Tuesday, December 12, 2006


To distract you from the fact that I don't maintain this with any regularity, I have selected this snazzy new layout. Less readable? Hmmm. Perhaps. But fancy, no? And you know how much I enjoy fancy. And I cannot create fancy myself because, well, I have basically no computer skills. Sad but true. Don't tell the blogger people. They'll probably kick me out of the blogosphere. (Another word I hate. Definitely don't tell them that.)

I have brought my old radio into work. Benefit: Vastly increased musical variety compared to my iPod. Drawback: Being repeadtedly subjected to a commercial that says "Fajita Fiesta. When it comes to fresh we're obsesseda."

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I got a paper back in my literature class yesterday. I did quite well, but had numerous marks noting my failure to adhere to the various idosyncracies of the approved Modern Language Association style. The fine folks at MLA have gotten together and decided such things as that we ought to double space our papers, indent our paragraphs five spaces, and make parenthetical source citations sans commas, please. I don't do too well with this, because, mostly, I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing. I look up guidelines online as questions occur to me, but, of course, many of these questions never do and never would occur to me.

There is a simple solution to all this.

However, apparently, although I'm willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on my higher education, I draw a firm line at spending $17.50 to purchase my own copy of the MLA style guide.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's not failing if you're not trying

This is apparently National Blog Posting Month and many online diarists (I hate the word blogger. It sounds vaguely revolting. Can I admit that?) have made a sacred vow to write every day in November and have signed a list of commitment. I have neither made a vow nor signed a list because I knew I'd fail to live up to the promise (nice attitude), but I do feel a nagging sense of guilt about it anyway. I thought you'd be pleased to know.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Keen business sense

Near where I work there is a lonely little retail site a block away from a major shopping street. It is just far enough out of the way as to go largely unnoticed. For quite some time, this location was the home of a store called Love of Ganesha which sold such things as saris, scarves, random knitted hats, jewelry, and incense. It tried valiantly, but was obliged to close.

The location stood empty for several months, but we are gearing up for the grand opening of a store called Lotus Blossom, All Powerful Lotus, Healing Lotus Flower--something like that. What is remarkable is that as far as I can tell, Power of the Lotus is IDENTICAL to Love of Ganesha.

Money laundering?
Religious propoganda?
Really, really bad business plan?

You tell me.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sure signs

On the way home from the theatre I excitedly summarized both the plight of Catharine of Aragon and the events surrounding the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre for my companion (who, to be fair, seemed interested). Once home, I got ready for bed and climbed in with the novel I need to read by Tuesday. About midnight, I gave up the losing battle with sleep. It was only after I turned off the light and lowered myself to the pillow that I realized I still had my trusty pencil behind my ear.

Ah, grad school.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Feel free to be amused

I have a small piece up, bizarrely enough, on the Huffington Post. You'll find it in the Fearless Voices section. When my friend asked me to submit something about Women Overcoming Fear, I did tell her that I don't have anything about climbing mountains or struggling with breast cancer. She said not to worry, that it didn't have to be intese, that it was allowed to be funny, so I sent it in. Now that it is in a section called Fearless Voices, I am a wee bit embarrassed since it's surrounded by pieces about politics and saving our children, but sometimes you need a break from striving for a better tomorrow and, apparently, that's where I come in.

So far, luckily, only one person in the comments secion has busted me for not being Fearless in the capital F type of way. Additionally, she managed to be offended, which is sort of hilarious. It may not be deep, but I'm pretty sure it's not offensive.

You, of course, can decide for yourself.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Unforseen benefit

They don't advertise this in the catalogue, but it turns out that now that I'm in grad school I have much more erudite insomnia. Whereas before, sleeplessness mostly inspired thoughts about how nice it would be to be asleep, now I apparently contemplate Voltaire and the Enlightenment. For hours. I still feel like someone marinated my eyes in sand and vinegar all night, but see? I'm also quite fancy.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Street Fair

Pretty much every weekend one neighborhood or another is hosting a street fair. This weekend it's mine. As these things go, ours is pretty modest: two blocks, miscellaneous artisans, one bounce house, one historic firetruck, one music stage, and a mere two food booths. The first one is selling pizza and the second, according to their large sign, is selling TACOS. There is a small posted menu listing agua frescas and the varieties of tacos available. First on the list: Duck Confit.

