Sunday, October 31, 2004

the time change is like a personal gift to me!!

You have no idea how happy I was to look at my computer clock and be reminded that the time has changed, and so I get an extra hour of sleep tonight. Yay! I definitely need it...I just got back from Berkeley, I'm tired, I will be hungover tomorrow, and I'm have brunch with Claude at 10am. Except now it's really like *11am*, which is sooooo much later. Awesome.

A word of advice...if you're going to a costume party, don't dress as grown-up Little Red Riding Hood, and don't take a basket full of goodies that contain only Jello shots. Please remember, friends, that you will inevitably end up taking a shot with all the people who take a shot from your basket, which adds up rather quickly. In fact, I lost count of how many shots I had, and since I was incapable of calculating exactly how many actual shots I had, it was easy to pretend that I was completely unaffected. Especially since Jello shots take awhile to kick in, since the alcohol has to work its way out of the Jello. I realized that there were about six cups of alcohol (either Malibu rum or vodka) in the basket, divided into shots, and that that spelled danger for me. Oh, so correct...while I'm not going to die from the amount of Jello shots I had, I was definitely much drunker in the car than I ever was at the party.

So yeah, learn from me and don't take Jello shots to a party, especially if those shots will remain in a basket on your arm until they are gone. I'm only trying to help you with my sage advice, so please take it.

This is a mad weekend...brunch tomorrow (hopefully I'm sober by then), and then Paul Oakenfold at night. We'll see if I'm able to roll out of bed in time for my 10am meeting on Monday. Oh yeah, other lesson--don't drink when you already have problems on your mind. It will just make them worse. And if you can't be happy after eating 15 jello shots, it's really a complete waste of alcohol.

Goodnight! I get to wake up an hour later tomorrow, and that puts a smile on my face.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

tings

I stayed up until four a.m. last night finishing my cloak. It's pretty freaking cool if I do say so myself--floor length red faux velvet, with a hood and everything. Then I went to work this morning, worked, came home and took a nap, had In-n-Out with Terry, and watched four episodes of 'The O.C.' Wheeeee. Then we went to Safeway, I procured ingredients, and I made a whole bunch of jello shots for the party I'm going to in Berkeley tomorrow. And I finished a romance novel. Now it's almost four a.m. again, and I'm reverting dangerously to my college schedule...

I have errands that I want to run tomorrow, such as buying a blanket because I'm too cheap to turn on my heater, but we'll see if I actually wake up in time to do anything productive. Right now, however, it's sleepy-time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

enforced stillness

I'm going to bed early. It's only 11pm. Shocking. However, since I was at work by 8:15 this morning (when I usually roll in around 9:30 or 10) and I stayed until 7 (which is when I normally leave when I roll in at 9:30), I'm rather tired. And, I pieced together my cloak tonight; I realized, much to my chagrin, that I made a mistake when I was cutting to the effect that two of the pieces were mirror-reversed and so wouldn't fit the other two. However, the pieces are mostly the same both ways except for the neck area, so I'll just have to make the hood, fashion the neck around the hood, and hope for the best. Other than the neck disaster, though, it's looking pretty good, and I can easily finish tomorrow night.

So I went from having no plans this weekend to having too many plans. Damn. Friday is still open and I would like it to remain so since I have to dress up for work anyway and would like to sleep that night. Saturday night, though, I'm going to a party in Berkeley, and Sunday I'm going to see Paul Oakenfold in the city w/Claude and Jackie. The show doesn't start until 9pm, and it lasts until 4am, although I doubt we'll stay that late, but it could be a very brutal lead-in to work on Monday. The thought of an all-night dance party always reminds me of the Love Parade in Berlin, but nothing will ever top that night; I think it burned out all my serotonin receptors when it comes to dancing and partying, because I have never again found anything to be quite as exciting. Drinking red bulls and vodka and dancing in an abandoned factory complex as the sun came up over Berlin was definitely the most incredible party experience of my entire life, and so I don't look forward to dancing and clubbing quite as much as I used to. Although, I was able to enjoy myself while dancing during the Crystal Method set at Coachella, so perhaps there is hope for me...

Okay, exhaustion is definitely kicking in, so it's time for bed!

the oc + red cloak = end of my existence

Okay, so Terry bought the first season of 'The OC' (it came out today on DVD), and we watched three episodes tonight. Which I guess is better than the multiple episodes of 'Whose Line' that we were watching all last week :) I'm amazed at how amused I am by the show so far. However, I need to be sewing my cloak for my Halloween costume, and the TV show completely distracted me. Actually, I'm distracted by how overwhelmed I am by the cloak--it's five whole yards of fabric! Terry was quite amused to see me sitting on the floor starting at this piece of fabric that is a) as wide as I am tall and b) 3 times as long as I am tall, trying to figure out where to start Ah, fun times.

So now I should go to bed, since I have to go to work early tomorrow. And I have to start my novel in less than a week! *shudders* Let's see whether I can churn out a reasonably decent plot for a reasonably decent yet-to-be-determined novel in the next five days...

Monday, October 25, 2004

i know there's a big world out there

Well, friends, I'm sorry for the dearth of updates, but I have been tres busy lately. It has not particularly put me in the mood for blogging, but I think it's important to keep writing or else I will quit entirely...

