Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dare I say it? I kind of like Texas!
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These are Footsie Wootsies, little foot masseuses.
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Ride 'em cowgirl.
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We don't pay for fake scenes to pose in. We just find them.
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THE truck of Texas.
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Yes, this is ZZ Top.
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GIANT stadium arena... Basically the area just behind that little glass fence on the lefthand side is where all the bullriding happens (the rest is just space for bulls to run away into).
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I think this is an example of what Cute Overload would call "eye capsules."
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Last-minute side ponytail on our way to the 80s party
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Dan, looking... I don't know how to describe this look. Basically it's the ultimate Dan face.
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Blurry picture time... this was after a couple of the best margaritas everrr.
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Weekend of excessive drinking and discussion!
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Sara with the cutest dog EVER, Spike.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mike's Video

My friend Mike made a short movie about being a doctor... sort of. It's quite funny - only certain scenes featuring Mike kind of creeped me out. Anyway, watch it. And up its Youtube rating.

Seriously, watch this video. It is so worth it. I was giggling like crazy.
Scks/Rocks is a funny search engine mashup (? I am going to call it that, even if it's not a correct term) where you input a term and it tells you if something sucks or rocks (depending, I guess, on how many times people say "X rocks" or "Y sucks" on the Internet). I threw in a few terms and came up with some funny results.

So, Perez Hilton rocks more than Paris, Houston (my destination on a red-eye flight tonight) rocks more than San Francisco (I doubt that), but not as much as Venice, my destination next week. And Kafka rocks more than Kundera but only slightly more than Vonnegut, and the thing has never heard of Shteyngart, which I think is a shame (I haven't read him, so I'm just basing it off the hype) but not surprising I suppose. And don't ask me why I thought of Minnie Mouse. I was trying to think of a celebrity. Coming from someone who reads about 4 celebrity blogs a day, you'd think I could think of someone who wasn't animated, but you can see it took me a few more tries to get there.

Surprise winners in this search include the Olsen Twins and tequila. And me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hypochondria is its own reward

The past week, I've had little twitches of pain located on the back of my head, the part that sticks out the most, on the right side. Just there. Just briefly - like a little spiderweb of electricity that starts in one spot and fans out briefly with a tickle of pain. In the same spot. Knowing how paranoid I am about diseases that feel like nothing, like a cold, at first, and then rapidly snowball into meningitis or mono or death, it's no surprise that I became convinced that I had either a brain tumor or, more likely (this is funny), an aneurysm. I consulted WebMD, every hypochondriac's best friend, and it told me that yes, I could have a brain tumor or an aneurysm. Aneurysms, by the way, are more common in women than men. Anyway, after a few days of panicking and explaining to my roommates what exactly this pain consisted of, I called the advice nurse at my clinic and left a message. She called back this morning, and I repeated my list of generic and mildly annoying symptoms: the weird pain, 15 times a day at least, but never for more than 5 seconds, occasional dizziness "like I stood up too fast" (alternately caused by: lack of sleep, caffeine, lack of caffeine, standing up too fast), and possibly some feelings of weakness or fatigue (alternately caused by: lack of sleep, lack of exercise, lack of caffeine). She said she had no idea what it was, and maybe I should make an appointment.

So I did. Today at 3:05 I rolled up to the Los Altos clinic, 10 minutes early for my appointment, and checked in. At 3:23, I left. Approximately 5 minutes were spent waiting for the nurse to call me, 7 minutes to have her check my temperature and blood pressure, 1 minute waiting for the doctor, 4 minutes having him type up my symptoms in the computer, and 1 minute me trying to explain my paranoia because I was too embarrassed to let him think that I actually thought I had a brain tumor.

Needless to say, I don't.

On the way back to work, I went by Starbucks and got a latte (decaf, non-fat because I am trying to avoid anxiety) because I figured I needed a treat after all of my stressing out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Today was the last day of my continuing studies class. It was really fascinating. Refreshing to find a class full of people who all really, really wanted to be there and were sorry to see it go. A brief, two hour class every Tuesday was actually incredibly meaningful to everyone there. One woman read a little piece she wrote down about how important the class was and how inspiring. One man shared with us that the class has thrown him into thought every Tuesday, left him wandering and driving around thinking, e-mailing his friends. He's literally been, not traumatized exactly, but thrown for a loop. What a rare and amazing thing for a little class to do.

