goodness, life

Endless clutter: A lifestyle

I totally had this book. and it taught me nothing.

I spend a good amount of time wishing I were someone else.  Or maybe not a fully different person with a different apartment, family, jobs, etc., but wishing I could be better.  I daydream about being the kind of person who folds her clothes as she changes out of them every time, who is bothered by the clutter on her desk at work.  In short, I wish I gave enough of a shit to put in the effort to live the way I’d like to: neatly.  I wish I were neater.  I live in an endless state of clutter.  Now and then I say I’m going to change and that now is my chance to really change my habits.

At this very moment, my desk is covered with (among other things): two chops I got in China with my name on them, a journal I sketch animals in, a pair of sunglasses, my digital camera, a postit pad I got as swag at ComicCon, a book on ancient Akkadian, a pair of earrings, two empty boxes for holding glasses, two piggy banks (although only one is shaped like a pig), a plastic chibi figurine of Kakashi from Naruto, two plastic cats (one is asleep in a bucket), five Beastlies, a tachicoma, a small bowl of vitamins I’ve stopped taking, a stamp with two concentric circles (to see if I’ll get that tattoo), a script (Buffy I think?), a few hair ties, a flash drive, an old bluetooth earpiece, a couple of business cards, first class stamps (with the liberty bell on them), two old beads (one lapis lazuli, and one citrine), three pencils and two erasers.

The rest of my room has two obsolete lcd monitors, two old towers, my painted helmet, an acoustic guitar I bought years ago but never played, my old bed spread (trash), enough clothes to almost hide the leather chair, Boyfriend’s vacuum, old cds, obsolete wires for various electronics, and an old purse.

Why don’t I just throw this stuff away?  Because I’m always too busy enjoying myself.  I’m writing blog posts, or watching anime (just this afternoon I sat down and watched The Secret of Kells, and it was totally worth it).  I’m reading a book, or spending time playing board games with friends.  I’m at Boyfriend’s place killing zobos or having a lovely meal.  I spend my time wishing I could be someone who cleans up after herself all the time, but I look around my room with a kind of affectionate disgust.  I see, through the mess, three full bookshelves, an antler I found in a dried-up riverbed near Lake Echo in Tasmania, my parents’ old elephant bookends, my grandmother’s tiny salt and pepper shakers, a hutch my father build with his own hands in our old garage, a hairy rug with a sleepy cat on it.  I see a desk covered in memories (that clay whistle shaped like a bird I was given as a gift in the Apuseni Mountains of Romania, that small bronze statue of the bathing woman my parents gave me so thoughtfully, that mousepad printed with a painting by Rousseau that my parents used to have at their apartment in Beverly Hills).  I see my old things like an old dog that walks beside me, licking my hand occasionally, reminding me of that time when…

But I won’t pretend that neglecting to tidy up is the mature thing to do.  I’m a child, I guess.  I’d just rather be outside playing than cleaning up my room.

badness, goodness, life


I don’t often post my political views since I know what they are, and this is meant to be a journal of sorts to help me remember my life as it is today.  I guess I just assume I’ll always feel the way I do about important issues.  Then again, I used to be anti-death penalty.  So I suppose things change.

New York legalized same-sex marriage recently, and people are pretty excited about it.  California must be next.  We’re so close.  The opposition seems hateful, afraid, and for the most part, incapable of logically explaining why they believe the gay community shouldn’t be able to marry.

supporters brought umbrellas to shield the couples waiting in line at city hall from protesters with "god hates fags" signs

Then again, there are stories like these where Jerry Sanders, the conservative Republican mayor of San Diego, held a press conference to explain his about-face on the issue of same-sex marriage, and broke down in front of reporters as he talked about gay family and coworkers from whom he could no longer withhold the privilege of marriage.

The day after the election that put Obama into office, the second headline on the front page predicted Proposition 8 to pass.  Devastated and incredulous, I read the headline through the plastic door of a newspaper stand on the sidewalk, and wept openly.  Later that day, while sitting at my desk at Real Estate Job, I got a text from a number I didn’t recognize asking me (and others) to meet at Santa Monica Blvd. and San Vicente to protest.  By 9pm, we had blocked off traffic along Santa Monica, and began marching east.

that traffic wasn't going anywhere

I walked alone in the crowd, chatting with random protesters and snapping photos.  I overheard two lesbians in front of me releasing their frustration: “It’s all the straight people who voted against us.  I bet there aren’t even any straight people here.”  I had to speak up: “I’m straight!” I yelled.  A small radius of people around me let out a cheer as the two women turned to see who had shouted with a mixture of bemusement and shock.  They hugged me and thanked me, but could not forgive the straight community for butting into their personal lives.  I couldn’t really blame them.  They were right.

At some point during the protest, the police asked us to stay out of the street.  Most of us listened, a couple were arrested (and loudly supported) as they shouted “Gay, straight, black, white, marriage is a civil right!”  I was so impressed by the police.  They were very patient, and gentle with the people they arrested.  They clearly just wanted us to get our protest done without any problems or violence.

This story posted yesterday on BBC News about two women who got married in New York is just fantastic.  Yeah, I cried a little.  They’re just so happy.

goodness, life

Tea, Earl Grey, hot

I find it hard to believe that I’ve never written about how much I love tea.

