Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Lyrics Game, Part 2!

This time, the theme is: songs from CDs I took with me to Christmas!

I'm doing the first lyrics, first song with lyrics I can make out well enough to transcribe, as long as the first lyrics do not give away the name of the song, which would be indicated with "...". Some of these should be extremely easy. Some might not be. Um, and some aren't so much lyrics as samples or talking or what have you. Post your answers in the comments to receive credit: song title and artist. Album title if you know it.

ETA: The contest is now over, due to lack of responses. I'm adding the answers now.

1. "Liar, liar, with your pants on fire." Tom Waits, "Heart Attack and Vine"
2. "Gonna find a way to get home strong, gotta find a way back home." Mojave 3, "Bluebird of Happiness"
3. "I stepped onto the (unintelligible)way. I was looking for the pirate ship." Slint, "Breadcrumb Trail"
4. "He's just what people say he is." Plan B, "Rich and Greedy"
5. "People say they ain't got ... I got ... They go like this." The Gossip, "Rules for Love"
6. "... brings the dawn in. It's just a restless feelin' by my side." Velvet Underground, "Sunday Morning"
7. "This ... plan is random at best. This ..., how much more can I take." Built to Spill, "Strange"
8. "When I sat down on the bed next to you, you started to cry." Wilco, "At Least That's What You Said"
9. "Inside you're pretending, crimes have been swept aside." Portishead, "Mysterons"
10. "Thought I felt a chill, thought an underrated skill." Lambchop, "Daily Growl"
11. "Here comes the hardest part, but I don't need you, I can break my own heart." Track Star, "Feet First"
12. "Buy more stock in ... Millionaires will always woo." The Magnetic Fields, "Roses"
13. "My name is ..., my mother birthed me down a dry ravine." The Decemberists, "Leslie Anne Levine"
14. "Whoa, baby, you can walk, you can talk, just like me." Talking Heads, "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel"
15. "Don't fall in love with me yet, we've only recently met." The Magnetic Fields, "Absolutely Cuckoo"
16. "It's a ..., this life. Tryin' to make ends meet, you're a slave to the money, then you die." The Verve, "Bittersweet Symphony" (for the record, i cannot fucking believe no one knew that one.)
17. "..., mistakes, misfits. Raised on a diet of broken biscuits." Pulp, "Mis-shapes"
18. "Hey, I can't find nothin' on the radio. Yo, turn it to that station." REM - Radio Song (Aja)
19. "Have you ever been all right? Set up every single night." 764-HERO, "Oceanbound"
20. "If travel is searching, and home what's been found, I'm not stopping." Bjork, "Hunter"
21. "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine." Patti Smith, "Gloria"
22. "You walked into my house last night. I couldn't help but notice a light that was long lost still burning strong." Beth Orton, "Stolen Car"

This is missing three albums, two because the lyrics are too obscure to hear, and the other because it's too freaking obvious to believe ("Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band").

Because I'm unoriginal...

The Christmas Round-up of Champions -- Listmaking 1 and 2.

I gave away very few gifts this year, because I have been mostly unemployed, and also I suck, and also I had no idea so many people were going to give me gifts.

Mom: a 75-piece Dremel tool set for her birthday (shared with Margot), stocking stuffers including a few strange greeting/postcards, fat-free candy, Altoids gum, smelly soaps, Burt's Bees lip balm, and David Sedaris's Holidays on Ice
Margot: two books, "An Unquiet Mind" by Kay Redfield Jamison and "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut. She loves books about mental illness and has never read Vonnegut, which I thought was a horrible oversight on her part.
Paul: A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More
Kahnya and Putyda: three Dr. Suess books, "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," "Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?" and "A Fish Out of Water." I read the first two to Kahnya at bedtime, which she enjoyed. I also made Tida a sock creature that looks very strange.
Kevin: we exchanged gifts a few weeks ago, actually, but I gave him the Seinfeld box set, a book about hiking trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and a pair of slippers.

So, now contrast that with stuff I got, and from so many people! I feel loved. And rude for not reciprocating.

Mom: Always a generous Santa. I got an 8" chef's knife, kitchen scraper, some cookbooks, another 6 months of Netflix, all four seasons of Mr. Show, the Nikki McClure 2005 calendar, a heated lap blanket, probably several other things I am neglecting to mention, and of course, the beach house and the food and the driving to Seattle when she didn't need to just so I could see my friends before I went home again. On top of that, she gave me $100 to "have fun" on New Years Eve. I am a lucky girl.
Margot: candy and other small goodies, licorice for Kevin, and two books, "Naked Pictures of Famous People" by Jon Stewart and "May Contain Nuts," which has several comedic pieces in it.
Paul: "Left of Cool" by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Kahnya and Putyda: no gifts for me, they were just cute and I got to hang out with them and aren't babies precious awwww.
Kevin: master of the practical gift I am too cheap to buy myself, he got me a fabulous toaster oven and a new computer case into which every part fits so the power supply isn't propped up on a piece of cardboard, hovering over the open case. This one also lacks ex-boyfriend karma and is pretty silver.
Kevin's dad: "America: The Book" by Jon Stewart and others for my birthday, and a warm and fuzzy fleece-type jacket for Christmas.
Kevin's mom: a heated blanket so I stop shivering in bed and subscriptions to two of my favorite magazines, Bitch and Seed.
Sarah: a pretty scarf and some nice smelly soap
Sarah's mom: bath gel and a scrubby
Josie: soap and a scrubby
Uncle Ken and Aunt Deb: a pretty purse
Kevin's sister: warm socks

I think that is a fairly exhaustive list. In less tangible gifts, I was able to spend time with Josie and Christine down at the beach, which was a lot of fun, and then they took me to the bus station so I could go to Olympia and spend time with my aging grandparents. The next evening, I got to go to Seattle and see my Uncle Ken, Aunt Deb, and cousin Sheila, who is my age and contemplating doing a teaching program in Japan after she graduates with her English degree this year. Then I got to spend a few hours with Jana, Lindsay, Graylan, and Chris, see Jana and Chris's truly fabulous new place, and eat at Neelam's on Greenwood, which was every bit as good as I remembered.

I may have more stories later, but until then... I'll post another stupid lyrics game in a bit. Maybe this one will be easier.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The end.

Since I'm leaving in a couple hours for the holiday, the Lyrics Game is now over. Aja won with four answers, and Julie came in second with three. Congratulations, guys! You win the satisfaction of knowing you were right!

1. Frank Black - Los Angeles*
2. Minus the Bear - Monkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!!*
3. Thirft Store Junkies - Thrift Store War
4. Local H - Bound to the Floor*
5. Carly Simon - You're So Vain*
6. Old 97s - Nightclub
7. The Impossibles - This Is Fucking Tragic*
8. The Pills Kick In - Apologize
9. Super Furry Animals - Juxtapozed with U
10. Gravy Train - Hella Nervous
11. The Mountain Goats - See America Right*
12. The Refreshments - Banditos
13. Built to Spill - Girl
14. Ben Folds - Make Me Mommy*
15. Rjd2 - Ghostwriter*
16. Blondie - Divine
17. Luna - Friendly Advice*
18. Dead Kennedys - Chickenshit Conformist
19. AC/DC - TNT
20. Ween - Piss up a Rope*

The asterisk indicates ones that were guessed.

I don't have much to tell, except that on Sunday, Kevin and I went to Point Lobos with his mom for her birthday and saw a freakin' WHALE. It was a gorgeous day to boot.

We had no work today, basically, so I came home around noon. Kevin is supposed to come home at 3:30 and take me to the airport. I am hoping I can avoid checking my luggage, but I think it might be just slightly oversized.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Song Lyric Game.

My brother did this, and he hardly listens to any music with lyrics, so here's my list. These are taken from a playlist sitting in my home directory. For fun, let's just use the first lines of the songs.

Post your answers in the comments and if you lack a blogger account, please leave your name. I'll try to cross these off as they're answered.

Also, you get extra points if you discover any mishearings (i.e., "'scuse me while I kiss this guy.").

1. "I met a man, he was a good man, sailin' and shorin'..." Frank Black - Los Angeles (Aja)
2. "'It's getting late,' she said. She touched my face. 'Let's stay out late as we can.'" Minus the Bear - Monkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!! (Julie)
3. "They're fightin' on the aisle and they're fightin' on the floor."
4. "Born to be down, I've learned all my lessons before now." Local H - Bound for the Floor (Aja)
5. "You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht." Carly Simon - You're So Vain (Mom, who won't post a comment)
6. "1,800 miles from this ol' nightclub, a girl is turning 22 today."
7. "We've come to feel so cold." The Impossibles - This Is Fucking Tragic (Aja)
8. "I could be wrong and still I argue when I'm weak."
9. "It's easy when you know how to get along with a..."
10. "You make me nervous."
11. "I was driving up from Tampa when the radiator burst." The Mountain Goats - See America Right (Aja)
12. "So just how far down do you wanna go?"
13. "Sitting 'round the railroad station, reading books 'bout intimidation."
14. "Oh, mommy, she touched me, mommy!" Ben Folds - Make Me Mommy (Christine, because Kevin was too lazy to come post the ones he knew)
15. "B-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-back again my nizzle." Rjd2 - Ghostwriter (Sammy was close enough)
16. "Not of this world, entirely."

And four more to round it out:

17. "Cover my face with roses, cover me head to toe." Luna - Friendly Advice (Julie)
18. "Punk's not dead, it just deserves to die."
19. "See me ride out of the sunset on your color TV screen."
20. "My dinner's on fire while she watches TV." Ween - Piss Up A Rope (Julie)

Some of these are a little obscure, while others will be obvious to certain individuals. Have fun.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Tomato soup.

It's delicious and worth waiting for, although I don't know why I did.

I've been wanting tomato soup and grilled cheese for two days now. I just needed to make the soup, which is... insanely easy.


