Saturday, September 27, 2003

Memo to the Weather: It's Autumn Now

What the fuck is this shit? It's been hot all day. It's returned to being truly unpleasant in my room. I don't approve. I don't even know what temperature it is, but it's unacceptably high, whatever it is. Anyway, it needs to cool the fuck down, pronto. I don't want this shit anymore. Fuck the heat. If I wanted heat, I'd move to Arizona.

Working closing this last week finally got to me. I wanted to murder everyone being a pain in the ass at closing, which was more than usual. First, one lady was convinced that a certain computer and its floppy drive were broken because Word informed her that her disk was too full to save the changes to her document there, despite my showing her how the disk was, in fact, full. She was freaking out and was pacified quickly enough when she moved to another computer with the same results and I showed her how to email the document to someone, which she wanted to do anyway. That was at 15 minutes before closing. Ten minutes later, she got her floppy disk stuck in the drive on an e-mail terminal. Sheesh.

Worse, however, was the guy who, despite my repeated calls that closing would come soon, the computers would be shutting down and people ought to print and/or save their work, hadn't finished saving his shit appropriately when the computers did shut down, and, at 6:55 (when the librarians downstairs get really cranky about kicking people out), turned the computer he was using back on (after I told him he couldn't) to see if his file there, which it wasn't because the new shutdown procedure cleans off the desktop. Which I told him. And then he said that this wasn't how the other libraries were (um, too bad; and would you mind paying attention to the numerous signs and vocalized warnings next time?) and that it was a very important document he'd been working on all day. The girl with him pleaded with me that it was his first time here and maybe he was too absorbed in his work to listen. I just looked (and was) pissed and they finally scurried out.

I'm glad my new schedule doesn't have me closing at all (although opening two weekdays kind of sucks; that's damn early).

Today has been inexplicably exhausting for a full day of leisure. Seven Haremites met for brunch at Paul's Place, the restaurant conveniently located across the street from me. It was quite tasty, especially the triple berry coffee cake. Ohhh, yeah. That was the shit. (Note to mom: you would dig the place. They have non-breakfasts, too, of course, but the coffee cake was excellent.)

Then people kind of dispersed, slowly--Lindsay had a train to catch, then Christine went for a run, Graylan and Chris went to Hardwick's, and eventually Jana and Shane went back to Shane's to nap or whatever. Then Christine came back from running and Stephanie finally arrived with her dad, two hired mover boys, and a truck full of boxes.

Christine and I decided then would be a good time to duck out and grab a quick lunch. We initially wanted salad rolls/fresh spring rolls at a Thai place, but the nearby restaurants weren't serving them, so we ended up at Pagliacci's. Christine ordered a small pesto salad for us to share, but then I saw the Eggplant Primo slices and had to have one. All in all, an excellent (and relatively cheap) light lunch.

For a brief while after Josie returned from lunch with her aunt, just us housemates were around. So we did what housemates are wont to do: we bitched about politics. Stephanie mentioned her pleasure at living with lefties. Hee.

Several hours later, people came back to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes Christine had taped and get S.U.B.S. takeout, which is always delicious. I got the tuna salad on wheat. Nummy. We watched about four episodes, including the one where Picard, Guinan, Ensign Ro, and Keiko get turned into children and defeat the renegade Ferengis and the one where Worf, Alexander and Troi get stuck in an old west holodeck program where all the bad guys turn into Data, so there was some good stuff there. But I was exceedingly sleepy by 9 p.m. Chris suggested it was communicable jet lag.

All right. It's almost cool enough to sleep now, so that may be where I'm headed.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Never What It Used To Be

Has it only been a month? I have lived entire lifetimes in Septembers past; this year was no different. And it leaves me tired and bored. Like everything.

Working all the time leaves me with little to talk about. Working closing makes me have multiple dreams about people not getting out of the lab on time and causing me a headache. I don't like dreaming about that. It's stressful and stupid.

To occupy my otherwise empty time, I've been reading (The Da Vinci Code, most recently), watching taped miniseries (Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea), and... well, not much else.

Oh, wait, that's not entirely true. I went to trivia night at O'Shea's Pub in Wallingford on Monday with Josie. That was different and fun enough.

But mostly, I've been doing nothing. And I don't love it.

I keep thinking there is something to say, but there isn't.

There are plans upcoming. Yay for plans. They involve friends. Yay for friends. I still have to figure out how to get to Olympia for the day Oct. 5, or even if I can find dirt-cheap airfare to Las Vegas for early November. The latter isn't a necessity, but some friends will be in town for other friends' wedding and I'd like to kick it with them since they live far away. But no dirt cheap fares have turned up in my searches. Besides, it might be fun to do Vegas right: i.e., not arriving after a day-long car ride through the Mojave with my bitchy ex-boyfriend. And me being equally bitchy.