Yesterday was the Bridge School Benefit, and I must say that I did not enjoy the music overly much. The company was entertaining, as always, but I was mainly there to see Red Hot Chili Peppers, and given that they only played for about half an hour of the nine or so hours that I was there, it was perhaps not the best use of my time. I did read 275 pages of a romance novel, however, which I finished when I got home even though it was complete nonsense (Katie--it was the third in the series that began with 'Lord of Fire' and continued with 'Lord of Ice', if you remember the ridiculous Knight twins and their even more ridiculous poses on the inside covers of those books?) The day before, I had dim sum with Tammy, Shedletsky and Claudia (Shedletsky's turn to play 'Shrimp or Feet?' and he got a shrimp and pork dumpling that he quite ably finished, so he won the point). Shedletsky is convinced that I'm going to be the first one to get burned badly, and perhaps that will be true, but Saturday was fantastic--we got one of the best tables in the whole place, and the first cart to come by was the cart of happiness, with our favorite things--shrimp in bean curd, barbecue pork pastries, golden barbecue pork dumplings (like a donut with pork inside!), deep fried shrimp with mayonnaise, and I'm sure there was something else but I can't remember what it was now. So much tastiness! We definitely ate far too much, and it was far too enjoyable. We came back, Claudia and I sat around and enjoyed our fullness, and then Claudia, Terry and I went costume shopping. Fun was had by all!

Today was uneventful, although Adit came to work for lunch and we had an entertaining time eating and gossipping. I suppose 'gossipping' is a rather strong word, since nothing is going on in our lives, but he was still entertaining. I read another romance novel tonight (Terry living here is bad for me--I just watch TV and read trashy novels), and now it's time for bed.

Really, though, there must be more to life than this. Oh, I'm having a blast, and I'm feeling reasonably popular and well-liked, if I do rather immodestly say so myself, and I'm fairly well capable of spreading humor and good cheer--but is that all life really is? A pretty act put on for a crowd of people, each act slightly more manic and insane than the last so that they won't see that you really want something, anything else?

Well, that certainly sounds bitter, and I'm trying to reign in my incipient bitterness so that I don't end up waking up twenty years from now a lonely, raging bitch. Forgive me my rather melodramatic language, but it happens when I've been reading period romances. But really, when I was fifteen I never imagined that I would someday reach the lofty age of twenty-three and have so successfully made a mess of my love life. The same manic sense of humor that I use to draw people in has created some very successful walls to keep people out. I *like* being crazy...but I would like even more to find someone to be calm with. And that man, unfortunately, is not going to show up tonight. So it's time for bed, and by tomorrow the rain will have washed away my furious mood and handed me back the reins to my temper.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

silence is not the way

Wow, today was so hard to get through. I got up and made it to work in time for my meeting; then I worked all day. I definitely didn't have it in me to stay late, and happily my 5-6 meeting ended at 5:45, so I came straight home and took a two-hour nap. I watched tv with Terry and ate a chicken pot pie that Walter left in the freezer (yay), and now I'm posting this and will go to bed again. I should have gone to bed earlier, but I don't like going to bed at nine, although it would have felt really good.

Yeah, nothing to report, except I started up the blog that will turn into my novel in November. I can't let myself not do this, so I'm trying to keep thinking about it so that I won't decide not to do it. The new blog is linked through my profile; I'll post the link here directly when I end up starting (on November 1).

Now, time for bed!

what have i done?!

That question is about several things:

1) I seem to be living two days at once nearly every day. I have my first day from 9am-7pm when I am at work; and I have my second day from 7pm-2 or 3am, when I go out with friends, or read books and watch tv, or whatever. Today, for instance, I was at work from 8:15-7:15, and then I ran home and stowed my computer, and then Terry, Claudia and I saw 'I Heart Huckabees'. I thought it was going to be way too pretentious, but I really really liked it; there was some great crazy humor, and I love seeing people get tackled and there was a lot of tackling. There was more to it than that, but I didn't let it sink in long enough--then I went to latenight at Lag at 11pm for Eric S's birthday. We ended up going to Happy Donuts and staying there until 2:30, and now I am home and it's 3:30am and I have to be at work at nine. Dammit. But I had a great time, and it's fun to hang out with lots of different people.

2) More importantly, I've signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which is in November. Blogger's running a promotion for it, encourage people to start a separate blog and write their novel publicly. And I'm getting pressure from all sorts of sources (like seriously, everyone) to write something, anything, and I can't seem to get myself to do it. So I'm going to write a novel online. In November. On a blog. Which you can read. And comment upon. The creative process in action, delivered straight to your desk every day!

I want to vomit. I hate committing to anything, let alone to the idea of writing, which makes me nauseous because I feel like I should be good at it but I'm so scared that I won't be good at all.

So, let's vote: should I write a romance novel, or a real novel? Input is welcome--get used to giving it now, 'cause there will be a lot to comment on in November. I have to write 50,000 words. At my top speed during my thesis-writing, that's three pages an hour, or 66.66666 hours. The number of the beast. That's not encouraging :) That means I could stay up and write it in three days. Wheeeeee. Alternatively, that's two hours a night. That's some commitment. Can I do it? I don't know. I do know that I won't stop showering for the whole month (although getting fired for being a hazard would definitely give me more time to write).

