30 March 2007

Talking 'bout the car wash

There's something very pleasing about riding through a car wash, a foamy scape of pseudo-kelp, bristles, and sheeting rain. I'm quite glad to be back in a state that lets you ride through.

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29 March 2007

6? I'm behind, but it's ok

Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs (3/5)

The thing with a collection of short stories is that some will inevitably be better than others. I have much more tolerance for a novel with a dip in quality as long as it has a strong finish than I do for a mediocre short story amidst better ones. Short stories just aren't my thing when it comes to books. I much preferred his memoirs Running With Scissors and Dry which present cohesive narratives of his crazy childhood and his efforts to become sober, respectively.

Although I have a bias against short stories, Kevin (who loves them) agrees with my take on this particular book. Check out his review at FWDT for more specifics on Magical Thinking.

One year ago at TTaT: Tacos and the bear
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28 March 2007

Reduced to reverse

At the mall yesterday, a guy was wearing a t-shirt with only two words on it. The top line said "PATRIOT" in a font like the ones they use on college t-shirts. Below it, in a different font, it read, "IRAQ."

I feel reasonably certain his shirt was meant to convey his pro-war status as an American citizen. Am I the only one who thinks his shirt choice was horribly flawed?

One year ago at TTaT: A scale with 3 plates
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26 March 2007

Turkey Invasion

turkeys runOr more accurately, turkeys line up and run away...

One year ago at TTaT: Anything, Little Creatures (part 1)
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25 March 2007

A GGGroovy Little Meme

I came across this meme at Melissa's. You create a list of 10 things you like and 10 things you dislike, all starting with the letter that was assigned to you. I got the letter G, so let's Go.

Likings:
    1. Grace (good graces even)
    2. Greek letters (fun to write and to say)
    3. Garages (not to be underestimated)
    4. Ghiradelli squares (the ones with the caramelized almonds... oh yeah)
    5. Grants (research, writing, art- need I say more?)
    6. Geoff Dyer (can't pigeonhole this author, one of my faves)
    7. Grappling hooks (the ones you can shoot- so cool)
    8. Groovin' (appropriately to "Let's Groove" and "Shake Your Groove Thing")
    9. Gershwin (give me some "Rhapsody in Blue")
    10. Geeks (if I didn't, I wouldn't be here, right?)
Loathings:
    1. Grease traps (ugh, most anything greasy for that matter)
    2. Gristle (I dissect my meat pretty thoroughly to avoid it)
    3. Grime (most anything that involves cleaning, it seems...)
    4. Glaucoma (I like my eyesight, thanks)
    5. George Bush (obvious, no?)
    6. Gorgons (greasy hair is actually preferable in this case)
    7. Gagh (yeah, I'll pass)
    8. Gold jewelry (silver, platinum, stainless steel- anything as long as it's not yellow)
    9. Goat cheese (too dry, too...bleck)
    10. Gyps (being cheated sucks)
If you'd like to play along, leave a comment, and I'll give you a letter.

One year ago at TTaT: I'm a little lamb
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23 March 2007

A follow-up of sorts

Here's a smattering of the photos I mentioned in my last post.

The Palace of Fine Arts, a construction site, and the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, CA:
Palace of Fine Arts
cranePalace of Fine Arts



















Transamerica Pyramid


One year ago at TTaT: Life through music
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22 March 2007

Flashback: An Evening's Soiree Cycle

19 March 2004

At Ray's housewarming party, I wasn't expecting to see a whole tier of friends I considered just Chala and Mike's, but I guess San Francisco is a small town that way. Some 80 people had RSVP'ed to his eVite that they were coming, many with friends in tow. I did my best to psych myself up to deal with a mass of strangers and a handful of acquaintances.

I dusted off my chitchat with aspiring photographer Wayne. He praised a documentary he'd recently seen about a photojournalist whose bread and butter was capturing suffering and admitted that he found pleasure in watching those images.

