Sunday, July 31, 2005

A valiant attempt.

I'm really trying to make a weekend. I am.

Yesterday I was out of the house from 9:30 until 3, shopping and watching a movie. (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was pretty good, by the way. If you're one of those people who never saw or didn't like the original movie, I'd even go so far as to say liking this one hardly amounts to blasphemy. It's a good adaptation of the novel rather than a rehash of the movie.) I went out again later to see what was at the local Ross, where I have decent luck finding clothes. Kevin and I had a late dinner of pizza takeout from Amici's in Mountain View. So far, so good.

This morning, I met up with my coworker and her roommate to drive up the winding Page Mill Road into the Palo Alto hills for a little hike. It was a lovely drive and a great little walk. But I was home before noon--wouldn't want to be out in the blazing full afternoon sun--and that left me with a whole afternoon to fill. Which I'm currently contemplating.

There's the North Beach Jazz Festival, which my sister suggested, though at this point, I'm feeling pretty beat and a trek into SF to watch jazz, which is not my favorite genre, sounds only mildly appealing. There are no other movies playing this afternoon within a 15-mi. radius of my house that I want to see. The few people I know are either working or busy or I don't want to bug them.

I do have a DVD to watch, at least. And I guess I could, uh, read or something.

But really, I did try.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Feeling fictional.

Maybe life has just gotten too dull, but my mind has turned to thoughts of the made up and surreal, even though that isn't its normal orientation. I had visions of a story about commercial pirates--the swashbuckling kind, not mp3 freeloaders--in a world with a zombie problem. This is the kind of thing I might think to write two paragraphs on and never return to, because I haven't got the heart for fiction.

And it struck me, maybe I've lost the heart for storytelling altogether. I can't tell you how many times I've started a story in the past few months, only to finish with the other person saying, "...yeah?," a disappointed lilt to their voice. There's all kinds of strange occurrences that become built up in my mind and turn to mush when I try to let them out. It's bad news.

I don't know how I ever wrote anything, at this point. I think about it and wonder how I had the patience and concentration.

I wonder if it's a symptom of thoughts I've been hiding away, like tshirts in an overflowing drawer, and now I can't close the drawer and I can't find anything, either. I'm getting lost in mundane metaphors and similes made up for the sake of pretending one neuron can still make a connection with another neuron in some meaningful way.

And I come here and tell you all about blah blah blah. Today I bought coffee. I was out. I ate lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant with some coworkers. I had the vegetable curry and fresh spring rolls. When I came home, my boyfriend and I went out for Ethiopian again. We always order the veggie combo and mitten shiro. The latter is as warm and comforting in my hands as its coincidental namesake.

I have plans to see a matinee of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and hit up some inexpensive clothing stores tomorrow. Sunday's plans remain tentative. I am trying very hard.

How is everyone else? Anyone want to write for my zine? I'll start. I'll get right on it. I'll make something real someday.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

All the schadenfreude, none of the annoying singing.

That's what I've been telling people about So You Think You Can Dance, the surprisingly entertaining show that does for dancing what American Idol did for horrible vocal pop.* They take breakdancers and try to coreograph them. They tell effeminate male ballet dancers they aren't masculine enough. They fail to tell the fat chick en pointe that she looks like a hippo, though they do cringe a lot. Anyway, it's very funny, and I actually like watching people dance.

So I've been suckered into yet another shitty summer reality show. So what. It's not like I'll put off any social engagements to watch it.

"Social engagements." Hah!

Pretty much all I've done this week is go to work and actually spend most of the time working. I did see Once Upon a Time in the West, thanks to the Editor, who thought it a horrible oversight that I'd never seen it when I listed The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in my top 10 movies I liked a lot that I've seen more than once. He was right; it's a much bigger, richer, fulfilling movie, and once I see it a second time, I can switch it out on the list.

I am looking for weekend plans. Hello, weekend plans, where are you? I may do something with my coworker friend, like visit hilly San Francisco or some happy trees in the Santa Cruz area, but otherwise, I've been on the lookout for plans that have yet to materialize. I browsed Pollstar and some ticket sites and Metroactive for things of interest and nothing really caught my eye. Apparently there's some grand prix racing thing in downtown San Jose that's causing lots of streets to be closed and half my office is excited to go down and check it out; needless to say, I'm less interested.