Welcome to San Francisco.


One woman is selling a line of handmade cards called GirlyWhirly. The vast majority of them feature a simple sketch of a completely ecstatic stick figure girl--she is singing, or dancing, or skipping though daisies, happy as can be. Then, on the corner of the table I see a smaller assortment of cards with the same girl, but with scowly eyebrows and big angry black scribbles over her head. You don't want to mess with this girl; she is NOT happy. I laugh when I see it and say, "So it's not all sunshine and smiles in your world?" The artist replies, "Oh no, that's me too. That's Surly Girly."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Best. Sign. Ever.

In the unisex restroom of a neighborhood Thai restaurant last night, I had the great good fortune to encounter an instructive sign.

It was very neatly printed on a scallop-edged paper placemat. Two colors of marking pen had been used to create an eye-catching shadow effect. The completed masterpiece was hung directly over the toilet. It read:

Please do not flush
any such down toilet.
Thank you

"Do not" was double underlined. They were serious.

I'm afraid that in the end, I was obliged to flush some such down the toilet, but I think (although obviously I'm just guessing here) it was appropriate such.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Hey. Do you remember The Horse Whisperer? Wherein Robert Redford calmed a dangerous horse by whispering ever so quietly in the equine ear? In the special language of horses? Thereby restoring in the horse a sense of well being and safety such that the distasteful behavior no longer need be exhibited?

Yeah. I remember that too. Which is exactly why I was so horrified when I found a brochure for a program called "teen whispering"(TM) in the mail at work. Teen whispering is apparently "a training system for speaking 'teen'" which allows one to "Get through! With skill, peace, and impact!"

Thank god. At last a way to gentle the skittish teen without resorting to repeated beatings. This will really change the way we do things around the ol' high school.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Subjugation of all mankind

I know, I know. Things were going so well for a while there. There were all those stories about bocce ball and all, then I disappeared. Again. Why? Whatever could have happened? I'll tell you. Grad school, that's what happened. Lordy. So far I've had one week of my two year program and it seems that I've forgotten how to be smart and yet I am suddenly oh-heck-up-to-my-neck in homework. So, best of luck to me on that.

When discussing this with some young friends of mine, one asked what the degree would be. "It's a Masters in Humanities," I said, "so basically it won't particularly qualify me to do anything."

"What are you saying?" said Susanna. "You'll be more than qualified. You'll be the Master of humanity."

Ah ha! I hadn't thought of that. In two short years, you will all bend to my will.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


This morning I woke up with horrendous allergies, but, on the bright side, I had passed a mosquito-free night. On the previous three nights, we had been plagued. We don't know where they come from, but we certainly know when they arrive. We had staggered around bleary-eyed in bright light at 3:36am looking for a slender black shape on the wall. We had failed to find it. We had gone back to bed, trust shattered. I spent the remainder of the nights sweating copiously with the covers defensively up around my ears; F spent the remainder of the nights itching and slathered with some mysterious French ointment. True, in the bright light of day, we did find and kill two culprits one morning and one the next. We were briefly exhilerated by the killing, albeit sleepy.

This morning on the news I hear the announcer say "The only Bay Area victim of West Nile Virus is being released from the hospital today. There is only one way to prevent West Nile Virus," Cut to some sort of scientific expert who says, "The virus is real. It is here. It is very important that you heed our warnings. The only way to avoid West Nile Virus is to avoid being bitten to by an infected mosquito. Inasmuch as it's possible, do not expose yourself to mosquito bites."


Monday, August 14, 2006

On the other hand...

Yesterday F. and I were sitting in a slightly goofy restaurant in Fairfax, where we were very pleased to be looking out at sunshine and about to partake in homemade pasta. F. was particularly overjoyed that the waiters lugged around an enormous wheel of parmesan cheese from which they carved off individual chunks for every diner.