Then there was Stan, a film student with a day job. He claimed that he'd be perfectly happy to just sell scripts even if they were never made, that "you just have to follow Hollywood convention."

I commented that a talented friend of mine with 7 polished scripts hadn't yet been able to get an agent. Upon telling Stan, "It's who you know that matters," he shook his head.

"I don't want to believe that," he declared.

A plastic cup of sangria hit the floor splattering my khaki carpenter pants. This is what I get for wearing light colored pants to a party. Stan didn't seem to notice and told me confidently, "All you need to get an agent is money."

I countered, "You need a decent agent to have it be worthwhile, so people will read your stuff. Assuming you want to work in the studio system. If you have money to produce it yourself, great, go indie."

"You just have to work within the system, use the three act structure a la Syd Field but personalize it."

"My friend's scripts do have acts and structure; it's the subject matter that's unconventional."

Stan proclaimed, "He has to compromise if he wants to sell."

"But there comes a point when you do all that when you're no longer serving your own creativity."

He didn't care. After several more fruitless rounds, I was thoroughly bored. When there was a brief pause in our conversation, I walked off towards the food.

I stood by Chala, snacking for a bit and then alone, consuming. The bass from a nearby speaker throbbed, but I was grateful for a chance to rest my voice.

Once my hunger was somewhat assuaged, I headed over to Chala and Mike. They introduced me to a couple of trendy women whose names I never caught and to Debbie, an acquaintance's best friend whom I'd heard about for months. One of the trendy women commented that she felt short, citing her height as 5 foot something and three-quarters. If you use fractions with your height, you're short, I thought to myself.

Then Mike announced, "I'm 5 foot 5 and a half."

I smiled.

"I'm near five ten," Debbie contributed. "Probably close to six feet with my shoes."

Standing next to her, I could tell I was an inch or two taller. She was more like five eight.

"You're not wearing heels, Claire," Chala remarked, observing the height disparity between Debbie and me.

Amused that she noticed, I smirked and confirmed her assertion, "Nope."

"How tall are you?" Debbie inquired.

Glancing around the circle of people, I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable, but I wasn't going to lie to prevent it. "Five ten." Reassuring freak-of-nature/amazon statements came to mind for the "and three-quarters" woman, but I didn't really care, and the conversation sped along without it.

I suppose five ten is that magic model number. That might explain why tall women who are five eight or nine always seem to claim they're just that inch or two taller. Short people might as well lie in the same way, but many seem to fixate on the precision of their measurement as though it makes them superior to someone a fraction shorter than they are.

"So, what do you do?"

Loud Depeche Mode had obscured the conversation occurring on the far side of the group for a few minutes, but now Debbie was addressing me, and I wasn't sure how to answer. Describing the random and varied work my arrangement with Ray entailed never came easily to me.

Chala interjected, "She's a talented filmmaker not doing shit about it."

I shrugged and said, "Yeah, something like that."

Our circle splintered and redistributed itself throughout the multitude in Ray's apartment. Navigating the dense pockets of people, I spent quite a while hunting for Ray since I'd yet to speak with him. He was deep in conversation when I found him, so I waited patiently. Though he was Mike and Chala's dear friend, to me, Ray was mainly my boss and de facto landlord. We exchanged a brief greeting, and then he was ushered into a clique of people I didn't know.

Since there was nothing nonalcoholic to drink, I finished another cup of homemade sangria; I could feel my cheeks flush, but the lights were dim and no one noticed.

As per house rules, I pulled off my Skechers to join my friends in Ray's bedroom loft, the floor of which was covered with Ikea sheepskin rugs. Part of me was unsettled by the dead animal skins, and the rest didn't want to rub my feet in the soft wool so many other bare feet had touched: I left my black socks on.

The configuration of the group varied as people went downstairs to get drinks and snacks, sitting at different points of our shifting circle. I stayed put, scoping for a bit of wall to lean against, glad to be off my feet.

