Sunday, August 31, 2003

Bumbershoot, Day Two: The Day Is Long

All the fabulous shows were fabulous to me alone today. Kevin is a sleeper and Margot wanted to see Macy Gray and stuff, so I went to the grounds alone.

I was about 20 minutes late for the Dead Science's set, but the half I did see was fantastic. Two girls were talking behind me, saying that they'd never heard of this band but they were so good. I've only heard of them because they opened for Jason Webley once--I think at the Killing Time show--and the bassist is Webley's usual bassist. I remembered liking their stuff back then, but haven't bothered to go see them until now. One of the girls commented that these were the sounds she heard in her dreams. Hee hee.

I had every intention of checking out the Minus the Bear show. I enjoyed their EP that I picked up at a show they headlined at the Paradox eons ago, but by the time they were onstage I was too tired to really enjoy what was happening. This show was in the Exhibition Hall, 2003's answer to previous years' Key Arena for rising indie and semi-indie rock and hip hop bands. The Ex Hall is the space that you used to walk through to get to the Opera House at past Bumbershoots. It has a lot of tall columns and high, echoey rafters to block your view and kill the sound quality. It's possibly even worse than Key Arena for these shows, except they don't make you dump out your water bottles and ditch the food in your backpacks.

Anyway, as it was, I didn't stay longer than three songs because there was nothing really to see or dance to (although they encouraged dancing... whuh? MtB is even less danceable than Death Cab for Cutie) and made a beeline straight for the comedy stage, where there was no wait for the show starting in 15 minutes.

Too bad the show Underdog was, in fact, two of the three comedians I'd already seen playing off each other and repeating bits from their other show. Funny, but not worth my time.

I ended up having a lot of time to kill, though, so I guess it could have been spent in worse ways. After that, I called Kevin and woke him up, then let him go back to sleep. I got some coffee at a little dessert shop just off the grounds and some sushi at Larry's Market. The coffee was good and put me back in a non-shitty mood. The sushi was tasty and filling. The weather in the fountain was way too hot, so I went to hang out in the Center House for awhile. Quickly browsed the band posters and wanted to eat all the junk food I saw parading by. Filled out a survey for the Bumbershoot volunteers. Exciting stuff.

Around 4:15, I went to wait to get into the Sky Church for Kinski. I got in just after the Pale finished their set. I called Jana and told her to meet me here if she possibly could, grabbed a spot along the barrier, and watched the door. At 5, the set started and there was no sign of Jana. It was a packed house, though, so she could've gotten in and I just didn't see her. I sat back and enjoyed what was a fucking fantastic show. They grabbed me by the pit of my stomach and ran. Quite enthralling.

After that, I ran around trying to find Jana. We finally met up, said hi, then went our separate ways. She didn't get into the show. The I tried to find Kevin, since he had said he wanted to be here for the 5 p.m. Mary Lou Lord show. No such luck. I perused the indie lit booths before trying to get into Aesop Rock--again, no such luck. So I did a whole lot of nothing until he called, we met up, and he wanted to get into the Tribute to R&B thing because he digs Bonnie Raitt. I know.

We sat on the ground near a family of two young parents and four girls, all clapping and dancing to the bluesy sounds. I sat on the ground, took my boots off, and massaged my feet and stretched them because they hurt like hell. After only about 20 minutes of actual show, Kevin decided he didn't like it and was cool with leaving.

We tried to go find his friend Simon, who had been over by Key Arena was supposedly nothing to do until the Dandy Warhols show, but he wasn't there. We walked around a bit before deciding to try to get in ourselves. The line was massive. They stopped it right before we were to enter and made us wait five to 10 minutes before it was determined there was enough room for us to go in. Yay.

So we sat for almost an hour while they soundchecked their way 30 minutes into the alotted set time before we called it a bust and left.

That was about the extent of my day: Good show, good show, then too much walking and standing and pain. But I spent time with the boyfriend, and that is never an entirely bad thing. And I saw Jana, and I miss Jana.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Bumbershoot, Day One

We saw some fabulous shows yesterday. In fact, I'd say yesterday was perhaps the most consistently entertaining day of Bumbershoot I've ever experienced.

My sister and I arrived around 1:45 and decided to make our way to the comedy theater, where we waited in line for a bit and caught Mike Birbiglia and Patton Oswalt, both of whom cracked our shit up. Apparently Oswalt is a regular on The King of Queens, which, as a sitcom on, what, CBS? is a show I've never watched and don't imagine is very funny. Sitcoms typically aren't to me. But this guy doing standup was quite funny.

Then we wandered over to the EMP Sky Church and saw the Decemberists, which we enjoyed. We waited around afterwards for Kevin to show up (he was late) and for the Dub Narcotic Sound System to begin. This was the third time I've seen them, and it was probably the most fun. Both other times were at the historic Capitol Theater in downtown Olympia, of course, which is much larger and since we were in front this time, relatively less intimate and experience. So, anyway, Calvin Johnson did his crazy dances and we danced as much as we could for being in the middle of a tight crowd, pushed up against a barrier, and wearing backpacks. The drummer (Heather, I think is her name) sang a couple songs and brought a little Gold Pass-wearing kid onstage to play maracas for one of them. He was very, very confused about how to do all this and just followed her around, occasionally shaking the maraca. Hee.

"Ashcroft is an ass, Rumsfeld is a liar, Cheney is a heartless corpse, and Bush is being pimped. There's no escaping it."

Kevin appeared as the crowd dispersed and wanted to see Quasi. We all had the necessary wristbands, but I wanted to go wait in line for the Stranger's Pizzazz! talent show, which started in an hour. I really like Quasi, don't get me wrong; the stadium is just not an ideal venue for anyone, much less a band I've seen before and will surely see again on a much smaller stage. However, I needed to eat, so I compromised. I listened to about 15 minutes of Quasi before taking off.

