Saturday, December 31, 2016

Archive: Writing

These are essays from the Diaryland Archive. Each opens in a new window.


2001

readingaboutwriting
...and I couldn't have done it without Mr. Coffee...


2000


Video meliora proboque; deteriora sequor

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Hitchhiker's Guide to America: 2016 Edition

I am not suggesting that Douglas Adams was like some kind of oracle or anything like that. 'Cuz I totally don't think that. *cough*

If you already know where your towel is, then you're a cool frood and we can totally sass a Pan Galactic Gargleblaster sometime, dude, hey, let me know when you wanna hitch a ride with some Dentrassi, those guys don't give a wet slap about anything but food and drinks and having a good time.

If you do not know where your towel is, well...then...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Today in Portland

BusinessInsider.com
There wouldn't need to be a "policy" to tax CEOs who earn 100x that of their employees if the system worked the way it was supposed to work in the first place. I'm glad they're trying, but does anyone think this policy won't also have some crazy loophole?

These people say "loophole" like it's an Easter egg they happened across to level up in the game of life. Loopholes aren't GOOD things, you know. Loopholes are bad, and they are woven deliberately into the language when they write up the tax policy so that they can be exploited by the highest earners.

That happens, and we all let it. It's bullshit. There is plenty of money for feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless. The system is set up so our combined pool of taxes lift the poor & unfortunate out of poverty as well as build our roads and schools. But the Romneys and Trumps of the world are gaming the system. Tax shelters are more important to these people than shelters for women and poor children. Until the same payroll tax that we all pay is applied to investment income above $250K, then the rest of us still don't have a fighting chance to get ahead here. But good try, Portland, I hope it works. I truly do. ∎

Volume 1, Issue 2


In his wildly popular sci fi account chronicling the end of the world, Douglas Adams imagines a guidebook to the universe that is so massive it only exists in electronic form, you swipe a screen to access anything you want to know about the entire galaxy. This was 1978, you guys. We had vinyl and 8-track tapes, and the OS of my favorite toy was a light bulb. No, not the EasyBake Oven. Lite Bright — you can paint with light, motherf***er.

Lesser men than Adams have been called "Prophet." Respect.

You Can Panic Now

On the cover, in "large friendly letters," the guide said, "DON'T PANIC." In literary circles, it is understood that expression along these lines has the opposite effect. Essentially, Douglas Adams was saying, "Panic." It's like when you tell someone hysterical to "calm down."

In the guide, along with proving that God does not exist, are other helpful tips for navigating the galaxy, such as how to hitch a ride on a passing star ship and where to get laid while planet hopping on a budget. Also, Douglas Adams has something to say on the topic of dolphins.

Artwork by acidebetta
“Curiously enough, the dolphins had long known of the impending destruction of the planet Earth and had made many attempts to alert mankind to the danger; but most of their communications were misinterpreted as amusing to punch footballs or whistle for titbits, so they eventually gave up and left the Earth by their own means shortly before the Vogons arrived.

The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’, but in fact the message was this: So Long, and thanks for all the fish.”
 ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams was writing about the Rapture. Consider "dolphin" as symbolic of intelligent, clever and generally well-liked creatures. Almost magical. Like David Bowie, for example. This isn't something you'll find in Cliffs Notes, but you can trust the stalwart Interpreters of Literature on this one — while you were outside sportsing, we were reading everything and talking about it over our inhalers and various collections of comic books, cards and action figures.

If Douglas Adams was a modern day prophet, it follows, then, that Donald Trump is the symptom of a growing sickness that's been festering since the 1980s. Fareed Zakaria delivered the message that, without an emergency Trumpectomy, the cancer would ultimately destroy democracy. Is it a coincidence that David Bowie died from cancer after an eighteen-month battle? 




Eighteen months from Trump announcing his toxic candidacy, the dolphins began to depart the planet. 

💥
Starman Hitches a Ride
ZIGGY GOES HOME! 

Soooo, mankind might have to come to terms with something right about now: The Rapture happened and we didn't make the cut. 2016 was the end of days. As existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sarte famously opined, hell is other people. We are the "other people." 

Welcome to Hell

Sorry, dude. We tried. Wanna hang? Netflix 'n chill until the apocalypse? There's nothing you can do. I might as well try those hot Cheetos now. 

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

NBS News, Dec 28 2016


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sherbert or Sherbet?

