Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's been another while since I posted, and I feel exactly as verbose as I did the last time I posted.

I'm leaving for the PacNW tomorrow. I haven't made many solid plans beyond Harem party on the 30th and NYE plans-ish, not to mention the obvious familial obligations from my arrival through Christmas day. So that leaves a lot of open space, and I need to talk to people, some of whom read this (Julie, are you in town?) and some of whom don't, probably. Trasportation is going to end up being an issue, so much so that I'm considering renting a damn car even though it will be ridiculously expensive for my under-25-years-old self. It's either that or lots of Greyhound tickets or friends who like driving.

I am using the coin-op laundry room in my building for the first time, and I was too dumb to know how to turn on the light or count my quarters at first, but now it's humming away, although I have no idea how long the cycle is.

The office holiday party last Friday was fun, and I was generously awarded for my year of good work with an awesome bonus, which totally made my weekend despite being sick as fuck. Then, in the office secret santa gift exchange, my gift was well-received and I was given a Netflix gift certificate, which is also a nice gift. So it's been all goodwill toward man up in here this week.

For my birthday, the Editor gave me a sweet Rasputin gift card, which he helped me spend last night. I got Lou Reed's Transformer which I can't believe I didn't own years ago, Sugar's Copper Blue, Tom Waits's Bone Machine, the Mountain Goats's Nothing for Juice, and Best in Show on DVD. I have a giant pile of new music to absorb.

I've got a box loaded with presents for my family and a 5:30 flight to catch tomorrow. I'm almost ready.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Fuck. I have a cold. I feel like shit. I slept like shit. Tonight is the company holiday party, so I have to dress up and act sociable. In addition, I need to teach Kevin how to mend his clothes, apparently, because he has a little tear in his dress slacks and is all, "Whaaa? Needle and thread?"

My head hurts and ibuprofen is not helping enough. Also, I hate leaf blowers. (In my head, that last sentence was punctuated with several exclamation points and a trail of random characters a la cartoon swearing, but I don't have the energy to make it look like I actually *said* it that way.)

Now is the time on the blog when we leave for work.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

An explanation for my absence.

Many things have happened in the past week and a half that cover why I haven't been posting or, more recently, been online.

I have been packing. I have been working. I have been spending time with people. I have been celebrating birthdays (including my own, thanks!). I have been eating out. I have been moving. I have been organizing and arranging. I have been waiting for the cable to work. And now it does.

I will have more to say later. The new place is great. My commute is like nothing. I will have pictures Wednesday night, I hope.

That is all for now.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

There have been no updates.

God forbid. Stop hitting reload, guys, it's going to be okay.

I'm sitting here with a mug of rooibos tea, contemplating god knows what. I feel like a lot of what's been going on isn't anything I want to share on a public blog. Not that I won't eventually spill, but it needs to feel less immediate, have the context of time to frame it.

I'm having a fucking great weekend, though.

Yesterday the Editor came over for the afternoon and kicked my ass (okay, BARELY) at Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture Edition and ate all my salt and pepper Kettle Chips. That bastard. There was one question on the DVD that I missed because I am stupid, and had to go buy Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen as penance. I introduced him to the wonders of Katamari Damacy, which, while not a video game I personally play, because nothing is, is a game I find pretty amusing to watch.

Kevin came home in the evening after spending the day with his mom and we went out to our favorite Thai restaurant, Amarin Thai. The corn cake and tofu salad is so good, the soups are all tasty, and the curries and stir fries make me happy. They also have brown rice. Love!

Today we headed up to Berkeley. We had a whole day planned, and we did pretty much just what we planned. First up was the Thai temple breakfast, which is only held on Sundays and involves exchanging money for tokens, because the Buddhists can't take money or something. It was delicious and fun, the closest thing to food in Thailand that I've had here. Then we started heading toward Telegraph to hit up Amoeba, but I noticed we were near the Berkeley Bowl, which is a much-vaunted independent grocery store, and I just had to stop by to see what they had. It was pretty incredible. The produce section is insane. We made it out with just buying a couple canisters of loose tea (rooibos and organic genmai-cha).

Amoeba was a pocketbook-wrenching experience. In the used section, I found the aforementioned Born to Run; Iron & Wine's Our Endless Numbered Days; the Talking Heads' '77; and the Minus 5's In Rock, which lately disappeared from eMusic. Add these to my other recent acquisitions: Wilco's live double CD, Kicking Television, which Kevin brought me from Streetlight, and Devendra Banhart's Nino Rojo and Daniel Johnston's Songs of Pain from eMusic. I have a lot of listening in my near future.

We also visited a vintage store on Telegraph, where Kevin found some clothes, and Cody's Books, where I fed my magazine addiction. The last stop was way down the road in Oakland, Colucci Cafe, an Ethiopian restaurant with an impressive vegetarian menu. We ordered the shouro combo, which had mitten shouro (our favorite chickpea dish), gomen (collard greens), and akalit (potatoes, carrots, and string beans). It was some of the same items we normally get at Gojo, but they tasted completely different and were quite delicious.

Here is something that Kevin just said which I wanted to share: "I was getting excited by my newfound gayness." There is context which doesn't involve anyone coming out of the closet, but it is funnier out of context.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I am smart as fuck!

Here is a good thing to do when you have lots of leftovers of (1) marinated tofu and (2) mixed roasted vegetables: mince them all up and make potstickers. It is time-consuming, but delicious and it will impress all your friends, hint hint.


Yumy yum.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The breakfast report.

This week that is all about food is nearing a close. It has been a pretty nice, low-key weekend, with my family mostly just hanging out and a few basic activities like watching a DVD and going thrifting occurring. And I am tired, so these sentences are crap.

We haven't actually been obsessiong over food. I overbought, of course, so anyone who wants copious leftovers I will describe shortly should let me know. Monday will be a feast. I have to say, for all my efforts to the contrary, the best meal I've had this weekend (as far as deliciousness is concerned) was at Habibi in Fremont. If you skip the falafel sandwich and get a big platter and some appetizers, that shit is amazing. The falafels and hummus and tabbouli and foule are incredibly flavorful and delicious, so you don't even mind that you're scooping them up with white flour pita pockets. (Probably still better quality than the ones at Falafel's Drive-In. I am really on a tear with the Falafel's hate lately!)

So, anyway, the Thanksgiving feast. It wasn't a lot of work considering the amount of food, but it was far too much food. Of course it was. Who makes too *little* food at Thanksgiving? Weirdoes, that's who. Weirdoes and poor people who have no choice because cans are small and that is sad but anyway. However, most dishes went over well with most of the attendees, although my brother only ate his penne with smoked salmon cream cheese sauce and pronounced it bland, which it was.

The menu:
-Baked sockeye salmon (yum)
-Marc's marinated tofu cutlets with a 2-to-1 ratio of orange to pomegranate juice
-Vanilla-glazed acorn squash, baked with rosemary instead of thyme (tasty)
-Mixed vegetables, tossed with garlic and basalmic vinegar--included carrots, japanese eggplant, fennel bulbs, zucchini, portabello mushroom, red bell pepper, and brussels sprouts
-Vegan smashed red potatoes with garlic and rosemary (Kevin's contribution)
-Barley, wild rice, and pomegranate pilaf--same as last year, except doubled, and I cooked it with too much water, so it was a lot mushier
-Red onion and peanut pakoras, courtesy of my coworker-friend who joined us (awesome)
-Mixed greens with sunflower sprouts, tomato, cucumber, grated beet and carrot, and a fat-free dressing made with greek yogurt, garlic, and fresh herbs
-Vegan apple-cranberry pie prepared by Kevin (delicious)
-Weird low-fat whipped topping with fresh strawberries for mom
-Storebought pecan pies for Paul

Yesterday we all took a trip to Thrift Town in Fremont, which was so much nicer than the thrift stores I've visited in Silicon Valley. I got some mugs and a sparkly mesh shrug for my Christmas party ensemble. They had good prices on stuff, not just marking it up for the hell of it, and it was actually organized by size in most places.

Today we are going to Campbell so Paul can see Good Night, and Good Luck and my mom and I can wander around and I can show her my soon-to-be new neighborhood. Then they get on a plane and go home, not to be seen again until I arrive in Portland on Dec. 23.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The flames went higher.

Last night, we went to see Walk the Line. It was decent--the expected plot structure and characterization was present, because apparently Hollywood can't make a biopic about extraordinary people without resorting to ordinary crutches, but the music was great. The dialogue wasn't terrible. The acting was good.

I've read at least half of Cash: The Autobiography--and I'll probably go back and re-read it and actually finish it sometime soon--so I remembered some of the source material. The movie is about the story of Johnny and June, and they do a good job of focusing on that. I mean, but of course they do, because it's the obvious love story. Why would they go into Johnny's relationships with the other musicians and music business people (about whom he writes at length in the book)? How would that make a good feature film, anyway? So I'll give them props for taking the frequent path and keeping focused on that, if such a thing merits props.

I did like how they showed "Ring of Fire" was June's song about falling for Johnny. I always loved that, and it seems like a lot of people don't know it.

The thing that bothered me with the triteness of the storyline and characterization was this: if I had no idea who Johnny Cash and June Carter were, would I believe this story? Or would it just be another load of mainstream movie bullshit? And I don't think I would believe. It comes off as the same old love story crap you see in every shitty romantic comedy where the guy is a gigantic asshole the strong, smart woman falls for despite herself. At least the movie didn't go long enough to show how loving the asshole was all the woman needed to become the beautiful, wonderful person she never knew she could be.

And, oh, hell yes, I am projecting. Just a little. And their story may actually have been just like that. It's just something I don't believe in and I hate to see and it comes off as totally fake. They fail to show us exactly why June would fall for Johnny.

Anyway. Oh, and speaking of biopics, we tried to watch Finding Neverland the other day. Boring. Turned it off.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

It's official.

I'm moving on Dec. 10. I need to make the arrangements for the truck and getting everything else set up (PG&E, Comcast, etc.), but I've got time. I have to pack and I have to figure out what I need. Anyway, it looks like my 24th birthday plans include nesting, and god knows I love to nest.