I grabbed a seat in the theater on the aisle behind the row of judges around 6:40 and hoped the other two would get here in time. It was a full house. David Schmader was wearing a vintage lime green tux. The acts were mostly great fun to watch--a one-man band played a great song with his banjo; a girl hula-hooped like I've never seen anyone hula-hoop short of perhaps some scenes in The Hudsucker Proxy; a family physician did the most amazing bellydance; a girl covered Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory" on marimba; one goofball did a weird thing where he wore giant Mickey Mouse gloves and carried a hot dog bun. He rapped a little ditty that told the story of the four-fingered man and his hot dog bun, with the chorus of: "Four-fingered man--hot dog bun!"

The marimba player got third place. Second place was a guy with a huge afro wig and gold suit who did an impressive lip sync routine. First place went to the Opera Diva, who wore an awesome costume and sang a ridiculous opera about the man who left her and monogrammed towels and stuff. It was in Italian with the translation appearing on a screen above her. It was a nice performance all around.

So, after all this genuinely pleasant time, something had to give.

I was tired as hell. I couldn't find the 74 bus stop to go back to the University District. We walked all over creation. I was very cranky. My sister was cranky at me. When we finally found it, we waited forever and nothing came. I know it runs that late--this was around 10pm--but we could find no posted schedules. My sister apologized for her earlier crankiness, then, only minutes later, got mad and tried to stop my not-directed-at-her-in-any-way ranting--not a good idea, but one she tries anyway--and told me something like: "Why do you think I never want to visit you?"

So I'm not speaking to her right now except to say that she's on her own today.

She's a big girl. She would like to think so, anyway. I'm sure she can figure it out her-fucking-self. I was nothing but nice to her (sans inevitable crankiness when buses are nowhere to be found) and she says that to me.

May today be better. I am going to some shows on my own--Dead Science, Minus the Bear, Kinski, whatever friends drag me to--and hopefully will actually see some stuff *with* Kevin today instead of just somewhere in the same theater.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003


So we totally have the Jen replacement. Her name is Stephanie. She walked in and we immediately clicked, all of us. I think the Harem will enjoy her.

Got to see Lindsay for quesadillas and dinner, Josie's moved most of her stuff in, and my old friend Annie (whom I've known since FIRST FRICKIN' GRADE) came by with her friend, who was also interested in the place.

I felt kind of rude when--since they arrived as Stephanie was leaving, and we were all pretty excited about S.--at the end of their visit, after the tour and everything, I explained how we'd really clicked with S. and it was our hope that we'd have sort of a community atmosphere at the house and it didn't seem like the friend was especially intrigued, and she said she understood. I was very apologetic for my bluntness, but it was still just that: blunt.

Now for the real fun of calling the world traveler and delivering the bad news, as she called this afternoon saying she wanted the room. Aieee. I am kind of afraid of my penchant for being honest in this conversation, as outright saying, "we didn't click; we clicked with this other girl" sounds unnecessarily rude. I can't go with "well, she said she wanted it first," because that's not the truth. But we're not operating on a first-come, first-served basis here, are we?

She called while S. was here. I told her we were interviewing other people tonight and I'd call with my decision tomorrow. I think she might know from that. But you never know. People don't always over-analyze.

I'm thinking of going with either (a) the polite truth: "S. can commit to a full year, which works out better for us," or (b) the bald-faced lie: "A friend of a friend really needed a place, so I had to give it to her." The latter would have been true had we offered it to Annie's friend, but it's not true. So anyway.

S. is rad. How exciting. I didn't think we'd be so lucky. At least, it sounds lucky right now.

Brave New World vs. 1984

When I was 15, I read Aldous Huxley's classic dystopian novel, Brave New World. It fascinated me, and I made my friends read it. We giggled over the "orgy porgy" scenes in the beginning and nodded solemnly about the deeper message. I've read the novel at least three times since; each time it's been a different experience.

For my second reading, I followed it up with George Orwell's equally famous 1984. At the time, I thought Orwell's outlook was far too gloomy to be real. People wouldn't change the language like that, my 16-year-old self thought. No one would submit their civil liberties so easily. And so I continued my love affair with the near-utopic dystopia in Huxley's work.

In the interim, I read a few other classic dystopian works: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, which was good but not quite to the level of intrigue for me; Ayn Rand's Anthem, which I found distasteful. Neither struck me the same way, but I remained interested in the concepts found in these dystopian novels.

A few years and presidential election later, I've reformed my views on which novel is most accurate. If it's possible to be accurate in writing fiction, anyway. Maybe it was just the thousands of opinion writers extolling the Orwellian nature of Bush's administration that kept it in my mind, but there it is.

I've brought five pieces of literature up here with me to peruse as I write this: 1984, Huxley's long essay Brave New World Revisited, the latest issues of Mother Jones and Punk Planet, and a photocopied essay I received at the Bush/anti-Bush rally in Bellevue--"The USA PATRIOT Act: What's So Patriotic about Trampling on the Bill of Rights?" by Nancy Chang in the Winter 2001 issues of CovertAction Quarterly. Admittedly a rag-tag bunch of leftist propaganda and perhaps completely unrelated. I might not even use them.

In fact...I'll try to come back to this later. Stay tuned for why 1984 was more indicative of the future--albeit off by 20 years--than Brave New World.

ETA: I posted an assload of entries yesterday, in case you missed 'em. They were pretty ranty and fun.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

I Can't Shut Up. Or Win.

Four posts in one day, huh? Kind of a record for me. Sheesh.

Finding roommates is LAME. I volunteered myself for this job and it's already seemingly falling apart on me.

Last Friday I got a call from a girl, senior at UW, world traveler, wanted to bring a cat but "understood" that it wouldn't work with Boo. She checked us out yesterday afternoon and said she'd let us know if she was interested. Haven't heard yet, to my knowledge, but if she is interested, we'll tell her by the end of the week if she's it. If people pay attention to me. And it's possible they won't.

Talked to an old friend up in Edmonds who couldn't afford to move out yet, but had a friend, female, pre-med at UW, who was interested. Arranged for them to come up tomorrow night after 8.

Got an email from another girl about the same time who's transferring to UW from community college. She's coming by tomorrow night at 7:30.

Got a call this morning from a guy, new grad student at UW from Boston, who didn't have any real questions for me at the time and I told him to come by tomorrow at 7.

