Wednesday, November 26, 2003
“But that’s practically un-American,” someone said when I admitted I hadn’t liked Finding Nemo. Indeed it is, which makes me worry once more about the pleasures of the archetypal American. It’s just not a very good movie. Pretty and all that, but boring, and predictable, and roundly unfun. In fact, I was pretty anxious throughout a lot of it. How many times can you watch a gimp fish barely escape death by fish-tank filter?

I’m not some knee-jerk heretic – I really wanted to like Nemo – but I’ll be devaluing the opinions of Pixar sycophants in the future.
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Nothing of note happening lately, therefore nothing of note to write about. This weekend I watched football. Today I wrote an article about a holiday toy drive. Right now I’m eating a banana.

I think I stink. It would stand to reason, since our landlord came in this morning to fix our shower and so we were unable to bathe. But I can’t really tell. Occasionally I have gotten a whiff of something a little sour and wondered, Is it the old milk in my coffee cup or is it me?
Thursday, November 20, 2003
After forgetting to eat for most of the day, I dashed out for some supermarket-style sushi this afternoon. I was looking all over for spicy tuna rolls and thought I’d found them, until I looked at the label. The label lets the sushi chef (or more likely in this instance, the supermarket seafood worker) put an X beside whatever sort of fish is used: tuna, smoked salmon, shrimp, whatever. In this instance, though, there was a far more mysterious choice checked off: “tasteless.” Why in God’s name would someone designate “tasteless” as a sushi flavor, on who on earth would advocate the checking off of such?

Someone speaketh the truth though. The rolls were quite tasty by tasteless standards, but still some of the blandest spicy tuna rolls I’ve ever eaten.
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
After perusing through past postings, I’ve noticed that almost every entry starts with “I.” I will be working to remedy this. From now on, expect only prepositional phrases and dependent clauses to open my blogs.
Monday, November 17, 2003
While every writer may need an editor, no writer needs unsolicited editing from someone who is neither a writer nor an editor. I just spent an hour undoing the florid rewrite of some old fart who was merely supposed to approve my article. Sigh, I’m very irritated.

But the office is empty, which means I can track the Celtics-Knicks game online without fear of discovery. Whoa, we were winning handily and now we’re only up by three. How’d that happen? I need to refresh the scoreboard page more often.

It’s funny how your love of certain sports is cyclical. For years I was more obsessed with basketball than anything, both the playing and the watching of it. But I’ve devolved into a fair-weather Celtics fan, and I haven’t shot around in eons. It makes me sad. There were so many interests that defined me 10 or 20 years ago that no longer figure into my self-understanding. And I’m not so sure I’ve plugged those holes with new and different pursuits.

Well, one old interest is new again, or potentially could be: Bloom County is back! An iteration thereof, at least, called Opus. Very exciting.

(Rereading this, I wonder how I ever wondered how boys didn’t like me when I was younger. )
Friday, November 14, 2003
There was absolutely not a chance in hell that I was going to write anything today. I could not have been in a worse mood. I had lost my engagement ring at the gym, it had somehow fallen out of my zippered pocket, and as the policeman later said, “It’s gone.” No one thought there was any hope.

And so today I went back to the gym to post signs (“Substantial reward, no questions asked”) and went digging through a pile of old sheets in the corner of the weight room -- I guess they had been pulled out of an old punching bag -- and Lo! There it was. It must have been swept into that pile somehow when someone was cleaning. I cannot explain my euphoria. It was Patriots Win the Super Bowl euphoria. Or, more appropriately, Getting Engaged In the First Place euphoria.

Today I almost believe that it’s better to have lost and found then never to have lost at all.
Thursday, November 13, 2003
So I had a completely valid reason for not blogging yesterday. My Internet connection was knocked out by the kookiest storm Los Angeles has seen in years, complete with lightning, thunder, flash flooding et al. It even hailed in Watts, and because the city of Los Angeles doesn’t own a single snowplow, there was no easy way to get the hail off the streets. Also because it hailed in Watts, no one seemed in any rush to get the hail off the streets, but I may be projecting.

The storm last night reminded me of the time when I was maybe 9 years old and was with my sister and my dad and this other family at Busch Gardens in Virginia. Towards the end of the day the tail end of a hurricane swept in and we were stuck at the park while lightning was striking all the different rides and some nearby trees, and I was absolutely convinced it was the end of the world, Flash Gordon-style. I was also convinced lightning was going to strike my dad, and was pretty messed up about it.

I have the blahs today. Earlier I read an article online written by someone I used to work with, and I really enjoyed it and thought I’d write him an email saying so. But then I thought, no, because if he asks how I’m doing and what I’m up to, I have to say that I’m not up to very much, that even my own eyes glaze over when I try to explain my job to someone. Some days it drives me batty that most of the writers I used to work with have gone on to much more illustrious positions than my own. I’m not jealous; I just feel embarrassed that I have yet to figure out exactly what it is I want to be doing with myself while they are well into the prime of their careers.

Ah well. It’s the same old song.
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
I am such a messy human being. Today I stopped a wee bit short at a red light and several large drops of coffee rose vertically out of my (supposedly drip-free) travel mug and landed on my right pants leg. I am very lucky today in that I am wearing coffee-colored pants. But I can’t remember the last time I arrived at work completely stain-free. Sometimes this means I have put on a piece of clothing that boasts some long-staying blot of toothpaste or something, but more often than not I’ve dumped coffee or juice or cream or cream cheese or English muffin crumbs down the front of my shirt. The other day someone had to point out that I had dried egg yolk on my sleeve. Terrible.
Monday, November 10, 2003
I worry about my social retardation sometimes. I’ll think I have it in check and then it flares up in everyday situations. Today we had a little office gathering to celebrate someone’s impending nuptials, and the person to my right attempted to talk to me about her window repairman and how he kept talking about the newest Matrix movie and how she was worried he wasn’t focused enough on the task at hand, and I just kept saying “Oh really? Oh wow.” Not that she was offering such scintillating conversation, but I sure did her one better.

