Wednesday, June 30, 2004

kick this one here for me and my d.j.

I’m not sure if it’s just my luck, or my taste in films, but the movie on the flight home is never as good as the movie on the flight to my vacation location. So when I was tortured with Dirty Dancing, Havana Nights on my way to Boston I figured the curse might be broken and the flight back to San Francisco would have some magical movie in store for me. But all that awaited me was Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. Sadly, I watched a fair amount of it, because the screen kept taunting me with action scenes, and it was not good. I will go so far as to say it was indeed very bad.

What proved to be more interesting than the movie was, well, everything. But a few things in particular made my flight stellar:

*the entire row to myself

*channel 7 on American Airlines delighted me with stylings from the Beastie Boys, De La Soul, LL Cool J (So forget oreos, eat cool J cookies, he’s BAAAAD!), and MC Lyte (doin her thing with an '89 swing). Now that's some good music. I listened to the whole cycle twice.

*I used my laptop to watch some of the most excellent Tenacious D DVD.

*and I always request a window seat so I can see stuff like this

Sunday, June 27, 2004

first live on location post!

Reporting live from Cambridge, participating in Jamie's yard sale. (Free coffee and WiFi!) I'm staying with Lisa and Ben and they brought some of their unwanted goods by, hoping to make some money and gain a little space. There's nothing like a yard sale to purge your closets and basements with the bonus of perhaps leaving with a little extra cash.

This yard sale is not so much like our yard sale; it seems like all of Cambridge likes to get up late on Sundays. Today's sale started at 10 and we didn't have our first customer until somewhere around 11. (In Berkeley we had our first customer at 8:15, as we were unloading the car.) Today we were planning to go until 2, but I think Jamie is debating on a possible extension, because there's a lot of stuff left and someone has to want it eventually, right? Lisa is at the point where she'll actually take a dollar for anything. But with the Red Sox game starting pretty soon, I think we might have to have to admit defeat and pack it up.

At any rate we're eating hot dogs, drinking beer, and I get to sit on the front stoop and write this, so at least we're having a good time. If only someone would come and cart all this crap away for a dollar... Ben just suggested we set it all on fire.

Jamie surveys the crap

Ben and Lisa (pre sale)

glassware at sale

Saturday, June 26, 2004

only on a plane

Here I am in Boston... Cambridge to be exact. On Wednesday I took a flight from SFO to Boston. I take this flight a few times a year and I’m pretty used to sitting in one place for 5 hours, but I still don’t like it. The first few times I sat on that epic flight were like torture, I remember one time in particular where I put my tray table down and just dropped my head on it and wept softly for about 2 hours. That might have been the time I was sitting beside the freakishly loud snoring man and in front of the kicking champion of the universe. The flight on Wednesday was not that bad. It was actually kind of weird, because the pros and the cons pretty much cancelled each other out. Here are some examples of the bad and good:

I was sitting in row 13, the only row without a window, but there were only two of us in the row, leaving that bonus middle seat.

The guy sitting in the seat diagonally behind me kept knocking my raised arm rest down onto my elbow, but the 9 year old directly behind me never once kicked my chair.

The 4 year old 3 seats away from me never stopped screaming and whining, but there were three very tiny babies on the flight who never made a peep.

The meal that was served came with a big helping of iceberg lettuce, but the cheese tortellini was actually pretty decent.

My laptop battery ran out of juice while I was watching a DVD of Six Feet Under, however the in flight movie had just started at that same exact time.

The in flight movie was Dirty Dancing Havana Nights, luckily the TV for my section of the cabin was broken.

I shall now call it the mediocre flight, because just when things started to take a turn for the worst I realized that the potential for "worst" was actually never fulfilled. But I did get a little bored, so I admit that I craned my neck just ever so slightly I so could watch a little of that horrible in flight movie. And even though it was one of the most pitiful movies I've ever seen, Patrick Swayze gives quite the performance in there, and that almost made me smile.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

why it's neat to have an optometrist around

check out these rad glasses that Alex brought home.

like a mini telescope for my eye

Monday, June 21, 2004

the downward spiral into uncool (complete with audio links!)

