Thursday, December 25, 2003

White Christmas

It seems better to me that my first 'white Christmas' was not full of cold snow drifts and terrifying driving conditions. No, it was full of frothy ocean currents washing piles of seafoam high up the shoreline.

The waves have been impressive the last few days--they came up high and lapped angrily at the sand and rocks here on the Northern Oregon Coast. It was awe-inspiring. My mom, sister, and I, each armed with our digital cameras, ventured to the best vantage point in town south of downtown Seaside and en route to Tillamook Head just to watch the ocean turn.

If I get the chance soon, I'll post pictures.

Speaking of which, the kids' gift to mom went over well. Of course it did. We banded together to get her something good, something she really wanted, for the first time ever. We got her a digital camera. A Fuji Finepix A210, specifically. It's pretty snazzy. I think she will have a lot of fun with it. She is already taking spectacular shots of the results of some holiday fight between Neptune and everyone else on Mount Olympus.

I think everyone got a good haul this year. I got a new blender, some DVDs, the Magnetic Fields box set (finally), books, and several other nice things from my mom. My aunt sent a lovely cashmere scarf. My sister brought me a mortar and pestle from Chinatown and my brother bought me a copy of Al Franken's book (also finally). The latter was given to me saying, "You can borrow it or keep it, up to you. But Sarah wants to read it." Hah. I'll lend it when I finish, or while I'm gone if I don't finish it before then. I am not taking a hardcover book on the plane with me.

I neeeed to call Winnie. Things are sort of lined up--I need to stay in a hotel my first night in KL as the Malaysians will be in Singapore, but after that I get to annoy them from home. Yay! I got my shots and meds and all kinds of scary crap from my visit to the ARNP travel clinic and now just need to figure out how the hell I'm taking my stuff, and what stuff exactly I'm taking. It won't be much. The lighter, the better. I have the haul this shit around.

Not sure yet if I'll be heading back to Seattle tomorrow or Saturday. If I hear from Rachel tonight or tomorrow morning, I will stick around an see her, otherwise I'll go back to Seattle and pack, then have plenty of time to spend with Josie...and Kevin! Who changed his plane ticket to come home Sunday morning and see me before I leave because he is the best boy ever! So I will be busy and need to be ready to go before I have intensive Josie time and happy Kevin time. And I have to finish Josie's thing, shit.

So much to do and so little time!

I've been eating so well here. By well, I mean richly. Mmmmm. Shellfish! Vegetables! Cookies! Deliciousness in excess! Mmmm!

...I'm going to explode. After my teeth fall out.

And the weather has been exciting and so has the TV. So yay. Cable with HBO. God bless us, every one.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

This May Be the Last...

...time you hear from me before my trip. Before everything. But it's hard to tell.

We're still trying to figure out how to set up a network at the new house. Chris's room is directly below mine, but he's terrified of making holes in the wall/ceiling/floor to poke a network cable through. The outlets in my room are the only ones in the house not grounded, so Chris will have to do something makeshift to ground them. He's hoping it will be easy (just have to ground to the case inside the outlet), rather than stringing grounding wire all over creation. It's complicated.

The phone line is moving tomorrow, and it will likely take a few days for the DSL service to catch up. Chris will have to set this up remotely, as he is going to Wenatchee after we move everything on Saturday.

And today is my last day at work, land of wonderful internet access.

All this adds up to it being pretty likely I won't be touching blogger for the next week.

Maybe I'll catch up in net cafes in Thailand or from Meesh or Winnie's computers. But I am thinking maybe not. How connected do I need to be? Can't I just keep a paper journal and bring you three weeks' worth of highlights when I get home?

We'll see.

Everything is so up in the air right now, I don't know what to think. We've got about three days to get everything, I mean, everything, settled. Houses, rents, bills, furniture placements, trips, holidays, everything. I get a few days after Christmas to pack and spend time with Josie for the last time in forever (2-3 years is a fucking long time in my book). I need to figure out what and how I'm packing and put together an appropriate travel kit. I need to figure out luggage and daypacks and everything. I need to make sure I have money.

I made an appointment to see the same nurse practitioner I saw Tuesday on Monday, this time for a travel consultation. I think I'm getting a vaccine for Typhoid Fever and anti-malarial meds. On Tuesday I got the annual physical, including happy-fun gynocological exam (she told me I had a beautiful cervix) and Hep A and first Hep B shots.

Oh, I'm also putting together a semi-artsy going-away-present for Josie that will be left to the organizational powers of Christine to fill in the blanks. It is sort of time-consuming and requires Internet access. Why I'm not working on it now, I don't know.

Driving to Seaside for Christmas, probably on Tuesday. Maybe Monday after I see the ARNP I'll go to Olympia for the night, spend some time with my sister if she's not partying with her friends or definitely try to see Becky. Come home on the 26th, I think. Or the 27th. Rachel wants to visit, too. Mom wants to see Sua in Portland one day. May the weather not suck.

Kevin is leaving tomorrow night. I thought he was leaving in the morning, but it's great that he's not. I am going to make him help us move some stuff, maybe help with networking. Then I'll give him a ride to the airport. He wants me to go check on his stuff while he's away. He is very concerned with getting burgled. He even asked me to stay there, which is sort of a no-go. I probably don't get to see him until I come back from my trip, either, and I'm sad about that.

Good god, there is a lot going on. I can't believe how inactive I'm being considering how much is going on. We need to pack, move, and clean in the next three days or else. Fuck.

Then Christmas. Time with the family. Insane amounts of driving and, no doubt, traffic.

Then packing and intensive Josie time. (I suppose that's actually a good thing.)

Then trip.


Monday, December 15, 2003

Nice Weekend; Too Bad It's Over

Birthday dinners, Christmas parties, and game nights are wonderful things.

There were eleven of us at dinner Thursday night. We decimated four vegetarian dishes, a chicken plate, five naan, three plates of rice, and assorted desserts and beverages. It was delicious and wonderful. I tried kulfi for the first time, which was excellent. I want to try to make it with soy ice cream (so Kevin can try it) and ground-up pistachios, almonds, and cardamom. Yummy. Both Livia and Reid (Reid came! For the first time in months I got to see Reid! And she brought me a pretty assortment of teas!) tried Indian food for the first time and apparently enjoyed it.

People gave me birthday presents, too. Lovely surprises. Besides Reid's tea assortment, Lindsay gave me a cylinder of blackberry sage loose tea, which smells amazing. Chris gave me a couple CDs (the Postal Service and the Talking Heads' More Songs About Buildings and Food, both brilliant records and nice to have in the car) and Lauren gave me a box of vegan mac & chreese. Christine and Josie are way cool and got me a rice maker, which rocks because I make terrible stovetop rice.

Friday afternoon's party prep was quite abbreviated, as I arrived around 2 p.m. only to find the house was already cleaned and organized. I just mopped the kitchen floor and did a few dishes (for the house I haven't lived at for a week, nice). Livia used my computer after preparing the easiest brownies on earth (box + yogurt + stir) and I hung out with Josie. Christine and Danger showed up 45 minutes early and helped with things like slicing bread and listening to records.

It was a slow party that lasted until nearly 11 p.m. with chattering, music, snacking, gifting, and gaming. Jen was my Secret Santa and gave me a couple nice books--a seafood at fancy San Francisco restaurants cookbook and a book with advice on organic gardening. My Gift of a Llama went over well with Lauren, who, along with Chris, spent much time playing with the stuffed llama (a fabulous thrift find to accompany the information about the Heifer International donation and a card with a picture of a llama sandwich).

Lauren, Chris and I were the most inept and unlucky Cranium team ever. The game dragged; it did not quite live up to my expectations. I did, however, get to pantomime a "rainbow" for them by jumping around the room and trying to mock a leprechaun.

We stopped by Jesse's party only briefly, as it is likely to be one of the last times many of us will see him for several months at least. He was crowded in a bathroom with several others (both boys and girls), teaching the delicate art of eye makeup application.

On Saturday, I had the whole day free to do things with Livia that were not hanging out with an enormous group of my friends. I feel bad because she is so bored by almost everything that I really have to make an effort to do things that vaguely amuse her; she's a difficult houseguest, but somehow this feels like my fault. I suggested to go to the Henry Art Museum on the UW campus: it has interesting exhibits I've been meaning to check out for months now and is free with a student ID. We killed about an hour and a half wandering around there. The karaoke pods were most fun, of course, but there were some other interesting pieces. (And some sort of pretentious crap, but hey. What do I know about art?)

We then bussed to Uwajimaya, where we ate bahn mi for lunch and Livia tried a sip of my Vietnamese coffee, proclaiming it "bitter." I laughed and told her that, well, yes, coffee is bitter, but this coffee is very sweet! I guess it would be bitter to a girl who puts a spoonful of sugar in her whole milk. Then we wandered the store, picking out gift wrap and random food items including fresh tako sashimi, which tasted like very chewy king crab.

At my old house, we disassembled my stereo and packed it in the car, then met my mom back at the new house. Soon after, we went to Chamber Music Madness at University Prep, in which my brother's quintet was performing. It was long, but there were some pretty good performances, my brother's group included, of course. I hadn't eaten dinner and it was 9:30, so I went home and everyone else went home and Kevin came over and spaghetti was consumed. Hooray.

Sunday I had grand ideas about seeing the Bad Santa matinee with Chris, then heading to Reid's place in Edmonds for game night. The movie was excellent; very funny shit. Kevin was planning to come to game night, but when the time came, he was too tired to make it, so I was pissed about him flaking out again, but got over it enough. Chris and I picked up Lindsay and managed not to get lost or killed in the great gray area between I-5, 99, and Reid's apartment.

Anyway, here it is, Monday. I'm at work, covering for people taking finals. Hah! Finals. I'm done, seriously. And working. Yay money. Yay big long break coming up. Yay scary.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Happy Birthday to Me

I'm officially well-established as a 20-something. Today is my 22nd birthday, hooray! I am still younger than at least half my friends, sure, but that's okay.

People will be meeting up at Tandoor for dinner. Hooray for Tandoor! Yummy. I think perhaps we should just order one of each item on the menu and share, but that might be too much.

