Saturday, July 28, 2007

a very late Fiver

sorry i forgot about this, wen, but thanks to dharma for only just responding, thus reminding me to do the same. ;-)

1. Five favorite days of the year:

* Christmas
* Any day where I get to read -- or write -- all day
* Any day by the ocean
* Christmas
* Any day where I make someone laugh

2. Five things you watched this week:

* The Colbert Report
* The Daily Show
* Pearl dance, bury her head under mine and snort
* Valerie whistle through a straw, with bonus spittle towards a cashier
* The curve of the hills as I head towards home

3. Five things you don't want to do, but should:

* Go to the dentist (hey, I went last month!)
* Save more money
* Pack
* Clean (goes well with item 3)
* Get up (goes well with items 3+4)

4. Five things you want to learn:

* Why Muffie yowls so much (sooo stealing that from wen. criminy!)
* How to construct a plot from the random ideas in my head
* How to be more patient with people
* Why polyester blends are so popular
* What makes you tick

5. Five animals you've had as pets or who have impacted you:

* Chrissy - My sister's, which then became my parents', dog. Dalmation/spaniel mix. Also known as "wigglebutt" because she had no tail. She had unbridled joy. My favorite memory of her is being caught eating a tootsie pop roll at Christmas -- lying on the floor, wrapper off to the side, pop neatly between her front paws, and a busted look on her face.

* Pearl - Our little shih tzu/poodle mix. Sure, sometimes she gets an irrational fear of the floor. But I swear to god she's the best dog ever. Yes I admit to being biased.

* Sweetie - A tortoiseshell cat who was almost named Rocket. Yes, a more interesting name than Sweetie, but would've been painfully ironic considering the lump she became in later years. She is the one who taught me (due to my love for her, and patient footing on her side) how to do a full body turn in bed without ejecting her from my body.

* Sniffers - A tricolor kitten we only had for two months. Around the 8th grade, our family had to move into an apartment that didn't allow pets. He was so adorable, so beautiful, and the only consolation was that he was still so young, I'm sure he immediately got snapped up by another family.

* Stinky - A grey tabby who lived up to his name, unfortunately. Probably from all the birds he kept eating and leaving pieces of our back porch.

6. Five favorite pieces of clothing:

* Anything cotton
* The extremely worn out Thumper (disney) lounge shorts I have on right now
* Vader Gardening. I wore this yesterday and continued the trend of only guys commenting on it. I swear I've only had one (random) girl get it. Friends of mine don't count (of course THEY will get it, my friends are brilliant).
* ET Phoning Home. Sadly I can't wear the one I have anymore, but Min can. :-D
* Since it's summer (more below), a badass pair of khaki cargo shorts.

7. Five things you enjoy in the summer:

* Late sunsets
* Pretending I don't need sunscreen
* The promise of adventure in the morning air.
* Wearing cargo shorts. I loves me some plethora of pockets.

8. Five foods you don't like:

* Fish
* Anything burnt
* Sauerkraut
* Brussel sprouts (gag)
* Snap peas. I like regular peas, and green beans. But snap peas…ptoo.

9. You are given $50,000 to pass out to 5 people in $10,000 cash gifts. Who do you give it to, and why?

* My mom. Other than helping to resolve some medical issues, this could also help her go on a nice vacation, which is what I suspect she'd do, and really deserves.
* My dad. I would really like him to have some teeth. Sad but true. Also he could buy a badass amount of books to make him happy.
* Min. Hey, I'm reinvesting in my community! Seriously though then I could get her all the little gadgets she'd like.
* My sister. Who knows what the hell she'd use it for but I know she and her clan would have a sweet time doing it.
* My sister-in-law Wilma. That woman is amazing and works way harder than she should have to.

10. Five things that are not where they belong:

* MUST STEAL GEORGE BUSH. I mean, hi. He is SO not where he belongs.
* A million dollars (shouldn't you be in my bank account?)
* 50% of the clutter on my desk.
* 70% of the clutter around the house
* Me. Chores, I shall avenge you!