Anyway, the thing is, I have to get out of the house for most of the weekend or my boyfriend will start to hate me. And I will start to hate myself (OH, TOO LATE). Unless I'm on the rag, in which case, I will be sitting in my swelteringly hot room in a fetal position, waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in.

I really want/need to see a show in the near-to-immediate future. I don't know what. Aja can't come in August for Dinosaur Jr and I don't know that I'd go alone; Kevin and I are going to Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright in about a month, but that's not the kind of show where you rock out and get sweaty as fuck and are all like YEAH, though it should be enjoyable.

Besides, rocking out is good exercise, isn't it?

*Disclaimer: I am not, nor have I ever been, a regular viewer or fan of American Idol.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I have a dark chocolate-mint problem.

Namely, it's apparently hard to find. Whole Foods was out of the two tried-and-true bars in the "not obscene" price range that were not Ghiradelli (blech)--that is, the Endangered Species kind and the Lake Champlain bar--so I ended up with some Stonyfield Farms chocolate mint chip frozen yogurt. This was unfortunate, because it's not the traditional mint ice cream-chocolate chip arrangement, but rather dry, vaguely minty chips swimming in a barely chocolatey soup. Perhaps I should have paid closer attention to the label.

This comes in stark contrast to the "light" Haagen-Daz mint chocolate chip, which is barely less fattening than most regular grocery store ice creams, but incredibly delicious, or the Double Rainbow mint chocolate chip soy cream, which is so good, it makes me want to cry sometimes that the usual outlets seem not to be selling it anymore.

Yes, I am a whore. A whore for dark chocolate. And mint. But mostly chocolate.

So, I had kind of a bad weekend, and I don't want to go into it, but it could have meant a pretty major lifestyle change for me, but it has at least temporarily resolved itself, so don't you worry your pretty little heads about me. And don't fucking ask when I'm moving back to Seattle.

I need to get a life. I keep doing nothing, and it's really lame. I don't know why, either--it's like I'm terrified to do stuff alone. Which is so completely laughable, I don't even know what to think. I mean, consider the things I have done by my damn self: for god's sake, I went all the way around the world on my own to spend time with strangers. Why is it so hard for me to go hang out in a coffee shop or to a movie here?

On the plus side, we hung out with Kevin's dad and all that, sitting around the much-cooler Aptos when it was certainly 90+ degrees in San Jose and playing Pictionary well into the night. Heh. I watched Wild at Heart and Born into Brothels on Sunday, both of which were great. It was hot as fuck all day, which always makes me want to die.

But I'm not dead, and I'm not going to die.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

An idea.

So, as you may know, I've been wanting to put together a zine for a long time now. I need a creative outlet that requires more effort than this beast and is a little less navel-gazing than redesigning the rest of my personal site, plus I've just always wanted to make a zine.

In my recent commenting back-and-forth with Julie, I came up with a new idea. Let me know what you think.

Each issue would be an album: It would take the title of the record, and each article would correspond to one of the songs. The link between the song and the subject of the story may be tenuous at best, but it's a jumping off point. The design could be inspired by the cover art of the album and such. All manner of subjects could be tackled; I just don't want poetry or a ton of fiction.

For example, one could be the Talking Heads' More Songs About Buildings and Food. The track listing on that album:

1. Thank You for Sending Me an Angel
2. With Our Love
3. The Good Thing
4. Warning Sign
5. The Girls Want to Be with the Girls
6. Found a Job
7. Artists Only
8. I'm Not in Love
9. Stay Hungry
10. Take Me to the River
11. The Big Country

Regardless of whether or not you know these songs, you could use the titles as inspiration for an essay, story, personal reflection, or feature about anything. Make sense?

Maybe this record is just general enough where others could be problematic. I don't know. Anyone want to give it a shot?

ETA: Here is a page with further suggestions.

Some things you just shouldn't do.

