Monday, June 30, 2003

Zombie-induced Insomnia

At 7:48, I left the theater with my tail between my legs. Somehow, 28 Days Later was more horror than I'd bargained for.

I wasn't sure what it was that made my heart pump and my hands shake so much. I haven't had that sort of movie experience since... well, ever. It's just a movie, right?

I got home and spilled my panicked guts out to Margaret, who was suddenly happy she didn't join us.

My first reaction (to the whole half-hour of film I was actually present for, regardless of my attention paid to the screen itself) was that the plot combined a few things that scare me on different levels--zombies on a gut level; the apocalypse on a more cerebral one--sans the campiness or sense of removal that allow me to enjoy other horror films. The hugeness of its scope filled me with dread--the whole world is plagued with this zombie infection, or at least all of frickin' London. The fifteen minutes with slowly building tense music where the main character wanders around looking for someone, anyone, make this eerie emptiness seem gigantic, and knowing it's a goddamn zombie movie makes it all the worse. Moreover, it was filmed with total realism--like a documentary or news piece--without flashy whiz-bang eye candy or horror movie cliche camerawork.

Later, Chris came home and wanted to talk about it. He spoiled the rest of it for me--not that I'm likely to try to see it again anytime soon--and I got somewhat panicked all over again. He said it freaked him out, too, for the reasons I suspected before. But I was still troubled that I found it so unsettling.

I used to watch horror movies with glee. The only one that ever honestly scared me for its content was The Shining, which still played by my rules of being removed from my reality somehow. It was limited in scope. Though Chris said this movie later narrowed its focus (and away from the zombies, which is nice), the hugeness was still there. In The Shining, all they had to do was escape and everything would be okay (well, save the severe emotional scarring of having your husband/father go psychotic and try to murder you).

In this, right from the start, I could see the potentially endless and senseless killing with no real escape. It just didn't look like things could get any better, and I just didn't want to watch.

So I left.

I don't mean to go all CAPpy on y'all and analyze movies that I walked out on, but seriously. I got less than an hour of sleep last night, and I place the blame squarely on this movie.

Every time I was about to fall asleep, I remembered zombies. Or something else terrible. And I couldn't push past it. I couldn't force myself into restless sleep. And I tried to figure out why.

The best I could come up with was that difference in levels of scaring. When I tried to get around my fear of the zombies by tricking my limbic system with higher-level reasoning, bam! I came back to the scary apocalypse stuff. And vice versa.

So, Danny Boyle, you made a really great, scary-as-hell movie. Congratulations. I hate you.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

How I Killed My Saturday

I have been relaxing to the maxing over my first regular three-day weekend. On Friday, I didn't get my ass into the shower until around noon. Then there was the fun of parks and sunsets and dinner and other assorted happiness.

I watched Lost in La Mancha yesterday morning. It's a documentary of the (un)making of Terry Gilliam's version of Don Quixote. What a sad tale.

My mom brought Paul to Seattle for a lesson yesterday afternoon, so of course his girlfriend, Sarah, tagged along, as did Koko. Mom and Koko met me at the mall downtown, where we spent an hour lounging around the food court. The dude working at Thomas Cook tried to hit on Koko but backed off when she showed him her engagement ring. When she told my mom and I about that, I got angry. It wasn't the first time some random American male has hit on her, and I am halfway sure they wouldn't dare pull that shit on American girls. It's taking advantage, and it's fucked. Mom suggested we find a big guy to escort her back in there and pretend to be her fiance. I said we should go talk to the manager and tell him it's inappropriate for employees to hit on someone trying to do business there. Koko said it was fine and we didn't do anything.

We walked over to the building where Paul's lesson was to get Paul and Sarah--some excessively fancy apartments--and tried to get to the U District so Paul could see my house. First mom got confused on the freeway onramp and went south, then she decided northbound traffic was crawling and we'd just take surface streets. I helped navigate across the freeway and down Broadway to Roy to Harvard to Eastlake and finally back to the U District. We saw all the artifacts of a jubilant gay pride weekend along Broadway, but weren't sure if the parade was yesterday or today.

I showed Koko, Paul, and Sarah the house--realizing when we got to my room that not only was it a bit messy, but certain items they just shouldn't see were out in plain sight. Paul and Sarah were starving, and Paul wanted to go to the Continental--guess he liked it more than he let on when mom and I took him there before. I told Sarah to try to grilled feta sandwich, which she later told me she thought was quite good. While they ate, mom and I waited for Koko to browse every rack of shirts in the Buffalo Exchange, which is quite possibly the most fucking boring secondhand shop ever. At least for me. They have no clothing that fits me, ever. Large is size 12, not 14. Hi, I wear a 14 at best, and I know I'm not the biggest girl in this neighborhood. We were soooo bored. Mom convinced Koko browsing time was done, and announced she was going to go visit the kids at the restaurant. I offered to take Koko to a few other shops on the block, at least one of which we both liked a lot but didn't buy anything. Koko said she'd come back--their stuff wasn't good going-to-Mexico gear.

