Wednesday, October 31, 2007

halloween lunch

i expect this halloween won't measure up to last year, but i had a memorable lunch:

frozen slush drink - raspberry with cherry
-the performance part of my office costume basically requires i visit a convenience store. raspberry was excellent; the cherry portion seemed to be fermented

triple-chocolate cake
-purchased yesterday; rather tasty well-chilled

carrot muffin
-brought in by a co-worker; so delightful i ate all of the frosting

pumpkin pie
-also bought yesterday; wonderfully authentic pumpkin flavor and surprisingly good crust

cheese-flavored snack mix
-from a co-worker; good variety of ingredients and excellent interplay between cheese flavor and slightly sweet cereal bits

Saturday, October 27, 2007

songs of the week, wk 4

-'the moth'

-'it's not'

-'rocky dennis' farewell song'

let's enjoy some toast on the front steps and hope ac newman decides to take up a musical correspondence with gillian welch. meanwhile, fall deepens, holidays approach, and wardrobes everywhere shift in accordance with the former. here's to rivers filled with drifting yellow leaves.

Friday, October 26, 2007

still funny

i don't care how long this has been there, i still love it:

sleep 2, concerts 0

i had two opportunities to see the same show. didn't go to either. not enough sleep. so sad how these things work out sometimes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


one of the biggest problems i have, which never goes away, is that my phone runs out of memory for text messages. today it told me i had a message waiting. i deleted some stuff and two messages showed up. both were important. just now i decided to remove some more junk. i had over a dozen unsent messages. one was to a friend i hadn't seen in 2 years who is in town and had called. now i know why she didn't text back. then there was one i cannot at all explain. just one word: tea.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

second arm

i like to buy a lot of clothing second hand, it makes sense, i've mentioned this before. the problem, of course, is it's harder to find things that fit extremely well. a good proportion of the shirts i wear to work are from thrift shops. the long-sleeved ones usually are a bit short in the arms, so hopefully that doesn't bother people. i guess i figure it's just not worth spending serious money on workplace attire. i am frequently given shirts for christmas, maybe because my family members don't think i ever buy new ones, but these don't always fit well either. it's a shame, isn't it?

Monday, October 22, 2007

let's hear it for ego

i'm not a fan of extreme self-importance. however, there are times when it can be handy to observe your surroundings and say, 'is there a reason for the thing i see here?' in doing so, one important perspective to consider is whether it might be all (or mostly) about you. the egotist's perspective is useful at times. of course, that might sound crazy.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

songs of the week, wk 4

-'if you're feeling sinister'

-'black water child'

-'guys like me'

-'seeing other people'

variety in my musical diet continues to rest at an extreme low. i'm not sure how i'm surviving, but i am in fact having a great time. maybe it's the books. while i think about who i'm going to welcome into my musical life, let's wish for a postal service 4: rufus wainwright and regine chassagne

Friday, October 19, 2007


i'm up on the loft right now, reading and listening to one of the songs of the week. the important thing is, i am hearing it through speakers, through the stereo speakers that are so rarely able to play in stereo. it's amazing. i'm lying here wondering why the heck i didn't go see this guy live last week, but a little research and some recollection of what i was up to reminds me that i missed the concert for a very important reason. i missed it because i procrastinated an extremely important responsibility. in the moment, i made the right decision, but the lack of initiative over a six month period prevented me from going to see what should have been an outstanding performance. the album's good though, and i'm still listening to one of the best tracks.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

seasonal adjustments

i've finally gotten back in the habit of wearing long-sleeved shirts to the office. wait, that's no longer correct. the long-sleeved-shirt every day phase lasted maybe two weeks? now we've gotten to one of those weird phases where the temperature inside the office requires careful preparation. today i started wearing a zip hoodie over a polo to the office every day. the thing is, there'll be some day two months from now where i'll be taking off sweaters and jackets until i really want to just pull on a short-sleeved shirt. well, just so happens that i wore that polo to work today but didn't want to wear it straight over to institute.

two pears up on a branch. one horseshoe.

i will be a little cruel

sorry people, it's late and i'm in a critical mood.

the power and the glory
-graham greene
my least favorite part of this book was the opening scene. i suppose that's good. i loved reading this because it wasn't trashy. so much modern literature drags us through the muck because it's supposed to be good for us. here instead is the story of a nearly fallen priest on the run from socialists in mexico.

the twenty-seventh city
-jonathan frantzen
an indian woman takes over st. louis in 1986. why st. louis? she and frantzen may have chosen the city for the same reason...anyway, the communist undertones are lost on me; i was never afraid of the communists growing up. i'm going to assume that frantzen is older than me, otherwise he might have had to try harder to figure out how to make the tension of the communist angle work...i'm totally giving him the benefit of the doubt that it does so for an older audience. by the end of the book, i hated both her and the man she's trying to undermine in her power grab. i enoyed reading this book. there were parts i found myself skipping or wishing i'd been able to skip because they were corrupting my innocent mind, but maybe the problem is that i'm reading too many male authors. i think that even nice guys are tempted to think the rest of the male population is more superficial than they are, so that they need to make sure to objectify women. so many brands in this book are made up, though clearly based on reality, that i have to wonder if the brands that survive in the narrative are actually financing frantzen's new house or something. i think i've heard that paid product placement happens in litereature. that's ok, every other type of media does it.