Livia is staying with me a for a couple days. She is quiet so I end up talking way too much. I try to explain everything before I tell her to make a decision, like: "What movie do you want to watch? Let me tell you about every movie on this shelf." She rode the bus to work with me today and sat at a lab computer until 1 p.m., when I wanted to go eat lunch. Afterwards she went to upper campus, hoping to talk to admissions folks. I can only assume she got there okay, since I never heard my cellphone.

The other day, I made a visit to the Greenwood DOL to renew my license. I brought with me an abundance of paperwork with my new address, in case they wanted it to confirm I lived where I said I lived, despite my old address being somewhere my parents no longer own. However, this was completely unnecessary. It was a relatively quick and painless process (for something occurring at the dreaded DOL), aside from having to wait in line just to get a number because you have to explain what you want to do before the guy will give you a number, and that means some people take longer explaining than others.

The only problem was that as soon as I left the office, I checked my temporary license and noticed an error. Not of my address; she had me check that on the screen while I was there. No, no, something much sillier that I failed to check: my weight.

I know I told the woman 160. She put down 115.


Because I look to waifish! Hah!

Maybe she thought I was delusional. I don't know. But to the state of Washington, I weigh 115 pounds.

What's it called when you take abnormal psych and think you have all the disorders you learn about? Maybe I had that after the unit on anorexia/bulimia and didn't notice.

Things are all in order for the major gift-giving of the season. Mom's big present is ready to wrap, Kevin's presents have been ordered or already arrived, Margot's gift has been unearthed, and the Secret Santa present is ready to go for tomorrow night. I am excited about the Mom and Secret Santa gifts, as they are cool. I need to get something small for Paul and maybe things for other people, but not big things. Probably most people will be satisfied to receive a souvenir from my big Asia trip instead if they are, in fact, wrongly overlooked for Christmastime giving.

I have received birthday gifts already. Kevin gave me the 128mb SmartMedia card for my camera and the 160gb hard drive dubbed Nibbles last week so he could be sure they worked before the time to return defective items had elapsed. My mom brought me a sampler of delicious bite-sized desserts from Tasha Nichole, picture frames (ostensibly for the pictures I have my dad painted), and a CD/tape/radio boombox so I can blast the music (or NPR) while doin' dishes or readin' in the living room without just blaring my real stereo. I haven't had a tape deck for a few years now, so I can finally listen to my small collection again! Woo-hoo!

I am in a rotten good mood today for no reason...except it's my birthday!



Monday, December 08, 2003

Top Five Live

In ethics today, we discussed pleasure and offensiveness. It was a sort of lovely discussion, the kind where I can't quite formulate anything to say (except to point out that, at least for me, rock shows are effectively the same as attending a sporting event in that you can shed certain social controls, etc.) but I end up thinking a lot.

Side note: my neighbor's fucking neglected dog is barking again. I'm surprised the fucker still has the ability to bark, it is so constantly noisy. I'm glad we are moving, or that I have moved, for all intents and purposes. I receive mail at the new address. My stuff is there, except this desk and computer. I sleep there. It's nice. Anyway.

So I was thinking about that feeling of freedom that comes with being part of a throng of joy like that, the energy. It's what keeps drawing me to live shows, it's why I have to dance and enjoy the show by participating. I wanted to say things about some of the bands I've seen that exemplified the notions we discussed, like TchKunG! and the controlled anarchy, or Jason Webley and the marches down the middle of the road. One girl brought up how people were being jerks at the Red Hot Chili Peppers show and security got involved, though, so I didn't think this was my crowd to listen to that.

Not that I want to be a snob--even though I am--but normal kids getting rowdy at a funky pop band (they are pop now, dudes) is fundamentally different from the mild insanity at a good punk show. For reals.

God, I wish that fucking dog would shut up already.

Anyway, here's my top five live shows (bands I've seen multiple times grouped together) that get this kinda feeling, and how, and why.

  1. TchKunG! - They are fucking anarchists. It's incredible, the sense of freedom and rebellion that comes when you're part of a mob that's shouting to tear down the government. Even if I don't honestly embrace those politics (I am a lefty, but I'm not an anarchist by any means), I did for the duration of the show. It's liberating as hell, ironically, to be part of a group all saying the same thing.
  2. Jason Webley - There were two shows in particular (of the dozen times I saw the man) that made the disparate crowd feel like a loving family: The Birthday Show and the Halloween Show of 2001. The Birthday Show involved eating a giant tomato cake and made me want to give the man a hug afterwards (which I did). The Halloween Show lead us all on a long trek down the middle of University Way to the water, where we set stuff on fire and bid Jason farewell (forever, once again). Webley has fallen out of favor with me, however, after a Halloween show that put a nasty taste in my mouth and I was too exhausted to follow anymore.
  3. The Gossip - I've said it before, but Beth Ditto is one of the only performers who makes me want to put as much into my enjoyment of the show as she puts into performing it.
  4. Radiohead - When Becky and I saw them on the Running from Demons tour in 1998, it was the first big concert we'd been to, and it was nearly transcendant in that regard. The band is fabulous live, of course, and we danced and sang along and did everything possible to enjoy every last minute of it.
  5. I'm having a hard time coming up with, for now, it's four.

Sooo...I'm off to the new place again, this time with Josie and her laundry. Woo hoo for afternoons with friends!

Friday, December 05, 2003


These days are void of content. My new house, too. My mind. Drained of thought and purpose, just going through the motions.

Moving slowly is at once exciting and frustrating, and nothing at all. I'm alone in a house filled only with my possessions, and few at that. But still, I don't want to be here--at work or at my old house--I want to be louging on the hard futon, watching DVDs on my 13-inch television. I want to re-read my travel guides and butcher Thai pronunciation out of the phrasebook. I want to move boxes of things, one carload at a time, and arrange them in my new house. I want to settle in before I have to leave.

Here I'm already settled in. Too settled, maybe. But soon I'll be unsettled all over again. I'm losing my job--my own fault, really, for wanting to take a vacation during the quarter. I can find another. No more sitting in the high un-ergonomic desk chair, feeling fizzled by fluorescent lights. No more immediate knowledge of nearly any question. No more watching people feed $20 bills into a machine that seldom accepts them.

It's transition time. Will it be as lovely as a sunset fading into the horizon, or something more dismal, gray, and harsh?

Do I still really have to go to school? I have three more days of classes (today, Monday, and Wednesday) and then no more until spring. That's brilliant. I have a paper to write on the relative journalistic ethics of McCarthyism, Watergate, and the Starr report. I have to take a test on autism, childhood schizophrenia, and eating disorders. That's the end of psychology, by the way.

Before Thanksgiving, we watched a film in ethics about the Mumia Abu Jamal case. I'd heard bits and pieces of it before, coming from Olympia where the Greeners are occasionally obsessed with it, but it was much more intriguing in the documentary. In psych, we watched a PBS docu about eating disorders I'd seen in another class. One of the subjects was filmed at various Seattle locations: you could pick them out, especially the Tully's on the corner of 45th and Brooklyn, that fishbowl window and blurred Neptune marquee prominently featured. I walk by it every day and someone in that same window usually looks at me funny for daring to look back at them.

I've discovered the Postal Service makes nice driving music and I love Mojave 3.

I need to do Christmas shopping: we've got mom's taken care of (sshhhh) and I have one thing for Kevin, but I need to do a little more. I need to get Margot's and Paul's token (he got a huge birthday present, so Christmas will be little). I need to learn who my Harem gift exchange person is and get them something nice. I think that's the extent of my Christmas necessities.

I can't believe I'm leaving in less than a month. I'm excited, but it's still unreal. I slipped on the phone with my grandma on Thanksgiving and told her about it; I didn't know, but everyone tells me that she'll worry incessantly. So I'm sorry if she calls my mom every day and pesters her.

Things will happen, sometime.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

New Things Are Nice

I have a new house. I have a new house! New house! Yay!

It has a washer and dryer! But the washer must be ultra-low-water usage because I tried to run a load last night and I don't think any water came. It was on--it locked and spun--but no water. Hmm. Time for a chat with the landlords.

Already. Sheesh.

It sounds like we won't be able to finish moving all the big stuff until Saturday the 20th. Jeez. I am going to try to enlist Graylan and his truck to move stuff like bookcases and mattresses and move little things like pillows, small furniture, books, and kitchen crap in my car (and Kevin's and Steph's). Let's drag this process out as long as possible, shall we?

I understand why, of course. The weekend before finals is unacceptable for moving, and we can't move mid-week because the truck rental is being offered by Steph's parents, who have to work, and Steph works afternoons anyway. Besides, Josie and her mom and sister, I think, will be staying here the weekend of the 13th and need somewhere to sleep besides floor.

I am moving my stuff bit by bit as I can, anyway. I want out of this house and need some time to settle in the new place before I leave for three weeks.

Last night, Kevin and I brought up my vintage stereo (with the broken turntable that's been living in my room, being used as an amp attached to my portable CD player), CDs, and a futon. I am hoping to sleep there before I actually get the chance to bring up my bed, so I wanted something decent. The futon is nice on the floor. We also put up the bamboo blinds from Ikea.

Today I need to call my travel agent and give her my passport number (and figure out why I never received the email she said she sent), tell the landlord the washer ain't washin' and try to figure out what we can do to fix that, and go to the DOL to renew my license. I made the poster for my psych project last night--it's about drugs they give kids with Tourette's. It looks sorta cool despite being a relatively dull subject with little or no potential illustrative qualities (I dug up some random pictures in google).

I made the poster while watching a really terrible movie called The Magic Christian. It starred Peter Sellers, Ringo Starr, and the repeated use of a catchy but annoying Paul McCartney song. I think it was trying to say something about capitalism and what average people will do for money, but through drug-tinged lenses. I'm not sure I've said "what the FUCK!" so loudly or as often during a movie in recent memory.

