Friday, November 30, 2007

Not Dead Yet!

As I assured my mother this morning, I am really not all that sick, despite my ongoing blog-winge. That's a hazard of NaBloPoMo -- previously unbloggable events (i.e., "I lay on the couch all day and did nothing") become newsworthy. Moods that would normally keep one far away from the computer for fear of alarming loved ones are chronicled in excrutiating detail. Hurrah November!

Speaking of which, I don't know why, but NaBloPoMo never really clicked for me this year (I've been experiencing that with a lot of things, actually). I don't know if it's because of how busy I've been, or our new living situation (where every night is hang-out-with-the-housemates night), or the turmoil at work, but I haven't felt so creatively engaged lately. Looking back at last November, with all my talk of poets and poetry (and all my unblogged memories of reading and such), I can't help but wonder where my mind is these days.

Anyway. I'm off to an opening at The Lab with Brian and Hope (I can't seem to link directly to the Post Postcard show we're going to see, but it's on the front page tonight). Our freinds David Faulk and Michael Johnstone are both involved in the show, and I'm hoping things'll be cheap enough for me to to some Xmas shopping!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I woke up this morning with only the tiniest, raspiest of voices. It was hilarious. Brian and I chased each other around the house, Punch-and-Judy style. "Goose Trousers!" I squeaked at him, "Monkeybutt!"

If it weren't for the coughing and fever, this would be the awesomest thing ever.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Course Reading Wednesday

Rule a big country
the way you cook a small fish.

If you keep control by following the Way,
troubled spirits won't act up.
They won't lose their immaterial strength,
but they wont harm people with it,
nor will wise souls come to harm.
And so, neither harming the other,
these powers will come together in unity.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Did You Know

That you can download all of Kelly Link's Stranger than Fiction under a creative commons license? 'Cause, yeah. You can.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monster Kitty is Angry

I really haven't left the house all day, except to go to Walgreens (and then take the long way home, to avoid the agressive panhandly lady), and to go meet Brian (and then I bought sequins! Because that's what you do when you're out in the world and high on Dayquil).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Super Secret

I can't tell you what I did today, because the 3.5% of it that wasn't spent snuffling on a coffee shop sofa with my plague dog boyfriend was filled with super secret, crafty projects. Super secret crafty Christmas projects. Secret!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Is everyone sick? I slept the better part of the afternoon, but my legs ache like I've been doing deep knee bends.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

We Gather Together

Lately I've been coming to terms with the fact that for all my free-wheeling, easy-going,live in San Francisco and own nothing more formal than office casual (well except for my prom dress collection) lifestyle, I'm really a bit of an uptight perfectionist. This comes out especially when I'm cooking -- every dish must be opulent, delicious, and done to perfection, all with an air of off-the-cuff insouciance.

All week, I've been planning on making the same stuffed pumpkin recipe I made two years ago:

my pumpkin and me

It's yummy and delicious, and looks like something a fairy godmother Martha Stewart might make. Unfortunately, it also takes the better part of a day to make.

that's one big pumpkin

So, this morning, after spending a few hours agonizing over the fresh toasted breadcrumbs I needed to be toasting and the pumpkin flesh I really needed to start seasoning, I finally screwed my courage to the sticking post and asked Brian and Hope if they'd mind stuffed pumpkin for Saturday dinner, since we were already making salad and tofurkey and mashed white stuff and pork loin and beer bread and it's just the three of us and Jason, who'll be coming from another dinner. And they were all, "Duh, can we take a walk now?" And so we did.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Aaaaaand Scene.

Brian and I are walking down the street. A man walks by in stylized safari getup, including combat boots with the pant legs tucked in, and a wide-brimmed hat.

Me: Do you think he's a Man in the Yellow Hat fetishist?

B: What?

Me: That man (points exaggeratedly with eyes). Do you think he's a Man in the Yellow Hat fetishist.

B: Because he's got a hat, he's a man in hat fetishist?

Me: Man in the Yellow Hat. Didn't you ever read Curious George?

B: I'm familiar with the concept, but not really, no.

Me: Well, the Man in the Yellow Hat is his friend. He's an explorer. He finds him in the jungle.

B: Curious George finds the man, or the man finds George?

Me: They kind of find each other. And then the man takes George home and then he drinks ether and paints a jungle scene on his bedroom wall.


B: So you think because he's a man in a yellow hat, he's a Man in the Yellow Hat fetishist? Does it work that way?

Me: If he was wearing leather chaps, we'd say he was a leather fetishist. Ergo, man in yellow hat, Man in the Yellow Hat Fetish.

B: But we wouldn't say the man in leather chaps was a Man in the Leather Chaps fetishist.

Me: (disgruntled silence)

Me: You're an obtuse dingbat fetishist.

B: (wraps his arms around me) Which is why I like you so much.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's on!

My cousin Molly, her boyfriend, Steve, and I have been talking about doing a pub quiz one of these days. They're away for Thanksgiving this week, but once they get back, ooh, it's *so* on!

I've been researching our pub quiz options. Because really, what else am I going to do with my time? Stuff a pumpkin?

