Saturday, September 29, 2007


So I turn on a little NPR today and what do i hear but This, a brand-new story on who else but Joni Mitchell's recent artistic activism. Yep. New protest songs. I think I must have had a premonition yesterday.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I've been searching for hours for a song that i know that i know, but i've since accepted defeat and mellowed out with some Joni Mitchell. She makes me lonely for Berkeley.

What happened to the worthwhile protest song? The radio seems unwilling to play any "government, pull your collective heads out of your mass rectum and heed the will of the people" music, either that or nobody's really writing any. Are we really jaded, or have we just realized that nobody's listening? I'd write a song, 'cept i can't sing and you can't really make a statement on the oboe. that and i'm sure the republican rumor mill would churn out bullshit claims about my past and get me blacklisted. Okay, yeah, i guess its the 'jaded' option.

I'm gonna vote for whoever has the best idea when it comes to affordable public healthcare. Not because i believe anyone's going to do anything about it--even ducklings aren't that naïve--but just so, when everything goes to shit, as per usual, i can quell my frustrations with the reminder that i voted my conscience. Its either that or try to move somewhere that i can afford treatment, and frankly Canada is just too damn cold.

Not to rant excessively, but the concept of insurance has pissed me off ever since i learned how it works. "okay, so a company makes money, somehow, by gambling that most of the people who pay for their services--services they don't actually provide upon receipt of payment--won't need their services." They freely take your money and are not expected to give you anything in return unless there's a catastrophe. "so...i'm paying do nothing, just in case something goes wrong." what gets me is that everyone goes along with it. and if you cancel your policy, they don't give you your money back, even if you never filed a claim. they just take it. friends, this is what we call "theft." The only insurance plan i'll ever support is socialized--a system where the poor still pay for the masses, yes, but where nobody's profiteering off of other people's misfortune. Or driving the public into paranoid hysteria in order to get customers. (have you Seen those fear-mongering Allstate ads? "this pretty house seems safe... until our pyrotechnic team burns it to the ground! Safety has a price. that's Allstate's stand.")

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

wire and dance

We gave my dad a light fixture in the shape of an airplane for his birthday. I installed it in the bathroom ceiling downstairs. its cute, and goes with the décor on that floor. (if you look around the room you'll see airplanes, cars, airplanes, airships, airplanes, spaceships, airplanes, and a desk) Photo will follow if i remember.

The song "Nice Weather for Ducks" by Lemon Jelly makes me happy. its just the sound. i don't know if this version is a series of samples of other pieces, as the vocal refrain obviously is, but the whole composition makes me dance around and smile in a vague, stupid way until an outside force reminds me not to. You can listen to it Here, though the trippy flash animation that goes along with it tends to distract me from the piece itself. For some reason "Sticks and Stones" by The Divine Comedy has a similar effect on me. maybe its the key signature.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

bad dreamer

i've come to realize that my subconscious generates certain trends that are almost embarrassing in their regularity. You'd think i would pick up on them by now, in my sleep, and be able to trigger a lucid dream from noticing them, but somehow i continue to be taken in every night and blindly follow my erratic (and sometimes masochistic) inner self through a maze of personal issues I didn't even know I had.

For instance, a big trigger i'm dreaming is that my hair has suddenly grown about 8 inches. I tend to look in the mirror in my sleep and see, not the self-styled twentysomething i embody by day, but the awkward fifth grader with a long blond rat's nest of a mop and mom-cut bangs that i tried to bury deep in history. This image should be stored in the auxiliary broom cupboard of my memory--behind the cobwebs, behind the futon in the musty spare bedroom of the beachfront time-share of my mind. But somehow this pint sized sci-fi dweeb in ill-fitting hand-me-downs and a day-glo pink windbreaker emerges on a regular basis to lead me traipsing through a remembered and imagined wilderness on all sorts of nocturnal adventures.

Another big hint that i'm out cold--i start bumping into people I've thought about recently, but haven't actually seen in years. Now i know a lot of people encounter this in their dreams, but what gets me is the utter dorkiness with which I approach these situations. Some old friend or historical figure will be sitting on a park bench, minding their own business, and my socially awkward avatar will pop up next to them and exclaim "oh my god! i was just talking about you not two days ago. When did you get back from the dead?" Even in my imagination Thomas Jefferson endures me with a sort of executive patience.

