Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A very L.A. sort of dream.

As I was driving to work this morning…and yes, I realize that a lot of my stories probably start with “As I was driving to work” but I do live in Los Angeles and thus most of my time seems to be spent driving to work. But on with the story!...I was driving to work this morning and I saw a helicopter fly over. In L.A. this is not really cause for any sort of excitement. It is a little disturbing to be walking down the street at night and then suddenly have a spotlight shining on you from up above. That really does happen. And then you start to wonder…um…who are they looking for and should I really be out walking around the streets alone? But this was daytime and I was safe in my car when I saw the…oh my god. Sometimes I bore even myself with the way I ramble on. Jeez.

OK, so I saw a helicopter and it reminded me of this dream I had and I was struck by just how very much of a Los Angeles dream it was. In this dream I was at work and I looked out the huge picture window (yeah…in reality, no windows in my office. Just one skylight that taunts me with a sunny little blue patch) and I saw tons of helicopters, all headed in the same direction. There were at least thirty of them jockeying around for a view on one patch of the city. And in my dream I said…”Well, it’s gonna be a long ride home tonight!”

Lots of helicopters in one place means something is going on. There is a massive accident or some celebrity is out running in traffic. If you see the helicopters start to congregate, you know it’s going to be bad.

Of course, the other bad helicopter sign is when you can hear them hovering over your house. Usually it’s a car chase in the neighborhood and if you turn on the television, you might just see your house! Oh hooray! Better yet, once I woke up at about 4 in the morning to circling helicopters. It went on for hours. They just kept repeating their flight pattern until I finally got out of bed and turned on the t.v. Turns out that Bob Hope had just died. His house is less than a mile from where I live (which would make you think I live in a nice neighborhood…but…well…) and the news shows wanted…what the heck could they possibly get from a helicopter at 4 am? I guess they just wanted to make sure that I didn’t sleep.

Friday, August 25, 2006

It’s not just me, right?

Today I am tired. The women’s bathroom in my office has two stalls and there are only two women in the office. I use the larger “handicapped” stall because the first time we (that’s the two of us females, not the royal we…or the royal wee, as the case may be…heh) found ourselves in the rest room at the same time, we each picked a stall and…well…there was no looking back. But today I just want to drag a big ol’ dog bed in the big stall and curl up and sleep. And then I think “Ewwwww…bathroom!” but then again “Hmmm…I’m the only one who uses this stall so how bad can it really be?” but no. Not today.

But it’s not just me, is it? Everyone seems tired and overwhelmed lately. I can’t possibly be the only one. Just as I can’t possibly be the only one who, when shopping in a china store, has the desire to push over all the display cases to hear the noise. I can’t be the only one tempted to crash into that car with the anti-adoption bumper sticker. I can’t be the only one who wants to look into that basket of the woman in front of me in the express check out line and when I discover there are more than twelve items, smash the dozen eggs she has there on the floor and say “OK, now you can go…” It’s not just me, is it?

And, I am not the kind of person who has a really nasty temper. Oh, people think I do and I certainly won’t deny that there are several filing cabinets, a few vending machines and the shins of at least three people that bear my boot prints. But in general, not an angry person. If you think you’ve seen the bad mood…well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

And by the way. The vending machine totally deserved it. And it wasn’t exactly a flying roundhouse but rumor has it that it was a damn cool kick. That ought to teach it for not giving me my M&M’s. And hey coffee machine…you’ve seen what I can do…don’t get any funny ideas!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A game of chance and chocolate.

A few weeks ago I heard that Sesame Street was introducing a new character. Her name is Abby Cadabby and she’s a fairy-in-training. I think she’s darn cute, what with me being fond of fairies and all but apparently, some people think she’s “too girly” and sends the wrong message to youngsters watching the program.

I’d just like to point out that a little girl can still kick your ass in pink fairy wings…she’ll just look cute while doing it.

