amyscoop.com

SEPTEMBER 2003

Monday, September 29, 2003
It's been getting cold here, so I clicked my heat on the other day and found out that the furnace in my house is extremely loud. And the fan that blows the hot air through the vents is even louder. It's an old house, and while the furnace is brand new, the volume got me a little nervous. Is is supposed to be this loud? Probably, but okay, what if it's because of some kind of carbon monoxide or gas leak situation? Yeah, once I got that idea in my head, I couldn't get it out. And of course, it was affecting my sleep, because there was all this anticipation about the heat kicking on, and once it finally did come on, I was listening intently for something to happen. So today, I did what any self-respecting obsessive-compulsive person would do in this situation: I went out and spent $45 on a carbon monoxide and explosive gas detector. (I think they put the word "explosive" in there to scare you more and justify the cost. Bravo, marketing professionals!) Yeah, that's kind of a lot of money, especially when a smoke detector costs less than half that, but I figured it was better than not sleeping and much cheaper and easier than Prozac, Zoloft, or any other calming pharmaceuticals. Maybe you think it's a bit extreme, but when I was in college, I had a situation with an old furnace in a place I was renting, and a man from Niagara Mohawk told me that we had a gas leak that was so severe, he didn't understand how the whole house didn't blow up. You go through something like that and see if you feel comfortable around furnaces.

When I got it home, I pried my detector out of the packaging (why do they make these things so goddamn hard to open?), put the batteries in, and set it up in my basement. And then...nothing. I guess that's a good sign, but after spending $45, it was kind of anticlimactic. But now the heat seems quieter, and I'm not as freaked out about it, so maybe it's a good remedy. I'm thinking of it as $45 for peace of mind. At least I didn't need a prescription for it.

Saturday, September 27, 2003
I wasn't expecting to get my G5 for another few weeks, but the other night I got a shipment confirmation email! So I was tracking it nonstop with FedEx online tracking all night. I even checked it at four in the morning when I got up to pee and saw that it was in Memphis on a plane headed for Grand Rapids. I checked it all morning too. I was telling a friend of mine about this, and she thought it would make a pretty funny FedEx commercial for their online tracking system. Anyway, I got it yesterday, and it totally rocks. It's a dual 2 gHz, and Final Cut flies on it. I also got the big HD cinema display with it, so not only is there a lot of screen space, but the video really looks great. To borrow a phrase, if you have the means (or the credit), I highly recommend picking one up.

Last night, I saw Under the Tuscan Sun, which was totally stupid. Diane Lane was good and all, and some of the Italian guys were hot, but the movie was lame. The dialogue was unbelievably dumb, and the story was predictable the whole way through. I wanted to see it because people were raving about how good it looked, and how nice the shots were, and some of the shots were nice, but most of them were just normal. And the ones that were nice weren't nice because of any great shooting technique -- they were nice because the villas and landscapes that they were shooting were beautiful. Anyone who's used a camera could have shot that. And of course, when you see a stupid movie, you usually see it with a stupid audience. The guy behind me was trying to impress the girl he was with by loudly predicting what would happen in ten seconds. I hope she wasn't impressed because, like I said, the whole thing was totally predictable. Overall, it was nothing special.

Thursday, September 25, 2003
The furniture store Innovation was featured on this week's episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and I really want to get some stuff there. All of the furniture looks so '50s futuristic -- Kubrickian, even. A lot of the stuff, like the armless couches and soft glow tables, looks like it's taken out of the milk bar in A Clockwork Orange or that scene in 2001 where they're at the spinny space station thing with the curved hallway and all those weird little lounge areas. But I realized that you only achieve that Kubrick better-living-through-chemistry look with bright white walls and lots of lighting; the look they give the guy's house in Queer Eye is darker (they paint his walls brown, for pete's sake), so it's a somewhat different aesthetic.

Mr. Pink, a vintage barware shop, was also featured in the same episode, and I'm kind of proud that the glasses I just took from my grandma's basement liquor cabinet (with her permission and even encouragement) look a lot like some of the glasses in the store. I'll bet the ones in the store are expensive. Mine were free. Free! (Free!) Yes, some might say that it's sad that I feel validated by seeing my own possessions on an episode of Queer Eye, but since I don't think that Thom guy is going to decorate my apartment for me, I need that validation. I guess this also means that my grandma is cool, since...you know...they're technically her glasses.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003
Cool site: EphemeraNow. It's a collection of cool old advertising graphics. While today's ads are probably more scrutinized and agonized over and designed more carefully than those on the site, I think these old ads are just more artistic and aesthetically interesting. Rather than photographs, they're ideals -- and in advertising, that might be more important anyway.