All five of us went to the Mix for ice cream, although Paul and Sarah were full of delicious Greek food (including baklava, mmm) and didn't want any. Koko declared that there should be a place like it in Japan, and mom countered that it should hire more attentive workers. (The Mix employees are whiny and dumb, usually. They used to have a big fuck-you message about tipping on the chalkboard by the register.) After that, we spent about half an hour in Nanoo's, this little secondhand record shop that is chock full of good and reasonably priced vinyl, CDs, videos, and DVDs. Then they all went home. Aww.

Chris made plans with Julie to go to the Sunset Tavern for a punkrock show, so around 8, Chris, Lauren, and I bussed to Ballard and walked to Ross and Julie's apartment. We hung out at a coffee shop pre-show, sipping caffienated iced beverages in an effort to combat simultaneous sleepiness and heat. In my case, it didn't help much. I left after the first band, Sexy American Girlfriend, which was a pretty rockin' 80s punk/new wave cover band, because it was hot and smoky in the place and I was tired and hurting. I only put up with hot, tired, hurting, and smoky for shows I have some purpose for being at, and having spent $7 isn't quite enough purpose for me.

Today I went grocery shopping with my housemates and cleaned out the fridge. Chris, Margaret, and I are going to see 28 Days Later tonight--Josie got $0.40 employee-discount passes for Chris and I--because zombie movies by the director of Trainspotting can't be all bad. We are also planning to eat at Agua Verde. Here's hoping it's actually open.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Something Positive

With regards to a certain doubting Thomas paragraph the other day, three things have happened in the past couple days that have helped restore my faith in the practical merits of this country.

One, the Supreme Court struck down the Texas sodomy law. Now if states want to outlaw anal sex, they have to outlaw it for EVERYONE. Fair and equal fascism.

Two, Strom Thurmond kicked the bucket. Is it wrong to celebrate someone's death? Probably. But even, well, everyone over at Three-Way Action seems to agree with the sentiment. And they're good, decent, reasonable people for the most part.

Three, the National Do Not Call Registry. You can sign up today to make it illegal for most telemarketers to contact you (as of October). That is way fucking cool.

Today has been my first Friday Off. I grabbed a story assignment from newslab last night--I'll be writing about weightlifting for the Northwest Asian Weekly, heh. Odd request, but hey. Shouldn't be obscenely difficult. And it should be my first story in print, ever. Today I sat around until noon before showering and talked to my mom, who told me she wasn't, in fact, counting on my old apartment's deposit to cover July's rent, so I'm not totally fucking broke. Yay! Kevin came over later and we had some couscous-spinach-tomato salad at Magnuson Park before sitting on the beach at Carkeek for awhile. We went to dinner at Cedar's, which was crowded and our table was right in the way of every overzealous waiter in the place. It's really not necessary to refill my water glass after I take one sip, guys, and when you have four people ask you in the span of a minute if you'd like a box for your leftovers, you know things are a tad insane.

Tomorrow my mom might be coming up and will bring my cellphone charger and a new pair of jeans, hurrah! But now, I must go "distract" Kevin from his silly wireless internet concerns. And scratch the myriad bug bites/mild sunburns I've incurred.

listening: 764hero - something else

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Things That Work!

When things work, it's exciting.

The new version of Blogger (apparently it's called Dano) presented two minor problems. One, my commenting broke (thanks to Jesse for pointing that out in an email with the subject, "blogfucker." I love wanton swearing), so I finally thought to check the Poster Child website to see if they had a fix. I just needed to put quote around part of their code in my template to make it work with the new version, yay.

The other problem was a new thing, and that's Blogger's new title field. I've been using titles for awhile now--if you hadn't noticed--with simple html goodness. Now I can let Blogger do that all for me! Thanks, Blogger! But first, I had to get it to work, which was slightly tricky because the proper code needed in the template didn't show up when I changed my settings.

Sammy just said I am a haxtress. I think that's going a bit far.

I was able to fix my computer recently, though. Xmms suddenly stopped recognizing the existence of ogg vorbis-encoded sound files, despite the latest version of the vorbis tools being installed. The fix? Reinstall xmms. Heh. I am the hax-mastah.

My one story idea is looking increasingly dull as I research it, so I am a little lost. Maybe something will show up later... maybe I'll have to swing by the newslab after work and see if any story requests came in...

Photoblog, Part the Third

Kevin decided last night that curry would be good beach food.

I was just going to make myself some dinner as soon as I got unlazy enough to drag myself from the bedroom and down to the kitchen in my post-work stupor, but no. I insisted that I couldn't afford to eat out, as I am low on funds and rent is due in a week. True. So Kevin offered to pay for takeout, a rarity.

sunset at carkeek with curry takeout
We took our generous Thai-ger Room portions of green and red curry with tofu, still steaming hot, to the beach at Carkeek Park. We arrived at sunset, which was just stunning last night, as you can see.

Oh, yes. It was lovely. Let's see it again.
carkeek sunset

So we sat on the rocks, eating out curry and watching the lovely scenery for a long while. The popular activity of the day was throwing sticks. Everyone from lovebirds to two-year-olds with their dads were throwing large sticks into the Sound.