-olive oil/butter (for sauteeing)
-one medium or two small onions, minced
-two or three cloved of garlic, crushed and minced
-a bay leaf
-large (28 oz.) can of tomatoes--the best would be a Muir Glen Organic fire-roasted variety, but you can make do with a lesser canned tomato as long as it's packed in water and not puree.
-appx. half a can of tomato paste
-diced zucchini or other vegetable, if desired
-1/2 c. dry white wine or sherry
-salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Saute the onions and garlic in oil/butter until softening, then throw in the zucchini, if you're using it, and the bay leaf. Open the can of tomatoes and drain all liquid into a 1-quart measuring cup. Top off with water until you have 3 cups of liquid. Set aside. Now chop the tomatoes if they are not already diced and stir them into the pot along with the tomato paste. Then add the wine and liquid, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer for awhile. Add salt and pepper shortly before serving. Tastes good with a dollop of hummus, too.

So that's what I had for dinner, along with a bit of salad and a grilled cheese--sprouted wheat bread with some of the Mediterranean blend cheese from Trader Joe's.


Monday, December 13, 2004

"Moreso" is not a word and other lessons learned.

I'm 23 now, and I can admit when I've made a mistake.

"Moreso" is not a word. Until today, neither my boss nor I had any idea that was the case. We'd both used it as a word many times, then today the subject came up, so we consulted several dictionaries and Google, all of which shot us down.



We spent my birthday in Santa Cruz, mostly with Kevin's dad and his girlfriend. We hiked around Nicene Marks for a couple hours, made curry, and ate a crazy chocolate mousse cake thing from a local bakery that was to die for. (Really. It could probably kill you. But it was really good.) Then Kevin and I did a little Christmas shopping at Bookshop Santa Cruz and visited his mom before heading home in the wee hours of the morning.

I convinced him to come see I Heart Huckabees with me on Sunday afternoon. It's playing at the second run theater for a trifling $3.50.

Also, his coworkers have set up a website where they can ask him questions about being vegan. They call him Tofu. It's very amusing, but I'm not sure I'm at liberty to share the link. And also, it's Monday, which is a night of extremely terrible network TV, and I am watching probably the worst of the lot, which causes me to yell at the TV.

There are two work-related holiday parties this week, one of which requires me to dress up and socialize in the evening. Obviously, Kevin is not going to join me, because he doesn't do that kind of thing. The other one is a lunchtime potluck and Secret Santa gift exchange. I got a present for someone I barely know. I'm going to make hummus and bring pitas and pearl tomatoes.

This is a very boring entry, no? I don't know. There's isn't that much to discuss. I should go make some food involving this odd assortment of vegetables floating around my kitchen: beets (with greens), cauliflower (which I chopped up and froze yesterday, so it's not an imperative), zucchini, spinach, mixed greens, snow peas, and a yam. I'm thinking of roasting a few of those things, or making a beet-based soup and cooking some barley. I don't know.

GOD I hate these fucking McDonald's commercials. Almost as much at the Old Navy Christmas jingles. Those make me want to throttle my TV.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Songs that made my year.

Not a best-of list by any means, just music that got to me. That had an attachment.

1) "The New Year," Death Cab for Cutie. I started off 2004 by traveling to Asia and getting my passport stamped for the first time. The song is appropriate, and the album it's from kept me company on a few lengthy journeys from one point to another. They may be a Northwest band, but this song and this time I will forever associate with southern Thailand.

2) "Cry Me a River," Justin Timberlake. Am so not kidding, either. Heard this so many freakin' times during my three weeks abroad, I couldn't help but like it. Actually, it could be another Justin Timberlake single, for all I know, I just can't remember the names of any other song.

3) "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," Neutral Milk Hotel. In a blatant attempt to revive my ailing indie cred... heh. During my two months of doing nothing before spring quarter, I picked up the guitar again a few times. This song's chord progression is simple (G, Em, C, D) and I always go back to it. It's all I can remember anymore.

4) "A Cautionary Song," the Decemberists. Or anything off Castaways and Cutouts, really, although I am fond of their most recent album, too. I forced my mom to listen to it on our long road trip for the 100 miles I drove I-80 across Nevada.

5) "Fit But You Know It," the Streets. I can't explain my attraction to this song. Gabe sent me the album, and I listened to it, liked it, but mostly forgot it, until this song got airtime on KEXP, and it got stuck in my head on a pretty regular basis.

6) "Hummingbird," Wilco. The more I listen to Wilco, the more I enjoy the shit out of them. They're just fucking good. This song is all super Beatlesque, but the harmonies are lovely.

7) "Mad Bombers," Plan B. I rented the movie "Network" and realized the voice samples in this song are from that movie. Awesome. Also, I saw Plan B perform at Bumbershoot after the Laptop Battle--who knew you could perform music with a laptop?--and they were pretty rad.

8) "Monkey Gone to Heaven," the Pixies. Because it's the motherfucking Pixies, and I saw them, bitches.

9) "Such Great Heights," the Postal Service. Oh, god, this goes on every indie chick's list from this year and last, but whaaaatever. It's great city driving music.

10) "Hallelujah," Jeff Buckley. Who would've known my mom and I could find common ground in music (aside from certain Beatles albums and Simon and Garfunkel)? May he rest in peace.

11) "Found a Job," Talking Heads. Hee. If you're not doing what you love... then something isn't right. Words to live by, especially when you're desperately seeking employment. And direction.

12) "See America Right," the Mountain Goats. I did a lot of driving this year, and I listened to one Mountain Goats CD repeatedly. It wasn't this one, but I still like the song.

How should the year end?

I can never go home again.

I'm not saying that like I can never go back to the Pacific Northwest and see people, or like I'd never even consider moving back. I just mean it in the philosophical sense, that home is an idea, and once you leave, you can never get it back.

It's a weird feeling, knowing you've left what felt like home. Knowing things are now different, I mean, really different. And that, in a small way, I have to mourn that idea of home, just as I did when I left Portland, as I did when anything major changes. A part of what was will never be again.

I'm getting used to it still. San Jose isn't a place I can really call home. Maybe someday, but right now, it's just the place I am. Kevin is more than the person I'm with, of course, but the place itself lacks that sense of meaning that makes a home. My whole identity, at least, many superficial parts of it, have been so altered that it will take time for the dust to settle and my self to re-emerge.

I know this is right. I know that it had to happen. I took graduated steps out of the nest and into adulthood. The order and the time were right.

Here in my room, I am surrounded by reminders of home. The sheets on the windows I used at the two previous houses. One was from my freshman dorm, the other from my sister's childhood bed. A poster in Russian from Christine, another of the Gossip, a band I saw with several friends on multiple occasions. A sketch of San Francisco my dad drew when he was in college. The vibrating hula frog my parents brought me from their last vacation together. The sarong I bought in Kuala Lumpur for too many ringgit, no matter how much haggling Meesh and Winnie tried. Dozens of framed pictures, mosting scenery, from car trips, family vacations, and old neighborhoods. A sculpture I made in 8th grade, my two best friends at my side; a painted dish from an ex-boyfriend's friend in Ann Arbor; a ceramic kitten from the Japanese teachers I worked for one summer. A collection of music that marks almost every day of the last nine years.

I keep these things around to let myself believe some part of the home I left still exists.

But here, it's as though I am barely born. The youngest in the office, alone and lost and hardly fearless in my navigation of these suburban streets, finding my way.

There is ration, and there is truth. And I hope I can measure out the appropriate amounts of each as fuel in the journey onward.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Temperature out of control.

This morning, it's 47 degrees Fahrenheit inside my house. I did not want to get out of bed, but I also can't stand to stay in bed with nothing to do when I'm no longer sleepy.

So I got up and turned on the heat, just enough so I don't freeze my leg hairs off (although perhaps that would be a reasonable hair removal method), came in here, and realized Kevin had moved my computer from the old case to this shiny new silver case, in which every component fits. It was a birthday or Christmas present.

See, last night, we both decided we weren't sure if our gifts to each other were reasonable (given the other person's gift) or extravagant, so we just got it all out of the way. I know. But we weren't going to be together on Christmas and, really, what's waiting another week for the birthdays? I know. Dorks.

The other thing he gave me was a nice convection toaster oven. I baked potatoes. Now I can make toast in the mornings without having to struggle with the lever that always pops up three times, then stays down until my toast is practically burned. It has a dehydrate mode that requires an additional set of racks, but that is still cool. I could make my own dried fruit! Why this excites me, I have no idea.

I gave him the Seinfeld box set (it was on sale at Fry's, but still a lot...only it's a much better deal as a set than as individual seasons), slippers, and a book on hiking trails of the Santa Cruz Mountains, which I hope we can use in the spring. His gifts to me were more extravagant, but in proportion to income or how much we'd normally spend on gifts or whatever, it came out even.

Okay, and the thing everyone actually cares about: work. Well, maybe you don't. Maybe you're just glad I'm not going to be whining about the wretched job application process anymore. Maybe you think I can't complain about being broke (but mister, you'd be wrong). But I'm going to tell you anyway.

Work is going to be a good thing. I like the people I'm working with, including my boss, in whose office I sit. The job has a steep learning curve and I can tell I am catching onto more and more every time I get my hands on something. At first I felt very, very dumb, but now I am pretty sure I'll get it. My boss tells me it will take six months to a year to learn everything, or enough that things will be truly my responsibility. (Not that I won't go full-time for that long, just that's how long it will take to really get it.)

It is almost a culture shock to be in an office with grown-up people all of a sudden. The politics of people at school are wildly different, in my experience, and the pool is a lot smaller. I am also the youngest person there, which gets a certain amount of ribbing. People take hourlong lunches to a variety of nearby establishments. Everyone complains about traffic. I don't know. I've grown up with a certain set of unconscious and conscious expectations about the office environment, so it's weird to step into that reality.

That, and the thermostat tends to be way up there, so stepping into the chilly noon or evening is kind of pleasant.

Coming home to it sucks, though.

Especially the water. No wonder I don't want to do the dishes.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Holiday recap.

Things went well, I think. The food was delicious, the company was enjoyable, and the heat is working.

In addition to my aforementioned planned dishes, Margot made a cranberry sauce with pomegranate seeds, fresh orange juice and sections, fresh ginger, and cinnamon. It was very interesting and tasty with the halibut. My mom ended up preparing the potatoes since we had about three dishes getting whipped up in a frenzy to serve warm, and they were damn tasty. The the little white buttercream potatoes worked well with the vegan sour cream and chives, mmm.

