Friday, February 27, 2004
So a few years ago, I signed some online class action lawsuit thing against music companies for charging too much for CDs and then forgot about it. I've signed other things like this without result, and to tell you the truth, I've forgotten which ones I've put my name on, the expensive CD suit included. But then yesterday I got a check from the state Attorney General (who I did not vote for, by the way) for $13.86 as part of the settlement! I guess that's what they figured was the average price for a CD. So I'm happy about it, I guess, because it's always nice to get money in the mail without having to switch phone companies or subscribe to magazines I don't want. But I, like millions of others, took matters into my own hands with this deal a while ago and decided that my downloading a few songs here and there through P2P networks made things more or less even between me and the record companies. So you can imagine my moral quandary here. (Cool! I have a quandary!) To make things right, I have decided that the only right thing to do now, since the once rebalanced scales of justice are now tipping away, is to take the money and go out and buy a CD. (I am, by the way, taking suggestions on what to buy.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
So last night, after I ate way too many of those little Cadbury mini eggs, I threw out the rest of the bag, along with every other piece of chocolate in my house. I have a little problem with not knowing my limit with chocolate, so I felt it best to just clean my house of it. Then today I found some chocolate at work, and after I ate it, I went for a mocha. And I could really use some right now. In fact, I just went to the kitchen looking for the chocolate I pitched yesterday, and I'm kicking around the idea of going into the garbage bin to retrieve it. I might resort to just making some hot cocoa. Yes, you're right: I have a little problem here.

Fortunately, I am going to visit my brother, who lives outside of Chicago, this weekend. Now, my chocolate problem and my visit might not seem to have anything to do with each other. However, right down the road from my brother's apartment is a Trader Joe's, and in said Trader Joe's, they sell this Mario Batali arrabiata spaghetti sauce, and I'm not sure what makes the sauce so good, but I think they might put crack in it, because it's really addictive. Anyway, I plan on buying a case of this sauce because once I open a jar, I eat it with a spoon until it's gone. Still weird and obsessive, but the way I look at it, a jar of pasta sauce is probably a lot better for me than eight handfuls of candy-coated British chocolate. So my plan is to get myself off the chocolate by getting myself on the tomato sauce. Yes, I know I have bigger issues here. One thing at a time.

Sunday, February 22, 2004
Pieces of the weekend:

  • It was sunny out today, and I was outside with my face to the sun and my eyes closed, and the neighbors' dog ran out and started barking and growling at me, and I jumped back so severely from the shock that I almost fell in the snow. I swear, I will do something very bad to that dog very soon.
  • I spent four hours driving yesterday and it was relaxing.
  • My landlord thinks that the dent in my car may be covered under his insurance. He will get back to me tomorrow. I'm hoping that this will all be taken care of without me being $200 poorer.
  • I went to the grocery store today, and all of the Easter candy was out. I went through the whole store telling myself that I would not buy any bags of those delicious little Cadbury solid chocolate mini eggs. Then on my way to the check out, I threw a bag in my cart. I can't help it. They're so good.
  • I have tomorrow off. The good news is that I get to sleep in a little. The bad news is that I have a meeting at 9. The okay news is that I don't have to shower before the meeting.
Friday, February 20, 2004
I woke up to a loud thud, and when I looked out the window to see what it was, I saw a dent in the hood of my car and a huge ice boulder next to it. At this point I'm ready to crawl into bed and stay there until June.

Thursday, February 19, 2004
As if getting out of bed wasn't hard enough this morning, I had a logic board go south on me, I was stressed over a print deadline that I had to make, a friend wanted help with his project, I had work to do on one of my projects, and a project I'm working on with someone else needs to be reworked. I hit a wall at around one, went home early, and slept for four hours. I feel much better now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
For various reasons, I've been thinking a lot about my decision to end my education at an MA. At one point in time, I thought I was going to get a Ph.D. and live in academia forever. And sometimes I still think I want to, especially when I talk to friends of mine who are professors teaching what they love and who have tenure, sabbaticals, and the freedom to sleep in every morning. But other times, especially lately, I've been thinking how glad I am that I'm actually doing things rather than just talking about them. If I were still in grad school, for example, I wouldn't be writing or making a documentary, though I'd be well on my way to a fancy degree that would give me the credibility to talk about writing and documentaries (and, in all likelihood, earn me more money, provided I would be able to find one of these nice tenure-track positions).

