March 31, 2004


Robots, I've discovered, dance far better than I do, and with better balance. Watch this clip to see what moves this year's stylish and coordinated robot uses to impress the ladies. Then try them yourself, but don't be surprised if the ladies roll their eyes and walk away. No biological meat-machine has ever been this cool.

I want a robot. I want four of them to dance gracefully for my pleasure. Then I want sixteen more to go on walks with me, play cards, carry on conversations, sit around drinking tea and watching movies, help out around the house and garden, play with the cats, talk about my favorite books, and eat cookies all day. I want artificial lifeforms to live my life better and more stylishly than I ever could. Is that so wrong?

Posted by dianna at 10:40 AM

March 30, 2004


I got my first mosquito bite of the year on Sunday while puttering around the yard with Jacob. I thought that meant it was pretty much certifiably summer (the date of March 30th notwithstanding), although now it's cool and gloomy and I'm thoroughly confused.

However, I've realized something: going outside on a warm evening is just like going to the doctor's office. Some sneaky bastard is always going to come up to you and jab a needle into your arm to insert some sinister liquid, without really taking into consideration whether you wanted that sinister liquid inserted in the first place, and then you're going to be walking around pouting with a sore arm for the next three days.

Sore? Yes, sore. I feel like I just got a tetanus shot. Any mosquito that's incompetent enough to bite its patient on a big painful patch of arm muscle instead of a vein should have its license revoked and its office seized, and I intend to file suit for malpractice. See you in court, pointy-nose.

Posted by dianna at 11:24 AM

March 21, 2004

Excellent benefits.


World, Inc. has an immediate opening in its Bay Area department for a qualified Dianna. This is a permanent, full-time position-- serious applicants only. Hours are 12 a.m. to 12 a.m., Monday through Sunday.

Job duties include, but are not limited to:
-Talking (negotiable)
-Sleeping (not negotiable)
-Arts and crafts
-Sudden brilliant ideas
-Flights of fancy
-Marathon Poppit! sessions

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:
-More talent than skill, and more inspiration than talent
-The ability to see a project through to exactly 55% completion and then abandon it forever
-Short temper
-Extremely frequent desire to nap
-Avoidant personality with some social phobia
-Tendency to think in verbose and highly organized internet posts
-Dazzling problem-solving skills and a distinct reluctance to employ them
-Patience for highly repetitive tasks involving colored balloons
-Ability to inhabit something other than present reality 85% of the time
-At least 22 years recent experience in the field; 22.88 years experience preferred

Benefits include:
-Casual working environment with excellent co-worker relationships
-Comfortable bed (see above)
-Free vegetables during summer months
-Guaranteed lifetime job security

Posted by dianna at 11:29 PM

March 17, 2004

Up for adoption.

Is there anyone in the Bay Area on whom I can foist some lovely young tomato plants, and maybe some pepper plants as well?

What happened to me here was a classic case of, "I hear you, but I don't believe you." I read the directions on the backs of the seed packets that said COVERAGE WITH THIS PACKET 50 FEET, looked at my yard with maybe 30 feet of plantable area total, and went ahead and planted every seed in each of 5 packets anyway. The onions and basil have died off in large numbers, and by the time I got to the greens and beans I realized my mistake and only planted a few seeds. But this leaves me with 16 tomato plants still growing in my living room after I've moved all the ones I had room for into the yard. I've got 14 assorted bell peppers and something like 30 assorted hot peppers, and I haven't even started planting those outside.

The peppers aren't a tremendously big problem. They're slow growers and are still young enough that I can stand to pluck them out in the interest of reduced pepper population, although the sweet peppers are starting to show enough personality that it will be difficult soon. But it's the tomatoes that are really breaking my heart, because they're pushing 6 inches tall and have those beautiful fuzzy stems and that distinctive tomato-plant smell. I can't kill them now; it's crossed the line from abortion to infanticide. I can't leave them in their communal pots to get their roots all tangled up and strangle each other; it's cruel. I can transplant maybe one or two more into the front and side yards, and then I'll have to stop to leave room for the rest of my plants, or it'll be the same heart-rending problem all over again.