My attempt at modifying the recipe for aromatic vegetables so they would be roasted seemed to work well: I toasted any whole spice seeds (cumin, coriander, and peppercorn, in my case), then crushed in a mortar bowl, then cooked with the minced onion, olive oil, cinnamon stick, and pre-ground spices in a big pot before adding the chopped vegetables, stirring to cover, and removing from the heat. Then I put them all in a foil-lined 9x13" cake pan, covered with another layer of foil, and roasted at 450'F for probably 40 minutes or so, until things seemed cooked. The fresh herbs were added just before serving. I didn't use potato or chickpeas, but it seemed like a pretty good side dish this way.

My mom met both Kevin's parents and they seemed to get along. We offered the beach house to Kevin's family for a couple days after Christmas, since it sounds like his sister wants them all to come to Portland.

Yesterday, mom and I went to the Winchester Mystery House, at her request, and did the full estate tour. It was pretty cool, though mom said she felt like David Sedaris when he was visiting the Anne Frank house: that all this cool stuff was going to waste, and how could she get ahold of it to use. Kevin took my brother mini-golfing, hee. We all then visited a used bookstore, Streetlight Records, and got Ethiopian for dinner before taking them to the airport. I was impressed that my brother even consented to trying Ethiopian food, although he couldn't finish because the kofti was too spicy for him.

Today, I am meeting my sister in Mountain View so she can go to Target and Ikea on the way up to the city, where I will then help drive some of her things that are hard to hand-carry seven blocks to her new place.

I need coffee.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Something to be truly thankful for.

I got a job! And it's a real job, not a retail-crappy-I-need-the-income job! That uses skills/interests cultivated in BOTH my college majors! Holy freakin' cow!

I am supposed to start Tuesday. The company and the people seem cool, and I think I will like the job. It will be part-time for awhile (probably through January, I am told) for training and evaluation, then go full-time. Benefits 90 days after full-time employment and a raise from the part-time wage.

I'm assuming some semblance of discretion is appropriate for employment, even though my full name is plastered all over this site, but I'll keep that kind of info on the down-low. Everyone knew about my lab job at school, sure, but whaaatever. I will say that it is a job in quality assurance at a market research firm, and my commute looks to be about 25-30 minutes each way. Public transit is probably not a reasonable option, but the freeway exit is the same as my favorite grocery haunts.

Okay, back to cleaning and DAMN am I hungry. Hooray for Chinese leftovers. Mmm, Szechuan-style faux chicken...

Friday, November 19, 2004

The FedEx guy thinks I'm married.

Or he's just presumptuous when it comes to messy handwriting.

Yesterday, Kevin received a package for which I had to sign. An hour after that, Kevin called me to ask why I'd signed for the package as "E. George."

I protested, of course, because I didn't sign it with anything other than my name, the driver--or whoever enters those things into the computer--must have assumed that my squiggly surname matched his typed one. "C" is about the only truly legible part of the word, and it's close enough to "G," I guess.

His manager overheard his end of the phone conversation, and started asking him about it, so he reiterated, and the manager found it hilarious. Some other coworkers overheard that, and so he had to tell it again, and they, too, found it hilarious, suggesting that I was planning to propose on Thanksgiving and that was why I did all this family finagling. Which is absurd! Not to mention I have no intention of changing my last name if I ever get married, anyway.

I know it was a joke to them, it just bothers me for some reason. You all know I'm not good at taking that kind of ribbing, for some reason, even though I know it's in jest. Maybe it's the thought that people would latch onto such petty misrepresentations I can't control that bother me to the point that I start in on futile damage control.

But today I made the effort to write my last name clearly. We'll see if it works.


It's been brought to my attention that I've grown lax in my swearing. This post-election haze has made me soft. I started out yelling, but just got hoarse.

I promise, though, that the swears and welling up in my throat all the time. It's just grown increasingly pointless to voice them.

And seriously, all I have to talk about is how stupid TV is and what food I'm obsessing over, which doesn't always require a lot of swearing.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Fahrenheit 210: The Temperature at which Bread Bakes.

Oh, you people. I've been all Suzy Homemaker for a few days with my urgent plea sitting there, and nothing.

No, really, it's fine. I'm not hurt.

I did, however, attempt to bake some crusty bread, which ended up a little heavy in the crust department and a little short in the baked-all-the-way-through department. No matter, it was a valiant first attempt. It LOOKED like good bread. Currently, I have a sourdough starter working its fermenting, gooey magic on the kitchen counter, so that today or tomorrow I might even start real bread with it. I even got a pizza stone so maybe this time the bread will bake properly. (Metal cookie sheet = no good in the bread world, evidently.)

It probably wouldn't hurt to have an insertable instant-read thermometer, either, or a kitchen that's warm enough for the bread to rise in something approximating the time indicated in the recipe. Maybe the latter is something else's fault, though, I have no idea.

The Thanksgiving menu is complete. I made a shopping list, which I will get into over the weekend. I'll make two pies, one apple and one pumpkin, although they will be hippie pies and of questionable deliciousness. Mom asked me to just get a regular pumpkin pie from the store for my brother, whom she said will eat the whole thing. Good god.

Rounding out the meal, we'll have halibut and an Unturkey, at Kevin's request, in lieu of the traditional turkey, homemade cranberry-orange sauce, aromatic vegetables, barley and wild rice pilaf with pomegranate seeds, herbed smashed potatoes (this month's Cook's Illustrated), a mixed greens salad with sprouts, shredded beets and carrots, a homemade Green Goddess dressing (from Steven Raichlen's High Flavor, Low Fat Vegetarian Cooking), and marinated mushrooms (also Cook's), and bread, either homemade, storebought, or both, depending on what happens. We're going for healthy, delicious, and ridiculously vegan-friendly. (But never fear, Paul, you will find stuff to eat, plus I got you some fancy burger patties, a can of chili, and I always have boxes of mac and cheese!)

Clearly, I put far too much time, energy, and thought into this already, but I want it to be good.

Still hoping Margot will have Monday evening free to attend the Gossip/Jon Spencer Blues Explosion show with me. That would be rad. Speaking of rad, the Wilco show last weekend was great. Our seats were crappy, but the band sure wasn't.

Um, and I had another decent job interview, but you all know where good job interviews have left me thus far.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Please write for me!

Okay, so I've been talking on and off about starting a zine for a few years now, and my friend Aron is once again kicking my ass to get to work. He wants to design, I want to edit. And we need you.

The project will be online at first, with the possibility of print in the future when all involved are less broke. Besides, we'd like to see what we can do without having the added pressure of paying for and distributing physical copies.

Here are a couple themes and deadlines. Meditate on these and e-mail me, leave a comment, whatever. I'd love to hear from you.

The New Depression: Dec. 13
It's a cold, cold world out there, but sometimes our sudden rebirth as responsible adults inspires us to higher things. Sometimes...not so much. So, since it's a topic that's weighed so heavily on my mind lately, I want to read about how people made the leap from cozy, comfy college student to productive member of society. Or how they're not making the leap, or the process of learning the jump in the first place.

Story ideas here include: the painful process of the job hunt; eating on the cheap (beyond ramen); something that happened to you which forced you to "grow up" very quickly; the music, the people, the whatever that got you through; the reality of post-college.

First Loves: Jan. 19
Was it love at first sight? The first time you locked eyes with that stuffed gorilla, you were in your pajamas, he was sitting under the Christmas tree, and the din of "Jingle Bells" drowned out the joyful shrieks of your siblings. How old were you when you felt that kind of love again? Or maybe there's been no one since Charlie Sheen (tm Josie). We can feel passionate about a lot of things besides boys or girls. What's your best story on the subject?

Story ideas include: your first musical love; your favorite food; the myriad first attractions (crush, boyfriend, kiss, etc.); your passion in life, your first broken heart/failure.

The stories can be creative non-fiction, essays, short stories, illustrated stories or comics, or captioned photos. I'm not big on poetry, so please none of that. You can include illustrations, recipes, reviews, whatever if it makes sense.

Pleeeease write for me! I would really like something fun to put together! If you want further ideas, just ask! Thanks!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Further proof I was the worst journalism major ever:

I am pissed that today is a not-so-slow news day in the Bay Area and all this news crap is breaking and I don't get to watch Cagney and Lacey. Bitches!

They are spending precious minutes talking about a juror on the Scott Peterson case who did independent research, which, they've reminded us now a dozen times, is illegal. They have also shared all kinds of trivia about the woman without identifying her.

Then they are talking about a gas line explosion in Walnut Creek behind a high school. That one is pretty spectacular, but there isn't a whole lot of new information to share. Yes, the pictures do tell the story. The rest of the story seems to beg for a next-day print story for people who want that. Not taking up several minutes of daytime when I could be watching vintage feminist cop drama, dammit!

I am so not a news junkie.

By the way, I got plane tickets home for Christmas. I'll be in and out of Portland on Dec. 22 through the 29th, with a side trip up to Seattle/Olympia on one side of Christmas itself. I want to see people. Let's make plans.

Cut the pie in half.

How is almost half of us voting to change leadership--and, supposedly, numerous things that come along with that--an indication that the lesser half is "out of touch" with Americans?

A win is a win, sure, but it was still pretty close, any way you cut it. Almost half of everybody said, get this fucker out.

And yet...almost. So much in life ends up being a near-miss.

Honestly, I'd rather be "out of touch" than agreeing with everyone I think is wrong. That's not uniting. That's not democracy. That's brainwashing. It's peer pressure, and what did Nancy Reagan tell all us '80s kids about peer pressure?

Before the election, I tried to be reasonable, rational, and able to see both sides. It's hard, you know, when everything you hear from the opposition makes you furious. I tried to see it their way, and I failed, because I think it's the wrong direction for America. It's not the country I learned about in school. It's not the place I want it to be to the rest of the world.

