Thursday, November 23, 2006

travel once more

it occurs to me that i haven't spent nearly enough time in california this year. i am going to try to make a difference there by visiting the arnold state friday, seeing the elected, and generally running amok.

thanksgiving was fantastic; even though i'd had an early turkey day dinner a few weeks ago, this one was magical as well. the bird meat itself wasn't the attraction. truthfully i was looking more forward to mashed potatoes. i gave thanks for corn dogs. why? i think they are tasty.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


i received my 1000th email at my newest fave address just today. i'd been watching that inbox stuck at 999 for a couple days, afraid if i told many people about it, one of them would just email me and thus ruin the moment. number 1000 turned out to be the thanksgiving dinner plans email, and that seemed about right.

off work early today, went to a movie for the first time in a while. a movie about writing. if i were the screenwriter, of course i would the dynamic of depicting some of the process of writing a novel, but on screen. the layering has too much potential, you know? it was interesting because we ran into a friend at the theater and then the three of us were seeing the same movie, so we had a good experience and got to try to figure out what city was depicted in the film. someone was reading the chicago tribune on a bus, so we went with that clue, although none of us really knew the chicago skyline, so it was difficult to confirm.

Monday, November 20, 2006

the first step off the island

what will the first step off the island feel like? is it painful, because so many will follow? remorseful, because nothing will ever feel that good again? lonely, because you'll turn right back and embrace what you've dreamed so long of forsaking? i expect it to feel like spring, like firm grassy earth; i want a breeze in the air, maybe a late chill, and the smell of pine needles as i break into a run.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

enough with these dumb labels

i can't categorize my entire life, you know. that's not even the worst part of it. now every time i label something there's a dumb little line at the end that says "Labels:" and lists them all. sure, maybe i wanted to label things, but maybe i didn't want to be so blunt about it. perhaps i just wanted random words listed at the end. maybe i just entered words in that blank space because i could enter words in that blank space. what if i typed in my favorite chili recipe? is there a limit to label length? i don't intend to find out.


can't i buy tickets for a concert before it sells out? especially when i'm planning months in advance to attend and they aren't even sold out the saturday before? i suppose the financial aspects of frequent concert attendance weighed a little heavily in my calculations. i suppose i can't really make any decisions these days. i decided to have dinner at 6. is that my greatest achievement for the day?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


books to avoid dept: 'club george' by bob levy. it's just dumb. i suppose there are some people who would love his writing, but i hate it. everything is rather mundane. childish perhaps, but not that he writes like a child. he writes as if his audience is completely uninformed, maybe that's it, or that they're uninformed and incapable of insight. it's over 300 pages, and i don't like to start reading books without finishing them, but it seems like a collosal waste of time.

Monday, November 13, 2006


today started out awful. just awful. ok, it wasn't that bad when i woke up, despite the intense lack of sleep, and was pleasantly surprised to find my roommate was in the shower and i could sleep a bit more on the couch. then it just went totally downhill, i couldn't think, i was overwhelmed by small things that really added up to nothing much but all demanded my attention at the same time. sleep is vital to proper mental function, it seems. a co-worker asked if i'd come off a redeye. of course, i probably looked worse than i should have because i was at the point of messing with my hair due to the stress, and once that starts there's no turning back. somehow i toughed it out; i told myself the day would end much better and it did. partially the lovely embrace of cold rain as i walked part of the way home, and definitely because i helped a friend who'd called on me for assistance, even when it started to seem a bit inconvenient and she tried to tell me not to bother.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

calming down

ok, maybe the beginnings of yesterday's second post were a bit standoffish. i was trying to be funny, i think. the following is a blantant lie.

i ran into a squirrel yesterday, not your average squirrel. it was a little shorter than usual, but what stood out was its excellent backstroke. have you ever seen a squirrel swim? this one would probably win the critter olympics, even if fish were invited. fish, i guess, can't really do the backstroke, so perhaps their participation is not an issue. what animal do you think would win a critter olympics? assuming the predators were not actually able to eat the pray in the course of the festivities, i would go with the lemur. they're pretty much my favorite animal ever, and they have vivid dreams. i read a book once about a lemur that dreamt it was the mayor of a small town in the midwest. every winter, huge snowdrifts piled up on along this town's roads. the stop signs were nearly invisible. a family of badgers got lost one day walking to school. no one could understand it. the sidewalks had been plowed. fresh bread had been delivered to them only an hour and a half before, as the parents prepared their brood for the chilly trek. he was reading about this in the newspaper, but someone started asking him if he wanted to see a classical performance that evening. the hall was empty. he wasn't sure if he was at home or at work; nothing seemed familiar, but then he had the feeling he had been in this place. he switched off the light as he walked out into the hall. his footsteps made no sound. several doors opened, simultaneously. one seemed to lead off into a vast forest. another led into a darkened room that smelled of singed pine needles, and the lemur awoke, early.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