Anyone want to go see the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players at the Sunset Tavern Sunday night? Opening bands at 9, I guess, so they'll be on later. My Monday doesn't begin until 9:30, heh, so fuck it.

Chris is coming home today. Jen is moving out tomorrow. Stephanie's moving in Saturday. Christine is back in Seattle and a bunch of people are doing brunch and, later, Star Trek: The Next Generation near and at my house on Saturday, so rah. The only sad thing there is Jen's leaving. I think.

Oh, and the plum came out with a little plunging. Tee hee.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Elections Are A Crock

Washington Presidential Primary Might Be Eliminated

And really, who cares, right? The state caucus will only pay attention to 20% of the primary votes compared with 80% of the caucus votes. And that's new, besides. So primary voting is essentially "worthless" and wastes a ton of state funds, right? And the people have to work much harder to have a goddamn say. Have to not find it hard to align yourself with a party whose political ideologies are to be as centrist as possible.

I'll vote Democrat. I just don't consider myself one. I'm left of Dem. I don't see real change as a possibility except in the sense that things are pretty fucking terrible right now and most of them are things I'd sure as hell expect any Democrat to get rid of or change so significantly that they aren't the problem they are now.

But I could be wrong. I've been disappointed before.

The news is all bad today.

A Plum in the Plumbing

Jen could hardly contain her laughter when she confessed to dropping a small plum down the kitchen sink.

Of course, it will require a big plumbing wrench to get out. Not sure that anyone home feels sufficiently confident they can clean the trap out, but we'll see.

Speaking of food, my mom and I cooked a buttload of food this weekend. The biggest recipe source was a colorful vegetarian cookbook with lots of pictures. Mom is excited by pretty pictures of food accompanied by recipes, so we picked out a handful (out of the two dozen we were particularly enamored of) and made a few meals.

On Friday night, we made a green curry with sweet potatoes and eggplant. We ate it with brown rice and french bread while watching Season 1 of Sex and the City on my mom's laptop. It was a little too spicy for us--the curry, not the show.
green curry with sweet potatoes and eggplant...and a little carrot to take the edge off

Saturday's lunch, before the spa experience, consisted of several appetizer dishes.

mixed greens with brie, pear, and pecans
Our second salad with the wonderful pecan and pear combination, the dressing on this fell a little flat. It could have benefited from a nice berry vinaigrette, but brie is always good.

tomato, artichoke heart, and marjoram toast
The first of two bruschetta/toast-type items, this would have been better if done properly. I did it the lazy way and stuck the untoasted slices of french bread and raw tomato slices under the broiler without roasting the tomatoes separately or anything. However, the taste was good (to me), and I would make it again.

pesto and sun-dried tomato toast
Yeah, okay, just: yum. Homemade pesto (sans cheese), marinated sun-dried tomatoes, and a pinch of parmesan, stuck under the broiler for a few minutes. Yes, yes, yes.

chiles filled with mushroom rice stuffing
These...were not my thing. I could've done without the croutons and a less spicy stuffing receptacle might have been appreciated.

pesto-stuffed mushrooms
Pretty tasty. The same homemade pesto, spooned into big white mushroom caps with a pinch of parmesan and baked. Hard to go wrong. But the picture is mightily overexposed, eh?

Saturday night was our last hurrah. We did the last few things we didn't have time for before, even though they didn't quite go together.

polenta pancakes with avocado salsa
Holy cow yum. The pancakes were fluffy and a tad sweet, like a cross between a corn tortilla and a crepe. The salsa was fresh and filling. If I made it again, though, I'd put a little bit of whole pinto beans in the mix with the salsa, for protein and substance.

beer bread in the oven
It was from a mix, but it's still good. Mm-mm, beer bread.

pitiful fried green tomatoes
I did these all wrong. Kevin said they looked like confused shellfish. They didn't taste good at all. The batter was too thick and, being dense at the time, I didn't actually, you know, FRY them, just pan-fried. So they sucked, the end.

Monday, September 22, 2003

The Empress Has New Clothes

Because she'd freeze to death without them.

I have lots of photos of the vegetarian dishes my mom and I cooked and of beautiful sunsets in Seaside to share, but there was more to the weekend than all that. But I do think they were mom's favorite parts.

I'll just link to the sunset photos, 'cos I kept them rather large. But that is for the next entry.

Mom and Livia, her quiet new student from Indonesia, came to Seattle to pick me up Wednesday evening. I'd just eaten a big bowl of noodles, but they were hungry, so we went to New China Express. On Thursday morning, mom and I set out for Portland to grab lunch and go shopping. As per my last entry about clothes, mom wanted to take me clothes shopping, so we went to Lloyd Center.