Sunday, October 17, 2004

the awesome 'shrimp or feet?' game

Today was fun, although not relaxing enough, as usual. I got up, Claudia came over, we went to campus to pick up Tammy and Shedletsky, and we went to Millbrae for dim sum for the second day in a row. It was once again really tasty. As I mentioned in my last post, we've decided to play a dim sum game every time we go; I was the preliminary tester and ended up with icky sweet tofu, but we scratched that one in the interest of following our new rules. Now, there are three or four things that automatically get two positive points, and there are a few things (basically any feet or tongues) which you can get two points for simply by finishing the entire serving. Other than that, it's a complex scheme of voting/finishing the serving to determine points for everything else, and anything that has been eaten for the purposes of the game cannot be used in the game again. It was Tammy's turn today, as the first official turn of the first official round, and she chose to take the middle item on the right-hand side, on the middle shelf if the cart was tiered, when the appropriate cart showed up. Since it would be cheating to see the cart and then start the game, we set my cellphone timer for nineteen minutes after we received our first desired item (Tammy also got to choose how many minutes to wait, thus she was in control of her destiny). As the minutes ticked down, we thought we were completely screwed; with less than a minute left, the cart of sadness (all sorts of feet) was the closest one to our table. But then, it abruptly swerved, the alarm went off, and Tammy seized victory from the jaws of defeat because the next thing to come by was this amazingly tasty barbecue pork bun with a sweet outer shell that we had never had before but very much enjoyed. In fact, Claudia, Tammy and I would like to get it again in the future. So, Tammy got a definite win, and the game will continue on our next outing. We're going to keep playing until the beginning of May, thus leaving time for any necessary sudden-death tiebreakers before school ends. We also christened the game 'Shrimp or Feet?', which pretty much encompasses the gamut of light and darkness, happiness and sadness, hope and despair, that this game really offers every single week. I can't wait for the next round! We also want to make t-shirts--I came up with the slogan 'Feet happens', which I think is hilariously appropriate despite the fact that it seems grammatically incorrect. So, the Opium Lounge Club, w/Claude as a new permanent member (surprising, since we were originally a closed club, but Claudia likes exactly the same things that we like and so merging caused no hardship), is in for some serious shrimp slaughtering over the next few months.

Then, Claudia and I saw 'Motorcycle Diaries' with Adit and Vidya. I really liked it; the movie was beautifully shot, and the main attraction (Gael Garcia Bernal) was stunningly gorgeous, even when he was in the midst of a hideous asthma attack. Hot! It's highly recommended to all people who are a) interested in South America, b) interested in traveling and exploring new places, c) interested in hotness.

Then I came home, Claude and I enjoyed some tea and VH1, she went home, I talked to my parents, and then Terry and I watched TV the rest of the night. I saw 'Desperate Housewives', and liked it quite a bit; Terry is on the verge of getting me absolutely addicted to TV. That's bad for me, since it takes virtually no distraction to keep me from getting work done or doing anything productive (like writing my romance novel, or hemming my pants, or making a quilt for my bed, etc.) But after a long weekend of running around and doing stuff, it was nice to sit mindlessly for a few hours. And now, I shall sleep, hopefully mindlessly, for a few hours, and then the madness all begins again.

germadness!

Tonight was the much-hyped Germany vs. Austria night that Can, Joanna and I had been planning for some time. It was very fun, replete with sausages and wiener schnitzel, and lots of fried potatoes (always a classic), and other tasty morsels. We also played a very politically incorrect game (imagine our pin-the-nose-on-Michael-Jackson game, only with a different distinctive facial feature from another distinctive leader of Germany and/or Austria). The winner got to stick a German flag in the heart of Warsaw, as depicted on my Poland cake. Yes, there was a Poland cake--I made a 9x13 funfetti cake, and used food coloring to get several different colors of frosting, and drew a map of Poland and its neighbors on the cake using different colors for different countries. It's really difficult to spell 'Lithuania' in a 1"x3" space with icing, but the cake was fantastic.

All of that sounds horribly offensive, but it was also horribly amazingly funny, and I'm glad that my dreams came to fruition.

Then we were going to see 'Team America', but due to lameness, we couldn't. So Shed, Curt, Joanna, Eric S, and I sat around in the lounge, and Doug brought some dolls for us to play with. Yes, dolls. He's in some class where they have to design games or something (or at least that's his excuse) and his current project is to make a structured game with four dolls (two girls, a motorcycle-riding guy, and spiderman) and some random accessories. His current incarnation didn't work very well, but we still had fun despite the fact that I'm pretty sure we were not helpful. Then, it was time to go home, and it's now time for some much-needed sleep.

Earlier today, I had dim sum with Tammy and Shedletsky; I've been there nearly every weekend for the past couple of months, ever since Claudia and I made the pilgrimage to Millbrae. It seems a little ridiculous to drive 50 or 60 miles round trip for dim sum, but the stuff is so amazingly addictive that none of us can seem to help ourselves. We've decided to merge the Opium Lounge Club with the Sara/Claudia dim sum club so that everyone else can get dim sum as often as I do. We've also decided to play a dim sum game, which we started today, which involves trying one new thing every time. The rules are mostly figured out, and involve stating before the next cart shows up that you will take a specific thing from the next cart depending on its location on the cart. For instance, today I decided 'top left' when oriented from me. I thought we were going to get lucky, since one of the dumpling carts was coming by, but at the last second it got cut off by a cart that we had always avoided before, containing four vats of strange liquidy things. Top left meant sweet tofu, which Eric, Michael, and Eric informed me is actually really good, but none of us liked it at all--it was all liquidy, and slimy, and weird, and not deep-fried or shrimp, which is basically all we really like :) So I technically lost, but we're going again tomorrow so that we can start the game over properly, with rules and long-term scoring, and Claudia's coming too so that she can be there for the start. We may or may not have teams, and we're unsure of the prizes or penalties for the ultimate victor/loser, but it will ensure that we always have some delicious (or disgusting) uncertainty to look forward to. Since I saw duck's jaw on the menu, I'm pretty sure we have the chance for some truly weird items.

So, tomorrow, dim sum, then 'Motorcycle Diaries' with Claude and Adit, then maybe a nap, and some work, and maybe Flicks. Yay for the weekend! It's always much too short.

