Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Films

During my visit to my mom over Christmas I decided to go through a couple of boxes in her garage. Even though she moved into her house several years ago, she hasn't gone through all the stuff we initially piled in during the move. I thought I would help her out by taking a box or two and organizing it. 

I mostly focused on boxes from my grandparent's house because they were the most interesting. They contained things I had never seen before. I never met my grandparents before they passed away (I met my grandmother, who married my grandfather after my maternal grandmother passed away) and so what they left is really all I have to know them by. In the box I found that day there were several smaller boxes of jewelry. They were my grandmother's. I had a friend who collects antique and costume jewelry look them over and she was surprised to find so many pieces in good condition. 

Another box contained my grandpa's pins from WWII. He was a medic stationed in the Aleutian Islands for a while and the brass pins had images of the snake and staff as well as two flags my friend thought might be Masonic symbols. 

The most intriguing item was a white roll of 8mm film. My mom's name was written on it, but that was it. A year or so ago I had bought a projector that could play the film, but when I had turned it on the light bulb hadn't worked. Last night I decided to play around with the projector just to see how the film would fit. To my surprise, when I pushed the switch to turn the bulb on, it actually turned on. I needed to have it in a certain position. It took Joey and me a while to figure out how to put the film in. It's funny to think that this procedure would have been commonplace at one time but is so rare now that few people can do it. We finally threaded the film through the projector and turned the machine on. We dimmed the lights and focused the image on a white piece of paper. 

The film showed my mom running around with a chihuahua at the house she grew up in in Sugarhouse. I could see the small trees in the front lawn that would be tall by the time I visited my grandmother. There were also scenes of my grandfather and the grandmother I knew. He looked exactly like his pictures. He had on a suit and tie and she had on a white dress with buttons. They were walking around the front lawn. The projector would only work in slow motion so their movements were slow and gradual. This was the first time I had seen my grandfather actually moving. Because I had only seen him in photographs I thought of him as being quite static. When I saw him on the film for the first time moving and smiling, it seemed really natural to me. Even though I never met him in person I know I would recognize him in anything. 

I really enjoyed watching it. I hope I can find more films of my grandparents because I feel like I know them better just by watching the films. 

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Ghost Cake episode: Grocery Field Recording

Another amazing ghostcake episode. I've decided to take out the space between those two words, but I'll probably regret it later. In this episode I make a field recording of my trip to the grocery store. I'd like to do more field recordings in the future, ones in stranger places. 

Leave any questions or comments here. 

In other news, my apartment is warm again after being bitterly cold for several days. The boiler was on the fritz. The cold immobilized me. I'd like to get out more, but with work being so crazy for the end of the year and the cold, short days I haven't had much luck. 

I'm also thinking that I should write more in here. With any luck I'll have more time to.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ghost Cake on Wikipedia

I want to create a page for Ghost Cake on Wikipedia. Does anybody know how to do that? It looks easy but I want the page to look awesome. 

Thank you!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

This is Where the Blah Sets In

I think I'm getting a little depressed. I don't feel like doing much when I have the free time. I have no ambition. I feel like lying around, staring at the walls. It might be because I've been so busy these last few months. School has been doubly hard because of my final Anthropology class. It is interesting but I have twice as much reading for that class as my others and it is all scientific papers about evolutionary ecology. I enjoy the material but it still takes so much of my time to get through. I'm probably feeling gloomy about having to work crazy hours in December too. I might have to work 60+ hours every week. I'm going to try to get two days off per week, but they might get bitchy and deny it. Even though it's only for a few weeks it feels like it's so much worse. My only substantial break between the semesters and I have to work my ass off during it. 


I'm really getting tired of my daily routine. I need to break free somehow. The trouble is, I have to  work to survive and I don't want to leave school when I've got so little left before graduation. I keep looking toward spring for hope but the time until then seems so vast. Maybe I'll shake up my schedule as much as I can. I'll try to find a time machine or something. 

I know this feeling will pass, but in the mean time it is god awful. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gimme Gimme New Guinea!

I just got done reading this article about this study done in New Guinea. The researchers were looking to see when agriculture first came to New Guinea, and they discovered that bananas were likely domesticated first here in 5000 BC (or 6950 BP, if you can translate that). For me, that number is amazing because it is difficult to imagine how you would transform a plant from a wild variety to a domesticated one without any modern technology. It would take several generations of people to get it all done too. It is also interesting that domestication occurred at all because the site that this was done at, Kuk, was not a dense montane forest like the surrounding area but a swampland and grassy area. What are the chances humans would go there and then domesticate something? Okay, they probably were attracted there for the variety of food they could get at that location. But imagine if bananas were never domesticated. What would you put on your cereal?

Actually, some prehistoric groups domesticated plants that are now either extinct or not in wide use. The group of people living in eastern United States 3000 years ago domesticated some plants, like chenopods and sumpweed, that aren't eaten much today. I don't even know what they would taste like. This group did, however, domesticate sunflowers. Probably. There still seems to be a little confusion over that. 

Learning where foods were first domesticated makes me think about how amazing humans are. It is our ability to adapt to new environments and new situations that makes us such a dominant species. At the same time, the antiquity of domestication kind of debunks the push for "natural" foods. If you really wanted your food to be untouched by human hands, it would be nearly impossible. You'd have to give up all the foods you eat now and try to go out into the wilderness and collect wild specimens. Good luck with that. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sita Sings the Blues

Here's a trailer for an amazing looking movie.



It's already gone to several film festivals. I hope it comes here to Utah. Seeing this makes me want to be an animator. You can find more information about the film here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Ghost Cake episode: Proposition 8 Protest

You can leave comments for the show here. If you haven't listened to the show, go to this link and do it!



When I got to the protest I felt much more secure. I was worried it would be about five queens shouting at the temple. There were around 2,000 people there. I hope some sort of change occurs because of this and other efforts.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Protest Tonight

I'm a little nervous about going to this protest tonight. It's going to be downtown and against the Mormon Church for supporting Proposition 8. I don't know how many people are actually going to go because it's kind of cold outside. I'm going to record some conversations with people. I just hope nothing crazy happens. I could imagine some redneck starting trouble with the group.

I am disheartened by the passage of the amendment in California. Religious people seem to think that if they don't invade and infect every part of everyone's lives they will somehow be deficient. The arguments against gay marriage are weak and totally based on some subjective ideology.

Many people are associating this ban with the ban on interracial marriage prior to the sixties. The interesting thing is that most Black people in California voted FOR the ban. I don't know if the parallel was really talked about, but I wonder if it would make a difference. Religion can make people do contradictory things. But, the experience of the Christian faith attempting to assert that a group of people ought to be slaves forever should be enough for anyone, Black, White or any ethnicity, to see how religion is entirely fabricated and the result of human fears. Religious beliefs should not be the basis of civil law.

Another peculiarity of the call for moralizing America is the strange marriage allowances now. I don't know if this is true still, but I thought in Utah a child could marry starting at the age of 13 or 14 if they had their parents' consent. So, a 56 year-old man marrying a 14 year-old is somehow beautiful and holy? That is disgusting. Is that what the Mormons are fighting for?

The protest starts in about an hour and a half. I want to go to show support for this. I don't want to say I'm for Gay Rights and then chicken out.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Ghost Cake episode: Mummy Time

The latest episode of my show is a little bit about mummies, a little bit about the elections, a little bit about depression glass and a whole lotta fun. I talk about the Chinchorro mummies from Chile, which are the oldest known mummies in the world. They predate Egyptian mummies by almost two thousand years.

