Wednesday, November 29, 2006

we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed

I realize that I'm repeating seventeen, but my aunt made an excellent point. I think that if my parents' marriage has survived moving to Ukraine (and the resultant radiation exposure), having to raise my brother (just kidding!), and building a new house, they can survive a reference to my mother's absolutely least favorite song. And 'Paradise by the Dashboard Lights' is a wonderful song--much better than that silly 'Sound of Music' crap.

Speaking of 'Sound of Music' crap, Gwen Stefani's latest single, 'Wind It Up', features samples of 'The Lonely Goatherd', and even features her yodeling. Hot! Read this fantastically mean review of the song; I actually kind of like the song, but it's because I have terrible taste. You know I'm going to get the album when it comes out.

I don't have much else to report; I coordinated a big event at work and it went off basically without a hitch, and with a standing-room-only crowd to boot. Then, I came home and did laundry, read some stuff for my short-story class, and watched the last half of 'The Unit' and all of '3lbs' on CBS. It's amazing how much of a ripoff '3lbs' is of 'House'--and speaking of 'House', I'm predicting a very 'house'-y weekend, since I haven't watched any episodes in over a week. Now, though, it's time for bed!

Monday, November 27, 2006

you are sixteen going on seventeen, baby it's time to think

Today was fun; going back to work wasn't so fun, but I hung out with Lauren (aka Subz) at lunch, so that was a good break. Then, I found out that Felicia's in town, and we ended up having fish and chips at Rose & Crown (the English-style pub in Palo Alto). She's spending the night with me tonight, so this is going to be a v. short post--I should really go to bed so that I can get up tomorrow, take her to the train station, and then go to work. It's been great hanging out, though, even if it did open up all of the usual discussions about what's going on with our lives and what we'd rather do than what we're currently doing :) Hopefully that rather jumbled sentence made some semblance of sense.

Okay, my language is all tortured tonight--I think I burned out my language capabilities while working on my story yesterday. I signed myself up for more pain next quarter--registration for winter quarter opened this morning, and I signed up for the 'writing comic fiction and memoir' class, which will unfortunately conflict with watching 'Lost', but I suppose artists have to sacrifice to make progress, right? Now, though, I really should go to bed--morning will come all too soon.

But, one last note for my family: as I was giving Felicia the grand tour of the apartment, we found a box elder bug crawling across my kitchen floor. Those bastards are hardy little creatures! This one clearly rode over in my luggage and has been hanging out in my apartment for three days. Damn them!

sixteen just held such better days, days when i could still feel alive

I did nothing today but work on my story for class. I was supposed to go to see the new Bond movie with Claudia and Oniel, but my head has hurt for days and I was feeling rather weak, so I called them an cancelled. Lame, right? Then I intended to go to bed early, but I started writing again (I had written all afternoon at a couple of different cafes in the area) and ended up finishing the story around eleven, then typing and editing it until three minutes ago. Now it's as done as it's going to get, and emailed out to my classmates, which means all I can do is wait in agony until I hear the critiques. I'll post it tomorrow, but right now I'm too tired to be bothered with such nonsense.

Instead, I will leave you with this horrifying story that I read on CNN:

This chick had disappeared and her family had been looking for her for two weeks--but it turns out she had been trapped behind her own bookcase and died! Awful!

On that note, it's time for bed, so that I can get up and go back to work tomorrow, yay. I can't try the whole 'I-fell-behind-the-bookcase-and-can't-come-to-work' excuse, unfortunately, because by bookcases are Ikea sets that would fall over if I leaned a book against them the wrong way, so that means I really should get some sleep.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

it's raining in baltimore, fifteen miles east

Happy Thanksgiving!! I celebrated mine in true Midwestern style; we had dinner at 2pm (supposed to be one p.m., but slightly delayed due to a turkey that refused to finish cooking), and so I stuffed myself with turkey, stuffing, mashed pototoes, gravy, corn casserole, green bean casserole, homemade rolls (with homemade plum jam!), and pumpkin pie. Mmmmm. It was exactly what I would have made if I had been in California, but my mother made it instead, which is what I give thanks for on this Thanksgiving :) Also, I wouldn't have made my piecrust from scratch--my mother did, and she had one left over when she was making them yesterday, so we enjoyed a chocolate meringue pie yesterday that has to be one of the best pies in the history of the world. I'm going to have to experiment with pie-making, if only because my mother hates cherry pie, and that's one of my favorites.

