Friday, December 28, 2007

old bands...a post from portland.

I played a one off show in portland tonight with a band from seattle. in a "nice" hotel in downtown portland...nice in that it's cool but "" because i got the cheapest room available..i.e. shared bathroom down the hall. i could have paid the extra 35 dollars from the privilege of my own toilet and shower, but why bother. of course, outside of staying in hostels when traveling in my 20's OR on tour with the band...this would be weird, but it's actually okay.

anyway.

that is is not the point of this post. the point of the post is that the show tonight got me to thinking about ALL of the shows i've ever played...where they were at...what they meant..who they were with, etc...the shows i've played with my old school music friends from the past...the kevin, the tim, the alex, the tommy, the matt, the steve s, the phil v(not the phil e..that's for the seattle post..), the lance, (old school: tim o, dave m, jeff w, andy j, and people that i can't even remember anymore...) and all other folks since then that i've jammed with or had some musical connection, if only for a random moment. i'm excluding the current band, cause well, i still play with you!

All i'm trying to say is that i've played a lot of songs with a lot of different people and they've all added to my musical life. when i play guitar now, at the ripe age of 35, homeowner, internet career guy, midwest transplant, married/secretly married, dog owner/servant, and all 'round nice guy, i benefit from all of those shows...some keys ones:
- party ?- 89
- Shawnee - 90
- Kevin's loft in spfld - mice not men - spfld - 90 (jimmy the door of the bathroom)
- ato frat house - 91 - yes, i once knew khow to play alice in chains songs
- 1st v popes show - 92 u of i huge part...100's of people...my addiction to the performance of guitar started that night... thanks lance!
- jimmy's - 92 - music of the moment, for the moment. we should all be lucky to at least once in our life to be "of" the time.
- the inferno - 91? - same same. the house is gone. we were one of hundreds of bands to play that basement.
- davey byrnes - what kinda rock show has a classical guitarist start it off? WE DO! that was a night of firsts. still have a recording of it. (hi lynn!..i DO remember you from that show...couple months later...i drove your el camino...)
- ill. entertainer -chicago - 93? - only time the sears van made it out of town..thanks tommy!
- party - ? - 93 - g set it up.
- the gallery - 94 - finally. may have been the last show. timmy on the roto toms.
...then the chicago years. more music consumed than created. i was working on my form so to speak...
and then: SEATTLE
that post is still being written. check back in a few years.

AA

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Job Well Done


Zack's done delivering presents for the year. Also, he's done being humiliated.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

You spin me right round, baby, right round...


a huge shout out to mr. hersted for sending my a needle and cartridge for my turntable (once his of course...actually i think everyone reading this blog has a stereo component that scott once owned...) while my other one (that was once his too) is being retipped.

This is the first time in two years i've been able to listen to a record...and god damn...they sound good. thank you scott!

and why am i listening too? why i'm listening to The Best of Ornette Coleman...that scott gave me.

This post was not paid for by Scott.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Working

This morning at breakfast, Aa and I were talking about Christmas and the fact that I'm working full days Monday and Wednesday, doing things that I have to actually be present and in the studio for. He said, "I kinda can't believe you agreed to do this. It's actually been bugging me a little." Honestly, it's kinda been bugging me too. Its our first Christmas here together and I agreed to work. I really like work, and it'll be fun, but damn. I wanna stay home with my Aa and my Zack tomorrow and make sugar cookies and stuff.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This morning, I was waiting for my bus. There was guy at my bus stop, drinking something from a paper bag and yelling into a cellphone. Mid-phone call, he stepped around behind the bus shelter and peed. Then he came back to the bus shelter.

"I wasn't always like this!" he yelled. I glanced over. He wasn't on the phone anymore. He was talking to me. "I didn't always drink, you know. I had a wife for 25 years. And two little girls". I made a vague sympathetic noise. I wasn't sure what to do. "Once I was sober for 14 months", he said. "It was the best time of my life". I smiled. He stopped looking at me. "I don't know what happened", he said. Then he walked away.

boring

i'm sure it is exciting for all of you to know when i run...and when i don't run.
i ran on saturday. i am running today.
whew.
okay. you can now relax and enjoy your life.

AA

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Today In Arcane Deities

Today’s arcane deity is…HESTIA! (I spent 6 hours baking cookies today, that’s why)

Hestia is the Greek goddess of the hearth, the home, and domesticity. She was also supposedly a virgin (because how’s a lady supposed to keep the gee dee house clean if she gotta look after some kids?). Hestia and ten of her eleven brothers and sisters had the confusing and nasty experience of being eaten, and then later vomited up, by their father Cronus. She was Cronus’ first child, but the last to be upchucked. So she holds the odd distinction of being considered both the youngest and the oldest of Cronus’ twelve kids. (Zeus, the head honcho god, is Hestia’s brother. He was born last, but never eaten. In fact Zeus was the one who tricked Cronus into throwing the eleven other siblings up. See? Christmas with your family won’t be that awkward. )

So, Hestia’s virginity. Apparently, not one but two of her brothers were interested in, ahem, getting to know her better (Poseidon and Apollo). Hestia was not down, however. She appealed to Zeus, and he said she didn’t have to marry any of her brothers if she didn’t want to – she could tend to Zeus’ hearth instead. (that’s not a euphemism for having secret sex.) It actually turned out to be a pretty good deal – as goddess of the hearth, she had a place of honor in every other deity’s temple with an altar hearth or flame. She also had a place of honor in every public building with a fire burning as well. Obviously she had a special place in every home too. So that meant she didn’t have a lot of temples dedicated solely to her. She didn’t seem to mind, though. When she's brought up at all in myths, she's generally described as refreshingly level-headed and modest, pretty uncommon for Greek gods.

Baking! Christmas! Cookies!




You know what makes cookies so good? Butter.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Little Tree / House / Dog



Monday night, Aa made pizza and we decorated our wee tree.






And Zack watched, bored.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

3 chords and the truth

exercise update: the week is going well. ran again today. 45 on the treadmill. good stretching afterwards. feels good to be back in the gym again. the ipod was in my favor today and played exactly what i needed to hear. well...ornette coleman wasn't exactly the best thing to run to...but an excellent distraction.

Monday, December 10, 2007

If you can talk to a 37-year old woman

Job listing for a radio station with perhaps the world's smallest audience.

let's get physical. PHYSICAL.

okay. i went to the gym for the first time in a long time.
i'm going to post here everyday that i do.
that way...you and I (whoever you are) will know that i'm stickin' to it.

that is all.

oh...and i WILL get around to answering those questions from last month...so back off.

Aaron

Friday, December 07, 2007

General Hospital is on in the newsroom. I have some questions.

WTF - why is Luke in the hospital? Why's he talking about "I know you want me to live, but you can't control what happens on that operating table, nobody can"?? And why is he saying that to Tracy Quartermaine? And why is she crying about it? Are they like dating now or something? Argh I have to quit my job so I can figure out what the sam hill is going on.

Also, this is another show, but still - what the hell happened to Bianca? There's no lesbian on All My Children now? Lame. And! One time I saw Livia Frye in Mexico. It's true. I was visiting my cousin Paul and Livia was almost impossibly large with pregnancy. I shit you not.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007: The aftermath





We had 18 people and 3 dogs total in the Minty this past Thanksgiving. We didn't take any pictures because we were too busy entertaining. It was pretty great. But cleanup sucked some serious ass (many thanks to Jon, who took off his shirt, got in the kitchen, and drunkenly starting washing dishes while comparing the cleanup to Hercules' fifth trial. Also big thanks to Renee, who backed Jon up by re-cleaning the dishes he didn't quite clean enough.)

These pictures offer only a wee glimpse into the terror that was post-Thanksgiving at the Minty.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Things have been happening

Got lots of stuff to post about - like Thanksgiving, when we crammed 16 wonderful people and three wonderful dogs into the wee Minty, and like our visit to Portland this weekend. But it's cold and I'm sleepy, so I am gonna get in bed, cuddle my dog, and read a book instead.

