Monday, January 31, 2005

Making Fun of Stupid People

My new favorite blog: Query Letters I Love. This guy apparently works in Hollywood and gets prospective scripts, which I'm assuming are called "query letters." In any case, he posts the synopses of the bad ones. That makes me laugh.
[ link: laughing at stupid people ]

Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Smokey Smell of Change

Slavagreat: too bad it's closing
kidicarus222: closed
kidicarus222: tell me about it

I couldn’t help thinking about the last episode of "Home Movies."

I had the night off and Cory decided the Nexus opinion machine needed a break and brought Palmy Palmerston home to watch what we all presumed was an ordinary episode. Then we started with “Did that seem like the last episode of the series?” and questions like that.

But I wondered how it must have all looked for Meghan. She had never seen the show before and while she seemed to enjoy it — especially the subplot about motherless Melissa learning about make-up — I doubt she could have appreciate what a loss it was for me. When “Home Movies” ended, I felt like my friend had just moved away. For her, the end and the beginning were the same.

Last night, I went to the Firebird for the last time.

Principally, I went because Margo, a former Firebird bartender, threw herself a going away party. In about a week, her two jobs ended and her roommate decided to go off to grad school and her house burnt down and so she decided that Jesus or Yahweh or somebody wanted her out of Santa Barbara. I think my favorite line in her good-bye email read “Then I went to rite-aid to get a new toothbrush to replace my old one. Well, good thing, because my old toothbrush was at that time burning. In the FIRE. In my APARTMENT.”

So she’s gone. But the Firebird is too. When I mentioned her jobs ending, that included slinging drinks behind the bar. Apparently, my favorite drinking establishment will soon become a cute restaurant. This dimly-lit cranny on Cota appealed more to than any other bar in the entire State Street scene. Last night alone stands as good enough justification for its existence: I drank sake and listened to the Kinks and saw my English TA and hung out with a choice cross-section of the Santa Barbara intellectual hipsters that I call my friends.

But so many of the people I invited to come had never been there before, I wonder if they got it. I’m just a little put out today and it’s not entirely the hangover’s fault. If most of my personal history in Santa Barbara was writing at the Pasado House and the Nexus office, a healthy-sized footnote was scrawled out at the Firebird: I had a wonderful night. I had a wonderful night. I had a wonderful night.

Presently, Roommate Daniel is talking on the phone in the living room. His old roommate overdosed and died. Hearing about his death was the first time I’d ever heard that he’s alive.

There’s something to that: hearing about something when it’s too late to do anything about it. Learning it’s there when it isn’t anymore. There’s something to that, I’m sure.

And please excuse the lack of updates this past week. I’ve never wanted to be the kind of person who apologizes for not journaling. I’m actually fairly sure most people don’t really care. But life’s not worth writing about when the only verbs are “sleep,” “read,” “drink,” “work” — often in that order.

Next week: verbal fireworks, I promise.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Ozymandias At Least Got a Poem

The big joke of this quarter is that I'm taking History 4A. I guess I should say I'm re-taking History 4A, but that somehow only makes me sound worse.

I'm writing the first paper and in it I'm discussing Akhenaten. He's the pharaoh who decided that worshipping a whole legion of gods and goddesses is bunk and replaced the whole pantheon with the Aten, a big dumb solar disk completely lacking the personality one might find in, say, Sekhmet, the cat-headed goddess of war and disease. So Akhenaten makes everyone worship the Aten and then moves his entire royal court — including his more-famous wife, Nefertiti — from Thebes to Amarna. And everyone goes along with it, since he's the pharaoh and the pharaoh makes the rules.

Only Akhenaten eventually dies, since even pharaohs are human, and the rest of Egypt basically says "to hell with this," leaves Amarna and heads back to Thebes. All the old animal-face gods are reinstated and Akhenaten's successor has to change his name from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamen.

Funny. No matter how hard you work for something, who ever moves in behind you can simply erase it all and make it like you never even happened.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Dr. Awkward

Caitlin Mueller taught me the coolest thing. I had no idea, but apparently you can send text messages to Google, which can define a word or give you an address. It's like 411, only cheap and useful.

Send a text message to 46645. If you want a word defined, put a "D" in front of it. So, like, the text message would be "d titmouse" if you want a definition for "titmouse." If you wanted "vulva," you'd send "d vulva." For addresses, send where you're looking for and the zip code. "Holiday Inn 93101."

And it costs the same as a normal text message. I just like that I've put Google into my phone book. In case you wanted to know, the list of phone numbers now goes Glenn, Google, Greta. Ha.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Socio-Cultural Relevance of Stephanie Tanner in Today's Media

I had a revelation.

Does anybody remember that episode of "Full House" where Stephanie dances? She's taking a dance class and has to perform this number to "Motown Philly" and she's way psyched about it.

