I took this photograph while on a walk
in Meredith, New Hampshire, in 1995.
I have the stuff to make magnets out of it. One of these days, I'm going to sell them.
This is on the bridge on the way to my favorite beach.
Leaves turning—I used to climb this tree when I was little.
I couldn’t climb very high.
Winter came early one year.
I snapped this outside my current apartment.
I occupied this chair for a summer.
I hated the job, but I love the way the sky looks against
the water and the trees.
White Mountains, New Hampshire.
I snapped this photo in the North End of Boston one summer day when I was feeling sad.
It made me feel better.
Welcome Back to Travels with Fluff!New to Travels with Fluff? Check out the previous posts.
Fluff at Joe’s Liquors, aka Sputnik
Fluff on Beale Street
Bad photo of the lights on Beale Street
Fluff on the side of the Sun Studio building
Fluff found true love
Fluff Quiz the Third!
Oh dear, I know so very little about Memphis. This one might be a bit short.
Remember, if you cheat, you are only cheating yourself. Not knowing squat about Fluff is nothing to be ashamed of.
1. What is the shelf life of Fluff?
2. Dusty Springfield is best known for “Son of a Preacher Man,” recorded with the Memphis Sound. The song, however, was originally written for someone else. Who turned “Preacher Man” down? Huge-ass hint: She later recorded it.
3. Name two people who recorded at Sun Studio. I don’t want anyone telling me that my quizzes are too hard.
4. Fluffy fell in love with Aqua Net in Memphis and has been heartbroken ever since. Have you ever felt this way? Discuss.
Answers to Fluff Quiz the Second!
Dive wins this round, however, because Dive also disrespected baseball, James gets to share billing. Kudos for creativity go to Super C, whose answer to the OMFUG extra credit nearly made me wee.
1. Is Fluff kosher?
Yes, Fluff is kosher. I don’t understand this, as I don’t believe it’s really food, but according to the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, it fits the bill.
2. Is Fluff a Boston Red Sox fan or a New York Yankees fan? Why?
Fluff is a Red Sox fan because Fluff is from Massachusetts (it’s made in Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin and was invented in Somerville). Fluff is therefore constinutionally incapable of having anything but disgust for all things New York Yankees.
3. Which Monty Python member is responsible for Spamalot?
Eric Idle, bless his twisted heart.
4. Ian McDiarmid played Teddy in the Broadway revival of Brian Friel’s Faith Healer. Who did he play in Return of the Jedi?
He played the Emperor. This was a bit of a trick question, as he was also Palpatine in the newer movies. But those movies were crap, and so I am sticking to the original three.
5. Alas, it appears as though the legendary rock club CBGB’s really is headed for memory lane this time. What does CBGB stand for?
Ironically enough, CBGB stands for Country Bluegrass, and Blues. the club closed earlier this month.
Extra Credit: What does OMFUG stand for? Hint: It ain’t dirty.
OMFUG stands for Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. Music as food, I like that. RIP, CBGB OMFUG.
In the next installment, Fluff goes to Italia.
Here's a rambling list of my life since last Wednesday at three pm.
I went to a party and didn’t bring down the room.
I put the things that remind me of him in a drawer to look at another day.
I deleted his phone number.
I’ve smoked too many cigarettes.
I went to Vermont with my family and had a good time. I took pictures of ridiculous toys and thought about nostalgia. I don’t want to go back.
The phrase “to cry as if your heart would break” has new meaning for me. My heart is broken. Something in me has died, and I’m grieving. It hurts. Bad.
I drank too much wine last night and listened to sad music. That’s the first time I did that since the breakup, and I do not feel compelled to do it again. Most of the time, I do this for a long time.
I got caught reading cheesy self-help at a bookstore.
I was pleased to learn that I have already been doing most of the things that the cheesy self-help book recommended.
He’s back online dating. Seeing that really hurt.
I wrote a closure letter that I’ll never send.