I signed the rental agreement and all accompanying forms yesterday. I'm going to rent a small truck for hopefully little money and get my stuff from Milpitas to Campbell in a few hours' time. The big shit is a couch, a bookcase, a gigantor TV and stand for gigantor TV, table/desk, plastic filing cabinet, 1 to 3 chairs, futon frame and mattress, and possibly the kitchen chopping block/cart thing. On their own, a few of these things could fit in my car, provided I made about a half-dozen trips. However, there are enough large items (couch, bookcase, possibly the futon frame) that merit a truck rental that I'm going to get them all at once. Much more economical.

I think I have enough pots and pans. I bought a cheap but surprisingly difficult to bend set of flatware at Ikea and I have probably enough dishes and glasses to hold me for awhile, until I want to get creative. I probably need more dish towels and I will definitely need a vacuum. I might replace my current desk for something more space-efficient and sturdy. I also need a coffee table, since I imagine when people come over to eat (which WILL happen now, at least for a handful of work lunches because I will be RIDICULOUSLY CLOSE), that's where it will happen. And I am certain I will need a few lamps and probably a shower curtain.

Yes, I am using my blog as a kind of scattered mental shopping list.

Kevin wants to give me the DVD-RW console because he never uses it; I have asked him to sell me the LCD I've been using for months, too.

I don't know. I am looking at money and I am going to be fucked really soon, but it will all work out after that. Plus I fixed my W-2 so I should get at least a meager tax refund. (I used some IRS calculator thing months ago that said I would owe money, and I am not having any of that. Did you know that if you don't make shit and you live alone and own nothing, despite what the W-2 worksheet might indicate, you shouldn't put down any deductions? Isn't that awesome?)

Anyway, what's going on? Today I need to finish cleaning the house in anticipation of Thanksgiving guests, watch some Netflix rentals so I can send them back, and eat food that is not from a restaurant, good lord.

I had a good day yesterday. Kevin helped me scrub some nasty shit in the kitchen, then I took off to sign the rental agreement and hung out with the Editor for the rest of the day, which is always awesome. We ate at Yiassoo, which is a DELICIOUS Greek fast-food-type Greek restaurant across the street from my new apartment--their pitas are handmade, always served warm and golden, and don't fucking fall apart like the pita pockets used at lesser establishments (*cough*Falafel's Drive-In*cough*); the falafel is up to snuff; the hot sauce is smoky and spicy and delicious and contains not a whiff of ketchup (*cough*). Then we watched Anchorman at his house because he was just horrified that I hadn't seen it already. But that was not enough laughter for one day, because then we went to see Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic at the Camera 12, which was so fucking hilarious it made me feel guilty and thoughtful.

Also, Entourage is pretty all right. "Let's hug it out, bitch" is classic.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Stopgap measures.

I haven't blogged a lot lately. This is the opposite reaction to the breakup I thought I would have, but I don't know that it's an entirely bad thing. Well, not writing much is, I suppose.

I am tired as fuck today because last night I went to see Camper Van Beethoven in Santa Cruz. Thanks again to the Editor (do I even know anyone else anymore? well, yes, I do) for making sure I was well prepared to enjoy their set. There was much rocking out. Even Kevin came, which was out of character for him, but I think he is trying to change his character a little.

There was, of course, some traffic irritation in the form of the exit from Highway 85 to get onto Highway 17 was completely blocked off, so I had to take a little tour of West San Jose in the middle of the night and try not to get too lost before I could sleep, but I managed.

What else. Went to Santa Cruz on Sunday as well, this time just to visit the ocean, eat at Dharma's, and see Shopgirl. The Editor has magic powers, so we didn't pay for it, which was fortunate because the movie was awful, awful, awful. If pressed, I will go into further detail. Don't bother with this movie, even if you think you will like it, because it is boring, horribly written, horribly acted crap. And Steve Martin is lecherous and creepy. It may have soured me on future viewings of LA Story, that's how gross he was to me in this movie.

Okay, so you don't have to press for further detail.

On Saturday, I was going to hang out with my friend from work, but she got tied up following her roommate to every major shopping center in Silicon Valley, so I had an unusually pleasant evening with Kevin instead. We went to the wildlife refuge in Alviso again, which was quiet and stunning. There was one spot I think we could have lingered forever, it just felt so peaceful. We went to Ikea, where I bought some random crap for my future kitchen, then ate at Amarin Thai in Mountain View, which was delicious despite running out of brown rice.

My DVDs and TV shows are piling up: I only got through Veronica Mars season 1/disc 1 and Margaret Cho: Revolution over the weekend, but still have Live Flesh and Finding Neverland sitting here, as well as last night's Gilmore Girls and House and I'm taping tonight's America's Next Top Model and Veronica Mars. Plus, of course Netflix is sending more more stuff.

Thanksgiving is next week. I'll have to get cracking on the cleaning and food prep this weekend.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

More damn photos.

This is an embarrassment of riches for you photo-loving fools, isn't it?

So, I drenched my hair in some Garnier Nutrisse this morning, and here's how it turned out.

emily, dyed

emily, dyed

And now I would like to present, for your further viewing pleasure, Kevin.

kevin in a mohawk hat

How awesome is that?

Friday, November 11, 2005

While the dust settles.

It's been a very long, emotional, productive, exhausting, interesting week. Kevin has been going through the stages of grief and appears to have reached acceptance quickly, which is wonderful because now we're getting along well. I mean, we're talking like we haven't in forever. Not that this changes anything, but it makes me (and, I hope, him) feel better about the situation. And for once in my life, I think we'll be able to stay friends.

Which is that as of now, I am moving out in a month. I just received word that my application for an apartment in Campbell was approved. It was pretty much the only place I actually looked at, due to a successful combination of price ($700/month for a 413 sq. ft. studio, full kitchen, bath, and walk-in closet), location (two blocks from the Pruneyard, where I frequently find myself anyway, and 2.5 mi. from my office), and non-shittiness. So now I have a week to cough up $500 for a deposit and I can pay the pro-rated first month when I move in mid-December.

What's a better 24th birthday present than newfound independence?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Because I said I would.

Here is a photo of me dressed as a bunny.

emily is a bunny

And here is a close-up of the sticky note that provided the inspiration for my costume.

my coworker says this is a picture of me

Thank you and good day.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Burying the lead.

I don't actually know how to write this, despite thinking of what to say for a long while now. I'm having an interesting weekend.

And it's not like I've really done anything. I was supposed to go see John Vanderslice last night, but that didn't happen. Instead I hung out with the Editor and Jenn and watched Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, among other things, which was highly entertaining. I also listened to the CD the Editor made me of the Loud Family, which is fucking awesome. Really. This blog is turning into some kind of "Look what my friends told me to listen to this week that I now love!" freakshow.

I'm not doing this right.

Last night I broke up with Kevin. It was a long time coming. You all know it. I feel a lot better having done it. I'm gonna move out when I can find a place.

There's no good way to end this, anyone can see.

ETA: The first person to ask me when I'm moving back to Seattle gets the biggest evil eye I can muster.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I spent Halloween doing some trick-or-treating of my own, except mine involved the exchange of cold, hard cash for electronics. That's right: I was buying a TV and a stereo receiver from guys who posted on Craigslist.

So I am now the proud owner of a 27" Panasonic TV/VCR/DVD combo unit, although the DVD player is broken, which is fine since I have a DVD player. I also drove up to Fremont and got a Pioneer stereo receiver, which has been verbally guaranteed to work and, hey, I know where he lives. I haven't set up any of this stuff yet, though, because that requires effort and I am tired.

I dressed up as a bunny in the office. I mean, I wore bunny ears and a puffball tail. There are pictures, which I will share with you as soon as someone sends them to me. A handful of other people did a much better job dressing up, though--my boss, the one who wears all black, all the time, wore an off-white vintage dress with big, gauzey belled sleeves that, with the right angle, are fairy wings; the guy who tells me I look like a bunny without the ears and tail wore a lot of spandex and called himself a Crime Fighter; one PM had a chicken costume. Awesome.

Now everyone is sick at work. My cold has been downgraded to low-level congestion and the occasional hack.

Only about three groups of trick-or-treaters rang my bell last night. I suspect I missed the bulk of them while I was getting the stereo. I even burned a copy of 26 Monster Songs for Children special for the kids! Oh, well. One strange thing did occur, though: someone left a big jack-o-lantern on the hood of my car, facing away from the street. The candle was burning and everything. They left the lid on my moonroof. I felt it was kind of ominous; the conclusion on #n00n was: "Cool!"

Is there any significance to an anonymously-gifted jack-o-lantern?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Movie report.

Today I watched three movies.

The Corporation is a depressing documentary about the state of the world with regard to corporations and how they rule everything and how that fucks everyone. I had to watch it in pieces because all at once was just too much. I also feel like I did not learn a lot of new specific information, though the message being all in one place was useful. And depressing. Did I mention that already? It was like a movie version of some stories in The Nation and Mother Jones that I read halfway into and get too depressed to finish all the gory details.

Shaun of the Dead did NOT inflame my zombie phobia. It was very funny. You people were all right.

The Squid and the Whale was damn good, too. Sad and weird and funny and emotional--all the elements of a good indie drama. There were definitely hints of Wes Anderson (he produced it), but it wasn't too quirky for its own good, lacking in emotion, or too distant from its subjects, which are all complaints I have had about recent Wes Anderson movies.

And now I need tea with honey to soothe my dry and scratchy throat.

Going to Portland.

I have finally booked my damn airfare to go home for the holidays. I'll be leaving San Jose the evening of Dec. 23 and returning home late on Jan. 1. Flying into and out of PDX and going straight to Seaside for at least a few days, but should anyone wish to join me down there for some fun, it would be much appreciated. Don't know yet if/when I will be trekking up to Seattle, but I imagine I will be in Olympia for at least a day and I'd like to hang out in Portland as well. I want to see all of you!

As a nice touch, I booked my sister's tickets for the same airline (but out of Oakland) to arrive around the same time as me. Last year she got in early and I got in late, and she had to spend a torturous day alone with mom (KIDDING) and we got to Seaside in the middle of the damn night.

Now all I have to do is figure out what the hell to buy people, and do it online and have it shipped to my mom's house. Hah! I'm so S-M-R-T.

