Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The After-Dinner Candy Most Preferred by Indie Rock Stars

I think it was this Rolling Stone article that explained where the White Stripes got their name. When trying to conceive that unique Jack White-Meg White sound, the two decided that one common, everyday object best represented their goal: those round, red and white after-dinner mints you get at restaurants. Simple. Classic. Beloved. But not knowing the name, they simply called them — and, thus, themselves — the White Stripes. Appropriate, really. The candies jelled with the barebones rock aesthetic and the two ran with it.

A funny story: I'm at the grocery store looking at the bags of Bracch's candy. You know, the nasty, chalky stuff parents hand out at birthday parties after the kids are sufficiently rattled with the good sugar. But those same red and white candies, according to the Bracch's company, are called the Starlight Mints, a name shared by a lesser known but also wonderful indie rock band.

Two bands, one candy and essentially the same name.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Super Fan-Tast-Eek

One more.



I'm done.

Intern Clique No. One and the Mysterious Little Door

On the last day of work, I finally got to photodocument the John Malkovich door. It's a little curiosity on the stairwell that I used to get to my floor — a door that's about three-quarters the size of a typical National Geographic Society door. Some wise individual rocked my world and placed a name placard on this door. It's just like every other placard in the complex — same brown fake wood background, same font, everything — that reads "J. Malokovich's Head."



Me standing next to the door so as to emphasize it's smallitude. You can just kinda-sorta make out the text on the placard.



The other two members on the intern clique, playing about the door in the manner of monkeys. Upwardly mobile, professional monkeys that I like very much, but you have to admit they do look just like a bit like monkeys.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Clawglip

Thoughts while sitting on the toilet and playing Super Mario Advance: My love of typos and mistranslations arose all the way back in childhood, during the closing credits of Super Mario Bros. 2, of which Super Mario Advance is a remake. Instead of seeing who actually made the game, you see the characters in it, including the bosses. If you avoided warping and actually played the whole game through, you'd encounter a surly crab monster, Clawgrip, as the boss of the fifth world. He's identified as such in the game's instruction manual, but the credits fall victim to that infamous Japanese-to-English problem with "R" and "L" and we instead see the text "Clawglip."



Anyway, that's not the revelation here. No, I realized that this stupid, easy-to-beat crab monster holds the unique honor of being the first and possibly only Super Mario Bros. character created specifically for American audiences. In its original form, Doki Doki Panic, the game had a different boss for this world: an albino version of the same bomb-tossing mouse that serves as boss for the first and third worlds. That was apparently considered too dull, and so Mr. Clawglip made his grand debut when Doki Doki Panic became the American Super Mario Bros. 2.

Well, it seemed noteworthy to me.

Christmas break, in case you didn't realize, means playing portable video games while using the bathroom.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Cold Set

I left late for Santa Barbara on the shortest day of the year.

The 101 was weirdly empty. No rush hour. No cops. Not much of anyone going anywhere. No one to see me pull over because the box lamp took a header en route, flipped end-over-end and suck one corner into the upholstery of my dad’s new Tahoe.

It’s a strange feeling to walk around normally well-populated places when no one’s around. As corny as it may sound, it made me feel like breaking into some cold set from a movie about me.

I’d actually forgotten to expect a deserted Isla Vista. Winter break. Quite possibly that last winter break I’ll enjoy without the obligation of a nine-to-five. The idea of pulling into the Pasado House driveway had been tying knots for the whole drive. I halfway expected a big, smoking crater, so seeing the house basically intact made me feel good, even if the backyard was littered in a way that made it looks like we were having a yard sale for all our rain-soaked cardboard.

The inside was manageably dirty, especially considering how bad it could have been. And from Monday afternoon on, I’ve pretty much been working on eliminating my presence from that house. Oddly, I didn’t even mind having to clean the living room and kitchen and backyard when Subleaser Keith saw the mess and began doubting whether the Pasado House was the right place to be living. I’ve done it so many times, it was lamely familiar to be vacuuming that same pool table green carpet.

But I empathized with the new guy. If I were him and just getting to Isla Vista, I’m not sure I’d want to live there either. Like he pointed out, the place “has potential.” It totally does. I’m sure that’s why the girls ended up there to begin with. For me, the Pasado House has more than potential. It has history.

When I think about how many people from my various intersecting social circles have actually called 6768 Pasado Road home at one point or another, I have to count with both hands. It started out with Meghan, Brie, Monique, Taryn and Shana. Jesusa and Natasha subleased. Then I moved in that summer, followed by Nate. Then we had those shithead subleasers, Drunko and Kaspar. Then Jill finally moved in. Then Cory moved in that summer while Owen and Beth subleased. Then Tristan and Glenn. Then the pasty one and the Russian potato subleaser. Then Kristen. Then Jono and Skippy. And now Subleaser Keith, who thankfully seems intent on keeping the place nice, if the present shithole d├ęcor hasn’t completely scared him off. And, somehow, I feel Hillary O’s presence as strong as anyone’s, simply because her whole living room set presently resides in the house.

In my mind, all of these people still belong there. I remember them being there. And they all still seem to receive mail there. (Admittedly, fake people such as Gilles Tanguay, Fannie Fay Silverstein, the entire Colossocorp staff and Cassidy Madison Reed also still receive a great deal of mail there.)

I can remember sitting in the living room with some assortment of some of the roommates — I can even remember who it might have been — and wondering how old that house was and if a family used to life there when the far bedroom was still an apartment and, if so, what purpose the Taryn-Moe bedroom might have had. A den? A nursery? Did some little kid grow up there?

In a few years, that house will be out of our chain of friends for good. Whoever lives there probably will never know about all the cool stuff that happened there — all the puke and beer and sex fluids spilled in that house and all the good stories behind each individual spillage, all senses of all virginities lost, all theme parties appropriately attended and all petty fights shouted and gossip spread and songs drunkenly sung along to and movies drunkenly fallen asleep to.

Before I left for Washington, I broke apart the wine barrel potter that had been home to this large succulent bush. As the plant got bigger, the barrel had begun to burst at the seams and I figured the plant would grow itself to death if given enough time. I dug a hole in the corner of the yard, a non-intrusive spot where I hoped people would leave it alone. It’s alive now and as healthy as ever, so if it can withstand Cory and Tristan’s neglect it can live through mostly anything, the hardy fucker. It’ll be there at least. I guess I can only hope that somebody sometime will notice it and how thick it’s trunk is and think that somebody sometime must have planted it and that that happened a long time ago.

I live downtown now.