Meanwhile, I found this little bit of “deep end dining”via Third and Fairfax (who is also The Scent of Green Bananas when at home). And while I am a big fan of trying new foods, trying things you THINK you won’t like, the three girl scout bite rule (did you have that? Because my mom would not let me leave the table without three girl scout bites of whatever it is I was balking at) and weird foods in general, I don’t think I can handle the “bowl of guts.”

But the bowl of guts reminds me, in a strange way, of one of my favorite food games ever. You might know this one, and if you don’t, it makes Christmas gatherings so much more entertaining.

See, I like chocolate, I like it quite a lot, in fact. But I kind of just like dark chocolate and I like it with very few additions. I like it with raisins. I like it with nuts and sometimes with coffee or orange…maybe cranberries…but that’s about it. I actively dislike “filled chocolates.” I am sure there are a few, here and there that don’t offend me but in general…not my thing. My dearest friend is also not terribly fond of the chocolate of the filled variety. My particular least favorite is lemon cream, hers is any sort of jelly.

Now it just so happens that her mother worked for many years in a field where, around holiday time, vendors would send her little gifts. And what kind of little gifts do vendors tend to send you at the holidays? Why, boxes of chocolate, of course! So, it came to pass that one New Year’s Day, we found ourselves at a not terribly exciting holiday party with many boxes of candy. Thus was born what remains to this day, our favorite game of the non-drinking variety (although, come to think of it, this would be an excellent, if somewhat dangerous, drinking game too!).

To play this game all you need is a box of chocolates and a sense of adventure. It also helps if you have a grandmother who doesn’t mind eating discarded chocolates with a bite taken out of them. My friend would look at the chocolate box carefully and (no cheating, don’t use the guide printed on the lid!) point out the candy that she felt was most likely to offend my palette. I would have to take at least one bite of it. Let me just say, she has some deadly aim when searching for the lemon cream. But I am not too shabby with picking out the jellies. You get a point for each nasty chocolate you can force the other person to eat and grandmother gets all the chocolates with a bite taken out of them.

Clearly we are easily amused.

Inspiration vs. Perspiration...
either way you might stink.

Tintern Abbey, Wales (taken by me)

So Brenda is writing a book about glass art. And although I have no true interest in making glass art (high temperatures + me = bad idea) I am intrigued enough to think, heck I would buy this book just to see what it’s all about. But on her blog, she talks a little about inspiration and creativity and the challenges thereof, which made me think, yet again, about what actually inspires me. It’s a question I always want to ask artists and writers and bakers and…well…everyone, but somehow it seems kind of trite and trivial. It’s not, don’t get me wrong, I think we are all inspired by greater things and use them as guideposts to get where we want to be. But some how the question has become so…cheap.

It’s a little embarrassing when I think of what always inspires me. It’s really fandom. But whenever I am feeling a little less than creative, I open a Berke Breathed book. You know him, Bloom County, Outland…all that stuff. And it’s not the strips that really do it. Some are really funny, but I don’t follow Opus in the papers anymore. It’s his art. His line somehow has always left me…inspired. It makes me happy to see but I really couldn’t tell you why but it hasn’t failed yet.

Dorkier still? Shakespeare inspires me. I don’t want to be a playwright and although I still aspire to be the poet laureate of the United States, I have no desire to write sonnets. Oh, I have but man, are they tough! Don’t ever let anyone tell you that being a poet is a cushy job, there’s a lot of counting involved (well you know, for sonnets and haiku and all). But Shakespeare had it right. It may take a little getting used to but man, he knew people. And despite all the “thee’s” and “thou’s”, he was totally down with the little man. He knew the common people’s problems (this is why we still love Bill today, no?).