Okay, I am off to conquer my zombie fears. It's a good thing I have Stabby McKnife to keep me company.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fresh batch of phlegm.

That sounds appetizing, doesn't it? Don't you just want to read it all?

I have been drinking a lot of water and tea and let me tell you, that shit makes a girl have to pee. And despite my increased liquid intake, my lips and nose are chapped and dehydrated and I still feel like a pile of crap. It's pretty much the lowest level of functioning I can be at and not feel guilty for showing up at work. No, instead I have a situation where I feel guilty for missing work.

Parts of today were all right, and other parts, I just wanted to turn off the lights and take off my glasses and take a nap under my desk. I only took off my glasses. Under my desk is one of those plastic floor protection mats and random papers and miscellaneous dust and hair and that wouldn't be very comfortable or sanitary.

The good news is I think things are improving. When I'm sick and congested, my main goal is to maximize the amount of time I can breathe through my nose. This helps me blow my nose less (it hurts after awhile), sleep better, and generally get through the day without looking slackjawed. My next goal is to not hurt or feel fuzzyheaded or like I want to curl up and die. I have only felt the latter in manageable amounts, so that is good. Taking OTC cold meds don't help the fuzzyheadedness, but they do tend to go toward goal #1, so they are taken.

I think one major side effect of being sick is that I write awkwardly long sentences without natural pauses.

I made some awesome lazy soup tonight. It isn't Happy Bamboo's pho, but it does in a pinch. Chop up some carrot, a serrano chile, and a chunk of ginger and put them in about 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Take one package of Thai Kitchen rice noodle soup in any flavor--they all taste better than ramen to my palate, and tend to be more spice and citrus-focused, which is definitely better for a cold--and add the contents once the water is boiling, along with anything else you might want to throw in. Today I added a small head of broccoli, two red chard leaves, and a scallion. For fun and protein, I threw in an egg. Serve with some soy sauce and sriracha for maximum spiciness.

A good variation on this is a more pho-like preparation with sliced onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, and basil.

I am sure this is familiar to anyone who has invented 1,000 uses for ramen. It's nothing new, but for me, there is nothing easier and better when I feel like crap and don't want to eat out.

I need to get away from my extreme kitchen laziness in a hurry. I have to make food for a Halloween office potluck--I'm thinking a butternut squash curry and some spiced basmati rice--not to mention the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities for which I will be playing host once again.

Gah, my throat is sore and I need to take some more cold meds before I try to sleep. I will finish this cup of tea and Velvet Underground LP and do just that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

X-ray spex.

I'm so tired, I'm seeing double. It's almost like seeing through walls. As I was getting in my car last night to head home after some post-work grocery shopping, I came down with a monster of a cold and proceeded to get very spotty and restless sleep. Today was a bit of an exhausting haze, if capped by delicious Happy Bamboo pho featuring fake meat and tons of sriracha (a.k.a. rooster sauce) and dinner coversation with my friend the Editor, who was thankfully not too afraid to come into breathing space with a sick girl.

On the bright side, I have my new fucking glasses--though I have some issues with them and may opt to buy some alternative frames on the internet--and managed to tint my hair almost noticeably darker with a mere 7 hours of indigo/henna application. I so do not have the patience for this crap.

I re-watched Mulholland Drive on Thursday. I saw Good Night, and Good Luck on Wednesday. I spent a lot of time behind the wheel carting my sister back and forth across Market to run errands in the city on a Saturday, followed by a rocking show at Bottom of the Hill that left us deaf and exhausted, but happy. I am still waiting to be cured of my zombie phobia with Shaun of the Dead at a time when I don't actually feel like a zombie.

My mind is distracted by unpleasant thoughts of things to come, and I don't want to talk about it. Even if you bring it up. Even if you leave a sad comment. I don't have to speak just because I'm spoken to.

I need to get in bed. I can't skip work and I can't seem to shake this fast enough. Ugh.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Things upcoming and obsessive.

It's movie snob season and I've got a handful of rock show tickets. I want more.

The next movie I have to go see is Goodnight, and Good Luck. I get really excited by journalist stories. All the President's Men was some kind of superhero story for me.

I also want to see The Squid and the Whale, Capote, Sarah Silverman's Jesus Is Magic, and Walk the Line (probably). I will not discount the possibility that other movies exist that I want to see, but I don't presently know what they are.

And then there's music. I upgraded my eMusic account the other day because it was more cost-effective than buying a booster pack, only to realize they apparently don't let you downgrade your account. Maybe I will use it enough to justify the expense, though. If I don't, I'll cancel and start anew.

Here is a list of things I have been listening to:

-The New Pornographers
-The Mountain Goats (wow, that's shocking)
-Blackalicious's Nia
-Dan Bern
-Devin Davis's Lonely People of the World, Unite!
-Devendra Banhart's Rejoicing in the Hands

There is more, but this has been the bulk of my listening. It is always changing. When I drive, though, it must rock or it must make me pleasantly contemplative.

Next weekend, I am going to see the Gossip at Bottom of the Hill with my sister and we will rock the fuck out. I also have tickets to see John Vanderslice in early November. I need more things to go to.

This is not a show, but I'd like to go see Davy Rothbart at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Oct. 30. I love FOUND, and when Lauren and I went to the reading at University Bookstore in Seattle, it was a lot of fun. Also, it is free.

I haven't started the cleaning projects yet, but I did trim my hair in the back. Then I grated up some more Lush caca brun henna and made my hair look disgusting, but this time -- following Julie's advice, at least a little -- I washed and conditioned it beforehand. I am going to let it set FOREVER. I want it to take. If it doesn't take, I will do something drastic, like buy really dark hair dye. I don't know why I'm hellbent to do this, but I am.

Early morning Sunday.

What the hell am I doing awake right now? My eyes can barely focus, but I can't escape the feeling that I spend another minute in bed, my brain will explode. Might as well be near a keyboard.

Lately I've had a lot of things running through my mind, things I don't feel like sharing on a public journal that everyone and my mother can read (mom, don't take that to mean anything). I've got an overwhelming need to clean and little of the energy necessary to do it. My house is in such disarray, it makes me tired. There is only so much I can tolerate.

This, boys and girls, is what we call displacement, assuming you didn't learn the definition from the Addams Family movie.

There's still a nagging queasiness in the pit of my stomach that I can't place as nausea, stress, or hunger. My brow is still furrowed, and no matter how much sleep I get, I still want to go back to bed and chase the nap I know isn't coming.

Kevin actually watched Me and You and Everyone We Know with me last night. Well, I fell asleep halfway through, but I've seen it twice already. He even said he liked it. And when he got home, he expressed an interest in going out to a movie. Granted, the ones he mentioned I didn't particularly want to go see, but it was an interesting gesture all the same.

Yesterday was a day of much screen-watching, anyway. I woke up and watched an episode of The 4400, which I then removed from my queue because it isn't actually that good. I'm sure I watched several PBS cooking shows with annoying hosts and popped in Rear Window. I was invited to the Editor's house to be lazy, which I was happy to do. Being lazy involves watching episodes of the '80s Twilight Zone. He had to attend a hockey game and left me with the last 20 minutes of Mulholland Drive, which I borrowed because it requires a second viewing. I need to know approximately five more people like the Editor.

One of the movies Kevin wanted to see was Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit. I told him I couldn't see that movie the same day as watching Mulholland Drive. Besides, people bring their children to that movie.

Today I have Five Easy Pieces and Mulholland Drive to watch. And a kitchen and bedroom to start cleaning. And motivation to regain.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Late night Thursday.

Today is not going well for me so far. After getting home at 3 (okay, not awful, if late), I set my alarm for 8 and proceeded to wake up at 6:45. Feeling nauseous and pensive, I tried to go back to sleep, which was a toss-and-turn affair for the next hour or so. At 8, however, I steeled myself and took a shower, got dressed, and started the morning kitchen routine. Coffee was ground; bread was placed in the toaster oven. Allergy meds and multivitamins were taken.

Only to promptly find themselves in the toilet.

So my boiling water intended for coffee was instead poured over a bag of organic peppermint tea, and I guess I'll try the plain toast later. I've emailed in sick (boss wouldn't be there yet), but if this is some passing bug, I plan to go in later. There is a lot going on today, I think.

Anyway, I was all set to talk about the interesting night I had in Santa Cruz, but now I feel icky. I could still write about it, though. It'll pass the time until I can call my boss.

The plan was to go see Dan Bern at the Attic. I was asked to wear a skirt--black--for reasons I can't quite explain. The overall goal for my appearance was "wicked," though in a totally non-New Englander sense. I bought myself some fishnets the other day when I scored the non-heeled boots at Ross (which also made an appearance, and are quite comfortable) and packed those with a knee-length black skirt and my amusing pink "Fuck! War Heads!!" shirt, figuring this would be enough costuming for one non-Halloween night. My pink shirt was denied in favor of the plain long-sleeved black tshirt I was wearing, but I otherwise must've looked all right. I didn't even see myself in a mirror, and as far as I know, there are no photos.

For dinner, we went to Mobo Sushi because I'd never been and the Editor felt this was a serious oversight. I indulged in my once-a-month-or-so fish, eating rolls with smoked salmon and eel (and one lovely veggie roll) that were completely delicious. He also made me try (made me!) warm sake, which isn't bad, because the burning alcohol sensation is somewhat masked by the burning heat sensation.

We arrived at the Attic in time to see the opening act, about whom we made snarky comments throughout the set because we are mean. Too much noodling. Dan Bern finally came on and played a lengthy set almost entirely composed of unreleased material, much to the Editor's chagrin. Apparently he hates to hear things he hasn't heard before. However, even he had to admit that it was really good shit, and he bought the 2-disc recording of the set that they made and sold on the spot.

The show ended around 11, but the Editor was not done. He knows a guy (he knows lots of guys) who does the midnight movies at a local theater, and that guy was testing Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. So we sat in an otherwise empty theater in the middle of the night and watched that while his friend showed Dead Alive in another theater. The movie was good, and I saw the inside of a projection booth for the first time, which was strangely really cool for me.

It was a late fucking night. The movie ended just before 2, and as I said above, I got home at 3. And today I feel sick, but my Netflix rentals didn't even get here, so I don't know what I'll do with myself until I feel better.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

One year.

