Sunday, December 17, 2006

I love the holidays again. It was a long time coming, but now I can't stop singing 'Let it Snow.'

Also, the word crisis apparently comes from the Greek krisis, which translates to 'judgment.' This, I think, is very apt.

Still reading oodles of comics and comic criticism. That's about all she wrote.

Oh, and Rose is back. Happiest kid in town over here!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Condensed College

This weekend and week should be taken in spoonfuls rather than the liters I've been served. The birthday party was fun: low-key, even downright wholesome with the cookies, warm drinks and board games. It ended fairly early (last guest left around midnight-thirty, I think) and that was fine. The morning-of, I was nursing/wretching through the worst hangover on record. I'm still feeling a little gun-shy about liquor, in fact. Joint birthday party, small dinner, bottle of wine...I was only happy to obscure my woes in a haze of baking and phonecalls from loves.

Then the papers. Thankfully, I've been relatively responsible and completed two of my four (a combined total of almost 40 written pages due over three days -- guh) well ahead of time. The last two, not so much. One's done. It was supposed to be about Annie Liebovitz and it was supposed to be EASY. Instead, some grad student recalled ALL of my books and I had to start topicless from square one. So I wrote about cooking magazines, and how A) they're legitimate texts and B) blah blah blah discursive rhetoric. It damn near killed me.

Kill Bill paper in the works. but enough schoolwork. I hate it when school is the only thing on my mind and in my mouth. I mean, really? Parties and papers? Am I that much of a cliche these days?

More interestingly: I'm officially well enough to go back to work for short shifts! Projected date of full recovery is Januaryish.

Rose returns in less than two weeks. Why am I nervous about that? Term ends in less than 24 hours. There must be some crossover there.

My (film) camera is officially shot, too. Kaput. Replacement may be the most cost-effective option, too, which breaks my heart more than a little.

Making myself a steak tonight. My rare-ness technique is now better than passable, so I'm looking forward to it. Mmmm, cheap meat.

Monday, November 27, 2006

you'd better think (think! thinkthink!)

The food:

Turkey breast, done up traditional. Oddly, it came in a string mesh sack thingy which, according to the directions thereon, was supposed to remain in place while during cooking. We did so, and it was fantastic. Even the overdone parts were good (there was a preheating time mishap. Mistakes were made. Passive voice was used.)
Mashed potatoes with a garlic and leek cream sauce. I'm actually competent with the dairy sauces now. This is a milestone. At any rate, my logic was this: if garlic, cream/milk and butter are all gold as far as mashed taters are concerned, why not just add more in sauce form and moosh them all together? With leeks. Everything, I think, could use more leeks.
Cranberry sauce, sort of a la KT. Well, I used lime juice and no dehydrated orange bits. The premise and huge tartness factor was largely the same, though.
Green beans, sans Campbell's glop. I steamed those mofos halfway (parsteamed? can I do that?) and then cooked 'em up with ginger, that awesome garlic chili paste, soy sauce and a huge glug of sherry. The sherry was actually some old Tokaj (Hungarian white wine -- great stuff) Roberta had sitting around that had become sherry. It was nice to have some spice on the T-giving table for once.
Corn risotto. Courtesy New Seasons. For color, I think.
And my first completely solo piefromscratch. Apple. The crust was almost too buttery. Mmm.

The rad:

On Buy Nothing Day, I traded a pair of socks for a cup of coffee. Not twenty minutes later did a cavalcade of West Ank-o-ragers come trooping through the door of my little southeast PDX coffee spot. Since they were actually folks I was excited to see, it was a really big, delightful coincidence.
Later that evening, further socializing at a pal's parents. Birthday style. There was cheesecake involved. RAWK. Followed by breakfast with the birthday girl at Cup and Saucer. If I could be a brunch cook in Portland, I think my life would be much, much richer for it.
Met up with different 'ragers for coffee as a part of my project. Operation: Actually Visit 'ragers in the Pacific NW Once in a While.
Hung with Lolly at a wings joint and her joint and Plaid Pantry, but not in that order. Scratch black strap rum off of the To Try list.

The smugly:

One class is DONE. Ovah. Well, after I turn in this paper, but still.
Also, I age soon.

Monday, November 20, 2006

holiday now please

My school-mentality of late has been along the lines of "if it's not interesting or fun, fuck it." Which is fine. As such, my final papers are going to kick ass. The working titles, or rather, what I'm snarkily calling them in their rough draft form:

-Hast du wieder Zeit für mich? Examining and Re-translating Nena's "99 Luftballons"
-Performances of Gender in Kill Bill
-Annie Liebowitz: What the hell is a portrait, and why the hell can't it be fun?

and a paper for my Deutsch lit class that probably won't be as interesting, although there will be plenty of sex involved. So hey.

These should be fun, interesting papers that I can really get into, but motivation is in the red over here. It'll all get done. For the moment, though, I'm going to make some cornbread.