Friday, October 15, 2004

light over me

I'm in a techno phase again, no doubt introduced by the fact that mafia was hectic, work is hectic, life is hectic, and there is nothing like some pulsing beat to drown out everything around you. I also finally got around to extracting all the mp3s off my ipod onto my desktop when I realized that my firewire card works after all, which means that I can charge the ipod quickly and now can listen to all my techno music again. Lovely!

So yeah mafia was a blast even though I went down in a blaze of not-so-glory; it was still a v. fun game, and apparently a lot of other people thought so too because it looks like we're playing again next week. Madness! And let's see what else...we're doing Germany vs. Austria night in WestLag on Saturday, since it's just a hilarious concept; I have some great ideas, only some of which I've shared, and it promises to be a fun occasion. I'm also have lunch with Tammy and Shedletsky (I think) on Saturday morning, seeing 'The Motorcycle Diaries' with Claude and Adit on Saturday afternoon, and going shopping w/Joanna, Can and Shedletsky for German food later Saturday afternoon, then cooking and having fun Saturday night. I also randomly decided to go to the Bridge School Benefit on Sunday, so it looks like this is another crazy, fun-filled, too-busy weekend. My room's a *disaster*, I haven't spent much time w/Terry other than watching TV, and I have tons of stuff I want to be doing. And instead I'm playing mafia, playing with my mp3s, and writing in my blog. Ah, well, I was never very good at getting things done, eh?

Now, though, it's definitely time for bed. And I'm happy that I don't have the ads at the top of my page right now, since that comment would definitely earn me ads for either sleeping aids or anti-depressants.

OH! There is one thing of importance. Try the Google Desktop Search. I've had access to it for awhile now, and it's simply awesome. Upside (huge upside)--it can search tons of different files on your computer. Not just the titles of the files--the contents of the files. Which means that you no longer have to know what the file is called; if you remember some words used in the file, you're good to go. It also caches your web history and delivers up pages that you've seen that match what you're looking for. It also stores IM conversations so that you can search for things you discussed with someone and can't remember (tres helpful if you're coming up with invite lists and can't remember what was decided). Downside: if you're in the habit of looking at porn, or you're doing Christmas shopping on a computer used by the person you're shopping for, they can snoop around. But, you can pause recording if you know you're going to be looking at stuff you don't want people to see. It's really a nifty, nifty tool--I've been using it constantly, and it's made me so much more effective at work. All of the indexing and searching is done on your own computer; once you download the tool, none of your personal info is passed back except bug reports. Neat, eh? Give it a try--it's awesome and free.

Now after that shameless plug, it's seriously time for bed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

the board is set...the pieces are moving

Well, I died today. In mafia, that is. As everyone playing mafia currently knows, I am dead. Dead, dead, dead. Which is really okay, because I have some serious work to do over the next two days and mafia is such a huge temptation while it is happening. I really wanted to start a new game as early as tomorrow so we'd have two happening at once--but Doug thought of the great idea of having two at once happening at exactly the same time during Christmas break. That would be hysterical! And super confusing. It would be even more confusing if one game had names with regular capitalization (like Sara Wampler) and the other had names with lower capitalization (like sara wampler), and the names were related to completely different people and characters. That would be great.

I do have a life outside of mafia, though...but I'm not thrilled with it. Oh, nothing's wrong--Terry has moved in and she's great, and work is good, etc.--but some things are missing and unsatisfying, and some things that should have been settled long ago remain unsettled, and I have no idea what to do. But that's a refrain that you've heard far too often from me, eh? So I'll go to bed.

But one quick shout-out--thanks for an awesome game of mafia, guys. It has considerably brightened my spirits, despite proving that we're all clinically insane.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

nothing doing

Mafia is so much fun!

In other news, Terry has settled in, which is fun. I watched TV with her tonight, and it is nice to have someone around again. We watched 'Father of the Pride,' which I enjoyed a surprising amount, and we also watched 'Scrubs,' which I have never seen before and am now sad that I haven't watched religiously for the last few years. Ah, I love TV. It's almost as much fun as Mafia. And it's also much less likely to get me fired :)

Okay, it's definitely time for bed!

Monday, October 11, 2004

fear and loathing in los altos

So we're playing online mafia again (http://www.quicktopic.com/28/H/iDAQgKxamtQ) and so far it's a blast! Everyone playing is hysterical! As long as we don't end up hating each other by the end, it will be a fantastic time.

I went to work today, came home, talked to Terry, and then had a later dinner with Shedletsky. Now it's definitely time for bed--if I go to bed now, I can sleep for nine hours. That sounds delicious. The weekend was way fun, but it was far too busy. I can't handle all that continual activity--I must be getting old :)

summer is winter and you always knew

As usual, this weekend was completely unrelaxing from start to finish. I got up this morning, and Claudia and I went to Millbrae for dim sum. The waiters clearly recognize me (one of them came over and said hi to me for absolutely no reason!) That means I'm going there a ridiculous amount. Yay. Then I came home, did eight loads of laundry (I'm not even exaggerating), and cleaned the apartment. Terry arrived around 5 and moved in (!) and then I had dinner with Ritu. We talked for several hours, and then took Maneesh and Eric C. to Flicks (Spiderman 2). We met Can, Joanna, and Curt there, and a good time was had by all. Now I'm home, it's 1:10 in the morning, I have to go to work tomorrow, and I didn't sleep enough this weekend. Oh yeah and online mafia starts tomorrow morning! Wheeeee!

In other news, if you haven't read Walter's blog lately, check it out...he saw Sean Connery yesterday! I'm so jealous.

