Last week I signed up for a buy.com account so that I could buy (dot com) something as a present for Jacob. Why should I buy (with or without dots) a present for Jacob? Well, why the hell not? I heard about something so gloriously well-suited to his tastes that I was confident that a) he'd be excited about it and b) he didn't have it, because if he had I'd have seen him using it. After some messing around with the wrong stores, I was told I could find it at the aforementioned dotty place. Great! I signed up, ordered, and paid. When I got the email telling me my order had shipped I practically jumped out of my seat.
That being last Tuesday, and this being this Tuesday, and the treasure having not yet fallen into my grubby hands, I thought I'd mosey over to package-tracking and see what the hold-up was. This involves logging in to buy.com, which I did confidently, entering my email address and password.
Sorry, no record of an account with that email address and/or password.
No problem, my typing is sloppy, I'll try again.
Sorry, no record of an account with that email address and/or password.
Fascinating, that, since I got the account emails just fine and I know what password I used. Well, okay, maybe I don't know what password I used. I'll enter my email address and ask for my hint.
Sorry, no record of an account with that email address.
I will copy and paste my email address from the "to" field of the email telling me my order was shipped (and my credit card charged, may I remind you), and ask for my goddamned password hint.
Ah, great, we recognize you now. Here's your hint.
Peachy. I was right about my password after all. I will copy and paste my email address again and type in my password.
Sorry, no record of an account with that email address and/or password.
I will rend you limb from limb, but also I will copy and paste my email address and ask you to reset my password and email it to me.
New password created and emailed to you. By the way, did you know you don't have a password hint?
Yes I do, you just showed it to me.
Nope. Just thought you should know. Isn't that interesting?
Whatever. I will copy and paste my goddamned motherfucking email address for the last time, copy and paste the random string of characters you've given me for a password, and log the fuck in.
Sorry, no record of an account with that email address and/or password.
I can buy all the stupid shit in the world for myself when I don't need it or have any good reason to have it, and no lousy website ever gives me this kind of crap. I go and I buy one awesome present for the man I love, because I think he'll appreciate it and I like to do nice things for him, and some bloody login script drops my account off the face of the earth so I can't find out if it's even still coming?
I hate you, internet. I'm coming for you with an axe just as soon as I figure out where to hit.
At Michele's barbeque/tardball extravaganza last night, I was walking to the bathroom when I ran straight into a pole at crotch level. Someone had to make up for the general competence running rampant during the baseball game, but aside from that I plead poor lighting, poor placement, and poor choice of pole color. The major thought in my head as I crumpled to the ground making ow ow ow ow noises was, "If I had testicles, I'd be dead right now."
Fortunately, I do not have testicles (in case you were wondering). I do, however, have a shitload of peanut butter cookies left over. You guys barely made a dent in them. Come on, do you expect me to finish these all by mmffmmf? And for breakfmmff, mmf ffmff? Well, okay. I guess I'll just have mf mmff.
Jacob and I both woke up this morning feeling sure that we'd had strange dreams, but unable to remember what they were. This isn't the first time that's happened to me lately, and I was just about to laud the existence of the perfect phrase to describe the feeling when I discovered that I have no such phrase after all.
I was going to say "fugue", which is a word that I fuzzily remember hearing defined as, essentially, a chase. A fugue state, then, would have been a sense of pursuing something. It's elegant and evocative. I took the definition on faith and liked it instantly. Just before using it in this entry, I went to check it and discovered that that isn't it at all. That is not the fugue state of which I speak, and my vocabulary doesn't include a good substitute.
This, then, is what we have. I had dreams last night in which I vaguely remember grasping for something and not quite getting it. I woke up grasping to remember what I was dreaming about and couldn't quite get it. Now I'm grasping, and failing, to describe grasping, and failing, to remember grasping and failing.
Notice to Jacob: I have a feeling this is one of those days where you'll come home and find me eating breakfast in the hope that things will make more sense if I start over.
I'm not sure words can properly express my horror at this.
The sink in my office bathroom smells like pee. The sink. It's not the toilet. It's not the trash. I leaned over toward the mirror, which placed my nose directly over the sink, and noticed that it smelled like pee. I retreated in displeasure. I flushed the toilet just in case. I leaned over again. Sink, pee. Pee, sink. Yes, I specifically sniffed the vicinity of the trash and the toilet to be sure, and no, I'm not proud of that fact, but no, it wasn't either of those things.
I wash my hands in that sink!
