Do you remember
reading Greek myths in high school? In particular, do you remember your
weary teacher telling you that hubris was usually the downfall of six out of
every seven human protagonists - usually while glancing sidelong at the
class clown? Well, Alex and I had our own slightly mythic downfall, yesterday.
We decided to drive into San Francisco, on Halloween. Worse yet, we tried to
drive OUT of San Francisco on Halloween night. What arrogant fools we were!
If it hadn't been for the enheartening sight of tow trucks doing a roaring
trade removing the cars of desperate motorists who had decided that the
middle lane of traffic was an exciting new parking possibility, I think Alex
would have committed hari-kari at the corner of Market and Castro.
But, despite being book-ended by aptly nightmarish activity, the visit with Lisa and Kirk went very well. Once again, Alex and I have had the great good fortune to have met new friends via gaming, who are more than capable of talking about something other than gaming - yay!
Lisa cooked an amazing meal - crab dumpling thingies, spicy chicken and spinach soup and, for want of a better description, asian beef mini-kebabs with indescribably tasty Japanese coleslaw. The gourmet gauntlet has been thrown! Lisa says she doesn't like to cook very often, but, of course, I feel the need to return the gesture. Alas, that might not be possible, as Lisa is very allergic to dogs and - as you might now - my place is regularly awash in dog hair...
During our visit, Kirk took us up the road to the local Halloween block-party. Every year, a three block stretch of a road off Parnassus is shut down to vehicles and made into a safe area for kids to go trick or treating. The neighborhood was packed with hundreds of kiddies and their families, and the area residents, of course, go for Halloween in a big way. Many of them had transformed their garages into spooky scenarios and the like, and I don't just mean that a few fake cobwebs and cardboard skeletons had been put out. Oh no. The more sophisticated presentations featured backdrops, draped walls, elaborate lighting, vast amounts of dry ice and gruesomely made-up givers of candy.
My favorite was the daredevil chap who dangled by a harness from a tree. The harness had been rigged up to look like he was hanging from a noose and the chap gleefully swung and cackled as he threw candy to the kids. Alex made a succinct comment: "Let's hope none of those kids get the idea he's a piñata..."
Alex nearly fell into a food coma - coming down off the driving-stress didn't help, but he was rescued from social embarrassment by deeply geeky conversation with Lisa about graphical design. Meanwhile, Kirk and I were cruising the web and talking about The Tick. Intellectual, it wasn't, but it was fun. Alex and I are suffering from the as-you-get-older-it's-harder-to-meet-new-friends syndrome, so last night was a pleasant change from visiting with the usual crowd.
Otherwise, things have been as close to peaceful as they get in my life. Although I did make what might be a big mistake... I bought Civilization II to amuse myself at home. And, just because fighting for computer time always enlivens a marriage, Alex just got a similarly engrossing game, Baldur's Gate. I guess this will be a true test of our marriage... ;)
Don't forget to vote, tomorrow! This is the only time of year I gnash my teeth about being a non-citizen...
"Remember, vote early, vote often!" - Chicago, circa 1924.
It gets worse. Last night, while watching a documentary on Alfred Hitchcock and David Selznick, we were inspired for the sequel to Valley of The Kings. Talk about putting the cart before the horse.... Still, it's a good idea - I'm not divulging any details just yet - and it might work. The trick is going to be resisting the temptation to think about that idea, before the first one is finished...
Momentary aside: as I tap this out on my palm pilot on the way to work, two of my fellow commuters have obviously forgotten the "Thou shalt be silent" commandment that pervades all morning train rides, which wouldn't be an aggravation if one of them didn't have an eighty decibel laugh that sounds like an elderly seagull defending its territory. And it seems that their conversation is a real knee-slapper, too... Oh no! The loud guy in front of me is trying to have a conversation with someone on the other side of the train. Arghh. Oh god, now he's treating everyone to a running monologue on the blindingly obvious, and severely creeping out the young woman next to him... Gosh, I love public transit...
wonkiness. For the past year or so, Alex as been researching the Washington
state town of Port Townsend. He didn't intend for the research to be quite
so extensive, but the game kickoff keeps getting delayed, and so Alex keeps
tooling around with his research. By this point, Alex should be working for
Port Townsend's chamber of commerce, as he certainly knows enough about the
As he was perusing his latest stack of literature about the joint - and there's quite a bit, as it makes a lot of money off the tourist trade by hosting a fistful of art and music festivals - I made a suggestion that I'm probably going to regret. "It's not too far," I say. "Why don't we fly up there for a weekend, next summer?" I admit, I only suggested it because it does sound like a nice place, not because I want to further Alex's ongoing research.
Port Townsend is on the borders of the Mount Olympic State Park, it doesn't get as much rain as the rest of the state, and - as mentioned before - it hosts some widely acclaimed art festivals. Personally, I want to see the annual kinetic sculpture race. It doesn't involve hurling nasty municipal sculptures across town via catapult, as I had first hoped but it's almost as good. Last year's winner was a giant rubber duck,constructed out of several thousand smaller rubber ducks, with locomotion provided by fifty thousand rubber bands. How cool is that?
I'm just a little worried that Alex might like the town a little too much... ;)
They were like the Russian secret police, if the secret police was really into shoes... - Angel, speaking of Cordelia's social group.
I lost another two hours of my life to Civ 2, last night. The nefariousness of that game lies in that there is no logical stopping point, so I just keep going...for hours...
Buffy last night
was okay, although I was gnashing my teeth at Willow until she revealed that
she was only acting like a bimbo.
Batman - uh, I mean Angel - was about the same. I liked the actual story behind the poltergeist activity, as opposed to what Angel and co. assumed, but it was a bit "Cask Of Amontillado"-ish. I'll save further opinion for Seraphim.
A weird tangent occurred to me on the car ride home last night. Why do internal observations require time to make? Why do the electric buzzings in my skull result in supposedly coherent thought and not just random twitching? What's stopping a nine volt battery smothered in peanut butter from achieving intelligence? And whatinhell is in the smog these days to inspire such nonsense?
Gotta get some work done today, before I slide off to the Pet Shop Boys concert at the Warfield....
...I'll do what you want, if you want it enough. I'll put down my book and start falling in love. - Young Offender, Pet Shop Boys.
Otherwise, not much news. Tomorrow, Alex and I are going to be having dinner with Kevin and Collette, who we haven't visited in ages. Kevin is the guy that Alex wants to be when he grows up. We've taken to nicknaming Kevin "Buckaroo Banzai" because he's hyper-smart, can fly a plane, used to compete is fast-draw competitions and is a ki-aikido master... This is a man we do not want angry with us. ;) But, he's a wunnerful guy, and Collette is utterly charming in her own right. So, I'm looking forward to visiting with them. There is talk of a miniature commemoration of Bonfire Night, since it'll be the 5th of November - Kevin is Welsh, so sometimes have minor fits of anglophilia together. But burning historical would-be terrorists in effigy might not be understand in California... ;)
Remember, remember, the fifth of November. Gunpowder, treason and plot...
|The line outside Tower Records - taken when I was fooling around with the camera.||A very dark picture of the boys arriving at the store. The blonde-ish smudge in the middle is Neil Tennant, honest!|
|Chris and Neil looking very, um, enthusiastic||A rather underexposed pic of Neil Tennant.|
|Maybe the world is going to end - Chris Lowe, laughing. The larger picture isn't quite so dark.||Both of 'em, signing away.|
|And again...||Getting closer. Of course, the shelf in my way gets a great exposure from the flash...|
|Heather, of the green-coat, enjoying a moment of eye contact. ;)||Neil signing Heather's journal, Chris looks on...|
|A hastily snapped pic of yours truly - thanks, Heather!|
And, since I had to take the camera home last night....
|Sandy doing his best 'noble-servant' pose - Don't believe it for a moment.||Terminator Cat? Nope, it's the infamous Tigger!|
|My husband, Alex, with our 'kids'.||Finally, a picture of my tattoo! Please try to ignore my horrid pasty skin... ;)|
All in all, a night of innocent fun! ;) I actually have work to do today, so I had better get to it...
