER date within your gaming group. 9 times out of 10, it ends in disaster. Especially if you are rebounding.)

Since that embarrassing era I've made new friends IRL, continued my career and education, established a side business, bought a home, traveled, tons of awesome ensued. I am respected and cherished by my chosen peers and tribe. And long ago I cut off most of the old gaming group. I don't bother them, why should they bother about me?

So it's seriously disheartening to see that no matter how hard I work to improve myself and my life, gamer drama will return to haunt me years later.

And what happens if this stuff segues into real life? Job, career, relationships? Is this worry just another character flaw I need to work on?

But back to the news that's really bothering me: here's a sample of Our Lady Peace from back when they were GOOD.

Why must you break my heart so, OLP? You were the cornerstone of my angsty adolescence, and now you're all ... bouncy :-P

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Don't Pity the Spinsters ;-)

My friend emailed me about this awesome article:
Don't Pity the Spinsters

Yay! It it so awesome to see women taking care of themselves, and their own. In a large swath of our society women are supposed to take care of themselves last. Supposedly a man is also supposed to take care of her, and children are supposed to be grateful and respectful, but when that fails the wife/mother has to pick up the slack anyway.

I agree with the author that if a person has found a partner that truly works and cares in equal amounts, awesome! Unfortunately, lots of people have a hard time distinguishing the differences between a partner and a parasite. Both men and women need to watch out for social/emotional/economic parasites. But when society still tells us we need to get hitched, this can get confusing and depressing.

I really like my life, I take care of myself :-). Well... I'm getting there. At least I have the time and space to listen to myself and fix my problems. It actually saves a lot of time and energy when you're not waiting for someone else to fix things for you.

Some people have not been supportive about this path I'm on. My friends and this author have similar stories. I still think that kind of nastiness stems from insecurity, that weird unhealthy need for people to tear others down. Especially when different choices lead to less miserable outcomes. Insecurity leads to the Romatrix, Neo.

While lurking, I found another article from Charleston that I liked:
A Home of One's Own

After my own real estate adventures, I'm still not quite ready to post advice on it. But I will someday. I totally know where this lady's been, although my situations and plans are a little different. Real estate makes ya crazy.

Now I'm leaving work to hang out with writers, bohemians, and crazy types ON A BOAT!

Friday, May 29, 2009

I.Q. Must Be This High to Ride

I've been thinking on it for quite some time, but kept forgetting I have a blog for this! Duh!

I've heard a lot of people say over the years, men and women, that they want a partner who is "smart." Then I look at how they treat smart people, and/or who they actually go out with, and am confused.

Perhaps more accurate would be, "I'm looking for someone pretty, who is as smart as I am."

Personally, I've been turned on by the brainpower in not-classically-attractive guys, and turned off by the dumb in pretty guys. It may stem from my need to be amused more or less constantly, so I also gravitate towards people who are smarter or wittier than myself. At least I perceive them to be.

Add a dash of geekiness and this leads to amusing moments. Was hanging out at a friend's party, generally chatting with an increasing circle of nerd boys. And not bad ones, either. Suddenly, during a discussion of Lovecraft, one exclaimed:

"I'm, like, an expert on all things Cthulu!"

*Sassy blinks* "Which in total constitutes one short story, where a guy has a dream, carves a sculpture, and then gets shived?"


Though seriously, Cthulu gets a lot of play for an Elder God only indirectly referenced in 16 pages. How does that qualify him for his own RPG system? I like "The Dreams in the Witch House" better so far ;-)

Whups, my geek is showing. And I'm probably still high on cold meds. This train of thought will probably make a lot less sense tomorrow.

Do you like your "marks" to have teh smart, or teh dumb?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

If I could turn back time...

Right now I'm home sick with Captain Tripps :-P. Am pretty sure it's not the swine flu, but I still hate being sick.

If I wasn't quite so addled on cold meds, I might try and take part in this, but for now I'll just post about how awesome it is:

Lessons for Girls

Much savvier lady bloggers than I expounding on lessons they wish they'd learned before they grew up. Hopefully to help influence a new generation of highly awesome women.

