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!