I found out for certain tonight that I am 9 years younger than the next youngest person in the class. I felt really young. I went into the class the first day thinking that I, with my superior English major background, would feel completely at ease. But it turns out that this was a different kind of class, and one that I both liked better and was more out of place in. There was a vast collection of experiences in this class, a wide variety of personalities and life histories. Every day someone told a story that I couldn't have imagined. Tonight, there was this outpouring of emotion, gratitude for this class. And I felt really humbled and silly - like I didn't really have that much to say. I wanted to, but my experiences are dwarfed by theirs.

Leaving class tonight, I felt like I wanted to be, in some way, shape or form, a little bit of everyone there. I wanted to take their wisdom and commitment and uniqueness and make something of it. I wanted to be An Adult. I feel that way a lot. I think sometimes by living like I am in a city, buying food at Whole Foods like it's a farmer's market or something local and independent, and going to bars at night and brunch at noon, that I am closer to being an adult. And then I go home from my class with a free half-bottle of champagne that was leftover from our last night potluck, and I open it and had I not been holding on to the cork with my hand it would have hit me squarely in the eye. And I think to myself, I guess the only thing I can do is give myself time.

And register for another continuing studies class. They are so worth the money.

Monday, March 12, 2007

"It is the fever of life, the consuming desire to live intensely, to create something strong and great, to understand all things, to possess every knowledge and every experience, to do and to be giant. I want to be everywhere at once. I want to read more, to see more people, to be more alone with nature, to write more. In the middle of a small task, I rebel - the fever takes hold of me and I am blinded by illimitable visions of greater things to be done. I want to be at the heights of life every moment, to penetrate the past and to divine the future."

-Anais Nin

The Office: A Documentary Film by Ken Burns


The salvageable quote from a book that was otherwise just agreeable (in my opinion):

"Love was action. It came to you. It was not a choice."

-Ann Patchett, Bel Canto

Friday, March 09, 2007


On the subject of breakfast, this is a really cool photo blog that these two women, Stephanie and Mav, share. Every day (mostly) there is a juxtaposition of two photos of their mornings. It makes me want to wake up early, read, do some morning blogging, etc. Possibly with a side of avocado toast. Really soothing, lovely, thoughtful and quieting.

"that Indian guy from Van Wilder"

Reasons why I am finding myself a little obsessed with Kal Penn:

It was Penn, though, who had first approached Nair. He’s a big reader (and Lahiri fan) who guest-lectures at colleges on “media, race, and representation.” The University of Pennsylvania has even asked him to teach two classes next fall, one on Asian-Americans in pop culture and the other on the history of teen movies (“It’s more academic than you’d think”). He was trying to buy the rights to produce The Namesake with his Kumar co-star John Cho when he found out Nair was already directing it. So he sent her a letter—“a lovely letter,” Nair recalls, “full of very seductive things to a director. He said he was an actor because of me, because when he was in eighth grade he saw Mississippi Masala in a New Jersey mall and thought that people onscreen could look like him.” Nair had cast the role, but Penn flew out on his own dime to audition anyway.

Yeah, that basically sums it up. I think Becca and I are going to see the Namesake this weekend. Yippee!


I have been obsessed with this picture of breakfast for several weeks now since I saw it on simply photo. Never would I have thought of this unlikely pairing - crusty brown bread, avocado, laughing cow? But seriously, I've been obsessed. Yesterday my obsession took hold and after work I stopped at Piazza's, this ridiculously overpriced grocery store that is also the only grocery store directly on my way home, where I paid $2.99 for a single avocado and grabbed some of that laughing cow cheese, and then today after work, despite dinner plans in an hour, I toasted me some Acme Whole Wheat Walnut bread and spread it with some cheese and realllly creamy perfect avocado and am eating it and damned if it doesn't taste as good at it looks - in fact, it might even taste better. Seriously, I recommend that you do whatever necessary to eat this meal asap, and tomorrow I really am going to add the Earl Gray and hard-boiled egg to the mix. Deliciousness.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Things I don't understand, but think are wrong

I thought it was bad when, 4 days before I started my current job, my health insurance ran out and I was denied interim care because I take allergy medication. But having no insurance and having to cut back on cancer meds because you can't afford them...? Yeah, someone high up better fix something fast.