The only attendees of this Thanksgiving batch were my sister and her family, my grandmother, my brother, my parents, and me. We were pretty crowded around our dining table, as we have been for the past couple of decades, so I can't wait until the new house is finished. I've gone out to look at it a couple of times since coming home, but it's hard because I just want it to be finished--mostly for my parents' sake, so that they can start thinking about something other than cabinets and light fixtures and paint schemes. Luckily for me, I get to go back to California tomorrow and leave it behind until Christmas--it won't be done then either, but they should be moved in by spring.

Now I should go to bed; I have to wake up tomorrow and finish packing so that I can go to the airport and catch a flight back to San Francisco. Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

in eighteen fourteen we took a little trip--along with colonel jackson down the mighty mississip'

I'm using this lyric for 'fourteen' rather than 'eighteen' because there are plenty of lyrics about eighteen-year-olds, but many fewer songs referencing fourteen--must be something about the varying legality of sex with individuals in those age groups.

I didn't do anything worth mentioning today, but I shall proceed to mention it anyway. I slept until noon, watched a couple of hours of the afternoon soaps, got angry about how annoying the Dr. Phil show is, then hung out and did nothing until dinner. I watched some more CBS evening programming, including '3lbs', their new show about neurosurgeons, which is basically a complete rip-off of 'House'--I read an article in which it was mentioned that CBS scheduled '3lbs' in that time slot to take advantage of people watching 'House' in the earlier slot and switching around to find another show that might interest them. It wasn't bad, but I'm much more excited about getting back to California and watching the rest of my second-season DVDs than I am about getting into another doctor show.

Now I need to work on a story; my parents are asleep and my brother's out of the house, so I may be able to get something done. We shall see, though. Goodnight!

Monday, November 20, 2006

while you were sittin' home alone at age thirteen, your real daddy was dying--sorry you didn't see him, but i'm glad we talked

Hello! Apologies for the hiatus; I actually completely made up the prognosis of my weekend on Friday, because I was flying home early Saturday morning as a surprise for my father's fiftieth birthday. I got into Des Moines around 1pm, rented a car, and drove the hour and a half south to my ancestral home. I managed to surprise my father (I think), but since everyone else knew I was coming home, the rest of it wasn't quite so surprising. I made it home in time for my father's night-before birthday dinner at the tavern that we typically go to when I'm home; they opened up the sliding door that separates the restaurant from the main part of the American Legion hall and set up tables for us in there. I had the most delicious ribeye steak that I've had in awhile (although the ribeyes that I George Foreman'd a few weeks ago were pretty stellar), while enjoying the company of my aunt and her scandalous boyfriend, my uncle and his wife and kid (who was totally rockin' a John Lennon haircut, but didn't know what I was talking about when I told him that), my sister, nieces, and nephew, my brother, my parents, my grandmother, and my grandfather's identical twin brother and his wife, who were visiting from Texas. That adds up to sixteen people, but unfortunately the room was too large for us to impact it with our collective body heat, and I was *freezing*--or perhaps I'm just spoiled from living in California.

It was weird to see my grandfather's twin, since they look so much alike and yet subtly different. But, it was good to see him too, and I'm glad that this surprise birthday visit just happened to coincide with their visit. We had another birthday dinner (with all of the aforementioned participants, minus my sister and her kids) on Sunday--but this dinner was at traditional dinnertime (12:30-1pm), rather than the traditional suppertime (7pm) of the previous evening's festivities. Gram made ham balls, which I have only ever had at her house; I don't think most people grind up ham and pork and cover it in a sugary/vinegary sauce, but they're delicious. Anyway, now the birthday festivities are done, and we can return to regularly scheduled programming until Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Then, I'm going back to California on Friday, so that I'll have the weekend to recover from everything I ate this week. Mmm.

I really need to write a story this week, since I need to email it to my classmates by the weekend, but I have no idea what to write. I could continue the story that I turned in last time, but I want to write something more meaningful/tragic. We'll see what we come up with, but for now I should go to bed!

