I want to be the girl with the most URLs.
my Mirror Project Gallery, "The Make-up Mirror"
pics from Burning Man 2003(09/03)
photos from Burning Man 2002 (09/17/02)
pics from Allyson's wedding(09/03)
Cali Convertible Adventures with Nemesis(ter)(07/03)
Allyson's bachelorette party(07/04/03)
Dogpatch Sunrise - There are some visual benefits to waking up at 6a.m. when you live by the San Francisco Bay. (04/11/03)
Kicking it with Frank the KJ (04/05/03)
Bad Pioneer weekend - riding horses in Hollywood and swimming with dolphins in Malibu (02/14/03)
Dat Ass - hip-hop and ghetto tech party, SF, CA (01/25/03)
Jeno spins at House Plant - Oakland, CA (01/17/03)
Halloween Costumes at Yahoo! and in the Castro (10/31/02)
pics from Portland (10/26/03)
the story I told at Fray Day 6 in SF (09/23/02)
What is YOUR Anti-Drug? (09/16/02)
ugly kids (08/19/02)
Picking Blackberries (07/12/02)
she said, she said (06/28/02)
The Phoenix Festival (07/10/02)
Photos from my SXSW road-trip (05/01/02)
love letter to los angeles (11/09/01)
pics from Scuba with Migual Migs (08/11/01)
robots and warehouses in my SF neighborhood (06/19/01)
My pics from Burning Man 2001
My pics from Burning Man 2000
My journal from Burning Man '99
Meeting Monica Lewinsky (11/15/99)
What was Diane Sawyer really like? (11/17/95)
Turkish Delights (09/08/95)
The Scatman in Greece's Modern Ruins (08/26/95)
Caught in a Mosh (10/94)
Montreal Stripped Down (08/01/94)
sophomore year spring break in Russia (04/08/94)
conversationskill: a real life mellow-drama of Vassar students abroad in Russia (04/08/94)
pics from the Russia trip (04/08/94)
sophomore year road-trip to Mardi Gras (02/12/94)
Bite of Me:
"Never trust a hippie."
-Some incredibly appropriate graffiti I saw on Dolores Street a year ago
So, I had my Beetle towed to this garage I go to in my neighborhood that's run by hippies. They told me the problem is a "defective fuel filter," and it's a part that they put into my car this time last year.
I was like, "Umm, you know I could have died when my car decided to stop in the middle of the road and leak tons of gas out the back!"
They were like, "Well, we won't charge you for the labor on that part."
The bill was still somehow $661. They obviously decided to pad the bill in other areas...
After making my wallet substantially lighter, the head hippie, Jerry, offered me a t-shirt celebrating their garage's 25th anniversary. It's emblazoned with a Grateful Dead red rose wrapped around a wrench. It's hot. Yes, I somehow manage to find the humour in these absurd scenarios. It's a talent I've honed.
Broken down Beetle blues
I almost certainly would've died on the freeway this morning if my friend/co-worker Andy hadn't asked me to carpool with him down to Sunnyvale to the office this morning. About 5 minutes after picking Andy up at his house on Dolores St., we were driving at 35 miles per hour up the hill near Dolores Park and my car just went completely dead in the left lane. Luckily I was able to get it halfway over into the side lane before we lost all velocity. If I hadn't have driven across the Mission to pick Andy up and had just been driving by myself to work, I already would've been in the busy morning 101 traffic going 70 miles per hour at that point. There is no way I wouldn't have been hit.
I guess I really shouldn't have been surprised. I mean, this is the same Beetle that exploded on me in Los Angeles right after the 2-year warranty ended.
So, we turned on the hazard lights and we called a tow truck from the cell phones. They told us they'd be there in about an hour. And then we called our bosses. And then Andy got out of the car to go to Muddy Waters to go get us coffee. When he climbed out the passenger side of the car, he said, "There's a lot of liquid spilling out of your car." It was gas. "You should get out of the car," Andy said, "because if someone comes speeding up this hill and clips you from behind, it could be dangerous."
I watched CHiPs when I was little. I'm afraid of exploding cars. So, I waited sitting on the sidewalk and people driving up Dolores glared at me for having a car that died halfway in the right lane.
Then Andy returned with coffees and pastries and took pictures of me and the blue, blue Beetle with his cell phone camera. The tow truck guys thought we were on crack.
"I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on."
-Gorillaz, "Clint Eastwood"
Is it just me, or are they playing "Clint Eastwood" on the radio every time I get into the car? Is anyone else hearing it? Perhaps it's just my state of mind right now.
After yoga I had breakfast with Lee, and then sequestered myself in my room, where I've stayed on my laptop for the entire day. I'm frantically working to get my first two novel chapters ready to give to Daniel when we meet tonight for drinks at Sadie's. The writing/revising is going well. I'm just scared to death to share this stuff with someone whose writing is so great.
