it's been one week

since returning from paris and london and oxford i find myself mostly changed. i feel like the experience of showing up in a foreign country with nothing but the clothes on my back and cameras and prescriptions in my bag has worn me down into a woman who needs 2 or 3 changes of clothes and some deodorant in order to be happy. it also makes me want to cut my hair (it's so long now!). these are all wonderful, good things. i caught myself watching "project runway" simply because they were in paris and it feels good to say that i have been there.

i keep waiting to have something truly brilliant to say about our journey. to be struck by a string of eloquent words that capture the experience with such perfect trueness that it transports me back to that place & time. or the reader. instead, i search iTunes and land on "ok computer" and my insides become shaken & stirred in a martini of memories. ok, that was only chosen for the alliteration, as i realize martinis & memories have little to do with each other. my apologies.

i'm quitting my job. the 20th is my last day. after much painstaking dodging of the subject matter and seriously long bouts with "chick-foo" (aka, the former, in the form of small hints and crying spells and lots of chocolate) josh finally summarized my confusion (work AND school AND piano? i'll go insane! i don't really want to stop taking piano lessons...). hitting the nail on the head, the option became "so quit your job" in an outburst that warmed my heart and made me shameful for not being one hundred percent completely honest in the first place. he's a good man, charlie brown, and i'm the lucky one to have him as my life-long companion.

and now i must play piano.


it was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

to steal a phrase from dickens, i think i now understand it fully. we returned yesterday evening (or rather, very early this morning) from our travels abroad, and the highs we had were the highest & most joyful: lauren & joe's wedding in oxford, our first train ride into paris accompanied by live accordion music, holding a hot crepe in front of the seine, watching the tour eiffel sparkle and shimmer at midnight, posing in front of 44 rue jacob with hemingway's ghost and dining at his favorite le-pre-aux-clercs on a turkey-curry kabob and the red house wine, and befriending a couple of french kids who wanted to practice their english while i practiced my french at a cafe in montmartre while toasting "sante" with beer (1664) and mojitos until the cafe closed. oh, then the lows we had made the highs so much more meaningful, and i'll summarize to say that losing our luggage for the entire trip was the most painfully humbling experience. i hardly think the good times would have been as triumphant if the bad times had not crushed our spirits so brutally in their brief moments of victory. our trip was a grand success, all in all. the writer in me is still soaking it all in at the moment, having hardly found time to write in the midst of the experience, and i hope to share it with you in more detail sometime before school starts next month. 

in a luggage update though: one piece was returned to us thursday evening, appearing to be completely in tact (even the bit of money i stashed was there!). our other piece ("my" bag") is still awol. we hope it is having a good time and expect it to return home fully loaded with souvenirs, including (but not limited to): glowing glass replicas of the tour eiffel, one pink thong emblazed with the word paris on the front in tiny rhinestones, a note that stays "my father has died and i have no money..." (beggars feast on the tourists, always introducing themselves with the phrase "do you speak english?" before holding out this note and then completely grossing you out by touching a finger to your pastry and then her lips and leaving you no choice but to abandon your edibles since you refused to eat something someone else has fingered, which may not have happened if you gave away your loose change.) i figure our luggage is really hard up at this point.


where's waldo?

otherwise known as "where is my luggage?" is the saying of this trip. as we are forced to wash our underthings for a second night in a row, i am grappling with the idea of finding another "perfect dress" to wear to the wedding, and to try not to hate my luggage for spending more time in france than the original 8 hour layover we had intended for it. i am convinced that, like the gnome in "Amelie", we will come home to photos the missing pair had taken in front of notre dame or kissing beneath the eiffel tower or touring the louvre. that is SO not cool.


playing around

last night i was running an errand and heard a commercial for a store that was having a "Huge Piano Blowout Sale!" and it happened to be located at the tustin marketplace where i was headed. so, post-errand, i found myself in the store, fingering the yamaha uprights and eyeing the room full of bosendorfers. the store manager was generous enough to let me walk in and play, even though i wasn't in the market for one (i had asked him). sixty seconds in the room and i found myself on the main floor again, breathless at the beauty of construction and the sound that my fingers pulled from the keys. i was further complimented as i played on some of the other pianos when he asked me if i wanted to go back in and play on the bosendorfer some more since i "have such a nice touch" on the piano. wow. i was in heaven, if heaven is a piano tagged at $150,000...

we're not in the market for a piano, mind you, but i think that when we are, it'll end up being the yamaha c1, a baby grand that has incredible tone. the one i fell for had a walnut finish and an unmistakeable warmth (especially in the bass) that threw me head over heels. i talked with the manager a while longer, digested the cost (sell my car? i just might, but it still wouldn't pay for it entirely), and thanked him for his time. i think the investment is somewhere in our future, but i couldn't tell you when.