if you thought that was all

you probably don't exist. i can promise none of you read that post before this one was published. go ahead, prove me wrong. oh, wait, you wouldn't know about the challenge if you'd read that one first, would you? go back and leave a comment, i'll take your word on it.

tonight i returned to the large recordstore to purchase a fionn regan disc. he's not out in the us yet; i somehow stumbled across him a while ago. this is the fourth time i have gone in search of his music. it was the third time visiting large recordstore in this pursuit. i had found fionn regan's imported, slightly expensive album for sale the second time. it was even set up in a listening station; apparently they know he's cool. i decided at the time i was not in the mood to purchase a cd. tonight, i was in the mood to purchase a cd. i began to have second thoughts about spending the money before even crossing the street. still, i entered the store, walked to where it was still displayed, picked it up, and started looking around for other things to buy. i continued to browse the store's plastic-packaged offerings until i realized i only had 15 minutes to get my groceries. food and the juice i was bringing for tomorrow's early thanksgiving dinner proved more important than buying some british singer's album before anyone else. that's still what's bothering me about this; am i so impatient or elitist that it's important for me to get this cd while no one really has heard of it? i'd be fine with it if only i didn't have to pay extra for the privilege.

door slamming becomes a recurring theme

as i was about to post about something entirely significant, i noticed that someone across the hall had slammed their door several times in succession. it was at least three. maybe five. so what was going on? was something stuck in the door and my neighbor repeatedly attempted to close it, each time foiled by an unseen obstacle? was this a strange cinematic fit of anger, where an angry message was delivered with repeated slammings for emphasis? I can almost see it: "you [slam] [reopen] need [slam] [reopen] to [slam] [reopen] make up [slam] [reopen] your mind [slam]." did they run out of knives and decide to use the door to chop vegetables? there are all sorts of possibilities, but how often have any of us done something like this? i can't think of a single time i have slammed a door five times in a matter of seconds. does that reflect well on my character? will i ever reach the point of using doors as makeshift kitchen implements?

Friday, November 10, 2006

the open door

leaving work, i declined to trace my normal path out the side door and walked all the way out the lobby and through two sets of glass doors. the outer door was open, allowing me to stride through at an easy pace, until i slammed into what was actually not a door at all, but a full length window next to the doors. surprised more than hurt, i remarked to the man i knew was a few steps behind me that the glass must be unusually clean today. however, delivering a more thundering blow, he walked out the door, not turning to look, or reacting in any way, as he listened to his music. i realized in that instant the power people have to hurt each other. his indifference to my accident, his failure to stop, to check if i was ok, to react in any way, was much more hurtful than slamming into unseen glass. i keep thinking this over, wondering if he could have totally missed what had happened, thinking how there is very little chance he heard me speak over his music. i recall, in contrast, the experience of a friend who had a similar accident going in to a movie theater. she was deeply embarassed after a woman came over and asked if she was ok, again hurt more by the social consequences of her accident than by her collision with the glass.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

this is not urgent

several things have happened in recent weeks. i went to an art museum. i checked more books out of the library. it rained a few times. i ate out 5 meals in a row. 8 if you count going out to buy muffins one morning and eating one the second day. as recently hinted, i came up with a christmas shopping list. i read an author whose prose i enjoy, but whose writing is unlikely to infect anything i produce. i considered buying a folk album even though it contained a horrid cover of 'purple rain.' i purchased a tv show as a download so my roommate could watch it. i wrote a check for rent. i tied a candy cane in the strings of the hooded sweatshirt that was part of my third halloween contest. i drank bottled water. i put my headphones on while riding in the car with my family.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

going to seed

christmas presents. yes, i still have a list. i'm not completely over this consumerism thing; the american passion for acquisition runs deep. it happens to consist entirely of items that should be purchased at a thrift shop. still, i found myself wondering today whether i should ask for some expensive junk. i was in front of a tv too long this weekend, so people kept telling me what i want.