Saturday, December 31, 2005

I refuse to self-destruct!

Safely in London, by way of Berlin and Amsterdam. Sorely missing everyone, as I'm traveling very alone. Especially sorely missing Kyle, but maintaining perspective -- I'm in LONDON, for christ's sake.

and realizing just how terrible I've been about this whole blogging escapade for about a year now. Expect pictures in about a week from all major ports of call. For the moment, I'm very restricted in my uploading capabilities.

I had a single room in this long-term hostel, although I have a roomie for the next two days. She seems nice. I woke her up after my extremely long jaunt to the Science and Natural History museums. I wanted to hit the Victoria and Albert (all three are walking distance from this place -- just off Notting Hill Gate, if that means anything), but the Underground workers are all on strike tonight (of all nights!) so everything closed early.

Yesterday, I tooled around the area, hit up Portobello Road, bought strawberries, ate them. There was some reading involved, and some more wandering. Stumbling across a very cheap bookstore (novels I actually want for £2!) made a small dent in my wallet, only exacerbated by the AWFUL F-ING EXCHANGE RATE. Wrote a couple postcards, found a few that I meant to send earlier.

It's probably no surprise to any of you that this is rather difficult. Newly single, wandering alone in the largest city I've ever been to, and living in a situation that could best be described as dorm-like -- all the ingredients for being "in my head" altogether too much. But I set out on this year intent on learning to be alone, and I'm determined to do it.

I miss everyone nonetheless. Your emails mean so much to me. I know I've been delinquent, but I have the time and access to respond adequately now.

Monday, December 05, 2005

My editor sense tingled today.

The Viennese love to hang out their windows, even if their view isn't particularly great. Especially if their view isn't that great, actually. This is a contemplative city -- going to a coffeehouse to read a paper or making a jaunt in the Wiener Wald, alone or accompanied, are two favorite pastimes here that transcend the snooty, opera-going stereotype. It's hard to make friends here -- city slickers are closed-off to begin with, and the Viennese exemplify that one big time. But when you catch a man leaning out his window from your Stra├čenbahn station and wave, you might get a rare smile. Or if you happen to be ogling the sweets in the window of the confectioner on Langegasse and Alserstra├če with a chuckling grandma, it doesn't hurt to say, "Alles sieht lecker aus, oder?" Something intangible about the Viennese has thoroughly charmed me. I think it's because they play hard to get, but stare at the street corners with thoughts in their eyes.

And, because I love Laura enough to do a silly meme:

Five Songs I've Been Listening to Obsessively This Week

all for swinging you around -- the new pornographers
cold cold water -- mirah
sister golden hair -- america
more adventurous -- rilo kiley
woman king -- iron and wine

and because I hate memes and am inclined to rebel generally, one more.

brown-eyed girl -- van the man

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I bought an earflap hat so people would take me more seriously as an artist

I have this joke with my friends here. It goes a little something like this: I'm normally pretty scatterbrained -- this everyone knows. So I'd pass off importantish things like directions or train tickets to my roommate Jenn. She's the responsible one, I'd say, I'm just the comic relief. But one day, I kept the tickets. Puttin' on my Big Girl Pants, says I. The friends were impressed. A freeloader no longer, I proceeded to find my way around Vienna, Venice, Florence and Bratislava. I've learned the streetcars and subways here. I'll walk to my friends' houses confidently, without getting lost or harassed. Unless I'm with Americans, I only speak German. The Big Girl Pants are here to stay, right? Well...

Christmas is coming up. Even though I tend toward apathy at best and grinchiness at worst, the lights in the streets and bakery smells have really put me into a festive, lovey sort of mood.

Everyone in my classes won't stop talking about going home.

So now I'm fighting tears because I'm NOT going home and I DON'T have a plan or a clue where I'll be after December 16th. I'm scared, and I don't want my Big Girl Pants because they can't give me a hug. Homesickness, thy name is Erica.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

For clarity

I will not be returning for the holidays. I'll see Alaskans in June and Oregonians sometime after that, depending on finances. But this is depressing, so read the entry below.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Things I've done for the first time in the past six weeks:

Visited Poland, Germany, Hungary and Italy.
Climbed a small mountain to a secluded Italian town.
Felt completely incompetent in three different languages.
Had a layered shot (two, in fact, with names that'll make you blush).
Been mistaken for a Swede, a Brit and a German successively.
Gone an entire day without speaking English.
Taken 100+ photos in a day. Six hours, really.
Made friends with folks without knowing a word of their language (offering chocolate always helps -- he gave me and my friends each a 10 ruble note. Russian money is rather pretty.)
Started Gravity's Rainbow.
Started Harry Potter (the first) in German.
Finished neither.
Studied less than three hours a week.
Tried countless new types of food and drink.
Stayed up all night waiting for a train.
Stayed up all night partying with two Midwesterners and a dude from New Zealand.
Adjusted to the German/Austrian keyboards, more or less.
Felt at home on a continent I'm not from.
Seen a giraffe in the flesh (!!!)
Gotten lost without panicking.
Purchased pizza by the kilo.
Been alone but not lonely.
Eaten organ meats.
Seen an underground Viennese hip hop show.
Smoked two cigarettes in two weeks. Slippery slope, people. I blame Ness.
Text messaged. Extensively.
Purchased a t-shirt with none other than Pope John Paul II on the front.
Neglected my blog thoroughly.

I could continue, but that would probably take hours. Hopefully my emails and pictures ( find everyone well.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

08.30.2005 -- Sam's Last Show

Because of Samuel K, I was inducted into the fascinating and seductive world of college radio. Needless to say, I'd like to have a show at UO, during grad school, and probably for the rest of my life. It's been awesome. Bold face indicates Sam's mom's tracks. She was our guest DJ, and I mean it sincerely when I say it rocked.

