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weather? May. 7th, 2007 @ 06:41 pm
I remember back in 10th or 11th grade, Pat Sprehe signed my yearbook with this couplet:

"the spring has sprung, the grasses riz',
I wonder where the birdies iz."

Every time I go outside into the glorious sunshine this runs through my mind, particularly after an unseasonably cold (apparently) and damp April. Granted, this followed a temperate (apparently) winter, so I guess they cancel each other out. Either way, it's been beautiful recently. I've spent a few of my days off just wandering around the city with friends, lounging in parks, braving Chinatown, gazing at street art, and eating mini cheesecakes. There was some sort of street fair/yard sale around 2nd and 3rd avenues on Saturday featuring funnel cake, mango flowers, used clothing, and a giant wall hanging featuring Ganesh which I was this close to buying. I was also this close to buying a crude acrylic portrait of Mr. T from some guy in Union Square but resisted temptation.

Tomorrow is the end of a six day work week and I'm planning on spending the afternoon up on the roof of my building with its glorious view of the Manhattan skyline across the river with a good book and my hookah.
how you doin: calmcalm
tunes: Cee-Lo - Suga Baby

Apr. 30th, 2007 @ 06:06 pm
Last Wednesday Zach and I decided to capitalize on the nice weather by going up to central park and tossing around a frisbee for the afternoon. To do so required a frisbee. Luckily, the toy store we went to a) sold frisbees for three dollars (cheap!) and b) was located in midtown right next to what passes for Koreatown in Manhattan. By this I mean roughly two blocks of restaurants and karaoke bars. After a delicious meal at a buffet-cafeteria style place (all you can eat for $6.49 a pound, plus they sell these cans of grape juice with little peeled grapes floating in the can, which I am obsessed with for no good reason), we proceeded to the park. We tossed the disc around for a while, joined some high school kids in a game of hotbox (not what you're thinking, I'm sure), and wandered around exploring parts of the park. It is really a remarkable place - larger than some towns, so spread out it could take months to explore it fully, and apparently quite unsafe after dark. We reminisced about high school, discussed college commencement ceremonies, and argued about the scene in the original Manchurian Candidate where Lawrence Harvey follows a bartender's advice and jumps in a lake.

The next day I could barely move.

All that running - which I am not used to - did a number on my system. I spend a lot of my time on my feet every day, but I do not frequently spend it sprinting for short distances and stopping and changing direction suddenly. While engaged in said activity I was thinking to myself "boy, I'm gonna feel this in my knees tomorrow." Turns out it wasn't just my knees - also my hips and my thighs. On the plus side, my hamstrings and calves were ok. However, it hurt like hell to walk around and go up and down stairs. Hell, it hurt to cross my legs, sit down, or stand up. I guess it just goes to show how I'm really not in anywhere near as good shape as I thought I was. On the other hand, my shoulders and arms were fine, while Zach confessed that his were hurting the next day. Well, I'm the one who's slinging around forty pound boxes of chicken every morning, so I guess that makes sense.

In a related news item, I ate almost an entire blueberry pie yesterday for lunch. I mean, what was I to do? Someone handed me a pie. When that happens, it's gonna get eaten. What can I say?
tunes: Richard Thompson - Easy There, Steady Now
Tags:

it's still beautiful outside Apr. 24th, 2007 @ 07:06 am
Hot damn it's about time spring sprung. what kept it? I just kinda wish I wasn't so damn tired after getting off work so I could go out and really appreciate it. But no, me and my crazy sleep patterns haven't been able to get outside too much because I kinda just want to come home and either pass out or lounge around in my jammies. It's hard to be active when you're waking up at 2 am five days a week (and 6 am the other two days).