Friday, November 17, 2006

annie's twelve years old, in two more she'll be a whore--nobody ever told her it's the wrong way

I was supposed to see the James Bond movie tonight, but there were massive constraints on my friends' schedules, and I ended up feeling too lazy to deal with them. So, I skipped the movie, and instead had dinner with Claudius at CPK. I had the roasted garlic chicken pizza because I'm incapable of ordering anything other than that when I go to CPK. It was great to see her--she's been busy applying to grad schools and I've been busy with work, so we haven't spent as much time together as usual.

This week was, as predicted, ridiculous, and next week will probably be ridiculous as well. I don't see things getting any better between now and the end of the year. The funny thing is that I've brought much of it on myself; I've been feeling more motivated at work recently (probably because I can only slack for a few weeks before getting completely bored and depressed), and so I've created all sorts of projects for myself. That's a good thing, but it's also exhausting, and the end of the year is always the most hectic time for my team anyway.

I don't have any exciting plans for the weekend; the top item on my agenda is to figure out which class I'm taking next quarter, followed shortly thereafter by writing the story that I need to turn in over Thanksgiving weekend. I should also clean my apartment in case I decide to have anyone over for Thanksgiving dinner, but given the fact that I feel like all of my friends either have family in the area or are going someplace else for Thanksgiving, my plans this year may be decidely low-key. A turkey sandwich and a side of self-pity is an adequate Thanksgiving dinner, right? Regardless, it can't be worse than the Thanksgiving I had my sophomore year of college; it was the first time I'd ever spent Thanksgiving away from my family, and I ended up having dinner in Wilbur Dining with Angela and the other random, sad-looking people who were eating on campus for Thanksgiving. Ugh. The very memory makes me want to throw myself off the nearest tall building. Luckily for all of us, I'm too lazy to go out and find a tall building, so I think I'm safe from that memory, at least for now.

I'm surprisingly exhausted, probably because I haven't slept enough recently, so it's time for bed!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

eleven pipers piping

I had a decent day at work, even if I got there later than intended; I was actually on track to be on time for my nine a.m. call, but some idiot had parked on the street and completely blocked my driveway. I debated getting them towed, but investigation indicated that they had a small child (there was a carseat), their registration had expired in July, and I inferred that they were visiting the clinic down the street from my house. I took the call from my couch, went outside at 10:30 to discover that the car was still there, but the car behind them had moved, so I was able to get out by cutting over the sidewalk. I felt too bad about calling the cops on what was probably a lower-income (which around here means $60,000/year) mother having trouble making ends me, so I didn't make the call--but on second part, she was probably just flaky and irresponsible. The expired registration could indicate laziness rather than poverty--or at least that's what my expired registration indicated last January. Sigh. Oh, well, if she's there again tomorrow I'll get her towed, and I will smirk while I do it.

I had a call at nine a.m., and I had a call at seven p.m., which made for a rather long day. I came home, watched a couple of episodes of 'House' (as though I need to tell you that), and now it's time for bed. I have class tomorrow, which I'm not ready for, but that's just an excuse to leave work early. After that, I'll only have two more class periods left! That means I need to decide what to do next quarter ASAP, but for now I'm going to bed.

ten hundred percent, ten hundred percent, never forget

Ohmigosh, I love Grand Buffet. They're this random rap/electronica band thing that opened for Wesley Willis several years ago in San Francisco. I shouldn't have gone to the Wesley Willis concert, but I thought it would be funny; turns out he just gave me a headache, but now he's passed away, so I guess it's questionably a good thing that I went. The surprise hit, though, was Grand Buffet, who stood out from the other two terrible openers by being completely insane. The title tonight is from one of their seminal songs, '1000 Percent' (pronounced 'ten hundred percent', and thus valid for my little game). They also have such great offerings as 'You're On Fire' and 'Let's Go Find the Cat'. The latter of those songs has the amazing lyric 'That little kitty's gone and we're out lookin' / I hope that no one really mean has took him'. Ah, memories.

I had a conference call at eight a.m. this morning, which I took from home, and then made it into the office in time for my nine a.m. meeting. I was busy all day, came home and watched two episodes of 'House' [fyi to Felicia--I didn't see tonight's new episode because I'm catching up with Season Two first, but I can't wait!]. Then I went over to Shedletsky and Joanna's for a bit because Jasmine was visiting for one night only from Seattle. It was great to see her, and I had fun hanging out with the Erics (come to think of it, three of the nine people in the room at one point were Erics!), Can, Brendan, Joanna, and Shedletsky as well. Now it's time to go to sleep; tomorrow is going to be frenetic, and I also have to get ready for my class on Thursday. Sleep well!