"I think we enjoy our lives more than we would if we were really rich," he said. I thought it over and agreed that this was probably true. We listed several things that fill us with delight which we might regard with indifference or disdain if we could afford fanciness at all times.

This morning, though, I woke from a dream in which F. told me that he'd been given a raise at work and would now be making $200,000 annually. In the dream, we did not seem concerned that this would make us jaded. Indeed, I believe we may have actually shed tears of joy.

I am secretly shallow, as it turns out.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Friend or foe?

I know many people are addicted to caller I.D., but I find it to be largely unhelpful. I'm of a mind that you could just answer the phone, find out who it is, and either talk to them or not as you wish. I know no one agrees with me.

We have caller I.D. at work, where it is even less helpful because what choice do I have? I have the remarkable good fortune of being the back-up receptionist, which is to say that if she can't get to a call after some (apparently small) number of rings, the call then rings at my desk. It is essentially my job to then answer it. This being the case, I'd just as soon not know in advance that the incoming call is from "Invisible Child."


Monday, August 07, 2006


I am pleased to report that manners are still being taught to children. Yes; it's true. I know this because yesterday I was approached by not one but two remarkably self-possessed, polite little girls.

Little girl #1: San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

F. and I were on the lawn in front of the Conservatory of Flowers yesterday playing a little bocce ball (I know, I know. It's possible that henceforth all my stories will involve bocce ball.) when I heard a small "Excuse me." I looked down and on my right was a small girl perhaps three years old. Approaching somewhat unevenly behind her was her smaller brother. Their mother was a rather distant third. "Yes?" I said. "What are those?" said the girl, pointing at the balls. "That's a game called bocce ball." Apparently favorably impressed by my answer, she quite civilly asked, "Can we borrow these?" "Well, not right now," I said, "because we are in the middle of playing." "Oh." she said. "Can we play with you?" "Um...okay."

I explained the goal of the game and she interpreted the rules rather broadly, but did, in a sense, touch the big ball to the little ball. Her brother wasn't quite as successful, but seemed to be enjoying himself. At this point, their mother caught up, swooped down, and with many prompts of "What do you say to the nice people?" bundled her children off. Over her shoulder, the little girl said, "Thank you. Can you come over there to Mr. Frog's birthday party?" Unfortunately, we weren't able to attend. It was nice to be asked though.

Little girl #2: Trader Joes

A few hours later I was staring vacantly meat case in Trader Joes, as I generally do before invariably buying chicken breasts, when I heard another little "excuse me" in the vacinity of my left elbow. Sure enough. Another little girl. This one was maybe seven and possibly just doing her own grocery shopping. In any case, I never saw her parents.

LG: Excuse me.
Me: Yes?
LG: Where is the turkey?
Me: For cooking or for sandwiches?
LG: Sandwiches.
Me: Hmm. (indicating almost entirely empty section of the case) It's usually right here, but it looks like they don't have much.
LG: We get the kind in the box.
Me: Me too, but they don't seem to have that kind today. They only have that (pointing to sad little low-sodium turkey packet).
LG: (After a moment of thought)Okay. Well, could you give me one of those please? We'll just break it up.

And so I did and with a thank you and a packet of sub-par turkey, she was off.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


If we were being responsible adults, my boyfriend and I probably would have started the drive home from Ashland earlier than we did, but we were having a perfect day and no one should interrupt a perfect day to be a responsible adult.

First we had our final breakfast at the inn we love. All you need to know is that the third course of this breakfast (you heard me) was chocolate cake.

After we checked out we went downtown to sunny, grassy Lithia Park where we broke out my brand new (birthday present) bocce ball set for its inaugaral game. Games, that is. We played for almost three hours. As the sun rose higher and it got hotter and more sunburn/skin cancer incuding, I fetched my new (birthday present to myself) red paper parasol from the car. Bocce ball, being a one-handed game, is ideal for parasol holding. The only risk is that the happiness generated by holding a new parasol while playing bocce ball may be overwhelming. Proceed with caution.