You can listen to the show by searching for it at iTunes: ghost cake. It'll pop up under podcasts. If you aren't of the iTunes persuasion you can find the show here Feel free to leave any comments or questions here. And, if you are a new listener to the show, let me know where you're listening to it, just for fun.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Lab Lull Rant

I have at most half an hour before my next subject comes into the lab so I thought I would rant. I read an article this morning that said 1 in 7 voters are still undecided about this presidential election. Seriously? What have these people been doing for the past year? Haven't they taken even a little bit of time to see what the candidates' positions on issues are? I am an Obama supporter, and I've already voted, but I respect the points of a McCain supporter as long as he/she has thought them through. The voters I hate are people who don't really pay any attention to the debates or the issues and just decide who they want to vote for in the booth. These are the jackasses who voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 because he seemed like the moderate candidate.

I think that if you haven't made an intelligent decision about who you are going to vote for then you shouldn't vote at all. Our political system was not put in place so everyone would be forced to vote, whether they've made up their minds or not.

Another thing that pisses me off: the Proposition 8 in California. Why is it anybody's business if two gay people get married? I don't understand how anyone could oppose that except for prejudicial or religious grounds. Will gay marriage mean that honest, god fearing husbands will fag out and marry other men? Probably not. Will it lead to the destruction of our country because the birth rate will go down? With only 10% or so of the population likely to be gay, that's not going to happen.

Saying gay people should not be married because it would make someone feel uncomfortable is like saying two Black people shouldn't be married because Black people are weird.

And religious beliefs? Since when did this country become a theocracy? This is not going to deplete the numbers of blank-eyed religious swooners who pack the churches every Sunday. Damn christians think their religion is being attacked by this, but this is just another lame reactionary response from a group that is not under any threat.

So, don't be stupid. That's the lesson for today (because for some reason I've begun extolling people on virtue). And, happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Ghost Cake episode: Spooky Stories

My latest show is up on iTunes: ghost cake. Or, you can find it on lordshipslimbs.blogspot.com

This episode is about local ghost stories. Most of them are about the pioneers, but there is one more recent story. I also conduct an EVP session. That stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon and people say it is audio proof of ghosts. The ghosts supposedly say things that only a recorder can pick up. If you search for EVPs in Google you'll find some good ones. If you live in Utah you can look at the Utah Ghost Organization at Utahghost.org. They have all of the investigations on the site, with pictures, videos and EVPs. It's fun to look at.

Leave questions or comments here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hating on the Accent

I'm preparing the next story I want to produce for The Unbodied. I'm not done with it yet but I wanted to make one of the characters British or Australian, just for fun. I thought it would add another dimension to a show with only two or three actors. I wanted to practice an accent so I went on Youtube to see if there were any instructional videos. I watched several, including ones that had nothing to do with accents and one video made by a huge queen, and I noticed something interesting. Most of the comments were pretty disparaging ones left by British or Australian people. I will admit that most of the accents weren't too good, but the comments seemed pretty cruel.

I think maybe those leaving the comments were offended that Brits and Aussies would be stereotyped. I know there are several different accents in Britain alone, not to mention the rest of the anglophone world. It could also be that British people are sick of Americans thinking they can speak with an accent and just using a cockney one. It would be like assuming all Americans speak with a heavy Southern accent or something. I'm doing that in my head right now...



This is a video of a guy trying out an American accent. Like British or Australian accents, there are tons of instructional videos on how to speak American English. They mostly teach standard American, which sounds like a reporter or something. For the most part I found their information to be accurate, except for one video that claimed Americans never pronounce the t in nt words, like can't or tint.

It seems like Americans are much more interested in trying to do a British accent than the other way around. Most American commenters actually found accents sexy. In fact, I think most people watching the American videos are from non-English speaking countries who want to move here and don't want to feel like such a foreigner. I almost feel bad thinking about a person losing their accent, but it's not like it's a distinct language or something.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Ghost Cake episode: The Unbodied Debut

Here's another episode I've put my heart and soul into (or, if I believed in souls it would be in there). For this episode I wrote and directed a radio play. A horror radio play. I was inspired by those old radio programs from the thirties and forties that would come out with scary stories every week, or sometimes every day. They would have a diverse array of stories. Sometimes they would be predictable but sometimes they would be so entirely weird and offbeat that it made up for the conventional ones. I think horror and science fiction was (and still is) an arena to develop offbeat ideas. It can often be a mirror, reflecting societal values in a different light.

I don't really deal with any flawed societal mores but I did have a great deal of fun making this show. I had to come up with actors and make sound effects. It was difficult to put together but I enjoyed it. I might do at least one show like this every month. I was also considering having a section of the show be devoted to bizarre and unique locations in Utah. I think most of the people who listen to the show are from Utah, but maybe others would be interested in that sort of thing.

Yeah, go take a listen to the show on iTunes by searching for ghost cake. If you don't have iTunes you can get it direct from this site: lordshipslimbs.podomatic.com.

Let me know what you think about it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Fell Too Soon

Indeed. This time last week it was beginning to get colder, and just yesterday it snowed. Not just a little bit either, enough to cover the ground. To make matters worse, the radiators have been very conservative in their doling out of heat. According to said radiators, it isn't necessary to be warm in the middle of the night. Or most of the day, for that matter. The thermostat is controlled by the people living downstairs, so I hope they decide to stop messing around with it so I don't have to wear a coat all the time in my apartment.

Fall has crumbled. It is way too early for the weather to be this cold. Leaves are still on the trees! At least this year I am ready for the change. I got my spiffy new coat a few weeks ago and the decrease in temperature has enabled me to test out the warmthness of it. Check. I picked up some new gloves at Savers, along with some sweaters, and they are warm. Check. I even have several scarves to use and hats. This year when I see old man winter doing his thing, I'm gonna kick his ass.

This is my favorite time of year. I like the changing of the colors. I think the oncoming of Fall would be much less dramatic in other places, especially big cities, because here the mountains burst with orange, red and yellow this time of year. It's like a ticker tape parade for the outgoing summer. I also like this time of year because the days get shorter and the light gets dimmer, perfect for a creepy Halloween. And layering clothes is always fun.

I don't know if this means the coming winter will be colder than usual or if it's just a freak storm that blew in, but I hope we have a few more crisp Autumn days before it gets really cold.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Quiz from QuizYourFriends.com

A funny quiz, except I effed up the last question. The correct answer is the DI but I accidentally put Abercrombie and Fitch. I hate that store.

















































Get out of my dreams and into my car!
1) Where was I born?
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Salt Lake City, UT
Mars
Bangalore, India



















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QUIZYOURFRIENDS.com












Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another Reason I Love Japan

These videos are pure gold. I guess they are intended to teach Japanese girls English. I don't know who picked the scenarios for the videos...





Working on a new show. Should be good.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Proficient

Or at least competent enough in the lab. I finished six sessions yesterday and had no real problems. By the end my voice was somewhat hoarse but that was the only side effect. I enjoyed keeping everything filed and running the subjects. I ran a total of 17 people which was more than all the other research assistants for the week.

I have a feeling running the experiment week after week will get boring but at least it's a small change from the rest of my schedule. Next semester I might get more involved in preparing the second phase of this study, which would be cool to experience.

In other news I got my coat in the mail today. It's grey (I'm spelling it that way because it came from Britain), wool and clasped with toggle buttons. It is supposed to be vintage too, whatever that means. Often someone will label clothing vintage even though it was recently manufactured. This coat smelled old though, so I'm going to risk saying that it is actually old. I bought it for about $180. It would have been less had I gotten it in England but what can you do about the economy...I think it looks adequately like a coat Doctor Who might wear to satisfy me. I'm going to start putting random things in the pockets soon.