precious moments

this summer has been moving at warp speed, so it's with extreme joy i pause and reflect on the photos that capture moments in time that are so awesome. holding my niece at one week old is an incredible experience, and finds me totally unconvinced that i would never want a child of my own. not that i had ever wholly decided that in the first place, but in light of going to school & traveling to far-off places, it hasn't been at the top of the list. this has not so much to do with those other things, so much as josh & i have a healthy understanding and respect for what it takes (emotionally, financially, relationally--if that's even a word) when you have a child.

in other news, i've been mostly working and mostly taking piano lessons this summer. i've also been scheming as to how i can work my way into the Music Teacher's Association of California so that i can start teaching piano. not an easy undertaking, since last i checked uci had me down as an english major. one must admit though: i've had this in me all along. it was only a matter of time, commitment, talent, support, time.... i'm much more dedicated to the cause at 29 than 19, and i think the only thing i wouldn't like about majoring in music at uci is that i wouldn't be taking lessons from linda. however, the best case scenario of that happening puts me at september 2007, so i won't complain just yet.

moxie has just thrown himself atop my lap and left hand. so i'll take that as a sign to savor the moment and cease this blogging. more to come in september.


sketches from the anti-mall

this moment is
as my eyes graze the lab & counter culture vying for the valet parking or grooving to the tunes being spun by the dj who's camped out amidst shady trees and rusted-out oil can waterfall painted all shades of orange, goldenrod and scarlet.
she's got on sunglasses, a macy-gray-facade sucking on a drink from the den. dark skin sharply offset by a white wifebeater and a smooth white bracelet. & here i am, w/ my green apple purse and wistfully tan legs, knobbly dry kneecaps and red mules, my moleskine doesn't make me a star, nor any amount of exercise.
the shade is cool and a man snaps gum loudly on a padded concrete bench to my left. i want to stay here and soak it in, let the beats fool my brain into thinking time stood still just long enough for me to write it all down.
for a second it does, as a singular beat threads through the air to my ears. i pause to close my eyes & then i remember- I'm going to London, to Paris. Will I experience something close to this? where you enter the pulse of a miniature thriving of people condensed into a particular place? a chance to be absorbed into Babylon and inspired to write just because i can and because i want to but mostly because
to stop whatever my previous agenda included, stop & write & hope that i've married w/ my surroundings enough to compel you
to move you
with simple words
phrases long enough
well enough to help
you put your finger
on the pulse as well.
it's been too long since words have called me & i am relieved to take pause in capturing
my mule slips off my left foot part way & the cacophony of native drums distantly disrupts the DJ and my thoughts flutter and flop. time to go, it says. But, Can't I stay? No, Time says, I'm up.


bring me my radiohead 3.0

greetings! for some strange reason i've been reluctant to post on my adventures at the radiohead concert. i find myself strangely apathetic about the whole thing and i'll blame that on the pms because, certainly, it was a fabulicious show. i've no regrets about the money spent to get me there, or about the fact i didn't try to sneak backstage on the coattails of friends who my link me to thom yorke with one degree of separation. in fact, from what i can tell, said friends did not even talk with said thom yorke. shame on you! shake his hand, get a picture, let him sweat on you a bit. perhaps some musical genius will rub off. however, said friends are already excellent musicians, so i'll let it slide. this time.

below is a partial set list of known songs in playlist order. there may be some slip ups here and there, as i find myself extremely uneducated in the long line of radiohead song titles. the amusing task of tracking the songs in my baby moleskine notebook resulted in a conglomeration of lyric snippets and an attempt to list "everything in it's right place" at least 3 separate times. the third time, radiohead finally read my mind and relented by actually playing it.
you and whose army?
the national anthem
2+2=5 (the lukewarm)
morning bell/amnesiac
videotape (new)
kid a
dollars & cents
street spirit (fade out)
karma police
i might be wrong
true love waits
everything in it's right place
there there (the boney king of nowhere)
the bends
how to disappear completely
on the greek theatre: stacked parking blows. not so much the getting out part, as we arrived about 45 minutes before the start of the show. it was the "getting to our parking spot" part, which involved off-roading and should have contained a prerequite for drivers or passengers with weak constitutions, back conditions, or expectant mothers. while i don't suffer from 2 out of 3 of those, and my back is in fairly good shape at this point, i do recall a distinct moment when i thought i might get whiplash.

on the opener: deerhoof. interesting stuff. fun to watch. not as fun to listen to. amusing in retrospect.

afterthoughts: i'm really glad josh & i went. stick to the pink's hotdogs next time because their grilled cheese sandwiches are like chewing crunchy, stale, microwaved bread. hello? "grilled"? does that mean anything to you? oh, and the garlic fries are dangerously fully yummy. but you'll have garlic breath for at least 24hrs. (hey--there's a thought for the next season of 24! take THAT, jack bauer!) radiohead was not at the peak of their game, but i've no regrets. a fairly solid performance, great sound, and i always appreciate a band who doesn't sell out to the stadium venue (sorry, U2) at the risk of sacrificing their distinct sound. i would do it all over. minus the grilled cheese.