I saw Gene waiting at West Oakland BART this morning. I thought briefly of dashing out of my train and trying any of several extreme and implausible methods to attract his attention and say hi before he caught his train, but this was mostly because it's a nice morning and it seemed like an unnecessary wild-goose-chase would be more fun than remaining obediently in my metal box and going to work. I did the latter anyway. Sorry, Gene.
Jacob and I saw Revenge of the Sith last night. THERE ARE SOME SPOILERS IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPH. Since we walked out of the theater I've been attempting to decide which of two statements more accurately sums up my reaction. It's pretty much a dead tie, so I'll give you both:
What I mean by this is that the payoff scenes paid off, and the other scenes were awkward and stilted. How could it be any other way? Hearing Darth Vader take his first echoey breath through the black helmet would have to feel good, and it did. Listening to two hours of George Lucas's scriptwriting (less time spent on lightsaber battles) would have to make me wince, and it did. Everything else I've thought of to say about it has pretty much been said either here, here, here, or indeed in all three places, except for one thing. I've always thought of Darth Vader as a man at the height of middle age, someone on whom the James Earl Jones voice wouldn't seem out of place. When he says, "Luke, I am your father" in The Empire Strikes Back I always picture him remembering bouncing a two-year-old Luke on his knee before turning to the Dark Side. I'm not sure how to reconcile that with the story in which Anakin becomes Vader as a young man, a newlywed, not yet a father, not yet a Jedi master, not yet really grown up. It doesn't seem right for him to finish growing up in the Vader suit. I kind of want him to have a chance to live first.
If you read over my last four entries they go down-up-down-up, or up-down-up-down depending which direction you're reading. Up. Down. Left. Right. Down down left up left right up down down left right up up uppity up.
One of my coworkers brought in a mix CD today that turned out to be mostly Dashboard Confessional songs. She's in her 30s, she's never heard the term "emo", and she's singing along to "The Best Deceptions" while I type this. She told me recently that she had a dream she got drunk on her birthday and got something pierced. She's having a third-of-life crisis. It suits her. Even architects have to be teenagers at some point in their lives.
I'm having the most fantastic day today. I got on my bike and rode up to the farmer's market, shopped myself silly, lay in the grass in Civic Center Park eating tomatoes and strawberries and pistachios and trying to read The Grim Grotto but not getting very far because of being busy eating, and then biked home.
It's sunny. It's warm. The sky is blue. I'm wearing a tank top and my pants rolled up to my knees, and I'm going to pretend that the latter is because of my bike chain and the former isn't to show off my tattoo. The grass in the park was warm and dry and as soft as municipal-park grass can be reasonably expected to be, and my tomatoes and strawberries were delicious and juicy. I ran into a girl I used to live with at Wilde House, bringing my former-housemate-meeting rate up to one per month over the last three months. I also saw a tiny child in a stroller using his/her mother's Good Vibrations sweatshirt as a sunshade, which made my year.
Things that didn't happen include me getting creamed on my bike, me turning my head to see what was behind me and running into something (a particular fear of mine), me falling off my bike and dropping my asparagus, and me spending more than about $15 for a backpack full of summer squash, broccoli, red onions, the aforementioned asparagus, pistachios, and also the tomatoes and strawberries that were too delicious and fragile not to be eaten right away.
Now I think I need to either garden, or eat lots of chocolate chips and give that book another chance. Bets?
Jacob recently got his hands on the holy grail of our mutual geekiness, a massive collection of old PC DOS games. There are seven episodes of various Commander Keens, four or five Duke Nukems, two Jills of the Jungle, three Crystal Caveses, the whole ball of big-headed disproportionately-jumping wax. There's also Lemmings and Carmen Sandiego and a bunch of Sims which I really haven't got time for because I'm too busy trying to catch the edge of that platform without falling into that fiery thing that's there for no good reason.
Our lives this week have been revolving around three things: PC games, the Tick, and food. This is the existence of which I've dreamed since at least junior high (minus the Tick, but only because I didn't watch cartoons as a kid). I should probably pause to reflect on the realization of all my dreams, but that would take time away from my gaming. Time is a valuable commodity, or at least it is when you're being chased by alligators.
I went to sleep last night with the theme song from The Tick in my head, and dreamed about holding hands with someone. I conclude from this that I am 14 years old. Now leave me alone; I have to pop this pimple before Dawson's Creek comes on.