Okay yeah so I'm exhausted and don't want to think anymore and just want to crawl into the clean sheets of my bed. But as I was driving home from campus, I was on Junipero Serra and I saw Orion perfectly framed above the road. I was startled because I don't see the stars very well or very often here, but Orion was right there, the only constellation I could see in that direction not obstructed by trees or clouds. Orion's my favorite constellation, because in the winter when we'd be driving home from Des Moines, it would be out my window most of the way home. Seeing those stars again reminded me that everything will be all right, and that there is a life beyond my petty current concerns. That was a very timely and appropriate (and comforting) little cosmic reminder.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

promise me she's not your world

Today was rather abriged; I've been up less than twelve hours and I intend to go to bed shortly. As I posted yesterday, I went to bed sometime after five a.m., and therefore didn't wake up until 2pm. It's not even like I was lying in bed being lazy; I woke up very briefly around nine, then rolled over and the next thing I knew it was 2 in the afternoon. So, I got out of bed and promptly went to In-n-Out to have a double-double in preparation for my vegan restaurant experience tonight. It turned out to be a brilliant idea, as I will explain in a moment. Then I got my car washed, came home, took a nap, then a shower, then Claude showed up and we went to the city.

The restaurant we went to was 'Herbivore', on Valencia. As mentioned it was totally vegan...and vegetarian food is fine (although clearly not meaty enough), but vegan food is just silly. No eggs? No milk? No CHEESE?!) Anyway, I was willing to give it the old school try (especially with my tummy still full of double-double), and so I ordered the pad thai, thinking that it isn't typically made with a lot of meat products anyway. My mistake...it was probably the worst thing there, as their version of peanut sauce replaced fish oil with *mustard*. Ugh. I hate mustard. And mustard definitely does not belong with a) peanuts or b) more pertinently, pad thai in general. So that was gross. Luckily I wasn't hungry, and they also brought an extra portobello mushroom sandwich that was surprisingly tasty, so I ate a little bit of that.

Despite the fact that the pad thai was terrible, I liked the place only because the staff was incredibly friendly; they didn't mind that 18 of us took over part of their restaurant, and they brought us plates and forks when we cut and served two (non-vegan) pumpkin pies that we had brought in with us in lieu of cake, since Adit prefers pumpkin pie to cake. I ran down the street and procured some candles and a lighter, and we sang happy birthday to Adit, and he seemed to enjoy himself immensely.

I also had a pretty good time; the seating arrangement was really awkward because the restaurant was small and we brought four or five more people than intended, and so the tables snaked around in a U shape and I ended up on the connector part between the two tables, which made conversation a little less plausible than sitting w/a bunch of people all together. It was still fun, though--I sat by Vidya, and she's entertaining. There were a bunch of Indian kids there whom I didn't know on the right side of the U (as well as Sri, Peder Timmy Timer, and Tennis), and then on the left side was Claude, Ritu, Renee, Steph, Nathan, Harvard Dave, Zach, Vidya, John and myself. Everyone switched around a lot, though, particularly on the left side, and Adit moved back and forth between the two. So, it was v. fun...but I wasn't feeling up for clubbing, and luckily Zach, Claude and Renee weren't either, so we came home around 11:30.

Now it's definitely time for bed...I need to clean up around here tomorrow before Terry shows up, and I'm having brunch with Claude and dinner with Ritu and seeing Flicks with Can, so I won't have much time. Wheeee...I love how weekends just aren't relaxing at all anymore :)

Saturday, October 09, 2004

watching the lights go down...letting the cables sleep

It's 5:02am, and I'm still awake. I'm too old for this :) Seriously, though, I had a great night--it's Adit's birthday, and he finally (after five years!) celebrated it with us. The celebration occurred in Rains' Timoshenko Lounge, the site of many and varied unexciting parties in the past two years. This one, for some reason, was different--I hadn't seen some of my older friends for awhile, I saw a good mix of my more recent friends as well, and there was a very surprising grinding:alcohol ratio (surprising since of the people I was with the most, only one of us--not me--was drunk, although many of the other partygoers were). The fire alarm was pulled (or rather, accidentally leaned against) around 1am, and half the party cleared out; the other half waited for the fire department to show up, and then started the party up again. So I saw Zach and Victor initially, and John was there, and Chris and Connie came briefly, and of course I went with Claude and her friend Jackie, and Ritu and Renee and Steph were there, and Tom and Ratul, and Sri and Vidya and Roopa, and Jack, and the weird kid who kept trying to talk to us, to the point that Zach, John and I were huddled in a tight little triangle to keep him from getting an opening. I also got groped repeatedly, but I suppose it was all among friends, so that's okay? And Vidya licked my eye. And Adit actually danced with me (and everyone else at the party). And it seems like a good time was had by all!

Then, around 3:30, John, Claude, Javier and Jackie came back to my place and we played DDR until five. And now, it's definitely time for bed. The madness begins again tomorrow--we're having dinner for Adit's birthday at some vegan restaurant (ugh) in the city, and the funny thing is that it's most of the same people (about sixteen) who were the core group at the party tonight. We're apparently going clubbing after, so the madness never stops. And then Terry moves in on Sunday!

Sweet Jesus, it's going to be a long weekend.

Friday, October 08, 2004

trivial pursuits

I was at work until after dark today (I hate when the days start to get noticeably shorter), then came home and read a romance novel. That's why I'm still up until 1am. Stupid, stupid. But, very relaxing.