We were the big feature of the park that day. We drew interest and spectators and questions. We were also enormously popular with toddlers who would have loved to play with us if only the balls weren't so darn heavy. At one point Flavien said "We're really the cool kids today." This was delightful because A) we were totally the cool kids and B)this is not an observation Flavien would have made before he met me. I have introduced him to the very concept of cool kids. This is an international triumph.

Why is my real estate imaginary estate?

I am back, officially and with sad finality, from vacation. I used every last day, but I think that's as it should be.

I have come home from Oregon with pretty serious house envy. I hear yoga is supposed to help this kind of condition. I will consider it with the tiny bit of my brain that is not devoted to coveting the property of others.

In Portland, Ben and Stephanie have a very charming little house (which I think is officially meant to be called a bungalo, but as I do not know what really defines a bungalo, I will stick with "house") in a neighborhood overflowing with charming houses. They are currently living with a kitchen-in-progress, which creates a certain level of general discombobulation, but it will be lovely and bright and inspiring when it's finished. The fancy new refrigerator did arrive on the same day that I did and there was much rejoicing and drinking of cold beverages. Some of those beverages were consumed in the back yard because, well, they have a back yard. In back of their house. That they own. Yeah.

Fortunately, I had some practice with house envy before I visited Corvallis where Anne and Peter seem to have acquired a vast, sunny, beautiful house with a back yard of astonishing size. Had I not had practice, I might have gone into some sort of house-envy seizure and required costly emergency care. They seem to have five bedrooms, but they also have a full apartment over the garage, so if you visit them you could just stay there. That way, if you want to cook your own food, you can. However, I think I'd rather eat with Anne and Peter since their dining room is adjacent to the sun room from which there is a lovely view of the, ahem, grounds. I told Anne that my new mantra was going to have to be "I don't want to live in Corvallis. I don't want to live in Corvallis." Maybe I can incorporate that into the yoga. We'll see.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Le Retour

You know how there are things you're supposed to do regularly? Like going to the gym, for example? And how once you start to slip out of the schedule you suddenly aren't going at all and it gets harder and harder to go back because you sort of have to start all over again? Well, it turns out that having a blog is like that. Upon reflection, if you're me, pretty much everything is like that.

The good news is that coming back to the blog is still a great deal easier than going back to the gym because 1. I can do this sitting down and even, should I be so inclined, while having snacks and 2. Once I post this I can do a small victory dance because the achievement is instantaneous, unlike fitness which seems a very distant prize indeed.

Anyway, hello. Four of you tell me you read this and I'm sorry if you've been lonely without me.

We'll start small so as not to overwhelm ourselves.

Things I Learned on Vacation

In Los Angeles:

1. That theory that on a hot day you should drink hot beverages to somehow trigger your inner cooling mechanisms is absurd. If it is hot out, your inner cooling mechanisms are well aware of it and are already doing the best they can. Introducing recently boiled water into the system only confuses things.

2. Under certain conditions, Arianna Huffington's sister may give you a ride to the airport. Well, not you, maybe, but me. It will be somewhat awkward.

In Amherst:

1. The approved siren noise to make when you are playing any game related to firetrucks* is "Wee-oh Wye-oh! Wee-oh Wye-oh!" This should be repeated many times at top volume.

2. Babies can smile at you very contentedly, throw up on you without so much as blinking, and go on smiling in quite a winning fashion as though nothing has occurred.

3. In Britain, there are kinder, gentler children's programs including "Postman Pat" and "Fireman Sam."

*Note: All games, no matter how they may seem to begin, are evetually related to firetrucks.

In Transit:

1. If you attempt to fly out of Newark anytime between 8-9pm, you will be obliged to sit in the plane for one a minimum of one hour before the plane will be able to actually go into, you know, the sky.