bring me my radiohead 2.0

it's taken an hour of cruisin' iTunes to search out the perfect music to suit the mood to accompany my writing, but i finally settled on a few singles and an album from a band called "the office". where do i start here. it's been ages since i've just sat down to write something that didn't involve a grade. something of quality at least.

the school year ended with "A's" across the board, which has me stunned and super-happy. i'm off to a span-tabulous start if you ask me, and i've also achieved the first "A+" since grade school, which is stunning. we'll see if the french in paris offer the same evaluation this summer. i seriously doubt they want to know what my family is like, what type of furniture i have in my bedroom, or what i'm studying in school. i have a feeling i'll be eating a lot of ham, too, since that's just about the first thing that comes to mind as far as ordering food: second only to nutella. 

i had mcdonald's yesterday. it was 90 degrees or something crazy like that. it's been humid (today is much better) in southern california and i walked outside on my lunch break and thought: filet-o-fish, hold the cheese, fries, and a chocolate shake. my body is still in recovery from the calories and junk. i've been fairly diligent about exercise & diet lately & i just killed it all yesterday. i have yet to motivate myself to the gym or even the pool this morning and i've been chatting with friends and drinking coffee and waiting for my blood to clear itself of toxins. 

piano lessons resumed on tuesday, much to my relief. linda & i talked about certificate of merit and set some much needed goals. we'll see where i'm at in 3 months' time, though we're aiming for level 8. i left off at level 7 twelve years ago, so i'm aiming high. i've a difficult time accepting the limitations of time, but i honestly believe that there's a reason linda's taken me on again. apart from the fact that she's been someone i have admired all these years, she's been a fantastic mentor and doesn't try to sugar-up the facts. i love it. she was very frank with me on tuesday and willing to say things aloud that i only thought in my head concerning music. we pondered school & she questioned the "teaching thing" as i call it. this is where i learned that she cruises by the 'muse now and again (why do my friends so rarely comment? family? lend me some sugar! i am your neighbor!). i was flattered to learn she's always thought of me as a writer. and encouraged in my pursuit of such recognition. 

therefore, i leave you with magnetic poetry, via my fridge:
murmur a moment
for morning ever was
and storm
will bless
blowing through ~zero (aka dino)

father blue
hear my song
dance earth
dream him warm
turn his day red as
surrender ~zero

empty moonlight
leaves sleepy shadows
balmy summer week
she asks
"what be chill?" ~furiousmuse

fling it like this
throw out use
were time like love
why not
listen see go ~furiousmuse
radiohead tonight @ the greek. i am (not) prepared to be awed.


all consuming

i study for finals. life begins at 12:30 today. 

samuel beckett (1937 letter to Axel Kaun):
It is becoming more and more difficult, even senseless, for me to write in official English. And more and more my own language appears to me like a veil that must be torn apart in order to get at the things (or the Nothingness) behind it. Grammar and Style. To me they have become as irrelevant as a Victorian bathing suit or the imperturbability of a true gentleman. A mask. Let us hope the time will come, thank God that in certain circles it has already come, when language is most efficiently used where it is being misused. Or is literature alone to remain behind in the old lazy ways that have been so long ago abandoned by music and painting? Is there something paralysingly holy in the vicious nature of the word that is not found in the elements of the other arts? Is there any reason why that terrible materiality of the word surface should not be capable of being dissolved, like for example the sound surface, torn by enormous pauses, of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, so that through whole pages we can perceive nothing but a path of sounds suspended in giddy heights, linking unfathomable abysses of silence?


conclusion to a crappy day

to wrap up yesterdays adventures, presently recalled as hilariously impossible, i give you this. yesterday's trip to the ups store ended thusly:
(after borrowing scissors, wrapping my gift in the paper i brought from home, discovering the leaky water bottle, tossing said water bottle, asking for paper towel to mop up my purse as the gentleman behind the counter lovingly packed my box in popcorn and cardboard after i waited for at least 5 minutes as the employees {and owner!} contemplated lunch and phoned the neighboring sandwich shop with their order, all WHILE I WAITED. when the boy presented the box...)
me: i'd like to ship this ups ground.
he: ok.
me: that'll get there by saturday, right?
he: no, it'll get there next week.
me: how much for guaranteed delivery by saturday?
he: $22.xx
me: uh, ok. how much for packing my gift?
he: $6.95
me: (thinking: you've GOT to be joking) ok, i'd like to just pay for that for now.

