12.25.01 we're walking out of here

a letter from my great-grandmother circa 1925.
edited for length; eccentricities are as they appear.
Dearest Nina -

I honestly don't know what I'd do without your lovely newsy letters. Your latest of the 13th of December came last night, as did Jennis' nice Christmas missive. I surely was sorry to hear that Mr. Galloway had had to go to the hospital. I s'pose poor Jennis doesn't know his head from a hole in the ground between his father, the new house and business.

Believe me - you're going to be 1st class - with showers built in tubs and pedal faucets. When I come to a bridge meeting at your house I shan't wash until I get there. As soon as possible do take a snap of the residence and send it on. I'm awfully interested and I'm about as pleased at your having a house as if twere mine.

Had an announcement from Margaret Requardt - I do hope this venture will turn out better than the other one. I was terribly surprised to hear about the Mill's girls - not as much Edith as Charlotte. Come to think of it - we're rather fortunate in the pair we picked out - even tho mine shoots off his mouth afore he thinks...and yours is Radio Mad.

Here's something to tell (Nanny) Mildred - we've been over the Chinese Frontier! Marjorie Knuckey - Fritz and I with an Indian driver - a Burmese servant - bedding for all - food for 6 days, started out on New Year's morning for Nham Khan. We sent the servant - Maung Po - by train to Lashio - (the end of the railroad in Burma) with the stores and with Tawpah driving - we reached Lashio at noon that day - had lunch there - picked up Maung Po - put him, the stores, and enough gasoline for the trip in another car - and drove on - the road was nothing but a mud track - over mountains and through virgin jungle - we made Kut Kai that night and stayed in the government rest house there. At Kut Kai we saw our first panther - just 150 feet from the bungalow - right then I started to be scared and kept up the good work - till we got back to Namtu - wishing every minute that I hadn't gone. Now of course - that we're back safely - I'm glad I was along. The next morning we started out again, sending the other car back to Lashio - and leaving Maung Po - some of the stores and the gasoline in Kut Kai - in order to lighten the load - as we had a climb of nearly 5000 feet ahead of us (the car was an Overland - nothing but that or a Ford could have stood the racket.) From then on we were beyond signs of humanity or civilization, and 130 miles from the railroad.


We arrived about 6 - found the rest house crawling with vermin and what not - decided we could not sleep there - so left for Lashio - it was pitch dark and we had thick jungle to go through - and very steep climbs - the fan belt was slipping - and the water in the radiator boiling - when we saw a tiger within ten feet. I never prayed so hard in my life - for the engine to hold out. Fritz says he expected his hair to take his hat clean off his head. The two guns were not loaded - and the ammunition was under the rear seat - on which I was sitting - I was too paralyzed to move - and anyway we'd have had to ask the tiger to wait while we loaded the rifle. Fortunately wild animals are terrified and fascinated by lights or fire of any sort - and old Mr. Tiger never moved. About 20 minutes after that we passed a panther so close on my side of the car that I could have patted his head - had I been so inclined. Every minute we expected the motor to give the last gasp. But somehow I think my prayers must have been answered - and we reached Lashio safely at about 9:30 P.M. We stayed at the rest house there - and collected several bedfellows of the crawling variety. The next morning we started on our last lap - to Namtu - a distance of 42 miles - which it took us over 8 hours to do as it had rained the night before (a most unusual occurrence for this time of the year) and the roads were so bad that Fritz and Maung Po had to lash the rear wheels with rope - having no chains - it wasn't mud - it was like thick axle grease. Marjorie and M.P. got out and walked up to their ankles for about 2 miles to lighten the car - but I stuck to Fritz as we were on the side of a cliff with a precipice on the left side - and I was determined to go over with him. Fritz admitted afterward that he didn't expect to make Namtu - ever. If we'd had an accident there'd have been no help and we'd have had to remain all night in the jungle with the tigers leopards and panthers. The rear wheels were skidding so bad that poor Fritz's arms were nearly pulled out of their sockets - and one time we missed going over into the river (about sixty feet below) by a margin of not more than six inches. This all sounds like a fairy story - but its not one bit exaggerated. I can't describe to you how full of thrills and interest the whole trip was. Oh yes - at one part of it Fritz and Maung Po had to cut down bamboos and fill in holes in the road in which you could have buried a cow. Fortunately he had taken Tawpah's big knife away from him when he got drunk (all the natives carry big knives) otherwise Fritz'd never have been able to cut anything to fill in the holes. I still thank God that we're back safely.


Isn't that like Virginia? She never seems to realize that acceptance of every invite entails some retaliation on her part. Goodness knows how many meals (informal) she's had at our house - and I've never once eaten at her house except t'was at a party or something of the sort - I can't imagine how elated you were over the cordial invite.


I had a card from Marguerite H. telling me she'd had a serious operation - what was it - ovaries removed? I would think Don ought to get operated on also.

Mother writes me that for Nov. Frederick was second in his class in everything and got 95 in arithmetic and in Dec. he was in the lead. Isn't that splendid - particularly when you consider how much time he lost last winter & spring.

Isn't Lawrence Baldwin younger than Marie Stack? He had a case on me at one time - I believe it was during my 4th year at W.H.S. - but that he was an awful "dumb brute" - maybe he's changed. Mother telles me that Bert is engaged to a Sally Boggs of D.C. All the old belle's are getting married - It's very sad!

Thanks a lot for your Christmas card. I can't remember whether or not I thanked you in my last letter which I wrote in Namtu - Xmas week.

Fritz is still expecting to answer Jennis' letter by this mail - altho he's been very busy with figures and information to send to the states - as he thinks his Namtu visit will result in a blast-furnace job for the D. C. Co. If it does will be quite a feather in his cap.

I am playing tennis every afternoon down here and there's some slight improvement - I don't think I'll ever be able to challenge Helen Willis.

My hand is becoming more numb with every word I write - so I'll have to quit before rigor mortis sets in.

Best Love to you and Jennis from Fritz
and yours as always

B.B.P. Co.
P.O. Box 449
Rangoon, Burma

12.24.01 bitter airport haiku

i'm unconvinced by the whole 'take a sip of your drink so we'll know you're not a terrorist' routine at the metal detectors. couldn't i float a plastic gun in my coffee or develop a resistance to my liquid weapon over time, a la cary elwes in the princess bride? the machine gun guy at the checkpoint mocked my pear-artichoke-broccoli smoothie. yeah, well you look like g.i. joe.

left work much earlier than i expected but didn't have much else to do, so i got to SFO at like 12:40. i have a 4:45 flight. i can feel my body decomposing, breaking into simple things. like artichoke.

on lauren / libra + joe / cancer, cosmo sez:
He is the original nice guy, but you need someone who can add spice to your life. He wants to keep you all to himself; you'll get irritated when he wants to have yet another mellow night. Love match meter: 1 [/10].

12.23.01 give paris one more chance

happiest holidays to all, dear digifolk! i was going to regale you with high school poetry, but i've been unable to find it. in its stead: snippets of ye olde amsterdam journals (04/99). and to all a good night.

painted walls urge them to assert themselves -
RECLAIM YOUR AUTONOMY - and their fingers
twitch and obey: adolescence is named again and again
in the steam of the highest windowpanes.

saw him at the counter and he asked if everything was okay and i said no and he said i thought so and i said i was changing and he said what? and i said my clothes and off i went. now he's not even here to be impressed. and i'm pretty impressive.

1331h thursday 8 april - delifrance on the damrak. met a nice punk from brandeis last night. took a picture of him with jeremy - think i'll blow it up and hang it in the room. bought a lily the size of a baby's head at a flower vendor yesterday - good fun to freak people out and lay around in the silver dress like a dead girl.

[henry rollins] "and anyone who thinks they're above it, like 'i never get depressed!' and you're like god - you're a liar, and you're boring."

and the moon shoulders through clouds in the last row of a miracle
like the man at the back of a sideshow crowd.

2.1: 'And in th'essential vesture of creation / Does tire the ingener.'
- spinning so fast that can't be seen w/naked eye
- you speak of me as yet unformed, and so it is

1340h 4/12 monday. costa, george st. i need to drag myself home like the silly family pet i am.

