mercredi, août 31, 2005

this is a shoutout to water-throwing pessimists everywhere

We all need a water-throwing pessimist (or two) in our lives.

You know the one — the friend who's a reality check and says what you probably didn't want to hear, but definitely needed to. This is the friend you consult on sticky subjects like matters of the heart. And the one you ask these fun questions:
-Is he really that into me?
-And (after the break-up that blindsides you) what's the proper way to move on emotionally?
-Later still, how do you handle loneliness if you're someone who hates "me-time"?

Thanks to my personal WTPs. I'll be back for your advice on Stratego, arpeggiation, and brokering peace in the Middle East. Or maybe I'll just stick to subjects you actually know something about...

These are for you:
Q: Why does Snoop Dogg carry around an umbrella?
A: Fo' drizzle.

Q: What does Snoop Dogg use to get his whites white?
A: Blee-atch!

Snoop Dogg jokes shamelessly nicked from nerdboy

focusing on the light

I heard American politicians describe Katrina as "our tsunami" and "our Hiroshima" and rolled my eyes. The simple fact is that Katrina is neither in terms of the scope of death and destruction. Tsunami: 310,000 dead; Hiroshima: 120,000 dead.

But I thought that this comment, from Scott Cowen, the president of Tulane University (in New Orleans), was worth sharing:

It is difficult to describe what this situation feels like for those involved. It is surreal and unfathomable; yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our focus is on the light and not the darkness.

kermit turns 50

I need an antidote to Tuesday's events. So here goes.

Kermit the frog and the Muppet Show are among my happiest childhood memories. I even sang "Rainbow Connection" in elementary school chorus.

A creation of the late puppeteer Jim Henson, Kermit made his earliest appearances in the mid-1950s on the Washington, D.C. show "Sam and Friends." He became a household name in 1971 on Sesame Street as a news reporter interviewing nursery rhyme characters.

Jim Henson chose Kermit as his signature character because the puppet was the lightest in weight, and thus the most comfortable to use for extended periods of time.

The prototype Kermit was created from a green ladies' coat and two ping-pong balls for eyes. The early Kermit was a sort of lizard-like creature; his first appearance as a frog was in the television special "Hey Cinderella" in 1969.

"It's not easy being green."
"Hello, Kermit the Frog here with the Sesame Street news."
"Hi ho. Kermit the Frog here."

Actually, this whole 50th birthday thing is a ploy to sell the new Muppet Show - Season One (Special Edition) DVD. But if it takes you to your happy place, so be it ...
Via Wikipedia

mardi, août 30, 2005


While at the gym tonight, I saw images of the damage from hurricane Katrina, and miles of houses underwater in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. I recoiled at the devastation and how powerless people are in the face of nature.

On my way home, while stopped at a light, I noticed the car in front of me rocking. That's because a very large man in the passenger seat was beating the hell out of a child in the back seat. There's no doubt in my mind that the child was being abused. And I'm queasy when I think about how powerless I am to do anything about it and the sick, sick part of human nature that compelled the man to do what he did.

star war in engrish

I watch a lot of foreign films and often wonder what gets changed and/or lost in translation.

Here's what happened with the Chinese version of Star Wars: Episode 3 subtitled in English. It's funny, even if you're not a Star Wars fan.

Via Georgia

have you seen this monkey?

The pants are a great detail. But what's with the K.F.C.?
Missing: 2 ft., 8 lb. monkey wearing blue pants
The bulletin issued by police in the southwest Ohio town of Springdale describes the subject as two feet tall, weighing eight pounds, clad only in blue pants and prone to sleeping in trees.

Dillion, a circus monkey, fled into a nearby woods early on Monday after being frightened by a train whistle from tracks near where the circus was performing in Springdale, in northern Hamilton County.

Trainer Philip Hendricks, who is part of the Hendricks Brothers Circus, says Dillion, who has a white face, brown body and is wearing a leash, is usually confident in new surroundings but the train whistle sent him scurrying.

The circus is leaving town Thursday morning and Hendricks is worried that his monkey won't be found before then.

Hendricks suggests that anyone who spots Dillion try to lure him with food. He's fond of apples, oranges, nuts, berries -- and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

lundi, août 29, 2005

triviablog rules!

The first rule of Trivia Blog is - you do not talk about Trivia Blog.
The second rule of Trivia Blog is - actually, go ahead and talk about Trivia Blog.
Third rule of Trivia Blog, someone gives the correct answer, the question is over.
Fourth rule, answers go in the comments section.
Fifth rule, one question at a time, fellas.
Sixth rule, no google, no cheating.
Seventh rule, questions will go on as long as they have to (i.e. 24 hours).
And the eighth and final rule, if this is your first night at Trivia Blog, you have to comment.

coolest neighbors evah

Z and Mrs. Z just moved in next door. We've got the same pro-choice, anti-war, pro-environment, John-Stewart-is-a-genius, i-did-not-vote-for-bush-wristband politics and they love my dog. 'Nuff said.

And they told me about get your war on.

me gusta tu sombrero

Photographic evidence of the French Connection at Saturday night's house party.
Mes gens savaient comment faire de la fête! Vous aimez mon chapeau, non?