The part that struck home for me was this from Lesson 8 "You don't have to be a mom," although not strictly in the vein of reproductive rights:

As a child, I recall adults asking my brother what he wanted to be when he grew up, listening to him sagely, then turning to me and flatly declaring, “I know what you want to be: a MOMMY!” And when I denied this desire, I have always been told, with a patronizing “what-a-silly-girl!” smile, “Oh, you’ll change your mind!” I was told I would change my mind when I grew up; then I was told I would change my mind when I met the right man; then, that I would change my mind when I settled down; that I would change my mind overnight when my “biological clock” suddenly started ticking; that I would change my mind when my friends had babies; even that I would change my mind after I had tenure. When confident assertions of my hidden maternal nature proved inadequate, the appeals to conscience began. I was told that I must have children for the sake of my future old age, for the sake of the human race, for the sake of perpetuating progressive values, for the sake of passing on my own intelligent genes (this last from my mom).

I got similar reactions from some friends when I started this blog project. And some of them aren't my friends anymore. In this way, I also connect pretty strongly with Lesson 2 "Opting Out."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Feelin' the luv ;-)

Sorry for more delays. I have no excuses. But more and more I'm coming to terms with the awesomeness that is being single in NYC. One day I'll have something clever to say about it ;-)

On Tuesday I also had a birthday, and am now officially in my late-twenties. I'd worry about getting old and wasting my youth but, um, for the most part I'm not really interested in people my own age. At least not those outside of my nerdisms.

This year's birthday goes down as another slice of wonderful. It was pretty small and sedate by comparison to other years, but there was an avalance of internet luv for me on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I was getting universal hugs even before I got to the party, where I was then showered in chocolate.

Now that other aspects of my life are settled back into normalcy, I'm finding it easier to love again. Trust is moving at a slower pace but still coming together. And because it's all friend luv (not romantic) there isn't any weird drama or tension around it. I don't think I've felt this healthy or secure in... years? Ever?

Many sources speculate that "Love is a many splendored thing." So why don't more people act like it? I don't have a S.O. right now, but that doesn't discount the love I get from friends and family. And just because my typical romantic situation is me + 1 guy, that doesn't make it the norm for everyone.

Wow, my sacarine, let me show you it. I've just got a love hangover today, I'll be back to my usual snarkiness soon ;-)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Returned and Renewed

Settling into the new place took a bit more time and energy than I expected, and then I started working on beady bizness stuff, and I lost track of my "Yay Single" blogging habits. Sorry peoples! On the up-side, my new apartment is now absolutely awesome.

I decided to look for relevant articles and books to link, to jump start my habit without having to think too hard today. And then I struck gold!

Quirkyalone, singular insights on life and love. Where have you BEEN all my life?!?!

An exerpt from the article/manifesto that started it all,
People Like Us: The Quirkyalones:

Better to be untethered and open to possibility: living for the exhilaration of meeting someone new, of not knowing what the night will bring. We quirkyalones seek momentous meetings.

By the same token, being alone is understood as a wellspring of feeling and experience. There is a bittersweet fondness for silence. All those nights alone—they bring insight.

Sometimes, though, we wonder whether we have painted ourselves into a corner. Standards that started out high only become higher once you realize the contours of this existence. When we do find a match, we verge on obsessive—or we resist.

And so, a community of like-minded souls is essential.

I can't begin to explain how much this hits home for me. The desire to be spontaneous, not settling for the sake of coupledom, and the strange balance of companionship and loneliness. I think I've finally found a weird lifestyle moniker to cling to. Yay!

Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics is the resulting book, still available at Amazon.

I even took the online quiz,
Your score was 102. Very quirkyalone:
Relatives may give you quizzical looks, and so may friends, but you know in your heart of hearts that you are following your inner voice. Though you may not be romancing a single person, you are romancing the world.

Yay, I've found a home on teh interwebs :-D

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Want commitment? Get a mortgage...

Actually... never mind. Or just avoid BoA. They'll dun ya wrong...


How is a new home like a boyfriend? It eats up All. Your. Time.

I've been out of my normal social loops for weeks now, and spent more of ICON catching up with other NYC friends rather than attending panels. I'm still going to take it easy for April, activity wise, and slowly rebuild my nest while slowly reconnecting with my friends.

I was almost completely unpacked after the first weekend. I really steamed through those boxes. After waiting so long to relocate I had a lot of stress to work off. I have a few baskets full of clutter that I need to organize, store, and/or discard, but for the most part I'm done. Everything else on my to-do list is cosmetic.

The kitchen will have to wait a little while for renovations, because the co-op insists on charging me a $650 fee + $1500 deposit + engineering sketches for "structural" renovations.

"But... kitchen cabinets are cosmetic, not structural. Besides, I want to put up open shelves instead of cabinets."