12.20.01 whatever happened to?

we actually had a storm alert tonight, as in the tv fuzzed out and an earnest young man warned us that there were golf ball hailstones in san jose. cut to a shot of someone's backyard 'hailman', cut back to frasier. supposedly there was a small tornado lurking about, but i think it shopped in union square for awhile and went back to stockton. we wondered if this would affect the delivery of our indian food and returned to the television. if it rains much today, i'll have three new rental movie synopses for posterity: i hydroplaned on the 73 during a storm a few years ago and wrapped my car around a steel divider, so weather and freeway driving tend to loosen the bowels a bit.

on that note - rental movies - not so sure about the house of yes. it was probably a very nice play, but the adaptation was very stagey. i could worry about whether or not this was intentional, but i'd be relatively unimpressed either way.

the post office informs me that my ted hughes shakespeare book is hiding on pine street: i've been looking for it for two years, but i actually sort of fear it. he's exceedingly long-winded, and i don't know that i can prep by reading the plays again. if douglas coupland cranked something out, see, i could throw that back in a day and feel very accomplished. i wish he'd consider my feelings.

12.18.01 when you tell me it's okay

per jen, the gift of the magi is the greatest love story of all time. i'm iffy, but i've never gone through the long hair thing. can't counter it with anything convincing: my short list is cyrano de bergerac, antigone and leonard cohen's "hallelujah", but the genres are all wrong. i bawl like a baby for "i'll be your mirror", but again. are we talking volume, originality, applicability? i bawled for digimon when one of the furry little guys sacrificed himself to a giant robot cockroach.

some guy dumped a newborn street puppy on us the other day, so we gave him a doll scarf, fed him lunch five times, and called him a christmas miracle. then a big christian/jewish smackdown broke out, it being hanukkah and all, so we named him latke. dr. johnsen fostered him and re-named him riley, then her terrier decided that he was her puppy. now we go to play with him and cricket looks at us like "you spay me and then give me a son and now you want to steal him for dress-up?". johnsen doesn't want to keep him, but there's no arguing with little dog.


12.17.01 no bigger than a nickel

today's health tips:

1. restaurant's name has no vowels? run.

2. feel poisoned, can't vomit? drink warm salt water and think about jazz.

baby jo's expecting her answer from stanford today, so i'm calling home every five minutes. no word yet, but mom did call to say that i have to go to the oakland airport again. woo.

3. beer consumption and bowling abilities: inversely proportional.

one lousy beer = 130 total in two games. i did get a pair of free socks from the shoe rental people, though.

the whole apartment is going to hell: the wiring in the hallway is out, jude mangled himself on a hanger or something, i puked all night. joe snored, but he always snores. to my great surprise, the fatty new goldfish are all still alive. hardy little guys.

cold weather gets at my goth nougat filling: i picked up an h.p. lovecraft anthology and an edward gorey gilded bat datebook thingy. the lovecraft is more convoluted than frightening, but this is okay. some camp counselor read me stephen king short stories like ten years ago and i still shut the closet before going to sleep.

lukas gifted me with dear moz's wistful, vaguely irc pen pal days. jake tells me of a foreign lad's labor of, um, love (visit him, he needs help). take this, brother, and use it well; i'll play sad songs on my gee-tar.

12.14.01 lift up the receiver, i'll make you a believer

we finally had a plumber put the tub out of its misery; potential house guests, it's safe to go back to the bathroom. this guy was more of an exorcist than a repair man, and he charged like $900 to summon water from the right places and banish it from the wrong places. that said, i felt that it would be unwise to anger someone who has the power to turn my toilet on and off.

took a page from jen's book and worked on my gift list as i babysat the plumber. bless you, internet! - for i'm finished shopping, provided that my loved ones are all spies.

mister coffee / hidden camera.
junk food / safe.
blow gun.
fighting fan.
the ability to control an army of bees (a little misleading, sure, but repelling moles with spearmint is kind of exciting).

won the video store guy's respect today when i rented window to paris at his insistence. it may be that he's kind because i'm at blockbuster all the time and don't appear to have any friends, but that's okay. we're bonding.

the holiday party at work - actually kind of fun. mostly a vegetarian potluck and playing with everyone's dogs, but it was kind of nice; dogs and babies are great, as long as you can give them back. my cider was a hit, yay.

saw jonathan richman again saturday: charming as always. saw ocean's eleven sunday: not bad for A Big Movie. finishing the master and margarita: i've finally gotten the nicknames straight, and it's exceedingly good. bulgakov may be cooler than gogol, and he's certainly friendlier than nabokov.
"Something's going to happen! It can't help but happen because why, in fact, have I been made to suffer for life? I admit that I've cheated and lied and lived a secret life hidden from everyone, but even that doesn't deserve such cruel punishment. Something is bound to happen because nothing lasts forever."


It amazed her that the front hall of an ordinary Moscow apartment could contain such an extraordinary, and invisible, but very palpable, endless staircase.

yojimbo, incidentally, stinks.

12.07.01 while they're dragging the lake

spent the afternoon volunteering with my doppelganger on market street. the society talks fancy stores into putting kittens in their windows at christmas, and we plebes shuck them out to unsuspecting shoppers. issues with talking pedestrians into twenty-year commitments aside, it can be a good thing - cat ladies are everywhere, and sometimes they bond with our older cats while hunting for cousin ralph's present. luckily, maybe, i had no ideological crunches - the coordinators oohed and aahed over the fact that we were hospital staff and then sent us to the sidewalk with collection jars and free stickers. my twin is a proactive little minx - we made fifty bucks and some guy gave us long-stemmed roses. a chick got burly on me when i tried to tell her guy about our cats and he asked for my number, but it was a relatively pleasant afternoon. look ma, i beg for money on the street.

made it through the craft at one go - so there, Kid Video. he was opening the store this morning when i snuck by to return my hoard.
guy: did you enjoy those?
me: yeah, i did.
guy: you've got to be careful what you watch.
on batman:

Could you pass this along to Lauren?

In her sept. 2 entry, she asks, "who's seen adam west lately?" I have. Like me, he's a Whitman graduate, and he came to speak there-- I think it was my freshman year (1995-1996). Unfortunately, since it was my freshman year, his talk was likely midway between pre-func and party, so I have only a very hazy memory of said talk, but I remember being amused.

Dirk Benedict, aka Faceman, is also a Whittie-- he visited sophomore year but only hung out with his brothers at Phi Delta Theta.

(cheers, colette)
12.06.01 slowly over wet sand

blockbuster guy makes me feel shabby: he looks damaged every time i rent something and it is revealed that i'm hoarding movies at home. today he seemed skeptical about my chances of getting though the craft in five days and told me a long story about watching all three hours of pearl harbor in one night "because it was the right thing to do". mum, in turn, is still bitter about the angry letters she got when i rented leprechaun 4 on her card. what do you people want from me?

happy birthday senor big ed! happy birthday metameat! exactly fifty years apart; coincidence?

courtesy of the latter,

dirty uncle paul.
yers trooly.
12.04.01 but you kept the queen is dead

i knew that my Vocation would tap me on the shoulder if i waited patiently. it has come to light that i am a paper-snowflake-making superstar. i mean it: people nearly wept at the office today. martha stewart, gird your loins.

mom left a big old box up here after thanksgiving. my favorite contents: a baby quilt (that i absolutely love and she has completely forgotten) and a trophy engraved with LAUREN, NO. 1 GIRL (to placate me when emily was born). many breakable tchotchkes that mom encouraged me to sink in the fish tank, but we've already filled it with plastic fishie bonsai. the pegasi are in the kitchen.

i used to hate "honey make something" holidays - father's day once ended in tempera block-printing my nose - but i'm warming to it. it's not poverty; i'm not afraid of credit card hell, not really. i should be crafty, with mum's genes and all. this can work.

i work the 24th and the 26th, so i'll be home long enough to pee, essentially - but i suppose that it feels nice to bust my ass. i have yet to develop free time as much more than NotHospital, but it's not for lack of time. there will be time.

