Tuesday, January 29, 2008

kinda sez it all, huh.


it ain't so bad when you're loved

Xtine sent these, and then told me to "say they're from a secret admirer"

Unfortch, since I'm totally not 14, I cannot say that with any semblance of believability.

She also said that she had ordered them before I got all weepy on her ass for no reason, but I find that hard to believe.

Either way, how nice it is to have such lovely people in your life.


Sunday Afternoon

Was rainy and cold.

Anne and I treated ourselves to pedicures and then shivered in line for coffee with other disheveled-looking psuedo-hipsters. We complained about the hardships of winter.

Then I happened to notice that we were both wearing flip flops.

I love being an asshole Californian.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'm becoming obsessed with Michael Cera

I mean, I've known a lot of hilarious nineteen year olds in my day -- most of them tended toward the obnoxious. I love how Michael Cera consistently underplays and self deprecates. I would love to meet this kid in person.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I wanna be her Joey Ramone

Always been a fan of Dan Savage. But his podcast has truly taken my infatuation to a new level.

You can just hear the sweetness in that man's voice as he calls people "selfish fucks" or whatever sort of obscenities he's tossing about.

This week, though, the whole thing really topped itself when he featured a woman whose specific kink is as she puts it, "really good words." She owns multiple dictionaries, which she regards as her own little porn stash. She describes a romantic, kinky relationship she had wherein she would rifle through them to find words to describe the emotions of her beloved. She likes to talk dirty using her own multi-syllabic, obscure and esoteric erotic sentences.

I totally want to have sex with that chick.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Luc says, "Apple is back and she's better than ever." And lo, it's true.

Meanwhile, Spliffe gives me a nerdgasm with her clause-related grammar ranting.

Baywatch is neglectful, and McWhirter describes my favorite corporate Christmas gift in vivid technitasty color.

It's a lovely crop of words thriving in the rich loamy topsoil of the Internet.

Carry on.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Co Birthday Conspirators, originally uploaded by emily gingersnap.

So cute, they are.

In The Case Of Man V. Nature

2007-2008 290, originally uploaded by emily gingersnap.

In my mind, no trip to Las Vegas is worth its salt if you don't sneak away and visit Hoover Dam. I've been there at least five times, at this point, which is kind of weird, because I'm super familiar with the layout and such. Don't usually get so intimately involved with national landmarks.

But this thing is amazing. It is a kind of almost-inconceivable feat of engineering and human spirit and brute force that defined an era and determined the future of the entire Southwest. Built in a time where there was still something to conquer in the United States, when people could and did suffer and die to conquer it.

It's comprised of enough concrete to build a four-foot wide sidewalk around the entire equator. Over 400 people died while making this bridge, along with at least one dog.

Lake Mead sits in the desert like an impossible mirage, this gorgeous mediterranean blue green between brown, rocky mountains. It shouldn't even be there, but for pure human will.

We marveled at it for a minute, quiet, awed.

Christine, a landscape architect, pragmatic idealist, and delightful person overall, breaks out a most lilting declaration:

"We win."

(Still can't find my effing photo cable. So Here's Em's photos.)

Monday, January 21, 2008


2007-2008 208
Originally uploaded by emily gingersnap
aren't we fun?

Overheard in Las Vegas

At the Star Trek Experience: Outside the "Deep Space Nine" section:

Geek one: Huh, Deep POOP Nine.
Geek two: Huh, totally.

Friday, January 18, 2008

on becoming someone else's fiction

So, my first real job out of college I worked at this tiny, four-person pr agency. It was run by a woman who really liked to yell.

And say things like, "a monkey could do your job."

And six people quit in the six months I worked there.

Four after one day.

One after one week.

But anyhow, I digress. Point being that my job was to open and sort through mail, among other things.

And one day this beautifully produced, thick, creamy post card landed on my desk. It had three bands of color across the front, a rose, a blue, a yellow. And in white, bold text, it said, "Become someone else's fiction."