But in the back of my head, I heard distant feet - Che Guevera and
Debussy to a disco beat.
- Left to My Own Devices, Pet Shop Boys.
Had a very nice,
long-overdue visit with Kevin and his girlfriend Colette, last night. They
live in an unspeakably nifty geodeisic dome house in Hayward, which Colette
has decorated beautifully - although the dojo in the basement was all
Kevin's. Last time we visited, they had just moved in, and everything was in
boxes, so it was lovely to see those house as it should be.
Of course, while we were there, Alex and I were both thinking "Gosh, we wish we could have a place this stylish...". The only decorative theme in our place is cat hair and computer-related debris, with the occasional accent in junk-food bags. Sigh...
One of the crazier ideas that came up during the evening - although not so crazy as hyper intelligent pandas (don't ask) - was the notion of Alex's incipient vampire group taking a trip up to Port Townsend (mentioned a couple of days ago). It seems that Colette is rather keen on the idea of moving up north, also, if the right place could be found. Jennifer might have her gamer-colony, yet!
It was a fun - if brief - visit, reinforced with resolutions to get together more often (I haven't seen Kevin and Colette since my wedding, in May). This morning, though, I think I'm regretting the visit to Outback Steakhouse. Too much good food...groo....
So, I've been
spending the past couple of days in a bit of a nostalgic mood. I blame it on
the concert on Wednesday,
actually. When a favorite song was played, I'd automatically think about
where I was when I first heard it - or had it on continuous replay. West
End Girls, for example, I was in eighth grade and not terribly happy. I
was a new kid in town and having a hard time making friends because - let me
be honest here - I had a terrible attitude. I remember listening to that
song over and over again in my walkman, sitting in the teenage requisite of
A Dark Room.
Whereas Being Boring brought up a host of pretty good thoughts, as I heard about four years later, when I had settled down, cheered up and was fully exploiting the maxim "If you stay within the rules, you can get away with anything.". Just imagine the fun a slightly reckless seventeen year-old can have with that...
And Can You Forgive Her summoned up my 'man-eating' phase, unsurprisingly enough, the memories of which will probably make me wince until my dying day...
So, a lot of memories have been getting pulled out of memory-trunks and dusted off. And with memories, comes the usual bit of regret and "Should have, would have, could have...", but not so much as to be unbearable - thank heavens.
If I could change only one thing about the past, I would insist that I be braver. Despite the brash confident self I present in these electronic pages (yeah, right) fear has been the most severe obstacle in my life - fear of failure, fear of shame, fear of looking like a fool. So I'll rarely embark on a new project or opportunity, unless I quite confident of success - or, at least, not looking like a complete fool at the end of it. That makes for a cautious and not entirely exciting life.
Admittedly, fear does serve a viable purpose... Knowing my luck and occasional complete lack of common sense, I'd probably be dead by now, if it wasn't for the little scaredy cat in my head saying "Ummmm, maybe we shouldn't do this...".
But still, as I say, mild regrets and looking back...
Thanks to 'Walkyr who found and passed on the complete Guy Fawkes rhyme to me.
the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes
'Twas his intent
To blow up the King and the Parliament
Three score barrels of powder below
Poor old England to overthrow
By God's providence he was catched
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys,
Ring the bells ring
Holloa boys, holloa boys,
Goda save the King!
Hip hip hooray
Hip hip horray.
A penny loaf to
feed ol' Pope
A farthing cheese to choke him
A pint of beer to rinse it down
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar
Burn him like a blazing star
Burn his body from his head
Then we'll say old Pope is dead.
Hip hip hooray
Hip hip hooray
Next time if someone asks you if you're a god, you say yes!
out as a neutral day.
Good thing: I scrubbed both of my filthy bathrooms. Anybody got a tip for getting mildew off the ceiling that doesn't involve a floor mop and dripping chemicals that tend to burn on contact? Another good thing: I finally went to the grocery store and picked up lunches to take to work next week so I don't spend a fortune on overpriced sandwiches from trendy SoMa eateries.
Bad thing: I played Civilization 2 for about five hours.
So, as I say, a neutral day.
I felt really good about getting the bathrooms taken care of, though. I'm pretty indifferent about dirt, but even I was getting disguisted by the ceiling in the larger bathroom... The upstair's neighbor bath leaks, which has rotted a hole in our ceiling, above the tub and puts a lot more moisture at the ceiling level, which causes it to mildew with annoying rapidity and abundance. Of course, we've told the landlords about this, but given that the property owners have had a habit of changing landlords every six months for the past two years, it never gets seen to... Bah.
So every few weeks, I have to arm myself with a mop and a some highly-toxic mildew remover and mop the bathroom ceiling. It's a rather tricky operation because gravity keeps doing its thing, and I often get dripped on by aforementioned toxic chemicals. Thank god I wear glasses, or else I'd be blind by now.
After this month's round of chemical burns, I rewarded myself with "Just a quick game of Civ 2, I swear..." Alex stayed up until nearly 3AM with Baldur's Gate because I didn't get off the computer until midnight...
mentioned yesterday is
closer to reality than I thought, I'm told. Kevin has learned that Port
Townsend has an airstrip he can fly into with a six-seater and Alex is going
through his copious information about the town, looking for an appropriate
weekend and looking at the rates for the town's five-star hotel.
It gets worse. Manresa Castle - the town's five-star hotel - is where Alex intends to set the game he's been preparing for the past year. However, in his universe, it's a big ol' vampire commune, owned by the PC's - rather than a castle-turned-hotel. And don't even ask what he has in mind for the nearby Benedictine monastery....
So it may be that, some time late next spring, a pack of gamers are going to fly three hours north for, what all intents and purposes, will be an overblown live-action game. Alex says he's already thinking of plots.
I'm torn between hysterical laughter and distracted worry... I love my husband, but I think I've met my match for over-doing it, game-wise... I wonder what Colette thinks of all this?
Almost uniformly, the belief among right-wing religious extremists is
that the federal government is an arm of Satan
- from Project Megiddo, an FBI analysis of the potential for domestic terrorism in anticipation of - or response to - the new millennium.
Come April 15th, everyone believes the federal government is an arm of Satan... - me, seconds after reading the above.
The high point of this morning's commute was reading the above report on the train. Nothing like reading about proactive versus reactive militias, white supremacy groups, et cetera on the train to wake one up... I'm far more worried about the fringe groups' desire for hysteria over Y2K than I am over Y2K itself. My world won't end if the power is out for a couple of days, but things will get seriously sticky if my hitherto-unknown-as-a-survivalist neighbor kicks my door in and drafts me for their fight against the United Nations' One World Government (a favorite conspiracy theory of the militias, I'm told).