Ten minutes later, another girl calls and wants to know if she can bring a cat. I tell her it won't work with the sweet but territorial Boo and all, and she says she'll call other people. Phew.

Then Aron from #n00n, who would be a damn near perfect match of a roommate for us, says he wants to get out of Phoenix and thinks Seattle would be rocking. Cos he's a rocker and he'd rock out. And I'm all, fuck yeah dude, if you can make yourself move, I'd be all about that. Because Aron is rad. It just sounds like a long shot.

So then Josie emails and says I have picked the worst possible night for all these interviews--although I chose them based on an email she sent saying she'd be moving but around that night, not to mention everyone else's tight schedules--and might not be around at all for any of them. The tone is a tad pissy. This makes me a tad pissy. She's going to be painting tonight and I'm sure a brief but pissy encounter will ensue, but what the hell am I supposed to do? If world traveler girl wants the room and we want to let her know by the weekend (as is my plan), I need to interview as many people as possible before then so we can make a decision.

I'm not trying to play the martyr here and I don't mean to accuse anyone of being deliberately wrong or flaky or annoying or anything, I'm just slightly frustrated. But things will go on as planned, or not.

And Finally, A Quiz

As seen on Memepool and mentioned to me by my boss:

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Moderate

Take the Dante's Inferno Test

Politics and Religion

I'm not afraid to talk.

Sometimes I don't; sometimes I don't have what I feel formulated into a rational expression of opinion. But I'm not afraid to say what I think once I've had the chance to think it.

You know this about me. For some reason, I don't think of myself as quite as opinionated as everyone I know seems to think I am; maybe it's simply because I believe my opinions are just that--opinions--and as such are always subject to change. Just that when I get comfortable around people, I don't feel too insecure about actually expressing them.

Last night, I was flipping through the huge issue of Vogue that arrived for Margaret and commenting aloud about its various absurdities. Kevin asked why I was getting so mad. Hee.


This week's Tablet has a politics essay defending the Green vote. It says what I think, more or less, about why I'm less than gung-ho in supporting any Democrat in the upcoming presidential election and why it's wrong to say Nader ruined the last one for Gore. I voted for Nader. It was a vote of no confidence. I didn't think things would be this bad, and that's why I'm considering voting Dem at all. It's not that I think the Greens are so fantastic, it's that the Dems are so not, and it is such bullshit to say they are. Green was simply a way to vote that pooled progressives' collective loathing for the increasing centrism of the mainstream Dems.

Ptooie on the two-party system, says I. But it's a fact of life. Anyway, I'm conflicted.

Here's a story about religion that Aja sent me: Apparently, some Bible publishers are trying to make it more appealing to youngsters by publishing Bibles that have content like Cosmogirl. Quizzes! Q&As! Stuff about boys! And (inner) beauty tips! Hooray!

Which would be fine and all, whatever, except for this:

Revolve and similar efforts typically emphasize aspects of Christianity that might appeal to teenagers' attitudes. They describe Jesus as a radical who was not afraid to challenge mainstream society.

The content, however, hews to conservative Christian values on subjects like homosexuality and women's deference to men.

In one hypothetical question and answer, a girl asks, "How do you tell a friend that's your crush that you're into him without ruining your friendship?" Revolve counsels her: "You don't. Sorry. … God made guys to be the leaders. That means that they lead in relationships."

Jesus was a radical...but not a feminist? Hello? What the fuck 1950s bullshit attitude about the sexes are they pushing here?

I really can't say anything more about that beyond: "What the fuck?"

It's definitely a day of that.

Things That Make You Go...

What the fuck?! Taco Bell takes its own kind of California recall election poll.


I openly admit that hearing about the goddamn recall vote, oh, CONSTANTLY on every fucking media outlet annoys me. I mean, yes, it's interesting and pathetic and all that, and oooh look, celebrities are running, but hi, I DON'T GIVE A FUCK. I don't live in California. In fact, my own state is going to be electing a governor in the next year (the normal way, I might add), and there has been less coverage of candidates for that in local media than of the stupid California recall.

I guess I could care in the sense that it may signal doom for the right and natural way of the electoral process. That it's total bullshit. That it might forever change the way candidates for any public office campaign--they are constantly running for re-election. That it's just another example of how most major media outlets hardly carry anything truly newsworthy or even cater it to the news hole of their *local* constituents.

But after the first week and the first few editorials, I didn't care anymore. And no matter how much you like Arnold "The Govenator" Schwartzenegger, neither should you.

Actually, scratch that, if you like Ahhh-nold that much, I don't care about you.

But the Taco Bell thing. This is just idiotic.

So Arnold is among the most cheap and popular menu items--perhaps very appropriate. Gray Davis is something that, according to anecdotal knowledge, no one I know ever orders (feel free to correct me). Everyone else running is an item that's enjoying heavy commercial promotion right now. D'ya think that sways the poll just a tad?

I'm sure they're not intending this to be a scientific poll in the least, but for some reason? I don't like it when fast food giants begin espousing political bullshit. Something about that just stinks.

But hey. It's California. The state my boyfriend's from and the state where my sister now lives. But not me.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Everything You've Done Wrong

I posted our room-for-rent with the SHA, by the way. And turned in 7 of 9 stories, but it's looking pretty unlikely I'll eke out another one or two by tomorrow. Hello, failure.

I did have fun writing one story for the North Seattle Herald-Outlook about educational games and such. I got to visit some local toy stores and get them to show me games they thought were cool. Now I know where to shop for things like my brother's birthday present, hee. Since the Lewis Black tickets won't work. Stupid symphony concert.

Tomorrow Bush is going to be in Washington, doing various things to get money for his re-election campaign (because, you know, having raised a record high amount already isn't nearly enough) and make the good people of Washington state aware of all the things he's done to help the environment (like drilling for oil in ANWR and making clearcutting the answer to forest fires).

I'm going to Bellevue in the morning to protest. I'll be making a sign, I think, that simply says: "I Am Angry." Maybe I'll put a list of just a few environmental transgressions on the other side. It's not much of a catchy slogan, but it's from the heart. Straight from my dark, bitter heart.

