family, goodness

Our love knows no bounds (apparently)

My parental units just returned from a trip to Europe to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.  They went to Dublin, Ireland (jealous!!), Scotland (jealous!!), and London.  Dad took this photo in Edinburgh with me in mind.  Check out the cafe sign in.  How fortuitous!


So fun it’s scary

not as fun as it looks

Getting scared is just the best.  Not really scared, just startled by some jerk friend, or watching a scary movie while some jerk friend makes fun of you for cowering on the couch, or when you’re trying to walk back to your room after turning off all the lights and your roommate’s cat, Calico, goes streaking by, and you think, “HOLY SHIT OMG it’s just the fucking cat. Whew,” so you keep walking down the dark hallway to your room until WHAM!  Calico tackles your left ankle with all the force an 8-pound mammal can muster by digging her claws into the carpet and picking up an unearthly amount of speed and hurtling herself toward your legs with enough momentum to drive a rusty nail into a dead tree.  Then when you finally manage to stop screaming, you think, “Getting scared is the best.”

My buddy lives in an apartment in the Marina where we usually do our hanging out and game-playing (we’re pretty serious about our table-top/dice/card/strategy/board games).  I call his apartment our tree house, so let’s call him Treehouse Friend.  Treehouse Friend introduced us to Betrayal at House on the Hill, wherein the players explore a haunted house until one of them is possessed, and everyone else has to survive the possession.  Super scary!  Sometimes we play creepy music and light candles.

Diminutive Roommate, Teacher Roommate (who teaches ceramics at a local school, can sing opera-style like a pro, and lived with Diminutive Roommate for two years in college) and I are totally obsessed with this game right now for obvious reasons.  IT’S AWESOME.  Every game is different because there is no preset board your characters play on.  As we explore the house (commonly in different directions) we pull from a stack of tiles to reveal each room we’ve discovered, and the various events that happen in this room, or the items we find there.  The more we explore, the more likely the haunt will start and the house will cause one of the players to turn traitor and try to kill us all somehow!  Best of all there are 50 different haunts to play through, each of which is randomly determined by the events in the room we just explored.  It’s a fantastic game.  I’m already considering writing my own haunt.  Nerd!


And then my ears fell off

Sometimes when I’m on the phone, my ear goes ‘thump thump’ when the other person speaks.  It’s something to do with my eardrum getting hit oddly when I hear certain noises at a specific level.  Dad has said he hears it too, on the phone.  Before today, it only ever happened while I was on the phone.  At the conference call today, it seemed like everyone was shouting.  Even when I covered my ears, everyone was still too loud for me.

I wonder if it’s because my coworkers are all twenty years older than me (minimum) that they feel the need to speak so loudly.  My ear thumped while people spoke today toward the beginning of the meeting.  I couldn’t believe it was happening in person.  It feels like I’m going to go deaf if I stay around this noise level, or if I talk on the phone with my right ear exclusively (which I’ve been trying to avoid).

It’s freaking me out.  I’m 27.  I’ve never used ear buds (unlike the majority of my college buddies).  I’ve only ever been to a handful of concerts.  My ears should still be in good shape, right?

I feel compelled to point out that it’s 12:25am, I have the day off tomorrow, and it’s past my bedtime.  Maybe I’m older than I thought… 😦

badness, humor, work

Haiku distraction: Murphy’s law

The kind of haikus I write are either spawned from boredom, disappointment, or a severe dislike of the situation in which I’ve (usually forcibly) been placed.  I went to another late-night meeting, and naturally another set of haikus resulted because everything that could have gone wrong during this meeting did go wrong.  The AV wasn’t set up like it was supposed to be, and when it was set up it buzzed the whole time, and then it stopped working.  The man in charge treated me like his own personal servant…again.  There weren’t enough chairs, so my coworkers and I had to sit outside and eat at the check-in table.  The meeting could have easily been half as long as it was, but the people in charge couldn’t stop plugging their shit to make money for their organization.

Unlease the haiku beast!

"i'm really excited about this year's numbers."