Becki, how is that you always manage to take a picture of me in a funny hat at parties?!

dimanche, août 28, 2005

when you really need the iliad

Forget about Coke and smile. Now, you can have a twix and "The Iliad," no matter what time it is.
(I read about this on Parisist and finally found the story in English. )

Can't Wait for a Book? Paris Can Help
Readers craving Homer, Baudelaire or Lewis Carroll in the middle of the night can get a quick fix at one of the French capital's five newly installed book vending machines.

Stocked with 25 of Maxi-Livres best-selling titles, the machines cover the gamut of literary genres and tastes. Classics like "The Odyssey" by Homer and Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" share the limited shelf space with such practical must-haves as "100 Delicious Couscous" and "Verb Conjugations."

"Our biggest vending machine sellers are 'The Wok Cookbook' and a French-English dictionary," said Chambon, who added that poet Charles Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du Mal" — "The Flowers of Evil" — also is "very popular." Regardless of whether they fall into the category of high culture or low, all books cost a modest $2.45.
Inspired by Tess

monkeying around in london

This one's for mes voyous Turk, Trevor, and Nathan.
Scantily clad homo sapiens act natural in London zoo enclosure
Caged and barely clothed, eight men and women monkeyed around for the crowds Friday in an exhibit labeled “Humans” at the London Zoo.

Tom Mahoney, 26, decided to participate after his friend sent him an e-mail about the contest as a joke. Anything that draws attention to apes, he said, has his support.

age before beauty

Friday night, Denisse took me to a party with amazing sangria. Her friend Dean commented on how different that gathering was from parties back in undergrad days ("There's no jungle juice, and the women aren't as slutted out as they were in college.")

Which brings me to Saturday night ... I hung out with the French Connection at a house party complete with college students, a keg, jello shots, and jungle juice. Hosts Ian and Marisa were fab and it was good times with mes voyous Turk, Susan, Nathan, Becki, and Trevor. After everyone else had taken off, Trevor carried a vintage pachinko machine to my car and we talked for hours.

The most interesting (but pathetic) dynamic I witnessed Saturday: The young twenty-something women who were absolutely beautiful but also incredibly insecure. It makes me glad to be the age I am and that I have never hidden my intelligence to get a man to like me.

Proof positive that you can be smart and have a GSOH:

samedi, août 27, 2005

angels in disguise

I perused Nick Wood's beautiful photography book, 360 Paris, yesterday.

As I leafed through the images, I was struck by this inscription, which appears (in English) in a doorway inside the Shakespeare & Company Bookstore in Paris.

"Be not inhospitable to strangers
Lest they be angels in disguise."

vendredi, août 26, 2005

terrorism is ...

I want a t-shirt with this on it. Now.

geek cred

As of today, I'm officially a graduate student. And that's a demographic I'm totally down with being a part of.

acerbic wit

Saw David J's Cabaret Oscuro ("a very dark, highly visual, starkly theatrical presentation in the best Bauhaus tradition...[A] contemporary take on the avant-garde cabaret of old Paris, Weimar and Berlin,") at the Casbah tonight.

I was skeptical when the opening band set up and a xylophone and trombone were put on the stage. My doubt was well founded.

But David J. was phenomenal. The archetypal Englishman — scathingly witty and goofily unfettered by self-consciousness — played with a cellist (Joyce Rooks) and pianist. "Androgyny" got the evening going, followed by "Joe Orton's Wedding." But my favorite parts of the set came with "Pretty," [I'll] "Mess Up" [Your Life], and "Dress Sexy At My Funeral." I don't know the second-to-last song he sang (perhaps "Pulling Arrows From Our Heels" or "Who Killed Mr. Moonlight"?), but that captivated me as well.

Having never owned the requisite uniform (corsets, chains, and chokers and an amulet ... and turkish cigarettes in a black coffin lunchbox), I was amused by his send-up of "Goth Girls In Southern California" and his comically sarcastic — but beautiful — version of "Bela Lugosi's Dead."

Still, you could almost feel the goths drooling when he made a coy allusion to the fact that Bauhaus is re-forming and will be recording a new album and touring later this year.

jeudi, août 25, 2005

happy birthday, susan a!

My top five Susan A. memories:
1. "It's Nolan's Cocaine" Carrot Cake
2. Many hours of core with Alexia
3. You, in my bathing suit that one time
4. Tears on July 30, 2003
5. 30 days of food and friends

I hope today is beyond beautiful. And that you get what you wish for.

I miss you so much and wish that you weren't on the opposite end of the country. Now if only I could find where I put your damn phone number ...

mercredi, août 24, 2005

shake what your mama gave you

Denisse and I got our sweat on tonight in back-to-back salsa moves and street moves (hip hop) cardio classes. We laughed out loud when Cy ordered us to shimmy and shake our cleavage during the open-v step.

Which leads me to the quote of the evening: "Shake what your mama gave you. Or, if you're like me, what you bought."

¡ay mujer, cómo bailas!

Tatjana convinced me to join her tonight for an evening of salsa and merengue at Café Sevilla. I had a blast, and danced for all but 10 minutes of the night.

That scene is refreshingly different from the circles in which I normally travel. Also, there's something terribly sexy about men who dance well and speak to you in multiple languages.

mardi, août 23, 2005

sometimes it's better not to know

Harry unnerved me by referencing Lloyd Cole's "Trigger Happy" today.

I've listened to the song many, many times in the past two weeks. I assumed it was about a woman until tonight. Perhaps it's the first person manner in which Cole speaks. Or that he clearly loves the person to whom he's speaking. Or that I'm an impossible girl.

