Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Music I've Listened To: "Mean Everything to Nothing," by Manchester Orchestra

When an artist says that they're going to write an album that's "deeply personal," this means that either a) it's going to be about some intense subject matter but will still make pretty generic commentary overall or b) it's going to be so personal that it's both breathtaking and uncomfortable. This album lunges forth into category B.

It peels back the layers of traditional song writing and comes right out and says everything that appears to be on lead singer Andy Hull's mind. There are no apologies, and no attempt to acclimate the listener to what they're in store for, but that's a good thing!

"The Only One" was a great way to kick off the album; it is deeply confessional and is akin to listening in on a therapy session. Here are all of Hull's insecurities, fears, and even a bit of his rage wrapped up in a catchy, snappy little number that sets the tone quite well. Through the different ups and downs of the album--the calmer moments of Hull's whispering and the moments where he is literally addressing his listeners in a desperate, angry wail--you feel like you really get to know the man, and yet by the end you're still left wanting.

That's exactly what a listener wants to feel when they've finished such an album, and although going for the "deeply personal" route so early in a band's career can be a massive risk, Manchester Orchestra has pulled it off effortlessly!

Go Download: "The Only One," "Tony the Tiger"

4/5 starxx

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's a good day to love music.

Anyone out there who loves music and who loves not spending much money on music needs to go to the aforementioned link right. The hell. Now.

Rad albums from 2009 for $6.99 or less! Some really great stuff here, for serious. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Them Crooked Vultures, Slayer, Baroness, Jay-Z, Mew, La Roux, Dead Weather, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Raveonettes, Manchester Orchestra . . .

. . . What are you waiting for! Go now!

"Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear;
No one comes near.
Look at him working, darning his socks in the night
When there's nobody there.
What does he care?"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post-Game: Christmas 2009

"Not with a bang, but a whimper" comes to mind when thinking about Christmas form this year. Thank you, Mr. Churchill. I suppose when I reflect on December I see it as sort of a rushed month was frenzied, manic, and then just sort of tripped and fell down, nodding off quietly.

Let me explain.

Christmas shopping this year was sort of a fine line between "how can I spend little money" and "how can I not look like a cheap git," which is a dangerous line to walk. I actually made a list of those who I'd be buying gifts for and those who'd get cards, and for once in my life having this sort of "pre-game" list helped me accomplish my goals.

Side-Bar: From time to time I'll use football analogies in my writing, especially in more personal/relaxed writing styles such as this blog. Football is something I'm comfortable with. It's something that I actually know things about. So please grin and bear it when I use these decidedly sport-y terms in a less than sport-y context (my blog, that is).

By forcing myself to go a simpler route with Christmas this year, I actually feel like I got more done and gave more of myself. Josh and I decided that our closest circle of friends (read: those who live here in Seattle and can actually get their gifts without having to receive them in the mail) were all going to be receiving ornaments from us. This not only allowed us to spend less than $10 per person, but allowed us to really have fun with our shopping. I feel like everybody got something unique and specific to our relationships together. Ornaments were definitely the way to go.

For my family, I decided to simply get them all a personalized gift that they could actually use. Without going into detail, this practice of "give them something they will use on a regular basis" really did work. I think the gifts I gave made an impression.

For the gift wrapping itself, Josh and I opted to go with a theme (which isn't as obnoxious as it sounds): "Parcel." The inspiration was the parcels/packages system used at the turn of the century and later revived during Depression era America--brown paper, simple twine, practical application.

I give credit to Josh for the actual wrapping process, as he's a much better wrapper than I. I simply don't have the patience or skill for certain artistic processes.

Affordable and adorable. Like moi.

We went to my parents' home the weekend before Christmas for 3 days, and spent a quiet Christmas day together here at home. It was really nice to just enjoy each other for a day, not put on real clothes until 3pm, take a walk through our neighborhood right at dusk arm in arm, and then have a relaxing dinner for two. Josh made an amazing roast in his new enameled, cast iron pot and some homemade scalloped potatoes. Red wine sealed the deal.

It really was a great day.

I didn't have any major meltdowns at work all season, which was nice, but more and more I find myself wanting to transition out of my current job into something else. Anything else. Even for less pay. It's been 3 years with this company, and I've got great benefits, and a decent wage, so what's the deal? Am I merely just the type of person who always needs something new in order to keep myself entertained or fulfilled? My job really isn't so bad. It's not what I have my degree in, but it pays the bills and is usually a little fun.

Yet more and more I just feel like I need to pick a direction and just start walking in it, even though I don't know what direction or where it leads or why.

Is this what they call ennui? If so, I'd like to bottle it and sell it.

Anywho, Christmas is now over, and the New Year lurks in the short-term. I have no idea what the plan for New Years' Eve is yet, but I do know that I want to go out and raise some hell in this city. It's been too long since I've been down amongst my fellow rabble. I wonder what I should wear?

There's that ennui again . . .

"Do it again and I'll see you tomorrow.
I want to get it. You've got something to borrow.
Give me, give me you right on my own.
And when I see you all again.
I buy it but it don't measure up.
What is the missing ingredient?"

Music I've Listened To: "Swoon," by Silversun Pickups

This is an album that needs a few listens in order to pick up all of its subtleties and nuances.

Yeah I know, we're not exactly talking Pink Floyd-ish layers of ingenuity and instrumental depth here, but there's still some surprising stuff underneath what some might dismiss as another 90s alt. revival album from the Silversun Pickups.

Whereas 'Carnavas' seemed a little calmer, a little quieter, and a little more like the band standing on the edge of a cliff ready to dive into greatness, 'Swoon' is them taking the plunge and experimenting more with their already impressive abilities. The songs are faster, more upbeat, and they take bigger risks (the inclusion of strings and piano on tracks is a head scratcher and a delight all at once). "There's No Secrets This Year" was a great choice for a first track--It sets up the album and makes a decleration of growth for the band. It's quicker on the uptake and a little jarring when compared to the previous album's tracks (even the edgier ones) but it tells the listener what to expect.

True musical experimentation begins on the track "Panic Switch," but don't worry: There's plenty of what makes the band great to go around. Heavy riffs and long solos, strong bass lines that lurk below everything else, and the grating, earnest vocals that range from downright melodic to strained, desperate shouting. There's no filler here--Just some great music to let wash over you.

Go Download: "Surrounded (or spiraling)," "There's No Secrets This Year"

4/5 starxx

Music I've Listened To: "Acid Tongue," by Jenny Lewis

Wandering off from the more upbeat melodies of "Under the Black Light" down a dusty road filled with twang and sexually-charged energy, Jenny Lewis pays homage to the likes of late Johnny Cash and even good ol' Dolly with the album "Acid Tongue."

This album is much darker in tone than "Rabbit Fur Coat," evoking some pretty twisted imagery as the guitar strums right along with Lewis' signature coo. We get hints of drug use, sexual frustration, and even suicide contemplation from her here--it's as though she took these minor hints off of "Under The Black Light"'s tracks and decided to come right out and declare them in a different form, and alt. country seems the perfect fit.

Some great appearances from M. Ward, Zooey Deschanel, and Elvis Costello make the album absolutely sublime and set the tone perfectly. Every track seems to recall mistakes made or lovers lost, and Lewis really hits a vocal stride here and gives us the full spectrum of her abilities. This is the kind of music you want on a night of bad karaoke in the wrong part of town in some dive cowboy bar where it's just you and the whiskey-slinging bartender reminiscing about how life used to be (if it ever really was like that).

Self-reflexive tracks like "Pretty Bird" and the album's title track show us there's definitely more going on in Lewis' head than the usual boot-stomping country stuff, and that this is only the beginning.