Discuss.
@StarMarket

Update Jan 10, 2018:
It has come to my attention 
that I was at Stop n Shop 
when I took this photo, 
not Star.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas, everyone.
We put up a quick Joe Show.
Jack & Sally wreath made from
my hula hoop, a Dollar Store greenery, two feather boas and a bunch of ribbons and ornaments.
Oh and the Jack and Sally dolls.
Next year this wreath will hang from October to January.

Friday, December 23, 2016

This year's Christmas card



Losing Your Religion? Consider an Upgrade!

A Short Primer for the Spiritually Conflicted

When you subscribe to a belief system that suggests, in an infinite universe spanning an infinite number of worlds on an impossible-to-know number of galaxies, that nothing has changed in *infinitaliauries, inevitably you're going to encounter a few problems. No one will hold it against you if you find yourself wondering whether or not you should upgrade your religion.

To determine if upgrading is the right choice for you, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What are the risks of keeping everything the same?
  • Will upgrading solve my problems? 
  • Do I know how to perform this upgrade?
  • Is it worth it to replace parts?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Star Wars Holiday Special : Merry Gen X'mas

Long ago in a galaxy we 40-somethings refer to as "our childhood," there existed a linoleum-tiled, imagination-fueled, cherry Kool-Aid world of motorized toys and remote control toys and really rad high tech toys like Lite Brite and 2XL.

Some of the time, these toys were entertaining for a solid hour or two. Most of the time, we made our own entertainment. Like Shock Tag. A shag rug, socks on your feet and at least one sibling to shock with your finger is all you needed. A kid in the mid-to-late 1970s America could make a pretty good time out of not-much-at-all.
Our first tablet.

The adults made their own fun, too. They had to -- their shows and news came on TV at specific times on specific channels, and the TV went off overnight. I need you to understand: I don't mean the TV got turned off. I'm saying the transmitter shut down its signal and went to static until morning.

Friday, December 16, 2016

It Was An "I Want Yule" Party

On Saturday afternoon, The I Want You opened for the Weisstronauts' annual holiday bash. Joe and I took the opportunity to host a lovely after party.

e-vite by Edward Gorey & Michelle DiPoala
An "after party" that starts around dinnertime is about my speed. That's not an "aging scenester" thing. Even when I was the right age to head out to someone's basement at 3am after band load-out, I didn't. I pretty much always wanted to go home and jettison my bra and let the silence supercede the deafening ring of rock and banter. I loved going out to rock shows, but my love affair with "silence" burns quietly eternal.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

It's "fuck this shit" out tonite

#brrr #myfacehurts #freezingmyballsoff

Saturday, December 10, 2016

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. - Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 9, 2016

My favorite thing at Christmas

Glen Campbell / That Christmas Feeling.

I say it every year:
Nobody sings Christmas songs like this cowboy.
💝

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Company Holiday Gathering

One of the great many benefits of a small company, especially a fierce little start-up, is the chance to make new friends. 

It's a perfect, awesome winter night in the North End. 

Cheers, y'all. 💝

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Smile When You Bless The Gagh!

Some are born dorks. Some achieve dorkness. Some have dorkness thrust upon them.

Today on Deep Space Nine (Netflix), Worf told everyone that the legendary Klingon warrior Kahless had said "Great men do not seek power, they have power thrust upon them." I yelled, "That was Shakespeare, mofo!" Then I messaged Joe this outrage. He was at work. So he said, "I'm gonna go find some lunch." What he meant by that is, "You're a huge dork." Later when I explained in greater detail, knowing that he wanted to hear the whole thing, with pictures and footnotes, he said "You're a huge dork," and then added "...but you're MY huge dork" and made me a cup of green tea.

Santa Is A Klingon

Painting of Kahless the Unforgettable,
from the Memory Alpha Wiki.
"He was the first Warrior King and Emperor of the Klingon Empire."
You guys. I should not be finger-wagging about a Klingon on this, the feast day of Saint Nicholas. That's like watching Rudolph and telling everyone that Santa is a giant, skinny-ass dick. Okay, I DO do that when we're watching Rudolph. Santa is a tool.

The fact is, Saint Nick is our only Klingon saint. Lots of parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and the Klingon ethos, with an extra tie-in around the winter holidays because Twelfth Night is a Christmas play. The figure of Saint Nick is said to have inspired Santa Claus and maybe also Krampus. Compounded, this is a mythical figure who is honorable, yet ruthlessly rigid about the line between right and wrong, one with a beastly nature who is quick to punish those who have acted badly, but who respects and rewards those who act with honor? Can you show me how Santa is not a Klingon?