So I think I need a hobby or at least some new sort of regular activity. With that said, I'm thinking about starting up a book club. I'm thinking it would meet once a month or maybe once every three weeks at a coffee shop or someone's apartment and people would sit around and talk about a book. Y'know, discuss themes and imagery, analyze prose passages, etc. Whoever is moderating the discussion will come prepared with a set of discussion questions to get people started and we'll go from there. Different people could select books to read, and whoever is selecting the next book can give a short background on it - information about the author, when it was written, why it was written, any other relevant information - as kind of a heads-up before reading it. The things that are giving me pause are finding a time that would fit my schedule and other people's, figuring out where to meet (although my apartment could accommodate twenty people or more, it would just be a matter of finding seating), and keeping the enrollment down. Ideally it would be like ten people, although 15-20 could also work. I'm kind of excited about the prospect.

I need to mix up my witty sayings/cultural catchphrases more. I've been relying on the same handful for too long:

"nothing is fucked, dude" and "well, that's, just, like, your opinion, man"
"that sounds like a personal problem"
*various Zoidberg sounds*
"death or glory!"

and so on. On the other hand, there's no better way to express yourself when you're playing Super Monkey Ball on the Wii, sending a careening monkey down a pathway in a magic bubble, bouncing off bumpers, trees, ramps, and mole people at fifty miles per hour, and launching yourself into the void than shouting "Death or Glory!" (become just another story. I've been listening to a lot of the Clash lately...again)

I've also had that Gorillaz song "Dare" and the creepy image of Shaun Ryder's head in Noodles' closet from the video stuck in my head for like a week.
tunes: The Clash - Rudie Can't Fail

what time is it? Apr. 20th, 2007 @ 01:45 am
When I think about my current work schedule, an old message from the Wheel of Morality (from Animaniacs) comes to mind:

"Early to rise, early to bed, makes a man healthy, but socially dead"

Since I have to work at 4 am, I typically wake up around 2. It takes me about half an hour or so to actually get out of bed after my alarm goes off, going through the motions of hitting snooze a few times or so before actually standing up. I spend half an hour or so checking email, baseball scores, etc, shower, and am out of the house in time to catch a train at 3:25. The flipside is since I wake up at 2, I usually go to bed anywhere between 6 and 10 pm. Now, exactly how is one expected to be able to go out and spend time with friends after they are done with their work? Answer: one isn't, unless he/she is willing to completely fuck up any semblance of a sleeping schedule he/she may or may not have. This weekend an old friend from college is coming into town tonight and another friend has a birthday celebration planned for Saturday night. Of course, I have to work at 4 am all through the weekend. So what can I do? I suppose I'll have to engage in a complex system of naps. The whole "stay up all night and go through the motions the next day" routine I continuously pulled in college doesn't cut it any more, since I am throwing around forty pound boxes of frozen chicken and being nice to people (rumored) instead of falling asleep in the back of a classroom. It's a bit more difficult to pull off. And I've never been a very good napper. However, I've never let sleep adversity get me down in the past, and my history of insomnia/idiocy has trained my body and mind to be able to function almost normally with little to no sleep regardless of the situation. So I have that going for me, which is nice.

Now for a slight digression - but first a disclaimer. I do not care one bit about American Idol, nor have I watched any episode of it. However, it is nigh on impossible to shield yourself from its near-continuous presence in all forms of media. This is particularly true if you read or at least glance through either the New York Post or the Daily News on a regular basis. With that being said, I suppose I have been following the Sanjaya saga peripherally. What amuses me about the whole to-do is that the American public has been making a mockery of a program whose very nature seems to make a mockery of the American public. This I am in favor of. One morning the office was playing the XM top 20 station, which at the time was airing calls from listeners complaining about Sanjaya. They complained about his voice, his song selection, his clothes, his hair, his shoes, etc. While listening to these callers, I had the following thoughts - "I can't believe how much these people care about this", "I can't believe this is considered news", and "these people are serious!". It got me thinking about how the cult of celebrity has seemingly taken over American society in the past couple of decades. Not just how public figures - actors, sports stars, politicians, musicians, and the like - are perceived and talked about, but how the media can create celebrity out of nothing. From heiresses to reality shows to the Naked Cowboy (still going strong in Times Square), we are inundated by a constant stream of people screaming "look at me!" and cameras swooping at them. I still can't quite wrap my head around someone being famous just for being famous. Andy Warhol was remarkably prescient, it seems.

