Monday, March 31, 2008

better than it might sound

after calling tom (who may not use that nickname anymore) to discuss my rejection letter from cal state, i reread it. there's some odd language regarding my failure to qualify for the program, but other than that it's praise and encouragement. they even told me to apply again if i'm still interested. i'd missed that the first time through. it can be so painful to read rejections, but of course this one doesn't read like most of them. maybe like writers are nicer people or something, but no poli sci program that rejected me ever said something like that. one time a major tech firm rejected me but hedged with 'your interest in software did not go unnoticed by the recruiter.' so yeah, they told me to try applying again as well. i had said earlier that i probably don't deserve to get into an mfa program considering the effort i've put in. that's probably the wrong way to put it. considering how early i am in my development, the whole letter thing isn't that bad.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

so so awesome

one of the best days i can remember here. too hard to explain all the things, so a few, mostly irrelevant, things i did today.

-participated in a team dance competition, avoided completely embarrassing myself, and our team won

-got some serious encouragement regarding my irrational desire to attend oregon when i can get into much higher-ranked programs

-saw an old man staring, standing completely still, at a couple dudes eating dinner in a restaurant.

-ate pumpkin ravioli

-wore a wristwatch. i rarely do this.

-played urban capture the flag

-drank soda from one of those gigantic bowl-like mugs

-spent a good deal of time in my new neighborhood, and greatly enjoyed it

21st century diary

reading a magazine which styles itself rather futuristically, i was impressed by this one little word highlighted in blue. i immediately thought, 'oh, i should follow that link.' magazines don't have hypertext links. so why the heck should they use the visual language of a web page that does?

Friday, March 28, 2008

i'm still looking

it's not very often you come home after an evening with friends and realize you've had yellow wax stuck to your face all night. we have these massive new candles, and i thought i'd do the right thing and blow them out before leaving the apartment. well, the first try didn't go so well; the candle went out and hot wax sprayed everywhere. i just hadn't realize my face took some of the damage.

my roommate brought home some odd but very cool shelves a few weeks ago, one red and one white. they're rectangles, except they're designed as if the sharp points of the corners have been cut off. the effect is futuristic, but futuristic as envisioned some time ago. i can't quite place them temporally. of course, i had to shoot some photos of the shelves, none of which came out quite right. a day later, they had stuff on them and my window of opportunity had passed.

tonight i came very close to blurting out the fact that i'd dreamed about a girl. a specific girl. who i don't know very well. i've heard that when you dream about someone it means you like them; i'm sure there is not a one-to-one correspondence there, but it's accurate this time. so i have a crush on a million odd girls and one of them pops up in a dream. probably about all that'll come of it. i'm being honest, nothing more.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

the guessing game

since the portable music device is looking more and more to have fallen completely out of the picture (aka time to budget out a major purchase again), i've been listening as usual lately to internet radio. i've discovered maybe some groups worth a second look, but what i'm more interested in right now is proving my ability to recognize singers whose work i do not own. today i got two:

-jolie holland (i've owned two tracks by her)

-maria taylor (saw her in concert a year ago and 'a good start' was once one of the most-played tracks on the missing device)

so maybe i'm not that awesome after all, but it's not like i'm going to be able to recognize parks and recreation after hearing one song of theirs.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

songs of the week, wk 20

-'la femme d'argent'

-'the birds start talking english'

-'black water child'

considering the 'breadth' of music i've been listening to lately, it's somewhat surprising that there isn't more crazy newness going on here. maybe it's just taking time to sink in. hard to put a jenny owen youngs song up here when i can't remember what she sounds like.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

it didn't take

there have been a few occasions recently when i've thought 'where's my red hat,' and only later realized the answer is 'in the pantry with the rest of the food.' for at least a month and a half, the hat was wrapped up in a plastic bag on my food shelf, because it had a lollipop stuck to the side. i'd been eating the rather tasteless lollipop and thought 'what would this do to my hat if i stuck it to the side?' of course, it stuck on well, but once i took it off and cleaned the hat, there were no lasting effects. it would have been interesting if the dye of the hat had somehow reacted to the sugar, but that really isn't something you'd expect to happen.

Friday, March 21, 2008

a few of the shinier things

since i have to move out of my apartment, i figured i should describe a few of the things i'll miss:

-roommates, that's natural, but we've got some special ones here. one makes you laugh by even appearing during 'waking hours' on a weekday; one of them is a graphic designer and photographer, which has led more than a few acquaintances to ask if i'm the graphic designer in the apt; and generally they're all cool and kind and fun.

-couches, which i was afraid of for a great many months (we had none when i moved in, and the office chairs in the living room were comfortable). there's not much better than watching tv in the dark on the couches here.

-refrigerator, which is faux wood paneled...or is that real...

-wind chimes that echo from somewhere nearby. makes sitting or sleeping on the couch late at night a great time even with no tv.

-biggest loft ever, which is more of a treehouse/fort/awesome land of solitude, and which i have equipped with a charming mini theater.