Also: Thanksgiving weekend in PDX! If anyone knows of a ride returning Sunday, I'd be much obliged.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I don't really know who reads this anymore, which isn't as distressing as I thought it would be. So when I say something like, "I've been really down lately" or "the future beyond my next birthday -- less than a month away -- freaks me the hell out" I don't know who's listening. How much they know about my tendency to freak out on a fairly regular basis, or whether said freak out is actually indicative of Something Big. (Admittedly, 9 out of 10 are not at all worth the effort it takes to freak out anyway.) Upshot being: none of this is likely as bad as it sounds, given my propensity toward hyperbole.*

That said, I feel right shitty.

*My most flagrant example being a conversation with Kyle a while ago on the Alaska election results. I'll let you fill in the exaggeratory gaps from there.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I heart non-traditional pasta dishes

Squash and Leek Lasagna, as bastardized from Eating Well's recipe. Turned out right nice.

1 large acorn squash (although any winter squash will get the job done.)
2 medium leeks, chopped finely. Ditch the dark green parts.
1 medium yellow onion
2-3 cups ricotta
1 egg
10-12 oz lasagna noodles
3 cups milk
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp (or slightly less) ground nutmeg
ground pepper
parmesean cheese
1/4 c pine nuts (way optional)

Since I was not in the mood to peel and grate an acorn squash, I baked that bad boy instead. Cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, and let it go for about 50 minutes in a 400 degree oven with a pan of water under it.
Meanwhile, I discovered the true meaning of bechamel. White sauces of all types are one of my culinary bugbears. Probably because I'm impatient and tend to fly half-cocked into recipes -- I can be pretty cavalier about improvising, to mixed results. Anyhow, this go around, I did everything right...and with leeks! I melted a mass of butter (3-4ish tbs) and cooked the leeks until they were soft and good-smelling. The recipe called for 1/4 c flour, but I can't stand floury-tasting sauces, so I probably used half of that. Added the milk slooooowly. Stirred, added spices, allowed to thicken. AND IT WORKED. I was so thrilled. Were it not for this damn foot, I'd have jigged a small jig. I then mashed the ricotta together with the egg, half of the thyme, and some ground pepper. The bowl was too small. It got messy. I probably should have steamed the spinach for a moment or two, but that seemed like too many dishes. Meh. Boiled the noodles. Tried to keep them from sticking together with dubious success. Anyway, once the squash was done, I layered: noodles, squash, sauce, noodles, cheese, spinach. Repeated that until I started to run out of squash (note to self: there is no such thing as too little squash. Shop accordingly.) Topped with parmesean and toasted pine nuts (actually, I only put nuts on half, since I'm not wild about them. John liked them. I could have taken or left them, to be honest. They're expensive!) Baked for 50 minutes at 350 with foil, and another 20 or so without. I'd make a wine recommendation, but I am incapable. Beer, on the other hand, I can do. Alaska's Winter Warmer was nice, and it's seasonal! And it has spruce tips in it! Therefore, it tastes like Alaska. A nut brown would probably work too.

Does anyone know anything about insurance settlements? I'm lost in jargon.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

hell, I'm not doing 50 of these damn things.

State of the Body: Despite the last few days being made of pain, I'm pretty okay. The bruises are starting to fade like absurd foliage (red to purple to green? only the leaves in Seuss books...) and the aches are starting to subside. I have DAS BOOT in lieu of a real cast or crutches for sure until Friday, at which point a medic and I reconnoitre. Long periods of standing or walking suck. HOWEVER: I'm alive. Pardon my melodrama, but I got lucky. And I'm healing, however slowly.

State of the Mind/Spirit/General Upstairs Region: Overall positive, despite a somewhat unexpected case of missing Alaska today. (Cured easily by a good dose of KT and rain.) I'm glad that I have such loving friends -- this whole thing has me really shaken, however flippant I may be. So, thanks. You guys make me feel lots better.

State of the Ivory Tower: I've finished my thesis prospectus, although it wasn't the greatest piece of work I've ever done. The part I wrote before the accident is solid, but the thing loses focus after that. Oh well. If it's truly awful, I'll rewrite the damn thing. The Daunting German Essay is also finished. Not looking forward to the end of the term. No exams -- just four papers due over three days. I may actually be responsible this go-around and start on at least something early. (Ha?) Anywho, I'm getting close to the Week 8 lull. None too soon.

State of the Union: Apparently, this place is finally trudging back to the left. (AK sidenote: PALIN?! PALIN?!?! ARGH!! That she-devil will see every social service dismantled before you can say "Lyda Green." Also, Don Young -- no surprise. But hey, go Berta Gardner! Nice to see another solid dem in midtown.)

