Saturday, April 28, 2007

humor, i love it! whee!

last night m's sister lori came over. they were busy making dinner in the kitchen, so i went out to the living room and, after pearl decided we were done playing, i sat down to write. i didn't have a specific idea in mind, i just knew i wanted to write. i wish that wasn't normal for me, but it is.

anyway, i flipped through my notebook designed for such randomness. reread the very silly children's story i'd started eons ago, some post-therapy session entries, and trip planning checklists. i finally got to a blank page. what am i going to write about?

i heard lori humming off-key in the kitchen. well, i'll start there, i thought. what followed were two paragraphs of dark humor. i'd have written more (how can you not continue something that ends in 'discussing the delicacies of the social security office roach coach'?) but dinner was ready.

this morning i woke up thinking about all of the writing i've been doing lately. its themes, tones, and what those say about me. i realized that a lot of my work is riddled with dark humor. why so dark?

as i pondered, a scene popped into my head: my sister and i sunbathing at home, happy little teenagers listening to the radio (like 'adult education' by hall and oates, the song playing on RadioHeather this morning), while my parents were at a conference. my father was one of the conference speakers, lecturing on satanic cults.

that led to another shot: video of my father, lecturing in an auditorium, a display table next to him filled with miscellaneous cult accoutrement. at least on one occasion, they videotaped his lecture, and i specifically recall a shot of him picking up a cow skull and gesturing to some points on its head.

i thought, i need to write this down. and i did. and again, it ended up being this dark piece because, as i have alluded to in the past, my dad really fucked the family over. the short version is that there was a sustained history of lying, and you can imagine how that would mess things up.

the long version...well, someday i will write a book. i think today's entry was a start to that, but after reading it i thought - hi. no wonder your writing gets so dark. look at all this crap you're still processing! it's been almost 20 years since a lot of this shit went down, and you're only writing about it now.

but the other thing was, why dark humor? i am sure the answer is obvious: defense mechanism. what's the best way to deflate a pissy situation? be funny. sometimes humor is the only way you can get through something tortuous. so it's no wonder that humor is so incredibly important to me. factor in that i was raised to be silly, and you can see why i am more than a little nutty.

if you made it this far, thank you for strolling with me down Memory And Self-Reflection Lane. i'm sure this is more interesting to me than the rest of you, but i just had to write that out.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

i am addicted to fruit loops and cocoa puffs

at least as an afternoon snack. i probably enjoy them more because they are free (thanks, bossman!) but in any case, they are a cup full of joy and i welcome them into my mouth.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

cult of personality

thanks to everyone who voted in my little writing poll! by popular request, here is the cults portion of my 'flirting, burgers and cults' post. believe me, the flirting and burgers were not that good, especially compared to this. depending on the response to this, i may post the 'ashes' entry, which came in 2nd.

writer's caveat: i've only cleaned this up for tenses, so just keep in mind it's a braindump originally written at 730am. :-) that said, if you have a comment, feel free to be honest. my writing skin's pretty thick.

i'm at a male friend's house. i don't recognize him at all but he has a light tan, sandy blond hair and is about my height. we're in an octagonal parlor room, with white bookshelves for walls and a large bay window seat. he's telling me about his dad who, until his death, had been the leader of a cult down in south america.

'see these stairs?' my friend points to a set of minature steps near the window seat. it's just two stairs, like a stepping stool. they're about a foot and a half wide and other than the metallic frame holding it together, is composed entirely of nails. 6-inch nails, point up, with only the slightest rounding atop them to prevent puncture to its visitors.

as we walk up to the stairs, my friend continues, 'my dad would use these in his rituals, but he also just liked to walk on them all the time.'

'wow,' i reply. then, 'do you have any shots of him using them?'

'sure,' he says, and after pressing a few buttons on the wall, directs me to look out the window.

now i had been looking out the window already, because there was a verdant forest outside it. lots of green, light and thin, brambly trees. suddenly the trees began moving toward me, and a voice boomed, 'the forests of south america proved a perfect place for julian's cult to hide.'

i turned to stare at my friend. 'this is video?'

my friend nods. 'it's a combo screen.'

still stunned, i go back to watching the show. there is a closeup of my friend's dad, julian, talking to someone off-screen about his philosophy. behind julian i see a series of elevated train tracks, probably 30 feet above ground and pure steel. there's a larger set of nail stairs off to the left, leading to a small platform under the train tracks.

'look!' i point at the stairs. 'where do those go?'