But first, there was lunch at a place near the mall called Wok 'n' Roll, which was pretty tasty. I got some grilled tofu with lemongrass thing; quite yummy indeed. Impressively yummy for non-fried tofu, anyway.

We walked all over the mall and ended up buying a few things. I got some hazelnut brown corduroys at Sears (heh) and several items at Meier and Frank: brown sweater, white blouse (sans serious bust-popping issues), nice slippers, cozy black hoodie, and a very nice black microfiber raincoat with warm lining and hood. I am expecting the worst from this winter, so I'll need all the help I can get from my clothes.

The only other serious shopping trip occurred on Saturday, after our spa experience (I'll get to that later). We went to the outlet mall to see if the Jones New York store had these t-shirts in mom's size that she liked at Meier and Frank. No such luck, but I did get stuff at Bass. Bass is a hell of a lot like the Gap, except it's not actually the Gap, and therefore I feel less dirty going there. Besides, their pants like to fit me. So I got a couple pairs of pants--gray tweed slacks and gray-blue cords--two fuzzy warm v-neck sweaters in dark gray and maroon, a lambswool lime/sage green sweater, zip-up dark blue hoodie sweater, and long-sleeved t-shirts in red and sky blue with polo-type collars and v-necks. Very preppy, but in a way I can use with my less-than-preppy other stuff, maybe. Warm, anyway.

I will get to the actual weekend stuff later, assuming I don't have to do anything at work.

Oh, and there is something funny going on with the billing for gas at my house and I have to attempt to straighten it out with the landlord. If I can get it straight myself, that is. Unnughh.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Target Has Nothing

I went to Target yesterday with Jen and we spent no money. I had every intention of buying a sweater, or maybe slippers, and I found nothing that would satisfy me. There were a lot of ugly clothes and a lot of overpriced clothes and a lot of slippers that were fuzzy on the outside and not on the inside, which seems to defeat the purpose. (The ones I did like were only in baby blue. Not that I dislike the color, but it's just not, y'know... me.)

But damn, did they have a lot of ugly clothes. Especially the abundance of badly-colored sweaters with badly-matching blouse pieces sewn into them where a blouse would appear if you wore a blouse under such a sweater. Just... bad.

I do want to update my wardrobe (*snicker*), but I am so cheap and so picky. It's a bad combination. It's why I have been unsuccessful for, seriously, about four years now in finding a new winter coat and/or all-purpose jacket. It's why I'm still wearing my sweatshirt everywhere to serve that purpose. And it doesn't even serve it well.

I can't even imagine what I want, though. I just figure I'll know it when I see it, and I never see it.

Skirts are pretty. I'd wear more skirts if I didn't hate wearing skirts. And shaving my legs. It all makes me feel so self-conscious and girly. Not good for everyday use, especially in rainy Seattle. I wish the skirts-with-pants look wasn't frowned upon, because I actually like it. It makes sense to me.

I have a problem with a lot of shirts, too, because I love button-down shirts, but my bust prevents me from wearing ones that should be form-fitting and instead forces me into shirts that are too baggy about the torso. I tend to wear a lot of t-shirts with an overshirt, which isn't too bad and allows me to wear damn near any ill-fitting thrift store find with a pattern I like, but it would be nice to be able to button them up without fearing for the life of my chest-area buttons.

I could use more pants, I guess. I just hate capris, cargos, low-rise, tapered legs and pleats. Basically, I've been wearing my one decent pair of jeans (Bass outlet size 14) exclusively but for the few times I've trotted out my super-comfy perfect brown corduroys from Lane Bryant. (They do not make them anymore. I've looked. They are so three years ago. Now the cords have to be low-rise with pre-frayed edges. Why. Why!) So I guess I could use a few more pairs of jeans and some cords of a different shade.

Also, shopping for underwear is the worst ever.

The only thing in my wardrobe I'm happy with are my shoes. My Docs are all perfectly comfy and wonderful and I have no need of anything else. Even though I do have other shoes, I rarely wear them. Well, my monkey slippers are falling apart, thus the need for new ones, but other than that... I am not a shoe-whore.

I'd just so much rather spend money on music and movies than stupid, boring, time-consuming clothes.

Strange Dreams

I had a restless night. I've been suffering from allergies (it's nearing time for an annual check-up; I'll get a prescription soon) and kept having weird dreams.

If you don't like reading about other peoples' dreams, stop right there. I know it can be dull sometimes, but I just wanted to write this down.

There were two distinct dreams. One had multiple parts. I'm not even sure what the order was.