Five, Ten or Fifteen People you want to complete this:
Cop out, I know, but I'm not tagging anyone. But if you're interested, please... meme on!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

while not the wittiest thing ever

you have to love a thread that makes you say this:
I'm sorry, I don't understand. I only know how to sacrifice the ultimate goal of letting things grow in.
people, they are very special sometimes.

and on a related (internet) note, today liz and i stumbled into a very geeky, very FlagSelfAmusementEnabled situation. we were on our way back from caffienieing and discussing Ye Olde Internet. the unix-based kind, where TALKing and fingering (hottt!) people was commonplace. we decided that after we got back to our desk, trying to TALK could be very entertaining.

i know, geeks.

well, there is no TALK. daemonpunkass sez no. but i found out there is a happy medium between that and mail: write. write works like an instant message. pops up on your screen (twice actually, once with an EOF, then later the actual message), then you can reply.

anyway, let's just say, there was a lot of write-ing going on. and the giggling, holy crap.

laugh at me. us. i don't care. it was stupid fun and if i am pro anything, it is stupid fun. i really don't think there can be enough of that in a workday. well, at least until the time i say it's time to stop because i really really have to work now. and yes, if i continue anyway, you are to pretend the previous statement was never uttered.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

heaven is a used bookstore

yesterday morning i went to get some freecycled moving boxes from a woman in alviso. i've never been to alviso and didn't know what to expect.

what an odd little area. it started off with prefab condos and quickly moved into a collection of withered, stained homes. my boxes ended up coming from a place somewhere inbetween, an apartment complex with a very friendly grey husky tied outside.

it was pretty quiet, and being out on a marsh i can see why people would enjoy the relative solitude. but as i headed back, driving past a run-down cafe and grocery store, it seemed like the kind of place that could get unseemly at night.

on the way back i stopped at borders, planning to get scrumptious coffee and a new book. the coffee, superb. but after 90 minutes of delicious lingering over more books than i could count, seconds before a cashier offered to ring me up, i left empty-handed.

why? because i couldn't make myself pay $14 for a 176-page book. not when i was burning to also buy a $7 368-page book and $14 160-page book at the same time. not when i knew i could go to a used bookstore, spend the same amount (or less) scrilla to get twice as many books.

which is why i went home, got min and we went to recycled books, in san jose. i hadn't been there before, but it won my heart immediately by having an orange cat and a gigantic '$.99 and up' bookshelf just inside the doorway. in the end i got several books i'd been wanting, including one from a very funny fellow, and another promising one about old new york.

in the end, 7 books for less than the price of 3. hard to beat. plus, i love the smell of used books. they have a history. sometimes you even get a peek at it, like the complimentary local-oregon-bookstore bookmark that popped out of my new york book.

i know that authors don't get any royalties off used books. yes that bothers me. but to be honest, not having something to read bothers me more. if i were *really* a skinflint i'd only use the library. i'm still doing my part for capitalism, and in the meantime, i'm learning which authors are so good that i'll even buy them new. if i want you enough, i WILL have you. first run.

Monday, July 16, 2007

and now, the rest of the story (6.16-6.17)

the final installment...
6.16 935am
yesterday was a blast and to prove the point i am sore from head to toe. i finished the FT around 7, then i took the ferry back to boston (was in charlestown) but not before having a nice convo w/m since i missed the first ferry by 30 seconds. she lost another tooth, no surprise. cracked before i left. soon she will have no lower teeth. :/

today i'm going to cambridge for a festival and just to check the town out. possibly go to a museum but can't say. i blew some of my 'museum' money on photo stuff ($25 or so) so not really sure we can afford that.

but i'm not going to worry about $ now, just enjoy being here. which i am, SO MUCH. i think i would adore living in new england or the east coast (especially mid/north) because of the history. i could tell i started to tune out a little yesterday, basking in so much, but even so i felt in love with the whole wide world. everywhere i looked i saw something beautiful. which is why i used 3 rolls of film yesterday. :-p

ok time to get going.
checked my email downstairs, then went to cambridge. only partly on the subway though, due to some unexpected construction i believe. the good news is that a bus ride to the MIT stop, though slower, let me see more of the city, and i bet you can guess how i felt about that. ;-) anyway, once i got to cambridge and oriented myself, i spent oodles of time in the cambridge coop (a delicious bookstore). got some sunglasses (i lost them during the farmers market debacle the day before), and some lunch. walked down JFK street to the festival, and after i'd walked all the way thru, sat down to write.
6.16 322pm
well i just sat down to comment on how awesome the diversity of community vendors was, when i got asked do to a survey on the festival! so i got to give feedback on that (albeit briefly) but still. how cool! and i got two starburst as reward, which i am now enjoying. my favorites actually, lemon+strawberry. =)

the view here is amazing. i'm under two large trees overlooking the charles river, a very large, old building on the other side, and a groovy old bridge just down to my right. earlier i had lunch at a great little bakery called au bon pain. scrumptious little roast beef and herb cream chese sandwich on tomato parmesan bread, right in the middle of harvard square. i'm going to go over that way again later today, almost done with the festival here but i'm glad i came.