I try very diligently to keep up with pop culture. I do this because not only do I find it fairly amusing but I also remember sitting in an English class in my junior year of high school and listening to my teacher lament about how she wasn't hip anymore. Her first mistake was using the word hip. She wasn't old, but when she said "hip" my brain immediately went in the direction of hip replacement. She told us that she always thought she would be able to keep up with the current trends and know all the top 40 music, but one day she let it all get away from her and found it too overwhelming to get back in. And that was it, after that she was forever stuck in a world of easy listening and a wardrobe from Talbots.
From that day forward I swore that I would never stop listening to current music and I would never wear blazers. And I've done okay, at least I've stayed away from blazers (but I did have a bout with button down sweaters). The music, well, I try, I really do. But sometimes it's so hard to take. Here it comes, and I never thought I would say this, but a lot of that music sounds like noise to me.

Grandma? Is that you?

In my attempt to stay afloat in the sea of all things contemporary I listen to iTunes every morning while I get ready. I actually tune into an unpatriotic Canadian channel called Hitzradio. They play the latest Beyonce, Britney, Black Eyed Peas... etc.. I feel that about an hour a day keeps me up to date. But that hour is usually all I can take. There's a handful of pretty decent songs, but then you get throw in some Usher and Mis-Teeq and I'm out. The first time I heard Usher's Yeah! I was in the other room and I thought I kept hearing a phone ringing, I was going crazy trying to figure out where this phone was. But then I realized it was just part of the song, somewhere in that mix there's a phone ringing. over and over. Upon hearing this I discovered how easy it would be to give up the top 40 music, because the sound of that fucking phone annoyed the hell out of me. Then add Usher "singing":

Up in the club wit my homies, trying to get a lil V-I
Keep it down on the low key
You should know how it feels
I seen shorty she was checking up on me
From the game she was spitting in my ear
You would think that she knew me
I decided to cheat
Conversation got heavy!
She had me feeling like she's ready to blow!
Oh! (watch out!!) She's saying "come get me!"
So I got up and followed her to the floor
She said "baby let's go"

Upon hearing those lyrics I found myself shaking my head in disbelief while I scuffed across the floor with my fuzzy slippers and pulled a tissue from my housecoat sleeve.

I could go on and on about these songs, but let me just choose a few which make me feel like I should start shopping for some Fixodent.

Mario Winans - I Don't Wanna Know
This song features P. Diddy and Enya. I'm not sure if I would have put them together as a winning combination and after having heard it, I'm still not sure. The part of this song which had me scratchin' my head was when P. Diddy busts into the following lyrics.

i don't wanna let you go
and i don't wanna let you leave
can't say i didn't let you breathe
gave you extra cheese
put you in the SUV
you wanted ice so i made you freeze
made you hot like the west indies

extra cheese? am I supposed to understand that?

J-Kwon - Tipsy
No doubt, this song is catchy. But shame on you J-Kwon for promoting underage drinking! The lyrics for this song let us know that J-Kwon is interested in fine young woman (a.k.a. shorty) who is angry with her man, already has a child, but swears she's had her tubes tied. Did I mention that he's not sure if she's 21? This is a very exciting night for J-Kwon as we find out later:

...she started feelin on my johnson right out the blue,
girl you super thick so I'm thinkin that's koo

3 questions here: is koo a word now? since when is it so koo to be super thick? does super thick mean what I think it means?

Christina Milian - Dip It Low
let me just start off with the lyrics on this one.

Dip it low
Pick it up slow
Roll it all around
Poke it out like your back broke
Pop pop pop that thing
Ima show you how to make your man say "Ooo"

First of all, I don't need a 22 year old (who says "songs on this album have a little more depth to them") show me how to make my man say Oooo. And poke it out like my back broke? That's not okay.