Monday, November 13, 2006

but when i kissed a cop down on thirty-fourth and vine, he broke my little bottle of love potion number nine

I'm going to have to assume that I'm not going to reach thirty-four in my title-game, and burn the 'Love Potion Number Nine' reference tonight instead.

However, I'm perhaps burning it foolishly, since I have nothing to report. I had a difficult time falling asleep last night, no doubt due to all of the sleep I had this weekend and all of the coffee/tea I had yesterday, but now I'm really tired, so I may actually go to bed before ten p.m. I got home around 6:15, made dinner (steak and spaghetti), and watched a couple of episodes of 'House'. Then, I started thumbing through a book on creative writing that I just got from Amazon, but I'm too tired to continue. So, it's sleepy-time insted. After doing laundry yesterday, I was able to put my flannel sheets on my bed, which definitely makes me feel all safe and cozy. It's been raining off and on since last night, which means that the rain is making all sorts of noise on my roof; this is the first time in awhile that I don't have a floor above my apartment, so I can hear everything going on with the weather. It's wonderful--not as wonderful as if there were blizzards or thunderstorms like at home, but wonderful nonetheless.

After one of the more boring blog posts in recent memory, it's time for me to go to bed!

eight days a week is not enough to show i care

Last night, I went to the city for Vidya's housewarming party. As of the latest report (three minutes ago), she was not fined for the riotous ruckus that ensued, which is great. Claudius and I went up around sixish to have dinner with Vidya, Sri, and Mini beforehand; we had crepes, which may have almost gotten me over my hatred of the Dutch equivalent (pannekoeken, which I had in Amsterdam and absolutely loathed--but then again, when I was in Amsterdam, I was predisposed to hating everything around me, so maybe I judged it a bit harshly). My crepe was stuffed with cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, and avocadoes--and my mouth is watering just thinking about it. As I told Vidya, I'm not any more likely to visit her more than once every three months--but I will now have to insist on eating there every time I do visit her.

The party was fun, if you like parties where you don't know anyone. Actually, it did get better; John and Jess showed up, followed by Tom and Julie, and so we had a grand ol' time. I wasn't drinking since I was driving, so perhaps I didn't have as much fun as some of the other people in the room, but it was nice nonetheless. And, the benefit of leaving at 1am was that there was no traffic coming home, so I made it home in half an hour and wasn't stuck watching someone else's bumper while creeping along at twenty miles per hour. Bonus!

Today, I woke up at the insanely early hour of eleven a.m., leisurely read the news (online, natch), then ran to the Stanford mall for some essentials that I had been avoiding picking up for weeks. By 'essentials' I mean 'foundation' and 'moisturizer', which of course extended into a lipstick and two tubes of lipgloss. I also paid my utilities bill and grabbed lunch, then came home and watched some figure skating thanks to a heads-up text from my favorite dealer of all things tangentially related to the Olympics (you may know my dealer as Tammy). None of the skating was particularly appealing; it was one of the first competitions of the season, so everyone seemed a bit rusty. There was an interesting interview with Johnny Weir, however, who has said that he wants to stop concentrating on offending people and start working harder to improve his skating. His method of not offending people includes a long program in which he portrays Jesus Christ (grown-up Jesus, not 'sweet baby Jesus' of 'Taladega Nights' fame). Actually, I don't know if he was grown-up or baby Jesus, since his program made very little sense conceptually. He ended up coming in third, unfortunately; this would have been acceptable if he had spent the entire interview showing off his Gucci purses and dozens of pairs of designer sunglasses, but since he's supposed to be working now, I demand that he land all of his jumps!! Just kidding, I can't wait to see whether he improves this season--and I must say that his interview put he more in line with the rest of the obviously-gay male figure skating crew. His interview during the Torino games made Brian Boitano look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but this one made him look like your average closet case. I'll miss the old Johnny, but I'm looking forward to some good skating this year.

