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November 26, 2002

tinyblog squaredancing poll

So, it's time to vote on the issues that matter to you. Well, just one issue actually, and it's really only important to me. So thank you for voting.

Is it possible to like squaredancing, and still be cool?

a.  Absolutely. Nothing is cooler than squaredancing.
b.  Squaredancing is niether cool nor uncool.
c.  You just can't be cool while you're squaredancing.
d.  Maybe if you only liked it when you were a kid.
e.  If you ever once thought fondly of squaredancing you are a complete dork.

November 20, 2002

teachings

losar_woman.jpg

My sister met a man named Ariel Broido at the dharma center she lives at in New York. He was looking for a place to stay in Seattle in a few months, and my sister suggested he contact me.

So now the teachings are happening here in Seattle, and Ariel is staying at my house. He shared with me some of his photos, like of this woman at losar. Nice.

November 18, 2002

general news log

- still unemployed

- monster.com doesn't help much

- lots of time + very little money = fiction

- sleeping 'til 11am

- I know, I know, being unemployed has been SO blogged, but it's new to me.

- babysitting can be meditative

- hi mom!

November 11, 2002

just ask rowan

Players
---------
Me - The Fearless Babysitter
Rowan - A six year old girl.
Sam - A five year old boy.

Setting
-------------
The Kitchen

Script
---------
Me: Rowan, do you want butter?
Rowan: Yes! Yes! Butter!
Me: Sam do you want butter?
Sam: Yes.
Rowan: I changed my mind...I don't want any butter, just beans.
Me: Sam?
Sam: No butter for me.
Me: Rowan, it'll be good with a little butter.
Rowan: Ok.
Me: Sam?
Sam: I want what Rowan wants.
Me: Should I just ask Rowan from now on?
Sam: (Pause) Yeah...just ask Rowan.

November 10, 2002

the lotus is gone

I parked two bikes in the front yard and they got stolen yesterday. I don't know why I think that's not going to happen, despite plenty of personal experience to the contrary.

That's so ass. One was my friend Cara's bike (crappy bike, but with an expensive seat on it), and the other was Rzan's (it was a Lotus brand bike...with a basket...I liked it!). I couldn't possibly afford to replace them and so I just feel shitty.

November 8, 2002

de-glazed

Damned if I didn't want to go to see Neko Case last night. We stood in line for tickets, but they sold out about 10 people before us.

We went to go see Star Wars: Attack of the Clones in IMAX version, which actually turned out to be quite an improvement. The Jar-Jar psuedo-political scenes, and all of the painfully acted love scenes were shaved down a great deal, leaving a movie that flowed a little better, like it should have originally, with all the action scenes intact.

Plus, the IMAX screen was damn nice. It really brought out the shlocky FX quality of the movie. Plus, that scene where they drop those sonic charges (which is already one of the coolest special effects I've ever heard) was even more spectacular. There's complete silence, and then suddenly there's this pulsating WWWWWHANG and all the sound comes rushing back in. Sounds pretty great when you have all those 500,000 speakers or so in an IMAX movie.

Then I knew I was going to have to take a bus home, so I trekked up to the bus stop where the last bus came. I was early, and had a good 40 minute wait. A nearby bar looked pretty attractive.

I walked into the warmth and wry humor of two regulars and a bartender with a long perm who looked as if she had had quite a few herself. I was the shining newcomer and was told immediately that they weren't alcoholics cause they didn't go to meetings...they were just regular old drunks.

They were talking about a chili recipes, as the regulars were having a chili party the very next evening. One of them was talking about how chili has to have meat in it to actually be chili.

I took issue, freshly poured and very strong vodka tonic in my hand, "Chili with meat is called chili con carne...'with meat', so clearly there must be a chili without carne."

Ahhhhh, they all agreed, I had them there, and so they asked me how I made chili, since I must be some sort of incredible chef, knowing such fancy spanish words, and saying them with such newly intoxicated bravado.

So, I began making up a grand chili recipe, with an elaborate preparation...invloving some sauteing, deglazing and other magnificent french methods....spices like cumin and marjorum, ground lamb, and all manner of exotic things.

They were duly impressed and begged me to write the recipe down. I ordered a beer to go with my vodka tonic and began to scrawl the recipe. I honestly, think it will make some seriously magnificent chili, except I hope it occurs to them to add a little salt, which I did not remember to include in the recipe in such a grandiose state.

Goddamn them, they actually photocopied it so they could all have a copy. I really hope they remember about the salt.

This morning I was feeling pretty crappy from slamming a beer and a strong well drink so close to bedtime. I glazed my first ceramic bowl, and felt pretty glazed, or perhaps de-glazed, myself.

November 7, 2002

an ocean of words

oceanofwords.jpg

My mom bought a lot of books while she was here in Seattle. I was taking a bath and really wanted something to read, so I picked up a book she had bought at a bookstore in Chinatown. It was Waiting, by Ha Jin.

Ha Jin came to the US to study for a few years, and then Tiananmen Square went down and he decided not to go back to China. He couldn't get a teaching job at the time in the States, and decided to start writing in English.

When I was done reading Waiting, I picked up The Bridegroom, a book of short stories, and now I'm almost finished with Ocean of Words. Damn near all of them have won awards; Waiting won the National Book Award. I think he deserves them all.

For some reason these stories have sort of infected me. This guy's wit and spare, sharp little english seem like nothing else I've ever read. It's like being able to hear about what the Cultural Revolution was like, without having to learn Chinese. I doubt there's anything like it. The short stories are particularly amazing.

For the first time in a long time, I want to write him a letter or communicate with him somehow. I'm just not sure exactly what I would say. Does anyone else get the urge to do this? I'm actually kind of tempted since it's not like he's a super celebrity or something. Unlike a fan letter to Britney Spears, it might actually get read.

Anyway, just now I finally looked online to see what's up...here's an interview with powells.com, an interview with the Yale Review of Books, a chapter from his new novel and the link to his books.

November 3, 2002

slice

The joy of unemployment is...well, not being required to show up for work every day. The pain of unemployment is a little more complicated:

Being required to show up for random 'job search orientations' for unemployment.

Feeling like I really don't have what it takes to be successful in the world cause I look at my resume and know that there's a lot of other unemployed people who are way more qualified than me.

Always feeling like I could be doing a little more to look for a job.

What the hell is a resume really supposed to look like anyway? What's the magic formula?

Is it worth it to take work that doesn't pay much more than unemployment?

Etc. Jeez. The not having to show up for work is pretty good though. On the whole it balances out pretty well.

Daniel