I better stop here, I fear I've proved I'm beyond uncool. Besides I heard Sears is having a sale on elastic waist pants tomorrow, so it's just as well I get my rest.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

nobody makes me bleed my own blood

You knew I would see it on opening weekend.

Unfortunately I had a lounge day yesterday, which meant sitting in my pajamas and watching TV for a healthy portion of the day. Which led to me watch every Dodgeball preview, interview and behind the scenes special. Which led to a very unsurprising first hour of the movie for me today. As a matter of fact after having watched all that stuff I think I had already seen the first hour of the movie.

See what happens when I don't use TiVo?

Saturday, June 19, 2004

the express line

The grocery store has a little sign above each express line which tells you how many items (or less) you may have. What the sign does not state is that you may not be a moron to use such line, and if you are going to act like an idiot, please step aside.

I fear that I may sound like a bitter little freak here, but when I get in an express line I expect it to be speedy. Today I chose an express line with only two people waiting; a woman eggs and paper towels at the front of the line followed by another woman with a loaf of bread and three cans, then my turn. This seemed promising, I'll be out in no time! So promising, until I realized that Eggs and Paper Towels was destined to write a check... or a novel, it was hard to tell.

I know that some people are afraid of bank cards, my Mom is one of them, but she tends to carry enough cash to pay for eggs and paper towels. And if she didn't have enough cash she would definitely have her checkbook and ID ready by the time she reached the counter. And she would be writing the name of the store on the check while simultaneously placing her items on the belt. We are a very efficient family. The woman at the front of the line today had nothing to do with efficiency.

I was nice and calm when the cashier told Eggs and Paper Towels her total and she slowly reached for her checkbook. I kept my cool as she searched in her bag for a pen, overlooking the one sitting on the counter. I shifted my weight (in a passive aggressive way) when she asked him for the total again. I felt my heart rate going up as she kept writing and writing and writing. How much could she possibly fit on that itty bitty check? Some relief passed over my psyche when she tore the check from the book, but the relief was soon swept away when the cashier asked for her ID. He asked her twice, once while she was filling out the register in her check book and again while she was putting her pen away. Once Eggs and Paper Towels understood what was being requested of her she began to root around in her cavernous purse for her missing ID, laughing and chatting the entire time. In front of me Loaf of Bread and Three Cans let out a very loud and sad sigh, we rolled our eyes at each other. About 5 minutes later Eggs and Paper Towels was grabbing her bag and looking as if she was going to leave when she decided this would be the best time to ask the cashier about those neat little self check out stations to our right. Oh, how I wished I was at one of those self check out stations. The ever helpful cashier told her all about the machines, the people using them, where babies come from and how the universe was created. Then they sat down and had a cup of tea and she found some crumpets in her giant purse. Loaf of Bread and Three Cans turned to me and wept, then we cried ourselves to sleep.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

backseat bride

My best friend, Lisa(who I've known for 21 years), is getting married this year. She's been pretty busy and a little stressed out, so I tried to do a few things to help her out. One of the things I did was open accounts on both the Knot and the Wedding Channel for her, so she could get ideas and perhaps chat with other brides to be.

This all seemed like a very good idea until my OCD came back into play. What tragically happened is that I started looking at these sites more than Lisa does. "More than Lisa" is most likely an understatement, because I don't think she's even had time to check them out yet. Then on the other hand you have me, the un-bride, who can't stop going to these sites. I've checked them everyday for the past week. Addicted to the message boards filled with the desperate rants of pre and post brides. I found myself getting fired up over these stories and journals I've been reading. Some of these women are fucking nuts.