My sister will be coming to Seattle next week for Bumbershoot. We are pretty excited. Kevin and I got passes for all three of us the other day at Starbucks, since that is where you go for service charge-free passes. I haven't mapped everything out yet, but I have a few ideas about what I'll be seeing. Aside from R.E.M. and Wilco, of course.

I talked to my old friend Rachel this afternoon for the first time in several months. She's the only person I still actually talk to from back in the day, from Oregon, who's not just a family friend. It's great because we are still friends and can still carry on a decent conversation after all these years and even after not seeing much of each other since we were 14. Last year she stayed at my apartment for part of Bumbershoot, but with a couple friends I didn't know. We didn't get to talk much.

This morning, she went in to have an MRI. They're checking for the tell-tale lesions that signal MS. Her grandmother died of MS and her mom is freaking out. Terrifying.

We're hoping to spend a weekend at the beach house in September. It's not too far for her to drive and a good excuse for me to go down.

Then I started reading an article in this week's Stranger about mad cow disease and talking to Becky, who already knew about it from videos in class. It was so sickening that I can't eat my dinner now. It has cow milk cheese on it.

Let's see, what else.

I've spent a lot of time with movies this week. Kevin and I rented A Fish Called Wanda and UHF at his behest--I hadn't seen them and he thought I should--and Comedian, which was great. I also picked up a used DVD of Scratch, which is slightly less cool on a 13" TV screen than it was in the theater, but exciting nonetheless. I have yet to peruse all the bonus materials on the second disc.

I also mistakenly bought a used copy of Apocalypse Now Redux on PAL R2 DVD because I am apparently illiterate. So...that needs to go back to Scarecrow for store credit. I'd spend the $13 there anyway. That's like four or five rentals with some coupons.

Josie is moving in this weekend. She needs to paint the ceiling in her room because it's especially crappy looking. Her old house is having a moving-out party tomorrow night, so I should stop by and say hello at some point. Saturday we need to go to Home Depot (for paint) and Costco (because...I have a membership and need my picture taken for the card, and who doesn't love a gratuitous trip to Costco?). I think some other stuff is happening, but I forget what now. I am reading the Stranger for potential plans. Oh, and a bunch of movies I want to see are coming out, but as they are all first weeks at Landmarks, I'll just wait until a weeknight when Josie can get me in for free. She probably wants to see half of them, anyway.

Oh, freaky thing: Kevin caught this spider in my kitchen the other night. I caught its friend earlier, which wasn't quite as huge. That's a good two inches of spidery freakishness in that glass, though. In my house. Now outside. Ew, ew ew ew.

Monday, August 18, 2003

10 Qualities I Seek in a Roommate

We'll be looking for a fourth roommate to replace Jen when she moves back to campus at the end of September. Chris is gone all September, so that means Josie and I will constitute the selection committee. We're putting out feelers for a friend-of-a-friend kind of situation, but will resort to SHA postings if necessary. So here's my list. It's not inclusive or exclusive; it's just things I'd be looking for.

  1. Doesn't smoke. At least not often. Even if they took their smokables on the porch, it'd waft inside and the smell would be on their clothes and stick to the furniture. To my smoking friends: I love you, but I do not want to live with it.

  2. Friendly and at least somewhat talkative. I don't need you to be my best friend--although as of this weekend, two of my roommates *are* some of my best friends, and the departing fourth is a friend--but it would be nice if you could be sociable with us.

  3. Not argumentative. I need to feel comfortable to say stupid shit in my own home, and while we all tend to engage in debate, it isn't much of an argument. There is a fine line between the two, and some people don't seem to understand where it is.

  4. Doesn't steal shit. That should go without saying, but I've had friends whose roomies would steal food, even if the friend was more than willing to share if they'd just ask. I've had friends whose (stranger) roomies stole DVDs from their bedrooms and no one would own up to it. That just fucking sucks. We have a lot of stuff that we are more than willing to share--in fact, we keep lots of kitchen supplies, books, DVDs, videos, games, tools, etc. that are available on shelves and in closets for people to use if they need them without outright asking the owners.

  5. Willing to clean. We all hate cleaning (at least certain things), but it must be done. This house looks like sloppy shit if it isn't at least swept occasionally, and the kitchen requires cleaning all the freaking time to be usable. Help with dishes, sweeping, mopping, wiping counters, taking out trash, organizing recyclables, putting away your stuff, bringing dishes to the kitchen, and cleaning the bathrooms are all things we do to help out. Right now, there isn't a set cleaning schedule or anything like that, but we may institute one if we can find a way that makes actual sense.

  6. If you have overbearing parents, try not to let them visit too often. One can only smile and nod for so long before wrath would be incurred, except that it's someone's parents and you can't really lose your shit at them.

  7. We're definitely movie snobs in some respect. It might help if you're not someone who was interested in seeing Gigli, "that movie with J-Lo and umm... you know, Ben... something." (Honest to god, someone said this on the bus. Just after declaring her intent to see American Wedding because she heard it was really funny.) Your roommates would be a movie theater employee, an aspiring filmmaker/cinema studies major/former IMDb intern, and me, who just likes movies. And also used to intern at IMDb, too.

  8. Don't whine about how scary the Ave is, or our part of the U-District. Crazy shit happens around here, it's true; our street and alley are full of wackos. Why, just the other day, the vacant lot behind us that bums tend to sleep in caught on fire. Strange cars are often parked in the space three lots over where the remains of a Burger King sit behind chain-link fence. We swear our next-door neighbor grows pot in the basement. A couple houses are band houses that throw punkrock house parties all the time. It'll keep you up at night and wake you in the morning if you're a light sleeper, but it's unlikely to actually DO anything beyond annoy you. It just makes life more colorful, and hey, anytime you need late-night crazy people entertainment *and* a fine Odwalla beverage, you can skip over to Safeway less than a block away.

  9. You must like the color burnt orange. Or pumpkin spice, or butterscotch vomit. It's been called many things: hideous, possibly tolerable, and great. It's the color of all four walls in the room that will be vacant.

