Sunday, April 30, 2006

Jer and I celebrated our sixth anniversary at The Melting Pot last night. The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant. I'd never had fondue before, but the learning curve isn't that steep. (Hello fork, meet double boiler.) It was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours, but if we do it again I'm saving room for dessert. By the time we ate our cheese starter, salad, and cooked the meat, there wasn't any room left for the assorted chocolate concoctions. In the harsh light of day, this makes me sad.

It's time to think about a vacation. I need something to look forward to, an adventure to plan. Even if it's only for a weekend, a road trip and a hotel room, I'd be happy.

I haven't felt much like writing lately, or writing about not writing. California still thinks my car is registered there and sent me a renewal. I had some trickiness with my bank. Some of my favorite people at work are leaving for other jobs, and I'm barely making it the gym. I'm still making it in, but it's a fight everytime. I've just got a case of blah. Not even Bailey Sunday is fully charging my batteries, if you know what I mean. So at the risk of throwing up a lot of whine at the universe, I've been keeping to myself.

I am looking forward to the fact that the water taxi starts tomorrow. That means I can take a boat into work and avoid the bus and the traffic altogether. Since there's another march planned through the streets of downtown during rush hour tomorrow, I can't wait to partake in a brisk commute by boat across the bay. Beats sitting on the bus for an hour to go four blocks.

Lastly, the technical writing class that started yesterday, the one I'd been looking forward to for months? The instructor never showed. We all sat around waiting for 40 minutes, but nothing. No one could reach him, no one at the college knew anything. We all gave up and left, finally, after the guy at the front desk offered the ten of us a cookie to share for our trouble. Very disappointing.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

lazy sunday

I started to work on a play again that's been sitting around for the last year. It means I get to sit at the window and listen to The Eels and watch the tourist traffic pass by and get distracted by the beautiful weather. Sunny and warm and clear today. Laptops with wireless internet access are useful for these sorts of days.

The album I'm listening to is called, "With Strings Live At Town Hall." It's very good. I especially like the songs, "Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)" and "Losing Streak."

I also watched too much VH1 today and filled a big bag full of envelopes and junk mail for the recycle bin. Sometimes I feel like I'm being buried under a mountain of kibble, and there aren't enough cleaning implements to keep it at bay. But that's just me being overdramatic. If I cleaned up a little everyday the pile wouldn't threaten to suffocate me in my sleep. Although the next trial is to tackle the explosion of cat hair. Both cats are shedding and of the two bipedal creatures living in this apartment, I'm the only one who knows how to operate the vacuum. To be fair though, that "On" button is tricky.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

just another saturday

I feel better than I have a right to feel, what with grossly underestimating my body's tolerance to Mr. Jack Daniels last night. (It's true, I do all my own stunts.) Now I'm waiting for the washer to have its way with my gym clothes so I can half-assedly dry them even though they're not supposed to be dried, and then head downtown. More Saturday fun with the trainer.

Next week my class on indexing starts, so I've got that going for me. Which is nice.

I've probably mentioned this before, but the only thing I really miss about California, is the convenience of purchasing liquor in grocery stores. It's not like I constantly purchased alcohol, let me be clear, but to have the ability to do all the shopping at once was something I took for granted. Here, I have to plan my alcohol shopping trips separately and then buy in bulk. Of course liquor is also more expensive here too, so buying in bulk is a nice dent in the pocketbook. It's like the state is saying, "Well, it's not like it's prohibition or anything. You can still drink, but you're gonna pay through the nose and have to walk six blocks out of your way to do it." It's not enough to make me pick up and move back, but I don't care for it much.

The cats are chasing each other around the apartment again. And I could really use a nice greasy breakfast sandwich. It's too bad "Jack in the Box" doesn't deliver.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

i invented a maneuver

In the last few days, I've been rejected by two playwriting contests I don't remember entering and a third notified me that they never got around to judging any of the contest entries. Turns out it stings a lot less if you have absolutely no emotional attachment whatsoever. I probably should've figured that out by now.

Last Sunday I saw a fantastic play called, "The Pillowman," at ACT Theatre. It was executed brilliantly. The acting, costumes, lighting, set design, and of course the play, were all exciting and inventive. And I thought the dark humor was exactly an example of what a play could and should be. The theatre was in-the-round, and the play starts with a large ominous gray box that blocks the whole stage. When the play starts, the box lowers and reveals the actors on stage, and then later the lights lower (the whole panel of lights physically lower) and reveal another stage. Wow. Just wow.

I'm reading William Gibson's "The Seesaw Log," about his experience having a successful play produced. It tells it like it is, warts and all. So on the one hand I'm seeing these awesome plays, and on the other, I'm reading about the seven kinds of hell it takes to put a play together. I guess it's not so bad being a spectator. You're bound to lose money either way, but it's far less stressful to just shut up and watch.