Trigger Happy
I love your head, I
love the way you hold your head
Because you`re young and you know it
There ain`t nothing you can't do
Because you know there ain`t nothing you can`t do

I love your head, I love the way you hold your head
Because you know there is no connection between old and what`s new
And there ain`t nothing you can`t do
Oh, nothing at all

And you know that gun is loaded, sure you do
Summertime blue, summertime blue
Yes you know that gun is loaded, sure you do
If not for you

The way you walk, I love the way you wear contempt for my sort
Oh, should I give you my money?
A steady hand, a little trigger happy angry little man
Oh, pull the trigger take it all, oh you take it all

But you know that gun is loaded, sure you do
Summertime blue, summertime blue
And you know that gun is loaded, sure you do

I love your head, I love the way you hold your head
Because you're young, and you know it
A steady hand, a little trigger happy?
And we`ll tell you how to live
Then we`ll take away the reason
And we wonder why we wonder
How you`re not the way that we were

My curiosity piqued, I started looking for live show reviews, where I might find some context via Lloyd's remarks about the song. I stumbled on this narrative of a recent show:
Moving to a delightfully gentle trickle of an intro, Lloyd began quietly singing "Trigger Happy" from Love Story, with the charming, 'I love the way you hold your head because you're young / there ain't nothing you can't do.' At the end of this song, which was clearly written for his son, he added to the closing line of 'how you're not the way that we were', a comment on his son's taste for rap: 'with your Eminem, you're not the way that we were, with your 50 Cent,' before adding slowly, half-speaking 'Which is not to say we got it right.'
And now I'm sad, knowing what the song is really about.

lundi, août 22, 2005

dimanche, août 21, 2005

owning up to loneliness is no big deal

I really heard these lyrics for the first time tonight. This, in spite of listening to Lloyd Cole's wry song many, many times in the past few months.

It hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized that someone I know could be the narrator. Miss you much, indeed.

Man On The Verge (about the lyrics; listen)
Independent reader,
I, looking for a better quality of life
Seeking to depart from lonelyhearted page

Sensitive to greying hair
Looking for a W /(slash) sense of humor

Man on the verge
Of the nerve

Boyish 37
Sorely uninspired

Single melancholy male
Owning up to loneliness is no big deal
Everything is gone tomorrow
Miss you much...


"You've got hair in places most people haven't got brains."
-Robyn Hitchcock, (1953 - ) English singer-songwriter and psych folk artist, in "1974," from the album "A Star for Bram."

calling all neos

This recruitment poster is just too weird.

"Just as Keanu Reeves fought against the powers of evil, a priest comes to help people fight against sin. There is a battle out there," explained Father Jonathan Meyer, associate director of youth and young adult ministry for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

He made the comments in an interview with Catholic News Service about a new vocations recruitment poster being distributed by his archdiocese.

Father Meyer said it got a huge response. "They were going like hotcakes. Young kids wanted them to hang in their bedrooms, high school students wanted them to hang in their lockers," he said. "That is invaluable. If we can get kids to hang a picture of a priest in their room, we've done something huge for vocations."

Via Miriku


Met Chad and Denisse at Nunu's tonight for drinks and then it was off to Transport.

After the superfreak of the world (who — naturally — wouldn't go away and who was all up in my grill) sat next to me and proceeded to get half naked, Jimmy, Mark, and Darren rescued Rogelia and I from said freak. That experience was only slightly mitigated by an unexpected compliment from a total stranger. The bottom line: It's cheaper to get wrecked at home and Transport is only as fun as the people you bring with you.

Time to get some serious zzzs before Casey and I meet Jennifer and Huck at Con Pane in a few hours ...

samedi, août 20, 2005


"I am always busy, which is perhaps the chief reason why I am always well."
-Elizabeth Cady Stanton, (1815-1902) American social reformer and women's suffrage leader

Amen, sister. I'm wired such that I'm happiest when I'm a busy bee (within reason).

vendredi, août 19, 2005

comfortable in my own skin

"A healthy body is the guest-chamber of the soul; a sick, its prison."
-Francis Bacon (1541-1626), English philosopher, statesman, spy, freemason, and essayist.

I finally love my body and am comfortable in my own skin. Part of it was the Harry experience. But a bigger part is that I've lost 50 pounds since Christmas, in a healthy and sustainable way.

I love that I'm strong, that my muscles are toned, that I can run on a treadmill without feeling like my heart's gonna explode right out of my chest, and that my clothes hug my curves in all the right places.

It feels amazing to have taken control of the one area where success has eluded me all my life.

respect yourself

Even more good news for sexually active single people...
In the American Journal of Health Behavior, [researchers] note that one in five adults in the U.S. currently has an incurable sexually transmitted disease. Evidence suggests that using a condom can protect against STDs, but perhaps not if used incorrectly.

Grimley and her team interviewed 1,124 people visiting an STD clinic about their use of condoms and if they made any mistakes while using a condom in the past 30 days. More than half of the people interviewed during the study said they had not used a condom the last time they had sex.

jeudi, août 18, 2005

call me chicken jalfrezi, but I haven’t got a danny (la rue).

I love british slang.


Allison and Geraghty both mentioned this NPR story on words that have been lost from the English language, so I took a moment to listen. I'm glad that Allison called me "bellibones" yesterday.