"Do You Realize - we're floating in space
Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round"
-The Flaming Lips, "Do You Realize?" (We found out a few days ago that The Flaming Lips are playing at the Yahoo! Holiday party. Crazy.)
Today is one of those days where it seems like anything is possible. Daniel challenged me to some kind of novel-writing duel. We both need to get 175 pages completed by New Year's Eve. It will be his 4th novel, my first. He found a way to tap into my painfully competitive
nature. Of course, I would love, love, love to have this freakin novel completed before I turn 30 in January. Mine is a story I started working on during my brief sojourn into Emerson College's M.F.A. program in '98. I'm actually glad I put it away and let it sit for five years. I think I'm finally ready to write it. I'd better be -- I have to give Daniel 15-20 pages a week.
My co-worker Jim burned me a copy of The Flaming Lips' 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' and I've been listening to it on repeat all day. I'm feeling so inspired.
Today I wanna send "the love" out to Jeff and Esther. (I know it must sound that way from all the gushing electronic sweetness and silly love proclamations coming from me this week, but I swear I am not on ecstasy. You people are always so cynical, aren't you?)
I don't think I've mentioned it here yet, but Jeff moved back to NYC right after we left Burning Man this year. He's moved into an apartment in Brooklyn, with the ever-fabulous Lance. It's been hard to have one of my best friends move back to that "other" city on that "other" coast. I always loved that I could just hop in my car and drive down to Los Angeles to visit him for the weekend. The East Coast/West Coast time difference makes it tough for us to fit phone conversations into our crazy-busy schedules, and he just feels farther away. He sent me a gorgeous bouquet of Calla lillies to my office 2 weeks ago. Luckily, I will see him in December when I fly to Boston to see my mom. We've been friends since we were 15-years-old, and now we're both about to turn 30. That's difficult to fathom. I still remember him as a Doc Martins wearing, tall lanky boy in a Sinead O'Connor t-shirt making me mix tapes with The Smiths on them.
Esther gets the love because she and I have shared some more of my favorite adventures, including visiting teepess and trampolines and finding abandoned sailboats and hamburgers in the desert.
My (neme)sister Lana is guest blogging at Mary's fruitcake brigade today. I'm sure she looks smashing in her pink eskimo boots. Some of my favorite memories of this year were spent shopping at Slauson Swap Meet in South Central Los Angeles for personalized velvet track suits with this cray-cray girl or getting accosted by sea lions somewhere south of Santa Cruz.
I'm starting to figure out that distractions are the absolute enemy of discipline. I'm sort of slow with these things, see, and I don't feel I should have to give up anything.
A boy I met recently started working on a new painting called Distraction. I'm curious to see how that one develops and evolves. You can check out his paintings and needlepoint (yes, needlepoint) at Cafe Arrividerci in San Rafael.
Last night was Will's 30th birthday. I spent most of the evening chatting with Nathan who's living in the East Bay and playing bass in a band called The Cables. Talking with him, I realized how much I've changed in the four years since that week when I stayed in his apartment before moving out to Los Angeles. I think I have a greater ability to make myself happy now. I can honestly say that I'm not afraid of turning 30 anymore, because I really like whoever it is I'm turning into -- this evolution of me. So, I suppose my twenties fulfilled a purpose after all, even if I didn't get married or write the Great American Novel -- I've become someone who I like. At least today, anyway.
"Imagine your back is a turtle shell, and use your breath to polish it."
-my yoga teacher, a Hungarian contortionist who goes by the name of Pretzel
I spent most of today wandering Valencia Street and driving around the Mission. Although I still have love for my nearby former 'hoods Dogpatch and Potrero Hill, I'm truly feeling the love for my new home, the Mission. Saturday afternoon I was caught outside in a downpour -- San Francisco's first real rainstorm in months. Even though I hate getting wet, the rain altered my mood in ways that weren't entirely negative. It's weird how it can go so long without raining here that I forget that the rain has the power to effect my emotions. It's this sort of somber cleansing, and I'm sure the grimy, pissed-on streets of the city feel the same way. They need a serious bath! The great thing for me is that the coming rainy season will enable me to stay indoors and get writing done in the same way that this year's glorious sunny summer seemingly seduced me outdoors and into trouble.
Last night I went our for drinks with Daniel who is the most talented writer I know. Way back in 1997 -- when I was living in Boston and he was living in S.F. -- Daniel submitted short stories and vignettes to an electronic 'zine I was editing called Purr. (My favorites were "Connectivity" and "Rock Videos Do Have Hidden Meanings".) Before we had ever met in-person, he mailed me his first novel to Boston so that I could read it and provide feedback. I shared my comments in a long distance phone conversation. Three years later he mailed me his second novel, an extremely different piece on an extremely different topic. The second novel is completely brilliant. It was a pleasure to read -- the way manuscripts sent to you by acquaintences seldom are. It's electrifying to read the first draft of a novel that you just know will achieve critical and popular success. He's currently shopping his it around to publishers with his agent. Damnit, Daniel is so freakin' talented and so freakin' disciplined. (And let's be honest, discipline is something I completely lack, so it inspires me when I see it in others.) He's finished three novels while working as an editor at a national gaming magazine. He gave me 2 pieces of great advice last night:
1. "Throw your Blackberry into the Ocean."
