Thursday, July 28  
memento. in recalling past events, the ones that play through your mind over and over, how many of them are big events? big events like weddings, funerals, graduations, giant get-togethers. those are never the events that i remember. it's all a big blur, the events that we're supposed to keep with us forever. the times that i actually do recall every detail from are always insignificant moments. because i tend to replay these so often, it lends an artificial sort of significance to them. like, "if i remember it so clearly, it must be important, right?"

of course, the big events are usually accompanied by an extensive photo collection, or maybe a video or two. so it seems like you can remember everything that happened, but you really just end up recalling the picture as opposed to accessing actual memories. still, i wish there was some way to photograph smaller moments. i suppose that's one reason why we might remember the little times so clearly, because there isn't a staff photographer handy.

for people who don't take a lot of pictures, how clear is your memory of events? is non-picture taking an insight into how someone chooses to balance the past/present/future? or is it simply that some people don't like taking pictures, or never have a camera around?

[ employee no.8 | 2:35 PM | ]


Tuesday, July 26  
"depression is rage turned inwards." that's what doctor melfi tells tony soprano during one of their sessions. i don't get it. depression is anger leashed? is depression hate for oneself? is depression the opposite of outwardly expressing your anger? does depression manifest as blows to your inner self? i have no idea. i don't get depressed, so this emotion/feeling has always escaped me. i'm familiar with sadness, i'm familiar with feeling bad, but i'm not familiar with depression. so any time i hear someone attempt to explain depression, i'm all ears. but i never understand it. is the task akin to describing colors to a blind man?

people tell me that it's therapeutic to get into an all out rager once in awhile. to yell and scream until your face turns red and your voice goes hoarse. and not at a sporting event, or other similar venue, where yelling and screaming are encouraged. so tell me, does yelling actually feel good? is it a release of some sort? would more people do it if it didn't make another person feel like shit?

(1) mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state
(2) a mood of sentimental sadness

[ employee no.8 | 12:13 AM | ]


Sunday, July 24  
"i'm not going to name a date, and here's why: i think that purses and wallets are actually going to converge into something that's not quite a purse and not quite a wallet, but something in-between. or perhaps they'll converge into something like those little canvas baggies that everybody wears (e.g. manhattan portage bags). the reason? because purses are idiotic. why should your stupid little bag dictate the rest of your wardrobe? women, even your most dreadful, bible-thumping, 50s holdover women, will finally realize that purses are pathetic.

soon these ghastly things will just be myths of a past generation, like driving goggles. of course, whoever designs and successfully markets this revolutionary, genderless, unpurse will make a mint."
-when will manpurses (murses) be socially acceptable?-

[ employee no.8 | 11:08 AM | ]


Friday, July 22  
here's to you mrs robinson. i used to think that there existed a holy grail of women upon whom i should focus my attention on. these women would be wise, successful, worldly, independent, confident, mature, and level-headed. to put it succinctly, these women would be "older."

before i go much further, let me define "older." this is, of course, a very subjective term. for me, an "older woman" is three to five years older than whatever i currently am. this definition would of course, vary from person to person, so let's assign a universal age to qualify as an "older woman." let's peg it at around thirty five.

now, what would an older woman want with an immature brat like me? i don't know. but i know what i'd want from them. i'd expect maturity, independence, confidence, and.....we already went over this part. the point here is that i glamorized the older woman as someone who would have all the proper attributes that would conribute to an ideal relationship. they've seen the world, they've made their place in it, they're happy and capable of taking care of themselves. no more drama, no more childish antics, no more immaturity or jealousy.

it has to be mentioned that of late, i've begun to suspect that things like a penchant for melodrama, immaturity and jealousy are not sloughed off when you reach a certain age. but a guy can dream can't he?

anyway, assuming that an older woman is what i want, i starting thinking about the best way to get one, or to get one to want me. i immediately hit upon a key stumbling block in attempting to date an older woman: you can't use your usual tricks of the trade to woo them. they've seen too much! they've been wined and dined, they've had good conversations, they're hardly naive or innocent anymore, they've seen more than you've seen, they're not wowed by the few things that you can offer. older woman are not just grown up versions of your typical twenty year old, they're a whole breed unto themselves.