My dream last night was really awesome. It was long, so I'll summarize it: after abandoning a friend's car on the road because it wouldn't make it up a hill, we get stuck on a dead end road. Someone's bull-dozed the road, making a big pit! They've left a note stating that we can drive over the logs made into a road, but I don't see how. As we walk around the logs we notice plenty of farms with rolling hills, run-down barns and open fields. I comment that I would like to live here, especially since it is so close to the city. Later on in the dream I go to a bar set underneath a rooftop parking garage. It was really open and must have been from the 1960's. It was awesome. I decided to take a panorama of it so I started walking home to get my camera. On the way back I ran across some things someone had dropped. I found an old camera, pins from World War Two and a cool leather case. I carried it all home.

I'm sure that dream was really only fascinating to me. Sometimes I wish I had the memory to remember plenty of details from my dreams because then I could potentially make that awesome bar. It would help if I had a ton of money to make it too. What I like the most is when I have a dream and it is so vivid that I can still see it after I wake up. I had a dream about furniture that was clear enough that I could draw the furniture later on. I can definitely understand how people get inspired by their dreams to make great things.

Friday, September 26, 2008

First Day Lab Jitters!

I'm about to start my first day of running subjects and I'm pretty nervous. I think it will go well because I've run through the protocol several times and I have everything written down, but until I go through at least one session I'm going to be nervous. I almost had a little snafu involving the key to get into the lab, but that was all taken care of. It would have been a disaster had I not been able to get in here at all!

I'll be in here until five, although I do have a two hour break in between sessions. Most of the people coming in should be freshmen, so they just want to get things done and leave. No questions. It's how I like it. The only thing I'm really worried about is getting the subject numbers mixed up. I think that as long as I stay calm I'll be fine.

I never thought I would be helping in a scientific study. It still kind of blows my mind. I'm not doing too much right now but maybe in the future I will have a bigger role. I don't know. I'll let you know how everything goes.

Monday, September 22, 2008

New Ghost Cake episode: Obama Rama!

The latest episode of the show should be coming onto iTunes shortly. If you want to get it from my podomatic page, then I think you go to lordshipslimbs.podomatic.com. Anyway, leave your comments or questions here.

I will hopefully have another regular episode of Ghost Cake on Thursday, but don't hold your breath. I had some difficulties getting it recorded. It makes me yearn for the day when I'll be out of school. This is my last year!

Also, I got a doggy on Sunday. He is cute. I'll talk about him later.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Ghost Cake episode: Greek Festival

In which you will hear my attempts to eavesdrop on people, eat gyros, win fish and eventually go searching for a Doctor Who style overcoat. I still haven't found one. If you haven't listened to my show yet I'd like to tell you to go to iTunes and type in Ghost Cake to find it. Or, you can find it at lordshipslimbs.podomatic.com.

If you want to post questions or comments, do it here! Thanks.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rock-afire Explosion!

I nearly died laughing as I watched this movie.



If you ever went to Showbiz Pizza you know these fellas. They would perform every hour or so while everybody downed pizza. I was scared to death of them. I also loved them. I would try to get the courage to go touch one of them before the start of the show but I would inevitably take too long and they would start up right as I was near them.

When Showbiz Pizza got bought out by Chuck E. Cheese I think the performances got worse. Is that restaurant closed now? There's a documentary coming out soon about this guy in Alabama who has a working set of these robots in his backyard. I guess they've all been sitting in a warehouse in Florida.

I'm so happy I heard about this one.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'd never eat a cake with a beard

And neither should you. But take a look at this little movie, mmkay?



It's from archive.org. You can find all sorts of random things on that website. It's like a virtual library. They even have the movie Reefer Madness on it! I particularly like the old books with great illustrations and the cartoons.

Oh, I'm on twitter now! If you are on there, search for ghostcake (one word!) and you'll find me. I'll be updating constantly, I promise.

Time to go to Judo class.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dealing with an obsession

I have a particular fondness for buying stuff in thrift stores. The charm of a previously used object is sometimes just too much for me. There are so many unique things in the world. There is definitely a practical side to my obsession: stuff at thrift stores is often cheaper and in just as good condition as new items. Just two or three dollars can get you awesome mugs, bowls or anything. I think having a wide variety of stuff can be interesting and is a good way to show off your personality. I'm mostly interested in dishes from the 60's onward as I like the design and the bright colors.



I got that yellow bowl at the DI. I had intended to try to sell it, but I like it too much to part with it. The white container is great to store salt in, and that blue bowl is always a crowd pleaser.



These mugs are amazing! I got them at the DI too. Joey and I both have our favorites (mine is the fake Mastercard mug). The coffee just seems to taste better in them.



These containers are a find of Joey's, and I'm a little jealous of them. They are so vibrant!

I really like the idea of someone coming into my apartment and seeing some of these things because you probably couldn't find them in other apartments. I always have a story to tell about how I found them. The idea that all of my dishes would be the same is scary. Where's the uniqueness? I would prefer to be eccentric than uniform.

I think I've gotten a little too interested in finding things though. I have too many bowls to be used and too many casserole dishes. If you've read one of my previous posts you'll see that I attempted to sell some stuff on eBay a while ago. It was a bust. I have made it a goal to sell all of my excess items though and I intend to do it! I've told myself that I won't buy anything new to sell until I get rid of my current items.


These are the mugs I'm going to sell. I particularly like the red one. Two of them are Fire King and the other two are some glassbake stuff. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping they sell because I need to prove to myself that I can actually sell stuff. I've learned from my previous attempt and so I'm going to do better this time.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Might Be Stealing Someone's Idea

I'm trying to come up with a title for a section of my show where I feature a horrorific story of my creation. I thought of The Undesirables but when I put that into a search engine I got the following videos. They don't appear to be related in any way except that maybe the dorky man's misogyny caused the second woman to feel bad. 










The first movie is simply hilarious. I love that this guy has such an inferiority complex that he has to come up with some conspiracy why he can't get a date. And here's something to think about: if the Illuminati is really going to kill all of the obese people, wouldn't that mean they'd have to kill at least half the U.S. population? I'm going to be watching my weight. This sorry fellow has about 370 videos, most of which detail his frustrations with women. In the background you can see a twin bed in what appears to be a basement. It's hard to get the hot chicks to come home with you if you have to drag them down to your mom's basement.

I don't think the second movie is particularly funny, but I do like the host. She's pretty mystical. Beautiful women feeling bad about their bodies is pretty fucked up (any woman feeling bad is fucked up too, women are special people).

In any event, I've decided against The Undesirables for now. Maybe The Unpleasants or The Horrifics? I'm going to have to sleep on it. 

Also, I've moved my show to Podomatic so that I may be able to release it on iTunes. And guess what, it's there! If you open iTunes and type in ghost cake it should appear. I have a new episode on there with one more in the works. 

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin is Pallid

I've just had time to write about Palin being picked as VP for Mccain. 

First I had to look up who she was. 

As someone who has as much political experience as she does (I was president of my seminary class for a year) I am a little concerned. I mean, governor of Alaska? Hasn't everyone been governor of Alaska at one point or another? And she was mayor of some town nobody's ever heard of until a few days ago, not even the people who live there. Her list of experience seems scant. 

Of course, she's a good shill for the tripe the Republicans are barfing out for everyone. Pro-life. Pro-gun. Anti-homo. Pro-fucked-up-Bush-economic-policy. She seems like the perfect VP for everyone's favorite dinosaur. Limbaugh must be creaming over her. 

I don't quite understand why ole Mccain chose her, except maybe because he's feeling desperate. Does he honestly think the women who supported Clinton will get confused and vote for him? "Look, a woman! That's probably who I want!" We'll see. 

Palin will get the uber conservative crazy independent vote. And that's a key demographic I'm told. I think though that Biden will probably mop the floor with her during the elections. I can't wait to see those. 