It started off pretty harmless, there I was just browsing around looking for recommendations for caterers, but then the next thing I knew 2 hours had passed. I had been clicking link after link after link; reading about how a mother of the groom was mad because there would be a keg at the reception, or how a bridesmaid was pregnant and due around this bride's wedding date and how tacky and thoughtless that bridesmaid was. Many brides wrote about going so far as "demoting" their maid of honor. I was in pure disbelief of these women. I tried to stop myself from reading these stories of practice hair-do appointments, custom made t-shirts, and mint julep votive candle holders but I couldn't, I just kept on reading, my jaw on the floor. I guess since reality TV is so dry right now I needed to go somewhere to get my fix.

The first thing I had to figure out was what everything meant: FI = Fiance (or FH for Future Husband), FIL = Future in Laws, MOH = Maid of Honor, etc.. For some reason it took me a little while to figure them out, I guess I never thought of abbreviating those things, probably because I never had to. I did (and still do) think using BM to refer to your closest friends, your Bridesmaids, is a little uncouth, but I guess when you're a fast and furious bride-to-be you don't have time to type the whole word. Next I realized that the Knot is much more classy than the Wedding Channel, so of course I spent all my time on the Wedding Channel. Then I had to find out how to look at these people's pictures. It wasn't enough to just read about the chair covers for the reception (even though the FI thought they were too pricey), I had to see them. I entered a whole new world. I gazed upon picture after picture of people I don't, and will never, know. Giddy brides at their final fitting, couples shoving cake into each other's mouths, tiaras pinned to piles of curls, cascading flowers hung on pews. Whole wedding albums have been posted. Unbelievable. Then what really floored me was this...

Some of these ladies who post on the boards have already been married for 3 (or more) years, but they continue to talk about their wedding like it was yesterday. It blows my mind that anyone feels this way. I love a wedding as much as the next gal, but this seemed very overboard to me. I suppose my passions lie elsewhere and I always assumed these boards were only used as a tool. But weddings and being a wife (and giving advice on how to do both) seem to be a pretty big deal to these people. Then I started to realize that many of these women had become friends through a support group system and now would go through motherhood together, online. Not only were their wedding albums posted, but now there were pictures of their children. Or if the children were not born yet, pictures of ultrasounds and bellies containing children. Some women have even posted their fertility charts. That's right, I repeat: women on these message boards POST THEIR FERTILITY CHARTS.

and i looked at them.

It seemed so strange to me, all of a sudden I felt like a minority, as if there was this secret bride society no one ever invited me to. Which is okay. I suppose these women find their support where they need to: online. For me... when it comes to things like the details of my wedding day and my ovaries I'd rather keep it a little closer to home. So should I ever have a fertility chart you can bet your bippy you won't be seeing it on this blog.

I went cold turkey today, I broke up with the message boards, and I'm doing just fine. I don't have any signs of wedding withdrawal and now I just hope that Lisa doesn't fall prey to these evil, evil addictive boards.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I need a nap

Alex's brother came out to visit for the weekend. It was a lot of fun, but it's been awhile since I've been awake past 1:30am... for 3 consecutive nights. I'm still feeling the burn. Wow, I sound like a big loser.
But we did have good times; we ate lots of food, had drinks, watched a hilarious movie, took a walk at the Albany Bulb, tasted some sake and tried our best at a Pub Quiz.
here are some pics.

gates at Albany Bulb

Bob and Alex at the bulb

Alex and Bob at sculpture

sculpture at Bulb

how to make sake

sake barrel

sake factory

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

good news!

All my french fries purchases are now justified.
I knew this day would come.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

string karma

My friend Greg is one great character. He's 100% lovable with just a dash of goofy and a tendency to be accident prone. It's pretty common for him to walk into something or drop something and then trip over it... you get the idea. That's just one of the reasons why he's so darn fun, especially because he has a great sense of humor about it.

