Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Little Weirder Every Day

Yesterday afternoon I set up an early-morning meeting for today with a potential new client - the only time they could make it before flying back to Chicago. I went to bed early to ensure I'd be able to get up a good two hours earlier than I usually do.

As I got into bed, shifting and situating myself into a comfy spot, I turned my head into the pillow and felt the pain from what must be a fantastic monster zit on the side of my head and I thought, It's a good thing I'm not going to meet with someone about being a dermatologist.

I wonder how long it will be before the number of weird thoughts totally outnumber the other thoughts. Will I notice?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Torsho Shmorso

Yesterday Lauryn Willams and Veronica Campbell crossed the finish for the 100 meter sprint at the same exact time, but the gold went to Campbell.

Sadly, Lauryn leaned with her head instead of her torso, otherwise she'd have the gold. I thought they should just run it again to be sure.

Check out the photo finish from the link at the bottom of the table on the 100 meter results page.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Action Movie Dream!

It was late at night when a friend and I were at my parents' place in San Jose, talking to my Dad on the side yard as a party was going on in the back yard. We asked him about the best way to get out of the neighborhood under the cover of darkness...

Suddenly we were running down a city sidewalk - just like the sidewalk on the southeast side of Market & Beale, headed toward the Embarcadero.

The sidewalk was covered like a breezeway and had frosted glass wall/partitions on the street side - modern & futuristic-looking - and it was crowded with people. As we ran, someone behind us was shooting at us. They missed me, but my friend was hit. She faded away.

Time passed. I was at a restaurant in another city - outside on its back patio - still hiding from my pursuers, but I was in their neighborhood - they were everywhere.

So much time had passed (months? years?), there were new people in the gang, people who weren't involved in the original chase and didn't know what I looked like. I only knew who they were because they were talking about their business.

I quickly left the restaurant and began sprinting down the sidewalk. I knew they'd soon figure out I'd been there and they'd be after me.

It was a residential neighborhood with brick row houses and low brick walls all along the sidewalk - no way to easily get between the houses to cut through the yards.

I rounded the corner of a block and kept running - it was the long side of the block. By this time, one of them was behind me. He stopped and went up the front steps of the corner house to set up his gun - a nasty-looking metal arrow/spear gun/rifle.

I knew within moments he'd be ready to fire and would have an easy time aiming at me because the the brick walls and tightly-packed houses had me confined to the street/sidewalk. I ran and crouched, ran again and crouched - I started to panic.

As I got closer to the end of the block, I saw that my team was there - they were fighting these guys and knew I was coming down the street.

I shouted to my guy on the corner to shoot the bad guy, then my view changed to show me the bad guy taking his shot. He aimed wide by only a few inches, just missing my head and scarring the brick wall in front of me.

My guy took his shot with the same sort of spear gun rifle and I saw the small metal spear rocket down the street, pierce the bad guy's neck and continue up into his jaw bone, blowing his head clean off in a fantastic cranial explosion.

I'd been saved.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Go See Superbad

It's so good. So much better than I'd expected. There's a particular incident - soon after one of the leads dances with a woman - it's... it's so gross, but you'd never expect it and it's hilarious. Don't think anyone's done it before in the history of film.

I loved how they showed the scary transition from the safe world of hanging out with your best friend to going off to college and trying to score a girlfriend.

Can't wait to see it again when it comes on cable - there was so much laughing in the theater, we missed bits of dialog throughout the movie.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mutual of Alameda's Wild Kingdom

I'll stay inside the screened-in porch while Jim investigates what's happening outside...

Tonight I was working on riveting IT content edits when I heard a strange noise outside - something I hadn't heard before. The cats were out on the porch, but the noise was beyond the porch, somewhere in the yard.

I jumped up and went out to have a look, but I couldn't see anything. It smelled like it could be a skunk, which we've never had in our yard before. I went back inside to get my flashlight.

Light in-hand, I shone it all along the side yard but saw nothing. I went out and explored the front yard, the other side of the house, the back yard, and still saw nothing. I came back inside thinking whatever it was, it had taken off when it heard me walking around.