"No, no there might be stuff UNDER the cabinets!! ZOMG!"

"So do you have an older engineer's sketch that shows whether or not there are wires or pipes right under the cabinets?"


Sigh. And the current cabinets are all moldy. Ick. I've lined them, but I know it's still there :-P

Otherwise, life is good again. Am settled in one place rather than slung between two, and have more time to relax. I'm also working on all the home projects I've had on hold for months. The new place gets direct sunlight, and last week I was able to watch a thunderstorm from my kitchen without fuss. Once it's warm enough, I can watch them from my balcony! Balcony garden? I CAN HAS! Now that my familiar books and possessions are out of their boxes, it's a lot more comfortable. And, um, a lot more cluttered. Photos are a great way of bringing that to attention. I'll work on it.

Patience is a virtue I lost at some point over the last few years, but lately I've worked hard to reclaim it. I'm being as patient as I can with myself in getting my home in order. Trying new things slowly to see what needs fixing. Not to mention re-balancing my finances. There were no breaks during the moving process, but my bank accounts got a little scuffed.

It *is* smaller than where I was renting, but it costs less and I use this space more effectively. But lets see how I feel about that once I start having parties again... Clown car time!!

<3 Sassy


New Orleans at Sunset

I'm back from NoLa, and back from ICON, and mostly settled into my new studio apartment.

Did not perform nearly as many seductions during those trips as I intended, but I was VERY tired from the stuff at home. I've made a good start on re-learning how to flirt, and I very much needed a vacation from everything.

And there are plenty of other pictures to look at while you're waiting for me to write something more coherent :-D

Palimpsest book launch in Brooklyn.

Palimpsest Chicago-New Orleans train trip.

My new home, aka The Chantry :-D

And if any of my fellow Palimpsest citizens want copies of these photos you have two options: a) Get a free Flickr account and download them. b) Email me and I'll send them to you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hiatus + Adventures

Hey peeps, I'm sorry I've been off the air for a few weeks. This month I closed on my new co-op apartment, and now I'm in the middle of renovations and moving. And unfortunately real life wins out over blogging... for now...

Some fun things are happening, too (or I'd just explode). Tomorrow I'm off to join the Palimpsest train tour, and if all goes well I'll have plenty of tales and photos to share! W00t! Palimpsest is a really fun book. Not quite in the vein of what I'm trying to do here by fleshing out a Singles Agenda, but I may do a proper review later. I was vendor-ing with my jewelry biz at their book launch party/concert in Brooklyn a few weeks ago, it was ... beyond.

After I get back on Monday, I have more last minute packing to do, and then I move on Thursday and Friday. I may not be back and active on the blogosphere until April, and the first weekend of April is ICON (just as a fan girl, not a vendor ;-)

So the next few weeks will be CRAZY, and my internet presence will be inconsistent for a while. But expect tons of photos sometime in April, possibly all at once. New Orleans, Chicago, ICON, and the new apartment.

See you on the other side!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

S.A.W. Epilogue: Back from the abyss

Hey guys, sorry I dropped off the face of the earth towards the end of the S.A.W. Blogathon, but I don't usually blog on the weekends. Also, had some emotional recovering to do after the co-op calamity last week :-/ That hasn't been resolved 100%, but the forecast is fair, and I won't be able to do anything more about it until next Monday. Until then, I resolve not to give it a second thought. It's working so far, and I feel much better today than I did a week ago.

I meant to catch up with the blogosphere on Monday, or Tuesday, but I also came down with a mild stomach bug. Yuck. Today I'm back on the job.

As for Feb. 14, I spent the day running errands and hanging out with friends in a cloistered pub, so I kept forgetting it was also V-Day. I was just keeping on with my life and enjoying the day :-) But according to the Singles Awareness Website, S.A.D. is February 15th. In that case, I spent Sunday laying around the house and smooshing polymer clay. Also very rewarding!

However, after a week of blogging, I feel like I'm not explaining my ideas and blogging-goals fully or properly. Other people seem supportive, but still don't think anyone really *gets* what I'm trying to say, or understands what kind of online community I'm trying to create. It's something I want to work on more. Perhaps I'll write a manifesto...

