Cartoons: from the Plane.

december 29th, 2013.

What I get for all my Bah Humbuggery: Santa gave me influenza for Christmas. It hit with nausea on the planeride to Portland on Christmas Eve, and really let loose the day after Christmas.

On the fourth day Vlad insisted I go see a doctor. Aside from women's health issues, I have not been to the doctor because I was sick since getting strep in college. (Do you hear the stubborn pride? Do you hear that she is her father's daughter, her father, the doctor who loathes going to the doctor?)

The PA at the urgent care pop-up confirmed it was the flu, and prescribed a decongestant, some throat pills, and codeine. My excitement over the codeine set me at dis-ease. Poured it down the drain before the return trip to Chicago.

me:'My pants are loose! Woot!' Vlad:'I'd like to discourage that thinking.' me:'Aw c'mon! Can't I have /one/ upaside to the flu?'

Favorite from below is the Big Mama Quail.

Plane cartoons

In Honor of All the Snow in Chicago: a Bill Clinton Joke.

december 20th, 2013.

Yesterday Vlad mentioned peeing in the snow, and I remembered a hilarious joke from middle school:

Bill Clinton (while in office) gets word from the Secret Service: “Mr. President, we have terrible news. Someone wrote 'Bill Clinton sucks' in urine, outside the White House. We're analyzing the urine, we'll get back to you as soon as possible.”

“Thank you,” said Bill Clinton.

The next day, the Secret Service came back. “Mr. President, we have bad news and bad news.”

“Well give me the bad news,” said Bill Clinton.

“The bad news is, we've identified the source of the urine. It's Al Gore sir.”

“That rascal! What's the other bad news?”

“It's Hillary's handwriting.”

The Clintons and Gores on the campaign trail during the '92 election season.

Pictured: a simpler time. The Clintons and Gores on the campaign trail in the '92 election season.


december 18th, 2013.

Vlad came up with this one. I was just the engineer.

Captian Jean-Plum Picard | Faceplum. When your best is pi-tiful.

Pictured: Faceplum. When your best is pit-iful.

Review: GE AM/FM Alarm Clock

december 17th, 2013.

GE AM/FM Alarm Clock

Pictured: GE AM/FM Alarm Clock

I had this GE alarm clock when I was ten. I remember my dad telling me that it was very high quality. Not because it was pretty, but because it would last forever. Function over form. #dreisbach

It served me well for 16 years. I listened to Lyndon State college radio in middle school to study up on coolness. I listened to the oldies station in high school when I made friends with my future first boyfriends, both 1960s fetishists. I listened to late night jazz to fall asleep. I read course packets through hours stacked on hours of BBC America in college. And when I lived alone for the first time in The Cottage in San Francisco, non-stop NPR streamed through that tiny speaker to keep me company.

I fled San Francisco in 2009 with four boxes and my instruments. Shipped the boxes via USPS, as is my style for cross-country moves. One of the big boxes, which, if memory serves, had been used in two prior moves, and had all the good stuff, burst apart in transit. A zip-tied, half-empty box arrived with all the good stuff missing. Both cameras. The copy of Moby Dick from the antique book store.

And! And and! My GE alarm clock! Gone.

A couple weeks ago I impulse-cruised eBay and b[r]ought it [back into my life] for $25. A more delightful $25 never twere spent by the likes of me! Every day it's like coming home to an old friend, like waking up to an even better friend.

Photo: Happy Birthday, Vlad!

december 13th, 2013.

Happy birthday, pițicutzi mea! Our ages are now twin primes, which makes me happy. Numbers :)

Pictured: an outtake for our holiday card photoshoot. We did a re-shoot shortly after this was taken due to the prominence of V's crotch in most of the shots. This one is among the most discreet.

Vlad and Erica

Audio: I Don't Like Christmas.

december 9th, 2013.

I don't like Christmas. Mostly.

I don't like the religious chauvinism. I don't like when people say it's not a religious holiday. It's the Christ mass.

I don't like it when people make a convincing case that, no, no no, no no, it really ISN'T a religious holiday anymore, it's a festival of consuming ... buh! That's even WORSE!

I don't like Christmas music blasted everywhere. I like Christmas music! But there are places for it, and those places are: the home, and the church.

I don't like the movie Love, Actually. I've seen it several times. I don't like its portrayal of love as an internal chemical reaction, something that just happens to you, without meaningful input or even interaction with the other person. And then you present your love object with your raging 7th-grade-style love, and then in the movie it either just works or it just doesn't. There's no patience for all the work of love. The acceptance. The compromise. As opposed to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which is all about true love being full of good jokes, and fights, and complexity, and it's occasionally fucked up, and that's AT BEST. I like that.

Ok! Some things I do like about Christmas:

I like that business schedules get all wonky, and for many of us there's a lovely break between Christmas and New Year's when work is just not possible because bosses or clients tell us to put things off until “after the holidays.”