State of the Kitchen: Sad. Pathetic, even. Cooking came to a standstill long before I got Buicked, although I had a really great knife moment while slicing some melon. Sharp knives give me chills. Now all I need is a better (wooden) cutting board. On deck for the lull: squash and leek/spinach lasagne, yam curry, KT's cranberry sauce, cornbread. Maybe some baking, too. Updates to follow as developments warrant.

District of Other Hobbies and the Wrap-Up Islands: No darkroom for this gimp. Not until I can stand for more than 20 minutes without kvetching. Sewing projects, on the other hand...
Anyhow, I'm sedentary and more or less at peace.

Friday, November 03, 2006

You've got to be KIDDING me

Third car accident in a month, folks. And for the second time, I was NOT in a motor vehicle. This time around, I was picked off the pavement while pedestrianing. As I type, my foot is in one of those big not-casts-but-BOOTs, my hips, knees and elbows are complaining, and I get to chase elusive insurance dollars for what will likely be a few weeks.

I was not at fault, shockingly. Though I may be a prolific and flagrant jaywalker, I had the signal. Blind. Sided. Some part of me broke her driver's side window, though I'm not sure which.

After I got my crutches from the Health Center, it started to rain torrentially. Of course. So I eventually turned around and got Das Boot instead (so much Wasser -- it seemed logical.) That helped. Plus, no palm blisters now.

Since I can't exactly cook gallons of sauce (my apparent manifest destiny in the dining hall) or wash dishes on a bum paw, I get three weeks or so off of work. Catching up on schoolwork -- yes! Not making any scratch -- no!

This is wildly inconvenient. But, as John reminds me, I got hit by a CAR.

Monday, October 30, 2006

two bitses, please

So I want to join the rugby team really, really bad(ly? I think it's badly.) Let me lay it out on the line list style.

-awesome, awesome people who I know I like
-physical activity -- given my metabolism and all the damn running they do, I'd be ripped by graduation
-from the sound of things, great parties
-away games = getting out of eugene

-I have no time.
subpoint -- I'd have to cut back hours at work (the dining hall -- no biggie, but less money.)
subpoint -- 20 credits + work + twice or thrice weekly practice + Saturday games = ?

I'm torn. I really want to go get my ass kicked and have fun. On the other hand, I don't want to die of busy-ness. This is hard. Y'all's thoughts?

In other news, halloween was amazing. John and I went as John Travolta/Vincent Vega and Uma Thurman/Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Weltverachtung weg!

My German lit class is kicking my ass less. Es gelingt mir! Ich gewinne! But let me back up. Mom always told me to keep my PMA (yes, that IS Positive Mental Attitude) in line -- there's some kitschy book floating around our basement about keeping the warm fuzzies close and the cold negative fuckers at bay. The thing's in cartoon form, illustrated by an Ed Emberley knock-off, and made a strong impression on me. Apparently it didn't have an overwhelming influence; I can't remember the title or author and I certainly have a hell of a time keeping my PMA even marginally intact. Lately our (more or less) weekly phone conversations have become PMA pep talks. There's a degree of mental toughness that I have yet to cultivate, so it's easy to get discouraged over the build-up of manageable annoyances and longer term woes.

The upshot: It's easier to feel sunny when I'm taking some pride in my scraped-together grade on the German miderm rather than looking at it grimly from the trenches. To say nothing of biking 8+ miles and getting my endorphins on.

Thing is, this goes in cycles, and they're often all too short. The blues strike, the coutner-blues strike, things level off, I get bored. Repeat. Mom says to be pro-active. Dad says he'll visit. They're both yes.

PS. The other blog is folding on account of 20 credits, 15 hours in the dining hall, darkroom, biking, and a partridge in a fucking pear tree. I's busy.

PS Jr. Comments are completely and utterly fixed, so start using them.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Adlai, Adlai, what do you say?

That's right. Sufjan concert tomorrow night. I'll learn once and for all how he pronounces that name of his. I've been going with the y-sounding j lately, and that seems to garner less scorn. Apparently the concerts are lushly orchestrated and whimsical in a blow-up Santa sorta way. I'm, needless to say, thoroughly stoked.

In other, significantly less exciting news, I'm likely changing my thesis topic. Feminist translation theory, though rich in dry, ivory towerish readings, isn't really my cup of tea. I'm looking to explore something in the cultural studies realm (see also: I have the chance to read comics or watch movies and be damned if I don't take it. Lolly, I may very well join your ranks. But no Ware for me, he's too much of a downer. Maybe translations of R. Crumb, if I still want to get my translation on.) Staring down the barrel of a thesis that I already know I'm not interested in makes for a bit of academic malaise. Out with the old.