Go Download: "Acid Tongue," "Pretty Bird," "Black Sand"

3.5/5 starxx

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stop and smell the somethings.

Life is full of beautiful, weird, and surprising little moments that you don't realize are happening until they've already happened.

Like when you watch a movie from years ago that you haven't seen since you were a kid, and you understand a joke in the movie that you didn't get before (example: all of the references to Streisand's 'Funny Girl' that happen in 'Mrs. Doubtfire').

Or when a song you're listening to in your car has a beat that matches the motion of the windshield wiper blades (The Pierces' "Boy in a Rock N' Roll Band" goes great with the second setting in my car).

Or when you see a small child randomly grab ahold of their parent and tell them "I love you" for seemingly no reason, right there in public, with little motivation to do so.

Or when you sit down with a glass of wine and three Advil at the end of a shitty day at work (my "bad day at the office" regiment) and let out that first sigh of relief because you're at home, in a safe place, and no longer at the mercy of the world's assholes.

I've started to write these moments down as soon as I can remember them. They might creep on to this blog from time to time. You have been warned.

PS-Go watch the Lady GaGa/Beyonce video for Beyonce's new song "Videophone" because it too is one of life's weirdly beautiful little moments. The song isn't half bad, either.

"I heard you crying loud
all the way across town
You've been searching for that someone,
and it's me out on the prowl
As you sit around feeling sorry for yourself."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Life Elusive

Gah! Nearly a whole month without blogging? Shame on me. Not that this is inconsistent behavior for me, mind you, but still...

...Actually it sort of fits a behavioral pattern of mine. I always say "I'm going to go do this" and then about two days later I reflect "man, I should've gone and done this." I can blame finances for this current pattern of forgetful missteps--After all, it's hard to be gun-ho about errands and appointments when you're rationing out your bank account daily (if I put ten bucks in my tank, then I have 5 bucks to buy some groceries the day after that, which leaves me 7 bucks to use on a haircut).

However lately the issue with my lack of sterling savings has become more of a crutch (read: excuse) for anything that doesn't seem to go my way. "Well I'm poor, which is why I couldn't afford to drive out to the so-and-so writer's exhibit to network with other writers." It's a lame excuse, really albeit completely understandable. It's one thing I need to change about my life right now.

Another change is that in the past 2 months I've done less exploring of this city I call home. We've lived here for almost 6 months (I know right?) and yet things have sort of fallen flat in terms of checking things out and experiencing new things. Of course finances, once again, can be blamed for this (for consistency reasons). Thus I've decided that every time we get paid, Josh and I are going to have a "date night" somewhere in the city. We'll either shake the ol' Urban Spoon application or hit "random" on 'The Stranger Online' restaurant search engine, set a limit of 2 $$ signs out of 4 $$$$ signs, and then hit the town. The catch is that we'll never go to the same place twice.

Is there a nice sense of comfort in a new place that comes with going to the same places? Sure thing. But even the delicious nom-noms of Jet City Pizza, The Wedgewood Broiler, and I HEART Bento get repetitive after several visits.

Halloween was an absolute, balls-out blast. The Friday beforehand was spent working (of course) during the day and then partying by night. Together with our friend Julie and her boyfriend (also named Ryan, because in my circle of friends there are two of every animal), we went to this surreal warehouse party sponsored by Jones Soda and RIDE Snowboards. I use the word "surreal" because it felt like we were in an episode of 'The Real World' or 'Gossip Girl' or some such glitz-o-rama, fantastical alternate universe. Not only was it in a warehouse in Fremont, but there was no cover charge, free beer(! And it was Pyramid Ale!), free music, free stuff (I won a belt and Josh won a tee shirt), and some guy walking around taking pictures of neat costumes. For our part, we were dressed up as "horror dandies." Meaning gruesome costumes and makeup with fancy attire. I was a skeleton, Josh was a werewolf, Julie was a traditional, Dia De Las Muertas inspired zombie, and otherRyan was a hanged man. The aforementioned fellow taking pictures stopped us and said something like "nice theme!" and proceeded to take several photos for some unknown web site. We're still not sure who he was with or where those photos are posted, actually...

I spent Halloween itself working late into the night and then house partying. Nothing to write home about other than it's nice to be welcomed by other pseudo-adults into a house party where there are both fancy, vegan appetizers and beer pong in the same room. It was a real testament to the stage of life we're all in at the moment: Somewhere between stuff-shirt cocktail parties and spewing in the street after too much binge drinking.

Josh and I went over to West Seattle a few days ago to pick up his art that was showing in the art walk during September/October. No buyers, but a lot of "interest" in his pieces, and exposure is absolutely necessary even if monetary rewards don't emerge as an outcome. We stopped in a record store on California Ave. while we were down there. I don't remember the name of it, but there were also sandwiches and coffee at a cafe inside of it. This bears further investigating.

I think I'm going to make a mix for my friend Alli and try to send it across the Pacific to her in Korea. It's times like these that messenger pigeons would be really cool. Or if I could somehow be assured that if I put it in a bottle and threw it in the sea, it would was ashore just seconds from her apartment building, then I would totally message-in-a-bottle her. I think I;d have to put the mix on a flash drive and put it in the bottle, though. I don't think a CD would fit in there.

"You want me?
Fucking well come and find me.
I'll be waiting
With a gun and a pack of sandwiches.
And nothing."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I go a' walkin' . . .

So I recently finished the entirety of Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman" comic books in their collected forms, and have lately had a weird sense of ennui. Why am I here? Where is this going? What's next for me? Has my life really been reduced to a series of waiting games between paychecks and trying to figure out if I can afford to go out for cheap sushi or a drink?

The answer to all of these questions is the same one: Yes and No.

Yes I am here (and no I'm not). Yes, this is going somewhere (but right now it's not). Yes, something is going to happen next (and no, I won't be able to see what it is). Yes, I play the waiting game and must strain my resources between paychecks and no, I don't exactly hate it. Yes I love cheap sushi and cheap booze. No, I shouldn't spend the money on those things.

Gaiman did a great job of telling stories that were about stories. There were all sorts of stories happening within each other, twisting and turning and tying together in ways that were both telegraphed and unexpected. It's difficult to really understand the enormity of what he wrote. I've read several of those volumes more than once and I still can't quite grasp it all; meaning is right there out of the corner of my eye, and when I turn to look it's completely gone.


So now I wonder where my story goes, or if there is a story to tell at all. I can romanticize it or tell it like it is. Or maybe there's a romantic beauty in just telling it like it is. "What is, is." I'm not sure if there's going to be anything to tell as life continues on for me, but when it does, I'm going to tell it here.

And that's the answer for now.

Spaces and places and faces and traces,
They turn and they turn,
And they all go to pieces.
And I can't describe
What's in front of my eyes.
It's just you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fall and Fall things.

Autumn/Fall is my absolute favorite season. A lot of great things have happened to me in the Fall, and a lot of great things happen every Fall regardless. Now that my engagement along with the beginning of Josh and I's relationship is synonymous with the season, it's even got sappy undertones.

Fall's got great beverages like apple cider and orange cocoa and stuff made with rum. It's got great food that you can feel guilt-free about. It's got great movies (our Netflix queue has been dominated by horror and thrillers lately--"The Thing" remake, "Adams Family Values" and "The Unborn" are on their way today). It's got such a friendly atmosphere that Winter can almost match, but only barely.