I've been in California for a year now. Shit. That's crazy. I've had a job for ten months and haven't hated most of it. This is kind of impressive.

Checking things off.

At least one thing is off my list.

I took off work an hour and a half early to go to Kaiser and get my eyes checked. The doctor said my eyes were corrected to 20/20 with my current prescription, which is good, but I think the new glasses will be slightly different anyway. There is always some change. I picked out some new frames, in black. They're pretty similar in shape to my current glasses, but different materials, and I don't think the clip-on sunglasses are magnetic. I should find out in two weeks, when I finally get the damn glasses.

Then, hoping to meet up with Kevin a little later for dinner, I found a Ross on El Camino and went shopping. Baaad. However, they had these boots for $30, and I could not resist. My Dansko boots are cuter, but they have a heel, which is impractical for some applications, like standing or walking for extended periods of time. My feet are not well-trained to be in pain.

Kevin wasn't answering his desk phone when I got there, so I got mad and went home. Later he told me someone set off a stinkbomb by his desk, which explains his absence, but still. He came home early for him, though, and picked up Indian takeout, so that was nice. He also said he has another spare stereo receiver I can use if he can't make this one work, which means I don't get sound at least until he has the time and inclination to fuck with it, but whatever.

My eMusic Save for Later list is growing. I may need to buy a booster pack to catch up.

Time for work.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Double U-turns.

It's always fun when you have to flip two bitches to get going in the right direction. That goes double for metaphorical U-turns.

Not that I'm going anywhere with that.

I watched a lot of DVDs this weekend. Friday night I hung out with the Editor, who made me watch The Machinist. (It was either that or Mulholland Drive, which--I know, I know--I haven't seen yet, but he made the choice.) Saturday I went through four episodes of Dead Like Me. Today, I had a marathon session of The Last Picture Show, Serpico, and 8 1/2. The latter film highlighted my desperate need for a TV larger than 13 inches. I honestly could not give the Fellini the attention it requires, in large part (no pun intended) because of the size of my set.

So, now, in addition to my need for a new stereo receiver (vintage Marantz? another random hand-me-down? whatever the fuck I can find for $50 on craigslist?), I need a 19+-inch TV set that costs less than $150. I am a big fucking cheapskate.

Oh, and did I mention that my glasses are getting bent out of shape? One side is so mangled that I taped up the hinge with white electrical tape. It's so fucking attractive. I need to make an appointment with a Kaiser optometrist, but the trick is timing: the available appointments in Milpitas are at inconvenient times, and I have no idea which office, if any, would be more convenient for a mid-day appointment.

Awesome. My shopping list now includes a stereo, a TV, and glasses. Nobody gets to tell me how much I need a fucking iPod now. And nothing on my computer better break. Or, god forbid, my car. Because those things would obviously would take priority.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Assorted things and stuff.

It's Hump Day, and I'm still busy as fuck at work. But I feel as though I've been neglecting this heap of crap I call a journal/blog/whatever. Really, I've been neglecting myself, see.


My stereo receiver is kind of busted right now. It's a drag. I have this old Sony receiver from the '80s or something that is a hand-me-down from Kevin from someone. My friends who are so inclined first suggested I unplug the speakers and see if it turns on right; to no avail. Then they started spamming links to vintage Marantz receivers on eBay.

In the meantime, I can't listen to stuff on my computer. Argh. That makes it difficult to do things I've been meaning to do, like make mix CDs. There are people in my life (particularly people I don't see much of) who deserve some cool mixes, and I'm thinking perhaps I should make a standard/signature mix of my own, of my life at the moment. Something like Songs You Should Like If You Think We Are Friends At All. Because I'm usually so pushy about musical taste that you have to like the same things as me to earn my respect, you know.

I recently learned that not *every* girl had the horse thing as a kid. By "horse thing," I mean the interest/obsession with horses and ponies, wanting to ride them and pet them and own them and be princesses and have unicorns and all that crap. I know two who didn't. Odd.

Veronica Mars still rocks fucking hard, okay? So does Arrested Development. And I am positive they are both going to get canned after this season, if not sooner. Thanks a lot, guys.

Tonight I baked three kinds of brownies for an office potluck. I do tend to overdo, but I couldn't resist: one of the potluck's honorees requested peanut butter brownies, which I made in a split pan with plain brownies, using a combination of the America's Test Kitchen brownie recipe and this random recipe for the peanut butter marbling. I also decided, for the heck of it, to whip up a pan of vegan brownies with walnuts. My vegetarian lunch buddy is lacto-veg and tries to avoid eggs, so it's to be nice, but they are actually delicious on their own merits. We shall see how it all turned out tomorrow.

Additionally, I offered to make some tabbouleh for another coworker's contribution, and she gave me a tenspot for the privilege. Woo.

That is about it, really. Netflix lately has been stuff like Angels in America and the second season of Dead Like Me, as well as Before Sunset which I could have slept through and 8 1/2 which I can't seem to devote any attention to yet. The section of my queue populated with classics and well-regarded films from the 1970s is popping up. Oh, and I went to see A History of Violence, which felt like a really heavy film that, upon reflection, was kind of fluffy and pointless, in a well-done way.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Why I haven't posted in a week.

I have nothing to talk about that isn't work. That's fucking lame, but it's the truth. And in keeping with my no-talky-worky policy, I have nothing to blab about on here.


I just felt I should say that. Outside of work and television, there is nothing happening. Nothing!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Faith in TV? Restored.

Veronica Mars season premiere tonight. Oh my god so awesome. AWESOME GOD DAMMIT.

That's all I have to say. Love for show = !!!!

I don't think that's a meaningful equation, but you can assign it meaning. Something positive. Because that is how it is intended.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

OMG, TV sucks so bad.

Jesus fucking christ, why is it so awful? Why do I keep watching? Jesus.

This is it. I'm cutting back. I will keep my keepers--Arrested Development, Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars--and watch other shit on DVD. But fuck everything else, unless I'm bored. Surely I can find better things to pay attention to. Oh my god.

Books would be good. Improving my cooking skills. Thought-provoking films. Stuff that isn't painful to watch.


My last dorktastic entry made me want to start making Venn diagrams of musical taste.

This also hearkens back to an entry where I listed some albums I still love and Julie suggested I do it again in the future and make graphs charting my own musical taste.

I don't even work in data processing, but I have definitely been exposed to too much statistics already.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Mix CD madness.

Awhile ago, I made a mix CD for my lunch buddy vegetarian coworker with music I like that she might also like but probably hasn't heard before. (I don't really like making mix CDs with songs people already know, unless there is some reason for it. I don't know why, but it's less fun.) My boss heard and wanted to know why I didn't make her one.

Now, I have a personal policy of not talking about work on the blog, but this has very little to do with actual people and everything to do with music, so I think it's fair game.

So here are some reasons why I haven't made her a mix CD before:

Our tastes in music align in strange and unpredictable intersections. For the most part, I don't hate anything she likes (she says because she only likes good music), though some of it isn't anything I'd listen to of my own volition. However, there are definitely things I like that she actively hates. I have helpfully outlined these below, along with the stuff we both like.

Music I like that she hates:
Ben Folds
The Mountain Goats when John Darnielle is really nasal
Stuff that is happy
Presumably a lot of other stuff I am not remembering

Music we both like:
Tom Waits
Massive Attack
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
She would be angry if the Cure did not appear in this column, although let the record show she is a way bigger Cure fan than me
Stuff that is depressing or angry

We have been keeping the office door closed to listen to her Launchcast station a lot lately, so I've gotten a better idea of what she likes overall. And, of course, we inevitably talk about music in the way only people who give way too many shits about music do.

And to be honest, the list of places where our tastes overlap would be greater than it would be for, say, Kevin and I. At least, I actively hate some stuff he likes.

So I'm working on a mix CD now. There is nothing on TV and no good movies out this weekend, so what the hell?

Here's what I'm putting on it:
  1. John Vanderslice - Pale Horse
  2. The New Pornographers - Use It
  3. Blackalicious - A to G
  4. William Shatner - Common People*
  5. Beat Happening - Hangman
  6. Jad & David Fair - Nosferatu
  7. Xiu Xiu - Sad Pony Guerilla Girl**
  8. Peaches - Fuck the Pain Away
  9. DJ Shadow - Mashin' on the Motorway
  10. Del the Funky Homosapien - If You Must (Dan the Automator remix)
  11. Ween - "Where'd the cheese go?" jingle, dirty version
  12. The Paper Chase - Said the Spider to the Fly
  13. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow
  14. Handsome Boy Modeling School feat. Cat Power - I've Been Thinking
  15. Neutral Milk Hotel - The King of Carrot Flowers (Part I)
  16. IQU - Temptation
  17. The Gossip - Sweet Baby***
  18. The Mountain Goats - Oceanographer's Choice
  19. The Decemberists - The Mariner's Revenge Song
  20. The Streets - Fit But You Know It
*I actually sort of like this cover, but it's horrifying all the same.
**Xiu Xiu is not a band I really like, but I want to like them, and this song is...fucked up crazy, but listenable.
***Strangely, the only Gossip song on my hard drive at the moment. Not their best, but a lot of their songs are basically the same.

Bunnies are cute.

I raised them as a kid. Sometimes I still want one, though it switches off with my desire for a kitty, neither of which is going to happen anytime soon.

But this. This is just too much.

I do not need a "smart object" that is some kind of bunny nite-lite that reads you the weather and sings "I Just Called to Say I Love You." Just, no.

Kevin sent me the link. "I thought you liked rabbits," he said defensively.

I like their fluffiness and pettability. I do not like their creepy, cartoonish modern counterparts. And I REALLY do not like "I Just Called to Say I Love You."

First person to comment with a quote from High Fidelity wins.

I hate tile floor.

I want to know what brilliant psychopath (teenage billionaire) came up with the idea for putting surfaces in the kitchen area which are prone to causing glass to break. In the kitchen, you tend to handle a lot of wet, soapy, greasy glass objects and items with loose lids and handles. Isn't the best possible surface for them to land on NOT made of something as unforgiving as fucking tile?