In the meantime, where's the media love for Brother Ali? He's the best rapper no one has ever heard of, he's overshadowed by Atmosphere, he's a 200+ lb Muslim albino with a lazy eye, and he just released his second album. It's phenomenal. It's not quite as good as his first, although that's not being fair because 'Shadows on the Sun' is a masterpiece. He'll never be commercially viable because he's big and funny looking and he's too damn brutally honest. He's playing a club down in Nolita in two weeks and there's no way in hell I'm missing it.
tunes: Brother Ali - Walkin' Away

what? Apr. 13th, 2007 @ 07:04 pm
It's been what, six months? I just remembered I had this thing. To the three or four people who might have read this on a semi-regular basis, uh, I'm back, I guess.

So I've been living in Brooklyn for over six months now. I've settled into a quiet little routine built around sleeping, working, and sarcasm. It's more or less the same as before except in a different city, sans cat, and more expensive.

What is there to say about the job? It's the same as before, but quite different given the circumstances, if that makes any sense. I won't elaborate on the differences between the Union Square TJs and the other ones I've worked at, since it will hold nothing of interest to anyone who hasn't worked in the grocery store industry. Let's just say it's barely controlled chaos that somehow works, despite all the ways in which things go wrong on a daily basis. I'm happy to say that I am usually not to blame for any mishaps. Oh sure, occasionally things fall on my head, but I'm not the one breaking the elevator.

I'm in charge of the freezer now. I order pretty much all of the frozen food that the store sells, which is something of a big deal, because I'm the one who says when and if we'll have any lemongrass chicken sticks in stock. I'm happy that I've made enough of an impression in my time there that they trust me with that kind of responsibility, but then again I've been doing this for years and it's not like it's that difficult of a job. I've always said, it's just a matter of common sense, prioritizing, stress management, and not being an idiot.

I've been working 4am shifts since early January and it's been a bit of an adjustment. For the past eight years of my life or so, 4 am has been about the time I'd been going to bed. I had suspicions at first (mind you, this switch was my decision, although I really can't tell you exactly why, as it runs counter to years and years of empirical evidence) but I've kinda gotten used to it. That doesn't make it any easier to get my ass out of bed at 2 am, but I've learned to deal.

I'm glad I have a lot of friends from home and college who are in the city and a decent number of people who pass through town. Theresa and I have been meeting up for dinner every couple of weeks or so, each time choosing a different neighborhood to explore. We wander around until we find a place to eat and then wander around some more until we find a pastry shop or a bookstore. We've covered almost every neighborhood in Manhattan in this fashion. It's a good way to learn the city.

The other night my roommates and a few friends and I were discussing music, as we are wont to do, and were trying to come up with a list of the best albums of the decade. We were all struggling, which just goes to show how mediocre music has been this century. Here's a partial list of what we came up with:

The Postal Service - Give Up
Brother Ali - Shadows on the Sun
Tool - Lateralus
System of a Down - Toxicity
Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News
J-Live - All of the Above
Outkast - Speakerboxx/The Love Below
D'Angelo - Voodoo
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
Queens of the Stone Age - Songs For the Deaf
Beck - Sea Change
The Gorillaz - Demon Dayz
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Deltron - Deltron 3030
Radiohead - Kid A
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Green Day - American Idiot

Mind you, not all of these choices are mine, and two of the strongest albums on this list (in my opinion) were released in 2000, and I'm not sure if that counts. There are a few years left to this decade and you never know what might be on the horizon, but we've seen a whole lot of shitty, shitty music over the last 7-8 years. We were struggling to come up with stuff and more than a few of the albums listed are a reach (let the record show, I did not list the Chili Peppers or Modest Mouse). Compare these to any list of the greatest albums of the 90s and you see what I mean. Try coming up with just 10. Some of my choices, in no particular order:

Nas - Illmatic
The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Nirvana - In Utero
Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Radiohead - OK Computer
Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Uncle Tupelo - Anodyne
The Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin
The Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the 36 Chambers
Richard Thompson - You?Me?Us?

