september 2004 archive

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


this has got to stop.
A wrong-way driver has been charged with vehicular manslaughter after he drove past a CHP officer who tried to stop him Tuesday night and slammed head-on into a another vehicle on Highway 101 in Burlingame, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A 27-year-old man from San Francisco, identified as Nathan Cistone, was killed when the driver of an errant pickup truck struck his car at about 11:20 p.m.

Police said they got a call at 11:18 p.m. about a green 2000 Ford Ranger traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of 101 near Millbrae Avenue. A CHP officer in the northbound lanes near Third Avenue in San Mateo -- well south of the wrong-way driver -- flipped on his lights and siren and began to weave across all lanes of traffic in an attempt to slow it down and get the errant driver stopped safely.

But instead of stopping when he came within view of the flashing lights, the Ranger driver roared past the patrol car in the center median. The officer then got off at the next exit, and turned south in the southbound lanes in an attempt to get ahead of the errant driver and stop him.

But by then it was too late, said CHP spokesman Christian Oliver, because 42-year-old Robert Paul Nebel of Brisbane had already crashed head-on into a tan Saturn sedan north of the Peninsula Avenue exit, causing fatal injuries to the San Francisco man.

Jessica Michaels, who worked with the victim at a San Francisco landscape architect firm, said Cistone, a graphic designer, had gone through some personal struggles in his life and, in recent years, had come into his own as a person.

"It's mind-boggling that this could happen," she said, adding that Cistone was planning to speak about his faith and his life at a Universalist church today. "He was so full of optimism."

Oliver said drugs and alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the collision, but that Nebel had made no statement about why he was driving the wrong way. Nebel was evaluated and released at San Francisco General Hospital, then jailed on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter.

Several other collisions also resulted from the wrong-way incident. A passenger in one of those vehicles required medical attention.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call CHP Officer Walsh at (650) 369-6261.
yet another victim of senseless tragedy.

i'd like to know when i will stop watching my friends grieve unexpected & inexcusable tragedies as loved ones suffer untimely passings.

i'll stop myself here because i always feel so ineffective writing about these sort of things.

Monday, September 27, 2004

::er, yup, it's fall!::

pardon the dust, dear Reader, i've been playing with color and i don't have the energy to continue. some hues must go, that is certain. good evening to you all.

editor's note: rest assured, dreamweaver & photoshop will come to my aid shortly. i strongly discourage others from attempting a redesign when they are completely and utterly exhausted from a horrible case of the mun-days.

::blog pick::

stumbled on the rendered word today through a bizarre chance of fate. actually, i was exploring the whole "trackback" phenomena on le garden state blog and just trying to figure out what that was all about. all i can say, with the little exploring i did, the 'muse just pales in comparison. it's time for a redesign, folks! argh...i've got way to much homework!

do stay tuned for a music review. i've got someone in mind and it seems there's at least one request for such ('muse nods to the 'champ). tuesday nights are actually school nights, hence the slacking. and the lacking in posts in general.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

::when cats cry::

as today is surely one of the last hot days in summer, the household celebrated the Bathing of the Cats at the close of the workday. It's also commonly known by felines as you want to WHAT? and no freakin' WAY are you out of your MIND were you raised by DOGS? ad infinitum.

Monty and Mango are a handsome pair of cats (pictured here). however, Mango is most commonly the one-who-smells-like-kitty-litter, whilst Monty is, simply, a vain and incessent bather. so, when one is washed, both are washed. i would hate for the bath to be perceived as a sort of punishment where one is singled out over the other.

as i filled the bath, Monty, surprisingly curious, looked over my shoulder from the adjoining toilet. i ventured downstairs for a large plastic cup to douse them with as the bathtub continued to fill with warm water. not missing a beat, he began to howl in realization. returning upstairs, though, i found we had an understanding: he did not run. being the easiest pick, he went first. calm, collected, he took it like the man he used to be. he was patient, uncomplaining, rarely squirming. normally he is quite a handful at the vet, but i'd like to think that going on seven years we have achieved a level in our relationship where he instinctively trusts me. and, mostly, only me. poor josh!

Mango proved to be incredibly difficult. i came for him and he KNEW and he was FREAKED OUT. into the freshly drawn bath and On With The Howling! and the Squirming! and the Knocking Cups And Shampoo And Scaring Myself More! Monty tried to comfort him with answered yowls from behind the closed door (would he attack me at the thought of some physical harm befalling his pal?). i swiftly caved in defeat. barely washed, i rinsed him off and drained the tub. Mango was simply Too Freaked Out. poor little guy. though, thankfully, i am convinced he actually is quite trim, despite that unruly long coat of his. wet cats are sad cats, but they are adorably cute.

