Saturday, December 31, 2005

Thursday, December 29, 2005


A couple of days ago someone sent me this photo to my phone. I don't know the person who sent it. But I think it might have been the pirate, sending out an S.O.S. I think he needs me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

the morning after

As is only befitting my currently nauseated and hungover condition, I poured half a bottle of fish sauce down my leg while semi-consciously muddling about in the kitchen. I'm hungover because yesterday was my birthday. And after an evening of dry martinis and some experimental moves on the dance floor, I finished off the night huddled around a tray of tacos at 2 am with some of my dearest friends. The causal effect of which is that I now smell horribly bad.

Having my birthday mid-holiday season used to really suck. When I was younger, no one was around to celebrate it and if they were, no one remembered or cared. The Christmas frenzy generally drove all other thoughts out of their yet undeveloped pea brains. Even my family had to struggle to pretend like they cared. There was always a ring of hollowness about the whole affair, the two-for-one gifting being only one of the many letdowns. But now if I had to choose I wouldn't have my birthday any other way. Mainly because it truly touches me when my friends do remember to call or write. You really know who your friends are at times like these. We are all busy and preoccupied with our own lives, our own families, and as we get older I think it gets harder to have the same emotional energy left over to think of someone else at this time of year.

It's difficult to pinpoint when this change takes place, but at a certain time, Christmas stops being Christmas and birthdays stop being birthdays. Instead you start to feel like they are just days like any other and the only thing that really differentiates them are as memories, memories of shared times. This makes it hard to live in the moment. Instead, the moment is already being thought as something that will later be remembered, sometimes even before it takes place.

This is not the way that I want to live. But it's hard to experience the holidays in any other way. It is just a time for the production of memory--good memories perhaps, but nonetheless based on a hyperconsciousness of time passing. We are constantly on the move, moving from producing one memory to the next, and if we're lucky we'll even remember them. How do you stop time and truly experience a moment? Can't we just learn to be content with right now?

As the new year quickly approaches I would like to suggest that we allow ourselves to get excited about things again like when we were little. Allow ourselves to look forward to the new year, the next step, the unknown, and stop second guessing ourselves, or preparing ourselves for disappointment. There's a lot that I expect or hope that will happen in the next year but I also resolve to try and appreciate things as they happen, not be afraid of the flow of time, and enjoy life as it is without trying to press everything into discrete memories when the clock clicks over.

(Behold, the magical 405 freeway in all its holiday glory.)

Sunday, December 25, 2005

feeling the christmas spirit

Two turtle doves and a partridge in a palm tree.
Merry Kwanzukkahmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

no high impact gyrations

The elevator in my building smelled strongly of Goulden's mustard when I got on today. So much so that in that brief trip down to the parking garage, I was transported to a world of grilled ball park franks saturated with charcoal smoke and the sounds of summer fun. The unseasonably warm 80 degree L.A. weather did not detract from this feeling of going back in time, all of it making me appreciate how connected our olefactory senses are to our memory.

Things have finally settled down here. The frenzied grading has ceased. Christmas presents have been bought. And finally I have a chance to catch up on things, review my week, maybe even the year, and wonder where all the time has gone.

Whether it is related to the Christmas season or not, I have been running into a variety of Hollywood people, perhaps more than I have encountered since I first moved here seven years ago. Maybe it's my own circles of activity that have changed, which if that's the case, I really must be doing something horribly wrong. Though I'm uninterested in the Hollywood scene here and am even less impressed by the idea of celebrities, I frankly find it very difficult to stop staring when I see someone famous. What I usually do is the "pretend I'm not staring" stare. That usually results in a stiff neck and serious eye strain. But how can you not help it? Especially when you notice that most celebrities look like ass in real life.

First on my list of bad looking real life celebrities is David Alan Grier. Now you probably won't know who he is. It took me a while to figure out that he wasn't one of the Wayans brothers. This is how he normally appears on TV. He's an okay comedian. Nothing really remarkable one way or the other until I discovered that in person he looks noticably older. In fact, he reminds me of non-other than the late:

Redd Fox!

Then last week at a sample sale, I looked over at the register next to me at a gargantuan figure looming in my field of vision. Aside from my surprise that Marcia Cross, generally considered an "A-list" celebrity, was at a sale that I would be attending, in any case, I think that she's delightfully pretty on TV so I was in no way prepared for seeing her in her unadulterated state.

Which is as the spitting image of Skeletor. I am not exaggerating when I say that she must have been about six feet tall but weighed only a hundred pounds or so. Her face gives new meaning to the word "gaunt". Yet, despite her gauntness, her hair is very red and she has freckles, making her lovely still.

My last celebrity sighting is one that makes me truly marvel at the magic of TV makeup. How is it possible that this actress, Christine Elise, most notable for her appearances as bad girl "Emily" on Beverly Hills 90210 (which I swear I hardly ever watched), someone who I only remember because of this weird thing she had going on with her jaw, would in actuality look uncannily like...

Gary Busey.

In fact, I was working out right next to her at my kickboxing class this morning and I nearly fell on the floor a couple of times because I was transfixed by her sandpaper-like skin and the deep crevasses lining her face. She looked to me like she might be a hundred years old.

Well, thank god I got that out of my system. Now I can move on to contemplating other less important things like when I'm going to finally hand in my chapter to my advisor and whether I'll get hired in the coming year... For the time being, I think I may have to go back to the elevator, breathe deeply and think of summer barbecues.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

in the shop

For those of you wondering about my spotty postings of late, it's because my flux capacitor is on the fritz and needs to be taken into the shop. Actually I've been busy as it's the end of the quarter but hope to be back to writing soon.

Friday, December 02, 2005

for huck's sake

This day isn't starting well. I'm staring at a brown spot the shape of Australia on my once creamy carpet. I was walking across the floor with a cup brimming full of coffee and sneezed just as I reached my desk. But damn if the coffee wasn't worth it. I was going to write about something totally different today after my brief post-Thanksgiving hiatus, that is before I started checking my email and realized that today is the "For Huck's Sake" benefit party. Even if you're not going to be in San Francisco you should rouse your weary fingers from your keypad and take a look at this story about Huck Gee, an artist who is being deported by U.S. Homeland Security for a crime he was convicted of as an 18 year old that involved a $5 bag of marijuana. It makes you want to pull your hair out.

And for those of my friends who never got around to getting your citizenship (you know who you are) you might want to do something about it before you guys get the boot too. Who knows what is in store for you if you don't. I don't know if they get the internet in North Korea. Will write more as soon as I get that damn spot off the floor.

(Photo from Huck's website.)