The term is an old English word derived from the French phrase, belle et bonne. It refers to "a good woman" — a woman who is not only good looking, but also has a good heart.

mad cow, it's what's for dinner

I've been thinking more seriously about cutting meat out of my diet. After reading this article, it seems like now is as good a time as any to stop eating beef.

And don't even get me started on how lackadaisical we Americans are about our food supply ... we really are sheep compared to the europeans. I smile when I think about much of the grafitti I saw in Italy in April 2001 — it was in Firenze and railed against genetically modified food.

USDA finds 1,000 violations of mad cow rules: Meat plants cut corners, failed to remove banned materials
Federal food safety inspectors found more than 1,000 instances since 2004 where U.S. meat plants cut corners or violated regulations aimed at preventing the spread of mad cow disease, the U.S. Agriculture Department said Monday.

The USDA said it released documents to the American Meat Institute and the consumer group Public Citizen showing that federal inspectors filed 1,036 noncompliance reports from January 2004 to May 2005 involving the removal of the brain, skull and spinal cord of cattle aged 30 months and older. The materials are considered to carry the highest risk in spreading the brain-wasting disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

mercredi, août 17, 2005


Brendan's online anagram generator is too much fun.

Interesting name anagrams for some of my friends: VICAR ADD AN ASS, CRISES NOW, and ANARCHY ORB. And SAN DIEGO = DIAGNOSE.

Update: Geraghty just pointed me to this NY Times article on anagrams, which includes these fun ones:

another august

When I stop and think about the state of the world, my first reaction is usually anger.

An op-ed piece in today's NY Times puts it in a different light, one I thought worth sharing:

Humankind goes on burning the bridges in front and behind us without apology, our own worst enemies, God help us all.

And maybe this is the part I find most distancing about my president, not his fanatic heart - the unassailable sense he projects that God is on his side - we all have that. But that he seems to lack anything like real remorse, here in the third August of Iraq, in the fourth August of Afghanistan, in the fifth August of his presidency - for all of the intemperate speech, for the weapons of mass destruction that were not there, the "Mission Accomplished" that really wasn't, for the funerals he will not attend, the mothers of the dead he will not speak to, the bodies of the dead we are not allowed to see and all of the soldiers and civilians whose lives have been irretrievably lost or irreparably changed by his (and our) "Bring it On" bravado in a world made more perilous by such pronouncements.

Surely we must all bear our share of guilt and deep regret, some sadness at the idea that here we are, another August into our existence, and whether we arrived by way of evolution or intelligent design or the hand of God working over the void, no history can record that we've progressed beyond our hateful, warring and fanatical ways.

We may be irreversibly committed to play out the saga of Iraq. But each of us, we humans, if we are to look our own kind in the eye, should at least be willing to say we're sorry, that all over our smaller and more lethal planet, whatever the causes, we're still killing our own kind - the same but different - but our own kind nonetheless. Even on vacation we oughtn't hide from that.

U2 honored

If ever I write a personal ad, it will include a line about my desire for a partner with Bono's ardent commitment to social justice. My friend Diana put it best: "How many guys can talk about world peace and not come off like a trite Miss America contestant? He sings and speaks with passion and conviction, and that is incredibly sexy."

U2 handed top Portuguese honour
Irish rock band U2 have been awarded Portugal's highest honour for their humanitarian work. President Jorge Sampaio bestowed the Order of Liberty honour on the group hours before they went on stage for a concert in Lisbon on Sunday.

Before presenting U2 with their honours, Sampaio said: "Over the last 25 years you have shown that it is possible to combine the pleasure of artistic creation with civic and humanitarian intervention to help build a better world."

mardi, août 16, 2005

early signs of alzheimer's

Man forgets wife at gas station
A Macedonian man left his wife at an Italian service station and only realized he had driven off without her six hours later, news agency Ansa said.

The couple, who were travelling with their 4-year-old daughter, pulled over for petrol in the coastal city of Pesaro as they were heading back to their home to Germany. After filling the tank, the husband drove away -- without noticing that his 30-year-old wife, originally from Georgia, had got out of the car to go to the toilet.

The woman, who had no money or documents with her, contacted the police who eventually traced her husband to Milan, some 340 km (210 miles) north of Pesaro, Ansa said. The husband told police he had not missed his wife because she always sat in the back of the car with their daughter.

those wacky virgos

Laura and Aaron are so yin and yang and the flowerpot man with their love advice.

Aaron's all but pimping out men, and Laura's admonishing me to be careful with my heart. Here's hoping that they're both right ...

a high-tech way to flirt

My friend Farhan once quipped "there's always time for romance." This, despite his busy life and impossible schedule as a medical resident.

I smile when I think of the ways that love and romance surmount even the most difficult of barriers — in this case, Saudi Arabia's cultural and religious norms:
Bluetooth gives segregated sexes a way to reach out, discreetly
The restaurant, like all Riyadh eateries, has taken precautions to prevent its male and female diners from seeing or contacting each other.

Circular white walls surround each table in the family section, open only to women alone or women accompanied by close male relatives. Other male diners are on lower floors.

Yet despite the barriers, the men and women flirt and exchange phone numbers, photos and kisses.

lundi, août 15, 2005

solidarity, 25 years on

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
-Margaret Mead (1901-1978), American anthropologist

Twenty-five years ago, Solidarity, the first independent trade union in the former Soviet bloc, was born in Poland. Political and economic tensions spilled over in Gdansk on Aug. 14. Led by Lech Walesa, 17,000 workers went on strike in the Lenin shipyard and red and white became a symbol of resistance.