The point is, I had no trouble coming up with possible albums for the latter list. Zach points out that the main difference is that a lot of great music in the 90s came out of the mainstream and was immediately accesible to a wide range of people, while a lot of the great stuff today is on the fringes of popular recognition, stuff that you can't find unless you're already in the know. But why is that? Why has mainstream music become so polluted and bogged down? I mean, besides the resurrection of bubblegum pop and the perversion of new jack swing and the artistically bankrupt level of copycatting that goes on. Or the general lack of originality. Music is cyclical to an extent, the way alternative music subverts the mainstream and becomes the dominant sound, eventually giving way to a sound that had been popular previously that has since gone underground and evolved - for example, follow the trends of rock: the Stones and Led Zepplin ruled the early 70s with a heavy blues based sound. They gave way to the arena-rock bombast of Boston, who were overtaken by the bracing metal of Guns 'n' Roses and Metallica. Enter grunge, which was born out of a love of punk (Nirvana) and arena rock (Pearl Jam, the Smashing Pumpkins). Punk music was never as commercially appealing as arena rock or metal, but it was still a major player in between the two. Nowadays "modern rock" is a bastardized hybrid of the sound that was once considered "punk" (aggressive guitars and vocals, simple arrangements, stripped down three or four piece bands) minus the anarchic sensibility (which was the whole point) and studio manufactured pop music, where the producers take a sound or an idea that is currently popular and replicate it as closely as possible without copying it entirely. I don't even know what to call it. Post-punk? About 25 years too late with almost nothing in common with the original punk movement. Indie rock? In sound, maybe, with the under-produced DIY aesthetic, but I guess bands that are signed to major labels can't be called "indie" anymore. No one has coined a term like "grunge" or "metal" yet. Maybe mini-rock? I don't even know what that means. We can't call it modern rock, because what will it be in ten years?

In the meantime, don't even get me started on the state of rap music. Ugh. When Nas said "Hip-Hop is dead" he wasn't joking.

AUGH Sep. 29th, 2006 @ 02:37 am
I've been intermittently packing up my life and investigating the various online communities I belong to. Nothing much to report on either front.

So it's still sinking in that I'll be living in Brooklyn in approximately two days. I've got a laundry list of things to accomplish before then, but most of them have been checked off. The last few things involve money, finishing packing, tying up loose ends, saying a few more goodbyes, and figuring out how the hell I'm going to actually get up to New York. My original plans fell through, though this is no fault of the party in question as he recently had his abs ripped open (by licensed and accredited professionals under the auspices of federal regulations, I might add). Zach mentioned some sort of crazy half-baked scheme involving one of the rental trucks he uses on his PA gigs and driving down to collect me, but I'd put the overall feasability of this plan at 10-15%. Looks like I'll probably hoof it up via train on Saturday with as much as I can carry and have Tom come up the following weekend with everything else. I would just take the essentials - clothes, toiletries, maybe the PS2, maybe my computer (depending on whether or not it would fit in a suitcase and be deemed safe or not - to be determined late tomorrow night/early Saturday morning) - and leave all my media and guitars to follow. Which brings up another point - I have an ungodly amount of media. I must have close to 12 feet of DVDs, a few hundred CDs, and a sizeable library. Granted, most of the books are primarily pictures, but they still count. They take up space and are heavy. then there's the matter of speakers, pillows, weighing the pros and cons (and the weight) of my amp, etc. And what to do with all my boxcutters. Then there's pictures, posters, a bowling trophy, random assorted knick knacks, tchochkes, detritus, this and that, and bric a brac. What to do, what to do. I think I'll put aside a small box, label it "other", and just chuck everything I can think of into it. by "everything I can think of" I mean "stuff I remember at the last minute". I don't think I'm taking my printer, which gives me another box to fill!

...and what am I going to do with my suit?

Side note - for anyone out there who reads this and has access to a PS2, I strongly advise picking up the new game Okami. It's kinda like the most pleasantly logical acid trip imaginable in video game form, and it lasts 30-40 hours.