For his birthday Greg put a big ol' rafting trip together. There were 18 of us there and it was an overnight deal where the company provided tents and everything. That night Greg decided to enjoy the fresh night air and sleep outside. To do this and avoid freezing he wore his trusty wool hat to keep him warm. This wool hat had strings to tie under his chin so that his head may stay warm no matter how much he tossed and turned during the night. In the morning one by one we straggled out of our tents to find a groggy Greg struggling to untie the knot that forced his warm wool hat to remain on his head. He tried pulling the hat off. He tried pulling the string over his face, resulting in comical pig-like nose and cheek contortions. He tried biting the strings. I had a go at it, and I'll tell you, that knot was like a pebble, it wasn't going anywhere. The whole lot of us had many laughs as we gave our unsolicited advise to Greg. "Cut it, cut it, cut it."

Eventually someone defeated the string without the cutting we all chanted for, leaving Greg's hat in tact. His pride... well, I think that was okay too, because he was still laughing.

We split up into 3 groups after breakfast for the actual rafting trip. Although my group did not include Greg we all talked about the hat incident and told our guide about it. As it would happen, the rafts would meet up periodically and as we cruised up to Greg's raft for the first time our guide asked (unprompted), "Are you the one who couldn't get your hat off this morning?" It was hilarious, both rafts were laughing it up, but I don't think Greg thought it was so funny this time. I felt a little bad for having told our guide about it.
sorry, Greg.

But I think Greg may have felt a little better when the string karma came back to bite me in the ass last week.

I was wearing an ill fitting pair of Gap pants, which I often complain about. every single time I wear them. These pants have a fly and a button, but they also have a drawstring. I guess this is the Gap's cop out on not having to fit a specific waist size. So last Thursday I was down in Greg's office chatting it up and when I was on my way back upstairs I realized I had to pee. I stopped in the bathroom that I hate, the one with 3 inches of space in between the stall door and the wall, which makes it easy for anyone who walks into that bathroom to see who is taking a leak. Nevertheless, I had to go, so there I was keeping an eye on who was coming in while trying to untie my drawstring pants. And then I kept trying to untie my drawstring pants. Two people came and left, probably wondering what the hell I was doing, because you can clearly see in the stall. And you know what happened then? I was still trying to untie my drawstring pants. A knot to rival the knot of Greg was thrust upon me, making it impossible to pee. After about 10 minutes I admitted defeat, and zipped and buttoned up my ill fitting pants and headed back to my desk. I thought about cutting the strings off, but I kind of needed them to keep the pants up. I looked for further options in my trusty pen mug, and next to the scissors which were taunting me I saw a letter opener which I thought would be perfect for trying to loosen the knot. I spent about 5 minutes debating whether it would be crazier to take the letter opener into the restroom with me or to sit in my cubicle fiddling with a letter opener near my crotch. For some reason I chose the latter which resulted in strange looks and a fair amount of humiliation. But I finally got the knot out, dammit!

and then I apologized to Greg.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


This past Sunday I participated in my first ever Bay Area Night Games, fondly referred to as BANG. This was actually number 7 in the series, and Greg has often encouraged me to participate, but not being much of a puzzle person, I always decline. This time, however, I joined up with a team called The Biatches and we had a great time. It was me, Jen and Elaine; although we were not having the best luck solving the puzzles we were quite adept at navigating with the map and we were also very talented when it came to opening the envelopes with the hints and answers, not one of us got a paper cut! As you can see our team didn't fair too well on the scoreboard, but we were sassy. I might go so far as to say we were razzmatazzy.

I've helped Greg and fellow puzzle dude Dave put together Park Challenge in Golden Gate Park before. Organizing these races (registration, putting packets together, etc.) is where my strengths lie, but when it comes to doing (or even testing) these puzzles I fall short. very short. Which is why I've always been so hesitant to join in. Put me behind a desk with some information and confused people standing before me and I'm in! But put a bunch of lines, numbers or pictures in front of my face and tell me to make sense of it and I panic. I guess what it boils down to is the human thang... no one wants to feel stupid. And I'm actually not that bad of a puzzle solver, I could just use a little practice. okay, a lot of practice.

