Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Geekin' Out!

This is what my girlfriend would look like with no tendons. Man I could watch that for ten minutes.

Harry and the Potters are playing the library here soon! I'm psyched, two shows at the Woodstock library and one at In Other Words. It's ten days after the new book is out too so maybe there will be new songs! They're touring all over the west coast so check it out if you can.

That quarter map thing screwed up my side bar. I won't post that again. It's probably wise b/c a quarter map is pretty dorky. It's right up there with worrying about Star Wars and making Civ Pro jokes.

State Quarters

I've got a state quarter map thing I've been filling in for the last 4 years or so. It's pretty lame but I can't stop until I'm done. I have to haul the damn thing around for 3 more years and forego using any of the quarters for laundry. Anyway, y'all will be happy to know that I got Minnesota the other day and apparently there are a bunch of Oregon quarters floating around right now. Here's what my map is looking like at this time. You're supposed to use this to show all the state's you've been to but it works for quarter map bragging rights as well.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


It's summertime in Oregon, sort of. Usually by the second week of June it stops raining and everyday is lovely. This year it's kept on raining. It hasn't been this rainy, this late in the last 6 years. I think it's because we had a mild winter. I don't believe in Karma, unless it's weather karma. If you live in Portland you are owed a certain number of dreary rainy days, you can't avoid them just because it's summertime.
So I've been walking around in the rain quite a bit and it hasn't bothered me that much because the rain keeps the pollen in check. I've got wicked hay fever. It never really bothered me in Texas b/c there just aren't that many pine trees and grass fields. Here I nearly die. I become a snot dripping, runny eyed, sneezing, itching, grumpy, oozing thing.
This year it hasn't been bad, but the pollen is still there. I've been popping Claritin like mad. The bottle says don't take more than one a day, but it doesn't differentiate it's dose between someone like me and a fourteen year old girl. I'm at least two fourteen year old girls big and I need more than one stupid pill a day. I think they should just chocolate coat the little pills. I could eat them like M&Ms. I've seriously considered free basing them to get them into my system faster. Stupid dosage.

I learned an important lesson yesterday. It was one of those instances where Chicano culture collides head on into modern life. I broke my glasses a couple of weeks ago and got new ones and decided to get contact lenses too. The disposable ones are cheap and they'll keep me from being so hard on my glasses. Getting used to them hasn't been too difficult but there are certain times when maybe contacts aren't the best choice for a Chicano. The specific time I'm thinking about is right after making pico de gallo. I decided to go pop out my contacts about a half hour after chopping everything up for some pico. I had chopped up several jalepenos and a habanero, for flavor, for the pico. I touched my eye. I wept. It burned for a few hours and b/c I also touched my contacts I'm afraid to put them back in. On the upside, the burning did keep my eyes from itching.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Body Hair

This isn't the most appetizing subject but I got my tattoo finished and had to have my chest shaved again. I now have three distinct layers of chest hair. It's shortest on top and longest on the bottom. I'm worried that that constitutes a chest hair mullet. Not too hot.
I've also been thinking about hanging out at the law school to pick up on some of the girls studying for the bar. They're all stressed out, a little nuts, disheartened, frustrated, exhausted, belabored, beleaguered, belittled, belabored, be...? Anyway they seem vulnerable in the same kind of way as people who have been on a transpacific flight with lots of delays and layovers that can't figure out what day it is or which moving sidewalk will take them to the lost baggage claim.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Gift Cards

A friend gave me a gift card for helping her move. It was to Powell's, which is the greatest place in the whole freakin' world. I bought some books I'm really excited to read. I've almost finished two of them. I've received gift cards before and one thing I noticed is that I tend to spend an additional 50% of the value of the gift card. So if I got a gift card for $20 my total purchase would be $30.
There are two exceptions. Books and music gift cards I spend the extra 50% but then there is a latent reinforcing effect. Once I get to the book/music store with the idea I can spend a certain amount of money I find several items that I desperately need. The total amount usually exceeds the gift card by a lot so I cut back on items until I'm at the pyschologically pleasant 50% over mark.
But then those items I didn't buy linger and taunt me. I ended thinking about how I should have got book X instead of book Y. I usually cave within a day and go back to the book store and get another book.
So that's what happened this time. I got a zine by Aaron Cometbus, a kids book called Nasty Book, and The Intentional Stance by Dennett b/c I've been reading about the Model Penal Code and think a lot about what intent means and how important it is for morality. I can actually say Penal without laughing most of the time. I did not get The Encyclopedia of Ordinary Life, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules, A Portrait of Yo Mama as a Young Man, The Godless Constitution(skipped it until the 2005 edition comes out) or a collection of Neruda poems.
Today when I caved I went and got the Neruda poems. I figured I can check the other books out from the library but I'll need time to digest the Neruda. Any of you smarty pants latino lit people know who does the best translations with the translation on the facing page of the original?
So anyway I ended spending double my gift card amount, and going and getting a CD b/c if I can afford books I can surely afford music. (The Matson Jones CD is wonderful in everyway and y'all should visit their website and download the Italian Song. While you're downloading songs the Hickey website added "Foodstamps and Drink Tickets" which is my favorite Hickey song.) I think I'll cut back on food at the grocery store.
"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." Erasmus said that in late 1400s or early 1500s, way before gift cards even existed.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Job Hunt