To tie back in with that corny, trite movie-of-my-life metaphor, I guess we’ve filmed all the scenes on that set. It’s not so bad. They’re good scenes, for the most part. I guess I’m doing something else now.

(At the moment, I feel directionless and kind of scared. I had a thought while picking out what I hope would be the last of Jonna’s New Year’s Eve 2003 glitter from the bushes. I thought that if I was in a plane that was crashing into the ocean, I’d be scared but at least I’d know where I was going: towards the ocean at a fatal speed. A short future, for sure, but least I’d know.)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Don't Smoke — But If You Do, Smoke Fictional Brands

Names of all the fictional cigarette brands I can think of.
  • Laramie (from "The Simpsons")
  • Morley (the ones the cigarette-smoking man smokes on "The X-Files")
  • Red Apple (from the QT universe)
  • El Dorado (from "Family Guy")
  • Kentucky Slims' Chicken Flavored Cigarettes (from "Futurama")
  • Dromes (from Lolita)
  • Bilsons (I think I saw this label on "Lost," which is my new televised obsession.)
I could have sworn there were more.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Drew and the Big Bronze Ram

I said I'd do it and I did do it and here it is.



National Geographic, I'll never forget you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Fourside

I'm here and that's what's important.

I just woke up in Jessica Jessica's apartment on the lower east side. That geographical term means nothing to me, really. I have a vague knowledge that I'm on an island. Jessica tells me that "Seinfeld" took place on the upper west side and the only time the show ever went to this neck of the woods is when Kramer gets lost and has to call Jerry for help. "I'm at the corner of first and... first?! How can that be? I must be at the nexus of the universe?"

The intersection of First Street and First Avenue does in fact exist, though I haven't seen it yet.

We got in later yesterday evening, so we didn't have time to see sights, so to speak, but Jessica's neighborhood is a lot to take in anyway. She says she somehow unknowingly moved into the DP of the lower east side. There's actually a shop called Paul's Boutique here, though it's apparently named after the album and not the other way around. We ate at a geographically vague Latin bar and saw "Bad Education" and then just hung out.

I'm here and that's what's important. Adam's showering and then I'm in and then we're gonna try to hit as much of the city as possible. It's not warm but it's actually a little sunny out. I think Adam and I are going to check out Central Park soon, before it gets dark and all the weirdos go crazy.

I don't smoke, but I'm somehow compelled to have one cigarette on Jessica's fire escape.

I'm here and that's what's important.

Monday, December 6, 2004

That Tricky Fucker Called Time

Boston is cold. Boston is old. Pretty good seafood, too.

Adam and I met up with Jessica Twin last night in Cambridge, which turned out to be pretty cool. We had fondue at a bar called the Grendel's Den and then saw a kickass brass band at a pub called the Plough and the Stars. People apparently drink literary in Massachusetts. Jessica Twin showed us some spots where "Good Will Hunting" had been filmed and told us that that movie was a big reason she moved to Boston. I think that's as good a reason as any to move anywhere.

We're staying at a hostel instead of Jessica Twin's place. It's totally cool though -- American hostels blow Euro ones out of the water.

We woke up early this morning and saw Fanieul Hall, which is different from Nathaniel Hall, which doesn't exist, we learned. I like the Boston, even if it doesn't like me and tries to push me away with biting cold. There's a massive shopping area downtown wherein I experienced the most Christmasy moment of my life: a department store display of "A Christmas Story" tableus, the bell tower chiming out "Come All Ye Faithful" and the sweet smell of roasted nuts. Plus the biting cold, of course. I never realized how integral cold was to my perfect mental picture of Christmas. Now I've got to learn to Christmas without it.

I thought I could see random specks of snow all day. By the time we were walking through Boston Common, it snowed for real -- the first time I've seen snow in at least four years. There was this string of statue ducks that the city commissioned in honor of Make Way for Ducklings, which I haven't looked at since I was a kid. Adam says Holden sees them in Catcher in the Rye and wonders why they they just stand still in the park in the middle of winter. Someone has to tell him that they're statues. I don't remember that part of the book.

We had dinner at the "Cheers" Bar, which isn't really the "Cheers" bar but the Bull and Finch and then we got tired of fighting cold and saw "Closer." I spent the whole movie trying to spot locations in London that I remember from two years ago, but couldn't. (The movie, meanwhile, made painful moments seem beautiful and reminded me that I haven't had a relationship in nearly a year.)

We wandered around the cold city for a while then eventually ended up seeing a different Jude Law movie about relatonships at the Mariott movie theater. I'm starting to feel like this extended holiday with Adam is one prolonged platonic date, though I guess it could be a lot worse.

Jessica Jessica finally called back and I think things are set for New York tomorrow. She's being distant again, but maybe things will warm up a bit when we actually get there. I can't believe I'll finally get to see all that: the Statue of Liberty and the rest of the iconic bullshit I've seen on screens since I was a kid.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Answers in the Form of a Pop Culture Footnote

To my neighbor to the south, Nancy Zerg of Ventura, California: Congratulations. You are now and forever embedded in popular culture. Way to have a good story at cocktail parties.

Don't Shoot Until You See the Reds, Blues and Aquamarines of Her Eyes

A rerun of the "Drew Carey Show" airs on the local FOX station before midnight during the week. I haven't watched the show in a few years and I believe it's not even on the air anymore, but back when I was younger, I used to think it was funny. The roommates and I couldn't even sit through a full half-hour of the what we saw. I'm pretty sure the episode was from the show's last season, since Mimi had lost a lot of weight and Drew's brother wasn't a character anymore and Kate had been replaced with the blonde chick from "Titus." Also, it was pretty evident that the writers had just stopped trying, as everything that's wrong with generic sitcoms was wrong with this episode.

Anyway, seeing the show reminded me of this one Christmas episode some years back that had a surprisingly touching scene. Granted, I was slightly intoxicated at the time, but thinking back on it sober — tired, but sober — still moves me, just a little.

In the episode, Winferd-Louder, the department store Drew works for, had decided to have a nativity scene in the window. They'd also decided to cut costs by using store employees as the various characters. Some clerical error had made Mimi the Virgin Mary and when shoppers saw the Holy Mother smeared with clown make-up they protested. Eventually, Mimi has to explain herself to the whole angry mob. She explains that, in her mind, the Virgin Mary must have been the most beautiful woman in the world. That's what would make the whole virgin angle exciting. Ugly virgin: who cares? Pretty virgin: we're still talking about it two thousand years later. And then Mimi went on to say that she wears her make-up because that's what makes her feel pretty and she's only doing it because she wants to make Mary look as beautiful as she knows how.

