Monday, June 25, 2007

dog kicking chicken cooker

it's monday evening, and i feel akin to roadkill. that's probably because i started the day feeling a step above roadkill (i guess that would be diseased animal that resides near a roadway). how i got into that predicament was that last night i thought it would be a really keen idea to rarely be without a beer-in-progress in hand between the hours of 5 and 10. mind you, i had a phenomenal time. i just didn't get as much of a kick out of teaching my english 101 kids about prewriting, audience, purpose, and tone with a hangover as i thought i would. now that really nasty chinese food that i thought would make a tasty and satisfying lunch is kicking me back, and my accidental afternoon nap has left me feeling undesirable.

all this sounds rather dreary, but in actuality all is rather well in my corner of the planet. if all goes well tomorrow i will have added a second class to my teaching schedule for the summer quarter (let's see, double my current paycheck equals two times next to nothing...) and while that means more days of commuting to campus, it also means fewer theoretical days of malaise and bad television. so really, so far so good in that department.

last night i rode the red line to the site of my excess consumption (did i mention the doughnuts from fritelli's? mary, mother of god...) and really enjoyed the rush of inspiration it gave me. i guess that's something i can say because i'm fortunate enough to be someone who rides the red line as a treat--a reprieve from behind the wheel time, and a way to go out and have a heftier portion of alcohol (and how!) and not be a road hazard. it's amazing how being out and about with my ipod clipped on and the gift of not having to watch the road stimulates my creative thinking. hopefully if i can sustain the motion, i'll be part of a creative writing group this summer, which my writerly self desperately needs. and maybe someday, just someday, when people ask me "so what's going on with turning your thesis into a novel?" i won't have to drop my head in shame and say "i can't bear to think about it, so don't ask me!" anymore. that would be nice.

my main goals this summer are to write more, read more, and have more fun. i think i really got things off to a good start last night, because man, did i have me some fun at the LAist bbq. we have some really awesome people on staff, and it was tremendous fun to clown around with them and other attendees. i also accepted an iron chef-esque challenge (perhaps an aluminum chef challenge?) and made a last minute improv marinade for some chicken that came out tasting pretty decent. i also accidentally "kicked" a very old, deaf, small dog. (sorry, peggy!) what can i say, i was telling a vigorous story! anyhow, i'm not sure how it came about, but i know at some point i assigned myself the moniker "dog kicking chicken cooker."i think i also agreed to update or improve upon the "style guide" for the site. yikes. what have i done? a good time was had, indeed. summer has begun. i think i'm ready! bring it on!


Saturday, June 23, 2007

BBQueued Up!

so for this month's LAist staff get-together we're having another bbq, only this time those who are so inclined are bringing their take on the mixed tape (aka burned cds) to swap with each other. i agonized a bit over what direction to go in, but in the end i went with a quirky mix of stuff that tends to lie on the other side of the radar and things that of late bring me much happiness. so here's my track listing for my BBQueued Up! mix:

[01] “Keep Me in Your Pocket” (Charlotte Martin)
From the album Stromata (2006)

[02] “Everything is Everything” (Phoenix)
From the album Alphabetical (2004)

[03] “If You Say You Love Me” (El Presidente)
From the album El Presidente (2005)

[04] “Daydreamin’” (Lupe Fiasco feat. Jill Scott)
From the album Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor (2006)

[05] “Ghost of York” (As Tall As Lions)
From the album As Tall As Lions (2006)

[08] “Come Sing Me a Song” (Sing-Sing)
From the album Sing-Sing and I (2005)

[09] “This Heart is a Stone” (Acid House Kings)
From the album Sing Along with the Acid House Kings (2005)

[10] “Sex Toys” (Lust Pollution)
From the album Songs From a Moist Place

[11] “Something in You” (Orange Peels)
From the album Circling the Sun (2005)

[12] “Granville Station” (The Warmth)
From the album Fox & Weathervane (2005)

[13] “West Coast” (Coconut Records)
From the album Nighttiming (2007)

[14] “Spoon” (Cibo Matto)
From the album Stereo Type A (1999)

[15] “Don’t Say Don’t Worry” (Bee and Flower)
From the album Last Sight of Land (2007)