This is bigger than the Democrats and the Republicans. Fuck the parties, seriously. I am not and will never be a true-blue Dem. They don't care about me. And you can say that difference of opinion is what makes America so great, that we can still work together, but the way things are going, I disagree. Not in the sense that I advocate totalitarianism, of course, but in the sense that the two "opinions" are entangled in a war of words, with each step drawing nearer to each other, so close they are virtually indistinguishable but for their fringe crowds.

For America to be great, I have to believe we have more diversity of thought than that.

A President Kerry would have assuaged my concerns enough to smile, while for many Americans, President Bush does the same thing. But in my heart of hearts, I can't believe either one would be better equipped to address the concerns of every American. One has to pick and choose, not for the common good, but for the political benefit. It's the game we all play when we vote.

Reality is never as pretty as dreams. It's sad to have it smeared in my face every election now. It's an imperfect system, run by imperfect people. I have to have the grace to accept that much.

And the energy to work to change what I can.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Boston U reader?

Who are you? Just curious. I love referral logs.

I've calmed down, I promise.

I'm still pissed, naturally, but I'm calmer about it. I mean, what the hell can I do? I've got other, more personal and pressing things to get depressed about.

It's nice and all to see the "don't give up hope!" types, with their lists of what you can do, but it seems like many of them are things one can't do without already having a lot of money. Which, you know, I don't.

On top of the readily apparent woes, I'm starting to realize the rapid approach of Christmas, which means plane tickets, presents, and the birthdays of two people close to me (as well as my own). Goddamn, I need a job...

Kevin has discovered Curb Your Enthusiasm. He failed the yield the title instructions and watched half the episodes in a day, with me trapped by his side. Not that I didn't enjoy the show, of course, but it's painful to watch. It's that gnawing sense of dramatic irony, the knowing he's going to piss everyone off through some miscommunication and end up worse for wear, and having no power to stop it. That can drive me batshit.

But not like zombies, no.

I think some mention of zombies crept into my dreams last night, waking me up and giving me brief pause before I returned to slumber. Stupid zombies.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I'm going to puke.

I've already cried. I'm wearing all black because I'm in mourning for my hope.

Bush is again speaking on my TV and he will never get off. People are cheering like he's a fucking rock star. Nothing's going to change. They know they won by such a small margin, but it doesn't mean they'll defer to us in the slightest. They've got the White House, they've got the Congress, they'll have the Supreme Court, and they have us by the balls.

How can everything be so, so WRONG?

And people banned gay marriage in 11 states. Fuck you very much. Washington might have a creepy Republican governor by a margin of 1,000 votes. Fuck you guys, too. Fuck the kids who apparently didn't turn out, even though almost everyone I know did. And Kerry--how the fuck did you not win, man? You suck.

I am fucking infuriated right now, and you know why. Probably if you read this regularly, you're infuriated, too.

No, Mr. Bush, you are not regaining my trust, my support, or anything. You're shitting on my country and calling it freedom.

So fucked. Gah. Can't say anything rational.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Disturbing Search Terms of the Week:

"celebrity's vagina." I swear. And I have no idea how that brought someone to my domain.

Pumpkin Fever!

Maybe that's going a little overboard, but these titles, you know? Coming up with a good thing to have in bold, large type at the beginning of every entry is a lot of pressure.

Josie left this morning for L.A. We had fun, though we didn't make it up to San Francisco. She decided the $10+ required for transportation and fun wasn't worth the pain of not being able to walk very well in a city where one really needs to walk, so we hung out around here.

Well, first we checked out an Ethiopian place in San Jose. It was pretty good. Then we went to Safeway and got $5 in Halloween candy and saw some of those annoying noisemaker stuffed animal toy things they sell around this holiday. Some played "Monster Mash." Others, terrifyingly enough, played "Hooked on a Feeling." *shudder*

Then, I don't remember exactly why, we detoured into Campbell to go to Whole Foods. I got a cooking pumpkin and replenished my whole wheat pastry flour and evaporated cane juice (sugar) supplies, which were running low. They are both necessary for pancakes and cookies, and god knows what I'd do without those.

My mom and I are discussing cooking now. Again. As always. She sent me to a recipe for Indian-style aromatic vegetables (how authentic they can be coming from Parade magazine, I wonder, but they sound tasty) and I'm thinking it sounds like an awesome way to have our mixed vegetable dish at Thanksgiving.

My sister is going to veer away from the nasty canned cranberry sauce for the first time ever and make her own fresh cranberry sauce, perhaps spiked with pomegranates. Because Margot and I are obsessed with pomegranates. In fact, I have two pomegranates to bring her from the market down here, where they cost just $1 a pound.

I know. We overplan. But food is important and delicious. We get excited. It's a bonding thing.

Paul, don't worry, we'll still have mashed potatoes and some kind of meat just for you. And bread. And pumpkin pie.

Anyway, Josie and I did Halloween suburb-style: watching movies and waiting for trick-or-treaters. We doled out the two bags of candy by 7:30 and turned off the porch light. We watched all of the horrible (or just horrifying?) Mariah Carey vehicle, Glitter, made some Thai yellow curry with pumpkin and tofu, which turned out well, and popped in Firestarter. We only got partway through when 9 o'clock rolled around and we both wanted to watch Desperate Housewives, like the TV-addicted, unemployed dorks we are. (For the record, however, Josie is much less dorky than me, and probably infinitely more employable.)

Speaking of the pumpkin curry, though, were I to make it again, I'd make butternut squash curry instead. The texture would be preferable.

Anyway, the job search continues this week, and I owe a lot of people cheery e-mails. And, in case the entire universe didn't already remind you, if you're a registered U.S. voter and you didn't already do it, please vote tomorrow. (Subtext: Please vote for Kerry. And Washington voters: Please vote Murray for Senate and Gregoire for Governor. Not that I wear my political leanings on my sleeve or anything.)

Friday, October 29, 2004

Another gray day...

and I still have the Cagney & Lacey theme stuck in my head.

I'm baking cookies (Lindsay, I'm glad they worked for you! I'll email you soon) and sort of preparing for my first houseguest. Josie will probably meander down 101 and find herself here tomorrow evening. We'll probably go to San Francisco for Halloween. She's never been to the city, so it should be fun. Or incredibly hectic, who knows!

Is anything else happening? No!

But I did get TWO pieces of personal mail today, which must be some kind of non-birthday record. One was a thank-you card from Kevin's sister, which had a very cute picture of her and her new husband on the front. The other was a total surprise Trader Joe's gift card from my mom. My mommy loves me and knows my neverending need for "unique" groceries--oh, I'm such a TJ's tool.

Am I desperate enough yet to get them to hire me? Even temp agencies won't call me back. I don't know.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Did my civic duty.

THANKS A MILLION to Chris! And also, for the magazines! Silly me, moving right when they're mailing every subscription I have.

Regime change begins at home, wherever you may be.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Confessions of a pancake whore.

Though I was never especially fond of pancakes as a kid--they were okay and all; I just preferred a good waffle or french toast--but lately, I've begun to see the power of the versatile breakfast flatbread that we call pancake.

And since I don't tend to keep eggs in the house, I've been making variations of vegan pancakes with varying success. The basic recipe is good enough (with a little vanilla for good measure), but I had to get crafty.

First I tried adding cinnamon and a little bit of chopped walnuts. The cinnamon wasn't very strong, but I still approved.

Today, I was jonesing to attempt a new variety: pumpkin.

So I started from scratch and roasted, then pureed, a pumpkin of unknown variety. It was a volunteer in Kevin's mom's garden. It smelled nice.

Then I followed the basic recipe, substituting 3 Tbsp. of pumpkin for the applesauce. Also, I used soy milk instead of water. I added some cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and chopped a handful of pecans. The result was a batter that was too thick and didn't cook very well, so I thinned it out with approximately 1/2 c. of water.

The pancakes were not fluffy like a traditional buttermilk type, but they are dense and flavorful. Well, I think I put a little too much spice in it, and taking a big ol' bite of nutmeg is not pleasant.

On a subject unrelated to pancakes, I still don't have my absentee ballot. This sucks. I don't know what to do. Bleh.

But I do have pancakes in my belly. That's just as good as voting for Democrats, right? No? Oh, well.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Ad Rant: 21st Century "Real Replacement Parts."

The ad that tries to cast both car insurance and breast enhancement surgery in a positive light.

A man's voice, off-camera, tells an onscreen couple about the insurance company's perk of insisting on "real replacement parts" for damaged vehicles. The woman, a well-endowed, middle-aged woman with bottle blond hair smiles perkily and says, "Ooh, I like that!" The man, wearing a leisure suit and sporting an obvious toupee, leers at his wife and says, "Ehh, I'm not convinced."

The off-camera voice protests that aren't real body parts preferable? The man agrees, in the case of a car. For some things, he explains, fake is just as good. His wife gives a little giggle, and they stare goofily at each other.

Every time I see this ad, I want to yell. Also, for its intended comedy? It totally drags on too long.

In other ad-related commentary, you know you're in California when you hear ads for medicinal marijuana on the radio. Hee.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Bitches du jour:

And you know I've got plenty.

Bush is on my TV. Shut up, Bush.

I still haven't received my absentee ballot. If it doesn't come, I don't know, tomorrow, I might not get to fucking VOTE. And I can't even blame a corrupt electoral system for it. This is freaking me out.

No job prospects. Not even any interesting postings for almost a week. Feeling pretty desperate.

I am so fucking broke, it hurts. Do not want to think about this; will cry.

Kitchen is still a mess. Landlords are insistant upon fixing the problem with Drano and a plunger, which I am halfway certain will not work because the pipe fitting is actually loose. The whole thing is a mess and making me hysterical.

Produce in the fridge from last week is probably going to go bad soon if I can't use my kitchen to actually cook things soon. What a waste. I should at least try to wash some of it in the bathroom and freeze it. That will work for some of it.

Rest of the house is also a mess and it's really wearing on me, but it's so cluttered and huge that I don't even know where to begin, and so do nothing. And it's not my mess! My stuff is all pretty neat! It's Kevin's. And like hell he'll do anything. Guh.

I'm so hungry. Today fucking sucks.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Nothing much to say.