i mean, are you really gonna impress an older woman by taking her to the beach for a picnic? she's probably had a guy fly her to paris to dine on the banks of the seine. she's maybe had a billion men propose to her, so your declarations of love sound like misguided bravado. she's not impressed by your promotion to associate administrative assistant, she's been the president of marketing for three years. think your nifty new posters and paperback book collection will impress her? she's got a house with an ocean view, and an alphabetized library. she's got money, power, respect and she knows what she wants.

so what's a guy to do? the older woman has seen all the dating tricks that feeble males have come up with, she isn't easily impressed or easily duped, she's technically way out of your league. so what can you offer? nothing really. adoration? youth? puppy dog eyes?

[ employee no.8 | 4:58 PM | ]


Tuesday, July 19  
"i can just about pinpoint the exact moment when i knew my former roommate steven and i would never ever be close friends. i was sitting on the couch, watching tv (of course). he had just come home from work. 'come watch girlfriends with me,' i told him. 'it's so awful, it rules.' steve just stood in the doorway, slowly shaking his head in disgust. 'why is everything always 'so bad it's good'? i don't get that. something is either good or bad.'

i knew right then that steve's inability to appreciate the pleasure of sitting around making snarky comments about bad television is something that would always divide us."
-the 70s house, popmatters review-

[ employee no.8 | 2:10 PM | ]


Monday, July 18  
i'd like to buy a vowel. there's this ad that plays constantly on the radio, something about how society judges you based on your vocabulary and verbal dexterity. it promises to increase your vocabulary and to make you the silver tongued belle of the ball -- in three weeks no less.

i'd like to think that i have an alright vocabulary, however, i'm severely lacking in the art of proper pronounciations. i've been caught red tongued once or twice, maybe more. some of my (and my sister's) more famous mess-ups have been used to regale friends time and time again. haha, real funny. enough already, i'm a fob okay? leave me alone.

the problem is, is that i read more than i speak. so while i can understand something perfectly when it's written down, and i can spell decently okay, how often do i use big words in my everyday speech? i mean, do people just throw words like "epistolary" into their normal conversations? if you're a member of my book club, apparently yes you do. but for everyone else, i've never heard the word "epistolary" -- or anything remotely similar -- slip out of their mouths.

i'm so jealous of people who can pronounce things properly. i mean, who actually knows how to pronounce "dostoevsky" correctly? much less use it fluidly along with "epistolary?" i had enough trouble spelling both words, and i have a dictionary at my fingertips.

on sopranos, paulie walnuts is talking about "sun t-zu" and he gets corrected by an enlightened knucklehead that it's actually "sun (t)zu" with a silent "t." paulie looked awfully dumb didn't he? so really, being able to pronounce things does make you look smarter.

i mean, isn't it better to not know a word than to use a word correctly but pronounce it all wrong? you might be ignorant or uneducated but at least you're not an ignorant show-off. "tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." so that's it, from now on, i'm just gonna keep my mouth shut. like forever.

actually, sorry world, i'm gonna have to keep on talking. but i'll try to keep my mispronounciations to a minimum as to not insult your ears. so, to this end, i've recently converted over to from sacrilege, i know. but the merriam-webster site gives you free audio pronounciations of words, so the betrayal is a necessary one. in case i ever want to really impress someone with the deftness of my tongue, i'll pause the conversation, go look up the word in m-w, and then come back to impeccably pronounce whatever word it was that i really needed to make my point. god i'll sound smart.

then again, i could just refrain from using words that i can't pronounce, but where's the fun in that?