We walked over to another part of the beach and Kevin told me how much he disliked this Phish bootleg he bought for $10 that all the fans said was awesome and I went off on how much I dislike Phish, the same way I dislike, say, Dave Matthews Band and Barenaked Ladies (hello, audience alienation!). Then a park official announced the park was closing in ten minutes, so we had to leave.

Dusk had only begun to set in, and it was 10 p.m.

kevin's music room
We went to Kevin's house for a bit, where he made me listen to some songs he'd recently recorded and I took pictures in his music room. He looks strangely dark and red the way my camera recorded the shots.

Now I should start thinking about what the fuck I'm going to write for newslab this week. I am thinking of asking the Daily if they'd be interested in a story about intensive language courses the UW offers every summer. Chris just dropped his French series in favor of astronomy classes because he hated it so much, and it sounds like these supposedly introductory classes are geared towards kids who already have some experience in the language, which seems unfair.

At any rate, I'm glad I'm just taking newslab this summer, and that I never had to take a language in college.
The New Blogger!

Shit. I wrote a post yesterday at about 11am, which is the same fucking time Blogger took everything down to upgrade to the new and improved Blogger. They had migrated at least one of my blogs over to this interface awhile ago, but now I guess they all are. Anyway, it doesn't appear to affect the layout of my blog itself at all, but the interface is shiny and new, so yay. The box for entry text is actually filling its designated space in Mozilla now, which it did not in the previous version, so I'm happy.

Also, everyone who is bored and likes to do stupid internet tricks that involve creating profiles and divulging personal information for the sake of "meeting people" on the intarchatweb, whatever the hell that means, should go to Friendster. If you let me know you're there, send me the email address and name combo you used and I can ask you to be My Friend.

Really, it's quite amusing to log in and see things like, "Aja is Your Friend" with a big picture of a ham that says "talk to the ham." Well, in that case, the avatar is a mitigating factor, but the point remains. So many capitalized words. So much funny. Spread the wealth of your Personal Network!

Eee. I spend way too much time on the intarchatweb.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Weblog Slumming and Related Opinions

Every time I see the phrase "kudos to..." I picture someone handing out Kudos bars to everyone involved. Not that I had a hyper-commercialized childhood or anything.

I was born in late 1981, for reference. During the 1980s, Reagan and the FCC and other folks relaxed restrictions on advertising to children. There were more commercials during children's programming than any other decade, and you could also have things like a Transformers TV show with commercials for Transformers toys in between, which I guess you can't do anymore. The theory is that while adults can typically differentiate between what is advertising and what is "informative" programming, children are less able to make those distinctions, and as such are more readily sold to. Which makes sense.

Now, however, you have what I'd consider much more insidious and problematic marketing to children. While TV is a powerful device, it doesn't quite have the immediacy of, say, a big Coke machine in the cafeteria. Worse, many schools need the money that the presence of these machines brings, despite the obvious problems with selling kids soda and other sugary beverages at school--since most kids, given a choice, will prefer the soda to milk, juice, or water.

It really does make me sick how much we're all constantly being sold to. This isn't just a "I hate the big evil corporations" sentiment; I think it's more damaging than that sort of rudimentary cynicism implies. This isn't my endorsement of Adbusters, which I think is just a smidge pretentious (if entertaining, but not worth the price to me). This isn't a scathing critique of capitalism. I do recognize that in many ways we are all complicit and have our own caveats about what is and is not okay marketing. It just bothers me.

I'm trying to read more news lately. So I'm going through the papers (links in navbar, left) and posting links to a few stories. If I'm not posting blah diary content or boring digital photos, I'm slumming it in mundane weblogland, dammit.

I've found the contrast between the U.S. and Canada painfully striking the past few weeks. Canada legalizes pot; the U.S. lets media corporations own more outlets in a market. Canada allows gay marriage; the U.S. bans partial birth abortions.

Sometimes I must question my loyalty. What makes this country so great? What makes other countries lesser; what are the dealbreakers? What makes me lucky to be American and not Canadian? And this can go in my FBI file for all I care, but I've really got to wonder. It seems that my main reason for being here is complacency and laziness rather than actual, well-founded reasons. I mean, I guess you gotta believe in something--or so some people like to tell me--but I do feel troubled by so much of what our country actually does as opposed to what it supposedly believes. There's a great disparity that I'm sure exists everywhere, but it still makes it hard for me to feel passionate about my nationality. Maybe I shouldn't.

This kind of fence-sitting is not unfamiliar to me at all, of course. I've been doing it with religion, with spirituality, with my conviction to my psychology, my interests, my self for years because life is a struggle of belief. Very little is certain.

Anyhow, I'm getting rambly. And I said I had nothing to say, right?

My neighborhood is in the process of being "revitalized" by the city. Everyone thinks it's run down and gross and full of bums and the housing is overpriced and yadda yadda. They've been repaving the main street for a year or so. They've widened the sidewalks, but put in trees, so the widening isn't very helpful for pacing ahead of slow-moving couples and tourists.