When it was just Mike, Timmy, and I-- well, besides the threesome rolling around on the floor a bit further away-- Mike began, "So Claire, when you're looking at women, what do you prefer: hips or no hips?"

While I was pondering a reply, he added, "The woman who just walked by didn't really have hips."

I hadn't noticed one way or the other, so I said, "Hips, I guess."

Mike nodded in agreement.

No, that can't be my answer. I really don't think like that. I revised my comment, "I notice height more."

"Is that all?" he asked, as if I was missing out on the fabulous world of jugs, asses, and hips. (Also coming from a short man, he probably wasn't thrilled that I suggested height at all.)

"Sure, I'm drawn to what I consider attractive," I conceded, "But ultimately it's more of a whole package thing depending on someone's personality and how comfortable they are in their own skin, whether they be male or female," I tried to explain. "It's just rare that I encounter anyone I think I'd want to be with anyway."

Before going downstairs, Timmy frowned and said, "Here, you're all shiny," placing an oil-blotting sheet on my nose. A gay man with a style-centric world view, Timmy was either truly appalled by my recurring cosmetological and coif-related shortcomings or barely able to tolerate me. Months earlier, he kindly dyed my hair, gave me a trim I probably did need, and then insisted on plucking my eyebrows, chastising me for my too-lax-for-his-taste brow grooming. I couldn't imagine buying a pack of oil-blotting sheets to carry around in my check-to-check lifestyle, but the sheet proved effective.

"I'm going to get something to eat," Mike said. "Would you like anything?"

"I could really use something to drink."

"Sure, what would you like?"

"Just water, I guess, since there's nothing without alcohol."

"Yeah, there is."

"That isn't seltzer or diet," I amended.

"I'll find you something," he assured me.

The bars of the railing cut into my back, but it was still better than having nothing to lean against. As I stretched out my back and legs, Debbie topped the stairs, walked over and sat next to me.

I vaguely wondered if Mike and Timmy's departures had been contrived as Debbie succinctly told me about her painting, "Mainly nudes, somewhat abstract, predominantly in acrylic on canvas and sometimes paper." Then she asked me about my art.

I wasn't sure what to say, but since she was addressing me as a creative equal, I tried to live up to the Artist persona I'd been attributed. "My photographs involve texture and geometrics within landscapes and architecture."

"Have you shot in the city?"

"Some," I nodded. "Just a couple weeks ago, I shot a few rolls at the Palace of Fine Arts."

"Oh, what are you working on now?"

"Well, I've got in mind some black and white shots of a crane at a construction site nearby."

Even though I was only trying to keep the conversation going since it was just the two of us, I was cognizant that I was trying too hard. My words felt forced.

Debbie wasn't what I'd expected, not that I'd really thought about it. What I had heard prior to meeting her was that she was a lesbian, Lucy's best friend, and that she had a history of long-term bad relationships or rebounds or something which gave me the impression of a fucked up person not suitable for me to date. But in person, Debbie was attractive and well-spoken, probably mid to late 30s but holding it well. She wore dark grey pinstriped pants that I liked, a light green shirt with white square protruding buttons, and a light green leather tailored jacket that matched.

Timmy returned as she was taking her jacket off and asked if he could have it. When she handed it over, he said, "No, can I have it?" really liking it.

During their exchange, I noticed that Debbie's toenails were red and that she didn't have attractive feet. Upon Chala's arrival, she pressured Timmy to remove his socks, eventually pulling them off herself, but she didn't bother me about mine.

A few minutes later, Mike returned, handing me the drink he'd promised, a suspicious smelling concoction topped with whipped cream. Debbie smirked as I busted Mike for including a liberal dose of vodka in the glass, enjoying the familiar ruse. He handed me a second cup of untainted sparkling cider.

Once I felt like the pressure to perform was off, Debbie and I conversed fluidly. She carried her conversational weight which was cool.