--insert irony--

i bring you this morning, at the u.s. post office
clerk 1 (to customer): thank you. hope you have a great day.
clerk 2 (jokingly): we'll have to balance out the good days with every other customer. 'cuz not everyone can have a good day)
me: i had my bad day yesterday, so that's not gonna work. (forced smile)
clerk 1: i guess we can have two good days in a row.
(cordial pause, customer leaves, pleasantries)
me: how much would it cost to guarantee this package will arrive by saturday?
clerk 1: where's it going? (...) it'll have to be sent express mail, since priority mail is 2-3 days. (...) that'll be $22.xx
me: (!!!) ok.
ok man, the crappy day will stop here. back to wrapping up the last of school stuff.


curing the blues

today has been a day quite unlike most that i've experienced in recent years. bit by bit, small mishaps tumbleweeded themselves into a gigantic thorny mess, leaving me frustrated and disappointed enough to crawl home to tator tots and a garden burger brand burrito. i suppose it starts this morning, with the delayed chiropractic appointment that threw my schedule into a crazy time warp. i was unable to deliver my father's day package to the post office and learned that i shrunk another shirt of josh's because i forgot to hang it dry. from there...well, where to start? a processing error at work caused a customer great grief, multiple overdraft fees, and a bouced check to the electric company. whoops! if that wasn't enough, apparently i processed ANOTHER deposit incorrectly and an extra digit beget more research and problem-solving for yet another employee. slowly growing ill at the sound of my name, i procurred marble cake from the bakery and shot off an email begging time off for a weekend in new york. the chocolate was perhaps not sweet enough as it soon became time for lunch. lunch was spent purging my insides of finals-week-induced discomfort and finally scooting to the neighboring ups store to wrap the gift and ship it "poste haste" to dad. it was at this point i discovered that my bottled water was leaking all over my purse. i dumped my dripping belongings into a plastic grocery bag, and in a fit of disgust tossed the (nearly full) 69 cent bottle of h2o in the trash. 

i'm tired of writing about my crappy day. it got a little worse. then it got better: i watched hugh grant & julia roberts in "notting hill" and i dreamed of england. life's not half bad anymore.


13 more days

until freedom rings in my head becase school will be done for the quarter and, as is the possibility, my summer may become beautifully free. i keep waffling on summer classes: "to take, or not to take?" and the current state of "i'm waitlisted" only aids to my crazy waffling indecision. between now and then, i've 2 projects: and you better believe i'll take writing a creative piece for piano over and 8 page paper: if i choose my form of labor-intensive creativity, music wins every time. college writing and the lack of creativity i'm feeling these days is almost depressing. still, it all comes to a head on june 8 and this weekend plans on kicking me up and down the block at least half a dozen times. summer school? what's that?

homework aside, happy times will be had at the expensive of sleep: we're seeing tom stoppard's "the real thing" and "les miserables" before the fateful june 16th hits my door, so this weekend darn well better be productive. this will only be possible if the strange dreams of far-off london stop confusing my sense of reality. the fact that i actually starting dreaming in french is crazy, too, if you ask me. still, i know it was somehow related to those 30 minutes i spent watching "bridget jones 2" on tv last night before dozing off. mad mad world indeed! someone kick me if i even dream of trying a poorly executed british accent while in england in some failed effort to "not appear american"! yes, i'm a bit concerned about paris, too, but i passed my oral exam with flying colors (197 out of 200) and i have confidence, for better or worse. my worry? i hope not to be asked about my past. i don't know those verbs yet.


detestable nearness

our neighborhood is designed such that each home is nearly atop the other. a fact that, for the past four years, seemed a necessary evil as southern california is ever the growing real estate mogul and residents insist on spreading themselves on the land at such a pace as the construction (or destruction) cannot happen fast enough. proximity has never been much of an issue, save for the poorly designed picture windows that point, immodestly, toward our neighbor's laundry room, master bedroom, and child's bedroom, where visibility is determined with respect to your location in our hallway. it's a sad fact that one must always maintain proper attire in a house within one would hope to wander about freely, being that it is, in fact, a private residence. one day soon we hope to bolster our sense of privacy with some sort of window treatment: it might've happened sooner if one window didn't necessitate the use of an 18' tall ladder. 

today, however, a rare repose at home brought forth another concern: that ghostly ability of sound to travel through walls. i recall somehow investing in extra-quiet insulation, which appears to do little or nothing to quiet the celebration in progress for their three-year-old daughter. mind you, our neighbors are dear people, kind and considerate and friendly, but like 'til tuesday, "voices carry" (at one time mistaken for "this is scary". either interpretation works in this situation). the tunnel-like space created by two homes nearly atop one another serves to amplify sound, the effect like kryptonite diminishes the sound-dampening qualities of the insulation and served only as an irritation as i attempted to do my homework. and as a deterrent when i thought about playing piano. it might've been funny to play "happy birthday". it would've been depressing to subject them to scales and the bach prelude i'd like to be practicing. i can't imagine the level of disturbance without the extra insulation.

no. 44

i think somewhere along the line, redesign my site was envisioned as a literal "design it yourself with macromedia dreamweaver" project. i lost that opportunity as my trial copy swiftly surpassed 30 days without an ounce to show for all my secret ambitions at typing beautiful code and inventing a site that might win me a nobel peace prize or get me in the running for poet laureate. and, much like my interior decorating, my site was dying for a taste of modernity. so, thanks to blogger, i have once again pirated someone else's design and tweaked various components to make it feel like me. sort of. i'll continue tweaking in months to come, i'm sure. the most painful part of the process is trying to figure out what i did to cause various disruptions in the design (30 minutes of detective work all for once mislayed "div" tag!). being a hack is fun, but time consuming.



