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road trippin'

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006
abrupt edge

I just got back last night from a whirlwind driving trip to San Jose. I almost didn't go, which would have been terrible! Nothing particularly spectacular happened, but sometimes a simple change of scenery can be a very good thing. (this is another success of the say yes philosophy.) I drove (and drove and drove) down with my mom to visit her brother and his wife -- they've been married about 5 years, but I'd only met her once before so there was a little bit of that "I don't really know you, but I'm going to go use your shower now" awkwardness. Thankfully that dissipated quickly and we all settled into a good time.
Things I would have missed if I hadn't gone:

* my aunt's cooking! She* is from India and decided after a day that I reminded her of her daughter. Her daughter loves her cooking, and let me tell you, her daughter is not stupid!
* Seeing one of my favorite cousins and his family. Baby Jake (who is about 1.5 yrs old) has reached the extreme flirty but shy phase. He would hide behind one of his parents and scrunch up his whole face to blink both eyes at me (his version of the wink). So adorable. His mom is on the coaching staff for the Stanford women's bball team and he is growing up surrounded by athletic tall young women who think he's the cutest thing around. It will be interesting to see if this warps him for life.
* I got to lay eyes on the San Jose State campus which is one of the three schools on the west coast offering the MLIS degree. (...)

and now for some general I-5 road trip notes and observations.

1. if I were to simultaneously win the lottery and lose my mind, I might make a perfume called I-5 Through the Siskiyous. It would smell like burning brakes, but the bottle would be really pretty.

2. A nice thing about driving (off-freeway) in California -- huge wide streets perfect for sloppy u-turns. The dark side to this is that the streets are so wide they are not pedestrian friendly at all. (At. All.)

3. Since I live in Oregon, I never pump my own gas. Never! It's against the law!! I will admit this is not something I hate, especially when it's raining (which honestly is not an insignificant amount of the year). However, this little state quirk does make pumping gas a kind of fun novelty when in California. I would also say Washington, which is the place I am second most likely to be driving, but those people are mean! I swear they just sit inside and laugh and point and make bets about how long it will take the idiot from Oregon to figure out that she has to pump it herself. Not that this has happened to me. More than once. That I know of.

4. Tanning and Antiques: We saw this shop in Merlin, Oregon while chasing down some insane viewpoint. Who shops here?? I picture lots of leathery orange women of a certain age carefully inspecting depression glass and hand carved duck decoys.

5. Thing that still makes me laugh every time even though it is extremely juvenile: calling Grants Pass Grant's Pants. should we stay in Grant's Pants, or drive on to Medford? etc. HI-larious! Or maybe it's just the first stage of Road Trip Mania. (possible/probable)

6. In Yreka, California, I was called "my little hamburger queen" by a waitress. This is just so wrong. First of all, I had a CHEESEBURGER. Secondly... well, I don't think I need a secondly. It's so irresponsible! What if I was crazy enough to show up at BK headquarters convinced of my Hamburger Queenness and attempted to foment an overthrow of the plastic-headed Burger King? Is Yreka Waitress ready to take responsibility for her words? Will she speak on my behalf at my insanity hearing? I must admit for all that the restaurant annoyed me (Yes, the actual physical building! you don't want to know), the burger was really tasty.

7. Fun Freeway Fact courtesy of my sister, who knows these things: The reason that large urban areas have 1800 freeways with very similar numbers (the 80, 580, 680, 880 and so on for the Bay Area) is not just to make me crazy. (Insert boilerplate sisterly reminder that making me crazy is a) not that hard and b) probably not the sole purpose and intention of freeway engineers.) Here's the trick: the 80 is the main freeway, derivatives beginning with even-numbers (like 680, 880) are bypasses that will loop back onto the original road. Roads beginning with odd-numbers (580) are spurs that only go away from the main road. I'm sure she'll come along and correct me if I got that wrong.

8. Getting lost is probably the best way to figure out how to get around in a new area. Mountain View, I'm thinking of you. Does every city in the state of California have an Olive street? I think they must.