I would like to point out that the Peter Sellers thing is not mine. It's Kevin's. The man has a strange fondness for Peter Sellers (even greater than his passing whimsy about Gumby, it seems). Not that I dislike Peter Sellers, but I am not so into him. And since being with Kevin, I've seen more than my share of weird comedies featuring Peter Sellers. Some were good; some not so good. Really, I can only take so much Inspector Clousseau. Anyway, Kevin insisted on renting these two bizarre-looking Peter Sellers movies from the British Comedy section in Scarecrow, and I swear, one of those movies got a "Oh, I saw that when I was a kid; I thought it was awful!" remark from one employee to another in the back room.

Me, I wanted Bonnie and Clyde 'cause I'd never seen it and Fargo because I don't remember it.

Kevin gave me early birthday presents last night because they are computer hardware that needs to be tested before the ability to return them disappears. He gave me a 128mb Smart Media card for my camera (it read as having 205 pictures left! neat!) and a 160gb hard drive. Sweet! That effectively quadrupled my picture-taking capacity and gave me more than ten times the space for miscellaneous computer files. I think I'm going to make my current 13.5gb drive all Linux OS (right now about 3gb is OS, 8gb is fat32-formatted storage, mostly mp3s, and the rest is irretrievable swap) and set up the new drive as massive storageland. And give myself permission to use it without logging in as root.

Seriously, I think I will never use all of 160gb. That's what they all say, though, isn't it? You start downloading movies, and BAM! No space ever. Okay, I won't download movies.

I'll get all the crazy TV shows Chris has, though.

Saturday, November 29, 2003


Two Fridays in a row now of excellent rock shows. I went to see the Gossip at the Vera Project with Josie and Eva, who sympathized on TUS after I didn't end up seeing Built to Spill last week.

The Gossip was fabulous as usual. It's one of the few bands who makes me try to put as much effort into enjoying its performance as it puts into performing. I wish I had noticed the coat room, though, as dancing with a raincoat on can be quite sweat-inducing. (Duh.) But in some ways, being too warm enhances the show--you get a vague idea of that Arkansas heat. And it makes you really appreciate the cool drizzle when you leave.

I want to write a fan letter to the band to thank them for being so awesome. I don't usually write fan letters to bands that aren't really new, but I have done worse. Like the time I saw Jason Webley in Los Gatos, Calif., and had a brief chat with him in which I revealed that was the 10th time I'd seen him and he kind of jumped backwards. (I eventually saw him 12 times, I think, before the Halloween 2002 show put a bad taste in my mouth. I was such a groupie.)

We arrived at the venue in time to see about half of King Cobra's set. I had forgotten that was the band with Rachel from the Need, which is awesome. And eardrum-assaulting. The Need was a band I saw at Yoyo-A-Gogo a few years ago with my sister and we felt very dumb for not having earplugs, but privileged to see such a rocking pair of women. This was equally as fascinating, I think.

The new Vera Project facilities seem cool, too. I guess they're not that new, actually, but it was the first time I've been there. Beth Ditto said they had a pool table. Wooo. And I approve of any venue that can draw such a nice crowd where people just want to enjoy music, not just sit around and drink and smoke or whatever, have to get out by midnight, and charge less than $10 admission. Why don't I go to more all-ages shows?

Spam Is Grand

To: < >
Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 11:09:32 -0600

That is just so awesome. It's even accompanied by a beautiful illustration and the command, "haga ¡CLICK!"

Do the click! C'mon, c'mon!

Next time I'm in southeastern Mexico I should go see Air Supply.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Thanks for All the Fish

Thanksgiving at my house, until a few years ago, was a family going through the motions of a holiday such as this: There was always turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, mom's 7-layer salad that no one else eats, the canned cranberry jelly that only my sister likes. Some things never change, but some things must.

For example, only one person in my family has any particular fondness for turkey, and that's my brother. I don't eat meat anymore and was never particularly into the big holiday roast in the first place. Last year--which was, admittedly, in a period of mourning and so markedly different from any other Thanksgiving I could hope to celebrate in my life--the closest thing to turkey I ate was a cold chicken satay skewer from the Whole Foods deli case while sitting on the floor of a hotel room in San Francisco. I mean, there was nothing of tradition at that meal, and yet it was wonderful. Thanksgiving should be what it is and nothing more. Placing too much emphasis on it seems to detract from the day.

Today was more of a decentralized holiday feast. We'd decided weeks ago to forego turkey entirely; my brother grudgingly agreed on the basis that grilled salmon would be served instead. I offered to make mashed potatoes, but I made them with red potatoes (skins on) and mixed them up with olive oil, fresh rosemary, and a whole bulb of roasted garlic. I also made a strange coleslaw with a sweet yogurt dressing and mixed with dried cranberries and almond slices. Unfortunately, they paled next to the host of other dishes that were offered.

My sister dutifully prepared several sushi rolls: some with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and shrimpmeat and some with just vegetables. Always a winner. She also seemed to like my suggestion of making a dessert-like roll with almond on the outside and cranberry on the inside.

My brother's girlfriend's mother brought a casserole her daughter likes, as well as potato pancakes and applesauce. Anyone who brings potato pancakes is a-ok in my book. She also taught my mother that her pronunciation of "challah" is incorrect: mom had always pronounced it phonetically and no one could tell her any different, until, you know, someone who is actually Jewish finally figured out what she was saying. I just wish an Italian person would correct her on the "espresso" thing, but perhaps that will happen when she goes to Italy in April.

The Cambodians brought a big pot of stir-fried noodles. Mom requested they used only shrimp and no chicken, etc., for my sake. Which was nice. The visiting parents of the Indonesian student who lives with mom made a couple dishes involving chicken that looked good, but I did not try. They also failed to come to dinner themselves, which was a little odd.

Mom's salmon was, of course, delicious. And the fried rice with shrimp. Her challah, too. My sister-in-law, who's pregnant with her second baby, has always loved the bread and couldn't stop eating it. I think she would've eaten nothing but bread if mom would let her.

There was so much to eat it was a wonder we could eat anything at all. Too many choices.

And then, dessert. Pre-made pies/cakes, of course. We're a lazy bunch after all that other cooking. I brought a cheesecake. Mom picked up pecan and pumpkin pies, even after saying she was sick of pumpkin pie and didn't want to get one for this dinner. I had to eat some of all of them. It was all good to me. Mmm, sugar.

My sister is looking gorgeous after all the work she's done in the last couple months of lose weight. Get healthy, is more like it. She's been walking every morning with a woman my mom's age who sounds like a great walking partner, not to mention being on the poor college student diet that sort of forces healthy eating if you're not letting yourself buy junk exclusively. Anyway, she looks very healthy and beautiful.

(It made me think I need to stop with all the sugar...heh. I have sort of lapsed into a less good diet, which is, uh, less good, for obvious reasons. My schedule has been somewhat prohibitive, although I'm not sure how. But it must be rectified.)

I spent the evening watching Dogma on cable and then trying to beat my brother at Trivial Pursuit. The biggest problem with the latter part was that the version we were using was at least as old as I am (and older than my brother), so we were more than perplexed by a lot of the questions. I like playing with my set from last year better, even though it, too, will be far behind the times soon enough. At least the entertainment questions are things I can get.

I took the Civic back and drove myself home. I received a ride from Steph and her parents (and their very sweet dog Jake) down to Olympia this morning, since they happened to be going to Tumwater for the day. Very convenient. Traffic was fine both times, amazingly enough.

All in all, another jolly good Thanksgiving holiday.

Tomorrow I work 9 to 12:30, which is kind of crappy (cropped hours) and again on Saturday, covering Chris's usual hours. I'll still be short on hours for this pay period just from holidays, but what can you do. I'm hoping to to see the Gossip at Vera tomorrow night with whomever I can convince to go.

Monday is New House Day, and I plan to celebrate by bringing laundry up after class. Ha!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Headphones Guy

There's an annoying lab user we like to call Headphones Guy. He usually comes in wearing one of those radio-headset things; thus the name. Then he asks us stupid questions about stuff that usually have nothing to do with anything remotely related to this lab's purpose or within the realm of things it's fair to ask the help desk. Rather, he asks about things like how to burn CDs of pirated materials he just downloaded on onto our lab machines, or what piece of shitty, broken hardware to buy on ebay. But he's here legitimately so we can't kick him out.

Anyway, Headphones Guy just asked me a question about headphones. Not "can I borrow a pair," either; an actual question about power ratings or something that I know nothing about.


Angry, then Not Angry But Glad

I spent much of last week being mad as hell. I was about to kill my boyfriend, if I ever saw the lug again. I'm not entirely certain why, and honestly, it's not a feeling I'd like to revisit now, as the goodwill has returned in spades.

Friday was the Death Cab for Cutie show I bought tickets for. I knew Kevin wouldn't make it, and so lined up Chris to come with me. That evening, I made some offhand remark about the smokiness of clubs and Mr. Pneumonia realized perhaps his lungs wouldn't tolerate the show well. Which, really, is understandable. And strangely, okay. The Showbox is a club I've been to many times and feel confident about getting there and back in one piece. The weather wasn't hideous. And, dammit, I wasn't going to waste another night because I couldn't find an appropriate show-going partner in time.

So I went all by my damn self. After a nice cup of coffee and dark chocolate bar elevated my spirits considerably.

And then the show was great. I grabbed a spot on the left edge of the stage, a fabulous view. Of, you know, Ben Gibbard's sweaty ass. And the whiteboy-nasty-dreadlocked (uuggghhh) bassist from Nada Surf. And the beautiful punkrock bassist from the Catch who caught my gaze a couple times and gave me a truly wonderful smile in return. That was nice. The whole band was rocking that ugly-on-purpose haircut style with short pleated skirts and vintage calf-high heeled boots. Fun stuff.

DCFC was excellent as usual. Damn, are they good. But I didn't avoid the people who knew all the words; there was one cute thing with deep brown eyes staring at Gibbard the whole time and mouthing the words to every song. Which I (meanly) thought was sort of amusing when he's singing "you are beautiful, but you don't mean a thing to me."

I had to take off before they had a chance to do an encore, though, because otherwise I would've missed the last bus home, and that would've sucked.