I feel like writing, but I don't have anything to say but the same old whines. I'm listening to stolen records (Christine's, I forgot to give them back) and pondering my next move.

Wondering, if life is a journey, did I get left on the wayside?

Can I dust myself off and hitch a ride? Keep walking into the unknown? Rummage through the roadside debris for a new metaphor?

I realize the vast majority of what I write here is pretty superficial stuff. If it's not a cursory run-down of what's happening, it's bitching, whining, or ranting about the usual shit, or TV commercials. I haven't got a poetic soul, just a sad and undeserving one, if I've got a soul at all.

I've become disconnected from the intellectual pursuits that gave me any sense of competence, the people who gave me a sense of belonging, and the goals that gave me something to look forward to. And I've resorted to hyperbole and over-dramatic shrieking on more than one occasion. Since I've finished school, my one lifelong pursuit since birth, I've become empty and senseless.

I have to keep telling myself I'll get the hang of life, sooner or later, but who knows? People stagnate and stop growing sometimes, too. Not all movement is forward. Optimism hasn't always served me well.

Every silent moment, filled with the din of media totally unrelated to myself, builds to form something I don't know yet. Will I like the person I am when the movement stops or changes?

And in my searching for a purpose, don't tell me to find God. Don't tell me what I should look for, because sometimes I find things better by wandering than by mission.

That's it. I've got nothing. Back to the headphones.

It looks like someone vomited all over my kitchen.

For the love of god, no one here is even sick. I was trying to dispose of a variety of past-their-prime leftovers in the garbage disposal when I noticed the sickly reddish liquid emanating from below the sink and trickling across the tile floor.

Kevin calmly assessed the situation, asked me for towels, and called the landlord, who naturally isn't home.

I'm just sure they're going to tell me I did some stupid thing I didn't know I wasn't supposed to do with garbage disposals. Stupid goddamn garbage disposals will be the death of me.

This time, I seriously have no idea what I did wrong. There were no bad noises and I don't dump out anything that shouldn't go down the drain, that I know of--it's all soft, mushy, plant-based items. I've fucked up disposals before--causing the sink the overfill after peeling too many potatoes into it and letting the starchy mess expand most recently comes to mind--but this takes the cake.

Plus, it ruined our box of dishwasher detergent and some other useful items. And it looks fucking disgusting. Gah.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Oh, and also!

The Gossip is opening for Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at the Fillmore next month. I am hoping to catch that show with my sister, because... well... Kevin wouldn't care at all, and Margot and I love the Gossip. I enjoy JSBX and I suspect she will, too. We'll dance our butts off.

And Kevin has tickets for the San Jose Wilco show around the same time, so yippie. Wilco in a venue with good sound and seats from which I hope the band is not ant-sized!

I like doing things.

That's why I like having a reason to leave the house.

Lately, I haven't had too many. Besides groceries. But yesterday, I took BART to the city ("it goes under the Bay?") and my sister took care of the rest. She brought me a soda and a falafel and took me to see Team America: World Police, which we naturally enjoyed. She then had an appointment with her personal trainer to jump rope or something, so I wandered up and down Polk St. for awhile before settling down in a boho-style cafe with a pot of herbal tea and a SF Weekly until she was done. Then there was wandering and soup and bread in the basement of Macy's before she got called to work and I got back on the train.

Though I had absolutely zero happening today, I hope tomorrow will be different. We might catch a matinee of I Heart Huckabees, finally, and we might head down to Santa Cruz. Kevin has computers to fix at relatives' homes, and relatives to spend time with, and I'm happy to tag along. I haven't met his grandfather yet, and I like his parents. So, yay.

But that's it. There is really nothing happening, particularly on the job front. It's depressing as hell, but if I think about Doing Stuff and not that I'm Not Doing Shit, I can pretend not to be depressed for awhile.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

People Who Need to Blog:

Lindsay should blog. Graylan should actually write in his. Chris's Empty Cupboard unfortunately lives up to its name. Lauren should blog from all the glory of her French Catholic boarding house. You know what feature should be added to Team Julie That's right, a blog. You people should be providing me with endless reading material about the ins and outs of your fabulous lives. And don't think that just because I didn't mention you by name, you aren't part of my scolding, missy (or mister). I'm running on empty here, dammit. Give me some rocket fuel.

Also, Goodbye, Lenin! was a fucking lovely film.

Mm. Pizza.

Last night, Kevin brought me an Al Capone from this place. Holy shit yeah good yum.

Now, I need to make blogger not think that my writing portfolio lives in the same place as this blog. Grrrrr.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Mock Cock Fights Sell Chicken Sandwiches?

I understood the "subservient chicken" thing, but people in rooster costumes staging faux cock fights in Burger King television spots? What the fuck? I'd like to think I'm not a humorless vegetarian by any means, but when did cockfighting become an acceptable subject for lighthearted commercial humor?

Yes. I changed layouts.

I know this will be difficult for all of you. Mourn the crappy gimp-edited title graphic. But it had to be done, for the sake of comments. Which were very broken.

Also, I am trying this email-a-post feature.

ETA: Holy crap, it worked. That's sorta rad.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.

This is a modification of the vegan Chocolate Chocolate Chip (with walnuts/pecans) recipe I posted some time ago, but it worked pretty well. I've reduced the sugar and taken out the chocolate chips... mainly because I don't have any chocolate chips.

Oven: 350' F

Mix together in a bowl:
- 1/4 c. flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1/4 c. cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Add and mix:
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 3/4 c. oats
- few pinches salt

Stir in:
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract

When it's all coming together, add:
- 1 tbsp. canola oil

Then mash in:
- 1/4 c. crunchy peanut butter (one big scoop; I don't mash it into the measuring cup and try to put it in the bowl from there or anything because that's insane)

Scoop rounded spoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake about 8-10 min. They will not spread much, so you can put them fairly close together and mash them down a bit (possibly like you would normal PB cookies, with the criscrossed fork pattern) so they're not just crispy ball o' cookie.


Someone try this with an alternative nut butter and let me know how it is? I am too cheap to buy those things.

Monday, October 18, 2004


Okay, so the commenting is fucked for now. I'll try to fix it later. But right now, I'm just going to be sad and broken and wishing this could all be over. Being unemployed sucks, to sum up.

I'll FTP You!@#

Blogger, you old scoundrel. We meet again.

Blogger's crack support team ascertained that it was my use of SFTP over FTP which caused the error. Nevermind that I was using FTP when this problem arose, but hey. It works now, and I can quit posting at LJ. Oh, hooray. But go check for the handful of updates there in case you missed it and you just can't get enough of me, giggle!

One annoying thing of note is that my old commenting system, implemented on my server before Blogger added built-in commenting, has vanished, and with it any comments left in the past year and a half. Grrr. Rather than set that up again, I might as well let Blogger's version take over. At least it seems to support line breaks.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Battling Green Eye Shades?

I have no idea what that means. If anyone can explain it, let me know.

Bush used this phrase during tonight's debate in St. Louis.

I'm offering it up to the powers of the internet.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

What's Up?

Nothing much here. There's some things on my to-do list, not the least of which is GET A JOB--I have applied for two today that sound like things I'd actually want to do, and I've learned the Fremont Trader Joe's is hiring. Woop-de-shit.

The farmer's market here in Milpitas kicks a little ass. It's twice a week, year-round, and features locally grown produce for a damn song. This is not the U-District market where the all-organic selection is at least as pricey as doing all my shopping at Whole Foods. Granted, there's only one organic stall, but locally grown is still better for the environment than imported. I got a pomegranate for a quarter. Peaches were $0.80 a pound, and I got a ton of other stuff that is beautiful and hopefully I won't ruin with my cooking.

I should've gone to Whole Foods today, though. I might go after rush hour. But now it's four and the roads will make me sad until probably 6 or 7. Besides, Ellen is on.

The drive down provided me with a valuable lesson in lumbar support: namely, that the way I sit in my driver's seat provides none, leaving my shoulders in excruciating pain. They still hurt today. My mom did, however, show me how I can adjust not only the seat back, but the angle of the seat bottom and the steering column, which was amusing, but I'm not sure how helpful it was.

Our overnight stop was in Ashland, Oregon, a lovely town neither of us had made it to before. We didn't see any Shakespeare, but we did have a yummy meal at the Green Leaf Restaurant and enjoy a lot of cable TV. I got my mom into Dead Like Me, for example, so we were both excited to see a new episode after watching the first season on DVD. But she fell asleep halfway through the episode.

And there was a "Behind the Scenes" special on ABC Family after their Gilmore Girls marathon that really sucked. Half of the vapid host's questions of the show's stars revolved around rehashing the major plotlines and themes of the first couple seasons. The only part with any sign of life was when Kelly Bishop and Edward Herrmann were on. We were yelling at the TV for the host's ineptitude and crappy questions. This was not behind any scenes; it wasn't even between the lines.

The night before we left, I hung out with Becky at Denny's, where they apparently routinely run out of vanilla ice cream, rendering nearly everything on the dessert menu unorderable. So I got strawberry ice cream with chocolate syrup on it, which was pretty similar to this.

On Friday, I had dinner with Christine at the Thai-ger Room and met up with Jenny quickly. It was good to see them both, and I wish I'd made plans with more people. But I should be back for Christmas and see more people, not to mention the people who should come to the Bay Area and see me. This means YOU.

I also browsed the University Bookstore and discovered a half-dozen books I want, including Jon Stewart's America: The Book, a book about building furniture with 2x4s, the How It All Vegan cookbook, and some O'Reilly pocket books on a variety of computer things I want to brush up on. Damn this no money thing.

I am going to get my sister to paint the shower curtain. Kevin agreed to a bathmat that has color, so perhaps she can incorporate that. Only make it less kiddie.

Yeah, this is disjointed. I don't have a prevailing theme; this is just what's going on lately. I'm still sorting things out. I'll let you know what's going on when it happens. Promise.

Just make sure you keep me in the loop.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004



I'm here. My computer is working. We have a couch that is comfortable, even though it's comfortable in the garage for now. I have a new GSM phone, but the same number. I went to Ikea with Kevin and didn't fight. And I am now very tired.