People shouldn't cross an arterial road at night against the light. That's just fucking insane. That's how I just almost fucking hit someone coming home tonight.

I was driving down a 5-lane road near my house with a speed limit of 35 mph, probably going about 40. Everyone does. I approached a light where there is a left turn signal. The oncoming traffic was stopped so someone could turn left from my side of the road and I had a green, so I kept driving. Suddenly, she appeared from among the stopped headlights, crossing against the light, and I screeched to a halt, certainly inches from her. She was running away with a terrified expression, but I didn't hit her. So I kept going, which was maybe not the right thing to do. Are you supposed to stop if you didn't actually hit? But jesus christ, she was running away.

If you're going to jaywalk, do it responsibly. Especially at night. Jesus fucking christ.

My heart was pounding and my body was shivering for the rest of the drive home. My god, what if I did hit her? What would have happened? Who is at fault?

As a driver, I know I have a responsibility to look out for pedestrians, which I do. I stop to let pedestrians cross when I'm waiting to turn right; I look both ways at the mid-block crosswalks in my neighborhood. I spent a long time as a pedestrian myself; I know what assholes drivers can be. Pedestrians should be given the right of way in all cases, but what if they're breaking the law and you don't see them?

What if my eyes failed me and I ran a red light without even knowing it?

What if someone witnessed it, thought I hit her, and called the police on my ass for a hit and run?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I wasn't even going to post today--not a whole hell of a lot to say--but I wanted to respond to this week's Free Will Astrology for me.

This week's horoscope was about brainstorms: "I don't care what term you employ, Sagittarius, as long as you just do it. You're overdue for prolonged encounters with mind volcanoes, imagination avalanches, and creativity hurricanes."

I AM A HURRICANE. I have killed people!

But I'm having trouble with my creative side. I just can't get started. I need to spend more time talking to people. This isn't even possible at work anymore because we are too freakin' busy. Unfortunately, that is my greatest exposure to fellow humans.

It's getting a little desperate up there in my head.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Also, cats are cool.

And in case you hadn't already seen these sites which have been making the Internet Dorkdom rounds for weeks already, here they are.

Kitten War


Stuff on my Cat

If I ever get a cat, I am naming it Snark. But I am allergic to cats and so is Kevin, so that isn't happening any time soon.

I will also take this opportunity to tell Aja that she needs to come here in August and we will go see Dinosaur Jr. Because just saying so on IRC isn't meaningful enough. I also promise pancakes and a rousing game of Apples to Apples.

Back and forth. Forever.

This is blatant google-baiting, but please go see Me and You and Everyone We Know so you will understand the line above. And then you will laugh with me about it. I cannot explain the joke because you will think I am dumb and it will ruin everything. Just, go.

And now, a round-up of recent search terms that brought people to my humble web abode.

mclenin's explanation
What's to explain? It's a tshirt with a drawing of Lenin and the Golden Arches. It says "The Party is Over." It's kind of awesome.

"daybed with storage"
Well, that's a fascinating search that brings you to a blog.

"bittersweet symphony" lyrics mourn
I don't know what this is referring to, exactly--I don't recall the word "mourn" in the song. Maybe a band called Mourn covered it.

skittles sheep boy commercial
I'm surprised how many hits I get from people searching for commercials. I wasn't sure what to make of that commercial, and I'm definitely not sure what to make of people who want to see it again so badly they google it.

carkeek park train pictures
Oh, this is a good one. My favorite park in the city of Seattle has a rickety pedestrian bridge that crosses the railroad to get to the beach. When the trains come, you can stand on the bridge and it feels almost like you're going to be swept away. (This effect is best felt with freight trains; Amtrak feels wussy in comparison.)

mister olympia 2004
Given that this referral was from the Portuguese google, I can only assume they are not referring to some kind of male pageant in my hometown.

Gravy Train song " You Make me Nervous" and
You make me nervous. hella, hella nervous
I get so many fucking hits for this lyric, I swear to god. The last time I did this, I had the same thing. Go here.

i was driving when the radiator burst mountain goats
The lyrics game will be the death of me. "See America Right" was the first Mountain Goats song I ever heard.