Here is an excellent, excellent thing to look at though: this blog a woman is writing about raising a coyote pup she saved. If the pictures alone don't make your heart break, there's something wrong with you. And I'll tell you, the similarities I see between Charlie the coyote and Zack are disconcerting. I haven't met a dog I dislike yet, but my dog looks so much more like a wild animal than any other dog I know. Like he'd be perfectly ok if we dropped him back in the savanna tomorrow.

Book, bed, little wild animal dog are all waiting. Later.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Maybe time to get off the computer

Aa just walked over to the dining room table where I'm sitting, kicked a chair, sat down next to me, and started playing blues guitar. Um.

I Has A Sweet Potato

Oh, funny funny funny. This is what having a dog is like sometimes.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hi Babak and Emily!

Just had a lovely dinner with Babak and Emily. Talked, among other things, about:
-animal and child abuse
-elections
-corruption
-philanthropy
-classic rock
-Color Me Badd
-Smashing Pumpkins
-a dog that is not named Pumpkin

Full, sleepy, happy now. going to bed. Yes I am. Goodnight.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Join me, won't you, on a journey to the halcyon days of last week

Hello!

Remember last week? Remember when Aa asked for suggestions on what to write on this here blog? Remember when some of you made suggestions? Yes, me too. Then remember when Aa wrote in response to your suggestions?

Hmmm?

Do you?

Of course, you do not remember that last part. Why? Because you cannot remember what hasn't happened yet. And why hasn't it happened yet? Why hasn't Aa kept his promise to all of us? What could he possibly have to do that's more important than writing that post?*

I think I speak for all of our many fives of readers when I say, Aa, enough stalling. It's time for that Gee Dee post.


*I know. Working, eating, sleeping, hanging out with the Zacker and me, getting dressed, staring at the wall, re-reading all the Archie comics, etc etc.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Today In Arcane Deities! – A New, And Perhaps Regular, Feature At Defcon House!

THE GENESIS OF TODAY IN ARCANE DETIES!:
Aa and I were chatting about upcoming Christmas parties at our two places of employment. I commented that one co-worker of mine doesn’t usually come because “he probably worships Mithras or some shit”. Aa suggested that perhaps I write about different arcane deities, since I have all this useless god-trivia stuffed in my head. So, there it is.

Today’s arcane deity is MITHRAS!

Mithras is a pagan god who was worshipped throughout the Roman Empire. He was worshipped mainly by soldiers - so, mainly by dudes who weren’t super-scholarly. This could be a reason there aren’t many records or writings on the religion from the time period it was practiced – no scripture or anything like that. The religion was passed down from person to person, and you learned about the practices of the religion only after being initiated into. There’s some thought out there that the King Arthur story is the story of converting the British Isles from the worship of Mithras the Christianity. (Mithraic priests were thought to wear pointy hats and wear robes and carry staffs – like Merlin! And Dumbledore!) Also, some scholars believe the Mithraic mysteries are a precursor to Christianity, and that the Mithras figure influenced the creation of the Jesus story. There are similarities, for sure. But of course, scholars disagree on that. It makes sense for Roman officials to make the new official religion (Christianity) kind of similar to the old official religion (Mithraic mysteries), though, huh?

Mithras’ birth story is that he was born from a virgin (like Jesus and some other gods), or that he sprung fully formed from a rock or maybe a tree (kind of like Athena jumping out of Zeus’ head fully formed and adult), or possibly something called The Cosmic Egg (like Mork). Being a pagan god, Mithras had worship rituals that corresponded to the seasons – for example, every spring a bull (Taurus?) was sacrificed to Mithras. He was often called the Sun God or the Invincible Sun God (although he was worshipped in caves, underground, in windowless rooms, etc), and some depictions show him wearing a cloak with a lining of the starry nighttime sky. He also had a chariot that he rode across the sky (hello, Apollo!) Other depictions show him hunting a stag on horseback, using a bow and arrow (again, a nod to Mr. Apollo). He was a pretty male-only kind of god, although it seems like there was some kind of god-goddess hanky-panky going on with him during later Mithras worship on the British Isles.

And that’s TODAY IN ARCANE DEITIES!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

how can i top that?

How on earth can i top a post about having heart burn from ketchup?

DoubleA here. NOW...i've had a difficult time coming up with ideas to write about...so..i open it up to our huge audience of readers.

what would you like Aaron to write about?

Post your comments now!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Officially Old

I now get heartburn from ketchup.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's official

I'm back on coffee. Stop the goddamn press.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Not always quiet

Friends of ours often talk about how quiet Zack is. And he is, for sure. But most dogs who are his breed are definitely chattier, even though they don't bark. For example:

Monday, October 22, 2007

On Regret

I've been thinking a lot about regret the past few days. Mainly I've been thinking about people I decided to cut out of my life ten years ago. I thought I was doing it for good reasons, and I think I probably made the best decision I could at the time. But here's what I regret. I regret that at 23 I never considered that when you stop talking to someone, you lose time and conversations with that person, and that loss might one day be painful and will most likely not be time you can make up for. I regret that for the past ten years I've been having dreams about talking with these people, but I never tried getting back in touch.

I don't know if I would have done anything differently and I certainly don't think I could have expected a different outcome if I had done something else. Aa said recently that regret's just a movie you play yourself, a movie of events that don't have much connection to the way things actually are. I kind of like that way of looking at it. And thinking about it that way, as well as reflecting on my feelings and asking what it is I really regret, makes me feel better. Or at least it makes me feel less heavy. And that's good.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Meanwhile, in Chicago

I went out for a run and it was sunny. I noticed some rumbling in the distance but didn't pay any attention. 15 minutes later I was being drenched by rain blowing in from everyplace. I felt like a stud for running through it. Then there was a lightning crash, which was cool. I saw a rainbow. And then there was another lightning crash - it appeared to be much closer. It lit up the sky and scared the shit out of me. So I turned around and sprinted the fuck back to my parents' house. I was gone about 25 minutes total. Um, today was a speedwork day.

It's currently pounding rain and thunder and howling wind here.

Wind Storm My Ass

I'm sorry...but this does not a storm make.

And not to be mister "well, in chicago...blah blah" all of the time...but COME ON PEOPLE...its this windy all fall back home in the Great State of Lincoln.

okay. less coffee...more tea.

PS Zack, our dog, is still cuter than ever.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Yesterday I got back from a kind of whirlwind visit in Chicago, including my cousin Sarah's fun but ill-timed wedding (the reception was the same time as Game 3 of the Cubs-Diamondbacks postseason series, which was being played at Wrigley Field). A couple family members kept disappearing to check the score and then getting more and more sullen. (They lost, for those of you who don't know. 3 games in a row. Fast fast fast. oh vee ee are. Depressing.) And today I've listened to A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request 5 times today. I just can't seem to stop.

Possibly related to my repeated listens to the same goddamn song: last night I couldn't turn my brain off - I think I finally fell asleep around 4 am or so. And today I have a more-than-12-hour day at work. At some unspecified point in the future I get to go to sleep. Sleep sleep sleep. Oh sleep, how I simultaneously desire you and resent you. Sleep, you wonderfully elusive fickle slutbag temptress.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cold, Day 5 or 6

I'm sick at home today. I was sick yesterday and Sunday too. I have a craptastic cold that I fought for a good two weeks. But the cold won. Holy crap, did the cold win. I sound like a frog and my head is killing me, no matter how much sleep I get or how much fluid I drink. IT SUCKS. And tomorrow I have to get on a plane. Fun! This is almost exactly what Aa did before he left for Illinois a couple weeks ago. I'm heading out to attend my cousin's wedding. And last night I had a vivd, NyQuil-fueled dream that her wedding reception basically turned into a reunion for my 8th grade class. It was really fun, although I did wonder in the dream how my cousin Sarah knew, like, Kerri Ciancio or Kendrick Hall.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday

Right now I'm eating cookies and watching Season 1 of 30 Rock on DVD (I can't believe how funny this show is). This morning I went on a hike on Tiger Mountain with my friend Laurie and the Zacker. It was cold enough that Zack needed to wear his coat, and as we got back to the car and headed into the city, it started to rain. It's still raining and chilly outside. And I've been recently losing a fight to a nasty cold, so I've been parked here on the couch ever since, with Zack passed out under a blanket on my lap.

