05 December 2009

Well, it's December again. Say hello to seasonal affective disorder, crowded city streets, donation guilt, and good-bye to what's left of your meager checking account.

It's been a rough week, climaxing on Thursday afternoon, during my full on mental break down at work. Complete with snot waterfall and hyperventilation. AWKWARD. Working at a company that publishes books on how to resolve whatever mental health issue you can come up with only serves to make me feel worse, being too busy to crack open one of the books I'm working on and give something a try. Ah, well... Needless to say I'm glad that's over.

If you ask me though, the remedy to the winter blues, the social anxiety, and the financial stress can be resolved quickly, and easily in the following way:

Get your ass to a grocery store, buy some tomato soup, heat it up, and make yourself a god damn grilled cheese sandwich to go along with it. If you're feeling saucy, maybe even have a brownie for dessert.

I don't know if that really works, but I'm about to test it out. I'll let you know. (I am not a mental health professional, and cannot be held responsible for anyone's decision to go off their prescribed regimen and attempt to remedy their sociopathic behaviors with grilled cheese.)

12 November 2009

4 Reasons to Hate Johnny Depp

I want to talk about Johnny Depp for a minute, because I feel like this is something that's rarely addressed, and I'm feeling a little grumpy right now. My apologies to Mr. Depp and his fans.

4) This picture:

"Oh, God, I'm really feeling these notes I'm playing right now. I could just sit here and smoke and be aloof and play this old piano all day. Oh, what? There's a camera in here? That is so like you, taking pictures of me while I'm just trying to have a serious moment with myself. Whatever. Just don't make any noise, I'm making art here."

Basically what I'm trying to say, is that if Johnny Depp masturbates (and he does) it's probably exclusively in front of a mirror, because he's just that much better than everyone else.





3) Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3.

I'll give you this, Johnny Depp: I did like Pirates 1 when it came out. I don't remember why, and I'll probably never watch it again, but at the time I liked it. I liked it enough to see the second one, which was so over the top and absurd that I was duped into seeing Pirates 3. There were no excuses for Pirates 3. If I'd had horrible diarrhea throughout the movie and had to leave for extended periods of the THREE HOUR run time, not only would I have liked it more, but it probably would have made more sense. Anyway, that's like 30 bucks you owe me for those movies Johnny. Not including the snacks.

2) Charlie and the Chocolate factory, et al.
Just because Tim Burton gets a boner watching you act out a love scene with his wife doesn't mean you're making his movies any better. Sorry. Edward Scissorhands was cool. Corpse Bride was NOT. Sleepy Hollow was okay. SWEENY TODD WAS NOT.

1) Letters to Hunter S. Thompson:
Nelson once convinced me to watch the extras on his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas DVD. They feature a segment of Johnny Depp reading his correspondence with Hunter S. Thompson outloud. To his credit, you can't really compete with Hunter S. Thompson when it comes to writing. I've never read any of his books, and am not racing to, but his letters are funny. It's not so much the writing that bothers me about Johnny Depp in these segments, it's the following:

A) He's wearing a wrist band and a candy bracelet. Shut the fuck up.

B) He's complaining about going to a press event in Cannes, and all of the horrible people he's going to have to meet and talk to. Boo hoo. Poor Johnny Depp has to go to the south of France and promote his movie. YOU ARE SO TORTURED.

C) The burning cigarette that's just sitting in an ashtray as he reads old letters in a room FULL OF CRAP. Oh, cool smoky ambiance in that weird messy workshop. Where's your taxedermied antlers and antique rifles? You're so unusual. I'm so interested. NOT.

Anyway, if my descriptions not enough, feel free to just watch it yourself.

Still not convinced? Did you know that Johnny Depp produced an album called Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys? Well, he did.

So, there are 4 reasons to hate Johnny Depp. I'm sure not everyone will agree on this matter. I'm just a lone voice, in a sea of people who get boners for him.