Of course, she follows that with something like "And if you don't like that, you can shove it up your filthy anus" or something like that. But for a moment, I feel like they gave her character actual depth, made her seem more like a real person instead of some garish accident at the crayon factory. Considering that Mimi is basically a one-joke character, I think that's pretty remarkable.

That's gotta be the reason I've remembered it all this time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Ballad of Bardo Boppie Bip

Please excuse the lack of updates. I have a Power Point presentation to give on tourism crisis management on Monday and a paper to not completely fuck up. My verbal energies must flow elsewhere.

Oh, and I finished Villa Incognito. If anybody else would like to read a thrilling novel about mythological Japanese badger-raccoons, Lao whores named Miss Ginger Sweetie and Miss Pepsi Please, a lesbian circus clown and Vietnam MIAs who would rather stay missing, drop me a line.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Queens of Spades, Clubs, Hearts and Diamonds, Respectively

So the William Jefferson Clinton library opened today. Whether they wanted to or not, the Carters and all four Bushes were in attendance for the opening ceremony. This picture, which I would have flagrantly reprinted without permission if My Way News allowed me to download images, shows the four First Ladies.


I think there's something perfectly iconic about this picture of these women carrying umbrellas. I'm not sure what though.

Maybe it's that Hillary is carrying the only white umbrella. Maybe it's that Laura is the only one wearing pink — and at that, she's wearing the pinkest pink she could get her hands on. Maybe it's Laura and her mother-in-law's apparent amazement at the function of their umbrellas? And just maybe it's Rosalynn Carter putting as much distance between herself and the other three as possible while still remaining in the shot.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Drew and the Mysterious Bathroom

Lying in bed, I hear the upstairs neighbors' toilet lid drop and I instantly remember this lost, random anecdote...

So this lady is having dinner at some fancy house owned by this rich people and she really has to take a piss. But she wants to be polite so she asks to use the "washroom," as she thinks "bathroom" or "restroom" might sound too vulgar. The hosts show her down the big houses complicated corridors to the washroom, which consists of a sink basin, a mirror and nothing more. Again, not wanting to appear impolite she steps into the bathroom. She's rather not, but the urge to urinate is so powerful that she has no choice. She balances on this antique sink basin, drops her pants and squats... Only the antique basin is way fragile and it snaps partway through the piss and she falls to the floor. Time passes, and eventually the dinner hosts wonder what's become of their polite guest. They finally wrench the locked door open and find her unconscious on the floor, drenched in urine and sink water and lying besides the porcelain shards of the ruined bathroom fixture.

Unfortunately, I have no idea where I've heard this anecdote. Some drunken conversation? A movie? I haven't got a clue.

King of All Blasting Matter

I walked around Georgetown by myself yesterday and though I was among hundreds of shoppers, I enjoyed a sense of privacy I rarely do: invisibility in a crowd.

The air stings a little more every week. I'm told that's what real winter is like -- a general sort of pain that rattles all your exposed skin. Since I was downtown and cold, I gave in a bought a scarf, meaning I made the transition from "guy who doesn't wear scarves" to "guy who does," a change in categories that I think only an insecure guy from California could really appreciate. I wandered around for a while, and because I had "Wonderwall" stuck in my head again I went into a music store and bought the Ryan Adams album that has his cover of it. I still haven't listened to it. Then I looked at some children's Christmas books. Seeing Polar Express reminded me that I had a dream about riding a open-air train a few nights back. It was freezing, that train. I myself have never read Polar Express.

I'm not going to be in Washington for very much longer, and even though I'll be returning to a different Santa Barbara than I left, I'm really going to miss parts of this city.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Iron Horse, Iron Terror

The following includes original subject matter I dreamed, scenes my subconscious gleaned from movies and movie trailers, things that actually happened and plot connections I strung together in the moments I woke up after the dream in an effort to jam a serious of unrelated images into a cohesive narrative.
Marcy, Jill and I lived together in some big city. (I presume Washington D.C., but we're working on dream logic here so it could be the Vancouver, for all I know.) We have an apartment in some high-rise building. Despite its age, it looks a lot like the UCDC complex. In any case, we have problems with our upstairs neighbors. They play their music too loudly and, from what we can hear, they spend their evenings rearranging their living room set — every night.

Frustrated, we go to our building superintendent to complain. He asks us what room we live in and we tell him and explain that the source of the noise comes from directly above us. The super looks at us funny, then says that such a situation would be impossible: the room directly above ours is vacant and has been for years.

We're suspicious. After all, we can hear the noise. So we venture upstairs that afternoon and check it out for ourselves. Sure enough, the door is boarded shut. No one's been in or out in a while. Then we can hear a woman's voice in the room across the hall. She's repeating the same word over and over again.

"Hello?" She opens the door.

"Oh hi. I didn't mean to disturb you. I was calling for my cat, Psyche," she tells us.

"That's fine. But while you're out here, do you know if anybody lives in the apartment across the hall?" we ask.

"No. Not since I've been here"

"Okay thanks. Hope you find your cat. Has she been missing long?"

"Yeah," she says sadly. "Nearly a year."

She closes the door.

In a transition that evidences that my subconscious has the foresight to make plausible scene transitions, I wake up to the upstairs noise again. I go to the living room and me the other roommates and we stand, groggy and annoyed, and look at the ceiling, from which a series of loud bangs can be heard — three at a time, in the same pattern.

We figure we have nothing to lose, so we go upstairs to the mystery apartment. The door is wide open.

As we walk through the house, I notice that it’s much bigger than our apartment. More nicely furnished, too, even though sheets dusty cover much of it. It really doesn’t look like anybody lives here. It’s cold, too. I can feel it in my lungs. And I’m jeebing like I never have before, but the girls insist that we should see the whole apartment.

We keep going through the chain of rooms until we find the farthest back one. It looks very much so lived in. I even notice a cup of coffee steaming on a table. I’ve about reached my addreno-limit when we hear the front door slam shut. Someone is home and they’re moving toward us.
“We need to get out of here now,” I say.

“I think there might be a place we can hide behind that couch,” the girls say.

Without even questioning the logistics of this claim or even how they might now that, I pull one side of the couch away from the way. Sure enough, there’s a tiny door there — no more than two feet tall but wide enough that I could fit through it.

“How did you guys know that would be there?” I say, turning around to face my roommates.

They’re gone.