'you'll see,' my friend says.

the narrator finally stops talking. i hear julian saying, 'we believe that by riding this way, we are freeing the soul. by climbing the stairs, we move past the pain of our earthly shell. then by connecting ourselves to the underside of the train, we honor that which is forgotten and misunderstood.'

the footage changes to show julian climbing up the stairs, pulling down what looks like a backpack attached to a T-bar, and strapping the backpack around his body. he closes his eyes, and we see his mouth moving in silent prayer. when prayertime is over, he looks above and presses a button recessed in the tracks. slowly but with increasing speed, julian begins moving away and along the tracks, swaying ever so slightly as the rails curve out over a forested canyon.

as he clears the curve, julian's previously recorded philosophizing continues. 'finally, by passing over the earth in this way, our bodies unencumbered and free to experience the elements, we shake off that which is foul, that which is death. the wind and trees and sun cleanse us with each turn of the rails and earth.'

now the scene changes from julian to grainy footage of another swaying train rider. unlike julian, whose hands were closed in supplication, this man's hands are hanging limply at his side. his eyes are closed, mouth open and his face grey. he is dead, but still moving down the tracks.

the narrator chimes in, 'these cleansings do not appear to be without casualty. as seen in this rare footage, there have been deaths attributed to julian's methods.'

the hanging dead man retreats into the screen, and because of his uncontrolled swaying, smacks into a nearby tree. his body begins to get a little mangled but fortunately i can't see much of it because he's so far away. this does not stop my stomach from churning.

the shot changes back to julian, standing in front of the tracks. clearly having been asked about these fatalities, he shrugs and says, 'some people cannot be cleansed entirely. they make the journey, and sometimes the earth must take them back.'


when you have:

- not one, but two dreams, where people are saying 'i'm not in love with you' and other pleasant items
- a long, dry spec to sort through after almost 2 months of no specwork
- a dentist appointment scheduled

it really helps to have:

- the best damn coffee in the world on the way into work
- a song i've been wanting for weeks, finally available in itunes

this doesn't even things out, but it makes it a little better, and i'll settle for that this morning.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

survey says?

for various reasons i keep my writing blog private. first there's copyright. i plan to use these ideas for story development later. thanks to blogger, private blogs are not indexed in google, so my secrets are safe.

second, i often dream about people i know, but in odd ways. normal, and i can plead the 5th, but still. these dreams are often quite fascinating and so of course i write them down.

however, sometimes i amuse or surprise myself so much that i really find it hard not to share. and after yet another wild one last night, i have decided to let there be a vote. to wit, some headlines from my writing blog:
  1. flirting, burgers and cults
  2. RVs and temples
  3. ashes to ashes
  4. star trek, islands and pretzels
  5. g'gate
  6. jungle life
  7. jeopardy, spywork and the elevator of death
  8. off the beaten track
  9. smackdown, ahoy!
if you are interested in reading one of these crazy escapades my brain has come up with, please vote via comments.

note: most of these represent multiple dreams in the same night. so if 'flirting, burgers and cults' wins, i would only post one of the dreams from that entry. if you want to vote for a sub-entry (e.g., cults) feel free. and of course, these have been vetted for 3rd party references. =)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

if i didn't have a ton of tupperware

i would have to get these:

i'm just saying.

Monday, April 16, 2007

sleepy word fun

i'm in the middle of writing up a dream in my writing blog, and i was riding on a bus. i said:
my mystery friend debarks.
now that looked fine at first, but a paragraph later, when it was time for me to exit, all of a sudden i thought: debarks? is that really a word? isn't it really disembark?

turns out i was right (hah, i typed 'write' first). debark is an old form of disembark.

me love knowing words.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


in planning yesterday's forays outside the home, min mentioned she might like to see a movie. while i finished puttering, she browsed the internet to this end. and in the end, the only good thing she came up with was topper at the stanford theatre.

now topper is a fun little movie and i do love me some cary grant. back when i used to drool over men, i had this poster of him from north by northwest on my wall.

but we weren't crazy about the times for it, so i sat down to look as well. and after a few moments i said, 'oh, man! star trek 2 the wrath of khan is playing at the del mar, but at midnight!'

min instantly surprised me by suggesting we could go out, run our errands, come home for a nap, and then go to the movie. i laughed. because, yeah right! come midnight -- let alone 3 am, which would be the earliest we'd get home -- our asses are in bed. maybe not long for mine, but she'd have been down for hours.

i went to get dressed. i couldn't stop thinking about it. star trek! on the big screen! Fun! Prizes! Montalban! i said as much and min repeated her napping suggestion.

and i am very happy to report she actually made it! she has been having a real hard time with her teeth and stomach lately, so i really thought the movie wasn't going to happen. we got there a few minutes late and thus missed getting tickets for the drawing (see: Prizes!), but what was really awesome was who won: a young boy in a star trek (TNG) uniform. he was so happy and adorable. one of his prizes was a foam khan-esque muscle suit. heh.