One dream was about me and a few friends of mine. I think Graylan and Lindsay were the friends, but it wasn't absolutely clear. One friend (the Lindsay-like one) had been swimming at dusk in this huge lake by an abondoned highway or train tracks and caught a giant salmon. She just picked it up and it opened its mouth. In its mouth was a rock about the size of a plum, which Lindsay then ate. Then the fish swam away and Lindsay realized eating the rock meant something bad would happen to her insides. I remember her telling me, in a terrified voice, that she didn't want to die from a giant spider inside her. Anyway, it wasn't a spider, but a weird bone-like structure did grow around her torso, with a little piece poking out in the middle of her spine. Then, for some reason, both Graylan and I had the same affliction. We knew we had to get operated on to get it out. It was all very weird and sinister.

The other dream or dream sequence was somewhat more comical. First it was black-and-white documentary-type footage about the Manhattan Project and how the scientists involved were living in secret locations that were specially protected throughout New York City. A pair of would-be assassins were casing an apartment at the top of the Empire State Building, looking for Einstein's dwelling. Upon seeing inside, it was just a young couple, amused that someone would be sneaking around so high up.

Then I was inside that apartment, one of a gaggle of children around Halloween. Several of us--but not all--had managed to swindle a million pieces of Halloween candy from a contest gone awry, and we kept discussing how to keep the candy a secret. But then I thought these younger kids overheard and would tell on us. There were some capers and whatnot later in the dream, but I don't remember them. I think I also had another dream, if not last night then the night before, that a similar thing had happened only with $1 million instead of candy and over some kind of football contest.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

It's Raining on 17th Street

I left my room this morning and heard the curious sound of water running. It wasn't the shower, but in my glasses-free blindness, I couldn't see any rain, either.

Upon closer inspection, it was raining. Water was running down the roof and into the dirt and weed-filled gutters of the neighbors' house. Everything was so gray I could barely see the rain itself.

If there's one thing that frustrates me--but of course, there are a thousand things that frustrate me--it's wasting time on other peoples' account. It's one thing to wait around for a few minutes while your friend gets to the appointed meeting place at the appointed meeting time, but lately I've experienced a waiting around of another sort. It's driving me crazy.

The month of September remained completely unplanned for me until about a week ago, when I was let off the hook for jury duty. Had I known I wouldn't actually have to serve, I could've made all kinds of plans. Granted, my boss needed me to work a bunch of that time, so I ended up working. I've had four-day weekends but worked a buttload, too.

The four-day weekends have so far been a waste of time, however.

I drove to the beach last weekend. It was pointless. I already wrote about that. It was kind of my own fault.

I did go see Lost in Translation on Friday night, though. It was delicious.

On Saturday, Kevin and I were supposed to go to Olympia to set up ethernet stuff in my mom's house. He was going to install wall jacks and everything.

First, he didn't get up until pretty late. We didn't sail into town until 3 or so. Second, he spent all day crawling around in the crawlspace (wearing an impressively amusing get-up--oversized windpants, flannel shirt, latex gloves, Knott's Berry Farm ballcap, dust mask and lab goggles) with me in the room, yelling at him through the floor and exchanging knocks. He drilled holes. He moved fiberglass. We poked sticks at each other through the fiberglass. Ne'er did the twain meet.

Third, we hadn't planned on staying over, which is what ended up happening. So we stunk on Sunday.

I thought the whole thing was hopeless after awhile, and Kevin said wireless would be cheaper anyway. Mom agreed. We returned as much stuff as we could to Home Depot and ordered wireless cards for the remaining computers. Then, in an effort to do...something, Kevin installed XP on the computer in the living room that no one reall uses.

We got back to Seattle around 6 p.m., at which time Kevin was too sleepy to even drive home and fell asleep for five hours. I watched a movie and the Conan O'Brien 10 Year Anniversary Special before joining him. He left 40 minutes later.

So I was gone for two days and did jack shit. I hate that.

Yesterday we went to Costco in the early evening and bought too much crap, then came home and made something resembling baigan bharta, which has of late become my favorite dish to order at Indian restaurants. I'd roasted the eggplant earlier that afternoon according to one recipe online that suggested it should be cooked under the broiler until the skin is slightly burned, and slivers of garlic should be wedged in a deep crack through the middle of the vegetable. I think it turned out all right.

Today I have to go to work briefly to turn in my timesheet since on Friday I couldn't figure out how to print the damn thing. I'm sure it's something I should've known, but didn't, and I'll look and/or feel like an idiot. I didn't see any actual printers in the Printers control panel! I can't print it from a lab machine because it's not installed. I don't know how to install the printer. So. I am dumb. And I have to go to work and bother my boss for five minutes.