Aa's in Quincy, IL right now. He's currently at a party out in the woods with his dad and some of his dad's friends. Last time Aa went to one of these parties, he yelled at someone when they insisted on throwing glitter on him (I think they were calling it fairy dust though). Aa reports that there's no whiskey at the party. But there are chickens and peacocks.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

48 hours without a cellphone

I left my cellphone (and primary means of communication) at work on Friday. It was a long week (see below post about long drives, thwarted interviews, and equipment-destroying donkeys), so I have not been able to bring myself to go back into work and get my phone. As a result, my weekend has been exceedingly quiet. I've hardly talked to anyone - Aa, when he calls me on our landline from Chicago, Zack's vet and my hair cutter lady (yesterday was appointment day), and my next-door neighbors, two of whom are hilarious 5-year old twins. I've read books, watched movies, made and drank lots of tea, and gone on long walks with Zack. Um, it's been really great. I think maybe I needed it.

chicago


okay...i know i don't post very often...and when i do...it don't write much. so...don't expect this post to be any different.

all i'd like to point out is that i really enjoy hotel food.
now, that said, i am currently in chicago (having breakfest):

...and that means i've eaten more meat, inhaled more second hand smoke and drank more beer and whiskey in the last 4 days than i would have consumed in 4 months in seattle. i do not lie.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's good to have goals

Today, the Zacker and I ran up to his vet's and back (with a little stop at the pet food and treat store). He did great on the run. Once we get going, he's really a great running partner. And now, he's passed out on his little perch, too tired to even chew on the big old circle bone I got him. I can't even say how good it feels to know I tired him out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Because 10 pounds of dairy fat is totally reasonable

Hell yeah! I found a recipe for deep-dish pizza. I think I know what I'm doing Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

If you ever ask me about the dumbest thing I ever did at work

I would tell you about the time I drove all the way out to Monroe to interview the co-founder of an animal sanctuary. And I'd describe how, in the middle of the interview, I started getting nudged by this cute little donkey named Pete. And then I'd tell you how I started petting him, and how I didn't notice that he was chewing on my microphone cord. Then I'd explain that I started noticing how I wasn't hearing anything through my headphones, so I checked the cord and found the place where Pete chewed almost completely through. Then I'd tell you about how my interview, who was a television reporter before co-founding this sanctuary, said "you have a backup, right?" I'd tell you how I reassured her I did and sprinted back up to the car to get the backup. Then I'd tell you how I frantically searched through dozens of useless cords, only to realize that I did not, in fact, have a backup. So then I'd tell you how I rescheduled the interview for two days later, and how the nice former TV reporter tried to make me feel better by telling me one of her dumb-mistake stories. "I didn't feel better though," I'd confide to you. I'd tell you about how I got back in my car and drove all the way back to Seattle, shaking my head in disbelief and occasionally muttering "well, fuck".

I'd probably leave out the part where I got lost on the way back to Seattle and inexplicably wound up in some nameless suburb for 20 minutes. Because, you know, I'd want to preserve a teeny bit of my dignity.

Good, hopeful, sick

Good:
I was at the bus stop the other day listening to some music on my iPod. "Just Like Honey" by Jesus and Mary Chain came on. And this little boy (4? 5?) who'd previously been annoying his mom suddenly started dancing. Swinging his arms, trying to snap, swaying, jumping up and down and turning in mid-air. It felt like he was dancing to the song I was listening to. And when the song was over, he slowed down and stopped. I re-started the song to see what would happen, and the kid started dancing again. It was probably the best wait I've ever had for a bus, ever.

Hopeful:
When my parents were in town recently they told me some potentially good news about the condition of two relatives of mine. They've been in a bad way for 3 or 4 years now. It's been hard and sad. I'm not gonna get into more detail here, but things might actually finally be changing for the better.

Sick:
Aa's got a cold and has spent the last couple of days sniffling, wearing his sickness hat, and gulping down tea. I am trying to get as much sleep as possible and eat as much Vitamin C as I can to avoid getting sick too. Um, I don't know if I will be successful.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I ate my house this weekend





Saturday we had a barbecue in honor of my mom and dad's visit. And holy crap! Our awesome friends Paul and Liz made this amazing cake that looks like our house! House was mint-chip cake. Lawn was chocolate cake. Yummiest. Real. Estate. Ever.






They even included a little Zack!* And Sox and Cubs pennants as a shout-out to my mom and pop (I'm the product of a mixed marriage.)




Clearly no resemblance here.





Aa doesn't believe a word out of Matt's pretty mouth. Tom is asking himself, "Did I need that much guacamole?"



Thanks Phyllis for all the great pictures!

*ADDED LATER: In response to Tankboy, we couldn't bring ourselves to eat Zack either. He sits in a bowl in the fridge right now. I...I don't know what we are going to do with him. Throwing him away is also upsetting.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Good day after all

So, my legs are sore as all hell from Saturday's Grand Dandelion Smackdown. After hobbling around work and gobbling ibuprofen all day, I head to the awesome massage place near my office to try and get a little relief. I get kneaded like sourdough for 45 minutes, and told I shouldn't run for 2 weeks (!!). By the time I get home, I am in a lot of pain. I walk in and am about ready to cry. Not just because I'm hurt, but because a few hours of weeding have done this to me. Because I won't be able to run for a while. Because 5 years ago, this would have been nothing on my legs.

I walk in the door, and Aa's in the kitchen making popcorn. Zack runs up to me to sniff my knees (it's how he greets me). I tell Aa I need to lie down. Aa says, "Can you feed the Zacker first? Please?" I groan, but I agree. I walk over to the newly-shelved closet where we keep the dog food. I look down, and there's a little box sitting in front of the dog food. I open the box, and there's a little ring in there. We picked this thing out like a month ago from this hippie jewelry place and Aa surprised me by telling me he bought it. Then it took a long time to come. But today it's here. And I put it on as Aa stands there watching me with a big old grin on his face.

So now I guess we really, really have to plan a wedding.





Um, this only worked because Aa held a piece of popcorn over my head while I took the picture.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The ham-fisted gardener and exciting storage space


Yesterday I spent more than four hours in our backyard, weeding and pulling up all sorts of dead plants. I'm pretty sure that I pulled up some actual plants in the process. See, the previous owner really meticulously gardened the backyard. And Aa and I initially said, "we just want to see what she planted! We'll just see what grows." Well, you know what grows when you don't weed? Um, weeds. Particularly dandelions, which I thought I liked until I fought to dig as many of them out of my yard as possible. Dandelions are vicious, man! They grow deep, thick roots and choke the life out of almost every other plant near it. The dandelions killed so many plants in the yard, it felt a little like I was cleaning out a plant cemetery. Also, I think I probably cut a rose bush in the middle of our yard waaaaaaay too much. But now I am really interested in gardening, for the first time in my life. Yesterday was way hard work and my hamstrings are uuuuuunnnnnnnhappy today, but it felt great when I was all done. I keep going out to the backyard and looking at it, imagining what else I'd like to do and grow back there.




Zack was way into gardening too.

Today, Aa and our buddy Don Mateo installed shelves in one of our little closets. And now we have a beautiful, beautiful little pantry for cookbooks and soup pots. Hooray for home improvement.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

All that fuss

Drama at work. Drama at work!

...and that's all I can say about it!

Friday, August 17, 2007

My last day

Today was my last day on the show I've been producing for three years. (Monday, I start as a host on another show.)