I’m looking for a drop-dead sexy pair of heels.
I’m still interested in my friend’s lives.
I checked out a hot guy in the supermarket yesterday.
I had a deliciously lazy Sunday morning of the variety that would have driven Ex-Boyfriend nuts.
I stayed out of the mall and chain stores (exception: the bookstore, but only because the local place doesn’t carry such crap). Ex-Boyfriend loves to shop. I don’t.
I loaded up the iPod he gave me last month for my birthday with Led Zeppelin songs. He hates Led Zeppelin.
I’m no longer with someone who said that Edward Abbey was a phony before ever reading him. Ex-Boyfriend is a member of the Green Party, and he’s never heard of Edward Abbey.
I thought about going back online to get a date, but decided that even if it was just casual that it would be better for me to get myself back together before inflicting myself on the world.
I don’t like Richard Ashcroft, and I think that the Verve was a third-rate band with one decent song. Now I don’t have to feel guilty about it.
I have cracked up saying that I know people on two continents who would kick Ex-Boyfriend’s ass. That won’t be necessary, but thank you anyway.
I’ve learned the phases “wedgie list,” “ass-hat,” and “Futhermucker.”
I made a hilarious Freudian slip (banana flambé—see story below, if you’d like).
I know what I’m going to be talking about in therapy on Thursday. My therapist is worth her weight in gold for all the help she’s given me in becoming a stronger person.
I’m not kicking myself trying to figure out what I did wrong.
I don’t feel a need for revenge, hilarious Freudian slips aside. The consequences of his actions in the world will be his own reward. For his sake, I hope that he gets some help. He’s hurt, and he hurt me terribly, but he is also a beautiful and unique person.
This isn’t about him anymore. This is about me.
I am going to be OK.
1. the state of being homesick
2. a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition; also :something that evokes nostalgia
—Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
Americans seem to be obsessed with nostalgia, with getting back to some mythical time where things just worked. Those of a rightwing persuasion want to get back to a time when Americans had values. Women were women and men were men, right? Children were the center of the universe, and they respected their elders. Those of the left often lionize the sixties, a time when everything mattered, when change was possible.
Whether from the right or the left, many adults say that things were better when they were kids, that things were different then. I can see reasons for why we hold the past in such misty regard. Things do suck right now. We do seem lost, and it is comforting to think that there was a time when we knew what to do.
I ask you, though, do you really want to go back? Here are some photos from my family’s annual trip to Weston, Vermont, a town that survives on nostalgia. I think you’ll agree that while the past is an amusing place to visit, you don’t want to live there.
This was considered food
Mmm… So was this “Vermont-Style” dish
These popular toys alone explain why so many Americans are in therapy
Children may have known their place in the past,
but they also bowled over bunnies for fun
Do you really want to inhabit the past?
Doesn't it look just a little spooky?
Welcome Back to Travels with Fluff!
New to Travels with Fluff? Check out the previous posts.
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine)
Dispatch from the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville
Don’t forget to take the Fluff Quiz at the bottom of this post. Answers to the previous Fluff Quiz posted too!
Fluff has taken a few bites out of the Big Apple in the last year and a half or so, as I’ve gone to see a few plays and went to an art opening. Before this, I hadn’t really checked out New York before, claiming that it held no charm for me. I’m not really sure what caused this, but I’m glad I got over my weirdo self, because New York rocks. Here are a few pictures of our travels there thatFluff wanted to share with you.
Fluff at Spamalot, March 16, 2005 (last dress rehersal). Scored autographs from David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria. Missed Tim Curry by that much (Damn!)
Fluff at the Booth Theater. Waiting in line for half-priced tickets to Faith Healer. Incredible Play
Fluff at Radio City Music Hall (the day it poured)
Fluff at the New York Times
Fluff at the Empire State Building
Fluff at the Chrysler Building
Fluff Enjoying the View from Central Park
Fluff in Little Italy
Fluff at Great Brunch Spot in Union Square
Fluff at Amazing Brunch Spot in Tribeca
Fluff at the Carnegie Deli
Fluff at CBGB's (soon to be RIP)
Fluff Quiz the Second!