"trivial pursuit pop culture" questions
Oh, dude. These are fun, but ridiculously easy. RIDICULOUS. I recently played--I think it was the '90s edition; whatever it is Josie has that is recent--mopped the floor with it, friends. There is too much excess information floating around up there. This is how I know I am my father's daughter.

questionnaire Would you come to my funeral
Weeeeeird. I don't know what questionnaire you'd need someone to fill out to ensure full funeral attendance. I know at least two songs that refer to funerals, though: "Dress Sexy at my Funeral" by Smog and "With Bells On" by Sloan. Have fun searching.

"netflix for music"
Netflix for music that works exactly like movie Netflix would be lame. However, I can recommend eMusic as a cool mp3 downloading site.

"united state of electronica" KEXP dancers
Sometimes I'm surprised that my seething irritation with the U.S.E. doesn't get me hate mail, considering (1) how apparently popular they are in Seattle and (2) how many freaking hits I get about them.

the daily growl lyrics
I couldn't google them, either. Some bands are hard to find straight-up lyrics listings for when the 'net is so cluttered with reviews. Lambchop must be one of them.

I don't even know what to say about this. It's so whimsical, and yet depressing.

No one has searched for "peanut butter and jelly, that's what I like in my belly" recently. I'm sad.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

P-p-p-p-p-por favor!

Telemundo is showing Who Framed Roger Rabbit? right now, dubbed into Spanish, of course. Every time there is a visual component with English writing on it, there's some narrator who VO's the interpretation. This happened at least six times in the opening Baby Herman cartoon. It's awesome.

I spent a large chunk of the day watching episodes of Airline so I can return the DVD, then He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, which was really, really dumb. I saw the preview a few years ago and knew then what the basic plot would be. I'm not sure why I added it to my queue or how I neglected to take it out before I actually got it.

If it cools off around 6, we might go for a walk near the Bay, but otherwise, today is a day of extreme laziness. It's 80 degrees and that makes me want to die. I know, I know--that's nothing. Still, air conditioning is about the only reason to look forward to work tomorrow.

Man, Roger Rabbit has a more hilariously adverse reaction to liquor than I do. I just think it tastes like cough syrup, no matter how low the alcohol content or how tasty the supposed flavor. But it would be much cooler if my response to, "What? Why don't you drink?" was: "My eyes pop out of their sockets and I start changing colors and shaking violently."

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Riding the electrified third rail.

First of all, it was a mistake to think I could get away with wearing my new boots in San Francisco. My sister and I, no matter how lazy our plans, always spend at least an hour walking all told. She will say a place is at "the end of my street," and it's 12 blocks away.

So by the time I reached the Powell St. BART station around 8 p.m., my calves and toes were crying out for mercy.

Not that this precludes the day from being full of joy and wonder, mind you. Margot's new apartment is in an awesome location and looks amazing. Her new roommate is sweet. Her bar is stocked, not that this matters to me, but it does to her. Her kitchen has a gas range. You could do a lot worse.

We picked up a falafel to split and had coffee from somewhere--iced--and hung out at her place for awhile before the day's activity was decided. It was determined that we would go to a store and buy things to cook. This involved a bus trip up Geary to Trader Joe's, where Margot stocked up on liquor, coffee, and coffee-flavored liquor, and I got things to make a small Mexican-style feast.

The food turned out amazing: tilapia fillets baked in a jar full of Cuban mojito sauce, black beans mashed with garlic and baked with pepper jack cheese, and avocado mashed up with fresh lime and salt; finished off with pico de gallo and thick corn tortillas. We ate it all. We are gluttons.

At that point, we determined that a visit to Good Vibrations was in order. Margot said it was "just up the street" from her apartment, which it was, in fact, not. That is when my toes inside my boots started screaming at me. Perhaps I really am not cut out for wearing shoes with a 2-inch heel after all. Anyway, we went to Goodwill on the way, which was amusing and somewhat productive. I found two boring shirts to wear to work; as we were heading to the register, Margot spotted a cute, hippie-ish top that fit her perfectly and was quite flattering, really. Score. Good Vibrations yielded the expected level of amusement from penis pasta, boob cake tins, flaccid dildos for sexual acts we are too young to know about, and multicolored vibrators of all shapes, sizes, and species. I don't even want to know how many high-larious google hits that last sentence is going to get me.