Blonde Redhead -- Elephant Woman
Scrabbel -- 1909
Rogue Wave -- Seconds

Nobody -- Wake Up and Smell the Millennium
Seachange -- News From Nowhere
Mclusky -- To Hell With Good Intentions

Sufjan Stevens -- The Man of Steel Has Stolen Our Hearts
Sun Kil Moon -- Lily and Parrots
Chemical Brothers -- The Boxer (request)

LCD Soundsystem -- Daft Punk is Playing at My House
Quasi -- It's Raining (giveaway)
Plastic Bertrand -- Ca Plane Pour Moi
Death From Above 1979 -- Little Girl
The Saints -- Messin' with the Kid

The Cripples -- Down Again
Autolux -- Here Comes Everyone
Pavement -- Jackals, False Grails: The Lonesome Era

Wilco -- Heavy Metal Drummer
Ique -- Hamachi
Shonen Knife -- Catnip Dream

The Shins -- Girl on the Wing
Modest Mouse -- Blame it on the Tetons
Radiohead -- Myxomyiatosis

The Dandy Warhols -- We Used to Be Friends
The Clash -- Straight to Hell
The Go! Team -- Panther Dash

X -- The World's a Mess/It's in My Kiss
The Thermals -- How We Know
Nobody -- Jose De La Rues

Carbon Leaf -- Life Less Ordinary (request)
Vast Aire -- 9 Lashes
Boom Bap Project -- 1,2,3,4
Bishop Allen -- Broken Heart (giveaway)
New Pornographers -- The Bleeding Heart Show

Thursday, August 25, 2005

08.23.2005 Set list +1!

The New Pornographers -- Twin Cinema
Menomena -- Sista Social Theme Song
Jens Lekman -- A Man Walks into a Bar

The Faint -- Take Me to the Hospital
Four Tet -- Smile Around Your Face
Supersystem -- Born into This World

De Novo Dahl -- Jeffrey
The Cripples -- Contraception
The Moon Knights -- It's All For You

Band of Bees -- Horsemen
Doug Martsch -- Woke Up This Morning
Beat Happening -- Teenage Caveman

The Long Winters -- Carparts (giveaway)
Smallspace -- So We Say...
Scrabbel -- 1909
PJ Harvey -- This is Love

Boom Bap Project -- Cut Down Ya Options
Z-Trip -- Take Two Copies
Felt -- Morris Day
13 & God -- Soft Atlas

Kane Hodder -- Jason Dean was a Teenage Liberator
The Saints -- Wild About You
Fugazi -- Give Me the Cure
Tiger Bear Wolf -- You Play Guitar

Jack Johnson -- Sexy Plexi (Request)
The Constantines -- Steal this Sound
Preston School of Industry -- If the Straits of Magellan Should Ever Run Dry
...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead -- Baudelaire

Gomez -- Chicken Out (Request)
Ted Leo + Rx -- The Angel's Share
Bettie Seveert -- Kid's Alright
Kings of Convenience (with Feist) -- The Build Up

Sufjan Stevens -- Chicago
alaska! -- Fury of Trees (giveaway)
Jean Knight -- Mr. Big Stuff (giveaway)
Guitar Wolf -- Can-nana Fever (Jet version)
The Go! Team -- Junior Kickstart

Next Tuesday is Sam's Last Show Featuring DJ Sam's Mom. It's going to be poignantly awesome. Also, Sam's mother rocks.

Actually took some pictures yesterday. That's good. It keeps me from moping about not taking pictures. Funny how that works.

I've been making a habit of getting up no earlier than 8:30 (work's at 9), and it's made me consistently 3 minutes late. Except for Tuesday and Wednesday this week, in which I came to work early because of the radio show and my annual respectively. I won't get into the annual too deeply (of course), but apparently I'm at extremely low risk for virtually every STD. woo hoo to that!

The abroad business is starting to make me antsy. I've done a lot of little errands, but moving my bank account (urgh), buying a train ticket from Frankfurt to Vienna ($$), and finally finishing all my trip-related reading and note-taking (whee!) still loom large.

Also: I sympathize with my parents MORE THAN EVER now. My brother (age 16) has been a sinkhole of negativity, anger, sarcasm (not that that's a shock), and this bizarre brand of hypocritical laziness that allows him to complain about EVERYTHING but fix absolutely nothing. The complaining encompasses things as minute as the encrusted salsa on the rim of the salsa jug. And my existence. That pisses him off. If he's really upset, he gets defensive and starts attacking me for the very things that (I think, anyway) he's guilty of. Of which he is guilty. I've been making an effort to spend more time at home to get some time in with my parents, but the boy is making that extremely difficult. The little smart ass is always planted in front of the computer (necessitating, or at least partially justifying the use of the computer at work, right?) usually with the television on as well. You see, he was there first, so he exerts a sort of ownership over the entire basement movie-watching, hanging-out, email-checking area. And it's a monster inconvenience to his schedule for me to do any of those things. Particularly with Kyle. I'll curtail the rant, but the kid is driving me nuts. It feels like he's going out of his way to make me feel like even more of a visitor -- an interloper, even -- in my house. I've got to say, if I could show 15 year old Erica video of 16 year old Adam, I'd've probably cut my folks a little more slack.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Round 'n' round

Happy Birthday to Kyle.

RIP Robert Moog.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I just had the pleasure of listening to the group I thought I had forgotten or repressed. That's right, America's answer to the Vienna Choir Boys: Hanson. Not just any song either. But Mmmbop. Damn it, headphones exist for a REASON!