In other news, David Duchovny is in rehab for sex addiction? That's...um...unfortunate. The article says he is going to be in some show about sex addicts. I guess he went too far in getting ready for his character. I wonder why he even bothered to tell anyone. It's like releasing a statement that you have hemorrhoids or something. Gross. At least it isn't someone really old. Could you imagine hearing about Christopher Walken going to sex rehab. Gross, and creepy too. 

 


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama's Nomination Speech

The speech was pretty good. I think he's a great orator and can capitalize on emotions. I couldn't believe how full the stadium was too. 

On an episode of Democracy Now I heard someone from Harper's magazine talk about how Obama would be a shill for corporate America. I didn't listen to his arguments, but I started thinking about the nature of politics. I don't think there are any politicians who don't have some connections with big business. It seems like you can't get anywhere in the political system without some help from people who already have a high position. And they always want something in return. 

Is that compromise, or being a complete pushover? Large corporations are what make most of the nation's money, but they shouldn't be allowed to do whatever they want. On the other hand, a good politician should be someone who is able to compromise. I hope if Obama gets elected he will put a clamp down on big corporations to force them to act ethically. Maybe Kucinich could help him out with that. 

Today I listened to Fresh Air. I regret that I didn't catch the name of the man she talked to, but he was an advisor to both Obama and Mccain when they were drafting a bill to limit the effects of lobbyists on campaigns. He talked about the number of lobbyists who quit their firms to temporarily work for the campaigns. Apparently Mccain has twice as many former lobbyists as Obama. And, most of those former lobbyists in Mccain's campaign are in high level positions. Obama doesn't have any in high level positions.  He's filled those positions with scholars. 

The speech tonight made me excited for the upcoming election. I don't think Obama is perfect, but nobody is. I really hope he can do everything he's saying he can. I guess we'll see. 

Oh, and how did Obama memorize that entire speech? I wonder if he had that clear screen thing the mormons use during conference, so they look like they're getting revelation. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'm watching Monsoon Wedding

And it is really interesting. I knew there were huge weddings in India, but if the one in the movie is common then they must be gigantic. Humongous. This movie gives a good cross-section of people in the country. Do many families in India have servants? I like all of the Indian pop music too. 

Today I've been deliberating on whether to upgrade my cell phone or not. I could get a pretty neat-o one but I would have to sign a two year contract. I feel like it's tying me down to something for way too long. I know that the supreme court in California ruled that penalty charges for cell phones aren't legal, but I don't think that applies to here. 

I guess that's just how business works now. You can't just get something or change your mind, you have to live with your choice for all eternity. It's a phone. Just a damn phone. It shouldn't be this serious. I'll probably end up getting  a new phone, with a new contract, and everything will be fine. It's just not the way I'd do business. 

I went school shopping today, which basically means having an excuse to buy new clothes. Has anyone else noticed that it's difficult to discern who works there and who just shops there often? It's like they're all in camoflauge, I never know who to ask about shoes. It turns out I ran into someone I work with and he helped me (they ended up being girls' shoes) but once he left I was completely lost. I gave up then and paid for everything. 

There are so many bizarre little things at that store. Naturally, I love bizarre things. I bought a Yummy Breakfast keychain. These things are limited edition you know, and I could barely contain my excitement about opening it up. I got a smiling honeydew piece. It's great, and it's oh so rare. The company, Kidrobot,  sells the keychains and has a ton of other funny and bizarre things. 

Tomorrow is the first day of class. I've only got a year left before I graduate, but I'm worried that I'll be too insanely busy to do anything. I guess I'll see what happens.

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Podcast: Geoff's Garden Visit

My fourth episode is now available! I'm particularly excited about this one because I did a little more producing to make it all sound better. Listen as I explore my garden and then talk to a robot. I'm proud of it. 

I'm going to start writing more conventional posts next week. I've just felt like I needed to get these out as soon as possible to get a better feel for improving quality. 

It's the gays again

You know those homosexuals never sleep and are always looking for ways to destroy the chaste and good-hearted folks in America. Here's proof:



Disregard the various misspellings in the movie. This intellectual giant had to get the evidence of the gays poisoning our water out there and for everyone to see.

Shine on, you crazy diamond. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Podcast: 8.8.08 Failure and Argyle Canyon

Hot off the oven is my latest podcast, 8.8.08 Failure and Argyle Canyon. I like this one because I went on so many little adventures. Give a listen and then tell me what you think.

If you're having problems downloading it to listen on an mp3 player, let me know.

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Podcast: Leslie's Birthday

I've completed the second podcast: Leslie's Birthday. It's longer than the first one, and more freeform. The next ones are more structured.

Click on this to download and listen to it. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fruits of My Labor

I have finally completed my reupholstering. It took much longer than I had anticipated, but I had thought it would only take two days. Here's a pic I managed to find on the camera of what the chair looked like when I was tearing the old fabric off.


When I was all done removing the old fabric the chair looked pretty lonely.

I had to rip out some of the old batting because it was in the way. I later learned that I should have kept as much of it as I could in order to recushion it. Oh well. After I was all done with this I began laying out the old pieces to be used as patterns. Because of several tears I had a difficult time determining what was supposed to be cut, but by laying the old piece on the chair I was able to figure it out. While I cut the new pieces I listened to the TV, something I love to do while I'm working on a project. I went through hours of travel shows, cooking shows, a documentary about Muhammad Ali and even some Olympics while I cut fabric.

When I was finally ready to start upholstering, I began with the skirt. The first piece was really easy, but the bottom piece was difficult. I had to staple the bottom to the top, making sure to conceal the staples and keep everything level. It took me close to an hour to do just that.

I went onto the arm next. Although this part of the chair was the most complex looking, it was the easiest to attach. That was probably because the piece was very fitted. I learned how to use a sewing machine in order to sew the tiny pieces for the arm. For some reason I had a fear of sewing machines, but I surmounting those worries. It was pretty easy to keep everything tight too because I could use one hand to staple and the other to hold down the fabric. After the arm I did the bottom side and then finished with the back.

Here's the end result. What do you think? In case you are wondering, I still have to do the cushion. I got tired after doing the chair itself, plus I didn't want to do more sewing yet. This project was surprisingly easy. Everyone I talked to thought it was such a grand undertaking. I've never done anything like this before and it went well. If anyone is thinking of reupholstering something themselves I would give the following tips:

1) Take the old fabric off carefully because you'll be using it as a pattern
2) Pictures help, as well as writing down where everything goes as you take off fabric
3) Measuring the new fabric several times before you cut it, and placing it on the furniture to see where you need to cut before cutting
Don't be afraid! It's not that hard.

I'm going to be putting together more material for my podcast, which I will hopefully post by tomorrow. It's audio from a friend's birthday. Interesting conversation. I have my recordings from Argyle Canyon (where I was over the weekend) so I will add that too later. I have been speaking with a friend a little about combining forces and creating a podcast. It could be amazing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's Taking Up Way Too Much Time

My chair, I mean. I have de-upholstered, cut fabric, sewn together a few pieces, and should be able to start attaching everything tomorrow. I can't believe how long this has taken. If the original fabric had been in better condition it would have been faster, but I can't tell a tear from a deliberate cut. I'm really excited for it to take shape.

The whole endeavor has tired me out, and I have no energy to write in here. That and I've been watching the Olympics too much. I'm getting tired of hearing Michael Phelps's name every ten seconds. I am amazed with everyone else at how well he is doing, but there is only so much footage I can see before I get extremely bored. They even mention him during events not slightly related to swimming. I heard someone compare him to a volleyball player during a volleyball game. I mean, really...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Here it is!

I think I've got this all figured out.

Click here to see my little podcast thingy.

Tell me if it works.

Time to Work on My To-Do List

I have been given five days off from work. This happens to every employee every year in order to cash out all of our vacation time and to decide if we should be fired or rehired. I'm pretty confident I have been rehired, as my name was still on the schedule for next week, but I always get a little nervous initially. I actually wish they had given me this entire week off, but what can you do.

