calitrip (a la eurotrip)

it just hit me...in like an hour i'm going on a road trip in my own car with karen and biagio! if you knew them you'd know how much fun that's gonna be. like totally SUPER fun, that's how much. today i got an fm adapter for my ipod but it's an awesome monster one and not one of those wimpy griffin ones. i also got salad greens and butter (per heather) and organic cheese crackers and circus animal cookies (per myself). i wonder if i'm regressing...actually i think i predicted that i would.

okay okay okay. i have to go pack.

i will be ringing in the new year in a hot tub, ideally having just kicked someone's butt at scrabble. i hope yours is lovely as well.

see you next year!
stay sweet, never change.

breathe breathe

it's amazing that somehow again on the night when i have so much to get done, really so much, i wrote it down on a list that i showed to people tonight...somehow here i am just getting home so fucked up that there's no hope. i mean really, how do i do this to myself? why do i do this to myself?

let's see. so r's birthday and drinks after work at a place that i love love so yes i'll go for one drink. well, that's all that i actually purchased, one drink, so does that count? i don't know, somehow lately there is no correlation because i only bought one but i drank six or seven because when you're a girl people say 'i'll buy you one' and if you know me you won't be surprised to hear that i was deep breathing and forcing eyes open on bart thinking o god please don't let me be sick before rockridge station please please. these people across the aisle said hey do you have a pen we can borrow and i said here, just keep it i stole it from work anyway and it was my offering to the universe, here, have this pen, just let me make it home without getting sick.

and i did. somehow, some way. i did.

jesus hot coworker is hot and he was explaining to me his avalanche training and showing off a bit and gesturing with his hands and this might sound weird but i have never seen such hot forearms. just these strong big man forearms with soft looking hairs and god i wanted to just touch them and do horrible unprofessional things

horrible unprofessional things sitting by him outside and he goddamn it earlier handed me this little bread with a slice of cheese on it and eyes and eyes and i wasn't even talking to him but he did that and looked and then took a little piece of cheese put it on the end of his tongue just being silly just being stupid arrrrgh so hot

so hot! not fair.

said 'when i tell you to do something you do it' and the daring-alter-me had a million snappy unuttered comebacks.

and i think i might be developing a crush on someone at school also but i'm not sure if he's gay and he ignores me i think that's why i like him that's fucked up huh? and anyway i barely ever want to talk to anyone i just want to sit there and watch people and be a hermit and but oh hot coworker..

he's quite hot you know.

someone else told me 'i have to admit i have jacked off a few times thinking about you' oh, the words every girl wants to hear. and 'i'll buy you a drink if i can feel your boobs' and i was like okay because i was pretty sure he wouldn't demand followthrough anyway.

i never did end up getting sick by some miracle but i think i'm still way too drunk to work or pack and i'm leaving town tomorrow and oh god why do i do this.

can we bame it on hot coworker?
can we blame it on no dinner?
can we call it early new year's and get away with that?


i will tell you a secret

i wasn't going to tell anyone about what i did one evening last week. after i left my friend's place after dinner the night before i left town i kind of went the wrong way and then kind of went the wrong way again and then realized i was kind of heading towards david's place so i did that horrible crazy stalkerish thing that gives you that rush of guilt and self recrimination and excitement all mixed together: i decided to drive past his house.

and first of all you have to understand that i have never driven past his house. when i got my car i was a little worried about it so i told myself that i could not do that until after his birthday because at that point it was over a month away and i thought by then i wouldn't really want to anymore. ah foolish optimism, ever my enemy.

there were lights on inside his house, livingroom and kitchen at least. and there were nicer curtains on the front window, and a plant in the window. a plant? david used to say his house was ghetto fabulous without the fabulous part (it was true) and i was always offering to help him with it. and i felt angry then because how did things end up like this, with him having nice curtains and a plant. i mean how do you just totally devastate someone who loves you more than anything and then go out and get a plant? i am disturbed by that. i comfort myself by imagining someone throwing a rock through his window and breaking that plant. not that i'd advocate such an action...but email me for his address if you like.

i digress.

