Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Summertime Killer

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

Monday, July 26, 2004


A real but obscure word I learned today: "mouthfeel," or the way a food feels in your mouth.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Jessica Star

Two nights ago, I didn’t feel well. I’m not sure how well that little euphemism — “didn’t feel well” — accurately describes how my body revolted against itself. And I don’t know exactly what was wrong with me. But two nights ago, I had problems.

After “The French Connection” finished, I felt all sore and tired. My ankle still hurt. I forced myself to stay up through “Cased Closed,” which airs at one in the morning on Adult Swim, but I had to watch it from bed because I felt so wiped out.

(i probably wouldn’t have even stayed up for “cased closed,” but i had watched it the night before and that episode was one of those “to be continued” deals and it was about an axe murderer and a cabin in the woods and had way more mature content than i expected and i really wanted to find out who chopped off jessica star’s head)

But after I turned the lights out, I couldn’t sleep, I sunk an hour into memorizing ceiling dimples. No dice, no sleep. My stomach hurt. I felt hot. I went to the bathroom and felt drunk when I walked. Dizzy, too. I finished the volume two of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Then I finished the last two hundred pages of Glamorama, which I bought in London and last read in September.

By five, I couldn’t stop throwing up, even though I think I didn’t have anything left to throw up. I was baking underneath my blankets, but I couldn’t tell if I had a fever or not. I just wanted to sleep. I pulled my mattress onto the floor because I thought that might have something to do with the shittiness.

I had a dream, sometime before seven-thirty. I guess that means I fell asleep. It had numbers and letters and lists. Somehow, I was in charge of memorizing them. This awful feeling of pop quiz anxiety and mid-essay test panic pervaded the dream — and the next few hours.

Whether it was the fever or being exhausted, I’m not sure, but I haven’t had dream stuff spill over into the real life so heinously since the business with the Hoodoo Guru two years ago.

I couldn’t stand up — spinning — and I couldn’t eat — puking — and I couldn’t sleep or read or even watch TV because my brain wouldn’t let go of this stupid dream stress about information or organization or something that I even couldn’t remember. I tried watching TV — the “Mama’s Family” where they take in the Russian exchange lady — but I couldn’t follow it for more than a few seconds before my head started spinning with this shit that fell out of a dream that I couldn’t — and still can’t — articulate into any words.

(i'm trying the word “souxacrastkin” to describe it)

I can’t remember being so scared. When I could mentally put myself together, I worried that I would always be that way — unable to think again. I guess it was as ridiculous as stressing about a dream that I couldn’t even remember anymore, but I wonder if that’s what it’s like to be insane: to have even basic thought become totally not worth the effort and to let random, aimless thoughts that you can’t even control occupy your brain and shut down your body and wash over you like a fever shudder. It’s like a buzzing. A loud buzzing in a dark room.

I woke up again at four in the afternoon. The axe murderer, by the way, was the fat guy.

Friday, July 23, 2004

And It Happened in the Attic

It occurred to me today that basic human locomotion — walking — is basically a process of causing oneself to fall and then catching... oneself. I felt earlier that there was something profound in this thought, but it's escaped me now. Instead, I'll discuss an anecdote I read today about one Thomas Chatterton.

Chatterton lived in the mid-1700s in England. Though impoverished, he was a literary prodigy. The child-poet's compositions, I understand, easily rivaled his adult contemporaries. Chatterton wrote in the attic of his home, which he shared with his widowed seamstress mother. Working upstairs met cohabitating with Ellinor, a mannequin made of woven rushes that Mrs. Chatterton upon which sized up her dresses. Naturally, Thomas fell in love with the form of bound plant matter and would apply makeup to her and fix her hair every day.

Eventually, however, career aspiration drove him to London. He moved into an attic similar to the one in his mother's house — save the noticeable absence of Ellinor. Chatterton's luck soon ran out, though. After repeated failures, he swallowed arsenic and died at only seventeen years old.

Storm the Legion

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

You Are the Child of Incestuous Union

Results of this afternoon's text message derby. Today's outgoing message: "You = child of incestuous union," a nod to my purchase of the Pixies compilation.
First place: Lauren
Her response: "Who are you?"

Second place: Dansy Pansy
His response: "I don't wuv you anymore"

Third place: Gregory "Champ" Torres
His response: : (


Things I learn at work.

The Santa Barbara Natural History Museum basically got started in 1916. This guy William Leon Dawson wants to make a museum to house his collection of bird eggs. He's an oologist. He loves the eggs, this guy. He gets quoted as saying that oology could "throw a flood of light upon the trend of life itself," yielding "the secrets of life's origins and its destiny."

But he leaves the museum in 1923, reportedly frustrated at the direction the museum is taking. See, some of the the other historians decide the museum would benefit from including exhibits that don't involve eggs. You know, like bones and artifacts and books and art and stuff. So William Leon Dawson runs away in a huff.

You never can tell with those oologists.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Every Boy's a Man Inside; a Girl's a Woman, Too

Hayley's leaving for good.

We watched the "Brady Bunch" movie. It's still funny, though it's probably the last thing we'll ever do together for a long time. Speaking of Marcia Brady, Janine's getting married. She seems happy about it. She's sending me an invitation to the reception.

I can't even mentally conceive of marriage at this point in my life. What level am I working on? Well, my biggest dilemma of the moment is the following: Of the two Netflix wonders I watched tonight, I can't decide which has the better title: "The Master of the Flying Guillotine" or "The Bird With the Crystal Plumage."

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.


