Along with many others, I am in the process of switching journalthings over to Dreamwidth due to the new ToS here at ЛЖ. I won't be deleting the stuff hosted here because I am entirely too sentimental.

I'll now be posting new stuff over at, the Home of Quality.

Good run, this: fourteen years come June. Through this innocuous-looking web interface I found work, found friends, found new and exciting endeavors, found my wife. Sharpened the longform writing skills and generated lotsa laffs and worked through rough patches and and and. I think I also did some stuff with cats. It was all good except for the parts which weren't, and I think that's the best you can say some days.

Anyway, I'll be over on the dot-org thing from now on. Take care, and don't eat anything you shouldn't.
Tom Lehrer is Smug

If this still works I'll be surprised, but

Hey gang,

Is there anyone available who'd be able to help me move from Malden to
Somerville tonight?

desireearmfeldt has made a very generous offer to me and the
cats and I'd like to bring the Roomful O' Stuff (no furniture, just bags
and boxes plus cats) over this evening, sometime after 7:00 or so. You can
contact me at derspatchel at or by my regular email address
if'n you know it.

thank you and thank you again,
spatch, sending by email
Muppet News Flash

needing some serious help here

Been in need of an update here for a long time but necessity requires brevity, so:

Hi nice LJ people. I am looking for a room or a place to crash starting next week, Tuesday or Wednesday, for me and two cats. If you have or know of someone who's got a room available around the greater Boston area, with some kind of walkin' access to the T be it bus, train or purple, I would greatly like to know about it. I have a room's worth of boxes and clothes and can supply a bed too if the room is empty or something. I've started a new job and can contribute to rent up to around $700. The cats are a year and a half old and friendly and bright and you've seen their pictures around the pages of this here LJ. They are also very good about doing their business in the box where they should. Sonya and I are still together, but current financial and cat-living arrangements necessitate our living apart until we save up the money for a first/last/deposit apartment arrangement again. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it sucks a lot.

Anyway, please let me know if you know of some place. We had a place fall through two weeks ago and it was a bit of a heartbreaker, and my temporary-last minute crash space is very nice, but is also getting ready to host family for Thanksgiving so I have to be out early next week.

Erm, help, please?

thank you,
spatch and two cats
Admit One

what is all this madness and how did it happen in 18 hours

I have been up for nearly twenty-four hours at this point. I am working on my nth+1 wind. I don't know when I'll crash but I know that it'll come with a real big thud and I'll come round several hours later wondering where go them bus what hit me, so I might as well write a whole buncha stuff down now as the sun comes up.

We woke up earlier than usual this morning. It had been cool the night before so we had turned the air conditioner off on the third floor but woke up kinda itchy-hot. I took the opportunity to eat several chunks of antacid (we're buying them now by the brick; you just chisel off a piece when you need to which is convenient in every way except portability) and sovay made her way downstairs to feed the cats, who had heard the sleepy muttering and the chiseling and determined through those sound cues that Now Was The Time To Be Fed Yes Fed Now Now Now. Autolycus has an aria which he sings every morning once he detects life upstairs. He starts softly, downstairs, a few muted test mrows? which grow bigger in both volume and meaning, answering his own questions (mrow? mroww. merowww? meeraow!) until he practically has his little snout under the bedroom door hollering MRAAAO! MRAAAO! LARGO AL FACTOTUM DEI GATTI at which point you pull the pillows over your head and try to ignore him because response, naturally, equals encouragement and possibly an encore. (His sister, meanwhile, signals it's time to eat by jumping on the kitchen counter near her little dish which we bought at Petco because the tag said CAT TOWN and looks you straight in the eye, answering each "Are you hungry? Really?" query with variations on a pointed "Mew!")

Once we both were up and the cats were making happy little minchminchminching sounds at their respective bowls we realized the day had begun so we watched Once Upon a Time in the West. Sonya had never seen it; I've seen most of it in bits and pieces during my days, nights, and early mornings as a random channel surfer. I don't use random-ass television as wallpaper media anymore and I don't think Sonya ever has, but we do a lot with stuff like Turner Classic Movies' blessed streaming capabilities. Seriously, most everything TCM airs is available, streaming free, for two or three weeks and it is a boon, a bona-fide goddamned boon, when they program crazy shit like a Busby Berkeley retrospective. You have not lived until you've had the Lullaby of Broadway number flung at your unsuspecting face during Gold Diggers of 1935 or watch Ginger Rogers suddenly go into full-tilt Pig Latin in Gold Diggers of 1933 while the chorus girls dance around with giant strategically-placed coins in the most Freudian of places. We need to find a way to put these on a big screen and invite you all to it because god damn, I mean, just god damn. Busby was insane. You'll also gain serious appreciation for character actors like Guy Kibbee, Hugh Herbert, and Patsy Kelly, studio stalwarts all.