So lately, every time I think about going back to graduate school, I think about how much I wouldn't get done, and how detached academia is from the rest of the world, and how there are a lot of people out there who have Ph.D.s in subjects that they know a lot about but really have no direct, hands-on experience in, and how I'm starting to have less and less respect for these people. But mostly I've been thinking about how, for now, being away from grad school is the right thing for me.

Monday, February 16, 2004
An interesting night in that I think one of my students in my community college writing class was drunk. He's usually dead quiet in class, but he was really animated tonight, and not about anything class-related. It was pretty amusing, but I didn't want to encourage that kind of behavior, so I let him run his mouth for a few minutes and then ignored him. Yeah, it was funny, but I don't think I'd like to deal with something like that every night. In fact, I let them go early. Wasn't in the mood.

Sunday, February 15, 2004
After some agonizing, I think I finally figured out what was wrong with the project that caused me so much grief earlier in the week and successfully fixed it. So now I'm feeling pretty good about my Final Cut Pro troubleshooting abilities. If you're looking for me tonight, I'll be on the couch eating apricots and patting myself on the back (and hoping that this cathartic bragging won't bring me any sort of bad karma).

Friday, February 13, 2004
I was so stressed out this week that I completely forgot that Monday was the three year anniversary of this site. There are very few things that I've been able to do for three years, so I take a little bit of pride in this three year mark. Not too much, but a little.

After this week's computer drama, I decided to give myself last night and tonight off. This was also a pay week from both of my teaching jobs, so I did what any self-respecting single girl with a paycheck would do: I went shopping. And it was fun, and I got some kickass blackwashed red shoes and some striped pants, and I decided that I need to buy clothes more than once every three months. I also bought a saucier (!) and a lot of lotion. Here at, we like lotion in the winter. Without it, our skin would crack up and hurt, and we wouldn't smell like Jolly Ranchers.

Other random things, mostly about food:

  • I got new tires today. What a difference!
  • The Dweezil and Lisa show on the Food Network sucks ass. The writing is god-awful, and they're a pair of dorks pulling overused adjectives out of the thesaurus. Food Network should dump them and fill the time slot with...well, you know.
  • My new food obsession: dried Turkish apricots. I have no idea if they're really from Turkey, but they're damn tasty.
  • There is finally a decent sushi restaurant near where I live! It's actually been open for a few months, but I didn't realize it was there because it used to be a Chinese takout place, and due to last year's salmonella incident, I'm not so keen on Chinese these days. But anyway, this place switched to "Asian" "fusion," and they have a sushi chef, and the sushi is quite good, and I am very excited!
  • For the first time in like three weeks, I am not setting my alarm for tomorrow morning.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Update! Project working -- for now. Crisis temporarily averted. Breathing better. That is all.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
So one of my video project files crashed, or got corrupted, or something. It keeps crashing and I can't get it to open. I tried everything and even called Apple, but the few free hints they gave me were things I had already tried unsuccessfully, and I wasn't sure that the $199.95 they wanted for full-blown instant tech support would be worth the money, since there's not much you can do to recover a fucked-up file and that's what I thought the problem was. So it's all gone. This normally wouldn't be such a big deal, but my back-up doesn't seem to be working either. As a result, I've just lost about three months of editing decisions. I feel pretty fucking sick right now, and I don't know whether I want to throw up or put my fist through the wall or just go to sleep for a few days. Fuck.