Fa la la la la, la la, la laaaggghhh!

Who Said It? The Klingon or the Bard?

1. "Great men do not seek power; they have power thrust upon them."

2. "If we are mark'd to die, we are enow to do our country loss; and if to live, the fewer men, the greater share of honor."

3. "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."

4. "Today is a good day to die."

5. "Go honor the valiant who die 'neath your sword, but pity the warrior who slays all his foes."

6. "By the doom of death end woes and all."

7. "You cannot loosen a man's tongue with root beer."

8.  "A man cannot make him laugh, but that’s no marvel -- he drinks no wine."

9. "Life every man holds dear, but the dear man holds honor far more precious dear than life."

10. "Honor is more important than life."

Painting of St. Nicolas, our only Klingon Saint.
"Smile when you bless the gagh!"



Friday, December 2, 2016

Cheers

I usually feel too old for Refuge Cafe.
Every time I go in there I can't help but think of how it used to look as Herrell's, such an Allston landmark.
But the young barista made the hell out of a hot chocolate for me today.
This was like a hot fudgey milkshake.
Well done. 

Hello Kitty

Neighbor kitty.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Throwback Thursday: 1991

College of New Rochelle, New York

Someone sent me this photo. I'd never seen it, but I think it's the stage in Maura Ballroom.
I've got a vague recollection about being one of the students addressing some prospective freshmen,
or maybe it's an alumnae event.
I know it's not a party.
Those were my "not a party' flats and black velvet scrunchie.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Midnight Radio

There are 3 SuperLowBudge Radio shows on YouTube right now. More to come.

Please enjoy.


Friday, November 25, 2016

FB Questionnaire: 36 Things About Me

So this is a thing going around Facebook. It's titled "36 ODD Things About me!" I dunno if they intend "Operational Defiant Disorder (ODD)" or do they merely mean "odd." Beneath the title, it instructs, "Learn 36 things about your friends, and let them learn 36 things about you! Copy and paste and change the answers on your post" with a smiley guy at the end. It doesn't say that YOU put a smiley guy at the end when you post it, I mean that this instruction itself has a smiley guy, at the end. 😃 

Listening

Joe listening to some tracks through the big speakers.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Recipe: A Very Good Vegetable Soup

"Baby, this soup is outstanding."

"There's a secret ingredient."

"Love?"

"...okay, TWO secret ingredients."

Michelle & Joe's 5th Annual HollyDaze

If you're "new" please message for the address.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Worrier Pose

Image: sent to me, don't know who drew this!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Charlie's

The I Want You is playing Charlie's tonight.
Yeah but look at my husband's ass in them pants.

Oh, Nini...I get you, little pig


No Facebook for me, as of late, so what was the first thing I saw when I logged in today? Cynthia's post about her pet pig. Nini is a real life pig in the city! But she still forages. Will you look at the satisfied smile on that pig? Thought you'd all love this pig the way that I do. That'll do, Nini. That'll do.

Sept 29 Update:
@CynthVonBuhler 
I came back to tag "New York." Cynthia von Buhler is a gifted artist, writer and illustrator, and she produces and performs on various stages with bands and immersive theatre shows. 

If you have the means, by all means, do see/hear/experience something Cynthia.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Arborealistically

I figure I have more or less reached the age when it's time to contrib my version of the Tree of Life.
(Pastels on paper and digital paint)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Reason #452

He's playing along to his favorite movie: Sixteen Candles.
I love him so much.
I can't believe I gave my panties to a geek.
I wish I were besties with Molly Ringwald just so I could text her and say "look what you did."

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

You guysz

I don beel so guh

Monday, November 7, 2016

Recipe: "Leftover" Chicken Pot Pie

This is only "leftover" chicken pot pie because I use the chicken soup from earlier in the week. 

This is a fast prep, and 45 minutes to bake. When you make a chicken soup, use ingredients that you think you'll like in a pot pie later. For example, I love to put a big bunch of spinach in my chicken soup, but if I'm planning on converting the leftover soup into a pot pie, then I won't add the spinach to the whole pot. I don't like spinach in a pot pie. So when you put the pot of leftover chicken soup in the fridge, know that you'll be converting that beauty into pot pie in a few days. It's kind of like you're cooking two meals at once.

Open Letter: The Night Before

Brighton, MA
Hundreds of us voting early. 
Dear Friends,

Tomorrow, November 8th, I've got sinus surgery to correct what's apparently been the root cause of my recurring troubles throughout my adult life, including sinus headache and ear infections. Put simply, I'm all jacked up in there.
I'll be under, so that means that I won't be on hand all day for the election coverage. This is probably a gift to me, from the universe.