i heard on the radio the preakness is this weekend. which has little or nothing to do with my post here, mainly it's just a happy distraction: it reminds me of my childhood. i pretty much burned through all of walter farley's "black stallion" books in my youth, racing through tales of adventure, intrigue, and horse racing. i recently spotted an advertisement for flicka, a film based on mary o'hara's book "my friend flicka". the book and i have a history as well: the book is my mom's favorite by far, and it is through her that i came to read it. with any luck, i'll actually go and see the film with her. with any luck, it won't be a complete & total disappointment, as the transition of book to film often earns disasterous results and the disdain of critics and fans of the book. ah, the plight! 

josh turned 30 on monday without much hoorah. it's been an interesting transistion for him, i'm sure. it's all well for me next year, and the fact that i'm shopping for anti-aging spf moisturizer is a sure sign of insecurities that are purely superficial. ever since i transferred to a new office for work, my new coworkers have been shocked to learn my age and that i'm married. a strange coupling with my student status, i'm typically mistaken for 5-7 years younger than i actually am. thankfully my brain doesn't function like a 22-24 year old. i'm grateful for maturity.



because i AM thinking of you, my day in masking tape graffiti spotted on ring road at UCI:

was all it said at first. then appeared:
followed by:
points to ponder, my friends. points to ponder.


thanks a latte

ah, the college life. i could go for one of these lattes right about now. and a good massage. this week has been instense, twisting my sensibilities hither & thither until i wonder how i can see past the immediate wall of difficulty in my way between spring & summer. 

work, actually, is not the issue. even with recent changes happening so abruptly and the need for some adjustments in my schedule, it's been a positive change. today what hit me hard in between my first and last class was just how unbalanced i feel, and how frustrated i am at allowing myself to get behind in my reading. i look forward to the daily goings on in french: mon professeur est toujours heureux! her cheerfulness is infectious, but i can't seem to carry it with me beyond the classroom. 

altogether, i think the general feeling of disorganization is taking a bit of a toll on my psyche. it hit like a wave this afternoon, yet i can proudly say that the wave has receded and, a little bit drenched from the water, i'm still here and ready to proceed. 

blah blah blah. now wasn't that exciting? i'll try to be less ambiguous in the future. i just really needed an excuse to show off this cool picture.



yesterday was my last day at the office i've been at for two and a half years. i knew this after i walked in the door and looked at the note taped to my monitor...

i awoke to music from "amelie" this morning, and it's hit me in some sort of mystical haze that my life is full of ceaseless possibility. oh, poppycock! the haze was actually conjunctivitis clouding my vision from an evening of intense allergy attacks (how ever did i make the blurred drive home from long beach last night?). but the possibilities? well, those are always there. so, here's the skinny or, where it's at: monday i start at the new office. i continue piano lessons. i audition and am accepted into the music program at uci for, say, fall of 2007. i finally quit because i begin teaching piano privately and have this dreamy flexible schedule. i complete my major requirements in one year and still graduate in the spring of 2008 with a BA in English and a BM in Music Composition. from there, really, aren't there so many paths to diverge on? i've managed to combine my two loves. and i've still tossed around the idea now & again about piano perfermance, but we'll know more at the end of the year where to go with that.

in the meantime, i've woken up feeling full of hope, though the sudden shift of events has it lined with sadness, i believe indeed i must hold to my parting promises. ann, we will go to dinner, i will come to the baby shower, and myvan & i will go to anjin. and i will insist on one day off for the weekend to spend with my josh. and we will go to oxford & london this august. somehow, someway...i shall know for certain on monday. 

the soundtrack to amelie is so magical: the accordion, the piano, the theme...they all melt into this brilliant composition that invokes my spirits to soar!


the short list

1. funny thing about #61: i've grown my hair long enough to extract pigtails, which i wore today in all their stumpy glory. if they were any longer, it might start to look childish (as if it doesn't already?). reader, you deserve a picture, but i'm too lazy after a full day of school and my early morning pilates session. another one bites the dust--w00t! 
picture now available!

2. i saw a fellow student riding his, uhHUM, uni-cycle to class earlier this week. i followed him down the hall as he wheeled it into his classroom. all i can say...HUMMMMMMph. it was a rather surreal experience when i passed him again in middle earth (the park at the heart of uci): he was chatting up a friend and pushing it along as they walked. surely a moment that could have been extracted from amelie, it had that sort of flare.