What I can do is work on a few projects I've been interested in for some time. The first one is reupholstering my chair. I found this chair across the street from Joey's old place. It was slated to be thrown away but I took it. I like the shape and the design of it because it feels very 60's to me. I like the fabric as well, but it is frayed quite a bit in several places. Today I decided to begin tearing it apart to put new fabric on it. Here's a pic of it before I began.



Pretty cute, huh? It took me about four hours to tear, pry or otherwise cajole the fabric into coming off. Don't worry, I watched two videos of Doctor Who in that time period. I was relieved to find that most of the fabric was stapled on and not sewed. The fabric itself was so worn that it was easier to tear it off at most points than use the hammer. By the end, cream-colored bunches of padding lay bunched on the floor along with plenty of small tacks. I made sure to step on several of them.

I took note of where the fabric fit in and how it was attached to the wood. I thought that taking pictures would help, and I took several, or thought I did...when I tried to look at them on the camera the card was full. I think I can manage without them. Tomorrow I am going to look for fabric. I would like something that looks mid century, but I don't know what I'll find.

I'm still trying to figure out the whole podcast thing, but it seems to be getting more and more complicated. I think I'm going to deal with that tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Life of an Outlaw

I have been living an outlaw's lifestyle for the past few days. I drove around with...expired license plates. It wasn't as exhilarating as you might think; criminals are praised way too often in TV in my opinion. No, it was pretty quiet and uneventful, mostly because I didn't know they had expired until yesterday. I usually just go in after I get a notice in the mail, but since I moved I didn't get it. Yesterday Joey told me he had to get his car inspected and that's when I suddenly remembered. 

You may know of my previous attempts to get to the DMV (if not, go read eastside/westside rift) and I was discouraged several times in my pursuit to get there. I ended up in strange industrial areas where semis and huge trains would crush a car like mine just as soon as they'd look at one. Plucky as I am, I managed to avoid the crunching and ended up at the DMV. It was tucked away on an obscure street in the middle of nowhere. I think more government buildings should be like this: difficult to find and even more difficult to find again. I was relieved when the renewal process began and concluded quickly, but I did have to pay $189. At least I'm legal. 

The whole experience really makes me want to sell my car and get a bike. I am wary of what I would do in the winter though, when everything is slippery and the temperature sticks to below freezing for the entire season. The location of my work isn't conducive to bike riding either. There would be very little room to ride on the side of the road, and I don't think it would be very safe to ride alongside drivers. I guess I'll just have to wait until my life changes. Or, I could get a helicopter. I've noticed the skies are temptingly vacant. 

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's Not Done Yet

I recorded some stuff on my new Zoom H2, but I haven't set up a podcast yet. If you are interested, send me your email in a comment (I'll write down the address and delete the comment so you don't get spam) and I will send you the audio file. It is about eight minutes long, so you can listen to it while you count to 480.

I have realized that having a podcast is a little more difficult than I expected. I have to come up with an RSS feed before I can put it on iTunes. Before I do that I want to decide exactly what my podcast will be about and have a clearer idea of how it will all work. In the meantime I'm going to be experimenting. I've already figured out how to use the microphone gain and setting the maximum decibels. The microphone is pretty sensitive; it could pick up the grasshoppers singing outside by me just holding the recorder out the window. I hope by the end of this week to have a plan for my podcast. Maybe I can use this blog for the feed?

In other news, we have been watching my neighbor's cat all day. He is a kitten named Rocky and he is pretty adorable. I feel sorry for him because I think he doesn't get enough attention. His owner is often busy. I have unofficially named myself his godfather. I wander around with him making sure he gets enough water and sees all of the cool things in my apartment. He likes to explore, which can be cute and frustrating. He was engrossed in my activity of cutting up vegetables, trying to stick his furry little face in the food. But I can't stay mad at him at all. My favorite thing is to put him on the roof and watch him stalk the birds. He loves it.

An attempt to defrost my freezer went nowhere. The ice in there is so hard, and I felt pretty primitive hacking at it with a flathead. I'm sure that was how cavemen would have defrosted their fridges, but this is 2008 and I want a better way to deal with it. I need to figure it out soon because the freezer gets smaller all the time and everything in there is getting coated with ice. It's like someone shot my jalepino poppers with the gun straight out of Batman Forever. Where is George Clooney with his horrible anatomically correct batsuit when I need him? 

Time to fold laundry!

This is the Kind of Show I Want to Be On



I don't know what the name of this show is, but this particular clip was being shot during the latest earthquake in California. Personally, I don't approve of men with mustaches on kids' shows, but a robot is always necessary.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

We're Gettin' Busy!


I wanted to show some of my estate sale finds from yesterday. I got two books for a total of $1.50. The first book I got was this Rap! book. It contains all of the latest hot artists, like De La Soul, MC Hammer, 3rd Bass and others. I liked the pictures the most. There was a section on how to write your own rap, which I might be doing soon.  The stories were pretty inspiring too. Did you know that Salt N' Peppa used to be called Supernature? They changed the name because fans thought it was a better name. And, did you know there was never anyone named N'? Fascinating. I remember that song they had about sex. They wanted to talk about it. Or maybe that was some other group. The talented Milli Vanilli is featured in this publication. I wish I could get my hair that long, but it just gets all curly. Each picture shows a candid moment in the superstars' life. 

There was an informative section on how to street speak. Apparently I really needed to read this section because I would have said "How to speak in a manner appropriate for the street". In any case, I learned that I can call my friends my crew or posse, and when someone is told to chill they should cool off. 


I also got this Flash Gordon book. It's a short story with a record in the back. I never really got into Flash Gordon when I was little. I have listened to some of the really old radio shows and they are pretty entertaining. He has a girlfriend named Dale. I want to see the movie they made in the 80's. I've heard it's pretty bad.




I don't think any of this stuff is worth very much, but it is pretty interesting. I wish the Flash Gordon book was in color, but I did like the illustrations. I can't believe that a book coming out in 1982 would still have a record in the back. Oddly enough, I have a record player but not a tape player, so I wouldn't have been able to listen to it otherwise.                                                                           


In other news, I have done some of my first audio recordings and will be making them into a podcast soon. I don't know how to put them on here so I will direct you to where they are. My first episode will be about being in a bar. In all honesty, these recordings were just for me to get a feel for how it all works.   














Friday, August 1, 2008

Say Hello To My Little Friend

My audio recorder came today! There is nothing quite like coming home from work and finding a package waiting for you. I dutifully tore open the parcel and dug out my Zoom H2. I have recorded a little and it's been pretty simple. I am excited at all of the things I will be able to record, although I have a hard time listening to my own voice. I think it's kind of annoying. 

I am way too excited in this picture. My camera seems to have some sort of smudge on it because the corner is all fuzzy. 

I have decided to name my recorder Jamal. I'm going to the Twilite Lounge tonight and I will definitely bring Jamal. 

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Here a min, Theremin



The guys in this band are playing a theremin, something you've probably heard a lot but haven't figured out what kind of instrument makes those ghostly noises. I usually hear it when I'm listening to old broadcasts of scary radio shows. The spector emerges from the cemetery, belting out musical sounds thanks to the theremin.

This is actually the oldest electronic musical instrument ever, having been invented in 1919. The inventor Leon Theremin wowed Stalin with it and the leader quickly learned how to play it himself. Basically there are two antennae that stick out on both ends. The player moves his or her hands through the air, changing the frequency and volume. It was wildly popular after it was introduced, but few people ever learned how to play it.

I love the theremin because it is such a bizarre instrument. You don't even have to touch it. And, the fact that it's been in so many science fiction movies has endeared it to my heart. Let's see now if I can afford to get one...I really want this mini theremin from Japan. It's less than the rest and it's even illustlated, haha. I wonder if I can find a cheap one on craigslist...