And I kept it. And sort of pondered it a lot -- what does that mean? It seems dashingly romantic, that notion.

It was an ad, for a printing company. Random, don't know who. But it sort of morphed into this mysterious message from the universe to me. Something to ponder.

It has hung on every wall of every apartment I have lived in since I found it ten years ago.

Sometimes, it's all about creating a dashing, idealized world to populate, about abandoning to the impulses of my own imagination. Creating a more vivid world than the one I live in to inhabit for a minute or a day or an hour.

A place to linger where your choices are not your own, but are driven by the plot. There's something adventurous about the notion. Something reckless.

It hung everywhere except my apartment now, the place I have lived in a new city for almost a year. Where I've become someone else, somehow.

Where maybe I don't want to be someone else's fiction, the construct of someone else's fantasies, someone else's will.

I kind of like living my own reality. Or at least I recognize it as the place with the most rewarding possibilities.

Is that grown up?

Or am I just really, really stoned?

Earlier tonight Annevan and I actually watched this movie, or fifteen minutes of it -- it's sort of a tragic tale about a smart young woman trapped in a backwater small town somewhere in Humbolt County. Raised by ex hippies, she embraced a more rock-and-roll image. But what she really wants, above all else, is a shot at a show on the Food Network. So she does the only thing she knows how -- she makes a show that's all her own.

Shots of her cooking steaks, "the size of my ass cheek," are intersperced with images of she and her friends smoking up, shooting guns randomly off the back porch of their house. The fades between scenes always include fireworks and heavy metal riffs. Her cooking is awkwardly punctuated when she unconvincingly takes shots of jim beam straight from the bottle. She wipes her lips in slo mo.

We took pictures of the tv, to illustrate for you, dear reader, but I can't find the damn camera cable.

Yep, definitely stoned.

Vegas tomorrow, woot.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hungover at work?

Wouldn't know ANYTHING ABOUT THAT. But if I did, I would tell you to watch Cute with Chris.

I love how angry he is.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monthly Newsletter: Month Three Hundred and Sixty*

Dear Rachel:

Today you turn three-hundred-and-sixty months old, or, thirty.

Welcome to the Great Beyond, the post-twenties, the promised land of the gloriously self-assured. Now, you are officially Coming Into Yourself.

You are the prettiest girl I know.

You're also the person I've known the longest. And, if we can just make this about me for one moment, my relationship with you is probably the one that most defines me as a person. I am, at my core, the Big Sister. Just ask Susan. (Sus, you're the other prettiest girl I know.)

Remember when we were little? I kinda hated you then. You were so annoying. Our activities together included:
  • You beating the crap out of me. Me restraining myself because I felt sure I could crush you on accident and I was kind of a frightened kid that way. Later, you joining up with Ryan and Ty Baxter in order to form a tiny gang of angry rebel four-year-olds who would jump up on me like the Lilliputians taking down Gulliver. One would punch my stomach, then, as I was hunched over in pain, the others would attack from all sides. Later, I would complain to our father, who just basically thought it was hilarious. He couldn't understand why I didn't just drop kick each of you. What can I say? I was a bookish kid.
  • Car trips. The most classic of all American childhood experiences. Screaming at each other in the back seat.
    • Fighting over the coveted middle seat, which had the adjustable seatbelt that didn't cut off circulation at the waist.
    • Later, when dad brought home the first of many Suburbans (he was an early adopter, in 1984), we would create a nest in the way-back.
    • Dad once got so sick of us fighting he literally dropped us off by the side of some country road and drove away. Clear out of sight. I remember thinking, "This is it." I immediately started looking for a farmhouse we could trek to, began planning how I would protect you. I couldn't have been more than eight. You five. He came back and got us, of course, but it was a harrowing two minutes.
    • There's that one time we went to Michigan with mom and made her crazy by speaking in Pig Latin the entire time. That was kind of awesome. Until we locked your fingers in the door of the Camry. That sucked.
    • Of course, there's also that time that Dad and I left you at the rest stop on the way to Ohio for Thanksgiving.
    • And didn't notice you weren't sleeping in the way back until an hour later.
    • And it was totally my fault.
    • And it was before cell phones.
    • And we laugh about that now; it's a classic tale, but I don't mind telling you, sometimes in the dark of the night, I'll wake up in a cold sweat, my heart in my stomach, imagining what could have been. My love for you is so very fierce, baby sister.
  • But dude, you were so cute. And now you're thirty fucking years old. And we're gonna celebrate in Vegas, with our cousin Emily, who is also thirty fucking years old this week. Che, here's the thing -- I've got a weakness for redheaded babies. She might have been cuter:

Okay, no. She' s not.

Here's some other quick highlights:
  • You shaved your fucking head in high school. Twice. That is so goddamn badass.
  • You've never been afraid. Ever. Ever.
  • You're the fiercest girl I know. And the most compassionate. I admire you so much.
  • Your class of fourth graders is the luckiest.
Can you tell how much I dig you baby sister?

Happy birthday, sweetie.
(note how I'm inexplicably giving the thumbs-up here.)

*yes, I am totally doing this to amuse myself. And Sarah. Sorry, Che.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Reuinion Tour Of The Decade

So, I came across this poster today while I was trekking to Walgreen's to refill my crazypill prescription:



Remember them? They sang that riotous 1988 pop sensation What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy).

Until this moment I sort of regarded the band as a one-hit wonder -- however, according to Wikipedia, they are huge with the Latinos:

They are known for their loyal fan base in Brazil, Japan, Spain and Mexico.

Well, and the Japanese. And let's face it, they're just an easy target when it comes to pop culture.

Regardless, the band stands out in my mind, because my fourteen-year-old self always thought the spiky-haired, skinny mod lead singer looked like a dead ringer for my cousin Jonathan. (Jonathan, can I not find a picture of you on the Internets? Only your very distinguished-sounding bio. Shame on me for having none on my Flickr page. I will remedy that situation this weekend.)

So dreamy.

I look now and see no resemblance, honestly.

But now I totally have that song in my head.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dear Luc

I stumbled upon this portrait of you on Flickr, and I just. . .

I never knew you to be so patriotic.

(luc, fyi)


My mother asked me, when I was back in Southern Indiana for the Holidays, in a tentative voice as if she didn't really want to know the answer:

Does living there help you with your depression?

Me: Do you mean the seasonal kind?
Her: Yes.
Me: Don't know yet, haven't been through the whole year.

It does get gloomy, cloudy, rainy, dismal, for weeks at a time.

You can still go outside and be comfortable, which helps, but it kinda sucks, too. The days are still shorter.


But then I have barely survived the Holidays, and San Francisco gives me a day like today, with a promise of more in store. The sun is different, still with that harsh, slanted quality of winter light. It casts severe, unyielding shadows and is somewhat relentless in its brilliance. It insists that you squint. But it does its job, warming my skin beneath my sweater, heating up my cheeks so they glow with a ruddy tinge of burn.

Today, for the first time in a very long time (read, a couple of months), the weather was the kind of gentle, misty warm that you want to bask in, fall asleep in.

"Today I'm Going To Let Him Teach Me Something"

On my walk, I took care to notice that everything is still blooming.

There is also a shift in the air, a different angle to the sun, that declares that springtime is here. This non-season seasonal change is drastically different from the relief of the thaw in Chicago, with the subsequent burst of life.

Husky to pull my Husky V1

But it still a welcome change from late January in the frozen tundra of Chicago -- when you shake off the last dregs of the celebratory season and face a bleak expanse of months of brutal cold before Spring.

It is a relief, tinged with guilt. The guilt comes because of the deeply entrenched staunch belief of Midwesterners that the winter builds character. I'm afraid, somewhere under it all, that this glorious existence will ultimately make me soft.