Cheshire cat lady,
smile and grin and never frown;
whose trust do you have?

The woman in charge never stops smiling, even when discussing unpleasant topics.  It’s super creepy.  My coworker noticed and made a comment about how she never knew what to think of what she was saying.

Poor athletics guy.
Your report encourages,
but why are you here?

The guy from athletics gave his update about how the university teams are doing really well and he kept it short.  Then he sat down and looked neglected and bored for the rest of the next hour and a half.  Poor bastard.

Little disasters
know me by name.  “Be our friend,”
they say.  No thank you.

My office was not in charge of this event, but when things went wrong, we were the ones who worked to make it right because the people in charge were too busy milling around feeling important, not realizing that hosting means making sure things go smoothly, and not acting like the lord and lady of the land, greeting subjects and making long-winded speeches.

Stop talking, ladies
and gentlemen.  Eight o’clock,
and I miss my boy.

Around eight I realized that I could be snuggled up on the couch in my pajamas with Boyfriend watching Star Trek: The Next Generation instead of hearing reports on adorable new merchandise the hosting organization hoped to overcharge the population for.  My poems broke out of their calm haiku exterior, and became more biting.

There once was a man who would speak.
His speech is what made our ears leak.
It started alright,
but later that night,
he kept speaking and made us all shriek!

When I get bored, I can literally feel some kind of invisible plasma slipping out of my ears, making me stupider somehow.  I’m not bored very often; I usually find some way to entertain myself, but my stamina drains away at these meetings, and I can only play in Imaginationland so long without looking like a space cadet.

Marching cult of the Fluffy Hat,
you’re crazier than my roommate’s cat.

It’s clear why you’re so proud of yourselves:
you make earplugs fly right off their shelves!
Your drums go ‘thump,’ your horns go ‘splat.’
You sound just like my roommate’s cat.

You prance around like little ponies,
and act like musicians, you little phonies.
You’re rude and untalented and smelly and fat,
you’re nowhere near as cute as my roommate’s cat.

My coworker loves my haikus and requested that I write about the band, which we all agree is like a creepy religious cult.  Diminutive Roommate has a pretty severe dislike of the band; I was so excited to show her this poem, I called her on my way home last night to recite it to her.

I don’t know anyone who thinks these four-hour meetings are helpful.  It’s like elevator music: If everyone hates it, why play it at all?

goodness, humor

History, today

"Mmm, yes, quite."

Check out this lady (Queen Beatrix of Netherlands) in her amazing carriage.  That’s right, it’s a fucking carriage, complete with horses and all.  Yes, that’s real gold covering the coach, and I’d bet my bonnet that whole rig was carved by hand over a hundred years ago.  Let’s do some research…

The carriage is 112 years old!  Apparently this coach has been involved in all kinds of royal shit.  When the Crown Princess Beatrix married the German Claus van Amsberg during World War II, there was significant disapproval from the masses: “As the royal pair rode through the streets of Amsterdam in the carriage, smoke bombs exploded. Many photos show the golden coach, bearing the happy couple, emerging from clouds of smoke.”  History, you are awesome.  Apparently the coach was also involved in “…sexual escapades by members of the Royal Constabulary.”  I might have to buy this book to find out in what kind of scandal that carriage assisted (if it ever gets translated into English).

it's the cinderella carriage!

My favorite part: “… the roof had to be raised in order to accommodate voluminous royal hairstyles and hats.” HA!  Royalty.

UPDATE: 2:48pm
OMFG it’s her, lol!  You can find the original (I’m going to call it a portrait) here, at one of my favorite online comics, Hark a Vagrant.

family, life

What’s the emoticon for ‘I just realized I became my mother’?

My mom is easily the most emotional person in our family.  When I was a kid, she cried at the end of The Mighty Ducks because, “The family got back together, it’s so nice! *sniffle*”  I used to be able to read an article about an abandoned seal cub without getting all fucking misty-eyed, but no longer (apparently, sheesh).  Just thinking about something remotely patriotic or generous gets me a little choked up.  WTF IS HAPPENING TO ME?!


