Wednesday, May 31, 2006

since it's been a while . . .


today's first shuffle song on the ipod: "derelict" - beck, from odelay

i like beck. i have lots of fond memories of beck. i listened to "where it's at" on repeat for the entire summer of 98, tb and i picked up midnight vultures in new york when he was visiting me in new hampshire for my 23rd birthday and we listened to it the entire drive back, and - sappy and lame as it sounds - sea change really matched my sad, wounded-heart, what-a-shitty-way-to-end-a-relationship mood in the summer of 03.

however, i now feel like i know too much about beck. it's the scientology thing. yeah, guero is awesome, but i can't read shit like this (and i do believe that this was written by a lunatic, because only a crazy person would care this much) and respect beck the guy. beck the musician makes rad music, and that's all that should matter, but it's hard to not go see mission impossible 3 (which i did, in denver) and not think about tom cruise the person versus ethan hunt the character. i am completely open-minded about religion - because, really, no one fucking knows, do they? end of story - but i don't consider scientology a religion. it's a cult for rich retards.

but "derelict" . . . kool sitar and indian influences. sorry that i judge you, beck.

must. score. more. cardboard.


i've become a crack addict, except for cardboard boxes. i think about them constantly and keep a look out for the slightest sign that i can score one. i need them to pack so i can move all of the possessions, which i usually love surrounding myself with but curse their very existences now that it is time to move. the liquor store down the street has given me the hookup, as did the 7-11 with a bunch of gatorade boxes. if one were to not look inside of my boxes, one would think that all i do is drink. both the little grocery store and the walgreens down the street spurned me. i asked the scary guy in the mailroom at work if he could keep an eye out for me - he was like "you are the sixth person who has asked me for boxes. everyone is moving. you're going to have to find them yourself." sorry. don't sacrifice me to the goatlord.

at work today i got into a terribly miscellaneous email conversation with tc and jc in which jc and i were fake-arguing through google-image-search-generated collages, and she decided to end it by sending pictures of a head of lettuce, a pile of makeup, and "i miss you so much!" written into the sand on the beach (saying "let us make up, i miss you"). i set a photo of jake and heath hugging and typed "i wish i knew how to quit you." she sent a photo of ellen and portia and asked if we were gay and if she could be the girl. i sent a photo of a leather s&m mask and told her that she was the gimp. which led us to email about gimps, which led me to imdb the guy who played the gimp in pulp fiction, and - RANDOM - he wrote the script for it's pat. somehow the two are connected, and not just because that guy's bizarre.

yes. this is how i spend my days.

other than that, all i have is one article for you to read, and i didn't even find it. it's good readin, though.

the national review listed out the top 50 rock songs that, they think, are conservative. i found this article because it was first linked off of my old kentucky blog, not because i read asshole websites.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

random notes from a slow day


my hometown is super lame. my parents never wanted me or my siblings to live there after we graduated from high school, knowing that life would be nothing but misery for us if we stayed. jk grew up there, too, and we sometimes talk about how utterly depressing life is there. he told me about a restaurant that i had never heard of, which is where his ten-year high school reunion was held, and i refused to believe that someone honestly named a business that. it's called HHFFRRRGGH. no, really. so lame. so supremely lame.

i know that brokeback mountain parodies were tired six months ago, but this is a synopsis of the entire movie in 30 seconds, reenacted by animated rabbits.

i don't have a car, but if you do you should check out this great service from msn - enter your zipcode and it will tell you what station has the cheapest gasoline near you; it's updated daily.

this quiz measures your regional slang useage and lets you know if you're a "rebel" or a "yankee." i have a slight bias towards talkin dixie, but i think that is most likely a direct result of rejecting wisconsin slang (ie bubbler, pop, etc).

everyday, scientists, theologians, philosophers and mathematicians are discovering new facts about chuck norris. check out the updated list here (sent to me from rm). for example: "Chuck Norris beat the Sun in a staring contest" and "Chuck Norris has never had a surprise birthday party. He can NEVER be surprised. EVER."