  10. Be at least slightly technologically adept, or at least willing to listen to us. If you do things that fuck with our network, our internet connection can suffer. Don't do that. Don't leave yourself open to all kinds of viruses and vulnerabilities, be smart about filesharing, and don't try to fix problems you know nothing about.

Friday, August 15, 2003


She got us all the way up with a top-notch set of songs, and then... we begged for more, but nothing.

I'd like to think it wasn't her fault. But still.

Beautiful, though. She is so cute. And the music is so fucking cool.

Sat., 9:48 AM--ETA: According to review posters over at, the venue is required to make performers stop by 10 p.m., which would explain the short set without encore.

Why aren't more shows I'd pay this much to see at more tolerable (and tolerant) venues like the Paramount?

August Has No Federal Holidays

August doesn't have time for federal holidays. It's such a jam-packed month, with the end of summer, the beginning of school, and always something going on.

Many important things in my life have occurred in August (or the beginning of September). Besides the start of the school year every year since I was 5, August has been perhaps one of the most significant months for me. I just realized it right now.

My brother was born Sept. 1, 1987, when I was 5. I started kindergarten then. I fell in love with my teacher, Mrs. Rafoth, and her classroom bunny.

When I was older, Mrs. Rafoth became my 4-H leader. I had rabbits of my own. August was the month of the county fair, which I went to every day, every year from age 12 to 15. The first three years were at the Washington County Fair in Oregon. I won blue ribbons and a couple Reserve Champion medallions. One year, our rabbits were quarantined for weeks after the fair (and my sister profiled on the local CBS-affiliate evening news) with a myxomatosis scare.

The year I was 14, we found out we'd be moving to Washington state within a month. I was about to start high school, and suddenly, my life was completely uncertain. I was deeply upset. We moved to Olympia just after I got my first chance to show at the Oregon State Fair.

While in high school, I made many friends, in person and on the 'net, and when I was 16, a group of us went to Bumbershoot in Seattle for the first time. I've been nearly every year since.

Last year, when I was 20, my dad died of prostate cancer. Today is the one-year anniversary of his death. We finally went up to the cemetary to inter the ashes today. My mom planned a little ceremony with flowers picked from the garden and poetry. Then we ate a lunch that I packed in great haste over by a fancy gravesite with a babbling brook fountain.

Christine sent me three pink roses that arrived in perfect timing, and for that, she is an angel.

Tonight is Bjork. It's going to be beautiful.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Don't Tell Me to Smile

Listen up. If you're a smarmy little asshole Ave rat who thinks that just because you think it's funny, you're entitled to bother passers-by who aren't obviously in the same jovial state of mood you're in, fuck you.

I just wanted some fucking dinner. I'm in the middle of shit, and sure, my day? Isn't horrible. In fact, it's pretty all right. But you know, I wasn't smiling. Something could have been deeply troubling me. You just don't. Fucking. Know what's going on with someone you've never met who's walking past you on the street. So don't do this:

"Ma'am. You dropped something, ma'am."


"Ma'am, you dropped something here!"

[looking back]

"Your smile."

[shooting a dirty look]

And the little bastards whimpered and laughed. Aww, look at the bitchy white lady, she don't wanna smile.

I don't fucking have to smile. I'll smile when I damn well feel like smiling, which isn't now.

I found this more annoying than these guys (and Becky will remember), Hare Krishna guys standing outside Bumbershoot trying to "fine" you $5 for "not smiling" so you'd give them money for dorky cult stickers. Of course, Becky was friends with some HK dudes in Florida at the time and later struck up a conversation with one of them on our way back from QFC and bought a Bhagavad Gita.

On the other hand, some guys don't completely piss me off.

The guy selling Real Change outside Trader Joe's always half sings his pitch and smiles and looks at you hopefully. It's his sad little jingle, and it always gets me. I just hadn't ever bought from him until today because usually someone already bought a copy.

Those guys know if you want people to be nice, you can't be a presumptuous ass.


I picked up a story request today that will be way frickin' easy to do this weekend, and I talked to a C&C network securty guy Julie hooked me up with, so I've mostly written a pretty techy story about the Blaster worm/Windows exploits on campus. That story is totally good to go as soon as another source that my prof told me to contact gets back to me with answers to questions so my story is more well-rounded.

It kind of sucks that Claritin-D is now available OTC because I can't get a prescription for it and, therefore, I can't get insurance to pay for most of it. I miss $10 copays for 30 pills. I just paid $12 for 10 24-hour release caplets this weekend because my allergies are starting to attack.

I need to get a local physician. It's nearing annual checkup time. Lots of things the doc otter look at for me. (I'm healthy, really. Just, checkups are good so long as I can get them, y'know? Speaking of, it's also lame not to have dental insurance.) Yeah. I want allergy meds, girlie-bit consolations, the works.

And I want there not to be people doing noisy shit in the street at 7 a.m.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Tying Identity to Inconsequential Things

How often do you hear people say things like, "I'm a size 10?"

As if the size of clothing you wear is tied to who you are. Notice it's not, "I wear a size 10," or "Size ten fits me." "I am a size 10."

You are?

Why do you reduce yourself to a size, an arbitrary number assigned to women's clothing?

It's not that big a deal, right. It's just another little thing that people tend to do that... I don't know, it bothers me somehow.

You are a lot of things. You could be a student, an environmentalist, a parent, a vegetarian, a worker, a model, a sex addict--you could be a lot of things that actually say something about who you are as a person. Who you are that others see in you and you see in yourself.

So why are you also a number that says nothing except what number you have to look for on the tag when you go shopping for clothes?

A lot of people, it seems, tie self-worth and identity to relatively shallow things. I can understand why--it's easy to look around and see lots of people who "look better" (i.e., are smaller) than you. Saying you ARE a size kind of accepts this in your mind.