And speaking of Shakespeare, sort of, in a round about way, when I went to England, I got to visit the Shakespeare center, which was cool but did not really inspire me, what did inspire me was Tintern Abbey, in Wales. I can’t really say why, I am not much of a Wordsworth fan, so the a poem didn’t really get me there, and hey, in the United Kingdom, church ruins are literally a dime a dozen…well, ok, not LITERALLY, but there are pretty much everywhere. But standing there at the twilight-ly time of day, which in the UK in the summer is like 9 p.m. and looking at this beautiful decay, that was pretty amazing. And then going across the street to a pub built like a billion years ago and having cider, made by hand, that was pretty inspiring too. Or maybe I just like cider, I don’t know.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

This one time? At band camp...

When I mentioned band camp and playing the flute, damn if I didn’t get some comments about that but I didn’t go to THAT kind of band camp. And although I may have had a close personal relationship with my flute, it was only fingering and blowing for my part. But, there was this one time, at band camp when…well…

OK, I had the WORST band director in the world. Seriously. He once asked what a “re-gay beat” was and he was serious. Never mind that the song he was referring to was “All Night Long” by Lionel Richie. Yes, we had to play the Lionel Richie medley in band. Yes, I went to high school a long time ago. Oh, you want to know some other great hits we played? How about “We Don’t Need Another Hero” from the Beyond Thunderdome Soundtrack? That was a good one. And then there was the West Side Story medley. As ubiquitous as Pictures at an Exhibition if you were in the marching band. AND he wore white patent leather shoes with a matching white patent leather belt. Do I really need to say anymore than that?

So this band director had an unnatural fondness for his bullhorn. He was loud enough without it but he liked to get all up in your face with the bullhorn and yell at you for being out of line or whatever. It was truly annoying. And he was truly annoying. And eventually some people got fed up. One night, as some friends of mine were pulling into the parking lot for band camp, they saw the bullhorn. Someone put it on the ground in front of the car, in jest, mind you, and someone else may or may not have accidentally stepped on the gas of said car and the bullhorn…well, the bullhorn was placed, flattened and useless, back on the band directors podium.

The band director arrived at rehearsal, picked up the bullhorn and totally lost his mind. Oh, he used it, flattened as it was, to attempt to yell a confession out the marching band. No one spoke up. You may be familiar with the differences within a marching band, or maybe not. But generally the baritone saxes hate the piccolos for playing such small instruments, the flag squad hates the rifle squad, the clarinets hate themselves because what the heck are they doing in a marching band anyway, the flutes hate the world and the drums are oblivious to everything. But in this one instance, for this one moment, an entire marching band was united. No confessions or accusations were made. The band stood at attention, silent but with quiet smiles.

This one time at band camp, being in the marching band was actually cool.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Because I said I would.

My internets chat thingy with my best friend:

my nose hurts. and my teeth a bit too.


oh. i thought i told you. i hit myself in the face with a car. you can read all about it on my blog! ha!


sherri was talking to me this morning and she actually stopped and said "what's wrong with your nose?"
it has a reddish bruise on the side of it.

does your face hurt?

it's killing us both!

sorry - i just had to comment to your blog - you know what it says - i couldn't help myself - i knew you would understand.

oh i do. i do.
it's only fair. i have no one but myself to blame.

i just remember the night i was doing something in the pantry at midnight and the giant jar of peanut butter fell on the bridge of my nose and i was wearing glasses - you heard the noise, and came out of the room - you saw me sitting on the floor holding my nose and you only had one thing to ask...

and in turn, i will totally blog about you doing such things and our ongoing "does your face hurt?" battle because i have nothing better to do.

Yep. This has totally been going on for like, 10 or 12 years now. There is no way for either one of us to express to the other any sort of pain in the general facial area without it happening. We think it’s hilarious. Other people don’t. I think it actually started when she had her wisdom teeth out and I spent about four days waking her up from her drug induced haze and asking “Does your face hurt? BECAUSE IT’S KILLING ME! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

It hasn’t stopped since. You’d be amazed at the number of facial related injuries we have both sustained since then. Good times, Julesie, good times.