The thing about Winter is that while the holidays generate that warm and fuzzy feeling in us all, there's still that undertone of commercialism and panic that comes with this need to give and create perfection amongst complete and utter chaos. Anyone who has worked retail during the Christmas season will tell you this--9 hours a day on your feet helping ungrateful people will suck the spirit of the season right out of you, even if you're wearing a gold lapel pin that lights up and plays "Carol of the Bells."

However there's no such obligation during Fall (save the end of the season when American Thanksgiving transitions us into Winter). Yet doesn't it seem like everyone seems friendlier or happier or just a bit more cheerful? It's this electricity in the air that can't be matched. A sense of fun and carefree and routine, really, that's left over from the Summer and needs to burst into the atmosphere before Winter forces us all indoors and out of each other's way. The Fall is our last chance to get out and do something; to travel or take a walk with short sleeves on or get out of the house on a daily basis. It's this unspoken energy that runs along the surface of the days in the Fall that truly makes me love the season.

Not to mention that for Seattle, we've had an absolutely beautiful Fall this year.

Next weekend we're driving out to Coeur d'Alene to see my family. I'm hoping the weather stays strong for our trip. 7 hours is a long drive, but it'll be worth it to see them all for a bit. My family decorates the hell out of their home for Halloween, and I can't wait to see what absurdities my dad has created this year. I have such vivid memories of getting bundled up and decorating the outside of the house with him (really, I'm sure I was running around and un-boxing decorations and causing more distractions then help--yet he still let me "help" in my own way). Although when I was very young it was more likely an apartment or two bedroom rental or duplex; we lived in so many homes when I was small, but my family managed to make every single one feel as homey as possible. Decorating it for Halloween was one way that my parents maintained that sense of normalcy for me.

After an hour or more or when ever the serious decorating had to begin, my mom would scoop me up and put me inside with some apple cider and a snack, and leave me with the television playing Halloween-themed Disney cartoons while she went outside to help my dad finish. I was a pretty self-sufficient kid, or so I've been told. My parents couldn't have been much older than Josh and I are now; they were so young. it would be neat to go back and see if they were anything like us in those early days, fresh out of school with a kid and not much money and not much of a life plan, either.

"I'm dead babe; dead as dead can be.
It's all because a zombie ate me.
You loved me when I was alive,
But now you see that I'm on the other side.
I still wanna go out with you,
But there's something that you've gotta do.
Give your life up and over to me.
Come on, you'll see how happy we can be."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A huge gap in time means a HUGE blog entry, yes?

Hello, internets!

It's been a while since I've blogged. Well, 3 months to be exact. I have no one but myself to blame for this, as it's been my laziness compounded with my busy work schedule and the fact that I'm in a new place where a social life is not just a dream but a bank-account devouring reality that has kept me from documenting my Post-Graduate Experience here at The Present Tense.

Maybe I need to hire a staff writer to help me maintain things? I can twitter about what's happening and that said writer can gather up all of my tweets and meld them into a discernible blog entry form his/her position chained to my desk with a bed pan secured safely beneath their seat.

Or I could just update more.

In the spirit of open and honest communication, if I don't blog on a more regular business and you're out there reading this, please write me an e-mail or send me a message on Facebook telling to stop being such a lazy ass-hat and do some writing, won't you? It could help me more than you realize.

Let's back-track to some cold, hard facts about my life right now:

1) I'm broke. My job is great and there are plenty of hours to go around so I do spend most of my time working, however I've been just about breaking even every month once bills are paid off. My savings account is mostly drained (wouldn't mother be proud?) and the student loans are really putting a strain on all things fun and entertaining. I get coffee and movies with my friends. A lot. And sushi! Ah, to be in a city where you can get good sushi is something that's been just a pipe dream until moving here. And speaking of moving . . .

2) . . . I love it here. Seattle was just the remedy for that melancholy, mopey and morose mood that I'd been in all Spring (what's with the alliteration there, Dr. Seuss?). I've lost weight, I feel healthier, I'm around a diverse mix of people with different backgrounds and viewpoints on a semi-regular basis, and I live within walking distance of a Starbucks. Also I can actually take part in an active music scene because, lo and behold, there IS one! I've gone to more live shows and bigger concerts in these past few months than I had all year last year. I've had the privilege of seeing No Doubt, The Sounds, and The Dead Weather as well as some fantastic local acts like Rising Tides and Ada Loveless (both completely blogworthy, although the former is sadly breaking up quite soon). So despite the fact that I'm financially ruined at the moment, my rose-colored glasses remain firmly in position.

3) I'm engaged! It still seems surreal. Josh proposed on our fifth year anniversary while we were making a trip to Leavenworth (which for those out there who don't know is a Bavarian-themed village about 2 hours East of Seattle that is essentially a piece of Disneyland that was cut off from the main host body and wandered out to the Pacific Northwest to spawn [in a very John Carpenter-esque way I might add]). There are pictures from that day, and I will post them when I remember to (perhaps tomorrow).

So that's what's going on with me.

The job hunt is still active, though I did take a break from it in September to relax. I've sent out many a resume and many a groveling letter begging for even non-paid volunteer work, yet have heard nothing back. Twice I received a response asking for writing samples, and twice did I sent some, and twice was I left with no further correspondence. It's a rough time to be a liberal arts major right now, to be honest. We're a dime-a-dozen, especially in a city like Seattle. So the search for meaning continues, albeit slowly and with little luck, but thankfully my folks have been so busy dealing with keeping the business afloat and several deaths in the family (a separate blog entry altogether for another time) that they've stopped breathing down my neck about what's next . . . Sort of. I completely understand their apprehension, and with promises of my application to UW for a graduate program in Communications or English they're satiated for the moment. Still, for my sanity and theirs I hope that something comes along in the "soon" region of time.

By the way, this makes the baby Jesus cry.

I leave you now with some pictures of our new place here in Seattle (as promised back when we moved in 3 months ago), and some words of wisdom.

I'm broke but I'm happy.
I'm poor but I'm kind.
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded.
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed.
I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby
What it all comes down to,
Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine;
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket,
and the other one is giving a high five.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Apparently nothing of importance happened in April?

Well, that title isn't actually true. A lot of important stuff happened in April.

I got the job transfer, for one. Yay me! I'm not supposed to talk about which store it is or what I'll be doing, but apparently the pay is substantial, which I'm thoroughly stoked for. Hooray for the monies!

What else? Well, Kim moved in with us up here in Moscow and it's been fun and absurd. I like having her around more seeing as she's become one of my closest friends through the years, and it's nice having some time to adjust to each other's habits before living together for realsies in a place we both pay rent on. Of course there aren't that many things to get used to--It's just like when she'd crash here for the weekend if there was partying to be had, except for now her stuff is here. Kim's a very good roommate thus far and really it's not like we all just jumped head first in on this idea. Would I room with someone who wasn't awesome? I think not!

Hmm, let's see . . . Ally came up to visit us for a weekend and that was amazingly fun, even though we didn't do much. It was like having her back in Moscow again on any other weekend, which is fine by me! She's off to Virginia in a while to be with her-Josh (attaching those little is how we distinguish the men we're with, btw) for 6 weeks and then off to Florida so that they can work on the next stage of their lives together, whatever that ends up being. It was good to see her and talk to her and to see that I'm not the only one who has no idea what the hell they're doing now that undergrad time is over. "Whatever happens next is up to us, and I don't feel rushed for the first time in my life," she said to me over bagels. We had a great hug and goodbye when she left, and the feeling of "this is just temporary because I'll see you soon" was totally there in a way that was said and unsaid at the same time.