Some thoughts on the eve of what will surely be an insane Tuesday.

First of all, I know I'm not the only one flat-out astonished that it's come to this. That Donald Trump ever became the actual real life Republican candidate. Do people understand the whole Trump...thing? I guess not. I guess just being on TV means...something...to...certain people?

Look. I grew up in Connecticut, the part that's pretty close to New York. There, you talk about going into "the city" and doing some shopping. It's the Connecticut that roots for the Yankees (not the Sox), and we'd go to baseball games. Get some Italian ice in Little Italy, my parents saw a ton of Broadway shows and sometimes took us to Saturday matinees. I saw West Side Story with Rita Moreno as Anita. We listened to Howard Stern every morning before school. We subscribed to The Daily News. The Sunday edition was tinted pink for some reason. A lady named Liz Smith wrote a gossip column in the Daily News and "The Donald" and Ivana were always in her column for some glitzy reason or another. This dude was around a lot, for us, and you know something? He was always a joke. There was never a time when Donald Trump represented anything smart, charming or admirable. He was this tacky society idiot that showed up on Howard Stern and tried to be funny. We cracked up, but if memory serves, Howard was just egging him on so we could all laugh at him.

New York in the 1980s: 
Howard Stern was a king. Donald Trump was a fool.

Here's the thing -- that part of Connecticut is a kind of woodsy enclave what they call a "bedroom community," meaning close enough to the city so people could drive or take the train. My working class family happened to be friendly with a number of rather affluent people. Very wealthy. Sprawling homes and land. They had homes in New York. They traveled the world, spoke several languages, played tennis and kept horses and that kind of thing. Lovely people who were nice to us, who seemed just comfortable and I guess what you might, today, call "woke." I have stories. But let me tell ya, I cannot recall knowing a single affluent person in my life that ever looked, sounded or acted like that crass, crude, blowhard Donald Trump.

Money doesn't buy grace. Dollars do not equal class. Plenty of people have money and gravitas. You can become obscenely rich without becoming obscene, but not that guy. And now he's running for President? How the f...?

Now, having a lot of money doesn't disqual anyone from the job of POTUS. In fact, because the system is so warped, you can't even compete unless you're worth millions. That's broken. We need to fix that campaign finance mess, it's toxic. So you need money to run for POTUS right now. But, generally speaking, along with those deep coffers, you also need to sort of have a resume. It's a big job even for the candidate with the biggest, most impressive track record.

This is the primary problem that I have with Trump supporters. What exactly are they supporting? He doesn't know anything about anything. "He's a business man" is the top thing I hear these people say, and that is dumbest thing ever.

First of all, what does that even mean? When I hear the "businessman" crowd cheering, I want to ask for a specific list of actual skills. Secondly, even if Trump were in possession of an outstanding business mind—he isn't, in fact it's well known that he's a straight-up crook—that quality does not meet the minimum requirements of the damn job. That's like saying your garbage man would make an excellent baker because he gets up early in the morning. There is no correlation.

Next problem I have with Trump supporters is more personal. You see, Hillary Clinton wasn't my favorite a year ago. I've got essays here in my blog that say as much. But over the past six months or so, I've done deeper digging, into her record, but truthfully, digging mostly into my own reasons for disliking her. I came up with dick. Nothing, zero. Just a vague feeling.

So basically I was being ridiculous. I was an idiot.

Newsflash: 
You Don't Have To Feel Warm Fuzzies About Your Representatives

Without going too deep into a whole litany of findings, I'll just say that through a combination of research and contemplation, I'm all in for Hillary now. I'm with her. The fact is that she has been working her entire life since law school towards this day, and her record is stunning. Outstanding. More qualified a candidate, I don't think we have ever had, and I mean that sincerely. It isn't up for debate. Put her CV side by side with any other candidate. It's a fact -- she's the right person for right now. She might be the best POTUS we've ever had, flaws and all.

Finally, I want to make a point about the difference between conservatives and liberals. Being liberal means tolerance, acceptance, empathy for others that aren't the exact same as you, thoughtful attention to preserving the planet's natural resources and limiting and repairing the impact of our our human footprint, charity to shore up those less fortunate, and a peaceful world. This litany of hopes and dreams for the people of our country is what gets you the moniker "libtard." A brutal insult, and for what? For trying to be a decent person? I don't understand how it's bad to want everyone to be safe, educated, have enough food to eat, a home, clean water, clean air...how does decency and equal rights and sharing become the evil thing, while people are applauding and supporting corrupt billionaires and politicians out for personal financial gain with no regard for anyone or anything?