By the way, thank you all for understanding my clumsiness and for all your sympathy (except for you Jules). I really am just that uncoordinated. There should be a telethon or something.

And by the other way…I think I am a little bit in love with John Hodgman. And I like the song at the end of his interview here too. His face doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t hurt at all.

The lies we tell.

The lies I tell myself on a regular basis:

-It’s not wrinkled, it’s “casually rumpled.”
-It’s not a rat’s nest, it’s “sexy, tousled, bed head.”
-No one saw that.
-It’s supposed to look that way.
-They aren’t grey, they are “Super Platinum!”
-I need the calcium in this ice cream. It’s good for me!
-(Conversely: This ice cream won’t make me sick even though I am lactose intolerant because I need the calcium.)
-That was totally semi-legal (see also: Five miles over the speed limit is still within the suggested guidelines for lawfulness.)
-I could totally rock this song if I just had time to warm up my vocal cords.
-This doesn’t really taste all that spoiled.
-Yoghurt is already spoiled milk anyway…right?
-When I come home, everything will be clean.
-French fries are made of potatoes, potatoes are high in potassium and potassium helps prevent muscle cramping AND I had a foot cramp yesterday. Thus French fries are like medicine.
-It wasn’t me.
-I didn’t mean to insult her.
-I look “pulled-together and professional” today.
-I look like I could pass for human today.
-Awake is good enough.
-Those people are only staring at me because I look nice today.

In other shocking news…last week I twisted my ankle and fell on a busy city street resulting in a slight sprain and a really freakin’ painful knee. I don’t know what the heck I did to the knee but it’s still healing and I have now hit it twice which left me hopping around (once in a parking lot and once in the shower (don’t think on that one too hard, it wasn’t pretty)) and swearing like a very drunken sailor with an expansive vocabulary…seriously the air was fairly blue with the rudeness of it all…for like five whole minutes. Well, this morning I hit myself in the face with a car. A car door to the nose to be more specific but just saying “I hit myself in the face with a car” is far more dramatic and lord knows we all need a little more drama in our lives. For a second I thought I heard a little snap when it happened but I am now quite sure that nothing is broken. It is slightly swollen and still a little painful but really, that’s nothing new to me.

I just felt to need to point out, yet again, that I am NOT grace personified.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What I learned at Starbucks.

The other day I was standing in a Starbucks, and let me just say now, I don’t really like Starbucks coffee all that much but their overwhelming pervasiveness usually wins, they are the closest coffee to the office other than the coffee in the kitchen which is not really coffee but rather Drain-o with the essence of coffee in it. So, anyway, Starbucks, me, waiting for my grandé café con soy leché and there was a little jazz flute music playing the background while the truly obnoxious barista made my drink. This is totally a story of tangents because here is where I want to say that there are at least two other baristas that I really like at this place. They are pleasant, they kind of recognize me and they always get my drinks right. But this one dude just annoys me. He has this little Tom Cruise in Cocktail fantasy thing going where he whips the caramel bottle around like he is making boat drinks and then he gives you a wink and the finger guns when he hands you your drink. No. I just say no to that. Ok so back to the thing with the waiting and the café con soy leché and the jazz flute…right.

I played flute for a long time. I think I started the summer before 3rd or 4th grade and I played all through high school and a little bit into college. I played in the school band, the marching band, in church, in competition (flute competition? Dude, totally less airy-fairy than it sounds. Flute players are HARDCORE!) and in various state bands and things. But the flute, it is largely a baroque type instrument. The most music written for flute was written during the baroque period and I really never liked that stuff. It was all fluttery and trilling and a whole bunch of it had harpsichord accompaniment and it just…sucked.

I hated my flute lessons. They made me cry on a regular basis. I hated marching band. It was far more work than it ever needed to be. Hell, we did more drills than the football team! We started practicing in August and had rehearsal like 4 times a week for 2 or 3 hours at a time (and we still weren’t very good). I didn’t like concert band all that much and I absolutely hated competition. In fact, I didn’t really like the flute. But I had this idea that I could somehow play jazz flute and it would be really cool. And then I could play with the jazz band and get to tour with them. That never happened.