[ employee no.8 | 1:18 AM | ]


Saturday, July 16  
i don’t want to live on someday when my motto is last week. this is it, the zenith of my life. i give myself the "best week ever" award. just about anything i love and have loved has been represented in the past week. technically the week i speak of spans last saturday through this friday. but even before that, on thursday, i watched reality bites with commentary and then a dvd of jewel singing in san diego. let's call that the pre-best week ever day. realize that reality bites is my number one movie and jewel is in my top two artists list.

normally i would never blog about the mundane details of my day to day life, but this week has just been too perfect. you know how people like to ask "what would you do on a perfect day/date?" well, here it is, my perfect week.

the week that was started on saturday with the wicked show and you know how i felt about that. sunday was bargain hunting at the 99cent store followed by the buying of succulents. these two days have already received their proper public documentations. monday was a hooky day that included a book club meeting. tuesday was a sample sale at k2, and if you know about the booty we got at the last sample sale we attended, we easily quadrupled our bounty from that time -- albeit at slighty higher prices. wednesday we played basketball. i didn't lose a single game, which means it was indeed a cold day in hell. thursday was a half day at work followed by an afternoon spent at comic-con. did i buy a box of magic there? yes i did.

today was alanis morrisette acoustic style, touring to celebrate the ten year anniversary of jagged little pill. coincidentally, i started playing magic ten years ago, and i think jewel's pieces of me came out that year too. apparently 1995 was huge for me.
i'm saying it right now, alanis' concert was the best concert i've ever been to. i've had more fun at various concerts, but this alanis show was equal to watching wicked for me. same emotions, same type of thoughts, same level of sheer awe and enjoyment. her new acoustic album is just so-so but her show was ridiculous. i went by myself to the show, which is so not me but i couldn't pass up this opportunity. i sat next to an older lady on my left and two beefy dudes to my right. alanis touches all types.

it's hard to describe how deeply i feel alanis. she's just there in me -- and the other member of my top two artists list. to receive the opportunity to watch her do an acoustic set of her classic songs was everything i could have dreamed of. my first real concert was alanis ten years ago, back when she wore leather pants and had super long hair. now she's grown a decade, and so have i, but it all feels exactly the same.

"you didn’t think i’d show up with my army and this ammunition on my back."
there are just some things you're passionate about, things that you might love for no rational reason. if i were to draw an approximate list of my top five loves, it'll go something like this (in no particular order): books, wizard of oz, alanis/jewel, basketball, comics/x-men... see why i had the best week ever? i really think i could die today and be perfectly happy knowing that i've seen everything i wanted to see. that may sound hyperbolic or clichéd but whatever, i'm too high on life right now to bother using anything but the most generic of sentiments.

how do you go on after having the best week of your life at the tender age of twenty six? do i have more to look forward to? are there more epic moments ahead? there will be many more memorable moments of course, but will they ever compare to this past week? how can i relive these experiences over and over? once again, time travel is the solution. seems like time travel is really the solution to everything isn't it? let's get cranking on this time travel thing. spare no expense.

my week did have a price however. between all the shows and the shopping, i dropped close to six hundred dollars. so really, money does buy you happiness. don't ever let anyone tell you different.

[ employee no.8 | 9:30 PM | ]


Wednesday, July 13  
the general thrust of mr. eggers' very fine new book, besides fate's maddeningly random cruelties, is how mr. eggers and other media-savvy, well-educated young people make their way in the world: they fake it. by holding the roles fate forces them to play (parent, wage earner, mtv "real world" cast member) at arm's length, mr. eggers and his contemporaries mock and inhabit their lives at the same time, living compromised lives like everyone else, but paradoxically on their own terms we root for mr. eggers as he reinvents the role of parent in "a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. is mr. eggers' life-affirming cynicism and sense of irony that allow him to embrace his adult responsibilities.


"well, there was a lot of solipsism to 'heartbreaking work.' the book itself talked about that, about the self-centeredness of people that age. it was supposed to be an indictment of that, too -- about how you're 25 and you truly think your thoughts and your goals are the main engine that keeps the world turning. and that's true and completely ludicrous at the same time. anyway, i think that's why so many first novels are either semi-autobiographical or baldly autobiographical, because at that age, you're really trying to figure out your own sense of self and what you are and what you mean to the world."
-dave eggers, salon article-

[ employee no.8 | 3:12 PM | ]