After watching some skating and fulfilling my weekly obligation to my parents (always a pleasure, particularly when I discover the unmentionable things that they're now adding to their to-do lists), I did several loads of laundry, then folded those loads of laundry while watching several episodes of 'House'. Granted, I could have folded all of my clothes in twenty minutes of silence, rather than 2.25 hours of 'House', but where would the fun have been in that? Then I caught up on some work that came in over the weekend, wrote the paragraphs above, and am now ready for bed. This week is going to be hellish--I have three pre-nine-a.m. meetings, plans to see Jasmine Tuesday night, an offsite and a conference call Wednesday night, and class on Thursday night. Then I need to spend the weekend plotting my next story for class, if I don't have to spend it getting caught up on work before the short Thanksgiving week. Ugh. The last thing I need is to get a late start tomorrow, so I should go to bed. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

all seven and we'll watch them fall--they stand in the way of love and we will smoke them all

I somehow managed to sleep for over twelve hours--that's what I get for not setting an alarm. Consequently, I didn't get out of bed until one p.m., which put a definite constraint on the amount that I could get done today. I played around on my computer for awhile, ran to Safeway to buy a package of tortillas, and then came home and made myself some danged quesadillas (with peppers and chicken that have been patiently awaiting me in the freezer). Now I'm sitting around for another hour before getting ready to go to zee city.

'Zee city', you say? Yes, zee city. I know that I frequently rail against the city and everything that it entails--difficult parking situations, dirt, too many homeless people, too many people in general, not enough space, etc. But, I have to go up--it may be Veterans' Day, which is better suited for somber reflection, but Vidya's having a housewarming party tonight, and I suppose I should go so that I can maintain the friendship. However, true to my slightly cantankerous ways, I'm going up early so that I can vacate when it begins to get more crowded; there will only be a few people I know there, so I have no desire to show up late and then stand soberly in the corner until it's time for me to drive home. Claude's riding up with me, which should be nice.

Last night, I had no plans as of 5:30pm--and then as of 5:45pm, I had plans for both dinner and a movie with two different sets of people. I had tasty enchiladas with Terry at Celia's (the Mexican restaurant that I believe my parents took me and Claudia to awhile ago), and then left her to meet up with Sri, Claude, and Oniel at the movie theatre to see 'The Departed'. Unfortunately, Oniel went to the wrong theatre and then decided not to come because he would miss the first fifteen minutes of the film, and Sri/Claude were late enough that we had to sit four rows away from the screen. The showing was surprisingly packed considering that the movie has been out for several weeks. Despite our poor seating location, I really liked the movie--it was much better than I anticipated, and by 'better' I mean 'funnier', so I didn't leave the theatre feeling unspeakably grim. Leonardo DiCaprio was fantastic, even though I wished that they had used 'My Heart Will Go On' as the background music for his sex scene, and Jack Nicholson was as maniacal as always. I especially enjoyed Mark Wahlberg's (aka Marky Mark's) character; I loved him in 'The Italian Job' and 'I Heart Huckabees', so I was happy that he was in this movie.

Now I should stop blogging so that I can be lazy for another hour before getting ready :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

six a.m., day after christmas, i throw some clothes on in the dark

Phew, I just managed to pull out a song with the number six in it; this is the opening line to 'Brick' by Ben Folds Five, which I used to be obsessed with. I spent far too much time listening to this song, which is extremely depressing--or rather, the song is depressing, and it's also depressing that I listened to it so much during a now-distant period of my life. But, that's all in the past, happily. I've moved on to other ridiculously-depressing songs, but I still listen to this one occasionally and get a twinge of nostalgia.

I had class tonight, which was v. satisfying. I stupidly volunteered to bring in my second story a week earlier than I was supposed to, but I wanted to avoid having it commented upon during the last class period, because six people had signed up to bring stories for the last class, which seemed to be a bit much. Oh, well, now I have something to do over Thanksgiving--I'm having dinner w/some friends on Thanksgiving day, but I have no plans for Thanksgiving weekend, and I'm sure that I'll be through with the second season of 'House' by then, which will leave me with nothing to do but stare at the wall and wonder what will happen with my life [blame my pessimism on the fact that I decided to listen to 'Brick' after thinking of the lyric]. Now I just need to come up with a story! If only that were the easy part...