Do you remember it?

But then the whole Tanner clan starts building up the event and Danny starts recalling his days as a pole vaulter in high school and Stephanie begins to freak out. And then there's this whole dream sequence where everybody in the family is dancing and singing about how great Stephanie is and how great it is that she's performing and Danny sings the lyrics "I'm placing all my childhood ambitions on you"?

Do you remember it?

Well, when it comes time to actually dance, Stephanie freaks out and instead of the choreographed number, which she new cold, she just starts doing this jig. And then she runs away and they stop the music.

Do you remember it?

Okay.

Well, think about that and the remarkable similarity to the Ashlee Simpson debacle on "SNL" earlier this year.

It's totally the same thing. Girl freaks out and at a loss for anything better to do, she jigs.

A jig!

I can think of no other instance in pop culture where a female performer has jigged to cover up her inability to perform correctly on stage.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Are You Sitting Down?

Well — are you?

The date on which FOX will air a new episode of "Family Guy" is May 1, 2005. Hercules the Strong said so and I believe him. Presumably another new episode will follow. And then another and then another and then another.

Read for yourself what Hercules said.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Superman's Pal, the Worthless Jimmy Olsen

No one gives a shit about Jimmy Olsen. You ever wonder why?
[ link: Jimmy Olsen's suckitude ]

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Visage Tome

So Drew does TheFaceBook now. It's like Friendster, but limited to UCSBers. I post my bio: the who, the what, the why. I have realized that some of my tastes are not shared by my peers.

Under interests for example:
  • creative nonfiction
  • etymology
  • profanity etymology
  • cryptozoology
  • psychedelia
  • exotic produce
Under music:
  • Julee Cruise
  • Joe Meek
Under books:
  • Absalom! Absalom!
Under movies:
  • "Xanadu"
  • "Creature from the San Andreas Fault" (which I understand, since it's not real and hardly anybody knew about it)
Then again, there were things that I posted and then was shocked to find that other people also had posted.

Under interests:
  • urban legends
  • not wearing pants
Under music
  • Erasure
  • Apples in Stereo
  • Goldfrapp
Under books:
  • Wigfield
  • Villa Incognito
  • Ethan Frome
Under movies:
  • "The Brady Bunch Movie"
  • "Switchblade Sisters"
Of course, those who share my odd taste in things have been notified and congratulated. Here's to making new, strange friends through technology.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Subservient Chicken

I'm at a loss, but I'm sure the Germans have a word for. Just don't ask it to take off its mask.

The Clean Sweep

The ten-mile span of highway between Isla Vista and Santa Barbara has become a lot more familiar in the last week. I feel like I could drive it with my eyes closed, or at least in that self-hypnotized zombie manner that my brain slips into during drives along all-too-familiar routes. The drive between Isla Vista and Santa Barbara is quick, simple, almost unnoticeable — and presently it’s quite slick, though I’d imagine that will stop when the rain finally lets up.

Just now, while driving back from a failed attempt at I.V. partying — which was followed by a failed attempt at poker and a failed attempt at watching “SNL” — I saw a string of road flares in the fast lane. No clue what hazard they might have been calling attention to. I couldn’t see much, just a string of little lights glowing this perfect, unnatural magenta that haloed on the wet asphalt. It was beautiful — so much that I actually turned my head a quarter-turn to the left to look out the driver’s side window.

I didn’t see a large pool of water that I could have avoided. I hit it, hydroplaned majorly and had to wrestle control back from my steering wheel into my proper lane. Hydroplaning is nowhere near as cool as its name makes it sound.

My wobbly driving only got my a nasty honk from some jackass in the other lane who I totally didn’t even come close to killing, but I think it’s odd how a stupid puddle could have got me creamed. It’s been raining and it will continue to rain. The water is everywhere: sitting insidiously on the road, squishing sponge-like in my shoes and falling over the gutters of my new place in cascading cellophane sheets.

Some small, sick part of me likes to think about the water just continuing to fall and never go away. It could wash away my stupid car and fill my house like an aquarium and soften the mud — not dirt but mud, because there isn’t a spot of dry dirt to be found in the country right now — and pull down all the trees and wash them away too. A clean sweep. For everything. Brought down with the rain and dragged away in dirty water.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Here's to You, Canada Sue

Boss lady Heather calls me yesterday to tell me that the Flores article with my name on it was the third most read article on National Geographic's news site all year. Yay and all, but the real credit must go to an intrepid little intern whom I call Canada Sue. Of course, I'm still in the byline, so hey.
[ link: Hobbits in the Philippines ]
I'm alive and living in Santa Barbara, by the way. More when all the plugs are plugged and the boxes are un-boxed.