Every song that has ever sucked is on this girl's mp3 player and pours out of a nifty little set of speakers. About 9 yards away from my little island of appraisal reports and bitterness. GRAH!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

08.16.2005 Set List

Sufjan Stevens -- Jacksonville
Flaming Lips -- A Spoonful Weighs a Ton (Request)
Feist -- Mushaboom

Iron and Wine -- The Trapeze Swinger
Elliot Smith -- Pretty (Ugly Before)
The Shins -- Saint Simon (Request from SPOKANE, WARSHINGTON)

Josh Homme -- Hanging (AKA Ramble Off)
The Ruby Doe -- Red Letters
Hot Snakes -- Hatchet Job
Mission of Burma -- Dirt

YACHT -- Daydreams with Daffodils (Stepper2 remix)
Pepe Deluxe -- Ask For a Kiss
Nobody - Tori Oshi
Malcolm Kipe -- Mans Vents
Erland Oye -- Rubicon

The Mercury Rev -- Black Forest (Lorelei) (Giveaway)
The Boy Least Likely To -- I See Spiders When I Close My Eyes
Kinski -- Hidden Drugs in the Temple (Part 2)

Autolux -- Blanket
Mudhoney -- Suck You Dry
Clinic -- T.K.
The National -- Secret Meeting

Archie Bell and the Drells -- Tighten Up
Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd -- Desafinado
Walter Wanderley -- Summer Samba
Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong -- Under a Blanket of Blue
B.B. King -- If You Love Me

Wesafari -- Shooting Stars
The Wrens -- I Married Sonja
Yo La Tengo -- From a Motel 6
General Patton & X-ecutioners -- Duelling Banjo Marching Drill (Request)

Digby -- Left You Behind (Giveaway)
2mex -- Once Again
Vast Aire -- Supafriendz
Wiley -- Wot Do You Call It

Boom Bap Project -- Following Formulas
Elvis Costello -- The Beat
Viva Voce -- Alive with Pleasure

We only have a couple of shows left this summer, and I'll miss having the show. I heard more new music this summer than any time before (even those frightful years when I listened to the radio -- KWHL, usually -- waaay back when.) I developed a taste for hip-hop -- mushrooms may be next. Maybe. Urgh. Maybe not. Anyway, I need to find out if I can get a show at UO, or even UEA.

Yeah. About that. There's been some confusion, or poor PR on my part. Starting September 14th, I'm in Europe (Vienna, then Norwich) until June (maybe later). Just before (10th or so) I spend a couple of days in Boston, to see folks and the coast to which I've never been (north of the Mason-Dixon line.) So email me your home address if you want postcardage. Which will be happening, unlike email, which kinda doesn't.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Shaking the streets

This job has a fair few perks, but one of the more interesting is that I look at a lot of maps of Anchorage. Which is cool. I like maps. I always have. But these high-detail neighborhood maps get tedious after awhile. To keep myself entertained/not gibbering under my desk, I've been compiling a list of funny street names. The subdivision names are great too. Those will come later, though.

Runamuck Road
Woo Blvd -- Mind you, this boulevard is not named for a notable Anchorage citizen of Asian descent. No. This boulevard is named after the noise people emit on snowmachines.
All Star Circle -- This is in my old neighborhood, but it appeared after I moved away in seventh grade. Around the same time I was listening to some Smash Mouth song...
Bunny Shoe Circle
Shepherdia Drive -- Eh? Sheep?
Habicht Ct. -- Bless you, city planner.
Crataegus Avenue -- Do the people who live on this street know what that word means? Does anyone?
Doggie Avenue
Grape Place
Stroganoff Drive
Pequod Circle -- Call me chuckling.
Sea Parrot Drive
Buttermilk Way
Twenty Grand Drive -- Twenty grand of what?
Klinger Circle -- We got a M*A*S*H fan in the house!
Hottentot Mine Road
Eatwood Loop
Das Acres -- SCHNELL!
Grand Larry Drive -- I bet this guy is so pleased with himself.

Also: I can't seem to type "end unit;" it's always "end unity." My inner anarchist yearns to break free.

Set list for 08.09:
David, Sam's brother, co-hosted; he's nothing shy of an expert on old-school punk.

Buena Vista Social Club -- Chan Chan (Ibrahim Ferrer, RIP)
Gorillaz -- Demon Dayz
13 and God -- If
Feist -- Let it Die

Aimee Mann -- Goodbye Caroline
Royal City -- My Brother is the Meatman

Siouxie and the Banshees -- Hong Kong Garden
The Lurkers -- Ain't Got a Clue
The Adverts -- New Boys

Joy Division -- Disorder
The Only Ones -- Lovers of Today
The Avengers -- We Are the One
The Stranglers -- No More Heroes

Violent Femmes -- Blister in the Sun (Live) (Giveaway)
Buzzcocks -- Boredom (Request)
The Heartbreakers -- I Wanna Be Loved
Bad Religion -- Billy

Caribou -- Pelican Narrows
Kings of Convenience -- The Weight of My Words
Saint Etienne -- Mountain Rain
TV on the Radio -- Satellite

The Pixies -- Where is My Mind (Request)
The Screamers -- A Better World
Bad Brains -- Pay to Cum

Sleater-Kinney -- What's Mine is Yours
Bikini Kill -- Reject All American
Free Kitten -- What's Fair

The Urinals -- Ack Ack Ack Ack
Talking Heads -- Don't Worry About the Government
The Television Personalites -- Part-Time Punks
Gang on Four -- What We All Face

The Constantines -- Seven AM
The Wrens -- Thirteen Grand
Rogue Wave -- Be Kind + Remind

The Rentals -- Friends of P.
Decemberists -- Everything I Try to Do, Nothing Seems to Turn Out Right (Request)
Lilliput -- Ain't You

X-ray Specs -- I Am a Cliche
The Clash -- Garageland
The Jam -- In the City

The Damned -- New Rose
The Zeroes -- Beat Your Heart Out
Dinosaur Jr. -- Pebbles + Weeds

Monday, August 08, 2005

As I Sit Typing

1. I took the job for the money.
2. The money is good.
3. The job is not hard.
4. So I would make easy money.
5. Easy money is good for spending in Europe.
6. Europe is where I'm going.
7. It's 12:07 and I'm almost out of work to do.
8. I probably won't make it to 5:00 without going nuts.
9. I want to make it to 5:00 because of the money.
10. Communism has always looked good to me.
11. Now it looks better.
12. I want to be a farmer.
13 (Question). Who will raise goats and sheep with me?