“Fuck it,” I think and I throw open the tiny door and dive through. I’m crawling through what feels like a carpeted air conditioning duct forever until I finally reach the other end. I pull open a second tiny door and then tumble out onto the floor of my apartment.
No denouement. That’s the dream, more or less.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Yellow Meat Pounder With Ping-Pong Ball Eyes

Characters on "The Simpsons" who have undergone long-range changes in lifestyle or personality:
  • Kirk and Luann van Houten got divorced in "A Milhouse Divided."
  • Barney is sober now (and less funny).
  • Principal Skinner and Mrs. Krababel started dating in "Grade School Confidential," then got engaged and then finally broke off the engagement on their wedding day.
  • Skinner also was revealed to be Armin Tanzerian, which Lisa brought up again in a later episode despite Judge Snyder's decree that no one in Springfield could ever do so.
  • Apu married Manjula, they had octuplets and Apu cheated with the Squishee Lady. Now they go to marriage counseling.
  • Lisa became a vegetarian and then a Buddhist (though I can't actually recall her Buddhism being mentioned after the episode dealing with her conversion).
  • Maude Flanders died, making Ned a widower.
  • Bleeding Gums Murphy died, which is fairly life-altering.
  • Dr. Marvin Monroe died off screen, then re-appeared inexplicably.
  • Lenny and Carl developed this gay-vague affection for each other (like so many male-male pairs on "The Simpsons" do).
And then, I've read that this season will see a prominent regular character come out of the closet. And it's not Smithers, though it's still pretty obvious once you hear it.Characters that have become regulars in the past few years:
  • Lindsay Naegle, the blonde, professional-seeming but apparently alcoholic businesslady
  • Cookie Kwan, the shrewd realtor
  • Gil, the only guy in Springfield with worse luck than Hans Moleman
  • Judge Constance Harm
Characters who don't show up anymore because the actors who provided their voices either left or died:
  • Troy McClure
  • Lionel Hutz
  • Lunchlady Doris
  • Helen Lovejoy — haven't heard her near-catchphrase, "Won't somebody please think of the children?" in a while.
  • Maude Flanders
  • Does Miss Hoover ever talk anymore?
  • Princess Kashmir

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Dyluck (or "Die, Luck")

My brain connections sometimes connect inappropriately.

Walking through the city on the day immediately following the election, I noticed that everything felt just a little heavier. I didn’t see any of the emotional meltdown — the hysterical crying like the women in the streets just after Kennedy got shot — though if I had I surely would have stopped and watched. And the black shirt I was wearing wasn’t picked out necessarily as a sign of mourning. I’m not that dramatic. I just think I look good in black. Sure, the sun didn’t come out today. Sure, I can feel that nasty east coast winter coming. But knowing that the vast majority of DC residents voted for Kerry instead of Bush, I shouldn’t have been surprised that people seems just a little down.

Strangely, I had a song stuck in my head that I’m sure I couldn’t have heard more recently than eighth grade. When I was a kid, I played this game called Secret of Mana. It’s like Legend of Zelda, just not. Early in the game, the hero happens onto the first city — not a village, a full-on city with a castle and everything. The town, which I think was called Pandora, however, is cursed. Everyone’s mute. You talk to them and all you get is “……………” That’s how text-intensive video games represent silence: with ellipses.

Anyway, I can remember all this clearly now, when I haven’t really given it much thought since then. But the memory that seems to outweigh all the others is the music for that area: a sad, repetitive ditty that doesn’t go away until you beat the witch who’s cursed the area.

Sometimes, my brain connections things inappropriately. No symbolism. No foreshadowing. Just an odd song from my childhood composed for the primitive sonic capabilities of the Super Nintendo sound processor.

I wish it would connect to a melody that I wouldn’t mind forgetting.

I'm not really mad. And I guess I'd be kidding myself if I said I was all that disappointed. I'm not even all that surprised that to so many people, everything that happened in the last four years — 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Patriot Act, the prison torture, Michael Moore and other things which surely must matter, regardless of a person's political affiliation — added up to equal four more years of the same administration. What really gets me is that there's that much difference in Americans. I could probably no better understand some Bible-thumping Mississippi native than I could Joe Eskimo. Statistically, I'm the odd one, not Bible-thumper.

I wish I could unearth the Super Nintendo and play video games all day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Other Other Other Plumber

A conversation today made me feel that an explanation on a certain matter was in order. It concerns this lanky mustache-twiddling villain:


No, that's not Dick Dastardly.

Today I heard the claim that this resident of the Super Mario Bros. universe sucks, and though I'm not willing to dispute that, I will call foul on one of the reasons most often cited for his suckitude. His name. Many feel that his name just sounds too awkward. "Waluigi" — Luigi plus the syllable "wa" in front of it, weirdly identifying this guy as the evil Luigi. My geekiness has actually allowed me to dispel this myth, somewhat. Though "Waluigi" is nonetheless hard to say, there's a good enough reason for why his name is what it is.

Basically, Nintendo set up a verbal system to identify Mario characters that exist as evil versions of other Mario characters with Wario, the evil Mario. Whereas Mario is chubby and honorable, Wario is obese and greedy. From a western standpoint, one might seem that Wario's name derives from a simple inversion of the "M" to a "W." After all, Wario is a sort of "flipped" Mario. However, that's actually just a happy coincidence. Wario's name is actually a portmanteau of "Mario" and warui, the Japanese word for "evil." It was natural, then, that an associate of Wario who happened to be a "flipped" version of Luigi would have a name that followed the same pattern.

The name, however, makes a lot more sense in Japanese. Remember that the stereotypical ambiguity between "R" and "L" when translating from Japanese to English is actually true and that, coming from a Japanese mouth, the names would be "Ruigi" and Waruigi." Thus, Luigi's name slides perfectly out of warui as they share a syllable. What's more, Waluigi's name, when spelled with the "R," happens to be a anagram for the Japanese word igiwaru, which can translate as "a bad person" in English.

In short, it's a halfway decent pun, once you consider Japanese into the equation.

The notion of Wario's name beginning with the flipped Mario "M" is also reflected in Waluigi, if somewhat nonsensically. The logo on his cap — and his response to the "M," "L," or "W" on Mario, Luigi or Wario's caps — is an upside-down "L."

The trail ends there, as far as Super Mario Bros. characters anybody would actually recognize. A evil, dark blue Yoshi that appeared in Super Mario RPG was named "Boshi" in America but "Washi" in Japan. And "Washi" could be considered a contraction of "Warui Yoshi," or "bad Yoshi."