10 November 2009

Sloppy Joe's, Hot Mess Vegetarian Style

Jonathan Safran Foer of Everything is Illuminated and now Eating Animals fame wrote an article for the Huffington Post today about his vacillating relationship with vegetarianism. He made some pretty interesting points about the dreaded gray zone of vegetarianism: how we can't just do our best to not eat meat but slip up occasionally and indulge in a delicious piece of bacon because that would make us NOT vegetarian. It's like we carry a title with our choice and those who aren't fully in the lifestyle club don't get that title.

I agree that it's a bit absurd to deny someone who eats a piece of fish occasionally the title of vegetarian, but it does take a bit of meaning away from the word. But this isn't marriage we're talking about here, it's food. And apparently in the world of food, words can be stretched to include all kinds of versions of the one general idea. Food. Not marriage. We need food to live so you know, it makes sense that we should fuck with the words we use to describe our food or eating habits. "Actually, sir, that maple syrup you just bought is really high fructose corn syrup dyed brown. Yep, drilled straight from the high fructose corn tree in my back yard." "Oh, sure, this is organic. See, only 75% of the crop was sprayed with pesticides, so yeah. Organic." But marriage, (NOT something that we need in order to survive) the meaning of that word is completely inflexible. No stretching that one to include all the different flavors of love. Man and Woman. Marriage. Shit... our government has got some back ass wards shit going on today. Be more rigid with the food terminology, and less so with the marriage one, maybe. Please.


Anyway, I hugely digress...


I consider myself very lucky to live in a time and place where a meat substitute is readily available at nearly any given grocery store within walking distance. And while BBQ or southern fried tofu can't really stack up against their chicken counterparts, I will say that fake ground beef does an excellent job mimicking the real thing. In fact, so much so, that tonight I've decided to make vegetarian sloppy joes, aka "The Bloody Mess." I took this recipe from SugarCrafter (who I'm secretly in love with) and made some necessary changes based on what I had, and what I didn't like. The real recipe is here. I would say trust her first, but really, they're called sloppy for a reason. Even the recipe can be a mess.

You'll need:

1 lb fake ground beef of your liking
1/2 med. onion chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
2 green onions chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 c ketchup
1/4 c bbq sauce (the recipe actaually calls for 3/4 c ketchup, but I ran out)
1 tsp grey poupon style mustard
worchestershire sauce to taste
3 tbsps brown sugar
salt n peppa to taste
A big ass skillet
Buns. Or Rolls. Or whatever.

I also used a tiny squeeze of Sriracha sauce to give it some bite, but since I'm not sure how that will turn out, I'm not recommending that just yet. Unless you're feeling spicy. (UPDATE: Sriracha is a go. Hot damn.)

So, over medium heat in big ass skillet, cook fake meat with all the veggies, until the veggies are tender and delicious. Because this is fake meat, we're not waiting so much for it to cook, but for it to feel cooked? I don't really know, I guess it turns a little lighter brown. Another thing to consider is that a lot of the fat you'll find in regular ground beef won't be present in your fake meat, so you may have to add some a little oil to cook the 'meat' with, and to absorb some of that veggie flavor.
yum.


Once your veggies are soft-ish, mix in all the remaining ingredients and let it simmadown for 15-20 over lowish heat so all those yummy flavors will combine.

Mush together blobs of resulting substance on to bread-like item of your choosing. Enjoy with a fine wine. Or some apple juice. Or both!

I LOVE YOU



07 November 2009

Making Lemonade

I've been in a bit of a funk this past month, and I'm not entirely sure why. It probably has to do with the diminishing number of of daylight hours, and the fact that of the <11 hours we have this time of year, 2 of them I must devote to sleeping, and 8 I am in an office. Unless I get saucy and take a walk on my lunch break. Even then, that's not enough. I need me some fresh air, and sunlight, and sounds. I hate screens, and part of the reason I can never bring myself to write in a stupid blog is because if I stare at a screen for many more hours a day, I honestly think my brain will explode out of my eyeballs. And that's a mess no one wants to clean, least of all me.


When I went to Vietnam earlier this year, I experienced a way of life that was completely unique to me. There were folks who literally spent their entire day doing one task, over and over and over. Making rice paper, making popped rice candy, stitching together bamboo roofing. They would spend their whole day doing this, and at the end of the day, they'd have a big ass stack of rice paper, or roofing for their house, or their neighbors house. The point is, that at the end of the day, they had something. It might not have been much, and the work was probably hard on their bodies and minds, too, but they had evidence of their hard work.