12.01.01 me first and the gimme gimmes

armed with mulling spices, i am the rumpelstiltskin of the beverage world. give me your cheap, your stale, your purchased-because-the-label-was-funny -

joe and (jewlicious) jake came back from amoeba with the 2001 MUSIC WE LIKE! handbook. this year, as last year, it's compromised my music ego - i should have more vinyl, i should have nick cave, any nick cave, i should start a band and call it The Perfect Teeth - but i have recognized something important: on paper, amoeba people sound like my old co-workers from borders. given that, can i let them make me cry?

11.29.01 you just don't feel it deep enough

one finds out such exciting things when one's e-mailing goes to pot! not unlike the gossip you hear at slumber parties when you pretend you're asleep.

a list of mood album suggestions for
washing dishes: american III: solitary man, johnny cash
the bay bridge: some girls, the rolling stones
the battleship potemkin: how we quit the forest, rasputina
falling asleep: the boxed life, henry rollins
scrabble: if you're feeling sinister, belle and sebastian
house party with relative strangers: spiral scratch, the buzzcocks
filling diltiazem capsules: let's get it on, marvin gaye
11.28.01 that lucky old sun

as i have no work to do, i checked out popex per alsolauren. like fantasy football, but with music! as i know nothing about fantasy football, i was unprepared for a faux stock market game. stocks scare the bejesus out of me, so i bought'n'sold 100 shares of robbie williams and ran away. i did appreciate the discussion boards - good ideas for driving games ('songs that could double as curries', &c). paul and i get a lot of mileage out of that sort of thing (a pirate's favorite britpop album...?).

now a haircut, rental movies, dinner shopping. joe is making me buy turkey and sausage: this is some twenty-first century mutation of making one's boyfriend buy tampons. i'm a sensitive bronze-age vegetarian.

the pilot light is out, and we can see our breath in the apartment. not actually so uncomfortable; in california, though, this feels stupid. i'm thinking my fish will die.

11.27.01 my little ace reporter

oh, and thanksgiving was nice. joe made dinner, mom made dessert, i chopped and washed things. i'm finally unashamed of my food prep shortcomings: other people enjoy it, and i'm good with dishes. emily sat on her bum on thursday, but she was our waitress on saturday. balance.

balance! i fail to understand the bowel-clenching twentysomething crisis mode business. i think i lucked out when i overdid teenage angst: there's some regrettable juvenilia, sure, but i invented drama for so long that the muscles are mostly blown out. this is huge, as far as i can tell: Issues may be there someday, but for now i get to drink tea and read things. hot damn, honestly.

11.26.01 what's he like? it's not important -

article in the chronicle on saturday: bay area planned parenthoods got hand-delivered "warnings" from an anti-abortion group saying that they would be driving around the city with big dead baby billboards. this is considered to be in poor taste "in the wake of september 11". of the silly bits in the piece, the last makes me titter the most: "in the wake" is a mental image of bobbing around behind a cruise liner, for me.

also bobbing around: many terror sex babies. folks are predicting a birth rate spike next year, as "i am alive, you are alive" sex came into fashion after the terrorist attacks. for future reference, this is what happens when you cancel america's regularly scheduled programming for a week.

from the senate mail bag:
i, like my father before me, have the ability to hear dog whistles. this morning, however, i noticed that someone had left a trail of small screws outside my house. i have now also lost the ability to hear dog whistles.

11.19.01 black magic woman

have been reading little, watching little, accomplishing little. work friends juggle three and four jobs, multiple performance groups, multiple partners...i, on the other hand, ended up backing out of a reasonable night of work at slim's because i wouldn't have time to get the apartment together for family later this week. several half-excuses: having your mum over for A First Holiday is big. not gut-clenching big, but still. and though slim's would be a great racket - good money, meeting bands, so on - i had a violent ego moment about it the other night. i would like to buy things; i am not in a coat-check state of mind, though. no art to suffer for, lately.

so med students do the whole saved by the bell eggsitting-as-life-experience thing with human skulls. saturday i met several kids who were in the middle of this: one has to brush the moss from her skull's teeth, sid's is his drinking buddy, and so on. i love yicky stuff, and i couldn't even touch one. bad, bad vibes. on to a conversation about stone removal - "we were in there anyway, so we thought we'd just do him a favor" as in impromptu liposuction with handfuls of oh my. i thought draining abscesses on our lunch breaks was hard core. this is what led to the ego moment: i came home from that party and checking coats turned my stomach. casual work, okay: outerwear, no. medicine hells yes, but no skull-touching.

11.17.01 do this, don't do that

so i answered this posting on craigslist for "female vocalist with dark sense of humor". they were thinking low & snarly, lots of spoken word, whatever on formal experience - hey, why not? they called me in fifteen minutes, made me an offer and pointed me to an mp3 site. decided not to hook up my speakers - the pieces were called "force feeding" and such. i'm genuinely frightened.

jude broke nick's necklace. one minute he's batting at the chain, and the next he's chewing on something - the whole stone fell out. i'm thinking that when a three-legged cat bites off one's ex-boyfriend's anniversary present, one is supposed to take some sort of hint. i put the stone in a drawer and am wearing the, um, socket; the look is interesting.

11.12.01 meanwhile, back at the ranch

carstravaganza with dad this weekend. he's been wanting to road trip for months, so i picked him up friday morning and went north or east. food emerged as a substantial theme: we saved packets of frosting, tried to remember to photograph our dinners, and trucked around with three bags of groceries that are mostly inedible or in my kitchen now. i have a new indestructible teapot. it is likely to destroy me.

+5: tea on lake tahoe
+4: nimble little car
+3: aspen on the truckee in reno
+2: campari umbrellas
+1: ronald reagan jelly bean portrait
00: nevada's oldest hotel
-1: prostitution museum
-2: continental breakfast
-3: bowling injuries
-4: carson city speed trap
-5: oakland international airport security (A: so how do you feel about waiting in this line for the terminal? B: i thought this was the line for space mountain.)

from lemony snicket's the hostile hospital, in which klaus and sunny baudelaire labor to save their sister from esme squalor's nefarious cranioectomy:
"She's not here," Klaus said, putting down the last page of "Pneumonia Ward." "Violet's name is nowhere on the list. How are we going to find her in this huge hospital, if we can't figure out what ward she's in?"
"Alias," Sunny said, which meant "Maybe she's listed under a different name."
"That's true," Klaus said, looking at the list again. "After all, Mattathias's real name is Count Olaf. Maybe he made up a new name for Violet, so we couldn't rescue her. But which person is really Violet? She could be anyone from Mikhail Bulgakov to Haruki Murakami. What are we to do?"

read lemony snicket, damnit.

11.07.01 hours to go

essentially planned our evening around 24's premiere last night. i feel no shame; i've never been one for asceticism. in the months before the television, joe and i would congratulate ourselves on its absence and then watch the stereo from the couch.

i'm under the impression that one can't really approach This Modern World without the tube. blah blah nixon-kennedy debates blah, that's not what i mean. A, james's 'house of fiction' was scenic, but i never really believed that anyone lived there. B, i'm sick to death of male writers who describe women like they're taste testing donuts. no thesis here, but i've concluded that one must acknowledge television.

24 itself provoked a little. is exposition feasible in "real" time? i'm fond of dead souls, in which gogol waits to describe characters until they're busy climbing stairs. pinter's pregnant silences, i like those too. 24 is impatient, or paranoid, or both: sez kiefer sutherland, essentially, "estranged wife, you must find our disillusioned daughter on your own as i avert this global disaster with my erstwhile lover the secretary." i am deeply afraid of meeting someone who needs that dialogue. is tv telling me that they exist?

11.05.01 crack mule

read adam west's back to the batcave yesterday. he might have been the sedentary man's superhero, but a lot of butt came his way in the sixties. west made this heart-rending case for himself in "mature batman" films; i'd have felt for him, but he called gotham city's lower class "dickinson". no butt for you.

mucking through fast food nation as well. apparently your average mcdonald's worker is more likely to die on the job than, say, a police officer. also, fries are made of people. also also, joe eats the lardy bean dip at la morenita though he claims to shun mammals. we're all going to hell.

today i am contributing to america's greatness by counting morphine tablets. 7500 so far. i'll be blind by christmas, but glasses - an eye patch? two? - could lend me an air of mystery.

and finally, woo woo, a left-handed guy won the world series for arizona last night. shame that professional athletes are as vital as, say, pill counters.