On a side note, there's a widely distributed theory that Mario and Luigi's names come from the Japanese words marui and ruigi, meaning "round" and "similar," respectively. I don't know if that's true, though it would be neat if it were. Nearly just as often, there's the theory that Mario got his name from a Mr. Mario Segali, landlord for Nintendo of America's office. People who have done their homework have more often claimed this story is true, and I'm inclined to believe them. However, even if that's true, then the ruigi story isn't necessarily false, as Luigi's original in-game sprite and even concept art for him was just Mario's look in an alternate color scheme. As it if wasn't complicated enough, there's another widely cited story about Luigi having been named after Mario & Luigi's, a pizza parlor near Nintendo of America's Washington office. Again, who knows what's true, but it's a coincidence worth noting anyway.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Battle of the Fluffy Tails

Observed at the DC zoo: A red panda meets a squirrel. They regard each other cautiously. Understandably, the squirrel flips upside-down.

red panda meets squirrel

More photos when I get a chance to post them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Watching the Watchers

My mom apparently taught herself how to email pictures and I seriously could be neither prouder of her nor happier to have this be the test picture:


Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Pigmental Problem

"To blacken" means to turn black. "To redden" means to turn red. "To brown" means to turn brown, like with meat. And "to bleach" literally means to turn white, but we have a seldom used "to whiten" as well. I'll accept "to yellow," but Webster says that "to green" and other color words work, but I don't buy it. No one uses them very often. So I wonder why the first few are used more often, when plenty of stuff turns blue and green, like rotten meat and strangling victims. And why do only black and red take the suffix "en" when they become verbs? They don't seem any more deserving than green — "to greenen."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Four Sisters and Their Respective Ins and Outs

A short list of English expressions in which the speaker says the opposite of what he or she actually means but is not using any form of sarcasm:
  • Tell me about it! when the speaker actually means "Yes, I fully agree with your statement and do not actually need to be told any more about said statement to further my agreement."
  • You can't be serious! when the speaker actually means "I know you are serious and, though I am surprised, I believe you fully."
  • I could care less! when the speaker actually means that "I care so little that I actually couldn't care less."
  • I just can't believe... when the speaker actually means "It's hard to believe, but I know it's true."

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Punchy

Also: "Hawaiian Punch was originally made to be an ice cream topping," said the talking cup that's been on my desk since I moved in here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Salt Island, Beef Island, Ginger Island

Presently, I'm making myself a minor expert on the British Virgin Islands.
  • Located: just east of Puerto Rico
  • Not to be confused with: the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Capital: Road Town
  • Nationality: British Virgin Islander
  • Official Language: English
  • Official Currency: U.S. Dollar
  • Comprised of: Thirty-six islands, sixteen of which are inhabited
  • With names like: Tortola (also known as "Chocolate City), Peter Island, Mosquito Island, Salt Island, Beef Island, Ginger Island, Jost Van Dyke (named for a pirate) and Virgin Gorda (which translates to "fat virgin")

Chipotle Turkey Club

In case anyone was wondering, I live in Washington D.C. now. I made it. I'm alive. I found my apartment. I'm wearing a tie.

In fact, I'm writing this from Washington, as I sit in my own private, windowless, cluttered office on the fourth floor of the National Geographic Building, which sits all of two minutes away from my apartment, which I share with Adam, who I didn't think I'd be sharing a room with. I live roughly six blocks from the White House. The girls live one floor above me and Lu lives in the ninth floor. At work I respond to Heather, who looks like a prettier version of Parker Posey and couldn't possibly be any older than thirty and seems like a good person to have as a boss.

Sample Heather-me dialogue:
Me: So what time should I come it everyday?

Heather: I'm not really a morning person, so I usually make it in by 9:30 every morning.

Me: Oh good. I'm not a morning person either.

Heather: If you wanted to just come it every day at ten and then work until six, that would be fine too.
And I would do that, only it might infringe on happy hour. Today's accomplishments: finding the building, finding my office, finding the cafeteria, finding the bathroom.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Oh Rio, Rio, Dance Across the Rio Grande

A far-too-tardy photo essay about my summer vacation. As you can see, it's a whopper.



















Monday, September 13, 2004

I'll Go to Hell to Be With You

In my constant search for strange music, I ordered a CD called “Incredibly Strange Music.” (Sometimes, things have a way of working out perfectly for me.) It’s pretty good, I guess. Some of the tracks are genuinely bizarre, like this one by a woman named Lucia Pamela about talking with cows and chickens during a walk on the moon. One of the tracks stuck with me: “Lover’s Prayer,” by Myrtle Hilo. I don’t know anything about Myrtle, except what I can gather from the photo on the cover of her album. She calls herself “The Singing Cab Driver.” She looks about fifty in the photograph and she’s holding a ukulele. Beneath the shadow of her straw hat, she’s plainly grinning. She’s leaning out the passenger window of the car, and behind the car there’s a palm tree. I also know that Myrtle’s song struck me on some level. The first half is in Hawaiian. It's beautiful, even though I don't understand it. The second, English half is as follows:
I do believe the lord above Created you for me to love He picked me out from all the rest Because he knew I'd love you best I once had a heart that was true But now it's gone from me to you Take care of it as I have done For you have two and I have none [something indecipherable about heaven] I'll put your name on a golden spell If you're not there by judgment day I'll kow you went the other way I'll give the angels back their wings Their golden harps and all those things And just to prove my love is true I'll go hell to be with you
Maybe it’s sick or sappy, but there’s something beautiful about willing to go to hell for love. She repeats the last two lines, which I didn’t feel like actually typing twice, but I feel like the repetition only hammers in the meaning of the song. I like it. I think there’s something touching about it. But its inclusion on this album almost pisses me off. It’s not strange at all, at least not on the level of cows on the moon. It’s honest. It speaks of a level of emotion I'm not sure most people are capable of. I know I'm not. I'm envious. I guess I have to be glad it's there on the album; otherwise, I never would have heard it. But still, there's nothing strange about a fifty-year-old Hawaiian taxi driver singing about true love.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Like Sharpened Knives Through Chicken McNuggets

I’m walking down DP, like I haven’t done in months and may never do again. For some reason, I know it’s just before Halloween. But it’s late, too. Real late. Houses have lights on, but no one’s out. It’s too quiet.

So walking down the deserted party street, I hear a phone ringing. I check the phone in my pocket, but that phone’s off. I check the rest of my backpack, but I realize the ringing is coming from somewhere else. I look around. The ringing, I find, is coming out of a garbage can. Naturally, I reach into a bin of somebody else’s refuse and root around for this mystery phone.

I pull out what would appear to be a house made out of popsicle sticks. Inside the popsicle house, I can hear the phone ringing. I toss the house on the ground. I stomp on it. Sure enough, there’s the phone, which looks just like my phone and glows with the same neon blue light. Even though I’m sure the phone would smell like garbage, I answer it.