So thanks again to those who participated in the Blogathon!
My co-blogger, Luscious Sealed Lips
Singlarity: Singles Awareness Day/First Date Butterflies
Saroj: Valentine’s Day/Singles Awareness Day
Tantrumzz of the Rat: For u Pink Lips!!!!
Life, Universe, and Everything: The Singleton Set

See you again next year, same spinster time, same spinster place :-)

This week and next week are going to be craaazy busy for me (real estate and vendorship), but if I have any braincells left there is an amusing new series of posts under construction. W00t!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

S.A.W., day four, part two, clerical errors

Just noticed something odd. In Luscious Lips's announcement about the blogathon, there is no functional link back to my Sassy Spinster blog. Is it just my browser, or is anyone else having that problem?

That might explain why I've been blogging all week, and getting ZERO COMMENTS from the other bloggers. Shucks.

How is everyone else doing?

Singles Awareness Week, day four!

So we are not alone as happy singles! Hurray!

Here are some of our fellow contributors so far:

From Singlarity: First Date Butterflies

From Piyush: The Singleton Set

From SabbatHunter: Single and Happy

Keep 'em coming guys! It's not to late to join up ;-)

Today I'm still in the middle of an extended game of phone tag, trying to save my co-op deal. But if it ends before lunchtime, I'm gonna to jog over to my favorite gourmet chocolate shop and pick up a box truffles. I also do this for my b'day in May. This store is great, because you can have the people at the counter pack you a custom box, so you get all the flavors you like best :-D

Another friend invited me to a cookie bake/trade on Saturday, but I'm not sure if I'll have the time to bake cookies by then. Darnit. All this real estate craziness is getting in the way of my Single Celebration!

<3 Sassy

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Singles Awareness Week, day three

Today was severely lame. But while the co-op situation continues towards disaster, everyone on my team is working hard to fix it. Yay for that.

I've been working on an outfit/costume for an event later in the month, so today I gave myself a small dose of retail therapy. I gained about 20 lbs. over the last six months, and was having severe body image issues because none of my clothes fit. But now I have a new sexxy green skirt/dress from American Apparel, and I [superficially] feel better about life.

My tips about retail therapy:
  • Go with a shopping list. "I need a green skirt." "I need 2 pairs of slacks for work."
  • Hunt specifically, don't graze vaguely. You'll buy stuff you don't need, and feel guilty later.
  • New items adapt better to the herd if introduced one or two at a time.
  • Take stock of what you have before you buy new stuff, to make sure you don't already have one, and that everything matches in some way.
  • Unclutterer fans also suggest getting rid of something old after you buy something new.

Now may not be the best time for me to buy more clothes (moving, investing, economy, ect.) but dammit, none of my skirts fit! I will probably do another closet purge before the move, but keep a few pieces to reverse-engineer into larger pieces later. Yay for my new sewing machine, if I ever get the chance to unpack it.

Another nice point about being single, I only have to feel comfy in my own skin. I'm under no pressure to look pleasing to anyone else, tho I like to look pleasing for myself at most times. And as long as I'm wearing clothes that fit, I feel quite sexy. When I see that person in the mirror looking back at me, I know I'm going home with someone super hawt that night ;-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

S.A.W. day two, part two

So... my co-op deal may be delayed by another month or two, if not canceled entirely. There was a communication problem between BoA and it's attorney for closing, so it had to be canceled. Not sure if we are staying with this bank or mortgage, even though we are in the middle of the deal.

It's still all "maybes" right now. But I say again, please don't apply for a mortgage through Bank of America, evar. They may have been good at it once, but those days are long gone.

I was very, VERY upset when this was all presented to me at the end of the work day, so I couldn't call around to all of the lawyers and bankers to get it sorted out. Like, broke down crying at work upset. And I was supposed to close on the co-op this Thursday.

In light of this week's blogathon, I don't have an s.o. to call up and demand cuddles from when things like this happen. On the other hand, I have parents to call for support, and friends to call for help, and EVEN MORE friends who are promising cuddles and hugs the next time I see them. Srlsy, Wicked Faire is going to be me covered in hugs at all hours.

Hooray! I <3 being single!!! I get all the love I can seek out!!!

Singles Awareness Week, day two

As some of you know, I will be selling jewelry at a slightly kinky event in a couple of weeks. Today I thought of a new promotion.

"Spend $5 at this booth and you can feed the artist a grape."

The event has a chocolate and candy theme, so I may try something other than grapes, mostly because we don't have a fridge or freezer in the hotel room. Nor is there a grocery store nearby.

But srsly, I <3 being single :-D

Also, we have one more confirmed blogger for S.A.W.! Sabbathunter on Livejournal.