11.01.01 what do foxes eat?

tentative plan to make for new york in march for magnetic fields shows. will get around to offering priceline more than $75 for airfare, eventually.

signifying rappers (costello, wallace) materialized last week. foster wallace the grad student is cute, but for his insistence that punk sucks. i think joe will like it more than i do, but he's getting tricky: in arizona, he went after a transatlantic love affair (nelson algren + simone de beauvoir) sans a peep from me. this man threw a tantrum when i tried to make him read "prufrock". trust no one.

buy breaded eggplant from trader joe's. no eggplant. could've been denny's cheese sticks.

leave dye in for an hour if you've never tried the color before.

play 'beat the reaper' with nausea. it will wait for you to wake up.

other lauren sounds benevolent. i'm used to fighting laurens: one must rule. this one wished me a happy birthday, though, and i'm that easy. right back at you, lauren: prosper and prosper some more.

10.26.01 everyone is pierced

jesus loves jake and satan is afraid of jesus: happy almost-samhain! when i grow up, my hit points will be higher than my IQ. just you wait.

thieves have attacked me. i had a lovely entry all scribbled into my notebook on wednesday: fifteen minutes later a guy came into the SPCA and took (it and) my purse. so long house keys, car keys, driver's license, cell phone, credit cards, sentimental personal crap, and about $3500 in overdraft charges, as my bank kept me on hold for an hour before i could cancel my accounts.

i'm really only angry about having to fight for my identity - he might have gotten my social security number, even - and about my personal crap. so i'm in line at the dmv for two hours, whatever. the idea of the guy ditching my ring at the bart station and eating my certs, though, makes my blood fucking boil.

sarajean informs me that i've been de-bridesmaided: her mother says that she will not attend if i'm in the wedding party. i have no anecdote for this, as it seems that no one knows what's going on. haven't decided if i'll go as a civilian. there are principles, obviously, but what wins?

jake is still my hero. when he went to the bridge school benefit on sunday, he had me on the phone for most of billy idol's set. when locksmith 2 finished breaking me into my house after the purse thing, jake materialized at the door with taqueria food an' coronas an' a loobylu mug. if the queen's still got the knighting bug, well - you know.

10.21.01 the vulture you can catch and eat

dad suggested last night that living alone is good for me. i think he'll ultimately be right, but i'm still learning to remind myself that i'm not a lightning rod. not entitled to the king lear routine.

charlie ultimately survived his fall, though his status was questionable for a while. he landed on his head (said the surgeon) and split his palate in two: imagine a straight line from your front teeth to your uvula. like that, thus blood. he also tore up his front paws, though i have yet to figure out where he fell or what he might have grabbed. he ran a fever and needed oxygen and sub-q fluids for three days, but he is home and himself, mostly.

jude picked up conjunctivitis while charlie was gone, so i brought cat 1 home on friday night and took cat 2 in on saturday. was still feeling sorry for myself when we both came home last night, so i went to the corner market for a beer - just one, as i had to be at work at eight this morning. grabbed the garage door opener instead of the keys (same shape); didn't have my uncle/landlord's phone number; assumed 1) he was probably in sonoma anyway but 2) a cab ride to the sunset and back couldn't possibly cost more than a
locksmith: the deadbolt your boyfriend installed is very good. i'll have to destroy it.

lauren: so how did you...learn to pick locks?

locksmith: [shiftily] locksmith school. they show you all of the tricks and then drop you into the water. some swim. some drown. [pause] that's the way things are.
i'd put a padlock on top of the deadbolt, so destroying the lock was no good, as we had no electric saw. back to the front door / apartment door, where (contrary to what he'd predicted) the guy jiggled a piece of plastic at each frame and the things practically giggled and opened. i got a $15 discount becasue the back door was destroyed rather than opened, but ultimately i paid $50 (kill deadbolt) + $65 (front door) + $65 (my door) + $35 ("nighttime fee") + tax. one beer = $240.
locksmith: i'm in my van with your bill and i'm thinking, you said you put the padlock on the back door because your cat fell out the window. doesn't he land on four legs? you must replace him.
i did get the guy to teach me how to pick locks with coke bottles. as for the $240 beer - i could hate myself, but it's over.

drove to work at 7:30, comatose from waking up with the cat all night. stopped at the supermarket, traded my last two bucks to kick up a nice coffee smell in the car. mix tape popped on to "papa was a rodeo". good morning.

10.19.01 the moon and the yew tree

most of what has happened in the past few days touches on others' privacy, so i can't say what i would like to say about my own life. the one thing that is just mine, and it is my everything, is that charlie fell four stories from my apartment on wednesday. i found him in a pool of blood on the pavement.

10.16.01 reading rainbow

a gaggle of japanese journalists turned up at my house maybe twelve years ago to interview emperor ed. they were with a lifestyle magazine that wanted a piece on an american who drove a hot japanese car (a nissan 300ZX, so this is debatable: the electronic woman who lived in the dashboard malfunctioned and announced that the door was open often enough to make me cry several times). they snapped pictures at the office (dad and a fleet of lawyers), at home (me on a scooter, mom on an exercycle), on the road (not him, not his car). they gave me a plastic car that turned into a disturbing pile of school supplies. i remember looking at the toilet in our downstairs bathroom: wow, guys from japan used this.

the article we received was dubious, as it went journalists > translator > dad > translator > journalists > editors > another translator > us. dad became The U.S. Salaryman with a majestic moustache, an hypnotic voice and a devastating effect on women. i looked chumpy in the pictures, princess di was on the cover of the magazine, this is what i remember.

this, more than the wind-up bird chronicle or the elephant vanishes or what have you, is what i liken to murakami's underground. murakami admittedly had a weird thing to do when he collected the survivors' interviews, but the whole thing goes praise/typification of interviewee, random personal details, repeat. i'm only halfway in, but i kind of get a foreigners + toilet / terrorism is weird vibe that will be hard to shake. imagine douglas coupland interviewing new yorkers about september 11, then pretend that you're icelandic. that's close.

that said, it's interesting to see murakami the interviewer slide into murakami The Artist. he visits a girl from the marinouchi line whose exposure to the gas left her in a semi-vegetative state:
As I talked to Shizuko I tried to look into her eyes now and then. Just what did she see? What lit up those eyes? If she ever gets well enough to speak unhindered, that's something I'd want to ask: "That day I came to visit, what did you see?"
ah, the humanity as The Artist gropes for a role in The Event. is he on business, or is he hoping for a picture of himself next to something big?

10.15.01 is a burning thing

paunchy guy in a tee shirt on geary: FBI: female body inspector. i have one that says sorry, i only like emo boys with broken hearts, but i kind of want his. shirt.

a flurry of music in the wake of 12 october: must buckle down and absorb agaetis byrjun (sigur ros), white blood cells (the white stripes), vespertine (bjork), an' back in black (ac/dc). combining the last two in a mix tape to see if i can split my brain. my hung-over neighbors seemed to enjoy the pairing at seven this morning, a wee thank you for playing ping pong and screaming until four last night.

10.12.01 kissing your reflection

when val / grant / mari / jake were here to feast on saturday, mari and i scuttled up to the corner to see if searchlight market could save our beer supply. they were closed, so mari grabbed a flower from evil frascati (the mean italian restaurant on the corner; benevolent and oddly eighties baldoria anchors the corner below us) and we went home. half a red onion (and little else) survived dinner, and it was the same shade as the flower, so we plopped both of them in the vase that doesn't house Fish Tim (he hides in vases, my french press, or the measuring cup, as charles bronson learned to go after the fishbowl). nearly a week later, the onion and the flower are still bobbing happily in the fridge; they've neither rotted nor begun to smell. maybe the combination was magical.

on blogs that are not blogs: jorge colombo is cool, ditto his raison d'etre.

little cat left a birthday present under my bare toes this morning; not so transient as it might sound.