A clue i noticed recently is that I tend to show up in my dreams wearing whatever it is i wore to bed. In winter this is only mildly embarrassing as the wealthy patrons of my nightly floor show attempt to look away from my purple duckie pajamas, but at other times of year, when i've thrown off the covers and a warm summer breeze reminds me exactly what is exposed to the elements, i entertain all sorts of visitors i'd normally not invite to my private nudist beach in Cassis. I spend most of these dreams searching for a towel or something opaque (i distinctly recall finding a flattering open-backed hospital gown in one) and upon waking realize i've burrowed so far under the covers that i resemble a gyro and it takes a team of twenty bulldozers to excavate me.

Maybe writing this down will make it easier to spot tonight when i again find myself as a nasty-headed ten year old standing in the middle of a shopping mall wearing nothing but my Saturn-shaped earrings. Oh please.

Friday, September 14, 2007


A little moisture has graced my county this evening--not much, but enough to make the flowers perk up a bit. (normally even the hardiest of plants are bowing their heads, muttering about gloom and doom.) It was odd to come out of a restaurant and smile at the prospect of getting wet on the way to the car.

Trader Joe's built a branch just north of my house! Its a little more expensive than Oakland (Charles Shaw is $2.99 here) but still cheaper than anything else around here. hooray food! Unfortunately the locals have already figured out that the Jaipur Vegetables and the High-Fibre Joe's O's are the best so i guess i've gotta get there early from now on. One of the cashiers suggested I apply for a job there and i think i would if i were planning on staying in the area for a while. Part time employees get in on the group health insurance, which includes vision and dental, but it doesn't kick in until after 100 days.

Yeah, I need a job. anything at this point, just so long as its not embarrassing for them to call my references. "Hi, this is Nancy with Wendy's restaurants, i'm calling in regard to Kristen, who has applied to be a Fry Cook--do I understand you were her professor?"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I've come to appreciate that there are a few benefits to having a cat with three legs. While I'm sure Ms. Boots would disagree as she's lost much of her independence, agility, stamina, and self-esteem, her amputation has nevertheless led to a couple of upshots.

For instance, she's become more "affectionate"--that is, without her hind leg to scratch her neck and the back of her head, she calls upon human assistance to hit those hard-to-reach places. And its absolutely adorable how she goes about it. True, in cat-language she's saying "you, yeah, the one with opposable thumbs. pet me. here." but it comes across as a very sweet snuggly behavior.

She's more inclined than before to be picked up and held, probably because standing can be tiresome. In wanting to be held, then, she has resigned herself to tolerating all the bullshit we put her through while holding her.

She's never too far away--she likes to be within earshot of her humans, probably for safety. While she still never comes when she's called, she can be found if you go looking for her.

While this isn't necessarily a good thing, she's gotten more talkative. She announces her presence when she enters a room, or when you do. Not sure why. But she has gotten more communicative in other ways, somehow--she uses direct eye contact, touch, sound, and nasal indication (i.e. pointing at what she wants with her whole face) to get your attention and get what she wants. She's a simple creature--she wants to be let in and out, wants food (my cat is a bit of an oddball in that she doesn't eat if you don't follow her to her food dish. she doesn't expect you to feed her there, you just need to watch her back. That's not age or senility talking, either--she's always done that.) She also, when lonely, will wander around the house, yowling pathetically, until someone comes and talks to her. (I don't appreciate this at seven a.m.)

In other news, i learned how to cast off my knitting last night. Its delightfully easy, i just hadn't bothered to learn (i've been knitting and re-balling for about six months now.) huzzah--something to show for my work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

a clean photo session

After my family elected to punch holes in my bathroom walls this summer to install a wall-mounted ironing board in the laundry room, its been my task (odd, seeing as i did it the first time too, when there weren't holes in the walls) to fix the place up. I guess this is my parents' idea of "earning my keep" while i'm home. It was some pretty straightforward plumbing, painting, and wiring work. could have done it all in one day but i'm lazy so it took about four.

Note that the tap matches the stopper. The packaging didn't mention a stopper unit at all so I went all through the hardware store looking for them and eventually gave up. Turned out it was included.

Much brighter than my old 2-fer brass fixture, with lower wattages. I'm not sure how.

Look! The fixture matches the tap! Cute!

New hanging fixtures to match. Oh yes.

Not the best shot I'll admit, but its a very tiny bathroom.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I should go to bed

I wonder what it says about me that i realized tonight that my favorite Beatles track is, hands down, "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)" from the second Anthology album.

I'm nearly 23 years old and i still subscribe to MAD magazine.