My feet were trying to fall off my body, so we thought about catching a movie, but our timing was all wrong, so we parted ways and I got on the next train towards home.

And here I am. Home. Happy to be barefoot.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I know it ain't gonna last.

Hello, America. Got any good weekend plans?

Me, I'm just taking advantage of the unfortunate circumstance of my sister's boyfriend's jerkiness which lead her to be in San Francisco and not scheduled to work this weekend (when she was supposed to be in Seaside, Ore.). That is, I'm going up to the city tomorrow to check out her new place and probably bug her for a few hours before coming home to rot further in front of my TV and/or stereo.

Things that are good for my ears this week: John Vanderslice, Dan Bern (thanks to the Editor), Sufjan Stevens, the Pixies, Charles Mingus, and oddly, Mercury Rev. I am just barely over the Mountain Goats obsession hump. My boss popped in a Sleep Chamber CD while we worked overtime alone in the office the other night, which was alternately interesting and creepy-hilarious.

I haven't been spending much time watching TV. It's too hot to not listen to music. Besides, even the second-rate reality crap I was watching is now ending, so it's a whole lot of who-the-fuck-cares. Besides, music is much less enraging.

I'm so fucking tired from this week. Restless and tired.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Time and a half.

Christine said something interesting in an email. She suggested we should be able to network for friends like some people do for jobs. I suppose that's ultimately what happens on the Internet, but it doesn't make what she wrote any less amusing: "Instead of saying, 'I'm looking for a job, these are my skills and interests, do you know of any' you say, 'I'm looking for friends, these are my skills and interests, do you know of any?'"

I'm going out of my head with boredom. I really am. I am so bored that I am trying once again to like Xiu Xiu. No one is talking on IRC, no one is on AIM, no one is at my house, and you know how I feel about the phone when it comes to people who are not already considered "safe." (Yeah, I have some fucking issues I need to resolve.)

I was at work until 7. It's after 9 and I can't even find my boyfriend. Not that he wants to do anything besides curl up with his musical equipment this week, so I'm not sure which is more frustrating: that he's not here, or that he probably wouldn't want much to do with me if he were here.

That's a sad fucking statement. I promise that isn't all there is to life all the time. He's a software engineer with an artistic side and a deep loner streak. These things happen.

I need some mental stimulation. I need more things to get excited about and less to whine about. I need to go out and find those things.

Category 2!


Is it wrong to be amused by a destructive storm that shares my name?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Bean sprouts, that is. Stolen from my memory of the Thai-ger Room.

-1 block of firm tofu, drained of as much water as possible
-oil to fry

Cut the tofu into wedges and dust it with the cornstarch. Then fry on each side until lightly browned.

In a wok or other large pan, saute:

-little oil
-tons of garlic (no, really. Tons)
-as much red pepper as you can handle

Add the fried tofu wedges and:

-soy sauce, to taste
-3 chopped scallions

Cook the wedges a little more until they are coated with flavor. Mmmm, flavor. Take out and set aside, but be sure to leave most of the scallions, garlic, and pepper in the pan. Then add:

-a whole bunch of bean sprouts
-a little extra soy sauce if you need to deglaze the pan or something

Stir the flavor and the bean sprouts quickly, being careful not to overcook the sprouts.

Serve with rice. Brown if you're a health nut like me. Hah.

Aside from the time it took to prepare the tofu, this takes maybe 10 minutes to do. And you can buy pre-cooked fried tofu from many Asian markets. Yum.

Three entries in one day? It may be a RECORD.

As fucking promised.

Without further ado, here's a list of movies. Or two lists. Or one list broken into two sub-lists. Anyway, there's 10 of 'em; I've committed.

5 for Funny

1. The Big Lebowski

But of course, it isn't great only because it's funny. I laugh and I quote, but there is so much more. If you have not seen it or you do not like it, you do not understand. If you were stoned and/or drunk for it, you might not understand. This movie makes me want to write analytical papers of LOVE.