In NY:

1. People who are in the act of buying theatre tickets cannot be assumed to actually like theatre. Example: A woman reaches the ticket window next to me after standing in a long line. She asks if tickets to a certain show are available. They are. She ponders this and asks "How long is the show?" The box office person says "An hour and a half." There is a pause. The patron says, "Don't you have anything shorter?"

2. There is nothing shorter.

3. Although they may be the most popular sites, there is no reason for sweating to be limited to your feet and armpits. Anywhere you have skin, really, is a good place for sweat.

Friday, May 26, 2006


I am lunching with a four-year-old, her mother, and her aunt. When the mother comes back to the table with a small cup of soup and a small cup of cut fruit, it is the fruit that causes excitement. "Fruit!" the child exclaims, as if greeting a long absent friend.

Nevertheless, she is obliged to eat her soup first. "Finish your soup," her mother says, "and then you can have your fruit salad." The child ponders this for a moment and then says "Um...I'll just have the fruit. I don't eat salad."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

It's official

You've probably been saying this anyway, but I thought you'd be pleased to know that yes, it really is a word.

plashy (PLASH-ee) adjective

1. Marshy; watery; full of puddles.

2. Splashy.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Star Struck

This is very old news now--for me, at least--but since I haven't told you about it, I guess it still counts as news for you.

On Saturday, April 29, I had occasion to see both Tilda Swinton and John Turturro live and in person in Kabuki Theatre #1. I was giddy.

Tilda Swinton is elegant and beautifully well spoken and smarter than us. She wore a high-necked grey striped suit, but she also wore bright red three-inch heels. For me she simultaneously inspired complete awe and a desire to put on a large woolen sweater and join her for tea and a long chat in her Scottish kitchen. The text of her meditation on the state of cinema is available now. You will simply have to imagine the shoes for yourself.

John Turturro is considerably less intimidating. He is, well, a little goofy. He was there for a screening of his star-studded musical Romance and Cigarettes. Yes. He has written and directed a musical. I hope you get to see it. At the beginning of the movie, he stood in the back of the theatre and watched. This put him just a few feet away from me, so I was able to watch him watch his film. Here's what I know: he likes it. A lot. He thinks it's pretty darn hilarious. He leaned back on his heels and laughed a big, crooked teethed, delighted laugh. I liked him enormously for it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The difference between us

When you read an article that references Bill Clinton, you nod sagely and see myriad nuances and implications in the context of the current political situation.

However, apparently when I read an article that references Bill Clinton, I confuse him with Bill Cosby and become hopelessly bewildered, not to say a little frightened, for several long minutes.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Film Festival

Last night as I waited in line for a late showing of a Danish film, I chatted in French to a diplomat from Brazil who inquired whether or not I was Irish.

I love that.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The eagle has landed

I got home today to find this message on my voicemail:

"I am returning your call from A.C.T. lost and found. You reported a lost umbrella. We did not find your umbrella. Repeat. We did not find your umbrella. We have your number in case it turns up. But, we did NOT find your umbrella."

Is this a coded cry for help?


I would like to dedicate this haiku to my next door neighbor, who gets up earlier than I every morning.

Your shoes like hammers
From bed I beg silently
Please buy some slippers

Thursday, March 30, 2006


This morning on my way to work I was walking behind an imposing looking man for a couple blocks. He was at least six feet tall, broad, and wearing a big leather jacket. His hair was cut into a sort of double mohawk, each ridge of hair dyed bright red. At one point, he turned around to throw something in the trash and I could see his face. At first I thought he was smoking, but no. He had a baby's pacifier firmly in his mouth.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I'm rubber, you're glue

Setting: a four-way-stop intersection.

A car heading east stops at the western stop sign before proceeding into the intersection. As the car is three-quarters of the way across, a pedestrian steps into the eastern crosswalk. The car stops so as not to flatten the pedestrian.

Meanwhile, a helmetless cyclist speeds down the street heading north. The cyclist does not stop, nor even pause, at the southern stop sign. He is then obliged to swerve around the car that has unexpectedly stopped in the intersection. (Unexpectedly, that is, if you expect cars to routinely run over pedestrians in crosswalks.) As he pedals on, he screams back over his shoulder "ASSHOLE!"