I'm trying to decide whether to sign up for another class. The Stanford continuing studies catalog is out now, and registration for winter quarter is at the end of this month. However, I don't know if I would get much out of another creative writing class. I'm tempted to take an actual literature class; I'm tossing around the idea again of applying to English grad school, and I'm sure that my application would be improved by a demonstrated and sincere interest in literature. Then again, grad school seems like an exorbitantly-expensive five-to-seven year 'vacation' from the real world that will come to a crashing halt when I have to scramble to find a tenure-track position, or risk teaching basic composition to idiots at a community college in North Dakota. Ugh. So, we'll see. But, I may take a six-month online course on English novels through UC-Berkeley Extension; it would have the advantage of putting me into contact w/a bona fide professor, and I think that I could learn a lot just from critiquing classic works. We shall see, we shall see. Now I should go to bed, though, so that I can go to work tomorrow. The weekend is already here! That means twenty episodes of 'House' and some Easy Mac. Yay.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

five five five for my lonely

So the rule is that I can't use any song more than once, which means that Violent Femmes' 'Kiss Off' is now out of the running, even though they count up to ten. Sadness!

I don't have much to report; I had a pretty standard day at work, and then came home, where I tried to read the stuff for my short story class tomorrow. However, I didn't get very far because Jenni and Nick came over, and so we watched some 'Scrubs' and 'Office' reruns until 'Lost' came on. The episode sucked; it definitely wasn't enough of a cliffhanger to keep me particularly interested until February, which is when the show will start up again. They've really destroyed a great series. But hey, that's fine with me--that means that I can watch 'Criminal Minds' for the next few months without the nagging feeling that I might actually miss an interesting plot development on 'Lost'. Yay!

After they left, I watched a couple of episodes of 'House', checked my email, and now am blogging. As soon as I'm done with this, I'm going to go to bed so that I can go to work and crank through as much stuff as possible so that I can leave and go to my class. I can't believe class has gone so fast; I only have four sessions left, since we're off for Thanksgiving night and the class ends on December 7, when the Stanford academic quarter is over. I need to decide soonish if I'm going to take another class winter quarter. This class has been really good for me, and I've enjoyed it, so I'm tempted to sign up for another one. I also think that I need more discipline in my life, and being forced to do something regularly every week has been good for my underdeveloped sense of structure. Then again, I rebel against regularity, so who knows what will happen. What I do know is that I'm tired now, so it's time for bed!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

friend is a four letter word

Let's see how much longer I can keep going with the number titles--it's like a game of 'Encore', only with even less reward than usual! [for those of you who've never played 'Encore', it involves dividing into two teams and taking turns coming up with snippets of song lyrics containing the word listed on a card drawn when you go around the board. fun, but only if you like songs.]

I didn't end up watching much election coverage, since there wasn't much election coverage to be found on television unless I watched one of the lame all-news networks. How disappointing--but it was a great excuse to watch five episodes of 'House'. I watched a bit of 'The Daily Show'; they had one great part with Dan Rather, who said that Hillary Clinton won her Senate seat with this type of lead: 'I thought she ran away with it like a hobo with a sweet potato pie.' Ha!

The other great thing that happened today was when I was checking earlier this afternoon to find out what was going on with the election, and discovered that Britney Spears had filed for divorce. The great thing about this was that it occupied the entire bright-red 'Breaking News' box at the top of the screen, which made it more important than any House, Senate, or governor race in the United States of America. Twenty years from now, I'm going to be casting a vote between Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton for president, but I'm going to stab myself in the face before actually pushing the touchscreen because I will realize that our society has finally collapsed. I can't wait!

Now it's time to go to bed--goodnight!

Monday, November 06, 2006

three is a magic number

I'm completely addicted to 'House'. I came home tonight and luckily forced myself to finish cleaning my kitchen before sitting down. After sitting down, though, I watched four episodes. I was able to convince myself to stop because a) the disc automatically shut off since there are only four episodes on each side, and b) there are only two more left of the season that I have, and I won't get the second season until it arrives from Amazon on Wednesday. Consequently, it's in my best interests to save a couple for tomorrow, since election coverage doesn't start here until later in the evening anyway for some inexplicable reason. It's almost like the media cares so much about getting everyone into a blinding fury about the election, but doesn't want to risk alienating the 60% of people who won't vote by cancelling their tv shows. Lame.