(The subject to this entry is intended to absolve me from any comments from people accusing me of ignorance about the politics of health care or insurance. But so far all the arguments for universal health care make lots of sense to me, and the arguments against sound like economic babble.)

Boiling marbles

This article may be one of the weirdest I've ever skimmed (I don't read things that are this useless to my life, I skim them). It is filled with statements like this:

But tourists do come — especially the Japanese.

It features medieval and erotic ice sculptures, popular with tourists, particularly the Japanese.

Like the Japanese are not the most famous tourists anyway (besides annoying American ones).

Then periodically it descends into weird pseudo-racist infantilization of said tourists, like here:

“We taught them how to make s'mores last year, over the campfire. They loved that. I saw them the next morning with chocolate and marshmallow dripped all down their jackets, because they were trying to eat them while looking up.”

But what is more intriguing is:

Debbie Eberhardt, the proprietor of A Taste of Alaska Lodge, a few miles north of town, called the rumors about Japanese fertility beliefs “a crock” and said, “The Japanese come to Fairbanks in the winter because they love the extreme cold, not to make babies.

“They do things like throw boiling water in the air and watch it freeze like marbles before it hits the ground. They blow soap bubbles, which freeze solid and roll around on the ground like Christmas ornaments. They put bananas outside to freeze and then use them as hammers to pound nails into two-by-fours.”

Ok, that sounds awesome. Seriously.

But overall the article rambles from tourist information to talking about Japanese beliefs about conceiving babies under Northern Lights to talking about random other crap. Still. Thought it was sort of worth posting.

Now he will turn out gay.

This is so absurd it's actually funny (you know, despite the horrifying prejudice and ignorance that this statement demonstrates):

...According to a complaint filed with the FCC, the [Prince Superbowl Halftime show] had an unspeakably horriffic effect on one child in particular:
It was obscene to show Prince, a HOMOSEXUAL person through a sheet, as to show his siluette [sic] while his guitar showed a very phalic [sic] symbol coming from his below-midriff section. I am very offended and I would preffer [sic] not to have showed it to my 4 children who love football. One of them has hoped to be a quarterback and now he will turn out gay. I am actually considering to check him for HIV. Thanks CBS for turning my son GAY.
How I love you, Best Week Ever.
Those of you who never met Ahmed the kebab van owner in Oxford, or had the chance to eat his delicious food (or wait in line for it in the freezing rain, surrounded by drunk people, while shivering in pajama pants because you were just working for hours on a paper that is due in about 5 more hours), will not appreciate the awesomeness that is this article. But just imagine how good a chicken kebab with hummus tastes, and have some respect. :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

How much do I want to visit the Office set...

The pictures are awesome... I love all the tiny details that make it feel like a real office, right down to Meredith's drawer of booze (my boss has booze buried around the office as well, although unlike Meredith, she doesn't seem to drink it here. In fact, I can't figure out why it's here at all).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Cats in things they're not supposed to be in ARE amazing!

Ok, so I know I keep posting cat videos instead of real entries but you can't deny this video is kind of hilarious (minus weird naked woman/cat hybrid animation in the first minute). It's a silly song about how cats in things they're not supposed to be in are funny. The best part is when the cat gets stuck in one of those big expanding/shrinking lattice ball network things (around 2:14).

(from BoingBoing, where else. I sometimes ask myself why I read such a damn nerdy website and it's for things like this, which appear maybe once a week, but which I just appreciate so much.)
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Monday, March 05, 2007

Why my friends are awesome

I was checking up on my gossip blags (blog/rag? no? ok, fine) this morning and found this juicy bit about my meta-Hills-hatee, Spencer Pratt. I read it, I sent it to my roommates, I chuckled to myself about how if I worked in journalism I, too, like this author, would have researched Spencer's dubious "career" and exposed him like the fraud he is, and then I thought to myself... hm. I bet Rachel wrote that.

