Monday, June 30, 2003

Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa, my left contact.

All gone without a trace. When you think your contact may have rolled its way up into your inner sanctum eye tissues, you'll realize a few things.

For me, I realized that (one) my parents need to move geographically closer to me for lots of reasons; looking into the depths of my bloodshot eye without gagging is a good enough reason. (Two) Don't roll your eyes when someone says something incredibly boring when you are incredibly tired, and (three) even though a professional told me it's not lost in my brain somewhere, I don't have the blind faith to believe him.

And, (four) I just came up with a really great idea involving bio-degradable plastic and runaway contacts.

You know exactly who your friends are when something is lodged in your soft tissues, and also when you move. That was the most crap I have lugged from one lodging to the next, and I couldn't bear to drag any friend through that. To all those who volunteered to help us move, my advance thanks to you was not taking you up on the extremely generous offers. Ron says you are all personally invited to a big house party in your honor, and strippers will be dispensed.

Note to Jacquie and Daniel: because you asked not once but twice if you could help, you will each get your own separate stripper apiece, no sharing involved. So thank you to everybody who offered arms, legs and trucks. Please come over and have a fruity drink soon, we now have filtered water and an ice crusher right in the door of the brand new mega fridge. I want to be buried in that Frigidaire.

To anyone who doesn't think logos aren't very important, for the record, the deciding factor for me and my appliances was not all-out practicality, but it was the cool, retro-throwback Frigidaire logo instead that made it all so.

Thinking back, we moved with eerie precision since last Wednesday night. It's probably because Ron's done this around 30 times, he told me. It didn't rain, it wasn't hot, so the only thing annoying was my moaning. But without that, I probably wouldn't get anything done ever. Uninterestingly enough, my feet are just killing me. I figured a certain vertebra or two in my lower back would've shot out across the room from the improper lifting at some point, but no. Just battered dogs.

I want to go home and sleep. That's not going to happen soon, but it's a nice dream. I'd like to just lie there and stare up at the ceiling fans and be mesmerized into Deep Space Nine. I'm happy. My cat isn't, but until he finds a job and starts coughing up more than hairballs, he will have to choose his attitude. Easy for me to say while he's at home now tearing down all the make-shift window treatments.

I'd like to thank my parents, too, for instilling the Fear of Bad Credit into my soul at a young age; otherwise this house wouldn't exist. And it's a really nice house, very familiar. Ron wants to name it. "No, if we name it, we'd have to keep it," I thought. There's my dad's genetics. As if I'm moving out next month or something. But we're not going anywhere by choice because I'm not moving that mega fridge across wood floors one more time. Oh hell no. I had to hide in the back while the oldest, tiniest, wiriest delivery man in the world wrangled it and stove into place. All across the new wood floors and not one, single scratch. I wish I could've seen it; but I know when to let the professionals do their jobs to completion instead of trying to do it for them over their shoulders piece by piece until someone jabs a fork in someone's eye.

Which is why I lost my contact today in the first place, and also why I went to the eye doctor for his opinion, which I actually feel better for taking than not. So much for today's recommended dose of irony.

Gee whiz. My feet still hurt. I hope I don't have to get them removed. That would be so inconvenient.

Tomorrow. See you.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Closing Time.

I may barf. It's not just because those two words up there remind me of that really annoying song, but today is the day I close on The House. Oh. My head. I'm not good at spending over 100 dollars. So imagine my Walk of a Thousand Green Miles to my local bank for the cashier's check of, well, more that 100 dollars.

This is supposed to be an exciting time. It depends on how you look at it.

For the thrillseekers out there, I suggest you get The New Guy at the bank who greets you with only a yawn and no May I Help You, who can't process your request of Change of Address, who mumbles sideways to his co-worker "How do I access a savings account", and who may or may not have just completed his first cashier's check ever.

That last bit alone makes us even in basic teller skills, mostly because I have never been trained for that job either. But I clearly had the edge when he pushed the check across the desk at me and I had to prompt him with a "Don't you want to sign it?"

Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to Why I Have That Look on my face most days. And you know what? Whomever said it was right: it will stick that way after time.

Wish me luck, and goat offerings on my behalf will be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Moving is hard.

I really wish I could be a true minimalist. Just have a bed, a bedside table, a lamp, a computer and table, a tv and a kickass sound system all set up in a Japanese maple armoire with a kitchen table and four chairs, a sleeper sofa and big, comfy chair. Barring natural disaster such as fire, earthquake or tornado, that will never be how I live simply.

But it sure is nice to dream over. Ron makes Organzied Hamster Piles around the apartment; I make Neat Little Stashes in utility closets. Sometime during the night, the Organized Hamster Piles and the Neat Little Stashes have a house party, mostly in the kitchen. I don't know how, I definitely don't know why. But soon, it will stop.

I think the apartment is sad that we're leaving. Laugh out loud if you need to, but the whole feng shui of the place has suddenly turned into feng shite. Two weeks ago as I came to the acceptance that I was in fact moving, the toilet broke. What ever happened to metal toilet parts, now all replaced with plastic? So the toilet is now rigged with a handy coat hanger for flushing, and is officially a miserable little toilet. Complete with plunging episodes numbers one and two.

The shower drain is, well, not one anymore. The bathroom light will not stay switched on, just don't even try it. Honestly, that has been going on for some time, with the light switching off on someone mid-pee. The next thing to break was a kitchen cabinet hinge. Snap! More broken plastic. And the coup-de-grace was last week, when we walked back in to an extremely cold apartment. So cold, even the dishes were icy. The thermostat was set to 76 degrees but the thermometer needle was buried in somewhere in the 50's. Much like Walt Disney, frozen.

This all happened within the last couple of weeks. I think it's weird, and sad. And saddest part is packing. Because everything I touch, I think "I need this... I need this... I may need this..." I haven't run across any tiny item yet that I don't think I need. But if someone threw it out, biting truth, I bet I'd never notice.

Friday, June 20, 2003

"Am I the only one who needs a Glick Fix?"

This makes Thursdays good again. Everytime I watch it, I think "This time, I'll be disappointed. This time, he'll be extra predictable." Nope. It's in the way Martin Short makes Glick phrase things that makes this show so damn funny.

So the day started off strange but nice in retrospect. The last dreams of the early morning consisted of me, in the form of some human car, rolling gently along a greened path of unidentifiable, chartruese groundcover and then, it bogs me down. I try to continue on, but I am like a wind-up toy on thick carpet. The groundcover parts beneath my wheels and I realize that I am on a thick, plexiglass surface covered loosely with this light-colored vegetation. I backtrack and realize that this place is a good place. Why? Because in the background, I hear faintly the recorded information speaking of this hallowed Bunny Ground, one of the last of its tiny kind. And as I looked around, I focused on small, pink, fuzzy bunnies munching fresh grass all around them. They were so small, three would fit in the palm of your hand.

The more I looked for them, the smallerI found them. It was like focusing in on a trail of ants; the more you look, the more you see around you. And the smallest ones were smaller than a pinky fingernail of a baby. And they crunched along through the tiny, vibrantly greened shoots of wheat grass, and they feasted on the smallest purple flowers and buds I had ever imagined.

And all I wanted to do was touch the smallest bunny. Fearing that I would hurt it with my finger, I unfurled this massive index finger at the smallest rabbit, and it looked up from its purple flower lunchbreak and timidly sniffed the tip of my finger. I felt like I had done something right, and still.

I brushed a heap of the green groundcover away, and through the plexiglass I saw a freshwater pond underneath us all with hundreds of orange and white scaled japanese koi swimming in one direction. Swimming to a light I couldn't see. Just looking at them relaxed me most. So I closed my eyes and lay my head down on the ground. And they began to swim deeper, and they began to beep and the beeping grew louder, from over the pasture and into the white sky. And I opened my eyes and returned to my room again, bright with no details, with a black dog thumping his tail on the floor. It's Christmas Day again, he smiles. I should wake up, and I do.