So I'm a libtard bitch, hi, how are you? Is it just me, or can I invite to go fuck themselves anyone who can't understand what's really going on here?

I think that the reason these deplorable haters have been so far able to keep waving their signs and spewing just terrible, awful things is because "libtards" keep right on supporting their right to write those signs and say those things. We say hey, we may not agree with what you're saying, but we defend your right to say it. We say this even as they're calling us nasty libtard bitches. "Hang the bitch" and all the horrifying chants, and we're over here saying well, that's free speech.

You know what? It's hate speech, actually. That's different. And I, for one, am done tolerating hate. I retract my support of those people who get to spew hate. No you don't. I'm pretty angry right now. Really, really angry. To ameliorate my anger, besides my vote, which I have already cast proudly with hundreds of other people who stood in line for 90 minutes, I have ONE other thing. My only other thing. I have a way with words and I have a tongue with which to say them, and both are super fucking sharp right now.

So, in sum, hi, I'm a nasty libtard bitch who is all in for Hillary, and I'm all done tolerating the haters. Just so you know. That's where we're at, here. Because my bucket came up dry the last time I reached down for tolerance for the Trump supporters, the 3rd party people, and the "anyone but Hillary" and "never Hillary" peanut gallery.

So if you say "Benghazi" to me one more goddamn time, here is what I'll be thinking of you: you're a friggin' moron.

Oh and if I die tomorrow, someone please log in here and put up a picture of a kitten so the last thing I write isn't so nasty libtard bitchy.

Good luck to you tomorrow. Good luck to me. Good luck to all of us,

Yours,

md
The Low Budget Superhero

PS: I keep coming up with ideas for an essay about "Movie Plots As Seen By Trump Supporters." A noble black-clad ex-Jedi tries valiantly to crush any planet that won't surrender to his ambitious Sith master, while a snotty rebel army, led by a crazy bitch who's maybe like a 6 or 7, thwarts his efforts aided by a lazy, whiny teenager and a crooked pilot. Maybe I'll throw it up on Facebook as a challenge. I've got some devastatingly clever friends. They're libtards, too. Beautiful, awesome libtards.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Michelle and the Very Odd Fellow

[Jeremy Hillary Boob]
I approached his cab from behind, so I didn't get a good look at him. Given the unseasonably warm day, the driver's side window was down, so a friendly "hallooo, are you free, sir?" was enough to get a wave from a meaty hand attached to a hamhock of a forearm. I climbed into the back seat with my haul from Trader Joe's.

6am


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Throwback Thursday: 1994

I don't always "throw back" on Thursdays,
but when I do it's because I found a photo of Joe at 23.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Love My Committee Work. Hate The Bus.

I can never get back from my BU committee meeting in less than an hour and a half.
I hate the fucking bus. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

SuperLowBudge Radio: The Jellyfish One

It's been awhile, but I put up a new SuperLowBudge Radio hour.


Friday, October 28, 2016

[Downtown Crossing, Boston]
Interior, Awesome Inc.
Software developer sits behind writer.
Both are thinking, "How can they do that all day long?" and sigh.
Cue swirly music.
Realizing they've exchanged bodies, they say,
 "Oh fuck. Call everybody and tell them what happened."
"Yeah we don't have time for this. We'll deal with this shit later."
"I just filed a new bug."
"I just closed it."
They high five and go back to work.
Fin.

From the blogger known as 
"Low Budget $uperher0" 

Freaky Friday 2017: The Start Up

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Love, Dorkface

---------- message ----------
From: Michelle
Date: Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 7:47 PM
Subject: Birthday
To: Jenny

Today I got you a birthday card. In about 3.5 weeks, I'll forget that I did that. I'll remember the day before your birthday, then I'll search frantically for the card, but won't find it in the "safekeeping" place where I cleverly hid it from myself. I'll find it sometime in December, at which point I'll put it aside to mail with a joke scrawled inside about "better late than never, har har." Every time I remember to mail that, I'll forget where it is, then when I find it, I won't have stamps. When I move, I'll find the card, along with your 2015 birthday card that had gone through all these same phases, too.

Love,

Dorkface

One Please

Taking myself out for a late lunch at Osaka in Brookline.
Sushi is gorgeous.

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