-front porch, on which to make phone calls in the rain in a damp hoodie. delightful.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

helping reality compete

i used to own a skateboard with 14 wheels. each is similar to what you'd see on an inline skate, and seven are mounted at each end of the board on curved rail-like trucks. the reason i bought it was that it was supposed to mimic the experience of snowboarding, but on dry pavement. another big factor was that it was short enough to carry on an airplane. while it did go to japan with me, the skateboard was so awful to ride that the transportability quickly became irrelevant. while nearly useless as a method of transportation, the skateboard was an amazing conversation starter. probably eighty percent of people who rode in an elevator with me while i had the board asked about it. my longboard drew far less attention. one time a group of people in florida talked to me because of the longboard, but that was because i had yellow hair and they were amused at the fact that they'd seen me on it earlier in the day and here i was staying in their hotel. the fourteen-wheeled skateboard's best moment might have been the time a pack of teenaged skateboarders saw me carrying it (it's much better than having to ride the thing) and stopped me because they wanted to try it out. one of them did some nice kick flips and the like, then took a picture with me and the board.

at this point, however, the skateboard's most powerful legacy is its message - 'helping reality compete.' that was one of several slogans i scrawled on the bottom of it, and the most significant one right now (maybe later we'll talk about 'buy japanese,' but i can't see 'surfers for sun' being much more than a joke i write on my things to make them a little more 'mine'). when i was writing and thinking about 'reality' back then, i believed in the idea that it's important to engage your actual life. i still believe that, or i wouldn't be thinking about this, but i find myself struggling to accept the actuality of my life. lately i have made some real positive moves that have given me exciting options for my future. however, i've spent a lot of time drowning myself in escapist pasttimes, mostly watching television and also reading. the literature situation isn't so bad, perhaps. part of the whole point is to read a lot so that i'll know more about writing. this goal encourages me to stick to material that's got some style or substance to it - clever or insightful, not just entertaining. i think, though, that given my overall dissatisfaction with my actual life, reading runs the danger of being simply a more engaging form of evasion. for some reason though, i'm just scared right now. i'm scared about moving and how i'll adapt; i'm scared when i think that i might be saying no to school again, but i really just need to stand up a little more to the scariness and try not to hide under a blanket of distractions.

songs of the week, wk 19

-'kicking the heart out'

-'alone in kyoto'

-'tears for affairs'

i think i may have permanently lost my portable music player. that's not as bad this past week as it might have been a few months ago, since my favorite internet radio is working for me again at the office.

skipping bdb since 2007

in terms of my musical taste, i have to admit i'm easily influenced by criticisms i hear, but the influence wears off if i'm deeply commmitted to an artist. for some reason, it didn't take much to turn me off badly drawn boy. i think somebody saw him live and it wasn't that great. fact is, i like maybe 5% of his songs that i've heard, and i like them a lot, but i just can't stand a lot of what he's done. when he pops up on the internet radio, i am usually inclined to skip.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

massive rally against unnecessary clothing

i've got to move again in about 10 days, and i'm thinking that any clothing i haven't worn in 2 years has got to go. it's pretty sad sometimes to think about what it means to be an american. i have a tuxedo, which was a kind gift. i envision no occasion to which i would wear a tuxedo. there are a couple pair of track pants in my possession, one of which i tend to feel i can't wear very much because they're very clean. the other pair has been around a while and paid its dues. i have a pair of sweats i wear only to softball games. these are rather old, i think my parents got them for me in high school, so part of the problem here is that i've retained too many things, not just that i have purchased too many things. still, while the sweats barely reach my ankles, if i'd had to economize, they render both pair of track warmups unnecessary. i do attempt to purchase things from second hand shops because it's affordable and a good environmental decision, but the thing that persists is the desire to acquire more. it's kinda sad.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

we all crave choices

or i do, at least. on a day when i'm feeling somewhere between awful and awesome, having stayed home from church with an unnerving continuance of the mysterious malaise/illness that's plagued me all week, i feel somewhat obligated to contemplate a bit. in the past year or two, my habits and hobbies have changed a good deal. i've been on the job market, though not in a consistently active manner, for nearly a year and a half. i am in the early stages of proving that, while i possess skills that seem irresistible to university staff who take the time to interview me, i have little chance of getting one of those interviews from an institution that's in a different locale than i am. in the year since i nearly quit my current job, i have come into favor with the leadership, ensuring impeccable references when i do make up my mind to move on. that's an empowering thought; i can leave with a decent level of support, because even if i'm not moving on to anything definite, they know that now is a good time to broaden myself. if i'm going to just move away with no prospects in immediate sight, i can make the argument that it's time to branch out, and they'll understand. i've also wrangled things such that i have the option of going to school in the fall. hooray. for now, however, i'm just waiting to see what options i do have for school. i'm not at all convinced i will choose to go, but i'm totally loving the fact that i have that option.

Monday, March 10, 2008

bake sell

i was excited this morning to find out there was a bake sale on the 3rd floor. one of my coworkers quickly roused me for the journey downstairs, and we arrived while the prices were still being set. i bought a couple cupcakes and a slice of cake, figuring it didn't really matter how much i spent to support a good cause. upon returning to my desk to begin eating, i read the actual email announcement and found out i was supporting someones' r&r fund. what?

songs of the wk, wk 18


-'the pageant of the bizzarre'

-'alpha beta gaga'

i found a bunch of my favorite cds, all of which i thought had disappeared forever. i'd really been hating the fact that i might have to buy them all over again.

Friday, March 07, 2008

cause for celebration

good news today. hooray!

songs of the week, wk 17

-'your place'

-'one evening'

-'green arrow'

a funny thing happened to me this week: after my roommate had advised me that the best thing to do was generate options for my future, all of a sudden i had a whole bunch of options i'd never expected to be there. part of it was due to long hours of preparation and waiting for the right opportunity. there was also some unexpected surprises that likewise were only good surprises because of longstanding efforts to adapt. things do flower at certain moments, or seem to, but there's a lot of work behind those momentous accidents.