Although my friends are all scattered to the four winds now, why do I feel like we'll all see each other again soon? I guess because we're all very co-dependent on each other. Like, we can do stuff separately, but we'd rather all not. Part of me selfishly wants to horde my friends over to Seattle some day when they're all settled and ready to settle down.

I turned 23 the other day, and it was weird. It feels a lot like 22, actually. So far so good. It's only been a few days, so maybe some profound change will happen. Or maybe not. Josh and I went out to dinner and then saw the new Wolverine movie with Kim and our pal Clare. Hugh Jackman-ass is the best kind of man-ass that there is, and I'll stand by that assertion for years! I liked it overall, and there were only a few things that made me laugh because of how lame they were, but it was overall a fun popcorn movie. Not exactly "Sophie's Choice" or anything, but c'mon . . . It's comics.

So in less than 20 days I'll be in a new city with a new start. Wish me luck, and if I don't post for another month . . . It's because I'm somewhere else being awesome!

"I build myself up,
and fly around in circles.
Wait then--As my heart drops,
and my back begins to tingle,
finally could this be it?"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Why does your face look like that?

I'm getting a little tired of people acting like I have a terminal illness.

Let me back up a bit: I don't have a terminal illness. I'm quite healthy, actually. But others have not-so-subtly pointed out to me that I appear to have a debilitating disease where I graduated from college and now am doing nothing.

Let me back up again: I'm not doing "nothing." I've got a job that I work 30 hours a week at, I'm paying bills, and I'm writing all the time. Sure I don't have an internship or a journalism desk job that takes up 95% of my time yet totals 5% of my income, but I'm only hanging around this town until May. I graduated at the end of December, and I'm leaving at the end of May. That's a total of 5 months where I've had to essentially start from scratch and not only try to hone what skills I've earned with my degree, but also try to save money and salvage my post-college/pre-career existence while I can.

So then why do people who ask me what I'm up to cringe when I tell them "not much, just working and hanging out until I move in May?" It's like this weird reflexive action they have which they just can't seem to hide. There's this look as though I've just told them that my dog died, or that I'm going into rehab, or that I have terminal cancer. This sort of knee-jerk widening of the eyes coupled with a thin, smarmy smile and a phrase that carries an air of mock-understanding and sympathy ("Oh, wow, well good. That's good that you're working.").

Sorry folks, I didn't move home with my parents and I didn't just return to my "home town" because if you want to get technical then my home town was Los Angeles. Seriously Idaho, there are other places besides Coeur d'Alene and Boise. I see people all the time on Myspace or Facebook or in the UI Alumni Magazine (which I receive in the mail now along with a helping of guilt for not financially supporting my alma mater) who moved back tot heir home town and have started some kind of career. A guy I graduated with is now working at a TV station in Twin Falls.

But here's the thing: That's Twin. Falls. Idaho.

And that's fine. Do whatever you'd like and go where you'd like to go. It's just that my aspirations go beyond this state. I don't want to just go back to the comforts of home to a place that's familiar. It's the same reason I didn't do community college right after high school. It's the same reason I didn't just try and get a desk job at the local paper here in Moscow. I like to experience new things. I like to live on the edge of my seat. I like having a warm place to call home, but I also like that place to have a sense of wonder or excitement.

Maybe that's why, after 5 years in my undergrad, Moscow has almost completely lost its charm.

I don't know what to see to these people that act as though I've just told them I've been diagnosed with HIV-I when I tell them I'm in a working, hanging out, sort of grace period between my undergrad and the start of my career. Except to tell them that I didn't run home to mommy like everyone else and that I actually have had to work since day 1 in college, and that I've still got to work because I pay my own bills, so that's why I couldn't just up and go home.

I want to tell them to go hang out with the skeptics, who are the other group of people that are infuriating me at the moment (I feel like the Palouse region [meaning Moscow, Pullman, Lewiston, etc.] can be divided up into 3 groups of people right now who are reacting to my life choices: The Sympathies, The Skeptics, and The Supporters). But third-party skepticism of my life choices is a whole other post that's probably more rant-y and less rational.

Oh, internet. I'm glad that I can vent to you. When I look back at this chronicle of my post-grad existence, hopefully it'll be from a place where I can smile and just say "ha."

"Sometimes I feel
That I need to move on.
So I pack a bag
And move on;
Move on."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Something I'm not proud of.

What a week it's been.

Look, I've got to talk about something.

In the interest of openness on my blog and for not holding anything back, I'm going to write about something very, very stupid that I did recently. It's difficult for me to reconcile how I feel about private matters and how I feel about public expression, so what you'll read about here is definitely the watered-down version of things. No apologies except those that are warranted.

Here's what happened:

There are certain things that you talk about when you've been in a relationship for a while that are of a private, sexual nature. Things that you talk about wanting to do as a couple that are off-putting when discussing with others because they're private matters and take a great deal of trust and love in order to discuss. One of those things might be adding another person in an adult situation where there are usually just two.

Well, said discussion is one that was had several times and was talked about with some sincerity and rational thought. Both of us in this relationship had expressed the desire for it to occur. So, I stupidly pursued a venture that I thought would have the outcome of making the scenario a reality. I started talking tot his third party on the internet about it.

In the end, it backfired. It backfired because it went a little too far with this third party, and it backfired because of previous stupid things that I've done which made my partner think something was going on when it wasn't. The point is, I screwed up.

Essentially, Josh thought that I'd cheated on him, which wasn't the case. Though what I did--Talking about private adult conversations with a third party--Is essentially cheating. There was no touching or even talking in person; just words exchanged with another person over the internet that were inappropriate and probably should've just stayed private (or at the very least should've included Josh). Still it was the idea that I would do such a thing that I honestly think constitutes some level of cheating.

I hurt 2 people: Josh and this other guy who I had conversations with. Neither of them are very happy with me right now.

Things are on the road to being okay, but there's still going to be this awkward, hurtful twinge in our relationship. Josh and I are both at fault here; I for doing it and he for looking through my social networking accounts without permission and assuming that something more had gone on. He had his reasons. Like I said, past indiscretions on my part drove him to those actions.

So we're moving on. We're trying to do better by each other--Mostly I'm trying to do better in general. I'm not excusing my actions, or his (especially not mine). But when you love someone, and you want to stay with them no matter what, then this is just how it works. It works because you make it work. It works because you acknowledge mistakes, and you work to right them.

And that's sort of why I haven't posted in a few days. I just needed to sort out the right words and put them plainly, and let logic be the one who speaks and not overwhelming emotion. Do I feel ashamed? Certainly. Awful? Of course. Disgusted at myself, marveling at the sheer idiocy of my actions, and worried I've committed relationship murder? Yeah, man. I definitely do.

But for now . . . Well, for now there's too much going on to let it ruin my life or his. We're too important as individuals and as a couple to let everything we've been working at fall apart. We're still going to move. We're still going to look for jobs with our degrees. We're still going to love and support each other.

Just keep on believing in us. And me.

I won't let anyone else down.

"I'm not a perfect person;
There's many things I wish that I didn't do.
And so I have to say before I go,
That I just want you to know:
I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be.
A reason to start over new,
And the reason is you."

Friday, March 6, 2009

What's in a name? And other things that happened to me today.

So, I heard that M.I.A. named her child Ickitt.

Dear people: It's not a pet. It's a person. A person who will one day grow up and hate you. But if the name is genuinely special to you, then fine. But I mean . . . Whatever happened to giving kids family names? Or variations on family names? Or just names like "Jack" or "Julie." Sigh.

EDIT: This just in, M.I.A. says that it's all a rumor. My bad, princess. And apparently the entire blogging universe's bad, too.