9. Best song to start of a trip of this nature? Down South, 10 Hours, 1-5 by the All Girl Summer Fun Band.

The window's open, we're getting rained on, we’re still here, but not for long,
I heard it’s sunny, heard it’s sunny, heard it’s sunny ....
Down South, 10 hours, I-5
Down South, 10 hours, I-5

*not to be confused with Uncle Pig's Cuban Child Bride who lives with him in India. This is a different, nicer aunt.

garden folly

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Thursday, August 24, 2006
So, back in April or May I had what I considered to be one of my Great Brilliant Ideas. I wanted morning glories (they are pretty and require very little care), and I needed a new place to put them. I thought about it and decided that since they climb, maybe a tower or something would be good. I ended up rigging together a tower out of old tomato cages. This pleased me on many levels:
1) I was using stuff I already had
2) it looks a little crazy
3) it wouldn't look so crazy after it was covered with morning glories and all those nay-sayers would have to EAT IT when confronted with the abundant beauty of my gigantic tower of flower. Right? ha! (speaking of ha, Ha-Ha is one of my favorite gardening terms. click on this link and learn something new: and even see a cross section of a Ha-Ha)

I stuck it in the middle of the roses and thought that everything would be all glory hallelujah in no time. What I did not anticipate was that morning glory shoots are considered to be a slug delicacy. Slugs! They're not just destructive, they're totally gross. I replanted and became a vigilant defender-against-slugs. Was this enough? No, it was not. Morning glories, for all their reputation of being slutty garden vines that will grow on anything, anywhere, anytime, are actually kind of picky. The soil can't be too good, they need some water (because everything does), but if they get too much they will only put up leaves and no flowers. Weird, but true. Well, to get to the point, it never really took off like I hoped it would, and I'm not sure if it was the location, my bad attitude, the slugs, some garden wizard curse or what. But today the first of the Heavenly Blue morning glories came out... and I have to say that I find it was a worthy experiment even if the results weren't as immediate or spectacular as what I originally had in mind.

grandpa otts Heavenly Blue

extrospection season, pt. 1

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Monday, August 21, 2006
I've had it with introspection! It is wearing me out and it's the wrong season for it anyway. Who navel gazes in the summer?? Everyone knows that the time for all of that soggy insomniac self-assessment is in the fall when it rains for 45 days in a row! So, I decree it to be Extrospection Time (you can sing that to hammer time if you try really hard). What does this mean? What does anything ever mean around here? Lists, baby!

Let's start with movies. Movies I've recently watched (some not for the first time):

Pirates of the Caribbean 2: -- I enjoyed this but found it somewhat exhausting. But ... PIRATES! also, (don't read this part until you see the movie, Martina) I already liked Jack Davenport from other things (UK vampire series Ultraviolet, for one) but I must say his bitter, broken, drunken and wickedly sarcastic Norrington was a beautiful thing to behold.

Batman Begins: (DVD) Christian Bale is so perfect for Batman! He's really got a handle on the Bat Issues and can also play a convincing feckless billionaire playboy. I adore Michael Caine as Alfred. I thought it interesting that Morgan Freeman was about the only american in the cast.

Scoop: It has to be said -- Hugh Jackman is a sexy bitch! I thought this was a perfectly pleasing non-demanding way to spend a couple of hours. PLUS, Giles from Buffy was in it briefly and (unrelated to Giles) I am pretty much a sucker for magic shows in movies. No, I don't know why (that would require introspection, which I am OVER). Woody Allen and Scarlett Johansson have fun comic chemistry.

Pride and Prejudice: (DVD) (the new one that came out this year) -- I liked this when I first saw it, but I think I like it even more now. I had some quibbles because some things weren't very Jane-ish and seemed pretty modern... but you know what? that's okay! It's an adaptation, not a literal translation. I watched this with commentary which was fun. The director had a thing against bonnets and computer generated rain and was totally in love with his whole cast. He was also pretty free with the "we decided to sex this up a little." (most ridiculous example in my opinion was Lizzie in the sculpture gallery at Pemberley.) That little tacked on bit at the end with Lizzie and Darcy was pretty ri-goddamned-diculous too, but overall I say thumbs up.