I get to spend the next two days cleaning my apartment...not that it's horribly dirty, but I suddenly wound up with a new roommate who's moving in on Sunday. Terry (who lived in Mirlo w/me junior year and was RA in Gavilan my senior year) interviewed at my place of work today and got a job offer this afternoon, and so she's moving up here on Sunday! Crazy! She starts work on Monday. So, it's quite fortuitous that Walter's room is still empty--and hopefully she won't be scared away by our upcoming Germany vs. Austria night :)

In other news, Shedletsky's moderating a game of online mafia starting on Monday, and I got my brother and Emily to play, as well as a lot of the standard players. It sounds like it's going to be mad fun--if you're interested, contact me or him by Saturday to get involved. It's Stanford Professor mafia, with all sorts of weird Stanford specific roles (so I hope my brother isn't too lost). Oh yeah, and his name's Michael, for those of you who do not know him as anything other than 'Wampler's brother'.

Now, time for bed!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

my heart's delight

Can I just say that I'm so excited about my new team at work? Things got shuffled around a bit, and I ended up staying with my old manager, but with a new group of people. The job is the same, the manager is the same, the pay is the same, but I switched over to a different group of coworkers. And they are so nice. Unbelievably nice. One woman, who is some sort of de facto den mother for the group that puts even my RA-ish tendencies to shame, gets flowers for all the girls every single week, apparently. Even though I haven't switched desks and so am not sitting with them yet, she came by yesterday with a lovely arrangement of autumn-colored flowers. I was amazed and delighted.

Honestly, people really do make all the difference. Not that my old team wasn't nice, but it was missing that spark (or it was missing a den mother figure to engender that spark). And I've found time and time again that it doesn't really matter the conditions in which you're living if you are living with people you consistently enjoy seeing. Of the four facilities I lived in in college (well I guess it was really only two, since three of my years were in FloMo), Castano was technically the most beautiful, but it was my most miserable living experience. And Coachella, for instance, was an absolute hellhole and there were so many apt comparisons to concentrations camps in the camp where we slept; but, it was one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of my young life because the group I was with was so outstanding.

Family is so important to me, probably because I had a really strong one, and so I feel this deep desire to make sure that everyone else has a family too. I feel like that's been my underlying motivator for most of my social actions and interactions...my friends tend to be aware of and become friends with my other friends, mostly because I'm the type of person who finds it perfectly normal to go to a movie with fifteen people. All along, I suppose, I've rather unconsciously been trying to create a tribe, in an effort to combat the modern atomization of society. It's like the sourdough starter in the 'Little House on the Prairie' books (Katie at least will know what I'm talking about)...in the books, Ma brings a bit of unbaked sourdough with her to the unsettled wilds, and she can use it to start new sourdough loafs by always saving a little piece of it back after letting it rise. Laura thinks she has lost it, which would be a disaster, but then she finds the piece under the doughboard, and order is restored. Anyway, it's like bringing a small seed of family, community, whatever someplace, adding the proper ingredients, and letting it rise of its own volition, in an effort to combat the inherent loneliness of 'civilized' life.

Not to say that the tribes I now belong to are my doing, since it's been proven repeatedly that I can be just as much of a destructive agent within groups as I can be a connector. But I've always been fascinated by how groups form, exist, and sometimes die, as well as individuals' roles within them. Mostly, though, I'm just excited to continue to hang out with people, and continue to encourage these bonds. At the end of the day it's probably selfish--I do want other people to be part of a nest in a trust tree (to quote 'Old School'), but the other reality is that the more friends I have, the more likely I am to find a few who will survive and thrive despite my strange moods and weird relationship-destroying tendencies. It is strange that I sometimes feel a compulsion to cut everyone off despite my obvious desire for tribes and families...I guess I don't like to rely on anything or anyone, and the closer I get to someone, the more uncomfortable it makes me.

Speaking of, I got a massage today at work; it was just a chair massage, not a table massage, and it was sorely needed (har har) because my neck has been bothering me lately (to the point that it woke me up the other night and I felt physically ill when I tried to turn my head). The massage only cost me $5, too, which was a great perk. Anyway, the point is that I found it impossible to truly relax. I guess I don't tend to relax anyway; maybe it comes from the fact that my feet rarely fully touch the floor unless I scoot myself forward or point my toes down, or maybe I'm just naturally tense. But I just couldn't handle having a stranger touch me. I'd get super tense, then I'd tell myself that I was being stupid, and I would forcibly think about relaxing, and my muscles would start to relax, but then my mind would be all revved up wondering what was wrong with me, why I didn't want to be touched, whether I was some sort of freak for not really liking massage as a pampering relaxation technique rather than a necessity to work the pain out of my neck...and by the time I pulled myself away from these self-loathing mind tangents, my muscles would be all tensed up again and I'd have to start over. Grr.

So yeah as usual my thoughts on this matter solve or resolve nothing, other than to say that I like my friends and would be quite happy living in a tribe for a long time if I were convinced that the members of my tribe would behave smartly and avoid getting committed or married to people who cannot be part of the tribe. It's also essential that tribemembers not move away, and that's already happening. So, I may have to take my sourdough starter and move someplace else, and begin a new tribe. Although honestly, the older you are, the harder it is to find solitary members to join a tribe, and the tribes in existence probably aren't as cool as mine. They definitely wouldn't understand mafia, or slap the boob, or staying up 72 hours playing taboo, or the opium lounge club, or the race of joseph (current population: 2, plus random unofficial members), or eating thanksgiving dinner under a computer-generated sign that just says 'thanskgiving,' or sitting in 100+ degree weather dry-heaving while having the best time ever, or playing the cooked or dirty game. And if people can't understand any of that, they're really not ideal members for the tribe.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

the blue sword

I don't really feel much desire to write tonight; my right hand is feeling really stiff, and I think that it is developing some sort of weird arthritis or something from spending most of my waking life on a keyboard. Even though most of the important letters on a keyboard are on the left side, my right hand gets an added workout when I'm using the nubby little mouse thing on my thinkpad, and since I sat with it in several hours of meetings today, it's not happy. Sadness. It's like some poor little injured thing that just has to grit its teeth and carry on because it doesn't really have any other options.