[16] “The Way I Am” (Ingrid Michaelson)
From the album Girls and Boys (2006)

[17] “Wait For Me There” (Ryan Ferguson)
From the EP Three, Four (2005)

[18] “Much Farther to Go” (Rosie Thomas)
From the album These Friends of Mine (2006)

[19] “Take it From Me” (The Weepies)
From the album Say I Am You (2005)

[20] “O, Jac!” (Jason Anderson)
From the album The Wreath (2005)

[21] “Samson” (Regina Spektor)
From the album Begin to Hope (2006)


Saturday, June 16, 2007

mary this is aiden. i'm going back to the basement where it's safe.*

it's amazing how things go haywire and random every now and then. the ups swoop swiftly downward at varying speeds, and the unexpected replaces the expected. there was a little of this phenomenon going on in my little world this week, on both sides of the good/bad divide.

this week i attended a book club meeting where we spent less than 8% of our allotted group time actually discussing the book, to my chagrin. i also thought it would be a stellar idea to pick an almost-fight outside the local caffeinated watering hole with a certain darling boy, then got to spend the next 48 hours replaying the scene in my mind and wondering just why i think it's acceptable behavior to conduct myself as though i were living inside any given episode of a wb network drama. i had dinner and went window shopping with a dear friend who is moving across the country (along with our former boss, who easily ranks as one of the best bosses anyone could ever have), i saw a musical about the four seasons and learned that no one should ever be allowed into a theatre while carrying a plastic bag, rediscovered the fact that eating the little pieces of fruit in the sangria will get you tanked all the faster, and i got to visit someone in a nuthouse. luckily in between all this (oftentimes literal) madness, i spent one of the loveliest days ever with my darling boy, had some awesome conversations with my awesome friends, ate some killer meals, worked out with my trainer, resolved a nasty customer service issue, and threw some virtual tater tots.

tonight, while driving home westbound on the 134, i took a good long look to my left as we passed through eagle rock, and drank in the hills dotted with homes, the traces of our downtown skyscrapers shadowed by hazy air, and the orange-pink blush of the impending sunset, and realized that despite the interims i endure now and then, and the surprises, the bumps and forks in the road, and the plot twists, i am where i want to be, and things are okay. i can collect the moments wherein the inherent imperfections i catalogue on a stolen afternoon equate to absolute perfection, and the only word i want to whisper is "love." these flaws are my reality programming, and no eye rolls, hyperbole, or crafty dialogue is better than an unorchestrated hug, a burst of laughter, improvised narration, or a kiss that can be felt from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. i've had plenty of headaches this week, but i've also logged more smiles. it's a good place to be.

* i have absolutely NO IDEA what this is from, but someone used it as a search and wound up on my site. it's utter randomness seems aptly fitting, yes?


Monday, June 11, 2007

taking time to smell the--

i like the way my room smells right now. well, wait--back that up a bit. first i would have to say that several years ago if i'd been asked what my favorite perfume was, i would say "grass" from the gap. of course, as is the tendency of most scents i love (see: dkny, the fragrance) the gap cut the grass (insert eye roll here) and i languished in smell-good dissatisfaction for quite some time.

i like the way my room smells right now because target carries the method line, and method makes a plug in room stinker called "grass." sometimes, though, the grass smell gets a little carried away with itself and i have to unplug it and give it a break. at that point in the day the real dudes who mow my apartment building's patch of greenery excusing itself for a lawn are on tap and i can hear the grass being cut if not smell it. don't get me started on leaf blowers.

tonight when i got home after a long day's journey into rancho cucamonga--i went there to hang out with a baby (with the same name as me!!!) and her mother (who i used to not know as well as i do now and always shook my head in dismay when she would show up late to shakespeare class because she'd partied too hard, circa 2002)--i went for a walk in the 'hood with lqt in our local park (where there is plenty of grass, i might add).

