August 21, 2005

Hey, at least I've got drugs and Rock 'n' Roll, right?

It's been an exhausting/sad/karmic week or two in my life, (hence the limited posts) but don't worry... I've been medicating. My prescription includes:

  • Tylenol PM to induce arm-numbness followed by loopiness followed by zombie-like dreamless sleep
  • Consuming entire bottles of Cabernet with 2-3 Marlboro Ultra-Light 100's sprinkled here and there (Ultra-light because that way I can say I'm a non-smoker, 100's because they're so long and I like to call them "Marlboro Millions")
  • Everything written by Jonathan Saffron-Foer
  • A personal trainer who must hate me because he totally gets off on completely fucking kicking my ass - after which I spend 2 days free-falling to the toilet, the couch... basically anything I try to sit on. Also, my shoulders are so sore I have to walk around like one of those little Irish clogger girls who never move their arms. Which I get a kick out of, but everyone around me hates, because they have to open doors for me, spoon feed me, brush my teeth for me, etc. (But not really.)
  • Lots of good songs, up loud, in my car

Which inspired this mixtape, for your listening pleasure. It is good for:

  • Long drives
  • Early mornings
  • Forgetting
  • Remembering
  • Forgetting, dammit
  • And casual sex. (OK, not really... I just threw that in there to see if you were still with me.)

Tracks are a little sad, a little hopeful, a tiny bit silly, and go as follows:

  1. David Gray -- "Gray Sky Morning"
  2. Tegan and Sara -- "Walking With a Ghost"
  3. Jason Mraz -- "Plane" (from his new CD, which you must listen to at least 3 times through before you start liking)
  4. Bran Van 3000 -- "Drinking in LA"
  5. Alana Davis -- "Blame it on Me"
  6. Tegan and Sara -- the one with the chorus that goes "If you're gonna get up, you might as well get up with me..." (I can't for the life of me think of the title to that song right now, so if someone could help me out here, that would be great)
  7. Ben Folds Five -- "Song for the Dumped" (no, I was the dumper, but it still applies, and I still want him to give me back my damn black t-shirt)
  8. Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack -- "When Doves Cry"
  9. The Republic -- "Let It Rain" (check these guys out... they're local to Seattle, sorta Brit-rock-ish, a little like Coldplay, but less boring and curiously less popular. And they're named after Plato's "The Republic".)
  10. The Republic -- "To Go"
  11. Squarepusher -- "Iambic 9 Poetry" (Thanks, N.)
  12. G. Love and Special Sauce -- "Milk and Cereal" (Silly, but so damn good.)
  13. Jack White -- "Never Far Away"

August 15, 2005

Three things I learned this month

1. If you accidentally spray SprayMount in your eye, it terrifies you but amazingly does not glue your eye shut. Also, it doesn't seem to affect vision, at least not immediately. It does, however, make it absolutely necessary to pull out a tiny hand-mirror and fuss over your eyelashes for at least one full minute before bravely reverting to the lower-tech but lower-risk Glue-Stic to finish the job.

2. If you hold it on a plane from NY to San Francisco because you have the window seat and there is a small, strange asian man in a flashy suit sitting to the left of you who keeps falling asleep on your shoulder, who is sitting next to a Hulk-esque tattooed man who smells like cheap cologne and keeps winking at you/attempting to initiate conversation over the sleeping asian man, you are at statistically significant risk of developing a bladder infection, but are 100% likely to not have to crawl, all crotch and knees, over these complete strangers to use the tiny dirty closet toilet, which makes it worth it.

3. If you pet a bulldog on the street, the bulldog will like it, which you will know because the bulldog will snort in your face, flinging mucous all over the front part of your body. This includes your head, which suprises you because you underestimated the blowing power of the bulldog due to his shortness. You will make a mental note not to judge books by their covers. If you then add high-pitched baby-talking to the petting in an effort to cover up the embarrassing fact that the bulldog just covered you in spit, the bulldog will really like it, which you will know because the bulldog will flop on its back and show you it's "little pink thing", which is way more disgusting than the very disgusting mucous thing he did the first time. There is no covering this up, so you'll just say something like "Oh, gosh, there, little buddy!" or something equally lame, and shuffle off, mortified. This is the part where you might even shed an embarrassed tear, if it weren’t for the SprayMount Incident, which you just now discover has completely closed off your tear ducts, which makes you have to pee.