Don't get me wrong. There are a lot of things that I would really, really dislike about spending my days making rice paper. Repetitive motion injury is a god damn bitch. And there are certainly days where I thank my lucky stars for air conditioning. And toilet paper. But the thing that I notice is missing in my life is proof of my work. Something I can show for all the efforts I put into the way I spend my time. I want to learn how to make something, and once I've made it, give it to someone for some money. I want to perfect a craft, one that can just as easily be done indoors as out, and I want to live it.

I had a conversation about the American way of living with a friend of mine recently, and told him I really didn't know if there was anything I'd like to spend 40 hours a week doing. What he pointed out to me is that I automatically tried to insert myself into a 40 hour a week structure. Since when did that become the norm? Why do we have to fit into these slots? Does getting something done take exactly 40 hours each week? Of course not. It can take one hour. Or it can take 50. The point is that you get it done. And once it's done, you have something you're proud of, whether it's a group of kids that now knows something about the Komodo dragon, or a self portrait, or a big old basket of popped rice candy.

Humans need to care about things. I don't think we're meant to thrive on the abstract. However, until the rest of the world catches on and all of us working ladies and gents throw a coup and demand flexibility and confidence from our employers, I guess we'll just have to be flexible ourselves and let the man have his way. I hope you're all making lemonade out there, and maybe some day we'll share recipes.

03 November 2009

Bloguilt

Jesus Christ, I'm sorry!! Blog, I am sorry. I never write in you, I neglect your needs, and I'm telling you that I'm sorry. I hate the way you look at me with your lack of eyeballs and new posts, and just silently scream "JULIA WHY CAN'T YOU JUST WRITE SOMETHING?!" I hate it, blog, I god damn hate it. I don't know how to make you happy! Other than to tell you I'm sorry, and it's not you that leaves me uninspired. It's not you blog. It's me. It's not me, me, it's the soul sucking system that makes it impossible to live if you don't spend the majority of the time you're not sleeping doing something that kills your spirit and leaves you daring the things you used to care about to even get you to crack a smile. Come on, paints, I dare you. Make me enjoy you. Hey pen and paper, you think you're cool? Try it. Just try to make me feel like I have something worth saying that's not going to get me in trouble, or make someone think I'm an idiot. TRY IT.

Uggghh.... Needless to say it's been an uninteresting few months since I last wrote anything down. Some people say that writing things down gives you permission to forget them. It used to be the case that I believed the exact opposite, and would try my hardest to record every single thing I possibly could in explicit detail, because I was so afraid to forget. But the thing about then, and the thing about now, is that the things I want to remember are either fewer and farther in between than they used to be, or I've somehow developed a better memory since I was in high school. Doubtful.

What I want to remember now is how grateful I am to be so completely satisfied and in love with the guy I spend all my time with. I can't even write that down. There aren't words. If there were, they'd be embarrassing. What I just said included. I want to remember how lucky I am to have gone the places I've been, and to have support to explore neat places again in the future. I want to remember what a cool family I have, and how my friends, though I don't see them enough are all brilliant and wonderful.

But those are things you don't forget anyway, and frankly blog, I think you'd find it boring if I just gushed about all the wonderful things going on in my life all the time. It's uninteresting. What you want to know is embarrassment, shame, awkwardness, sadness, anger, you want your laughter at my expense, and I will give it to you because you guilt me into it. Not because I have to expose these things to air my dirty laundry, or because I think that anyone cares, but because you, you asshole empty blog, make me feel like it's the only thing worth writing down. So I can forget about it.

28 July 2009

On 401Ks and A.I.

So, I stumbled upon this article last week while I was sitting at my desk at my work. The gist, if you're too lazy to read it, is that this group, the Blue Brain Project based in Switzerland is working on creating a fully functional replica of the human brain, starting with the neocortex. This part of the mammal's brain is involved in sensory perception, generating motor commands, spatial reasoning, conscious thought, and language (in humans) (and sometimes cats, I think). They believe that in 10 years, they'll have managed to create a real live/ fake robot human brain. A whole brain, fully functional, and not human.