Anyway, work was fine today, but I was correct in my assumption that things are going to get busier. It won't be long before I'm working nights and weekends again, yay. I still need to write another story for my short story class, though, and I have no idea what to write about. I don't really want to continue the public storage story for the purposes of this class; I do want to finish it someday, but I'd rather try something new to get critiqued upon. But considering that my life currently consists of cooking and watching 'House' episodes, I don't have the most exciting drama to work off of.

I'm finding myself getting that old urge to do something drastic--chop off my hair (which I haven't cut since South Africa, so it could use it), move to a different office (Michigan, Delhi, Argentina), quit my job and practice yoga in some village in the Himalayas, etc., etc. It's too bad I'm not into extreme sports--this could probably all be killed by some sky- or scuba-diving. Then again, it could be killed by falling 10,000 feet to my death or being eaten by sharks, which would be much more permanent than the adrenaline rush I was initially envisioning. Anyway, I'll settle down and be good, but tonight I really just want to be in some third-world hellhole, rather than my posh Palo Alto apartment. Instead, I'm going to go to bed so that the urge to run off to the hills subsides. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

two can be as bad as one

I saw 'Borat' today with Claudia and Oniel. It more than lived up to my expectations. It's rare that I pick a movie that a) lives up to hype and b) doesn't alienate my friends, but this particular one was a winner. High five!

The movie was also thought-provoking, in the way that all good satire should be. There were a couple of people in the movie who were clearly completely intolerant. There were also a lot of people who may or may not have been intolerant, but were too polite to actually say anything to stop Borat from being anti-Semitic, misogynist, or whatever he was being at the moment. This leads back to the always-interesting question of what you would do if confronted by an awkward or even evil situation that had no direct threat to you. Politeness is one of the glues that holds society together, but it is also a weakness that can be exploited by people who are looking for passive acceptance (or at least non-intervention) in bad dealings. The obvious, wildly hysterical leap is to say that not speaking up when someone is being anti-Semitic is one step away from permitting the Holocaust. There are a lot of steps in between those two extremes--but if I'm being completely honest with myself, I would say that there are several situations in the movie that I probably would have played along with as well. I'm sure that if I were a gun-seller and someone asked me which gun is best for 'hunting Jews', I wouldn't sell the dude a gun. But, for all the years that I spent studying the German resistance, I still can't say with 100% certainty that, confronted with the same situation, I would have the strength and courage necessary to do the right thing. I think I would have the strength and courage to be part of an active resistance, but I don't know that I would feel powerful enough to stop such a thing in the first place. These ramblings are rather depressing for a Saturday night--but they are worth keeping in mind, since such reflection is necessary to help shape one's belief system *before*, rather than after, an earth-shaking conflict/collapse happens.

After the movie, the three of us chatted for awhile, and then I came home. I was going to accomplish all sorts of stuff, but I ended up looking up recipes on the internet, eating the other steak, going to the grocery store, and watching four episodes of 'House'. I decided to try making a breakfast casserole for tomorrow, since this will cut down on prep time at the moment of arrival; I was able to mix up the casserole tonight, so all that's left is to pop it in the oven and then make some fried potatoes and french toast. Mmm. In light of my brunch plans, I should go to bed, since I'm exhausted. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

one is the loneliest number

One may be the loneliest number--which is why I bought *two* ribeye steaks tonight, so that I could eat one tonight and one later in the weekend. Mmmmmm. Best decision *ever*. I also bought two delicious baking potatoes. So, after running errands and coming home tonight, I opened a bottle of pinot noir, baked a potato, cooked a steak (I should have just seared it--the fact that there was only a bit of blood on the plate shows that I overcooked it) on my George Foreman grill, and watched four episodes of 'House' while drinking two-thirds of the bottle of wine. This was not extravagance or alcoholism on my part, considering that it spanned three hours or so. It was, however, social avoidance at its most glorious. I'm going to be moderately busy the rest of the weekend, since I'm seeing a movie tomorrow and having some people over for brunch on Sunday, and I have a feeling that this last week was the last period between now and sometime in January where I will be truly relaxed, since the next two months are part of the frantic end-of-fiscal-year, end-of-calendar-year, crazy-holiday season. Yippee skippee.