Vermont was fantastic. Mountainous. Loving. Full. (and a little drunk)

The social life returns, albeit slowly. Hijinks are in the works. no major cooking adventures lately. Just chicken stock and a damn fine steak. over-n-out.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Two days until:
-Classes begin and I can finally get started on my last year and subsequently finish it. I had senioritis in high school. This is more like a Massive Patience Deficiency.
-I hear back from Stan at the Campus Sub Shop regarding a job. The Eugene job market is more depressing than the Greek Recruitment barbecue that invaded the quad as I was reading. (TURN DOWN THE FITTY CENT. I'M LISTENING TO MIRAH AND I REFUSE TO CRANK HER.)
-I find out just how much more change I'll need to drop on books. Final year students aren't supposed to have huge booklists. That's the law.

Five days until:
-I hit up Vermont.

Round about ninety days until:
-My paternal clan converges on Arizona (and Mexico?) for holiday frolicking.

Two hundred and sixty-six days until:
-Commencement and the beginning of life as a college graduate.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Northwest Tour 2006!

Last night: McMenamin's brewskis with Lolly, complete with serendipitous meeting of other ex-UO English kids (all you have to do in this town is read a thick book to start up a chat -- why don't I live in Portland NOW?) Oh, and a kick-ass concert. I hadn't seen or heard much about the Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players; all I knew was that Michelle Trachtenberg wasn't involved and I was generally ambivalent as a result. Talk about showmanship! Mister Trachtenberg was Hilarious, with Dan Bern on speed sort of lyrics. Nice nice nice.
Next up: VIVA VOCE. They don't fuck around. I think they were my favorite act of the night, between Kevin's simultaneous harmonica playing and drumming and Anita's gorgeous voice and quietly engaging stage presence. They kicked it off with some older stuff, too, which always wins me over. I very nearly shed a tear at "The Lucky Ones."
Set up for the third group was quick, since it was just one man. Stephen Malkmus. If any one person can hold 400-500 people at the Crystal Ballroom in check, it's that man. He struggled with it at first, but a few Pavement cuts and a few SM and the Js cuts later, everyone was sedated and singing.
The kicker: The Silver Jews. I decidedly don't like David Berman's stage persona, like he could take or leave the show and the audience and be totally happy with studio banding it up. But it's the Silver Jews. He was wearing a two-piece suit! And the bassist, whose name escapes me, was completely adorable. It seemed like she was trying to actually have some friendly banter with the audience instead of scampering on and off stage like the Berman.

Anyway, I'm in Portland until Tuesday, when Nelly and I make like trees and get outta here to Seatlle. Spokane after, I'm thinking the 14th. AND BEYOND! If anyone out there is in Seattle 12th-14th, call or email me. We should totally hang out.

Finally, the new blog won't replace this one, but it will likely take up more of my bloggin' energy for a while. And since I unwittingly joined blogger beta testing, I can't comment on blogger old skool blogs for now. Still reading, just...thwarted and anonymous.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Comments are fixed. Or at least they should be.

Heading out to Portland and Washingtonian points beyond tomorrow. Looking forward to a sweet, sweet concert and Lolly among the many other treats that PDX affords. To say nothing of long-lost Seattle friends and my first-ever jive through Spokane. And it will be a jive.

In other news, I'm probably phasing out this whine factory in favor of something new. Considering making it a gang blog, so let me know if you'd be interested in the occasional pinch-hit.

Radio show is on an unexpected but not unwarranted hiatus. Final set list to be posted retroactively, if I can work that.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Our Lady of the Airwaves/08.29 set list

Your public service announcement for the day: If you're going to buy some new music in the next however long, do yourself a favor and get the new M. Ward (if you want acoustic lovely), Ratatat (for sheer sweetness), or Peaches, who needs no plug. The new Hot Chip is pretty sweet too. That's all, kids.

ratatat - loud pipes
new pornos - graceland
viva voce - the devil himself

the velvet teen - false profits
tender forever - then if i'm weird I want to share
the flaming lips - the yeah yeah yeah song

silver jews - sometimes a pony gets depressed
mommy and daddy - street cleaner demeanor
every day - rogue wave

rjd2 - good times roll pt. 2
edith piaf - padam padam
hello stranger - take it to the maxx

the mountain goats - cobra tattoo
stephen malkmus and the jicks - it kills
the thermals - returning to the fold

peaches - downtown
AC Newman - the town halo
sufjan stevens - chicago (adut contemporary easy listening version)

prefuse 73 w/four tet's kieran hebden - creating cyclical headaches
the futureheads - fallout
bonnie "prince" billy - cursed sleep

the hylozoists - la fin du monde
mew - special
jenny wilson - summertime, the roughest time

gravity and henry - march 4th
hot chip - over and over
dj copy - love is my nation (remix of the kingdom)

sonic youth - do you believe in rapture?
m. ward - post war
the black keys - your touch

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Bad news round-up

Rest in peace, Susan Butcher (1954-2006). A dog musher par excellence, she dominated the sport during my formative years and secured her place in my personal hall of heroes from the get-go. She moved to Alaska from Boston when she was younger than I am now, looking for space and found national notoriety. Plus, the woman climbed McKinley. I've never met her, but Susan Butcher stands as the qunitessence of everything I love and miss about Alaska. She, like the place itself, had a tenacity that won't leave me.