Friday, March 17, 2006

Three things

1. Kiss Her, She's Irish. Well, She's Not, but Whatever!

Recently I found myself in the backseat of the car of a friend of a friend. As she drove through inclement conditions, she suddenly emitted something between a gasp and a scream. I assumed death was imminent (I'm kind of glass-half-empty like that). But no. She turned to her friend in the passenger seat and exclaimed "Oh my god! It's green so I can totally wear my I LOVE FRAT BOYS t-shirt on St. Patrick's Day!"

2. Quickly

Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, just spoke here at the school. He is hilarious and I wonder if he would like to be my friend. Should I ask him? He reminded the assembled group that Word for Word's production of his new book Adverbs is closing after this weekend. I saw it; it's great. If I had either a green I LOVE DANIEL HANDLER t-shirt or a green I LOVE WORD FOR WORD t-shirt, I would totally be wearing it today. Go see the play.

3. Chicken and Cat

Do you have children? Well, neither do I, but that doesn't mean I didn't buy five copies of this completely delightful book by my brilliant friend Sara Varon. I see no reason you shouldn't do the same. And anyway, you do so have children. Everyone I know has children, so enough with the lying already.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


You know, in a way that involved payment. Exciting stuff. If you'd like to read the essay, you'll find it here.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

M & M

Last night I went with Cathleen and her mother to hear Maile Meloy read from her new novel. She is a pretty woman with red hair, a wide smile, and a shy demeanor. She mostly seems as though she'd rather be curled up alone in deep armchair with a book, rather than standing behind a podium with one in front of a bunch of strangers, but she was very charming.

During the Q&A, she was asked about the origin of the name Maile. "It's Hawaiian," she said. "People always think it's Irish because of Meloy." [longish pause] "My friend says it sounds like 'Molly Malone' after six pints."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Um...okay. I promise.

From a recent fortune cookie:

You are a perfectionist. Don't spoil it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dear John

Today being Valentine's Day there are multitudes of those chalky little candy hearts to be had. You may remember these from elementary school. They say things like "Cutie" and "Be Mine" and "Love Ya". But today I picked one up that said "Good Bye." Ouch. That's a break up that's going to require a little therapy.

"Yeah, I thought things were going really well, you know? We had planned a romantic valentine's day-- I brought her flowers and she gave me a bag of candy hearts with little messages. Cute right? But turns out that every single one said 'Good Bye'. Then she walked out."

Third time's the charm?

I write this knowing that it may not reflect the new millenium sensitivity that we are meant to display towards any type of difference, but heck.

In a later chapter of Nick Hornby's delightful book, he references a book about autism written by the mother of two autistic sons. The author also has a third son who does not have autism, which presumably makes for a nice change. The thing that I find absolutely flabbergasting though is that the boy without autism is the youngest of the boys.


1. First of all, if you already have two autistic sons, how do you imagine you will have the energy to raise a third child at all? How would you have the energy to have even, say, a goldfish?

2. If your first son was autistic you might perhaps think, "We love him, of course, but this is not entirely what we imagined. Let us have another child who may let us fulfill our original vision of parenting." Fine. I can see this. But when your second child is also autistic do you really roll your genetic dice again?

I am baffled by this. And yes, I am a terrible, heartless person. Obviously.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Love for a friend, love for a stranger

My friend Cathleen, whom I love because she is witty, ridiculously smart, literary, dramaturgical, and a snappy dresser, just loaned me The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby, whom I love for many of the same reasons. Now, let's be clear. I don't actually know Nick Hornby, so I have to hold out on a couple of things. First of all, I don't think he's a huge theatre fan and, having never seen the man, I have no idea how he dresses.
So far, if you're keeping score, that's Cathleen: 5, Nick Hornby: 3.