Back on the front porch, I heard it again, this time off the ground, so I swept the light up toward the neighbor's garage roof and there it was - Mommy Raccoon. Mommy and baby were perched on top of the neighbor's garage, peering into the porch where all three cats had been on display.

The neighbor's garage roof is directly opposite the main side of the porch. A raccoon could probably make the jump and an outside cat could easily leap from the roof to the outside ledge of the porch. I gathered up the cats & moved them inside. They never made a peep and seemed happier to be inside.

I started making what I thought might be scary sounds to run them off - hissing, guttural growling - I sounded really rabid, I thought. They weren't buying it. So I started talking to them, asking Mom what she thought she was doing crawling around rooftops with her baby and such. My boring questions and one-sided conversation quickly motivated them to retreat.

For quite a while Mom explored the area, climbing down from the roof onto a fence while the baby trilled and chattered for her to return. I thought the baby couldn't figure out how to get back down from the roof and Mom might be trying to find a way down for it.

baby on the roof

But every time she returned to the roof, instead of using Mom for leverage and climbing down onto her and then onto the fence, the baby would swipe at Mom, wanting to play instead of get down & move on.

mom on the fence

As I watched Mom climb down the fence to the ground and go around to the neighbor's front yard, I heard another noise coming from the back of the garage. It was another raccoon - another adult. Mom was not happy about this.

I tried to scare off the other adult - it was about to climb up onto the neighbor's roof after the baby and I really wasn't in the mood to watch a tragic nature drama just before going to bed.

When Mom's hissing wasn't shooing The Other away, I grabbed the hose to help out. I shot the hose down the side yard and that ended the standoff. The Other ambled along the top of the fence toward the back yard.

But the baby was still stuck on the roof, so Mom went back up. Wanting them to get down & move on, I went back out to the side yard and propped a long piece of lumber up against the roof, hoping they'd find it and finally get the hell down.

I came inside to the front porch and waited. Mom and baby were now playing on the top of the garage. Baby kept climbing all over Mom, having a great time, and Mom didn't seem at all anxious to find a way down and continue their adventures.

From the porch I could see the other set of shining eyes on the fence coming from the backyard, but I couldn't stay out there with the hose all night. A few minutes later as he got closer, I saw that it wasn't The Other raccoon, it was the neighborhood tomcat, Norman.

This ought to be interesting, I thought, but Norman lives out there and he knows that scene better than I do. I just know that raccoons will go after cats, so I couldn't imagine what Norman thought he was doing out there. I did think, however, that a raccoon *could* solve our problem with Norman constantly trying to fight our cats through the screens...

He slowly and quietly made his way along the fence, then silently crawled up onto the garage roof. I was so busy watching him, I hadn't noticed that in the few seconds it took for him to get onto the roof, the raccoons had taken off. They hadn't made any noise, but they were gone. I guess the baby wasn't stuck after all.

With the raccoons gone, Norman sat at the very top of the garage, as if surveying his domain. I told him I had to admit it, he *is* a badass.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Poor Saps

Just think, as I sit here working at my cozy desk in my comfy sweats and fleecy slippers, with fuzzy sleeping cats nearby and the radio playing good tunes, 12 poor saps had to get up early, commute to a grungy, depressing courthouse and are listening to lawyers drone on for hours under fluorescent lights, in stiff chairs, and have had to endure weeks of such abuse for a whopping $15 per day plus mileage one way.

Can one remain totally fair and impartial after weeks of such treatment?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Marvelous mTV Monday

Last night I got my mTV on - The Hills season premier and the premier of a new show that seemed very similar to Laguna Beach, which I thought was odd, 'cause they already have Laguna Beach...

As it turns out, this new show, Newport Harbor, IS Laguna Beach. The actual name of the show is now "The Real O.C." and the location within O.C. is wherever they think the best chance of big ratings might be, or whatever city will have them.

I think Laguna had kicked out mTV, fed up with the image of LB mTV portrayed and the influx of people coming to see "the real O.C." And sinking ratings meant it was time to move, but to Newport? Why not San Clemente where Nixon wandered the beach in his later years? Or Placentia, which is awfully close to "placenta?" A lot of entertaining things probably happen there.

I enjoyed the first two seasons of Laguna Beach and hated the third. In the first two seasons - scripted or not - there were likable characters and foils. It had characters who were relatable in some way. And it didn't hurt that they were all very pretty, but pretty didn't help season 3.