My bike was stolen the other night, on a meaner, more petty note. Not terribly surprising, given Eugene's ginormous bike theft rate, but inconvenient and the capstone on an already pretty crummy day. That makes two bikes, two thefts. Something tells me that this one, my child and teenhood bike I might add, will not come back (incomplete or otherwise); it's a decent to middling mountain bike with easy-off seat and wheels, recently and lovingly tuned up by a pro and myself respectively. Just when I'm starting to get into bike care and maintenance, too.

Missing my girl in Vermont constantly.

AND I have a yeast infection. I know, I know. Cry y'all a river.

In food news, I made banana bread, but it turned out more like a coffee cake. Meh.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Why didn't anyone TELL me about this?

I must own this book. And I'll read it, too. See if I don't.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What I want to be when I grow up

Post-graduation life looms large these days, and I've been feeling awfully pressured to get on the ball considering I have no concept whatsoever of what I want to do with myself. I've vaguely decided to go East for a while, be it for Teach for America, grad school, culinary school or general bumming. Those are the four main tracks right now. Did I mention that I don't have a damn clue about what I want to do with myself? Not one. My mom suggested film school to my great surprise. My dad thinks I should stick to grad school. My brother grunted or something. I'm pulling in as much advice as I can because I just don't know what I want.

Unrelated, but kick-ass: I made a little whirlwind tour of the mid-west last long weekend. Flew into Detroit and hung out in 9 Mile with my buddy Dar, hit up the grandparents in Wheaton (outside of Chicago) and spent two wild nights in the Windy City with the Vienna crew. Needless to say, the show this four in the morning was a bit lackluster in the banter department.

boy least likely to - i'm glad i hitched my apple wagon to your star
boat - march in the streets
cadallaca - out west

ratatat - loud pipes
the unicorns - 2014
hot chip - the warning

kinski - the wives of artie shaw
pegasissy - penis breath
the rentals - waiting
james kochalka - cocaine

tom waits - alice
lali puna - faking the books
house of pain - top o' the morning

the silver jews - tennesse
rilo kiley - it's a hit
oh no! on my! - jane is fat
the french kicks - cloche

dinah washington - mad about the boy
ray charles - blue before sunrise
charlie hunter trio - think of one (t. monk)
golden arm trio - more sad people

m. ward - eyes on the prixe
iron and wine - evening on the ground
kaki king - second brain
the dandy warhols - we used to be friends

the smiths - pretty girls make graves
the fiery furnaces - tropical-iceland
caribou - cherrybomb
the killers - when you were young (radio version)

Everyone needs to wish Kyle a Happy 21st Birthday.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

S-K, set list, procrastination

After the Thermals opened legit, some dude shambled onto the Crystal Ballroom stage. The audience went nuts, but they did that for roadies tinkering with floor toms. This guy was Eddie Vedder, however, and the crowd went nuts-er when he got his hair out of his face and gave a little wave. His song, essentially a Phil Ochs update about the Bush/Cheney cabal, was too overtly political for me to enjoy (songs like that just make me mad about the world's state of affairs, even Victor Jara -- and I don't speak Spanish.) But he and Janet Weiss rocked a duet of Tonight, You're Mine. [Actually, I'm not sure if that's the correct title. L? corrections?] The ladies were, of course, the highlight, with high kick, high notes, high times...anything high, really. Except me, since my carmates and I got rear-ended by a bus on the way to the show. We rocked through our whiplash. And yes, Sam, I did shed a tear at the end when they group-hugged and walked off stage after the second encore arm in arm in arm. I hate to bust out the superlative, but it may have been the best show I've ever seen.

I was tempted to play a little Sleater-Kinney goodbye tribute on my show, but I figured that I would probably start to ramble about the concert. Which is tedious. So here's how it panned out. Sam, I stole The No Show. I was under pressure and Erica's Power Hour sounded like a butt rock show.

the clash - wrong 'em boyo
bettie serveert - kid's alright
MIA - bucky done gun
mirah w/marisa anderson - nola

the blow - jet ski accidents
peaches - boys wanna be her
DFA 1979 - going steady
pretty girls make graves - by the throat

caribou - crayon
mogwai w/boom bip - hunted by a freak remix
sufjan stevens - chicago (multiple personality disorder version)
the mountain goats - stars fell on alabama
johnny cash - love's been good to me

the new pornographers - graceland
dressy bessy - side 2
jenny wilson - let my shoes lead me forward
CSS - let's make love and listen to death from above

the editors - french disko
wire - marooned
ann sexton - you've been gone too long

sergio mendes w/india.arie - timeless
the books - ghost train digest
talkdemonic - twenty cent revolt
four tet - pockets

kickball - tides or swells
yo la tengo - tom courtnenay
david bowie - kooks
roxy music - triptych

viva voce - mixtape = love
morcheeba - otherwise
tara jane o'neil - bluelight room