before i saw the lights on in his house i had thought maybe he was in italy because he hadn't written back to my birthday email but then i thought no he's here and just not writing me back for some reason. and then i thought maybe he is gone and some girl is there in his house and then i just started shaking and shaking and i got home and felt sick and tried to call him but it rang directly to voicemail and i left a message but then ended up telling him not to call me back and so now i don't know where he is or whether he got any of these stupid little attempts at communication.

and i'm trying not to care, not to wonder. because really it doesn't matter and i know that. because i don't truly want him back anymore, because i know reaching out for him is just a habit. thinking of him with someone else still makes me crazy but i am not sure if that's because i don't want anyone else to have him, or because i don't want him to have anyone else. it's a subtle but important difference.

i do know that driving by his house made me feel worse and not better.
and i intend not to do those kinds of things anymore.

while i was in minnesota i had a dream with him in it, we were standing in a hallway talking and he was leaning back against the wall and somehow we were on eye level although in real life he is much taller than i am. and lots of things were going on around us but i don't really remember what exactly; the part that sticks with me is the way his eyes looked so far away and dispassionate. he kept breaking eye contact, looking down and to the left.

my friend heather wrote this:
"also i had a little moment today where i realized that no matter how happy i am (and i am) there are a few little soft spots on my ever pumping heart. and they're hard to find, but if by some chance a finger that is poking around were to slip into just the right spot. it would sink right in to the sore areas. and i think that's probably good. if we healed up perfectly, we'd be a little too thickened with scar tissue."

and i think that's wise and sad and true.


all righty then

hey look, it's the second semiannual blog post from the fargo airport before my plane starts boarding. i got good presents, i didn't yell at anybody or break down in tears, or cause anyone else to break down in tears, and i even worked on my paper a bit. by all measures, a successful xmas vacation home.

there's a sign right in front of me that i always love:

Wi-Fi Hot Spot
Wireless Network Available

Start your web browser to get connected
Courtesy of Hector International Airport

the midwest is weird but gosh darn if it isn't cute.

boarding time.


my grand postscript

oh ps. we laughed a lot at dinner but my favorite part was where i was explaining that i would eat the squid and i said i only don't eat animals with fur or feathers and hans said "nothing with a face?" and i said no because fish have faces and i eat them. no fur or feathers. and he thought a moment and then said "what about a hippo?" and as i was laughing and pondering that, will busts out with "what about stephen hawking?"

and i was like yeah that's why i like hanging out with will.

my grand day out

today was one of the great days.
one of the handful of single pinpoint days you remember from any given month or year.

i should have gotten up early to study for my last final but i didn't. it just seemed so much nicer to sleep in so i did. and slept and slept and eventually got up and it was david's birthday so i wrote him an email and i felt fine about that, and in fact i felt not very much about it at all.

later i tried to do an errand and then get to campus early to study but...then really didn't feel like it. instead i felt like having a bagel and some coffee. so i did. got to the test about 1/2 hour early and believe you me, it was the most productive 1/2 hour of studying i've ever done. and i think i did pretty well but somehow i just didn't care all that much. i just had this feeling that it would be fine so i relaxed and this weird zen memory thing happened. "be the spectrogram" or something like that.

and so ended my semester; not with a bang or a whimper but with a sigh of relief.

afterwards i thought i should go christmas shopping but i didn't feel like it, so instead i went home and watched some tv and read a book and waited for dinnertime because karen said she wanted to take me out to dinner to celebrate the end of my semester and so i was just waiting for dinner with karen.

and when karen and i got to the restaurant and went upstairs there was this big table full of people i knew and i felt disoriented for a minute because there they were, all these people i love and i just wanted to laugh and cry and laugh and dance a little happy dance which i didn't do but on the inside? i was dancing. and they even tracked down my favorite school friend will and so he was there and it was weird and wonderful and MY GOD. i thought...how can i ever be unhappy or dissatisfied in a life where i have this. it wouldn't even make sense.

so i've been dreading today for a long time, and it turned out to be beautiful.


not the sharpest bulb in the barrel

i think i'd like to try being dumb for awhile now.
it would be relaxing, don't you think?

this is why mexico invented tequila.


is it every winter?