I really ought to stop buying frivolous things, especially since my extra money has run low. Until I save up for a real one I guess I'll have to settle for my acapella (sp?) theramin rendition of Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Real (Fake) Zombie



Not the best zombie movie on Youtube, but pretty good splatter action. I used to be afraid of zombies until I learned that they would get mad cow disease (the human equivalent) if they ate your brain. That means they could eat some humans, but they would be twitching on the ground after a while. Morons, if they only knew to eat everything BUT the brains...

I am pleased to announce that girlyoutrippin.com is available. I might get it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You'd Better Start Living in Your Car

I'm sure you've heard of this if you live in Utah, but if not, take a look at this article. A gigantic tanker overturned on I-15 and has blocked all traffic going North since before five this afternoon. The tanker weighs 210,000 pounds. Crazy. 

The nice thing about all this-besides the bizarre nature of a HUGE object blocking a whole freeway-is that people could still get up North as long as they were willing to leave their cars. I know it would have been a pain to go home without your car, but if you really needed to get home to, say, take care of the chilluns, then you could have gotten home much faster. 

Would this have been such a big deal if there was more public transportation? Yeah, but it wouldn't have had such a huge impact. Like most states, Utah has a problem with transportation. The development of most areas over the past fifty years has been fueled by cars and highways. Who wants to walk, or take public transportation? Of course, what has resulted from that is constant congestion during rush hour and often during other times too. 

I think the city would grow much more if there was a convenient public transportation system in place. That way, people could come into the city from the suburbs and the West side could be linked with the East. I think we should work toward a goal of making cars unnecessary in most urban areas in Utah. The problem is the reticence some people have with riding public transportation. I think suburbanites conceive buses as only for poor people. I have noticed that the kids going up to the university who obviously live in the suburbs have almost a fear of the other people on the train. It's ridiculous, but it also keeps people from riding. I hope that with gas prices staying high more people will consider public transportation and make it viable, so the next time a humongous tanker overturns on I-15 nobody will care. 

Monday, July 28, 2008

I Had a Little Crisis

Today, actually. I started thinking about my future and what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go...all that stuff...and I got discouraged. I freaked out. Although I tolerate my job right now because it pays well and is flexible, I don't want to be there for the rest of my life. I say that because there are several people who have worked there since the plant opened. They are really bitter and complain all the time. 

But I want to be free! I want to be a professional. A professional what, you may ask? I don't know, but something to which I could feel professional about. Maybe opening a practice to be a therapist. Maybe having an antiques store. Or, I could do some sort of consulting. In any case, I want to feel that I have a great deal of knowledge about what I do and that I am really making a difference in my field. I don't get that feeling working at the Postal Service. Even if I work as hard as I can all the mail just seems to come back the next day. 

I'm kind of feeling like I need to get down to business and figure out what I really want. I will be graduating from the U in a year, with two bachelor's degrees to show for it. After that I'll have to try to go to grad school or try to find a job, or both. While I'm excited for a change, I'm also scared that I'll have nowhere to go. I don't think my degrees are worthless necessarily, but I most probably need to go to grad school to fully implement them. But I'm sick of school...

What I think this anguish comes from is a lack of knowledge on my part. I've calmed down now and I've decided to look into what sort of careers I'd be interested in and then see what I need to do for them. And, if I take a year off from school, it's not going to hurt me. I'm still young. 

Maybe I'll move to Portland. I friend told me the economy isn't very good there, but I should see what I can find. The idea of packing up and moving to a whole new city is pretty exciting to me, even though I just had to unpack here. There's something about mobility that is invigorating. It brings new energy to a person. 

That's it. My outburst has been contained. I thought I would write about this since I usually write emotionless posts. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm a Dealer

The auction for the first three items I've sold on Ebay will be over soon. So far, nobody has bid. But maybe some buyers have been waiting in the wings. Let me check.

Nope. 

There is less than two minutes, someone bid already! It could be that what I'm selling isn't that interesting. I have three Fire King baking dishes that are white with blue flowers on them. Doesn't that sound iresistable? Why can't I spell irresistable? What's wrong? 

Argh, I don't think anyone will buy the pieces. I don't know why I'm so surprised; most Fire King pieces aren't worth a whole lot. Jadeite and really old pieces are the best sellers, as are mugs with random companies' logos printed on the side. Still, I did hope to get a buyer to pay more than I bought the stuff for. I guess it's not the day for that. 

Antiques are interesting things. I used to think that something made the antique inherently special, like it was touched by aliens or something. Most antiques are valuable simply because people want them. If one day everyone decided that furniture more than 100 years old wasn't worth buying, the price of so many beds and chairs would fall to nothing. 

Or, maybe it wouldn't. I think I'm making this sound too simple. I think that good craftsmanship, age, scarcity and history all combine to make something an expensive antique or not. Although I could buy a mid 60's typewriter for about twenty dollars at the DI, I would have to pay much, much more for the one owned by Lee Harvey Oswald. The difference is that while there were thousands of typewriters made during that time, only one was owned by him. By the way, I didn't see how much that one ended up going for. 

I guess all I can do is try to list the stuff again, or sell it somewhere else. I certainly don't need it cluttering my kitchen. The whole reason I wanted to sell this stuff is to get a feel for how it's all done, and I think I need to work on how I list my things. And maybe I need to sell stuff that would go for more money. I need a warehouse. 

With any luck I will be putting my garden in order tonight. The sunflowers have gotten so tall that they block the sun and water from other plants. It's a day of reckoning for them. 

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Terrorized in My Own Home

That's right, I've been harassed in my own home for quite some time. He (or she, I don't know) will come out of nowhere, bringing an unknown source of wrath and fury. I cover my face for protection, but He is too fast. I'm like a dumb animal against His anger. Up until now He has done no harm but I can't take those chances anymore. I have to kill him.

Don't let His small size fool you; I've looked into His eyes and seen pure negative hatred juice. It's boiling in there. 

In all honesty the moth is more of a nuisance than a threat to my life. It's like Zsa Zsa Gabor; hiding from everyone for the most part but occasionally flying out of the abyss to get in your face. I think the reason I dislike moths so much is because they do fly in my face all the time. At least bees have the courtesy to buzz around you. Ladybugs are downright genteel. But moths, moths are trashy. 

Did you know that the reason moths fly into lights is because they use the light of the moon to navigate? In a natural setting like a forest the moon would be a predictable distance away. The moth somehow determines the angle of itself with the moon to fly up and in a good manner. In our artificial world, however, the moth calculates incorrectly and ends up bursting into flames. It's a small margin of error. 

Luckily I have Rocky to deal with the moth. Apart from being the cutest kitten on the face of FSM's green earth, he's a tough son-of-a-gun and is willing to kill the damn moth. He is my neighbor and periodically visits us. All he asks in return is to be pet behind the ears and to occasionally be allowed to attack my hand. Seems reasonable. 

I hate bugs in my apartment, but it's so much cooler with the windows down. 

I almost forgot about her. And I particularly like this picture...actually, you should just go to the gallery and look at all the pictures. 

Friday, July 25, 2008

Broken Promises

I said I would write in here more often, but I haven't done that. Mainly it's because I haven't had a reliable internet signal and I've been a little busy. Well, I have a dedicated signal now, and all is good.

I have plenty of good things to talk about, like the giant moth that has been terrorizing me in my apartment, kitty visitors, my trip to Portland, and failed seances. I also hope to create a few audio entries (I won't call them podcasts yet) in order to explore this medium.

The newness begins this Saturday, I promise. In the meantime, enjoy this throat-singing movie.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reality of the Homeless

Just returned from Portland. It's a beautiful city and when I get the time to go through the pictures I will put up an entry.