My sister has a friend who goes out on the weekends expressly to make new friends in bars. When I’ve gone out with her I feel like a repressed schoolmarm in comparison, all prissy and prim and buttoned-up and sour, sitting on a bar stool wanting only to talk to my sister while this friend imports five strangers to come over and hang out with us. Am I weird to want relative solitude in a public setting? I’m starting to think maybe.

Saw Kill Bill this weekend, which I thought was a steaming loaf of crap. The violence was the least of its problems. Hell, I’m all for flying limbs and heads and (spoiler alert) scalps and such. But Tarantino made a flimsy facsimile of a Tarantino movie. The gratuitous camera work, the jumpy storytelling, the overwrought pop-culture references, the over-praised acting – it was all there, and none of it added up to anything.

My paramour adored the movie, and that made me almost as mad as having spent money and time to see the movie in the first place. I get really upset, like little-kid upset, when people love movies that I think so obviously suck.
Thursday, November 06, 2003
I think I may be about through with There is no one left to invite and no one left to stalk. I have been reduced to inviting my alma mater and my sister’s friend’s dog to be my friendsters (both accepted, thankfully).

I think it invoked too many high school insecurities in me anyway. After I wrote a reasonably cheeky profile, I spent the first week searching far and wide for anyone to be my friendster. I sent out a huge mass emailing inviting all sorts of people to join – people I hadn’t talked to in five years or more, in some instances. The enemy of my enemy of my enemy is still a potential friendster, I figured. But like literally no one responded. It felt like I’d thrown some disastrously under-attended birthday party. Eventually a few acceptances trickled in, but, you know, too late. I have a good number of friendsters now, and some really nice testimonials, but I’m still seized by feelings of less-than-ness whenever I log on.

I actually located a few people I went to high school with, and lo, they were all connected to each other and had formed a little friendster clique. Except, it was kind of pathetic: all of their testimonials for each other harkened back to high school, and some of them seemed to have no other friendsters besides each other. Heh heh, not so popular now….

Oh, there was a reason I wrote about dilettantism and cheese in my last blog. I signed up for a drawing class yesterday, in another attempt to develop a new hobby for myself. The class is called “Making the 3-D, 2-D.” Not the most thrilling, but “Measured Dissonance: Pictorial Composition through Drawing” sounded way too scary.
Wednesday, November 05, 2003
I am nothing if not a dilettante. Knowledgeable in many areas but a specialist in none. I need a “thing.” I guess I can claim sports fandom as my thing, but a) it’s really passive, b) I would never claim to be the most knowledgeable baseball or football fan around, and c) all my Red Sox obsession got me this fall was unremitting heartache and a post-season drinking problem. (Still love them though. I wish my Remdawg hat would arrive already!)

In my attempt to get a hobby, and maybe in the process a thing, I recently bought a book on cheese. The Cheese Primer, it’s called. I didn’t even know enough to know if that was a play on cheese terms (does one “prime” cheese?), but the guy in the cookbook store told me it was a good resource.

I decided that once a week I would go to the store and buy a piece of cheese at random, take it home, eat it, then look it up and find out what the Cheese Primer guy had to say about it. So I went to Whole Foods one Sunday and bought a very expensive wheel of cheese all prettily wrapped in a green leaf with a brown string ribbon. I took it home and sampled it and thought it was a little bland and mealy, but what do I know? Then I looked it up and was informed by Mr. Snot-Nosed Cheese Man that it was a “highly overrated” cheese, notable only for elaborate packaging that tends to lure in the uninformed. Screw you, man.

Anyway, I’ve suspended the great cheese experiment for now.
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
I already wrote one blog today and then deleted it because I didn’t like where it was going (answer: nowhere interesting). I have a bit of a problem with self-censorship.

Saw Shattered Glass this weekend, which got me thinking about the art of lying. The Art of Artifice. I myself am a little bit too accomplished in this area, although I pretty much only perpetuate useless lies that are far more trouble than they’re worth. Like the lie I told the woman who waxed my eyebrows this weekend (see, I almost made her into a waitress so I wouldn’t have to bother admitting the fact that I wax my eyebrows. Self-censorship AND a useless lie, all in one impulse!) She asked how I had heard about her, and I didn’t feel like explaining that I’ve lived right up the street from her salon for three years and had actually been there once before, two years ago, but hadn’t come back, for no real reason. So I told her I had just moved into the area. “Oh, from where?” “Boston.” Don’t know why I said this either. So now I have to remember all this the next time I go there. Or, I may never go back there again. That’ll show her!

My irrational annoyance du jour: The girl in front of me in the coffee line today refused to move up even when the whole line had shuffled forward. I couldn’t shake the worry that someone was going to cut in front of her and hold us both up. I really wanted to poke her and tell her to get a move on, but she was very sour-looking, and probably not someone to be poking. I got my mocha eventually.
Monday, November 03, 2003
So I'm not even going to try and pretend I know that much about blogs, or blog culture, or blog politics, or blog advocates, or blog heretics. I'm just restless and in need of an outlet. So there.
There's a blog in my throat.