It Happened One Night: (DVD) I love Claudette Colbert's nose. I don't think she'd still have it if she were making movies today. I mean, she'd have a nose, but it would be one of those ones that everybody gets. (also, my dead uncle looked like Clark Gable. I should find a picture.)

You've Got Mail: This was on TV, so I watched it because I promised my cousin I would give it another try. I owe her an apology. This was not as egregiously horrible as I remembered. I still think it should be a lot better than it is considering the people involved, but it's not The Great American Stalker Movie and I regret the distress I caused her by insisting it was for over an hour. (yeah, we make our own fun!)

10 Things I Hate About You: (DVD) From the middle of the Teen Movie renaissance of the late 90's/ early 00's (are they on a 20 year cycle or something?) when every movie ended with a prom. This was the Taming of the Shrew from the "let's remake classic shit into teen movies" phase, which I largely enjoyed. (Emma/Clueless was better, though.)

The Shop Around the Corner: (VHS) the 1940 movie from which You've got Mail was remade. This is an Ernst Lubitsch movie (same director as the charming Ninotchka) with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. It is so delightful I hardly know where to start, but let's start with Sullavan. I love that she is 18 shades of cranky, but they don't try to make her "cute" (I'm looking at you, Ms. nose scruncher Meg Ryan). She's crabby. Crabby, clever, scrappy and besotted. It's sweet, I tell you! I still have qualms about the whole part where he knows she's the one he's been writing to but she doesn't. It just seems unfair, (all's fair, I know, I know) although it was handled with a lighter and therefore less offensive to me touch than in You've Got Mail. I also thought the subplots made a lot more sense in this movie than in YGM. It's just better, okay? (although my cousin may never know it since she said that she rarely watches black and white movies. I should have argued with her about THAT for an hour.)

more extrospection to come!

Book of Longing

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Monday, August 21, 2006
by Leonard Cohen #25

do not read this book if you are any of the following: blissfully happy, mordantly depressed, anti-canadian, exceedingly prudish, or averse to self-portraits.

do read this book if you are: in the perfect receptive state of melancholy, a lover of poetry, a leonard cohen fan, not prudish, curious about how many drawn self-portraits can be inserted in a book of poetry (answer: read it to see).

When I started reading this volume, I was not that into it. I realize now that I was just too happy for it to be a good fit in my reading list. Shortly after that aborted first try, events transpired and I found my mood heavier, but also more receptive to the dark but hopeful messages within. Of course at first it was TOO heavy and I had to put it down again because it made me want to stick my head in the oven. (Book of Longing is no joke as a title. I found myself mourning things I didn't even know existed. But I suppose that kind of discovery is the whole point of reading in the first place.) Finally, equilibrium was found between black mood and buoyant heart and I was able to read it all pretty much in one go.

I wouldn't recommend this if you are looking for something to cheer you up (although one could argue that if you're looking to Leonard Cohen for sunshiny cheer you get what you deserve). However, if you are in an emotionally nebulous state and looking for something to read, Cohen is great company. It's not all doom and gloom; he's often quite funny in a dark dry way. He can articulate the confusing chambers of the human heart like few others.

here's one that I liked (there were many, but this one popped out at me as I write this). I am particularly drawn to the last stanza (verse?).

The Sun

I've been to the sun
It's nothing special
A place of violence
Much like our own

The sun said
I am an open book
Be patient

You will find
That everything happens
The same way
Here and there

The solar winds
Are something else
No one masters them
No one really
Navigates them

You survive them
Or you are never
Heard from again

I love the way
The sun speaks
It is so calm and honest
Except when seized
By its own misfortunes

cutest cat feet ever

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Sunday, August 20, 2006
Louie feet

on thursday, after a protracted battle with old age (18 yrs), Louie the cat died at home. He was sweet and he was crazy and we loved him a lot.


3 unrelated things and a cement dinosaur

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Thursday, August 17, 2006
+ I recently became overwhelmed with the need to make a new summer mix CD. It must be in the air, because Martina told me the same thing! Anyway.. I may have to make two different ones because I don't see how I'll ever make this raggedy collection of songs I must use fit together.