2. "Get disciplined. Write every night before you go to sleep, no matter how late it is when you get home."
(I'm taking his advice on the second one. We all know how I feel about my damn Crackberry.)
Deckard: She's a replicant.
Tyrell: I'm impressed, Mr. Deckard. How many questions does it normally take?
Deckard: I don't get it...
Tyrell: How many?
Deckard: Twenty, thirty, cross-referenced.
Tyrell: But with Rachael it took more than a hundred.
Deckard: She doesn't know.
Tyrell: She is beginning to suspect I think.
Deckard: Beginning to suspect? How can it not know what it is?
-Blade Runner (1982)
Someone at The Wave magazine came up with the idea to give the San Francisco mayoral candidates the Voight-Kampff empathy test from Blade Runner. The results are pretty amusing. Only Ammiano figured out what was going on. Don't forget to scroll down to the bottom for Gavin Newsom's test. (Courtesy of Andy.)
He said, "I want a girl as brave and dangerous as Aeon Flux."
I said, "I dressed up as Aeon Flux for Halloween one year."
After that it was silence, and sometimes I think I just don't get it.
Today Andy and I drove to work down the 101, and it was cold and there were enormous clouds everywhere all around us. It felt so strange -- like a completely foreign planet. It's been sunny and warm forever now, so when I saw the clouds they made me feel weird. There was even a patch of rain, and I realized I hadn't seen rain in months. Rain -- even 30 seconds of drizzle -- snapped me out of the amazing, sunny, warm and seemingly neverending California summer we had this year. (Unusual for San Francisco.) As you would imagine, rain is completely out of place in Sunnyvale. Up until today our daily weather was pretty much always this.
Arnold's the governor of my fine state. I didn't vote for him (and neither did most of San Francisco, or the entire Bay Area, for that matter), but somehow it seems strangely *appropriate* that he is our state's chosen leader. After all, he's slick, he speaks in sound bytes and he stays in shape. (It's difficult not to make light of this -- I have friends who voted for Gary Coleman this morning.) Sometimes I'm not sure if any of this stuff is real. Still, I do love California -- (as the bumper sticker says) -- and all of its faults. I'm not sure I could live in a place if it wasn't in letterbox with Sony Digital Dynamic Surround Sound. I like it when everyone's wearing costumes and sighing savory sentences -- places where the storylines are dreamed up by entire screenwriting teams. Remember, I lived in Boston once, and I can't give it any thumbs-up or stars.
"Gone living. Be back next week."
As always, I'm the last of my campmates to post photos from Burning Man. Esther put her pics up last week. Philly G put his pics up yesterday. And now, finally, my Burning Man 2003 photos are online complete with captions. Go check 'em out and maybe they will help you understand why Burning Man is so important to us.
I've returned from 30-hours spent on the East Coast to attend Allyson and Bryan's wedding. It was gorgeous -- see for yourself! I also got a chance to visit my mother (for a few hours). She has just adopted a very strange cat. It's a Persian named Sno-Boo whose elderly owner was recently put into a nursing home. The cat had been left alone in a basement for several weeks when its owner was first struck with a heart attack, and its long fluffy hair became completely matted and painful to the cat. So, when my mom adopted the cat she had to get all the fur on its body completely shaved off. The effect is hysterical. The poor thing looks like a bizarre space alien. (I know, I should talk -- I'm the one with a dog who looks like a fruit bat...)
I'm rushing out of the office with hard copy print-outs in hand: 1. Travelocity e-tickets from SFO to Logan and 2. Mapquest driving directions to Thompson, Connecticutt. I'm about to embark on a cross-country red-eye flight to Boston in order to spend Saturday morning eating breakfast with my mom and then driving to Connecticutt for Allyson and Bryan's wedding(!) After spending just over 24-hours on the East Coast, I will be flying back to SFO on Sunday. Such are the traumas of spending all of my allotted vacation time (and then some!) in Vietnam and in the desert at Burning Man. Ouch. Will I ever get time to sleep?! Thank god there's Valium. Yikes. I haven't even packed yet!
"A giant hamburger in the middle of the desert is truly beyond belief!"
-me, speaking to Esther after encountering the Wholly Burger on the playa at 3a.m.
I've returned to civilization after spending 8 days in Black Rock City, and I think I left some of my brain behind in the desert. Yesterday and today have been impossibly difficult days at work. My head is still up in the clouds, whisking across the playa... I love the nutria hunters and our new friend the iron chef and I miss everyone so much.