This is so touchy-feely for my rants. But, dammit, it is common. I get excited if I can fit into a smaller size, too, but I'd like to think it's because that means I've been acting healthier. It's a confusing mess, this maze of self-worth, and you could say many things are attributable to both good and bad causes. You can justify it, too. It just sickens me how such a little thing can collapse the train of logic into one stupid reason to feel bad about yourself.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Everything Is OK, Kinda

Lftp is no friend of sftp. I should be able to use secure file transfer protocol in a command line interface, right? So why doesn't it work?

Stupid, stupid.

Speaking of stupid, though, I tried to make myself some coffee about an hour ago. I wanted to be able to concentrate better on the story I'm working on.

Guess who got so absorbed in her work that she completely forgot about the boiling water until the smoke detector went off?

The damn teapot's enamel had started melting onto the burner element. Ew. Ahh, sweet poisonous gas.

Josie came by earlier. Things seem to be in order for her to move in as soon as Chris gets Margaret's key and talks to the landlord about the lease and a pet deposit.

Of course, Chris wasn't awake when she came by because he was doped up on codeine from his ER visit. Hurrah for really bad migraines when you didn't know you got migraines! Poor Chris.

Anyway, pursuant to a previous entry, I didn't turn in anything today, and I don't want to turn in the story I have ready for tomorrow until I have something else to turn in with it. I'm afraid he's going to think I'm a gigantic slacker for it because it's in first person and about my sunburn. I did outside research, though, so it's not just opinion or anything. But I could have one or two more stories for Wednesday. That would be optimal. I have legs out for a total of three stories this week, which leaves me with only three for next week.

Here's what I've done:
-kid with a brain tumor (Bothell-Kenmore Reporter)
-Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride (Northwest Asian Weekly)
-Christine's authentic Russian experience

Here's what I've got going on this week:
-severe sunburn
-DO-IT on accessible web design or ???
-Windows security trouble and the UW campus

Here are my ideas for next week:
-the juice story (Naked vs. Odwalla)
-HSL remodel
-the one allowed opinion/review article
-whatever else I can think of...

If I can do the above, I'll have enough. I'd like that. I'd like not to be a fuckup, though I'm pretty sure I couldn't ask Mike for a glowing letter of recommendation.

Anyway, time now to breathe a little.

I-5 Irritation and the Occasional Good Day

Friday afternoon is obviously a bad time to get on the freeway. I know this. I know this, and yet I allowed myself to do it. I let Kevin sleep so he could come with me, and that meant leaving town at 2:30 and not actually getting out of Seattle until around 3.

It was 5 when we finally got to Olympia. I was so exasperated and hungry that we took a detour and got food and gas on the west side of town--a few miles off 101--and let Kevin take over the driving. It should not take two and a half hours to get to Olympia, but it did. And we still had another two and a half hours to go, in good traffic, to get to Seaside.

That part went off without a hitch, however. We arrived in time for a gorgeous sunset.

Saturday morning I went to some garage sales and antique stores with my mom and sister. I picked up a copy of The Big Book of Hell by Matt Groening for a quarter. Then we went to lunch at Dooger's. I had the cajun-style catfish lunch special. It was pretty all right. Eating out in beach towns tends to be exceptionally bland, so cajun-style is my only chance for spice of any variety.

Kevin and I took a long and rather pointless walk to downtown and back; we stopped at an antique store so I could hunt for records (and nothing) and Rite-Aid for batteries and newly OTC Claritin-D. Walking back along the highway sucks. Kevin asked why we didn't just drive. I had no real answer to that.

We went down to the beach kind of late in the day, though the sun was still high. We brought a blanket and umbrella and sat until it got a little chilly. I had to go wade in the ocean a bit, though, which was surprisingly non-frigid (to say it was warm would be a fallacy).

Then it was 99 Cent Store Time. Mom said it was open until 9, so we left almost immediately to check it out. Dollar stores are one of my favorite places to go, even if I have no interest in most of the crap. The point is, I could GET a lot of crap if I NEEDED it because it's a dollar. Or three for a dollar, or whatever. And Oregon is even better than Washington for dollar stores because there is no sales tax. It's not quite as good as Canada, which does tax, but the exchange rate is so far in our favor that it more than evens out. Anyway, there wasn't much crap we wanted, but we did get some. They sold the Ryvita crackers Kevin likes, generic kitchen stuff (foil, scouring pads, trash bags), that sort of thing. Mom needed a new pitcher, so we got her two. They had a ton of produce for super cheap, though we were hesitant to buy any of it. Most notably, the five-for-a-dollar avocados looked sad.

As soon as we left the store, my sister called. She wanted us to come to the beach as soon as possible because she'd built a sand sculpture of a shickwreck with a fire pit in the middle and we needed to use it so these little brats would stop throwing rocks at it.


Our original plan was to go home and make spaghetti, but mom went biking and Margot was at the beach, so hell. Let's get some fire wood and go to the beach.

Here's a giant photo of the sculpture at sunset. You get the double-whammy of the nice sunset and the nice sculpture.

And here's the ship going down in flames:
the ship is on fire, captain! all hands, abandon ship!

And then there was a pretty moon, which looks terribly gritty in this photo:
almost full

After we gave the fire to an arriving group of teenagers (who had more cases of beer than firewood), we headed home for our spaghetti dinner. Then Kevin and I started to watch Bringing Down the House because, really, how bad could it be?

Pretty bad, actually. I couldn't tolerate it and shut it off about 2/3 of the way in. Kevin wanted to keep watching because it was so bad, he reasoned, that it must get better at some point. I disagreed. Anyway, we watched Talk Sex with Sue Johansen instead because at least that's reasonable.

Sunday morning we got up and started laundry and cleaning. We left around noon. Mom and Margot stayed behind to clean more.

Our stated direction was Astoria, for the Sunday Market. I wanted to buy peaches and eggplant. I got peaches and eggplant. Then I needed lunch or I was going to be grouchy and a terrible driver. We wandered around for ages and found nothing appropriate. We ended up with overpriced hummus from the tiny natural foods store that we ate with pita chips and began the long drive home.

I am a bitchy driver to begin with. I whine when people drive too slow in front of me and I whine when people behind me want to drive too fast and practically tailgate. I fear the presence of any law enforcement. So when I'm cranky and driving, it's not a good combination. Sunday was a bad combination day.