back to the point that led me here - the community groups were amazing. sure, women's groups, homeless, cultural - the usual. but we also had ones about archeology, linguistics and a few other ologies i forgot about already. criminy! i'm so jealous of this environment. and it's so lovely. no wonder i'm enjoying it so goddamn much.

i know it would be difficult to live here. i'm sure very expensive, and i can tell it gets muggy as shit. it's only supposedly in the mid 70's today but the humidity makes it seem like mid 80s. i forgot what that was like. this would be hard on my skin long term although i've done ok so far, amazingly.

incidentally i've also noticed a preponderance of white people and i mean WHITE. just as white as me. it kinda cracks me up. but as i said, makes me feel a little more 'normal', not that i let that get to me much in general.

being here also makes me really glad we plan to move. because being somewhere new is really doing wonders in the whole AG department. as in not thinking about her, because i'm not surrounded by the places where i have a history of musing in her direction. at any rate, this makes me hopeful. i know it's avoidance but that's all i've got. i am a total sucker for her and i know it.

ok enough. i got some more walking to do, sights to drink in.
even though i was in the shade when i wrote that, i got pretty hot a few minutes later so i stopped for what turned out to be badass ice cream. standing in line for the ice cream led to yet another incident of me being pleasantly surprised by how nice everyone was. not like i think everyone in california is a brat, whole trip, everywhere i went, people were randomly talking to me, so i'd end up talking to them. just about mundane, nice little things, but still. it made me feel very welcome.

made my way back to JFK. found a badass comics shop, walked around harvard and its wobbly sidewalks, then ambled my way back towards the main subway stop. en route i hit another bookstore because at this point i was on the prowl for a new book. i knew i would finish my snoozer in short order. didn't find a cheap+interesting enough book for me there, but a block from the subway was a man selling tons of books, propped up in 20 or so boxes, on the sidewalk. all books, $2.

this is a man after my own wallet. so i browsed and browsed and finally found this. i read a brief interview with the author a long time ago and it struck me as being interesting, but obviously not enough for me to get it until today. i did my usual -- back flap, inside flap, a page in the middle, a page at the start -- and decided it met my standards for wicked observations. i started it on the way back to the hostel and immediately felt crabby that i still had the other book to finish first (i can be methodical).

back at my room, i couldn't decide what i wanted for dinner, so i consulted an area map and then started wandering. i came upon a whole foods and was very disappointed, but did procure an extremely yummy peach. circling back on massachusettes ave, i landed at a burrito place i'd seen before. had a very tasty but too-spicy mango burrito. lucky for me a wendy's was down the block, where i discovered the tastiest frosty known to mankind. back at the hostel, i said hi to y'all then crashed upstairs, hoping to finish my mediocre book.

sunday my master plan was to explore newbury street for several hours, get lunch around there, then zip over to the airport, but holy shit. mugginess off the charts. had a crappy lunch (johnny rockets) at the airport and then my plane got delayed. so:
interesting how i keep writing around the same time each day even though i'm doing something different every time.

well it's my last afternoon in boston. i'm at the airport and have been here much longer than i planned because it was too damn humid to lug around my luggage all day. i'd planned to lunch and shop on newbury street. instead i barreled through half of it at a breakneck pace in order to get to the closest subway stop and hightail it over here.

and i'm grateful i did, just to stop sweating. and keep my bag from tipping over.

i got checked in, gave my subway pass to a family of 5, and finished reading that dreadful iles book. ok, it was fair. but there were no real surprises and several of the characters were annoyingly stupid. the only thing i really liked about it were the illicit possibilities with the protagonist and his hot babysitter. sure, it had SOME suspense but not nearly enough for my taste. and the writing style - so bland. but it really takes an atrocious book to make me stop reading. the atrociousness, in this case, stopped about page 20 so i kept on.

i am reading a more interesting book now. girls guide to hunting and fishing, which i heard about a long time ago. i got it for $2 in cambridge yesterday, from a street vendor with way too many books. this book is interesting because it skips around but more so because it is funny in an offbeat, unplanned kind of way. which is the way a lot of my humor works so i like that. also, it's rather real in its vignettes -- like seeing a series of commercials, or getting the cliff notes version of a relationship (or series of them). it's mostly coherent, plus witty and insightful enough that i am devouring it. well that and just being a fast reader helps.

the protagonist in this one is a girl who grows up (at least at this point) to be an associate editor at a publishing house in NY. so of course i connect with this fairly well as a writer and someone who, at one point, could've gone that route herself.

i have thought that a couple times this weekend -- about what would've happened if we'd moved to NY like we talked about at one point, for grad school. so many paths my life could've taken. the astronomer, the engineer, the psychologist, sociologist, the recording engineer, producer, writer and journalist, and the one i fell into, the webhead. which works but the former and most persistent one, the writer, keeps rearing her pretty little head.

