Archive for the ‘friends’ blogs’ Category

Although it was a long time ago, it’s still chilling to read a chronicle of your friend’s suicide written with such matter-of-factness as if it were the minutes to an HOA treasury meeting or something equally banal.  The inclusion of such personal details, such as the chocolate chip cookies, make it even stranger.  And I don’t even know what to make of the fact that they repeatedly call her “Julie” instead of “Julia.”  An exerpt:

Feb. 2001 “Please help me prevent another MIT student suicide,” Dr. Josephson writes to Randolph after Carpenter learned orally that the Random Hall Judicial Committee planned on allowing Karpe to remain in Random and talked with Dr. Josephson. “Throughout Julie’s telling of the tale, it was clear that she felt the committee had spoken, and that she had no other recourse but to move out of Random to escape, or to escape through death.”
April 2001 An MIT administrative review panel is held, overseen by Assistant Dean Carol Orme-Johnson. Karpe does not dispute the allegations against him. The contents of that panel’s decision are a subject of dispute, but several people who have read it said that it indicated that Karpe, who had been provisionally removed from Random Hall, would be allowed to return.
April 20, 2001 The administrative panel releases a decision including a provision for Karpe to move back into Random Hall.
April 25, 2001 Carpenter picks up a copy of the panel’s decision left in an unattended room and signs for it, according to the lawsuit. “No one from MIT spoke with Julie concerning the contents of the decision or monitored her reaction to it,” the lawsuit later says. Carpenter also uses her laptop to purchase sodium cyanide by mail-order over the Internet.
April 27, 2001 By Friday, Carpenter has received the cyanide. That weekend she goes to a barbeque at the Connecticut home of her friend Kristin Josephson and chats about returning to visit the Josephsons in June. Carpenter “seemed happy and did not give us any sign that she had planned on taking her life,” Josephson’s mother, Dr. Lynn Josephson, later told The Chronicle of Higher Education.
April 29, 2001 After returning to MIT, Carpenter goes to a birthday party and eats chocolate-chip cookies on the Random Hall roof deck before returning to her room, where she ingests the cyanide.
April 30, 2001 Carpenter is found dead in her room early in the morning by her roommate. There is no suicide note, though her death is later ruled a suicide by the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

It still seems like it didn’t happen some days.  What did Eliot say?  Death or life or life or death / Death is life and life is death / I gotta use words when I talk to you / But if you understand or if you don’t / That’s nothing to me and nothing to you / We all gotta do what we gotta do


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I have, rather unexpectedly, finally got an evening to myself!  We were on our way to pick up Richard’s brother from the airport, but received a phone call* that turned us right back around, so now I’m back home with a bit of spare time for a change.  Richard’s brother was flying in from Australia (by way of L.A. and then Dallas), but found himself stranded in Dallas overnight due to a late flight from LAX which resulted in his missing the final flight out of Dallas to Houston tonight.  They’ve thankfully put him up in a hotel for the evening and we’ll be back out to Hobby first thing in the morning to pick him up.  Until then, though…

Non-wedding-related stuff!  Thank the heavens!  I’m posting some pictures of our Halloween party at the office last Friday, where our entire department dressed up as circus folks/freaks/carnies.  If you can guess what circus person I am, I’ll…um…oh, hell.  I’ll just give you a thumbs-up in the comments section.  Sorry; I’m brain-dead and completely lame tonight.

*Dan (the brother) totally used his English charm/accent/what-have-you to con some girl at the hotel into using her cell phone to call us, so he wouldn’t have to pay the ridiculous charges to use his hotel room phone.  Classic.

Anyway, onto the photos: (more…)

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From the brilliant mind of my friend Pancho, this story cracked me up today:


Mazzy is a teenager. Actually, her first birthday was in July so I’m not quite sure where she stands in dog years, but she’s already acting the moody, aloof part of a teenage girl. When it’s just the two of us everything is cool, much like when my sister, clad in braces and over-sized flannel shirts, would, in the walls of our own home, hug my dad and smile rather than rolling her eyes and scowling like she did in public. Lounging on my couch with no one else around, Mazzy curls up by my feet and occasionally glances up from her canine half-sleep to stare at me contentedly before stretching, sighing, and curling back into the lima bean shape that marks her deepest state of relaxation.

The culmination of Mazzy’s descent into pubescence happened this weekend…

There’s more; much more.  Go and read the rest of the hilarious post here.

Well…go, already!

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Wedding Favors

I don’t write much about our wedding planning here, mostly because this blog is intended as a place where I can indulge my creative and random sides.  Blogging about the wedding planning I’ve been doing for the last year would read more like a To Do list, and I don’t suppose that’s terribly interesting to anyone else except my mother.  However, now that the wedding is a mere eleven days away and I’m pretty much done with all of the planning and projects and errands and erratum (fingers crossed….) I feel the need to discuss wedding favors.  Yes, wedding favors.