Monday, September 22, 2003
I talked with my grandma an hour or so ago, and of all the things she was concerned about regarding my life, the thing she was most concerned about was whether I was eating or not, and whether I was eating well. Now: My grandmother has, as you may imagine, known me all of my life. I have always liked to eat, and she knows this. I don't miss a meal. When I go to her house and she asks me if I want anything to eat, I almost always say yes. I even eat the old candy she has in the candy dish, and some of that candy has been sitting there for a long time. So it just made me laugh when she kept asking me if I've been eating okay, and if I was having a good breakfast before work, and if I had a good dinner. And as we were saying goodbye, right before she hung up, she said in a rather grandmotherly voice, "Make sure you eat good!" Sheesh. I don't know where she got the idea in her head that I need to be eating more and better, but it's kind of amusing.

Sunday, September 21, 2003
Lat night I played a gig about an hour south of here in Indiana. You wouldn't think an hour's drive would make such a big difference, but boy was it different. How different? Well, there were some Amish people there for starters. The entire town was about a block and a half, and every once in a while, traffic ("traffic") would get really slow because a horse and buggy was clip-clopping down the road. Oh, and we played in the town's fire station, which made me a little concerned, because what if there was a fire? But there wasn't, or at least one wasn't reported. It was also very small-town-ie and white. I drove down to the show with another woman in the band, who is a lesbian, and her partner. Our conversation on the way down consisted in part of, who will they be more leery of, Jews or lesbians? We decided that they wouldn't be affectionate in front of the townspeople and I would quash any remnants of a New York accent that I still have just to be safe. Oh, and we went looking around a little craft show they had in the park, and while I was flipping through tin signs with reprints of old ads, I found some pretty racist images for sale (the signs were printed recently -- it's not like they're from 60 years ago.), though I'm not sure the woman selling them realized that they were racist. But anyway, the show went well and I think we blended in okay enough (though my eyes aren't blue, so maybe I should have worn sunglasses), and the Amish-looking people were very polite and applauded after each song, and I'd certainly play there again, but there's something about these empty little towns that makes me nervous. Maybe I'm becoming agorophobic.

Thursday, September 18, 2003
The other day I was happy to discover that the Hallmark Channel is playing movie reruns of Little House almost nonstop. Then I was horrified when I could remember each specific movie, and was like, oh, this is the one where they do this. And then this morning I was late to work because there was an E! True Hollywood Story about Gimme a Break. And then a few days ago in class, I found myself talking about cheesy video transitions and how the only appropriate use of the heart wipe is if you're doing a rip-off of Love American Style. So now I'm wondering if I watch too much tv now, or if I watched too much tv growing up, or both. (Probably both.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2003
According to a new study on sleep, the position in which you sleep says something about your waking personality. According to the article, "The freefall, flat on the tummy with the hands at the sides of the head, is the most unusual position. Only 6.5 percent of people prefer it and they are usually brash and gregarious." I've never thought of sleeping flat on your front as a "freefall" position, but I guess that description makes sense. I think I've always slept like this -- on my front, head turned to the side, arms either stretched over my head or under my pillow. I know that it's a little uncommon and weird (all of my exes and even my mom have told me so), but it's comfortable, and really the only way I can fall asleep. But I don't think I'm brash or particularly gregarious, so I'm not sure how much stock I put in this whole study.

I sleep like this all night, and when I wake up, I have to lay on my back for five or ten minutes so that my organs fall back into position. Seriously -- if I hop right out of bed after sleeping on my front all night, I get really bad cramps because all of my insides have fallen out of place. Actually, I'm not exactly sure if this is really what's happening, but I do get the cramping, and it kind of feels like my guts are moving around in my abdomen, so I'm guessing that's what it is.

One thing I do know about sleeping flat on my front with my arms up by my head, however, is that it's almost impossible to avoid drooling all night. Yeah, it's kind of gross, but I do replace my pillows frequently, so it's not too bad. Speaking of pillows, I wonder if the next study will be how the type of pillow you prefer is a reflection of your personality. (I like one very flat pillow or no pillow at all, which apparently is also uncommon.)

Monday, September 15, 2003
So this is kind of crude, but I was on my feet a lot today, and I had on my kickass new bitch boots with the heels, and it kind of wore on my gluteals, and man, my ass is sore right now.

Switching topics, I watched Pumpkin last night. When I saw the trailer last year, I had really wanted to see it. The whole idea of a sorority chick falling in love with a developmentally disabled person is pretty intruiging, if not completely made up. I just don't see it happening in reality. Anyway, halfway through the movie, I wasn't impressed, but I think it really came together in the end, and Christina Ricci was pretty good. Check it out if you get Sundance.