It’s that time again. Remember, if you cheat, you are only cheating yourself. Answers to the first quiz appear below.
1. Is Fluff kosher?
4. How old is the existing London Bridge?
The existing London Bridge was completed in 1972, making it about thirty-four. The last London Bridge was purchased in 1968 by Robert P. McCulloch and reconstructed in Arizona. Rumor has it that McCulloch thought he was buying Tower Bridge.
5. Would you go see the Rod Stewart musical? Why or why not.
This is my answer. Your answer is your own. For the sick curiosity of it, and if I was given a free ticket and ample boozy treats, I would go. Serenading friends with “Tonight’s the Night” when they have new people in their lives is a cherished tradition. Also, in an oddly Fluff appropriate coincidence, my friends and I did Rockette kicks in the backyard to two things: Rod Stewart’s “Hot Legs” (it was the late-seventies), and to a little chant, “Peanut Butter ‘N Marshen-mellow!” (when we wanted Fluffernutters—don’t ask; I have no idea where it came from, but I know I was the first one to do it). So yes, I would go see it, but only for cheap thrills and slightly twisted nostalgia.
In the next installment, we’ll catch up with Fluffy in Memphis.
Happy Birthday, Mr. President…
Chester A. Arthur, born this day in 1829 in Fairfield, Vermont
When covering the late nineteenth century, survey courses focus on economic and social issues that shaped the post-Civil War United States. No one bothers with the presidents again until Teddy Roosevelt. Hence, the Blank Years. And no president exemplifies the Blank Years better than Chester A. Arthur.
This line pretty much sums up everything known about the man I call Chet, the twenty-first president of the United States of America: Although a decent and honorable man, Chester A. Arthur was a firm believer in the spoils system. He filled posts with corrupt members of machine politics.**
Occasionally surveys will give an expanded bio that mentions his being the Quartermaster General of the State of New York before he was named the Collector of the Port of New York, and that he was named as James Garfield’s running mate after President Hayes's attempt to oust Arthur from the Port job (who says that the spoils system doesn’t have its perks?). When Garfield was assassinated in 1881, less than a year into his term, Arthur became president. He was never elected in his own right. He was born in Vermont. He died in 1886. He had great facial hair. Yep. That’s pretty much it.
I think it was a combination of pity and shock that no one knew more about a president than the above that endeared Chester A. Arthur to me. I like saying his name—I draw out the long “A”—Chester A. Arthur. Ah, poor Chet. It makes me laugh to think that he was president. He’s become my favorite answer to questions I don’t know the answer to. Question: Who wrote War and Peace? Answer: Chester A. Arthur. Who is your favorite president? Chester A. Arthur. Easy as pie!
To honor my favorite Blank Years president, I have a small but growing collection of Chester A. Arthur memorabilia. That’s the kind of weirdo chick I am. I’m always on the lookout, so if you know of any Chet goods, let me know.
Happy Birthday, Chet,
hope this doesn't make you roll over in your grave
*He isn’t, of course, but I don’t have a favorite president. I like components of several presidents, but explaining this is long and complicated, and people’s eyes glaze over, so I’ve chosen the wiseass route.
**I'd give a citation for this, but this is the standard line absolutely everywhere (especially the “firm believer” part), and I wouldn't know where to begin.
Fluff enjoying the festivities
Fluff with Fluff Art
Fluff Wants One of Those!
Fluff Doesn't Like This Place
Legislation has been proposed to eradicate it from public schools. Obviously this is more important than dealing with the Big Dig, healthcare, and the cost of living in this state.
Fluff travels! Check out Travels with Fluff.
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine)
New York City