What else to do today? Umm... we bought some enoki mushrooms at Costco and maybe we'll cook something with them. There are a lot of them, but they were cheap.

Tomorrow I work and Thursday I am supposed to go to the coast with my mom. I guess we are trying to cook exciting things and go to a spa or something. I just want a massage right now, though. My back hates me.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

More Upcoming

So the new Quasi is definitely hot shit. Har har.

I wrote this big thing this morning with all the movies coming out I want to see, but Blogger has been upgrading, see, and since I just leave my Blogger page open and logged in, it ate it when I had to re-login. So you don't get that post right now, because I'm just getting back to the ol' blog here at work, and I didn't bring my dayplanner containing the list. I *could* look on again, sure, but we're closing in 30 minutes and that would be silly.

So you get nothing. NOTHING!!

You ask for everything and get shit. That's just how it goes.

Today is crazy shit. I mean, it's boring, but the world is crazy. You have Ashcroft doing his usual bullshit and Bush promoting the hell out of it too. You have the myriad "never forget" crap to commemorate the second anniversary of something really terrible. You have teachers on strike at the beginning of the school year. You have too many directions to look that you're hardly taking notice at all. Or maybe that's just me.

What the hell. I have nothing to say right now. I said it all on IRC already. People who talk to me on IRC already KNOW what is UP: Nothing. But we talked about it real good.

Happy birthday to everyone born this month. That's a shit-ton of people, by the way. You know who you are. And I do, too--even if I forget the exact dates.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003


Coming off the still-total-bummer of not seeing R.E.M. and Wilco last week, I went through an actual paper copy of the Stranger for concert listings and ads placed by clubs with all their listings. I found many things I must attend.

And I wrote them all in my dayplanner, because that's the kind of dork I am.

  • Friday, Sept. 12 Radio Nationals at the Tractor Tavern. Their set at Bumbershoot was fun. They are probably even more fun in a different setting that's not 12:30 in the afternoon.

  • Saturday, Sept. 13 Pleaseeasaur at the Sunset Tavern. Chris kept telling me what a crazy show they put on. Too bad he's out of town! He's out of town for a lot of good stuff and I kept saying so, not thinking about the whole thing, which made him go, "Awwww!" followed by Lauren mock-suggesting he just stay home. Ha ha. Also, today is Lindsay's birthday, I believe.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 23 The Long Winters at the Tractor Tavern. Kevin says they were better live than the CD. He didn't dig the horns. Ptooie. But they were good live.

  • Saturday, Oct. 4 Mountain Goats at the Tractor Tavern. Aja and Gabe are always talking about this band. I have only heard one song, but what the hell?

  • Monday or Tuesday, Oct. 6 or 7 Sex Mob at the Tractor Tavern. All the good shows are in Ballard now. Ha, ha. Um, Kevin likes this band, and I will go see just about any live show if Kevin would actually go with me since he is usually hesitant to see a lot of stuff I want to see. I would even see Tori Amos if he wanted. I went to see Guster with him once. I don't even particularly like Guster. I have more faith in a band with a name like Sex Mob.

  • Friday, Oct. 10 Quasi at the Crocodile Cafe. This band is so good. I think I will go pick up the new album on my way home--it's coming out today, as far as I know. We were right up in front to see them a few months ago at the Showbox, and it was excellent. Kevin and Josie should come with me.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 21 Guided by Voices at Graceland. I think they came through town about a year ago, just before I turned 21, and played a 21+ show I was upset I couldn't see.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 28 Hieroglyphics at the Showbox. Too bad I don't think any of my Seattle friends would go to a hip hop show with me.

  • Thursday, Oct. 30 Damien Rice at the Crocodile Cafe. Aron on #n00n recommended "O" to me, and it's pretty nice. I might have to check out this show.

  • Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21 and 22 Death Cab for Cutie at the Showbox. I'm sure this is all ages and will be packed full of emokiddies. I don't care. Death Cab for Cutie has thus far rocked me live twice and I look forward to the trend continuing. Also, they have a new album soon.

That's about it for now. Some bigger-name acts might come through at the Moore or the Paramount or something and I might drop big bucks to see them (as I did last year for Aimee Mann and Beth Orton, both of which were worth it), but this is what's on my calendar for now.

Anyone up for a show?

Monday, September 08, 2003

Cable TV Is Bad for the Brain

"How was the beach?"

It was so boring.

And I don't mean that the way my 16-year-old brother told my mom their last weeklong beach stay with his girlfriend was "boring" or not that much fun or whatever (hi, Paul, "being honest" is not the same thing as "being rude and ungrateful"). I just didn't plan for the trip as it happened and was therefore bored out of my skull.