10.11.01 the eyes still small

i think turning 23 should carry extra privileges, like ferret ownership or a tank license. on perks: it occurs to me that maybe moving to the suburbs means a yard, and that clearly means livestock. i understand the problems with believing that > 5 miles from subway = farm, but petfinder says that new jersey is just teeming with piglets. vegetarians generate a lot of organic garbage, you know.

in west virginia petfinder listed, god help us, a fox cub. if you're familiar with ted hughes's "epiphany" (forget "the thought fox", it compares poorly) - it's just hard to have a hair trigger, you see.

10.10.01 her whereabouts are unknown

no more lies! i live at the oakland airport. the lauren you see at the apartment is actually a fantastic projection from a hidden lens on the cat. i'll patent the technology as soon as i get a break from greeting'n'sending folks who go places. no, that's a lie too. there is no break.

i'd like to talk to work and movers and cellular phone people about the move back east, but joe is a beautiful dandelion who floats and scatters and amuses children or something. i've tried to weigh him down with food; it doesn't stick. i will continue to nest if i can't plan on leaving, is the problem, and i can't swear that i won't acquire more furniture and animals in the absence of a schedule.

i want to apply for courses in DC and pack my dishes between newspapers and have a go at the whole rosy glow a place is supposed to take on when one leaves, but - how wearystaleflat&unprofitable, and all that crap.

so current events got me after all -
WASHINGTON - Bat Boy has volunteered!

In a bizarre turn of events, the half-bat, half-human mutant reportedly has joined the U.S. military - and is being trained to use his super-sensitive hearing, keen sense of smell and other unique talents to hunt down terrorists in the caves, holes and hovels they hide in!


"When the Marines found him, he was clutching a newspaper that had a photo of Osama bin Laden with a sniper's crosshairs over his face," reports the source. "He must have found it on a road or in a parking lot because it had tire tracks on it.

"I'm told that he held it up, pointed to the picture and said, 'Bad man...lemme get him...bite him up."


Here's how Bat Boy can help America!

"Bat Boy can go places and do things no normal soldier can," a highly placed Pentagon source says.

"His hearing is 10,000 times more acute than an ordinary human's and he can track smells like a bloodhound. He's able to navigate in total darkness like a bat, using a kind of built-in radar. He can scuttle up a sheer cliff effortlessly and is strong enough to pull a man's arm out of the socket.

"Best of all, he's totally at home in mountain caves - where many terrorists like Osama bin Laden hide."

Surprisingly, Pentagon testers found, Bat Boy has a gift for learning languages quickly.

"While he speaks English poorly, he understands it perfectly and should easily master Arabic," the source says. "This will help him on spy missions behind enemy lines.

"Bat Boy used to be America's most wanted - but now he's America's secret weapon."

(weekly world news 10.16.01)

10.09.01 cheesecake doesn't fuck around

tour of north beach and city lights last night. still haven't figured out why i hate that store; a shame, as the key to my issues with the town as a whole are probably nested in that smaller peeve. ah well. home and wine.

today, the park and the japanese tea garden. big old koi, botan ame, a snow globe, a stretched penny with a stamped buddha. we rounded out sara's trip at tommy's mexican restaurant, thank you jen, where the staff chatted with the animatronic skull at the door: "hey you, what are you doing?" "hello, senor!"

ditched libra at the ten-page final stretch for murakami's underground, a series of sixty-two interviews associated with the '95 tokyo subway attacks. topical, yes! intentional, no! a segue, hell no! we all deserve spankings for the shenanigans of the last few weeks.
Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise...Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency...Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope...Our four...no...Amongst our weapons...Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise...I'll come in again.
10.04.01 pms decision tree

the california megasuperultramarket has street signs: ADULT CEREAL, CONVENIENT BREAKFAST, INCONTINENCE. traffic snarls when extended families shop produce together. twelve-pack soda ghettoes. weather: safeway pipes in thunderclap effects when the vegetable misters get going. two quarters get you a wee plastic HOMEY (tm) near the checkout gumballs. the machine is always empty, but shana promises that i can have some of hers. she's got duplicate bouncers and skinny handkerchief guys.

for the tube children: having decided that i'm to be marjorie trash heap for halloween, i rummaged for inspirational images and stepped in jump the shark. one really needn't google neurotic people talking about tv - they occur organically enough - but when one does and one finds them, they sure do pass the time.

10.02.01 latvia and lithuania

had one of those satisfying little epiphanies where pop lyrics are spontaneously intelligible. if you wrestle with this sort of thing, know that "take a chance on me" begins with "if you're all alone / and the pretty birds have flown..." baby steps, you see. baby steps.

the heat wave up here is finally over. this is great, though i feel like a chump for buying two fans the day before it broke.

10.01.01 plant on premises

was planning on daisy-chaining last week's trip home with my entries when i got back. i slept instead, mostly, and am duly ashamed. maybe rapid eye movement is a finite quantity; that would explain paul's insomnia coupled with my inability to stay conscious for more than six hours at a stretch. i'd swap if i could, sweetie.

casa de puppy; ellis island; taco loco (09.23.01)
LOS ANGELES: after negotiating rat terrier farms, forty seven carl's jr / green burritos, and the grapevine, lauren joins a crowd of hundreds and several barnyard animals at LAX's parking lot B, where she greets a very bushy joe. they continue through the orange curtain to mendocino court, where mama oster ferries them to the best surf shack food in the continental US. later, the gypsy den is visited [1].

monday - see 09.27.01

vincent vega; this mortal coif; the red scare (09.25.01)
ORANGE COUNTY: sara and lauren rendezvous at their former workplace, the amsterdam coffeehouse. lauren orders her usual (coke / espresso / vanilla syrup); kevin recognizes her and gives her a discount. it is revealed that joe is getting his hair cut at one; sara responds with an appointment of her own and leaks the plan to amy, who speeds to the styling site. michael and amy arrive; their hair is admired. sara chats and lunches and develops highlights all at the same time; she too is admired. joe emerges with smashing hair to great admiration as well. clay (the gypsy den [3]) describes his weeks on tour with belle and sebastian and his conversation with jonathan richman; he is loathed. lauren and joe meet emperor ed for dessert and coffee; current affairs are discussed as lauren's eyelashes attempt to eat her head.

play it again; bargain wednesday; apocalypso (09.26.01)
GILROY: afer revealing his plan to shelter in san francisco and make for DC on monday, joe purchases sunglasses with lauren [the gypsy den, 4] and they depart for the bay area. when lauren announces that she prefers death to a drive through oakland, the duo retreats from the evening rush hour and attempts to score bargains at a roadside outlet mall. soap and a wool skirt are purchased; joe is disgusted with the lack of scorching values at brooks brothers. the denizens of taqueria cancun terrorize lauren. the cats smash a fishbowl in the kitchen; the fish is safe in a flower vase.
09.27.01 a chaque son gout

two dollars for each of the washing machines. a dollar in my pocket, a quarter i flushed from hiding at the bottom of my bag. one more quarter purge: wotapalava! $1.25. the lion sleeps tonight.

joe and i pick three states apiece before we use the change machine. the more successful quarter design predictor gets to order the loser about. this game fails because 1) we always forget what we've chosen and 2) i'm bossy either way. georgia had the strong showing this time. i'm alone, though. into the dryer, everybody.

monday: dinner with pop in laguna beach, every store window a busby berkeley production of american flag bikinis. oh you beach people! we used to frequent a coffeehouse along the same block - fahrenheit 451. it burned down and was rebuilt years ago, then it closed the boring way. one bathing suit place nearby had a chain mail theme going on a few years back. "that's the one i've got," says dad as he gestures toward some aluminum cones. shocking, as dad usually addresses things scatologically. you can't polish a turd. if you wrestle with a turd, you're gonna get dirty. true. and true.

the tragedy of this dinner was that joe and i had eaten dinner at sango sushi not two hours ago. i hadn't had lunch, and i did not have the strength of character to ignore tempura or an avocado roll or miso soup or well fuck. i thought about purging - forget body image, we're talking about room - but no character there either. dad and i went to javier's, which geez, and i was in acute physical pain by the time i got home again. trips to the OC ghetto: not time constraints, food constraints.

bacchus (wine bar) lives next door to the missing sock (laundromat). wine bar people steal plastic lawn furniture from the laundromat so they can smoke outside, the dirty looters.