Sadly, none of the other interested parties have confirmed yet, or have cancelled, and my main co-conspirator is away. I guess everyone else has been eaten by zombies? Weird.

Remember people, if you want others to bask in the camaraderie of singleness, your blog posts have to be PUBLIC. Also, please *inform* me that you are getting involved, and link back to this blog in your blogathon contribution.

<3 Sassy

Monday, February 9, 2009

Singles Awareness Week, Day One

Yay! Beginning of Singles Awareness Week! *happy dance*

It's not too late to join the festivities, just check out this post and follow the instructions :-) Remember, you don't have to *be* single to write about how awesome it is. I'll post a list of my co-bloggers later today or tomorrow.

Tho I must say, there isn't a whole lot of interest in this project so far. Not a lot of bloggers have contacted me about it. People were far more interested in blogging about a pretend Zombie attack last year. Bloggers would rather write about pretend zombies than being single? That says sad things about our society, imo.

But I also just joined the Women's Blogger Directory, which is awesome. Come play with us this week, ladies!!

Because finance is a big weight on a lot of people's minds these days, I'm going to write up a list of why it's awesome to be a single financially minded person:

  • Taxes for one, soooo simple (in the USA, at least). We can file them online now!
  • Budgeting for one, also very simple. If something doesn't work in the budget, there's only one person to investigate.
  • Food shopping and home cooking, a large part of budgeting, is much easier. If you are a picky eater, you'll get exactly what you want every time. If you aren't, you never have to deal with another picky eater ;-)
  • I have no joint bank accounts, so I know exactly where my $$ is and who is using it at any given time.
  • Credit reports, also super simple.
  • Need to move-house for work? No problem! It's your household, take it wherever you want.
  • Got offered a super traveling job? Hey, you are foot loose and fancy free, it's a perfect combination for professional travelers.

I got more interested in budgeting and finance last summer, just before the economy started going haywire, and before I started actively looking to buy a home. From what I've seen, nobody needs to buy books about saving money ever again. It's ALL on the internet.

Budgets are Sexy is my favorite finance blog. He's married, but I don't hold that against him ;-) There is plenty of instruction and insight on budgeting-for-one on his site, and tons of article round-ups and links to other blogs.

The Dangling Conversation is blogged by a friend of mine, who spent many years climbing out of debt. She's had many bad experiences and many good insights, and is almost debt free now! Yay!

Debt Free Saver is another friend, trying to balance life, school, demanding kitteh, and cash. Also has good tips on budgeting, shopping, and bartering!

(I used to have all of these blogs linked on my side bar, but I went to the fancy blog look and lost that bar :-/ I'm thinking of going back to the old look. Less flashy, but more informative.)

One piece of advice I have for would-be-budgeters is to track all your purchases for a month or two *before* you try and budget. It will give you a better sense of what you already like to do with your money, and where corners can be cut. Especially in the grey areas between what count as "essential" and "non-essential" expenses. I don't need cable, but I do need air conditioning.

A friend of mine often worries that she spends too much money on eating out, but it's also her primary social outlet. I don't think it's a bad idea to budget ahead for expenses like that instead of cutting them out entirely. Friends and fun are essential too ;-)

Personally, I cut my late-night-out expenses in half when I gave up alcohol. Now I can spend $$ on taking a cab ride home instead, yay!

<3 Sassy

Thursday, February 5, 2009

This week's good/bad news:

Good news! I have a closing date for the co-op deal, next Thursday! *happydance* If everything works out, I can be moved into the new place by the end of the month.

Bad news! My lawyer called me back, asking if I was with HSBC or BoA. Because the bank lawyer mentioned HSBC, not BoA. In increasing order of possible bad: either the lawyer just flubbed and said the wrong bank by accident, or BoA sold my mortgage to HSBC (I think the deal would still go thru?), or the bank's lawyer has sent forms around for the wrong mortgage.

I know a bank can sell it's mortgages to other banks. I checked my documents before today, it says so, but also says whoever owns the mortgage can't make me pay it all at once or futz around with percents or payments.

But can a bank sell a mortgage when the property hasn't even been closed on? Without telling the purchaser?

Good thing I already have a lawyer.

BTW, Singles Awareness Week Blogathon! Next week! If you're coming to play, tell me so I can add you to our carnivale!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blame it on the train

I'm taking it a bit easy this week, as next week I'll be blogathoning, and this week I'm still trying to pin down a closing date for my co-op.