Let me introduce you to the dramatis personae, the adorable round-faced urchins clamoring for a loving home with you. The tomatoes are mixed heirloom beefsteaks (Brandywine, Amana Orange, and Evergreen) and are old enough to be planted outside or kept in big pots or milk jugs by themselves. They like sun, and they'll eventually need poles or stakes to stay upright. They will, if I know anything about heirloom tomatoes, be some fucking big tomatoes when they start to fruit. The sweet peppers are mixed bells (green, red, gold, purple and white), and they're young enough to be kept in cups for a little while longer. If you'd like to plant them outside they should be old enough for that pretty much any time now, and they shouldn't need poles to stay upright. The hot peppers are a mix of Hungarian Wax, Red Cayenne, Cherry, Anaheim, and Jalapeno. They're just seedlings right now, so they're not causing too much of a space problem, but if you know my taste for spices you'll understand how few of them I really need to keep.

If you'd like to take any of these plants, just let me know which ones and how many. I'll transplant them into appropriate containers, label them, and even send you home with instruction sheets if you'd like. If you're someone who has any reason to be in Berkeley you can come get them off of my front porch if you so desire, or if you're someone I see elsewhere I can bring them along the next time I see you. I'm not only eager to deliver them to anyone who wants them, I'm unemployed and have all the time in the world to traipse around the Bay Area with handfuls of plants.

Tell all your friends! Be the first on your block to grow your very own salsa! Come on, please?

Posted by dianna at 12:10 PM

March 09, 2004

Squish blorp waddle.

I spent an hour or so today pulling up weeds and turning over soil in my proto-vegetable garden. Actually, I think that should technically be my proto-vegetable proto-garden, since both the garden and the vegetables are in their infancy. Either way, it's the place where I was poking around with a screwdriver (because I still lack proper gardening implements) and yanking at stems and roots. I'm now thinking that, after what I found, I should hang a sign on it saying Dianna's Amazing Menagerie Of Gross Things and start charging admission.

There were the ordinary run-of-the-mill earthworms, and the really big fat wiggly run-of-the-mill earthworms. There was a generous assortment of pillbugs, earwigs and slugs of varying size and sliminess. There was one fat, bright green caterpillar and something which was probably another slug but looked for all the world like a moving pickled mushroom. I found an area that I started thinking of as the metaphorically evil section of the garden, if my garden were a children's story involving anthropomorphized small crawly creatures. It was dark, dank, slimy and the stems of the plants were yellow and mushy instead of green and firm. There was a decomposed root of some kind, hollow most of the way through and sitting in a bed of black slime, looking like the place that the well-meaning pillbug mother sternly forbids her adventurous pillbug children to go near. They go anyway, of course, which is when they discover the little cluster of bright white spider eggs nestled in one end of the root. They look brittle and crunchy, but no pillbug, no matter how bright-eyed and mischievous, is ever going to squish one to find out. Neither will I.

There was also some strange winged bug that I'm afraid may have been a mosquito, humping the ground in an obscene ritual of egg-laying. I think I gained a few bravery points with my downstairs neighbor's son for poking it with a twig to make it go lay its eggs somewhere else, but probably lost all chance of being considered cool in the 11-year-old scheme of things for admitting that I don't actually kill bugs. Hopeless hippie dorkdom is now mine, for all eternity. I may as well be burning incense and listening to world music.

Posted by dianna at 05:52 PM

March 05, 2004

I can be any machine you want me to be.

It's 12:30 pm on the first Friday in March, and I'm sitting on the floor wearing a blanket instead of decent clothing, drawing a big, intricate and dazzlingly colorful tattoo design in colored pencils on a picture of my back. Occasionally I'll stop to giggle gleefully or ponder words like "intoxicating" and "luscious". I'm also deciding whether it would be better to eat sourdough toast or make scones and eat those; perhaps, indeed, I'll design a scone-and-toast-themed tattoo and draw it on myself in strawberry jam, simply because I can.

I'm having a goddamned good day.

Posted by dianna at 12:32 PM

March 02, 2004

Civic doozy

I wandered into my polling place about 30 minutes ago looking pretty much as I always look. Indie band t-shirt over long sleeves that are slightly too short, slouchy cargo pants that don't quite come up to cover my stomach tattoo, dirty hiking shoes, and half-inch eyelets in my earlobes. I found the right line to be in, gave my name and address, signed the register, and waited for my ballot card. While I did so, the following exchange took place between the poll worker who'd signed me in and the one who was preparing the card.

Pollworker 1: "What party is she again?"
Pollworker 2: "She's a Democrat. Can't you tell?"

I could just as easily be pegged as a Green, really (hiking shoes, people, hiking shoes!), but either way I'm just glad to have confirmation that the quality of Fucking Right I'm A Liberal seeps from my pores and glistens on my skin for everyone to see. Perhaps for the next election I'll carry a big sign declaring I'M ALSO NOT WEARING A BRA just to make it extra clear.

Posted by dianna at 05:29 PM