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Day in a Nutshell

My phone gently expired at some point in the midst of Beowulf's gut blasting shenanagins the other day. I'd been getting this blue screen of death-type thing intermittently when the thing was low on batteries, but this time, it lasted a whole day, and no amount of plugging it in or turning it on and off seemed to help. So this morning, Brian and I took it down to the Radio Shack where I'd bought it to see what they could do.

We waited in line for about an hour. One guy, the Not Phone Guy, was helping other customers. The other guy, the Phone Guy, was assisting this one customer who spent an eon and a half filling out cell phone paperwork, and then decided he wanted an iPod nano (and grinned back at us, as if to say "Look at how charmingly impulsive I am! Wheee!").

Anyway. Finally, The Not Phone Guy came over to see if he could help us. I showed him my phone, and explained that I'd bought it there less than a month ago. "Oh, he said. We can't do anything with that. You need to take it to the Cingular store downtown. They can repair it there." And then we asked Phone Guy, and he turned it on and off a few times, and then took the batterey out, and then said "Yeah, we can't fix that here. You need to go downtown." And they gave me directions, and that was that.

Anyway. Then I went to work and had a crappy day.

Finally, at about 6:30, I left the office and got on BART so that I could head downtown to the Cingular store. Ten minutes later, I find the store and walk in. About two seconds later the guy told me "Yeah, I can't fix that. You'll need to return that to the store where you bought it."

And then it took me about an hour to get home. And I forgot my freakin' book at work.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Is it too early to be listening to Christmas music?

'Cause I'm ready.

When I was a kid, I had all sorts of rules about how Christmas had to be (some completely my own, some family traditions. All clung to with OCD-like intensity). The tree is decorated on or after the 4th Sunday in advent (yes, even if that's Christmas eve). Christmas morning starts before sunrise (yeah, sorry about that guys). And Christmas music (including Handel's messiah) is to be listened to in the advent-to-epiphany window alone.

What a little tyrant I was! Time to get over that, stat!

P.S. Have you heard Low's Christmas album? Frakkin awesome!


Yeah, so I didn't blog before midnight. But I saw Beowulf in 3-D, so, uh... yeah.

The movie left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, jeez that was gory -- and did we really need all the blood and spears and bile in our face (I mean that literally -- this was, after all, 3-D). And I often felt like the immersive sense that the 3-D glasses created mereley compensated for the overall flatness of the graphics. And don't get me started on the changes made in the storyline (mostly because I don't know what to do with 'em. I can see the reasoning behind the choices made overall, but... huh).

But still, Grendel? Was freaking creepy, man.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tesla Wins!

The End of DC Current in NYC

"Despite the clear advantage of alternating current — it can be transmitted long distances far more economically than direct current — direct current has taken decades to phase out of Manhattan because the early backbone of New York’s electricity grid was built by Mr. Edison’s company, which had a running head start in the first decade before Mr. Tesla and Mr. Westinghouse demonstrated the potential of alternating current with the Niagara Falls power project. (Among the customers of Thomas Edison’s Pearl Street power plant on that first day was The New York Times, which observed that to turn on its lights in the building, “no matches were needed.”)

But direct current clearly became uneconomical, as the short distances that it could be transmitted would have required a power station every mile or less, according to Joe Cunningham, an engineering historian. Thus alternating current in New York began in the outskirts — Queens, Bronx, Upper Manhattan and the suburbs.

The direct current conversion in Lower Manhattan started in 1928, and an engineer then predicted that it would take 45 years, according to Mr. Cunningham. “An optimistic prediction since we still have it now,” he said.

The man who is cutting the link today at 10 East 40th Street is Fred Simms, a 52-year veteran of the company. Why him?

“He’s our closest link to Thomas Edison,” joked Bob McGee, a Con Ed spokesman."

via boing bong

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Ok, now that we've gone there, what was your childhood nickname? And what is this impulse to convert perfectly respoctable names, names chosen very carefully just months before, into schnuzzawuzza puddin muffins?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

How did the reading go? I honestly can't tell.

And this article from the Chronicle for Higher Education explains why not:

"It's like we have this trick scale... Here's how that scale works: Self-doubt and negative feedback weigh heavily on the mind, but praise barely registers. You attribute your failures to a stable, inner core of ineptness. Meanwhile, you discount your successes as accidental or, worse, as just so many confidence jobs. Every positive is a false positive."

And the worst part is? It's annoying. I become annoying, socially inept. I can't trust praise. I can't trust people. And so I end up this stuttering misanthrope, rushing out the backdoor after I'm done reading, afraid to confront, or even acknowledge, my audience.

Stupid cat germs.

Course Reading Wednesdays: Confucius

The Master said, "What the gentleman seeks, he seeks within himself; what the small man seeks, he seeks in others."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

About that thing

So, I'm reading tonight at the Bazaar Cafe on California St. here in San Francisco, between 21st and 22nd streets. The reading starts around 7:30ish. Ish because I'm coming from work, and god knows how I'll get there on time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

No, don't stay here.