I guess if there are any good parts about this, it would be the following. First, the project producer is being extremely understanding about the whole thing, even though we were supposed to show a rough cut to funders tomorrow night. She even offered to bring me something to eat. (I didn't take her up on it because, as you can imagine, I've kind of lost my appetite.) Second, I still have all of my rough clips available, so I don't have to recapture everything to my harddrive. Still, I have to reconstruct everything in the right order, with the right transitions, music, overlays, cutaways, and so on. I basically lost all of the decision-making that went into constructing a two-hour video. Oh, and the third is that it's not my personal project. The stuff I lost is for a community thing, and while it's important, and while they've certainly paid me well to do it, I would be infinitely more angry if it were something I did because I wanted to, not because it was a job for hire.

Still, I'm really fucking pissed. I know it's not the end of the world, but I feel pretty helpless about the whole situation. I have about two weeks to reconstruct everything, and I have good scripts to work from, so I think I can do it. Plus, we have some of the rougher cuts put to tape, so I'm not totally lost. Anyway, I have a headache and I don't want to think about this anymore for tonight. But it really fucking sucks.

Sunday, February 8, 2004
Letter to the college student types who live next door to me:
You will probably never read this, which is too bad, because you really kind of annoy me sometimes, and you should know this, never mind the fact that this is a cool website that you should check out every now and then. Anyway, yeah. Let's start with your stupid dog that barks at me and scares the crap out of me every time I take out the trash. You'd think the dog would know me by now and not bark at me like I'm some stranger. I live here. I'm not breaking in. And don't get me started on the times when the dog got out of the gate and sat at the bottom of my porch and growled at me when I walked out the front door. I hate that stupid dog. I hate all stupid dogs. This is why I don't have one. I certainly don't want yours growling at me like I'm trying to steal its puppy chow.

It also bothers me when your stupid friends park in my driveway. Yes, I know there are four of you living there, and I know that when you have friends over, there's usually no room in your driveway for them because there are already four cars in the driveway. I also know that they're not allowed to park on our street, even though they do on a regular basis. (No, that wasn't me who called the cops on them and had their car ticketed, but believe me, I've wanted to, and frankly, they deserve that ticket.) But this is my driveway. Not yours -- mine. I don't feel like asking your friends to move their cars. I shouldn't have to. They can park on the main street and walk the half a block over to your place, just like everyone else.

But I don't get too mad about the dog and the cars. Why? Because you have a wireless router. Maybe you don't know this, but the signal reaches over to my house, and I can hop on it any old time I want to. Yes, I have my own cable modem, but sometimes it's just easier to open up my laptop and use your signal, rather than repatching everything out of my desktop and into my laptop. I use your wireless to upload the updates to this site. And, I can email files to myself between computers, rather than patching my G5 and iBook together to transfer them. Your free wifi makes it much easier. And the way I see it, you kind of owe me for the dog and your idiot friends. We'll call it even.

So yeah, I'll put up with your stupid dog and your stupid friends in exchange for this wireless access that you don't know I use. But I swear, you forget to pay the bill and your service gets cut off? I call animal control on your mutt and the fuzz on your pals. We have a deal here.

Thursday, February 5, 2004
Today one of my coworkers found a KKK recruiting flyer on his windshield. This was in the parking ramp next to the building where I work, and apparently, one of these KKK clowns was flyering select cars. I didn't get one, but I'm kind of sad that there are people where I live who think the KKK is an organization worth recruiting for. I'm also pissed off that I have to deal with this. I know Kalamazoo isn't exactly a booming metropolis, but I didn't realize I was so fucking removed from civilized society that I now have to worry about white supremacy and racism to this degree. And frankly, I'm also a little scared, because I'm told that they don't like Jews, but even if they don't know I'm Jewish, some people around here think I'm Puerto Rican or something, and I'm pretty sure they don't like Puerto Ricans either.

Wednesday, February 4, 2004
Lately I've been really into oatmeal. I used to eat the instant flavored oatmeal for breakfast every morning, but I've gotten off of that and into the kind that you actually have to cook. I started eating the regular rolled oats, but then I found out about steel cut Irish oats (from our good friend AB), and I am totally hooked. Yeah, it takes half an hour to cook them, but the texture and flavor are way better than with rolled oats. If you can believe it, I've actually been craving oatmeal. Sometimes I eat it for two meals a day. I've had it for dinner for the past two nights. I suppose there's nothing wrong with doing this -- it's supposed to be good for you and remove cholesterol and prevent heart disease and all. It's too bad that most of the other foods I crave don't do these things.