I can't tell you how many stupid things I have smashed in the last year: a pyrex bowl, TWO ceramic mortar bowls, at least one drinking glass, and a tiny pottery vase that was Kevin's grandmother's, to name a few. It's not that California has made me more accident prone, no, it has to be the introduction of tile into my daily kitchen life.

I'm sure I dropped tons of shit in previous kitchens, which had normal counters (laminate or something), metal sinks, and wood or linoleum floors. And sometimes stuff breaks. But not nearly as much stuff as I've broken here, and it sucks.

Today the lid on my peanut butter jar was loose and it fell to the floor as I carried it three feet from the fridge door to the counter. It smashed into a dozen pieces and got glass fragments in the remaining peanut butter, rendering it unsalvagable. A jar of fucking peanut butter!

On one hand, maybe Whole Foods' peanut butter shouldn't be sold in stupid glass jars, but something a little sturdier--after all, kids eat the stuff. But on the other, WTF? Peanut butter smash! Aaaaagh.

Also, the DVD-R somehow managed to not keep the episode of Gilmore Girls I checked to be sure it was recording on Tuesday, which made me irrationally angry. It saved the episode of House all right, though. Heaven forbid it save the show that isn't formulaic that I've been following since the end of the first season, but it got good ol' Hugh Laurie.

These are just two examples of the sort of "What the fuck just happened?" moments of annoyance I have had this week. They are not earth-shattering (only glass-shattering) and certainly predicaments lots of people in the Gulf would be happy to have at this moment, but this is a journal of whining, so whine I shall. I am sort of shallow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Exorcism of Emily Rose: A list.

1. The movie debunked itself throughout the plot. Even if I wanted to buy the priest's story, the movie itself kept giving me reason after reason not to suspend disbelief. I expect the idea was for viewers to question the reality presented by the prosecution, but it fell flat.

2. The visuals weren't even that creepy. You've seen the trailer. I won't have nightmares. I guess you can't do much with a PG-13 rating.

3. Extraneous plotline about the agnostic becoming a believer? Shut up.

4. I won't even bother to rip apart the characters and dialogue, because really, it goes without saying that they are absurd. But I will say this: porn 'stache.

5. This is not a spoiler because it didn't happen, but the ending? Would have been so much better if the priest turned out to be Lucifer. Just sayin'.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thumpin' Thursday.

I can't be creative right now. It's just not in me.

My horoscope for this week gives interesting advice. Advice I need right now, despite its hippy-dippy trappings.

Every morning this week, I have woken up around 6:40. My alarm is set for 7:10, so I don't go back to sleep. After the initial burst of energy from waking up, I crash pretty hard and feel exhausted for the rest of the day. It's possibly hormonal bullshit, possibly just my body being stupid once again and reminding me I need to, uh, exercise and stuff. I think my exercise routine should consist of (1) rocking out and (2) dancing to punk rock in my kitchen, because that's about all I can squeeze in while the futon is down and the living room is full of Kevin's music/synth project stuff. My body, I'm sure, disagrees.

Last night, I became the last person on Earth to discover the New Pornographers. (OK, I'm sure some of you out there haven't, either, but you are not trying.) Fucking hell, why did no one tell me? Did you really think the excessive alternative press attention lavished upon them would do the trick? Because let me tell you, it didn't. No, I had to poke around eMusic and feel like trying it out on a whim. Yeah, so, I dig. Reminds me a bit of some poppier Elephant 6 stuff, (some of) which I love. (I don't love Of Montreal. I'm sorry.)

Also in my eMusic wanderings, I downloaded a beautiful song by a guy named Jose Gonzales. I immediately knew I had to share this song with others of a certain temperament and made sure to get the file to Aja. I think my mom might even like this guy. I mean, maybe. She's hard to pin down sometimes. I think she also has some of my Radiohead CDs still and suddenly became a U2 fan over the summer. Not that Mr. Gonzales sounds anything like those bands.

Anyway, back to the early mornings. This kind of insomnia makes my mornings extra slow and my lunches and dinners especially uninspired. I returned to my once-faithful bulghur-spinach-cherry tomato-chickpea-feta-garlic yogurt salad yesterday, only to find my palate dulled (though not by my lunch buddy's delicious Indian leftovers, which are Indian by virtue of heritage and not of restaurant leftovers and always fantastic, despite her humility). Today I was cranky and found myself eating out of Safeway again: crappy "everything" bagel with neufachel cheese and a cup of add-hot-water split pea soup. And the "energy" flavor Vitamin Water, which isn't bad, although it tastes sort of like a less sweet Tang. It failed to make me energetic, however.

For dinner, since Kevin informed me that his office got Indian takeout, I drove over to the Lee's Sandwiches on Calaveras. The bi chay sandwich (veggie baguette) is a decent and inexpensive little meal for someone who would otherwise gorge herself on the remainder of fucking awesome vegan brownies for dinner, though perhaps I should not have ordered the iced mint milk. I don't know exactly what's in that drink, but it's... really fucking sweet. And vaguely fruity. I drank about half of it. Maybe Kevin will try the rest of it, though I doubt he'll have something so obviously non-vegan and sugary.

That is all for today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I guess we have some time to kill.

Last night, I saw the Decemberists again, this time with the Editor's girlfriend (who requires a moniker that doesn't define her in the context of her significant other). It was all kinds of fantastic; they are better every time I see them. They opened with the five-part song, "The Tain," and completely rocked it. They made jokes about Dick Cheney and put "The Chimbley Sweep" in his mouth, complete with a light saber fight to the death in the middle of the song. And in the end, we were all swallowed by a whale.

I learned that Petra Haden, of the defunct that dog. and the opening act Petra Haden and the Sellouts, an all-girl a cappella choir, is the new girl in the band, the violinist and backup vocalist. It took me two shows to make this connection. I am slow. Anyway, her a cappella choir was interesting, though the Fillmore is a strange venue for it: the first openers, Sons and Daughters, were rocking, then we got... a cappella arrangements of the Who? Which is hard to dance to, at any rate, so it was a theater full of sweaty kids, listening politely. They did some cool things, though I don't think I'd ever seek it out.

Today I am very tired, but again, it is for a good reason. Rocking out is always a good reason to be tired. It makes me feel alive.

I need to see The Exorcism of Emily Rose out of mock-narcissistic curiosity. And also to prove I am less of a dork than I think I am.

Additionally, it is the beginning of the fall TV season, a.k.a. Television Addiction Excuse season. Tonight, it's Gilmore Girls (though I'm spoiled like milk) and House, which looks to be more of the same formula this season as last, but it's still watchable. There are a few other shows I will probably enjoy, but the only absolute appointment TV, the only one I will be totally upset to miss a single episode, is, of course, Veronica Mars, which isn't back until the 27th.

Oh, TV. You will be the death of me.

ETA: I have been getting a number of referrals from inboxes to this entry and Sitemeter locates the hits in 'burbs around LA. If anyone comes here that way, would you mind leaving me a comment to help me satisfy my curiosity? My site doesn't get mailed out much.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


I don't really talk about major disasters that much, mostly because usually I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said a million other places and ten times more eloquently than I could ever phrase it.

My brother sent me a link to this photo gallery of one man's walking tour of his adopted city before, during, and after Katrina. It's lengthy, but worth it. Amazing photos and storytelling.

And today is, of course, the anniversary of 9/11. Which comes with its own can of worms I can't even begin to comment on.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Another pathetic Saturday.

I have really got to work on writing more positive headlines for my blog entries.

Kevin came home within half an hour of me last night, which is an unusual and unexpected occurence. Unfortunately, it was because he was feeling under the weather, so I went into annoying-caretaker mode and pestered him to see if I could bring him rice, broth, or tea. He did actually want some of these things, as well as a thermometer to read his temp at 101'F. I think he was able to sleep it off, but he's been pretty blah still today. How this differs from his usual weekend mood, I'm not exactly sure, but I'm treading lightly. Besides repeatedly asking him how he feels or if I can make him any bland food that won't trouble his stomach.

This morning, I stayed in bed until noon reading The Red Tent, which Kevin's mom lent me awhile ago. It's the kind of story I enjoy occasionally--in some ways, it reminded me of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, though nowhere near as rich and beautiful. It's a very girl-power sort of story, and that's good sometimes, especially outside the context of contemporary chick lit I couldn't tolerate anyway.

The afternoon consisted of cleaning the kitchen. The dishwasher failed to properly use the detergent bomb during the last load, and as a result, every single glass I washed and a few dishes came out crusted with that sandy crap that causes me great consternation (never mind my horrible alliteration). I've found that running them again, this time in the lower rack, solves the problem. Are you fascinated yet? I know I am. Also, I swept and mopped the floor.

And there was the disc of Rescue Me I finished. Still depressing. I have one disc of the BBC series MI-5 to watch. Salaam Bombay! has yet to appear in my mailbox, which screws up my whole Netflix system: I try to watch everything over the weekend and return it Monday, though usually if I mail it by Wednesday at the latest, I will still have something over the weekend.

I am dressed like an absolute slob. The neighbors are having their house painted by a noisy bunch of Latinos who covered our cars with plastic wrap. I want to bake more fucking great vegan brownies, but I'm pretty much out of sugar that isn't confectioners.

Why don't more of you live here and have no lives?

Friday, September 09, 2005

I am a boring person.

It's true. Don't deny it.

When you call me and ask what I've been up to, I'll say, "Nothing." And it's true.

Except for seeing Ken Stringfellow's pink panties, this week's activities have included mainly being a lazy bum and also going to work. Work has even been busy, though not hectic, so it's good. There are even more new people and one of them has been hanging out with our lunch crew. She is also less than two years older than me, so I feel less hilariously young. (I don't know if I've said that about my coworkers, but they are--or were--all at least five years older than me. I don't mean that in an "omg they're soooo old" way, but it does end up making me somewhat the butt of some jokes about how freaking young I am.)

But really, I am a lazy bum. I haven't cooked anything all week. I baked a bunch last weekend, including some really fucking awesome vegan brownies (no, really--they were fucking awesome, and also dinner one night) so I guess I was spent. I discovered that Target sells my preferred mac & cheese for $1.20 less than Whole Foods does, which came as an utter shock, so I bought two of those horribly unnecessary crutch meals. And that was dinner for two nights. And one night I felt shitty and had dressed-up Thai Kitchen rice noodle soup (if I add onion, tomato, carrot, cilantro, lime juice, and copious sriracha sauce, it's almost like cooking). For lunches, I brought shitty sandwiches two days, then got bored and got burrito takeout the next two days. I know most people would read this and think, "Yeah, so? That is the level of laziness most people are at." But I would like to hold myself to a higher standard, and I am failing miserably. I have to expect times like this, however.