We got through Oregon fine. We got to I-5 fine. Well, some dork was driving through Longview at 30 mph when it's posted at 35, but whatever. We got to Centralia, around the whack right-wing political billboard, and suddenly things were not fine.

A dude in a red Civic Coupe had been following behind me too close for comfort for several miles. This happens all the time, but it usually amounts to nothing. Today it amounted to something.

Near that stupid political sign, traffic in my lane started slowing down somewhat suddenly. So I, too, braked and stopped rather suddenly. Anyone following a REASONABLE distance behind me would've been able to stop in time. Not Mr. Red Civic, however, who popped me in the rear end.

We pulled over. He came over and started telling me he was sorry but he didn't have insurance. What-the-fuck! I got irate. Kevin got out of the car and inspected the back, saying nothing was visibly wrong, and talked to the guy and got his contact information. Then a state trooper showed up and asked why we hadn't called the cops already. Um, 'cos it just happened, lady. Anyway, she gave us forms and filled out the other guy's form because, oh, he's from Mexico and it's all so very confusing.

We finished filling out the form and waited for the cop to come back from her car. Then we saw that she was telling the guy to spread his legs and put his arms behind his back. Apparently he had a felony warrant out for his arrest. No idea for what, but still. Random.

And then my mom pulled up, which I knew would happen. The cop told her to get back on the road and briefly explained what happened. I told her the car was fine and everything, but it was weird. She told me to call her and laughed about it.

So then I made Kevin drive the rest of the trip. And we found a Burgerville so I got my Triple Berry Smoothie and a Spicy Black Bean Gardenburger, both of which were yummy. I just...needed...something right then, and that was it. I was just fucking exhausted and traffic was slow the rest of the way. Ugh.

Today I found out that Josie is, in fact, moving in--this weekend, even--and Chris apparently went to the ER last night. He is worried about the lease and cats and stuff. I don't think that's why he went to the ER, but who knows. And also a beached whale shored up in Seaside at the volleyball tournament and died, while two people got arrested trying to 'save' it. Good job, people. We didn't see any volleyball or beached whales, so I guess we were missing out. What a mad scene.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Places to Go, People to See

I finally feel like things are on track.

Despite all my time-wasting efforts, I seem to have pulled together the beginnings of more than enough stories to cover my ass this quarter. I should be able to turn in two Monday, another by Tuesday, and with a little luck more by Wednesday or Thursday. That's four or five in a week! That would bring me up to seven stories. Seven! That's only two away from the required nine! Even if I got eight, my ass would still be all right. So of course this will come tumbling down, but hell. Right now, it's seeming all right.

Many thanks to Julie for being AWESOME and Aja for hooking me up with another sunburn victim.

This is why I could never make it as a real reporter: I suck.

Anyway, in lieu of sticking around and pounding down doors for stories, I'm headed to the beach. With Kevin, whenever he wakes up and feels ready to go. So probably not for a long while.

My sister got frustrated with the San Francisco scene, which requires money and tolerance for annoying roommates to have a good time, neither of which she possesses. She hopped on a Greyhound bound for Portland Wednesday afternoon and ought to be kicking it in the... well, drizzle, for all I know, but kicking it in Seaside with mom now. It'll be fun to see them both, although, strangely, I just *did* a couple weeks ago.

It's funny how I seldom visit people at home anymore. I don't even see my mom at her house. I see her in Oregon, at...yeah, her other house, but not THE house, the in-Olympia house with mail delivery, garbage service, and internet access.

Speaking of garbage, I was good and took the garbage out last night. I even checked to see if this week was a recycling week. It's not. I re-did the white board calendar to reflect which weeks are recycling, too.

Kevin was extremely talkative yesterday. This is rare for him, but it was delightful. Not that he is usually utterly silent with me, he's not; he just usually doesn't talk about a whole lot. Last night he had a whole lot to say and was full of energy. I told him it was "cute."

He said: "Aww, look, Kevin's talking. Listen to his little voice. How cute!"

"I didn't mean like that!"

But it was cute. Or attractive. Or something.

He had gone to Bellevue to meet with a headhunter--with whom he was rather unimpressed--and visit his friend Simon. He pondered why he was so talkative and upbeat.

"I think maybe it's because I had to do things today."

"That's what I've been telling you for months!"

He had no idea what I was talking about, but I swear I've tried to tell him a katrillion times that he will be more likely to do stuff if he has to do other stuff. Having some purpose in life beget doing other stuff. At least, it seems to be a better motivator than having nothing to do but work on songs if the mood strikes and visit your girlfriend when she's around and not totally bitchy. He still had no idea what I was talking about.

He even washed one of his own dishes. It was a first.

Wednesday night was also fun. I went out to Wallingford with Christine and had dinner with Josie on the floor of her theater. Josie had us on the list for a free movie, so we saw Spellbound, a documentary about ten kids who went to the National Spelling Bee in 1999. It was excellent, except that the kids we rooted for the most at the beginning got eliminated early on. I drove Christine to her brother's house, where she'll be living when she moves back to Seattle. It's way up at 125th, but a nice house indeed.

listening: the sounds of distant garbage trucks

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Blooger Schnooger Hunh?

I always start typing "blooger" when I mean to type "blogger." I think I like "blooger" better, but it wouldn't resolve the same way.

Christine has extended her stay through at least Thursday. Hurrah! This means tomorrow night we meet Josie in Wallingford for dinner.

Speaking of Josie, she might end up living here after all. The Peace Corps has apparently deigned it necessary that she have her wisdom teeth removed to avoid any medical emergencies whilst she is away. Since her tentative date of departure is Oct. 1, this could be a problem. She confided that she might actually prefer to put off the Peace Corps for a few months, since having her wisdom teeth out and visiting her mom and moving back to Portland for a month during finals week does not a pleasant sendoff make.