And, she did. Excellent. Times like these, it's good to have media-obsessed allies in the industry.
clipped from www.radaronline.com
Spencer Pratt: Malibu's Least Wanted
Spencer has been having a tough time crossing the velvet rope these days, a well-placed source on the Left Coast scene tells Radar. "Spencer can't get in anywhere in L.A. He's so hated that people come up to him on the street and verbally abuse him. Area is the only place that will tolerate him." Makes sense. Area is the creation of L.A. scene-maker Brent Bolthouse, Montag's employer and a recurring character on The Hills.

By Rachel Syme
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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Toilets in London

This reminds me of this hilarious night in 2004 when Rachel and Laurel and I went to see Josh Ritter play in London. Afterwards we went to this bar that was open forever and ever and where we were plied with drinks by random people from up north England and where we demanded to know who "The real Kathleen" was from Josh. (He said she wasn't real. And he smiled knowingly. Damn you singer songwriters.) We were there late. And then we had to walk from there (somewhere vaguely near the intersection of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road) all the way down Oxford street in the dead of night at 3am. Naturally in our drunken state it was a long and arduous journey, especially as midway through we found the need for a restroom somewhat urgent. Luckily we found one - apparently the rare public restroom on Oxford Street, which cost a fortune, and so we decided in our infinite wisdom to share the cost of using the loo. We put in our 2 pounds or however much and proceeded to take turns. But somehow by the third person, the damn door wouldn't cooperate and kept opening on the poor person trapped inside (I shall not name names), while the other two giggled uncontrollably and nervously checked their watches to see if they were missing their once-an-hour bus back to Oxford. (We made it, in case you were wondering.)

All this just goes to show that public restrooms are rather useful and necessary in London town, but would be more helpful if they had reasonable prices and doors that shut.

(via BoingBoign)
clipped from www.bloomberg.com

In Beijing, where the average salary is a 10th of London's,
there are 7,700 toilets, or one for every 1,948 people. China's
capital plans to renovate 3,700 in time for the 2008 Olympics.
London, which will host the 2012 games and has one toilet per
18,000 residents, has no such plans.

Research by ENCAMS, an
environmental charity, showed 95 percent of Britons had urinated,
vomited or defecated in public because no toilet was available.
The number of toilets
dropped 40 percent from 2000 to 2005, leaving 415 to serve a
population of 7.5 million, government figures show. That's not
including the 28 million people who visit the U.K. capital each
Elaine Gennard-Levy spent 20 minutes
searching for a bathroom while shopping on London's Oxford
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unwritten no more

I still find it impossible to believe that Lauren Conrad is a real intern at Teen Vogue, but this new intern blog at teenvogue.com is either a) proof that not all MTV reality shows are totally bullshit or b) proof that all media and for that matter life is caught up in the elaborate fraud of MTV reality shows. (Have I already told you about the meta-ness of Brody Jenner/Spencer whoever he is on The Hills? How Spencer, Heidi's asshole bf, is Brody's manager, stylist, and former producer of short-lived and un-watched MTV reality show the Princes of Malibu - and now Spencer is Brody's co-star on The Hills - another MTV reality show. It's so highly meta I can't even take it anymore.) Honestly I think it's the latter, because looking at the site, three interns get introductions, while the poor beauty editor gets a weird unflattering picture and no cute avatar or introduction... only the three interns who were on MTV get introductions. What a joke... and also, why are all these interns working at Teen Vogue for like, 2 years?

Anyway, I realize I'm only buying into the media machine of MTV reality shows and their "stars," but honestly... it's just too absurd, I'm convinced it's all deeply symbolic or at the very least indicative of the state of modern society. The celebrity spectacle and all, and how it's all so incestuous... and self perpetuating... and I am stopping... NOW.

P.S. I lied. Because how entertaining is this?

Preview for This American Life on TV!

So I am a huge slacker in the sense that I never manage to listen to podcasts or radio. If it's not on-demand, I don't really listen to it, and I am apparently a visual person although I do like listening to NPR etc. in the car (usually when I am out of other options, or in LA, since I can never find the NPR station here). But I have friends (at least one) who are super committed to radio and This American Life in particular, and I always enjoy it when they point me in the direction of good TAL episodes. Well, now it's hitting my medium and I'm really excited except that I don't have Showtime. So. Back to square one.
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