tonight a.s is getting on a plane to nicaragua and in a few days i have to think about pulling out all my winter clothes to head north. there's a depression trying to work its way into my bones trying to make me do nothing at all but i know how to beat it back by now. finals the next two days and this week my friend said i'm like a warm cushiony place for people who need love, people who need to know that they will have love again. i don't know what it is that i do to have that effect but i wish somebody would tell me because maybe then i could do it to myself too, like i could be someone else for a little while and look at me & talk to me and say hello amy of course everything will be great. yeah i'd like that.

when something really intense ends i always have that phantom limb feeling for awhile. i still feel it about david now and then, and i can feel it coming with the end of the semester as well. it's not that i particularly want to go back and do either of those over again. things are better now and i've learned about staying too long in places that are corrosive.

i guess it's just disconcerting not to know what's next.


to the extreme i rock a mic like a vandal

i've had my hopes up before but they've always been dashed. it's a cruel and tricky game and i had given up my hopes of ever being a winner. i cashed in my chips, i stopped buying the lotto tickets. i was sure i'd never find it, that thing we all long for deep down in our squishy palpating little hearts:

someone who knows all the words to ice ice baby.

bri not only knows all the words but had signed up to karaoke it and was like do you wanna do it with me? are you in? so i was like yeah i'm in and he was like i have to warn you, i'm pretty good.

later on outside he's like wow i never thought i'd meet anyone as good at ice ice baby as me. (even though i think he actually is a little better than me, just a little. but i'd never admit it. it's just between you & me & the dope melody. shhhh.)

all right, stop. collaborate and listen.

you didn't know i had hidden karaoke talents, did you?
you are so jealous right now, i can tell.
don't even pretend you're not. i'll wax you like a candle.


state of the state

dear internet,

i am exhausted but exhilarated. i'm achey but alive. i'm...oh god, i'm sounding like an alanis morissette song. i'm sorry, i'm sorry, i swear it'll never happen again. i'll get help. it'll be different this time, you'll see.

i turned in a big project today, it contains months of work and worry. for awhile there i was so frustrated because i was working so hard on everything and there wasn't any movement. now it's all movement, now i'm just trying to hang on.

i'm going out tomorrow night to a gay karaoke bar with my friends (that's gay as in homosexual, not gay as in the generically disparaging adjective all the kidz are using these days for some strange reason. call me the pc police but i don't much like the latter sense)
and i'm going to make an ass of myself.
and i'm going to love every second.

and soon i promise to properly introduce you to my car.
which now has a brilliant name.

sleep tight,

a crush story

i have a wicked crush you guys.
it's on my coworker mike.
i've had it for a while now.

at first i didn't get it i was like eh, that guy, whatever. then one day i was like...hiiiii. but yeah i've learned my lesson about coworkers so it will always be just a crush.

anyway tonight was the holiday (festivus for the rest of us?) party and my DATE aka oneofmybestfriends karen, she called him hot mike. and headbutted him. in the chest.
hahahaha my friends are so weird i love it.
when your date is hitting on your work crush you know you're not in kansas anymore.

but isn't it great to have a crush?
and you're there and he comes to say hello and you get shy and don't really know what to say and so you start talking about...kinds of wine? and the whole time you're like oh my god shut up this is so boring who wants to talk about kinds of wine? but he's starting to tell you how the EU and the US have agreed to call certain wines the same thing and you're like oh REALLY? that's so INTERESTING. then thankgod someone walks up and says something else.

crushes are like that. awkward and embarrassing and vital.

and in a week when my state killed a person, a real living breathing person like you or you or you, just a person. who's now dead. in that week when they killed someone to show other people that killing people is wrong, it's good to have a crush. it doesn't erase the bad, but a little vitality always helps.

i have lots of crushes.
someday i'll fall in love again cj says, but for now i'm happy just being crushy.

perhaps i have a crush on you.
what do you think of that?


why can't i just be perfect?


in which i CONQUER


i finished a full draft of my term paper today.
29 pages.

well, i still have to write a closing discussion. but that should be pretty easy.
and i still want to flesh out a couple of sections a bit more.

but basically it's done.
i could turn it in tomorrow.
and probably get an a.
i think.

now everything else in my life has gone to hell and it will probably stay that way for the next 8 days but for the moment i feel strangely free, free like a superball, freee to beeeeeee you and meeeeeeeeeee...