Our wedding favors consist of a chocolate brown box with an aqua blue sticker on the front that says, “Thank You! Katharine & Richard.”  Inside the box is a sachet of Twining’s English Breakfast Tea and a packet of Walkers shortbread fingers — together, they are Richard’s absolute favorite thing in the world.  So, it’s a nice nod to his home country as well as a delicious treat for the guests whenever they decide to eat/drink them.

My favorite wedding favors, however, might be my friend Sara’s wedding CDs.  She asked all of her bridesmaids and all of her groomsmen to choose a song for the wedding CD, while she and her fiance and their parents filled out the rest of the twenty tracks.  The wedding CDs were burned and imprinted with a picture of Sara and her husband, and distributed to the wedding guests towards the end of the evening.  They were a big hit.

Some of us went the familiar route, choosing songs like “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton and “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King.  Others went with less traditional options, with “Shelter From The Storm” by Bob Dylan and “Romeo & Juliet” by Dire Straits.  For my part, I chose “For The Widows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti” by Sufjan Stevens, because I was in my stupid hipster mode at the time.  I still like the song — don’t get me wrong — I’m just not sure how “timeless” it will prove to be 20 years down the line.

What Sara didn’t anticipate, however — aside from my weird taste in wedding music — was that one of the groomsmen was still understandably bitter about the fact that Sara had dated him first but was now marrying his roommate.  Long story short: Sara dated Kyle for a short time, Kyle eventually introduced Sara to his roommates, Sara quickly realized that she liked one of the roommates more than Kyle, and ended up engaged to and marrying that roommate a year later.  Kyle won’t let this go, but was still asked to be a groomsman by the somewhat oblivious groom.

When Kyle submitted his song choice to Sara’s mother — who was in charge of the project — Sara’s mother had never heard of his song before.  Instead of listening to it after she downloaded it off iTunes, she simply threw all the songs together and got to burning the CDs.  This was a big project, after all — not a lot of time for lollygagging around and mooning over the songs.

After the CDs were finally finished and hot to trot, Sara went to pick them up from her mother’s house.  She admired the picture on the front of the CD, the artful placement of the text and the beautiful covers with the song listing on the back.  In a hurry, she didn’t read through all the songs, but simply put them in her car and headed off.  As she was driving, she popped one of the CDs into her stereo and started skipping through the songs.  When she finally got to Kyle’s song choice, she nearly drove off the road.

Kyle had chosen the immortal David Allan Coe song that I think you all know:

Well it was all
That I could do to keep from cryin’
Sometimes it seemed so useless to remain
But you don’t have to call me darlin’, darlin’
You never even call me by my name

You don’t have to call me Waylon Jennings
And you don’t have to call me Charlie Pride
And you don’t have to call me Merle Haggard, anymore
Even though you’re on my fightin’ side

And I’ll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standin’ in the rain
But you don’t have to call me darlin’, darlin’
You never even call me by my name

Well I’ve heard my name
A few times in your phone book (Hello, Hello)
And I’ve seen it on signs where I’ve played
But the only time I know
I’ll hear David Allan Coe
Is when Jesus has his final Judgment Day

Of course, it was way too late at this juncture to change the songs or the CDs, so they went out to the delighted guests at the wedding a few days later.  My mother later asked me, “Why on earth would Sara put a David Allan Coe song on her wedding CD?  Especially this one?”  I just laughed and told her that’s what makes Sara’s wedding favor so timeless.

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Ed. Note: I meant to post this on Monday, but I was either really busy or really drunk or really lazy…take your pick.

There was a fierce tranny in my local Starbucks this morning. She looked like a young Amanda Lepore, complete with huge red lips, long blonde hair and kicky stilettos. I’m not quite sure what she was doing in a Starbucks in Memorial at eight o’clock in the morning, all kitted out in her finest denim jumpsuit and bouffant Traci-Lords-in-“Cry-Baby”-hair — actually, I’m not quite sure I want to know — but I loved her for it. The yuppies were carefully maintaining their distance from her, which was difficult because she was lounging languidly up against the main counter, batting her eyelashes at all the men in their houndstooth trousers as they approached for their venti lattes. The yuppies were either glaring at her with disapproval — “A transexual? In MY coffee shop?!? Well, I never!” — and trying to avoid eye contact completely. Watching them squirm with uneasiness while watching her revel in their obvious discomfort was probably the high point of my day. I wanted to give her a hug and thank her for bringing such joy to a Monday morning, but that seemed inappropriate somehow. So…thanks, mysterious tranny, whoever you are. (more…)

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It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who experiences great yawning periods of workday boredom and turns to the Internet for stimulation. My friends Wes and Jacque turned not only to the Internet today, but also to God: (more…)

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Quote of the night:

Billy: I don’t get what’s so bad about ninjas.
Kristin: Have you ever fought a ninja?!?

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