My desk is conveniently situated right next to the conference room at work, and so, as I read this article, I was also listening in on the meeting happening next door. A 401K meeting. The general understanding of 401Ks that I got from overhearing this meeting was this: "Sure, you could lose a lot of money! But really, just don't think about it as your money. Just pretend it doesn't exist, and it won't bother you if you lose it!" Of course, I did miss the powerpoint slideshow, which I'm sure made it sound like a better idea. A better idea than creating an artificial brain, anyway!

I mean, obviously, these people weren't paying attention to the message of Terminator. Or pretty much any sci-fi story ever. It's sad, because I think they might be trying to help. They say they're doing it for people who have brain damage, and that's a really nice idea, but ,seriously? You really think you can create artificial brains and they'll just sit there and be brains, and attach to other people's heads and make them functional again, and everything will be peachy? Wake up. This is the beginning of the apocalypse, right here. You think a brain, one capable of conscious thought, and understanding linguistic nuances, and probably the concept of fear, and self preservation, is going to be happy being sent into burning houses to rescue humans for long? I don't. I really don't. Just look at Krang! Obviously, he's evil.

Anyway, the conclusion I came to about my 401k, after reading this news is this: I don't have a 401K, and I don't feel guilty about it. I'm 24, and I already feel like I'm too responsible for my age. The last thing I need is to be prepared for my retirement. Besides, bearing in mind this new knowledge of creepy artificial brain makers, Dr. Robot, robots fighting fires, and vaccuming rooms, it's pretty clear to me that the apocalyptic war between man and machine is going to break out before I collect on my 401k.

Looking for new plans...

Julia




21 July 2009

oops...

So, apparently I haven't had anything worth saying for just over 2 months. I'm sure you all (all 2 of you) held your breath and waited for me to return to my blogspot. But, I've been busy with work, and going to Vietnam. So, please excuse the hiatus. I'm back now, you can exhale.

And, I have things to say! Important things! Vital things. Things you NEED to know.

I suppose the best way to get through this is to make a list.

1) I just returned from Vietnam last Thursday. I've spent the past 6 days trying not to wake up at 4 in the morning, and trying to convince myself that that actually just happened. The two weeks I spent in South East Asia were so surreal and often absurd, it's hard to believe that I was really there, and not just in an awesome coma. But, I realized something:

Comas aren't awesome. I went Vietnam (and Cambodia).

2) The flight to Vietnam took approximately 18 hours. We flew 11 hours from San Francisco to Tokyo, transferred after an hour in the airport, and then flew 6 hours from Tokyo to Ho Chi Minh City. All total including customs, we spent pretty much a whole day in the air/airports. The only redeeming factor about that whole day was this:

All of the toilets (for women anyway) at the Tokyo airport had bidets. And on those bidets (I unfortunately missed this in the photo) was a special button for unpleasant odor removal. Bidets and air fresheners. Japanese people know whats up.

3) There are roughly 18,000 Vietnamese Dong in 1 American Dollar. It took us a little bit to understand how the money translated. At first, we only knew that it was called Dong, and somehow, we'd have to find a way to not laugh when we put our dong in other people's hands, or put a little dong in our pockets. Turns out, a million dong will take you pretty far.

So, in sum:

1) comas aren't awesome
2) Japanese people know what's up
3) it takes a lot of dong to make a dollar.

I have more to say about this. Much more. But currently, I'm in high demand so you'll just have to wait.

20 May 2009

pros and cons

Pros:

+ Strong sense of accomplishment when looking at table covered in bowls full of food I made with love
+ Frigging delicious
+ Will have leftovers for a week
+ Made boyfriend happy

Cons:

- Heart attack
- Broken bank
- had to wait for vegans in the frozen fake meat isle talking about how "life's not short man, people say life's short- it's not short, it's just fast, man. It's like I'm okay with life being fast, as long as it's long, you know?" to get out of my way so I could reach the tofu steak
- will have to try again and again to improve each element of the meal, thus increasing the risk of heart attack in not just myself, but my boyfriend, roommate, neighbors, and family

I have to give a shout out to the biscuits. My mom gave me biscuit mix from South Carolina as a birthday present, and I swear on my life I've never tasted a better baked good. Ever. And I've had a lot of delicious baked goods. So, Gullah Gourmet, here's to you and the best biscuits I've ever tasted. I'm looking forward to trying the cornbread, artichoke dip, corn chowder, potato soup, and... pretty much everything else that doesn't require meat and seafood to make sense. mmmMMM!