So my day always begins with a visit to the web pages that comfort me most. And what do I see but talk of the Peep Mobile. That's right, the puffy, marshmallow candy has its own travelling ad bus. Not just one, but two. And I plan to see it in August when it comes here, and I don't even like marshmallow Peeps.

But there you have it, I thought. I am dreaming about tiny pink bunnies; I think it's important only to find out that I am dreaming about Peeps. But I don't even like them. I don't get the strange synchronicity.

And then, all day, the only thing I can think of is Primetime Glick, my zoftig comedy relief, one of the few tv shows I actually remember to watch besides The Simpsons and Ground Force. How extremely comforting Glick is to me, I laugh outloud. Which is rare, but appreciated. And now I sit here, at the end of the day, 11:54 pm, and I'm eating from a bag of frozen miniature marshmallows left over from Christmas.

And it's not so bad. In fact, everything's very, very good.

Hopefully tonight, I'll dream about tiny fried chickens and a nice white merlot.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

I don't even like bananas and I think this drink is good. Probably because it tastes like pineapple mostly. But I like it. And we've decided to drink more Snapple simply because of the advertising. I've seen a few of the crazy tv ads, with the Snapple bottles in wigs'n'things, running from guinea pigs with tiny fake horns. And I'm here to say I personally love them. After visiting, I heard the radio spots and they are brilliant. Even if Snapple is too fruity and has no fizzie qualities, the ads are absolutely refreshing.

I sound 50 years old, don't I?

Friday, June 13, 2003

I like Friday the 13th. And the moon looks pretty full out there tonight, too. Kind of makes you want to pick up an axe and start swinging, doesn't it? But that could be all the free candy talkin.'

As I walked into work this morning, it was the usual blur, all the way up from the parking garage basement. Each day, I try to take a different stairwell for different reasons. One has about eleven mini-flights of stairs and bores me. Another is always slippery and smells like elephant piss. But the last one that is marked off with barricade tape, that is my favorite stairwell of all. This stairwell is the least draining is them all; it has a hole, like a black window into a wall for no reason, and sometimes I leave a soda can in it just to see how long it will stay there til either someone throws it away or knocks it off into the blackness behind the wall. I'll never know the truth; I'll never stick my head in that hole to see.

This stairwell has long flights of stairs instead of short, flight-over-flight ones, and for some reason, I like that better. It's almost like trudging up a slight incline, and you never really know how far you've come until you look back down on it.

Same as always, I walk through the rows of BMWs, Lexus and brand new SUVs; everyday the urge to key them as I walk by makes me laugh to myself. Maybe it's the sound. Maybe it's that they probably don't even care as much about their expensive metal accoutrements as much as I care about my trusty soldier. You can't help but wonder who drives these cars, but the contents scattered across the backseats tell most of the story. Number one, the fact that they actually leave stuff visible in the backseat for easy pickins is enough to tell you how sheltered they might be. Racquetball bags tell you how old their habits are; yoga mats tell you how pressured they feel to be trendy.

Everyday, Monday though Friday, it's the same walk into the building, across the skywalk like a gerbil in a Habitrail, in through the double-glass doors that remind me of mirrors in a FunHouse. They make me look squat, every day. I don't care how decent I look, for some reason, they try to blow my day around 8:45 or 9. Some days I just don't even look, because really, they are unreal manifestations, some harbinger, I think. A sign that when I walk through those doors, I will face two, altered selves who are never quite me on that day, or the next day, or the day after that. But for now, I just keep on walking. And lots of times, I just look down. And I keep thinking about how peaceful Saturdays are, and I do that fifty-two times a year.

Next stop, the elevator, or My first real encounter with a stranger for the day. And I either stand there alone and I'm happier, or I wait uncomfortably with someone in silence. If only two elevators are working, then after about forty-three seconds, we begin the Dance of Waiting in Impatience, shifting weight back and forth between our feet until it comes. It's like an Elevator Raindance, and usually the elevator shows up soon after. If not then someone has to make a comment; it's usually not me though, unless I feel like being obvious.