Later on, I saw Debbie and Chala closely conversing, and I wondered what they were talking about. When Debbie decided to leave, she asked Chala to walk her to her car. If there had been chemistry, or if I were suave, then I would've walked her out or we would've exchanged numbers or something. But I was neither that compelled nor outgoing, so it was just, "Nice to meet you." If she asked Chala about me at any point, Chala never brought it up.

In the meantime, I was grateful that I hadn't had to rely on Ray's inscrutable bathroom door lock to prevent someone from barging in. When I came out of the bathroom, Tom was stretched out in front of the stairs, talking to a guy standing on a tread near the apex. I was going to venture downstairs for something to drink, but after a brief exchange, I sat down next to Tom finally getting a piece of wall to lean against.

Tom apologized to me saying that he shouldn't neglect his new friend at the top of the stairs and turned towards Jason. To make conversing easier, Jason took off his shoes and sat across from us. They talked about filmmaking and how they couldn't stand LA. Tom said he was going to move to Italy to work in film there. As an aside, Jason mentioned that he was a gaffer.

With a grin, I revealed, "I used to gaff." Finally, a chance to use some film slang without feeling pretentious.

The three of us were blocking the top of the stairs forcing people to cross between us. Jason moved to the other side of me, so we were all leaning against the wall.

"This town can't make a good movie," Jason stated. "I've been gaffing here for 8 years and I've had it. I make a good day rate, but the projects suck." He concluded, "It's all about who you know."

I'm vindicated! His words were a balm over my conversation with Stan. I even commented a couple of times how nice it was to talk to someone who understood. We commiserated over humping cable, bad movies we'd worked on, and the difficulty of transitioning from gaffer to DP. Jason told me work had been on the decline for him for the past three years. "There's just not as much work here anymore."

I'd never felt so confident and reassured that I made the right decision when I quit gaffing. In that moment, it was clear just how naive my friends really were when they admonished, "Oh, you're so talented, you have to get back into film!"

Since he'd been pursuing non-film work, Jason had heard all the same lines from people he knew that didn't get it either: the scope of collaboration required, the immense physical demands, the hours involved, the difference between g&e and creative involvement. Oh, how happy was I to have encountered Jason, however even that, I imagined my well-meaning friends would misunderstand.
ME
I met a gaffer at Ray's party.

THEM
That's great, did you get his card? Are you going to work together? Did you give him your info? What's he working on?

All questions that would entirely miss my joy.
ME
No, I don't even know his last name. We're not even gonna hang out, though I'd certainly talk to him again if we crossed paths somewhere.
Jason was just the first person in San Francisco to understand my relationship to filmmaking because he shared it. Chala, Mike, Stan, the others-- they just didn't get it, but I could be confident that I did, and that's what changed.

One year ago at TTaT: The Grey Goods; Pollen, baby powder, and now Wednesday
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16 March 2007

And now for more winter

At least 6 or 7 inches of fresh snow so far today, and it's still coming down. It hasn't stopped all day and isn't forecasted to until tomorrow night. We may have 20 inches of new snow by the time this is done- oh, and ice pellets tomorrow for extra fun.

I'm glad I picked up my reserved items from the library before it got too bad this afternoon.

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Hope?

Last night, I was greatly dismayed to learn that Veronica Mars was probably going to get axed. However, there's been an update.

Apparently The CW is considering 3 options:
1) the show gets redesigned so that it's set four years in the future with Veronica as an FBI agent, and Kristen Bell the only returning cast member,
2) the show returns during her college years, or
3) it gets cancelled.

Cancellation is unacceptable to me. If they decide to go with the redesign, I would give it a shot, but I think they're missing one of the truly great things about the show. As it is now, regulars in the cast can be and sometimes are the bad guys which adds a lot of complexity to the mysteries. If they make Veronica an FBI agent, chances are the bad guys would be reduced to the pool of guest stars which would make it like the rest of crime shows on television. Veronica Mars is unique; let the show stay that way.