Mononoke in San Francisco yesterday, with Kirk and Lisa. I was in a
cranky mood and not too keen on going to the movies, but I'm glad Alex
dragged me along. The adaptation by Gaiman was excellent, and the voice
talent was a cut above the usual thing one hears in anime. Minnie Driver,
Gilian Anderson and Billy Bob Thornton were but a few voices contributing.
My only grumble was with the audience. I keep forgetting that a lot of people don't understand that a lot of Japanese animation is not for children... Several parents had brought young children to see the film and there were some scenes that weren't suitable - such as characters losing limbs (or heads) and oozing demon-things vomiting blood. Maybe today's kids are made of sterner stuff, but I felt a little ooky during certain scenes. Then again, I've already admitted I'm a scaredy cat. :)
I've got a lot of
work piling up on my desk already, so I've got to run. But in closing, let
me share another snippet of the Megiddo Report.
The name Mediggo is an apt title for a project that analyzes those who believe the year 2000 will usher in the end of the world and who are willing to perpetrate acts of violence to bring that end about.
Am I the only one who envisioned Ray Stanz saying "Terrible rites, designed to cause the end of the world!" upon reading this?
As serious as a heart attack...
You're gonna love
About two o'clock yesterday, I've finally gotten on top of things enough to contemplate having lunch. I had just made an ear-puller of a sign - creativity with colored paper, a glue stick and a paper cutter - to festoon two gifts from the engineering department to our CEO's newly adopted son. The boy is from Guatemala, and there's a whole other story in that, but I digress...
As I was saying: I'm thinking about lunch when I hear my boss, Dave, (aka Superman) mutter something as I pass his desk. I'm used to hearing him curse at his machine - much as I do - so I don't pay it much heed. A pico-second later, it penetrates that he just muttered my name, so I stop my headlong course towards the soda pop machine, and ask him what's up - expecting him to ask me to do his expense reports for last week.
"Johanna," he says to me, looking a little uncomfortable. "I'm having some chest pains..." It must be stated for the record that Dave is Brit/Irish and given to understatement.
Bloody hell! Thinks I, remembering horror stories of emergency response time in the city. Keeping my voice down, I ask, "Do you want me to find someone to drive you to the hospital? Or would you rather I dialed nine-one-one?" Always got to give the man an option, I thought.
At this point, Dave's pale and sweating a bit. "I think you had better call an ambulance." he tells me.
"Oh dear," I mutter. I'm English too...
So I step over to Curtis' (another manager in my department) desk and tell him to keep an eye on Dave - chest pains, etc, while I tell Rachel (office secretary) to call the paramedics. Curtis looks a little pole axed, but agrees.
In hindsight, I'm quite proud of the fact that I didn't collapse into shrieking hysteria. Once the EMTs were on their way, I went back to Dave and asked if he wanted me to call his boyfriend, Sheldon, and let him know what's up.
I didn't shriek, not once. Not even when I was wondering where the bloody hell the paramedics were. They turned up precisely two seconds after I thought that and, in fact, had only taken three minutes to arrive, as my office is very close to an ambulance dispatch. But, of course, it felt like longer. I was desperately trying to keep a calm front up, and not hover so much around Dave as to make him feel worse - but close enough to do something, if needed - whatever that something might be...
With commendable efficiency, the five paramedics got to work, talking to an increasingly ashen David about his symptoms. I was really impressed by how calm they were, and how well they treated and reassured Dave. They didn't even mind that Jack the dog came over to investigate. Poor Jack was doing his trying-to-reassure-an-unhappy-buddy routine, as good natured dogs will, and the EMTs just gently shooed him - I think one of 'em gave him a pat on the head as they shooed.
I'm pretty proud of my co-workers, too. A lot of them turned to look at what was going on, but - sensing that a fuss was useless - stayed at their desks. I walked around to the engineers in the immediate area and just told them "Dave's having some chest pains. He asked me to call an ambulance," making it clear that our Fearless Leader was in command of his faculties, if not his heart.
Some time later - accounting for the fact that the first hospital Dave was taken to couldn't admit him - Dave was in the emergency room of a nearby hospital, with myself, Curtis and Sheldon close behind. I had managed to reach Sheldon in his class at Berkeley and he was driving over the bridge to meet us at the hospital.
I was worried sick, but trying not to show it. Well, I don't know if I succeeded. Fortunately, juggling bad directions, getting better directions on a celphone and the loveliness that is San Francisco traffic served to take my mind off it while we were in transit. Curtis is the father of three (or is it two?) boys, so I think he had that parental-nerves-of-steel thing working to his advantage.
Finally, all three of us were at the hospital.
On the way in to the ER, I happened to see the ambulance crew that had taken care of Dave. They were just finishing up their admission paperwork, so I stopped by to thank them for looking after things so well. They smiled and said 'Aw, shucks' when I told them I was very happy to learn that emergency dispatch hadn't gone down the tubes like everyone said... I'm sure they had heard it all before, but their prompt arrival and confidence had really helped calm a lot of incipient panic - especially my own!
Sheldon went to talk to the admitting doctor and have a word with Dave, who was in as private an area as an emergency room can have - a large room within eyesight of the nurses' station.
Sheldon beckoned us in a few moments later. Dave was alone, on a gurney and wired up 'like a space cadet' - as a passing nurse put it. Dave actually looked a lot better. His color had returned and the chest pain was a lot less, as the paramedics had given him a pile of morphine and nitroglycerin. But the surroundings were very austere and not terribly conducive to optimistic thoughts.
We chatted a little - ribbed Dave for working too hard, and suchlike. Then the presiding doc - Dr. Serrahin if I can read my scrawled memory-note correctly - came in and told everyone what was going on.
Serrahin was quite confident that Dave had not had a heart attack. They were waiting on some tests to come back, of course, but given the symptoms, and how Dave had responded to treatment, it was believed that Dave had suffered a rather nasty spasm of the esophagus. Such spasms have symptoms just like heart attacks and - also like cardiac troubles - come on very suddenly.
Dave is now muttering about feeling bad for causing an unnecessary fuss. Fortunately, before I could thwack him for such a sentiment, the doctor did it for me. "You did the proper thing coming in here.", Dave was told. "Especially given that your family has a history of heart disease. If you've never had a heart attack, this kind of spasm is indistinguishable from an incipient coronary."
Dave - as meek as I've ever seen him - agreed with that point and mentioned that his father had tried to grit his teeth through a massive heart attack - and had earned a triple bypass for it. Apparently it was that memory that prompted Dave to seek medical attention as soon as the chest pains started.
After an hour or so, Dave had been x-rayed, tested and generally treated to the full gamut of American health care. Sure enough, his heart was fine, and the initial diagnosis of a tricky esophagus had been confirmed.
"Do you smoke?" Serrahin asked Dave.
"Err, not anymore." Dave reluctantly conceded.
"You've got that right," came the vehement reply. "You've had your last cigarette." Poor Dave looked like he would have rather have had the heart attack. Even although Dave's ticker didn't quit on him, it seems that nicotine could cause a recurrence of the condition - or maybe the doctor was just taking advantage of the situation to make Dave quit a nasty habit... Doctors are a sneaky lot.