I will write more later.

Friday, October 01, 2004


Who doesn't like it when things blow up?

Or big burps?

I give this one a damn 10.

So St. Helens had a hissyfit today, which looked spectacular but is causing virtually no problems.

If it'd happened 24 hours earlier, I would've been driving through Kelso right when it happened. That would've been rad, but the traffic would no doubt suck.

I'm leaving Sunday for California. I know. It's soon. Insane. I need a fucking job, though, and I can't very well fly down every time someone wants to grant me an interview. Which, admittedly, hasn't been very many times so far.

I need to pack some more and clean my bathroom. And probably my room, but that will be harder.

Today I'm supposed to see some people who say they will miss me. Hah, silly people.

I drove a lot yesterday: round-trip to Portland with a stop in Olympia on the way south so I could spend time with my nieces and their parents. They're cute, but Kahnya splashes in the hot tub too much. Puthyda didn't seem to mind me too much. I was in Portland just to see Josie. I saw pictures from Jordan and we talked. It was a good visit. Plus, delicious Ethiopian food was consumed and Presidential debates were watched from strange angles, so it was a good evening.

Kevin checked out a couch on sale for $75 on Craigslist and deemed it adequate, so mom and I can pick it up Monday night. Yay! $75 is much cheaper than the minimum $200 for a less-than-cozy couch from Ikea! We also found a kitchen chopping block island thing that would be cool if I can't move the red-topped counter thing we have up here.

I gave away a couple old j-school books to my brother, who's on his high school newspaper staff now--the very same one where I cut my teeth as Layout Queen--with a bunch of stupid kids with no sense of aesthetics or ability to write decent copy. My brother is a decent writer and takes editing well, so I am encouraging him to be a pain about this stuff so the paper sucks less. But it isn't his passion in life, so who knows how far that'll go.

I wonder if there are journalism camps for kids interested in that area. My brother goes to music camps; my sister went to art camp; I never went to any camp and thought my main options were those academic, university summer programs for high schoolers where you get college credit or something. If there had been a journalism camp, or had I known about it, I probably would've jumped at the chance. Oh, well.

Anyway, leaving Sunday. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. Wow.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

A Few Good Things

Despite the elephant in the corner that is my unemployment, there are some good things going around.

Yesterday, Lindsay left me a present to cheer me up: a nice note, an excellent chocolate bar and a $5 Jamba Juice card. This was most unexpected, thoughtful and delicious. (Well, I haven't consumed it yet, but I am sure it will be. I am saving it for when I desperately need it, which will be soon.)

Lauren is officially off for France. I hope she's getting some most excellent international flight beverage and lunch service right now, but I don't know how likely that is.

Tomorrow I'm going to Olympia to get the Civic tuned up for an interstate drive and my teeth cleaned up. I haven't been to a dentist for over a year because I haven't had insurance. I still don't have insurance, but this time it's at mom's behest, so that makes it easier for me.

House issues appear to be resolving themselves somewhat. Kevin is more supportive of my need for a couch, though the problem of getting it to our house may be a hurdle. He's been going to Ikea, like, daily to buy new light fixtures due to the woefully underlit house. At least two of the lights were ones I whined that we needed, even--one of the floor lamps with a little reading lamp arm for in the living room and some little cabinet-mounted spotlights for the kitchen. We'll still have to figure out appropriate dining room lighting and how to replace the ugly, bulbous kitchen fixtures. He's also agreed with me about replacing the fugly window coverings.

I've made a list of furniture I think I should be able to make: a platform twin daybed with storage underneath to serve as TV lounging/guest sleeping in my room, a video game consoles storage unit for the living room, and possibly a bench, side table, and/or tall, narrow table for dining room storage and plant display. Anyway, I think these should be doable since they are boxy and simple. The house might not be annoying yet.

There's going to be a specific timeframe to get things nice, though, because we're hosting Thanksgiving. At least, I'm hosting my mom and brother, and my sister will come down from the city. Kevin's been told we can include his mom if he wants, or he can run away, or he can just be here with us. I just need to be with my family.

Last week, I went to Oregon with mom and Koko. It was fun to see Koko again and be reminded of why I want to go to Japan (for real this time). We stayed at the beach and rented Lost in Translation, which was fun to watch with a Japanese person.

Other than that, though, I've been doing a whole lot of nothing. My tolerance for crap TV is rising exponentially. I cleaned the house, even mopping the hardwood floors in the dining and living rooms with vinegar and Murphy's oil soap. I'm hoping to move next week, but most of what I have left to pack is best left unpacked until closer to then because it's stuff I'm using.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Milpitas to Millbrae

While I'm still depressingly unemployed, the weekend wasn't a total loss. I explored some public transit, mainly Caltrain, which rocked. It took three trains to get to the airport--could've taken four plus a bus if I hadn't made Kevin drive me to the Mountain View Caltrain station--and holy crap, am I tired now.

The interview felt like it went well, but apparently it didn't. Or there was just someone they liked better. Or both. I hate this whole process so fucking much. I just want to settle down with something, hopefully something that doesn't suck my soul.

I just ate a little bag of chocolate covered espresso beans my sister gave me, so now I'm jittery and sick. Those things are delicious but deadly. Argh. She also gave me a coconut truffle, some peanut butter and Butterfinger fudge, and a large peanut butter cup [insert Homer-style drooling here]. And a variety of black licorice for Kevin. And she bought me falafel for lunch, as well as the cappuccino and cheesecake we shared later in the afternoon. And put up with me for an afternoon of city-walking. Which was needed since she gave me all that frickin' fudge.

After San Francisco, Kevin met me in Palo Alto--which was such a fucking hassle, it was crazy--and we went to Ikea. Of course, it was there we realized our tastes and ideas for how a house should look and feel are totally different, I got pissy, and he bought some lightbulbs.

I'm not feeling especially lucky at the moment, but I plan to just move down in a couple weeks and figure things out from there. In the interim, I can pack, try not to starve or go too much deeper in debt, and do free things as much as possible. The more bored I am, the higher I find my tolerance for shitty daytime broadcast TV becomes. I want to move so I can take jobs immediately, including temp crap, and so I can just get to work making our house my home, too. I'd like to try my hand at DIY furniture (better than Ikea! Or at least cheaper, possibly, and more fun because I hate going to Ikea), sewing, gardening, etc.

Milpitas isn't as bad as I thought it would be--it's the 'burbs, of course, but it's a damn ethnically diverse 'burb. Which isn't necessarily better, but it's more interesting to me. Our nearest grocery store is an Asian supermarket. Not the ridiculously upscale kind like Uwajimaya, but the kind where the prices are marked with little stickers and signs written in Chinese, Vietnamese, and sometimes English. Lots of interesting stuff, even if it's not what we might need to buy regularly.

Also, we saw Napoleon Dynamite, which was eh.

Tonight, I guess dinner is pasta and spinach, if the spinach isn't rotten now. Ergh.

But I'm going to Oregon with mom and Koko tomorrow, so I can't justify groceries yet.

And Josie is coming home. Early. Hope we can meet on Thursday.

I have lots of stuff I could blab about, but this is pretty random as it is.

I'll leave you with this: the commercial for STAR 101.5 with the kids lip-synching pop songs dressed up like the singers is really creepy in a way I can't put my finger on. I hate commercial radio.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Of course I didn't get the damn job.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Brief Update

I am packing, and I fly down to San Francisco tomorrow night. My interview is on Friday, so I don't have quite enough time to get the car tuned up for a 13-hour drive. I did, however, manage to get a pretty damn good fare on Alaska, considering it was less than seven days in advance--$169 total. Kevin's going to pick me up and I can play house for the weekend after I kick some serious butt at the interview. Ha!

They gave me homework. I like this place even more for that, really. My resume on its own isn't terribly impressive, so that they're giving me a very practical way to demonstrate my skills is fantastic. I am totally psyched up for this.

Rachel is doing better--she just stopped by--and Becky is, as well, so thanks for your good thoughts.

I'll be back Tuesday and ready to watch a ton of TV. It's Gilmore Girls season premiere night AND the two-hour finale of The Amazing Race 5, which I've been watching with rapt attention and mentally nominating friends to compete in future races. And packing, lots of packing. And sorting. And getting rid of things. And I think Koko, an awesome Japanese student who used to board with my mom, will be visiting, so maybe I'll get to see her. And maybe, just maybe, there will be time to squeeze in another beach trip.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Hell, Yeah!

The beach was a lot of fun, the weather was nice, the company was wonderful, and Burgerville's seasonal smoothie of the month is wild Northwest huckleberry. The house is gorgeous.

I ate a lot of not-incredibly-healthy foods that were very yummy regardless, but now it's back to strict vegetarianism and no real ice cream. Or even delicious ice cream substitutes. I had some awesome Tillamook ice creams this weekend, aummmnumnum. There will be no more bloothbaths made of overpriced spinach bunches from lack of time to cook anything. I've got nothing but time now.

Kevin is in Milpitas now and starting back to work in the morning. (Well, I'm assuming he makes it there before noon at least on the first day.) He had a lot of stuff in the truck, but not enough time to take any of my furniture. I've been left with a few tasks, like retrieving boxes and cleaning implements from his house, returning the cable modem, and going through the move-out checklist with his landlord. Hoo-fuckin'-ray.

I was, until about an hour ago, expecting not to see him for another month, but I've just learned I got a second interview for the job I really want, so I've got to go down sooner than that.


So I think I'll spend the week packing, hope to schedule the interview for Monday, drive down with a Civic load this weekend, interview, fly home, and drive down with mom and a van load of stuff that won't fit in the car. This is all tentative until I actually schedule the interview, of course.

Damn, do I want that job. And I already miss Kevin, but I'm going to miss my family and friends, too. This weekend was just further proof.

But everyone's getting busy and scattering. Chris is moving to Tacoma, Lauren to France, and almost everyone else is insanely busy already. It was a small miracle I got six people to come to the beach with me.