2. Harold and Maude

Again, not an entirely hilarious movie, but the comedy is black as night. I've already made all of you watch it. I don't have to explain it.

3. Dr. Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

So many perfect lines. It's probably my favorite Kubrick (though A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket are awesome as well).

4. Rushmore

God, I have nothing intelligent to say about these movies, at least not in this context. The criteria appear to be: This movie made me laugh. This movie made me think. This movie made me watch it again and again. This movie made me force my friends to watch it. This movie made me repeat lines and situations from it. Rushmore's more oft-quoted line: “Oh, ARE you?”

5. The Princess Bride

This failed to make me think too much, but it succeeds on all other counts. It's a shared cultural experience, really. Best in Show receives an honorable mention here.

5 for Not-Funny

1. Hedwig and the Angry Inch

This is the only—ONLY—musical I have ever loved. Well, okay, The Sound of fucking Music (Nazis!), but this totally wins. I actually like the music and there is some semblance of plot and character development.

2. Rear Window

This may be only because I own it on VHS, but I've watched it many times, and it only improves with each viewing.

3. Heavenly Creatures

A Peter Jackson movie that isn't horror or fantasy? With a young Kate Winslet and disarmingly fucked-up based-on-a-true-story plot? Love it.

4. Annie Hall

I know Woody Allen is both hated and a comedian, but I don't find his movies very ha-ha funny, at least not the ones that resonate.

5. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

If for no other reason than the amazing score...but of course, the movie is at least as good as the score.

I have a hard time committing to the latter group, especially, because a lot of movies I think are amazing I've only seen once, and I don't feel comfortable plopping those down in my top 5 or 10 or whatever.

Confidential to the Editor: Happy now?

Here I am.

Rock you like a hurricane.

Notice my emphasis on LIKE A. Because right now I am only a tropical storm. But I can pick up wind speed and make landfall and fuck some shit up!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Always look on the bright side of life.

Apologies to Monty Python.

Things may be hectic and ridiculous at work, but one big headache got shoved out the door along with almost everything else by 5 p.m., and I made it through the day without shooting myself in the head. Any day where I don't actually die is probably okay on some level.

After work, I met up with the Editor again. He scored passes to the Santa Cruz Built to Spill show, but we decided to skip it in favor of not driving over the hill and getting back after midnight or worse. Instead, we saw Me and You and Everyone We Know, which was better than anticipated. I mean, I'd heard it was decent, but I enjoyed it very much. Some people, who shall remain nameless, with certain in-jokes with me about poop will enjoy its humor, though it is at times even more surprisingly crass than we could ever imagine.

Don't we all have a few in-jokes about poop with someone? No? You people live sad little lives.

AND ALSO. For those who are about to fucking ask. This is not dating. If I were to hang out with a chick and do the same things, no one would say that. This annoys me, for some reason.

When I arrived home, a USPS package containing my new boots was waiting for me. They are so cute! They will require much breaking in, but they are cute! I have cute shoes! And I did not pay $150 for them! ...Only $50. They were on sale from, and only in black and only in my size.

Okay, tomorrow I will do up the 10 movies. I made a promise. I will also make my pathetic approximation of bean sprout deluxe (a la the Thai-ger Room). That is the plan. But plans, as we all know, are wont to change.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Empty title.

I'm completely devoid of commentary this week. I've had pretty much nothing to do at work when everyone else is crazy-busy. (It was this crazy-busy-ness that cheated me out of Friday night's plans, incidentally.)

So I keep wanting to write, but I don't know what to write about (besides the movies, which I want to be in the mood to do, because right now I'm liable to be all, "I dunno, I kind of don't give a fuck about anything, here's some shit I gave 5 stars on Netflix, blah").

Lots of parentheticals. I am bored to the point of being drained.