remember flash mobs? someday, on vh1's "i love the 00s," they'll be dissecting what compelled people to show up to niketown at a designated time carrying a piece of bread or whatever. this is similar, but also has a smack of civil-disobedience-while-not-doing-anything-wrong, especially after the cops show up and freak out. it's cool that they documented the experience so well. apparently, best buy doesn't want you to wear their colors. this is how gang wars start. thanks for the link, ab.

photo compilation of the worst tattoos ever. god i love how horrible these are, and that they aren't on me. the commentary is priceless. thanks to mob for forwarding.

the internet has really brought together communities of people who like to humiliate their pets. click here for stuffonmycat, where you can submit photos of your cat . . . with stuff on top of it.

50 people who need a vicious beating. brought to you by the same people that posted the timeless classic "look at my striped shirt!"

wwjd? download the new muse track.

my new favorite song: "supermassiveblackhole" by muse, off of their forthcoming new release. do yourself a favor and go pick it up from jesus christ's blog - it's glammy and hott, and perhaps tries to be a bit industrial, a la trent's dark disco direction he returned to on with teeth (my new favorite track on that one, after completely wearing out "all the love in the world," is "sunspots"). i was listening to all of the mp3s that i've recently acquired this morning on the bus, and i had to hear "supermassiveblackhole" twice in a row. i know that they are accused of being radiohead imitators, but i haven't been able to dance to radiohead in at least five years. unless i was busting out some robot moves, of course.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

mmmmmmmonkey

there is a method to my blog. if i read something that i want to possibly post, i copy the url into a draft email, and hopefully i get around to posting it before it's old news. i was super fucking excited to read a new york times article about the Nukak-Makú, an indiginous colombian tribe that recently wandered out of the bush and have no idea what the fuck modern customs and comforts are.

"The Nukak have no concept of money, of property, of the role of government, or even of the existence of a country called Colombia. They ask whether the planes that fly overhead are moving on some sort of invisible road."

it's like the village and walk like a man come alive. these people sound really fun - they eat monkeys and are dazzled by skillets, and one guy noted that he liked the women in the modern world. this article is outstanding; too bad it expired. BUT someone else posted it, so you can read the article here. this is a photo of a Nukak-Makú child eating a monkey head, a delicacy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

i am scientifically the weirdest-looking person ever


check this website out - myheritage.com has "face recognition" software that tells you what celebrities you most resemble. i have heard for the past 15 years that i look a bit like drew barrymore (this is coming from friends, relatives, and strangers, and it's all in the chin and cheeks, plus we both sorta lisp, though i choose to think that hers is more pronounced), and a few people have mentioned kate winslet. this is very nice. most people agree that these are attractive women. so i uploaded the (horrible) portrait that was taken recently at work for the new staff directory (i ended up telling them to just recycle last year's photo, even though my hair is at least six inches longer now). astonished by what the software claimed, i uploaded another one. and then a third, and then a fourth.

i have determined that this software sucks.

among my four uploaded photos, here are the celebrities i most resemble, with the percentages of features that we share.

reese witherspoon 76%
joan baez 74%
brendan frasier 72%
kate hudson 72%
gary cooper 71%
anna kournikova 71%
jason biggs 70%
kate winslet 68%
patsy kensit 68%
liv tyler 67%
walt disney 67%
oprah winfrey 66%
uday hussein 64% (he's a celebrity?)
rachael leigh cook 62%
drew barrymore 60%
condi rice 59%

thanks for the complex, myheritage. walt fucking disney?!?!?!!?

he failed to mention that the twin bed comes with arm restraints.