The phone just keeps on ringing and ringing blblblblb blblblblb and Wayne's voice mail picks it up always after 3.5 rings and it's not like I couldn't go get it, but he never told me to in fact he told me not to bother because it'll always be angry clients impatiently sighing about the "status" of their inspections wanting times and dates as if theirs is the only inspection that ever there was. Wayne is Canadian and was an Olympic alpine skier and he lets me have time off if I give him plenty of notice but his phone makes me murderous and it's a little funny that I even have a phone because it doesn't ring blblblblb blblblblb. For some reason I miss Prof. Peppis right now. I bet his phone rings a lot too. Maybe that's why he's so pissed off all the time. Maybe he wants to throw some phones out windows too because that wouldn't solve any problems but the waste would be gloriously destructive as would the subsequent firing in my case. They tried to have a meeting but the phone kept on ringing blblblblb blblblblb. That bringly noise.

This file is a soap opera.


I'm telling you, the places my mind goes during work. I wish I could read and type at the same time. Then I'd be set.

Semester school kids will leave soon. Troubling, this. It means not only do I have to say goodbye ONCE AGAIN but also that I have almost a month of Anchorage time after the bulk of my buddies leave. Ridiculous. Also, schools in the 'rage are starting earlier this year, which means less time with the parents and brother. RIDICULOUS.

In positive news, Sam's brother David will be co-hosting the show with me tomorrow. I'm psyched. Lot of old school punk. Hip Hip Hooragent Orange!

Dad and I are going to start a porter when he gets back from his tennis trip. Those kids and their tennis. The amber turned out okay, but I think it needs to age a little more. If anyone in town wants to try some, come on over.

I need a haircut. Preferably not the same one I've been getting for a couple of years. Something with a modicum or three of sex appeal might be nice.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I've been having massive natural disaster dreams again. Everyone loses everything and missing persons rosters and scrounging for M&Ms (which were all teal and charcoal grey) -- the works. As my brother would mis-diagnose, Freudian for sure.

Attempting to cover for my bloggity neglect with set lists is not going to work for too long, methinks. So my fooling around time at work will now be redirected toward recording my more interesting bits of internal monologue.

Meantime, feedback on the musicses is appreciated. Suggestions too. Yesterday's show was solo, sans Sam, and shockingly not a massive screw-up. I panicked (LOVE that K in there - I panicked and picnicked and trafficked, oh my!) a little when the studio monitor stopped playing. Music was going out, but I couldn't hear it. The mini-control freak within freaked the hell out. I also got a call from a woman with a voice not unlike mine -- low -- who wanted some Elvis Costello and told me to quit smoking. She assumed I was 35+, I think. She seemed shocked to hear 20. Not the first time I've been told I have an "old soul," but hopefully the last. I'm not really sure what that means or if its desirable.

08.02 Set list

Cat Power - Say
Beulah - You're Only King Once
The PIxies - River Euphrates

Interpol - Obstacle 1
Beat Happening - In Between
The New Pornographers - Miss Teen Wordpower
Cowboy Junkies - Small Swift Birds (Request)

Sleater-Kinney - Night Light
The Crabs - Anything and Everything
Mt. Eerie - Waterfalls
Yo La Tengo - Big Day Coming (Demo)

Boy George and Culture Club - Karma Chameleon (Giveaway)
Neutral Milk Hotel - You've Passed
The Gossip - Fire/Sign
The Ebb and Flow - Firefly

Stephen Malkmus - Post-Paint Boy
Stereolab - Escape Pod
13 & God - Ghostwork
Gym Class Heroes - Band Aids

Daedalus - Night & Sleep
Beck - Devil's Haircut
Decemberists - Song for Myla Goldberg (Request)
Lucero - My Best Girl (Request)

Mark Mothersbaugh - Scrapping and Yelling
The 5,6,7,8s - Woo Hoo
The Coachwhips - Letter 2 London
They Might Be Giants - Experimental Film
Oingo Boingo - Weird Science

Tom Waits - Alice
The Shins - Kissless the Lipless
The Smiths - This Charming Man

Iron and Wine - Lion's Mane
Flaming Lips - Spiderbite Song
The Dandy Warhols - The Dandy Warhols Like Almost Everybody
Elvis Costello - Less than Zero

Sigur Ros - Staralfur
Postal Service - Such Great Heights
Minmae - Smiling with Teeth

American Analog Set - The Postman
Prefuse73 - Expressing Views is Obviously Wrong
Nine Black Alps - Llana Song

Cake - Short Skirt/Long Jacket
Death from Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm a Machine
Franz Ferdinand - The Dark of the Matinee
MC Solaar - Obsolete

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Seven Second Delay -- 07.26.2005

Bad Religion - I Wanna Conquer the World
Sleater-Kinney - I Wanna Be Yr Joey Ramone
The Clash - Spanish Bombs

The Breeders - Invisible Man
Sonic Youth - Teenage Riot
Old 97s - Moonlight
A.C. Newman - Most of Us Prizefighters

The Wallflowers - Shy of the Moon
Counting Crows - Rain King
Weezer - Say It Ain't So (Request)

Low - Silver Rider
X - Hungry Wolf
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Ballad of the Sin Eater

Hellacopters - By the Grace of God (Giveaway)
The Notwist - Pilot (Concole Remix)
Lali Puna - Grin and Bear
Nobody - Wake Up and Smell the Millenium
Caribou - Hello Hammerheads

Beulah - My Side of the City
Wilco - War on War
The Ebb and Flow - See You Around the Fjords

Vast Aire - Viewtiful Flow
Blue Scholars - Freewheelin'
MIA - Bucky Done Gun

Royal City - Under a Hollow Tree
Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous
Get Him Eat Him - Pardon My French

Built to Spill - Big Dipper
Rogue Wave - Endless Shovel
Pavement - Conduit for Sale!
Kinski - Semaphore

Paula Abdul - The Way That You Love Me (Giveaway)
Ben Kweller - Falling
The Mountain Goats - Palmcorder Yanja

Murder by Death - Killbot 2000
RATATAT - Seventeen Years
Tiger Bear Wolf - Input, Output

New Pornographers - The Bleeding Heart Show

Bailey, Rain King was for you, if you're still out there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Set list for my first radio show, errata

The Doves -- Black and White Cities
Neutral Milk Hotel -- Song Against Sex
Devin Davis -- Cannons At The Courthouse