stranger's gate
-tom casey
i found something in the prose of the first 20 pages of this book to be so awful that i laughed out loud. i have a hard time giving casey credit for writing a story about a macho pilot. when you are a macho pilot, it doesn't take much to do that. his protagonist's understanding of romance seems to be of junior high-level maturity, and i can't say that there's any proof the author is any different. the saddest part is, there's a fair amount of relationship stuff in here; our red-meat protagonist actually spends a lot of time reflecting on relationship issues. what we seem to get is a character who thinks he understands a lot about women and the challenges of making things work emotionally and romantically, and that character is written by an author who doesn't understand these things. so tom, you capture some good piloting drama at times, but your author friends think a lot more highly of you than i do, so i assume this won't hurt much. seriously though, this book seems pretty awful. anyone up for the challenge of proving me wrong?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


i was extremely happy on monday, and i can't really say why. maybe it was because i finished the onerous task that occupied me virtually all of friday night and saturday. i was just about to leave family home evening early, when i paused to talk to a friend who observed that i seemed to be in a really good mood. i was in an excellent mood, the sort of mood that should have a clear explanation. or should it?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

songs of the week, wk 3

-'lunar sea'

-'fox in the snow'

no way around it, change has to come eventually and change came this past week. here's another bit of wishful thinking; a never-to-happen postal service 3: rhett miller and jennifer o'connor.

Friday, October 12, 2007

things i didn't do 18 months ago

-sing out loud, spontaneously, at work

-answer questions with vague generalisms like 'stuff'

-eat vegetarian

-frequently consume commercially produced smoothies

-say 'it's cool' all the time

-put cream cheese on bagels

-go to the library (i didn't even have a valid card)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

praise for: store-bought cookies

cookies from the store exist in their own reality. in the world they have constructed, a cookie tastes the same, pretty much always. it can sit around for a relatively long time, and it still tastes exactly like the one you first took out of the package tasted. see, store bought cookies are never truly fresh, so it's impossible for us to notice the difference brought on by a week or two. they're engineered for maximum shelf life, and consistent taste during that life. the genius of store-bought cookies, however, is that they have set up their position in our lives so effectively that they're really only competing against other varieties and brands of commecial cookies. they can't hold a candle to a decent home-made cookie, but who makes those anymore? i grew up on cookies baked by my mother, who may or may not be willing to admit she'd be scandalized to learn the sorts of cookies i eat today. when i don't make myself dinner, why would i bake cookies?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


this morning, i found serious damage to the makeshift wall one co-worker has constructed out of empty boxes of fruit snacks. since i had an overstuffed box of the same fruit snacks, i emptied it out and let him use it to rebuild his diminutive barrier. now, i have a drawer full of fruit snacks. of course, i had a drawer full of fruit snacks before. the question is, are they going to stay on my mind simply because they're no longer in a box, or will i forget about them? does the lack of a proper container fix them more firmly in my mind?

not eating fruit snacks today.

Monday, October 08, 2007

is there a moment

when a person stops developing ideas that change his/her view of the world? i'm not sure i want to find it. having chosen a college major focused in 'non-western' culture, i've had the privilege of learning a lot less than enough about a couple of different places. there's the one where i grew up, and whose literary treasures i largely ignored in an effort to gain some comprehension of the depths i can't fathom in another cultural sea.

i was thinking about the word 'unfathomable' last night or maybe the night before. i have always used it as a proxy for 'deep,' but if we truly cannot fathom something, we have no idea how shallow it might be a pool of water glinting in the sun that gives no indication of its depth, though we may rationally assume it to be no deeper than a few inches. once we've moved the word 'unfathomable' to the figurative, its meaning is not tied to the act of dropping a line to gauge depth. something unfathomable is something we have no means of measuring, despite all the tools we think should tell us the truth.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

songs of the week, wk 2

'john saw that number'

'a call to arms'

'the new face of zero and one'

'the bleeding heart show'

'twin cinemas'

i pretty much listen to the same stuff over and over again. i just added a bunch to the library, so perhaps next week's list will show more variety. no promises. i think neko case could be in a few more bands. maybe she could be in the postal service 2. neko case and...i dunno...jean-benoit dunckel. it could work.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

sleep is outdated

it doesn't seem to matter how much junk you eat after skipping meals, they just make you pay for missing them. it's like there's a meal union that goes on strike if you miss meals. all the nutrients in food you eat afterward refuse to cross the picket line.

professional tip for the week

when in meetings, make sure you behave properly when your computer is hooked up to a projector for all to see. no one wants to watch you read your email while you're not in a part of the main conversation.

note: i personally did not commit this offense.

Monday, October 01, 2007

gone a bit stale

the sea, the sea
-iris murdoch

a few pages into this book, i was loving it. a few more have passed, and i'm growing tired of the narrator. this extroardinarily first-person tale has, thus far, been a charmingly idiosyncratic description of the protagonist's new home and surroundings. the joke is getting a bit old, and i'm ready for some characters other than the sea and the man who lives by it.