This morning while I worked out with my trainer, a co-worker saw me attempt a particularly embarrassing maneuver. It involved a big gray ball under my shoulders, my body in an L shape (abs tight, butt in the air!), a circular weight on my abdomen, doing butterfly curls as I held small weights. Yep. It was the first time anyone I know has seen me at the gym with the trainer, so that's a milestone. Can withstand humiliation by peers? Check. I'll just be adding that to my resume under the "Teamplayer" bullet point.

Friday, April 14, 2006


I am a fan of the work of the artist James Taylor. If you click that link there's a sketch in the header of a woman sort of smirking in the reeds. I've got a copy of that print on my wall. It's awesome. Found it a comic shop in Lynnwood when we went to have the guys from Penny Arcade autograph their book. Check out the inkwashes/pinups section on the site. Amazing.

birder for hire

I'm watching a gaggle of Canada Geese with their goslings, 7 cute little things, waddling around across the street. It'll be hazardous walking down that particular sidewalk for the next few days. At least until the rain washes the shit into the bay.

On the subject of birds, I've never paid them special attention, but there's one kind that makes me stop and watch everytime. It's called Barrow's Goldeneye (thank you internets) and at first I thought it was some sort of puffin, but that only goes to show how little I know about birds. They have a very distinctive white pattern on their black wings, and a slash of white across their face. They're not very big and they swim in the water in groups, floating almost in place. Whenever I walk past on the way to Alki, I stop and watch. They're very striking. Although not as striking as the two bald eagles with their nest in a tree across the street... I guess there may be room for birding in my life after all. I'm always game for hobbies that involve binoculars.

In other news, it's been far too long since I've mentioned that I love being a technical writer, though it'd be even better if it somehow incorporated binoculars.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I had to trick myself into going to the gym last night.

Hey, what's around this corner here that I pass everyday? Will you look at that? It's the door to the gym... what if I, say, swiped my pass and went inside for a look? Yep. Still the same ol' gym, smells like feet. Since I'm here, I may as well change, I mean, at least get comfortable. Sweats are more comfortable than slacks, definitely.. Now that that's done, five minutes on the elliptical wouldn't be so hard, now would it? On and on.

I continued to trick myself by watching "Law & Order: SVU" and pretended it was Criminal Intent, but it wasn't. SVU is very bad. And by bad I mean badly written. Watching the actors engage in dialogue is like watching a tennis match where no one reacts or listens, they just wait for their turn and then explode with useful information and unbelievable (read stupid) plot twists.

Speaking of unbelievable plot twists...

On Monday, walking back from lunch at the Subway, my little eye spied three men in an alley. Two were talking to a third whose back was to me. He was sort of leaning into the wall at an angle, his left arm up and against the wall for support. Then I saw a stream of fluid originating from his crotchal region, spraying the ground in an even arc.

I totally saw a guy peeing in the alley.

It was one of those moments where my head was swinging all directions in an attempt to be aware of my surroundings, and this sight didn't register and absorb right away. I was a few feet past the alley when I realized I'd totally seen a guy peeing.

And last night at the bus stop, I saw a guy get arrested. Not the same guy who was peeing. Cops chased him down the street and handcuffed him about fifty feet away from where I stood as four cop cars with lights flashing pulled up. When the guy realized he wasn't getting away, he sat down on the ground quick and held up his hands. The cops drove him off into the sunset in the back of a police car.

AND! In Elliot Bay last night was a huge boat stacked with houses, two high. Jer and I had to take time to marvel at the ingenuity of man, as houses floated past our balcony.

I live in the big city, y'all.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I'm listening to "Toy Matinee" and it makes me want to apologize to someone I knew ten years ago. Why does music do that? When I've forgotten everything else in my life, my friends, my family, myself, will I hear this song and still be urged to make amends?

One of the marches for illegal immigrants' rights went through downtown Seattle tonight. I saw it from the gym, second floor, sweaty and tired, and my heart flipped a little. People, mobs, elbow to elbow, sidewalk to sidewalk, streaming down 2nd Avenue. Traffic was stopped, the police presence was strong, cops everywhere with their flashing lights and motorcycles. It was amazing. And the splinter students and freelance historians along the edges with their cameras and lightweight tripods shooting long. Signs. Flags. Hecho en Mexico.

Last night I saw Stephen Schwartz at the 5th Avenue Theatre. It was one of the highlights of my life that I heard him sing "Corner of the Sky" and play the piano. It was an incredible evening. I sat there, stunned. It's been so long since the theatre moved me. Since I felt like, this is where I need to be, this is what I need to be doing. I felt it last night. You could say that something stirred, something sleeping. And of all the places in the world I could have been, that was the right place.

I went with a silky lavender skirt with black trim, black short-sleeved top, nylons, camel coat, high heels, makeup, and hairspray. In case you were wondering. And the merlot. Definitely the merlot.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Ah, glorious Sunday, the day I can sleep in until well after eight -- with the exception of feeding the cats at 6am and then going back to bed -- dick around on the internet, and be delightfully free of responsibilities -- except for laundry and finding food and paying bills. Sunday, you are my crutch in a sea of driven days.

And that last entry? The one with all the bitterness? Brought to you by our friends, Tequila, Triple Sec, and a serious splash of margarita mix.