“Hello?”

No answer.

“Hello? I found you in the garbage. Who is this?” (I actually said this.)

Silence — then, “Sometimes… it’s too late.”

Then I can feel the phone change from hard plastic to something squidgier — wet and slippery and moving around in my hand like a giant banana slug. I try to let go, but the thing’s stuck to my face. I could feel it inching into my ear canal before I wake up.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Nowhere Near Arizona

Sunday morning I woke up early and happy. The happiness vanished, of course, the minute I realized my joy had been born in my dream and not in real life.

I dreamed that Disney had made a second amusement park in California, specifically in a town called San Mario, which doesn’t really exist though in the dream I located it geographically next to San Carlos. This park was special, however, because it was, as my brain worded it, a “no-park amusement park,” meaning that you don’t ever have to leave your car to enjoy the facilities. Your entire car goes on all the rides with you and everything.

In the dream, I had read about this secret park in the newspaper. But, being a skeptical dreamer, I called my mom — again, in the dream — to verify whether the no-park amusement park existed. She told me it was real and that they had closed it down but had re-opened it, recently and secretly and that if I hurried I could visit it with my friends.

There’s no second Disneyland. There are also no no-park amusement parks, the logistics of which would boggle the mind. And, perhaps most disappointingly, there is no San Mario.

Me: Zero. Lier X. Aggregate: A million.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Pay the Rent

Written on a napkin during the drive back from Yosemite on the afternoon of August the twenty-third.
Somewhere in the joyless expanse of land called Merced, I began tracing some of the dead-end passages in my brain: things I’ve nearly forgotten, things that never quite entered my brain squarely, things strange and forget-me-not bits and pulp I’d like to retain but also refuse to let anybody else examine. A plane of Middle America agriculture, transplanted into the California landscape. It would stretch horizontally, infinitely if it didn’t end in the smog.

But what about those perfectly parallel row crops makes me wonder why my first masturbatory experience involved Lisa — why? — Kudrow? And why would I challenge my brain to remember my three earliest memories of something bad happening?

(they are, by the way (1) first grade: my mother getting a call from my grandma before just as we were getting ready to leave for school telling her that my great-grandmother had died, a week and a day after her one-hundreth birthday; (2) kindergarten: Sister Lois scolding me for incorrectly drawing a windmill; and (3) preschool: being too scared to walk down the hallway because I was terrified of a Halloween decoration of a witch — you know the kind, the ones with the paper fastener joints that let you pose them in the fashion that would best terrify a four-year-old.)

Why did I dream last night about giant sunflowers that turned out to be even-more-giant deandelions? Why were there men in blue hospital smocks and white Shyguy masks? Was I subconsciously perturbed by the historic Ahwannee Hotel’s resemblance to the Great Northern? And will nobody help Josie Packard?

Is the XM radio eighties station pumping into my eardrums as I write this coloring my recollections in neon green, electric blue and hot pink? Do I believe in heaven above? Do I believe in love? Do I?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Standing Outside a Broken Phonebooth With Money in My Hand

Today i spent fifteen minutes picking foxtails out of my socks. I went to Gilroy. I had to break for a line of quail on the way home. And then I wrote Janine an email apologizing for missing her wedding reception.

This is not the summer of my dreams. How is it different from last summer? Exactly one year ago:
just when the heat relented and sleeping without a puddle of perspiration became possible, the church bells rang and rang and rang

sunday morning in rome
Forty days until Washington D.C.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Strawberry Letter 22

A week later than I had planned, but I finally made it out of Isla Vista. I won't have to be there — like, live there be there — again until January. And I won't miss it.

But I think being an English major has ruined me for thinking about life like a normal person. On the road, all I could think about was the larger ramifications of leaving. I repotted the dragon plant I got in September two years ago. Initially, it had six stalks — six roommates, six stalks. One by one, all the stalks died except for one, which I put in a smaller pot and gave to Hesina until I get back. There's something to that, I swear. That sole dragon plant with its little palmy pompom head sitting all by itself in the neighbor's yard. I just don't know what that thing is. Drag.

But Not Aardvarks

Also, I made a Blogger profile and listed a good number of my interests only to have the end of them cut off. Double drag. So because blogger sucks with its lame-o space restraints, here's the list of my interests in its entirety:
alternately inhaling and exhaling, journalism, creative nonfiction, painting, linguistics, trepanning, lurid tales of Catholic martyrs, geomancy, London, ampersands, urban legends, the 8-bit age of video games, noir, psychedelia, Birdo, anteaters (but not aardvarks), Legos, waffles, TV shows and movies I watched when I was a kid but now have only the faintest recollections of, Tina Fey, Antigone, etymology, punctuation etymology, profanity etymology, New Zealand, David Lynch, Boo Boo Tannenbaum, gardening, Animal Crossing, kung fu movies, twins, Adult Swim, duality and polarization, watching color broadcasts on black and white television sets

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

When Will I See You Again?

I’m heading north for the rest of the summer. Sometimes I feel okay, but sometimes I just don’t. Although I’ve realized that a lot of it is internal, I know my environment isn’t helping. I dropped my classes — a writing class with Petracca that I wanted to take and an English class with Vanessa that I rightly should have taken but had to drop. I quit Seasons until I get back to Santa Barbara in January. The Pasado House changed. I used to dread having to leave this place, but that stopped being an issue when these mutants moved in.

So I’m heading north for the rest of the summer. I’m resolving to stay off the internet so much. Less TV, too. They’ve been draining my time. This means no IM for a while, but I’ll be checking email. Please email me, if you’d like, at my usual address: (first name)(underscore)(last name)@hotmail.com. Or just call me.

It’s not such a big deal, I swear. I just need to be at home. Ob la di, ob la dah and all that.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Summertime Killer

Can't think. No words, though, by my count, these should count for five thousand.









Sunday, July 18, 2004

Almonds on Acid

Stare at me, begs the freaky-deaky image.


Saturday, July 17, 2004

Friday, July 16, 2004

A Star in the Kitchen Waiting to Sing

What a world I live in. Blogger now allows me to do all kinds of crazy things with text. I can write BIG or small or in a bunch of new fonts and in all kinds of new colors.

I can center text in the middle.
Or over on the right.
and i can even set the text
to show up in block quote format,
which is always fun.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

He Likes Bears

Whoa.

In addition to the lengthy list of interesting links I posted yesterday, I'd like to add the Street Fighter Character FAQ, which details one man's effort to compile the various official storylines Capcom provides for the various characters in the series. A lot of them hardly see the light of day in the United States. Most surprising: big, hairy Russian bear wrestler Zangief is gay.