i know i will come to that eventually and by that i mean, give more of myself to it as time goes by but i must say i long for those days to come. when it envelops me more fully, like now. it makes me realise - remember? - how complete i feel inside myself. how i'd probably be fine with part time lovers rather than a wife, just due to my need for solitude. how much i actually enjoy it! enjoy and delight in these isolated forays, which then often lead me to writing.

but that is not the life i have. and there are many things i like, love about that life. things are going pretty well between the two of us. way better than they were. not perfect of course - what is - but sooo much better than before.

ok time to read. things are filling up around here, and jeez if i'm not surrounded by pp/eb employees! but that's amusing, too, in its own way.
i ended up reading the rest of my book while waiting for that 2nd airplane. then i jet blue'd home (getting to watch the mediocre 4400 season opener) and then here i was.

so that's it. not too shabby really, especially considering i spent about $250 for the whole deal (not including the airfare, which was free to me). and in case you were wondering, i heart boston. for me, it was full of delightfully friendly people, wonderful food, rich history, gorgeous architecture, and i would go there again in a heartbeat. and thanks for slogging thru my recaps. ;-)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

a random series of events

since i haven't posted much by way of a real update in the last several weeks. not that i'm making promises about this post, either. ;-)
  • went and saw the new harry potter yesterday. i won't give anything away, but i will say that i enjoyed it much more than the previous movie, which i thought incredibly tedious. there was some tedium this time as well, but also more mystery, and a little darker. it also was the first time that i actually *wished* i had read the book (haven't read any of them) because there were a few references that didn't make sense. a couple times we went 'huh?' but just let it go.

    incidentally we saw the movie on a digital projection screen (for those of you nearby, oakridge mall) and WOW the picture quality was amazing. the screen is normal size but none of that occasional blurring, popping, or any kind of film distortion at all.

  • started seeing a chiropractor. yes for the first time ever. i've always thought of being double-jointed a nice perk, but apparently the official term is hypermobility and if you extend that mobility a little too far, it can kinda mess you up. well, i extended my shoulder and wrist too far a few weeks ago (lugging around stuff in boston, then holding a baby in the same position for about 90 minutes straight). oops.

    as someone who's always done their own cracking, the visit was a little odd. but good of course, since she was able to get to a few places i never have. and naturally, learned about a few ways i've been accidentally making things worse. oops part deux.

  • june was a bit of a writing dry spell, which i deplored, but i appear to be on the upswing. i mention this because the response i had to one piece kind of surprised me. i'm on this fab fab list called writerspark (if you like writing, i highly encourage you to join) whose main purpose is to send out a series of writing prompts each week. people send in their responses,'s a fairly low-volume list these days due to people like me, who mostly lurk and hoard the prompts for later.

    well the other day one came in that just grabbed me:
    “It was the kind of promise…”
    Compose a piece of reasonable length that begins with or that includes the phrase above.
    immediately, in popped a little scene: mildly seductive banter (from me! can you believe it?) with two people in a coffee shop. but more to my upcoming point, it was a first person narrative where the actors were only identified as "i" and "she".

    now i would think, if a woman (that's me) wrote this, that people would assume this was a girl-on-girl encounter. apparently not. almost everyone i got feedback from assumed that "i" was a man. this in turn makes me wonder (assume?) that my readers were all straight. because i have a hard time believing that someone queer, reading my post, would make the same assumptions. i also would add, i think anyone who knows *me* would assume it was girl-on-girl action. because you know that's how i roll. ;-) anyway, it was an enlightening, if accidental, exercise in interpretation.
that's all for now. hope y'all are having a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

let freedom ring (6.15)

the bostonian adventure continues...
6.15 10am-ish
i slept so hard. which i needed.

i hope i remember to take a pic of the view from (one!) of my windows. but the view du jour is across the street, a brownstone with endless bay windows and flower boxes, and little trees.

it's quaint in words i don't know how to describe. but it's the kind of thing that makes me think i could've been at home here or in NY since at one point that was an option. anyway it seems soothing and makes me look forward to today, when i will be seeing so much more of the same on the Freedom Trail, with some deviations of my own intent. we'll see what i have time and energy for after that. =)

there is a free 'breakfast' here but for me it sucks. raisin bagels, weird prepackaged muffins and sad looking coffee. so i had an energy bar - thank god m thought of me bringing some! and now i'm trying the cookie/bars i brought from ebay live last night. cookies - breakfast of champions!
so, got up, showered, made my way down boylston street, heading towards boston common, which is where the FT starts. i was not yet upon trinity square when i realized i was perilously close to closing out my current roll of film. still penny pinching, i got one roll of film at a CVS pharmacy. i had another backup for the day, and another one back at the hostel, so i thought that'd be enough. hit starbucks and a few blocks later, south church/trinity square. which is where i seriously started falling in love. snap snap snap.