oh and the movie, much fun. apart from the movie itself, it's been a while since i've been to anything fannish, and really enjoyed the extra giggles and cheers at some of the cooler...and campier...elements of the show that trek fans appreciate. anyway, not a bad way to spend a saturday night. :)

behold the power of silence

i think in another life, i was a monk.

the other day i started thinking about silence. it's one of those things that, when you have the ability to be comfortable in it with others, is kind of rare and precious. but what about when, with another person, your relationship to silence changes over time? for example:

i have a friend of many years - seriously! at first, there was the occasional awkward silence as we got to know each other. however, as we were meant to be good friends, in short order we hit that space where a spot of silence seemed perfectly fine. a lull in the conversation, to be sure, but i felt just as comfortable and happy to be with her as when we were talking.

it was this way for quite some time. then some changes happened for both of us, that were difficult to talk about. enter a new silence, and a not a comfortable least for me. with time, we've been able to discuss *some* of those things, but it still often leaves me (moderately) ill at ease, i guess because i know there are things left unsaid.

i do think that finding comfort in shared silence is really a measure of one's own comfort in stillness. now me, i find stillness, solitude, alone time, not only comfortable but necessary. not that i don't crave human contact...but i definitely need time on my own, without any noise but the clocks, keyboard, cat purring, rain, birds, or wind around me. my core needs silence for restoration.

don't get me wrong, this is not about being shy. but because of this need for silence, i can be perfectly comfortable being around *most* people without talking up a storm. which i think means my perspective on this topic is a little off, with respect to others.

i suppose what i am really wondering is, when with someone you care about, how much silence is too much? even though my friend and i have grown apart some, and can't discuss everything, the thought of discussing nothing (calling it quits) is not high on my list either. ah, dilemmas.

Friday, April 13, 2007

cheesed off

i came across the most perfect quiz. please witness:
You Are a Chocolate Cheesecake

Rich and greedy, you're attracted to the dark side of life.
Nothing ever quite satisfies your inner beast. And somehow, people find that sexy.

as a bonafide cheese lover, any quiz that asks 'How do you feel about cheese in general?' is a good quiz in my book. but i was quite torn at this one:
Your sense of humor is:
* Eclectic
* Sarcastic
* Weird
* Wild
* Goofy
* Sexy
i can rule out 'wild' right off the bat. as far as percentages go, i can rule out weird, sexy and eclectic. i can be, and often am, all those things, but not as frequently as what's left: sarcastic and goofy.

due to my love of mocking, i ultimately settled on sarcastic, but damn.

other random stuff from this week:
* clearcase sucks ass
* that non-vexing sleep thing? doing better.
* i have had this and this playing nonstop. and no i do not have to be at the computer to continue the nonstopness.
* i got contacted (via IM) today, out of the blue, by a female fan of nelson.

and why? because we are both on a writing list. against my better judgment i said she could email me a story she was working on, and i'd give her feedback on it when i had time. FIVE MINUTES LATER she IM'd me again to ask if i'd read it. hi, i told you the first time, i'm at work.

as to the story itself, let's just say, i have no interest in stories with lines like 'The straps are for your protection'. redundant commas and adjectives aside, the story was thankfully rather short.

i think the lesson here is that if, when talking to a writer about their work, you ask, 'oh, have you had anything published then?' and they reply, 'oh, i couldn't be published!', then you really should just move on.

ok yep, sarcastic -- correct answer!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I jumped on a smurf because I'm sexy and I do what I want

that, my friends, is the best email subject line ever. contest over.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

it has been a hectic week

and it is not over yet. yes, that's right kids. at least for another 40~ minutes, today is only tuesday. sheesh.

remember how i said this whole bug czar thing does not actually involve much downtime? what i failed to mention is that in a weird way, i actually like that. i like being busy (that part was not news), but i also like being a point person. coordinating shit. getting up in people's bidness if they're not meeting my corporate standards of excellence.

what i'm not crazy about is working late night after night resolving the many issues that arise. yes, it all lets me sit by the sunny window of Code Abatement, and i'm still thrilled over that. but i also have a deep, sustaining love of sleep.

my love of sleep is like a vast ocean, with perfect little white noise waves. my love of sleep is like the world's largest cheese wheel -- soft, carefully tended and with a dutch heritage. finally, my love of sleep requires dedication and commitment, and quite frankly i'm letting down my end of the deal lately. thank the heavens for sugar and caffiene though.

at any rate -- sleep, i intend to be true to you, my love. as a token of my affection, shortly i will lay my head upon the Downy Pillows of Slumbering. and as my eyes close, they will be filled with visions that do not involve work or anything remotely vexing. i said no vexing! for sleep is my mistress and she can no longer be denied.