We all left the hospital together. Dave was almost back to his old self, but a bit shaky. Fortunately, Sheldon had a car, and could drive Dave back to his place. Curtis and I headed back to the office to let those who were still there - it was five o'clock by now - that our boss had not gone to the Office in The Sky.
Dave admitted that the incident had been a hell of a wake-up call for him. He says he never wants to have a heart attack if it's going to feel anything like what he had just been through and, okay, okay, he'll quit smoking already!
And after all that fuss, I went home and gave Alex a big squeezy hug.
I've bought Dave a
few packs of gum this morning. And Alex wants me tell Dave that he shouldn't
worry too much. Obviously he had just gotten a bit too close to some
kryptonite, but that stuff is so rare these days....
Later today, I'll send a nice card over to the hospital... I already know the whole office is going to make a big fuss of Dave, so I think I'll make a minor fuss of the guys who looked after him. As I said, they treated Dave like gold and were so bloody calm that they soothed the office far more than my own barely-not-panicking reassurances.
I like Dave, he's a very cool boss. I'm very glad that he's okay. But if he puts me through that kind of scare again, I'll kill him. ;)
"My parents? They were great. They tasted a lot like chicken." - Obligatory Wednesday morning Angel quote...
Dave (of yesterday) didn't come back to the office until this morning. He's wearing a big goofy grin and is telling everyone I'm his hero. Aw, shucks...blush
I did my two-hour
obeisance to the one-eyed god last night. Buffy was alright, although
I have joined the ever-growing league of viewers crying 'When are Riley and
Buffy going to hook up, dammit?'.
Angel was a departure from the norm - thank god. Another tale of Angel rescuing the hysterical damsel in distress - complete with Bruce Wayne moments and obligatory pep-talk from our favorite broody boy - would have irritated me mightily. Sure, the show was a bit goofy but I was glad for it. It was a relief from all of the pouty angst... Methinks that now that WB has confirmed that they're picking the show up for the rest of the season, the stories might loosen up a bit from here on... Or so I hope.
And seeing Angel in an ugly shirt, posing as a tourist looking for the Catalina ferry was just too silly not to enjoy.
Elizabeth George's latest - In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, last
night. My overall opinion is mixed. I really like George's writing, but the
characters were a little vexing in this one... One was a pig-headed twit,
the twit's wife is wallowing in a mental bath upon making the (rather tardy)
realization that she's not the most independent of women and the twit's
co-worker almost made her police career go down the tubes. Add a few
murders, beatings and BDSM as perceived by outsiders and you've got several
hundred pages with barely a happy moment.
But bloody well written, that's the saver.
I wouldn't recommend it to any readers who are new to George, but I think the established fans should pick it up. It's half off at Amazon, I think.
I had some odd
dreams last night - one of them certainly influenced by too much television.
I've not had time to write them up, but maybe I'll get to it, tonight. The
weirdest definitely had to be the one where I was a vampire that ended with
my needing to change into a bat to fly across the bay to meet someone. But I
really didn't want to do it, as I didn't think I had the hang of flying and
I thought I looked ridiculous, clawing my way through the air... Dratted
dignity keeps getting in the way.
Work keeps calling. Laters, all.
Think of poppies...
Anyways... It's a lovely sunny winter's morning in the city - and foggy as all get out at home in the east bay. I guess the dreaded Tulie fog of the central valley is starting to roll in... I spent most of the morning commute fantasizing about what I would do if I won the lottery. It's a pleasant way to begin a morning, although coming back to reality in the middle of a meeting is a bit jarring...
Whatever happened to the surrealism movement? Is it still valid, or has it been relegated to the ash-heap of history? I ask that only because I was thinking of the classic Luis Bunuel/Salvador Dali collaboration Age D'Or that I must have watched half-a-dozen times in film school, and how come I haven't seen anything like that lately. Of course, it could be because I'm not going to eclectic film exhibitions, but still... What's happened to surrealism?
A buddy of mine, Ryan, is once again proving how firmly he's been bitten by the masochism bug, as he's on the verge of launching his third LARP chronicle. Following hard of the end of his Sabbat chronicle, he's launching a Camarilla game. He's got a very firm idea what it takes to run a game, so I'm confident that he's got some good ideas, but he's said a few things that have worried me a touch.
Ryan's good friends with a guy called Jeff. Jeff was Ryan's assistant all through Swords of Caine, the recently-closed Sabbat game and I expected him to be helping Ryan out with this latest effort. However, Ryan tells me that since Jeff isn't too popular with the local 'in' crowd (whoever they are), Ryan has decided not to use Jeff in this game. "He doesn't attract the in group" is what I was told.
Oh my. I've got to admit, I've got a poor opinion of Jeff's skills as a gamer. I'll admit than when he's given firm directions, he'll do a good job with a character, but when given free rein... Well, number-crunching, min-maxing, rules-loving eejit sums up my feelings about him. But for Ryan to decide against using a guy because he's not popular enough. Ow.
And this follows hard upon Ryan asking me to be a Primogen in his game. "I need three things to make this game work." He told me. "A solid location, Eric doing logistics and you as one of my Primogen.". Very flattering, but given his motivation for ditching Jeff...Is Ryan asking me in to his game because he thinks I'm a good player, or because he thinks my friends will follow me in? Loathe as I am to admit it, apparently I'm one of the so-called 'in' crowd. So I'm wondering if maybe Ryan is motivated by that, rather than thinking I might be useful to his game.
I really hope I'm wrong. I like to think that I'm a good roleplayer, and that Ryan can be above such manipulations... But Ryan is a smart guy and perceptive, so I can't put such motives beyond him.
Ah well, I shouldn't worry. I'm taking advantage of the situation - whatever it's justifications - and asking Ryan if I can resurrect Patricia. It wouldn't be too difficult to make her into a Camarilla character, especially if I can tear the Diablo's Children continuity out of her history. That will place her firmly in the Camarilla camp in Vancouver at the start of Ryan's game...
And if I didn't have enough gaming looming on my horizon, James and Laurel want me to try out a weekly vampire LARP in San Rafael they have discovered - Marin by Night. I'm probably going to check it out this weekend and give it a go, but I can't commit to a weekly game. I figure I'll take Mattie and Sarah with me, and see if I can play either of them. Failing that, I'll probably re-create my intelligence-bureau Nosferatu that I made for San Gabriel but never got around to playing.
Well, Dave just came by and teased me for working on my website ("Oh bloody hell, if you become a competitor, we're in trouble...") so I had better get back to what they're paying me for. ;)
'Automatic drip' defines most people's lives
- All I Needed To Know About Life, I Learned From Coffee.
tinkering with what should be the final chapter in Dead
Time. Since there is a slight chance I might be playing Trish
again, I'd like to finish up this particular chunk of her history in a
timely manner. And I've got enough unfinished series on my hands as it is.
I'm trying to get back to Cutting The Cord, but it keeps
getting drowned out...
On a related topic, I think I've calmed Yvette and Paul down. About a month ago, they were making a lot of noise and refusing to follow directions. Paul finally capped the incident by telling me he had every intention of Embracing Yvette and, eventually, diablerizing her. That made me put my foot down. I sent Paul for a time-out without writing and I'm probably going to cancel his plans to move himself and Yvette to Berlin.