I could write a whole entry on why I love the U District as it is, as it was, and as I hope it remains, post-revitalization. Granted, I'm no business owner and I haven't lived here forever, but I do care. I patronize local businesses and I live here. I don't understand all the issues, though I have researched and read a little more than I normally would. You'd be surprised how much politics go into one little neighborhood, really.
Good Goddamn

Holy fucking shit, but is Double Rainbow Chocolate Sorbet the best shit ever, or what?

You don't know the answer?

The answer is, "YES."

Fuck yeah. Pint-sized orgasm.
You're Happy Because of the Lovely Way Sunshine Bends

Just got back from seeing L'Auberge Espagnole with Chris, Julie, and Julie's friend Christine (apologies to *the* Christine). Cute flick. Audrey Tautou is misused, but otherwise quite enjoyable.

Josie got back from South Carolina yesterday and I had her come over for dinner. She brought pierogies and I had fixings for a mixed greens-raspberry vinaigrette-bleu cheese-pecan salad, so she made the salad and I cooked the pierogies. We hung out for an hour or so, lingering over our dinner and harassing Chris, who hates his French class after only the first day.

Chris has been especially prolific today with insane and humorous remarks in his sheer frustration with the foreign language requirement. I managed to write a few of them on the white board in our dining room--which is proving to be a fertile hanging-out ground--and should be sneaking them onto the Harem quote blog sometime soon.

I left my cellphone charger at the beach house. If not there, it's missing somewhere else. At any rate, the battery is discharged, so I have to call out from the landline to check messages and whatnot. Not that anyone calls me, of course.

These are all paragraphs of stupid, pointless little stories. This blog is informational and not interesting. It's bothering me. I want to do some actual writing. Maybe I will do more as the quarter drags on and my newslab involvement picks up. I can do better than this.

Today I am mildly obsessed with the Loose Fur record and have an inkling of desire for an ice cream sundae, but there is no chocolate syrup in the house. How can this be?

Monday, June 23, 2003

Another Day, Another Bunch Of Digital Photos

I came to the conclusion last night that my camera does best with shots unlike the ones I was trying to take at Gasworks at dusk. Surprise, surprise. Nevertheless, some things didn't look too terrible, and a few of these appear below.

Here are some clouds. Aren't they lovely.

the money shot
This is the Money Shot. I (heart) tagging.

kevin and the hidden moon
You can't see it, but Kevin? Is cute. I was trying to get a nicely framed shot and stuff, but I suck and my camera sucks, so it's just a picture.

This just looks weird. It's looking up through a wirey metal cylinder on the side of a big, rusty piece of the gasworks. It looks grainy and dark like it's underwater, though, instead of staring up at the sky.

view from the benches and trashbins on sundial hill
It's so nice and symmetrical. And strangely not blurry.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Yet More Pictures!

kevin tries to frown
No, seriously. He was trying to frown and couldn't do it. Not because he was amused; his mouth just wouldn't move like that. He tried many ways and they all still looked complacent at best and puzzled at worst.

emily, post-sneeze
I was in the kitchen. I sneezed. Kevin snuck up behind me and took this picture. Why, I don't know.

dad's painting
This is something my dad painted before I was born. I think it's a corner in Palo Alto, Calif. around the time he finished going to Stanford. He let me pick it out of his portfolio (along with two other pieces) a few months before he died, and here it hangs on my wall.

I just keep posting photos in here because my web server apparently doesn't like giving people a directory listing. I'll stop for today, though. I think I'm already low on batteries.
Another Photo

Hey, it's a new toy. I have to play with it, or I'll feel my $91 was wasted. I will not waste $91!

the jesus shrine

This is the fireplace, not ever being used for actual fires, just candles. So far, all we have are Christian effects, but we intend for the place to be more of a Unitarian Church. I don't even think any of us housemates consider ourselves Christian--certainly, one is pagan and another is lately Buddhist--but the Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and kitschy photos of Jesus are pretty easy to come by. Small white tea lights are good for anything.

On to other things.

Kevin is here. He is eating rice cakes in bed. Lately I have gotten whiny about the presence of crumbs in bed and have discouraged doing things that might increase crumbs, but he claims he can be "careful."

The beach was lovely. The house is cozy (read: small), but not too small for a decent number of people to crash there for a weekend. It's comfortable. It will get more comfortable as mom does her thing.

We got in around 1:30 a.m. I was driving. At one point on Highway 30 en route to Astoria, the painted lines on the road faded to the point that I suddenly couldn't see them, and, startled, stopped the car. There was no one else around; I got my bearings quickly and continued on the road.

When we arrived, we walked to the beach, which is three blocks from the house. Some people were stoking a huge bonfire. We could hear the ocean, but barely see it. We walked around only briefly before returning to the house to sleep.

The next day I went to the outlet mall while Kevin was still asleep. I found a pair of jeans on sale for $20 that fit me well, but I thought this wasn't a fluke--silly me. Now I am dying for jeans that don't feel like they're three sizes too large. After Kevin woke up, I took the calzones I'd made and drove us to Cannon Beach to hang out near Haystack Rock. It was pleasant. We went to Safeway and planned a Mexican-style dinner with fake ice cream for dessert, then came home, ate, and watched Alias Betty, which was pretty good.