3. someone has taken to chalking up various surfaces on campus with the words "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL" and each time i read it, i felt a little better.


extraordinary machine

so everything is in flux as i've been trying to, i suppose, get into it with the new year, new life, new school, new piano lessons, new schedule. it's as though everything's been in flux and i'll admit even now my post'll make little sense since i'm ever scatter-brained at 100 mph. this has been the year of flux-uation, and i'm trying to find my rythmn in life and it's so challenging and frightening. bit by bit i'm putting frustrations behind me, but indeed it is a slow and painful process. you're reading this though, and so dear reader, i will aim to keep you entertained in spite of long silences.

some know i've had a love/hate relation with work in recent months as, of course, i attempt to find balance in my life with all aspects in equal portions. ha! well, part of that included turning in my resignation yesterday. and, friends, this is where i truly believe God acts & moves in mysterious & awesome ways: what follows was nothing short of miraculous. in a haze of doubt and nervousness, i took my lunch break al-fresco, sweating it out in the rain as erin & i talked shop about the restaurant biz in a sort of how-to for dummies (me, the dummy). our call ended with my feeling more foolish then ever and "what on earth am i getting myself into" clouded my thoughts as my stomach continued to churn and i continued to sweat despite the cold. HOWever, within 3 hours of my letter of resignation finding its way into the hands of my manager, the Regional Manager walked through our office door in casual attire and i was escorted into an "exit interview". my shock quickly dissipated as it turned into "what can we do to keep you with the company?" enter New Shock. and an amazing feeling of gratitude and pride as i felt a Truly Valued Employee. quite unexpected as i'd left the company once before (3.5 years ago) and nary an eye was batted my direction. so, i'm staying. after all, i've already established myself in this "career", and i'd be complicating things to attempt a career change to waiting tables before my graduation, upon which i expect to begin another career as a teacher. i mean, what on earth was i thinking? (just one thought i had as i pondered erin's words of wisdom) 

Regional Manager promises to resolve things to my satisfaction quickly, but i'm to keep this under wraps until such decision is executed (hence the delay in publishing this post--some coworkers read my blog). there is a strange backstory here about interviewing for transfer to another office and balls getting dropped left and right, but that is neither here nor there at this point). 

apart from this, school is in full swing and so far much more mild-mannered than the previous quarter. i find myself run down though and this past week my fingers barely brushed the piano keys. i must find practice rooms on campus that i can sneak myself in to. oh! and i must bring up that we saw elbow at the avalon in hollywood last week and they were so incredible. the sound was perfect, the band was mind-blowing, and the venue entered into my top three. if you haven't heard of elbow, check it out. you won't be disappointed. 

the life is an extraordinary machine (so is fiona apple). i'm amazed at every turn, every day that goes by that i'm doing it: i'm living this dream and i've got a wonderfully loving & supporting man to share in the pleasures & the pain of it all, who doesn't begrudge the difficulties but stands at my side regardless of the mood i'm in. by no means is it easy, but surely this life is good.


march 2006 archive

Saturday, March 18, 2006


i didn't expect to write as soon, but i feel a need to rant at that company that decided to backorder a friend's url and managed to snap it up the minute it expired while she was OUT OF TOWN. has this happened to you? did you get it back? i mean, dude, it's a BLOG she's had for 5 years. i'm crossing fingers and toes she gets it back, and without getting taken to the cleaners. still, it's a ridiculous ploy to make a fast buck off the little people. argh!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

the 501 blues

it's not about my levi's. it's just about the next 7 days of my life. starting...now. i officially sit with my stomach in knots. i'm unsure if it's related to the naked juice vanilla chai protein beverage i grabbed on the way out the door, or the fact that i've been up since...(counting on fingers)...for eight hours already (check the timestamp, do the math, use fingers or toes if you're lacking), or the troop of ants who greeted me at the kitchen sink in those wee hours, or that i'm a woman, or that i haven't finished the papers that are due today. i've made preliminary arrangements to turn them in tomorrow...i did that at 10am this morning, but i'm still upset about it. why blog then? stress relief, i guess. and i'm tired. i should nap, but that would entail tromping off to my car since i won't fall asleep and drool on myself in front of complete strangers and potential classmates. it's tempting though.

"the 501 blues" are also a sign that i've passes the "500 posts" mark, which may have something to do with the length of time it takes my posts to post these days. blogger, i love you, but mayhaps i'm bogging you down? one of these days we'll look into this further. next week we'll explore the 502 blues, which is much less depressing and involves the pretenders, gardening, shopping at west elm, and a trip to disneyland (yoshimi, are you game?).

oh, and for my friends who are neil gaiman fans, check his blog--a recent "blog of note" on blogger.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

the sofa has landed!

New Sofa!
Originally uploaded by furiousmuse.
just an update on the furniture situation. we ordered this sectional back in january and just got it on saturday. it's been getting a lot of companionship today as i slave away on my homework. oh, how comfy it is! i'm totally thrilled with the color. strangely named "pumice", it looks nothing like those rectangles i use to whittle away at my calloused feet.
unfortunately moxie has a strange facination with the fireplace which demands my attention. the water bottle is failing in all areas of "get away from there it's HOT!" so i'd better turn it off.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

today is...