However, life is not all happy-crazy. Please leave some room in your thoughts for my two oldest friends, who have apparently suffered under the cruel fate of being my friend as long as they have by encountering physical distress. Becky's back is in bad shape, and Rachel, who was supposed to join us in Seaside, got very ill last week and is probably in the hospital now. Not to minimize Becky's pain, I am really worried about Rachel, so send happy thoughts.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Trying to Settle

I've been pretty depressed the past few days--save for the Pixies high, of course--just thinking about the flux-state of moving and the lack of serious job prospects. Talking to most people doesn't seem to provide much comfort, though seeing my friends tonight, all of whom have been in my place and are finally scrambling out, was probably the most comfort, no matter how general.

It was also a reminder of how much I'll be leaving behind. Even though the friends are slowly scattering and becoming more involved in separate lives, we still make the effort to be there for each other, and that relationship naturally has to change as people move apart physically. And my family... while I'll be moving closer to my sister, I'll be farther from my mom and my brother. Though my sister and I probably have more common interests, I feel closer to my mom than anyone, and my brother and I can amuse each other without getting at each others' throats.

But it's time to move on. Time to fly the coop. The door's open; I want to go play outside. I just need to pick a date.

I'm thinking the week of October 4. This gives me a little less than a month to pack and see everyone and maybe line up interviews. And if I'm lucky--which I don't think I am in this matter--I might even hear back from the Ideal Job in that time.

Part of my depression, I think, is that I'm in this uncertain place, and if I can only land in a sense of certainty, I might find stability. And a fricking job.

And the other part is the stress of moving and, moreover, the stress of what I'm leaving behind.

Well, and part of it's PMS.

This Monkey's Gone...

I saw the Pixies, bitches.

We got there insanely early, got in a line to get in the gate to get in a line to get a wristband so later we could wait in another line to sit around for an hour and a half before the band opening (Built to Spill!) for the Pixies went on.

The BtS show was wrought with troubles--we were surrounded by chatty assholes who didn't think it was appropriate to cease idle conversation while the band played music, because apparently BtS is a jazz combo at the neighborhood bar or something, some whore called her friend to ask "HEY, WHERE ARE YOU?" in the middle of the song and yelled this IN MY EAR, and there was some weird lady making anti-Bush ramblings audible between songs that Doug Martsch told to "shut the fuck up" at one point; no idea what the hell was really going on there. I mean, the band played well, they played good songs, etc. I've just seen them from the front row at the Showbox, which is ultimately a million times preferable to this.

The Pixies were, of COURSE, superfabulousamazing. I mean, god. They played practically everything I could think of (though I'm not a die-hard). There were two versions of "Wave of Mutilation" and they played "Monkey Gone to Heaven" because they love me, I guess. Sometimes I could even actually see members of the band. (Bumbershoot desperately needs a giant projection TV of the mainstage shows for those of us not fortunate enough to be tall and pushy.) I rocked out all the way and now I stink and hurt and for a brief while, I was totally parched, until a sealed, unopened bottle of water made its way to my feet as we exited the stadium. Anyway, it was a fulfilling concert experience.

Earlier in the day, Lauren, Chris and I spent a lot of time in lines because we're giant cokeheads. Oh, HA-HA, funny. Um, we saw Harvey Pekar speak and take questions from the audience, which was pretty cool. I would've wanted to just shake the man's hand, and I think everything has already been said about him, but he's just great. If you haven't seen the movie or read any of the American Splendor comics, you should. We also saw a bunch of comedians, including the duo responsible for that lovely bluegrass medley of Radiohead songs called "Rodeohead," who were fricking hilarious a number of times. My brother would have loved that shit--Paul, Hard 'n' Firm is the new comedy duo sensation for you. Fred Armisen was also among them, playing Sadaam a guy with a British accent and a rock/jazz guitar fetish.

Waiting in lines forever and ever was basically my life today, so I made the best of it. Everything I waited for was, at least, well worth the wait for me.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Am I Wrong?

I just might be.

So Kevin was at the U Village last week running other errands, so I asked if he'd pick up my Bumbershoot pass from Starbucks. It's past the cheap phase, so all you don't pay is the crappy service fee, but you do pay a whole $40 for two days. Yeesh. And the guy at the Starbucks accidentally gives him an extra pass.

Kevin does not want to go to Bumbershoot. He'd rather be packing. So he just wants to give the ticket away.

But not to me, see, so I can sell it for $20 and end up paying only 1/2 price out of pocket and he gets his $40 in a more timely fashion, because, you know, I'm basically broke and unemployed (and completely irresponsible!). If I sell it, see, the money's his. Not mine to combine with another $20 so I can pay him back and everyone wins.

What the fuck?


Otherwise, I had a good time yesterday and I damn well better have a good time tomorrow. Today, I'm being whiny, but I am going to go see people at Agua Verde and wish Anna a happy birthday. And not buy food, because I shouldn't. Not everyone can land sweet aerospace jobs straight out of college, right?

I saw Marc Maron's standup yesterday, which was wicked. He made fun of audience members, Jesus, and Bush. A good mix. Also saw a bit of the laptop battle and all of Plan B's set at the Sky Church, which continues to be my favorite venue at the festival. Hung out with Rachel and her friend Adam awhile before the comedy stuff, then Jana and her Little Sister, Angel, while we wandered around, looking for something else to see for awhile. We discovered the free Kettle Chips, which are my only potato chip weakness (salt and pepper krinkle cut!) and watched a little emcee battling, which was amusing for a bit. The acoustics in there suck, though, so it's difficult to understand the words. It's only a little better for just DJs or breakdancing.

After Plan B's set, Rachel, Adam, and Scott found me and we did silly stuff, like win Rachel a really ugly, cheap stuff pug in a roll-a-ball/race-a-horse game, which she proceeded to carry around like an infant in her sarong, skee-ball, air hockey, and bumper cars, which is surprisingly a lot of fun after you've learned how to drive.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Go to Neelam's on Greenwood!

I feel sad that we've only gone there today and all this time, it could have been one of our favorite Indian places in Seattle.

All I had was the dahl and a roti, which the owner at first questioned: "Do you know what dahl is? It's more like a side dish." But it was all I wanted and a whole order is plenty of food. And as we chatted with him after the meal, he said I'd eaten like an Indian: scooping the spicy lentils up with pieces of bread. Mm, mm.

Kevin opted for the $9.95 meal platter with more dahl, raita (which I stole and he didn't try), yellow rice, channa masala, and a naan. A damn good naan, too. The owner, larger man (who admitted to being diabetic), noted Kevin's skinniness and begged him to eat more, bringing additional rice and dahl until Kevin was completely full. The owner smiled and told us that is how you feed someone in India--keep bringing them food until they beg you to stop. I remarked they must be full at that point, and he laughed and shook his head. "Not full. Content," he told me.

We also learned about fruits. Kevin ordered a mango juice, which on first taste he thought was too tangy to be just the juice, that it didn't taste like mango juice normally does, so he asked the owner. The owner began telling us about the many varieties of mango--how some, like the ones normally used to create the pulp that's used for bottled mango juice, are gigantic, their name translating to "jackass" or "donkey," and that they often have flies inside them and the flesh is the texture of banana, and that they are oversweetened. The mango juice he served Kevin, on the other hand, was from a good variety of mango, not too sweet, a bit sour, and a much better texture.

And then he brought out a glass of the regular stuff to prove his point.

The stuff he served originally was definitely better.

Head Congestion

As if my mind weren't full enough, my sinuses are full of crud and air that seem content to sit there forever. The mind I can take; the sinus shit I don't want to deal with.

I'm not sick... there's nothing else wrong. It doesn't hurt. The lymph nodes in my throat aren't noticeably swollen. No coughing and no sore throat, not even after sleeping with my mouth open. Not even spicy tom yum soup helps for very long. Well, it might if I shelled out for more of it, all five stars' worth, skip the milky beverage to spare me the pain of spice consumption. But anyway, it's just that feeling that my ears won't quite pop coupled with being constantly stuffy-nosed, and it sucks.

I'm starting to pre-pack. I'm cleaning up my room and separating out the trash, the donations, and the little piles of stuff that belong in boxes because I don't need them on a daily basis. I've got six grocery bags of stuff to bring to Goodwill--clothes, mostly, but some other stuff that is functional but has ceased to be of value to me.

And this weekend is Bumbershoot! Starting today! Rachel offered me wristbands for the Presidents/Death Cab for Cutie mainstage show tonight, but I think I'll pass. The United States of Electronica is opening, and no matter how much good press they get, I will still find them annoying. I'd rather use my tickets tomorrow and Monday. And Monday I need to get there as early as possible to ensure I get a wristband for the mainstage show--I'll be damned if I miss the Pixies. And I may well be damned.

I gave away my lovely vintage (but broken) stereo on Craigslist to a guy who likes tinkering with old Pioneer stereos. A number of other people have expressed interest in buying the Numark turntable from me, and I am hoping someone wants to buy the mixer. I feel very guilty about selling these things, but honestly, I so rarely use them, and I don't think I'm willing to spend the money necessary to make it a worthwhile hobby: I need more and better records, as well as different needles, and oh. Who am I kidding. The whole set-up is silly. I'm keeping the Technics, though, because it is a thing of beauty and I do love me some records.

Still no word on the job. I need to not freak out, but dammit. Want job! Good job! Pet job...

I feel guilty about a number of things lately, stupid things. Like not voting for Ron Sims for governor on my Democratic primary absentee ballot. That was stupid. Oh well, Christine Gregoire is going to win, anyway; may as well resign myself now. And I'm moving to a state where the fucking Terminator is governor and says things like "economic girly-men," so really, anyone is better than that, right? Jesus. And if Patty Murray loses her Senate seat, I will cry.

What the hell am I doing? California? The suburbs?!

God. I'm so terrified I'm going to dead-end and do nothing productive the rest of my life. And dammit, I deserve better. But it's really fucking hard.

Monday, August 30, 2004

California Allergy

Apparently, I'm allergic to Northern California. Or the second bedroom in Kevin's mom's house; it's a toss-up. I sneezed all weekend and am now so congested, I feel loopy. Not that I'm allergic to Seattle, understand, I'm just dealing with the residual congestion. And it sucks.