Yes, a Blogathon for Singles Awareness Week! NEXT week! Sign up! Be counted and listened to!

Noticed something about my own quirks this week. I find people to be most attractive on the weekday subway commute. They're just chilling, waiting to get home, reading, listening to music. Whatever grooming they did for work or class that day is usually still active. They are less drunk and obnoxious (usually) then they are at a bar or club (less applicable to weekend travel).

On the train, most people just want to sit and be left alone to their thoughts. I think that's when a NY'ers real face and quirks emerge, because they aren't on display or on the prowl.

Unfortunately, I'm shy in social settings to begin with, so picking up strangers on the train is beyond my abilities. And I'd find it creepy if someone asked *me* out in that setting. Why can't people be so unobtrusive and relaxed in the usual social places? They are much more attractive without the drinking and shouting.

Have you ever asked out a stranger on the train? Or just started talking to one?

Friday, January 30, 2009

In which the author is extremely geeky.

As my real life is stalled out while I wait for a co-op closing date to get scheduled, I will now comfort myself in a little fantasy world full of strange tv shows and movies. Hooray!!

First, ZOMG NEW RED DWARF EPISODES!!!!! I met Robert Llewellyn, who plays Kryten, at Dragon Con 2008. I totally fangirled out and embarassed myself, but he's a very friendly person. He mentioned this at the Red Dwarf panel. At that point it was still in the "Maybe... We think so?" stages.

Second, I am starting to plan for DragonCon 2009. It's Labor Day Weekend, and I'm starting to plan in January. If you think this sounds odd, you've never been to DragonCon. It's a geek bachanalia. Four straight days of Nerdvana. The main hotels are already sold out!

Third, Edgar Wright, who directed Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz, is working on his next film Scott Pigrim Vs. The World. I've never read the Scott Pigrim comic books, but the director's blog photos suggest he's researching a lot of kung fu and teenage romance movies. I am intrigued. I just wish he had a proper blog that wasn't on Myspace.

Fourth, season/series six of Doctor Who is shaping up to be ... different. David Tennant is definitely leaving this time, which is extra annoying, because the producers shortened series five specifically so he could stay on the show. I don't have much info on the boy they have for Doc #11, and I'm very disappointed it isn't the awesome Paterson Joseph.

I also wonder how Stephen Moffat is going to put his own mark on the Doctor Who franchise as he takes over for Russle T. Davies. Based on his earlier works (previous DW episodes and the BBC series Coupling) I have this theory:

The companion will be pretty, blonde, and blue eyed, and be totally into other women. The young looking new Doctor will turn emo because for once HE is chasing the companion. *Doctor Angst!* The episode where the companion gets the most female-on-female action in the series will be called "Inferno."
Coupling is a hillarious alternative to the American show Friends, but Moffett isn't great at writing female characters. A typical Moffat DW episode consists of a new, better female companion for the Doc, which makes the established companion very whiny. Except for "The Doctor Dances," where Captain Jack makes sure to seduce Rose and the Doc so nobody feels left out.

And now for the sad nerd news, at least for my NYC people, Kim's Video may be closing it's doors. I've heard rumors that it's moving, but it's really the last wacky video store/rental left in the East Village. The Powers That Be are slowly but surely turning St. Marks into a strip mall :-(

Geek on, my friends. And don't forget to sign up for the Singles Awareness Week Blogathon!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reminder: Singles Awareness Blogathon Week!

*pokes everyone*

*poke poke poke*

February 9th - 13th,

Blog for Singles Awareness Week!

Singles be awesome ;-) Don't let anyone tell u otherwise!

Sign up and be awesome with us!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Playing Catch-up.

Hay guys, sorry I've been off the radar for a week. I am in the middle of trying to buy a co-op in Queens. Someday I'll put up a whole series of "How [not to] deal with NYC real estate" posts, but right now it's taken over enough of my life. Packing, pleading with bankers and lawyers, argh.

But I can give one piece of advice: DON'T get a mortgage through Bank of America, especially if you're buying something other than a standard house. Especially x2 if it's a co-op in NYC.

BoA sends ALL of their mortgage applications to an office in Tampa, FL for processing. I've had three loan reps at this office in the last two months, not counting all the people on their hotline that try to help me when my loan reps aren't at work.

Because they are in FL and not NY, my dealings with them went something like this:

(Mid December)
Sassy: When can I expect to close on the co-op, if they approve me tomorrow? My contract says late January, but my lawyer says it can be earlier.
Loan rep #1: Sure! We can probably be ready for closing the first week of January.
Sassy: Hooray!