09.23.01 jenny sais quoi

terminal case of road trip butt. o, i am slain.

feedback: who knew it was this easy?
Who loves Lauren? I do! I do!
What religion is foreign? Shinto! Shinto!
And Hatch comma Orrin? Utah! Utah!
Fuck you, Martin Amis!
Fuck you, Martin Amis!

(paul built my hot rod)

wee dan oster sez:
I thought about it and I guess the last time I saw you, you were saving the butts of your clove cigarettes so you could blend them up into a smoothie later or something depraved like that.


I guess I always felt that a cousin was someone who would give you refuge when you're being hunted by the police or vampires or something. So if the ninjas are looking for you, don't hesitate to phone me up.

now i want a...pony!

09.22.01 saturday, wait

i came across a feral cat who was being euthanized as i did the hospital report tonight. held him and scratched his cheeks and waited for his ribs to stop falling. when i left, his head was still cocked for my hand. realized on the way home that no one's sure about FELV/FIV contamination - he had those, he was emaciated - and my cats clobber me as soon as i open the door, so i stripped on my stoop and yelled angry things so they'd back up. pointless, probably, but naked and mad made sense in my head.

now a brief road trip by myself. not really, but i've never done this alone, so it counts. i made mix tapes and packed joe some jelly beans from one of the cat ladies at the office. seven hours means each tape plays twice if i don't skip the bjork dancer in the dark stuff. i will, though. dancer in the dark is, predictably, shit driving music.

stewart makes lipmusic. stewart posts the noseless lauren of samothrace. i smolder in person, please believe, though i will probably never manage to look like lukas. who will, really?

09.21.01 you had eaten a baddie

i'm in the pharmacy all day. many frantic surgeons at 9 am, as we ran out of ketamine and valium and i don't have the combination to the controlled substances back safe. i don't care - i'm not a registered vet tech and i understand the liabilities - but if they ran out of tranquilizers mid-procedure upstairs? this is how it is. we can't have food in the hospital - attracts pests, and we're not allowed to use insecticide or traps - so we write snacks up as patients and keep them in cages. admin doesn't seem to care.

making lists. i'm driving to southern california sunday morning, so clothes should be cleaned / packed for cleaning / coordinated to impress my folks. joe needs pants for DC, his tax return, maybe his golf clubs. books for my mom, cell phone charger, so on. not much to do between filling prescriptions, and i make lists when i'm looking forward to going away.

for DC in the gauzy future: going to take an EMT certification course. got a nifty red raincoat on my lunch break yesterday. thinking about how cool it would be to fence.

jake apologized to me last night, both impressing me and ballooning my judaism database by like 200%. if he ever starts posting on his own, you know, i'm screwed.

hitting blockbuster like a ton of bricks. wednesday was you can count on me (2000), tonight is warhol's flesh for frankenstein (1974; ehh) or the lost boys (1987; hey!). plodding through libra yes still, re-reading ted hughes. his biographer is clacketyclacking a block up the street: maybe the only prof who got excited about my stuff, and i'm still too shy to ask her to coffee.

09.19.01 les and ray

today's new york times, E3:
clear channel communications, the texas-based company that owns about 1,170 radio stations nationwide, has circulated a list of 150 songs and asked its stations to avoid playing them because of the attacks on the world trade center and the pentagon.


you dropped a bomb on me - the gap band
blow up the outside world - soundgarden
ticket to ride - the beatles
america - neil diamond
what a wonderful world - louis armstrong
bridge over troubled water - simon and garfunkel
peace train - cat stevens
american pie - don mclean

in 1942 the united states government issued a list of suggested wartime practices for radio broadcasting. in the interest of national safety, it advised radio programmers to ban weather forecasts, which could help the enemy plan a bombing attack, and to avoid man-on-the-street interviews and listener music requests in case the interviewee or caller was a spy conveying a coded message to the enemy in words or song.
the new list is clearly different. instead of promoting national safety, its intended aim is to ensure national mental health, though first amendment supporters may point to it as the first shadowy blacklist in what president bush says will be a war against terrorism.
in an odd anomaly on the list, a specific song or songs are mentioned for each artist except for one: the politically minded rap-rock group rage against the machine. for this band, the list simply considers "all rage against the machine songs" questionable.

on aesthetic acts, for paul:

nine years old and climbing out the house
thru a song played on piano by my neighbors les and ray.
i put my head up against the wall to be closer to the music that they played.

you were my oxygen, the thing that made me think i could escape.
this is a thank you song for les and ray.

you were my batteries, the thing that made me think i could escape
here's a song for les and ray, here's a song for les and ray

(le tigre)
09.18.01 children of the night

on home improvement: my mother is a machine. she arrived at 1:30 and gave me a crockpot, took me to lunch, installed a wall lamp above my bed, took me to dinner, trimmed charlie's nails, gave me vegetarian cooking tips and left me with a consoling los angeles times article ("Unwed Partners Up 72% in U.S."). it's 9:30. i'm moving home.

on origins: dinner at the original trader vic's, birthplace of the mai tai. i planned to order one, but some other drink came in a souvenir ceramic coconut: who can argue with that? mom supplied an account of my brief career as a catholic (baptized as such, raised/lapsed presbyterian, this pesky cross tattoo an' nothing to be done about it). the priest asked my godfather what the holy water symbolizes:

jesus? (snickers)
a good answer, but no. blah blah blah. and what does the _____ symbolize?
also a good answer, but...

(rinse and repeat)

on the classics: arguable high school goth phase or no, i've never seen the bela lugosi dracula (1931). sat down to watch my $5.99 amoeba copy today, and lo! it's a total vamp mythology goulash. i could hang with the garbled story line - he owns the role and all - but then there's this interior shot of the castle where two armadillos wander out from behind some cobwebby furniture. a stretch, but honestly? they owned their roles as well.

09.17.01 your southern can is mine

shame on me for gawking at valerie when she said she plunged her drain for work friends. my mum's rolling into town later this evening and i'm frantically cleaning the stove. never mind that i'm using a sleeping bag for a comforter and hanging my bath towel on the vacuum: i have a plan. after work i'm lint rolling my car.

i want a superfan. jen posted about headless mister bear and some random guy sent her a song about him: hey! i had a stalker when i wrote a column for the daily in college, but he mostly asked me out and compared us to peanut butter cups. no love, no love.

on the possibility of a recession: jake reports that someone scored $10 for eating a brick of havarti at saturday's gossip / aislers set show. he didn't look so well, but there are niches, is what i'm saying.

slant slant rhyme: the line of truth

tofu > soul food
bordetella < elvis costello
martinelli's > carson daly
scream, blacula, scream! (1973) > christina aguilera
orange county > shantih shantih shantih

09.16.01 the many hats of casablanca

fight: trying, o but i'm trying, to read libra. it seemed a viable point of entry for delillo: sure, i know the warren report, let's go from there. this worked with salman rushdie (who scared me shitless): the ground beneath her feet, pop music, right on, i loved it. so libra, i know what i'm working with.

except oh yeah, my u.s. history teacher lost interest in everything after the beginning of world war two, as he started in on casablanca and never really recovered. he's been building and pimping a board game on the movie for like the last twenty years - if eccentrics divert you, he'll really blow your hair back.

but so, libra. no touchpoints. style, ehh. i want to flee, but i turn back to my shelf and gravity's rainbow mocks me in this nasal punk voice with how i never make it past the banana pancakes. so i'm drawing the line, mister underworld-white-noise-golly-i'm-gifted. your ass is mine.

flight: twee albums don't do it for me, but twee sites i want to put in my pocket an' carry always. loobylu's fault, as is my love affair with lush products (brutal postage, magical tub stuff). bath ballistics, tea, and things that happened in second grade: it's sunday.

09.15.01 examination at the womb-door

on art and my friends: lauren = i create this. paul = i create this. jen = i create this.