...the day i return to lowercase letters. don't ask. it's not that i'm lazy (the proof is found in the papers i write). perhaps it's because it allows my thoughts to fall on the page more swiftly and without the hinderance of shift+__. after all, i still take time to insert punctuation. yeah! punctuation! ...
i was cruising myspace just now and found elbow on there (seeing them next month: oh, yeah!). it was bizarre, because i noticed goldfrapp is one of their friends. my bottom line then: how many of the bands on myspace are actually represented by some member of the band, and not some label flunkie. humm.
oh, yeah, and i also found out that a friend request i recently declined was from my friend's wife. geeze.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Word Count

I've lost track of the number of words I've typed this quarter (two more weeks til finals!), but I will share that I've composed four papers averaging 4 pages (double-spaced), four (should've been five) 2-page papers averaging 600 words, read 32 poems, 5 plays, and 7 books averaging 400 pages each. That's AVERAGE. The books, well, they've all been read in theory, but to date I've only managed to get through 2 books in their entirety. Major chunks of text have been digested, but I could really go for a course in speed reading at this point because my frustration can only be measured in pounds. Seven books in ten weeks...it's an exercise in sanity for sure. I can only hope that next quarter will find me better accustomed with the pace of things.

Being a vegetarian is fun so far. I even survived a night out at sushi--though I was sad to learn that the miso soup has a fish broth base. I've cooked tofu and noodles, stocked up on brown rice, and hard-boiled a dozen eggs. The point has been made about watching my cholesterol, so i won't be living on egg salad sandwiches. Still, hard-boiling eggs was fun!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

No. 74

"Go vegetarian for a month" it says. So, this is the month. I bought 2 dozen eggs at Costco to celebrate (amongst other supplies). Thank God vegetarians can eat eggs! The hardest thing to give up for me: fish (I love sushi!). Concurrently, I will probably be able to avoid fast food this month, too. Does that count? Did I make some sort of clause against that? Ah, yes. Number 53: no fast food, including pizza. Well, I'll give it a go anyway. Pizza might have been my saving grace: is it that bad? After all: Z Pizza is all organic.... I'll also have a crack at #47 (going to the gym 3x/week for 6 months).

Ah, the joys of a cluttered schedule!


february 2006 archive

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Another Day in Paradise

So, I'm chillin' at the bookstore right now, after a full day at school. Another "A" for one of my English classes...which means I think I'll have one "A" and two "B's" by the time the quarter is over. It's good: I'd give myself an "A" for effort across the board, and I think that's what matters most. So, in terms of number 77 on my list, let's say "it's not happening". At the same time, I am resolved to graduate with honors. This means a 3.60 gpa minimum to qualify. I think that's do-able. Consider it revised. (This doesn't mean I'll cease seeking straight A's in the future.)

In other thoughts, the music her is likely to drive me back to high school: Phil Collins (see title of this post), "Young Guns" by Jon Bon Jovi (dude, I own this single--on CASSETTE!!), and now, Mariah Carey (Love Takes Time). Sheesh. (Followed Hootie & the Blowfish. I'd better wrap this up before I go nuts.)

I was thinking about our trip to Oregon to visit Mom & Dad recently, and I recall being grossly underprepared for the cold (this was in November). Stopping at Wal-Mart, we stocked up on unfashionable jackets and proceeded to the front registers with warm things hung on plastic hangers. The young man who helped us proceeded to, save for one item of clothing, BREAK each hanger in half and remove the two pieces of hanger from the clothing. I actually found plastic hanger bits in my button down (read: hanger breaking easily avoided) jacket. Maybe you had to be there, but Josh & I found it hilarious.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Top 10 Names of Wireless Networks

"Discovered" last Saturday as Josh and I visited various friends in Laguna Beach and LA. I propped open my iBook and kept checking what my airport card was picking up.

1. Love Shack

2. Lola

3. Quentin

4. BigEarl

5. Reef Seekers

6. Matrix


8. ThinkerII

9. Black on Black

10. Diablo

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Last night, oh the ANTS, the ANTS. Just one of the beautiful things about living in Southern California. Returning home circa ten in the evening and my whole body tenses as I open the pantry, reach down for the tupperware bin of dry cat food and BAM! they're crawling in and around the cat treats and 4-pound cag of Science Diet T/D (Mango has teeth issues). I curve my neck around and see them going up and down the doorjam, face front and they're climbing to the Costco-sized box of microwave "smartpop" popcorn (which reeks of butter, mind you, but each bag is individually sealed) and the path they are taking: over the millions of plastic grocery bags stashed for future use (thank you, Mom!). So, becoming very un-packrat-like, I shove ALL the bags into a single bag for immediate recycling--out of the house.