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a paper to finish.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Prodigal again

Epic burgers:

Take a pound or so of ground beef (7% fat is the cheapest at Market of Choice, but everyone knows the fattier the better) and moosh it up with AT LEAST three cloves of garlic (chopped or pressed), half of a medium onion, a goodly splash of a relatively sweet barbeque sauce, and major amounts of crumbled blue cheese. Moosh thoroughly, create THICK patties, set aside. Fry up some bacon. Remove from heat, throw patties onto the grease. Cook one side for about three or four minutes, then flip and cover. Cook and prod and check until finished, adding onion rings to the pan at the appropriate interval. Top with: arugula or mixed greens, tomato, aforementioned onions, barbeque sauce, sweet-n-hot mustard, Saffola, bacon, more cheese and a fried egg if you really want to remove years from your life. Serve with a salad. Or nothing at all. It's a monster burger.

A good day:

Talking and laughing with new and old friends, homemade spoonin' smoothies, painless familial phonecalls, time to plan out my next radio show, a sunny and mild day, an actual desire to work my brain, finally taking some photos, my favorite beer in the fridge, SEEING SLEATER-KINNEY TOMORROW FOR THEIR FAREWELL CONCERT, a trip to Chicago in the works, and a break from anxiety for the moment.

Apparently the Alaska pipeline is in shambles and London called to say CODE RED! I'm a little behind on current events these days. Ah well. Set lists from radio shows to come. You can stream me live at from 4-6am on tuesdays. That's late monday night or early tuesday morning. East coasters? that's only 7-9am...TUNE THE HELL IN.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Where will YOU be on August 11?

Because I'll be watching Sleater-Kinney in Portland!

Still ill. Still jobless, although I've interviewed.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Moved my stuff out of storage, finally.
Got aced out of Sleater-Kinney tickets -- didn't know when they went on sale. I'm watching ebay and craigslist to no avail.
But I just watched the season two finale of The L Word, so I'm doing fine. Gloria FREAKING Steinem!

PS. Has anyone received their mail yet?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

housekeeping, etc

And not just the mounds of laundry that I've been avoiding. Neko Case concert was fantastic. If all country (or alt-country -- whatever) were that good, I'd have the biggest ten gallon hat around. Accompanied by Lolly, who is a shining beacon of awesome, as always.

Trying to figure out blogger comments and how to do some less visible blog-related technics.
Still no job, but a hopeful shot at L's old gig.
Not quite settled in Eugene, and I know it'll take time, but not being foreign is still foreign to me. And I don't care how pompous that may sound.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Treatise on Hummus

Tesco, purveyors of mediocre foodstuffs in the UK and elsewhere, had an off-brand of hummus that was (as expected) not so hot. It got the job done, but I've definitely had better. I expected Eugene, Oregon to have a wide variety of hummus options, but I've been sticking with Emerald Valley to, you know, go local. And you know what? I don't really like it. But that's not the point here. The point is: how the hell does one spell hummus? I've seen -ous and variants on that theme and I find it all confusing because every spelling is more or less phonetic, thanks to the inner vowel-demons of the English language.

That was less a treatise and more a rant, but I've got to start somewhere. When last I wrote, I was in Anchorage and not altogether happy about that. Now I'm in Eugene and okay with that. Granted that the current apartment leaves a bit to be desired, but I'm once again in a classroom where I'm expected to be a somewhat serious student and my brain, if nothing else, feels refreshed. In other smalltalk, it was absolutely scorching, upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, for a long weekend. Unacceptable. Alaskans are not built for that. Cooler now, thankfully. Also: Lolly stopped by and we'll be seeing Neko Case together and hitting up a bar on trivia night and and and! Very happy to see my co-giraffe.

My current class, a 4-week intensive number on feminist theory, excites me because I'm already starting to argue in my head with some of the texts. Women's and Gender Studies seems, at least at UO, to be a mix of subjects -- mostly sociology and other social sciences -- but without the bullshit that one finds in those classes ("What is a social structure?" springs to mind.) On the other hand, it's Oregon, so we're all middle class white girls. A few queers. Perhaps different religious backgrounds, but I'm hoping discussions take off beyond the liberal democrat baselines upon which we can all settle.

Let's see. Neko Case concert tomorrow. A few new CDs and a book to arrive over the next three weeks. My space bar is acting up. Moving sucks. Nothing groundbreaking to report, but I am alive and will write more. Swearsies.