This isn’t just a matter of “I don’t want to cry all the damn time,” it’s an identity crisis for me.  I’m a tough teacher with a harsh opinion of people who don’t follow the rules inside and out of the classroom (I got out of two different cars and corrected two different people who littered on two separate occasions this week).  I’m durable and strong when life gets hard.  But ask me to describe the scene where Mufasa gets trampled by wildebeests, and Simba says, “Get up, dad…” and omg it’s puddletown on my desk.

I like to think of myself as an avocado; a bit of a rough exterior, followed by a whole lot of mush surrounding a hard core with the potential for growth.  How did I forget about that mushy part?  There’s so much of it.  I don’t just have a sensitive side; I’m oatmeal disguised as gravel.  Which sounds awful now that I’ve typed it (bleh gross).

goodness, humor, life

Color me defined

It’s a harsh truth that, as complex as people are, just one or two pertinent questions usually tells us all we care to know about a person.  This is true at any age, though the questions change from elementary school to our mid-20s in the following pattern: visual aesthetic, intelligence, personality type, and personal ambition and economic status.

Mid-20s: What are you up to?
Also known as, “Are you currently employed?” this question determines if you’re a self-motivated go-getter and are therefore worth continuing to talk to, or if you’re just some jerk who bounces from job to job, complaining until you inevitably quit.

we're unique because we dress the same!

Where are you living?
In LA, there are only so many places we 20-somethings can afford to live:
Hollywood: I’m fucking poor, but I love the night life (but if you know of something opening up on the Westside, please let me know).
Silverlake: I ride my one-speed to art shows whenever my tight pants permit.  I eat pho and anything soy based; if it’s not organic, it’s murder.
Westside: I’d rather pay more rent and have gorgeous weather than save $150/mo to get mugged on my five-block walk from my car to my tiny apartment in K-town.
Culver City: I found that one affordable apartment near downtown Culver.  My friends are jealous.

College: What’s your major?
If your answer is Business or Communications, it’s like saying “I don’t know what interests me because I’m too lazy or too thick to be self-reflective,” or “My parents still control my life.”  Every other major is awesome in comparison to these conversation killers.

Are you rushing?
This is a question for freshmen, and a contentious one for some.  From my perspective:
Yes– You’re as lost as I am, but not confident enough to try this “college” thing out before attaching yourself to a group of people who look just like you.
Nah– I approve.
No way– What are you doing for lunch?  Let’s be friends.

High school:
Are you taking any APs this year?
If you weren’t in at least one AP class, you were one of those kids.  My friends were smart, and we had egos to match.  I’m not proud of it, but intellectual prowess was (and still kinda is) like a currency to buy the approval of our peers.

this is the face of judgement

Elementary school: What’s your favorite color?
I wish we could still ask people this.  It would be so telling.
Blue– not creative enough to think of another color
Green– one step up from blue, you decided you like plants (hippy)
Yellow– I can bully you later
Purple– you like dumb stuff like unicorns, and you’re nice to everyone
Black– the coolest person you know is your older (teenage) sibling
Brown– liar, no one likes brown more than blue
Orange– we should be friends
Red– you’re going to disrupt class later (it’s gonna be awesome)

goodness, nerd

Sarah Michelle Gellar is secretly ancient Maya royalty

I took an Art History class on the ancient Maya in college, and fell in love.  What an amazing culture.  They built pyramid temples so steep that tourists have been known to die from the fall… recently.  Their writing style is so creative and artistic that the word for “art” and “script” are the same.  One glyph features a face with blood flowing in the place of a missing jaw (yikes!).  Their calendar is just like ours, only better because it has four days of rest at the end of every year.  They were a complex and highly civilized people who loved wearing heavy stone (jade) jewelry and flattening their foreheads just like the rest of us.  There are even small pockets of their descendants living in Mexico today.  Living relics!

So.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered Sarah Michelle Gellar to be a member of their dwindling population.

above: indisputable proof

WTF, Buffy?!  Can’t trust your fans with your AMAZINGLY BRUTAL HERITAGE?  Where is the trust?  *sigh*