August 12, 2005

Burn the Man

I've got this friend who's really involved in the Burning Man community, and she keeps telling me these crazy stories that make me want to get in my car and drive there, just to see what I'd do. This year's theme is Psyche. For those of you unfamiliar with Burning Man (by which I mean more unfamiliar than me, which isn't saying much, since I've never been), imagine:

Herds of humanity from across the world (yes, the Burning Man community is global) swarm into Black Rock Desert in Nevada and build a fully functioning city in a matter of days. These people then inhabit the city for two weeks of "celebration". Think a total experience of self-reliance with a heavy dose of anti-commercialism, art, music, (sounds OK so far, right?) followe by nudity, dancing, psychedelic-type costumes, crazy temporary buildings, themed everything and a splash of debauchery with good times had by all, but perhaps only remembered by some.

Then, after they burn The Man on Saturday (you're starting to get this now, huh?), the city totally vanishes as if it were never there. Everyone goes home to their normal lives and takes it all with them. Gone. Without. A. Trace.

Here's an excerpt from the horse's mouth, so to speak (link to the site by clicking the headline, above):

The event takes place on an ancient lakebed, known as the playa. [Black Rock Desert, Nevada] By the time the event is completed and the volunteers leave, sometimes nearly a month after the event has ended, there will be no trace of the city that was, for a short time, the most populous town in the entire county. Art is an unavoidable part of this experience, and in fact, is such a part of the experience that Larry Harvey, founder of the Burning Man project, gives a theme to each year, to encourage a common bond to help tie each individual's contribution together in a meaningful way. Participants are encouraged to find a way to help make the theme come alive, whether it is through a large-scale art installation, a theme camp, gifts brought to be given to other individuals, costumes, or any other medium that one comes up with.

If any of you guys go, come back and tell us all about it. Sounds like a wierd/cool experience. You know... like, trippy.

August 11, 2005

Hydration: NASA cares

As if Superglue and Memory Foam mattresses weren't enough (wait - what about Silly Putty? Who effed up and invented that?) NASA can now be credited for yet another brilliant, relevant, necessary invention: a Pee Purifyer.

OK, it sounds pretty ridiculous, but this one makes some sense. Think:

  1. By enabling astronauts to recycle some of their own waste, NASA will save millions on the transportation of potable water to space alone.
  2. Then you've got the whole universal pollution issue. Yep, they used to just dump astronauts' number 1's and number 2's into the great black yonder, where it will orbit forever, probably contributing to global warming and toxic rain and male pattern baldness.
  3. Think about all the other applications here on Earth. Tsunami ravaged your corner of the planet, rendering all water a muddy, polluted mess? Drink your own pee! Draught giving you dry mouth? Drink your own pee! Live in rural Utah with negative 5 gazillion degree winters and outdoor plumbing? Drink your own pee and stay inside with your 10 kids and 2 wives, warming yourselves by the fire and singing in 13-part harmony!

Now, the PP hasn't yet been released to the general public, but by all trial accounts I could locate (OK, one) the tinkle-water doesn't taste too bad.

Laugh all you want, but next time you're stranded in the woods eating grubs and wiping with Poison Oak with only your love of Pokemon's trading card game to keep you alive, (no, seriously. Click that link. I'm not kidding. That could be you.) you'll wish you bought NASA stock. Because you COULD be drinking your own pee.

* click on the title for the full story from

August 10, 2005

Anything you want for $2.18

So the other day was $2.18 day at Dairy Queen. Actually, I don't think it really was, but the experience I had there was enough to convince me, at least momentarily, that we were all getting a real deal.

Let me start by saying this would be perhaps the second time in a year I've been to DQ... I don't generally do the fast food thing. But I was in a hurry, and in a moment of weakness, gave in to the cheap thrill of dessert before dinner.