10,000 opposition activists were jailed and dozens were killed in clashes with police during the three-year campaign for economic, political, religious, and cultural freedom.

Walesa won the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize and on Dec. 9, 1990, he became the first freely elected president of Poland in 50 years.

le week-end

My weekend was fun, and filled with interesting experiences with old (and new) friends:

Partying in Golden Hill on Saturday
Bantering with Cath, who has lived in the Midlands for six years -- she's solid!
Giving Aaron an eyeful at Sabbat after knocking heads with someone from the Retro days
Sitting with my mouth agape as I watched March of the Penguins on Sunday afternoon
Seeing Brandon and Cath briefly before the French connection came over
Laughing until my sides ached as les voyous cheered, booed, and hissed through Jeopardy!

dimanche, août 14, 2005


"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. Tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and endangering the country. It works the same in every country."
- Herman Goering, (1893-1946), Nazi and founder of the Gestapo, at the Nuremberg Trials

for eric and harry

Bret Easton Ellis' new book, Lunar Park, got panned by the NY Times. I doubt that will keep it from being a bestseller, though.

The problem with this novel is not that it is a fast, lurching ride to nowhere. Of course it is; it's a Bret Easton Ellis novel. The problem is that it does not have the honesty to admit that it wants to be more, the faith that readers will accept more or the courage to try to be more. It is the portrait of a narcissist who is, in the end, terminally bored with himself; that it may also be a self-portrait doesn't make it any more true.

samedi, août 13, 2005

il faut oser (you've got to dare)

I just finished "Almost French," by Sarah Turnbull. The book is about culture clashes between an Australian journalist and her new home. It's essentially a tale of a fish out of water. Her deadpan humor, coupled with her insight on la vie Parisienne, have given me quite a bit to think before I take the leap and move to Paris.

"[F]amiliarity breeds compassion and even affection. Quite simply, living side by side you can't pretend they're not there."

fear, self-loathing, and control issues

Geraghty and I had a thought-provoking conversation about tolerance and social justice this week. She made the point that it's often those with the most issues (and self-loathing) who seek to control the behavior of others.

I agreed, and told her about the movie Kinsey. John Lithgow portrays Kinsey's father in the movie and says the following: "The zipper provides every man and boy speedy access to moral oblivion."

Kinsey's father was a fire-and-brimstone preacher who railed against sexuality and pleasure in any form, and inadvertently led his son to become America's seminal sex researcher.

six pieds sous terre

I'm on French time with at least one thing: Six Feet Under.

Harry introduced me to the show midway through the final season, and I've been Netflixing the previous seasons.

It turns out that I'm watching seasons 1-3 at just about the same time as the good people of France.
Six pieds sous terre, ou les aventures d’une famille américaine assez déjantée qui possède une entreprise de pompes funèbres. Tous les jeudis aux alentours de 01h00.

vendredi, août 12, 2005

9/11 oral histories made public

City Releases Thousands of Oral Histories of 9/11 Attacks
A rich vein of city records from Sept. 11, including more than 12,000 pages of oral histories rendered in the voices of 503 firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians, was made public this morning.

The city began releasing the histories - a mosaic of vision and memory recalling the human struggle against surging fire, confusion, and horror - this morning. They were compiled by the New York City Fire Department beginning in October 2001, but to this date, no one from the department has read them all or used them for any official purpose.

Over the last three and half years, The Times has obtained some of these records through unofficial channels, and they can be found on the Web at These include the dispatch tapes, nearly 100 of the Fire Department oral histories, and a log of calls to Emergency Medical Service dispatchers that were channeled through the 911 system.


"Do not praise yourself
Nor slander others:
There are still many days to go
And anything could happen."
- Kabir (1440-1518) Indian Sufi mystic and poet

things that made me smile today


2. "Why Do Men Have Nipples? — Hundreds of Questions You’d Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini," with answers to that and other medical questions.

3.The salsa moves cardio class at 24 Hour Fitness. It's the most fun I've had at the gym in, well, forever.

4. The Six Feet Under reference in this meme.
Three things I want to do badly right now:
1. Go back to the sands of Laguna Beach
2. Redeem my Sephora gift cards
3. Bring Nate Fisher back to life
5. The French Saint Days dashboard widget.

6. This NY Times article: She's So Cool, So Smart, So Beautiful: Must Be a Girl Crush

7. Stats being over. The final was tonight and I'm a free woman for 20 whole days.

8. Going drinking with the girls. Allison and I hit the Alibi and Baja Betty's (with Denisse) and made beaucoup de amis at Betty's after class.

9. Dancing my arse off for three hours straight at Klub Eighties afterwards. I crawled into bed tired, sweaty, and very happy at 1 a.m.


mercredi, août 10, 2005

discussed at dao son

It felt good when T greeted me by name as I walked into Dao Son tonight. I've missed San Diego's best rice vermicelli with chicken these past few months ...

Things to remember from my conversation with Marta:
  1. A friend is always happy for you when you're happy, independent of whether or not she had anything to do with your joy. If the person isn't, then ask yourself if she wishes you harm.
  2. Some people are very nice until you actually get to know them. But even the ones that aren't so nice can serve a purpose.
  3. Pay attention to the moment of clarity in a relationship when you know that you just can't listen to another word out of the other person's mouth.
  4. You either really accept the things that you're unhappy about in your partner or just move on. There is no middle ground.
  5. Not to be so damn pleasant in my next relationship.

can't get no ...