Rancid -- The Brothels
All -- Original Me
The Hives -- B is for Brutus

The New Pornographers -- All for Swinging You Around
Caribou -- Bees
Boom Bip -- The Do's and the Don'ts (Featuring Gruff Rhys)

Pavement -- Cut Your Hair!
Belle and Sebastian -- Don't Leave the Light On, Baby
The Decemberists -- Sporting Life (Request)
Madness -- Our House

Prince -- Raspberry Beret (contest prize, Prince Greatest Hits vol. 2)
Gang of Four -- Not Great Men
Love as Laughter -- Canal Street
The Rentals -- Waiting

The Unicorns -- Jellybones
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists -- Biomusicology
The Cripples -- Contraception
The Go! Team -- The Power is On (request)

Boom Bap Project -- Following Formulas
Bukue One -- Let Me In
Gorillaz -- November Has Come
13 and God -- Men of State

Iron and Wine -- Bird Stealing Bread
Rogue Wave -- Postage Stamp World
Sun Kil Moon -- Carry Me, Ohio

Mogwai -- You Don't Know Jesus
Viva Voce -- Alive with Pleasure
Menomena -- The Late Great Libido

Azure Ray -- Raining in Athens (Request)
Maria Taylor -- Birmingham 1982
Mommy and Daddy -- Confection
Death Cab for Cutie -- Title and Registration (Request)
Blonde Redhead -- Equus

See also: Kaz link at left. He's my co-host, for the non-Alaskans among ye.

Since returning to Anchorage, I've:

-started a boring job at a real estate appraisal firm.
-made more money at said job than any other job ever.
-hiked Arctic Valley with my family.
-biked a bit, but not as much as I'd like.
-gone to Lake Tahoe to visit Rothmans (Rothmen?) and hike, sunburn, feast, etc.
-gotten extremely excited about Austria and England next year.
-become frustrated at myself for not doing the artsy projects I told myself I'd finally start.
-written very little.
-taken few pictures.
-brewed a batch of amber ale with my folks.
-seen a few movies, read a few books.
-missed Portland. Eugene too, to a lesser degree.
-run into a ton of people I don't want to see, and a fair few I do.

and so on.

Right. The show is on 88.1 FM Anchorage. Tuesdays, 4-7 pm AKST. Out of staters can stream it at Alaska is but one wee hour earlier than Pacific time. Laura, know what to do.

Also, if you want to record it, my baby brudder found a neat little program called wiretap pro that more or less allows you to record audio streams. I think. He's gone, so I'm just dinking around with it, hoping it's recording radio and not my obscenities in the trying-to-figure-out-the-gizmo process.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Folk + fest = urgh

I have to run a kiddie face painting booth at the Willamette Valley Folk Fest on account of this job of mine. It could be worse. Hours-wise, I'm getting off easy, which is nice considering I'm stipended and every hour they squeeze out of me lowers my hourly wage. Though the whole children aspect of it is unpleasant, it ought to go well. I can't really stand kids, by and large. The exceptions, my cousins and Julia most notably, are of course the most precocious and amazing kids ever, but the rest...meh. Thing is, kids really like me and I just don't get that. When I'm grumpy, they like me more. Quite the phenomenon.

Let's see. Over the past couple of weeks, I had a rap session with two of my GTFs, made minimal progress on Areli's birthday present (let alone the May birthdays), had a looong conversation with my beloved aunt, did masses of laundry, wished alternately that I were in Anchorage and that I never had to go back, found a job for the summer (in AK), and got a bunch of stuff done for the studying abroad business. Not to mention Mom's day. Not to mention endless boring classes that seem awfully pointless now. The weather here is manic and I'm starting to feel the same.

Monday, May 09, 2005

well then.

As if church and state weren't close enough already, now they're conjoined twins. A baptist church in North Carolina excommunicated the Democrats from its flock.

On the other hand, look up the Burka Band.

My beer turned out pretty well. Not earth-shattering, but a smooth, summery brew that goes nicely with all this damn rain.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Oregon rain

Cats and dogs? hell, this is rhinoceri and hippopotami. I don't care how disdainful my Texan roomie gets, these downpours are violent baptisms for the Willamette Valley. But it's inevitably as short-lived as it is ardent. It'll be over in an hour, if that. The rain is frenetic, but I can already hear it slacking off a little. There's got to be some kind of parable in here. Perhaps compared to the week-long Anchorage drizzle-fests. More on that as it develops.

PLC has a feral gerbil farm dwelling under the ivy. I saw about half a dozen rattish things munching and scuttling today on a Roma-run from the library.

I'm a ridiculous procrastinator. It's getting terminal. All of my study abroad paperwork remains neglected, my passport is still v1.0 (starring Erica, the 13 year old monstrosity!) and on and on. The temptation to list it is great, but I'd bore you and freak myself out.

Kyle and I are now addicted to The L-Word. No one saw it coming.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Raccoons, dairy artisans, a BK song, and GTF woes

But not in that order.

I am eating cheese that I purchased from the guy who made it. An honest-to-God cheese artisan. It's delicious, if expensive, and another peek for Erica into the world of agriculture. Cheese comes from jug-eared, lanky guys in rural Oregon, not the grocery store. It's chipotle cheddar. This guy has a blue cheese that's backordered until 2006 -- it won best blue in 2003 in the UK. My Wallace side came out in full force at this guy's booth.

Also: I could probably eat Dijon mustard with a spoon. Love it.

Studying at the library last night, a raccoon looked at me through the window (cutely) and disappeared. I was in the quiet room, so I couldn't squeal with delight. But I wiggled a bit in my chair and grinned like crazy.

My grandfather sent me a very heartfelt write-out of his family's history in Hungary/Transylvania. I shouldn't have read it at work. With his inimitable good humor and thoughtfulness, he outlined the family tree and how Rothmans, Mannheims, Bolgars, and others survived (or didn't) the Holocaust. We still email in German, at least partially. "Wir haben, "schrieb ich "eine mutige Familie." Suddenly, studying German has taken on a lot more significance.