I love my characters, I just wish I had more control over them!
Friday clothing report: Long full-circle skirt, fishnet hose, black tanktop over a fishet shirt, eye of Horus pendant, obsidian and silver rose ring, and, of course, the shoes and the coat - all in black, natch.
And for those of
you who were wondering what the hell was behind everyday
vampire, part of the blame lies with this song,
which I've been listening to a little too much, lately.
Chances that are one in a million occur 600 times per day
A day of slightly
changed plans, yesterday. Instead of going to the Cthulhu gamers' meeting in
San Mateo, I ended up visiting with Jennifer
instead. Alex had had a bad day at work and wanted to bow out of the San
Mateo meeting, which left me without a ride home, so catching dinner and a
movie with Jenn suddenly became an option.
We watched Blade which, I must admit, is one of the most brain-dead movies I've seen all year. But stylish, very stylish. Apparently the chaps at White Wolf were reaching for their lawyers upon seeing it - and there are some superficial similarities between the movie and WW's paradigm - but it never would have stood up in court... Vampire legends of all stripes have been in the public domain for too long.
Today is going to
be a busy day - hair coloring, meeting with James and Laurel to discuss
their website (Johanna Goes E-Commerce!) and maybe off to Marin By Night,
later. I'm keen on visiting a new game, but I'm also aware that I can't
commit to a weekly LARP, so I feel a little bad about possibly building up a
GM's hopes - every new player is a happy thing in GM Land.
Thinking of gaming makes me think of costuming, which gets me cheesed off. Why? Because I washed my beloved corset last night - for the first time in, um, quite a while - and enough dye leaked out of the black fabric to turn it rusty red in places, particularly along the busk. Argh! I am not happy about this. That corset is my favorite piece of clothing (and my most costly too, hrmm). I'm going to ask Laurel if it's possible to dye the fabric without ruining things further. I've seen some cold water dye at the local fabric store, so at least I wouldn't have to stew the corset in hot water for an hour... But what if it doesn't work? Bah.
Thinking of gaming also gets me thinking of vast money-sinks like Cheap Lights. While watching Blade last night, Jen made a passing comment that it would be too nifty to set up a decently ersatz club for vampire LARPS. I had just spent a chunk of the afternoon over at the aforementioned lighting site thinking "Want that, want that, want three of those..." and wondering about what kind of amperage is pulled by club lights (answer: enough to make PG&E bonk you on the head if you plug more than two of them in at your house).
I even got as far as calculating that an investment of about a thousand dollars could buy a decent array of lights, cabling, a rack and control board that could be portable via two cars and not pull more than fifteen amps... And how nifty that would be for gaming, when combined with a bitchin' stereo and co-operative players. I'm nuts. Well, not really. I'd be nuts if I actually bought all that crap.... Still, it was a fun brain-exercise...
The hair appointment awaits.
Well, I did not
come back from the hair dressers' with eye-catching auburn locks. If you ask
me, it looks like a slightly lighter shade of sorta reddish-brown, like I
had last time. But I'm assured that, as I have it touched up, the red will
accumulate and become more vivid. I suspect this is just a sneaky way to
make me commit to dropping a hundred bucks a month on hair color.
But I am happy about something: my eyebrows. Eyebrows? You all cry, what's to even provoke thought about eyebrows? They just sit there and stop your forehead from looking naked!
Well, all the male readers are thinking that. All the women are nodding sagely and thinking Yeah, eyebrows can be a real thorny problem all right. Pluck 'em wrong, and you look like Bela Lugosi with a migraine. I'm a complete coward when it comes to eyebrow plucking for that very reason. I can deal with pain, but not embarrassment. Yeah, I'm English...
This is going somewhere, I swear.
So, I'm getting reddish glop smeared on my head and my hairdresser, Nina, says "Would you like to do your eyebrows while you're here?". Now, I thought she meant coloring my eyebrows, to match my hair. I've heard some pretty nasty stories about slight side-effects from brow-coloring (such as blindness) but I'm a vain beast and I said "Sure!" - vain and reckless...
I really should have asked for a clearer explanation of what getting brows 'done' was... Within moments of my agreement, a strange woman was slathering hot wax on my face and telling me it wouldn't hurt a bit.
"What won't hurt - YOW!!".
I got a bit more warning than that, but once I realized that I was about to get my brows waxed, it was really past the point of no return. It's one of those things I've always meant to try, but never had the nerve. Once again, events overtook me...
But the fact is, it looks great. My eyebrows are now much sleeker and non-bushy and distinctly un-Lugosi-like. It's a very minor thing, relatively speaking, but I must admit it's a noticeable difference. All in all, a pleasant surprise. So, of course, I've got a standing reservation to have this done to myself once a month from now on. No more hesitant plucking for me!
Yeah, it's a trivial thing. It was that kinda day... I felt so happy - albeit a bit pink and puffy - immediately afterwards that I promptly dropped $80 on a couple of skirts from a trendy store that I never thought would stock anything that fits me, let alone one-size-fits-most, as the skirts were.... Yay!
The day's good trend continued with visiting Marin By Night. Alas, I couldn't play any of the ghoul concepts I had brought (the GM deemed them 'oddballs', which I disagree with, but hey-ho...) so I pulled Trish out of my ear instead. I needed a character with enough background that she could easily integrate with the other PCs, and she was the best character for the situation. Of course, it felt damned strange to play her as a neonate - after nearly seven years of constant work - but it was still a lot of fun.
The chronicle had just reset, so everyone is still getting settled in, but the playership was reasonably well-established and cohesive, without being exclusionary. The group had a great location at - of all places - an internet cafe. It had a sizable private area upstairs, that the group was allowed to run amuck, through - as well as the advantage that downtown San Rafael is ludicrously safe, so players could meander through the neighborhood as much as they liked.
It's 2am. I have to be up in six hours. More shenanigans tomorrow...
Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for their ways are subtle and they can piss on your computer...
Tempest in a
teacup Part Two: A fortnight ago, the producers' group whinged at me that somebody
had stolen all of their bagels and nicked their cream-cheese. Blaming
engineering was pointless, because we had bagels of our own, but apparently
we were assumed to be the culprits. I'm willing to concede that the
engineers might have gone after the cream-cheese, but we usually have too
many bagels, so I wasn't going to take the blame for that one. Much growling
and muttering ensued. Practical upshot, I ordered more cream cheese to go
with this week's batch o'bagels for the lads in engineering.
It didn't get delivered. Now I've got engineers moping over their pitiful little tub of sun-dried tomato goop, all glancing sidelong at me - the one who had promised extra cream cheese, and that makes me feel oh so good first thing in the morning. Meanwhile, the producers are erecting barbed-wire fences around their supplies, to protect them from us larcenous engineering types and muttering darkly about what happened last time.
This is all so stupid, words fail me.
goes well. Dave is going to be here in a week, so Alex and I have to put
aside our natural urge to laze around the house and start cleaning. Our
apartment has gotten so crowded, Alex is looking for storage space, even
though the idea of being so far removed from any of our books (and, okay,
toys) makes me break out in hives.
Sigh. I hate housecleaning, but I also hate having a dirty place when guests are visiting, so I'll just have to get motivated. Next time, I think I should put off the buying of new toys until after the major chores for the month are done.