I love tea.

blue flowers are apparently delicious

I love the civility of it, watching it steep, smelling the leaves, going to tea shops and perusing each glass jar (or giant tin) for the perfect herbal blend (I have yet to find a decaffeinated tea I really enjoy).  But I know very little about tea, so let’s get briefly Wiki-educated:

All tea is made from the same plant, and according to the method used to process the leaves, can be used to make Black, Green, Yellow, White, Oolong, or something called “post-fermented tea,” which sounds gross.  Different water temperatures are ideal for brewing each type of tea.  In the United States, most tea is consumed cold, as iced tea, while in Asian/Middle Eastern countries, hot tea is consumed daily in almost all households, and offered to guests as they first enter.  I wish we did that here.  Thus ends the lesson.

Moroccan tea cups look something like this

I found a delicious Earl Grey with blue flowers from a tea shop on Melrose called T Salon that has since closed.  I still struggle with spelling gray with an ‘a’.  I have Tazo Earl Grey just about every morning at Office Job.

I have vivid memories of drinking piping hot, super sweet tea at the Moroccan restaurant in Paris with my family in 1997, along with a dessert of sweet, ground-up meat wrapped in filo pastry with powdered sugar and a bit of chocolate drizzled on top (the kids all knew it was pigeon and ate it anyway).  That was my first experience of Moroccan tea.  Now, every year for my birthday we go to Tagine, a small Moroccan place where we always have some hot, sweet tea.

goodness, life

Mushy heart-shaped mush

what a fucking mess

Boyfriend is never far from my thoughts these days.  He pops into my head at random parts of the day.  I was wondering why I’m so hungry today after finishing lunch, and suddenly I’m thinking about how much I love him.  This has been happening a lot recently.

We’ve chatted a few times about how happy we are together, and how we hope to stay together forever.  At first he thought I was talking about getting married soon, like this year.  I’m not trying to get married right now, and as soon as I said so, we were  on the same page again.  As long as we’re happy, we’ll be together.

All the same, I’m trying to hold back from telling him too much about how often he sporatically pops into my thoughts (I mentioned it to him last night, and he seemed pleased).  Still, I don’t want to freak him out by being all, “OMG UR MY WIDDLE POOPOO, I WUV U THIIIIIIIIISH MUUUUUCH” all the time.

Not that I would.  Just sayin’.

goodness, life

New Atheist role models

so true

A great article about the social and biological roots of religion was published in the LA Times a couple days ago.  I’m always surprised and delighted to find people working at major companies (like the LA Times) who are willing to have their (very unpopular) opinions against religion published.  I find it soothing.  J. Anderson Thomson and Clare Aukofer, you’ve made it onto my list of respected people.

My favorite part of the article:

“We can be better as a species if we recognize religion as a man-made construct. We owe it to ourselves to at least consider the real roots of religious belief, so we can deal with life as it is, taking advantage of perhaps our mind’s greatest adaptation: our ability to use reason.”

And that really sums it up; an Atheist chooses reason over blind faith, not for the sake of cold cynicism, but for a love of logic.

humor, nerd

The real winner: Mavis Beacon

There’s nothing like a professional typing contest to make me feel simultaneously physically superior and intellectually inferior.  I’d rather maintain my currently level of mate-ability at 77wpm than achieve a whopping 163wpm at the cost of looking like this guy:

note the hunchback and complete lack of reaction to the supportive crowd

But hey, at least he’s modest in the post-event interview, during which he keeps his eyes locked on the ground in typical anti-social nerd fashion: “Yeah, there are only uh… a few other people in the United States I’ve seen at any of these typing tests who I think are as fast as me.”

The typing test you take online is typically a paragraph about badgers or planets, but the test these guys take has crap like this thrown in occasionally: “/a/&B#R{+1}>>[Bb] = X0 – 3 + @a rooftop * 32”


I am a cylon

I crack about 50% of my knuckles on a daily basis, thumb knuckles included, so when my left thumb felt a little sore last night, I thought cracking it would help, as it has in the past.  Not so.  It got worse.

This morning it was even more tender, so I left it alone, assuming that my body can figure itself out.  I drove to work, put away my keys and as I fastened my purse closed, pain shot through my thumb.  I looked down in shock to find two tiny shards of metal embedded in my nail.  The magnet on my purse’s snap had attempted to pull them out of me.

fuck you, universe

So, first of all, WTF?!  Why is there metal in my thumb nail?  How did it get there, and how do I get it out (safely)?  I posted the following on facebook, hoping for some wisdom:

So let’s say (hypothetically) that I discovered two tiny shards of metal under my left thumb nail this morning. Let’s say (hypothetically) that applying a magnet to said nail resulted in pretty shocking pain due to said metal shards. HYPOTHETICALLY… what would I do about that?

Here’s what I got back:

-Um, go to a hypothetical hospital?
-Find a stronger magnet
-I’m pretty sure that’s how the borg started. You may need to sacrifice your thumb for the good of humanity.

A couple of people sounded honestly concerned.  The rest represented the internet accurately.

UPDATE: 10:03pm, July 18th
I’ve been giving it some thought, and it seems more likely that the magnet on my purse picked up some metal shards somehow, and that when I reached quickly toward my purse to close it, the sharp pain I experienced was me impaling myself with said shards.  I’m gonna head in to the doctor tomorrow (not today because fuck you, insurance, you’re going to be why I died of tetanus), at which point I might have to get these buggers carved out!  Yipe!  Kinda exciting though.  But not really.  I’m not looking forward to it.  What if they just point me toward the MRI, strap my hand down, and throw that sucker on?