Today was my last day of work at the Rockville Trader Joes. At the end of the night, we got pizza and they gave me an Oreo cake (pretty sweet!), and the managers asked me if I had anything I'd like to say to the crew. My response: "Fuck y'all, I'm leaving!" Of course, I also said the usual things (it's been a pleasure, good night and good luck, etc.) I kinda broke the mold of people working their last day in that I actually did a lot of work and didn't give out my usual amount of lip. I think it was mostly because, well, we were busy for a good part of the day, and I'm simply transferring, not leaving the company entirely, so I still had something to lose. It didn't seem particularly special, to be honest. I'm happy to be leaving that place. I'll miss some individuals, to be sure, and I'm sure I'll miss being the bee's knees to the management in a month or two (unless I take the Union Square store by storm) and getting priviledged treatment as such, but overall, it just isn't that great of a store. Since I've worked at other stores, I know what the other side is like. I know that Trader Joes can be a fun place to work at with competent management and a crew that isn't full of knuckleheads. Here's hoping the New York store is better. If it ain't, it might just explode during the holidays, and it probably won't be pretty. I'm definately looking for a new challenge, and I'm actually really looking forward to working there.

It's been a little bittersweet saying goodbye to some people. There are those who I know I'll see again, old friends and such who'll be around when I come back to visit and who might visit New York, and then there are those who I'll probably never see again unless they somehow end up working with me in New York or elsewhere. The latter category applies mostly to my managers, who for the most part are great people and fun to work for/with. Then there's Lisa and Miriam, a pair of wholly batshit crazy flakes and wonderfully invigorating and amusing ladies who I love dearly and are apparently moving to Oregon in January. So unless they haul their asses up to Brooklyn in the next few months, chances are good that I'll never see them again, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. It's kinda like when people graduated from Oberlin or when I dropped out - how many of those people will I ever see again? It's tough to say and a little sobering, to just have someone cut loose from your life. Oh well, we all have to move forward at times. Lisa keeps telling me how she makes promises to stay in touch with her co-workers as they leave for bigger and better things and somehow things don't work out. I keep saying that she could just call them and/or return their phone calls, but as I stated earlier, she's kind of a wholly batshit crazy flake. But in a good way. You need to have a few of those in your life, y'know?

My big boss told me the other day that one of the highlights of the past year was when he (and by extension, the entire store) found out that I wasn't going back to Oberlin. My response? "Me too." I think it's safe to say that my bitterness gauge is still in the red. I'm still trying to figure out how I became such a crumudgeon at the ripe old age of 24. Don't you have to be past middle age for that to apply?
how you doin: excitedexcited
tunes: Raekwon - Rainy Dayz

long time travelling Sep. 19th, 2006 @ 02:20 am
So I guess it's time for my monthly update. I suppose that's a testament to how boring my life seems to be, although that's not entirely true, I just don't really have anything to say. I've been sitting on my annual baseball rant all summer but haven't felt the need to unleash it on the unsuspecting. Or the suspecting, for that matter. A football rant will have to wait until I can actually watch a game, and given the fact that I work every sunday and do not get cable, the scenario seems less and less likely.

First the big news: I'm moving to Brooklyn in less than two weeks.

Eep.

I was up there last month on vacation, had all sorts of adventures, saw some old friends who I hadn't seen in what seemed like ages (some I hadn't seen for days, some months, and some years), and left with a renewed appreciation for the city, the information that one of Zach's roommates was probably moving out soon, and some of my money still in my bank account. A couple of weeks later, Zach lets me know the apartment is open, and a few days after that, the apartment is mine. I talked to all the necessary parties and got a transfer to the Trader Joes in Union Square set up and I'm basically good to go. I put in my two weeks at work and am currently counting down the days (9, bitches!). I have a rack of stuff to pack up and move and a laundry list of errands to do and dozens of goodbyes to say. I'm a little nervous and extremely excited. I can't wait.

Now, the smaller and less momentous stuff. Among other things, I have recently marched on Washington, renewed old friendships, relocated lost literature, and broken my thumb.