The lines were horrendous- the man in front of me was clutching his son by the collar so as to refrain him from clobbering his older sister, who was leaning against the counter, smirking at him. Their mother marveled at the cost efficience of their meal, oblivious to conflict. The elderly, blueharied woman behind me was confounded by the fact that the photo of the Banana split blizzard looked more like chocolate than banana. It was as if her entire world was slowly being corrupted because of some sort of chocolate conspiracy, and now faithful Dairy Queen was among those on the dark side.

The woman behind her, overwieght and exasperated, harumphed a touch too loudly to her surprisingly thin daughter about the wait. In my irritated state, I wondered what she was in such a rush to do, (and with her proportions, how quickly she'd do it, anyway). I then silently reprimanded myself and decided, with a furtive glance at her, against the fries.

As the line slowly disintigrated in front of me, I watched the people busily dashing about behind the counter with their hats and chocolate stains on. I marveled at their fixations upon their individual tasks, as if their universe would end if the drive-through customer didn't get his extra slice of tomato on that deluxe burger- and in a hurry.

"Could I help the next person in line?"

They reminded me of brave, hurried ants scurrying, digging, hurrying with their oversized loads only to find all their work demolished in the morning after a six year old with a stick discovered their haven.


I shook my head and stepped up, apologizing to the acne-spotted teenager behind the counter for my daze. Ordering a small mint oreo blizzard and a fish sandwich (no mayo), I waited for my total.

As he worked at my order, he spoke over his shoulder at me.

"That's $2.18", please."

I, still working my way out of lala land, assumed I had misheard him. I leaned forward and craned my neck to see the total on the register. $2.18.

I, now realizing that some mistake had been made, I felt a small heavy pit in my stomach. This is one of those moments where your moral judgement is tested, I thought, with some frustration. Now I had a decision to make. I checked the menu and added up my order. It came to much more than $2.18, without tax. I rolled my eyes at the irony of the fact that I had only that much in my wallet, give or take .50, and on my income (nonexistant), that was a fortune to save.

Before I had much more of an opportunity to dwell, however, the ants had scurried up to the counter with my order, which had metamorphisized as they were out of mint, leaving me stuck with plain Oreo. I felt myself smile sheepishly at the continued irony of it all, and handed over my two bills and quarter. As I stepped out of the way so that the orders could go on, I watched the old woman (so worried about the chocolate in her frozen treat) inquire about the ingredients of the bannana split blizzard. I fingered the .07 in my hands and turned towards the door. Just before I reached it, however, I heard the boy at the register addresses the bluehair.

"that's $2.18, please. Thank you."

I smiled, and pushed out into the rain.

August 08, 2005

Benefits: dental, medical, social...

It's always nice to be able to experience a lifestyle you'll likely never be able to afford. It's not that I'm pessimistic or defeatist... it's just that I'll never be a computer geek. Look, I try, but it's just not going to happen for me. No one really wants to pay a writer. It's a saturated market... there's always some starving PR major willing to work for less - actually, these days there are a fair number of MBA's willing to work for nearly free.

So I'm OK with the fact that I'll always have to temporarily enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor. At least I've got pictures.

Exhibit #1: This was last weekend at Seafair on a yacht (poor me!)...

See that tiny vessel tied to the yacht? That's a pretty good sized ski boat (it seats 15 comfortably).

Three floors. 4 bedrooms. 5 bathrooms. A full-time, on-call captain. L., me. We could get used to this.

It's a bird! It's a plane! (OK, it actually is a plane - 4 of them.) Blue Angels in flight. In this formation, the cockpits are only 12 inches from the wings of another plane.

Hydroplanes. They're cool for the first 5 minutes, particularly if you're drinking. Then they're just noisy and splashy and gaudily painted and boring after that, unless they crash. Which they didn't.

Exhibit #2: A birthday soiree at Gary Payton's former swanky Seattle mansion... (formerly owned by GP, not formerly swanky).

Plasmas everywhere, a full gym on the first floor, a closet I'd pay rent to live in and an infinity hottub... it was just like a rap video (only with more clothes and less gold teeth).

The kitchen, which is the size of a regular studio apartment. Eat your underwear and sock-clad heart out, young Tom Cruise.

He had his name over, like, three doors in the house. A bit narcissistic, but we took pictures, so I guess that says something about us, too.