It's hot and sunny and muggy this morning, despite promises of rain that would get rid of this 79% humidity. I want to take off all my clothes and curl up in a ball and sleep, which is different from what I usually want in some way which I will explain to you just as soon as I figure out what it is. My birthday intern started today, but he isn't sharing my desk after all. He's been drafted into helping with the office move, so he's packing books in the conference room where nobody but the interior designer can ogle him. Hands off, you bastard, he's half your age. Of my age, on the other hand, he's at least 79%!
Just like the humidity.
This morning, as I emerged blinking into the light of day at 24th and Mission, I got hit in the face with a pigeon.
That's all I've got for today.
This is a good way to be jolted out of self-pity. No, wait. It's not a good way. It's a shitty way, but an effective one.
Killbot 9000, you will be missed. Everyone else, slow the fuck down. Someone cares about that rapidly-moving blur in front of your car.
My hippie sensibilities have been inconveniencing the hell out of me lately.
The first problem is that I've been reading French Lessons by Peter Mayle, an excellent book lent to me by my excellent sister. The author is an English transplant living in France, apparently because of the food. Every chapter so far involves needing to take a trip down to the town of Something-les-Something for the annual Whatsit-or-other festival devoted to some unsuspecting foodstuff. Chicken in one place, frog's legs in another, cheese here, snails there. Delightful anecdotes about a heated argument over how to prepare omelets. Do you start to see the problem? I'm five chapters in, five chapters of mouth-watering descriptions of apparently incredibly delicious food, and the only thing mentioned that I could theoretically eat has been truffles (which I don't shun on moral grounds, but merely despise as a matter of taste). I'm coming to the conclusion that the life of a vegan foodie is a lonely one.
The second problem is that I recently got a $15 check from BART for my shortchanging-change-machine problem, and happened upon the idea of spending it here. Yep, more ear jewelry. Something plain and restrained that I can wear to work, but maybe a little brighter and more exciting than my 3-year-old almost-black bloodwood. I found a few woods listed on the website that looked nice. Holly? Mahogany? Padauk? Cherry? Maple? There's a chance you're now seeing a problem here also: most of them are endangered hardwoods. Mahogany is banned for import by international treaty because cutting it down involves clearing rainforest. Cherry is apparently overharvested and underreplaced. Holly might be acceptable despite being extremely slow-growing, but this particular holly comes from South America and harvesting wood in South America is fraught with rainforesty problems. I can't find anyone to tell me that maple is sustainable except people who are in the business of selling it, and the best I can find on padauk is that it's theoretically possible the plantations growing it are replanting responsibly. In short, armed with nothing more than the continent of the wood's origin and my internet research, I can't in good faith buy any of it.
I'm having a bad week for self-pity. I want to trade in my attitude for a callous and irresponsible one so I can have exciting food that I didn't have to make and wear gorgeous jewelry that came from halfway around the world. You could make me a lifetime supply of accessories out of one lousy branch of one tree that fell down by accident anyway, and four legs or two or beaks or hooves or whatever, you're going to die. Why is it up to me to care how it happens?
Right here is the place where, as soon as I remember, I will post the picture that I took on Sunday of me wearing the beautiful beautiful elephanty ear weights from Singapore that Michele gave me for my birthday (speaking of gorgeous jewelry that came from halfway around the world). The picture is at home, I am at work, and apparently I've been leaving my brain in some completely separate location lately. It's probably hanging out with my perspective and motivation, smoking Cuban cigars and eating cheeseburgers.
Right here is where I remember to actually post those pictures. Picture one, in which I'm so thrilled about earweights that I've become slightly blurred. Picture two, in which I am no less excited but am slightly closer and much clearer. Picture two is the one where people who get squeamish about great big hangy ear holes should not click.
I was walking along 24th Street to the BART station yesterday afternoon when a car slowed almost to a stop next to me. I glanced over at it, startled, and saw the driver looking out the window. Some totally average nondescript guy, in a totally average nondescript car, of totally average nondescript age (both him and the car, actually), looking at me. I looked away and kept walking. I walk pretty quickly, but certainly not quickly enough to keep pace with a car... therefore, the same car finding itself stopping right next to me again a half block later struck me as particularly creepy and inappropriate. My hand came up and flipped off the driver even before I heard what he said, which was something along the lines of, "Would you like a ride, beautiful?"
In my mind, I marched over to the passenger window of the car and leaned down assertively. I told the perfectly average driver that stopping his car next to a strange woman walking down the street and offering her a ride isn't something that an average nice guy does. It's something for creeps and rapists and that guy who followed me home from junior high with his pants off that one time. I told him that while he may have thought it was a compliment, it was actually scary and objectifying and more than a little annoying. I told him that if he wanted to compliment a woman he could get out of his car and walk over and tell her she was nice-looking and let her smile and walk away feeling flattered, or if he wanted to get pepper spray in the eyes or a punch in the face he could try what he just tried with someone else after sundown.