I was driving home from work when I saw a man on the side of the road. He had a huge cardboard box which he had taped to a stop sign. On it he had written something about being robbed and having nobody to help him. I couldn't see the rest of the sign, but I knew it ended with a plea for money. What else would he put on a sign? Regardless, I didn't give him any money and I drove off. I sense that spot was a bad place to panhandle.

A thought entered my mind: was he telling the truth, or lying to get money? I bet everyone driving around me had the same thought. We had all chosen to err on the side of caution (and comfort; I didn't want to cross three lanes to give him a dollar). I decided that he was probably just trying to get money for drugs or booze.

How depressing is it that I have come to regard homeless people with mistrust. I think about how hard I worked to get my money and I'm loathe to give it to someone else just sitting on the street. The harsh Protestant work ethic comes in too, if he is poor it is because he is lazy. Is this idea valid? Couldn't this man get a job anywhere and save his money, making sure to hide it or deposit it before he has a chance to get robbed? Perhaps he could do this. Maybe he has too much pride to do that...but what about begging? Isn't that below working at McDonald's? I can't diagnose this guy based on my twenty second observation of him.

Here is my opinion on the homeless. I think that there are some people who have fallen on tough times, be it because of drugs, alcohol or economic situations, that can be helped to live a better standard of life. And, I think there are some homeless people who are mentally unstable and would require medication or counseling to get off the streets. I also think that there are a group of homeless people who are there because they feel entitled to help without working. I think it is at best regrettable and at worst despicable that these people would take resources from those who need it and then continue to panhandle.

This idea might be controversial, and I've decided to stop it there. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Number Five is Still Alive

And so am I. I was hoping I could easily set up my network today, but I can't seem to figure out how. I'm stealing this signal from someone else. I feel kind of bad about that, so I will try to get the network set up somehow.

I have made the decision to start selling Fire King stuff on Ebay. This seems only natural because I love Fire King and I can't possibly keep all of the things I have been getting lately. I have gone several times to the DI (a thrift store in Utah owned by the Mormons, if you didn't know) and I've found some good things. I haven't ever sold anything online, so it will be a good first experience I think. I'll let you know how things work out.

I'm going to Portland tomorrow, and I am quite excited. This should be fun not only because I'll be doing fun things, but also because I'll be discovering new places and seeing new things. It's a temporary shift for my normal life. I will definitely take some pictures and talk about my trip later.

I have been wanting to play with new media for some time, but I haven't yet decided what I should experiment with. I really like the idea of creating an audio record of some of the things I do and I would like to shoot some footage of activities I do while in the moment. Anyone have any suggestions? I would have to buy equipment either way.

As soon as I get my network set up I will write more meaningful posts. I also hope to start up the soda reviews again.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blaze, More Cat Burglars and a Vacation

Still don't have the internet, but I should be able to reconnect come Wednesday. In the meantime, here are some highlights from my previous week.

It is interminably hot in my new apartment. While I enjoy living in an attic, I have come to understand certain principles of energy all too well: namely, that heat rises. There is an air conditioner in the bedroom so at least I don't have to suffer in the nighttime. I'll be happy when it cools down.

We had another kitty burglar, this time in my new place. It was a tiny furry kitten who meowed by our window to let him in. He was very adventurous and explored our apartment with feline bravado. Then, he got hungry and scared and wanted to go home. Unfortunately we couldn't figure out where his rightful home was. When I went outside with him he escaped and hid under a car. I am happy to say that he was thereafter found by his owner, my neighbor, and is fine. I don't mind these kitties sneaking into my place, I just want them to be safe.

Lastly, I am going on a vacation! We will be in Portland for four days. I am looking forward to the break from my regular life as well as the opportunity to do some exploring of my own. I will definitely keep a travel journal and take some pictures as well. Until then...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Silence

Hello everyone. I broke my promise of writing in here everyday because I don't have regular access to the internet as of now. I'm working on getting something set up in my new place and I hope to reconnect by the end of the week. In the meantime, sit tight.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cat Burglar



This is a photo of the culprit who broke into my apartment. I arrived from my new apartment to find this guy sitting on the couch, looking serene. He was a very friendly kitty and I figured he was somehow attached to my roommate. I texted my roommate and while waiting for a response I took a shower.

It turned out that my roommate didn't know the cat. In fact, he wasn't exactly sure how it got into the place. I managed to take a decent picture of it with my computer and then I picked up the cat to leave it outside. One of my neighbors told me that the cat had been around a couple of times before. Maybe he had been casing out the place. I managed to carry him just a few feet when he decided that a human sedan wasn't his style and he jumped out. I left him, figuring he was a cat and could figure out how to get home.

We had breakfast and walked back to the old apartment. After we got into the building we heard a jingling noise, and saw the cat coming down the stairs. This time we managed to get a hold of the owner and subsequently dropped the cat off at his home.

I kind of liked playing kitty delivery service. I like animals, and this guy was a real adventurer. He had decided to sneak into my apartment to see the great unknowns contained therein. He was nice and soft. I kind of wish I was a cat and could spend my days wandering the neighborhood exploring things.

Friday, June 27, 2008

On the Move

I have been moving my things into my new apartment all evening. Yes, we found a place. I'm too dog tired to write much about it here tonight. I'm going to relax by playing my Wii. Later.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Overnightscape

It has been another exhausting day. I signed a lease for an apartment so I have been drinking some champagne to celebrate. I'll talk more about it later.

I wanted to tell you about a podcast I have been listening to since December. I am on a constant quest to find good podcasts to listen to and I think The Overnightscape is one of the best. It originally attracted me because of its long episodes. I was working 12 hour shifts and I could use all the distractions I could handle. I was drawn in by the variety of topics being discussed. The podcast is hosted by Frank Edward Nora and is a monologue most of the time, although he does occasionally have guests on. I enjoyed hearing him broadcast from the streets of New York City (literally, you can hear the cars honking and the people talking). He describes what he sees, his past memories and sometimes even his dreams. Product reviews are a frequent addition to the show. You see life through his eyes, and although it is colored by his own experiences and biases it only serves to make the view much more unique.

The Overnightscape Underground consists of Frank's various adventures, from distant malls to tunnels and street fairs. It perfectly encompasses the feeling of a journey because he records all of the ambient noise you might encounter had you taken the journey itself. Despite the fact that this is audio and not visual Frank summons a more than adequate description of his surroundings to enable you to see where he is in your mind's eye.

This podcast is a great piece of contemporary culture that should not be missed. It has inspired me to experiment with other media to express myself. Hopefully when my life has calmed down some more I'll be able to do more. In the mean time, check out The Overnightscape here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Did You Fill Out Your Cortisol Diary?

Just a short entry for now, to keep with my promise. I am tired but I wanted to talk a little about the study I just participated in. It was about couples.

Ok, that's all I'm putting for now. Although no time will pass for you, between this line and the next I'll have gone to bed, woken up, and began typing again.

I have returned. The study took about three hours to complete. They measured us using electrodes and heart rate. They also took our cortisol levels several times throughout the night. The scary thing about cortisol is that too much of it can kill cells in the hippocampus, which regulates the amount of cortisol in the first place. In that way, even more cortisol can be produced, exacerbating the whole predicament.

I'm interesting in knowing how everything turned out. There hasn't been much studying with gay couples and I think more should be done. They will be checking back with us in a year to see if we are still together. I will be interested to see where our relationship is at that stage as well.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Disappearing Cars

I was on my way to work this morning when I noticed a man walking along the side of the road. This being the freeway I was sort of confused. About 100 feet in front of this man a street-sweeper busily worked. I had no idea how he would get around that and dodge the stream of cars flying by him at the same time.