Well, maybe that's not so surprising.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Animal Midnight

Three things that happened.

One: I got a job at National Geographic Traveler magazine in Washington, D.C.

Two: I dropped my digital arts class. Too much backstory to mention. Three weeks vacation.

Three: The catalog of music that I lost when some asshole broke into my car last winter has finally been replaced. I re-burned those CDs and now once again have a history of all the music I've liked since my senior year of high school. Lowlight: At one point I liked Third Eye Blind. A highlight: The bulk of it holds up rather well.

And on that note, here's a picture.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Note to Self

I must research Gaetano Pesce.

Friday, July 2, 2004

Biker Jerky

I think it's odd that Marlon Brandon would die this week, of all weeks.

Around Independence Day in 1947, a bunch of dudes on motorcycles came this little town. They clashed with Hollister residents about as much as anyone from the real world does. But Life magazine ran with the story. The beefed up the conflict and, some say, staged photographs like this one:



I'm told this photo, which I'm posting without permission, was taken somewhere on the streets of Hollister. I can't tell where it's supposed to be. I've been told it's fake.

This Hollywood producer named Stanley Kramer reads this issue of Life and decides it would make a good movie. Thus, "The Wild One" is born. This legendary 1953 movie about rebel motorcycle thugs is based on stupid, little Hollister. Anyway, a lot of cool stuff came out of this movie, which I was surprised to find only has a 6.9 rating on IMDb. The main moto-thugs are called the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, just like the band. And then there's this awesome exchange between this girl and the main rebel:
— "What are you rebelling against, Johnny?"
— "What have you got?"
Good stuff. But easily, the most remarkable thing about "The Wild One" is that Marlon Brando stars in it. It's fifty-one years old now. It commemorates an event, real or not, that happened fifty-seven years ago. Whether the magazine article and "The Wild One" blew this out of proportion or not, he's basically responsible for this event that draws 100,000 leather-clad sacks of dried meat to Hollister every fourth of July.

But he's dead now, so I guess I got the last laugh.

On a humorous side note, I can walk down Main Street and buy t-shirts that say "Hollister, California" on them but have screaming skulls or eagles or wolves and shit like that. I wonder if I could pass them off as limited edition Hollister Co. stuff.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Think About Haystacks

Only a few days after I got my digital camera, I took it to the lodge at the edge of Hidden Valley — my childhood neighborhood, not the salad dressing place. Midwinter casts a bluish gray shadow over that area. It's spooky and isolated. I think my pictures reflected that. I went back last week, digital camera in hand, and took more pictures. It's green and gold now, instead of gray and blue. Whatever ghost spooked me so badly during the winter apparently took a vacation. I tried to approximate my old pictures, angles and distances and everything.

The creepy house in winter:



And the same house, much less "Ring"-like in the summer:



This lone tree in the winter:



Tree finds clothes for the summer:



A dead thistle:



Probably not the same thistle, but you get the idea:



The rest of the photos from the December trip, I couldn't re-create because the army of rattlesnakes hiding the grass scared me off. So I guess nature still technically won.
[ link: the original photo essay, "Liminal Reality" ]

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Don't Put Marbles Up Your Nose

While drinking last night, I had way too many conversations that ended with "Well, hey — have a nice life!" or something like that. I hate endings. It's "Home Movies" all over again. I wish I could just power-coma on through this week and wake up when everybody's already gone.

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out

I am tall, but not as tall as I would like to be. If there's flowers taller than my in my own backyard, then I'm not tall enough, dammit.



Maude would be proud, nonetheless. (Note: this picture was taken in the afternoon before my hair accident.)

Sunday, May 16, 2004

My Weekend, Validated

And making my dreams come true, on this season finale's Weekend Update, Tina Fey herself mentioned the little earthquake we Santa Barbara residents last weekend. She segued into a lame joke about Arnold, but still. She acknowledged the existence of the county of which my college town is an unincorporated area. Whee.

What Drewy Drew-Drew Saw at the Zoo

Things I saw at the zoo:

Cuddling otters.



Leopards having sex (thought this picture is somewhat post-coital).



Millipedes.



Giraffe tongue (and a lot of it).



An apparently drunk merekat, that in retrospect may have been dead.



And, finally, the anteater, who's actually a bit of a cocktease. He would dash out from behind the rocks for a second, run up close to me, and then hide again. This peekaboo behavior resulted in this crappy photo being the best one:

Saturday, April 24, 2004

George and the Star

ha. and i found it, just in one hour.

apparently, it's not gerry potterton, but gerald. and he did direct an animated short film about a man named george who decides to get a real star for the top of his christmas tree. and so he goes to look for one and has adventures.

that's all i found. but that's enough.

weirdly, gerald potterton also directed this animated movie called "heavy metal," which i also saw when i was a kid, but probably shouldn't have because it was adult animation with — if i remember correctly — boobs and blood. "heavy metal" is way more famous and its cover has this woman warrior riding a pterodactyl.

but "george and the star" is real, even if imdb doesn't know. i think i need to call my mom and brother tomorrow.

there may not be much about "george and the star" online, but at least now there's one more thing: this.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Alone in an Unlocked House

and while home, sick and studying on a friday night, i somehow remembered this old cartoon that i hadn't thought of in years. i only have the faintest images of it in my head, like parts of a dream or something, but i know it's real — i just can't reach far back enough to fully remember.

i think it was called something like "georgie and the star" or maybe just "george and the star," and it was about this guy named george who had to get a star for some reason. and there was a woman there, too, and maybe a robot or some kind of animal. and he does he the star in the end, and everyone is happy. and there might have been singing. it seems like there would have been, really.

and that's all i have. imdb is no help, for the first time ever. and google seems to think there was a short film called "george and the star" that was animated, but none of the links take me anywhere useful. i've turned up this name gerry potterton, which sounds british but imdb also doesn't recognize it.

this happened once before, in high school, when i suddenly remembered this weird movie called "unico," which actually turned out to be my first experience with japanese animation. that turned out to be real, that weird movie about a floating wizard head in a flashing pyramid who turned people into these weird mummy dolls.

but i swear, i saw this movie, this "george and the star." i swear it's real. i swear i saw it on the disney channel when i was really young. it meant a lot to me. i wish i could find it. i swear, it would make me feel better to know i'm not fooling myself. i just find it hard to believe that not a single place on the whole internet can help.

i just need something. and then maybe i can remember.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Monday, April 19, 2004