In reality, I gave him a shocked look and walked the rest of the way to the BART station pretending he didn't exist. My mind gives the world a lot more opportunities to see reason and clean up its act. Reality gives me a lot more opportunities to be a chicken. Too bad, huh.
Holy crap! I would like to present for your perusal the following two pictures.
Jacob is still wearing the same pants. I've grown my hair out a bit. Jason has pulled a major chrysalis act and reappeared as a svelte, sweatered seductor with an all-new air of sultry scorn. That's five S words in one sentence, and the sixth is "sex". Come hither, you gorgeous creature!
I just deleted 88 spam comments from my blog. You never saw them. Thank you, MT Spam Magic Findy Moderatey Thing.
As you already know if you read Michele's blog, Saturday was my birthday and I dragged a whole crapload of people to Great America with me to eat cookies and get spun upside down by horrible ridiculous roller coasters. I had a fantastic time, and thank you all individually and collectively for coming. I hope you're all recovering nicely from the screaming and brain-jostling and sunburn and sore feet and bungee-harness injuries and sugar and everything.
So far, being 24 doesn't feel any different from being 23 except that it hurts more in the shoulder regions.
I explained to one of the architects yesterday that when I'm asked a question, my answer is almost always going to be either purple or cookies. This was after I was asked by two people in separate incidents whether I was "the purple person" responsible for the persistent rumors that the new office will be decorated entirely in violet. I explained both times that while I've thrown my support to the purple campaign, I'm neither its instigator nor its only backer... but if I'm ever going to run for public office I can't be seen denying the obvious truth in the accusation.
I am going to run for public office, in fact. I haven't decided which office, but my platform will be cookies. No, literally. I will make a platform out of cookies and stand on it (wearing special protective gear to avoid dirtying it) to deliver my campaign speeches. At the end of each speech I will signal my caterers to pour hundreds of glasses of soymilk and invite the entire audience to symbolically consume my platform as a delicious snack courtesy of their very generous future Undersecretary of Whatever. I will break off the first chunk from the podium myself and hand it to a small golden-haired child in the first row, who will stuff it into her mouth with a tiny fist and give the cameramen a happy, crumb-covered grin that we can splash all over the papers the next day.
My election will be practically guaranteed from that point forward. The coastal liberals will appreciate the cruelty-free progressive nature of my cookies and my gesture of sharing food equally to any member of the public who walks in off the street to attend my speech. The family-values-oriented Midwesterners will feel drawn to the motherhood-and-apple-pie appeal of my cookies-and-milk snack and the traditional, nurturing spirit which it represents. I'll be the biggest American hero since George Washington.
Most importantly, when I'm elected I won't have to wait until 4:30 to go home and try the brownies I made last night that were too gooey last night to eat and too messy this morning to pack in my lunch. I'll have a full kitchen in my office, and I can use my spare time to volunteer with a non-profit group (which I'll have started) dedicated to protecting the right of all workers to have fresh baked goods in their workplaces. Posterity will remember me as a great humanitarian.
Starting Monday, I will be sharing my desk at work with a cute boy. He's our new intern, an architecture student of some kind who'll be working with us for the summer (I'm fuzzy on the details because, obviously, I was paying attention to the important points). Since there's no room for anyone anywhere in our current office, he'll be sitting up front with me until it's time to move to our snazzy new building. What? I was brought up well. I know not to look a gift horse, or a gift of convenient and reasonably attractive eye candy, in the mouth.
In profile is a much better way to look anyway.
The first question that comes to mind is how anyone can believe that a person can be too immature to decide to have an abortion but mature enough to have a baby. The second question is what happened to exclusions for danger to the life of the mother, because thirteen is not fully grown or physically mature no matter what the ovaries say. The third question is jesus fuck, who do these people think they are? I'm so angry I'm seeing red. This is obscene, this is out of control, this is fucking criminal. I'd do physical harm to the people involved in this decision if I had the opportunity, and that's saying something coming from a person who refuses to hurt bugs.
Session two is done, also with the hurting. I wasn't a big sissy this time, or rather, I didn't express my big sissyism to quite the same degree as last time. Nonetheless you may take my word for it that it sucked intensely and I'm very glad that the outlines are mostly over. There has to be a little more outlining, though, because that lollipop just can't stay. Leaves, man, leaves! Come on here!