+ southern accents on TV are generally hilarious. I watched a show tonight and people from the same (tv) family were talking like they were from 3 different states and one alien planet! One brother thought he was in a Tennessee Williams dinner theater production, another sounded like Cletus the slack-jawed yokel, another was a cowboy. Only one of them sounded like a normal human being who happened to be from Georgia. I just don't get it. I suppose it's the same for any regional accent, though.

+ someone next door is working overtime to freak me out. I think (as best I can tell) one of the kids is in some sort of ninja outfit running around in circles in the backyard wearing a head lamp with a flickering light that also makes a clicking noise. Or they've done something dire to the dog -- I can't tell for sure and don't want to get caught looking. It's very disconcerting. (The kid is probably back inside now blogging about his creepy neighbor who stands in a dark window and watches everything.)

The Year of Yes

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006
by Maria Dahvana Headley #24
(note: I have a stack of other books yet to be written up, but I've decided I'm going to try keeping up with the new ones, while catching up with the old ones. It might even work!)

I just finished reading The Year of Yes. Despite all of my recent "YES" evangelism, this was not a book I planned on reading, at least not any time soon. Headley's yes (say yes to any man who asked her out for a year) and my yes (try to get my head out of the sand in general) seemed so vastly different to me that it did not appear to be a must-read.

Another reason I wasn't in a rush: I've seen Headley speak twice in the past four months -- at Wordstock and Live Wire -- and honestly, I felt like I'd already heard it all. Sort of like attending a series of parties with someone who tells the same amusing stories. I get it, I've heard it -- you're quirky/feisty but vulnerable. However, a friend had the book from the library, finished it early and offered to lend it to me, so I said yes! It turns out that our yesses are not necessarily so different, despite the fact that thus far mine have not involved helping a transvestite in Marie Antoinette drag navigate a bathroom stall. (did I mention that in addition to quirky/feisty/vulnerable, she's also colorful to an almost wearisome degree?)

It was an interesting read. I spent half of the book really annoyed by her attempts to Make The Reader Love Her, but then she'd turn it around by admitting she was doing it, or blurting out something that really struck home with me about being more generous of yourself. That these moments fell between descriptions of her unconscious wiggle walk and her general adorableness is just the way it is. Actually, I think I ended up liking her more, or trusted her more anyway because she kind of pissed me off from time to time. It adds a certain veracity, I guess.

My favorite of her date stories was definitely Journey To a Ten Cent Universe, in which she accompanies a train conductor to Coney Island for the last day of the summer season. Not just because of the bedraggled amusement park atmosphere (although I very much enjoyed that), not just because there's an iguana (!) and a cupcake, but also because she has her big epiphany there. Or at least the epiphany I found most relatable. The whole episode is strange but sweet.

Ultimately, I found the message of Yes to be one of breaking out of old patterns and habits even when it hurts, which god knows is difficult. The success of Yes requires a kind of bravery and a willingness to be vulnerable that I find somewhat terrifying. Perhaps I should have started with a Just Say Maybe campaign!

the award for best use of treadmills goes to..

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Monday, August 14, 2006

things I love about this video:

1. very creative
2. made on the cheap
3. treadmill choreography (how often do you get to say that, really?)
4. it's so fun!
5. the seriousness with which they approach their work

(wait for it to load all the way for maximum treadmill choreography enjoyment)

Fables Vol 5: The Mean Seasons

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Monday, August 14, 2006
by Bill Willingham #23

This is the fifth trade paperback collection of the Fables comic by Bill Willingham. I enjoy this series so much! The premise is that fairy tale characters are real and have been driven from their homelands by "The Adversary." They now live in exile in Manhattan and upstate New York. (The characters who cannot pass as human live on "the Farm") They have a government -- King Cole is the mayor, Snow White is the deputy mayor, Bigby Wolf is the sheriff, Rose Red (Snow's little sister) runs the farm, and so on. Prince Charming is an idiot himbo who has constant woman trouble (three x-wives -- Snow, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella), and the other troubles that being an idiot himbo will bring. In this particular volume, we get to see the results of his foray into politics. (I promise you he is more entertaining than the real idiot himbos we are forced to observe modern American politics.)