Go here. Read this. It's better.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Well, here we are.

Today's our friend Tamsen's fourty-humenahim birthday. We're throwing her a party. At two. No one, not even the birthday girl, has arrived yet.

At least the house is clean.

And there's cake.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

12 Words I Particularly Like

1. Carapace
2. Postprandial
3. Nadir
4. Vitriol
5. Jocular
6. Crinoline
7. Eroded
8. Bereft
9. Harbinger
10. Bean
11. Pumpkin
12. Twelve

Friday, November 09, 2007

And then there's this thing

Lovely things in the mail.

This is such a marvelous surprise! I mean, yeah, I am aware that I signed up for Tricia's blogger swap. And (coincidentally), I even picked out a gift for my own blogger swap buddy today. But look! Presents in the mail! Can anyone ever really anticipate the amazing fun that is?

My very awesome and just-what-I-wanted gift is from Anne over at Archie's Room. Thanks Anne! I'm rather fetishistic about bookmarks, and these are just perfect. And thank you, Tricia, for setting the whole thing up.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

You know what I hate?

Tom Hanks movies. Except "Joe vs. The Volcano." That's an exception, that is.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Course Reading Wednesdays

I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ya Vote!

Voting always makes me a little giddy. Participatory democracy can be such a head rush! And it was extra fun this morning -- bonds for libraries! Pony rides! Free internets for all! Never mind the old-timey thrill of voting for a man with a handlebar mustache (and while I'm at it, hurrah fro rank choice voting! No more throwing your vote away!. I even got to write in Joanie Caucus as my second choice for DA (there was only one choice on the ballot, and I get to vote for three, so why not?).

I was still a bit lightheaded on my way to work. Which, combined with an extra long wait for a walklight, contributed to the following impulse buy:

I've been needing goloshes anyway, and these have been calling to me every time I've passed Nisa's windows for the past week or so. Galosh galosh! Bring on the puddles!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Good Intentions Like Dogs at my Heels

I walk a lot. Twenty-five minutes to work in the morning, then another twenty-five home, then hither and yon and yon again whererever I need to go (I never learned how to drive, okay?).

And if walking's good for anything (besides keeping what's left of my girlish figure intact), it's ruminating on world issues and self-betterment. Tonight, walking home, I had such plans! Beer bread! Salad! Poems to write! Courses to plan! Laundry to do! Blog posts! Chores!

But, oh, home! Home is where my friends are, and wine, and snuggly dogs and rotten cats. How can I write when there's tea to be made? How can I work when there's socks and dogs and minestrone?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Art Zoo! (Gesundheit)

Hangin' out in Brian's studio this morning. Some folks are coming by to look at his art, and then we're going to the zoo. While I'm here, though, how's about some pictures from Brian's open studio?

Saturday, November 03, 2007


I didn't sleep well last night. I dreamed I was a child in a city where all the adults had died or gone away. We lived in a railroad-style apartment and had to stay away from the windows so the gangs that roamed the street would think the building was abandoned. Venetian blinds were hung from the window frames in artful dissaray.

Eventually we escaped out the back way. It led to an unpaved alleyway lined with walled gardens. We were welcomed into one of them, and offered water to drink. I put a small dog in my waterglass to make sure the water was safe to drink (the puppy was wet and licked my nose, so I woke up).

Soon after, I fell back to sleep, only to wake up with a sense of urgency. I'd been willing something to happen so hard in my dream that I'd half sat up in bed. I remembered the dream so clearly then, but now I can't remember a thing, except that I was sick, and when I coughed my skin would fade slightly, and you could see flowers wilting underneath.

It's the cow of the sea-ea-ea!

The #4796th thing I love about our neigborhood are the banners that adorn the light posts on Haight Street. Each lampost has a different one, all painted by local aritsts. What makes it so extra awesome is that our corner is the manatee corner (which, by the way, is reason number #7928 that my lovely and darling seester should come to visit).

(apologies for the low-quality image up there -- the cell phone camera's not great with the zoom).

The only downside is that everytime I walk over to Haight St, I end up with this song stuck in my head.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Flickr Friday

So here it is, November 2nd, and I'm already out o' things to blog about (I knew I shoulda gone to the Dia de los Muertos Parade). So here's something pulled randomly from my Flickr account:

Me and the Boo, #2

Me and the Boo, circa 2004.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rabbit, rabbit

Happy November, everyone!

So, new month, new rules. To start with, this is so last month:

Word is, we're getting paid tomorrow. And the Friday after. And so on, forever and ever, until our great-grandkids finally suck dry the teat of institutional solvency.

Okay, maybe not. But we're at least getting paid tomorrow, and should be paid only five days late for the payperiod after that.

It's been a rough couple weeks, though, I gotta say. Not so much the financial strain (though my bank account, like many of my coworkers, is currently overdrawn due to automatic payments going through post-non-payday). Rather, it's the emotional impact of not getting paid that continues to sting. I'd never realized what a capitalist I am before, but jeez. Not getting paid casts such a pall over my workday.

Anyway. Here's to new months! New beginnings! New posts! Paychecks!