The third season blew and its ratings tanked. It tanked because there were NO likable characters. All the girls were evil or whiny and the boys were just props. I don't even remember any boys being on the show. There was nothing remotely interesting about any of them.

So last night after The Hills, this other show starts and I'm still thinking it's a different show when the LB opening music begins. It wasn't until a commercial break that they used a voice over to explain that they'd moved up the coast a ways and now it's all about Newport Harbor. Not very usable.

And Newport - wow - boring. It looks just like the third season but with 400% more bleach, 50% more whining and 100% less scenery. There's some chick whose father calls her every five minutes. That's creepy. I'll stick with Lauren and her awesome new LA friends.

If you haven't seen The Hills, enjoy MadTV's version - it's super awesome.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Random Memory 2,674

I went to a party one night with a friend. I was a junior and she was a senior, and it was a grown up party - older people drinking liquor from glasses - no keg or plastic cups.

It was somewhere in Palo Alto or Los Altos - it was woodsy and dark with a big yard in front of the house with trees all around that made it seem darker.

She knew a few of the men there, I only knew her. Her father used to beat her up - at least we thought it was her father - and she'd come to school trying to hide a giant bruise under cover-up and foundation.

One hot summer day we spent all afternoon on inflatable rafts on Lexington Reservoir drinking California Coolers. Our lips were puckered from all the citrus. We went to another party that night and I don't remember very much about that. She drove a cool little convertible.

Half way through that semester she went away. I never saw her again.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Winter in Summer Blows

Really not happy about drizzle just one day after a lovely, sunny and warm afternoon on Saturday. Drizzle is ass. Rain is fine - rain is fun - but cold, gray drizzle is lame. Half-assed. Depressing.

But, what IS fun is going to a private screening of the third Bourne movie in Corte Madera last Saturday morning. A great perk of being part of the Lucas family.

In other news, I think I've finally overdone the amount of chocolate chips one should add to a brownie mix. I had two partially-full bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips - Nestle's mini chips and Guittard's. I dumped in the last of the minis but that didn't seem to be enough, so in went the rest of the Guittard's.

There's barely enough brownie material amid the chips and it's like eating a glob of gooey brownie chocolaty dough. Not a bad thing, just a bit surprising. You're gonna need a cup of coffee to cut the goo. It's a good problem to have.

photo from

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Gum Flavors I Might Enjoy

Tonight I came up with some new gum flavors I might enjoy – Well-Seasoned Grilled Meat gum, Salty Olive Oil and Fresh Sourdough Bread gum, and Bacon & Jack Cheeseburger with Sautéed Mushrooms gum…

David thought it sounded disgusting and sarcastically said, “Mmm Lasagna gum!” and I said “Yes! Definitely!" Pepperoni Pizza gum, Fettuccine Alfredo gum, Porcini Mushroom Ravioli gum, Gnocchi in Gorgonzola Sauce gum – so many possibilities. He thinks it’s gross, but I think it could work. One good piece of Pizza gum and he'd be totally on board.

Update: My mother thinks it's a wonderful idea and has requested Veal Scallopini gum.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Since quitting my job, my brain has been dreaming again. That had almost shut down completely when I was still working for The Man.

Even if my head was up my butt most of that time, too tweaked about the ills of that place, why wouldn't my brain keep trying to make sense of it all with a little REM? Wouldn't that have helped?

Or did I let it mess me up a bit too much? OR, is it what I've wondered all along... that the office sits atop an ancient burial ground and the whole place is lousy with evil spirits?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I received a letter in the mail today that scared me at first, then it made me smile so big and laugh - it's one of the best things ever. I was overwhelmed with joy.

It made me realize how lucky I was to work with these folks, even if too briefly, but even luckier to become friends with them. They're some of the smartest and funniest people I've ever met.

So, for all the whining and complaining you've seen in this space for the past 2 years, I apologize. I know I've complained a lot - about almost everything. I'm obviously a big baby and want everything to be perfect all the time. And for the most part, it has been, but I've kinda had my head up my butt. I think it's finally reversing course.

Thank you D and M - you made my day.