And then I come here and write entries like this. Which is boring. I can't believe you're fucking reading it.

I feel the need to be creative, but I don't ever feel like I have a good outlet. Writing isn't really a creative act for me; it's a compulsory and compulsive act of compilation. It's a matter of spitting out the stuff in my head to make room for the new stuff, then, if I'm feeling really fancy, organizing it into something readable.

Here's the thing: I get complacent. I have a job, and to be honest, for as boring as it sounds, it's not that awful. It requires some thought and debate and I learn stuff all the time. I am pretty good at it, even if it's not where my heart is. And I'm sure I've said this before. I just feel sort of defensive about it. Maybe I could do better, but for now, it's more than okay. I'm still feeling out this real world, and in many ways, this isn't a bad way to do it, at least for me.

Anyway, when I get complacent, I get stuck. I know I get stuck. I plant myself firmly in my seat and don't get up without considerable prompting. And the things I should be doing are the kinds of things you don't get prompted for, you have to go out and fucking do them. I just hope I don't sit here my whole life, hoping I'll eventually work up the courage.

Also, music is pretty awesome right now. I have all these TV DVDs and all I want to do is peruse my ancient mp3 collection and think about assembling mix CDs for people I never see and people I've just met. That, and I need to chop off some of my hair and dye it dark brown.

If you want to be free, be free.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Flakes are great.

At least where concert tickets are concerned. Sometimes.

Thank you to Jessica's friend Tommy for being unable to go see the Posies last night. I ended up going, and it rocked supermegahard. I am going to be deaf as fuck and I don't think I will ever get the image of Ken Stringfellow in pink bikini briefs out of my head, but it was totally worth it. Even the opening bands weren't crappy. Hanging out with Jess is always fun, too.

Goddamn, I am so fucking tired. Why is it only Thursday?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Or else you'll be funky.

I have lately been deviating form my usual eMusic behavior of downloading only complete albums in favor of downloading random songs and/or EPs. Some pleasant surprises so far: Dan the Automator's remix of Del the Funky Homosapien's "If You Must," which may or may not contain a sample of Mr. Rogers, Decemberists EPs (shit, so much pretty), older Minus 5 (back when they weren't down with Wilco) which is pleasantly Beatlesque, and, shit, I downloaded most of Hedwig and the Angry Inch because it's so nice. The Decemberists covering Bjork is good, and I figured out that I have, in fact, heard "Fuck the Pain Away" by Peaches, because it was in the strip club scene of Lost in Translation and I never knew because sometimes I am that dense. I paid way more attention to the presence of My Bloody Valentine in that soundtrack.

The apple pie I am baking is starting to smell. Fuck yes.

A coworker lent me a DVD of Massive Attack music videos, none of which I've ever seen, so this should be interesting.

This week's Netflixes include the actual last disc of Home Movies season 2, the first disc of Rescue Me season 1, and the original (not Coen Bros.) The Ladykillers. The latter was Kevin's pick due to the presence of Peter Sellers, but I'll probably end up watching it at some point this weekend. I am still bitter about the Coen Bros. descent into suckitude (starting with Intolerable Cruelty), so I will probably never see their version. I have already watched all the TV on DVD stuff, so I can say it was good. Rescue Me is fucking depressing, but it doesn't take as long to get into as Deadwood.

I am thinking that stuff happened this week that is worth reporting, but I can't think of anything.

It's Labor Day weekend and I'm not at the Seattle Center. That's kind of sad, but at the same time, I don't feel like getting that stressed out right now. I have a pie in the oven. Pie, or tons of bands and other performances and insane crowds and friends and ridiculous airfare? Pie makes me feel accomplished. The rest makes me happy and exhausted and poor. I'll settle for accomplishment now.

I have a lot left to accomplish, though. I'm dragging my feet.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Piracy teams.

Though the New York Times may be loathe to admit it, I think "piracy teams" or some variant thereof may be WAY cooler than "warez groups."

"Warez" is so 1998.

Go pirates!

ETA: Um, apparently I put the wrong link in there, so I just deleted the hyperlink. The sentiments, however, stand.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I am a slug.

This weekend, I have done a fat pile of absolutely nothing. Yesterday was dedicated to watching TV shows and movies that happened to be on TV. Today, I watched another DVD and I want to do pretty much nothing at all.

I mean, I'm watching the fuzzy PBS cooking shows. They're cooking meat, for god's sake. I don't ever even cook meat. The occasional fish filet, maybe, but beyond that, I have no need for knowing how to prepare osso buco the right way, but now I sort of know. Damn you, America's Test Kitchen, for being so fascinating. Now it's Barbecue University with Steven Raichlen. Oddly enough, I have one of this guy's books--but it's called Low Fat, High Flavor Vegetarian Cooking, and there are some pretty tasty things in it. And a lot of things I would never make, but they look pretty.

Oh, he's preparing some salmon. Because you can't visit Seattle without sampling salmon, even though he's in West Virginia. Man, I haven't had salmon in a long fucking time. And he's talking about Ivar's! Holy crap! Damn you for making me miss Seattle, even if it's something as inconsequential to me as Ivar's.

On Friday, Kevin and I did our semi-regular Ethiopian dinner out, which was good as always. Afterwards, I wanted to pick up the new John Vanderslice album, so we went to Streetlight on Bascom. I bought more stuff than necessary, but I do have the new John Vanderslice, among other things.

Yesterday I watched the rest of the second season of Home Movies, which I didn't enjoy as much as the first for some reason, and the last disc of the first season of Deadwood, which was so fucking great I increased my Netflix rating of it to 5 stars. That show took a few episodes to get into, but now I'm clamoring for the next season to come out on DVD.

Broadcast TV had a surprising number of non-shitty movies on yesterday: UPN aired The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai and This Is Spinal Tap back to back, which I watched despite missing the first hour and a half of Banzai and owning an uncensored VHS copy of Tap, and in the evening, PBS showed Fargo. Sweet. I totally do not need cable.

Or that's what I keep telling myself.

I watched Jackie Brown this morning. I liked it more than I expected to, though I think I would've given it the same number of stars either way. Tarantino has to really suck before I give under 4 stars for his shit.

Speaking of suck, I am disappointed in the reviews The Brothers Grimm is getting. I can't be the only one. Terry Gilliam, what did you do to make your movie something I avoided on its opening weekend? Why? It's not fair!

I have in front of me a recipe for beet curry. I think I'll go attempt it in a bit.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Upcoming shows of hooray.

12 Sept. - The Decemberists @ The Fillmore
Tickets are in my desk. The 11th was sold out when I got them!

13 Oct. - Dan Bern @ The Attic (Santa Cruz)
I'm told he's an interesting performer. I definitely like his songs.

22 Oct. - The Gossip @ Bottom of the Hill
Who's in? Is my sister the only other Gossip fan I know in the area? You people.

5 Nov. - John Vanderslice @ The Independent
I'm fairly certain Kevin would actually go to this. Would love it if others would come see this guy.

I am sure there are more to come.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Excited ornithologists and lethargy.

For whatever reason, I've been in the shittiest mood today. I've been shrieking louder and longer at those drivers around me who are stupid and getting bored as fuck by NPR's long reports about fucking ornithologists and their search for some kind of woodpecker sound clip. I am tired and cranky and I was irritated at work and bitched out a guy on IRC for no real reason.

I am so ready for the fucking weekend. Not that I have plans, but fuck. I'm tired.

I've done some things this week that were good. Last night was the Rufus Wainwright/Ben Folds show at the Mountain Winery way up in the hills in Saratoga. You'd never know Silicon Valley was so ugly from the view in the parking lot. I've never heard crickets chirping between songs, either. It's a rather nice outdoor venue and I enjoyed the performances. Kevin and I grabbed falafels from Gyro's House in Mountain View on the way there, which are always delicious.

I don't have much to say about them right now because...I'm fucking tired, but I feel sort of obligated to just post something because I haven't in a few days, and since this is really more for my own benefit than yours, I'd like a basic record of what has happened in my life. Yes, that's the point of a paper journal, but I don't seem to bother with those consistently enough. I do with this.

On Tuesday, I hung out with the Editor and saw The 40-Year-Old Virgin. I was not terribly impressed, though it had its moments. It felt way too long and tried to do a few too many things, but there were some genuine laughs.

I've been making a pretty decent lunch this week, which is described below:

-1/2 c. bulghur
-big handful baby spinach, chopped
-1/2 can chickpeas, drained
-12 or so cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
-feta cheese, if you like
-salt and lemon juice to taste

Soak the bulghur in enough water to give it the right texture. Add everything else and mix.

-1/4 c. plain yogurt (I've been using nonfat Greek)
-1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
-salt and lemon juice to taste

Mix everything together until it's creamy and set aside. Stir into the bulghur mixture when you're ready to eat it. This takes 15 minutes, tops, with chopping and everything.

Today I made some crappy pasta because the company-provided lunch was non-vegetarian. Well, there were some corn muffins and a basic salad (iceberg + romaine + red cabbage). It was from a barbeque joint. I couldn't even go in there because the smell of meat was so overpowering. (Sound dramatic much? Sorry. I don't mind meat smells mixed with other smells, but a predominantly meat aroma is...disconcerting.)

Anyway, I need to de-bitchify and think more positively and eat more tomato pizza.

Monday, August 22, 2005

2-1/2 restaurant reviews and two movies.

This weekend, my family visited four restaurants and ate at two. Only we can spend hours stomping around the foodie capital of America and come up starving and empty-handed at 9 on a Sunday night.

Lunch was an easy, if terrifyingly expensive, choice in Rose Pistola. The food was delicious and the service fine, though the price is enough to drive away any thought of returning. My brother had the penne with beef bolognese--shocking--while my mom and sister and I shared several antipasti: a roast beet salad with chunks of cheese, a spreckled romaine and red grape salad with a wonderful vinaigrette, an absolutely divine caprese with melt-in-your-mouth buffalo mozzarella and gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, a trio of bruschetta, and, most interestingly, deep-fried chickpeas with capers and lemon zest.