The Rolling Stones have taken a rare break from sex odes to record an antiwar song called "Sweet Neo Con," chiding Condi Rice and Mr. Bush. "You call yourself a Christian; I call you a hypocrite," Mick Jagger sings.
Via the NYTimes

elusive sincerity

Lloyd Cole's music is resonating with me on a new level these days. One song in particular is burning itself into my subconscious.

No More Love Songs (lyrics; listen)
Rather than you, she said
I prefer solitude
Rather than company
I prefer cigarettes ...

But no more love songs
Not for me ...

No Joan of Arc
She was broken, discarded
And that was a long time ago

Still, no more love songs
No more love songs
Still, you might as well live ...

mardi, août 09, 2005

simple pleasures

a couple of glasses of cabernet with A.
vinta crackers with nutella
wham! on the stereo
stories of crushes, coming out, and not going to a certain bar
astro profiles on
conversations about her past loves
my wedding album
letting go of judgements
confessions about our mothers
filling our own voids and making full circles, not incomplete complements
realizing that in one case, it wasn't about "they," but "him"
affirming that we've got the goods
acknowledging that it will be hard to find our equals
hope for future loves
feasting on the sweet smell of night jasmine as I walked back upstairs


"For who, alas! has lived,
Nor in the watches of the night recalled
Words he has wished unsaid and deeds undone."
- Samuel Rogers, Reflections (l. 52)

lundi, août 08, 2005

on respect

A friend told me today that "letting someone be who they are is the ultimate sign of respect. In short, the greatest gift [my husband has] given me is to let me be the person I am. I try to let my kids be the people they are and respect them for who they are."

Words to live by.

dimanche, août 07, 2005

eric's world tour

Eric called me today. It was nice to talk about what's going on in our lives. And to know that we can be friends after all that we've been through (together and apart) these past fifteen years.

He's visited several more countries since moving to Prague, bringing his total to 17 countries (7% of the world's nations), or three countries more than I've visited.

Create your own visited countries map.

fookin' nutter

Overheard in Glasgow by Elizabeth:
So there I was on Dumbarton. I picked up my lunch and then headed over to Woolworth's to get some candy to take home to my brother. At the front of the shop, by the newsstand, stood two old guys (or as they would be called here, OAPs). One was holding the Daily Record newspaper, the other was reading his own copy of Celtic View. The conversation I witnessed was as follows:

OAP1: Ach, 'is one. (gestures to photo of Michael Jackson on cover of paper)

OAP2: Fookin' nutter.

OAP1: Aye. Average guy cuts off his nose and goes paedo, he's in jail for life. Cuz 'is one's famous, they let 'im go.

OAP2: Fookin' nutter.

dating psa

One senior man who fell in love at first byte on told the service "if a legally blind, bald, one-legged old man can find love online, then anyone can."

In spite of this man's experience, I'm not looking to make a love connection online. At least not yet.

But the universe is trying to tell me something. This article was in my gmail inbox today, in a newsletter I get that has nothing to do with dating and relationships:
Don't date for security or comfort. Many women feel they need to start dating right away, either as a way to forget their pain, or because of the sense of security it brings. These are bad patterns to establish. Dating is not therapy. You should date when you're ready to find someone to complement your life, not because you need someone to save you from it.
At some point, it will be nice to have someone to complement it. But for now, it's time to spend some quality time with the best male in my life, my Golden Retriever Casey.

After all, all men are dogs.

samedi, août 06, 2005

8:15 a.m. sixty years ago today

It's the sixtieth anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Hiroshima was decimated on Aug. 6, 1945. Nagasaki followed on Aug. 9, 1945.

Asked for his first thought after the July, 1945 test explosions in the Nevada desert, top scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer quoted from his favorite Hindu poem, The Bhagavad-Gita: "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

The Genbaku Dome, the only building still standing after the Enola Gay dropped her payload on Hiroshima:

in or around irony

This woman is my new hero. And even this guy's post made me smile.

My Top 10 MC List for Sac Men
10) To the mechanic I took out to dinner who said his nickname was the “Lube Specialist” - next time tell me about your wife and son before you invite me over. Better yet, before I take you out to dinner at all. It was nice – albeit unexpected – to meet them, I’m sure. I’m not sure your wife shared the sentiment.

9) To the best friend of my last boyfriend who propositioned me during his house-warming party - you were my boyfriend’s best childhood friend. Remind me not to take friendship/loyalty lessons from you. You just moved in with your girlfriend two weeks prior – why? Opening a proposition with, “Hard nipples turn me on,” isn’t going to make me tear off my clothes. Finally, the aforementioned proposition happening directly in front of your girlfriend with almost no reaction from her was not only disgusting on your part, but kind of disturbing behavior on her part. Get me the hell OUT of this Bermuda Triangle for insanity.

8) To the guy I made out with on my friend’s patio when we were both drunk after killing a bottle of Bicardi Silver and Absolut – I don’t want to date you, and I’m sorry in your eyes that makes me a … what was it again? Callous slut? I didn’t know how to tell you then, or even now, that the inside of my lower lip might still have some residual bleeding. That’s why I said no to giving you my phone number – the thought of kissing you again made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Don’t worry though; I’ve since slaughtered the friend that caved to pressure and donated my number to your cause. If only you’d stop calling six times a day. It’s been a month.