During this long but thoroughly entertaining show, I decided the best thing to do with respect to my anger towards Kevin would be to forgive him. And I suddenly felt so much better. What was wrong had little to do with something meriting much more than an apology and just...not continuing with the way things were, and it was making me so much more angry than I needed to be about it, so...forgiveness. And it was much better. I wanted to call him as soon as I left the show, but I knew he'd be asleep.


In Really Good But Scary news, I booked my tickets yesterday. I'm going to Southeast Asia this winter. I'll be in Tokyo (well, a Holiday Inn at the damn airport) for New Year's Eve, probably watching crazy Japanese TV and falling asleep. The next day, I'll be in Kuala Lumpur for a stay of about 8 days, hanging out with Meesh and Winnie and getting the lay of the land, before I fly to Bangkok and meet a tour that travels down the Malay Peninsula for two weeks, then fly home from Singapore.

Anyone have any tips? Requests for tchotchkes to bring home? Sweet luggage and other reusable supplies for traveling light you'll let me borrow? Leave a comment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Screaming Political Epithets

Here's where I start to have problems.

According to this, admittedly a biased source, a draft is in the works for 2005.

I told my mom. Her reaction: "" She grew up with Vietnam. Paul will turn 18 in '05. He'll be a senior in high school. He's college-bound for sure, but will that be enough?

My boss, who showed me that link in the first place, laughed. His generation slipped in just in time to miss the draft, ten years too late.

The topic was brought up because a friend of his is in the National Guard. His group got called up for duty in Iraq. He made it sound like their group was one of the last possible groups of any use, so a draft couldn't be far behind. Again, biased source, but scary nonetheless.

I started wondering about my male friends, what they'd do if their number was up. Some of them will probably be too old by then--if they start with the 20-year-olds in 2005, when most of my friends will already be solidly in their mid-20s, they will probably get out of it. But if not? Who runs? Who conscientiously objects (I think nearly all my friends object)? Who just goes?

And, of course, there are still those who joined up, to pay for college or whatever other reason, and are now in Iraq or thinking they will be soon. I know a few of those, at least peripherally. How can you tolerate being somewhere and doing something that is so blatantly based on lies and wrongs? It's impossible for me to conceptualize the cognitive dissonance that must go on at some level.


I've started seriously planning this whole Asian trip thing. I just have to decide, I guess, and give people a boatload of money.

What sounds to me like the best plan would be to hang out in Kuala Lumpur for a few days with the Meeshness and Winnie before she heads back to Buffalo, then catch up with a tour in Singapore that heads up the Malay peninsula and through some Thai beaches, ending in Bangkok. A sampler platter of Southeast Asian travel seems like the best idea for me right now, so next time--and there will be a next time, if all goes well--I have a better idea what I do and don't want to see.

My alternative is to go some other time altogether and hit up a five-day plan involving cooking classes in Chiang Mai, then spend time in KL independently of any tour. But that sounds less relaxing than I'd like for this trip.

Where is Japan in all of this? I would still like to go, but it sounds a little out of the way for this trip. So perhaps another time.

Looking at the tours, it would be super fun to do a food tour of...well, actually, anywhere, but especially Thailand, India, and Vietnam. Because yum. Maybe sometime my mom and I could do that. (C'mon, mom...India gourmet tour with a visit to the Taj Mahal? You know you want to.)

2004 is to be my year of international travel, I've decided. Besides this Asia trip, mom is planning to spend a chunk of the summer in Tuscany, so of course I have to go, too. And then I'll have to travel around to, say, Spain, maybe Greece. Maybe go visit Josie in Jordan if that's feasible. I'm trying to convince Kevin he should come to Europe for a bit, too--we could go to London and try to catch a show by some band that is finicky about playing the U.S. Or the Jerry Springer opera. Hee.

And through all of this, I feel sort of conflicted about the right to travel, what it all means, am I being irresponsible, etc. I don't really know. But that's kind of why I want to go: I want to see the world differently. You know, by actually seeing it.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Throwing Plates

It's confusing to want to kick in the teeth of someone you've technically wronged, rather than the other way around. Even if it feels like you're the one who got fucked. It's a sick mixture of anger and frustration and selfishness that makes one particularly ugly.

Check the time stamp: 9:22 on Monday, Nov. 17. I have tickets to see Built to Spill right about now, but I'm not there. Why? Let's recap.

Last night, Kevin came over less than an hour before my bedtime very depressed. He'd forgotten the paper he'd printed for me which was the reason for coming over at all. He'd earlier scoffed at me for saving the new Death Cab for Cutie CD I'd just bought to listen for the first time with him. I didn't *mean* anything by it; just we'd planned to drive to Olympia for some computer-fixing crap that night (which I was already unhappy about) and I thoyght I'd save it for that at first, but then he got up too late to do that, either... anyway. Kevin is seemingly depressed and back to his sleep-all-day schedule which is annoying to me and probably for him, too. He was don't know, not right-seeming that I told him if he didn't feel up to it, I could probably find someone else to go to the show with me.

That was foolishly charitable of me. I gave him an out. He took it, as of late this afternoon.

And so, mad as hell, I began trying to find someone else to go with.

Why couldn't I just go alone, you ask? Well, I could. But (1) I'd have to take the bus (2) to a neighborhood that kind of isn't so great in the first place and (3) a club I've never been to. (4) The bus routes drop off about half a mile from the club and (5) may or may not run reliably into the night, meaning (6) I probably wouldn't get home until late late late (7) chilly and wet from the nasty weather and still pissed about being alone. Yeah, it's excuse-ridden, but I think I'm allowed these excuses. They are still better than my excuse for not seeing REM/Wilco at Bumbershoot when one girl gave me a wristband but we couldn't get one for Kevin.

So anyway, I told Aron to get to Seattle by 9. Jokingly, of course; the guy's in Phoenix and not exactly in a position to charter a flight or whatever. I posted to TUS with my petty bitch about the situation. Of course none of my housemates could or wanted to go. I emailed Jesse, which I'm sure he didn't get in time and is probably busy anyway. Or doesn't like the band. I have no idea. I IM'ed my old friend Rachel, who's down at OSU in Corvallis, Ore., telling her she should drive up to Seattle and see Built to Spill with me tonight.

Forty-five minutes later, I got an "ok."

Incredulous, a bizarre conversation ensued in which she told me she was going to come up that night, what the hell! She wants to see me. She tells me to go to the show, leave a ticket at will-call for her, and she'll meet me there. I'm like, well, um, how about you call me around 9 and say where you are, and I'll decide if it's feasible for you to get here in time. She said okay and took off.

Amused by the whole thing, I decided to go to Trader Joe's with Stephanie and get junk food. She's all about the frozen key lime pie and black soft licorice. I got no-pudge brownie mix and cappuccino meringues, thinking these fat-free items may be Rachel-diet-approved. And I wanted sugar.

I heard from Rachel as the brownies came out of the oven around 9 p.m. She was in Vancouver. We decided that she wouldn't make it in until after midnight, and that was ridiculous. But she is thinking of coming up tomorrow instead, which would be cool.

The Rachel thing had temporarily alleviated my anger, but I had to call Kevin and tell him what was going on, just to make it come back.

He told me I'd promised not to nag.

Ohhhh, fuck.

Well, I'm still angry. I'm out $40 for tickets and fees--at least some of the money supposedly goes to help Dub Narcotic's medical bills after their bus accident last month. At least it's not a total loss, I guess. And I've missed being around my otherwise pleasant boyfriend, who seems to be having a hard time. I just have a hard time being nice, apparently. Sometimes I just want things to go my way so bad that I revert to being a bratty 2-year-old.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Focus Your Ears

I'm not sure if it's an actual physical problem or simply the phone/social phobia that causes this, but when I'm on the phone with someone, I can't hear well. This isn't as much of a problem with people like my mom, my boyfriend, etc., and I'm not sure if maybe it's because I can picture them saying things and know their voice much better than most people I talk to on the phone or something else.

Anyway, my brain sort of freezes up when I'm on the phone with people whom I need to deal with on a business level (interviewing, jobs, rentals) and I can't really process everything that's said to me. Like I can tell that something is being said, and I think maybe I get the gist of what's being said, but I don't really understand it. Some kind of selective auditory dyslexia?

Additionally, I forget what I wanted to ask or discuss. I just got a call from my soon-to-be landlord telling us the credit checks came through and we're set to move in (yay!). Then he was saying something about the other paperwork (the lease) and picking it up and did I have any questions about it. Well, yes, I do, specifically: Aren't you supposed to be present when we sign it? Because what he was saying didn't give me that impression, although it goes against every other lease I've signed. And don't we sign it just prior to moving in and pay all fees at that time as well? I mean, sure, it's a difference of about two weeks now, but still. That's over $1000 each. But the only question that came to mind was: "Um, yeah, about the pets section, Stephanie has a little frog in a terrarium and the lease is pretty complete about excluding everything and wanted to know if we could do something about that." To which he responded in the affirmative, I think. Something about writing a note in there about a frog in a terrarium is okay.

I vastly prefer e-mail for obvious reasons, not the least of which is I can clearly understand what the other person is fricking saying.

It's weird, though, because it feels like the auditory version of losing focus. When your eyes can't quite get anything in the fovea, nothing makes's all a blur. It's disorienting. I get the same thing with my hearing sometimes. I don't know what it means that I think of auditory distortions in terms of visual perception metaphors.

But yay, we have the house!

Friday, November 14, 2003

No, I Would Not Like Some Free Stuff

Two promo goons from The End accosted me this morning. I was trying to explain to the girl at Bulldog that I wanted to fill my travel mug with some of her coffee, and here is the money to prove it.

I could spot them before I even approached the store. I passed them on the sidewalk. The guy was wearing a black hoodie with the station logo on the back; the girl had a '28 Days Later' backpack. I stop, and suddenly they're on me like flies to shit. Flies with no apparent self-respect.

"Here you go!" they said cheerfully to my un-caffienated, non-showered self at 7 in the goddamn morning. (Who the fuck does promo goonership at 7 a.m.?!)