It did remind of several dreams I've had in the past. They begin with me driving in a normal fashion, but as time goes by more and more of the car disappears until there is nothing left. I'm running on the road, pretending to be a car. It's a strange feeling because it is something I've never experienced in real life. I have never walked down the freeway.

I have heard that being on a motorcycle gives you a much different perspective on the road because you are not encased in metal; you are free to look in many different directions. That freedom gives a more tangible and distinctive feel of the road and everything you pass by. I like that concept. I would like to be able to engage in mundane activities in new ways. Walk down a road instead of drive. Take all the furniture from the living room and set it up in a field. Blindfold myself for a day. I think the world is so complex that even the things we think we know all about have extra dimensions we haven't yet discovered. I noticed this the other day when I walked down the sidewalk on the opposite side of my apartment. Although I had seen the view dozens of times, the slight difference in being on the West side of the street instead of the East made everything look different.

I think that man walking along the freeway must have been experiencing a completely different scene than myself. He would have seen the heat wafting up from the asphalt, felt the swirl of air as cars went by and seen the patterns of cars as some would were allowed through the stoplight and others not.

I want to find something new like that in something old. I'm going to start looking soon.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dinosaur Cheerleaders

This evening has seen the end of yet another day of searching for apartments. Joey and I made a goal of moving out by the end of June and so we have been tirelessly searching for a place. We have walked through around ten apartments and have looked at online and called infinitely more. At this point all of the ads are starting to look the same.

So far, no luck. We did find a place that we really liked, with lots of room and a cool fireplace, but so did several other people. We weren't picked, and I kind of feel like I've just been rejected. For several days after we got the news we weren't getting the place I felt like I should go see the apartment and yell at it, or ask it to give us a second chance. And then I came to the conclusion that the best revenge is living well. When I run into the apartment at the grocery store, I will look so confident that it will feel bad.

Finding a good apartment (or anywhere to live, for that matter) is a lot like getting into a relationship. You have to make sure that you will enjoy being in the apartment for the long term, not just now. You can't be dazzled by superficial good looks; you must look deeper. There is another apartment we have in mind and we have turned in applications. But, we are looking at a few more too. It's good to play the field.

The other half of moving in is moving out. I have begun the seemingly herculean task of sorting through and boxing everything. I am glad that I don't have very many things to pack away, but I do have plenty of big objects. I had to go through my collection of origami I've folded over the past few years and decide which ones to keep and which ones to recycle. It was like Schindler's list...without the Nazis. Every day my apartment looks more and more bare. All of my things, which gave the place a certain feel and personality are going away. I like to think that I will leave a lasting legacy on this apartment though. I did paint. Hopefully the next person who moves in will leave their fingerprints too.

Please wish me luck. We hope to apply for a few more places while we wait to hear about another place we've applied for. With a little bit of unicorn blood, we can make it happen...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Do I look like a homeless person?

I was helping my friend take down a sign for the governor when I noticed it was broken. The metal part holding the sign itself up was coming apart (it was hinged) so we decided to take it to get fixed. For some reason we decided to stretch it out as far as we could and then carry it through a neighborhood, confusing the people and kids playing. We walked into a lesbian bar (which was a total dive) and my friend got distracted by a girl whose left arm was much bigger than her right. He attempted to flirt with her, but I knew it was useless because she was a lesbian.

While I waited in the bar (which was very small and at the end of a long, narrow hallway) I tried not to make eye contact with anyone. Finally, a woman wearing a dumpy sun dress with a floral print walked up to me. She at first tried to give me money, but then looked confused and stopped. I thought she may have mistaken me for the bartender. Only a few seconds later did she hand money to me, eleven dollars. I refused several times, but she insisted that I "needed" it. She turned to someone and said to them how much I looked like a homeless person. I thought, "Do I?" and looked at my tattered clothes. I was embarrassed to realize that I did. I thought then that I should write a blog post about the whole thing.

And then I woke up. It was a strange and lucid dream. It merited a blog post, in my opinion, and it helped me to kick of my latest endeavor. In order to pump some life into my dying blog I have decided to write an entry every day. I know that doesn't sound like a major accomplishment, but I think it will force me to think of things to write about. Or, I'll keep having wacky dreams. Either way is good for me.

I may start looking indigent soon. I'm down to one good pair of jeans, which I wear entirely too often. My other pair began to get holes in unholy places and I retired them. I wouldn't wait so long to get new pants, but I don't really like shopping for clothes. I can handle shopping for shirts (extra small) but I appear to be the last guy with a size 28 waist. I can fit into 30's, but only when the waist size gods permit it. Those bastards have had it out for me ever since I crucified the man capri messiah they sent to Earth. Assholes.

I haven't had time to look either, what with looking for a new place to call home (or Daphne, whichever suits the space). What I really need to be able to do is be on speaking terms with someone who can do alterations, or grow my own pants. I have a garden...

Goodbye normal pants, though I never knew you at all...

Despite my exhaustive perusal of google, I could find nothing about growing pants. I did find a website about people who like girls who wet their pants (or I saw the link, I didn't click it) but that was the best I could do.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Soda pop review: Dublin Dr. Pepper



This is the first of my video posts. It's pretty shabby but I'll get better with time. 


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Soda pop review: Fizzy Lizzy Yakima Valley Grape


Where I got it:
 I found this soda at Liberty Heights, which is a little market specializing in local and organic food. It looks to be in an old garage because the entrance is gigantic (and therefore is probably a garage door). This place is great; in addition to the soda I bought some heirloom tomatoes, onions, zucchini, and pepper to make a veggie sandwich. It was delectable. I would suggest visiting this place if you haven't already. 

History: Fizzy Lizzy is actually the name for several drinks produced by the company. Inspired to mix juice and seltzer water, inventor Lizzy Morrill began selling the drink eight years ago. It is touted as being healthier than soda, with no extra sugar or corn syrup added. The drink actually has 40 calories less than the drink I reviewed last week, as well as 11 grams of sugar less. Curiously, it has slightly more sugar than the Dublin Dr. Pepper. 

Appearance: The label is clear plastic with a design on it. On the front there is a girl (Lizzy?) who looks maybe Turkish or slightly Middle Eastern to me. The lettering also conveys that idea. You could also describe it as looking Art Deco. On the neck of the bottle it says, "Gently shake my hips before placing bottle to your lips". Awesome. 

Taste: The flavor was unmistakably grape. I don't usually like grape sodas, but this one has a sharp and rich taste. The seltzer water instead of carbonation made the drink less fizzy, but still with enough zing to make it fun. It didn't feel as heavy as the other drinks. I didn't get a sugar buzz from this drink, so I also didn't get the corresponding crash. 

Verdict: This drink is definitely healthier than soda. It contained 51% juice, which is a step up from traditional soda. I don't know if Coca Cola would taste as good with seltzer water, but maybe they should give it a try. I would recommend this drink for someone who wants something healthy but still fizzy. The drink would be good to take for a picnic on a hot day. 

Friday, May 30, 2008

Japanese Woman Comes Out of Closet

I loved this article. It's a story about a homeless Japanese woman who lived in a man's closet for a year without the guy knowing. He eventually figured it out when food began to disappear. This article emphasizes how much space exists in a person's home that they don't see very often. Before my mom sold our house she and I were the only people living there, alongside the three vacant bedrooms. Months went by before I went into some of the bedrooms in the basement. Someone could have easily lived there. 

How much space is too much space? I am usually struck by the immensity of some houses (the Biltmore estate, for example), but at the end of the day I think all that unused space is a waste. You couldn't possibly need so many bedrooms, gardens and ballrooms.  

And how creepy is it to think that someone could be living in your closet without your knowledge? I wonder how easy it is to get into a house undetected. A person could be stalking you in your own home right now! Check your closets! Look under your rugs! I almost want to try it myself. Not for the creep factor, for scientific reasons.