7) To the guy I met over shared favorite movie lines while our friends were flirting – I invited you to a BBQ at a friend’s house after a few phone conversations in which you expressed a desire to have more female friends and get to know me better. Why you thought five minutes after walking through the door it was sexy or convincing to proposition me (in front of my friends) with, “I just came to fuck. Yes or no so I can plan my night?” still escapes me. Your irritation when I didn’t accept your offer is even more baffling than a heat-wave in January.

6) To the guy who called me “foolish” because I wouldn’t quit my job and move into your house to join the harem you were building in exchange for having my student loans paid off – this is America guy. I’ll pay off my own loans without whoring myself out in the process. Clue: it’s just MONEY. There’s tons of it floating around for those of us willing to work hard for it.

5) To the guy who dated me for three months before one of your posse finally broke it down about your fiancé/girlfriend of FOUR YEARS – seriously, you’re fucked in the head, and where the hell is your fiancé/girlfriend during all this? We were together A LOT – is she brain dead?

4) To the woman who would be an awesome friend if only she’d respect my boundaries – I’m straight. I don’t need to experiment with you to confirm this. Stop trying to kiss me when you’re intoxicated, and if you touch my ass again, we won’t be hanging out any more, and this doesn’t indicate homophobia. It indicates self-respect and/or standards. Take your pick.

3) To the guy who I went on a few dates with who was so nervous around me he either stuttered and/or made fun of me to alleviate his nervousness – they just weren’t good dates, and they didn’t improve over time. I’m sorry, because you’re a genuinely nice person. I’m even more sorry that you told my friends that you would have preferred I lied and pretended to have a boyfriend. I’m not sure I have that much energy in me to spare you from … what did you tell them? “Going on a three-month bender.” After four dates? And I thought I was a little screwy?

2) To the guy who told me to lose five pounds in the same breath he told me to go get him a beer so he didn’t miss any of the game – you are by far one of the most attractive men I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I’m already fifteen pounds underweight for my height, so additional weight loss would not only make me less attractive, it would make me unhealthy. I might have ignored the comment had a couple of mitigating factors not been present:
a) you’re so far out of my intellectual league that every moment spent with you was a shallow trip down idiot lane to a destination called “I Just Want To Look At You,” and
b) your denial of a serious substance abuse problem was apparent every time we couldn’t have sex.

1) To the guy who didn’t want to be gay – you’re heads above even #2 in attractiveness, and easily put even my intellect to task. I might suggest a few things to better mask your sexual preferences however:
a) asking a group of men, “Do I smell Wisteria?” is a clear sign either you spend too much time with your mother, you’re gay, or you’re a hetero-sexual anomaly,
b) touchy-feely with your best male friend is fine when sports are part of the equation, but when one man’s face is really close to another man’s face during conversation or you spend too much time with your arms around eachother’s shoulders, it sends an alert message the same way a fire alarm does,
c) pretend you don’t know more about hair products than I do, and finally
d) don’t tell me you’re gay while we’re naked in my bed AFTER we tried to have sex and you couldn’t get it up.

this is in or around Irony

vendredi, août 05, 2005

not my demographic

Harry and I are no longer.

I'm feeling pretty ambivalent right about now. I don't have any of the "ohmigod this guy just rejected me" feelings. I think my reluctance to surrender to the desire to fall for him (after an initial infatuation-driven confession of love) was because I didn't want to get hurt and because I had some big doubts about our long-term compatibility.

There's a big difference between being in love with someone and loving the feeling you get from how that person treats you. Perhaps it's because he made me feel so amazing about myself that I confused the two. I say this in hindsight, because I only got clarity on the relationship and my own psyche once it was over. It's an important lesson and I feel fortunate to have learned it and emerged almost unscathed emotionally.

Oddly enough, I had a conversation with my boss this week about how (when I was in college) my dream was to join the Peace Corps and my subsequent regrets about choosing my relationship instead of my dream. And then I told him that my dream right now is to move to France and that I don't see myself choosing my relationship/ marriage and family over my dream again. The simple truth is I never saw Harry in the 'moving to France' picture.

I have no regrets about putting myself out there and seeing what's possible. Harry was so not my demographic, but it was good to be in his world for awhile. I tried on a new persona, learned a thing or two about dating, had a lot of fun, got much more comfortable in my own skin, had the priviledge of seeing (and appreciating) myself through someone else's eyes, was treated the way I deserve by a lover, enjoyed being introduced to a whole new world of music and art, and gained so much from the experience.

I'll never meet anyone else quite like Harry.

a little booze is good for the brain

Allison and I will be getting our drink on with Harry after our stats final next Thursday. After reading this story, I'm thinking perhaps we should have a few before the exam, too.

Alcohol helps you think, say scientists
People who average two alcoholic drinks a day are better thinkers than teetotallers and very heavy drinkers, according to research.

An Australian university study of 7000 people has found those who drink in moderation have better verbal skills, memory and speed of thinking than those at the extremes of the drinking spectrum.

Researchers say it is a mystery why. The study overturns conventional belief that alcohol kills brain cells, leaving drinkers less well off in the brains department ... people who drink moderate amounts also seem to be healthier, physically and mentally.
"The research looked at factors including physical health, personality, social lives, social supports, friendships and enemies, and yet these did not explain it" ... there appeared to be no social factors - such as better education of one group - that could explain the phenomenon.