Who owns these scrawny little feet? Death.
Who owns this bristly scorched-looking face? Death.
Who owns these still-working lungs? Death.
Who owns this utility coat of muscles? Death.
Who owns these unspeakable guts? Death.
All this messy blood? Death.
These minimum-efficiency eyes? Death.
This wicked little tongue? Death.
This occasional wakefulness? Death.

Given, stolen, or held pending trial?

Who owns the whole rainy, stony earth? Death.
Who owns all of space? Death.

Who is stronger than hope? Death.
Who is stronger than the will? Death.
Stronger than love? Death.
Stronger than life? Death.

But who is stronger than death?
Me, evidently.

Pass, Crow.

(ted hughes, 1970)

still here.

09.14.01 e unibus pluram

david foster wallace:

so what does irony as a cultural norm mean to say? that it's impossible to mean what you say? that maybe it's too bad it's impossible, but wake up and smell the coffee already? most likely, i think, today's irony ends up saying: "how totally banal of you to ask what i really mean." anyone with the heretical gall to ask an ironist what he actually stands for ends up looking like an hysteric or a prig. and herein lies the oppressiveness of institutionalized irony, the too-successful rebel: the ability to interdict the question without attending to its subject is, when exercised, tyranny. it is the new junta, using the very tool that exposed its enemy to insulate itself.

i abandoned an IR major a few years back because it's easier to be flip than it is to be useful. i am an instant gratification machine, all anger, and will shred things twelve times before pulling them apart to make something good. i'm trying to leave current events alone.

when my sister and i were small, my father read the lord of the rings aloud to us. when i don't know what to do, i think of that.
09.13.01 poe78 owned process doing -bs

breaking up with me is the secret of success. no, really: as stanford magazine reports this month, "NR is working at the International Crisis Center in N.Y.C. and playing tennis with supermodels." bad paul (not paul paul) is on his way to a law degree, and The Man With 42 Blue Coats landed a contract with astralwerks weeks after our ships passed in the night. kenton's chasing high school key club girls in denver, but i was the dumper that time. i kind of like this role, actually - i proposed to shana at work today so that she can break my heart tomorrow, leave the spca and find something other than cocktail work. one does what one can with what one has, i say. fly, my cygnets, fly!

i'd like stanford to tell my peers that i've become a gravedigger, but lying is bad. last year i told the alumni site that my 'highlight since stanford' was the birth of my son, and my answering machine jammed up with confused support and promises of stuffed animals. and there was the henry james thing. fun, but no. bad.

living alone, it's alright for now. i devastated the checkout magazine display, snagged a meatless (shut up) salisbury steak TV dinner, and have settled in for an evening with my inner honky. bad, but no. fun.

09.12.01 go little vampire girl

i think i'm eating lunch in a brothel. i emerged from urban outfitters maybe fifteen minutes ago and stumbled into a hitherto-nonexistent rasputin music store. or is it? no sign of the jonathan richman (thankee jake) stuff i was looking for - kind of predictable - but they didn't have any stones, either. rasputin isn't as nifty as amoeba, mind you, but it's supposed to be fair-to-middling. fifty copies of fashion nugget in the new alternative section? what gives?

so i gave up and came back downstairs. wrong turn again, and now i'm in a restaurant in the basement of the same building. or is it? there are four waitresses and a hostess for about six tables, and these waitresses are all tall, teutonic, and heartbreakingly lovely. confused, i ordered a sandwich, and they didn't understand me. but they keep looking at me and smiling. and there are bouncers. maybe money laundering? i hope they let me out. bouncer 2 doesn't seem to like the fact that i'm writing.

i neglected to mention that jonathan richman opened for belle & sebastian the other night. get on the horn - he's the greatest thing since aerosol cheese. he's clearly made some arrangement with satan, as he looks my age and was indie before i was born. he actually played requests from the audience (an easy group to placate, as roughly twelve people knew who he was) and, as salon predicted, kept setting his guitar down to dance gaily for us. if i make it out of the basement, i'm off to throw some cash his way.

she gonna - she's gonna respect me.
look, sometimes we bound to argue, sometimes we bound to fight.
i don't want her tryin' to agree with me when i know she must still think she's right.
i don't like that.
she can't lean on me, she's gotta think for herself.
well, if leavin' me's better, that's good, if she thinks that'll help.
i want her to grow up, you know.
and this way she's gonna - she's gonna - she's gonna respect me.
and that's what i want.

09.11.01 boise

jen and i left for the greyhound station at nine after her mum woke us up with the airport news. she came in from boise yesterday and needs to be back tomorrow to tech her show at the idaho shakespeare festival. big iron grating across the bus ticket counters, little old ladies screaming at attendants about closed depots in reno and sacramento. the doomsday guys on market street were ecstatic, big fresh signs. jen's dad hooked her up with a stranded co-worker who found a rental car, so i left her to the road trip at the st. francis hotel and came back here. i'm not sorry that she'll make it back for forever plaid, but i was looking forward to negotiating things and scrounging for food with someone else. like when the power would go out in our dorms.

09.08.01 mobile slot machine torture van

everybody's got to have an angle. sex and shakespeare, erstwhile local favorites, are having at the recession arm in arm. the strip club on my commute home advertises AMATEUR NIGHT WITH ALICIA THE CANNIBAL. bat boy, mutant weekly world news hero a few years back, has been in a car accident. when his pointy head bandages come off, poor bastard, he's off to a summit with the evil dubya clone who's seized control of the white house (i'm not touching it).

i'm all for this culture gumbo stuff. i won't have to wrinkle my brow with amazon-wifey-mom-techmistress anywhich, i'll just be a human swiss army knife. i can already play "greensleeves" on the ocarina and do a disturbing young wayne newton impression: bring it on.

belle and sebastian are equally prepared for the times ahead: stuart rode a motorcycle onstage as isobel & co sang "leader of the pack" at the warfield tonight. jake and i expected this, as the sound board and the set list were directly in front of us, but no matter. the audience-participation version of the smiths' "the boy with the thorn in his side" was a surprise, as was sly and the family stone's "everyday people" toward the end of the show:


we're now going to do a song by one of the best san francisco bands of all time.




no, not greenday, god! you know, respect to greenday...those guys are pretty tough.


but there are more of us.

09.07.01 slow dog

the mission district is sneaky. one minute i'm walking past burning garbage cans and people selling blankets out of vans and - poof! - the next minute i'm in a gargantuan old theater that's exploded from the back of a furniture storage room. i watch the morning fog roll over the hills from the ocean, then i walk down the street to work and everyone's trying not to retch because some bullet tore a dog's intestines apart.

we have this big street fair every year, and it's this weekend. the adoptions people run the doggie drag show, the PR people talk to the guys from KRON-4, and we do this fund-raising stuffed animal clinic where we suture and splint teddy bears. i was asked to volunteer, but i said no: it's too similar to what we do the rest of the time. your average joe talks about his animal's injury like little susie talks about barbie's head popping off: "ha ha, so i sat on my chihuahua and broke his jaw. can you wrap it or something? i have to get to work." the teddy thing is cute in the abstract.

bronson's a blood donor tonight, or i'm donating his blood, or something. i got back to the hospital after the first half of this post and looky, here's a cat hemorrhaging like crazy. does anyone have a healthy young cat who can be here in the next half hour? sure, i do, and i made it most of the way home before i started to feel presumptuous. got him anyway, and fancy that! their blood types match and charlie has ten zillion red blood cells to spare. he has to go under full anaesthesia for the pull, but i'd want someone to do this for him, right? no big risk, oh sure, not when he's so young, despite the fact that the cat who needs the transfusion was a botched surgery. i crawled in his cage and sat with him for an hour. i'm an ass.