I've had a hell of a time at this job. The show has a crazy-ass deadline - most of the people who really know me know that if they called me before 2:30 pm during the week, it better be because someone died. I've gone nuts trying to pull the show together until the last possible second countless times. I've done the dash from the control room to the newsroom and back a bajillion times, grabbing some last-minute thing we needed or burning some interview to CD to ensure it played exactly when we needed it. (My co-workers know to get out of my way when it's almost 1 pm and they see me running - especially if I'm running to the bathroom because it's been such an intense day my stomach has decided to rebel.) I've argued with guests and "communications professionals" about our news coverage or about not allowing some luminary to blather on long enough. I've yelled at my interns. I've yelled at the show's engineer. I've yelled at the host. I've screamed profanities in front of my bosses when something goes wrong. I've lost sleep and fought over station resources and complained endlessly and gotten fed up and fantasized about quitting and now that I'm at the end of this, I'm so sad. I've loved every second of it. This job forced me to step up my game and make better radio. The host I worked with did the same. Because he's so freaking good at his job, I wanted to make sure I was worthy of doing the work too. I am going to miss working with him so, so much.

I don't regret leaving though. I'm sure I'll love my new job. It'll be really exciting to do something new, and tell stories on the radio in this way that I'm still very green at. But, man. Today is a sad day. I'm only moving like 15 feet in the newsroom, but still. I kind of feel like I'm never coming back.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

If you have time, give this a listen

I love this story for a lot of reasons. I like the really personal, intimate feeling of the interview. I like hearing all the emotions of the subject in her voice. She goes from hesitancy to sadness to happiness. You can hear her sense of humor and excitement. I would love to hear more stuff like this on the radio. In fact, this will be something I'll work to achieve when I start my new job next week.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Please just watch Unicorn Planet right now, ok?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Products That Make Me Feel Bad About My Life, Part 1

This is cool. I wish I were enough of a globetrotter to need paper shampoo.


(via Mighty Goods)

Come On

This morning I (and the most amazing intern ever) spent 3 hours breakneck-speed researching sex offender legislation and calling and emailing academics, social workers, and psychologists like mad looking for someone to be on our 1 pm show (the most amazing intern finally got someone like 5 mins ago).

Also, for a shorter piece, I spent the morning researching local incidences of dog fighting and whether the police or animal control have had to investigate any complaints in the last couple of years. (terrible fact: one way dogs are trained are they’re coerced into biting a thick branch on a tree and are left to hang there by their teeth, thus strengthening their jaws and teaching them to not let go when they bite). Aside from the fact that I 'm exhausted from the effort of trying to get someone, anyone, to call me back today, this morning’s research has been profoundly depressing. As much as I love this job, I will not miss days like this when I’m done here.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Oven Is Dead, Long Live The Oven

Last night Aa was in the kitchen, working diligently on dough for pizza crust. He went to put one in the oven, only to discover that the oven wouldn't actually warm up when turned on. The burners still work, it's just the oven. This may or may not cost a lot to fix. Plus, our stove is old. Old, old, ooooold. It's one of the biggest in-home stoves I've ever seen (funny, because our kitchen is wee) You actually push a button to tell the burner how hot to get. So it might just be worth it to replace.

Of course, this is all part of the homeownership deal. And I'm sure way more expensive stuff is gonna happen (of course it will). At this point, I see all this as a very minor inconvenience. I mean, I'm thinking that stove's lived a good, long life. It's certainly done fine by use these past months. It got us through Thanksgiving. Once we get to the point where we decide whether to get a new stove and we have to decide what kind we want and whether now is the time to put gas in and we have to figure out how to get our current hulk of a stove out of the kitchen (and I have to clean the space that's left -ew), then maybe I'll have the energy to complain. But right now? Eh.

Aa did say we might have to move the stove out the back doors that lead to the deck and backyard. He said we might just have to leave the stove in the backyard for a bit. This is both funny and stressful to me. I already suspect our neighbors dislike us because we do no yard maintenance at all, and the woman who lived there before us I think was probably totally obsessive about keeping a perfectly landscaped front and back yard (there are way fussy elements to both yards that make me think this). If we put a stove in our backyard too, well, I don't even know. But it kind of makes me laugh too.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Maybe I'll help Hillary Clinton win

Or not. I don't know. Anyway, I was on Weekend America this past Saturday with a friend of mine who now works on that show. Go listen.

And, also: I disagree with the characterization that I'm "hip to the music scene". Aa is the hip one in our house, and I tell you, you cannot pick that stuff up by osmosis or whatever. I am actually more like a nice elderly aunt, trying to find some common musical ground with her nephew: "well, THIS is an interesting band! Who is this again? oh, they're called Belgium! Well, isn't that funny! There's a country called Belgium too! Ha!"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

HARRYPOTTERHARRYPOTTERHARRYPOTTERHARRYPOTTER

Monday, July 16, 2007

birthday and other ramblings...

things i could post about today..
I could post about...

...on this day 35 years ago i appeared on the scene. thanks to alan and carol for making that happen. (and lowell and gail for being there since almost day 1...they were all very much essential.)

...or i could post about my new job...leaving microsoft and such...

...or i could post about the most awesome wedding i've ever been too over the weekend. including the bit about swimming half drunk and fully naked in the pacific ocean with 20 other people at 4am...or the mariachi band that played looney tunes songs between traditional mexican folks songs while we drank champagne and watched the sunset over said ocean...or the fun of riding on the ferry and splitting a beer with my favorite person ever: jeannie.

...or the really great lunch i had by myself at le pichet today...and the happy birthday hug i got from our friend Gretchen who was hosting at le p. today that cheered me up.

BUT...instead of all of that...i'd like to point out that it was kick ass to be able to go to the gym for the 1st time since i left msft. i had to wait for the account to switch over etc. so...it was, and very strangely so, very comforting. can't explain why, but it was nice to ride my bike to the gym, workout, and then get dressed for work. haven't done it like that since i left msft and it was nice to have one little bit of my old routine back. thankfully, it's the only thing of my old routine that i'd like to keep. and thankfully the bike ride is 4 miles not 25.

oh, and btw, DO NOT try and put a double americano into the water bottle holder of your bicycle. it just doesn't work. seriously. it will not work.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Weird, but great, but still weird

I got that job.
I start August 21st.
I'm moving back to my old desk.
I started cleaning out my current desk yesterday.
I found a box of RyKrisp that is probably more than 2 years old. Do they go bad?

I have a new job.
Huh.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Allow me to clarify

When I mentioned "murdering photographers" in my last post about nightmares, I mean "photographers who murder (or at least try to murder) me". Specifically, the photographer is short, thin, and bald, and he wears a white lab coat. And he takes pictures of me and then he takes the pictures and starts cooking them in a frying pan. And then after the picture-frying, the big knife and the chasing and the attempts to kill me begin.

I've been having this nightmare since I was 12 or so, and even though I *know* what's happening and that the lab-coat-wearing photographer is going to try and kill me, I still let him take pictures of me. Why? Because in the dream, I like doing the photo shoot. I like having the pictures taken. Even though I know he's going to fry up all the pictures and then he's going to take out the knife and try to kill me. It's an acceptable risk in my dream-world, even though I wake up terrified every time I have the dream.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Busy Monday

It's Aa's first day at his new job!
I am interviewing for a new job today! (it's at my same workplace though, but still. !)
Zack is in final edits for his autobiography, "Every Dirty Sock Is Special"! Or perhaps it will be called "I'll Eat Anything, Especially If You Just Wore It"! Or "Victim: Why Cats Shouldn't Beat Me Up"

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

After breakfast at the Bagel




Nice picture, Ryan!
...Why does it look like I'm petting Aa's arm?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The smarty club that dare not speak its name

My sister joined Mensa a few years back, and when she moved to Omaha, she sent an email to other local Mensa-ites to try and meet new people. Nobody ever responded. Earlier today I was emailing with her about birth order and intelligence and she reminded me again about the smartypantses who never bothered to respond to her social overtures. This reminded me of the events that transpired at a Friday night happy hour with some of my co-workers. I emailed her back with this description:

"At some point this guy approached our table and asked "Are you guys the mensa happy hour?" We all stared at him for a beat or two, looked at each other, stared at him again. Then we were all like, "uh, no, that's not us. Nope." Except for one of my co-workers who actually used this dopey voice and said "YEAH! We're with mensa!" I felt kind of bad. He walked away and I was like, we need to apologize to that guy. Every person I was with got pissy and said he was making fun of us. But there's no way he was making fun of us. He looked so embarassed after he saw our reaction. It was so weird and awkward."