make it so!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

so i don't seem quite so neurotic

today we had a really great day. looked for a great place to see a classy easter concert (think symphony) but no luck. so we made our own easter celebration by getting Whatever We Wanted at whole foods for a picnic lunch, which we then took to henry cowell over in felton.

incidentally i am sad to report that the a&w that used to be on hwy 9 is now a chinese restaurant. i like chinese, but a&w! dying breed.

anyway, we had a great time. yum yum yummy food followed by a walk among the redwoods and along the river. pearl loooves being in nature, maybe as much as i do, and so a couple of times we would run ahead and then run back to min. because if you're outside, hello, you have to run sometimes because you're so happy.

later there was carrot cake and toffee crunch (!) cookies. i'll try to flickr the couple pics i took today. those of you who've seen my recent shots will know that they look best in the thumbnail view. click to see blurry versions! but still, it lets me remember the moment, so i'm grateful for the geek appliance just the same.

at home tonight there was puttering followed by a very tasty dinner involving one of my favorite vegetables while watching some dr. katz on dvd. hot damn that show is still funny.

ok 'night, intarweb.


tonight i was reminded about a story i heard the other day. a story about someone for whom i care very much, a story involving (minor) emotional hurt to them. i didn't comment much at the time, but all i could think was: we really blew it, didn't we?

and that just sucks. it sucks that 99.999% of the time, i would say i've moved on. life is SO much better than it was. but that .001% of the time, when i miss her? goddamn it bites.

ok i promise that's it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

these dreams

as some of you may recall, many moons ago i started a writing blog for myself, to keep track of the little writing snippets my brain decided to come up with. and yes i put it that way because often the scenes will come to me, as they say, inexplicably and without method.

for example, waiting in my car at a stoplight, the smell of someone smoking the same brand of cigarettes as my paternal grandmother will send a rush of half-baked memories and ideas into my head. thankfully i was only a block from my destination at the time so i could scribble furiously in short order.

incidentally i wish i *knew* the name of my grandmother's cigarettes, i'll have to ask my dad about that one.

but the real outbursts of creativity are my dreams. for example, last night involved:
  • a paramecium-shaped tablet (and yes i had to doublecheck the spelling. i started transcribing my dreams at 645am!)
  • writing a very funny story on aforementioned tablet
  • calculus
  • pseudo-calculus
  • coworkers who did not understand either calculi (the horror!)
  • driving in nighttime rain with crazy people
  • driving at sunrise, with emma thompson batting her eyes
sadly the eye-batting was not for me, i was just watching her talk with someone else, but it was still a lovely thing to behold.

those are the highlights of what i remembered enough to write down. i also had a vague recollection of being at an airport trying to find a boarding pass, and running onto the plane at nighttime, but that's all i've got there.

anyway, when i first started the writing blog, i was insanely prolific. dreams, random scribblings all the time! then, i suppose quite naturally, it waned. i've still managed to post each month since i started, bothers me that i'm not writing as much. or at least it was bothering me quite a bit until i realized that a) it's been insane at work for a while and b) when i'm not at work i'm pretty damn busy with the work of job hunting, freelance and i don't know, the usual chores and errands that fill up our lives.

so i decided to give myself a break. until i get into a better place work-wise, i'm off the hook. if i write, excellent! if i don't, hey that's ok too.

and at least for today, i get an excellent. any night that involves writing a funny story, rain dancing and emma thompson is alright in my book. especially if i get to write about it the next day.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Club Velour - Buttery Duck Night Tonight!!!

this just in!
Want to shake some booty with the ladeez? Don't go to Velvet - that's for losers and non-disabled gestalt lovers. Come to Oakland's Club Velour where leadership is mixed and so are the drinks! Every night is ladeez night because no one likes The Man, not even The Man Who Helps Keep This Place In Bidness. But pay no attention to him, the Negress will have him out the door soon.

Speaking of which, you can't get butter from a duck, but at Club Velour you can try. You've been dreaming of it, now Buttery Duck Night is here! Ladeez, water fowl, butter and butter substitutes will be slip slidin' away tonight to a torrent of non-stop, pseudo-masculine energy beats!

Go Faux. Go Velour!
all i can say is, it amazes me how worked up people can get over a club.

also, apologies to those of you who already saw this, but i know there are some sappho readers on here who hadn't, and this seemed a fun one to share here. we can't have snowflake complaining about the lack of posts from her readers. ;-)

and now in the original (at least, not created by me dept), i bring your attention to the plight of gnomes without homes. a very serious business!

finally, in case you hadn't guessed, those spells of nothingness at work i thought i'd get to have? LIES. or at least, they were shamefully short-lived. ugh. is it friday yet?