"Uh, no thanks."

"You don't want any free stuff? C'mon we're from The End; we're not weirdoes or anything."

I take issue with the last statement, but keep it to myself. "No, thanks."

"Not even a free CD?"

Yeah. Cos I love those promo sampler CDs with half a dozen snippets of songs by I'd never listen to, and not because I've never heard of them, but because they suck. From the radio station I figured out by the time I was 16 played only the most banal and popular modern rock songs. I mean, guys, I love rock, I love indie, and homogeneous, corporate giant rock stations don't exactly whet my whistle even when they do occasionally play something non-shitty. Millions of people can't be wrong all the time.

So here are these two alterna-fashionista promo goons for one of the most frustrating stations in town, covered in advertising and trying to give me free trash, making babble behind me about how they're not weird, geez, aww. Yeah. I'm pretty sure that's some psychological game promo goons play to make people take their stupid crap, and I'm not buying it.

Anyway, this coffee is some of the nappiest-tasting coffee I've enjoyed recently, which is an absolute first for Bulldog. It's also the first cup of coffee I've had in nearly a week.

Tonight we're hosting a slumber party. Girls only! Makeovers, pizza, chick flicks, and gossip are the apparent order of the day. I object to half the chick flicks I suspect will be proffered; I don't wear makeup, like, ever. It's kinda icky. But I'll go hang out, and I'll buy supplies to make french toast in the morning. Yummy.

And if the sewage--oh, yeah, we've got fucking sewage in the basement again--isn't cleaned up by the time I get home, my landlord is getting beaten with the hose.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

We're Moving

Chris finally checked out the house last night. He approved. The landlords are supposed to bring me a rental agreement form today so we can get started on the whole crazy renting process.

Here's the deal with the house: It's in Maple Leaf, near some good buslines, but rather far from campus and the only neighborhood I've ever loved. But it's not quite to Northgate, which is a neighborhood I definitely don't like (far know, mall-y with surrounding accoutrements. I don't like my dining choices within walking distance to include Olive Garden).

The landlords, at least so far, are very friendly, receptive, and seem overly willing to perform routine and necessary maintenance. They are new at this game, having only previously rented to friends, but are knowledgable in all things housey as (1) they are real estate agents and (2) used to live in this house prior to having it completely renovated.

Oh, and it's completely renovated.

It's a 1300-square-foot 1920s house with hardwood floors on the main level, new carpet in the basement, two full baths and three bedrooms. They have clearly put a lot of work into the place. It's very comfortable. While not huge, it seems to use its space well. The kitchen is full of all-new stuff, and despite being relatively small--but not the closet I had in my apartment with J.--it's well laid-out with plenty of storage.

When Steph and I saw this place, we were squeeing like mad: "There's a washer/dryer!" "The kitchen sink isn't surrounded by shitty counters and bad caulking!" "The water heats up right away!" "THERE'S HEAT IN THE BATHROOM!!"

The husband of the couple who owns it seemed amused by our squeeing and shared his own UW-slumlord experiences from back in the '80s. I think his stories beat ours, but still.

Anyway, I feel lucky we found this place first. It should be a welcome change of situation.

I think our current house is making us all sick, anyway. Seriously, the draft from the blatantly unsealed doorways and window shafts combined with whatever mold is growing in the walls and totally unhygienic basement has to be exacerbating whatever cold or flu is going around. Chris has fucking pneumonia. I felt like shit all Sunday and Monday. Sudafed has stopped working for me, which is fine, because now I can focus on the crappiness without medicine head. (My drug regimen now includes ibuprofen, honey lemon echinacea Ricola, saline nasal spray, and a ridiculous amount of green tea.)

Anyway, things to think about. I have little more to say here today.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

I Know Perfectly Well I'm Not Where I Should Be

We're all sick here.

Chris has bronchitis like crazy. Josie's got a sore throat and isn't too happy about it. Steph is a little overwhelmed with stress. And me, I'm just going crazy.

Well, that, and the stagnant air created by my stupid wall-unit electric heater made me very congested. That sucks.

I'm listening to the Beach Boys and loving it. Not "Surfin' USA," not that there's anything wrong with that, but I am listening to Pet Sounds. It's making me think. About things that are not the introduction to my paper on current treatment of tics in Tourette's syndrome.

I so don't care about school anymore. I just need to get through this quarter, find something productive to do with all of winter quarter, then take two more classes and be done already. That is seven stupid more months of blah before I can go be an overeducated, underpaid (or unemployed) stiff in the real world. Grad school? No, thanks. Even if I wanted to go spend another 3+ years in academia, I don't know what I'd want to study. It'll still be there 20 years from now, anyway.

(fast forward four hours)

Intro done. Sore throat and congestion slightly abated. Dishes done. Wearing an off-white thermal with a St. Maarten t-shirt on top--sort of a visual irony with the warm clothes and the sunny, tropical locale design. Have really nothing more to do today unless I decide to throw my computer out the window in favor of a laptop I can't afford. Hurray.

I need some plans. And money. But mostly plans.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Viva Las Vegas

But not for me.

Some friends from Phoenix are getting married in Vegas this weekend. I wasn't invited--and had no intention of crashing the party; I know these things are expensive and crowded and online friends are pretty low priority--but I did want to go and kick it with the friends who would be in town that I don't get to hang out with much. That sentence was overly complicated, but anyway. It costs too much to fly to Vegas, bussing takes too long, and Amtrak doesn't go from Seattle to Vegas, so I'm not going, and that makes me sad.

The world is a crappy but exciting place. The following are examples:

Bush signed the partial-birth abortion ban into law today. Hur-fucking-rah, asshole, for banning a procedure that doesn't technically exist. I'd say it's less about eroding our rights as women to do as we please with our bodies and more about just being completely idiotic. No one gets to her third trimester and thinks, "oh, shit! I don't want to be a mommy! Please let me have an abortion right now!" Well, she might think it in a moment of panic, but that's not what actually happens. There are extenuating circumtances for such a procedure (dilation and extraction) that go beyond a woman's right to choose. It's about saving lives, for real. Yeah, it sounds like a nasty process, not one anyone would want to go through, but it's something that happens out of necessity, not irresponsibility and immorality. But I'm fucking preaching to the choir here, right?

And, because I'm feeling ultra-pedantic today, I'd like to explain why I am pro-abortion. Again, it's not about a woman's right to choose, ultimately. It's because people are going to get abortions anyway, so they should be safe and legal. And to counter the argument that murders aren't legal: murderers don't typically die in the process of killing another human being. Or even really get hurt. Back alley, coat hanger abortions are excessively dangerous to the pregnant woman.

I don't care about the question of when life begins. It's not practical and it shouldn't be written into law. I will admit, however, that the world is overpopulated now to the point that maybe electing to decrease the number of people created isn't such a bad thing.

Whew. That went on a little too long. Does anyone want to hear me justify porn and legalized prostitution now? I didn't think so.

OK, so the other thing that was more on the positive side of sad/exciting was a foreign correspondent who's worked for CNN, NPR, and the Associated Press, among other organizations, talked to my journalism ethics class this morning about his experiences in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11, going to Chechnya, and covering the Moscow theater hostage crisis. It was a fascinating talk, even for one who has no interest in doing what he does. I had lots of questions, but I couldn't quite ask them. But it was a good listen.

In my own effort to go out and see how sad and exciting the world is, I finally turned in my passport application. My crumbling 1988-issued birth certificate received a staple and was put in an envelope with two 2x2 Polaroids of my head, a laser printed form, the clerk's stamped approval, and a check for $55.00 made out to the US Department of State. I think the form contains about three different mailing addresses--the one on my check and driver's license (old Olympia house), the one where I actually receive mail, and my mom's current address.

My plans are getting varied--I need to go talk to someone at STA Travel about my options at this point. I'm not sure the beginning of January is going to be the best time for me to go, so I'm looking into tour packages for Southeast Asia (downside: being an obvious tourista; upside: not being alone) and hoping to swing by KL and visit the Meesh anyway. She's promised to feed me, and I can't miss that shit. I want the cravings.

Chris has some crazy upper respiratory infection and has been coughing nonstop for the past several weeks. He finally went to the doctor yesterday and got a bunch of crazy meds. They like to give him codeine. All this meant I worked 7:30 to 9 a.m. today since his absence was such late notice. It all works out, but Chris is still sick, and that sucks for him. Hack, hack, hack. It's pretty bad.

It's freezing cold still. The first Sloan album sounds very shoegazey--some of the songs strongly recall My Bloody Valentine. This rocks because I love both Sloan and My Bloody Valentine. Right now I want all the money in the world to buy indie rock records. I've had Stereo Total's "C'est la Mort" stuck in my head since yesterday and it's about to drive me insane. I want the new Decemberists album and I want to steal Kevin's copy of their first. He doesn't like it anyway. He also says that song is annoying. He also bought Elliott Smith's last 7" and only wants to play it once.

I have to pee. Bye.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Best weird question of the day: An elderly man whose wife is in the hospital for dental work asked for the definition of this word. He'd written it in all-capitals, red ballpoint pen, on the top wide line of an index card.

We consulted the says with greater brevity than those Brits that it means "a person who is broad and liberal in standards of religious belief and conduct"--and printed out a sheet of paper in 16-point type with the definitions. He said he couldn't work a computer.

It was, perhaps, sort of a "Harvey Pekar experience."

My Halloween weekend was uneventful. I may be one of the laziest asses in the world, but I managed to both bleach-mop the shitty basement and help clean Kevin's house. That was a blast. Oh, wait, no, it wasn't, but it is kind of nice to not step in shit when I venture downstairs to get something or have it smell awful everywhere. I mean, really, I shouldn't have had to do that--but the landlord is a useless prick. We'd be waiting forever for him to clean the fucking thing, so I cleaned it enough and we're fucking moving.

Speaking of which, pickings are slim. There are a few ads we should reply to for places that might be nice. This sucks immensely.

