Monthly Archives: October 2005

for the gloomy among us

One of my favorite songs, ever, is Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. This means that I think the Fall Out Boy version of it just sucks. Actually, will someone please explain why that band is so popular, other than having a Simpsons-reference name and overly verbose song names? I was thoroughly underwhelmed by that album.

However, I am listening to She Wants Revenge tonight, and let me just say – it’s awesome and I should have listened to these songs sooner. My friend Kelly told me she thought I would love them. I do. It’s like Joy Division, but with more melody. I’m actually buying the CD because Rhapsody only has a couple singles – five songs total. And I rarely buy CDs thanks to my Rhapsody subscription. Even if the service’s description is, “murky retro-goth songs”. For the gloomy among us – I say download this now.

And on the note of “look! I’m so cutting edge! I listen to hipster music!”, The Like are fantastic. And local. They’re remind me occasionally of the Ditty Bops (who I think are fabulously talented), but are a little more modern sounding. I’m on something of a new music spree this week – so I’ll continue to post about it throughout the week.

breaking the habit, still

So far today I’ve only had one 12oz cup of half caffeine coffee.

Aren’t you all proud of me?

Actually, right now, I’m dreaming of cafe au lait. The Cafe du Monde kind, of course, the kind with the hot milk and chicory coffee that burns my tongue. Cafe du Monde opened again last week, by the way. If I wasn’t trying to cut dairy and caffeine, that news would make me open the last can of cafe au lait grounds in celebration.

Despite the promise I made myself two weeks ago, when work got tough, my habit came back full force. I was back up to four to five cups a day again last week. This time, I’m going to quit – and I mean it. I’ll just go for a walk when I get tired! Really!

Of course, we all know that in about an hour, I’ll be screaming for a Mocha Light Frappuccino with all the desperation of Ewan MacGregor in Trainspotting begging for one more hit – especially since I’m trying to get the sugar back out of my diet as well.

But in the meantime – I’m going to get myself off this caffeine habit. And the sugar. AND all the other junk that has crept in there.

This time, I promise.

I give it a few days before I cave.

magic & miracles in los angeles

I live in a parallel universe L.A., I know. I live in an L.A. where miracles and magic happen that have nothing to do with talking freeway signs.

That said, here is something slightly magical. I say that because the fact that it even exists in L.A. must require magic:

The concept of a cornfield in downtown L.A., in its very heart, on the old railway switch exchange, makes me very happy indeed.

And in other miraculous news, my friends won their battle to stay in Lincoln Place today. Our local councilperson, Bill Rosendahl, put the final push on the effort, and AIMCO will not be able to destroy their homes & replace the “garden style apartment community” with overpriced condominiums. I will probably write the whole thing up at some point as an article/narrative so that I can distribute/publish the tale and give hope to others who are shadowed by Big Evil Corporations who are Threatening Their Community of Inexpensive Housing. But in the interim, it’s a miracle – no doubt caused by some sort of white magic – and I’m no end of joyful to hear it.

w, even your own people know you’re a moron

Miers withdrew herself from the running today!

In a letter to Bush released by the White House, Miers said she was concerned that the Senate confirmation process “presents a burden for the White House and our staff that is not in the best interest of the country.”

I think it’s a sad day when even the appointees only nominated out of the President’s buddy-buddy system know that he’s a biased idiot when it comes to the best interests of America.

you haul sixteen tons and what do you get…

One of my worst, self destructive habits is that when I have too much to do, I short circuit. Or when I have too much stress in my system. Or when Bad Things Are Happening.

I’ve been a little overstressed this week, to the point where it’s severely affecting my emotional state. And it’s a catch-22, because then I don’t work well, and then I’m even more worried because I’m behind.

Plus, work just got ridiculous lately – I’ll be there at 8am, and I know even after the team dinner ($38 steaks at Ruth Chris’) last night, most people just went home to work from their personal computers.


I owe a presentation this morning. I’d better get to it.


I might be working early on a Wednesday, and having stress attacks from it, and I might be horribly angry over having to fight off 1984 in my own time…but nothing cheers me up like putting two hundred synthpop tracks into “shuffle” on Rhapsody. Especially when that includes the entire Erasure backcatalogue.

Mmm. Bouncy!

I’m thinking about getting a Zen Micro to go with a Rhapsody-to-Go subscription, just so I can download six gigs of music (including at least 500MB of pure, bouncy synthpop) to go to the gym with. Does anyone have any commentary on whether that is the MP3 player to get, or should I go with the bulkier iRiver H10?

not. one. more.

The 2,000th soldier to die in the Lie On Terror was killed yesterday.

Protests are happening across America today. CodePINK is running several ( Wherever you live, readers, I’m certain there’s one to join.

At least we know the soldier body count. Or we think we do. One of the myths surrounding the war is that a portion of the MIA category are known dead, but it keeps the numbers down to reclassify them as “missing”.

However, we don’t know the Iraqi body count. And that, I believe, is sick. We’re not at war against the country; we’re in an operation against the insurgents. I think we have a right, as American citizens, to know how many civilian citizens of the Iraq we’re trying to free have been killed, on our $300 billion dime. I think we should be held accountable for every single child blinded by shrapnel, and owe reparations to every single family who loses an innocent member, by mistake to an American weapon.