I tried to get Kevin to go hiking today--pursuant to his desire to not use up an entire weekend or even a day on these sorts of activities, what bothers they are, I attempted to pick a moderate difficulty 2-3 hour trail in advance that is located less than an hour drive away, and I could have directions and food ready to go in the morning. The 45 minutes it would take to drive up in the hills west of here was too far, he said, as was anything around Hwy 9 in the redwoods. He said maybe something closer, but still with trees. I don't think you can get trees much closer than 45 minutes. I grew weary of this argument (mostly one-sided on my part, because he doesn't get angry, he just picks a branch of logic and goes with it) and have had a lazy Saturday to show for it.

Maybe we can go to the wildlife refuge in the early evening, after the sun goes down a little. It won't be muddy and stormy like last time we went, and it is reasonably pretty.

In happier news, my new burner rules. I burned a CD in under 5 minutes. Kevin found an app, k3b, that supports on-the-fly decoding of mp3s and OGGs for audio CDs and works very much like Easy CD Creator and all that. The interface is a little fluffy and clumsy, but user-friendly and functional. I think he also got DVD support working because he was using it earlier.

On the other hand, I have apparently lost my old homepage/blog layout graphics, and that is really annoying. I must've deleted them from everywhere I still have access to. Fuck. Redesign in the works when I fucking feel like it.

My old blog is depressing me, because even though the summer of 2002 was a crazy time, I was writing a lot and I actually like the way I wrote some things and was excited about stuff. Pretty much everything I've written lately has been so lame, it reminds me of why I quit playing guitar: it's frustrating and I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere with it. I must've lost my callouses.

People have commented that I am a very angry person. I'm not sure if I was always this angry, or if it's just been building. I take it out on things I can't control, but I know it isn't about other drivers and television commercials. I think it's okay to scream sometimes, even if it's petty, because it lets a little of the deeper anger slip out, too. But maybe I'm fooling myself on that one.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

For my own amusement, may I present...

Me, at age 20. A tumultuous year, indeed.

I fixed the template so it isn't using images that have long since been deleted from UW's servers. That was a pretty, pretty layout, though.

Whine and dine.

I promised The Editor (how's that for a creative moniker?) I'd write about my top 10 movies this week, but I'm not feeling up to it today. I received M in the mail and still have my mom's copy of The Motorcycle Diaries to watch, but I've strangely not been in the mood.

This did not, however, stop me from seeing Kung Fu Hustle last night, which was exactly the kind of happy pill I needed this week. I also realized how much I fucking miss going to movies and doing things and oh man. I gotta do shit more often. Talking to cool people + seeing cool things + not sitting home on my lazy white ass on an otherwise dead weeknight = good. I even have plans for Friday night, as my coworker and I decided to go see (probably) Howl's Moving Castle and have some dinner.

I cannot stop listening to the Mountain Goats. It's sort of driving me insane, but it's all I want to hear anymore. This happens sometimes after I see a band, though, and the obsession always fades.

I don't even know what I was thinking I'd write about today. It's weird times. I woke up to the news about London, as I'm sure everyone did. I'm slowly contemplating where I want to be in life and how to get there, that sort of thing, because while I'm okay now, it certainly isn't where I want to be forever. But who is at that place at age 23? Or, for that matter, 30?

I've known since I was a teenager I could do better.

Monday, July 04, 2005

God bless America.

It gets harder every year to think of an appropriately cynical way to mark this holiday.

Instead of making a picnic and heading for a grassy knoll with 60,000 others to watch pyrotechnics in a designated locale, Kevin and I headed to the Redwoods for a stroll, where Kevin came up with a potentially brilliant idea I will discuss in a moment. After that, we headed into Santa Cruz, browsed Streetlight, noticed our favorite Thai restaurant in town had disappeared, and went to Capitola to eat dinner at Dharma's. (When I crave a salad, I crave the basic salad from Dharma's with their tahini-lemon dressing that's inexplicably good.)

Kevin's brilliant idea is to rent another place near Santa Cruz in which to spend the weekends. He wants the Redwoods. He was torn between a tiny place or a big place; considering whether or not to move his music equipment; questioning how much time he could realistically spend there. Upon checking rental availability and rates on Craigslist, I think he may be reconsidering, but it's kind of a happy thought, anyway.