(One week later)
Sassy: So the co-op approved me, and they need a Recognition Agreement form before we can set a closing date.
Loan rep #2: What's a Recognition Agreement? Oh, your old loan rep got sent to another department, after taking a week's worth of vacation and doing nothing with your application. Whatevs.

(First week of 2009)
Sassy: I still need that Recognition Agreement please? Can you send it to me?
Random Banker: From what I see in your file, your case has been transferred again. But that person's manager is very experienced with mortgages, so he'll probably know what you're talking about. Because I don't. What's a co-op?

(Second Week of 2009)
Loan Rep #3 (voicemail): We've mailed the R.A., but we won't say to whom. And then our phones are going to get torn up, so when you try to call back you will be redirected to the Atlanta office. :-P
Sassy's Lawyer: They sent the forms to the bank's lawyer, who sent it to the co-op, instead of to you. Without even looking at them, the co-op's lawyer says they aren't in the correct format.
BoA's Lawyer: We don't print R.A.'s in any other format than ours, so take it or leave it :-P
Co-op's Lawyer: Fine, we'll take it. But it will be another two weeks to get them from the co-op's management office to our law office :-P.

Today, the co-op's lawyer finally got the necessary documents from the bank, but don't have the results of the LIEN search, so I still don't have a closing date. I got approved by the co-op board on December 15th, and I'll be lucky if I close before February 15th. I kinda want to hit things with sticks.

Co-ops are difficult to deal with on their own, but thanks to it's mismanagement and foot-dragging, BoA has stretched my transaction out weeks longer than necessary. To add insult to injury, the interest rates have gone down since we started this long painful dance. If the other parties in this real estate deal can't settle on a closing date before late February, my mortgage offer expires anyway and I have to start from scratch.

I don't know what other parts of the U.S. are like, but if you are investing in something other than a standard house (co-op, condo, kabutz), try to keep the transaction within your state/city lines. It may add fees, but it may also cut time.

Friday, January 16, 2009

21st Century Celibacy

I've mentioned before that my Spinster Agenda isn't to make everyone live the way I do. It's about getting people to be happy with their own lives, and inciting them to make life decisions based on what THEY want.

Today on C&D, Why Celibacy Is Better Than Sex is a good read. Not all women have the same emotional connections or reactions to sex. But this is a GREAT example of someone making up their own damn mind in the middle of a culture that sends tons of mixed messages. She is rockin' her freedom of choice, and not whining about what she doesn't have.

I mean, seriously. "The Media" sends us eight bajillion messages a day that not only should we be having tons of sex, we should equate our sex life to a dish washer. And then we should go buy the dish washer. On another side, there are more than a few spiritual crusades going on against premarital sex, and blaming it for many of the world's failings.

I've also heard this referred to as Second Virginity, and sometimes it's an entirely secular decision. Sadly, I couldn't find the article where I first read about this idea.


PS, C&D is a mixed bag of a blog. I read their book, Style Statement, and it was great! Very inspirational along the lines of making your own life (and style) decisions, and it struck a chord with my somewhat holistic personal philosophies. Buying a new pair of shoes or a couch won't change your life, but having a home that you really enjoy can't hurt.

But nowadays about 60% of their blog content is split between children/husband/finding a boyfriend. Not so much my thing. 20% is diet & exercise, and another 10% is "Buy this!" Occasionally there's a thought provoking gem, or advice about playing with your personal style statement. But the book is sooo much fun :-).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Singles Awareness Week BLOGATHON!

The Sassy Spinster and Luscious Sealed Lips are plotting and scheming. Muahaha. Ha ha.

As you may have heard, February 14th is also known as Singles Awareness Day. This year, Luscious and Sassy are celebrating with a week-long blogathon!

And you are all invited to join us!

The Guidelines:

1) Comment on either of our two blogs with your blog name, blog address, and email if you would like to participate. That way we can put together a BIG networky list. Wordpress, Livejournal, all are welcome. Repost this with links on your blog so we can spread the word around. We promise not to do naughty things with your email, just keep all us bloggers in contact about the blogathon. My email is on my Blogger profile if you want to contact me covertly.

2) Make *at least* one blog post during the week (February 9th through 13th) about how awesome it is to be single, or how awesome single people are. You don't have to be single to write about it, but we are here to celebrate Singledom. And make sure the blog post is publicly accessible.