Today we got rid of our bookcase and our comfy vinyl couch, and then had some douche bag kid from the next town over straight up not show up to come and look at our dining table. More folks have expressed interest, though, and so hopefully we can actually sell some of our furniture and not just give it away. I'll miss you, The Green Couch!

I'm working to get some local bands to play in my store this month. If anyone knows of any bands or musicians in the Mosco-Pullman-Palouse area who'd be interested in playing a show for free in their local Hot Topic store, tell them to contact me, please! Josh's flyers promoting the opportunity are G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S and I'll be posting one on my Myspace page soon for all to enjoy.

This is the kind of stuff that makes me miss having Cable, PS.

This weekend is the annual Moscow Mardi Gras, which always takes place in March because February is just too damned cold to have an outdoors event. Of course we're supposed to have a high of 37 degrees tomorrow, so we'll see what happens. Hopefully all of the booze can keep me warm? I guess we'll have to wait and see! I'll post about tomorrow's misadventures once they've happened.

No, I haven't seen "Watchmen" yet. I can't go until Sunday. So blah.

"Slip inside the eye of your mind;
Don't you know you might find
A better place to play?
You said that you'd never been,
But all the things that you've seen
Will slowly fade away."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

If I had eight cats, would that make me "The Octu-crazy cat guy?"

So it's been a week since my last entry, and several mundane yet markedly important things have happened in both my life and the real world.

First, we began our transition to Seattle by putting some furniture on Craigslist (you can view our lil' ad here)and taking another load of old stuff to Goodwill. Our office room in the apartment is pretty barren at the moment and there's still another pile of stuff to be taken. It's kind of weird, but the lack of posters, old vinyl, and random whatnot on the walls makes sound echo in a peculiar way that really makes me feel that this whole moving thing is really going to be true. I moved a lot when I was younger, and so that echo-y sound definitely has that sense memory effect to it. It makes me think of U-Hauls, boxes, broken dishes, and eating pizza while sitting on moving boxes.

We're probably not going to go to Seattle again this coming weekend like we'd planned because of financial reasons. It's the first week of the month so pretty much every bill ever is due, which is something we didn't think about. So instead we've devoted the weekend to doing home repairs, trying to get our furniture sold, and generally doing things to move the process forward.

After searching around online for jobs in the Seattle area I'm a hell of a lot less scared about finding one. It turns out that as far as retail positions go I'm more than qualified, and for writing jobs you don't have to be too qualified when you're just starting out (at least that's what the internets tells me). I'll probably work at some customer service job again and write on the side for a while before I can become an office drone. And won't that be fun? Probably only slightly, but at least I'll be paid more. In ego boost news that's somewhat related to the topic of jobs, I got a call from the Moscow Old Navy store regarding a resume I turned in about 3 years ago saying that they'd like to interview me for a store manager position. I'm extremely flattered, of course, but obviously I can't take it. Still I might ask them if they know of anything in Seattle and re-submit my resume to the company. Old Navy is fine for a job; I like the clothes and I like the store itself, and I've had decent service at all of the ones I've been to.

This is all pending on the Hot Topic transfer, which is still in limbo. What's funny is that everyone on my end is super stoked and all for getting me to move yet stay within the company, but those in the Seattle area are the hardcore skeptics. After all, I'm an Idaho boy moving to "the big city" (cue the awkward, grizzled claim jumper/redneck voice) who is from a smaller store with much less volume. Oh well. I hope I don't have to change jobs, but I've said that before and once again my paying of bills and eating on a daily basis is more important to me for now. Sure I'd love to do these things with a job I love, but if it's not in the cards then it's just not in the cards! Time will tell, as it so often does.

To briefly comment on current events:

1- I want everyone to stop referring to that mother of 14 in CA as "The Octumom" because it sounds absurd and makes her sound like a 1950s sci-fi serial villain from outer space with designs on world domination. Come on, newspeople. Surely you can be more clever than this blatantly stupid moniker.

2- I saw that guy who created Facebook on The Today Show and really, truly think that he's some kind of high-functioning autistic. I also don't think he knows jack about what he's doing and that "connecting people and creating connections that connect people so that they can share information with each other" is just another word for a dating service. Good luck, sir.

3- There's that one study that says Conservatives are more likely to download (and pay for) pornography. This just in: Water is wet.

4- I still haven't done my taxes yet.

"Have I waited too long?
Have I found that someone?
Have I waited too long to see you?"

Monday, February 23, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

In the spirit of keeping current:

1) I actually didn't know that this list was a "Facebook phenomenon" or an "internet phenomenon" and mistook it for spam when it first showed up in my Myspace account.

2) I don't have a Facebook, which I'm sure frustrates people.

3) I get very irritated when people over-use the word "seriously" (example: 5 times in one sentence) and am angry at "Grey's Anatomy" for making it a colloquialism.

4) I wish that Hillary Clinton had been Obama's VP, but have settled for Secretary of State begrudgingly.

5) I went on a date with a homeless guy once. I was 18. He was that "college hippie" sort of guy who was honestly well groomed and cute and didn't appear homeless--but he didn't have a job, or a home, and he had dropped out of all of his classes--I found this out towards the end of the date. I still question how he was able to pay for the movie we saw (hint: I bet it's drug-related), and I did make out with him in a park. It was actually a good make out sesh. Trev, if you're out there, I hope you found a home and I would've called you back but you didn't have a cell phone so that sort of made calling you impossible.

6) I was drinking PBR before it was hipster-y to do so. Yes that sounds pretentious, but it's true. When I was a freshman in college it was all I or anyone else could afford because we didn't want to drink Keystone or Natural Light. So PBR became the drink of choice. And it still is.

7) I like house parties, but I feel really really really freaking old at them these days because I can buy beer legally. Moscow might not be the best place for that sort of thing.

8) I don't eat red meat at all if I can help it. Excluding pepperoni on pizzas, I try to stick to chicken and turkey.

9) I love coloring and coloring books.

10) I'm very body-conscious, especially when it's weight-related, and I was secretly stoked as all hell that I went from almost 180lbs. to 156 in a year without even realizing it (a pick-me-up at the doctor's office is not what you generally expect to happen, right?).

11) I miss Alli Ockinga very much.

12) I am afraid of wolves.

13) I'm addicted to caffeine, and that's probably a literal fact.

14) I sometimes wish my life was more like a comic book.

15) I have had many an inappropriate crush on my straight male friends. You know who you are. You know I was looking. You probably were stoked. But thanks for not kicking my ass when you caught me checking you out! ;)

16) I love weddings because there's booze and cake and people being awkward.

17) I have never actually seen all of "Schindler's List" because I was like 10 when I watched it with my folks and covered my eyes half the time.

18) I sprained my tail bone when I was little and had to sit on a pillow all the time for like 2 weeks. My cousins made fun of me and told me that I "broke my ass" which wasn't true; I sprained it.

19) I can be a little selfish when it comes to doing something that I want to do, but I compromise most of the time. Mostly.

20) The amount of Sega Genesis I played as a child is staggering.

21) I always say that I'm going to read more, and then I never do because I think that books are disgustingly over-priced when they first hit the shelves.

22) I love to vacuum.

23) I wear hats all the time because I hate my hair.

24) I wish I lived closer to all of my friends, and I really don't think that have many in Moscow at this present time other than Kim and Kendall and Brian and Gabby and my crew from work (whom I only see at work). I have a ton of acquaintances, sure, but no one in the friend zone very much.

25) I want to go to Australia but I'm worried that I'd never leave.

Transition to Seattle Trip #1

Before I get into this past weekend and going to Seattle . . . Can we take a moment and talk about the 2009 Academy Awards, please? Wow. What an elegant, classy, and amazing event it was. Not boring at all--No, seriously!