I kinda feel like my life is in a little more order and I'm hoping I've grown up a little more. I recently got a mailing from Sallie Mae telling me to start paying my student loans off Or Else. So I guess that means I really am done with college. Hanging out with Savanna again brought into some things into perspective, like growing up, dreaming big and small, using failure to move forward, etc, so on and so forth. Cheesy sounding things but important nonetheless. We talked for hours, as we always have, expressing trepidation over the new lives we are about to embark on, bitterness over higher education, questioning the meaning of college and assimilation, and the glory of Roy Orbison. I feel as excited about moving to New York as I did right before I went away to Oberlin the first time - the realization that I'm about to completely change my environment, my comforts, my touchstones, my associations, my routine, everything. It's the wonder of chance and possibility, the feeling that anything can happen. Simplistic, I know, but still true. I'm mentally steeling myself for the rigors and vibrations of the city and the TJs I'll be working at. It'll most likely be completely fucking off the wall batshit psycho crazy, but I know I can handle it. I've been looking forward to it, actually. I'm eager for a new challenge and hopefully a store with a decent number of competent employees. I'm also excited about the number of good friends who will be living in the various reaches of the city, people I'll be able to see on a regular basis. It'll be an adventure.
how you doin: excitedexcited
tunes: the Smashing Pumpkins - Daphne Descends

same shit different day? Aug. 16th, 2006 @ 02:10 am
Had an eventful day today. Ran into a girl I knew in high school in downtown Bethesda on my way to the bank, ran into a girl I knew in college in downtown Silver Spring on my way back from dinner. The former was not so surprising as it seems I have spent most of my summer running into people from the past and beyond. The latter more surprising because I don't really run into Obies unless I am trying to run into Obies. In both cases, I chatted with them for a bit before breaking away to do whatever else it was I had intended on doing.

Had a slightly underwhelming meal at a "crab shack" in downtown Silver Spring with Michelle, Lisa, and Miriam. After we ate, we got ice cream, and then Lisa and I were standing outside a Borders smoking cigarettes while M&M were using the facilities. We were in the middle of a conversation when Lisa just blurted out "me and Miriam are dating" and gave me a big smile. I just shrugged and said OK. I think she was more surprised by my non-chalance than I was by her pronouncement. The thought had occured to me - I knew they both were attracted to other girls from time to time and I knew they were very close - but I never quite said to myself "I bet they're dating". I have occasionally thought "I wonder if they've ever considered it?" but, as I told Lisa, the bottom line is it really isn't my business, and if it ain't my business, then it ain't my business. Apparently they've been a couple for several months now, had been tip-toeing around the subject around me, and I am one of the last people they've told. Why? I don't know (I mean why I was one of the last ones). Were they concerned my mind would be blown, or that my world would turn upside down? I'm not trying to get into either of their pants (anymore) and they're both friends of mine, so if they're happy, I'm happy, and I think that's all that matters. They shouldn't need the approval of other people. It was interesting though, Lisa seemed almost taken aback or surprised at my lack of reaction other than a shrug and an "ok, good for you". Honestly, that was it. She did a bit of a double take and asked me if I was surprised. I said no, not really. As I stated previously, I try not to concern myself with other people's business if it doesn't concern me. I try not to stir shit up if I can help it, I keep secrets, I don't gossip, I try to stay tactful and civil, and I'm pretty unflappable. I'm pretty good at keeping a straight face, mostly because my expression doesn't change very readily. So in other words, something has to be really, REALLY outrageous to make me flip my shit, and if it does, it's usually something like someone doing a double backflip over a pickup truck while playing a recorder and engulfed in flames...or something like that. You get the idea. I try not to flip my shit over the details of someone else's life that are really not my concern.