Friday, September 12, 2003
A short list of funny little men:

(Note: "Funny" as in weird, not ha-ha, and "little" as in not very tall and not very heavy.)

  • Wolfgang Puck: Besides the name "Wolfgang," it's the accent and his inclination to show what must be false excitement over things like good butter. It's just butter.
  • Pharrell Williams: Even though I think he's cute, there's something strange and unnatural about singing in falsetto and falsetto only, and using your regular voice for a few not-necessarily well-placed "hos."
  • Farnsworth Bentley: If he weren't following Diddy around, he'd be getting his ass kicked. Perhaps the only member of a hip-hop entourage to wear a bow tie (not including Outkast).
  • Everyone in Good Charlotte: Each member wears more mascara than Tammy Faye Bakker, and they're all so runty.
  • Bill Geist: He bothers me, and yet I can't look away. Possibly the most snide person in the world.
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
I've been playing with Soundtrack today, and it's pretty cool. I don't know that I'd recommend it for audio pros, as it's almost too simple for people who actually know what they're doing, but for people like me who don't spend a lot of time with sequencers and synths and MIDI devices, it's amazing. It comes with four gigs (!) of royalty-free samples and instrument bits, and you can easily put them together to make music. Here's an mp3 of one that I made earlier that I like a lot; it's kind of funky and fusion-y, even if the snare drum sounds too clicky. Anyway, I'm pretty happy with myself for doing this, even if it was kind of simple.

Tuesday, September 9, 2003
Sorry, I've been feeling brain dead these past few days. Some random highlights/occurrences:

  • I drank a whole glass of chocolate milk last night at 9:25 and fell asleep five minutes later while watching tv.
  • I wore my cool new silky pants to work today. Not only did I get lots of compliments, but some weird random guy who I had never seen before asked me if he could take me to dinner tonight. (I politely declined.)
  • I showed Citizen Kane to a high school class yesterday, and even after some discussion and persuading on my part, most of them conceded that it had the dumbest ending of any movie they had ever seen. Of course, that's just a jerk high school reaction, but you try explaining to a roomful of exhausted, nic-fitty, hormone-y teenagers that sometimes a sled is more than a sled.
  • I silently got pissed at a probably-stoned Qdoba employee for taking entirely too long to make my burrito and then breaking its foil wrapper with her labeling marker and actually writing on my burrito with a permanent marker.
  • My new hot water heater kicks ass! Not only is my water really hot (when I want it to be), but the water pressure seems to be better.
  • I might break down and buy a crock pot. I've been resisting buying one because it seems so Midwestern to me (in a bad way, not in a neutral way). But I think this winter I want to make some cook-all-day soups and chicken-and-noodle type things.
  • I've been listening to a lot of conservative talk radio lately. (Yes, I know. More on this in a few days.)
  • I feel like I need a week at a day spa. For the first time in my life, I think it would feel kind of nice for someone to dip me in mud, place cucumbers on my eyelids, wrap me in gauze, put on some new age music, and leave me on a table for a few hours.
  • I'm into making lists lately.
Sunday, September 7, 2003
Contrary to the "wisdom" of President Bush the First, today is not Pearl Harbor Day.

Today's bad news? My hot water heater broke. I'm glad we discovered it before the entire basement flooded. Still, I can't do laundry and I have to shower at a neighbor's. Pain in the ass.

Friday, September 5, 2003
Okay. I am back after a fast trip, some very turbulent flights (I am not a good flyer), and a lot of intense family time, and things are somewhat back to normal. I've been feeling very sad all week, but without getting into too much detail, I'm getting along.

A few observations, vignettes, and/or fun facts from my trip:

  • There's free wi-fi in terminal 2 of the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport.
  • On one of my flights, the lone flight attendant told us that when the seatbelt sign was turned off, we were free to move about the captain. We didn't hear the rest of the script because she couldn't stop laughing.
  • In keeping with my tomato-juice-at-high-altitudes theory, I saw lots of people asking for tomato juice on all four of my flights.
  • I now have a recipe for a Chicken Salad Supreme. The first ingredient? Orange Jell-O. Yes, I will give you the recipe. No, I will not come over and eat it with you. Are you crazy?
  • When playing shuffleboard, brute strength will make you lose. Feeling weak? Play shuffleboard. You'll probably win.
  • For various reasons that may or may not be rational, I now hate Atlanta.
  • A 92-year-old man thought my dad and I were Latino and offered us a Spanish magazine with pictures of topless girls. We politely declined his offer.
  • Conch tastes good.

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