09.06.01 the angels have stolen my red shoes

i'd like to slow this crowd down for a moment. lower the mirror ball - that's right. now, i had moments of uncertainty on the road to getting off my ass and starting a blog. i have a lot of issues with personal sites, and really, the web in general. i considered starting a 'zine instead - you know, going at the techies with a xerox machine and stickers (somehow, working at a veterinary hospital has led me to the possession of superlative stickers). i considered just sitting around and criticizing other blogs, because i like that. as the clown in paul's russian joke eventually realized, though, none of that was the point. the point was/is finding those blogs and getting those blogs. righting the wrongs i find online.

today's wrong is a grievous wrong. it is the lack of jacob mishook. i don't have a link for him - see what i'm talking about?

jacob is a courageous music nut. sure, he checks stuff out on the all music guide like the rest of us, but he also writes personal messages to love-starved indie artists and gets into desperately independent albums that i wouldn't touch with a ten-foot britney spears (ooh, ten-foot britney spears). he got me into elvis costello. and johnny cash. and the wedding present and nick drake and jonathan richman and - see, this could take awhile. he's well read. he's well-dressed. he sleeps on my couch without complaint and tells me what i need to apologize to people for saying the night before. he drives up here from palo alto all the time and doesn't care when all i want to do is sit around.

find this man and shake his hand. buy him a drink. buy him a velvet elvis costello. tell him lauren sent you.

09.05.01 seventeen dreams for you

made it to twin peaks w/stewart tonight after an hour of ill-guided volkswagen madness. yeah yeah, i've been in the city for a year and i lived in sight of the bloody hill for two months and i've actually been there several times, but it was hard. i might have shaved off twenty minutes of travel time if i'd bought a map from the confused guys at walgreens, but by then i'd reached a triumph-of-the-human-spirit mindset. 's what i get for watching lost while stewart made spaghetti. me, i'd have known they were in mongolia in no time. i can say like three things in russian, and only two of them are about food preparation.

he's a good one for appreciating hills, that stewart. a good one for appreciating getting lost approaching hills, even; unfortunate, as i've been trying to get sick of him before he goes back to boston on sunday. he tried to oblige by pouring beer on me at zeitgeist on saturday, but i asked him to do it. these nice people, they should sod off and be nice somewhere else. no, they should stay here with me.

the consensus at work: ride your twenties out, bite your lip, give 'em hell. wait for your saturn return, honey. conversely, my dad had no issues with turning fifty last year, nor with turning forty way back when; the shock for him was in turning thirty. don't trust anyone over the age of thirty. i can't find fault with that, really. i'm from orange county: the return of saturn is a no doubt album, alright?

call me at four in the morning, for christ's sake. if i'm not up, i'll get up. i'll sell some plasma and have a duffel bag together in half an hour. this is what i want to be when i grow up, and i want all of you there with me. half an hour.

09.02.01 i want to believe

poked around for a still from the 1966 batman movie; i wanted the octopus mural from the villains' hideout for a splash page. no luck, but i did find an excellent bunch of tribute pages for the series. i watched that show religiously for quite some time, and yet i'm only realizing now that it was actually all about - food.

Would you like to come in for some milk and cookies?
I'm afraid it's rather late. Why, it's 10:30!
Milk and cookies, did you say?
I made the cookies myself.
Man cannot live by crime-fighting alone.

We've come a long way from the Prime Minister's exploding cake. Or have we?

Let that be a lesson. In future, be more careful from whom you accept free lemonade.

Nefertiti, you abandoned wench. How many times do I have to tell you queens consume nectar and ambrosia, not hot dogs?

Would any of you care for a soft drink?
No thank you, Miss Gordon. We might find it too relaxing.

Want a piece of cheese?
Not without a good vintage port, you lackey.
Smells like soup.
Darn good soup.

apologies for the abbreviations: as i'm a tool with html, i can't yet convince blogger that compact definitions should appear on the same lines as their terms. BW = bruce wayne, B = batman, BG = barbara gordon, RH = riddler's henchman, KB = king boris, R = robin. fneh.

i'd like to believe that marilyn manson was paul on the wonder years. i'd love to believe that billy corgan was jamie on small wonder. i'd give my right eye, though, to learn that al gore was batman. scratch that: who's seen adam west lately? prove me wrong, america.

along those lines, robert loggia sure did appear in a spot for minute maid with calcium. the link's discussion is fairly dim, as i'm betting no one lost sleep over eight-year-olds' potential recognition of a wiseguy character actor, but i do like the screen shot.

Perhaps all of our prayers are best summed up by my small son Harold, just eight years old. Kneeling beside his little bed, hands clasped reverently before him, he said, 'God bless Mommy. God bless Daddy. God bless my dog Spot. And please, Batman, whoever you are behind that mask of yours, please save us.

09.01.01 it can't be all that pretty

stuff of san francisco's that, when i am elsewhere, will be missed by me:

the fillmore. impressive pedigree and purty chandeliers. i go for the tub of free apples (at the head of the staircase) and the party favors (they commission a poster for every sold out show). plus, paul sang "daydream believer" outside for me when i freaked out during a monkees show and they wouldn't let us back in.

zeitgeist ("warm beer, cold women"). outstanding jukebox, beer garden full of sunflowers and motorcycles, $11 pitchers of guinness before eight. one can even park nearby, sorta.

solar light books. cranky bookstore cat, crankier bookstore owner. when SF weather beat the crap out of me, amanda gave me a sweater. when i bought henry miller's tropic of cancer, she called me a dipshit. when i left to work at the hospital, she was thrilled for the crippled kittens. she got me into the pogues. i kinda worship her.

and that's about the size of it. had i a copy of dave eggers' heartbreaking work handy, i'd post the bit about his wanting to dance with locals in the street and/or run them over with his car. fun fact: he was in the haight when he felt that way, or so he said at kepler's a few months ago.


the haight, i think. no one's ever asked me that before.


that struck an answering "asshole" chord with me. not, um, that you're an asshole.



he lives in marin now. maybe it's nicer there.

08.31.01 while everyone sleeps

excepting the old man who cornered me in the pharmacy in protest of the sale of ukranian children on the price is right, it has been a mild friday at the spca. no caller, today, demanding that we see to the swarm of bees circling overhead. no muni driver, today, surrendering a live hen that materialized beneath his brake pedal on the 22 fillmore.

in san francisco, male pit bulls are meanie verbs ('krusha', 'ripper', 'mister kill whitey'). females, on the other hand, are pie components ('cinnamon', 'suga', 'peaches'). cats' owners have unidentifiable issues ('car alarm', 'little baby jesus', 'black ass'). my own cats are charles bronson and jude the obscure: joe named bronson, and jude has three legs and no tail. i can't really defend myself.

those guys, my bundles of joy, are straight out of low budget biohorror. chuck went from fetching toys and walking on his hind legs (to reach my hand for a scritch) to depositing my jewelry in the toilet with his teeth and battering down every door in the apartment. when he doesn't fancy a full assault on a room he's denied, he flattens himself so that the light reflected in his eyes makes twin beams, all nazgul-like, on the floor. jude's started out slowly: he drinks my beer when my back is turned and gnaws at my eyebrow bar as i'm falling asleep.

i'm quite proud of them, really.

08.30.01 the scenery circling the mall

i am in pinole, a lovingly paved blip on the I-80 to sacramento. i am here for this; i will wear this (in desert indigo) for love of sarajean, who will be married in january. a thoughtful and organized bride, she mapquested me here and asked only that i pass along the winning dress size. turns out i'm just short of a compromise between amy, who grants wishes and hides pots of gold (6), and heather, who expects her second child sometime this winter (20). i could smuggle arms for the rebels under the waist of this thing, mind you, but i could also deflect enemy fire somewhere upstairs. aren't you glad you came to my website? ta-dow.

just finished amanda's wedding (jenny colgan), a novel that was shrink-wrapped with august's british cosmo. it was wondrous, as at any given moment i can taste how desperately i want to live in england; any work that ropes in topshop and adam ant's highwayman phase gets my full support. if you want to taste the magic, it's under my bed.

said cosmo had a splashy article on some chick who'd been a bridesmaid eight times. she apparently retired from service because the perpetual wedding stuff was making her boyfriend nervous. it didn't occur to him that he was home free as long as she kept it up? she concluded, i think, with a spiel about how she's on a new campaign to catch everyone's bouquet. you made that bed yourself, guy: have fun in it. i'll check on you two a few issues from now to see if you're kidnapped by extremists on your honeymoon ("It Happened to Me!").

rodin sez: nothing spells 'forever' like getting hitched on a monday at the gates of hell.

i myself am headed for washington dc.