Halloween I went to see the matinee of Bubba Ho-Tep with Kevin. He said we should sneak in candy, a first for him. I had chocolate and he had jelly beans. The movie was amusing, definitely, and good Halloween fare. We had some kind of dinner I made up in a pinch and wasn't too excited about, then rented movies. I was exhausted and falling asleep by 10 p.m., watching Jerry Seinfeld's I'm Telling You For The Last Time.

Saturday was sort of our anniversary. I'm not one to count these things, but he moved here on Nov. 1 last year, so I'd say that's the definitive, official beginning of the relationship. Of course there were precursors, but the whole moving-from-California-to-Seattle thing made it stick. It ceased to be crush-from-afar territory. I could go sleep at his house and take the bus home. Anyway, we got together for a late Indian buffet lunch, and later went to see Beulah at Graceland.

I didn't care for the club. The tickets said 8 p.m.--a reasonable assumption is 8 is doors, show at 9. We weren't especially keen to see the first act, Jen Wood, so we made it there closer to 10. Which happened to be just when Jen Wood was starting. Beulah was scheduled to go on at 11:45. Now, I normally go to bed around 11. I woke up at 6:30 that morning, for no reason. 11:45? Is late. Anyway, we enjoyed the show up until probably halfway through Beulah's set, at which point I was so completely exhausted I couldn't stand anymore, so we left.

That night, I stayed at Kevin's so I could be a nag of action in the morning and try to help him clean. (His house is, seriously, so unkempt that I don't like to go there. Usually messiness does not deter me to such an extreme, and I feel bad for being naggy, but seriously, it's bad.) I woke up much earlier than him, however, and hung out at the coffee shop at the end of the block for a bit, then came back and spent 20 minutes convincing him to let me clean his bathroom. He was troubled because he should clean it, which he should, but he hasn't, and I'm offering, so let me. How fucked up is it that I had to argue with my boyfriend to clean his fucking bathroom? I'm guessing very. So I cleaned the bathroom a bunch, then started to go around and pick up obvious trash and sort recycling, which was found in piles all over the house.

I spent a good three solid hours cleaning before I was exhausted and it was clear there was little else I could effectively do. He was helping at this point, too. I walked to Taco del Mar and got us vegan burritos. After we ate, he took me home.

My housemates and I have been playing a fun game of Let's Buy Bags of Fun Size Halloween Candy Bars To Share. Josie first bought Three Musketeers, most of which found themselves in Chris's mouth. Chris then bought Almond Joys--split between himself and Lauren--and Nutrageous, which I consumed in mass quantities. Sunday I decided to share Peanut Butter Cups with the house, so I headed out to Safeway for some post-Halloween discounts.

At Safeway, my time for Encounter with a Dweeb had arrived.

I grabbed the PBCs, a half-gallon of Dreyer's Light that was on sale for $3 and has the additional benefit of being delicious, and a loaf of Essential Bakery Rosemary Diamante and got in the slowest line in the world. The guy in front of me commented, "Good thing we're in the Express Lane, huh?" I responded in the affirmative. After an awkward pause, the weird thing began.

The guy did that thing where you scope out the contents of the other person's basket. I mean, most people do this on a regular basis, but surreptitiously and without the intent of using information from said scopage to make conversation. This guy did it to make conversation. He did it to hit on me like a big dweeb.

"Chocolate fudge, huh?" he asked, referring to my ice cream.

Oh, shit. I did my best to avoid eye contact. "Uh, yeah, it's pretty good for being light."

"Oh, it's light, huh?" he replied.

I let the conversation fade into oblivion for a moment. Then I got stupid.

"I don't know why I even come here. It's always like this."

"Maybe it's for the people you meet," he said. Oh, like that wasn't fucking pointed or anything.

I tried to diffuse the situation by bringing up crazy people. "I don't know, a lot of crazy people are around here. My housemate always runs into them. He has the best crazy people stories."

"Maybe you should make some up," he suggested.

"Uh, no. One time a lady tried to hit him with a pay phone. Not at the pay phone, with the pay phone. I can't beat that."

"Oh, ha ha," he said.

The line moved forward. People used the space between us to move carts, for which I was grateful. Then it was his turn.

After he paid, he waited at the end of the checker stand and rifled through his bags. I hate it when people hover there. Even worse is when they hover in front of the card reader so you can't do your business, so at least he wasn't doing that. I punched in my number and slid my card, not looking to my right at all.

Then the man wants cigarettes.

I should point out that I'm a little paranoid he was in part attracted to me because I smelled like cigarettes at the time. I was wearing a jacket and scarf that had accompanied me to Graceland, where they soaked up all kinds of second-hand smoke. (Side rant: You can talk about smokers' rights all you want, and I think you have a point, but at the same time, I know a lot of nonsmokers who don't like going out to things like shows--so not like a bar where you can "choose" a non-smoky one or whatever--partially because their clothes will fucking reek afterwards.) So I'm afraid he wants to make conversation with me over his damn cigarettes.

And the checker goes to get him a pack while I'm waiting for him to press a fucking button to complete my transaction. I could have smacked the idiot.

Anyway, after that, I high-tailed it out of there.

Join us next time, for more tales of woe and bitchy Whole Foods sales clerks!

Friday, October 31, 2003

Getting Drunk in my Dreams

My unconscious mind has worse habits than I do. Tries to make up for all the stuff I won't touch. I've had dreams about smoking since I was young. Last night, I had a dream that I drank an entire bottle of sweet blush wine and started staggering around, hoping no one would notice my drunkenness.

(For the record, I've only been noticably intoxicated once. When I do consume alcohol, it's one serving, maybe once every two months at the most. And I don't really like it. And I never smoke. Drugs? Uh, no. I am a goody two shoes.)

I woke up with an entire leg number than anything. It happens sometimes when I sleep on my side.

It's so cold today. I had to walk by Bartell's with its temperature-displaying sign just to see how cold: 33' F. Just above freezing. Sheeeit. No wonder I was still cold under two thick layers of blanket.

Anyway, everyone is feeling stressed these days. We had the big house meeting last night after Gilmore Girls and talked about moving. Josie was upset because moving now screws her up a bit--she was planning to be out by the end of January, so now she'll be stuck couchsurfing for a couple weeks if she still wants to work. Moving at the end of November is a big bitch to everyone because of the holidays and finals, but staying more than a month is potentially hazardous to our health, among other things, so our solution is to let the lease lapse and give notice in December. We'll find a place and move between finals and Christmas and/or Christmas and New Year's.

And we are confident we'll find an ideal place. Yep.

If anyone knows of a three-bedroom dwelling in one of the neighborhoods directly to the west and north of the University district--south of 85th, say, and east of Phinney--with free off-street parking that would be about $1500 a month or less and available in mid-December, let me know. That doesn't seem like too much to ask, does it?

Ideally, it'll be spacious, well-maintained, and not owned by a useless prick. But that may be asking too much.

So now that we're only casually on the hunt, here's to doing schoolwork. Ta.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

World Blows Up Around You

My life could be a lot worse. I could live in a war zone. I could be in the military. I could be experiencing another bout of depression. I could be sick. The rest of my family could be dying. My house could be burning down.

That doesn't stop me from complaining about all the shit that's going down right now.

At the crux of my complaints is that there is a growing puddle of sewage in my basement and the landlord wants to raise the rent by $130 after our lease is up in a month.

Considering the egregious lack of proper maintenance of the property, my housemates and I are crying foul. We don't think a house with sewage in the basement, quickly encroaching on expensive and heavy electronics among other things, is worth the $130 extra in rent. His letter claims expenses have increased, thus the need for higher rent. Bullshit. He doesn't pay any of the utilities for this house, and I am pretty confident property taxes haven't gone up. His previous "maintenance" has been sending a non-English-speaking guy out to "fix" the leaking shower, which was not, in fact, fixed; replacing the broken ceiling fan in Chris's bedroom with an inexpensive light fixture; and giving us a smelly, tiny, 30-year-old fridge to replace the one that died and ruined all of our frozen food. The fuses have blown from that fridge. He's been a useless prick of a landlord, not to mention sexist, only dealing with my male housemate directly, despite two females (myself included) being on the lease.

I love this house. The location is primo--close to everything I love, even though it's ghetto as hell and surrounded by noise, I'd prefer it to frat row--the space is magnificent, the parking is free, the rent was exceedingly reasonable. It's not perfect, but it is nice. Except for those pesky little things mentioned above, which are intolerable. The sewage is the anvil that broke the camel's back.

So we're planning to move.

Maybe if the sewage gets taken care of quickly and we can make an agreement that maintenance conditions improve dramatically, the $130 will be worth it and we'll stay. I'm thinking not, though.

Obviously, this leads to a whole new set of complications. Where to move, when, how to deal with Josie who's leaving at the end of January, not to mention her cat... Moving sucks, it does. But so does a clusterfuck of disgusting house problems.

What else is going on? I don't know. I have a cold and I'm on store brand sudafed, which always makes me spacy as fuck. I slept at Kevin's so I could, you know, shower and use the bathroom--being on the rag sort of necessitates these things--and I grabbed food and coffee at Ballard Market on my way to the bus to work. The coffee spilled all over the place and got cold from sitting around forever. The bus stopped at every stop. The cup I brought for Chris was unpleasant, and of the three sugar packets I brought him, one wasn't sealed properly and spilled all over my grocery bag.

I'm here at work until 4:30, too brain dead to do anything really productive and hogging the only functioning workstation. The printers are being wonky and people keep having retarded and overlong issues that make me want to fall on a sword.

Everyone else has midterms this week and is freaking out over that. The University Neighborhood Service Center, my closest passport application site, is closed until further notice due to flooding, so I need to haul ass to Ballard during appropriate hours. Tomorrow is Halloween and my costume will be Dirty Insomniac. It won't require me to dress up at all and will probably scare patrons and small children alike.

And I need to find a new place to live and move over Thanksgiving weekend, it looks like.


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Fighting Invisible Monsters

I have bug bites in the most random locations. I don't even know where the bugs came from. Some people wake up to the sound of mosquitoes buzzing in their ears--not I. If they're around, I don't see or hear them. The only bugs I see are the fruit flies that were thriving on an empty carton of Thai leftovers buried deep in my trash bin until I took it out this week.