With all that said, and the cat out of the bag, soon afterwards while the four of us were walking, Lisa jumped on Miriam and planted a big kiss on her lips. I saw them out of the corner of my eye and kept walking. Miriam stopped and said "wait, did Adam see that?" I smiled and said "yeah, so?" and kept walking. Since Miriam didn't know that I knew that she and Lisa were together, Lisa had decided to fuck with her a little. I was a bit of a party pooper and didn't act my part as the horror-stricken and scandalized Friend Who Had Been Kept In The Dark Who Apparently Was Unfamiliar With Girls Kissing Each Other, but ultimately I think it worked out well because it just made Miriam more confused. One interesting side effect of this was that for the rest of the evening, Lisa and Miriam were unabashed in their shows of affection, hugging, cuddling, kissing, etc. presumably to make up for lost time, now that they knew I knew about their relationship and was not scandalized. It was kind of like they had finally been able to stop living a lie, so that's good that I wasn't holding them back anymore, I guess. But what I'm wondering is why they felt it necessary to keep their relationship from me? I can't remember if I asked Lisa or not, and if I did, I can't remember what she said. I'll ask her again tomorrow. However, I did give her some shit for telling me over the past few months that she doesn't really believe in relationships or "dating" or see their necessity or importance, despite the fact that she's been in one for several months. Oh well. I never said she wasn't complicated, confusing, or at times infuriating. Also pretty freakin' awesome at times, so that balances it all out. She's a good friend when I don't feel the urge to punch her in the face.

Anyways, after dropping Lisa off at "camp", we embarked on an odyssey across Silver Spring, Wheaton, and Rockville to get Miriam a pet rat. Exactly how the idea got into her head I'm really not sure, because she's more or less completely batshit crazy, but it was some time during dinner. We were eventually successful, acquring a small slate grey male rat which Miriam decided to name "Ratty Big Balls", which pretty much sums it up. My sister's pet rodents were always female, so I never really noticed how freakin' huge a rodent's testicles are. I mean, it's like someone stuck some tomatoes on a croissant. It's comically ridiculous. Regardless, after we collected Lisa again, I asked to hold the rat, which promptly proceeded to relieve itself all over my hands. For some reason, which I cannot for the life of me explain, I have a strange effect on small rodent-like animals: they all pee in my hands. Just about every mouse, rat, hamster, gerbil, what have you, that I've held has peed on me. I must just have that effect on some critters. Who knows.

I got a pair of new shoes. They're black Vans, they're comfy, they were in my size, and they weren't too pricey. This was probably the least exciting yet noteworthy part of my day. I wasn't too crazy about the off-white-ish "Vans" logo on the outside of each shoe, so I colored them in with a black sharpie. They're now kinda charcol-y grey and I think they look a lot better.

After all this we went to see Talladega Nights etc. All in all, not cinematic gold, but Sweet Baby Jesus, it was pretty funny. I especially liked the Andy Richter, Mos Def, and Elvis Costello cameos. (on that note, just about the only thing I can remember liking about the second Austin Powers movie was Elvis Costello's appearance) There are some really great lines, some hilarious sight gags, Will Ferrell running around in his underwear multiple times, and Ali G doing The World's Most Ridiculous French Accent. Good times. Of course, there were about as many failed jokes as there were good ones, several gags/plot points you could see coming a mile away (example: at one point Ferrell sends a woman and her shopping cart flying when he backs his truck into them. Cut to a cop giving him a ticket. You just knew that when he drove off, he was going to hit something else. I put the mental odds thusly: another shopping cart 2:1, the policeman 3:1, a small dog 5:1, a large dog 12:1, Luke Wilson 100:1, Ben Stiller 500:1, Tim Robbins 5000:1, Susan Sarandon 5001:1. It ended up being the cop.) The race scenes were surprisingly well filmed, with all the necessary swoops, pans, in-car views, and close-ups to convey the sense of speed. Then again, it's pretty hard to fuck up showing speed with cars that are going 150 mph or so. All in all, I think it was worth seeing for $8.50. I was definately amused.

By the way, during the shoe-shopping and the movie-watching, Ratty Big Balls was tagging along in Lisa's purse. We freaked out a lady because we were playing with him outside the theatre before the movie. Hey, I don't see no laws about playing with rats outside. Move along, nothing to see here.

Like I said, eventful day.
how you doin: amusedamused
tunes: R.E.M. - Crush With Eyeliner

ouchies Jul. 31st, 2006 @ 02:40 am
I woke up early this morning with a very sore left shoulder. it felt like something had been digging into my back all night. I sat up, scratching my head, trying to determine the cause of the discomfort, when I felt something next to me. Turns out I had fallen asleep...