You go, gullah.

18 May 2009

NOT Kosher




You may have already known this, but Woody Allen is Pissed. The mega hip clothing line American Apparel used his image in an advertising campaign without his consent.

I have only a few things to say about this, and I'll try keep it brief:

1) whhhhyyyy would you use Woody Allen in an ad campaign that's notoriously hyper-sexualized? I know many a dude that looks forward to seeing those ads on the back of The Onion, or whatever magazine-- it doesn't even matter what's in the magazine, it could be a booklet on how and why you should dismember children and bathe in their blood. The sexy American Apparel ads make all other content secondary. I haven't seen AA's ad with Woody Allen, but I hope it looks like the above, and that every dude that picks up a magazine in hopes of collecting more girl in leotard whack off material opens up the back page, pants on ankles, and vomits all over himself at the sight of Woody Allen in Hasidic Jew garb.

2) It's been speculated that perhaps this was a move on the part of American Apparel to gain publicity without paying for an enormous ad campaign. In the past they've managed to do this by exploiting underage girls for their advertisements. This brings me back full circle to the idea of replacing a mostly naked young lady with Woody Allen. I'm sorry, but when it comes to mostly naked underage chicks, there is simply no substitute. How does the image of Woody Allen dressed as an Hasidic Jew convince anyone to buy American crafted leotards and sparkly onesies? If I were going to buy a onesie, Woody Allen would have to be one of the last people on my mind.

Anyway, I suppose American Apparel has generated some publicity for itself with this whole thing. I don't know how much ad campaigns generally cost, but a settlement for $5 million plus whatever initial investment in the billboards seems a bit high for the resulting attention, which bottom line is neither good nor bad. It's mostly just really boring.

So, in sum:

1) Woody Allen is not a sexy young lady
2) Hasidic Jews don't wear rainbow sparkly onesies (I don't think. I need a fact checker...)
3) Lawsuits about use of an image without consent are generally uninteresting. Naked chicks draw more interest, always.

Which all really boils down to a simple moral: Stick to what you know. Unless it's teflon, in which case, you're SOL, pal.

12 May 2009

An Ill-fated Love Affair

One of my favorite college classes was called “The Power of the Book,” which was based on books as tools of change, be it for good or for evil. Now that I think about it, my final paper fervently argued that books are dangerous and wicked tools, which is funny considering I was (and still am) working at a publishing company that focuses almost entirely on the self-help genera. But I digress…

What ended up interesting me the most was the physicality of the book, and how it’s evolved over so many centuries from weird plaques of wood, to clay, to papyrus scrolls, you know what I’m talking about- that whole crazy thing. Then, along came the Kindle. It must have been sometime in the fall of 07 that I first heard about it, because I remember briefly discussing it in that class. I remember thinking it was hilarious the way Mr. Amazon, whose name escapes me, explained that the name Kindle was supposed to be evocative of sitting by a fireplace and reading a good book. Now, with your Kindle, you can curl up next to a burning pile of your old books and read!

There are many things that I think about Amazon as a company. I won’t say them here because I don’t want to be blacklisted some day. But I will say this: to me, the Kindle has always been abomination. There is nothing I like more about books than the way they feel. Since before I could really comprehend writing I have been picking out books and buying them for no other reason than their size, smell, and look. I like a book that has a lot of pages that you can flip through at any pace. I like to hold a book in both hands and curl it like I’m a little kid making a piece of paper into a telescope to play pirates. I kill books. I mark pages, bend spines, and dog-ear.