voiced aspirated bilabial plosive

when you cook brussels sprouts then you leave for a little bit then you come back?
your house smells pretty bad.
why are you so delicious, you smelly little brussels sprouts?

a.s called at 10p and my voice was hoarse and for a second i was worried like oh no i hope i'm not getting the bird flu again and then i was like oh wait, this is the first time i've spoken all day.
i'd been up since 8a and it was 10p. and i hadn't spoken. at all.

my friends suck how come nobody calls me
haha just kidding

i have to sleep now.

in which i disturb myself

i'm really starting to see the allure of smart drugs.
or at least awake drugs.

status: good progress on the term paper, finally. finished a major section at 3am. as usual, success and sleep appear to be mutually exclusive.

monday - work, study w/ k
tuesday - work, icsi meeting, production exam
wednesday - icsi, company holiday party
thursday - work. paper due. mail all apps. (hahaha yeah right)

not that you need or care to know my schedule. it's just that i've reached that stressy pinnacle where i can't stop repeating over and over what i need to get done. i run through it in a litany in my head and so even if i wanted to sleep more i can't because at the first glint of consciousness the list begins to recite itself and i'm like oh my god i have to get up now.

friday - become puddly mass of goo on living room floor

but no, wait, there's more!
finals next week.

HAHAHAHAHA we're all mad here i'm mad you're mad...


cautionary tale

so i know this guy, really good guy. got his heart broken a few months ago. has to live across the street from his exwife and the guy she left him for. gets to pay her for the privilege, too. the beauty of a no fault state.

he hasn't been doing too well. drinking too much (doesn't want to think). dating too soon (doesn't want to be alone). he's trying to stop all that now though. so today he tells me that he's going to volunteer, once a week, as a math tutor for people who are trying to get their ged's.

i was like hey, that's great. good for you.
he's like yeah, i'm going to try to get my soul back.

it was weird 'cause he's not really one to say things like that.

i said all the right encouraging stuff but what i thought...
they're tricky things, souls.
sometimes they don't want to come back.

and it was just sad because he doesn't know yet that even after you accept that this is how it's gonna be, it gets so much worse before it gets any better.


like everyone else

today i went out into the world & did some stuff.

then i came home & did some more stuff.

i don't know for sure but i think if i could just find the right pair of shoes then my life would be meaningful.


pearl harbor day

december 7, 1999: a date which will live in infamy.

the fiftieth anniversary of pearl harbor day was the first day i cheated on the last person i cheated on. he was in singapore on business. i was studying for finals with ml. two bottles of wine drunk in his big empty house. etc. etc. she tried to kiss me and at first i pushed her off, but then later i didn't.

i knew she wasn't gonna be the one, but i also knew i wanted her. it was one of those crazy attractions, chemical, cellular. we used to sneak into rooms on campus and lock the doors. sometimes people would be waiting annoyed when we came out with messy hair and with that chewed up feeling on the insides of our lips.

there was nothing about 12/7/99 that was okay, but when i think of that night i can't feel regretful because it tipped the first domino. if not for that night, i might not have left a relationship so still & drowning. if i didn't leave i wouldn't have had my own life, i wouldn't have been with her. if i weren't with her i wouldn't have learned how to be decent to someone in a relationship even when things started to fall apart; how to hold my borders and how to exit with grace. if i weren't with her i wouldn't have fallen in love with the city and i wouldn't know most of my best friends now and i wouldn't be me.

i guess what i'm saying is i wish i'd had the wherewithal to do all that in a way that didn't betray someone that i cared about. i'd take the betrayal back if i could, but i wouldn't take back what happened after.

seppuku vs. cake

today everything went wrong that could go wrong. and finally at the end of it all i sat here and realized that the recording session i did today...none of it came out at all because will forgot to tell me that i have to explicitly tell my mac to use the mic, otherwise it only does it correctly by default half the time. so the whole thing was recorded using the regular computer microphone, which my subject was pretty far away from, and it's horrible and useless, all of it. which probably doesn't seem that bad but it's a huge huge deal, trust me. the earliest i'll be able to re-record is friday and i have to lug all this crap back into the office and impose upon this poor girl YET AGAIN and this thing is due really soon and arrrrgh it was horrible. i decided that seppuku was the answer to my problems.