I think this may be why nobody from Mensa ever responded to my sister...because they've learned not to go be social in situations where they have to admit they're part of Mensa. Because apparently everyone who's not in Mensa becomes kind of a defensive jerk when they're around.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I LOVE LA

or do i?
it's super sunny. the people are fantastically nice. not sure if it's real or not,but it's refereshing compared to the false smiles and stuck up noses of seattle.

excellent. EXCELLENT mexican food. esp. the taco truck kind (my favorite kind...)

not sure if the sushi is better though. ol' seattle might have that one in the bag.

went for a run this morning. way way too hot for what i'm used to running, but nice to really sweat out last nights tequila and beer.

my hosts, amy and ken, just moved here from seattle. they are fellow midwesterners who are transplants to the west coast. they seem to be fitting inquite well. super happy for them. and they are super nice to be having me here this weekend.
saw old friend from chicago (ala rollingstone.com days)...nice to rehash old times and meet his new wife. they seem to really like it here. he from indiana. her actually from LA.

do i love LA? i sure do like it, that's fer sure.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On Martha Stewart's show today

-a segment called "Chafing with Christy Turlington". This was coupled with a shot of La Turlington holding something close to her chest and shyly rotating her torso from side to side.

-a basenji!!, which erased all memory of how weird it was to look up and see a segment called "Chafing with Christy Turlington". Until right now. So now I need to go look at pictures of basenjis to get my brain in an ok place again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007

I took the wrong bus to work this morning. I took the WRONG. BUS. TO. WORK. I was reading the paper and looked up and realized, hey! I'm not on 45th Street! I'm on the Aurora Bridge, heading downtown! This fun little field trip in the exact opposite direction of my office made me late for work. And, also, it made me kind of grumpy and pretty embarassed.

So what's the lesson here?

1. When I travel, take a goddamn day off between the day I travel and the day I go back to work. Air travel is fun because I get to sit on my butt and read but it always makes me feel lousy.

2. If something feels weird when I get on the bus, pay attention to that feeling! I noticed the bus was way more crowded than usual, but I ignored that and found a seat and cracked open my paper.

3. That teevee show 30 Rock is funny. (uh, that's actually a lesson I learned yesterday thanks to United In-Flight Entertainment)

4. Consider two cups of tea before leaving the house in the morning.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

This week in insects






I just got back from Chicago, where the cicadas are making their once-in-every-17-year appearance. Hearing them make their weird noises, seeing their pudgy bodies zoom around, powered by those fast, massive wings...it was pretty awesome. The last time they emerged, my sister and I were babysitting some of my Uncle Terry's neighbors' kids. We'd try to take the kids to the park and on a few days, the cicadas were so thick we couldn't even stand to go outside. They'd buzz our heads, land in our hair. Their shells were all over the ground and crunched under our feet. My cousin Marty, out of...revenge? Frustration? Boredom? 13-year-old-boyness?, took to carrying a baseball bat around with him and smashing cicadas who were mating. He said he wanted to kill them while they were happy.

Last night, I hung out with Cindy the Superwoman and her two beautiful kids. We sat in the backyard as her son swam around in the pool. While we were out there I got to see lightning bugs, one of the things I just miss terribly about summers in the Midwest. Seattle's beautiful and all, but in Illinois, they have these bugs with butts that light up. What mountain can top that?

Other stuff that happened while I was home (very, very briefly):

-much time spent with fabulous parents
-more information gathered about a coupla different things
-went to a Cubs game, which they won, I think by accident
-time spent with cousins
-saw Aa's band play
-time spent with some, but not even close to all, of my friends
-pizza ingested many, many times
-withered repeatedly in the thick, hazy heat and humidity of Midwest June
-ran into two of my favorite people, my Aunt Maribeth and Uncle Dick, while in the security line at the airport this morning

Now I'm home. The Zacker's passed out on his perch. Aa comes home tomorrow. I head into work in the AM. Aside from seeing my dog, I am not yet happy to be back.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

shawnee national forest...

For the first time since 1995 i'm going to be in the shawnee.


i like the forests of the northwest..fer sure...(the "fer" was for you kevin...)..but there is nothing quite like the deciduous trees of the midwest in summer time. everything is on fire with life. so great. lots of fond memories of the being in the shawnee with my bestest friends(GV, LEB, KB, TW, LA, SB)!

anyways. good times on our day off. crazy night last night with tim seely's band (another seattle band). those boys party like a real rock band. not quite like our flipflop wearin' selves...

louisville kentucky.
bourbon.
god damn.

Aaron

Sunday, June 10, 2007

wanna know what happens on the road?

ryan, a super kick ass photographer...is touring with the band...he's putting some of the pics up here...check 'em out:

http://hobodisco.com/sf100/

that's what life is like on the road.

well, except for the escaping from kansas city on backstreets at 2am to avoid nefarious people part..

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A gift from the Internet

Holy. Crap.

Why in the Sam Hill have I not been using Pandora all along??!! Jesus Jesus Jesus.

Also - today was the last day of a 4-day hosting stint at the radio station. Usually I produce the show, but the past 4 days, well, I was on the air.

-I did not start crying at any time, either on-air or off.
-I did smell like nervous sweat every day after the show was over.
-I'm pretty sure I became a bitchy pile of freak-out at least once.
-I do have renewed respect for and question the sanity of the man who does this gig on a daily basis. How does one function while doing this job? How does one not become an alcoholic doing this job on crazy-ass deadline? (also how does he have the presence of mind and energy to find shit like Pandora? He was the one who told me about it in the first place.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Hot Sunday




Today's a hot day for Seattle...it's somewhere in the 80's.

(Midwesterners who read this -- yes, we've become babies about weather. Ok?)

Zack is so hot all he can do is pass out near Aa's stinky feet. (Aa is also similarly passed out from the heat.)

Also, my shiny skin from sweating all afternoon! Yay!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ten Years

Jeff Buckley drowned ten years ago today. Two friends and I met him in Memphis like two or three weeks before he died. He invited us back to his house and made us tea and played old Genesis on the record player. His rented house was crappy and his living room was a mess - guitars were everywhere, and pieces of paper with words all over them. He told us he was writing his next album, and his band was coming to town soon to record it. My friends fell asleep but he and I stayed up until sunrise talking about women's magazines and politics and who knows what else.

When I got the news about his death, I was in some college town in northern Iowa, training to go teach (er, spread pro-US propaganda) to kids in Taiwan. I went to a bar that night to drink beer and mourn. And nobody knew who he was. It was a sad night. Then the next day when I left whatever college town, I stopped in Iowa City to pick up a friend and drive her back to Chicago. When I got to her brother's place, the door was unlocked. I walked in. Both Aimee and Sean were asleep, and 'Eternal Life', the second-to-last song on Grace, was playing. They woke up and immediately started talking about the drowning and how sad they were. It was nice to share that shock and feeling of loss with somebody else.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

the times they are a changing...

i have worked at for a long time.

Soon...i will work here:



god damn!

DoubleA Ringo

Saturday, May 19, 2007

What are you doing right now?

You should be listening to Spanish for 100, who're live on KEXP right now. Go, go, go!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday night rock star YEAH!

So tonight I'm home. Can't really bring myself to clean the house. So instead I watched two movies.