I could probably gush for pages about Hugh Jackman being the host and dancing and singing and being drop-dead-gorgeous and the perfect human . . . But I won't. Instead I want to take a moment and acknowledge the five (FIVE!) moments in the Oscars this year that made me tear up and cry a little. They were, in order:

1) Penelope Cruz's acceptance speech--Minority empowerment go on with your bad self!
2) Dustin Lance Black (the adorkable kid who wrote the screenplay for "Milk")'s acceptance speech--WOW!
3)Heath Ledger's family does his acceptance speech--Those damned Aussies made me get all choked up!
4)The "death montage" of people in the industry that passed away--I miss you, Sydney Pollack and Paul Newman!
5)Sean Penn's acceptance speech--HELL YEAH!

So there they were; the moments that made me weep like a nine-year-old girl. Of course there were a ton of awesome moments, too. Most of them involved Hugh Jackman being fantastic and doing songs, including a song that was a tribute to musicals(!) with Beyonce. Also declaring his awesome by shouting "I AM WOLVERINE!" at the end of his opening number. I mean wow. Then there was the way that the Big 4 actors/actresses categories were done: Five previous winners from each category, all amazing men and women, complimenting every single one of the individuals nominated in speeches that they wrote themselves, and then the announcement of the winner. Said winner then got to go on stage and be embraced by their colleagues and by this tribunal, really, of amazing talent.

It was rad.

On Friday we left at about noon to head out to Seattle and stay with our friend Amy in Bothell. We made great time thanks to the fantastic weather (it was great all weekend, actually) and to my new car's awesome gas mileage in general. Got into Seattle/Bothell at about 6pm and had dinner at this fun little diner-type restaurant and we walked around the Alderwood Mall, then headed home and crashed.

The next day we woke up, got ready, embraced a breakfast of Starbucks and headed out to start apartment hunting! Our list started out with 7 locations that we narrowed down to 3 and 1/2 (we actually couldn't find the one in Fremont but we LOVED the neighborhood, so we gave Kim the mission of trying to find it next time/looking at other places in the area), and they were all great little apartments that were totally in our price range and in clean, good neighborhoods only like 20 minutes out of the city.

The big one that all of us are hoping for is the Wedgwood Estates. I'm not going to post a link because I want to keep it on the DL lest lurkers try to steal the opportunity to rent from them, but to sum it up it's an amazing series of cottage-style apartments in a residential neighborhood that's just above Fremont/Wallingford and about 15 mins. from the Woodland Park Zoo (I know right?) and another 10 minutes from the UW campus in case any or all of us decide to go back to school to get our graduate degrees or a second undergrad. They allow pets, have off-street parking, and they're just freaking adorable little red brick houses in general. Fingers crossed that this all works out!

We're heading back to the area in 2 weeks to conduct the second search. In the mean time we'll be looking for more properties and selling some furniture online to make this all happen. If anyone knows of 2 bedroom places for under $1,000 in the Seattle area (we're not picky about the town or neighborhood, honestly, we just don't want ot live in south Seattle if possible) PLEASE comment or drop me a line! I'd really appreciate it.

"Lipstick on my brain,
Thunder in the sky,
The shades are drawn
But don't ask me why.
And with the ghost riders on the go, I think you know . . .
. . . It goes something like this:"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Life Right Now: A Series of Sticky Notes

Another week of working makes me think that I really, really miss school.

A few days ago I was sitting in the apartment cleaning house, as it were, when suddenly I realized that a lot of my days off have been reduced to a To-Do list written on sticky notes. Then, suddenly, I just got this feeling all over that I really do miss school. It was instant and sudden and I knew what it was right away. There was no ambivalence to the feeling--It just was what it was. I think that I might be a traitor to underage kids everywhere, as well as college students, but damn it I miss school. I guess that I miss having something to do every day, really. A set of tasks and to-do's that aren't generated by me so much as generated by an overarching purpose. 

And I know that right now I have an overarching purpose: To save money and move to Seattle so that I can begin my career. But who knew 3 months would go by so slowly? Who knew I'd actually miss school not for what it brought to me (knowledge, education and the like) but because it was just something to do other than work? I don't know, man.

Alli's been teaching classes in Korea and recently realized that Koreans regard she and our friend Ellen as mythological creatures because of how they appear physically. Dragons, unicorns, and Eastern WA girls . . . The trifecta of mythology, really. You can of course read about her travels in her Blogabond account, which can be found on the left hand side of this page over in the "Blogs That I Read" section.
Tomorrow night we're going to go see our friend Kim's newest venture in acting, a romantic comedy called "Having a Great Time, Wish You Were Her." Kim's extremely generous parents bought our tickets and dinner, and I'm so stoked to see it! It's got a great cast made up of people that I know and apparently there's lots of awkward over-the-bra touching moments. And you know how I love me some second base.

Albums that I need to buy at the moment (which will be a running list until I buy them all):
-Lily Allen "It's Not Me, It's You"
-The Black Ghosts "[self-titled]"
-Andrew Bird "[self-titled]"

Have a great weekend, universe.

"Forget about guns, and forget ammunition,
I'm killing 'em all on my own little mission.
Now I'm not a saint, and I'm not a sinner
But everything's cool as long as I'm getting thinner."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ups, Downs, and Setbacks.

So hey, I got published in Diversity!

Crazy, huh? Who knew? Not me. And why? Because they didn't ever write me an e-mail (despite my having sent two) to say whether or not they were going to publish the article. Odd, really, but then again it feels as though they're just starting up (or starting anew) with their publishing schedule. This issue of the newsletter did seem more put together and professional looking, though. A lot cleaner in the design though the fact that it still uses fonts from two different families is killing me (if you've never seen the film Helvetica then go see it right now and you'll never look at fonts the same way again, ever).

So that was definitely the highlight of my week thus far. The other was seeing two good friends taking part in The Vagina Monologues last night. I've never been to a real showing; only a documentary about the monologues themselves that really doesn't capture the energy, the humor, and the intensity of the monologues. Props to my friends for having the courage to get up there and do short pieces about a)a woman having her first real orgasm in the middle of her life and b)being a lesbian dominatrix. Good on you, girls!

A minor setback in the moving movement came today when I had to put $100 unexpectedly on a credit card, meaning that $2,000 I had saved for moving goes back down a bit. Boo. Those finance charges are a real killer, I'll tell ya something . . .

. . . Tomorrow night we're hosting a Grammy Awards party at our apartment! Bring the booze and the chips, we'll bring the giant television and some of Josh's award-winning bean dip (not actually award-winning, but it should be and it would be if we'd ever heard of a bean dip contest in our region). I'm rooting for Death Cab for Cutie, Adelle, and M.I.A. to all get their dues this year (especially everyone's favorite Sri Lankan hip hop artist--she's too great for words). You can see the full list of 2009 Grammy Award noms here.

This week I'll be working on the second article for Diversity (since apparently they'll just publish me no questions asked--and they're awesome for that!) and working on a Valentine's Day gift. And for those who've been to my Myspace page this week, no I'm not clinically depressed and no things aren't going bad for me, I just feel a little gray lately. But thank you all for being so caring and kind.

"It's 4 by 3, 3 by 3, 
Maybe me:
A bootleg CD 
Or color TV 
Or DVD."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Reflective hang over.

Going to a drag show with your significant other is sort of like being the only long term couple in a speed-dating event. If you're not there to hook up, it's weird and you end up noticing things about human nature that make you feel icky to be a person, and also icky that you may have done those same things when you were single. Am i getting to old for the extreme bar/club scene? Maybe.