So I've got this thing tonight where I have to be all dressy and wear clothes that probably reach my knee or at least show off my hot and curvy legs and I just don't even know. I'm also supposed to go to this reception and I'm not sure how I feel about that either on account of being more inept than ept at social gatherings -- to the point where I consider taking up smoking for the evening just so I have something to do with my hands. It'll be fine, yeah. So fine. But I will drive myself crazy worrying about it until I'm in my seat at the theatre and the lights go down and I know for sure that no one is judging my shoes. Because until I buy new ones, they're pretty judge-able. But I can't buy any new things until my body quits shifting around and picks a dress size it plans to stick with, and then I can find all the shoes in the world to match my forward thinking wardrobe.

I am forgetting that there is no worrying on Sunday. Sunday is the sleep-in day, Sunday is the day that the other days whisper about in the halls and by the water cooler. Sunday is all laid back and business casual and possibly a liberal amount of Bailey's in my coffee cup kinda day.


Friday, April 07, 2006

I would just like to say -- and this may surprise and shock you -- if you start treating me differently because you find out how old I am, I'm liable to clock you.

This comes from a specific example where someone I'd known for several months found out how old I was, nodded slightly, frowned, and said something like, "I thought so." Up until that point we'd been very good friends, and then bam. Subtle condescending attitude.

No, I do not play that game. Since I cannot address this person directly because she'd deny it and possibly cry, I would just like to pretend I am speaking to her and say, get over yourself. I will not go from being your equal to being your inferior in ten seconds or less because we were born in different decades.

Or maybe that's just my complete and utter lack of maturity talking. I am ever so childish sometimes.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I'm going to the theatre! Bought my subscription, tickets are in the mail, and I'm off. It'll be Sunday matinees all the way, baby.

Baseball season kicked off this week and I know this because my bus got stuck in the traffic aftermath. It took one hour to go, oh say, six blocks downtown. One hour. And of course I was sitting next to an exceedingly silly woman who absolutely needed to narrate her adventures via cell phone. "Like, I bought this yarn, and apparently it's made by women in South Africa? Cuz they're poor? In South Africa? And all the money goes to help them stay alive... or something?"

No sooner did she hang up the phone, she dialed another friend. "Yeah, like so, I'm on the express, but it sure doesn't feel like it? Hahahahaha." The eye rolling in our section was apparently contagious, because everybody had a case of it.

So the first play I'm going to see is "The Pillowman" by Martin McDonagh. Although this Sunday there's a spotlight night for Stephen Schwartz and Pippin which I'm going to, but that doesn't count as a play exactly -- there will be talking and a variety of songs and a few Pippin previews, but I won't see Pippin until May, so I'll count it then. I will be flying solo at these events because everyone I know is a philistine. Or because I didn't invite them. Choose your own adventure.

I am selfishly hoping that as a result of immersing myself in culture, I will be inspired to finish my play. The one I started a year ago and set aside in favor of critical life changes like losing my job and moving many miles to the north and other convenient excuses. See now I am boldly entering the era of NO EXCUSES -- or NO XQS if you prefer the brevity -- and I will be rocking the literary world forthwith. Or the dramaturgical world if the literary world won't return my calls.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I went down 4% body fat over the past month, which is good. It's nice to have a number in mind instead of just tugging at my waistband and thinking, there's more space in there.

We saw "The Chronicles of Narnia" at a theater filled with squirming little kids and their equally whisper-loving parental figures. It's not exactly an action packed film and the audience was bored. Three-quarters of the movie is implied violence, no real death or gore... then suddenly we're in full on war, mythical creatures hamstringing one another, decapitating unicorns, rhinos on a rampage! By then it was too little, too late.

My favorite character/actor was the white witch warrior queen woman. I was rooting for her and the rest of the Horde to win. The child actors were whiny and irritating. I never felt that way about their characters when I read the book. The book had whimsy. It had enthusiasm. This movie did not impart a sense of wonder. Except for me to wonder: what's so bad about the white queen? She certainly knows how to dual wield.

There was also a lot of questing on the part of the child actors -- and I don't want to ruin it -- but the worst Santa ever. That's right, it's a Santa who only hands out weapons. Then there were a lot of talking forest creatures, but the movie ends with the actors chasing a stag through the woods -- with the assumed intention of killing it for sport.

In closing, this film was a composite of many others including but not limited to: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Flowers in the Attic.

Thank you and good day.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

It's raining. I like that.

I paid my taxes last night, and I ask you, why is it so confusing? And why don't I know the secrets that big businesses know when they pay like one dollar in taxes? Or is that a myth perpetuated by Mr. Burns and Smithers? Everything I know I learned from Simpsons reruns.

I mentioned the condo board recently and how they're changing the rules for renters. They did and we met with our landlady last Saturday and signed a new lease. In theory, we should be okay unless they challenge it.

Five and a half hours until I meet with my trainer and get weighed in for the first time in a month. I don't know if I lost much weight, but my body fat percentage must have changed. It probably would've changed more if I hadn't drank all that pepper vodka and spicy bloody mary mix this week.