back onto boylston, then hit the boston public garden (enjoying history en route), then onto the common and the beginning of the road i would follow carefully for the next several hours. first up was the massachusetts state house, which i enjoyed much more than expected with all the stained glass windows, and wishing i could've seen an actual house or senate debate. apparently they were in session, but NOT for me.

next i went past park street church (renovating), and down to king's church, which was less thrilling than i expected, although i did enjoy seeing the oldskool velour boxed seats. if someone knows the proper name for those please tell me, i'm really curious. the church was pretty full with tourists, but it wasn't loud. there was a quiet, reverent energy, which perfectly matched how i was feeling about my day.

afterwards i was going to stop at the athenaeum (history! books!) but i was getting worried about time, light, and wanting to make my way over toward faneuil hall before having lunch (had picked a restaurant out ahead of time) but a few blocks down, near old south meeting house, i realized i was going to collapse if i didn't eat NOW. so i plopped down to eat and write:
6.15 345pm
i just finished lunch. not where i wanted, although my heart wasn't set on it (black rose?), but i was hoping for something more interesting than a bagel sandwich. some local outfit called brueggers, near the old south house. tasty but a little boring.

i'm only 5 stops into a 14 stop tour (FT) and it's taken me about 3 hours, give or take. at this rate i'll get back to the room by midnight. and shit the official tour takes 90 minutes. 90!!! i'm glad i didn't shell out, i'd be annoyed at not getting to dilly dally. i waited too long to stop is how i ended up here, and because of the sugar crash, i'm trying to give myself a few minutes to recoup. before i get my coffee across the street, that is. SBC! mmm.

i am having the best time, wandering, taking pics of whatever takes my fancy. i only get annoyed at my capacity and the limitation of my cameras. i just had to buy more film (3pack) but i figure this is better scrilla spent.

i'm still too tired. every time i stop i realize i'm jelly. but that's what coffee is for.

seriously, Best Time Ever.
got my coffee, then back on the trail. it's late afternoon now so by the time i make it to some of these places the museums have closed. oh well, i probably wouldn't have shelled out anyway. for some reason i feel especially charmed around the exterior of the old state house.

i continue on to faneuil hall, which has charmingly turned itself into a touristy shopping center. however it did have some modestly priced, modestly tolerable trinkets, so thank you, city planners. while attempting to continue, our little trail ran right into a farmer's market. on the other side of it was a wide expressway. hrm.

after trudging through the market, i cannot find the trail, and consult several of my maps (most have the FT on them). i come upon a probable course of action, at which point a friendly local asks if i need help.

'i just figured out where i am!' i say.
'great!' he replies, 'you've got GPS built into your brain!'

which for the record, is true. anyway, it took a few blocks to get back on track but then voila! magic red bricks appeared and i was shortly in the north end.

the north end is just beautiful. seriously. well, almost all i saw of boston was beautiful but the north end and charlestown (coming soon) were just cobblestone dreams. i only took one shot of the paul revere mall on my phone, but honestly, it was a perfect intersection of history and nature. peaceful, and again, reverent, which is good since it was right next to the old north church.

which was also closed, so i trotted downhill and over the charlestown bridge, into the blinding sun and down towards the shipyards. surprisingly even this area kept me entertained, both with humor and interesting textures. then i backtracked a bit to go up to bunker hill, winding thru more adorable neighborhoods with their flower boxes, gold doorknobs, and weathered lampposts. even just walking past random houses, i was filled with a sense of walking through history. probably because of all the 'historical registry' signs.

made it back downhill to the docks and narrowly missed the ferry back to boston. good time to try calling home again! had a good talk with m, then hopped on the new ferry. spent the ride back enjoying the sunset and picking a dinner locale using guidebooks.

found a couple of possibilities, which all seemed too expensive once i got there. so i wandered down the street to the place i'd wanted to go earlier in the day -- the black rose! an irish place, where i gambled with fate by having my first whole lobster, and a beer. the beer sucked. tasted like garbage. but the lobster...drool. then popped on the ubiquitous subway back to my hostel room, where there was again, much reading and then zzzz.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

speaking of publishing

apparently i felt the need to write another post today. i've been having fun here this evening. yes, i am embracing my inner librarian.