On the plus side, last night at some dude's before party I ran into an old instructor of mine who taught a class on documentary films. I really enjoyed the class and her approach to teaching it. It's cool to speak to University faculty like they're, you know, people and not just academics. It's even cooler to sit down and have a beer with them. So this getting older in the extreme club/bar scene does have the thinnest silver linings.

Alli made it safely to Korea, by the way. I expect she's experiencing 48 hours of culture shock at present, and when she gets her travel blog up and running I'll be sure to link/update about it regularly.

"We do the same thing every night;
I swear I've heard this song before.
A swimmer who has seen a shark--
I'd really be more wary of the water."

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Miss You.

My friend Alli, whom I've spent the past 5 years of college cavorting and embarking on ridiculous and fantastic adventures with, has just boarded a plane for South Korea. She's going there to teach English-as-a-second-language to high school students for the next six months. We only got to talk for 5 minutes, but in a way I'm glad because any longer and I would've started bawling like a child.

I'll miss you and think of you every day, kid. Remember as our good friend Ralph Waldo said, "All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

"We're probably the coolest people that a lot of other people know. Probably."

"Come writers and critics 
Who prophesize with your pen
 And keep your eyes wide; 
The chance won't come again. 
And don't speak too soon,
 For the wheel's still in spin 
And there's no tellin' 
Who that it's namin'."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What's up, Doc?

Today I have a doctor's appointment, though it's not about the cold that I've been fighting for a week now (I'm feeling much better today--I'd say at about an 85%?) it's about the mysterious goo that builds up in the corners of my eyes randomly; something I've ignored for about a year (I know, I know a guy my age needs to stay on top of his health--but I'm also a guy, so I tend to put things off in favor of the "no, I'm fine" argument). I'm worried it's going to end in one more prescription I'll have to pay out for every month but I guess if it makes me healthy then it's a positive change.

Another reason why I can't wait to leave Idaho: I grew up not really getting sick or having allergies or getting seasonal colds but when we moved to Idaho when I was 16 I found myself getting sick all of the time, and it became even worse when I moved to Moscow. Perhaps as I've gotten older my immune system has been worse, but is it a coincidence that any time I leave the damn state for an extended period I always feel healthier and less sick (even if it's on a vacation and I'm eating tons of junk food and binge drinking, I feel at my healthiest!). I think the state of Idaho might be detrimental to my existence.

The more we talk about moving, though, the more I start to fret about all of the little details. How much money we have saved, what we're going to sell, how much a U-Haul will be, what we're going to do for jobs, changing the addresses and notifying the 1,001 different places that need to have my address about the change . . . It's a healthy dose of feeling "blerg," as Tina Fey would put it.

Today will consist of the aforementioned appointment, laundry, and hanging the eff out. Josh and I have the day off together, which is nice, but there's always a bit of a struggle as to what we're going to do with our day (well, most of it). We want to go walk dogs at the Humane Society but there aren't any open to the public right now, sadly. So until some flea-bitten friends that aren't "high risk animals" come along, it looks like it's more episodes of The West Wing for us!

"Yeah, we are the blue, so strong and confused; 
Tracking down dusty roads finding what we lose. 
Dancing with the causalities: Spirits of wars, 
Shedding a few tears for the beggars and whores."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The future freaks me out.

I'm fighting a cold at present. I had 2 solid days where I felt just awful, and sadly one of those days I worked but luckily the next day I had off. Now the cold has settled into my chest and I'm feeling about 80% myself. The aches and pains aspect of having a cold along with the runny nose are all out the door, but unfortunately I'm still coughing up a lung (and by lung I mean gross, oozy yellow stuff) every few minutes and I still feel listless. 

Time will tell if I can get better by this weekend, which promises to be fun times with a drag show on Saturday and a near-full day off on Sunday (back to back weekend days off--SHOCK!).

The drag shows in this town are a funny thing. Sometimes they remind me of the speakeasy style bars of the fifties and sixties where men and women had to sneak into dimly lit basement locations filled with smoke and probably more mustaches than you can shake a stick at (that's what she said). You might find prominent members of the community huddled around the bar area of a drag show all talking amongst themselves and stealing come hither glances at the younger set. You might also find doe-eyed college freshman unsure of their sexualities and both in awe of and aghast of this buffet of open expression the likes of which they might not have ever seen before. They dance with, hold hands with, and kiss people they never thought they would've kissed for the first time. The shows are also a breeding ground for gossip, and rumor, and unfortunate social missteps that can turn into the aforementioned ugliness. Who shows up with whom, who dances with whom, who lets someone buy their drinks . . . It's all up for scrutiny.

[side-bar: As I type this my cat, not satisfied with the recent trip to the litter-box she's just taken, has turned around to go back in it not to do her business, but to sufficiently bury it yet again. Weird.]

Anyway, I like going to the drag shows because I can get hammered, and usually a mild flirtation with someone will get me hammered. Shallow perhaps, but conversations have led to friendships with some people I've met there, and hey if there's a rum and Coke in it for me who am I to complain?

Last night Josh and I watched Futurama: Bender's Big Score and it was actually pretty hilarious and a really great follow-up to the series. I recommend it for anyone who loves the show or anyone who found it even mildly amusing when it was one, because it actually manages to be funny and touching, and there's a narwhale in it.

I have to work for a few hours today, weirdly. When you're not in school and you work a job that's in a college town, you sort of, to borrow a phrase from Futurama's Bender, "get boned" in terms of scheduling. Que cera, cera.

"Somewhere I have heard this before;
In a dream my memory has stored
As defense I'm neutered and spayed.
What the hell am I trying to say?"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Trouble in paradise.

The more that I'm home (which is more often now that I'm not in school) the more our cat seems to think that she controls us. She wakes us up in the morning, usually around 6am (joy!) or earlier (double-joy!); she is excessively whiney but all together much more vocal than she ever was if we're doing one activity for  a long period of time (reading a book, watching a movie, etc.) that doesn't directly involve her; she has a habit of doing what Josh calls "getting it" whereupon if something across the room tickles her fancy she'll tear-ass over to it and pounce, be it lint or string or someone's foot. I don't know what to do about this animal.

Any thoughts or suggestions about cat behavior would be much appreciated!

"Why don't you ever wanna play?
I'm tired of this piece of string.
You sleep as much as I do now and you
Don't do much of anything."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Filling the gap.

Been a few weeks since I've posted, so rightly I've got to fill the gap with what's been happening in my post-grad existence so far. I know you all want to know, right? Good.

I submitted my article to Diversity News on the 15th along with an e-mail, but so far I haven't heard anything back yet, nor have i heard anything from Kathy regarding what she thought of the article. In all honesty I'm taking the fear-based way out by avoiding Kathy and the crew on Inland Oasis altogether on the off-chance that my article wasn't what they were expecting. This seems to happen a lot to me; people want something but they don't understand that I don't write press releases (unless you ask me to), I write news pieces and those two things are not the same. We'll see if I get published, and I'll keep you up-to-speed if I do. In the mean time I'm going to refrain from posting the piece I wrote just in case.

Work continues to be the main source of sanity, along with Josh and the few friends still living in the area. I'm up to 25 hours a week on average (give or take an hour) with weekends off, which has been nice because I've got to spend more time with Josh but odd because I find myself wasting away hoping the weather clears up. I'd love to take up snowboarding again some day. Maybe after we move? Right now it doesn't make much sense to buy all the equipment, buy a pass, and hope for snowfall in the mountains (when it's the valleys that are presently getting hammered). I should get a gym membership.