Monday, September 20, 2004

::proudest monkey::

over the course of one of my breaks today at work i discovered that, upon reading yesterday's post, mom braved itunes to check out bjork (so cutely pronounced buh-jork). let's just say she was less than impressed. am i surprised? is this one of buh-jork's most unusual albums to date? do i throw around a lot of technical musical terms in my analysis of her latest work? does my mom like the beatles? no, yes, yes, and yes.

mom, you make me proud!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

::waiting room::

it's sunday morning and i realize that the weekend is almost over. i've been living for the weekends lately. that savored time between friday night & monday morning. and the weeks have been flying by with mighty speed.

i've been blogging more. i suppose it's in some magic hope i hold in becoming the next "blog of note" on blogger. however nice, there's some added pressure to perform with such commendation. and, frankly, i've watched many blogs go down the drain on a fast and slippery path with the weight of such responsiblity. not to mention that one would-be andy kaufman blog. clever, but the weight of rude commenters sort of outweighed the creator's flare for fun & satire. so the flame flickered and died. sadness wanes in lieu of the dreams of a creative writer whose efforts were swifly pummelled into oblivion.

i suppose all of us are looking for our 15 minutes and i figure now is as good a time as any. and i've been welcoming all sorts of challenges into my life lately, notwithstanding my recent college-bound endeavors. it would be nice to be discovered. it would be nice to get more feedback. it would be nice to find a job where i could be paid to write about stuff. but, that is what the goal of furthering my education is. yes, mom, i still know how to utilize the shift button and make capital letters. artistic license aside, most of my sentence stucture is proper and my choice of words is apt. i try to paint a picture which will allow the reader to feel my emotion. and, sometimes it really works. other times, i put my heart into a piece, wait for days for some input, and then pick up my writing again in disappointment: i didn't touch the reader. i wasn't able to make a connection that might in the least relate the least bit of a reaction. *sigh* am i confusing you with the "curious thought?" link? that's the comments, people! please, write to me! even to say "john here. interesting piece. i don't really like bjork, though. no matter how impassioned you feel about her album, she's just too weird for me." i'm really ok with that.

(half-laughing) so there you have it. i'm here on a sunday. waiting, and wanting, to hear from You, the Reader. Hit me with your best shot. Fire away.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Friday, September 17, 2004

::seven is heaven::

j first asked me to "go steady" on this day in 1997. and, here we are, that many years later, married, and approaching our three year wedding anniversary. i'm trying to come up with the words to completely encapsulate the accomplishment i see in that. and i'm stumbling because i've worked hard all day and words so often fail me--at the level of excellence i seek in my writing, anything short of perfect is frustrating.

there's a story behind the "go steady" phrase, but amazingly i'm going to condense it more than a can of evaporated milk with this explanation: i was in school and had to take a big test the following day. josh asked me, after a lovely dinner and intimate conversation in his car, if i wanted to "go steady". i thought "how sweet! how old-fashioned!" three months later, he admitted that the actual words were "go study". you know. for the test. ah! it's terribly cute, isn't it? i knew you would think so.

j is constantly teaching me new things. much of what i know about music and who i know in music is because of him. over the years, my catalogue of bands/musicians has expanded exponentially: aimee mann, jonatha brooke, lyle lovett, elbow, jamiroquai, beck, jon brion, michael penn and harry connick jr, to name just a handful. i used to listen to a lot of more mainstream artists, but josh has me on a diet of rather eclectic music these days. and, i am so enjoying it! well, at any rate, it feels eclectic for me because most of it isn't on the radio. as musicians alike, we both have different reason for liking a particular style, and i still lean toward the mainstream a bit more than he does (i enjoy the maroon 5, the occasional beyonce, or whatever is playing on star 98.7...i'm not so down with stained and those kids, and kroq 106.7's top 5 @ 9 last night was all foreign to me & completely unappealing....). *sigh* my point here is that this is one of the many wonderful things about him and, well, i don't have the energy to share them all with you right now. just, trust me. he's wonderful.

so, happy 7 year anniversary, bebe! you know this almost means more to me than our wedding anniversary and i am so grateful to be going through this life with you at my side. thank you for all you do to make our life the very best. i love you forever.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

::pick of the week::

by now a couple of weeks old, this album has taken a lot of time to digest. what i have to say here will be grossly insufficient, but sleep beckons and i worry to be disappointing the reader inthat i have been silent for an entire week now.

i'd also like to add that, whilst bjork is brilliant, her website is understated and i'm more likely to encourage a visit to itunes and simply download the album and ponder it for yourself. here we are...

credit to bjork.com for jpg
a decade from now, if not sooner, modern music students will be studying the music, this album in particular, by the unbelievably brilliant bjork. recently i was questioned on where music is headed today, here, as we round the cusp of the twenty-first century. this, folks, is where it is headed. i have yet to hear a more daring album to date and i could not imagine anyone other than this icelandic princess to create such an outstanding work. words, as always, flounder and fail before me as i try more & more urgently to convey my excitement and amazement for this music. but, alas, i will keep trying.