(If most of your trash is kleenex, you can crush it down almost indefinitely. Tip of the week.)

Anyway, I've had bug bites/pimples/god knows what on my knuckle, elbow, mid-back along the spine, and cheek. The one on my cheek was particularly odd, as it hadn't swelled or begun to itch when I found it.

Why am I writing about minor bug bites? I had a topic, for reals. It's just escaping me now.

In ethics yesterday, the grader, in our prof's absence, lead a discussion about coverage of Columbine and similar trauma situations. (Isn't it strange how readily we interchange "trauma" and "tragedy?" The words have different meanings, but you wouldn't know that to look at most headlines. Something traumatic occurred. Let's jazz it up and call it a tragedy because we have pictures of people in tears. So much for objective journalism.) I found it a little difficult to say my piece when the woman was quite clearly moved to emotion about the subject--I'm simply not.

I mean, I can see why people covering it day in and day out would be moved. I can see how it's moving. It's fucking scary and terrible and having to look at images of kids being pulled out of windows and diving under desks for weeks at a time, having your car surrounded by angry citizens, constantly being pressured to harass those who lost someone? Yeah, that's crappy. And it's worth discussing.

But at the same time, what the fuck!

The vocal qualities of some of my classmates makes me not want to say anything at all. Theirs is the voice of self-important authority. It's my biased perception, sure, but it doesn't make me want to say what I'm thinking: "I don't need fucking Katie Couric to come to my hometown when it's insane and tell me and all of America how terrible it is. I don't need it glossed over with fanfare, pomp and circumstance, on the evening news. I don't need to answer the call when a big name wants a quote." I totally felt for the local journalists; they were getting fucked. And I can't say that. It's hard for me to formulate these thoughts on the fly and verbally.

Why is it, self-important authoritative voice, that it was wrong for the students, parents, and faculty to want to control the message? How is it blocking news or making people forget if they don't show images and name names of the perpetrators on the one-year anniversary? Why can't it for once be the news to present the story as "these people were traumatized" and not "those fuck-ups did the traumatizing"?

I wish my prof had been there for the discussion. He's the same prof I had for Advanced Newswriting, and trauma reporting is his thing. Our trauma unit was, to some extent, his pet project. It was strongly emphasized that to be more responsible reporters, we should give less power to the perpetrators of trauma and more to the victims. It's a complicated issue, but one I would have liked to have my prof to direct a little.

Maybe I'm a little too interested in compassion to be a hardcore reporter. That's never been my intent, anyway. Compassion, to me, is not just crying when something is difficult. Objectivity is useless. If the "truth" the people want to hear is a rehash of terrible events and not the harsh reality of the present, fuck them.

Of course, I speak with a voice of no authority. Just an opinion and, apparently, a differing set of ethics to most of my classmates.

Truth be told, I don't remember any of the trauma coverage of Columbine. I refused to watch more than five minutes of 9/11 on CNN. I wanted everyone to stick a sock in it with the OJ Simpson case. It's not that I don't care about these things--well, I didn't give two shits about the Simpson case--I just don't feel the need to reexamine them for months on end. There is so much happening in the world that it seems disastrously short-sighted to have so much attention called toward just one thing. It becomes a collection of images and sound bites--low signal-to-noise--a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

We ask for meaning, but we just want a message.

And why am I majoring in journalism, anyway, if I don't want to be a journalist?

Good question.

I quit Children's. After one week. I don't know why, exactly, I just decided it was not a place for me to be. I have no desire to go into clinical work, and moreover, I have no desire to take the bus to Sand Point every Tuesday. Lazy? Yes.

I need to find a real internship; I need to get a passport; I need to make plans. I need to get organized; I need to start cooking again. But I do have tickets to see Built to Spill on the 17th and Death Cab for Cutie on the 21st of November; Kevin has tickets to see Beulah on Saturday. A month with at least three concerts can't be all wasted.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

The world is a crazy place. We had so much rain here in Seattle on Monday that no one, and I mean no one, got out without everything they carried being completely drenched. Things are still damp today. My boots have a spot of mold growing on the tongue, and the leather has tightened so I must break them in again. My gum, sitting in my purse, which was sitting in my backpack, got damp and the pieces stuck together and to the side of the box. Everyone's textbooks and notes have serious water damage. It's quite impressive.

Of all the shows in the past...month, I think, that I wanted to attend, I've gone to one. And I left early because I was tired. This is a sad state of affairs. I haven't been insanely depressed about it, though. Don't know why.

I've been busy. I feel like I don't have much free time, then I end up with plenty. My housemates would like to crucify me for lack of prompt dish-doing, although I don't neglect the kitchen entirely. Not at all. I'm just pushed into the corner on this matter because one must make allowances for living with other people, y'know. A 24-hour rule has been instituted, with leaving dirty dishes in your room as a loophole. Which I suppose is fair, I just don't like it. I don't know why, but having rules like that bothers me. For some reason, the institution comes off as my housemates telling me I don't do my share and they all do everything, which isn't the case--the insinuation or the actuality. People just...tend to think that when they do something, they are the only ones doing it.

Anyway, just a bad taste in my mouth.

People are getting on my nerves in lots of little, subtle ways. Nobody's perfect.

I haven't updated in ages. On my last movie-renting jaunt, I had Dead Man saved for last. I loved it. Particularly the scene where the two sheriff dudes are wandering around and see Johnny Depp wandering around and one of them points a pistol at him and yells, "Hey, aren't you William Blake?" Johnny Depp calmly steps forward and responds, "I am. Do you know my poetry?" and shoots the guy in the head.

In my journalism ethics class, we watched a screener copy of Shattered Glass the distribution company sent to my prof. It was pretty good. My prof hoped it would spawn discussion, which it has, so I guess it served its purpose. I don't think I would've paid to see it in the theater, but it's a decent flick.

Now I want to see The Station Agent.

I started volunteering in the psych ward at Children's Hospital this week. I observe for two hours a week and am supposed to learn something about charting and the presentation of various mental disorders. This week, I observed the older kids, most of whom were girls with eating disorders. It was pretty interesting.

On Monday night, the fuse controlling the circuit that supplies power to half the house blew when a super-duper space heater got plugged in and the compressor on the evil, shitty old-new fridge kicked on at the same time. I didn't sleep well since I was awakened at midnight so I could find an alternate alarm (yay for cell phones) to get up at 6 for work. I didn't take a shower because I wasn't sure if there was, in fact, hot water, and it was too dark to see anything. I used my lighter--devoid of adequate lighter fluid, so I was going by sparks here--to make sure my clothes were the correct color coordinations. The only reason I wasn't in the bitchiest mood ever was Kevin stayed over and drove me to work, stopping to let me get coffee and a muffin on the way.

I don't really have anything to talk about. The biggest dork of a lab user is here now and I hope above hopes that he doesn't ask me anything. About a week ago, Chris and I encountered this, our favorite lab patron, requesting our boss's business card. Our favorite lab patron is prone to asking endless stupid questions with an annoying tone of voice; I've taken to being curt and playing dumb with him. That's old news.

Anyway, on this particular day, Chris and I decided to play dumb about whether or not the boss had cards (he does). Chris went into his office to ask if he had any business cards, trying to subtly imply that boss's answer should be, "Gosh, no, haven't got any of those!" loud enough for annoying lab user to hear.

But boss didn't get the message and said sure, they're right there in front of you, Chris! And of course lab user can hear this. Chris gave lab user a card, but as soon as he walked away, we went into boss's office and told him: "Headphones guy wanted your card! We were trying to give you an out!" Boss laughed and said he hadn't gotten that message, and at least the card didn't have his home phone number. Sheesh.

Now I'm starving and it's probably another half hour before any coworkers arrive. Meh. Oh well. My brother should come online and talk to me.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Fashion Disaster

Some things I'll never understand. Like wearing "comfy" sporting outfits to school. I think I'd freeze, for one, if I wore sweatpants (with my sorority's greek letters spread across the ass) with flip-flops in October. And matching velour pantsuits. They look flimsy, too tight, and like clothing old ladies would wear.

But then, I am the one who wears whatever crap sort of matches as long as it kind of fits after hating on shopping so hard that it takes me two years to decide I even want anything I'd actually wear. Furreals, but I've got new wool boot socks that go up almost to my knees. They kinda kick ass.

But velour pantsuits. I don't understand. And then with the damn cargos again. Cargos look oogly-boogly on normal pants; they look ten times clunkier in purple velour.

My stereo's treble knob was just turned all the way up. It almost sounded better that way, just awfully sharp. I love this album, though. Track Star's Lion Destroyed the Whole World. It's fucking breakup emo indie rock, but it transcends somehow. Also, they need to come play in Seattle so I can be in the front row when they play something offa' Communication Breaks and I rock the fuck out.

Maybe it's the kind of thing where I just feel so blah that I gotta hear someone else feel fucking sad as hell so I stop feeling so blah. If that makes any sense.

Why don't I know how to rock?

Anyway. I was going to go see Quasi last Friday night, but during dinner at Tandoor, my stomach decided to hate me so intensely that I wanted nothing more than to go home and sleep (after, erm, making my GI tract empty of unpleasantness). So we skipped it. Which was okay since we didn't have tickets. If we'd had tickets, I think I would've made the effort. For as often as I've mocked Kevin for missing shows he actually held tickets to--expensive ones, even--I can't do the same thing.

I need to get tickets to some shows. Particularly Death Cab for Cutie (the 21+ show, rar! no children singing along!) and Guided by Voices. Maybe others. So confusing.

And I'm still in the research process for Asiatrip. Meeshy, we gotta talk. I am talking to Winnie right now. Planning is wild. I just hope I don't do something stupid and call the whole thing off because it is so much money and work. Speaking of money, I should start saving some. Heh.

Oh, so what I did actually do this weekend was watch a buttload of movies. Chris and I went to see Kill Bill Vol. 1 Friday afternoon, which was fucking cool. I felt a little uncomfortable with myself for finding the nonstop and excessive violence so entertaining--usually not my bag--but it was so... fun. And interesting, actually. Not the plot, I mean, but various elements were intriguing to me. But this is definitely a movie that's dividing people. And not just Uma Thurman with her katana, haw haw!