honestly the most time consuming part this evening was gathering my random links and lists of books that i want but do not yet own. incidentally, many of these were discovered on my recent trip to boston, when i was a little short in the scrilla department. so what'd i do? in a perfect blend of literary and technical nerdiness, i took pictures of them with my phone. insta-list!

and yes i've also heard about librarything, but they have a 200 book limit before you have to shell out. goodreads - free. i like free. anyway if you are an avid reader and like to share your reviews/see what your friends like, check it out! and add me, of course. :-D

Saturday, July 07, 2007

uh, i've been published

so there is this company called schmap, which publishes travel guides (they have an online and offline version). for many destinations, the photos are pulled - with detailed, limited licensing and individual agreements in place - via flickr. because the people, they know where to go (and take pictures), right?

right. well, they just published their san francisco guide, and they used a picture of mine for a restaurant review. that's right -- the picture i almost didn't take was destined to be my first foray into photographic publishing.

for the record, i've had my writing published several times. but...salad? huh?

ocean's 13

should've stopped at 11. i'm just saying.

also, seeing the movie for free does not make it better. it does, however, remove the possibility of guilt from your wallet.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

overheard in a meeting

Let’s use the test harness to complete the flow.
feel free to use this line for all your harness-related needs. i know i will.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

leavin on a jetplane (6.13-6.14)

ok folks here is part 1 of my boston adventures. the rough draft for the whole trip? 5259 words. that's why i'm breaking this shit up, for you AND me. there are some repeats between what i wrote out here, plus what i included from journals on my trip. hopefully they are entertaining, and still read well the 2nd time around. :-p

also i must say, it's been a lot of fun writing this on independence day, since so much of this trip's history revolved around the american revolution. to visit so many sites from such a formative period in our truly filled me with patriotic pride, and believe me, that's saying a lot.

wednesday, june 13
god what a crazy day this was. i wisely arranged to work from home, both due to my nighttime departure and that min was getting an endoscopy that day. although the endo took much longer than planned, it was also MUCH smoother than the previous time (which was almost a complete disaster) so even though it messed with my planning for the day, having her test go well was a real blessing. even if the results of the test were not great (she's probably going to need more surgery on her esophagus).

after that we got her sister lori (who stayed over while i was out of town) and we got home maybe 2 hours before i had to leave for the airport and i wasn't even packed and showered. somehow i pulled it off and we got to the airport at 720pm, 90 minutes or so before my flight. it was baking hot that day so i couldn't stand the thought of eating dinner, at least not until i got into that air-conditioned food court.

i did this trip on the cheap, in the extreme. we had just spent a lot on our cambria trip so i was a little strapped. anyway i mention this now because i started off cheap: a kid's meal at burger king. :-o

that was more about being mildly hungry than frugal, but believe me, i can pinch pennies. i have been poor, i know how to squeak by. afterwards i figured i might as well get the security checkpoint business over with. i'd left everything questionable out of my carryon bag, although i got points deducted for forgetting to take out my cell phone on the first pass, as well as not remembering to take off my shoes.

Security Chick: Shoes.

Me: Yes?

SC: [points to my feet]

Me: What about them?

SC: Take them off.

Me: [blushing]

blushing because this is when i remember liz telling me to wear shoes that come off easily, because i will need to be sansashoes. oops.

on the other side of security was my boarding gate. at that point there were plenty of seats so i decided to write.
6.13 750pm
i'm waiting at gate c8, flight leaves in an hour. meantime i'm having fun people watching. got the burgeoning female exec with her laptop and too many bags trailing behind, plus a baggy floral print shirt drenched in sweat. now there's another female exec, buttoned-down, trim with 2 tiny, expensive bags hanging from her hands, and white blonde hair striking against her uber-tan skin, bordering on red.

i am a little red today. my veins are still popped out from the heat, which was an unwelcome surprise today. it must've been at least 90 degrees today, but whatever the temp, it just about killed me with all the running around we had to do. min had her endoscopy today and as these things go, it went swimmingly. she didn't feel anything during, barely even the IV since they got her in one poke. one! she's starting a trend, i believe that's the 3rd time in a row.

just saw a budding rock star - or more likely, country. cool, blonde hair, goatee, and a good sized guitar case, which means acoustic. no metallica for you.

the girl behind me is resting her head on my shoulder. it's an accident of course but it's sweet.

this really is a good way to see a cross-section of folks. at least, folks who can afford to fly, which i have to imagine is a $100 minimum.

well, now a woman just walked by who looks like she couldn't even afford that. disheveled hair, long and greyed, older than old sweatshirt and bag, muttering to herself. hmm.