Before I read that today, I visited my GTF for this survey course that I care about less and less every minute. She gave me a lame grade on a pretty good paper with some cryptic and pointless commentary on the sides and back about "political context" (not in the prompt) and arguing "more vigorously" to justify leaving out a particular line of this sonnet. It was an unsatisfying visit. She stood by her nonsense. To her credit, there are two points that I needed to draw out. I'm almost glad I went because of that. Now I know how nitpicky she'll be. But she seemed to think that it was the grade that bothered me. What bothered me (other than the fact that her point scale was ridiculous -- taking "a few off" of a 15 point paper and a 30 or 50 point paper makes a difference to the ratio, despite her allegations that I can make it up. If the whole class is 115 points, that's way slim) was that she didn't respond to her invalid criticisms. I think I may have frightened her, though; it was early, so I was in the "not talkative, somewhat somber, straight-faced" mode, and she got pretty uncomfortable toward the end of our little office hours session.

Bottling the Knockout Girly Beer tomorrow.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Another blues stringer back home

Looks like blogger added a "recover post" feature for all those works of genius that the internet eats when its feeling ornery. Just another reason I like it. Not that I've been showing my love for the blog lately.

To condense, I've been really homesick lately. Or peoplesick, I guess. I miss my Anchortown buddies to the point of tears and Eugene, while it's not Spokane, isn't exactly wildly entertaining.

On the less-whiny side, I'm going to see Sarah Vowell in Portland at Wordstock. The name is cheesy, but Miss Vowell's speaky is free.

And I'm listening to the Who, which tends make life easier overall.

Also: I just literally found an ant in my pants. Apparently, they're back with a vengeance, the little fuckers.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Just a couple quick things

I'm taking a silkscreening class at the craft center and brewing beer. The class is a bit dull, mostly on account of the teacher, but as soon as we're actually into the guts of it, I think I'll have a great time. It took me a hell of a long time to figure out why exactly one would want the emulsion to dry on the screen, but after an hour or so of unclear lecture and a less clumsy demonstration, I finally got the idea. And the beer! I'm making a raspberry honey ale that may well push 6.5 or 7% alcohol by volume. Hence the name: Knockout Girly Beer. Now you all know my thoughts on drinking and drunkness, so I say all this trusting you guys understand my joy at making stuff, not drinking it. hmm. rising incoherence. At any rate, it should be concurrently sweet and hoppy -- a really interesting, refreshing summer beer, methinks.

Meg is in my german conversation group, and that makes me endlessly happy. Less English, more German...hooray!

been sleeping poorly. missing people. Bailey, are you out there? I would really love to hear from you, my dear.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A bit of a saga, really.

Indeed they do, and they're far superior to anything that Greyhound has to offer. The past two weeks have been extremely eventful and extremely computer-less as Areli and Sam came to town, Kyle’s computer broke, and I left my little laptop alone in Eugene when I buzzed off to Portland last Sunday. So I’ll regale you with excerpts from the real journal, which is probably more accurate anyway, since it was along for the ride the whole time.

I want to be a line drawing. A simple, transparent line drawing. Actually, I'd like everyone to be line drawings. Maybe then I'd feel more sure of what few pen strokes I have.

Areli and Sam arrived in the thick of dead week -- really, the weekend before, but I had tons of work to do
[I go on to list the papers and crap that I had to wade through the previous week, that week, and through finals. --e] We looked for salvia unsuccessfully; I'm not too keen on jumping through hoops to get the stuff, but I'm still curious. Their first full day involved University park (the one with the demon merry-go-round that always manages to fling me off and get sand in my underdrawers), Prince Puckler's ice cream and a tour of campus. They wandered Eugene. Fred Meyer! A movie or two. Dinners: flying dog, ziti bake, awesome quesadillas, pizza, and a cake. The cake didn't have long to live. We demolished it in the fullest sense of the word. Friday: I blew off all my classes (kyle handed in my paper) and went to PDX. We did some general wandering and hit a really great show: The Velvet Teen and Crosstide, with the New Truth (a lesser band, I thought.) The show was really good, but for some reason I hit a real energy lapse -- I was exhausted by nine. I stuck it out and got a second wind, but I considered (and I can't believe it in retrospect, and see it as a real moment of weakness) changing my bus ticket and going back to Eugene seriously. That was a wussy-ass low point, and I feel a bit guilty. We hit a Denny's after a 15-20 minute meander through a frontage road drug bust in industrial north portland. I saw some sketchy parts of stumptown that I wouldn't have otherwise seen, but we needed to ask a cop (who was blockading the road because of the aforementioned bust) for directions to I-5. Eventually, I got my milkshake and Areli and Sam got their fried stuff. Our main problem was a lack of a place to crash. At 1:00 or so at Denny's, our standing plan was to just stay up all night. Vetoed on the grounds of Areli and Sam having 4 more hours of driving. Roberta's [the woman I stay with in Portland -- a friend of my parents and a super cool gal] was ostensibly not an option; she was out of town, and, though she's told me to use the place and not stand on ceremony, I hadn't called her beforehand AND there was a not-Roberta's car in the driveway. Just moseying in would disturb any housesitter, though maybe not Bert. Later I found out that the omninous Trooper was a neighbor's. We had tried the hostel and a couple motels earlier to no avail, so we ended up shelling out for the Thrifylodge on E Burnside. Scuzzy, but acceptable. The room had a queen and a twin like the rooms my parents could sometimes finagle when we all road tripped together. Adam and I would alternate turns on the bed to prevent fighting. We were usually pretty good to each other on those trips, just cranky for autonomous reasons. anyway, the night was fairly uneventful, despite our proximity to bars, strip joints and the Doug Fir (a concert venue/lounge that gets good shows that I naturally can't see stupid 20...grr). The morning was smooth, if early. My bus left at 11:30 or so, and I had to be there an hour early. The Dynamic Duo dropped my off a couple of blocks from the bus station and right next to this little bakery I know -- we parted and I missed them almost immediately. It's nice to have old friends in a new environment. My posse was there -- they had my back. I got myself a muffin and a coffee and a coke for the road to settle my stomach in case of a motion sickness emergency --I was going dramamine commando. Seeing as my motion sickness can reach epic proportions, this was major. but somehow I managed not only to be a-okay the whole time, but I even read and wrote a little. As the Greyhound pulled onto Coburg, it occured to me that what took longer than a feature length movie (the bus ride) would stick in my memory as a montage, complete with iPod soundtrack, if at all. The contraction of life like that bothered me, but I supposed that if we carried every moment of our lives with us 24/7, no one would live to see 20. Destroying our recollection helps us collect more, snippets on snippets.