I wasn’t that good a flute player and I never really cared about it all that much. I’m glad, in retrospect that I learned how to play. I think it taught me a lot about music, about competition, about…well it taught me something about something. I don’t know. It was good for me, ok? But now, looking back on that whole jazz flute idea, all I can say is, dude, I would have had to kick my own ass if I was a jazz flautist. Talk about suck. Yeesh.

And all that from standing in the line at Starbucks. Go figure.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Ok, it’s a cheap joke but look at the lengths I will go to sell it!

So I went to the Tofu Festival yesterday. JustJenn was less than thrilled by it and SnarkyDork was completely uninterested but I had a really nice time and I ate some excellent tofu based food. And I really enjoyed it all. I had fried tofu, tofu pate, tofu tuna poke, soy ice cream, soy whipped cream with strawberries…and I liked it all. And if you have any lactose issues, I think I can safely recommend the Soyatoo whipped cream and the Woo City WooFu. Good stuff.

I actually really like tofu and I am not sure why. You know how they say that chocolate releases endolphins or something in your brain and they make you all happy-like? Well, I think I have that same thing with tofu and I don’t know why. Tofu is not something I really ate as a kid. In fact, I don’t think that I ever had it until I was an adult and I am sure it was always one of those “Yeah, yeah, tofu, ok, whatever” kind of foods. But somewhere along the way it became one of my very favorite foods. Thus I have been wanting to go to the Tofu Festival for a while now and I finally got to go. And it was good.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Illustration Friday: Capture!

I realized that I haven't done "Illustration Friday" in a while and since I was working on this image and it seemed like a good fit so I figured I'd go for it.

He has captured my heart!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My new career.

I was talking to a soon to be married friend and tormenting her with the idea of the oh-so-cheezy barrista at our local Starbucks as her bachelorette stripper which started this whole thing about…strippers. Male strippers. And how they are…well, you know. Maybe it’s just me. I mean, I haven’t seen all that many male strippers, or all that many female strippers for that matter. I just don’t really have all that much interest. There are better places I could be stuffing my one-dollar bills as far as I am concerned. And hey, if you are going to dance on that same table that is holding my beer, dance carefully and consider yourself warned. I like my beer more than I like naked people.

But hey, it’s a living. I don’t care if you take your clothes off. And I guess it’s all just to each his own but...well…look, I have known some firemen. I don’t really care to see their “hoses” if you get my not-so-subtle drift. And the same with policemen, they can just keep their "nightsticks" sheathed, you know? I just don’t get the stereotypical fantasies. Sure, sure, authority figures and all. Construction workers? Well, I guess the idea of a man who can fix stuff is appealing but I think he should probably keep his clothes on while he's rewiring my apartment so that I can make toast and coffee at the same time, don’t you? And the one that most confuses me…the telephone repairman. What? Am I the only person who doesn’t get that one?

“But…but...”, you say, “But then what kind of stripping theme WOULD appeal to a girl of your ilk?” And I have to say, I just don’t know. I’ve established that I don’t really care for the public servant idea, and you know, the pizza guy thing…yeah, I don’t want anyone naked that close to my dinner. And for his own sake...hot cheese, man, hot cheese! What do I like? Well, I like a man who can cook but again…I’d rather he not be that close to my food. I like poetry but a stripping English professor…yeah, that’s totally not going to work. I am totally impressed by men with mad computer skillz but…well, I don’t know, maybe it would be cute to see him whip his horn rims and i.d. badge off. Yeah, maybe not. Or how about the aloof d.j .stripper? He could take off his clothes while he works the decks (is that how you say that, I don’t know, I’m not that cool) although I suspect the aloof d.j. stripper is really only interested in getting naked so he can admire himself.