Yesterday we got up in the actual morning and cleaned up, washed sheets and dishes, and packed the car. I wanted to see if Fred Meyer or someplace else near Astoria had jeans I liked for about as cheap as the outlet store, but no luck. I decided I'd have to return to the outlet mall next time I was in town, hoping those same jeans were still on sale.

We stopped in Olympia around 4 o'clock and visited with Becky for over an hour before we needed to get on the road. I'd promised to take Paul out to dinner, so to Apollo's we went--it's probably the only place in town all three of us could eat well. By 7, we *really* needed to go, dropped Paul off at home--he pretended to roll out of the car and got whatever dirt was on the driveway all over his black polo shirt--and hit the freeway.

A little after 8, we were at Scarecrow, returning the DVD. By 9, we were at the Showbox, regrettably sans earplugs, for the Living Things, a band from St. Louis opening for Blur. Tickets said doors were at 9. The show started at 9. Living Things played a boring, hard-rocking set of songs featuring juvenile liberal political sentiments (very fuck-you-Bush, how daring). I kept expecting them to bust out with a fucking Ramones cover already, but they never did. Fortunately, the set only lasted about 20 minutes.

Blur's roadies spent the better part of an hour setting up. The music over the PA occasionally featured a popular Beastie Boys track, during which a handful of kids in the crowd started rocking out voraciously. They finally came out and played a long, rocking, fabulous set of new songs and old (several were from Parklife). I don't have a lot to say about the show; it was just fun and really cool to see frickin' Blur in such a small venue. Also, Damon Albarn is hot.
I Was So Bored...

The digital camera (a low-end model, the Olympus D-370) I bought on Ebay during a particularly dull work session arrived while I was away.

So, in lieu of actual content for the moment, here are a bunch of pictures of things in my house. First, the garden.

The lettuce, in a large tub that needs holes drilled in the bottom for proper drainage. Doesn't it just make you want a salad? Heh.

My jalapeno (left) and serrano (right) chiles. The jalapeno has half a dozen blossoms right now, so maybe soon I can have home-grown peppers in my food. Yum yum!

I love spinach. I have two of these containers.

Mmm, tomatoes. Only a couple little yellow blossoms so far. That's okay, I can still get amazing early beefsteaks at the farmers' market.

And now... not a garden.

They are the sexy, no?

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Need A Break

I am going to the beach instead of co-hosting a party with my housemates. I'm going to go nuts if I don't get out of town.

So. Maybe I'll have more to write when I get back. I've been having a block lately. Of many things. I'm hoping some good salt air, sand in my toes, and relaxing for a couple days will help me get back on track before depression takes hold to ruin summer quarter.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Everybody's Clean When They Eat at My House

So, food. And visitors. I haven't had much of either recently, but I would welcome them.

Every summer, I start to get excited about food again. The farmers' market helps. The excess free time helps. The warm weather doesn't help, but I seem to end up baking more anyway.

Also every summer, I start trying to convince people they should visit me, travel with me, or do things involving me exhibiting my hospitality. I don't know why, but the prospect of visitors is exciting. Even if the reality is stressful and I am not always entirely sure what to do with all my guests.

So I talk to people and blather for a long time about all the fun we'd have and how we'd do all this cool stuff if only they would take a weekend or so and visit. And they agree that it would be fun and then don't visit. Because travel is a hassle. I know, or I'd travel more, too.

I traveled some last summer. I flew into San Jose twice, once in June and once in September. It was fun. But I didn't do much else besides go to school and go to Olympia.

This summer, I have no travel plans. I don't have much money or time for such things. I'll go to the beach several times, I'm sure, and I might be able to weasel another trip to somewhere nearby, but beyond that, my calendar is full of work, class, and jury duty.

Oh. Yeah. Did I mention I've got federal jury duty in September? I've never had to serve before. I am not sure if I hope to get stuck in an interesting trial or be dismissed more. I think I hope for the latter. I think the jury system is kind of fucked up in a lot of ways, and juries make a lot of bad decisions, especially in non-criminal matters.

I'm here at work. I've been here half an hour. Five and a half hours to go.

We have been Chris-free at the house this weekend. It's kind of odd, I think. This is a very different living arrangement for me. It might be awhile before all the kinks are worked out.

Am I saying anything in here? No. I don't have anything to say. I need a writing project. I keep thinking in half-written paragraphs, parts of stories, fictionalizations in life that don't quite work out the way I'd like, but they're all gone before I can get them out. It's been like this for a long time.

Two years ago, I wanted a DV camera to capture the visual essence of my thoughts. I've since gotten over that, although recently I've been wishing I had a digital camera at my disposal. I see a lot of things. I also think a lot of things, but those seem even harder to capture than what I see. Words in my head can sound so great, so promising, and when I am at a place that pen and paper (or keyboard and computer) are handy, they falter.

I think I'd really like to be a documentary filmmaker. I just need to get started, you know, actually doing something. I want some technical expertise first; my ability to interview and explore a subject can be honed in journalistic writing. I just feel incapable of fully expressing the stories I see in words; I find them inadequate. Sometimes I am torn between fiction and nonfiction and how much crossover can be achieved before one veers into the realm of badness.