i'm fairly certain that i found the apartment i will be moving into on july 1. it's two blocks east of wrigley field and two blocks west of boystown, and the apartment is big and awesome and the lady that showed it to me was batshit insane (i would guess to be pushing 80, in a wig, pajamas and slippers) but i left her an application and a security deposit, so i think it's mine. have to call the management company to make sure that carol (ancient crazy lady) was able to communicate to them that i want it july 1 (even though it's vacant now), it needs to be cleaned, and i don't want it to be repainted (the previous tenant did an awesome job - every room is a different color, and the dining room has rad stripes all over one wall).

the main reason why i am leaving the apartment i have had for the past two years is that, despite its very convenient location in a "sought-after" (by assholes) neighborhood, and my share of the rent being a measly $625 a month, I NEED TO BE ALONE. i am so over roommates. i don't want to live with anyone that i'm not in a relationship with ever again. my current roommate is a goddamn disaster. i don't want to get into specifics, but i am so over being around her. she did manage to make one good joke the entire time i have lived with her; she forwarded me this link with the message "found a great apartment for you!"

http://classifieds.chicagoreader.com/chicago/ViewAd?oid=oid%3A57003

i should volunteer at the Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good

i'm not entirely sure what the point of having a blog is if you never have time to post to it, but i also don't see the point in forcing yourself. we'll just put it this way: i did three cities in one week (denver, chicago and philly), attended three graduations in eight days (little sister db's bachelors in communications from uc-denver - holla!, ag's mfa in creative writing from the art institute of chicago, and eb's msw from loyola in chicago), read a slew of books for Book Week (i used to be quite the reader, but have become a media junkie (magazines, online newspapers and blogs) and have let novels and such fall by the wayside. i have recently read:

magical thinking by augusten burroughs (highly entertaining vignettes in the vein of david sedaris, though slightly more sinister)

the tattooed girl by joyce carol oates (she remains way creepier than all pulp fiction horror novelists, mainly because her writing is lyrical and smart and she freaks me out with how evil her characters can be and how matter-of-factly she writes from their perspectives)

never a city so real: a walk in chicago by alex kotlowitz (non-fiction snapshots of the city that were both interesting and alienating to me. i still don't LOVE this city. it was the best option for me when i moved here two summers ago, but i can't help but think that in a year i will be going back to dc because that's the town i truly love. the story on cicero, a western suburb that is very close to city limits, was pretty depressing - they're racist fucks out there)

sex, drugs and cocoa puffs: a low culture manifesto by chuck klosterman (bus reading, about halfway done - he's a snarky nerd with perspectives that aren't as clever as he would like to believe, so he feels like my friend)

the long hard road out of hell by marilyn manson (bedtime reading, about halfway done - i borrowed this from db when i was in denver and found myself a bit embarrassed to be reading it on the plane and on the el, as it makes me look like there's something wrong with me. it's a good read, but published way too early - 1998, just when he was actually starting to grow on me. i was an RA for a floor of sociopathic freshman girls my senior year of college, and my secret santa got me mechanical animals, as per instructed on my list. that's still a good glammy album. my college boyfriend was into him, but i found it schlocky and the first album was more annoying to me than shocking. college boyfriend had a marilyn manson baseball hat that said "god of fuck" on it, which i guess i thought was kool at the time but honestly now makes me laugh at how immature - and entirely wishful - that is)

btw, that photo is one that my uncle took in paris of some old dude in his bookstore. my uncle is a professional photographer and i love his stuff. i have a print of that photo in my living room. check out his website here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

you have been alerted. google with caution.


jk and i were emailing last week about the usual bullshit: what we ate for lunch, how bored we were, random pop culture references. jk’s office has swear-word filters; every email that contains questionable content is “quarantined” and he can’t read it until the IT department releases the quarantined list at noon and at four. sometimes our conversations will stop dead in their tracks because i forgot and accidentally typed something i shouldn't have. i figured out last week that the software does not recognize “shitty” (nor “cuntface”), so that is my new all-purpose swear word when emailing with him. here is a transcription of our exchange right after i sent him the correct lyrics to the three’s company theme song.

jk: ooooh! I got it now. "Down at our rendezvous"!!! Not "donna rannie tay voooo"
You have answered one of the big mysteries of my life!

me: don't thank me. thank google.

jk: modest.

me: not really. i forgot to tell you: i AM google.

jk: Well, if you're Google, then I wonder if I should be embarassed about some of the things I've asked you to search for?

me: what if god invented google to keep tabs on us?

jk: whoa...you just got my gears turning. Maybe G.O.O.G.L.E. stands for some big god-like anagram. God Observes Our...???

me: God Observes Our Good, Lesser, (and) Evil.