One of the things I like about this series is that it recognizes the inherent darkness in the old fairy tales. There are continuing story lines dealing with The Adversary and the politics and interpersonal intrigues of Fabletown, but Willingham will also digress into backstory and take side-trips to lesser-known aspects of well-known characters. This particular collection is mostly about the mayoral race, Snow giving birth, and a story about Bigby and WWII. (It works, I promise!) If this sounds interesting at all, I would definitely recommend starting with the first in the collection Fables Vol.1: Legends in Exile.

friday surprise

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Friday, August 11, 2006
I got a treat in the post today! I have been checking the mail box obsessively all week, which was disconcerting because I couldn't think of WHY I would be so worried about the mail since it is usually just junk or bills. But not for the first time, my subconscious was smarter than the rest of me. I forgot that I ordered last year's music issue of The Believer a couple of weeks ago, and today's walk to the mail box found it crammed inside. I'm listening to the CD that came with it now. Hooray!

(Friday Surprise was a slogan for local department store Meier & Frank. Something EXTRA and SURPRISING would be on sale, I guess. They have been bought by Macy's and will be changing the name and all that jazz by the end of the year. This makes me sad and nostalgic despite the fact that I rarely shop there. The only explanation I can come up with is that I am more sentimental and sappy than previously suspected. ::cries::)

Last night I had made (extremely tentative) plans to go watch Xanadu on top of the hotel deLuxe's parking lot (it's fun, really!). But, as they will sometimes do, the plans never really materialized so I stayed home and watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes instead. I don't have a lot of deep thoughts about this movie (possibly more than I would have had about Xanadu, but who knows? That one had Gene Kelly and ROLLERSKATING!) It does lend itself to some shallow commentary, though:

+ marilyn wore pinkish lipstick with her red dress and it looked GREAT. (take that, you matchy matchy lipstick purists -- or worse yet, you nude lipstick at all time people!)
+ even though she and Jane Russell were be-girdled and bullet-bra'd within an inch of their lives (lung capacity had to be severely restricted), they still look more natural than today's silhouette of crazy-skinny with giant breasts. I suppose the fashionable silhouette of any era will have its supporters and detractors, though.
+ I didn't really love the music in this musical, except for the opening song and the big Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend number. Both of those were so good it makes it easier to overlook the rest.
+ that orange dress = fantastic!
+ I love Jane's halter in the gym/pool scene, but seriously -- are we to believe that those olympians are interested even a little in what she has to offer? They seem far more interested in cavorting around in their flesh-colored swim suits beneath the greek mural if you know what I mean, and I think that you do!

+ Hey, look -- it's the olympic team from the ship who are strangely now dancing back-up to Dorothy and Lorelei's cabaret act in Paris. Did they not win any medals and now must earn their way back to the states, or is this one of those instances where I should suspend some disbelief already? I will assume the latter.
+ don't get me started on the french street urchins
+ likewise the convenient taxi driver
+ I did like Dorothy and Lorelei's friendship -- they each brought something to it (Dororthy's 'loosen up and have fun' sensibility, and Lorelei's pragmatism and 'ooh, diamonds' sensibility). They were also genuinely supportive of each other and it didn't seem like either one of them had to do all the heavy lifting in the relationship, which is refreshing to see!

my cute bag

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006
glowy button My first attempt from the pattern/tutorial found here at the tiny happy craft blog (found via whip up). I was afraid that after the gigantic fabric purge of May, I wouldn't have anything left to make things out of, but I think this silk fabric (formerly curtains in my bedroom) worked out fine. Plus, I really love that I made it all from stuff I had hanging around. Woo hoo! (I know that the closeup on the button shows some... not perfect stitchery, but I really loved how the blue looked against the orange in that picture.)

the bag

worth a million in prizes

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006
highlights of the tuesday rocks to sucks continuum:

random rocking things:

BALLROOM BLITZ by the Sweet! (fun read that is related but not exactly about the Sweet: Bubble Entendres over at Bubblegum University)

A defense of the word SUCKS at slate

the fabulist
...where I found Unphotographable , which is made up of short descriptions of photos not taken. Lovely!