However, funny? He's got funny nailed down. To wit, his musing on Zoe Heller's Desperate Characters:

Toward the end of the book, Otto and Sophie, the central couple, go to stay in their hoilday home. Sohie opens the door to the house and is immediately reminded of a friend, an artist who used to visit them there; she thinks about him for a page or so. The reason she's thinking about him is that she's staring at something he loved, a vinegar bottle shaped like a bunch of grapes. The reason she's staring at the bottle is because it's in pieces. And the reason it's in pieces is because someone has broken in and trashed the place, a fact that we only discover when Sophie has snapped out of her reverie. At this point, I realized that with some regret that not only could I never write a literary novel, but I couldn't even be a character in a literary novel. I can only imagine myself saying, "Shit! Some bastard has trashed the house!" No rumination about artist friends--just a lot of cursing, and maybe some empty threats of violence.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Poor forever

The reason I will never be rich is that whenever I look at the job listings outside the nonprofit section, I am overwhelmed by this sort of nonesense:

XYZ Ltd. provides technologies and services for optimizing the production and playback of entertainment content in the professional and consumer markets.

Please. Is that even English? Besides, don't you think that secretly "playback of entertainment content in the consumer market" translates to "watching a DVD in your living room?"

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Unbridled passion

1. Last night, I was valiantly trying to get to Berkeley, but was stuck in maddening rush-hour traffic trying to merge onto 580. It was that sort of back-up where every time a little space opens up drivers are filled with hope and scoot their cars eagerly forward to fill it. Except the driver in front of me. The driver in front of me seemed to be suffering from a seriously delayed reaction time such that the space in front of her would widen and stand empty for long stretches before she would suddenly realize it and move ahead. What's more, when she would finally go forward, the car was listing significantly to the right with only occasional corrections. Since we were in the far right lane it wasn't as dangerous as it might have been, but still erratic enough that I was glad to be behind her where I could keep an eye on her.

Was she drunk? Sleeping? Typing on a laptop? No. Further peering in through the back window revealed that actually she was making out with her boyfriend. Making out with one's boyfriend in a car is a time-honored tradition, but it is best done in a parked car. It is an exponentially more difficult feat to execute in a moving car when one half of the couple is the driver. After about fifteen minutes I guess she came to the same conclusion--she pulled onto the shoulder and turned on her hazard lights so they could get serious.

2. Grafitti scratched purposefully on a windowsill with a ballpoint pen reading, "I do love the world."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Specialist, mind you

Perhaps my all-time favorite Craigslist job posting title:

Youth Prevention Specialist

So, that would be what? People who kill babies?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hello, old friend

Today when I saw "giant cock" among the subject headings in my junk email box, I felt a little wave of sentimental nostalgia. For several months, all of my fifteen daily spams have been about obtaining cheap medications (they're 100% safe! they're available online!), whereas they used to be almost exclusively about increasing the size of my nonexistant penis. It's been challenging to change my priorities so dramatically, but I'm doing the best I can. Still, nice to know someone's still concerned about my ability to please the ladies.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Will I need a secret password, too?

It is 11:20pm. The local NPR announcer reads the Community Calendar. He makes it through several event listings with appropriate mellow-voiced professionalism. He even gets through "Women's ritual dance of ancient Europe. Join in simple, repetitive dances from Bulgaria, Estonia, and other ancient countries." But when he reaches the next sentence, "this Thursday in the alley behind the Sebastopol Cookie Factory," he chuckles. He just can't help it.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Nearly true

I have been looking at apartment listings lately to entertain myself. I just saw a posting entitled WHOLLY CRAP!!!

I looked at it and I think they were being a bit hard on themselves. Certainly it's quite ugly, but I wouldn't say that it's entirely crap. After all, it seems to get a fair amount of sun.

Monday, January 02, 2006


Isn't it delightful how one never really knows oneself? How little discoveries about one's personality can come, unbidden, one knows not when?

This evening, for example, I found out that when the tram begins moving forward only to be suddenly, spine joltingly, slammed to a halt, I am apparently the sort of person who yells "JESUS Christ!"

Even more intriguing, it seems that of, say, thirty passengers in the very same sitution, I am the only one who feels the need to utter any sound at all.