God fucking forbid, make me a hippy.

Anyway, in the short term, yeah! It's definitely helping my depression.

What a stunning place this is.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tiny Emo Daniel Day Lewis

As I mentioned in a previous post, there is this little man I see on the train practically every day who bears a striking resemblance to Daniel Day Lewis -- all dark, gaunt, with piercing blue eyes -- but tiny. And emo.

I've become sort of obsessed with him.

I told my friends about him. We call him Teddl.

Yesterday, when I went to grab some coffee with my friend Hoodia, we passed by Teddl on the street -- and I immediately grabbed her arm, began flailing about and saying, "OH OH OH OH" (sort of like I was having a mini seizure), and whispered in her ear, "THERE'S TINY DANIEL DAY LEWIS!"

It honest-to-god was like a celebrity sighting.

I promised I would attempt a photo. This morning, I caught this blurry image to text to friends:


Ladies and Gentleman, Tiny, Emo, Daniel Day Lewis

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

in the stars

me: what?

Luc: What what?

me: who?

Luc: exactly.

me: my horoscope

Luc: What about it.

me: SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Astronomers say that the Sagittarius
Galaxy is being devoured by our own galaxy. It's getting stretched,
rearranged, and assimilated by our massive gravity. I'd like to offer up this
scenario as a metaphor for you to put into play in the coming week,
Sagittarius. Imagine all the fun and interesting ways that you yourself
could be "eaten." Maybe you could get absorbed into an exciting social
scene, or be integrated into an institution you love, or become part of a
movement you've admired from afar. And maybe you could simply do
what's necessary to get yourself kissed, licked, and sucked all over.

Luc: Is that the Onion?

me: no!
it's some newsletter that annevan subscribed me to
their horoscopes are usually way more sober
this one is particularly racy
what's your sign
I'll send you hors
it won't be as fun as mine, I'm sure

Luc: Taurus

me: but then again
I'll be sleeping alone tonight
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The longest waves on the planet unfurl in the
place where the Atlantic Ocean flows into the mouth of the Amazon River.
The phenomenon is called the "pororoca" (from a word meaning
"tumultuous noise"), and has become a favorite challenge for surfers. In
2003, a Brazilian daredevil named Picuruta Salazar rode a single wave for
37 minutes, gliding and plowing for almost eight miles. Judging from your
current astrological omens, Taurus, I'd say that's an apt metaphor for the
kind of wave you now have the chance to jump on. If you choose to give
it a whirl, don't plan for a short sweet burst of adrenaline. Be ready for a
long, rollicking balancing act.

Luc: wtf?

me: I kind of like yours

Luc: It's EXTREME!

me: I know
I would trade you, if it wasn't for the part about getting licked and sucked

Luc: Now, when people ask me how my days going I'm just gonna go, "YEAH!" and jump through the nearest window.

me: first tho
flash the "hang loose" sign

Luc: Hang ten!

me: exact!

Monday, January 07, 2008

When I Was In High School

I was in the car with Kara, on our way to see some local band at Stevenston Station. Stevenston Station was a big wooden barn-like structure at the intersection of two corn fields where garage bands played in Evansville, Indiana.

Anyhow, she says to me: I wish I had a sign on the outside of my car that broadcasted what music I was listening to.

At which I immediately outwardly scoffed while I inwardly agreed.

Cuz, at 17, I was too cool to admit I want people to think I was cool.

(I'm over that, now, obvs. See: Timberlake, Justin -- my love for.)

So, right.

I give you, Pimpstar.

The best way to tap that hot highway ass.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Monsoon Season


Later, when I'm not cold and wet and busy, I'll write my treatise on how the bay area FREAKS OUT about the rain.


But for now I'll just say -- this new cell phone does take a nice snap, eh?


There is a guy on my train -- always in the morning -- who looks like a young emo Daniel Day Lewis. I'm determined to get a covert portrait so you can see for yourself.