I like the lights. Even when they're done tastelessly, and at a risk to the power grid. In the night, maybe even against the snow, they're beautiful.

I like being with family. I have a great family :)

I'm excited to watch the direct-to-video movie Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas with my friend Jesse. It takes place during Belle's winter at the castle while the enchantment is still in effect. Tim Curry plays a crazed pipe organ actively working to keep the enchantment going. He likes being an organ. Sounds great!

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Bah humbug, everybody.

Bah humbug everybody

Scene: Five Unreasonable Things.

december 6th, 2013.

VLAD drives south on Sheridan, ERICA in the passenger seat.


I was reading my friend's blog about her experience with a life coach, and she said that he'd asked her to name 'five unreasonable things you can ask of others.'


I don't understand the question. If you ask, then you have a reason.


It's maybe more like, 'name five things that you need from other people that you don't like about yourself.'


Ahhhhh! Ok. I don't like that I ask everyone to be ok with me being late to things, all the time.


I don't like that I ask people to listen to the stories I repeat over and over.


I love your stories!


I feel bad that I monopolize conversation.

Vlad, Erica, MARCEL, COLLEEN, BARBARA eating breakfast in Oshkosh.


Sure, but other people do that with stories like 'blah blah and then I ... ' And an Erica story will be like, 'so I met a satanist the other day.'

Review: HealthCare.Gov

december 5th, 2013.

To my brothers and sisters out there qualifying for subsidized health care and-or must deal with a application,

IF you can get through all the initial application pages without server errors and

IF you click on the correct sequence of links such that you're not summarily logged out and kicked back to the homepage and

IF you are undeterred by the giant red CORRECT PROBLEMS WITH YOUR APPLICATION message which, later, when you call customer service you find out “isn't supposed to be there” and

IF you at last get to the Compare Health Plans screen then

YES, HealthCare.Gov is as simple to use as Kayak, and fun. And an awesome, intuitive interface. If you get there.

Also, having called many customer service centers in the last month—and a review of my epic experience with GAP customer service and their insistence on sending me maternity clothes, still to come—the customer service center was awesome. I was on hold for less than a minute, and I spoke with someone smart, patient, and friendly.

Weirdly, I didn't realize until yesterday reading a brochure in my therapist's waiting room JUST HOW MUCH coverage is now required. It's like the series of revelations I've had about my one employment experience at an organization that really invested in its employees: “man ... remembering working at a place that paid for snacks? Like, really good snacks? Fresh berries, and fancy cheeses, and great bread? And a fitness plan? And retirement? And dental? And no meeting was allowed to go over one hour? It was like a socialist worker's paradise up in!”

Robot punching | how i used to work

Former quality of life indicator: workplace shenanigans.

My Dark Secret.

december 4th, 2013.

Here is how it goes:

The video is usually titled "MOST EMOTIONAL AUDITION EVR!!!" The contestant on The X-Factor or America's Got Talent or Britain's Got Talent is nervous, and talks to the camera about having poor self-image. Sitting on the edge of a metal folding chair, looking down at hands. Presenting as ordinary, if with a shy gentleness that shines out (gentleness its own beauty). And then the contestant comes out on stage, still nervous, lacking in confidence. If the judges are hard or cruel, or present as hard or cruel, the camera cuts to the judges sneering.

And then the contestant begins to sing, and the song is so beautiful, and the audience rises to its feet and ROARS, and the contestant is SINGING now, singing! This extraordinary person is singing a gift to humanity! And the room is filled with true love, and the cruelest judge wipes a tear from a watery eye.

Susan Boyle did it first, but she's had many successors. And if you watch one of these videos on YouTube, then the right sidebar instantly populates with, like, fifteen more. And the other week I was just chain-watching these and weeping. “It's-it's-soooo beautiful! Oh! ... ... ooh, another one [click]” Yes, I was pre-menstrual. Yes, you cracked the code.

Ok let's watch one now! Here's Jonathan, whose parents disowned him because he's gay. What the judges say at the end, and how they refrain from saying anything mean to Jonathan's parents, who are clearly shitty shitty people, and instead offer a national invitation to them to love their son: it's the most graceful television I've ever seen.

My dark secret is that I love these videos. I love this story. Every manifestation. I love every single one. Not just at certain monthly times. All the times. You can know this about me.

Photos: Dad + Harrison Ford.

december 2nd, 2013.

Harrison Ford on the Jimmy Fallon show, piercing Jimmy's ear. Harrison Ford in labcoat, so like my doctor father in aspect, in how he holds his mouth, in the jokes he makes. As they age, they approximate the same entity.

Here, see for yourself! At left, my parents at my little brother's graduation. At right, my mom with a wax statue of Harrison Ford at Madame Toussaud's in New York. When my father saw this photo, he said, “wow, I look good!”

“That's not you, Craig,” said my mom. The likeness is such that it spoofs even my father.

My Dad | Harrison Ford
November 2013 January 2014