then i remembered that we had reservations for a friend's birthday dinner at citizen cake, which i love and adore and used to live three blocks from. so i was left with the age-old dilemma i'm sure you've all faced many times:

seppuku or cake.

cake won.
mostly 'cause i didn't have a second for the seppuku.


the little engine driver who could mix metaphors

i think i can...i think i can...

will lent me his cool mic and preamp so now i can make really good recordings of telugu words for my term paper because i have to say, the iTalk recordings were crap for spectrographic analysis. it samples at 8KHz which is basically the same as a telephone and it turns out that isn't enough for speech...fricative noises especially (ssss, fffff, shhhhhh) have energy above that range. also some release bursts. sooooo...i re-record.

oh god this is not interesting at all.
i'm sorry, i'm sorry.
i'll be back to normal soon i swear.

as a related aside, i feel like i've been offending people lately. i feel socially inept, like i can't even judge the weight of my words before they're out of my mouth. i generally have a good bit more empathy than i do these days. perhaps it's not having extra energy to devote, or perhaps i'm just becoming a selfish shrivelled blackhearted dessicated thing.



noe valley pilgrimage

i have this friend caryl.
she makes me feel really good about the world.
you know that kind of friend.

this summer when i said 'hey i think i'd like to hike halfdome' caryl was like yeah...okay let's go.

and she's a foodie and ... whatever the wine equivalent of a foodie is. i don't want to say winie because that sounds like whiny and caryl is definitely not whiny. nor is she a wino. that i know of.

caryl and i might be roommates in the spring and we would have a totally rad place, i know it.

she makes computer games for a living and she knows everything about every game ever made. and she's read all the books you wish you could say you've read because then you'd sound all cool and smart and hip and stuff. but she just reads them 'cause she wants to, 'cause that's what it is to be caryl. it's just being who you are and not needing to play to anyone's expectations. when you look up "straight shooter" in the dictionary, caryl is pictured there. she's flashing a big thumbs-up sign.

tonight caryl made cioppino and invited the halfdome girls over (oh did i mention that she used to cook in restaurants? i like people who have lived many lives. particularly when those past lives mean yummy food for me) and after dinner we played guitar hero and it was the first time i ever played it and at first i sucked and then i sucked a little less but always it was fun and i danced around a bit pretending to be a rockstar and it made me want to come home and play my real guitar but instead i think i'll just go to sleep now, and when i close my eyes i'll see colored circles and stripes representing what 'chords' i have to play, zooming towards me.

for the first time in three days i don't have a headache.
i have cioppino in my fridge.
i'm happy.


rico suave

i'm in hell at home saturday night writing my term paper and plowing through a massive historical problem involving tone and consonant changes between old written tibetan and modern lhasa tibetan.

okay i lied.
i live for this stuff.

but here's the story i want to tell you tonight.
thematically following the last post, i'm gonna do you all a favor and pass along the coolest pickup line i've ever heard and i heard it directly from one of the people involved so we know it really did happen.

who loves you?


girl, recently broken up with boyfriend, goes to a show alone.
riding muni home, moping a little, she starts to unwrap the cd she just bought at the merch table.

boy sitting behind girl on the bus went to the same show, also alone. he sees her cd and so starts a conversation with her about the band. they live almost around the corner from each other, so they get off the bus together and he walks her home.

at her front door, he says 'hey actually, do you want to come over for awhile and hang out?'

she: 'no, i'm pretty tired'
he: 'i really think you should come over'
she: 'why?'
he: 'because when i call you tomorrow to ask you out, aren't you going to wish you'd seen my record collection?'

she went.
five years later, they're still together.


i would really love it if someone would try this line (modify as necessary) and email me to let me know how it goes.



i'm bummed because my pda freaked out and i had to hard reset it and my synching software is also tweaked so i'm not sure i can recover the stuff. and it's not all my calendar scheduling info i'm worried about, that's all in my head anyway.

it's my list of records to buy.

lovingly culled from reviews, college radio listening, and word-of-mouth. some of those records had been on the list for years, i just kept patiently looking in the used bins. waiting. or maybe i'd see them but it just wouldn't be the right day to buy them.