As we were visiting the Haight, Margot suggested a place called Asquew for dinner, which is an informal, inexpensive, healthy, and most likely tasty kebab spot, but we ended up not eating there due to the lack of available seating. We poked around a few thrift stores before heading back towards my sister's place.

We got off the bus a little early and decided to eat at a Greek restaurant on Polk we'd been to a few years ago. A large party had been seated just ahead of us, so we agreed to wait 10 minutes for a table. We looked at the menu and decided what to order while we waited, but when we were actually seated, no one came to take our order, bring us water, or even say hello. For thirty fucking minutes. The waiter spent ten minutes chatting with a another table, a party who were seated *after* we were. They got their orders, even. We stormed out.

Eventually, we ate at a little Italian place on Post called Caffe Bella Valencia or something like that. The prices were not unreasonable and the food was decent. The pasta was overcooked, but the flavors were all right. The service was a little slow after the initial bringing of water and bread and taking of the orders, but the place seemed somewhat busy and it was the poor guy's first night. Or that's what they told everyone to compensate for mediocre service. It took for-freaking-ever to get the check, and at that point, I wanted nothing more than the hop on BART and go to bed. On the plus side, I have leftovers for lunch, including my brother's vegetable side and polenta, which he mistook for potatoes and did not much care for.

On Saturday, mom and my brother were staying with us in Milpitas, so we had to devise some way to spend the day. My brother really wanted to see The Aristocrats, which is unlikely to show in Olympia soon, plus mom should never see that movie. She would be horrified. Comedy is something my brother and I have always bonded over--it's my fault that he's the only kid I knew who was reading The Onion at 12. The theater at Santana Row was playing Broken Flowers at 2, the same time as The Aristocrats was playing at the Camera 7, so we dropped her off for the less offensive film and went to ours. It was really entertaining and, we thought, surprisingly tame. Or we're just horribly desensitized, or context is everything.

Later, mom told us she looked up the joke online. She gave us quite a look.

Late Saturday night, after we'd feasted on tilapia filets I smeared with a potent mixture of spices and a garlicky greek yogurt sauce, mom and I watched The Motorcycle Diaries. She lent me the DVD at the beginning of the summer and I never got around to watching it, so I needed to do that and give it back to her while she was here. It was a damn fine film, and not entirely too heavy-handed considering the subject matter. Might have been nicer on something larger than a laptop screen, though.

It was good to see the family, but it was a very long weekend, and I am really tired today. I am a little concerned that my allergies are flaring up again, after months of respite, or that I'm coming down with a cold. Either of these possibilities would suck, but I am hoping a good night's sleep will do the trick. Heh.

Otherwise, I fully anticipate being a snot-nosed medicine head at Wednesday's Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright show.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I'm not sure how, but I made it almost to age 24 without really feeling much love for takeout. Oh, sure, I've used it--I can't count the number of times I ducked into a teriyaki joint on the Ave for chicken teriyaki (back when I wasn't a hippie) and some of that cabbage salad with the strange and wonderful dressing to take home and enjoy for the next two meals. Or the cheap and delicious lunch-is-anytime special Chinese that my Hong Kong-born roommate swore by. Or the time only a styrofoam container of bi bim bap could soothe my angry mind. Or, naturally, the zillions of boxes of leftover Thai.

No, since moving to California, takeout has been a bland experience, dotted with overpriced and surly Whole Foods lunches, cheap but bland Togo's sandwiches, and vegetarian Chinese that was of a sub-par quality compared to its in-restaurant brethren. Until recently, we suffered under the early closures of area restaurants--10 p.m. is hardly late for the man who gets home at 9 and his girlfriend who staves off the hunger pains with unnecessary junk food.

But there is a solution, and it's one so beautiful, I find myself wondering what the catch is:

The Internet. No phone, no need of a photocopied takeout menu, just a few clicks and a short drive before closing and bam, there's your bag of delicious food. It works for pizza that is far more delicious (and expensive) than Pizza Hut. It works for goddamn burrito joints. Tonight we got Indian, which was so enormously satisfying, I don't even care that I was eating the Indian equivalent of supersized french fries in my order of spinach pakoras. They were too delicious, and came with three vats of equally delicious chutneys. The moong masala dosa, while not up to my beloved Udupi Palace standards, especially taking into account the comparative distance. I didn't even have to change out of my skanky workout clothes.

I am so full now, I could burst. And it's much later than I like eating, but I'll suffer through the inevitable bizarre dreams. Every gram of buttery fat is worth it.

Tomorrow my mom and brother will be here and the food wars will begin. Who will win: The middle-aged dieter, doing a damn fine job of working down her dress size? The tall not-quite-18-year-old with a penchant for steak, potatoes, and fettuccine alfredo? Or the neo-local with knowledge of area ethnic restaurants and a deep sympathy for vegans? Tune in next time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The first one is free.

Lately I've been thinking about the bands I like (or used to like) and the first songs I'd ever heard--or at least really listened to--by them. Only some of them have just one definite hook. The following is a list of some bands and the first song I heard by each of them, and maybe, just maybe, a little story.

Pulp, "I Spy"

I was reminded of this tonight as I listened to Different Class and sang along loudly. One summer, Becky and I visited our then-Internet-buddies Tristan and Sarah in Corvallis, Ore. Tristan sat us down in an overcast parking lot by the river and placed a pair of giant headphones on each of our ears and played this song.

Luna, "23 Minutes in Brussels"

This was the work of Sammy. I listened to this and iimmediately wanted more.

Blur, "Beetlebum"

Yeah, so everyone heard "Song 2," but it was a 1-minute clip of "Beetlebum" that made me get the album. I'm kind of a sucker.

The Mountain Goats, "See America Right"

Gabe sent me this mp3 like a hundred years ago. I didn't pick up Tallahassee for a couple years, but I did get a few other albums. It took me awhile to be convinced based on this song alone, but there's no turning back. (Had he sent "No Children," I don't think wild horses could have stopped me from running up to fucking Cellophane Square and dropping full price on the CD.)

The Decemberists, "The Soldiering Life"

A KRS freebie that, in conjunction with a damn fine Bumbershoot set in ought-three, forced me to buy a CD that, while it isn't their best, got me in line with the Youth and Beauty Brigade.

DJ Shadow, "Midnight in a Perfect World"

Probably everyone's first DJ Shadow, considering how many between-NPR-bits it occupies, among other things, but you know what? For good reason.

Ben Folds Five, "Battle of Who Could Care Less"

I know, it was a radio single, but there is a little story behind why this song, which I absolutely loved, failed to get me to obtain the album for years. I heard it on the radio once and was excited. The second time, I managed to tape it--at the time, I carried around a 90-minute cassette full of songs I liked that I taped off the radio--and listened to it on my Walkman for weeks. I forced certain friends to listen to it, and they hated it, so I didn't buy it. And that is a lesson about the power of peer pressure.

Built to Spill, "I Could Hurt a Fly"

Ah, finally, something Kevin sent me. There isn't much else to say about it, but this song rocks, and I really like BTS now. Yay.

Anyone else got a list of firsts?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Dorkier than DDR.

I have started working out. To a video game. No, not DDR. Worse than DDR.

Yourself! Fitness.

For fucking serious, the exclamation point is in there.

It's totally designed for soccer moms. And it is kicking my ass.

I am super uncoordinated, so some of the movements are like whoa, but overall? I sweated and I will be sore. That's probably a good thing. And it's slightly less embarrassing than actually going to a gym, and a hell of a lot cheaper. It also doesn't require me to leave the house and potentially interact with my potentially irritating suburban neighbors, for whom I feel vague scorn, just because. I am a horrible person.

However, I have many delicious snacks in my house. I am hoping Kevin will help me consume at least some of them, as they are all vegan: apple pie (*vegan* apple pie, natch), organic raspberries, and Double Rainbow chocolate sorbet (bestest sorbet in the westest), and a 70% dark chocolate "save the animals or whatever" bar. (I do think that brand is silly. They give something like 10% of profits to some vaguely animal-related charity. The chocolate is decent, however, and reasonably priced, so I'll buy it sometimes.) I imagine he won't partake of the chocolate items, but he personally OK'ed the pie, so he better be in for at least half.

Fuck, I'm hungry. Today my awesome vegetarian coworker--with whom I have split pretty much every lunch since she started--brought homemade idly, which was all kinds of delicious. If you've never had them, idly are a little white cake made of ground-up rice or rice flour and a pale dahl, with a texture sort of resembling polenta. In restaurants, they are usually served with a cup of sambar, which is a kind of vegetable soup for dipping. She taught me how to eat it like she does, which is to put a couple idlies in a bowl and pour the sambar over it, then used the spoon to cut up the idly so more of the flavor soaks into it. Her sambar had something I thought was potato, but turned out to be bottleneck gourd, which was really tasty.

While I'm on the food kick, Kevin and I tried a Lebanese restaurant in Fremont the other night. The proprieters were chatting with a family when we got there, so we overheard some of their discussion of Beirut (apparently, it's a nice place) and how the restaurant had been at that location for something like 20 years. Impressive. We tried the fattoush salad, which was a little too tangy to finish, the falafel sandwich, and the veggie combo. (Sometime I think I should write about the "veggie combo" at several different restaurants.) The combo featured falafel, hummus, and yabraks, which appear to be the Lebanese version of dolmas. I didn't try those, but the hummus was delicious and the falafels were awesome. They were rich with spice and had a good texture, an even consistency, and weren't too greasy or crispy. Next time we go, I'd like to try the tabbouleh, order the falafels as an appetizer--just eat 'em straight or with some hummus--and try this one thing the owners had the table next to us try: something like hummus, but made with cauliflower. That sounded so intriguing.

And finally, here's this week's roundup of Netflix rentals:

Deadwood: Season 1, disc 3: This shit is getting good. I wasn't totally digging it immediately, but something about it said, "Give me a chance, you cocksucker." So I did, and I'm definitely into it now.