The key for my enjoyment on Sunday was this: I left my editor at home for BANG and decided that even if I couldn't solve any of the puzzles I wouldn't let myself feel stupid. And without that dang editor I had a more fun than I've had in awhile. So screw you, editor, you're not invited to anymore puzzle races. I'm definitely going to the next BANG. It's BANG 8 and it's in the Haight.So catchy how could I go wrong?

Here are some photos I managed to sneak in while not opening hint envelopes:
Jen and Elaine hiking downhill (from an unsolved puzzle)

my fellow Biatch, Jen

my other fellow Biatch, Elaine

Greg's team, Desert Taxi.

Monday, June 07, 2004

I really should stop watching MTV

Dear Hilary Duff,

I really do wish your lips were sealed, because then you would stop destroying classic 80s songs which defined how I would rock out.

I didn't know that you had a sister... and I guess it makes more sense to sing the lyrics "our lips" with another person rather than by yourself. But did your video have to be so darn skanky?

That's your sister, and it's okay to share blouses, but it's never okay to bite. You should never sink your teeth into a sibling - especially in that weird kind-of-trying-to-be-sexy way.

In the future if you could only do covers of Backstreet Boys, Jessica Simpson and Right Said Fred songs that would be swell.

Love, c

p.s. Take it easy on the lip gloss, you look like you just ate at KFC.

Friday, June 04, 2004

i'm so full i could kill myself

to which Alex replied "That's a good idea. You should do it slowly over the course of 60 or 70 years, that would really show them."


Friday is a slow day for me... which lead me to browse crappy news, which lead me to read this (if you scroll down you'll find this):

Busty Anna Nicole Smith once had a ghostly mate she says used to make love to her when she was living in Dallas. The blonde reality TV star never complained because her weird romps were among the best she's ever had.

She explains, "I used to think it was my boyfriend, and one day I woke up and it wasn't. It was like a spirit. I was freaked out about it, but then I was like, 'Well, you know what? He's never hurt me and he just gave me some amazing sex, so I have no problem.'"

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

it was a cold morning in March...

Grand Canyon at sunrise

I never finished writing about our vacation, but I do have plenty of photos; this is one of the 3057 I took at sunrise. okay, I didn't really take that many, but I did go a little overboard. And I was completely under dressed. I didn't think about how cold it would be before sunrise in the park. Luckily we had a blanket in the back of the car and Alex was kind enough to let me use it like a thick and hideous skirt over my thin and not-wind-resistant pants. A backpack also serves nicely when trying to keep your back warm.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

so long RM, sorry I shot you

as you leave today RM, you must know, you were in my dreams last night.

I was put into a deep trance by the Democrats, and unleashed upon the country to carry out John Kerry's bidding.
You were put into an uninterrupted sleep by the Republicans, becoming a public servant for George Bush.

When I awoke 3 months later, Greg alerted me to what had been happening. You were no longer a Bush zombie, but you knew too much, and Greg made it clear that you had to be destroyed. And even though I didn't officially work for John Kerry anymore I was okay with the whole plan once the gun was handed to me.

I met you on the street, under the guise that we were going to see some dinner theatre with a group of friends. We met privately, I hugged you, asked you how you were doing and then pulled out my shiny silver gun. Aiming square for your chest I shot a bullet into your upper left thigh, to which you replied "hey... ouch". I tried to look embarrassed and excused myself. I ran to Greg and asked him to handle the situation. It was at this moment I realized I was no longer in a trance. Not only did feel sick with the thought of dealing with the guilt of killing my friend, I really didn't want to KILL MY FRIEND.

So Greg and I played it off like it was all a big joke and gave you a tourniquet. You, with a cigarette in your mouth, said it was no problem. You took the tourniquet and tied it off with aplomb while asking what dinner theatre we were going to.

I felt sad that I had shot you, but what was even sadder was the fact you were forced to work for George Bush.