Oh, I eat my oatmeal with a few shakes of cinnamon, a handful of brown sugar, and raisins. No butter, no salt. In case you were wondering.

Tuesday, February 3, 2004
Tonight I drove an hour up to Grand Rapids to play three songs in a large club as part of a radio station band showcase. This is something I will probably never do again. I wanted to do it because it's a fairly cool place to play, and I guess I just wanted to be able to say that I played there. But it's just way too much of a pain in the ass to haul my drums (and myself) 50 miles away just to turn around and haul them (and me) back. It probably didn't help my mood that once I got there, they wouldn't let me park in their chained-off lot and I had to walk two blocks with my drums, even though I told them that my drums were heavy and as you can see, I'm kind of small, and that I wouldn't actually park in the lot, I'd just unload my drums there. They still said no. Bastards.

And then we're on stage and playing song one, and I can see my friend, who is the singer and guitar player, struggling with the mic. Then I notice that the boom isn't tight, and that it's slowly falling down. So I figure it's more important that the audience hear her singing than me drumming, so I get up to fix it (in the middle of the song, mind you) and realize that the screw to tighten the mic stand is stripped. So I look over at the stage tech, who is just sitting there. I realize that he doesn't get it, so I go over and tell him that the mic stand is screwed up. And he's like, yeah, I know. So I gently ("gently") ask him if he could maybe do something about it. And he was like, now? So I just gave him a stunned look and he reluctantly got up. By that point it was kind of a mess, but we got the mic stand replaced and we finished off the other two songs without incident. But still, if you're a stage tech, I would think that you'd be on top of things like mic stands not working. Dumbass.

Now I am exhausted. No more long drives for short sets.

Monday, February 2, 2004
Random bits from today:

  • I made some egg salad for lunch today and it was really good. It made me wonder why I don't make egg salad more often.
  • Doesn't that nipple thing Janet Jackson was wearing hurt? Maybe celebrities don't feel pain.
  • It's almost tomorrow.
Sunday, February 1, 2004
I'm not particularly into football as a sport, but I am interested in the spectacle of the Superbowl and therefore had it on this evening while I was doing stuff around the house. I guess it was a good game, but I am more interested in the non-football stuff: the crowd, the commercials, and the half-time show. I thought the crowd was relatively mellow and the commercials were mildly funny, but the half-time show was just awful. Really really really awful. Costume mishaps aside, it made me feel somewhat ashamed as a music fan but also as an American to see how awful it was. Lip synching? Lip synching? Are you fucking kidding me? I'd expect it from Janet Jackson, but Diddy? And Nelly? Lip synching? There's no lip synching in hip hop! What the hell kind of sell-out bullshit is that? And they weren't even doing it well! The drunk spring breakers on MTV's "Say What Karaoke" are more convincing than Diddy and Nelly were. And it wasn't even a unified performance -- it was just, oooh, look at this star lip synch, oooh, look at that star lip synch, oooh, Nelly just said, "Take off all your clothes." Please. Note to Superbowl planners: Next year, can the spectacle and just get someone to sing -- actually sing. No stripper-dancers, no stages on fire, no bling bling, no nipples, and no marching bands playing the whitest interpretation of an Outkast song ever (what the hell was that?). Just someone on a stage with a mic and a band. Don't make us look stupid again. The Iraquis are laughing at us now. When you plan a shitty Superbowl half-time show, you give the Iraquis another weapon of mass destruction. (Yes, I know they don't actually have any. That's another issue for another time.)

But I must say, Neon Deion's gangsta-gangsta pinstripe suit was great. I kept waiting for him to finish up whatever he was saying about this or that play and just turn to the camera, wink, and say something like, "Pimpin' ain't easy but it sho' is fun." A suit like that demands it.

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