So, for a birthday gift last night I received the Kindle 2. I wasn’t immediately disgusted by it because it has a leather case that makes it look like a journal, but inside is that weird iPod knock-off looking extra large calculator. It reminds me of one of those giant remote controls you can buy at drug stores. When I hold it, I find myself wanting to like it. I want to enjoy it as a piece of technology. It has potential, being a wireless device that can download almost any content anywhere. But I just don’t think it’s going to work out between us. The technology has too far to go, and I feel like books are being done a disservice on yet another level by this device. It could easily be so much better of a gadget if someone else got in on it.

As a book, the Kindle fails; it has no likable presence in my hands, other than that of an over sized cell phone. As a piece of technology, it still fails. Even if I weren’t opposed to the Kindle on principle, I would still not like the Kindle 2. I want it to be a touch screen. I want it to be in color. I want the cover art. I want it to be sleeker. I want the keyboard to be better. I want all of it to be better.

Because it was a gift, I’m going to try to appreciate this thing. I’m going to read a book on it, and I’m going to travel with it. But I’m not going to make any guarantees. So far, I have two things to say to Amazon about their Kindle:

1) If you’re going to destroy books, please, at least try to do a good job of it.
2) Meanwhile, consider making Kindles out of materials that won’t create toxic fumes if one happens to catch fire.

11 May 2009

On Berlin and Qualudes

May 12th marks the anniversary of my birth. I’m basically twenty-four. I basically almost have wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes, am pretty much settled into a job that pays me enough to survive, and occasionally think about making babies. Okay, maybe a little more than occasionally. Nothing like constantly, but perhaps with an unreasonable amount of frequency. Gross.

I’m sure I’m having a lot of the same thoughts as the rest of us who are gradually approaching the quarter century mark, namely: What the eff?

Twenty-four is such an odd place to be. There are not a lot of things to look forward to past 21, but 22 is still early twenties, and 23 is a prime number. Many of my friends are turning 25 this year, which is not only a quarter of a century old, but they are now also eligible to rent a car in all fifty states, so they’re stoked. But twenty-four… That means ten years ago I was 14. I guess in that context it sounds pretty cool, but let’s not forget that that also means ten years from now I’ll be 34. Which, all things considered is better than the alternative.

So, the ups:

I did celebrate my exodus from the womb on Saturday night by karaoke-ing my throat out. My wonderful sister joined me in a duet of “Dick in a Box,” Casey, Nelson and I did “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed, and Rob and Alisa changed a few lives for the better with their artistic interpretation of “Holy Diver.”

Other karaoke favorites include, but are not limited to:

- Take my Breath Away by Berlin
- Kiss by Prince (always a challenge, and always worth it)
- Gangster’s Paradise by Coolio
- I Want it That Way by The Backstreet Boys

The downs:

I was born too late in the history of the world to indulge in Qualudes. That really puts a harsh on my mellow, man.

I’m going to go take a nap. Old people do that.

08 May 2009

The econmonic downturn, and other things that are starting to suck...

Just as I pressed tab to begin entering text into this field, I realized that what I am about to write isn't totally related to the shit economy, but it does involve job loss and pay cuts, so it's in the same vein.

After two years of, I don’t want to use the word gainful, but employment no less, the Orinda Theater has turned it’s back on me and thus ended my 7 year love affair with old movie houses.

It began in 2002, when I applied for work at the Park Theater in Lafayette. With only one screen, and a collection of the goofiest staff I had ever met, a high school student really couldn’t have found a better place to work. I met some very dear friends at the Park Theater. I got my first real kiss in the projection booth. I got high in the back parking lot more times than I will ever remember. I don’t want this to sound too cheesy, but that theater housed my coming of age.


In 2005, Renaissance Rialto sold the Park, forcing all of the employees out of work, and the theater into a state of total disrepair. I’ve heard that the current owner hopes to let the place rot until it’s so much of an eyesore that Lafayette’s historical society is willing to let it go. It’s been almost 5 years since then. The phrase “LOVE LAFAYETTE” is on the marquee, and as time passes, letters slowly disappear, fallen from the marquee and forgotten about, or stolen by the high school students who also pried open the back door and threw a party in the theater’s shell. I hate to think about the piles of vomit and splooge that are encrusted on the carpeting and seats, though I do offer those kids props for not burning the place down.