The Redwoods are always lovely to visit. There's a certain serenity in the carpet of shamrocks, each on their own planes tilting toward sunlight. While younger trees stand straight and tall, the more ancient creatures and those recently passed display knots and gnarls and the gentle patterns of age as though imbued with the likeness of the divine itself. This visible spirit is awe-inspiring, really.

We never made it to the sand. Several beaches were blocked to traffic and already overrun with eager fireworks spectators, and by the time we parked somewhere in Aptos, I didn't feel like making the trek. I saw the ocean and felt the breeze; that was enough for me. Not so for Kevin, but he's sort of at my mercy as a bitchy girl.

I haven't seen a single firework today, though I've heard dozens. With or without them, these days there's little to stir the rah-rah spirit within me as far as national pride goes.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Three days of nothing.

I must have some kind of cosmic time-management problem. Only typical weekends seem to get packed with activity, while this expansive holiday weekend, I can barely find a reason to drag myself out of bed. I've been spoiled by houseguests, who always want to do things.

Sure, I've got DVDs to watch—or did, until I watched them all—and I'm in the middle of a great book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Yesterday I found a decent pair of jeans at Ross and bought some pretty black slacks at Target. Kevin got my burner working, at least the CD capabilities and using a command line interface I'm not nearly smart enough to know how to use yet, so I can listen to Tallahassee in the car. It's been hot as hell, and yet I made soup yesterday. I'm not feeling creative enough to throw together anything else; in other dishes, overcooked vegetables are more of a detraction. My plants are almost certainly dying.

I painted my short (but not bitten) nails Vixen red, much to Kevin's amusement. He seems to find it funny whenever I do something girly. Wear a skirt; he giggles. Shave my legs; he's laughing. Go shopping for clothes; he's confused. Dye my hair; he marvels at the disgusting state of affairs while the color sets. I have never met a boy so strangely and openly beguiled by a girl's simple vanity. (And it is simple—if you've ever met me, you probably know I put minimal effort into my appearance. The hair gel is just because my hair doesn't take barrettes kindly and it sucks to have hair falling in my face all day at work.)

So today may or may not be filled by an assortment of activities from the following: thrifting at the Savers on Bascom (Savers is to California what Value Village is to Washington), visiting Kevin's coworker's holiday party, watching streaming video of Deep Impact, a round of mini-golf, seeing a movie like Me and You and Everyone We Know, going to Whole Foods for tahini to make hummus, visiting a park or one of the open spaces. So far we've agreed to exactly none of these activities, but if I don't get out of the house today, I'm going to be whiny. How this differs from the norm, I don't know.

Last night we went to Udupi Palace, which serves vegetarian South Indian food that is relatively non-greasy and tends to be yummy. I ordered a spinach masala dosa and masala tea. Because I was starving when a regular masala dosa arrived, I figured my order was misheard and dove in. A few minutes later, a spinach masala dosa arrived, followed by Kevin's order. I figured there was a mistake in the order, that the waiter thought I ordered a masala dosa instead of masala tea, but when the bill arrived, I saw that wasn't the case. I paid a little extra tip, packed up the spinach masala dosa, and went home, confused and very full. I never did get any tea.

We saw the fireworks at Great America from 237 as we went to the restaurant. I've heard events in my neighborhood since Friday night, as well as the loud POP sounds from kids playing with explosives. This is going to go on for the next week, at least. I hate the 4th of July.

Friday, July 01, 2005

One of those weeks.

Some nights, I really wish I liked the taste of alcohol. Work has been hectic, to say the least, and I'm so glad it's a 3-day weekend, despite my complete lack of plans.

Well, there's DVDs, and possibly some movies, and maybe we'll go down to Santa Cruz or a park. And my bathtub needs cleaning. My new burner arrived, so I'll have to get Kevin to work on it. There are many CDs I'd like to burn, many Mountain Goats records from emusic I want to have in my car, many fun mixes to create, many cover songs to gather for the stranger from the Internet (whose name is TOP SECRET, apparently, in my mind).

Oh, I fucked up. I was going to write, but I turned on the TV. The TV kills all writing thoughts that do not involve irrational anger toward commercials. Bad TV!

Things could be worse, though. I could be homeless and begging for money in the Whole Foods parking lot.