Collapse )

After the nearly three-hour film we had reached the afternoon, so I went to do what I was scheduled to do on Saturday: go to work seven hours at the Somerville Theatre. I'm now working one or more positions at any given time on any given day, from ripping up tickets to selling tickets to be ripped at the box office to scooping popcorn and making rootbeer floats to telling people to turn their goddamn cellphones off during screenings to cleaning up popcorn and other goodies (seriously, who brings in a goddamn burrito and then drops most of it on the floor? Stoners going to see American Ultra, that's who) to tending bar. I'm enjoying most of these positions very well, especially bar since I've learned quite a bit about how to pour a good cuppa beer and change out kegs and be all genial bartender-like to encourage tips (hints: give out five singles in change instead of a single fiver, pretend you're not checking ID simply because we're required by law to check everyone's, learn some good charming small talk and know the beers of which you speak) and just plain make sure people are gonna enjoy themselves because that's what you go to the movies for, mostly. For the most part I don't mind the menial cleaning tasks; it ain't beneath me, it's all part of showbiz, but I am getting older and with age comes problems with climbing too many stairs over any given period of time. Thankfully we have an elevator for access to the theaters both upstairs and down, but I felt bad the night I helped carry film cans down from the tippy-top of the main house projection booth to the loading door on the ground floor because one of my knees began to shake and I had to go very slowly. I don't like reminders that I am growing old. The silvering hair is one thing but physical proof that I am or will be losing certain abilities is not cool. This afternoon I spent mostly on bar with theater cleaning on the side when needed. I really like working at the mighty Somerville. It's a beautiful theater that a lot of people care about, and it shows. Those who work there love film. Good people all around. The programming is good in spite of some misses this summer--let's face it, Ted 2 really wasn't going to set the world on fire--but the Peckinpah series and the midnight films this summer were terrific, and we ran Mad Max for weeks longer than we thought we would. Some people I heard came back six, seven times, and it was still selling out some of the smaller of the houses at the end of its run. The one major drawback is that the pay is not enough to fully live on, which means I am still on the hunt for a full-time office-type job so that I can continue to do the stuff I love. (I'll count working at the ST as one of those, though, and will happily moonlight a weekend shift whenever I can once I start a 40-hour week.)

Collapse )

Collapse )

Things isn't going so well at the moment. We're moving out of the Leonard St. apartment at the end of September so we are no longer paying a lot of rent for a lot of space we're not using (most of the upstairs has asbestos tile and one room is simply for storage of things we never unpacked in the first place) but we haven't found a place to move into yet. We have had several options fall through on us last-minute; one involving a house changing hands and the old owners were fine with pets (the tenant handling the apartment posting did so with this information) but the new owner said "no cats, nuh uh, no way", one involving a shifty agent who told us in no uncertain terms that by coming in to fill out an application and make the deposit we were effectively signing a lease (uh, what?) and some other heartbreaks involving carpeting that'd agitate Sonya's allergies incredibly fierce or downstairs neighbors who chain-smoke and fill the hallways with more allergens. Somewhere around here there must be a decent 2-bedroom with hardwood floors that allows cats and won't get snapped up five minutes after we find the MLS posting. SOMEWHERE, DAMMIT. AROUND HERE. My job hunting is painful; I thought I had a line on a temp job from a staffing agency who took a week to send me a promised link to some typing test after I'd filled out I-9s and everything and I never heard from them again; another shiny snowflake startup company pointed me at a Surveymonkey site for an interview and one of their first questions was "What Pokemon starter do you most identify yourself with and why?" I guess it's no question about ping-pong balls in 747s, but whatever. And I have been given the ol' "we're putting your resume in our circular file for 6 months so thanks but no thanks" more times than I like to think about. Somewhere around here there must be an office who'd take a 40-year-old schlub for forty hours a week. SOMEWHERE, DAMMIT. AROUND HERE. And the less said about my slow writing endeavors and creative identity the better.

In spite of all this, though, in spite of a lot of stress and sometimes serious emotional breakdowns, Sonya and I manage every now and then to still find some magic and have an enjoyable inexpensive night, even if it means staying up for a zillion hours straight. And that's what counts, right? Still finding the magic and good in things?

I think I hear that bus coming. Goodnih;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;//////

Contemptuous Consumption

A perusal of the Hammacher Schlemmer online catalog last night led Sonya and I to make a lot of sardonic mocking sounds at the wide array of overpriced tchotchkes for the Romney set. After a particularly profane outburst I decided to write my own copy for some of the more egregious examples. I've got a Tumblr thingo up which is posting these sporadically across a few days, but you lucky lot, you get to see a whole bunch first! Wowie! There's a lot of huge images and cussing ahead; we cut because we care.

PS. I didn't edit a single one of the listed prices. For serious.

Collapse )

damoclean trash bags could be a metaphor for healing

May be broke. May be unable to find work. May be creatively bankrupt. May have failed at every single thing I've done these past few months. May have lost all perspective on what I am capable of because of this, because all evidence points to complete and utter incapability. May completely and utterly hate myself for this. May be watching this country finally swirl down the toilet after orbiting the rim for decades.

But at least there's still Arlo
Collapse )