Besides, I would really miss Keith, Mac, and Wallace.

To show your support for the show, please leave a comment here,
and then send a "Save Veronica" postcard or letter to:

Dawn Ostroff
President of Entertainment, The CW Television Network
4000 Warner Blvd., Bldg 168
Burbank, CA 91522-0002

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CW execs, you don't know a great thing

Dave just linked to an article that heralds the cancellation of Veronica Mars. This news actually makes me feel ill.

Veronica Mars is one of the best shows on television right now. Actually, let me amend that: it was until the network put the show on hiatus until May for another damn reality show contest. How many pussycat dolls do they really need?

CW Execs: if you think no one wants to watch smart, witty, complicated characters in a critically acclaimed show, you're wrong. Keep some class in your lineup. Renew Veronica Mars.

One year ago at TTaT: For my amusement
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15 March 2007

When Irish road workers have spare time


Yes, that's right. It looks like a giant radioactive dog pissed on it. Don't see that often. Happy early St. Patrick's Day!

One year ago at TTaT: Don't forget, Why hieroglyphs?
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14 March 2007

New Words and Old Words

Having transitioned at last from over-full to sated after dinner, I still don't feel up to a few rounds of DDR. Instead, embracing some relatively distraction-free time, I thought I'd resume editing the piece I mentioned last week.

The screen I'm staring at is not remotely blank, but I've only managed to add a few paragraph breaks and a stray word or two. I'm in that intermediate head space: capable of working but not driven by some specific inspiration. If I would just commit to it, inspiration might ensue. My patience is slim because I feel like the changes I'm making are purely functional clarifications for a presumed audience. It's fair to assume the mental leaps and omissions I make regarding people and timing in writing for myself will not be obvious to others.

OK, I feel more ready now.

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Surreal weather

67 degrees F (19.4 C) with a half-foot blanket of snow still covering the ground. Something very pleasing about that. I ate lunch alfresco in a t-shirt and jeans, but the sun felt nice enough I could've been wearing shorts.

It's going to get cold again this weekend, so I'm trying to soak up as much of this lovely weather as I can.

One year ago at TTaT: 4-7
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13 March 2007

The add-on


"Do you have any books that need to go back to the library?" I asked.

"You can take those back if you want," Mom replied, gesturing to a stack on the microwave, then adding, "Oh, and you can get lottery tickets while you're out." As if the former were optional and the latter, mandatory.

Did she not just hear my question? It was not: what sundry errands would you like me to perform while I'm out. The add-on routinely pisses me off, and unfortunately, it shows.

She huffed, "Fine, then we won't get lottery tickets."

It's not that picking up lottery tickets would be a big deal; I'd just prefer that she ask if she wants something other than what I offered, and that she be open to the possibility I might say no.

One year ago at TTaT: Pie, please
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12 March 2007

Not light reading

Nor is it actually a book, but since I've included the occasional graphic novel towards my year totals in the past, I'm going to count this as well.

5. Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls (3/5)
The proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is harming girls' self-image and healthy development. This report explores the cognitive and emotional consequences, consequences for mental and physical health, and impact on development of a healthy sexual self-image.
Back in 1993, I read Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women. I took it very seriously at the time and discussed it over dinner with my folks when I was home for spring break. There's actually an 8 mm videotape of that dinner in which I give my dad a seriously hard time. As example of his wanting me to be more passive and ladylike, I cited the Christmas that he bought me a drawing table instead of the punching bag I'd asked for when I was 13. (Trust me, if I could play that tape and stand to see myself be so self-righteous, it would be a vlog right now.)