what is it? what does she do to imagine such bountiful texture? a veritable cornucopia of modal experimentation, vocalized moaning, sighing and gutteral explosions, precise manipulation of beat & tempo, and ethereal choirs of angelic voices. my favorite track? thusfar, mouth's cradle wins out. i'm a big fan of driving, percussive beats. in this, bjork backs her primary vocal line with syncopated rhythms, voices, and just, ohmygosh, a beautiful recipe of music composed with some unlikely ingredients. the entire album is extremely challenging vocally because of the diatonic/modal harmonies and odd textures. lyrically, bjork is a poet at heart as well as a composer. sonnets/unrealities xi is an obvious example, but it has always flowed from her music, even back to post. i'm no poet myself, i couldn't provide any sensible analysis of her lyrics, but it is so clear in the music she writes.

is this her most accessible album to date? well, goodness, i'd have to pick a bone with those people because it certainly took a while for me to want to listen to this album a second time. i've spent some time in music theory classes, i've been subjected to the bizarre if you will. berlioz and schoenberg to name a couple of composers who challenge me in the realm of contemporary music. but perhaps that, in turn, is what allowed me to brave yet another listen. that and the immense respect i have for bjork, whose voice is truly one of an angel. every sound that eminates from her throat is crystal clear, precise, perfect. few singers i know will move me to say such compliments.

Therefore, i say. Go. Listen. Rinse & Repeat. Hope to Absorb her Brilliance. Towel dry and wait with me in rapt anticipation for whatever's next.

::it's oh so quiet::

class is done for the night & i'm presently awaiting josh's happy return to the abode so that i can sleep peacefully. however as much as i am fighting it, i think my exhaustion may overtake me at any moment. argh.

saw co-worker leroy at school tonight whilst on a much needed reprieve from our exciting speech class. he already had coffee in tow and i was only just going to fetch something from the cafe-a-la-cart, so we only spoke for a few brief moments. i learned that his german teacher is scary. i'm starting to think it's a stigma that is automatically assumed upon all foreign language instructors. both of my french teachers were a bit quirky. feel like taking a model airplane to france? yup, well, that's what we did in high school....

random moment of the hour: the cashier at trader joe's who spoke a single word: "Q*BERT", which subsequently conjured up a multitude of images from my childhood. ah, the 80's. where were you???

life has just been chock-full of things to do. i'm working on school stuff and work stuff and home stuff and writing lots of letters. make sure i have your address: you might be next! woo hoo! the joys of snail mail. today in class, a student gave a tribute to the internet. apparantly he hasn't sent snail mail in, like, a long time (not since he was 14). oh, the SHAME!!!! goodness! (yes, folks, just pouring on the sarcasm here). i'm one of the handful of the well-adjusted "older" folk in the class and these students who are nearly 10 years my junior are a complete kick in the pants. that's right. i just used the phrase "kick in the pants". doesn't that just get your goat?

Sunday, September 12, 2004


thank you to the houseguest of the g_____s who requested decaf coffee...on account of having enough nicotine already today.
for that special someone who, in calling something a "moot point" pronounces it "mute".

ah, out of the mouths of real, live, people.

::it gets better::

decked out in my loose grey skirt and a light blue flowered sleeveless blouse, an older gentlemen asked me if i was a vegetarian.

i'm still trying to figure it out.

i think it's a compliment.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

::er, thank you?::

uh, at work today, a nice lady who didn't speak very much english asked if i was going to have a baby. i smiled broadly and said "no" while shaking my head in emphasis. she then motioned with her hands in a wavy pattern in "real women have curves" fashion. i smiled again. i'm crying on the inside.

little did she know i was already disturbed this morning at being able to fit into pants that i hadn't worn in a while. pants which had been on the "needs to be tailored" list. pants that used to slip off my hips.

i came home. called my mom. whined and moaned. grabbed a cookie. changed into workout gear. finished the cookie. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

::teenage fantasy::

when vicki (aka "christine" -- i've got my hat, do you have yours? wink, wink) told me today about this, i nearly died. andrew lloyd webber's the phantom of the opera is finally coming out as a movie this christmas. we've only be waiting, like, 15 years!!! and, so, i have to give in to the teenager in me that's been bouncing around all day with the news. when vicki told me, i felt like i was 14 all over again. Phantom! No. Way. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

my heart also goes out to these folks as the sad news is: michael crawford will not be playing the role of the phantom. instead, gerard butler will be attempting to fill his shoes. heck, if davis gaines could do it back in the day when he was touring & i saw him in LA, it is certainly possible. does anyone know if he can sing?

also note, i have seen Phantom 6 or 7 times with the role of the Phantom played by Robert Guillaume, Davis Gaines, and yes, even Michael Crawford. Ah, yes, it is a wonderful obsession. hee hee!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

::saturday funnies, early edition::

ordered my school book (only one! yeah!) off of amazon.com this year. what a savings! i received the following email today from the seller:
subject: your seller

thank for buying the book.. iti ship and on it way to you...

your seller

[name blocked to protect the, er, innocent]
i almost didn't open this email because i've been getting spammed lately on my personal email address. but, well, sometimes i just like to take a chance. besides, i was using webmail. whew!

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