If we’re not going to stop this fucking war, we should be accountable for it. After all, aren’t we supposed to be making Iraq a democracy? The argument I always get is, “the Iraqis are better off under US fire than they were under Saddam.” Because if that’s why we’re fighting in that country (since the WMD theory is, let’s face it, an Orwellian ghost story), then shouldn’t we be taking better care of it instead of doing this half-assed job?

I want my fucking body count.

2,000 Americans, however, are also dead. And I, as an American, say, not one more.

piracy on the high seas

I finished making my Hallowe’en costume today! It’s a pirate outfit! It came out about two degrees sluttier than I really wanted, but it’s just gothy enough to wear to Bar Sinister next Saturday. And it’s still a lot better than buying a costume online or off the shelf. Costumes in America are made to be trampy on five-five women. Put a jagged pirate miniskirt on my five-ten frame, and it’s just indecent.

I’ll post pictures as soon as possible. This is going to be a great Hallowe’en.

from denmark, with love

I was woken up at 3am this morning by a guy calling from Denmark to follow up on his sale of international web advertising space to my poker client.

Three. In. The. Morning.

I told him it was 3am California time – and that I was in Los Angeles – and hung up. Even if I’d been in New York that would have been too early.

I find this ironic because I was watching a show last night on the Discovery/Times channel, about how the EU and its citizens relate to the United States on emotional, political and economic levels. Maybe this is why their people need to resort to blocking US products: THEY’RE NOT CHECKING THE TIME DIFFERENCE BEFORE MAKING SALES CALLS.

I called him back this morning. Our Vonage works to Europe now! Yay!

By the way, no wonder we all hate France in this country. I mean, I distrust them for a set of very legitimate World War Two reasons, but I think we distrust them now because they know that George W is a crazy Christian with no respect for the Second Amendment.

caffeine withdrawal

I decided this week that it was probably NOT a good idea to be drinking the equivalent of four cups of coffee a day. My current habit is to get up, make two cups (with freshly ground coffee beans, of course) and consume them with low-fat milk. Then, in the afternoon, since Peets has been running their “Free Coffee From 1 – 3PM All Month” promotion, I’ve been going for another medium cup of coffee. And even before that, I’d get another cup of office coffee around 2pm anyways.

I have a caffeine addiction. Everyone knows this. I tell a cute little story all the time about how I started drinking coffee at the age of 11. It started when I went to my mother, and asked if I could have a cup of coffee one morning. She said, “no, dear, it’ll stunt your – ”

She paused. Then she said. “Here’s a mug, and there’s the cream.” I suppose when Mom realized that she’d effectively turned me into an Amazon in the making, stunting my growth wasn’t a bad idea. After all, she’d been feeding me extra vitamins as a child, and it was her DNA that has the height genetic in it.

By eighth grade, I required coffee to get up and get going. By the time I was sixteen, the summer between eleventh and twelfth grades, I was consuming coffee, Turbo Truffles, espresso shots, and Jolt Cola. I was studying at the University of Washington that year, after all, as an advanced placement high school student, and living in Seattle, the Mecca of coffee, just put me in the center of a caffeine culture. When the local Seattle sketch comedy show made jokes about Seattleites caffeine addictions, I laughed, because it’s true.

So coffee has been the cornerstone of my personality for more than half my life. I worked at a Starbucks when I was in first year at UBC. I can tell you the difference between a light and dark roast, between a Central American, an African or a Pacific Islands blend. I know that Kona coffee is not all that. I even known that espresso drinks have less caffeine than coffee – unless, of course, you are consuming straight espresso in mass quantities, like the eight shot drink that used to be served at my favorite cyber/bohemian cafe in downtown Dallas.

Then, in 2003, I tried to cut back. And it was ugly. And I realized, I will never be able to quit caffeine. Or rather, I could if I wanted to. I just don’t want to. I like it. I like the way caffeine feels when it hits my blood, the change it has on my outlook. And I’ve given up sugar and smoking already – can’t I keep my coffee?

But I did succeed in getting down to a half cup a day. The problem is, it’s too easy to get back up to high levels. I’ll stay up too late, and need extra coffee the next day, and then get less sleep as a result, and keep the cycle going. And that’s how I get up to the four cups a day I’ve been consuming for months. And the result is something like Shane discussed on Nickerblog – a cycle of little sleep, which cuts down on my efficiency during my (albeit extended) waking hours.

So I cut out my afternoon cup today, and now I have a headache. I’m also tired. Which isn’t good, because I’m at the laundromat, with wifi and my laptop, and I need to find the brainpower to do the reports that have to get done between now and tomorrow. My job is kicking my ass for me right now, so while it probably wasn’t the best time to cut down on the caffeine intake…if not now, when?

So this is day two. My goal is to phase out coffee, week by week, until I’m down to that cup of half-decaf in a few weeks. After all, caffeine is technically a poison, and I do need more sleep, and it can’t be healthy to respirate myself with a Peets habit, can it?

I think I’ll finish the last of my decaf mocha (I’m at the cafe by the laundromat) and go shuffle my laundry, and then procrastinate by reading Anne Rice vampire books rather than actually working.