Not long after the Park’s closing, I heard that the general manager from the Park had moved to the Orinda, another of Allen Michaan’s theaters. By 2007 I was again working for Renaissance Rialto, and again surrounded by a staff peopled of total weirdoes. And it was good.


But it was not to last. This past Monday the employees were informed that the Theater was “most likely” changing ownership. Just yesterday I learned that Renaissance Rialto had finally bailed, and the folks who own the Rheem Theater taken over. We’re all out of a job, again.


I’m sure if we wanted to, most of us could apply at the Orinda again. I’ve heard that because they’re not pro- union they new management will be picketed tonight, while opening up Star Trek. I’ve also heard from others who have already applied that the managers like my boyfriend Nelson, will be asked to accept a fifty cent decrease in pay, and also to assume the responsibility of projection. That’s twice the work, and fifty cents closer to minimum wage. No deal.


I don’t know what the folks who worked there are planning to do. I don’t know what Nelson’s going to do. I’m fortunate that my work there was not my primary source of income, but I was in the vast minority. I can only hope that things with the rest of the world out side of old movie houses start looking up so that the friends I’ve made these past nine years aren’t totally screwed.


02 May 2009

My bout with Swine Flu

A few days ago I started throwing up at 3 am on a Saturday night. For some, this would not be so unusual. For me, it was quite a surprise.

I had spent the evening with Nelson. We got dinner and saw a play at the Berkeley Rep. Afterwards, we went home and I watched some Golden Girls in loving memory of my girl Bea, while Nelson packed up his apartment in preparation for moving the next day. I fell asleep early. Feeling fine- good even.

I woke with a start at 3 AM, hyper salivating, and certain that I was about 30 seconds away from barfing everywhere.

Dilemma: My boyfriend’s bathroom. The place was FILTHY. In fact, filthy doesn’t even begin to describe it. Let’s just leave it at this: a toilet is a place that you generally don’t want to put your face unless it’s an emergency. This toilet is not somewhere you’d want to put your butt, even if it were between that and dropping trow in front of every attractive and successful person you know and having humiliating massive diarrhea in front of all of them, while having it simulcast in Time Square.

Solution: Towels. Fortunately, I had previously made it very clear to Nelson that my feelings towards his bathroom involved considerably foul language. And, him being of sound mind at 3 am immediately came up with a solution when I woke him and told him I was about to hurl. The poor sweet boy fetched me a towel, lay it down for me to barf on and left the room.

The barfing continued for several hours, and I destroyed many many many towels by the time I was done. Stomach acid tastes like poison, I now know. I also know that sometimes, your body doesn’t even want water in it.

Around noon the next day, I was reminded that the bed was being moved and that I would just have to find another place to vomit. I was given one last barf, and then gently transported to my dad’s couch, where blankets and a TV awaited me.

Sadly, I lacked the strength and determination to turn on the television for most of the day, and instead watched the squirrels playing on the trees outside through the window between my naps.

Nelson came over later to check on me, and figured out the TV but fearing contamination, he decided he had better leave the house quickly. And so once again, I was left alone and feverish in an empty house, only this time instead of watching squirrels frolicking, I was watching the news.

And what do you think I saw? Shit like this, every god damn 20 minutes.





I don’t have swine flu. Never did. But fuck you news! Fuck you for not ever saying what the symptoms of Swine flu really are, and for making a big deal out of something that’s really not all that different from the regular flu. People die of the flu all the time. Why is it suddenly unusual and news worthy?

The moral of the story is this: When you get sick, sleep as much as you can. Eat nothing but a few saltines, seven up, and maybe some sorbet if you’re feeling frisky. Do pretty much whatever you feel up to. But do NOT watch the news. Never watch the news.

14 April 2009

noteworthy items

1) I'm seriously considering veganism after reading 100 pages of that book Skinny Bitch. It started out as a joke. I thought I would read a couple pages, have my suspicions about the book confirmed, and go back to reading something else, but no. No, they had to write a really good book that made me feel like not only is it effing disgusting and ridiculous to eat meat and animal products, but it also makes you gross and unnecessarily fat. I've been craving vegan riblets since about 11. The bad: According to the bitches, no more caffeine, so I've had kind of a headache all day. The good: since 9 pm last night, I haven't ingested a single thing from a beast, and it really hasn't been that difficult. The hardest part is finding shit that's organic & whole grain if you don't purchase it yourself, but whatev. I need groceries anyway.