Something is always on my mind. Words are constantly flowing and ending up nowhere. When I'm asked what's on my mind, I can't even speak it. Sometimes I wonder if my mind speaks a non-English language and that in trying to release it, I lose something in translation.

I want to be someone who does something. Who and what is the great unknown.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

That Last Entry? I Swear I Wrote It This Morning

We've got a full house tonight for the first time ever. Chris and I are here, of course. Jen has moved in. Margaret and her friend Elizabeth are around sometimes. I assume they'll sleep here.

Today I've been boringly productive. I did dishes. I watered my plants. I took a load of laundry to the Lost Sock Laundromat. I swept all the floors downstairs. I got rid of boxes that were cluttering my room. I finished my review sheet for the law final. I tried to get Comcast to shut off the cable internet tomorrow, but they wanted to just turn it off when I called so I said I'd call back.

I watched The Price Is Right this morning and was disturbed. Any morning television is disturbing, really. It's frightening when Bewitched is a welcome respite from the overwhelming commercialism of daytime TV.

Today seemed like a weird day for Chris, though. I heard him listening to Elliott Smith this morning and IM'd to ask if anything was wrong. Nothing, he said. Later, he found out my boss offered him a job at my workplace. Even later, his girlfriend broke up with him. We spent a chunk of our afternoon at the Lost Sock, where they have several crappy video games and one broken pinball machine. We went to Pepe's for dinner (Pepe knows him by now and greets him warmly) and they had Afri again. It's even being sweetened correctly.

I don't know what's up this weekend. I have some things I'd like to do, and I have to go to my old apartment to do the final inspection and give keys back, that sort of thing. The new manager is described by Jenny as even creepier than Greg, the former manager who left in frustration a few months ago, and far more irritable with us in our few and inconsequential dealings. She went in one day to give our notice and he said she wouldn't have to be doing all this paperwork if we'd just stay in the apartment. Uhm, no.

I still have some stuff there, too, that needs to get dragged over here. That was the plan for tonight, but Kevin went to Bellevue to visit his friend Simon and work on a game (making one, not playing one) and didn't get home until after 9, at which point I was not interested in driving or moving crap.

Anyway, fuck a bunch of everything, I'm tired. Tomorrow there is a lot of shit to do and the only reason I can do any of it is that I'm not going to work.

I wanna be excited.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Something to Write Home About something I don't have.

I took my developmental psych final Monday morning. That was exciting. I zipped through the first page, had something for the first essay, and zilch for the last page since I hadn't read that article. I "skimmed" it and underlined a sentence that somehow had nothing to do with any part of the question. Still, 40/50 is fine.

The week is dragging like mad, though. It's only Wednesday? Why the hell does it feel like at least Thursday?

My mom was up yesterday for the sole purpose of spending time with me. That was a rare treat. I had the whole day free and so did she. She brought several uprooted plants from the garden--five squash starters, which we planted in the former garbage pile/cat shit area of the back yard, some violets that were planted under the plum tree, and a dying sunflower, flat-leaf parsley bush, and stalk of spearmint for the front. Planting things in the yard was disturbing for all the trash people left in the ground that grass and dry dirt eventually covered. I found a green army man along with several shards of glass and bottle caps along the front porch.

For lunch, we went to Cedar's, which is on my block. I can see it from my back door. (Now all you STALKERS who know where Cedar's is can take a WILD LEAPING GUESS about where I live, OH-NOS!) It was good. It was very busy and the servers were plentiful and attentive. They constantly wanted to refill my chai. We had baigan bharta (the eggplant dish that drove me wild at Spice Rack), cheeseballs in a red butter sauce, tabbouleh, and whole wheat flatbread stuffed with potatoes and spices. It was all delicious, even if the baigan bharta didn't make me swoon like it did last time.

We went up to the cemetary where my grandparents are buried and my dad's ashes will rest. There's this outdoor storage...thing...that has a name I forget...and a nice view and a statue of Mary holding Jesus after he's come down from the cross on top. There was a small bunch of fake orange flowers in his flower holder. My mom thought they were ugly.

Then we went on a gardening shopping spree.

First up was the Indoor Sun Shoppe at its new location in Fremont. There was a lot of pretty stuff, so I grabbed the quarter-sheet brochures on sundews and butterworts and inspected the selection. Then I asked the girl to help me pick out one of each. She told me their selection sucked that day, and I should come back tomorrow for more. I agreed and we left.

Then we passed by a small nursery on our way east and stopped to browse. They, too, had some pretty stuff. I almost want to buy jasmine now.

We made it to our eventual destination, the City People Nursery in the Capitol Hill area. Not the hipster part, though; the upscale yuppie part. If there is a difference. (I feel a palpable difference between Broadway and the more easterly parts, but I don't know the area that well.) We looked at a bunch of plants. They had some carnivorous plants for pretty cheap. I ended up getting a big bag of potting soil, two long plastic planters (to repot my leafy greens), a smaller terra cotta pot to repot the basil when it grows, a tiny pretty red sundew, and a dark and mysterious relative of the fuschia with burgundy, trumpet-shaped blossoms and dark, angular teardrop leaves.

I have a lot of plants now. I hope they grow well.