Okay, that should tide you all over until I get to finals week and spring break. Bear in mind I did omit some banal things without noting them.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I'm sorry

In your grief, please know that I am here for any support you want or need.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I'd like to think that it's super noble of me to be working on papers two weeks ahead of time, on account of Areli and Sam visiting. But it's not. It's shockingly responsible, but noble it ain't. To that end, el blogadero is not exactly going to be brimming with insight, photos or antics. Not until the 4th, anyway.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

In retrospect, I should call it "playa theory." Elementary schools everywhere had a sort of anti-love Valentine's day, more or less favoring the kids who weren't exactly winning any beauty pageants. On some level, everyone knew that the "Valentines for everyone or Valentines for no one" mandate was a crock, a pity-play on the part of the teachers. That didn't stop me (and hopefully many others) to treasure the Bart Simpson or Kermit the Frog or Scrooge McDuck proclaiming Platonic love with some kind of pun. Occasionally, people would go all out and make 25 individual cards, attaching a hershey's kiss if they felt racy enough to kiss everyone in class. Therein lay the added benefit of circumventing the dictatorial love structure -- a savvy valentineer could make a little extra effort than the fold-and-cut heart for the Object of Affection. I did. I made a big, florid heart heart for Dylan Watts one year and agonized over what to write on there. My shyness won, of course, and a really ridiculous construction paper monstrosity dwarfed the inane happy-valentine's-day-you-are-really-nice (not those words, but equally lame.) In fact, I usually made my own valentines, either because my folks wouldn't buy the Muppet cards or because I had an ulterior motive.

The store-bought cards confused me after I made my first-ever round of 25 'tines. I had given time to every member of my class, and I got a forum letter back. The impersonality was one thing, but the mass distribution with nothing distinguishing me from the pretty girl, her from the weird boy mystified me. So here's where playa theory comes in. Mass valentines mean one of three things:

1) The sender doesn't care, but wants the candy. This didn't appeal to me, but was probably the most true. Also along these lines is the scattershot theory that sending out 25 valentines ought to yield SOMETHING.
2) The sender actually does love everyone in the class equally, making the same mass-manufactured Daffy Duck a pretty accurate measuring stick for his or her love.
3) The sender knows that there is something about this love thing that is desirable. My elementary school self wasn't so aware of the concept of sex drive, but I had figured out that people want lots of love from lots of people. I wasn't that dim. By way of flimsy, red cardstock, I realized that there is something Machiavellian in love. It's about gaining as much affection as possible at any cost.

In sixth grade, I didn't make valentines, but gave everyone a hershey's kiss instead. In part to satisfy the number ones, in part because of my disgust at the number threes.

I'm happy to say that we've all graduated from that. As well as from the incessant drama of junior high and high school. So let's take this V-day for what its worth and do something free of that sick control. Actually, it's not V-day anymore, which means in 18 hours or so, I should call my dad and wish him a happy birthday. but still. let go of that fucked obligation system.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Not taking pictures really fucks me up. Not writing is bad too, but the photos are an irreplaceable high. It's a reward, a miracle, a feat when something comes out better-than-expected, especially when your expectations are high as hell. So here's some stuff.

I thought of Sophie when I took this one. You know, because of her ferocity.

In which our heroine discovers the best light in her apartment -- it's the bathroom and it's reflecty walls.

Not doing the dishes sometimes results in good things. Really. I think I have about a dozen shots of these almost ethereal lines of starch clinging to my (christmas gift/totally sweet) saucepan. It reminds me of engraving.

Over winter break, my dad and I staked out the birdfeeders outside his bedroom window and had a couple long photo sessions. He has some BEAUTIFUL close-ups of nuthatches, black-capped chickadees and bohemian waxwings -- his little zappy camera has about twice the zoom as my clunker. But I love my clunker because I have more control than those zippity doo-dahs. So there. Anyway, this is a pair of feasting redpoles.

This fellow (Bohemian waxwing) knew I was taking his picture. I mean, look at him.

he's totally midcomplaint. Probably going off on the magpies.

Cropped severely, but otherwise undoctored. All of these were, for that matter.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Since I posted last, I've done some stuff. Such as turn in my financial aid and study abroad applications, make chicken stock again, turn in an agonizing paper for Comp Lit, agonize some more, read from Che Guevara's Guerilla Warfare (as well as some Shakespeare, Drayton, Marlowe, Lanyer, Donne, Nietzsche, Foucault, Rimbaud, blah, blah, blah von blah blah, and blah look at how intellectual I am!!! Reading brilliant minds makes me brilliant!!! ...fucking school... That's really more to illustrate how much crap I've had to do over the past two or three weeks rather than a display of my intellectual chops. I don't have to prove ANYTHING! [ha.]), noted the odd punctuation combination I just created, played Kingdom of Loathing a little too much, seen several movies, gotten an A on said paper, raged between hating school and loving it, and more fairly mundane crap.

I've also started scrawling things in other places, but it's not amounting to much. Nor do I expect it to because I'm finally realizing that that's not the point. Expect stuff later.