Oh, and I added a site-specific search engine to Rough Cut! It's on the front page of the journal. I stumbled across it while looking for tools for the Great Image Archive project, and I'm giving it a whirl on this site... Yes, you too can determine how many times Johanna uses the word 'hedgehog' on her site! ;)
"He invited Doyle to his bachelor party? Why? Is he afraid
he bought too much beer?"
- Obligatory Wednesday morning Angel quote.
A nice sight while waiting for the bus this morning. It's been raining off and on for the past day and this morning the clouds were doing their best pile-of-whipped cream imitation, broken up against a bright blue sky, and, off to the north, was a small, but exceedingly vivid, fragment of a rainbow. A pleasant image to start the day. I just hope it'll stay that way.
rainbow incident was after I caught the cat eating tinsel in the
closet. I don't know why, but Tigger has an absolute fascination with
feathery inedibles. He's always going after the bits of bracken that Sandy
trails in after his walks, too - with the predictable results of cat vomit
and other unpleasantness.
Today was a real topper, since Tigger had found his way into the closet, without a way out - the door swings shut behind him. Thank god I heard him before I left for work. My wedding dress is in that closet - as is an antique silk dress I bought a few months ago - and I would be quite vexed to come home and find them festooned with Tigger regurgitations.
Hm, it seems my
friend DJ is talking of a trip up to Reno in March. Half a dozen of the gang
packed into a rented Ford Explorer off to go muck about in the snow... It
might be interesting, but I'll have to have an intravenous drip of Dramamine
with me. I don't like being crowded, particularly by people in enclosed
spaces and I can get nastily car-sick too. Not a recipe for a fun
road trip... But I've never been to Reno. Still, can't we all just save our
pennies and fly up there, instead? Oh gods, I'm turning into my
BTW, 'hedgehog' is mentioned five times in my site, although the search engine will only tell you of three pages, as the engine is not updated when I add new pages... ;)
Whee! vivid is on the front page of the New York Times today, including the tale of how a headhunter called, determined to recruit Neville. Neville is a black labrador that belongs to one of my co-workers... Alas, quirky admins didn't get much ink...
A semi-productive day, yesterday. I worked like a busy little bee on actual work all morning. I had to do some serious number juggling to ensure that no-one would be forced to take unpaid time for their Christmas hols, but it's been done. I hate being the Grinch, so I'm pleased with this small accomplishment. That was followed up by various candidate-resume capers and chasing after engineers who seem to think it's immoral to fill out time-sheets...
The afternoon was
spent catching up on some of my backlog at Seraphim.
I'm caught up with episode summaries, and I've uploaded some new pictures.
Now I've got to upload my episode critiques and plan out my still-unfinished
'production details' section. I'm considering putting Seraphim up for
a few Angel-site awards once it's fully polished, as most of the sites that have
been snagging those little ego-rubs, in a word, suck. Although the ones that
don't suck blow mine away by an order of magnitude... Ah well, I'm
just doing this for fun, right? Right.
And it's official: Picture scanners are voodoo. I've finally found a way around the problems of scanning poor-quality paper (such as magazines) but it's very time consuming. The original has to be scanned at a ridiculously high DPI - 600 or more - and then shrunk down to a reasonable viewing size via Photoshop. It works, but it's slow. It took me the best part of two hours to scan in nine - count 'em, nine - images from a 'zine.
Although all this
silliness might have a positive spin on my future career. Dave (aka
Superman) caught me working on Seraphim, yesterday. Fortunately, he
thinks Dave Boreanaz is dreamy, so I knew I wouldn't be in too much
trouble... However, Dave looks at my splash graphic and says "Oh, very
nice. Is this what you want to do, be a webmaster?". I made vague
affirmative mumblings - not wanting to seem too disloyal to the
Administrative Cause that has kept me fed and housed for three years. Dave
nods to himself and says "We'll have to have a chat about that, one of
these days.." and wanders back towards his desk.
Yeah, yeah, I know that "One of these days." usually means 'Maybe before the next ice-age, but don't hold your breath', but it was still encouraging. Bit by bit, I'm letting the senior decision-making types know that I don't want to stay an administrator, and I'm perfectly willing to become Third Assistant Pixel Monkey to get out of this dead-end path...
As usual, I have work to do before I can get to my goofing off, but first, a cup of tea...
Given an infinite amount of time and an infinite number of bounces, the bed will eventually make itself. - Rose is Rose.
Yesterday was a bit of a no-brainer. Work was pedestrian stuff, and I spent far too much time downloading nostalgic bits from various Brit-cartoon sites, particularly Smallfilms. KJ, the manager who sits to my left, can't understand why I'm gigging maniacally, and I can't even begin to explain things like Roobarb and Custard to him. I've downloaded various soundbites from that 'toon onto my desktop and listen to 'em when I need a quick giggle. Silly, but harmless.
Every day, when I go to work, I pass an elderly woman walking her little brown dog up Third Street. The dog has short brown hair, long legs and I the closest guess I can make to it's breed is 'fat chihuahua'. The lady always has a big in her free hand, and they walk very slowly. She never looks up at people who pass her by, and the dog is pretty lackadasial, too. Today, the dog was wearing a little green rain-poncho. Enter another fit of giggles...
Cuteness-on-a-stick, the kittencam, which ranks up there with the pandacam for potential squealings...
I'm having dinner with BJ tonight, on the way home from work. I haven't seen him in a while, as he's being worked night and day over at Maxis, so it'll be nice to catch up. However, I suspect we might end up at the restaurant where my mother works, which could mean nothing, or it could mean extreme weirdness... Most likely the former.
Just bought a slew of costume books from a store that's going out of business. With luck, I can swing by and grab them on my way home from work, although one of them - 20,000 years of Fashion - I know to be a severely hefty tome. But I'm dead chuffed to be getting it because it (and several others I'm picking up) are all on my costuming bibliography as good books to have. Whee!
Hm, I feel a nagging urge to get to work. I promise some ponderings over the weekend. Today is obviously an abstract-random kinda day.
Lotsa good movies coming out this weekend (in the U.S. at least). Give yourself a treat and go see one. Me, I'm probably going to cave in and go see Tomorrow Never Dies later tonight. ;) My opinion of Pierce Brosnan has marginally improved in the past year, but I'm sure I'll still be booing by the third reel - but it's all such fun!
Had a nice - if
short - dinner with BJ last night over at the Black Diamond Brewery.
Officially, he's done with the hell project today, but he doesn't believe
it. However, he is taking the next week off work, so if they need
him, they can go whistle, as far as he's concerned.
Alas, poor Alex got hauled in to work today, on the threat of having his leave for the next week cancelled. Meanwhile, I'm staring at the wreckage that is our den, knowing that Dave is due to arrive in 48 hours and wondering where the hell we're going to put all our mess.
And, of course,
there are much more fun things to be done this weekend, and we know how good
I am at resisting temptation (hrm). Marin By Night is having
it's usual do, and I'm going to pop over to that and determine if I want to
keep playing Patricia
with that crowd, or change characters. Tomorrow morning we're due to visit
with Brook and play catch-up and later that day is the pizza meeting for Bedlam's
Rest. I'd skip the last, but I need to let the GM know of a few
precautions my character is taking against some Very Worrying People...