For one, Seaside is not an exciting town. For another, it doesn't have any exciting places to eat. I was alone, and cooking for myself without the help of my usual kitchen assortment isn't that great. The weather wasn't nice, either, so I spent all of an hour and a half on the beach itself, which was nice enough.

I brought a few magazines to read and demolished them all. I went to the outlet mall and decided everything in the one store that had anything I could remotely picture myself wearing was too much. That killed an hour. I went to find takeout one night and walked downtown, got a crappy vegetarian pizza, and walked home with it. I was pretty bored and suffering from hunger and low blood sugar, so the hot rods that were "happening" in town weren't much more than idle amusement. It was very foggy and chilly the whole time.

I rode a bike for the first time since probably before I got my driver's license. Still don't like it. I'd rather walk. Or even drive, and I'm not a big fan of driving.

See, I hadn't planned to be alone. It just turned out that way. Even being with other people counts as doing *something,* typically. At least talking. And I did call when the minutes were plentiful. I just miscommunicated with Rachel so we ended up meeting Saturday evening way down in Pacific City, a drive-time compromise for us both.

That part was nice, though. It was good to spend time with her. The beach there was cool, too, even though the weather was not cooperative. There is a big red cliff with caves and tidepools jutting out of a gigantic sand dune. We had dinner at a place called Grateful Bread, which was quite tasty.

But mostly, I sat on my ass, either because I was driving somewhere or watching that sweet, sweet opiate of the masses, cable television. I spent a large chunk of Friday watching I Love the '70s on VH1. I watched several episodes of Trading Spaces to lull myself to sleep on Saturday. And there was more, much more. I was so bored. I cannot even tell you how boring it is to have nothing more appealing than television for me.

Also, for what it's worth, a movie that an ex once told me to see happened to be on HBO while I was watching VH1, so I flipped back and forth for awhile. PCU? Is a terrible, unfunny film. It tread all the same ground as Revenge of the Nerds but with less character and not even starting with the underdogs. Anyway.

I drove back to Olympia on Sunday. I was leaving the car at mom's house because it is due for routine maintenance, so Kevin was supposed to come pick me up. I'd figured he'd get his ass out of bed mid-afternoon and come get me. I called at 4:45 and woke him up. He arrived around 7 and brought an armload of networking stuff to play with on their computers--something he's supposed to do anyway, but I didn't realize he was planning to start that night.

All I wanted to do was go home. Not that I don't enjoy seeing my mom, but I was very tired and bored and cranky and probably not the best company in the world, but she fed me and we watched more bad TV anyway. Yay. I didn't get home until about 1 a.m., which sucked because I didn't sleep until probably closer to 2 and I wake up by 8 a.m. no matter what because my body is stupid. So I'm nearing the end of a 7-hour shift at work--oh, yes, I was relieved of jury duty, yippy--the first of five days straight and very tired. And hungry. I need to go grocery shopping when I get home.

On the upside, I picked up a few CDs and magazines before I left, and they were all pretty good. The Long Winters' When I Pretend to Fall received heavy rotation in my car this trip due to its infectious poppiness; Kinski's Airs Above Your Station is beauuuutiful, of course, though paling in comparison to the show; Slint's Spiderland got me to the end of my initial nighttime drive to Olympia in style. Of course, I wasn't snobby enough to buy it in its proper vinyl form, but whatever. I enjoyed an issue of Seed magazine and read Giant Robot and Utne Reader for the first time, but was not quite as intrigued by those.

So, hurrah, it's the beginning of a long and boring week of work! We'll be doing a lot of actual work because the new machines are to be placed in classrooms and a new image must be installed on everything and tweaked for appropriateness. There is a lot of new in the lab this week. Exciting, rah. I must now go eat my Clif bar before my stomach caves in on itself.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Living Under Rocks

Good lord. This lady I've been helping is so bizarrely clueless about computers. Not quite "what's a mouse?" bad, but bad enough. Also, I think she is a nun. It's an older woman with long, gray hair, no makeup, and wearing a simple black skirt and white blouse.

First she wanted to know where to open Word. All she could see was someone's personal file on the desktop and she thought that was it. Fair enough. I told her to open the Start Menu and go to Programs and there it'd be. Then she asked about printing, and she seemed to think that she'd have to tell the printer to print off each page in her Word document individually. Again, she had some reason to believe that to be the case; an article on the web had multiple html documents to print. I assured her she didn't have to do that.

A few minutes later, she came back to the desk saying she couldn't see a Start Menu.

Crap. I'd foolishly assumed she was on a PC when she was using a Mac and didn't even know the difference.

I had to explain. I told her to use a PC, and since she didn't even know there was a difference, she was fine with that.