Today, when I got to the elevators, a woman was already waiting there. And even though she heard me walk up behind her, she never turned around. And since i had nothing else to do while I waited, I noticed that this woman's butt was, well quite honestly, biggish. She was going in the right direction by wearing a skirt, but she fell short by wearing a white skirt with a large ruffle ending below her knees. Her legs were unusually thin and mahoghany colored, and her shoes were small wooden heels exactly matching the color of her legs. She stood there perfectly still. And as the elevator bell dinged, and as she began to move for the elevator, I realized that she looked exactly like a bedside table I had next to my bed as a child, and it had now come to life and was now walking across the marble floors to the elevator, with the peck-peck-pecking sound that I'm sure a walking bedside table would make. Dead sure. And it was fascinating, and that made me happy.

And then I remembered that I hadn't written things like these lately due to a workplace interfering with my true reflections.

Monday, June 09, 2003

This website and malted milkballs has resurrected yet another futile Waste of Atmosphere kind of day around these parts. And I don't even like malted milkballs. Enjoy!

Friday, June 06, 2003

"Come to the edge."
"We can't. We're afraid."
"Come to the edge."
"We can't. We will fall!"
"Come to the edge."
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.

- Guillaume Apollinaire

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

And That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles.

Martha Stewart was indicted today. I can't wait to see The Daily Show on Comedy Central tonight. Some writer is working on the perfect headline right now. Or, more like it, they are hanging out in a local tapas bar going through about one hundred and seven "good ones" saved up just for this moment.

Well, Sybil Shepard can sleep a little easier now, I suppose.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Dead cat wedding? Don't blame me. Blame Radiohead.

And Walter Potter, a Victorian taxidermist and creepy dude who stuffed kittens for pleasure. Well, what did he know about animal rights? Back then, the women drank small potions of arsenic just to stay porcelain white, and thought all toads were venomous and could live in lumps of stone for, like... ever. My point is check out Radiohead's new video for "There There."

Here here:

It's extremely Bjork "Human Behavior" stop-action, conceptual cool. I mean, it's no Justin Timberlake video but...

Hell yes, I'm joking. If only spontaneous combustion could be willed telepathically.

Man, what a day besides the Stuffed Cat and Dog aspect of it. Today, I have read so much about Japanese bento (obento, obentoo, bentou) boxes that I had to go down to the corner market for rice crackers. While some Anime loving 'tween ganked my bento box right out from under me on eBay, I have benefitted greatly from the loss.

Researching online stores for the perfect red or "aka" bento box has lead me down a much needed imformative path concerning Japanese culture and interesting aspects. For example, who knew they celebrated Valentine's Day in Japan at all (introduced in 1958 probably by Brach's Candies). Except on Japan's version of Valentine's Day, only the men receive gifts. Yeah, the women give chocolates to all the men in their lives in the form of either "giri-chocko" or "honmei-chocko". Giri-chocko is I Just Wanna Be Friends Chocolates while Honmei-chocko is apparently ChicaBwowWow Chocolates. Probably gifts of hard candies and M&Ms so they won't melt in their hands.

I also learned of White Day which is the holiday in response to Japan's Valentine's Day. See, on March 14th, the men are supposed to return the favor to the women's heartfelt niceties with white candy, like marshmallow. But then candy companies soon jumped on that bandwagon and manufactured lots of candies in white to knock marshmallows out of the running.

Which is smart. Real smart. Because it's simple: I don't care what part of the universe you live in, if a woman gives you chocolate and you keep her waiting for 30 days only to produce mechanically puffed confections to her on White Day... unless she's your Mom or unless they are shaped like Hello Kitty, you're one dead man walking a thin line getting thinner.

More cool Japanese stuff tomorrow, I bet. Much like crying stuffed robins and Radiohead, the subject is just too fascinating.