So, all that doesn't leave much time for cleaning up. Drat. I wish I wasn't so lazy!
has done something productive with a sliver of her empty time, and has
a Webring - SF Bay Area Journalers for the local diarist types.
She's already got a few on the list, so go check it out...
I spent most of yesterday adding missing <title></title> tags to my older web pages and updating the META tags on a few others... Whee. Well, it was boring work, but now that search engines have finally caught up with my site - and with the addition of my site-specific search engine - my pages need to be up to snuff. I really hate it when I'm searching through a long list of search results and come across a page that has the first half-dozen words from the page listed as a title (because it has no title tag in the code) because quite often, those first half-dozen words give you no idea what the page is about. Ditto for page descriptions. Learn about META tags, chilluns, they're very useful!
Damn, the messy house is intruding on my consciousness far too much, I have to go do something about it. But first, a cup of tea...
Doctor Christmas Jones and, please, don't make any jokes - I've heard them
"I don't know any doctor jokes."
- Obligatory quote from The World Is Not Enough
The weekend was
fairly mundane, hence no journal entry. As you might have guessed, Alex and
I (and Tony) went out to see the new James Bond flick the other day. On the
plus side, it seems that Brosnan has settled in the role (and now he wants a
three year break, damn it), and the producers obviously got the budget they
wanted - if the explosions were any bigger, the film would have to be
released on IMAX. But the minuses were, as usual, irritating. A couple of
scenes suffered from poor editing, and - as mentioned before - I'm a purist
who believes that Connery was the best of the bunch, and the series has been
in decline since then. But, if you check your brain at the door, I'll
Actually, I think the most enjoyable moment of the evening was before the movie started. I don't know about your neck of the woods, dear reader, but out here in the Bay Area, a certain brand of idiot thinks it infinitely cool to wave a laser-pointer at the screen during a movie. It seems they think a film is improved by a waggling red dot or something. I hate this, of course. My poor husband has been deeply startled by how his usually-meek (ha!) wife will suddenly transform into a confrontational bundle of fury when little red dots festoon a theater screen... He had to actually hold me back from some fool at Phantom Menace, but that's another story...
So, Alex, Tony and I are sitting in the theater about half an hour before show-time - the place was packed already, so it made sense to get there early - and, of course, some idiot starts waving a laser pointer at the screen. Alex grabs my arm and immediately begs me not to start climbing over the seats, looking for the culprit. It was a valid plea on his part, as my hackles were immediately raised. A few people in the crowd muttered and grumbled and, the dumb-ass with the pointer, muttered back. He wasn't too loud, but he was close enough to me and Alex for us to figure out where he was sitting.
So, since I couldn't kill the eejit myself, I went running to security. I find myself an cutie 20something, built like a football player - I swear it was just happenstance - and I ask "You've got a capital punishment policy for idiots with laser pointers, don't you?". The guard perked up like I just told him he was getting a raise. "Oh yeah," he grins. "Where is he?". And, with Alex's directions, off he went, replete with the a very cute-yet-intimidating scowl. Ah, if only I wasn't an honest woman... (stop laughing!).
End result, the offending laser pointer was confiscated - yay! It seems that the city of Concord (where we were seeing the movie) is thinking of passing a bill banning the sale of laser pointers to anyone under the age of 18, and making it a misdemeanor to arse about with one in a movie theater... Where's the support petition for that sucker, cos I'm a-signing!
Otherwise, it was an uneventful weekend. The house didn't get cleaned, although Alex and I are fairly certain Dave - who is arriving today - will forgive us. Alex seems fairly laid back about Dave's visit, which surprises me. If my best-buddy from out of town was coming by for a week, I would be bouncing off the walls. As it is, I think I'm doing Alex's bouncing for him... Wait, that reads a lot naughtier than I intended...
Yesterday was taken up by the pizza meeting for Bedlam's Rest, where I completely forgot everything I wanted to do. Sigh, I'm not a very good Tremere, it seems. There are too many things Rebecca has to remember!
I'm prepping some
new additions to Seraphim
- including my own award for non-squealing fansites - and I've scanned in
some costuming charts for my LARP
Advice page. With luck, those will be posted in the next day or so. I've
also added a couple of headshots for Rachel,
and I'm looking for pictures for all of my RPG characters. Now I've got the
scanner at home, it's going to be a lot easier!
I don't know why I enjoy webbage so much. Maybe it's because it's so easy to create a tangible result that can easily be shared with others. Or it's just my inherent geekiness needing an outlet. One of my friends - who is another creative-arts-driven-to-the-web-industry-to-survive type says it's my frustrated creative impulse manifesting in any way it can. So why aren't I writing??
I love my husband
dearly, and I'm darn fond of Dave, but now I remember what happens when you
put two old buddies in the same time zone... Round about hour four of
continuous giggling and conversations that began "Hey, do you
remember...?", I realized I was entirely superfluous and retreated to
Alex tells me that they've gotten the reminiscence and giggling out of their systems and promise to shed their overgrown-boy behavior - well, as much as possible. Today they're either coming in to the city to goof off, or they're heading to Berkeley. Or maybe they're just going to sit and home and watch movies. Beats me what fellas get up to when they're just hanging out... All I know is that my dinner last night was a mistake - two slices of pizza and the best part of a large can of Foster's - and I'm on the verge of passing out over my keyboard.
Meanwhile, build masters are whining at me for scheduling them to do an interview at 5PM today. These are people who invariably don't arrive in the office until 10:30AM or so... They're telling me they've got pre-holiday project crunch, which is a load of dung, as I've seen them all vamoose at 5:15 in the middle of project crunch before - and I rarely believe the cry of "I'm going to work at home!".
Before the vivid Mafia comes after me, I will acknowledge that the build masters are a hardworking bunch, but not nearly as much as they would have me believe - particularly when I'm wanting to interrupt their daily Quake League with a candidate interview.
While I was hiding out from the boyos last night, I managed to put up some headshots for Patricia, Sarah and Debbie - now I've just got to find headshots for three others and my vampire page is done. I tried to get some work done on Seraphim, but acmecity.com is still being plagued by the folly of launching a new interface without adequate testing - or so it seems me, she of the Do As I Say, Not As I Do school of web design.
And, in the boyos defense, I will admit that they did a fair bit of game-plotting, mostly for Alex's incipient Port Townsend game, but he and Dave also kicked around characters for Bedlam's Rest and A Dream Deferred. One character, Malcolm, was particularly alarming. Dave wants to try him in Bedlam's Rest, but I'm trying to talk him into waiting for A Dream Deferred - if I'm approved to play Patricia - because those two would get along frighteningly well... Heh heh.
Yuk. It's a meetings-all-day kinda Tuesday, so I have to sign off and inhale my breakfast bagel before it's too late...
I was going to write a nice long entry, covering such diverse topics as terrorism and Tim Burton films but, y'know what? It's 1AM, I've just finished manipulating yet another picture for Rachel and I've got to get up, um, fairly soon, to start coooking for Thanksgiving. I'm going to bed. Maybe I'll replace this entry later in the day with something more eloquent, but don't hold your breath.
PS - Skip Sleepy Hollow if you're squeamish
The holiday season
is going to be hell on this journal, I can tell already. Having a guest in
the computer room doesn't help, either, but I can't blame Dave for that -
after all, I flew him out here...