Then she wanted to change the margins of her document because the default view onscreen is page view, zoomed out to 75% for some reason, which didn't look right to her. Her one inch margins on every side were also the default, but she didn't understand. I had to patiently explain that what she saw on the screen was what she wanted and that it would print out the way she wanted.


For the first time since the end of Fall Quarter last year, I am not the only girl to work behind this desk. Yay! Aleks is returning. She dropped by today to discuss schedules and such with Paul. It was nice to see her again.

Chris and Lauren left for London this morning, a few hours before I took my sister to the airport to return to San Francisco. They didn't even say goodbye, though. You bastards! Kidding, but send postcards, mmkay?

(Like they are going to sit in internet cafes and read my fucking blog while in London.)

I am really stuck on Built to Spill's Ancient Melodies of the Future lately for some reason. I keep getting all the songs stuck in my head.

Anyway, tonight I am leaving for Olympia, then heading to Seaside tomorrow. Rachel will be joining me there at some point, which will be wonderful.

I am at work right now, getting over some day-one-of-menstruating sickness crap that ruined my afternoon. This is the second time it's happened to me, but not the worst. The first time I just felt crummy, went to class, then felt like absolute shit. I thought I needed to puke but didn't. I called my mom and she asked me if I was pregnant. Hello, I'm *menstruating,* and not lightly. But that was like five or six cycles ago.

So yeah. Not much to talk about. I'm leaving.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003


I am going to work, but I wanted to add that I am still totally bummed about not getting into that show last night.

I want to go to another show as soon as possible and I want to be right up in front, feeling the love.

But I should be going to the beach this weekend with Rachel, so yay.

Bumbershoot, Day Four: Reckoning

Our plan was to arrive by 4. Stupid us.

When we arrived just shy of 3:30, all the wristbands at every wristband station were gone. Nothing to see, move along. Just all the other undeserving, stroller-pushing, patchouli-stinking hippie assholes with pink wristbands walking hand in hand through the mobscene of the last day of Bumbershoot.

Angry and desperate, I took out a memo pad and pen and wrote "WILL PAY FOR TWO REM WRISTBANDS" and strapped it to my backpack. I decided that would be the best way to get some considering we don't like to annoy people much. Then we got in line for the Long Winters. Even if I couldn't see R.E.M. and Wilco, I was going to see at least one good goddamn show, goddammit.

We were an hour early for that, and good thing. We caught the very end of United State of Electronica's set, which was porbably for the best, as it looked very annoying. One vocalist used a vocoder and the other two just yelled. They had two go-go dancers. It looked danceably dorktastic and I was so not in the mood. Once they left and their devoted dorktastic fans stopped cheering and began filtering out, we grabbed a spot on the barrier.

Then a group of teenage girls grabbed the spot right behind us, including the area just shy of MY ASS and sometimes my feet--I tend to stand on tip-toe sometimes and move my feet a lot so they stretch and hurt less--and proceeded to have a long conversation with lots of "likes" and "whatevers" that drove me to a semi-murderous rage. I think I could never be a parent for many reasons including my hatred of teenagers. Perhaps this is an early-20s phase and I'll grow out of it, but it wasn't going anywhere last night.

Everyone in the Long Winters had pink wristbands, as far as I could see. But they rocked me anyway, and they got me out of the funk, at least temporarily. Someone requested a Harvey Danger song once--some of the members were also members of that band--and they said they didn't have the chops. Hah.

Just as we were leaving, a girl offered me her wristband. It was only one, but she didn't want anything for it. I graciously accepted. Then we set out to find one for Kevin.

First we parked ourselves by the exit, hoping to nab wristband-wearers who were leaving. No such luck. Besides, everyone else had the same idea.

Then we just wandered aimlessly, waiting for the sign to work. Heh.

Then we just stood by the beginning of the meatpacking plant--I mean, stadium--entrance with all the other desperate people yelling for anyone to give up wristbands in exhange for favors, cash, or whatever. By about 6:45, I had pretty well given up. All the suckers seemed sucked. Then I spotted someone I knew from journalism classes and told Kevin I was going to give her my wristband. So I did and talked to her for a bit. She was very grateful. One of her friends was also still looking, but it was something, right? Right. Karma points for me? Maybe.

Kevin thought I was crazy for not just going myself since I did have a wristband, but I couldn't have. I would've felt guilty. I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. I needed him to come with me.

Then I talked to my sister, who told me about an asshole on the bus who decided not to use his wristband for the show, but was keeping it as a memento. He didn't realize they were such a commodity, ha ha! You fucker.

Kevin had also reminded me that we'd seen a whole weekend of good shit, and maybe some of these people could only come today. My former classmate was one of them.

But still. We missed seeing two bands we both really like for a mere $12 ticket. That's fucking cruel. I thought I was gonna cry.