I'm really in love with 'House'. I mean, it's a doctor show, *and* the theme song a lyricless version of 'Teardrop' by Massive Attack, which I've always loved. The fact that they can combine doctors and Massive Attack means that this show was designed for me. Watching doctor shows always makes me think that maybe I shouldn't have been quite so quick to give up on my doctor dreams when I discovered the disgusting 'miracle' of childbirth in second grade. Then again, I feel a lot of sympathetic pain when I'm watching people get hurt in movies--but perhaps I wouldn't feel it if I were deliberately cutting a hold in someone's trachea. Hmm. All of this is pure speculation, though, since I moved off the doctor path long ago. It's interesting, though, that I chose Stanford because of its engineering program--I thought I'd end up in biomedical engineering. Look how the mighty have fallen.

Maybe the pinot noir is making me feel maudlin, or perhaps it's making me feel overly arrogant, but I think that I've been a little unhappy recently because I don't feel intellectually challenged by anything. It's funny, because in general I don't feel like I'm noticeably smarter than other people, but then one of my friends will casually say something about how I'm one of the smartest people they've ever met--which has to mean something, since this friend went to a top university and surely came across other smart individuals.

This isn't meant to sound like I'm bragging. Instead, maybe it's a cry for help--things like that just somehow drag me back to high school, and I still have this vivid memory of my senior awards night, when I was cleaning up with medals and certificates for various achievements, and every time I came off the stage after another award, this one particular girl kept flashing the running count of how many awards I'd gotten. It didn't exactly feel supportive, though; it seemed like more of a reminder that I was *different* from the people around me, when what I really wanted (at the time at least) was a normal teenage life, with alcohol and drugs and illicit sex and all sorts of bad behavior. I chose to go to Stanford (or, if not Stanford, another top university) because I didn't want to be different anymore, but clearly surrounding myself with other dorky people wasn't enough. Whatever is missing in my life won't be solved by finding people who are smarter than me (which, ironically, would probably just piss me off--for all that I talk about wanting to fit in, I'm also extremely competitive).

Maybe the problem is that I feel like I'm overburdened by the weight of this gift, whatever it is; I still have enough of that old-school sense that you're supposed to *do* something with your gifts, and that gifts exist for a reason beyond just some weird fluke of DNA, which means that theoretically I should be using mine for something more than overseeing quality assurance of customer support interactions while multitasking by reading celebrity gossip blogs. So until I figure out what I'm supposed to be doing, I won't be satisfied; but right now I'm so dissatisfied that I'm not energetic enough to change things.

Okay, enough of this, I'm even starting to annoy myself. Time for bed! Tomorrow I'm seeing 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan', which should do a lot to help my mood. Until then, goodnight!

Friday, November 03, 2006

i come from a land down under

It's past my bedtime, but I figured there are at least a few of you who only use this blog to ensure that I'm still alive, so I decided to alleviate your fears. I've been busy the past few days; work is picking up again, I had some people over last night to watch 'Lost', and I had my writing class tonight. Last night was fun; I made french onion soup that turned out rather well, and Arod, Jenni, Heather and I watched what ended up being the best episode of the season thus far (perhaps that's not saying much, but it was still intriguing). Tonight's class was also good, and it made me excited about writing the next story that I have to turn in. It's not technically due until after Thanksgiving, but I want to try writing something other than the continuation of the story that I turned in last time, so I should start thinking about it.

Okay, lame post, but I'm exhausted--if you're lucky, I'll feel all introspective this weekend, in which case you're guaranteed to get an overly-long, overly-pseudo-philosophical rant about my life. Until then, though, enjoy your Friday!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

how is it november already???

Well, I think I'm glad that I had a quiet evening; after watching 'CSI: NY', I saw the first five minutes of the Bay Area evening news and found that the top breaking news stories were a mass shooting at the annual Halloween party on Castro Street in SF, and a bomb explosion at the eBay/PayPal campus in San Jose. I'm glad that I hate Halloween and don't work at eBay! Instead, I left work at a decent hour, met Claude in Menlo Park at our favorite tapas place, and indulged in some delicious bacon-wrapped dates and patatas bravas. I came home, watched some tv, and then ventured out to do some midnight grocery shopping for the french onion soup that I intend to make tomorrow night. Now I should go to bed so that I can get up early, come home early, and make my soup!

Honestly, though, can you believe it's November? That means I've been back from India for over a year. Crazy. I shall contemplate that during my all-to-brief dream-period tonight; goodnight!