After the battle, I'm scarred. Dry goods litter my kitchen table--my study/writing table these days--and that Bailey's left over from New Year's Eve committed hara kiri in the kitchen sink. My skin still crawls with phantom ants and my neck achieved a permanent kink in it. This morning, the shelves are lined with the dead and the kitchen reeks of non-toxic "agent orange". Sleep came and went at all hours of the night, but I am here. And it is still early.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Tell me about it.

From Erin, just for fun...

Click here.

In my best Starsky & Hutch (remake with Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson): "Do it!"

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Doing Something

Last month I "talked" about it. But, a week from today, I'm actually going to start doing something about it. I will finally resume piano lessons with my first teacher, Linda. I'm thrilled at the prospect. Ecstatic.

Last night it got me thinking: what happened that I quit in the first place? I mean, how did I do it? Did I call her up one day and say I needed a break? I honestly cannot remember, which makes me feel strange. No matter. That was over ten years ago now. Just an odd thought.

Oh, and I joined Lauren in submitting a list to McSweeney's. If I don't hear back, rest assured it will be published here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Magnetic Poetry

Time out. I'm working in the kitchen (cuz it's clean, yo!) and while I should be working on my essay, I'm solving mysteries. Recently, I came home and noticed that a bunch of my magnetic poetry had slid to the base of the refrigerator. Just now, I caught Moxie in the act of throwing himself up the refrigerater door to paw at a single word block. Regretfully, my would-be poet was overcome by writer's block (or shyness) and gave up. Or, not?

I give you my (almost) nine-month-old Moxie's first poem:



note...The following day I found "shall" on the ground, chewed up. So far Moxie seems ok, but there's a small bit of magnet missing...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Everything Except

Tuesday's Midterm + Two 5-Page Papers + Housework / Hard Work

= Spotless digs. Spotless Homework.

And boy, am I tired. In other news: I've picked my schedule for next quarter. It's getting harder to limit my classes to Tuesdays and Thursdays. I wish I could post something more titillating, but frankly I just don't have it in me these days. I'm halfway through the quarter. I'm still alive! Five more weeks....

Thursday, February 09, 2006

What about the A's?

Yeah, what is up with that? I mean, honestly now, the class I thought I'd like the most I also suck at (according to the papers I'm getting back). Truly though, I'm having a hard time with the fact that it's called "Music Writing" and we're spending the bulk of our time reading. I do understand that good writing requires extensive reading. However, in terms of "How to Write X" we are getting zero hints. It's mind-boggling. I suppose a discussion section (or four) will help me, but I'm kind of missing out on the focus of the class based on how abstract it is. It's all a blur.

So, that thing on the list about getting all A's.... I blew it last semester at Saddleback with a B, and surely I've lost out again. It needs to be more about the effort made than the grade I end up with, even if that is how a school measures effort.

So, with A's on some papers and B-'s on my last 2 papers for my music writing class, I'm feeling mildly discouraged. In the thing I love the most. Actually it's playing music that I love the most. (At this point in the post, Moxie falls asleep on my lap between my belly and the iBook. He insists on propping himself up and resting his head on my left forearm/wrist. It's getting rather difficult to type.) Needless to say, I'm dreading the next assignment as my confidence has been beaten up twice and I'm not sure it can take another lickin'. Do I have a choice?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Dancing Days

To the not-so-private dancer in section 412 last night at The Pond... Uh huh? That's right. Stretchin' your arms wide-to-the-left-and-right as you bob & weave, dip down, raise up and point at the band? Taking your cues from Elaine, your section-mates got "drunk dancing" while you were aiming for "dirty dancing"? I thought you wouldn't stop, then Coldplay started in on "The Scientist" and you sat down. Sort of. Ah, no, you couldn't sit out an entire song, could you?

Last night's concert with Fiona Apple opening for Coldplay taught me a couple of things. First, sound always sucks for the opening band, no matter how cool they are. Second, merchandise is a rip off. The quarter-sleeved tee I wanted was $50, so I went without. Third, while it's possible for music to sound mildly good in a stadium, this may be the last time I buy tickets for an arena concert. I'd rather hear music in a place that's built for it (with the exception of the Wiltern...unless I bring earplugs). Oh, and fourth, it's worth $20 not to park on the arena grounds. Josh & I avoided the wait-in-line-for-EVER-to-leave-the-parking-lot syndrome. Yeah!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Number 29

Today I woke at 4am and decided to plow on the rest of my paper. By 8:30, slow and slug-like, I was ready to burn my copy of "The Rover" as a sacrifice to the paper-writing Muse. Alas, my final sentence was properly revised from the original state of "Behn was a forward-thinker who dreamed of a liberated woman in a kingdom that would respect her for her thoughts, feelings, intelligence, and not just as a piece of ass." Erin, I do believe I could start a novel on that.

And, Happy Groundhog's Day! (It's the thirtieth one I've been around to celebrate.)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

dot dot dot

I'm doing a lot of writing. Really. Just not here. However, if you'd like some insight on Aphra Behn's "The Rover" or William Blake's "To the Muses", please let me know.