Moderate alcohol consumption was considered to be 14 to 28 standard drinks a week for men and seven to 14 drinks a week for women.

Via Matt

jeudi, août 04, 2005

shacking up

I'm getting ready to rent my second bedroom and have just gotten used to the idea of having a roommate again, despite seeing craigslist postings like these.

My last roommate was cool, but things ended in a weird way after I told her I was moving out one month earlier than she was (I had bought a condo and the seller wouldn't agree to a longer escrow). I got back from a business trip to find my things moved out of the kitchen and bathroom, all my empty boxes stacked on my bed, and this new shower curtain hanging in the bathroom:

i'm intrigued

"Broken Flowers," the new Jim Jarmusch movie, stars Bill Murray and a host of other stars that I like. It opens on Aug. 5.

mercredi, août 03, 2005

it's like licking velvet

After hearing Harry talk wistfully about frozen custard, I pricked up my ears when I heard the words "frozen custard" on NPR last weekend.

Tonight, I drove to Poway with Harry, hoping to surprise him with frozen custard. But for the second time today, things didn't go according to plan: the shop was closed. And I'll have to take it on faith that eating frozen custard really is like "licking smooth, creamy velvet." The Sticky Joys of Frozen Custard
One of summer's greatest pleasures is purely sensual. It tastes like the county fair and the beach, the picnic and the park. It's a great, great Amerian classic of small Midwestern towns, and yet because it's hard to make, it's a rare treat. It's frozen custard. You may think you've seen frozen custard, but what you more likely saw was gold, old-fashioned, swirly soft-serve ice cream. Frozen custard is something completely different.

you say potato

A few years back creationist school curriculum was being declared illegal by court after court. Since creationism pretty much got thrown out of schools, creationists are taking another bite at the apple. They've repackaged creationism as "intelligent design" and have gotten the president to endorse the idea of teaching it in schools.

Bush Remarks Roil Debate on Teaching of Evolution
A sharp debate between scientists and religious conservatives escalated Tuesday over comments by President Bush that the theory of intelligent design should be taught with evolution in the nation's public schools.

In an interview at the White House on Monday with a group of Texas newspaper reporters, Mr. Bush appeared to endorse the push by many of his conservative Christian supporters to give intelligent design equal treatment with the theory of evolution.

Recalling his days as Texas governor, Mr. Bush said in the interview, according to a transcript, "I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught."

Intelligent design ... disputes the idea that natural selection - the force Charles Darwin suggested drove evolution - fully explains the complexity of life. Instead, intelligent design proponents say that life is so intricate that only a powerful guiding force, or intelligent designer, could have created it.

Intelligent design does not identify the designer, but critics say the theory is a thinly disguised argument for God and the divine creation of the universe. Invigorated by a recent push by conservatives, the theory has been gaining support in school districts in 20 states, with Kansas in the lead.

hate crimes soar after london bombings

It turns out that the English are no more civilized than we are. Disappointing, that.

Attacks on Muslims have soared in London since the 7 July bombings, according to police figures.

There were 269 "religious hate" crimes, compared with 40 in the same period last year, the figures show.

Most were verbal abuse or minor assaults, but also include damage to property, including mosques and have a great "emotional impact", police said.

mardi, août 02, 2005

how do you like them binomials?

Misunderstood in stats class tonight: While learning about H0 and Halt hypothesis, hearing "your analysis shows" as "urinalysis shows" and not being able to stop giggling with Allison.

Then again, we'd just gotten confirmation that we bombed our last exam. But I felt less disappointed after discovering that I missed the high score (75) by two points.

I might still be an effing mathlete after all.

100% recycled potter

As luck would have it, I bought my copy about three hours before I read this story. But I'll buy the next book recycled.

Made in Canada: Potter on 100% recycled paper
[American fans are being urged to buy] "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" — not in the United States but in Canada, where J.K. Rowling's latest book is printed entirely on recycled paper.

A coalition of conservation groups and Rowling herself have likened the mythical Hogwarts forest to old-growth trees used by paper suppliers around the world.

The author and the activists also have praised Raincoast Books, the publisher of Harry Potter books in Canada, for using paper that's recycled and certified as being free of pulp from ancient trees, generally defined as trees that are at least 150 years old.

Raincoast's printing of the book will save 28,000 trees — more than what would fill New York City's Central Park, activists say.

Now the Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace and six other American groups are urging Muggles to boycott Scholastic and buy from Raincoast via one of two Canadian online booksellers: or

not that i ever did, but ...

Via InvertedMan

lundi, août 01, 2005

consider it a public service

A friend of mine recently got an IUD (intrauterine device), because she wanted a hormone-free, long-lasting (5-12 year), quickly reversible form of birth control.

So far, she's pleased with the procedure and she's experienced very few side effects.

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the risks.

nouvelle vague at the casbah

I fell in love with Nouvelle Vague in France last summer, when my friend Turk gave me their CD.

They're touring the U.S. and will be at the Casbah on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Tix are $15, but when I tried to buy them online, I couldn't.

The band's Web site says they're playing on Wednesday, 9/28, which is a bit disconcerting. But it also lists "Monday, 9/25" (9/25 is a Sunday) at the Hollywood Bowl, with Dead Can Dance.