Horseshoe man -- I see him at the park a couple of times a week. He rides his bicycle and has a special pouch for horseshoes that goes over the handlebars. He's the only person I've ever seen using the horseshoe (arena? pit?) and it makes me smile EVERY TIME! And when he's not there it's a place where the dragonflies like to hang out, so that makes me smile too. (they do not play horseshoes, however)

LIVE MUSIC (soon to be a post of its own)

Iggy Pop: he strikes me as someone supremely comfortable in his own skin. So comfortable, in fact, that I think he would never wear clothes if society didn't insist upon it. I love that he seems like such an affable goofy guy in interviews but his music is wild, dark and dangerous.

songs about time bombs: Playing right now -- Timebomb by the Old 97's (so fun!). The only other song about a timebomb I can think of is Ticking Timebomb by the All Girl Summer Fun Band. Are there others? This feels like it could be a great summer quest. The Decemberists have a song about land mines in bloodlines, but those don't count. Time Bombs Only!

since I had to come back in here and fix a link, I am going to add some Colbertity:
You're On Notice! (generator of the picture at the top of this post)

and one that sucks:

dr. phil-- What is his appeal? Just the sound of his voice makes me want to stab something. I concede it might be nice occasionally when I'm flailing and flopping around in a panic to have someone just tell me what to do, but for the safety of all concerned that someone had better not be a certain loudmouth asshole from Texas.

The Old Wine Shades

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Monday, August 07, 2006
by Martha Grimes #22

I miss mysteries! I hardly read them anymore, and I'm not sure why. That being said, I always like reading Martha Grimes. This is her twentieth Richard Jury novel. TWENTY! That's a freaking lot. Grimes seems to have found a way to keep things interesting for herself, which in turn is interesting to me. I know this probably irritates some long-time fans of the series, but I'm okay with less hypochondriac Wiggins in every novel, with less procedural, with less Mysterious Woman To Whom Jury Develops a Romantic Attachment Therefore She Must Die In a Sad Yet Predictable Fashion. There's still plenty of Melrose (I heart Melrose), still cameos from the Long Pid gang, still animals and children, and still that hint of romance -- but now with some characters who've been hanging around for ages and not new Jury Romance Cannon Fodder. (it sounds like I'm Jury Relationship obsessed... I'm not really, but she does manage to make it an issue without it being The Only Issue.)

This particular story involves a chance encounter, a missing boy and his mother, a psychic dog named Mungo, wine (duh), Schrodinger's Cat, a mental institution, a sociopath, the smoking room at Boring's, and the set up for a future nemesis for Jury. (nemesis! so exciting!!) But best of all is the melancholy people-are-awful-but-also-occasionally-wonderful world she's created. (I always end up laughing out loud at least once when reading one of her novels, which I appreciate.)

The Colossus of New York

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Sunday, August 06, 2006
by Colson Whitehead #21

I began reading this collection in April shortly after I saw Whitehead read at Wordstock. It was a bit of a slow start for me (witness the four months it's taken me to actually finish reading it), but I put that down to getting sick in early May. My light-headed delirium did nothing to add to the already delirious prose (his delirium is the good kind, though). After that I got distracted by other books and you know how it goes.

These thirteen... well, they're not really essays, not fiction, but not NOT fiction either... it's sort of like tuning in to a specific New York frequency. It's not the only station, but you get a pretty good idea for certain rhythms and attitudes. The thirteen (whatever they ares) cover many aspects of the city: geographical (Central Park, Broadway, Coney Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, The Port Authority, Downtown, ), chronological (Rush Hour, Morning), elemental (Rain), or combinations including some or all of the above and that alchemical something else that makes a place uniquely itself. On the other hand, some things outlined are the stuff of life that happens to a person anywhere.