it does my heart good to see the folks of my neighborhood in the park with their family and friends, playing with their kids, throwing frisbees to their dogs, doing yoga, jogging, knocking a soccer ball around. i always forget how great it feels to have the evening air glide past my fingertips and rustle my hair while my feet get dusty from the well-worn track that circles the perimeter and boasts plenty of travelers. our little jaunt seems emblematic of my sentiments of late; i've been overcome by an infectious case of the lighthearted happys. the side effects seem to be less dispassionate television watching, more reading, artistic endeavors, writing, time spent with friends, activity, and a general sense of well-being. and although the trees outside my window are overrun by birds who hold cacophonous debates and rallies around two to four in the morning, i am very much abuzz with the bright and cheeriness that is spring-rolling-into-summertime. there is a sampling of gorgeous flowers bearing testament to the bounty of the season (including the mysterious "caldoon" artichoke--the subject of an assigned infoquest from my adorable floral benefactor) and the sun doesn't give up until almost eight thirty each night, when it finally slinks away in a colorful farewell.

i know, i know--the rhapsody, the lyricism! i've swapped my sad-faced self for someone far more enthusiastic--someone prone to thoughts of "lovelovelove" in place of tragic assumptions. and although i haven't shifted so far from the norm that holding my namesake baby today might make my inner mother instinct quiver (rest assured, i take that pill every day at the same time so as not to even test that inner mother instinct) i still could hold my namesake baby and be so very full of happy for her and her lovely parents.

so when we went 'round the park one time and paused, we decided to go 'round once more. lqt's all about the tao of pooh, and i've got springtime in my feet. and when we got home i stretched out on my cozy princess bed, and inhaled deeply.

mmm, grass! man, i like the way my room smells. i guess it smells like how i feel. and that's pretty fantastic i'd say.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

bedhead blogging

i'm being a lazy ass bedheaded blogger today. i bought some new "extra firm" pillows at target yesterday, and they are doing a stellar job of propping me up while i tap away at the keys of my beloved laptop, annie. i think i am blogging as a stall tactic, because today is the day whereupon i must do some undesirable things. first, it's the last day of that jackhole ceramics class i bailed out on like a thousand weekends ago (i couldn't hack it on the wheel. me, in tears, covered in clay, having an existential crisis) so i think i need to head over there and clean out my locker and see a man about selling back a bag of clay. i'm refusing to park the four hundred and fifty eight miles away from the classroom that is de rigeur at the college, so i am going to spit in the face of caution and park as close as humanly possible to the ceramics room, grab my stuff (provided i remember my lock combo) and then dash. hock-tooey! (that's my spitting sound effect.) i will then wash my hands of the whole sordid experience, and return to reveling in the joy of and my talent in painting on pre-fab ceramics in the style of my place of former employment. sweet.

so the other thing i have to get done today is to grade my students' final exams and some straggling papers and tally up their grades and get them submitted. i technically have until tuesday, but i also need to plan out an entirely new curriculum and syllabus using a new rhetoric text and readings for the class i start teaching on the 18th of this month. of course, the plan was/is to go to my office on campus after collecting my stuff at ceramics; the fact that this morning is graduation is a bit of a turn off, but i suspect by the time i actually get up, get showered, get my ceramics stuff, and get to campus the fracas will be long gone (let's hope, grrrrr). so, anyhow, i'd really like to get this quarter out of the way so i can move on to the new one. i'm pretty stoked to have this summer gig, because that's less drain on my savings (i let my very very very very very--did i say very?--extensive and costly dental work do the major drain) and it gives me something concrete to focus on. this week i really got back into the groove of being the fabulous food editor me, including rocking a couple of posts and going to some events. i'm feeling it again, which is so utterly fantastic.

look at me blather on. i think i only maintain this damn blog for my own posterity. i tend to blog when i'm happy and journal when i'm upset. there's probably something to that dichotomy, but i'll leave it be. from where i'm laying in my bed, things look pretty damn good. over there is a gorgeous bouquet of white peonies that were brought over by surprise earlier this week, and to my right is my cup of coffee, and somewhere are my ridiculous mary jane style crocs that i love, and my friends are strewn about this town and i have plans to see them, and somewhere out there is my busybusybusy but ever-so-darling boy whom i adore, and in just three weeks i'll be picking up my cousin munchkin at the airport for her annual summer visit and i can't wait for her to get here.

yup. it's looking good--great, even! but i've babbled enough. just a bit more coffee and it's time to start my day.


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