Me And You And Everyone We Know: Good. Weird! Sweet. Touching. Made me happy and a little uncomfortable sometimes too. Made me feel like a voyeur. Made me try to remember if I've ever had an organic moment of intimacy w/ someone I didn't know well. Um, Miranda July is creepy-skinny.

Bobby. A little too much for me. Yes, Bobby Kennedy was shot and it was really awful and he probably would have been an amazing President. But I just kept thinking that the movie Malcom X was wa-haaaay better. Really the most shocking part was during the credits, when they showed a picture of Jack, Bobby, and Ted Kennedy together. Both of his brothers were murdered. No wonder he's stayed in the Senate for ever and ever.

I don't think Zack really cared for either film.

(Aa is actually being a rock star tonight. I am a lame-ass at home because tomorrow I have a race at 9 am. It's supposed to rain. Fun!)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

"If I was young, I'd flee this town, I'd bury my dreams underground".


that's the 1st line of the song Elephant Gun by the band Beirut.

lyrics don't often kick my ass, but that one sure does. not trying to be heavy..i don't necessarily "feel" that sentiment. it's pretty heavy though (not deep perhaps, but thoughtful?) Anyway...that said, the concept of youth vs. dreams vs. running away is kinda a universal thing that we all let ourselves be burden with at one point or another.
all I'm calling out is that he said a hell of a lot with just 13 words.

great song too.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Almost All Good

Last night's taping went super great.
And it's my birthday today.
And I got a promotion today that I've been working towards for close to two years (TWO YEARS PEOPLE).
And tomorrow my sister comes to town.
And this weekend we're going to one of my favorite places in the world for three days.
And on Tuesday we've got the next Salon of Shame in a big pretty new space. My sister will attend and Aa's gonna read.

Also today Aa will hopefully find out about something he's been waiting with bated (or is it baited?) breath for for like a month. If that thing happens, and then if Zack magically figures out how to use the bathroom, then this will be a fucking fantastic day.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Zack has a dog cousin


Her name is Hazel! My sis and brother and law got her on Saturday! Oh god the cuteness. Look at those little pawses! [head explodes]

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Front door and yogurt

We got a screen door! A screen door for our front door so we can get some f*@$ing breeze in the house (none of our front windows open)!!! Woo-hoo!*

Also this morning the Zacker got his head stuck in a big yogurt container while licking the sides and bottom of it (the yogurt's good for his tummy). I was busy doing something else and didn't realize anything had happened until I heard thunk, thunk. I turned around and little man was lightly banging his yogurt-containered head against a counter, trying to dislodge himself. I was partly horrified for him and partly thought it was hilarious. And his little face was just covered in yogurt when I got the thing off him.

And now, here's a partial transcript of the chat Aa and I had when I told him the yogurt story:

me:zack got his head stuck in the yogurt container this morning.
Aaron: oh POOR guy!
Aaron: that'll learn him...
me: i think he just started figuring out what was going on - he was moving his head around like "why can't i see?!"
Aaron: or..."Why is it all white?"
me: "how did the whole world turn into yogurt?! is this great or is it terrible?!"
Aaron: lol..totally. the confusion over what is good vs. bad is often at play in zacks life.
the door is open "is this good? freedom?" and "
the door is open...can the flies get to me?"
me: "the door is open. does this mean i will encounter a plastic bag or gnome statue??"**
Aaron: "can i fly now?"
me: "can gnome statues fly?!"
Aaron: "can i eat a gnome?"
me: "CAN THEY EAT ME?!"

OK, you can go back to your life now. Pictures to follow the next time Zack gets his head stuck in the yogurt container...like next week.


*Since this blog is supposed to be about the minty I thought I'd write something house-related.
**Zack is afraid of plastic bags and garden statues, particularly gnomes.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I'm not gonna do anything this week that's more awesome than what I did today

So today on the radio show I produce, I came up with THE. BEST. MUSIC. TRANSITION. EVER. Seriously. It was a transition between a discussion on the state legislature, whose 2007 session ended last night, and a political party in Scotland that's advocating for independence from England who're likely to win in the upcoming Scottish elections. Now I knwe what you're thinking. You're thinking, "My God Jeannie, how in God's name did you come up with a piece of music to segue between such massively disparate topics?!" I know, it's insane! So what did I do? I hope you're sitting down because this will knock the standing power right out of your legs it's so great. So the transition I used was the open to the Proclaimers' song "Over And Done With". This is scorchingly brilliant because

1. The Proclaimers are Scottish.
2. The legislative session is, well, over and done with.
3. If this Scottish pro-independence party wins the election, Scotland's being part of England is ALSO OVER AND DONE WITH. DO YOU SEE NOW?!

There's no way I'm coming up with any better idea this week. Possibly ever in my life. So, whatever, I'm not coming in to work the rest of this week. Why bother? I peaked already.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You know what it is about Kurt Vonnegut's writing? The first time I read it I felt like, oh yeah, that's exactly right. That makes perfect sense to me. Even the ranty stuff of his later years gave me that same feeling. It was so great to read his stuff because of that, it kind of felt like coming home a little bit. You know what I mean? Very few writers make me feel that way - I can't think of any others offhand, not even in my top three.*, **

Also, I didn't care about stupid Don Imus and then CBS Radio fired him and all of a sudden I started caring and got real fucking happy.



*Salman Rushdie, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston

**Why is Kurt Vonnegut not in my top three considering how his writing makes me feel? What the hell?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wherein I'm an evil asshole and exhausted from sleeping OR I have a blog now! So you have to read about my dreams and imagined slights by baristas etc

I dreamt last night that I was somehow included in this weird military cabal where we were discussing what to do about the dinosaurs roaming the earth and messing everything up. There was particular concern about Tyrannosaurus Rexes (or is it "Tyrannousaruses Rex" like "attorneys general"? anyway) and what havoc they were wreaking in large cities. I remember feeling distinctly terrified, and also I remember Brontosauruses, who were not wreaking havoc. They were just eating leaves and scaring people and stuff. Someone at the military cabal table took pains to point that out. And there was one scary military dude who sat at the head of the table, and he did the evil guy finger configuration – you know the one where you splay your fingers and touch all your fingertips together – and said, “If we just let them destroy the earth, then there will be nothing left…MWAHAHAHA”. And I was both terrified and intrigued. We let the dinosaurs go nuts for a while, and then when the chaos is over and despair has swept in, we destroy the fat and lazy dinosaurs and become heroes. Think about how easily we could take over the newly destroyed world!

So then that part of the dream ends. And I wake up in my dream, and I am in bed. And I wake Aa up and tell him about my dream. Then I walk the Zacker and come home and get on my laptop (dream trick! don't have one) and blog about the crazy dinosaur / world domination / evil military / me becoming some power-hungry secret cabal member dream. Then I read some other blogs. And weird! One of the blogs I read has a story on it about A DREAM THE WRITER HAD ABOUT DINOSAURS WREAKING HAVOC ON THE PLANET. So I am instantaneously and dreamworld-ly transported to some place with tables and chairs and mugs and she (blogger) is there and says “hey! That’s so weird! I had a dream about the dinosaurs wreaking havoc too!” And I’m like, “That’s so totally fucked up! Did your dream include a weird military cabal?”

And then I think my alarm actually went off and I woke up for real, feeling like I got no sleep whatsoever. So then I lay in my bed, Zack sprawled across my torso, trying to figure out what sweet fuck-all went on in my head last night. I think I have it figured out. I’m obsessed with this cartoon Metalocalypse, which explains the weird scary all-powerful cabal. I’m also watching the entire series of The Sopranos, which I think has something to do with this but I don’t know what yet. Maybe New Jersey Mafioso = dinosaurs? And I saw my friend the blogger earlier yesterday. Uh...there it is. Yep

(also weird was this dream I had a couple weeks ago about two co-workers of mine cracking each other up by making really specifically denigrating comments about commercial country music – like one would say “the pedal steel is so STERILE on Shania Twain’s last two albums!” and the other one would be like doubled over in laughter, slapping her thigh and going “I know!” Maybe I need to stop eating cheese or something?)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Peru 5



For the second day in a row, we’re all getting up at 4:45 in the morning. This morning, it’s so we can see the sun rise on Macchu Picchu. I’m not terribly excited about heading up there. Even though I’ve been told how amazing it is, and how I shouldn’t miss it, I can’t help but feel it’s going to be an annoying touristy experience. I’m hoping the early visit will cut down on the crowds.