a puppy! terrier or maybe griffin? i forget the name, but tiny (smaller than pearl), shaggy and grown. mom was holding her close, now she's in a soft carrier. so cute.

so we have everyone here. young, old, short, tall, wealthy, poor and critters.
time to fly. and so i say: jetblue, i love you. you are comfy, you have good snacks, and you let me watch the best shows ever without leaving my seat. also later, while unsucessfully trying to sleep, i also found out how to make money on the internet. a truly compelling program.

thursday, june 14
finally we arrived in bostonia around 6am. since i planned to subway my way around, i got me a 7 day pass outside the baggage claim and headed over to the subway shuttle. the subway station was actually kind of nice. high glass ceilings, beautiful light coming in, and down where the trains came in, endless brick. my first taste of bricky love.

while waiting, i see that my line's final destination is wonderland. i really wish i would've gone there, i was so curious what it was like. i'm grooving on the names of everything, they're so old. like alewife. then i think, ciderspouse rules?

since i've never ridden the subway before, and i have to take 3 lines to get to the hostel, i was a little nervous. it really was so simple though, they really do a great job with the directions. by my middle stop (switching to green, government center i believe?) i have already seen my 5th dunkin donuts shop. those guys were everywhere.

exiting the subway and into the light again, i am loving the smell of the city. sure it's a little dirty, old, and tired - but there's also this reverberation of energy. the pulse of life zooming and angling around me.

i check my map like crazy to make sure i'm going the right direction. see the berklee college of music where my college roommate kelly went briefly, i believe. i hope she is still playing music, i haven't heard from her for a few years.

i turn down the block, another left and voila - hostel! i register, check out my bunk and locker, freshen up briefly then out the door and back on the train to do my service!

and by service i mean the convention i'm supposedly out here for, eBay Live. security incorrectly routed me and several other folks to the wrong side of the building for registration. finally got there though, and met more...inefficient planning in the self-registration booths. anyway, that complete, i called the other coworker who's on this trip. she's running late, so we agree to hook up later. i went to a class, then down to the booths to meet Coworker. we chat, and talk about meeting for dinner (we never did). i go get lunch, attend another few classes, then hit the booths. since now i'm killing time until the keynote ceremony, i sit down to write:
6.14 227pm
well just like yesterday we have an amazing amount of diversity here at the show. people are determined to affix Every Button Possible to their shirt, coat, suitcase, lobster hat or colonial outfit. or maybe stick it to a crazy tall hat with dangly things on them. apparently this is the place if you want to dangle.

there is a preponderance of significantly overweight older white women here. sure there's kids, couples, white, asian, everything under the sun. but there are a TON of the chubby older white women in their gaudy floral print shirts, roller backpacks trailing behind them, blinking away with swag.

there are also just a lot of people who are really excited to be here. crowds hovering intently around a new credit card booth, others fixated at the possibilities offered by a drop shipper, and still more entranced by keyword optimizers. all completely uninteresting to me, but they are riveted. in that way, this is about what i expected and i am definitely bored, so i'm glad i never bothered going to this before. i'm glad i came of course, just to see it. this other world is stunning.

at lunch i overheard a couple discussing what they'd learnt so far that day. mostly the man was being pedantic to the woman ('everyone knows how to do 'x'') but beyond that arrogance it was fascinating the attention they were giving this topic -- idiosyncrasies of international shipping and their payments -- as if it were the most compelling topic on earth.

which it is not. at least not to me. but wow.

oh and additional swag is ribbons! indicating your ebay prowess as a buyer, seller, whatever. some of these ribbon banners go to the floor. pretty awesome.
finally it was keynote time, through which i got free dinner, woo! score one for the penny pincher. and finally got to try dryer's (edy's) nibs. oh my. those are dangerous. i found out that there are people with over 100k feedback. holy shit.

got bored to tears with the wooden speeches and value adds, plus hi, i'd been going nonstop since yesterday morning at this point, so i bailed at the end of the paypal speech. subway'd back to my room where i thought i'd crash but apparently i needed to wind down. and wind down a lot because i read this for at least 2 hours before going to sleep.

compelling book? not really. in fact, i almost put the book down because of tedious dialogue and a typo (their/they're) on page 9. yes, even 3 weeks later i remember it was on page 9. that's how much typos cheese me.

i also talked a bit to my lower bunkmate, a fellow conference attendee and budding ebay seller, from philadelphia. she said in the latter part of the keynote, they kept talking about win-something.

me: what?
her: you know those things you get when you feel real good?
me: ...
me: you mean, endorphins?
her: yes! but they called them windorphins
me: somebody's been thinking too hard.

anyway after talking and reading, i finally crashed. sleeping wasn't too bad although going to the bathroom in the middle of the night was tricky (down ladder, don't forget room key, amble down hall, come back, remember how to use key, grab ladder appropriately so as to not fall, put key back in easy to remember spot). then i woke up and it was time to write again.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

another interesting diversion

although i am, in fact, working on my boston post. have a draft entry and everything. but in the meantime, i've been tagged...