...on a baseball.

I told this to one of my co-workers today when I was at the "office". They asked me how the baseball ended up a) in my bed and b) under me, to which I replied "I don't know! that's most of the problem!" To be quite honest, I am still most perplexed. I was tired, but stone cold sober last night. it's a mystery.
how you doin: confusedconfused
tunes: R.E.M. - (Don't Go Back To) Rockville

Life is what you make it Jul. 27th, 2006 @ 03:21 am
Well, it's been a helluva past few days.

On Monday I got another raise. Once again, it was the max, and I am happy to report that my "has a positive attitude" score improved greatly, although I'm not quite sure how. The manager who gave me the review said "basically, I've got nothing to say to you except go full time", to which I flipped him off. And an injury update - I did a carry out of two cases of water out to a customer's car - a '65 popcorn-butter-yellow Mustang - on Monday night when, after placing one of the cases in the back seat, brought my head out swiftly and whacked the back of my noggin on the door frame. Cars back then were pretty much all solid steel frames, so it had no give, and I hit a nerve cluster directly behind my left ear - it's still sore - and was feeling dizzy/lightheaded for about an hour afterwards. Fine now. It had been a while since I had bonked my head on something, so I guess I'm glad I got that out of the way.

On Tuesday I got a new tattoo. It's based on the Northern Orange Bordered Blue, a subspecies of which was named and identified by Vladimir Nabokov, one of my favorite writers and an amateur lepidopterist. It's about 2.5"x2.5" at the base of the inside of my left bicep, right above the joint. It'll be partially visible depending on what kind of shirt I'm wearing, and I'm cool with that. In the evening I joined some of my co-workers down in DuPont for Drag Bingo at some gay nightclub. No, you don't have to dress in drag, that's for the drag queen/MCs who make fun of everyone and try to get you to have a good time. Some of the prizes? a very large black dildo, a CD player, a grill kit (skewers, tongs, etc.) and gay porn - The Postman Always Comes Twice. It was rather silly, and at one point I got groped by one of the drag queens. He/she was walking around the room during a break between bingo rounds, and apparently you are supposed to give him/her money to stay away from you. I was leaning up against the bar while offering him/her a dollar bill when he/she stopped, looked my up and down, and brushed his/her fingers up my package. It really didn't bother me, because I'm comfortable with my sexuality, and I went to Oberlin. Needless to say, my co-workers were terribly amused and word has likely spread around the store and I'll hear no end of it tomorrow. On my way back to the metro from the club, I ran into a guy I went to elementary and some middle school with, who I don't think I've seen (or really thought/cared about) in ten years. He recognized me, we chatted awkwardly for a few minutes, and then went our separate ways. I must say, of all the people I expected to encounter that evening, he was very low on the list. To be honest I'm kinda surprised he recognized me.

Tonight I went out with Lizzie and Chloe down to Adams Morgan to see Ann Horwitz one last time before she goes off to Indonesia for a year to teach English on a Fulbright scholarship. On our way to the bar, I happened to see Gage hanging off a stop sign. Turns out Alex (Ann's older brother) and Ellery, both who I hadn't seen in several years, were in an ice cream shop on the corner. I was excited to see Ann, but had no idea Alex would also be nearby. The bar was carding at the door and wouldn't let me in (another reason why I need to get my license back). I didn't want to put a damper on Lizzie and Chloe's evening, so I told them to go on in and to call me when they were ready to leave. I looked up and down the street for Alex and Ellery to no avail for a few minutes before saying fuck it and going to a hookah bar down the street from the other bar. I sat down with a mango lesi, a beef kebab, and a hookah of double apple shisha to pass the time. I spent some time talking about DC and hookah bars to the couple sitting next to me, some guy named Kiwi and an Australian woman. Right after I finished smoking Alex, Ellery, and Gage were ready to leave so they gave me a ride home. All in all, an interesting couple of evenings. Sure as hell beats sitting around scratching my ass. If only all my days off could be so entertaining.
how you doin: amusedamused
tunes: Del the Funkee Homosapien - Virus
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