Well, that's certainly melodramatic; but given that I'm very similar physically to my grandmother, and she has arthritis so badly at this point that her fingers are completely twisted and misshapen, I'm a little paranoid about my hands. But, I'm getting a chair massage at work tomorrow! And they typically massage the hands briefly during those as well, so maybe that will help.

Tonight, I had dinner with Renee at California Pizza Kitchen, which was very lovely. I'm jealous of other people's residents, to some extent, but the jealousy has faded a lot; I'm happy with the 'residents' that I have left, who have all turned into friends at this point, and it's nice that no one can wake me up at four in the morning because they're locked out, or disturb my thoughts by playing loud piano outside my room. Of course, my neighbors make up for the piano somewhat; they're loudly revving an engine right now (it's midnight), and I can't even slam a door in a passive-aggressive method of chastisement.

So, dinner with Renee, and then I started rereading Robin McKinley's 'The Blue Sword,' which is one of my favorite fantasy books from my childhood and still remains one of those books that I find myself rereading every few months or so. I've written about it before, although the last time I reread it was sometime before I deleted all of my pre-August posts, but I will spare my hand and my readers any further thoughts on the matter. Now, it's time for bed!

Monday, October 04, 2004

cooked or dirty game!


fyi, the answer was definitely 'dirty', but i was putting a good face on it. Posted by Hello

information travels faster in the modern age

Today was great for a workday--Vidya Chander came to lunch, which was v. fun. We ate tasty food, and talked about fun stuff, and then I went back to work. She was happy to come to work on a day when I would not have anything more exciting to write about, since she thought she would get forgotten too easily if I hung out with people this evening. However, my evening was pretty good too--I had a nice long conversation with Emily while she was commuting home (yay!) and then worked for a couple of hours. While working, I watched some 'Surreal Life', and more importantly the first part of VH1's documentary 'And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip Hop.' It's pretty educational; I don't know anything about the beginnings of hiphop, since I grew up in the wilds of Iowa without cable and with parents whose musical exploration stopped sometime around 1978. Well, that's not entirely true--my dad likes listening to the radio now and combining all the songs into one long song with slightly questionable words. But hip hop never really made it into my house.

Wow, and did anyone watch 'The Daily Show' tonight? Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in the five minutes that he was on, was absolutely amazing. He had such a great sense of humor--I love people who can laugh, genuinely and heartily. More importantly, he has such a large amount of compassion and understanding. Now I want to read his book...

Sunday, October 03, 2004

dammit

[NOTE: this post should have been posted last night, but blogger was being retarded. apologies.]

Dammit, I lost a post. And just before I hit submit, I thought, 'I should copy it just in case.' And then I thought, 'nah, it's Blogger, and I never lose posts on Blogger.' And then I lost it. Damn. But I still love you Blogger!

Anyway, the gist of my previous post is that I had an awesome but exhausting weekend. Dinner in FloMo on Friday, lunch in Millbrae on Saturday, 'Mr. 3000' on Saturday night, cookie baking this morning, beach trip to Pescadero this afternoon, and then 'Dodgeball' at Flicks this evening. I'm numb with exhaustion now, and will go to sleep as soon as this posts, but I had a fantastic weekend. The beach trip was amazingly fun, and I'm glad that it was resurrected; I didn't want to go because I'm lazy and it's always cold at the beach, but despite the fact that it was still cold at the beach today, the company was awesome and it was totally worth it. 10 of us went, and it was a success despite the fact that Shedletsky, Sean and I were sure the fire wasn't going to light/stay lit...while everyone else was playing frisbee and splashing in the tide, we were trying multiple combinations of more lighter fluid/matches/charcoal, and the despair (and hysteria, and laughter) mounted. Finally we ended up playing the 'Cooked or Dirty?' game with a hotdog, at which point everyone returned and seemed slightly less excited about playing 'Cooked or Dirty?' than we did. However, when we added the hamburgers, all the dripping grease created a fantastic blaze, and everything cooked smashingly. Then we played Cranium and Taboo, and got to chase birds away from our leftovers (they tried to steal the Kraft singles! and they made it halfway to the ocean with a whole package of hotdogs!) So despite my carsickness and my general disdain for cold beaches, I think that more trips of this nature are definitely mandatory. I also think the mafia group should do more non-mafia things (although I have a huge butcher knife if anyone wants to play real-life mafia w/the stabber role). And I think that Germany vs. Austria night should happen v. soon. And I think that I should also spend some time this week with people who are insane in a different way, just for balance. And finally, I think I should go to bed!

(I also think I should copy this post, just in case).

no real content, so no real subject line

Had lunch with the Opium Lounge Club (aka Tammy and Shedletsky) in Millbrae at the remaining Hong Kong Flower lounge...and it was awesome. I'm still full from it. Then I took a two-hour nap, then saw 'Mr. 3000' with a co-worker; it was lame, as expected. Now, I'm going to sleep...tomorrow is a trip to Pescadero w/some people, and I bought massive quantities of food for the occasion. Yay! And then 'Dodgeball' at Flicks, which is even more awesome.

My mood hasn't changed at all, and so my previous post is still applicable and there is no need to write it all again. Meh.