have you noticed that every record has its own time? sometimes you buy one and you know you're gonna love it but it's not the time yet. so you put it on the shelf for six months then something makes you think of it and so you play it and you're like OH MY GOD this is the most fucking amazing thing i've ever heard. and it's the same record it was six months ago but now the time is right.

or sometimes a record is everything to you, you eat it and breathe it for a month maybe, it soundtracks your life, you listen to it six times a day and you dream of it at night. but then something changes and maybe you break up with someone or maybe you get happier, or whatever it is. and you just stop listening to it 'cause it's not the right time anymore. maybe the seasons change, some music is only really capital-r Right in the winter, or in the summer. or for driving or for lying facedown on your living room floor. the good thing is, then later you get to rediscover it and there's nothing like rediscovering a record you haven't heard in years but know every single note of.

my list was alphabetically ordered because record shopping isn't just shopping, half the fun is the ritual of it. like smoking a cigarette, half the fun is going to the nearest stab&grab to buy the pack, smacking it against the heel of your hand, unwrapping the cellophane, taking the first one out, fiddling with lighter or matches. when i go to amoeba i have a pattern.

1. start with the recent used arrivals, looking through everything a-z (but not the comps, i'm not that into comps). going off the list is allowed, here.
2. go to the regular used section, again a-z, looking specifically for things from the list. also it's okay to look in subsections for bands i really love for things even if they aren't on the list.
3. the recommended and recently released endcaps.
4. in the very rare case where all of that has not yielded much...then if there's anything that really is calling out to me from the list, or if there's a new release i have to have, then i can think about buying one or two new records. i almost never make it to the new section just for browsing though.

okay now that i think of it, that does seem a bit regimented. but you have to understand that until very recently i went to the record store a lot. like, a lot a lot. and i can spend hours in there. a certain amount of discipline was required if i was to have money left over for luxuries like rent, and so the system was born. i've been doing it this way for a long time and it's not likely to change.

i only remember part of my list, but actually i have a feeling that as soon as i step inside amoeba again it will come back to me in its entirety, like muscle memory or some weird kind of state dependent learning. oh, i hope it does.


..and around and..

it's like pulling threads through & one at a time tying knots.
one day we'll turn the whole thing around and it'll be a picture or a pattern at least, something sensible.

one more thing about david, at the risk of mythologizing even further:
i was afraid of him.

that's not me, i don't get afraid of people. (shy yes afraid no)
i don't hold my tongue.
with him i couldn't release it.

oh this is tiresome.
i mean who cares.
(i care)

i just realized all this while lying in bed ten minutes ago and had to come write it down.

(to self: go now, back to bed and try to learn what sleep's good for.)

if you could see my thought bubbles...

a friend sent this link to her email list:
A survey of creative professionals found that on average they had about twice the number of sexual liaisons as non-artists, scientists said ... The scientists asked 425 men and women about their sexual partners, including one-night stands. The study found the average number of partners for professional artists and poets to be between four and 10 compared with just three for non-creative people.
4-10 is the high number?
huh. i must know a lot of slutty people.
Dr Nettle also suggests that the findings may help to explain a connection between schizophrenia, which affects about 1 per cent of people, and serious artists, who share many of the same personality traits as schizophrenics. "These personality traits can manifest themselves in negative ways, in that a person with them is likely to be prone to the shadows of full-blown mental illness such as depression and suicidal thoughts."
"i'm not moody baby, i'm just a sensitive artist..."
hey wait, how did we get from sex to schizophrenia?
and i think someone needs to get this guy a copy of the dsm-iv.
It is possible that the same genetic factors responsible for predisposing someone to creativity could also, under slightly different environmental conditions, lead to schizophrenia, Dr Nettle said. "If these genetic factors have been chosen by successive generations as attractive features in a potential mate, this could explain why schizophrenia is so common today," he said.
oh my god we're breeding schizophrenia now?
there's an argument for not having children.

so, to sum up:
1. creative people are more depressey
2. depression is a mental illness
3. so is schizophrenia
4. maybe creative people are mostly schizophrenics
5. creative people have more sex
6. more sex = more kids
7. we are all the product of attraction to insanity

airtight argument there.
nice going, steve connor science editor.