Anyone hear about this new President guy? I hear he's a Democrat . . .

. . . WIN!

I've been thinking about getting a Twitter account, but since I can't blog in a mobile way (as I don't have a phone that connects to the internet) I am failing to see the point . . . I just like the way that Twitter looks visually is what it comes down to. And that's not reason enough to spend more time online.

Things are stabilizing financially. I still haven't been able to put more than 2 grand away for the big move but I expect to be able to soon. $50 from every paycheck should get me to about $2,500 by the time we leave in May, plus whatever is sitting in the regular bank account by then. Not too shabby for a moving buffer.

How you know you're getting old #2: You see something on QVC that you might actually like to purchase. 
Today I saw a recipe album with 30 free insert cards, a glass cutting board (with 3 designs to choose from, 'natch) and a cheese knife for a little less than $30. And I thought to myself, "a place for recipes would be good since all we have now are cookbooks with pieces of printer paper and magazine clippings stuffed in them." Then the lady on QVC said the same damn thing, and I nearly fell out of my seat. It's like they know you have only the slightest need for things so they get good at selling them! I didn't buy it. I'm not 50 quite yet.

This blog is a new guilty pleasure for me. It's a little NSFW, so click responsibly.

This week I'll be working, living, and maybe drinking a little. You'll be updated more often, little blog. I promise to update you, and feed and water you every day, and to clean up after you.

"I'll miss the playgrounds and the animals and digging up worms.
I'll miss the comfort of my mother and the weight of the world.
I'll miss my sister, miss my father, miss my dog and my home.
Yeah I'll miss the boredom and the freedom and the time spent alone."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quick Take

The column for Diversity is coming along well. I'm heading into work soon so I don't have much time to elaborate on it other than to say the World Health Organization's stats on HIV/AIDS are jarring. More on why I needed to look them up later.

"And they carried on like long division,
because it was clear with every page
Oh, that they were farther away from
Any solution that would play."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Not a rant.

The meeting with Kathy went well; apparently if I can gather enough content we can actually have a full page in the Diversity newsletter if we want, and after speaking with some of the Inland Oasis organization's members this seems to be the plan. I'm meeting with one of their board members, Chris, today to get some information for the column itself which will be a summary of what the organization did for World AIDS Day. If Diversity wants it, I'll flesh out a column and put together some information for a few graphics (a World AIDS Day stats box, for example)

No word back from Dinah, my old law professor, but if I'm right most staff won't be back on campus until today and tomorrow. It's all about the waiting game right now.

In regional news today, anybody out there hear about this? How disgusting man's injustice to his fellow man can be. I really, really hope that nobody gets hurt over there and that the local area police and the FBI resolve the matter quickly. I don't care what your lifestyle, religion, beliefs and values, or background are . . . Nobody deserves to be threatened or frightened for their lives because of the threat of violence. If I write too much more about it I'll rant, and I don't want to rant because I've only had one cup of coffee thus far today and to give a good rant I need at least 2-3 cups total.

Today marks the third technical day off in a row for me, and I'm going a little stir crazy. I was supposed to only have 2 days off in a row, which is awesome and gives me a chance to do all sorts of errands and fun stuff, but it's changed to three days in a row which is mildly unbearable. Thanks to the awful Winter weather three days ago my work had to shut down along with the rest of the mall. Now luckily the company pays us normal wages for the day when we need to do an emergency store closure, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm seriously bouncing off the walls in this apartment. I'd love to go outside, but the weather is like the song says: "Frightful." 

And I think that my cat isn't enjoying all this company that much . . . She seems disappointed if I leave to go run an errand and then come back, as if to say in the prim and proper English accent I imagine her having: "You were only gone for twenty minutes . . . You should at least be gone for 8 hours! I need a great deal of me time!" Well you shouldn't be so damned fluffy and fun to annoy then, feline friend o' mine.

I played around with my camera a little bit, as promised, and got the Mac all synced up with it (iPhoto is an incredibly easy-to-use program, by the way). Here are a few things from a few days ago:

Lucy wondering why she can't go, too.

Part of a neat candle holder I bought in Seattle.

Yours, truly.

Maybe I'll post some more later. 

By the way, Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! They were married 20 years ago today, and although I'm incredibly proud of them. I think I might tell their story here at a later date (or maybe just later today if it continues to rain and hail and be blustery). It's a pretty good one. It involves living in a tepee on a campground for a while.

"I shoot my name up every vain.
You can't get hurt, you can't complain.
No feet, no hands, no tail, no lies:
He's got youth on his side."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I'm leaving in just a few to go to a brief, mostly informal interview with Kathy Sprague, a local business owner, entrepreneur, and equal rights activist who is also a board member of the aforementioned Inland Oasis group. We're going to discuss the idea of me writing a regular column for the regional newsletter Diversity. Fingers crossed that I can get some work! 

Earlier today I updated my portfolio (sparse as it is) to include physical samples as well as photocopies of the stuff from the UI Blot Magazine, and an open letter to the President-Elect Barack Obama's Transition Team; the first in a series that they've been asking for on since early November. You can read the letter I sent in its original, unpolished form on my Myspace blog over here or if that link isn't working for you, with enough requests I might just post it on this blog as a separate entry.

I made a mix for a co-worker at her request, but I'm all out of blank CDs. It's on the list of things to get while I run errands to Safeway and Office Depot. Here's the (tentative) track listing:

Mix for Ava
"Dancing With Myself [cover]" - Nouvelle Vague
"Nature of the Experiment" - Tokyo Police Club
"Pants" - Lemuria
"Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" - She & Him
"See and Be Scene" - The Hard Lessons
"Ready, Steady, Go" - The Meices
"Plea from a House Cat Named Virtue" - The Weakerthans
"Breaking Down Walls" - The Black Fortys
"The First Single" - The Format
"Smoke Detector" - Rilo Kiley
"You're Supposed to Be My Friend" - 1990s
"I Fought The Law [cover]" - The Dead Kennedys
"Zombie Party" - Be Your Own Pet
"The Gap (between the rich and the poor)" - You Say Party! We Say Die!
"Lions and Lambs" - The Get Up Kids
"Knights" - Minus the Bear
"Body" - The Servant
"Wolf Like Me" - TV on the Radio
"Time to Pretend" - MGMT
"Well Thought Out Twinkles" - Silversun Pickups
"Jane Says [live/steel drums version]" - Jane's Addiction

I highly encourage all of you out there to legally download these songs and give them a listen to. I tried to have something for everyone on here. The version of "Jane Says" is a personal favorite because of the addition of the steel drum and I mean, come on, when has Perry ever sounded so good on a live recording? This is from way back when around the time of the first years of Lollapalooza so the poor guy doesn't sound so strained when he's belting the chorus. You also get a good idea of the size of the venue thanks to the natural sound, the echo of his voice, and the crowd's noises.

The news says that up where my folks live is going to be experiencing some flooding today and tomorrow. I need to call my mom to see if they're all doing okay. Today wouldn't be a terrible time for them to come down here seeing as I have today and tomorrow off and, you know, there are no floods. House guests a-go-go!

"Charge me your day rate,
and I'll turn you out in kind.
When the moon is round and full,
gonna teach you tricks that'll blow your mongrel mind."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Do you read me?

If you're a reader or even a stumble-upon user who finds yourself here, please help yourself to the "I Read It" widget on my blog's sidebar. I'd be interested to know the kinds of people who read the stuff that fumbles around in my brain and forms into words. Thanks for your support, and enjoy the tumbling-tumbling-tumbling through the post-graduate existence with me.