All right, all right…I could conceivably be interested in a Batman stripper, but only if he had the good Batman costume, not the TV Batman costume. Or maybe the Doc Ock stripper…hey… he’s got 8 arms to help him undress…at least it would be entertaining. Oh. Hey. Hellboy. Or Wolverine…

Managing geek strippers…I think I have found my new calling.

Sad, isn’t it?

Not my finest hour.

Sigh. I fall a lot. It’s not the alcohol or the drugs. I just fall. And I always have. I have weak ankles, I know this. I found this out when all my ballerina dreams were dashed because I couldn’t go on pointe. I had waited for 10 years and then I just couldn’t do it. I tried and tried, I did strengthening exercise and therapy and I still couldn’t. But by then it didn’t matter. Not only was I aware that my ankles were weak…they were too.

I take a spill about once a year or so. Oh, sometimes I go for years without one but you know, on average it’s about once a year and generally when I am on my way to some even that requires the use of ankles…a bowling party, the renaissance faire, stuff like that. Things that need walking and standing abilities. But, having taken the fall so many times, I am generally not fazed by it. Keeping in motion can keep the swelling down and when you have been told by a sports therapist that “oh my god your ligaments and tendons don’t even seem to be attached to anything anymore how the hell does your foot stay on?”, then, you know, you get used to it.

So on my way to the grocery store for lunch today I stepped on a rock. I think I stepped on a rock. It could have been the ghost of a rock, or a penny…maybe a ladybug carcass…it really doesn’t take much. I took the fall with my usual modicum of grace, which is to say, none at all and landed on my hands and knees. A few cars slowed down, I suspect to laugh at me, but I just kind of caught my breath, there on my hands and knees, for a second, gathered my scattered wits and got up. I hobbled back to the office, got in my car and went to the store, bought a wrap and some sushi and drove back to work.

And to think, I wanted to be a ballerina. Clearly, the weak ankles aren’t the only thing that kept me from that dream.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

WOOHOO! I rock!

I’ve never been one for live music. Not recordings of concerts or concerts themselves. And it’s really only for one reason. I like to see musicians having fun, jamming their little hearts out. I do. Really. Well, except for those really endless jams. But what I don’t like about live shows and recordings of live shows is exactly what makes it live. People.

Don’t get me wrong. I like people just fine…OH WHO AM I KIDDING? I hate people. We all know that. And people who insist on singing along when I paid $80 to see Boy George sing Karma Chameleon his own damn self, man they really piss me off. And I don’t like standing behind that really tall guy either. And I absolutely hate that dirty hippie that insists on smoking the world’s biggest joint at every freakin’ show I see. Who the heck needs weed to get in the mood to hear Supertramp…oh. Yeah. Right. But see, I am allergic to that stuff and when you smoke it with me in the same area code and sing along…I CAN’T ENJOY MYSELF. And we all know that if Ren ain’t happy…she goes home quietly and stews about it.

And the recordings of live shows are just like being at a live show without the weed. (And really people, do you need your weed at every damn show? Seriously? Just say no.) Oh it’s toke free but the assholes still sing along. On the two disc cd that I paid thirty dollars for. You know why Elton John sings “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” dude? SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO!

But all that changed today. I finally realized why people love live recordings so much. I was listening to Billy Bragg and Jill Solbule singing “All the Young Dudes” and right in the middle of it she yells…”You in the glasses, I think I love you!” and I thought…wait a minute…I’m wearing glasses! She loves me! And then the crowd went wild and I realized that they were all clapping for me!

I finally know where to get that little ego boost when I need it. All those live recordings that I have been ignoring for years…they have all the applause I could ever want! It’s like having my very own cheering section. And they think I am awesome! They want more!

Dude, I freakin’ rock.

See also: comedy recordings. Man can I make them laugh!

Friday, August 04, 2006

More braaaaaaains....