So we've got all kinds of roommate shake-ups and shake-downs. Jen has said she doubts she and her dorm roomie will want to remain in the house, particularly over winter, which will inevitably expensive and drafty. If Josie comes aboard, we only need to find one more roommate (at least until Josie actually leaves with the Peace Corps, which will be a few months later). If she doesn't, we'll need to find two. And they'll probably be strangers. That'll be superfun. Petty thieves and inconsiderate slobs, beware! Chris and I will beat you with our 2x4 of passive aggression!

Hey, really, what is the college experience without at least one terrible roommate? I haven't had any...yet. Chris has, though, so maybe that will be enough to let us ride out the bad in favor of the tolerable.

Yeah, am I capable of having an entire entry with a single focus? No. Time to shift gears.

I fried up a thinly-sliced baby eggplant in some olive oil for lunch. Eggplant is one of the best things ever. I put it on two slices of crusty sourdough bread and baked it with a dollop of marinara and a small handful of the Mediterranean cheese blend. Ohh, yummy.

My prof said of Christine's story: "I've never read a story with so many interior quotes, but at least you punctuated them correctly."

I'm trying to figure out if there will be beachiness this weekend. It sounds like Becky isn't up for the mother-daughter trip proposed by my mom, so that's probably out. I could probably get together a last-minute bunch from the Harem to leave Thursday or Friday. Kevin said he might come if he doesn't end up going to Yellowstone to meet his dad, his dad's girlfriend, and her two kids--which he doesn't really seem to want to do anyway, seeing as it's a long drive and he'd have to go alone, then not do the things he'd plan to do or spend much time with just his dad. Or so he thinks. But I'm staying out of that one.

I've been researching some of my other stories. The more I research, the more I find my angle to be unfocused. It's quite frustrating. My ideas are very general, and without an audience in mind, the angle is even more difficult to imagine. So I guess I'll have to pick an audience, then an angle. If your audience is too general, many of these stories vanish from the news hole, and along with them any semblance of confidence I have in myself as a journalistic writer.

I find myself missing my n00n friends, though not in the sense that I want to find a week of vacation in which to go to Arizona. It just makes the world seem too large and the Internet silly.

Everyone else seems to be doing good writing lately. Chris has a new website writing project at that, if his first piece is any indication, sounds very exciting. People are doing lots of cool and interesting things and some are writing about them (i.e., Graylan). I feel very boring and unfocused in comparison. I mean, when your journal entries stretch for weeks and consist of "I don't know what to write about. Here is something I saw that irritated me. Let's make a mountain out of a molehill. Food is good, whee!" that's not a good sign that you're doing anything you love. I can't get up the passion to do anything, but I'm not bitterly unhappy, so I guess I'll muddle through until it's more convenient to do something radical.

Heh. Convenient radicalism. Oxymoron, much?

Monday, August 04, 2003

Story Ideas

I'm jittery and nervous, but I can't tell if it's the coffee and lack of food or buzzing from story ideas and the need for speed.

There are three weeks left of school. I have to get in as many stories as possible by 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 22. Right now I've turned in two and have a story about Christine's experience as an American woman in Russia to show him today. I'm thinking about submitting it to Nervy Girl. (I wasn't terribly impressed with the 'zine when I bought it before, but somehow I doubt this story would fit in an issue of Bust or Bitch.)

I have two press releases--one about public art and another about the public libraries--that I plan to whip into little news pieces. I am going to try to get in touch with an "expert" on sunburn and write a piece on severe sunburn (using my experience as a base, of course). And, thanks to the top story on Indymedia, I've come up with my seventh story.

Seattle Public Schools recently renewed a contract with Coca-Cola to place vending machines in middle and high schools. The contract, while it gave the district a buttload of much-needed money, was strenuously protested by the community. But my story's not about that. It's about corporate placement in grocery stores.

Coca-Cola owns Odwalla. In my local Safeway, Odwalla drinks have front-of-the-store placement. Their biggest competitor (that I know of), Naked, is relegated to the back of the produce section, by the tofu. At Ballard Market, part of an independent chain, they recently remodeled the store and both drinks--as well as Happy Organics--are located in the same part of the store. I am hoping to talk to some store employees about product placement in stores and get some information about the differences between Odwalla and Naked, Safeway and Town and Country Markets. Should be at least a little interesting if people will talk. Which is a big if.

Story eight can be a review of something, anything. My one opinion piece. Easy enough.

And eight out of nine ain't bad, but I'll do my damndest to get more.

Well, time to go to class.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Fried Zucchini

Oh my GOD. I just made an awesome sandwich discovery.

I have been feeling a tad outside the cooking sphere lately, but a little pan-fried zucchini may have punched me out of it. We'll see. I have yet to decide if Christine and I are eating Indian out or cooking in tonight. I just got a bunch of delectable veggies (and a cucumber. I hate cucumber but Kevin likes it, so I thought he might have a use for it) at the farmers' market, along with a half pint of blackberries with which to make... ooohhh... I think I'll have to bake up some no-pudge brownies and make us some kickass fat-free shakes with frozen yogurt, blackberries, and brownies. Oh fuck yes.

So yeah, the sandwich. It was mighty tasty.

It consisted of: crusty sliced sourdough boule, lightly toasted; thinly-sliced beefsteak tomatoes (the gorgeous ones at the FM); tzatziki from Trader Joe's; and pan-fried strips of zucchini, cooked in about a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and about 1/4 tsp. of finely ground black pepper.

It is, of course, important to note that it would be difficult to go awry with this sandwich. Just that it never occurred to me before. I love and adore every food item involved. I was humming gleefully and shaking my leg with satisfaction as I ate. Mmmm.

My own tomatoes are actually growing. There are three tiny green fruits and another dozen or so flowers on the bush. My jalapeno plant fills me with joy due to its three bright red little fruits and three larger green fruits. The serrano is making progress, as is the sweet pepper. The spinach has all died, sadly, but everything else is surviving well enough.

Anyway, back to composing a piece of journalistic writing about one of my best friends. Tee-hee. It's cheating, but dammit, I need seven more stories in three weeks or I am a bad, bad journalism student. I have four stories I intend to get at least knee-deep into this week. I might make it if I keep pushing.