At the bus stop, three people were walking back to the entrance, all with wristbands. One of them started laughing meanly. Her companion told her it wasn't nice to laugh. I wasn't sure if she was laughing at people without wristbands or at the EMP or what, but I was feeling very snippy and shouted, "No, it's not!" Then we could hear Wilco starting. They were playing "Box Full of Letters." I love that song! I wasn't seeing them play it! They didn't even play anything from that album when I saw them last year!

Oh. I am such a spoiled brat. But goddamn. It sucked!

So we finally checked out the place on 3rd and Pine that proclaims itself to serve the world's greatest falafel. It was pretty all right, but since the farthest away I've ever had falafel was San Francisco, I'm not sure I'm qualified to judge. And I think I've had better.

At home, we played with the cat and watched Mumford and fooled around when no one else was looking.

I woke up today with a song from Murmur stuck in my head and some major regrets. I guess I wouldn't have gone earlier anyway, though.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Bumbershoot, Day Three

We caught the 12:30 EMP show again today because it was Radio Nationals. The drummer is a friend of Kevin's and he likes them, so we all checked it out. It was enjoyable and fun.

Then we split from Margot and watched the last two songs of Mary Lou Lord's set before leaving. Kevin and I had nothing else we wanted to see until around 8 and didn't really think it was necessary to walk around all day just for that, so we didn't.

The 15 took us to 65th and 15th Avenue Northwest where we got off and went to Kevin's house for a bit. Then we went to Carkeek Park for about an hour and sat on rocks in the sun, watching the clouds and listening only to the tide. Lovely. Kevin needed toilet paper and I needed organic peaches, so on the way to my house we went to Greenwood Market and then back to Kevin's for his pass.

At my house, everyone was home for about five minutes, at whch time we were suddenly the only people home. Well, Jen might've been up in her room; I forget. But I got to see Graylan, Jana, Chris and Lauren before they all left to go to Trader Joe's and get a movie and Josie before she left for work, which was nice. Graylan ran in and hugged me and picked me up. Hee. We hung out at home for an hour or so before hunger sat in. A hunger not to be satiated by black bean burritos.

With Bamboo Garden as our initial destination, we grabbed the next 74, which was nearly empty since everyone who wanted to be at Bumbershoot probably already was at Bumbershoot. A brilliant scheme, I'd say. We may not be so lucky tomorrow. At Bamboo Garden, we got our delicious all-vegetarian Chinese meal--curried rice vermicelli, mixed vegetables with fake chicken in a taro root bowl and brown rice--and arrived back inside just in time to see the beginning of Rhett Miller's set under the Space Needle. The music was all right--I do enjoy his recordings--but the sound kept cutting out with a loud popping noise. Kevin looked bored in the middle of it all and it was chilly, so we left.

We wandered around awhile looking for something else to see when I suggested we check out the breakdancing. Kevin had no interest whatsoever, but I coaxed him to just come watch for a few minutes. So we did, until I saw that my sister had tried to call twice and I had no reception in the venue. Sad, because it was way cool in there, kind of like watching other people party who know how to party but not in an insulting way to you. It was competitive partygoing, and it was rad. The music was great, some of the dancers we could see did cool stuff and the crowd was one of the most diverse things I've seen.

It turned out Margot was trying to catch the 74 home--according to her schedule--and had left the Evanescence show and her hard-won entrance bracelet behind for the privilege of catching the last bus directly home. She left me an angry message: "I hate your city! I hate your bus system!"

I called her back and wound up shouting into the phone just so she could hear me to give her directions to the appropriate bus stop (the 4). Then I told her to get off at 3rd and Pine, cross the street, and take the 71, 72 or 73 and she'd recognize where she was at some point. I said we'd meet her on the bus, which we did. It was there she told me she had been in the middle of some bottle-throwing festivities, during which one of her newfound friends got a beer bottle smack in the back of the neck, before Cold's set and a girl blew so much pot smoke in her face she had a contact high.

My browser is starting to crap out, or it was, and it's the first Monday in forever that I haven't had to get up at 6 a.m. to go to work. Thank you, organized labor. Today we are all about getting there around 4 to get wristbands for Wilco and R.E.M. and hoping to get into the Sky Church for the Long Winters. Then it's all she wrote for Bumbershoot 2003 and I begin my stint in jury duty.

ETA: A white limo drove by the bus stop we were waiting at outside the EMP. A large crowd of festival-goers was waiting for the bus. Someone in the back seat of the limo rolled down the window halfway and flipped us all off. We weren't sure why--did they hate the festival? Did they have a poor crowd response? Do they have an issue with the monstrosity that is the EMP? We just don't know.