We head down to the bus stop to catch the 5:30 bus, the first bus up the mountain. We blink at each other in the early-morning darkness and tiredly chew the bananas we grabbed from the hotel lobby. Despite the early hour, the bus fills up to capacity. I am wedged between Aa and some guy who needs a shower. I spend the whole ride wishing him ill for his poor hygeine. Heading up the mountain, we see people wearing garbage bags hiking up and watch the rain hit the windows. After some unspecified time, the bus stops and the doors open. We’re there, apparently.

We stumble out of the bus and head to the front door. It’s still mostly dark out. We can see the very expensive hotel just to our right. Then we enter the park. For a while it kind of looks like Ireland – green and misty and hilly, with stone buildings. I don’t know exactly when it stops looking like Ireland or anyplace I’ve ever been before. ..But the sun is rising and the clouds are moving around us, obscuring some things and revealing others. The landscape is changing every minute. I look down and it's suddenly clear enough to see all the way to the valley and the river below. I look up and there’s another mountain, with a thin trail of stone stairs snaking up one side Nobody’s really talking, including me. Then I understand that the mountain I’m on isn’t really a mountain anymore. At its peak, it’s been dug out and flattened by hand. Plateaus were built for farming. Stones were hauled up and fitted together without cement or mud to build temples and houses. People lived and ate and fought had babies and died here. How strange that I ever thought getting in a bus before dawn was some big deal

Monday, April 09, 2007

twittervision...

okay...i get the whole web 2.0 thing.
whateve.
i was around for web 0.1
HOWEVER..this is cool: http://twittervision.com/
bye.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Peru 4


Cindy and I land in Lima and Rafael picks us up. Aa comes in two days later. It's close to 1 in the morning, and Cindy and I are giddy, exhausted, and greasy from travelling for so long. We check into our hotel and notice the lively dive bar across the street. Cindy and I look at each other. Are we too tired for a beer? We go back and forth until we finally decide to flip a coin. I'm so tired I accidentally throw the coin on top of a shelf. I get it right the second time, and the coin tells us to stay in. "How disappointing!" I say. Cindy starts laughing and says we don't need to let the coin actually decide for us. I realize she's right. Fuck the coin! So I grab my sweater and we head across the street. I order Cusquenas for us, which gets a nod of approval from Raf. We drink and laugh and drink some more and laugh some more, then we head to another bar with a dance floor. There we laugh at the dancers and drink more. We finally stumble back to the hotel around 6 am. Drunk, happy, exhausted, I text Aa, but my phone doesn't work in other countries so the message won't send.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Peru 3


Our flight home leaves at midnight. But we’re in denial. It’s only noon, and it’s a beautiful day in Lima - hot, sunny, humid. Cindy, Aa and I are in a cab on our way to our last ceviche. We’re pretty sure it’s going to be the best ceviche so far too. One reason for our confidence is that Rafael’s dad immediately knew about the restaurant when Aa and Cindy mentioned it to him yesterday. He pulled a business card out of somewhere for the place, and that card is what we’re using as our beacon. But even with the little map on the back of the card, our cab driver can’t find it. Not that it's a terrible ride. The driver’s really funny and a good storyteller. We speed down the road next to beach, making each other laugh. After circling where the restaurant is supposed to be, our cab driver stops and asks a guy pedaling a little jungle taxi where to find it. The jungle cabbie directs our guy, who is so happy to get better directions he yells a Spanish slang word that is the equivalent of “Fucking awesome!”. Cindy starts clapping and laughing – she’s only ever heard and used “awesome”, but not “fucking awesome”. Ten minutes later, we’re happily in the restaurant, ordering beers. We’re awesome, we tell each other in Spanish. But the cab driver? That guy was fucking awesome.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Peru story the second


The landing into Cusco is kind of crazy - the plane turns and sort of zigags past mountains and finally drops lightly into the flat area where the airport is. Aa and I de-plane, and after a long time bargaining with cab drivers, we get a taxi into town. We get dropped off at the Plaza de Armas and wander around in circles, tired and grumpy, unable to find our hotel. People everywhere are trying to sell us stuff - maps, finger puppets, dolls, postcards. One older woman in traditional dress comes up while we're looking at our map to try and sell us some dolls. I say "no, gracias" (this will become like a mantra while we're in Cusco). She looks at me and then goes for Aa, sticking the dolls in his face while he's hunkered down looking at the map. He says "NO" forcefully. The woman rears back, then sticks the dolls in his face more aggressively and hisses at him. Aa says "whoa!" and we both start laughing. The woman starts laughing too and walks away. We then look up to get our bearings and realize our hotel is four doors or so down from where we are - we must have walked past it three times. So we head in and are taken upstairs to an amazing room on the top floor - it's like a loft, with huge windows looking out onto the Plaza. The bed is huge and soft and we pass out for several hours.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Peru story the first

We're checking into our hotel in Aguas Calientes, which is where you stay when you go to Macchu Picchu. It's me (clearly not Peruvian), Aaron (so totally not Peruvian), Cindy (blonde and blue-eyed, so not Peruvian), and Rafael (Peruvian). Two younger, pretty women are checking us in. As Aaron and I converse with one young woman in our craptastic Spanish, the other sidles over to Rafael and mumbles, "we have massages, sir". Cindy, who speaks Spanish fluently, overhears. Rafael knows Cindy's heard the proposition and looks over at her, wide-eyed. He moves closer to Cindy and ignores the young woman. The young woman doesn't get the hint; every time we stop at the desk she sidles over to Rafael and reminds him of the special service the hotel provides customers who may need a break from their white tourist friends.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

2 lists about my dog

Things that Zack is either afraid of or just can't figure out, in no particular order

-big paper clips
-weed whackers
-vacuum cleaners
-the cats that live across the street from us
-moths
-the dark
-on occasion, his bone
-our backyard
-plastic bags
-cassette tapes with the guts ripped out and lying out on the sidewalk
-garden statues of squirrels, gnomes, etc.
-other basenjis
-any black dog
-sometimes, puppies

Things Zack is totally unafraid of and actually kind of loves, again in no particular order

-dogs that are big enough to eat him, like German shepherds and pitbulls (unless they're black; see above)
-staring down the dogs that are big enough eat him
-leaping out from behind trees at the dog park and scaring the shit out of the dogs that are big enough to eat him
-every other cat in the world
-rats
-large spiders
-bees
-most of the time, his bone
-burrowing under the covers even though it's hard for him to breathe and it's dark (see above)
-climing into cars - moving or parked, belonging to us or total strangers, doors opened or closed, occupied or unoccupied
-fire

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

all the photos are here...

I put up all the photos from peru HERE.

Mostly pics of food, Jeannie, Cindy, Rafael, more food, mountains, sun, water, chickens, trains, airplanes, tourists, even more food. goood times!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

1st pic from trip...

This pic is from the top of wayna picchu. we've spent half the day getting up here...and now we're beginning our descent down.

(instead of posting a whole bunch of photos at once...I'm going to post one everyday...and they won't be in sequence.)

(From Jeannie: I'm kind of afraid of heights, but I didn't think about going back down the mountain while we were hiking up. This shot represents the first time I realized I had to get back down the fucking thing too. There is no picture of my face at this moment, which I'm glad of, because I think I actually started to cry once I realized what I'd gotten myself into.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Home, home, home

After being awake for close to 24 hours, including an 8-hr layover in Atlanta (The Racially-Dividiest City In America! Holy Crap!), Aa and I returned home greasy and groggy to cold, wet Seattle. We retreived the Zacker (who stared at us in wide-eyed disbelief when he first saw us -- my God! Is it really you?!?!) and came home to pass out. Getting up this morning for work was HARD. And we're in pledge drive too, so if you hear me on the air tonight crying or asking where I am, please send in your pledge of support anyway. The sooner the drive is over the sooner they can take my punchy self off the air.