Ran: I have now officially seen it. Damn good and beautiful and fucking long as fuck.

Hard Eight: P.T. Anderson's first movie boasts an impressive cast and isn't a bad movie. I was expecting way more violence than it had, though, and I am not sure I totally understood the main character's motivations. It seems like it might bear repeated viewings, but that isn't high on my priority list.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A tip for how not to feel like an idiot.

If you have any kind of evidence that you were ever under the age of 18, don't go looking at it.

For example, I have on one of my hard drives several versions of several websites I created and maintained while I was in high school. I should not have done that. I should definitely not have kept them. And I should especially not be looking at them now, because wow, that's depressing.

Also, I liked crap. And I used smileys to excess. And quoted lyrics ALL THE TIME (okay, so that's not changed too much, but it should have).

I may be a dork now, but I was dork^n back then.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I hope we both die.

The following is the subject line of an email I received today from recommends Funeral

I hope you die, too, Amazon. I hope we both die.

Just saw Broken Flowers. The people I saw it with said the trailer gave away all the jokes, but they still enjoyed it, and I did too. With movies like that, it seems best to avoid detailed reviews and trailers prior to seeing the movie. I'd rather have the ability to absorb it, unbiased. Unless liking Jim Jarmusch and Bill Murray counts as bias, which I'd imagine it does a little. It's the first Jarmusch movie that I found laugh-out-loud funny, though his others are funny, too.

Afterwards, we sipped iced tea and enjoyed the manufactured environment of Santana Row. It was sunny, but not too warm, and there was a breeze. We complained about the Disneyland Main Street USA for the Platinum card set-ness of it all, but secretly, it's not that the place is manufactured that arouses my suspicions. It's the lack of non-manufactured alternatives. It's great to have a place to sit comfortably, sip tea, and chat with friends, just as it's great to have a giant bookstore where you can browse all kinds of reading material and get a coffee and sit on a couch, but something about the experience at Santana Row, just like at Borders/Barnes & Noble, rings false. That's what makes me sad.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Rob writes a rap.

About me. Hee.

[roboter] emily's burning it up. west coast! you suckas don't front it.
[roboter] emily's like Bam! like cannon. cause thats her last name.
[roboter] I'm making a rap song about emily.
[roboter] take notes! you dead wrong. emily fix your spellin. she's got it going on.

Then he had to go work.

What's that? Yes, Rob IS the coolest mothafucka in Yuma, Arizona.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The pizza that is, should be.

I am awesome with the cheater pizza. Awesome, I say.

Tonight's concoction: whole wheat dough, spread 1/4" thin and round, with sauteed red onion, diced marinated fire-roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and a healthy sprinkling of red pepper flakes, topped with chopped baby spinach, feta, and a mixture of "Mediterranean" cheeses that melt nicely. After this is baked until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is lightly browned, add slices of some gorgeous fresh heirloom tomato.

This takes under 15 minutes, not counting the baking and the anticipation.

It's nice when being lazy pays off.

A post that is not a list.

Here's a possible first since moving to California: I got out of the house two nights in a row. Both times because of the Editor.

When we first started talking, he'd made a generous offer of sitting down to talk about writing with me. I took him up on it, at least as a first step, because god knows I've written jack shit since college. It was a very encouraging talk, and he gave me a lot to think about and specific things to do, which I'm gonna do. (I hate saying it that way, though, because I keep saying I'M GONNA DO SOMETHING and then not doing it. I have to work on my follow-through.)

Tonight he called me up and said I should come to this deal in Mountain View his paper was having, and despite my usual array of social anxieties, I showed up. It ended up being pretty cool, and I got to meet some of his staffers, which provided further ass-kicking in the direction of not being a lump anymore.

Jesus, that was convoluted. I want to write?

There was also a guy from the local Green Party, who gave us a half-drunken spiel about energy conservation and Green activism and tried to sell us stickers. Another guy, upon hearing my name, complimented it, saying it sounded very East Coast. I told him that was funny, because I'm West Coast through and through.

Anyway, back to the writing thing, since I'm trying to concentrate on it. I need to think about--make a list--of topics I'd like to write about. Story ideas. It's difficult for me to get into that mindset. It was difficult even when it was what I had to do, though not for a living, but for school. So that's task no. 1.

The trouble now lays in my horrible complacency. I may complain about boredom and not wanting to stagnant, but part of me is happy to be in a fairly comfortable--though who knows how ultimately unstable--place, at least for the moment. Then, when I think about breaking out of that mold, I have to confront my insecurities and anxieties, which are numerous, but whose aren't? What's so fucking insurmountable about mine that I can't get over them enough to do something I want to do when other people have?

So there's all that inward-thinking, which, in addition to merely exacerbating the aforementioned insecurities and anxieties, cloud any judgment I have with regard to what's interesting in the world that I could write about. Hah.

I do know that I won't be happy if I stay where I am forever, or even in a place close to it. It's not fulfilling. There's a lot of good in it, but my heart isn't in it. I can only cut my teeth for so long before they start to dull.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Oceanographer's choice.


Well, guy in a skeleton costume goes up to the guy
In the Superman suit and runs through him with a broadsword.

(Link swiped from Defamer.)


Wouldn't it be great if they made a tiny cell phone that was designed so the earpiece was on your thumb and the mouthpiece was on your pinky?

Think about it.

Things I did this weekend.

A list:

1. Spent too much on dinner at Citronelle with my boyfriend. It was open late and I remembered incorrectly where the restaurant we wanted to try existed, so it was out of desperation.

2. Slept in, in the only way I can: by waking up early, then passing out repeatedly until I get bored.

3. Went to TJ Maxx and bought a lightweight black hoodie and a nice Anolon hard anodized 10"/3-qt. saute pan.

4. Watched the last disc of Homicide season 3.

5. Ordered and picked up some pizza from Amici's again.

6. Slept in slightly less.

7. Watched the second disc of Deadwood season 1, which warmed me to the show.

8. Took a walk around the part of the Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge that has an entrance in Alviso. Saw a pretty sunset and some pretty birds and things.

9. Got burritos for dinner.

10. Now there is a fucking jackhammer outside. It's time to go.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Because I am a big dork...

I'm totally excited to learn that there is an open source layout program: Scribus.

Not that almost anyone besides me will give a shit, but whoa.

It appears to have the same basic functionality as Quark and Adobe's products, though the interface and navigation are going to take some getting used to. I had the same problem with the GIMP at first, and now it all makes sense.

Anyway, it made me think that I'd like to do the zine project with as much open source stuff as possible. Not in an overt way; I don't want it to be *about* open source by any means, but I'd like to make something that uses open source and isn't a purely geek exercise. I think open source is way cool, and it would be fun to apply it to something other than my minimal Linux skills.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Life as a situation comedy.

Two tales of Friday:

1. My boyfriend, leaning heavily on Curb Your Enthusiasm for inspiration, wants to start carrying marbles with him to restaurants. With the marbles, he plans to test waitstaff patience by experimenting with the angle of the table surface. Will it roll? How much is the table tilted?

He thinks this would make a great focus for a restaurant review site, though he is unwilling to dissuade people from trying a restaurant based on his own reviews. I asked if the reviews would focus on the flatness of the eating surface or the quality of the food, and he said both.

A side note: In high school, I carried around a small velveteen pouch containing two marbles and a semi-precious stone with the word "Peace" engraved on it. The latter was inside the pouch to symbolize "inner peace," (I know) but the marbles I carried around just so I wouldn't lose them. When I told Kevin that, he thought it was ridiculous. I'd lose them if I carried them around instead of keeping them in a safe place, he said. I said I didn't lose them then, but upon reflection, I don't know where they are now, so I guess I've lost my marbles.

2. Apologies to my coworker, should he ever find this, but he came into my office this afternoon just to tell me about a dream he'd had the night before. Apparently, his dream had a commercial. A commercial for Jennifer Aniston Sings Motown and R&B hits. He said he could hear her nasally voice in his dream.

I thought that was beautiful.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The best things always find me.

Sunday night ended up being some fun, as Kevin's dad, his girlfriend, and her daughter all stopped by in the evening. We hung out and ate ice cream (uh, well, mostly it was Kevin's dad and his girlfriend's daughter and I who polished off two pints of Haagen-Dazs, but who's counting) and played Apples to Apples. Kevin's dad beat everyone by a long shot.

(Side note to the Harem: It's hard to play the "Your Mom" custom card in a group where one player's mom is present, one player's dad is present and divorced from that player's mom, and one player's mom is deceased.)

Their impromptu visit spurred a rapid housecleaning effort by yours truly, as the house was in its usual embarrassingly disgusting state. Kevin's dad went into the backyard and picked up three grocery bags' worth of apples that had fallen to the ground but weren't rotten or wormy and took them home to juice.

The house stayed clean enough that I wasn't too embarrassed to ask the Editor over to watch a movie when he suggested we go catch one in the theater Monday night. I couldn't get the monitor in the living room to turn on, so I dragged Kevin's 13" TV out, swiped the RCA cable from my TV, and hooked up the hacked CyberHome player on a chair two feet from the couches. This worked out well, at least as soon as Kevin dug up the remote so we could turn on the subtitles.

The movie was Eyes Without a Face, a French thriller from 1959. It was damn good and creepy, though in retrospect, the concept of face-stealing seems ridiculous. It does make me wonder when cosmetic surgery became well-known, though, because that would have sort of negated the need for the entire plot of the film. And also, apparently Paris police are dumb. But it was enjoyable.

One complaint I have about Netflix is the lack of labeling things as Criterion Collection releases, and it would be nice to be able to search for those as well. Reckless Video in my old Seattle neighborhood had a special Criterion shelf, and it was always cool to pick something out of that and know I'd end up with something worthwhile.

I've been working on a small project at work that requires a modicum of creative thought. Imagine that. I also worked on five regular projects before 11, only to spend most of the rest of the day twiddling my thumbs. Sheesh.

I wish I had more interesting things to say, but I don't. I'm boring. Sorry.

The zine project is still being contemplated. I have emailed several of you and I EXPECT to hear back. Hah. (Jesse gets a pass due to the whole getting-married-in-Romania thing, but the rest of you!) My sister has offered to draw a political comic off "Stay Hungry." What will YOU do?