HOLY SHITTY WE MUST TELL THE WORLD!!!

jk: "Holy Shitty"! My boss was just standing right next to me when I read that, and I laughed REALLY hard. Really though, we must alert the media.

just a couple of things.


i didn't happen to mention that i did not, in fact, go visit dick durbin and barack obama's offices when i was in dc, as there was only one person in the vermont delegation and one in the rhode island, and my office didn't want them to go alone, so i went to their meetings, mostly as moral support. i was treated suspiciously by every legislative assistant and congressman we met - i think they thought i was a lobbyist there to prompt their constituents, when really i was thrilled that they didn't want me to speak, as i had absolutely no interest in the bills that my office was advocating for and could not convincingly speak for them at all.

one rad thing that happened was that i saw the list of appointments for the ohio delegation, and my friend and frequent scissors happy reader sp was listed as the legislative assistant to meet with. my friends never cease to amaze and surprise me - really, she is, like, the health care expert for her congressional office, and meets with constituents. awesome. i tried to crash their meeting but got held up, so i dropped by and asked to see her. i was asked if i had an appointment. i said no, but that my delegation had just left and i wanted to leave her some additional information. i had to wait 10 minutes, and when she finally emerged she started laughing and was like "when i heard that they had come back i was totally annoyed."

anyway, i went to patrick kennedy's office with the rhode island person. he wasn't there, but we go to sit in his gorgeous office, cluttered with family memorabilia and things like a mounted marlin and signed hockey jerseys. i have a big ole soft spot for his dad, tedward, and while his legislative assistant was probably five years younger than i am, it was cool to be there. one weird thing is that there were tons of medical posters mounted on heavy paper featuring brain scans and neurological research, which his la said was a big interest of his. also a big interest, as we learned a week later, is crashing his car on capitol hill, being so drugged and/or boozed up that he admits that he doesn't even remember getting out of bed and into his car. ah well. this wapo article interviews his people, and they still love him, and, being tedward's son, i do, too.

awesome: having your first novel published at the age of 18, as a freshman at harvard. even more awesome: receiving a half-million dollar advance, as well as selling the movie rights. not so rad: you're a plagiarist, and the publisher is simply yanking all of the copies off the shelves. i swear that 2006 is the Year of the Liar.

"the fat man walking" reaches new york today. i read a really interesting article about him in the week a while ago. during his trek from california to new york he often just camped in ditches, he lost some toenails, and his wife served him divorce papers. here is his website, sent to me by pos.

i never get sick of shitty album covers, especially small-press vanity vinyl from the 70s. click here - this is a really good music and mp3 blog that i discovered this week, i am fuel, you are friends (whatever that means).

this is a classic that i forgot about: candyboots posted a collection of disgusting retro weight watchers recipe cards with bitchy commentary. which reminds me of when we drove by treats tonight, this 99% fat-free icecream place near my apartment that none of us ever go to anymore, having learned our lesson, eb said with such vehemence that i totally busted up, "that place ought to be called SICKS." click here for nastiness.