UPDATE: According to the Pentagon, homos like me are no longer mentally ill. It only took until 2006 to not be crazy in the eyes of the military. God bless America! Link.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

This post brought to you by jet lag and insomnia

It occurred to me this evening that I love Alaska in spite of myself. That is, even though I do the same three or four things here over and over and over while I'm here, it's still revitalizing to be back, to have mountains and trees and ocean again. I spent almost all day today outside, and I'd forgotten how euphoric that makes me feel. Not to say the Vienna woods weren't beautiful or that I couldn't have gone for a bike ride in Norwich. Nonetheless, Alaska -- and Anchorage -- have a very odd hold on me. In all likelihood, this feeling will pass when the place starts to feel cloyingly small, as it usually does. That's when no amount of hiking or biking or really great pizza can make me want to stay. A downside of being nomadic is the creeping sensation that no place is really home anymore. Alienation blows.

On the lighter end of things, I'm working on several books at once, which I haven't done in a long time. I haven't written about books in a while.

40 Stories by Donald Bartheleme
His prose is really crisp and cutting, but I've been so fried lately that I can't really pay adequate attention. It's a recent purchase, so I don't feel obligated to rush through it. Which is just as well, since the stories are really dense.

After Babel by George Steiner
Another dense tome. This little gem of translation studies lore weighs on my conscience. I bought it last summer hoping to get a jump on my thesis (ha!) and so far I've made no progress since then, unless you count starting over and reaching roughly the same place at which I left off. Ideally, I'll have this finished by July, but if I can't concentrate on the Barthelme, you know, fun stuff, then the academic reading is doomed until I get my head back to earth. It doesn't help that this guy is one of those theorists who gets condescending when referring to those feminists.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith
This woman does not care about her characters. The book makes me chuckle, but it's so indifferently written (and honestly, a let-down considering the hype it got back in the day) that I'm starting to not care. Has anyone else read this?

The Best American Non-Required Reading 2005 edited by Dave Eggers, intro by Beck
First: the introduction is by BECK. Second: I have my beefs with the Dave Eggers literary rockstar juggernaut, but this collection is consistently enjoyable and tends to include at least a few of my favorite authors each go-around. Aimee Bender, for one. (Bonus Dave Eggers rant: The guy does good work for the children, which I am all about, naturally. The guy's also got a reputation and an ego, which I could do without. The thing that bothers me is that he plays a seminal rule in the McSweeney's canonization process, being one of the high-ups in a lit organization that decrees what's hip. So the hipster dollar follows certain patterns. Even if these authors deserve the credit -- and they often do, again Bender comes to mind because she rocks -- the creation of an in-club runs counter to my idea of what groups like McSweeney's ought to do. You know, be the scouts for new talent instead of gimmicky, self-conscious hit-or-miss collections that place as much value on design as content.) That said, Third: Tony Millionaire did the cover and there are comics by Joe Sayers and Anders Nilsen in there. I'm 100% justified.

I've also been picking at the last month or so of The New Yorker, but nothing serious. Chances are I'll reread Moby Dick, or at least parts of it before I leave the Land of Whales. On a closing note: Everyone should read more Amy Hempel and A.M. Homes.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Whole lotta walkin' got done

Hats off, brave soldiers.It's the end of an era. These shoes got me through 11 countries (not counting one or two that I passed through en route to somewhere else) and 10 months of hiking, plodding, trotting, dashing and dancing. I wore them to the opera in Vienna and the Grand Bazaar in Turkey and the National Gallery in London and the Erotica Museum in Berlin and hash bars in Amsterdam and the long walk in Auschwitz. Since November or so, I've needed new shoes. I deferred the purchase time and time again, until I was in a cheaper country, until I wore them down, until until. Despite my outcry at shoe prices and ridiculous attempts to be stoic (I ran through pairs of insoles this year too), it was more of a personal mission to see them through the year, however tattered and stanky they may be. I threw them out yesterday, and have since worn only my sandals. Loyalty to objects is a weakness of mine that I can't really figure out. I made sure I tossed them just before the garbage got taken out, so I wouldn't imagine them pining for me from the rubbish bin. Is it strange to consider their life in a landfill akin to retirement, since they don't get kicked around and can stink freely? Is it strange that I'm this sad?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Crumbly Cheese or What the British Haven't Quite Killed

British cuisine is everything people say it is: greasy, gravy-laden and cooked to a second death. I won’t sugar coat it – the food here sucks. In that sense, I’m grateful that I can’t really afford to go out to eat since the over-abundance of Yorkshire puddings (cup shaped bits of fried/baked dough that one fills with whatever is at hand and gravy) would probably kill me. But it’s not all bangers and mash. Crumbly English cheese, the likes of which I was slicing for a sandwich this evening, has its uses. In fact, the best scrambled eggs I’ve made this year were Crumbly English Cheese fortified. Allow me to share. I sautéed some onions and peppers until they started to smell good and added the scrambly egg/milk mixture (I actually used cream at the time because that was all I had – turned out well.) I let ‘em all cook for a couple minutes, then threw some CEC (cheddar or red Leicester – I can’t remember which) on there to melt. At the end, I seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano and a tiny pinch of sugar. Best served with sausages, with the British also do quite well.