3) Blog in your own idiom (fiction, fact, satire, politics, articles, science, zombies, gossip, etc.) about how awesome it is to be single.

4) No bitter bottoms allowed! This isn't about settling. It's definitely not about whining. It's about embracing what you do and can have in your awesome life!

On Friday the 13th (giggles) I'm going to round up all the posts and put up another big list. Or if it's a really big turn out I'll filter it down to my favorites. Feel free to compile your own favorites list too!

Have fun, wreak havoc!!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Does Science = Love? Literally?

Anti-Love Drug May Be Ticket to Bliss

Science accidentally finds potential for a love potion, and a love vaccine.

I can't say I'd take one or the other, but biochemistry is fun to read about :-)

Also, didn't they cover this in Alien Nation?

In other news, I'm trying to figure out how to make this Blogger Blog look less boring. How do you my fellow Bloggists do this?

x0x0 A less tech savvy Spinster

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Goth Clubs FTW

I'm not big on clubbing. It's too loud for talking, and I don't drink, so all I go for is the dancing. But I do prefer one type of club-nite over another...

Standard Clubs:

-Filled to 120% of capacity = no space to really dance, just jump up-n-down in place for a while.
-$20+ cover, sometimes $40+
-$10+ shots
-VIP = $100+ ticket
+More variety of musics and dancing, some with their own floors/rooms (house, hip hop, latin, etc.)
-People bring their drinks to the dance floor = I end up covered in drinks while trying to dance.
-Dancing on stage is often for professionals only.
-Nasty smelling males filled with $100 of vodka, leering at me from the edges of the room.
-Creepy out-of-towners trying to score.
-Creepy "bridge & tunnel" males trying to score.
-Bottle service.

Goth Clubs/Nites:
+Filled to 50-90% capacity = space to dance.
+$10 or less cover
+$3+ shots
+VIP = free entry, and/or drink vouchers. But you have to qualify for VIP in some other way than $$...
+Wave/industrial/techno musics.
-Not a wide range of music between rooms, if there is more than one floor or room.
+Goths don't usually drink on the dance floor, at least not in NYC.
+ Far less leering, or leering without vendetta. It's just part of the look.
+You can dance on any surface you can climb on (except on top of the DJ's gear).
+The goth scene is so insular now that most people don't go to club nites to score- everybody already knows each other.
-Occasionally frat boys show up to try and score with "easy goth chicks." Typically they fail.
+Is easy to pick up goth/wave/industrial dances without embarassment, because everyone is so absorbed in their own dancing. Also very poorly lit.

I don't factor dress codes into either club type because there are clubs in each category that don't have 'em. But overall the outfits at goth clubs are much more fun than at normal clubs. I have outfits that function in both settings, and even more that don't work in either. I am not really a goth. I just like the music, dancing, and outfits.

For more information on Goth nites around NYC, check out New Goth City. They are a great resource for finding things to do "When You're Evil" ;-)


Yay, more Joy Nash!

I <3 you lady! Make more movies!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Return From Limbo

Because that's really what winter break is like for me. I work at a college library, so I get about a week and a half off while the college is closed to students. I make a ton of plans of what to do with my free time. So instead I lay around in my pajamas all week until my friends call me out of the house for hooka or goth clubbing.

But the rest of the world keeps moving, even when I'm sitting on my fat butt eating leftover Xmas cookies. And pies, and chocolates, and breadsticks, and ... eep.

Case in point: Save our Sooj and Help Vera are two online communities working to help a musician and an editor (respectively) out of dire financial situations. Go read their stories, bask in the fan-luv, help out if you are inclined.

This is what I'm talking about! I know Sooj has an S.O. (actually, she has several, but that's another story...), I'm not sure if Vera has one, but both are beloved by their families and the communities of people they live in and work with.

Who needs romance when hundreds of people really care about you? ;-)

In other news, I'm not really up on the whole New Years resolution thing this year. In early November some aspects of my life changed for the better, and that's when I started resolving to do things. Waiting for New Years to start seemed silly. Binding my resolutions to a one-year period feels doomed to failure. 2008 was also a rough year for me, and the rough isn't quite over yet, so it's difficult to just cut ties and leave the year behind.

I'll keep working to be more *me* but not just for 2009. Life is always beginning and ending, and not just when we switch out our calendars.

I'm also trying to formulate some interesting ways to celebrate Singles Awareness Day (February 14th) this year. On m'blog, and in NYC. Any ideas?