here is a washington post interview with paul greengrass, the british director behing united 93. i saw it with mob in dc. i had just found out that jenny chang had died, and i knew that i wanted . . . well, felt obliged to, at least . . . see united 93, so we went to see it and it was a really emotional experience for me, paired with feeling so stunned that my friend had died. the movie put me in pre-anxiety-attack mode, very anxious and kinda wanting to vomit and generally upset. i cried a few times. i had been concerned about this movie and whether it was too soon or too crass or too hollywood to be a proper documentation, especially for being the first september 11th movie, but it was so well done that it felt thoroughly authentic. mob's mom, he told me, is sorta obsessed with that flight; mob used to be my boss, and our office was on the 10th floor (not high by most city's standards, but dc doesn't allow any highrises to be built taller than the washington monument, so most office buildings are about 12 stories); our building was also about four blocks away from the white house. i didn't go in to work that morning; i called in sick and was cut off, told to go turn on my tv, and my boyfriend and i watched the entire unfolding - the second plane hitting the world trade center, the pentagon, flight 93 crashing into shanksville. i don't want to get into it, but that was a seriously traumatizing day. so mob's mom firmly believes that the passengers of flight 93 most likely saved his life by downing the plane before it could attempt to hit its target in dc. regardless of what would have or could have happened, flight 93 is a really fitting tribute to the collection of strangers that just so happened to gather together, even though they knew it would be their death. i recommend seeing the movie. just be prepared. a guy that sat a few seats away from me was absolutely sobbing.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

jenny chia-jen chang


i have been dreading this post. i knew it was coming, but there is never enough time, is there?

i met jenny chang in the spring of 2001, when i lived in a ramshackled row house in dc on jenifer street with a bunch of truman scholars. she moved in after my friend lk moved out, and i liked my new housemate: funny, smart, cute and a wiseass. she loved buying shoes and i will never forget her laugh.

jenny died of metastatic breast cancer on saturday; she was 28, and had been battling - really fighting - for four years. she and her husband, dom, got married in raleigh last memorial day. i was able to go to her bachelorette party in orlando last january (only for jenny, i swear to god, would i go to a bachelorette party in orlando) and met more of her (unsurprisingly) awesome, smart, hilarious friends, and i was able to go to her wedding. since i had used frequent flier miles to get my ticket to raleigh, i couldn't leave until tuesday, and everyone left town monday to get back to their respective homes, including dom. i was able to spend all of monday with her, the day after her wedding, just the two of us, driving around raleigh in her mercedes convertible (a present to herself), going to a movie (will ferrell's kicking and screaming, since she wasn't really into depressing dramas), and, of course, shoe shopping. i consider myself really blessed to be able to spend this time with her.

the last time i saw her was in october, when i was in town and spent an afternoon with her - getting brunch, driving in her rad car, going to the rowhouse on capitol hill that she and dom had purchased, playing with honey, her new puppy. when it was time for me to leave she drove me to union station. i remember that she didn't just drop me off and drove away; she sat in the car and watched me walk up into the station, going to the metro. i turned around and she was still sitting there, watching me. this was the last time we saw one another. we had plans for me to come over to the house on wednesday - i am so fucking mad at myself for deleting the voicemail she had left me early last week, letting me know that she was looking forward to it, and while her voice was shallow and breathy, and she warned me that she didn't leave the house much these days, i didn't expect her to leave us so soon. i heard on sunday morning, and i was so stunned. she had been admitted to a dc hospice on saturday and died five hours later. for what it's worth, i'm glad that i was in dc when it happened. i got to see some of her friends that i met at the bachelorette party that i honestly feel are my friends now, too, and i went to her house wednesday as planned, to talk to dom, play with honey, and try to make sense of what never does.

here is a website that was originally put together for our breast cancer walk team, the chang gang, and now serves as a memorial site. here is the really gorgeous website jenny's friend kelly put together for the wedding.

as random, and as unfair, and sometimes as ugly as life can be, jenny - and all of the jennys of the world - leave us with a reminder of what it means to be alive, and to love all of it, even when it sucks. jenny was a no-bullshit kind of girl, and i know that she was so thankful for her family and friends, and when it comes down to it, that's all that matters anyway. i am honored to have known someone so strong, and she is already greatly missed.