Other than that, and being exhausting, the trip was pretty good. Santa Cruz was brilliantly foggy and pleasant, which was nice after being in super-death-hot San Jose all day. After looking at about a half dozen places, we decided to go for the safe bet: a rather nice place with a nice yard and a sorta-nice view of the foothills in the boring as hell suburb of Milpitas. The yard is maintained and has four fruit trees--two apple, one orange, and one lemon--and the house is spacious enough without fixtures that are too weird and ugly. Pretty much nothing is nearby, though we're told there's a park of some sort. And a Catholic church, in case I stop being agnostic and give in to the "guilt." Which is not, by the way, going to happen.

We have to drive to get to pretty much any grocery store, much less one that sells stuff I'll buy without cringing (closest Trader Joe's is in Sunnyvale; Whole Foods in Campbell or Cupertino; haven't found any obscure co-ops in the whole valley). Same goes for movie theaters. However, it's located at that southeast corner of the bay that means I could reasonably commute to Oakland or even San Francisco, if up to an hour is "reasonable."

I'll have to learn all the freeways, and Kevin's mom gave me a map so I can start memorizing. It'll be hard--the freeways in Seattle are pretty basic. There's I-5 shooting straight through town, with I-90 and 520 heading to the eastside 'burbs, and 405 connecting the two of those. It's like tic-tac-toe. Down there, it's more like a goddamn maze, and I can't print out directions every time I need to go somewhere.

And yes, my interview went well. At least, I think so. And I still want that job, because, well, it's a sweet job. It's pretty much everything I could want in a job right now--doing stuff I know how to do and improving on it, combined with gaining skills I want to have (namely, editing), to produce something that is valuable (stuff for ESL teachers). I liked the interviewers, and it's a small company where I'd be important without being lost in a large, corporate structure. But I need to stop enthusing because as much as I want it, I have no idea if they're even going to call me back for a second interview, and even then, who knows if I'd make the cut?

Other than that, I skipped coffee for two days, which sucked, but I got Jamba Juice two days in a row, which was pleasant. Just, you know, not coffee, or as cheap as coffee.

I still need to get my Bumbershoot tickets and do dishes. There are a fuckton of dishes, and I don't feel like doing them, and I can't eat until I do them, so I guess I'll starve.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

LiveJournal Account of the Damned

I did not know LJ accounts were free-without-a-code again. Now I know. If you have a LJ and you are my friend, why don't you go ahead and add me?

Yeah, it's whoring, but whatever.

And I promise not to start posting "friends only" shit over there, much to the chagrin of the less-cliquish blogger friends who have my heart.

Wookin Pa Nub

Quick entry to selfishly request all kinds of good thoughts for my job search. I have an interview on Friday in a town near SFO that I really kinda want, that seemingly rather meshes well with my skills and career goals (such as they are). So in addition to the whole "new living situation shopping" and "Santa Cruz" joys of this weekend, I have a damn job interview.

I so need to dominate.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Nice Day for a White Wedding

Though it rained much of the weekend, for at least an hour this Saturday, the Methow Valley was dry enough to let one very cool couple get yoked before everyone they love.

Something about weddings usually makes me cringe, but this was minimally cringe-worthy. The setting was gorgeous, the ceremony sweet, and everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there for this couple.

In addition to seeing Kevin's dad, his partner and her teenage daughter again, I got to meet an old family friend and Kevin's mom for the first time. I was nervous about that at first, but I ended up really liking her. There is a definite resemblance between mother and son, and in talking to her, I feel like I understand Kevin a little more.

On both Saturday and Sunday, we went hiking with his dad's family. The first day we did the Blue Lake trail, which took us to a spectacular lake. The water was a deep shade of twilight and immediately surrounded by some craggy peaks, trees, and (squee!) pikas. Lake Ann at Rainy Pass--which was, in fact, rainy during our visit--yielded even more pikas and other wildlife, one of which Kevin's dad identified as marmots. I need to ask Lindsay if marmots live in the Northern Cascades, but at any rate, it was a pretty cool-looking critter. The lake wasn't as amazing, but the walk was quite pleasant, even if we were all freezing cold due to lack of appropriately warm clothing.

When Kevin's mom arrived on Thursday, we went out to Thai-ger Room for dinner. When we got back to Seattle Sunday night with Kevin's dad, we went to the Thai-ger Room again. It was a lot of Thai-ger Room for awhile. Today, Kevin was tied up doing things with his dad, so he asked me to hang out with his mom and the old family friend, which struck me as odd, but it was quite fun. We hit Agua Verde for lunch to enjoy delicious food and a view of Portage Bay/Lake Union, then parked near the Museum of History and Industry and walked the length of the north end of the Arboretum, which crosses over a few little islands and through some lovely vegetation. After both parties took off for the airport--they happened to be on the same flight--Kevin picked me up.

And now I'm just lookin' for a job and watchin' reruns. Wheee. We are heading to San Jose this weekend to find Kevin's new abode, and we'll be staying at his mom's. So I get to go to Santa Cruz again, which is a bonus.

Still need to get Bumbershoot passes for Sunday and Monday. This sounds like a reasonable amount of Bumbershooting for me this year, and there are a few things I'm looking forward to besides hanging out with friends in a crowded, artsy environment. If I were feeling spendy, I might go Friday just to go to Pizzazz!, but I'm not sure I should.

Beach house is basically done. AWESOME. Paul should be home from Aspen tonight. HOORAY FOR THE ALMOST-BIRTHDAY BOY. That's about it for now.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I Climbed A Mountain


Thanks to the capable leadership of Lindsay and a gang of hardcore hikers and huffers-and-puffers like myself alike, we reached the summit of Mt. Pilchuck in about three hours. It was more difficult than Lindsay had anticipated, and while she took this well, a couple of us had a hard time. But we made it, and it was great, and that's what counts.

And there were wild blueberries and huckleberries all along the trail. Delicious.

Yesterday I made it to Reid's birthday party for the first time ever. It was good, until the mosquitoes came out en force and I was wearing a knee-length skirt. There was salmon, s'mores, and fabulous hummus made by her future father-in-law. Hummus and salmon go together surprisingly well, by the way. I also witnessed a backyard volleyball game that involved a machete. To cut down the blackberry vines the ball inevitably landed in, of course.

Kevin is working on moving details now--his manager is expected to send an official offer today, and whatever start date he ends up with will doubtless affect matters, but right now, the basic plan is he'll go down next week after his sister's wedding and find a place to live and such, then move either the first weekend of September or shortly thereafter. I imagine I will visit at least once at the end of September or the beginning of October to scope things out and look for a job, then get to the business of moving at the end of October or beginning of November. But it's hard to say for sure how things will go.

I am displeased with the possibility that he'd miss Bumbershoot, but he says there isn't really anyone he's dying to see... but you know, it's not about that. Oh, well. There are others who want to see stuff I want to see, especially Built to Spill and the Pixies--and I am not making the same mistake as last year; I'll get there when the gates open and get my wristband, bitches.

The beach house is apparently THIS CLOSE to completion, so I hope to get down there with my mom when she comes back from Nebraska, Colorado, and New Mexico. And I've got the second weekend of September blocked out for friends of mine to come down there, too. So far the headcount is pretty significant, but it will be a lot of fun.

And since I've neglected this entry for the last half hour or so, I believe that's all I have to say for now.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Another Week Gone

This week's rentals included the first three discs of "Freaks and Geeks," Rebecca, Hearts and Minds, and Raising Arizona, which I never properly saw and now I have. All good viewing, all good time-killers.

And, really, that's about all I've done this week.

Kevin and I attempted to go paddling on Wednesday at a King County park on the Snoqualmie and Tolt rivers near Carnation, but it was sort of a mess. Well, he enjoyed himself, I was pissy. We couldn't make ourselves paddle upstream very well, so we were stuck in one part of the river. His kayak had a small air leak that wasn't a problem at the time, but after awhile would have been. I found it insanely difficult to coordinate our paddling, which frustrated me to no end. He insists on navigating even when he sits in the front and takes very long strokes at his own pace, so I can't match it and we hit oars all the time.

But it was pretty and we were in the shade. The only environmental factor of unhappiness involved jet skiiers blazing up and down the river, which seems like a shitty idea to me, but I'm rudely anti-jet ski.

When Chris and I were rafting with Julie and her friends last Sunday, we had no trouble coordinating after awhile and had a fabulous trip down the river. There were no jet skis or motorized watercraft of any kind that I recall, and it was the same damn river, just farther up.

Tomorrow I'm going to hike up a mountain with Lindsay and Lauren and some others I don't know. It will be my first real hike, so I am nervous about holding up these seasoned hikers, but looking forward to enjoying it anyway. At least, I don't think I could pick a better person to guide me up a mountain: Lindsay practically hikes for a living and seems thrilled that I would even want to try it, so she picked what sounds like a pretty good route for a first-timer like myself.

I am, however, going to go find myself a sports bra or something, because my ancient, cheap-o cotton underwires never fail to remind me that D-cups are not fun to take serious walks in. Really, I just need a bunch of new bras anyway, and the shit I got from Victoria's Secret via mail-order needs to get mailed back, 'cause it sucks.

In other news... it sounds pretty certain Kevin is going back to work for his old employer in Silicon Valley, which he's jazzed about because his coworkers are his friends and he enjoyed working there. So he's probably moving in the next month or so. And so I have to decide what I'm gonna do.

The lease on our house here in Little Canada is up at the end of November, so I suspect I'll be moving around that time. Unless I find some fabulous gig before then, I imagine I'll be bumming around the Bay Area for awhile before I find at least some temporary employment. As far as living situations go, I have a few options, none of which are necessarily entirely enviable or horrible, but which I must mull over and decide.

The whole concept of moving, which in June sounded so exciting, is now a little more terrifying. My confidence as far as finding a cool job goes is draining day by day; I hardly feel qualified to scrape shit off public restrooms at this point. But I know I'm good and I know I can do a kickass job at something if someone gives me a chance. I just don't have the paper to show it.

Ugh. No more depressing thoughts. I'm off to Target to spend money I'm not making, but hopefully not too much.