I finally remembered what I had to say about zombies! It took a while but it all came back to me in horrifying techni-color.

See, I really don’t like zombies. Not personally and not in movies. They are bad, zombies are. I used to be ok with them. In fact, I used to like all kinds of horror movies. I have pleasant memories of seeing a triple feature at the drive in: Nightmare on Elm Street (loved it), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (thought it was boring and gross in a boring way) and The Re-animator (I think I loved it but all I really remember is that it seemed to use the same squelching sound effect over and over again). But there was that one zombie movie that totally freaked me out. And it wasn’t even really the zombies, per se. AND it was supposed to be a funny zombie movie too!

I think it was Return of the Living Dead that did it to me. That’s the one with the half-dog, right? And the zombies that say “Send more paramedics!” right? Ugh. That’s the one that did it. I don’t remember much of the story, all I remember is the scene that turned me off zombies forever and actually made me queasy enough to leave the room. Somewhere in the story a zombie is cut in half by a window and then tied to table for questioning. As they question the zombie (who, if I remember correctly, was female, but that really doesn’t matter here) she writhes and twists and the end of her spinal column wiggles about. It made me ill. I don’t know why. I do ok with gross stuff pretty much but this made me run out of the room for fear of vomiting. Yeesh.

So, when I first read about 28 Days Later and thought “This sounds awesome!” I then thought “What the hell are you thinking? You hate zombies!” But there was so much to love about this idea…fast zombies? That was a new one to me and so much more intimidating than the slow old lurchy ones. Danny Boyle directing? He did Trainspotting! I loved that movie! And A Life Less Ordinary! That one…well it was interesting anyway. But he always worked with actors I like. That’s gotta be good. And Christopher Eccleson! C’mon. This has got to be good, I thought. And then I had another long debate with myself about why I could ever think a movie about fast moving zombies wouldn’t make me cry. But still…

When the movie finally came out in the states, I had a bit of a dilemma. The husband was out of town for a month on a shoot. Some friends invited me to see this British movie that I had been so stirred up about for almost two years. I wanted to, I really did but…I would have to come home from this zombie movie to an empty house. And then I would have to come home to an empty house for several more weeks, all the while contemplating my demise by zombie attack. I was scared. That one zombie, all those years ago had thrown me off my horror movie game.

I accepted the invite and went to Santa Monica to see the movie with friends. The theatre in which 28 days was playing was underground. My internal debate lasted the entire escalator ride down. I could back out, surely there was something else I could see. Or maybe I could just go to the bookstore for 3 hours and my friends could pick me up on the way out. Jeez, it’s only a movie, you big sissy, there are no REAL zombies! But that’s not the point!

Just before the movie, I decided to go to the bathroom. The entire time I thought, I could just leave now. I don’t have see this movie. When I got back to the theatre I told my friends that I wanted the end seat in the row and that if I disappeared during the movie and didn’t come back that I would be waiting in the lobby.

It’s just a movie, I know. And now it’s one of my very favorite movies. For me, that movie does not have a wasted scene and it’s got Brandon Gleeson and the ninth doctor for heaven’s sake! And my fear all goes back to this one zombie spine in a bad movie in the eighties. I went home alone after the movie and had no zombie dreams at all (I did, however have zombie dreams after Shaun of the Dead but they were warm and fuzzy zombie dreams so that was ok).

I am still on shaky zombie ground. I love me some vampire movies, I like the mummy movies. I am ok with werewolves. Don’t ask about any water monsters. That’s a whole other thing. A lot of zombie movies have come out in the past few years. I have seen two and I have loved two (and really, 28 days later is that truly a zombie movie? I don’t know) but I am scared to see any others.

So that’s my pathetic little zombie story. But this zombie story is far more entertaining.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Um...hey, quick question...

is drinking cheap wine, eating cookie dough and watching cooking shows just too girlie?