Red Letters

Song of Solomon is good, but not good enough to distract me from something that's been bothering me about the names of the characters in "Kill Bill." I think Tarantino has a letter fixation. Case in point: Elle Driver, whose first name is L. And O-ren Ishii, whose name begins with the O being set off. Then there's the Bride's real name (and please stop reading if you haven't seen Volume 2 yet, in which case you should stop what you're doing, pull up your pants and get to a theater). Her name is Beatrix, and Elle even makes it a point of calling her "Bea" or possibly "B," depending on how the chintastic director wrote it. Vernita doesn't have a special letter, but her fake name that she uses to get married is "Jeannie," which works for G. Beatrix's fake name that she nearly gets married with is Arlene Machiavelli, which works for R. Beatrix and Bill's brat is named B.B. And two characters Tarantino cut out — casino owner L.F. O'Boyle and Yuki Yubari, Gogo's little sister — also have the whole letter thing going on. Double initial man Hanzo Hattori doesn't count, because Tarantino borrowed his character, name and all, but Tarantino's done the double initial think before, with Vic Vega and Vincent Vega and Mickey and Mallory and Mia and Marcellus Wallace. And then he actually paid enough attention to give brothers Bill and Budd the same letter pattern (B-vowel-double end consonant). And most conspicuously, Tarantino credits the genesis of this whole thing to himself and Uma with this note: "Based on a character by Q & U."

And tangentially, learning Beatrix Kiddo's real name puts a weird spin on the line that O-Ren and Beatrix share, "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids."

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Samurai TV

"I just didn't want to be a loser anymore."

Monday, April 12, 2004

Cat With Hands

So, do you want to see something really scary?
[ link: "Cat With Hands" ]
Patrick told me about it on the drive to Hollister. Freaky-deaky. How I saw the story in my head alone was scary enough. Then I dreamed about it. And now that little two-minute movie. Scary stuff, that cat with hands. A horrifying thing.

And don't do it the chicken shit way. Watch it late at night, like I just did.

Thursday, April 8, 2004

SpacePope4U

I guess this solidifies my status as a dork, as if there were ever any question. I have successfully reviewed a movie for Ain't It Cool News. Since I got a jump on seeing both volumes of the "Kill Bill" saga, I figured I had a good enough reason to write in, and wouldn't you know it? Big fat ol' Harry Knowles printed it. Total dork credibility found here, third review down, credited to "The Space Pope."

My words of leech into the brains of more people every day.

And the best news of all? L-lives.

Monday, April 5, 2004

Credits

Early morning channel-surfing glanced the MTV2 special about Kurt Cobain. Ten years ago today, he died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. Ten years ago, today, I didn’t know who Kurt Cobain was, really. I was in the sixth grade. I was all about the Secret of Mana and hadn’t yet discovered music.

The reverberations of that shotgun blast are better discussed by people more qualified than I am. They work for music magazines. I might too, someday.

What’s on my mind instead is loss and ends. I hate that anything ends. Humans naturally do, I’d wager, and not just because it reminds us that we one day will end. Rather, I think we hate endings because we are inert beings who dread the notion of ever becoming uncomfortable. The second we get comfy, things change and then we must change and that blows.

Last night, I saw the last episode of “Home Movies.” I didn’t realized it at the time, but I think Hasan pointed out that the episode totally seemed like series finale material. He was right. Cartoon Network quietly ended what I thought was one of the best television shows I’d ever seen. For three years now, that show has been something that made me comfortable — something I watched every Sunday night because it was funny. But beyond funny, there was something deep to that show, something way human. Something not even “Futurama” ever got to, and that show actually made me feel like crying once —and not because Fry’s dog died, but because Leela’s parents were willing to let her kill them rather than have her find out she was a mutant. And that's why the part at the end when Brendan's camera gets smashed by a car has stuck with me all day. In a lame sort of way, it's like seeing Maddie Ferguson get murdered all over again.

In a way, I’m angry that I feel bad about a stupid little drawing — not even a good drawing, really. But I shouldn’t be surprised. I have a history of getting emotionally attached to characters on TV shows or in movies or books that I have no control over and whom I know will one day stop being characters. It happened with Absalom, Absalom!. It happened with Kavalier and Clay just now over Christmas break. It happened with “Twin Peaks” all sophomore year. It happened to “Scream” way back in high school. And the first time I can remember this happening was with Batman comics when I was really little.

And those are just fake characters.

How I’m going to deal with the loss of certain real people, individuals who make me happier than Brendan and Melissa and Walter and Perry ever could I just don’t know.

Today I bought tickets to the “Kill Bill” double feature in Campbell Hall on Wednesday night. Since October, I’ve been creaming my jeans waiting to find out what’s up with the Bride and her missing daughter. The characters in that movie set my mind on fire, but suddenly I feel like I don’t want to see the second — and final — volume. I’m feeling a bit worn out, and I don’t want something else to end.

Ten years later, by the way, I’m still all about the Secret of Mana.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

My Winter Quarter Scorecard

English 197: A
Writing 105NM: A
Writing 165: A+
Writing 155: A
Overall GPA: Still not where I'd like it, but improving every quarter

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Luigi or Waluigi?

And then sometimes I wonder — what if I'm actually The Other Drew?

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Windstorms Over Storke Plaza

Beauty shines more brightly when it is fleeting. What only exists for a few instances — a convergence of coincidences witnessed only by a lucky few — is truly more beautiful.

I realized this when the fruitless walnut trees near Storke Plaza began losing their petals in the wind. Those white flecks bobbing chaotically over our heads better captured what I call "beauty" then blossoms that could have lasted for months had the storm not blown in this afternoon.

Beauty that lasts forever, I suppose, must become ordinary.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Yes, It Really Would Be So Bad

i woke up at 3:30 in the afternoon, which means i slept the clock around — nearly. merill bainbridge is the sound of unsleep.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The Present Contents of My Desk

  • a travel alarm clock
  • a bamboo lamp
  • the digital camera
  • the dried pomegranate
  • the left speaker
  • nail clippers
  • my wallet
  • a piece of paper with the number 1-800-742-5877 on it
  • a red sharpee
  • my monitor
  • a stack of blank CDs
  • a green sharpee
  • the right speaker
  • my car keys
  • a mug from the Free Lance

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Botanical Sabbatical

The power of the tilde means the difference between a year and an asshole.

Last night: the evil women of "Les Diaboliques." Tonight: the evil women of "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" Right now: a belated photo essay.

Drew and Kami go to the botanical gardens.



Splashy.



Barky.



Leafy.



Spectrum-y.



Spidery.



Something-y.



And looking-me-right-in-the-eye-y.