For some reason, Netflix's top rental recommendation is "Hello Kitty Goes to the Movies." The movie's probably bullshit, but whoever wrote the synopsis almost sold me on it.
Cats love the cinema, and the adorably cosmopolitan Hello Kitty is certainly no exception! The five animated episodes compiled here include the headliner, featuring Hello Kitty's first trip to a mega-theater similar to those that abound in your neighborhood nowadays.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

He Likes Bears


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

The Family Business

Never Met a Girl Like You Before

Ten songs from my ten CDs worth of burnt music that you probably don't know but might like:
  1. Ween, "Voodoo Lady"
  2. Eels, "Jungle Telegraph"
  3. Goldfrapp, "Train"
  4. Edwyn Collins, "Never Met a Girl Like You Before"
  5. Stone Roses, "Fools Gold"
  6. Broadcast, "The Book Lovers"
  7. The Notorious Head of Smersh, "Tempus Fugit"
  8. Sebadoh, "Flame"
  9. Apples in Stereo, "Rainfall"
  10. Tiger Army, "Outlaw Heart"
Worth the trip to Kazaa, at least.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Burning Ball of Hell

Jill sent me this letter late last night:
hey drew,

i just wanted to let you know that i did not make it home safe the other night...i died in a burning ball of hell. I hope your trip down to SB goes well!


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.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

"This Is Just a Kickball With the Word 'Mars' Written on It"

So what did the Hollister Independence Rally look like?

I actually like snowcones, so I guess that makes one out of three. Next summer: somewhere else.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

My Apologies, Ms. Grafton

Regarding the attack on Sue Grafton: Bill points out that Kinsey Milhone's hometown actually is Santa Teresa, and not Santa Theresa, for which I originally faulted Sue Grafton. Her entire website got revamped since I initially checked her out. The "Santa Theresa" must have been a misspelling. Fuck. However, I can fault her for this, then. She pluralized "cats" with an apostrophe on her website. I'll use whatever I can get.

The Uncanny Valley

Courtesy of Everythingwrong, blog of a former Nexite, a really interesting article about why Animal Crossing is cute but amputees are unnerving: The Uncanny Valley.

Her Life, My Life

A little note Jill sent me.

God damn it!! Will you leave my life and my identity alone! And will you also forward these pix to me so I can see if I need to report you to the authorities.


Sunday, July 04, 2004

Sheldon Church Yard

I'm writing this so I remember it. I'm writing this so the next time I get sick of this hayseed town I can remember this.

Red and green burst, solely in the space of my rearview mirror. That mirror, for a moment just before sunset, contained everything that can be beautiful about Hollister: simply, red and green lights in yellow sky, over an incoming bank of blue fog, above an almond orchard. That unlabelled CD that showed up mysteriously in my car was just at "Sheldon Church Yard," a track I must have ripped from that "Country Got Soul" album that I should have hated but liked. At the right moment, in the right light, at the right time of day, Hollister can be beautiful.

I'm home now, in a dark house. I can hear pops coming from town.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Call Me "Ralph Mellish"

I need a secret identity.

I’m not after a second self just to get thrills. Fighting supervillains Spider-Man style or traveling the world as a high-class assassin like Uma, but I honestly can’t keep up with the little I have already. No, instead, I want a secret identity merely so I can explain my chronic tardiness, absence and self-absorption. I’m never where I should be when I need to be and it pisses people off. I let people down.

I think everybody would be a lot more understanding if I told them I have this extra life that has me running all over, risking my life. That’s why I couldn’t make it. That’s why I looked so exhausted.

The real reason doesn’t cut it.

And That Has Made All the Difference

While I'm talking about it, I'd like to mention that I really like the word "ejaculate," but especially when it's used as a noun, as in, "Oh no! I've gotten ejaculate in the peanut butter." The different pronunciation just makes it funnier.

Friday, July 02, 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.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Sixteen Things I Learned from Video Games

  1. All bad guys are covered in invisible poison fire, which is why touching them — even innocent-looking ones, even on a part of their body that seems harmless — kills you.
  2. Anyone — anyone — can easily jump two times their body height.
  3. Coins and blocks can float in midair — and frequently do.
  4. Spikes = instant death, while getting shot only results in a minor decrease in overall health.
  5. All martial artists must shout the name of their move as they perform it.
  6. Punching enemies to defend yourself is impossible. No, you best line of defense is jumping on top of them.
  7. It's totally kosher to walk into strangers' houses, open their cupboards and treasure chests, and take whatever you can find.
  8. I can breathe underwater.
  9. Eating random mushrooms is good for my health.
  10. If a ghost turns blue, then I can eat it.
  11. Blasted by fire, chopped by an axe, shot by bullets, it doesn't matter — as long as a have at least one bar left on my health meter, I can still run as quickly as I ever could.
  12. Oddly, people who design dungeons leave keys to locked doors lying around for me to find.
  13. Even more oddly, those same people design judges that can me escaped with mere basic problem-solving skills.
  14. Instead of "Hi! How ya doing?," medieval-peasant types actually greet you with out-of-nowhere quest advice like "Princess Shazbutt is in the tower north of the Mountain of Pain."
  15. Also, "I know we just met and you don't know anything about me, but I have a beef with that particular wizard you mentioned. Let's journey together!"
  16. And everybody, everybody is out to get you.
Perhaps that last one's true. Truthfully, I’ve learned a lot from video games. Did you know the Japanese sign for the postal service looks like a capital "T" with a line over it?

More to come from the 8-bit soundtrack of my life.