Tuesday, July 12  
the garden of earthly delights. in today's american society, plants traditionally get the short end of the fan appreciation stick. most of the time, our interaction with plants is limited to stepping around a lawn, observing some plants as we zip along the freeway, or perhaps taking note of a weed family sprouting haphazardly from the cracks in our concrete. members of the animal kingdom are easier to admire and appreciate, it's fairly obvious to any observer how cool animals are. plants are usually just that though, plants.

we don't exactly live in a modern day walden, close to our trees and next to our leafy/stemmy/flowery friends. the most celebrated plant in southern california is the palm tree, for its soothing and glamorous association with tropical locales. the palm tree does not suffer from a lack of appreciation, but most other plants don't have this kind of star power or media attention.

anyway, i've always fastidiously avoided most plants. i mean, plants are nice from a distance, but get too close and bugs, slugs and the greatest enemy of all, dirt, will invariably appear on your person. unacceptable. i've always appreciated the beauty of a rare plant (my mom is big into flowers and trees), but i've never had the urge to own one. until now.

i've decided to give my attention and admiration to our desert dwelling plants; the plants that were forced to adapt to the extreme temperatures -- temperatures that would melt mighty oaks and crinkle ginormous redwoods. as of this weekend, i have seven of these tough desert denizens situated on my balcony. maybe i'll name them after the seven dwarves -- since they are all rather small -- but i'm against anthropomorphizing my possessions.
when i lived in england, the thing i learned the most about, aside from learning how to drive stick and to tinker with flutes, was how much the english love their gardens. every respectable english home had a garden. english women really love their gardens and an anniversary present of two tons of manure is not only acceptable, but anticipatingly delightful. the families that i stayed with always had a shelf or two of books dedicated to the proper design and upkeep of gardens. i met many a housewife whose dream was to attend horticulture school.
our original plan was to create a succulent garden, a mini-desert scene complete with rocks and sand. but upon further review, our seven friends are arrayed perfectly in a tiered formation and there's no real need to construct a garden. maybe later.

the buy of the day, a red and yellow epidendrum (part of the orchid family), set us back seventy bucks. seventy dollars for a plant? i can't even bring myself to buy shoes priced over a dollar anymore, but yet i splurged on a fragile plant. mindboggling, i know. but you should see this plant. it's amazing. the flower stays in bloom for ten months a year and the coloration and shape of this particular epidendrum looks exactly like a phoenix rising from the ashes, soaring into the sun. neat hunh?

of course, my newly acquired green thumb only extends to the viewing arena, james is in charge of general upkeep and plant health. i just refill the water pot and keep a sharp eye out for aphids, ants and slugs. down with slugs i say, down with slugs.

[ employee no.8 | 7:14 PM | ]


Saturday, July 9  
because happy is what happens, when all your dreams come true. as some of you know, i have an obsession with anything wizard of oz related. i've read the entire baum series, i've seen return to oz, i own the animated collection, i have two copies of the annotated wizard of oz -- one to read, one to keep. i could go on but i don't want to scare people.

so, with all that in mind, i've been waiting a long time to watch "wicked: the musical." i've flown to new york for the express purpose of watching it on broadway -- i failed. i've asked everyone who's seen it how it was. i not only read gregory maguire's book multiple times, i joined the online book club featuring him. i've dedicated many hours to the soundtrack.

this saturday in LA, on a day that will forever engrain itself into my memory, i finally visited oz, wicked style.

how was it? words really can't do it justice. sure, the traveling cast sang some of the songs differently, some of the tweaks took getting used to, the male lead obviously got in on affirmative action, but overall, this was one of the best five (three?) days of my life. i don't want to overdo it, but comparing this experience to having a child, i think i'll take watching wicked for the first time over having a kid.

i can't really express how much admiration i have for the wizard of oz. the books, the movie, the musical, the phenomenons that have surrounded all three; there are few things that are as infinitely interesting or intriguing to me as the wizard of oz. and that includes people. i don't really like people all that much in comparison.

some people may think i'm exaggerating about how good the musical was. but i don't exaggerate. the musical is by far the best one i've ever seen. okay, i'm a bit biased. but still. maybe other people prefer phantom, rent, les mis, or some other (off)broadway fare, but i've decided to dedicate my life to watching wicked whenever i can.