My grandma sent me a scarf and hat today. She knits like crazy and sells her wares at the Saturday Market in Anchorage, but winter (except for the holiday bazaars and the occasional substitute teaching job at East) is a dormant period for her. I'm her guinea pig for some new patterns, she said in her note on endearingly florid stationary. She sent me the hats saying she wasn't too fond of them, but I was welcome to keep or distribute them. It was a really sweet gesture; she's not too demonstrative (somewhat Victorian in a way), so it really throws me when she shows me the softer side of Granny. Two Christmases ago, she gave me a couple framed pictures of my mom and her siblings, circa '66 or so. For the longest time, I thought she was sort of ambivalent towards me because I wasn't going to be a party to her dressing me up in pinafores. Learning that's not true is quite the process. I'm wrong a lot.

Monday, January 24, 2005

After the sun goes nova, vaporizes the earth and sheds its envelopes of matter into the universe, it will dwindle into a little dwarf star and eventually die a quiet death. My recycled bones will, in billions of years, disintegrate along with the rest of the planet and the molecules will reduce to atoms and perhaps some sub-atomic bits. Our carbon will float among the rest of the stellar discharge, everything from my fingers to the entire body of literature. Will the next archeology be an alien race reconstructing our art microscopic fragment by microscopic fragment? Will they learn our languages and piece together adolescent diaries and masterful sonnets? Will they eventually be defunded when their civilization goes to war? Or will we make up their world until the universe freezes in total entropy?

Sunday, January 16, 2005

This is my kitchen, as drawn by me. With my new favorite toy.

ETA: It looks lamer than it did before. Suddenly, perhaps because it's public, I'm as proud of it. This ultimately goes back to something Lynda Barry wrote about why kids stop drawing. They start asking whether it's good or not. To avoid those questions, she contends, is to create great stuff because it's not constrained. So to that end, I'm still keepin' it up.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Thanks for bearing with the previous angst-o-rama/stressoutapalooza. Things are much less melodramatic now. In fact, I saw a fellow ardently playing a didgeridoo while walking down the street today.

Everyday my walk to school takes me past the ambulance area of Sacred Heart hospital. This doesn't affect me -- hospitals are necessary, and I'm not at all the type to be unnerved by them. Today, though, the hoity-toity restaurant across 13th Ave. from the hospital had declared war. Excelsior (the restaurant) incensed the air with garlic and cloves, and Sacred Heart responded in kind with vomit. Then SH upped the ante with a siren. A wave of laughter swept through Excelsior. Sacred Heart won, with a clattering gurney and a moaning young man. But it felt to me that Excelsior pulled out because it lost interest; the wine arrived, perhaps, or the waiter told a charming joke. I entered Deutsch feeling more contemplative than usual.

BAH to paperwork. BAH to UO. BAH to bureaucracy and departments telling me what I can and cannot do.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

No, fuck YOU. It doesn't matter how well anyone knows me -- my elastic frustration at myself often puts me in that long-suffering mood that most people tend to shed in junior high. I could hurl myself off of my balcony right now, but not before writing an angry diatribe, filled to the brim with self-righteous and self-hating rhetoric battling for supremacy. I'm just that pissed, and the reason pisses me off still more because it's really not a legitimate impetus for leaving an Erica-shaped dent in either the parking lot or that red Jetta.

So I missed an organizational meeting for one of my classes yesterday. The one I was most excited about, actually. I completely fucking blanked it, even though I had, not two hours prior to the meeting, lamented leaving Espresso Roma for my apartment because I'd only have to walk that way again in a scant hour and change. I also spaced out the Literary Society meeting. Everything is getting hazier in my mental appointment calendar, when I was once actually reliable. I had an organizer last year. I eventually stopped using it, as I always do. Last term, I forgot a meeting with an artist for work. I felt shitty for days. Work in general tends to slide out of my brain now. I'm behind on my meaningless paperwork, and even though I honestly don't give any form of a shit, I still feel guilty. And a little bit like I'm breaking, falling into obsolescence.

I got theory-whacked in my classes this term. My comp lit class on madness has been especially difficult so far, not having read much Nietzsche or dense theory in a while. I never taught myself to read this stuff. I can do it, it's another challenge, but the conceptual arena is not a place that I should get stuck. Maybe it has something to do with my cerebral reaction to the university or my own disconnection from everything that doesn't feel like home, but my head keeps rolling away.

So I get a "fuck you" email. I don't know how she means it, but I know nothing will end. We've been friends for way too long to just give the cowardly dramatic flourish of a two word e-missive as the sign. And I know that Joe passed away. And I know that I want to talk to Jordan. But what she knows (not Jordan, but the previous she) is that she's Jordan's protector and sister, and whatever she interprets my actions to mean. There's some gut reaction of hers that I'm not understanding, and fuck-all if I ever will entirely. But I am very transparent (she knows this) and I say what I mean about 95% of the time now.

Then I read the news, and I think the world isn't such a very bad place. It's just filled with assholes bent on ruining it. The scandal du jour and the rehash of the prior ones makes my stomach fucking turn.

In short, I want to cry. And I've wasted my day not doing it or anything else.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Doing some overhauls, now that I have time to do so. ( time.)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

State of the Erica: BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! Thank you, and god bless America.

Work broad-sided me when I got back. I'm sort of treading water for now, and all of those good intentions I had for the term (not blowing off homework, for starters) got knee-capped right out of the gate.

I miss everyone. A metric fuckload.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

I dare you to match or beat me. Oxfam now has twenty of my American dollars, to be used for tsunami relief. If you're feeling guilty, indulge that little nag in your head and donate. A dose of antibotics costs a quarter.

Other areas need relief too. I started to type a list of countries off the top of my head, but it got too long. I'm going to keep this short because it's way preachy, and I'm well aware of the hypocrisy of seasonal charity (help is needed after Christmas too, although that didn't stop my mother and I from baking pies for Bean's -- I kind of thought it would be more appropriate in February when it's still fucking freezing, but no one feels compelled to help.) But America is proving its stinginess by bumping aid numbers only when criticized for being cheap. (From $15 mil to $35 mil to $350 mil...look up corporate campaign contributions and prepare to be disgusted. If I were prez or a congresslady, I'd propose tax breaks to companies that donate X tons of supplies. But that's just crazy me.)

In other news, I'm back in Eugene. Classes start monday, and I'm kind of lonely.