As I was finishing this collection, I finally got smart and started marking some of my favorite passages. He has a sort of loose yet controlled layered and rhythmic style -- it's like one long spoken word prose poem.

from Coney Island: Please adjust: parts squeezing out of bathing suits, parts having natural reactions to changing temperatures, the bashful edges of the towel, your attitude because it's really getting on my nerves I go to all this trouble why can't you enjoy yourself for once.

+Off season this place is dead. Don't tell anyone, but the Wonder Wheel is a gear in the great engine of the metropolis and when it stops moving systems fail. Amusement park rides are disguises for other things.

from Rush Hour : In buildings comprised of other buildings' thirteenth floors, sinister transactions unfold.

from Downtown: The DJ has scrutinized evolution and knows the back door into reptilian brain-stem.

+If the victims all got together they could trace back their misfortunes to this cursed payphone. It's the only one for miles in working condition and everything people say on it turns out bad. Urgent telegram from the Ministry of Unhappy Thoughts: Been Thinking Stop No Good Will Come From This Stop.

+Gargoyles have clambered down from rooftop aeries to replace his friends but he's not sure if he should do anything about it because they're quite funny actually and much more supportive than his real friends.

and now for something only slightly different

| On
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I am trying out this new template -- I think I managed to make it wide enough that even my ginormous pictures still fit! And maybe it doesn't do that thing where it is all broken and miserable in internet explorer (maybe). It is still in its probationary period. It's a little boring, but this can be fixed.

Speaking of macintosh computers (....) I love my mac laptop, I love mac desktops, and I love the recent ad campaign. But not for the condescending frat boy they have representing the mac -- I love them for nerdy John Hodgman who represents the pc! I love his tan clothes and sensible shoes and even his pie charts. Sure, sure, maybe it is because I know Hodgman is responsible THIS mp3 where he reads 700 hobo names(SEVEN HUNDRED! -- including Sweet Daddy Champagne! King Snake, the Eternal Mystery! OVID!!!), but also because he's just sweetly adorable.

The Silent Gondoliers

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006
by William Goldman #20

This is a fun, quick illustrated fable about the glory days of the singing Venetian Gondoliers and why they stopped singing. From the back: Here... S. Morgenstern reveals the fascinating truths about John the Bastard, Laura Lorenzini, the centenarian Cristaldi the Pickle, Enrico Caruso, Porky XII, the Great Sorrento, the Queen of Corsica--and, of course, the one and only Luigi.

It's no The Princess Bride, but what is?

hello goodbye

| On
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
july detail

Hello to August and Goodbye to July! As I have been nattering on about for oh, thirty one days or so, July is my birthday month. As such it serves as a kind of personal new year for me. A good time to measure what's working, what's not, and think about what I want to do.

More Fun, Less Fear: first item of business -- getting this reverse tattooed on my forehead so I can read it every time I go by a mirror! Okay, maybe not. I think it's still a good reminder, though.

Say YES: yes is still go. It's not always easy and I talk myself out of stuff all the time, but I really do try to keep it in mind.

read more books: I've been reading too much online! I'm also in the mood to read more poetry.

be grateful: I am so lucky in big things (family, friends, health) and also in little things like the volunteer sweet peas that are growing by the front door! I think it's probably wise to take a little time every now and then and celebrate what's good and right instead of obsessing about what's wrong or missing.

travel: I'm in the mood to go somewhere. I don't know where, but somewhere.

be creative: more paper projects! The picture at the top of this post is a detail from a project I was working on today. I also have sewing projects and writing projects that have been roundly ignored by me for months that probably deserve a little attention.

resume: argh. I don't mind the working but hate the looking. Apparently a piece of paper with the words "because I am MADE OF AWESOME" is not sufficient OR appropriate. hmph. Maybe I'll save that for grad school applications. (kidding!)

Meteors: I think August is meteor month. The perseids are at their peak during the middle, which is on the weekend! I should be able to get somewhere to see them. (although it looks like the moon may be an issue)

believe it or not, all of these are in keeping with my larger goal of returning to school, which I miraculously haven't talked myself out of yet! (I've had a couple of close calls, but nothing irreversible.) Well, now that I've purged the contents of my brain in public (ah! the internet!) I am going to go to bed. Hooray for August!