I made mom dinner of tomato-buffalo mozzarella-basil salad and whole wheat penne with red onion and mushroom marinara, topped with feta cheese. Very exciting stuff, that. She thought she should hit the road after that, but I suggested we go up to Carkeek Park in hopes of catching an interesting sunset and/or a train. Mom was agreeable. I called Kevin and had him meet us there. The cloudy sunset was quite lovely; the air was still. And eventually we caught a southbound train. She decided it was time for her to head home, gave me a key to the beach house, and left.

I went to Fred Meyer's with Kevin, then back to my house, where I slept too early once again. I also got him to eat saltwater taffy (another of mom's gifts) after Lauren said the taffy she got on the Oregon Coast didn't have butter.

Today, I work at 1. I need study for my law final and probably do some other things around here. Like clean the fridge out and pot and repot and plant some things. I have calls to make to City Light--after Jenny gets me a meter reading--and Comcast to make sure they know we're out of that apartment and should not bill us after the 14th. I have a few more items to move that might take two trips (or two cars).

I need to bug people for times they are available for a party since I only know five peoples' availability, including mine. So if you're reading this, unresponsive haremites...please reply to my email! :) Oh, and invite other people, too. I do have a handful of non-harem friends who would enjoy a party.

Do I have anything else to talk about? Nothing. I don't think. I feel very boring lately, just obsessed with plants and the house. It'll settle soon.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Parties I Didn't Join

For some reason, it's been hard to write this entry. I keep meaning to write *something,* then don't. It's not that too much is going on, or too little; I just don't know what to write.

It's still unpleasantly warm. Last night, while a party raged at the neighbors', we bunked down in the basement, watching Ask Rita and Late Night with Conan O'Brien on TV. Earlier, I fell asleep watching Clerks: The Animated Series Uncensored on DVD. It was only in part a comment on the interest level of the program.

Anyway, as I said, the neighbors were having a grand old time with hipster friends--there were around four Vespas parked across the street--listening to 80s music and actually dancing, which we could see from some windows. Two of them came over that afternoon and invited us to join them. While a bunch of them were on the front porch, smoking and drinking (you could smell the smoke in our house, too), I felt it was necessary to water my tiny plants.

But I was too embarrassed to go out there. They'd *see* me. Our porches are practically conjoined, they're so close. After some cajoling from Chris, I finally did, and of course, one of the neighbor girls talked to me as I huddled over my plants and poured water. She reiterated her invitation and said they had drinks and music. "We've got Herman's Hermits!" referring to the "Henry the VIII" that blared on the stereo. My response was more huddling and a mumbled "thanks" she probably didn't even hear.

Chris later decided to be "neighborly" and "polite" and go over there since they had invited us, despite my suggestion that the invitation was not so much to be friendly as it was a warning and a request not to call the cops for noise. He wanted me to go, but I hate being in situations where the point is drinking and socializing, I don't know anyone, and it's really smoky. Shows are my only exception. "It's just like a show," he argued. "No, it's not. There's no band." "But they've got Herman's Hermits!"

He returned in about 15 minutes, a can of MIller in his hand. He said it was weird because everyone was already drunk, he didn't know a soul, and they were frequently the legitimately-too-hip-for-you type.

So I continued dancing around my dining room to Talking Heads and Sugarcubes. My own damn 80s music.

Other stuff has happened, but I don't know what to say on it. I need to shower, hit up the Farmer's Market, and go help Jenny clean the old apartment. Sad. Maybe it won't be so deathly hot there, though.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Fuck Yeah!

Today is warm. Not the predicted "scorcher!!" weather of 90 degrees, but warm enough to be unpleasant. I damn near fell asleep in class from the uncomfortable warmth and lack of coffee.

And then I came home and lo and behold, there was DSL, and it was good.

Then it went down because Speakeasy started getting denial of service attacks!

So it's been spotty all evening.

I don't really have anything to say. It's warm. Stuff is aight.

Just, y'know. Hi. I'm back. Like I was ever truly noticably gone.

Monday, June 02, 2003

This Strange Day Is Random At Best

The week is off to a start. Today isn't actually all that odd, but it's a Built to Spill lyric, and I am seeing them tonight at the Showbox. Woo!

I've been mildly productive so far today. I need to crank out a draft of my part of the group paper on Reno v. ACLU (1997), which is two pages of legal scholars' opinions regarding its impact on free speech and the groups affected by the decision. I also need another two pages of my own opinion, using others' opinions. This particular writing process is hindered by being at work and not having access to my home machine, "chiasmus," since we're still de-internetted at the house.

The router should arrive tomorrow, DSL should be up within the week, and Chris has already strung CAT5e from room to room and is working on putting the connectors on correctly. He also needs to ground some outlets so surge protectors don't make angry noises. Oh, and so the computer doesn't fry itself in the event of a power surge or what-have-you.

I have *.doc files of various law review articles that sounded smart enough to be of service to me, and I usually sftp back and forth between work machine and home machine with all my stuff. Now, I can look it up on Lexis-Nexis all over again, no problem, and use an alternate saving location (like, say, this server I pay for, or my school account?); I can work at home and burn CD-RWs with the work-in-progress in case I am actually able to do any work at all at work. I probably work better at home, though, and I am busy tonight, so tomorrow it is. I'll crank it out and email it to people Wednesday at 1. I hope that's not too late.