our individual one hundred dollar tickets were selling on ebay for four to five hundred dollars. if the price was pushed to six or seven hundred, i'd said beforehand that i'll consider selling the tickets. i mean, for that much, i could fly to new york and watch the show on broadway. in retrospect, that would have been the dumbest dipshit move ever.

watching it this weekend with the group that i went with was perfect. it was worth way more than seven hundred dollars apiece -- thirty five hundred total. do you understand what i'm trying to say? wicked is priceless! and i say that even after swearing to never use the word "priceless" in mastercard-ish sentimentality.

i could talk about how much i loved this musical for hours. i just wish i had somehow been able to capture every thought and feeling i encountered while watching it. alas, those thoughts and feelings are fading fast. highs like this never last long enough do they?

[ employee no.8 | 8:00 PM | ]


Thursday, July 7  
ocarina of time. people want my life, or rather, they just want my job. we're having another round of hirings -- which eliminates my hopes of being laid off -- and people are coming out of the woodwork to apply for a grunt position within my esteemed company. they are writing elaborate thank you emails about how securing a job here would be "a dream," and they compare meeting employees of this company to meeting actual rock stars.

wow. i'm a rock star.

actually i've been a rockstar for nearly a year now and i'm beyond ready to get out. contrast this to last summer, when the only thing i wanted in life was this video game job. i thought this would be my destiny, i thought this would be my path. alas, the video game industry has proven only to be a longer than anticipated life diversion.

my loss of enthusiasm isn't due to the ridiculous hours, the lost weekends, or the periods of extreme boredom -- it's about not really loving it. i admit it, i don't love video games, at least the game testing part. and i don't have the patience or tenacity to stick around long enough to move up to "the next level." other than that, this job is ideal for me. the casualness, the late start time, the utter lack of responsibility...

sometimes (often) the things you want, once you get them, don't seem to measure up. i feel like a child who pines away for that one special toy, finally gets it, and then promptly forgets about it two weeks later.

[ employee no.8 | 2:03 PM | ]


Wednesday, July 6  
"ugly girls" is an ode to the kind of cute girl with big teeth, glasses and plaid skirts who so often shows up as a clowes' heroine. "when i see a 'beautiful' woman," writes clowes, "i'm usually bowled over by existential boredom... true physical beauty must be that perfect combination of natural and chosen elements, which fall together... suggesting something beyond the physical."
-daniel clowes, salon article-

[ employee no.8 | 4:51 PM | ]


Tuesday, July 5  
you know how sometimes you observe a person, and they're dark and quiet and oh so mysterious? it seems like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders and a complex operating system just because they seem to be brooding so much? i've found that it's the people with sunnier dispositions who end up being more "interesting." it takes something to be able to operate semi-functionally in every situation, as opposed to being a virtual shut-in. are all shades of darkness created equal? no, i don't think so. darkness doesn't necessarily hide anything. smiles on the other hand, those can hide a whole lot.

[ employee no.8 | 1:20 PM | ]


Monday, July 4  
"there's nothing inherently wrong with the word," said gandy, invoking dame rebecca west's famous assertion, "i ... have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; i only know that people call me a feminist whenever i express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute."

unsurprisingly, gandy has had countless encounters with women and men who open up a conversation by saying, "i'm not a feminist," and then go on to espouse feminist ideals. "it's like, 'do you have a belief in the political and social equality of women?' yeah? then you're a feminist," she said.


rowe-finkbeiner, author of the book "the f word," said that van deven's attitude is typical of broader political and linguistic patterns. "in the history of social movements, many of the people who are most impacted by negative connotations of a word are the ones who take that word back," she said. rowe-finkbeiner pointed out that women have already done this with "bitch" -- as in popular "stitch and bitch" knitting circles and "bitch-n-swap" clothing swaps. it's a phenomenon similar to a gay re-appropriation of "queer," or african-american usage of "nigger."
-the f word, salon article-

[ employee no.8 | 2:11 PM | ]