Some other folks around the dorm went in on a barbeque together, and I have to say that I enjoy the free-for-all style of grilling better than the organized gathering. At any given point, one to half a dozen people had food of all sorts cooking away -- from chipolatas to veggie patties to mangled cans of corn. It was a little more egalitarian. The tyranny of the grillmaster was broken into a selection of cooking styles and times. Condiments flowed freely, as did beer. I couldn't help but think that it easily topped family barbeques because of a sheer lack of hierarchy. And my burgers totally rocked ass.

A couple of days left in England now -- a handfull of hours, really. The pre-packing panic hasn't set in yet, but hey! I've got all day today and tomorrow for that!

So look out for this place

I study here! in the upcoming flick Stardust, with Claire Danes and Robert de Niro. I believe it's based on a Neil Gaiman book, so chances are, I'll be dragged to it. Anyway, they're filming here, Elm Hill, which is definitely a part of my Norwich stomping ground. The film comes out next year, I believe.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

In the Immortal Words of Charlie Brown

From the film Snoopy Come Home, "I hate goodbyes. You know what I need? I need more hellos." A very dear friend left for her home in Finland, and I likely won't see her for a while. My Swiss flatmate Alex took off a week and a half ago. I'm leaving the sordid little burgh of Norwich myself shortly. After I graduated from high school, I realized that there were dozens -- if not hundreds -- of people that I would no longer see and think about. I asked my mom if this had something to do with Growing Up or Coming Of Age or something like that. A military brat who had lived on three continents before reaching teenagehood, she was so used to goodbyes that my seemingly monumental sadness was a bit surprising. Now, I don't always listen to my mom, but she said that the hellos just have to outnumber the goodbyes. It was cold comfort at 18, but it's clearer and more useful now that I've met eine Menge of awesome people who live all over the world, people I will want to know for the rest of my life. It's hard not to be sappy right about now. I leave Europe in less than 5 days, and that's really, really difficult to both type and believe.

In other news, I made an apple pie from scratch last week. Crust and everything. Am I proud? You bet your ass! Until recently, pie crusts were one of those insurmountable culinary goals that I took for granted. "It's so hard to get right and takes so much practice," I thought in my naivete, "I may as well cut my losses and go with store-bought crusts rather than face the shame of inadequate crusts. Well. All of this was before I met Randi the Pie Expert, who conveniently lives in my dorm and completely rocks besides. A lesson ensued. Pies-a-plenty, I tell you what. There's no breakfast quite like cold apple pie and coffee. At any rate, the secret seems to be keeping the butter (and the crust as a whole) cold. Grating frozen butter and then combining with flour -- genius.

Said Finnish friend, Saga, turned me onto funk and soul this semester. I'd encourage all my sassy soul sistas and brothas to check out Ann Sexton (no, not THAT one) and Ann Peebles. And you can never go wrong with Sly and the Family Stone.

The sun is actually out here, so I think I'd best take advantage of that rare light and take the rest of my slides of Norwich. I've forgotten what's on my Vienna roll. Hm.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

oh, the anxiety

So I'm afraid of coming home. More than a little bit. I've gotten so accustomed to being away, to sinking myself in this life here, not that life there. The more things I add to the list of Stuff I'd Never Done Before, the less familiar home (Anchorage? Eugene? Portland?) feels.

I have a very tight connection in Boston. Totally banal, but stressing me out.

At any rate, I'm working on getting this thing up and running again. Focusing on my old loves (photos, cooking, booksnmusic, handy things, bitching and so on), but with more diligence, and hopefully, more insight than the typical out-pouring of mental material. I'd like to make this into something.

In the meantime, if you haven't heard of the Swedish singer Jenny Wilson, look her up now now now. The album Love and Youth rocks unquestionably. A bit Feist-esque, but funkier.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Under construction

Not really in appearance, but in content. You know, as in writing here once in a while. Links and stuff too. Maybe even a picture.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Hate to put it down

I'm starting to think that the posting frequency around here is a sign that maybe, maaaybe I should drop this blog thing. The mission at the outset, some rambly freshman-in-college crap about self-discovery, remains unaccomplished. It's a good bitching post and occasional place to stretch my writerly muscles, but it's not exactly topping the priority list.

Anyway. I'm in England. Tomorrow, I'll journey from the sleepy little burg of Norwich to the Big City. Life is generally good, but I still feel bad sometimes. That sounds oversimplified, but when ya gots depression, ya gots depression. But a lot of things counteract that. My flatmates, my friends in any part of the world, the fact that I'm writing again, the fact that I might not have to pay tuition this term, Achewood, chocolate in abundance, good ales, adventures. If I wallow in self-pity, I know I'll regret it looking back on this whole excursion. Sure, Norwich is boring at times and the weather sucks and sometimes I feel like shit, know. Optimism and all.