I rented Hell House, a documentary about the first church to put together one of those "scare you straight to Jesus" fucked up haunted houses. It's an Assembly of God church in Texas. It was a well-made docu, I thought--fairly objective, considering the tendency to go all liberal on such a subject--though the people were insane to my point of view. I also got Devil's Playground, about rumspringa, the time when Amish kids get to go "english" and decide if they want to be Amish. The film wasn't quite as compelling, though the subject matter is interesting. Chris rented another docu, The Kid Stays in the Picture, about Bob Evans, a former bigwig at Paramount responsible for making them one of the top movie studios in the '70s. That film was a slick as hell and pretty interesting.

Yesterday, Josie got me into Intolerable Cruelty, the new Coen Brothers film. Suffice it to say I was underwhelmed. There was little about it that felt like a Coen Bros. picture, and that was sad. It wasn't bad, not at all, it just... could have been more. I don't know.

I need to buy some books and think about traveling. Hurrah.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

For Once, Something Doesn't Fail Me

School of Rock was very entertaining. In the Sister Act vein, which, admittedly, I loved and owned on VHS when I was younger, but entertaining as hell.

Sex Mob was good, too, although I left after their first set because it was 10:30 and I am an old lady who goes to bed at 11 now. Boo-hoo. Among other things, the quartet performed a jazzy jam on Abba's "Fernando." And "The Blue Danube Waltz," which is probably one of my favorite orchestral pieces--perhaps less because of the music itself and more because of certain memories attached to it, like riding around the Yelm Highway Safeway parking lot in my '99 Honda Civic EX with my little brother, windows rolled down and that song blaring, or the beginning of 2001.

Anywhoo. The real unfailing thing that happened today was I walked into Communication Advising and asked about journalism skills electives slated to be offered this spring. She told me copyediting and digital journalism both should be, and since those are the two I want above all others, I'm ditching winter quarter and doing something exciting.


Something...very expensive and exhausting.

I'm gonna travel. I hope.

I'm looking into going to Malaysia (hi, Meesh!), Japan (particularly Osaka, where Koko lives), and possibly Thailand. That hardly exhausts me list of places I want to go in Asia, but they are places I can potentially plan to go where people I know will be, and therefore more "safe" for me to travel since I won't have a traveling companion, unfortunately. Unless someone reads this and is in a position to offer themselves up.

I've got a lot of research to do still on the subject, and my trip should only be about three weeks in the first part of January, so I'll have to find other things to fill my time in February and March. I'll probably try to get an internship or something of that nature.

My constraints are many. I want to be back before Josie moves out because we'll need to have a big goodbye fiesta. She's headed to Jordan on Feb. 6 and moving out before the end of January. I'll have to help my roommates find a new roommate (unless Aron comes through on his hope/plan to move to Seattle and take the room, but I can't count on that). I probably won't leave until after New Years Day because the fares I'm looking at are wildly less expensive if I travel between Jan. 1 and the end of March. Before that, I'm hoping to be in the Bay area for holidays, either with my family or Kevin's. Anyway, it's all pretty up in the air at this point.

Boo just broke into my room. Crazy cat. She feels it's necessary to put her scent (and shed fur) on all my stuff. Because I must really enjoy cat allergies while I sleep, you know? Hee.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

P-A-R-T -- Why? Because I Gotta!

Yes, I laughed at that movie. But I haven't seen it since I was about 13.

It seems sad to me that 15 rambunctious friends can show up at a party where alcohol and food are plentiful, but only three people dance for more than an awkward minute.

People arrived slowly. People have lives. Over the course of the evening, however, Jen and her roommate Cora, Christine, Jesse, Lindsay, Graylan, two of Stephanie's friends, Kevin, Lauren, Jana, Shane, Julie and Ross all graced us with their presence. Additionally, everyone brought things.

Jen and Cora brought delicious frozen desserts from Trader Joe's: A chocolate torte and a chocolate-orange torte. Fuck yeah.

Christine and Lindsay were responsible for crepes. They brought it all. They are awesome.

Jesse brought bread and cheese. Baguettes, brie, and smoked gouda, to be exact. Yum!

Graylan I think may have pitched in for a can of whipped cream later in the evening, or at least accompanied Lindsay to Safeway to buy them.

Jana and Shane brought themselves, which is enough for anyone.

Stephanie's friends, I think, brought her a much-needed respite from hectic strangers.

Lauren brought a cornbread mix to make vegan crepes (which she later described as being like Russia for its tendency to break off at the edges into little -stans and because "the sun never sets on my crepes") and pumpkin butter. She briefly danced during "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)."

Kevin brought me a video with a Wilco and Sonic Youth concert that my VCR didn't tape right.

Ross and Julie brought Munchies (suspiciously like Chex Mix), an Aqua Tour Diary video, and records that Julie's mom wanted to throw out. AWESOME. I think I might get to play with them today. There is a box of "gold" vinyl (really a transparent yellow) containing stuff like the best of Lawrence Welk's rhythm section. I could really throw a kickin' party at the retirement home.

Speaking of which, there is a rummage sale at a senior center a few blocks from here today. Their flyer says nothing of records, but what rummage sale is complete without them?

Chris was in charge of drinks. He went crazy and bought a ton of ice, lined boxes with trash bags--we have no coolers--and stuffed them full of hard cider, good beer (so I'm told), and the one bottle of Bud Ice that Will Never Die.

And I...I made the veggie plates and hummus and dumped a bag of pita chips in a bowl. The veggies and chips mosty disappeared, and half my hummus is gone. Success!

Later I will post pictures of Josie's hand on Christine's boob. Maybe.

Smoothie season is officially over. The farmers' market no longer has peaches for sale. Sob! I am very attached to my peach-pineapple smoothies. I won't buy peaches from Safeway because their vegetable selection is crap, especially the joke of an organic section. It's probably for the best--an icy drink just before heading out into an autumn morning chill shouldn't be relished.

Here's hoping I actually get to go see the Mountain Goats tonight. I need a show.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Hello, Hi

School's started, and that's exciting as usual. I've been to exactly three class sessions so far. Yesterday's psych class was cancelled and tomorrow's has yet to be. I'm working 18.5 hours a week. I taped Gilmore Girls with an iron fist on the pause button. I'm prepared to make hummus and a plate of veggies for our potluck tomorrow. I have a birthday present for one of my best friends. She'll be 22 on Sunday.

It's not quite 8 a.m., and I've been awake for over an hour. I don't have anywhere to be until 10.

Tonight is the Gilmore Girls Social Club night (my own recent dubbing; more often it's just referred to as "GG"), relocated from the old Harem apartment to my house (the New Harem). People will be dropping by starting around 5. Some just want to hang out, some actually have a television-watching agenda. Chris has a new TV, or will by tonight. GG certainly merits the dethroning of the oppressive 13-inch majority, right?

I have some confessions to make: I didn't go see Pleaseeasaur. Or the Long Winters. Or the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players or Damien Rice. I was this close to seeing the Trachtenburgs, but we decided there were, hmm... more amusing things to do with our time. And the Trachtenburgs are, honestly, pretty amusing.

I have to convince someone to see the Mountain Goats on Saturday or that, too, will fall by the wayside. Incidentally, people are welcome to come to the potluck on Friday night. If you know me, of course. And you want to bring some food. We should have crepes. It takes a lot to eat a giant stack of crepes, you know.

Next week, however, are two shows I'm half-certain I will go to because Kevin likes the bands: Sex Mob and Quasi. I have never heard Sex Mob, but I am sure they're good, because they call themselves Sex Mob.

I need to do something good for myself, like take yoga again. And go to more shows that make my clothes smell smoky, my feet hurt, my ears feel plugged up, and my heart happy.

Yesterday I consumed no caffiene. Well, okay, I had a cup of green tea in the evening, but I don't think that's as bad as my usual big mug o' coffee. And the day before, we went to A Taste of India on Roosevelt where I had copious refills of sweet, delicious chai in addition to the daily dose of coffee. Anyway, yesterday I was tired and headachey all day. It could have been the need for speed. It could have been the onset of a cold. It could have been because my body is dumb.

Speaking of copious chai refills, I think we've now tried all the Indian restaurants in the University District, at least the ones with coupons. A Taste of India was pretty all right; we decided it was in the top three. It had the same stuff as the revered Cedar's, but the service isn't as oppressive. I don't like feeling doted on to the point of being watched. Tandoor is one of our favorites for its decent portions and non-presumptuous atmosphere. Rounding out the top three is Spice Rack, which always feels dimly lit and moody, but not quite stuffy, even on a summer afternoon. I've had two excellent meals there, though they are a tad more expensive than the other restaurants. I've heard we should try the lunch buffet at Himalayan Sherpa and Neelam's, but Kevin is seldom awake at lunch time.

And classes. Yay fun. They might be tolerable. I'm only taking two. My journalism ethics class is taught by the same prof I took for advanced news reporting, whom I liked. I think he'll be pretty good here, too. Infinitely better than the blowhard I had for That Crappy Class I Took Last Winter who also teaches the class.

My psych class is on child and adolescent behavioral disorders (i.e., developmental x abnormal psych) and we're covering ADHD, autism, etc. There's a volunteer opportunity tied to the class, only a few hours a week at Children's, that I've asked to join. I need something else to do besides class and work, and I think this will make the psych class more relevant to me, which is good since I tend to get really bored of my psych classes. At least this isn't all theory, which is probably why I dropped the other two 400-levels.

I need to go talk to the advisers in Communication about skills electives being offered winter and spring quarters. It doesn't look like they're offering the ones I want this winter, so I need to find out if they will in the spring. Then I need to make a decision: find something better to do with myself winter quarter and take the classes in the spring, or stick with what I've got in winter and just graduate already.

I could've been done at the end of this quarter had I been on the ball about getting an add code for classes last spring. I didn't know I needed them. Dammit.