Thanksgiving Day was the usual pleasant event that it is with my family. We get together, eat a lot of food, and snooze in front of the tube. This year it was Raiders of The Lost Ark that lulled us to sleep. Before the visit to the Mead Homestead, Alex, Dave and I went to Alex's dad's place for pre-dinner snacks and a visit with Alex's sister, Melissa, and her daughter, Emily. Emily is about nine months old, now, and gets cuter every day, I swear.
By the time we got home, I was ready to crawl into bed and sleep, but it was only 8PM. Going to sleep early is all well and good - waking up at 4AM is not. So I indulged in a girly-girl moment, gathered up a few candles, snagged the incense, some junk food and a trashy novel and had a nice long hot bath. Then I crashed out for, oh, eleven hours or so... Ah, another typical Thanksgiving.
Yesterday, I took
my life in my hands and hit the shopping mall. For those non-U.S. readers, I
should mention that the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day
of the year. Can you imagine the chaos? The damn mall opened at 7AM for
those determined-to-find-a-bargain consumers. Aiyee. Alex came with me - a
bad idea considering he hates crowds - and within about ten minutes, we were
both wishing for a tire iron to swing. I wouldn't mind if people were only
walking slowly or not looking where they were going or
complete morons - but all three was a little too much take... I grabbed
gifts for Lisa, Trish and Jennifer
- there's a collective birthday party for them at Rob's place tonight - and
got the hell out.
I spent most of the afternoon curled into a ball and sucking my thumb.
Hollow the other night and my opinion is, um, conflicted. Visually it
was very pretty, but it was quite far removed from the book (or am I the
only one who believed Ichabod Crane to be a self-assured fellow?) and, as
mentioned before, I'm a bit squeamish, so the decapitations and assorted
ickiness got to me after a while. I also found all of the characters
entirely unsympathetic and the screenplay was not the tightest I've ever
encountered. If you're a fan of Tim Burton, or of any of the actors, then go
see it. But if you're looking for a grand cinematic experience, stay home
and rent Citizen Kane again...
Final note: I have never seen a human character as pasty as Ichabod Crane was in Sleepy Hollow. Johnny Depp is going to get hailed as a goth-boy icon.
Played in another chapter of Alex's Star Wars game last night. Dave's Twilek character was hilarious, and the group is finally coming together really well. I felt really bad, though, as I had a bad case of the crankies for the first couple of hours. And an hour in, we discovered that there's a mouse in our living room - and no way to catch it. It was last seen hiding under the entertainment unit. Of course, I put a dish of peanut butter down there for it, until we can catch it with a catch-and-release trap. Now we know why Tigger has been staring at the furniture for the past two days - we just thought he was being stoopid - as usual.
Sigh , the Christmas shopping must be done soon. Some of my friends don't stand on ceremony and tell me exactly what they would like (thanks, guys!) but I'm stumped on those remaining... Plus, I'm one of those selfish wretches who usually buys more for herself on these little shopping jaunts than she should. So, I'll come home with three gifts for the twenty on my list, and a whole bagful of new toys for me and Alex. This year I want a DVD player and a digital camera - hint, hint, Santa! As it is, I'll settle for nifty books and new memory - not for my computer, for me!
enough, I'm looking forward to the holiday season. I'm usually quite the
Grinch but, this year, I'm fending off unexpected attacks of warm fuzzies.
I'll hum nauseating holiday songs without provocation - I've been blasting a
lot of noisy music to counteract that - and I'm not growling at the
Salvation Army Santas like I usually do. For minutes at a time, I'll stare
at the living room walls, determining where to hang the tinsel, lights, etc,
which is not a bad thing, as Alex and I are doing our annual Christmas Party
again this year.
The Christmas party our way of fulfilling our entertainment obligation for the year - we have a small apartment, and it requires a bulldozer to clean our clutter - and to hand out everyone's Christmas pressies, so we don't have to drive all over hell and yonder. And I love hanging little colored lights all over the place (buy stock in gaff tape!) and actually having the apartment clean once a year.
For once, I don't think Alex will have to ban me from the kitchen. I love cooking but, apparently, I'm no Martha Stewart, manners-wise. I don't know what everyone is talking about, though. I remember cooking through my party last year, but having a good time doing it - I like to cook, dammit! But everyone else insists that my smile was just a bit too fixed for their liking, and I tended to snarl at anyone who came too close to the stove. I don't believe 'em, but too many of my friends are begging me to please call the caterers this year for me to ignore them... *sigh* Still, I'll show them all, I'll have the whole thing catered by oddball restaurants... Let's see how they like Ethiopian/Californian fusion cuisine...
As mentioned before, having a guest in the computer room is hell on this journal...
A variable weekend
- all good, but variable.
Alex, Dave and I saw Toy Story 2 last night. It was extremely enjoyable and the quality of animation just about blew me out of my seat. The story was funny in all the expected places - and a bit poignant too (at least to those of us who've lost a beloved toy). A preview for Dinosaur was shown and that looks very interesting - a mixture of live-action backdrops and digital photography, reminiscent of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, really, but far more sophisticated.
A large chunk of the daytime was taken up by a little Christmas shopping - for myself and friends. We went to Walnut Creek, for a change, and had fun at the Broadway Plaza stores, looking for gifts and buying this and that. I'm finally caving in and getting a digital camera for the household, thanks to Alex's mom leaving him a little money. Now I'm slogging all over the place, trying to find the best deal for what I want - I want a lot of camera. ;) It's that damn film-school thing rearing it's ugly head, again.
At the deeply
creepy end of the past few days, I've been reading Denying The Holocaust
- The Growing Assual on Truth and Memory. I had heard that there are
some dingbats out there who are trying to claim that the Holocaust didn't
really happen - that incidents were faked, or exaggerated. Lunatics intrigue
me, so I picked up the above book, which is a presentation and repudation of
Holocaust ""deniers" - as the author calls them.
Just when you thought man had maxed out his ability to delude himself, he outdoes himself. Reading through this book, I want to find these so-called "Revisionists" - those who deny the Holocaust happened and are seeking legitimacy by arguing they are simply presenting a 'different point of view' of history - and throttle them. They claim that Germans confessed to crimes they did not commit, in the hopes of saving their own lives at Nuremburg, that eye-witness accounts are exaggerations (or outright lies) and that people were never gassed at Auschwitz. Huh? WTF? I had no idea anti-semitism had gotten so bizarre. Scary, yes, it's all bloody frightening. But trying to deny the death of millions of people is just plain strange
Okay, I'm done, for now. I'm still growly about the whole thing, though...
And on that cheerful note, I have to get back to work.
To those of you who sent me outraged e-mails asking how on earth could anyone deny the Holocaust, all I can say is "Read the book". I agree, it's unbelievable - but it keeps happening.
landlords of my office space have just installed their usual Christmas gear
- a huge live tree in the lobby, with several wreaths. I know the whole
Christmas-tree thing is probably horrible for the environment and only
hastens our doom, but it smells so good.
And it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to know that I've been working out of the same place - if not for the same people - for over a year now. I've been with the purple side of the force for just over nine months, now. This is the longest I've held a job - yeah, yeah, I'm 27 years old, what's your point? And given that the web-industry operates in dog years (one year with a web-company is like seven years with any other employer) I'm feeling pretty darn good. Of course, that pile of stock options has nothing to do with it, I swear! ;)
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