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.