Friday, October 01, 2004

send the autos swerving into the loneliest evening

After being extremely tired at work, I left work and went to FloMo to have dinner with the old mafia crew. Dinner was so much fun, and we were appropriately obnoxious despite Patrick's efforts to calm us down. We then adjourned to the Loro lounge and played Clue with Doug's new rules--basically, it's Clue + Assassins, and you can assassinate another player in the game if you end up in the same room with both them and a weapon. They were fun rules, and I love any form of assassins/stabbing in the face in any game whatsoever (in fact, my family should try it with Rail Baron next Christmas), but none of us were particularly good at it. We then played a couple of games of mafia that were entertaining (and very quick...with six people playing, we only had one mafia each game, and both times we figured it out during the first day without the mafia ever getting to make a kill). Then we split off and I took Joanna and Can back to Lag, and then I came home.

I don't know, though...I don't think the mafia group is good for me. I know that half of you read this on a regular basis, so please don't take this as an insult to any one of you, and don't change your behavior in any way. I'm trying to make a larger point, starting with the fact that the mafia group, more than any other, can whip itself up into a frenzy pretty quickly, and then insane and insanely fun times are had by all. That was exactly the case tonight--we started fast, got ridiculous, I ended up with a cucumber halfway down my shirt, and we topped it off with Clue and Mafia. Fun, fun, fun, and I enjoyed every second of it. But then I have to come home, and it all comes crashing down, and it all feels like some cruel illusion that I can live for an hour or two and yet am forced to give up. I had almost reached the point where I had decided there was nothing left for me in California (which is obviously an exaggeration, since I would really miss Claude, and my old school friends), but hanging out with people I hadn't hung out with all summer (and for much longer than that, actually, given dramariffic occurrences over the past year) has renewed my longing for what I once had. And it's not just the mafia kids; seeing Ritu and Renee, and Julie, and Tommy and Ariel, and all the other people that I've seen and intend to see again soon, makes me realize that the ties that bind me here are still strong.

The problem is that those ties are strong, and they provide me with several hours of insane merriment every week, but then I come home and it's snap back to reality--I'm not *doing* anything with my life and all this supposed potential that I have, and I'm basically hiding under the covers and hoping that life will pass me by and leave me alone so that I can get back to wasting it. I'm avoiding all decisions about the future, and the thought of deciding something and changing my current situation leaves me both physically ill and slightly weepy.

Over the summer, I had settled into some sort of equilibrium; I guess living with Walter, who is very steady, will do that. Now I have the highs back, which are like an evil drug, since the highs are amazing and fun and wonderful and I want them all the time, but when I'm deprived of them I immediately crash into a very hard, sudden, unforgiving low (local minima, as Adit would call it). But really, all my life I've been choosing between another bout of euphoria/sadness and a more calm, rational, sedate manner...and I inevitably choose the euphoria/sadness. I chose calmness once and got completely worked and not calm at all, so I guess I'll stick with euphoria/sadness, even though the sadness can be so awful. But the euphoria is great.

So, mafia kids, thank you for inducing such tremendous highs. Every time I see all of you (except when we're reaching the part of the cycle where we're about to start hating each other again) is a complete joy. But I'm sad now, and I need to find some resolve to figure out something about the future and make it happen. The sadness stems from the fact that nothing lasts forever. I'm picturing Gollum in 'Return of the King' tossing the lembas bread over the cliff, and that's the gesture I always think of when I think of things passing, for some reason. It's like, that completely languid, yet malicious, gesture, causing chaos and destroying hope. Yes, things do get better (Sam saves Frodo, the good guys eventually win), but there are those moments sometimes when things just pass away and don't come back. And I feel like me deciding to leave here is like tossing away the lembas bread--my friends here are my lifeline, my security, my hope, but I *know* that if something doesn't change my life will be a waste. And that's a very scary thought--to know that I have to choose between continued awesomeness with my friends and some accomplishment that could better serve the world. That sounds very martyrish (and also arrogant)...but I know that if I stay here, I probably won't do anything, because I'll be too busy seeking the highs and nursing the lows.

Clearly I'm nursing a low now, and tomorrow it will all be better. And then the cycle will start anew when I have an opium lounge club meeting with Shedletsky and Tammy. Until then, it's time for sleep...

i'll be your platform shoes, undo what heredity's done to you

I'm so tired. Joanna's birthday party was loads and loads of fun, and I have no regrets about going...but going to bed at three is awfully sad when you have to go to work and can't take an afternoon nap. But when I left work, rather than come home and take a nap, I went shopping. It's quickly turning to fall outside, and my winter clothes were feeling shabby (even though they probably aren't--but I'm in a pink mood, and most of my winter clothes are red). I got a cute pair of pink corduroys, which I just did a quick-and-dirty hem job on (my mother would not be impressed, since I just folded the cuffs under twice and basted them together, but they're remarkably even) so that I can wear them to work tomorrow. Yay. Unfortunately, I had to skip Tom's birthday party, since I still had two hours of work to do when I got home and I was far too tired to drive back to campus :( I'm rather ashamed that I didn't go, since Tom's such a great person...but hopefully he won't remember whether I was there or not, since he turned 21 today.

Anyway, I should go to bed, but I'm trying to write here frequently and I don't want to fall off the bandwagon. Tomorrow--reunion dinner in FloMo. Yay! But first, many hours of work. Not so yay. But I'm liking work a lot right now, so that's a yay. So I guess things are balancing out somewhere between 'happy' and 'euphoric'. Katie--don't worry, I'm not on one of my 'life is beautiful' moments, but I'm sure you'll be able to read between the lines to figure out when I hit it and when the aftermath occurs :)