I had some coffee from the cafeteria again today. There is one kind that tastes like soap, and another kind that's better, but I think it is murder on my insides. I am cramping so bad. Maybe it's just PMS week, though. Either way, ow.

The house is calm and somewhat settled already. Margaret went back to Wenatchee with her parents, so it's just Chris and I for a few days. Jen isn't moving in until next week. She's probably not bringing that much stuff, which is good, because we already have an awful lot of it. It will still take awhile for the dust to settle and all the boxes to be unpacked, of course, but it's beginning to feel homey.

I am planning to get a key made for Kevin so he can lock up after himself should he leave after I fall asleep. I didn't mind the door to my apartment being unlocked since the building was secure, but this house is surrounded by...well, ghetto Safeway and suspicion, so I'm not too keen on the unlocked door policy. It's not a very secure house to begin with, but leaving the doors unlocked is just foolish.

One. More. Hour. Then home.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Holy Slumlord, Batman!

I am soooo tired and soooo sore. I slept like ass. Everyone else in the house is probably worse off, since they did all their shit plus helping with mine. But anyway, I am almost all moved now.

I'm back at my apartment for awhile because there is internet and other useful things here that are not at my house yet. Also, Chris' parents are not at my apartment. Not that they are awful or anything, it's just a little awkward being around someone else's parents.

I need to put my computer back together and move it. I have some other useful items to move today, too. Like my lamp and alarm clock. Some more kitchen crap. My desk chair. More books. Ummm... a first aid kit and a jewelry box. Yeah. There is more, but it's too heavy for me to move by myself, and I am trying to be self-sufficient today.

Yesterday I wasn't self-sufficient at all, but a lot of stuff got done.

Chris' parents had a U-Haul until noon Saturday. They said they would help me move if they got all of Chris' stuff out in good time, but they seemed doubtful.

By 10:30, I was worried and about to give up hope they'd call.

By 11:00, I was waking Kevin up, hoping he would have a better idea. He thought we could fit almost everything in one of the Civics somehow. Strap the mattresses to the roof, that sort of thing. It's only 0.8 miles, it could work.

While I was on the phone, panicking, Chris called. I maneuvered my phone's stupid call waiting feature to find out they would be outside in a few, ready to help. Chris and his dad are big, strong guys. They moved my big stuff into the U-Haul and when we got to the house, Lauren and Margaret joined to help remove it. They are all awesome for that.

Kevin showed up at the house a few minutes after that. We moved some stuff around, like mattresses into my room and the futon into the basement, made another couple runs to the apartment for stuff, and went to Ikea.

I'm kind of appalled that I wanted to go to Ikea. I'm sure it's about damn time I embraced my inevitable yuppiedom, but still. At least I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted there. I got two crazy, wall-mountable, plastic, cris-crossing CD racks, two small cloth shelf clothes organizers (and one drawer), a red rag rug for $5, and table legs and a table top.

I needed a new desk. This one is a shitty, broken, corner thing that won't work well in my new room. Oh, and I hate it. I wanted a simple desk that was deep and long but only about tall enough for my plastic three-drawer filing cabinet to fit underneath. I was looking at the basic Jerker model desk, but table legs plus a table top were only $40, while a proper desk assembly kit was $69. I win. Kevin built it for me, though, because I suck with screwdrivers into non-pre-drilled "wood."

Now, my room is pretty much put together. I need to hang some things on the walls, shelve CDs, put together the computer, and get rid of Ikea packaging, but it's otherwise all good. It's a small room, but I planned to use the space effectively. I think I have succeeded. It's very pleasing. About the only thing that might make it better is real curtains instead of flat sheets. One window has a black jersey knit sheet (set against a red wall), while the other has a pink striped sheet with deep greens and reds and some blues in a floral pattern at the bottom (white wall). It's kind of a weird clash.

I also bought some plants at the farmer's market yesterday. No, not carnivorous ones. For those I need to make a special trip to Fremont. I got several starter plants: rosemary, peppermint, serrano chiles, jalapeno, sweet red peppers, and bush girl tomatoes. I potted them this morning and they're living on the front porch, along with the tiny basil sproutlings my mom brought.

Apparently, the shower leaks, though. Charming.

Kevin and I ended up eating at the Spice Rack last night. No one else was there, and we were seated about a half hour before closing. We got channa masala and something else with similar sauce and flavorings, but instead of garbanzo beans it was roasted eggplant. HOLY LORD, was that eggplant dish heaven. I also tried lassi for the first time. It was good, but it would be better if I'd ordered really spicy foods. Then we rented Down by Law at Scarecrow. It was a good movie. Jim Jarmusch makes such beautiful and strange films, Tom Waits is awesome, and Roberto Benigni is crazy.

Oh, did I mention my mom bought a house in Seaside, Ore.? Well, she did. So I've told my boss I require three-day weekends all summer so I might make extensive use of the place. Fuck yeah.

I should get packing again.