Pictures, memories, recountings of badly-mangled Spanish, etc soon.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

[wow, i leave for peru in less than 3 days. holy crap.]

The above is running, like a news ticker banner, through my brain right now.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Do you know that right now I'm on the couch with Zack and he's asleep ad he has his head on my arm? It's ridiculously endearing.

Jack Bauer at the Minty

I'm getting ready for bed. Aa and Zack are in the living room, watching an episode of 24.

Aa: I don't know what I'm doing. This is the worst show ever.
Me: So why don't you turn it off and come to bed?
Aa: Because it's the best show ever?


Recent descriptions of 24 from iTunes:
The nation continues to reel from the terrorist attacks and Agent Bauer battles unthinkable circumstances.

Jack Bauer struggles with yet another setback, the terror threat advances and the Administration remains bunkered down.

A surprising development has Jack Bauer dealing with a familiar foe.

Jack Bauer orders Thai food and kicks back to watch Julia Roberts' starmaking performance in "Pretty Woman". (I made that last one up.)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'm leaving for Peru in less than two weeks. Today we're going to the travel medicine doctor to get immunizations. Aa told me a story about a co-worker's girlfriend who vomited 20x after eating locally-made yogurt. Everyone I talk to is like, "watch out for altitude sickness!!! I wasn't expecting it to hit me but it kicked my ass". How weird. I'm sure I'll get sick from the food (I get sick here like clockwork) but still. Still! It'll be awesome. Stop tryin' to scare me, people.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

so.....

well. by now...yeah. let's just move on.

so...spring is right around the corner, right?! well. blah. weather is boring.

what to talk about...
oh yeah...guess what the latest serialized tv crack that we've been watching at The Minty is?

Heroes. VERY good comic book television. inventive, well written, funny and engaging. it's candy of course, candy of the worst kind. but it takes the buzz off a day of "changing the world with software" far better than a can of old style. well, that's not true. old style does the trick sometimes too. as does walking the dog.

i do hate TV. but boy howdy do i love TV. especially when i can download a show and watch it on the bus. last thought on tv shows: I have become quite disappointed in Battlestar Galactica. it's has slowly started to frack itself up with really poor writing.

anyway. it was time to post again. more to come. had to write something!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

t-minus 75 minutes

So the reality teevee show airs in about an hour 15 minutes here in Seattle. It's already aired in the Midwest and on the East Coast. So we've been getting calls and text messages from those folks but they've been nice enough to not tell us anything about the show. Except maybe I'm reading too much into my mom's response when I told her not to tell me anything.

me: hi mom! we haven't seen it yet. so don't tell me anything.
mom: ooooookay. [pause] well, call me when you've seen it.

weirdest. saturday. ever.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Reason 6,578 why sometimes it sucks to have a dog

He sleeps with you, which is great because he's cute and warm and furry. But he's like a tiny horse, and sometimes he dreams about running. This means he extends his legs fully while sleeping and repeatedly kicks you in the softer parts of your torso and thighs while he's galloping around in his dream world. You wake him up and move him -- 4, 5, even 6 times during the night. But he manages to worm his way to the exact same place in the bed, and fall into the exact same tiny horse galloping dream. Thus he manages to land kicks in precisely the same places of your soft, unprotected torso and thighs.

After a night of being repeatedly kicked awake, you groggily get in the shower. When you're done, you open the shower curtain and there's the tiny horse of a dog. As you put your hand out to grab your towel, he starts licking it to help you dry off. You're exhausted and kind of sore but now you're not mad anymore.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Oh no, no, no.

This is the description of or episode of the teevee show:

Jeannie and Aaron are moving to their first house together. Jeannie is very excited to be on the show, but not Aaron. He didn't know how much of a transformation would take place. He's got to know what kind of amazing, fun, and funky rooms designer Roger Hazard creates--hello! Host Tanya Memme even reminds Aaron this is a design show, but clearly he likes the designs he had on the place better. Oh-oh, don't think we've ever had a more disappointed homeowner on the series! Tune in and see if you agree with Aaron's opinions...or Roger's glamorous glam-rock make-over!

Brought to my attention by Tankboy. Um, thanks?

It's on this Saturday at 4:30 pm. Tune in and watch Jeannie apparently weep with joy from being on television! And watch Aaron punch his fist through a wall. Oh, my stomach hurts. Maybe it's because I'm very excited about being on television! Hello!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I can dress myself without help though

I can't read a goddamn calendar. This is a recurring thing for me. But anyway, the relevant point here is - The Superbowl is on SUNDAY, Feb 4th. The reality teevee fiasco is on SATURDAY, Feb 3rd. Maybe I'll watch both. sigh.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Four minutes of game! Followed by seven minutes of car commercials!



I got the above picture in an email from my Dad today. My parents are pretty excited about the Bears going to the Superbowl. And damn! I am too. I think the last time I watched this much football was the last time the Bears went to the Superbowl (I was 11 then. In some drawer somewhere is a great picture of me, my sister, and several cousins all decked out in Bears gear on Superbowl Sunday in January 1986. My bangs were big, my earrings rectangular, my jelly bracelets navy and orange, and my collar upturned. Awesome!)

Anyway, we don't have teevee at my house. And I didn't want to go to a bar and be the asshole rooting for the Bears against the team from the city that is now a national symbol of 1) how much Mother Nature hates us, and 2) the federal government's supreme ineptitude and callousness.

So. Aa dug up a USB card for one of his laptops and dug out some old rabbit ears. And on a computer screen in the living room, we watched the Bears - Saints game. I made some blueberry pancakes and we settled in. And it was FUN! Around the 3rd quarter, Aa made a big freaking plate of nachos and we fretted as it looked like the Bears were gonna blow it. Then we pretty much sat there with our jaws agape as the Bears just danced all over the Saints' grave in the 4th. (I know, I know, Hurricane Katrina. If they'd won the levies would have been magically rebuilt, and people would have magically moved back to the city that is magically restored and magically not exploding with violent crime.) Even though the reality teevee show we're on is scheduled to air at 4:30 on February 3rd, that day is also Superbowl Sunday. I'm gonna miss the stupid reality show. And for the first time in 21 years, I will be watching the Superbowl.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

MAY I PLEASE HAVE YOUR ATTENTION

I stopped drinking coffee several months ago, and started drinking tea. For a while now, my morning cup has been Earl Grey. Two days ago I had Irish Breakfast instead. Now I like Irish Breakfast better.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Yes, okay




So I have this amazing friend. I frequently call her my superhero friend. She's got two kick-ass kids (one is going to be President and the other Chief Justice of the Supreme Court). She's getting her PhD in Linguistics. She and her kids are fluent in Spanish. So anyway, Superhero and I have been talking about traveling together for a couple of years now. We figured it would be in a Spanish-speaking country b/c of her fluency and my ability to understand most of what's said to me in Spanish (I SUCK at speaking it though, holy cow). So come with me, won't you, back to Christmas night. Superhero and I are sitting in a crappy crappy bar in Chicago's South Suburbs. Superhero has a friend from Lima who's visiting, and she's dragged him along to the crappy bar. Superhero and I start discussing how great it would be if we could finally, FINALLY, travel together. And then, SMACK! The stars align (or I fall out of my chair b/c I've been drinking Miller Lite for 4 hours). Superhero's Peruvian friend invites us to visit. Superhero remembers her ex is taking the kids over her spring break. Superhero looks at me and asks, "Can you come to Peru with me in March?" In this situation, what can you say but yes?

We leave March 9th. Aa joins us on the 11th. It's going to be exceedingly awesome.