I screwed up on getting a job for the summer. I didn't think it would be that big of a deal but I'm moving into the middle of June with no job. I put extra friendster friends on my resume I added "Training to be a cage fighter" under interests, and started including samples of my rice cooking skills with each cover letter. Still no jobs.
So now I'm kind of feeling angry and jilted. I'm thinking of dumb summer jobs I could do. I could go wait tables or tend bar again. I could go and pick berries, while informing workers of their rights and collecting evidence against the growers. I could go work for Walmart and do the same. There's always truck driving for Halliburton in Iraq. Blog consultant? I think some has to read your blog for that. Maybe I could be a house boy for someone studying for the bar.
I had an interview the other day and it was kind of weird. I looked up the guy on google and found out he had been disciplined by the bar. It was intentional stuff too, not the kind of thing you do on accident. He planned out and intentionally did what he did and he knew it was wrong. I felt uncomfortable about it but I took the interview b/c I need a job. I totally bombed the interview and it was kind of on purpose. He would ask me a question and I would know what kind of answer he wanted but talk about something totally different. I knew he did civil defense stuff but I emphasized my ties with plaintiff's side stuff. He looked for my experiences managing difficult people and I downplayed those experiences. He wanted to see that I had practical experience in the area he works in and I made it sound like it was a summer job. I didn't do this stuff consciously but it was sort of on purpose.
When you read Nietzsche he talks about all the masks we wear to explain the variety of our personality. I prefer Daniel Dennett's explanation that we have different areas of our conscious self that are trying to achieve different goals and sometimes act against each other. I wonder if the reason I kept saying stupid things during the interview, even as I consciously and immediately knew they were the wrong thing to say, was because an area of my self that is concerned with ethics decided to hijack the whole interview b/c that area was uncomfortable with the ethics violations I had read about.
I also wonder if Nietzsche's talk about masks, and Dennett's idea of an ununified self are types of vanity. Maybe those conceptualizations of myself make me feel like I'm deeper and more layered than I actually am.

Friday, June 03, 2005

If You Don't Already Have A Look

Last week The Dirtbombs came out with a double CD collecting all their various singles and that Australian 10" they put out. This collection is awesome. I never tried too hard to get all the singles b/c there was a certain Thee Headcoats feel that it would be an impossible task. I have maybe ten and I think there were nineteen total.
The liner notes are full of little insights and the music is standard Dirtbombs greatness. These guys, although incredibly cool, are basically hardcore record nerds with amplified instruments. That's why guitars are so great. They can take geeks like these who argue over Kraftwerk records and make them sound so incredibly cool you want to pick up a guitar yourself.
The first CD is all originals and the second is all covers. The variety is astounding. There are soul covers inline with Ultraglide In Black, there's garagey stuff from the Horndog Fest time, and there's poppier stuff ala Dangerous Magical Noise, and then there's other unclassifiable stuff.
One of the reasons I think The Dirtbombs are so amazing is that they can cover songs by Soft Cell, Stevie Wonder, Cheater Slicks, Lou Rawls, and Yoko Ono and keep some of the uniqueness that the original had but still make it sound consistent with their overall sound or philosophy. I guess that's it, they play a philosophy more than a style and it really comes through.
This record covers garage themes (it has tributes to Tina Louise, Nichelle Nichols and cars), it has some of the soulful politics that I really loved about Ultraglide (I said I don't like political songs but I do, I think they have to be narrative, that takes away a lot of the sloganeering. Compare Sly and the Family Stone's Underdog to anything by 7 Seconds and what I'm saying will make sense.), and they just have some weird quirky shit.
At the very least this will provide a lot of fun research. Try and get a copy of every song that was covered. See who's covered each of these songs besides The Dirtbombs. You'll learn a lot about modern Rock N Roll. You may even start to care enough to argue over which Kraftwerk record is best.
I don't already have a look and although I love this CD I don't think I would cop theirs. I remember seeing Mick Collins at the Satyricon wearing purple pleather pants and a shimmering silver sequined shirt. That's not really me, he does wear cool sunglasses though. Any sunglasses I buy have to pass the Mick Collins Test. Would Mick where these on stage?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Antonio versus Minute Rice

Actually it wasn't even minute rice, it's something that said "Easier than Rice A Roni" on the front of the package. I thought "Easier than Rice A Roni! That's like Britney (Does anyone ever mention that her folks spelled her name wrong or is that just a given?) Spears in Vegas! That's for me!" I have a severe rice disability. I cannot cook rice to save my life. I don't know why. Spanish rice is the second easiest thing to make in the world but I consistently screw it up, I think I've whined about this before. Anyway I bought this stuff hoping it would go good with dinner.
The only difference between this and Rice A Roni is that you don't saute the rice. Not really that much easier. You just dump everything in, stir it up, get it boiling, turn it down and walk off. The walk off part kind of caused me to forget to set the timer. I didn't actually screw it up, but I didn't exactly cook it right. It's a little soupy. Hypothetically I could cook it longer and fix the soupy part but I'm pretty sure if I tried to do that I would ruin. Does reheating it to fix the soupiness make it easier than Rice A Roni even without the sauteing?
I'm working on my resume. Do you think I can put down the number of Friendster Friends as proof that I get along well with others?