OK, thought so. Sorry, won't do it again.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Damn, I love me some dirty hippie science!

If you were to ask me “Ren, is there anything you love more than a good bit of science?”
I think my only answer would be “Well, friend, the only thing I like better then a good bit of science is a good bit of science as explained by dirty hippies through using the “dance idiom” with a groovy soundtrack and hey, maybe you could throw a little C.S. Lewis in there too!”

People, I ain’t kidding you. I thought today was gonna suck. Rough morning but then there was this; Protein Synthesis: an Epic on the the Cellular Level and everything just seems better now. I came across this link at Inky Circus (which you should check out, it’s totally good) and I give you an even more direct link to the representation “symbolically yet in a dynamic and joyful way, one of nature’s fundamental processes. The linking together of amino acids to form a protein”!

It’s long, I know, but man, it just totally made my day that much better.
On an open field at Stanford University in 1971, several hundred students convened to undulate and impersonate molecules undergoing protein synthesis by a ribosome. A few were trained dancers, wearing costumes and colored balloons to identify their roles; most were recruited with the promise of fun and refreshments.

But make no mistake: despite the flower-power feel and psychedelic strains of the "Protein Jive Sutra," this is serious science. The narrator is Nobel laureate Paul Berg, who explains the process in a prologue that introduces the leading players, such as 30s Ribosome, mRNA, and Initiator Factor One.

Paul Berg is my new hero.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I like to share.

Last night we went to the all you can eat Chinese buffet. That’s the first sentence in my novel…no, it’s not but it’s a good one. I might have to consider writing a novel now…

Anyway, we went to the buffet and I had a realization about my eating habits. I share a lot. I am a sharer. My mom told me it was nice to share and if you sit next to me at dinner, you will get your share. Sometimes whether you want it or not. And you know they don’t encouraging sharing at buffets, so it was probably a good time to realize my sharing and rein it in alittle.

Sharing is particularly common when I am with my husband, and with him I share in a way I wouldn’t share with you. Not because it’s terribly gross (well, it might be to you actually) but because he is married to me and has had worse things than that bite of food with my teeth marks on it. But I digress yet again. With my husband, I very often take a bite of something and then put the rest on his plate. Now he is not really as…effusive a sharer as I am. He is willing to share with me but it turns out that he is unlikely to share with you. Whereas, if I am eating with you, I will offer you a bite off my fork and then wonder why you recoil in horror at the sight of a previously gnawed bit of food. Then I will rethink my sharing and offer you an untouched piece that you may pick up with you own fork.

In the end of it all though, my husband generally ends up with about a quarter of whatever was on my plate on his plate. But there are other rules with other people. For example, if Jules and I were to have lunch together and we both have pickles on our plate she will wait until I appear to be done with my food and ask “So, you gonna eat that pickle?” and I will always give her at least half. Sometimes, if I am in a particularly good mood, she can have the whole thing. Not long ago, while out drinking with a friend, I was waiting for the attention of barkeep. The friend handed me his glass with the last bit of beer in it. This seems like a good share to me. I am all for sharing beer with me. But it struck me as a particularly nice thing to do. And being a happy sharer, I didn’t bat an eyelash but I did pound the rest of that beer and I intend insist upon this sort of sharing in the future. Everyone take note…I get the last bit of your beer, ok?

There are also the “Ren likes the weird bits” of sharing. If the husband has French fries, I get all the crunchy ones. If he has pizza, I get the crusts. Personally, I like these arrangements. I know that with certain people, I will get the bits of the food that I like (crunchy fries, pizza crusts) and they will get the bits they like (one shrimp from every dish, half a pickle). Last night though, I was willing to share my last bits. I ate the tentacles but nobody wanted to share the head. Look, I am a sharer, I am happy to share with you. Just take the head.

(Actually, it should be noted that I ate the head of the sardine but left the tail. I ate the tentacles of the octopus but left the head. Some things are just too strange for me.)