* What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

for me personally, it's knowing that some unchangeable part of me causes pain to someone i love. i can't even describe how much that sucks. then couple that with not being able to change that part of yourself... man! i'm so lucky.

* Where would you like to live?

i would like to be where She Who Tagged Me is: the general vicinity of portland, oregon. and if a little luck and determination have anything to say about it, we should be up there within the year. i really, really miss my parents. and oregon.

* What is your idea of earthly happiness?

lounging in a breezy cabana, overlooking an azure sea, and thinking up a snort-worthy witticism

* To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

probably musing (hence the title of this blog). sure it can be entertaining. sure it can lead to deep thoughts. but it sure can get me into a mess.

* Who are your favorite heroes/heroines of fiction?

gosh. i guess karen eiffel and harold crick in stranger than fiction, for completely different reasons; whoever the lead girl is in oranges are not the only fruit (what can i say, it's been so long since something i read really resonated with me). i also used to have a ginormous thing for jean luc picard. yep. it me, trekkie.

* Who are your favorite characters in history?

not to be cheesy but jesus is right up there. say what you want, he or his ghostwriters wrote some good stories. radclyffe hall. any pivotal feminist really (like how i'm covering my ass - and my memory - with that one?)

* Who are your favorite heroines in real life?

as in current day? any living feminist. :-D actually you know, i'm going to pick my mom. i don't know how she puts up with all her physical ailments AND my dad's AND is still so chipper and silly every time i talk to her, hardly ever complaining.

* Your favorite painter?

i am really not refined enough to answer this. i have some favorite photographers on flickr tho: whileseated, photo fiddler and heather (not me).

* Your favorite musician?

this is impossible. but some favorites currently coming to mind: indigo girls, jars of clay, crowded house

* The quality you most admire in a man?

a brilliant, liberal, devastatingly witty mind. so thank god for this.

* The quality you most admire in a woman?

same as the dudes, but throw in some sexy and you're just perfect.

* Your favorite virtue?

another tough one, but i will go with faith. because i think we could go so much further with a little more faith in each other (and yes i know this goes along with hope, another virtue).

* Your favorite occupation?

of jobs i've actually had? any writing job. for a dream job? starship captain.

* Who would you have liked to be?

see last dreamy answer.

* Your most marked characteristic?


* What do you most value in your friends?

snarkiness and loyalty

* What is your principle defect?

obsession. thankfully most of my stalkees have been beyond my reach.

* What is your dream of happiness?

i answered this in #3, but suffice to say it involves some brilliance.

* What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?

to never learn, and never grow from what you've learned.

* What would you like to be?

blessed with scrilla, but only so that i could focus on writing, erasing all my debts and generally spoiling friends and family.

* In what country would you like to live?

right now, here. but i wouldn't mind a trial run in sweden or the UK.

* What is your favorite color?

blue and green are interminably tied.

* What is your favorite flower?

stargazers. had them in our wedding, so lovely.

* What is your favorite bird?

i'll say seagulls, only because they remind me of the ocean.

* Who are your favorite prose writers?

jeanette winterson and a new one, susanna clarke. that book is looong, but oh! so worth it.

* Who are your favorite poets?

i know i have enjoyed some of the big lesbos: chrystos, adrienne rich, leslea newman. but to be honest that was years ago, i don't read poetry anymore.

* Who are your heroes in real life?

kinda said this before, but my mom. anyone who can successfully navigate this world with a blend of compromise and asskicking.

* What is it you most dislike?

blind hatred

* What natural gift would you most like to possess?

courage. not that i'm bereft, but i wouldn't mind a little more.

* How would you like to die?

in my sleep, after that day at the cabana.

* What is your present state of mind?

tired (it's after midnight now, my brain is entitled to be mush), hopeful, depressed, goofy, bored, and excited. what, i can't be all those things at once?

* What is your motto?

live free or... ;-) ok, probably some version of the golden rule + be as silly as humanly possible. yes, that's perfect.

alright, tagtime! immediately coming to mind are my sunday lunch dates (kelly, samantha, karen), but i would seriously love to hear from anyone who made it this far.

incidentally, sunday folks: in case you were wondering why i was a little subdued, i had a badass headache all day. know that i had a good time and hopefully we can try again someday. :-)