2) Cloned camel in Dubai.
Apparently, cloning camels " gives a means of preserving the valuable genetics of our elite racing and milk producing camels in the future," says Dr Lulu Skidmore of the Camel Reproduction Centre. Mmmmm.... camel milk....


Well, a-men. I can't imagine what could be more natural than eliminating the possibility for natural genetic mutation. We certainly can't have any mutated racing camels! Doesn't that seem almost equivalent to steroids in baseball? And how can you know if a camel will be a great racing camel, just because it has the exact same DNA as a once-great racing camel? What if it was the human that trained the camel that made all the difference? We probably should start cloning humans, just in case. I nominate Jeff Goldblum.

The weirdest part of the story to me is this: The great racing camel that they cloned to make this new baby camel is now dead. How, you ask? It was killed. Why? For its meat. Why not just keep the good racing camel alive, and not eat it, that way you don't have to clone it...

I don't know. Obviously I'm too naive for this stuff.

13 April 2009

a vulnerable species.


© 2006Bruno & LĂ­gia Rodrigues. August 2006.

I heard not long ago that more and more polar bears are drowning because of so much ice melting, and that makes me cry. Seriously. I just googled "polar bears drowning" to find an article, and there are even videos online. And horrible sad pictures of polar bears clinging to the last bit of ice available before they're totally screwed out in the middle of the ocean. Don't google it. It really is sad. Anyway, what kind of sick weirdo sits back and takes video of a drowning polar bear?! Not cool.

With that in mind, seeing this in the news today really cheered me up. A woman at the Berlin zoo decided to climb into the polar bear habitat and say hello... As if polar bears don't have it bad enough to begin with. So, obviously, like anyone would do if they were a polar bear, they attacked her. Viciously. There are some great pictures and video, one of which is embedded below. Now, you might ask: "What kind of sick weirdo sits back and takes video of a woman being attacked by a polar bear?!" The same kind of sick weirdo that does it to polar bears. God, people are so effed up and weird, I swear. Especially Germans.

Observe:


The obvious lesson to be gleaned from this non-tragic role reversal is this: Don't eff with polar bears, because they will kick your ass. They know it's not their fault that all of their ice is melting, and they saw that one guy taping their poor polar bear uncle struggling to stay afloat, and they thought it was sick.

09 April 2009

all hail blobfish

Blobfish.jpg Uploaded by kinskarije on 14 May 08

My first reaction was: "I know that guy!"

Then I realized it was a fish. With a parasite dangling from its floppy, spitty lips. This is the saddest fish I've ever seen. I just wanted to bring it to as many peoples attention as I could.

But, there are more important things going on in the sea. Like the pirates hijacking that ship and holding the captain hostage. I'm not at all trying to downplay this situation. It totally sucks, and if the captain of that ship has family, I'm sure they're having a horrible few days and they have my sympathies.

What I don't understand is why until about a year ago, pirates were never media worthy, except for those of the Johnny Depp persuasion. I can't imagine that it wasn't a problem up until a year ago, which makes me think "damn Johnny Depp, way to increase the America's awareness about the little discussed, but clearly growing epidemic of sea pirates. Once again you've helped change the world for the better... Lord knows what we'd have done without your brilliant interpretation of Hunter S. Thompson. More movies should have dialogue you can't understand..." But I digress...

What I'm trying to say is that obviously this has been a problem that no one really felt it necessary to mention until there were Americans involved- either playing pirates or being threatened by them, and then all of a sudden everyone's talking about it (including me) and it's suddenly a real problem.

And, by that I mean Johnny Depp should be in more movies, all the time.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for one starring Johnny as Padre de Carli.... Wait... Isn't Disney coming out with that movie??? I guess Ed Asner will have to do in Johnny's stead....


Mural... by: Eduardo Kobra Uploaded on September 2, 2008
by jACK TWO