Reading the APA Task Force's report 14 years later, I can see how many of these images, ideals, and behaviors I've internalized over time as just how things are. I'm not overweight, my upper body is even on the thin side, but my stomach could always be flatter, my thighs thinner, my ass more toned. My eyebrows could be more diligently plucked, and the wrinkles on my neck can drive me to bouts of self-loathing. I feel like I should dress better, but at the same time I don't want to be sexually objectified because of what I wear.

It still gets to me.

That's why it's good to be reminded now and then with quantified research of the prevalence of sexualization of women and girls and its consequences. On the upside, the report also offers positive alternatives which can combat the negative effects and makes recommendations for areas in which further research is needed.

If you don't have time to read the whole thing but are interested, check out the executive summary.

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11 March 2007

I was suspicious...

...when I saw the times for today's sunrise and sunset last night, and I was right to be. Hello Daylight Savings Time. Instead of getting up incredibly late, it was insanely late. Gotta reset those biorhythms.

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The other Hepburn

From the day I first saw Adam's Rib on tv (I was home sick from elementary school), I became fairly obsessed with Katharine Hepburn. I was determined to see all her films, though I must admit that once I was over thirty deep into her filmography, some of the movies were pretty bad, so I eased up. I read biographies, autobiographies, taped rare tv interviews, saved magazine articles, and wrote a several page long fan letter. Her reply though simple and brief is a cherished treasure.

Amidst all this, I skipped all of the Audrey Hepburn movies. In 2002, I saw my first, Sabrina, at the urging of some new young friends. It was fine but didn't impress me much. Still, I was missing the perhaps quintessential Audrey Hepburn film: Breakfast at Tiffany's. Until last night, that is. Thanks, TCM.

Aside from the ridiculously offensive Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi, I was quite taken with it. I loved the dialogue.

The other day Ms. Sizzle mused about platonic crushes and whether they can truly be platonic or not. I felt like Breakfast at Tiffany's was the epitome of 'I'm calling this platonic, and you're playing along, but it's really not.'

One year ago at TTaT: Shake it off
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10 March 2007

Quattro

The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything by Melissa Kirsch (3.5/5)

I know, sort of cheesy sounding, but the title was like a challenge: I had to see how well it lived up to 'absolutely everything.' As a reference book, it's quite readable and it does cover a lot: choosing doctors, retirement funds, work, friends, etiquette, dating, dealing with family, home maintenance and repair, and more. Its target audience is the twenty-something recently out of college, but I still found it a useful read.

In addition to lots of basic info on financing, for example, Kirsch also includes reputable links for more information throughout the book as well as a bibliography of further resources.

I read it out of sequence, selecting chapters in order of interest to me. It is the sort of reference book you can pull off your shelf to consult as the need arises. The chapter I put off until last was the one on spirituality, but it turned out to be one of the most interesting to me since it didn't focus heavily on religion and presented a discussion on ethics.

On a two-page spread of quotes from women commenting on their ethical codes, this one particularly struck me:
Live your life as if most mistakes/screw-ups/bad behavior have a statute of limitations of five years. Forgive yourself. We all learn so much in the course of five years. We can't possibly hold our younger, less-experienced selves to the standards we have today.
I've heard variations of this before, but it can be so easy to obsess over the past that those other words rarely sank in before I was beating myself up for something again. That may be true with these words as well, but the idea of a five year statute of limitations really appeals to me. It may at least help confine that internal scrutiny to more recent events.

One year ago at TTaT: Dude
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07 March 2007

While I'm undecided

I came across a piece I wrote for myself a couple years ago that I thought was going to make an intriguing post or three, but when I sat down to edit it, I realized that by the time I filled in all the background and cleaned up the prose, I might have changed everything I liked about it.

So... while I figure out if I'm going to do anything with it, I thought I'd share this cool widget I came across at Melissa's.


One year ago at TTaT: Dedication
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05 March 2007

Clash of the Foreign Tongues

The setting: Rossi's, a neighborhood grocery store in North Beach, San Francisco.

With salsa and twix in hand, I went to check out. A middle-aged, very white couple was perusing the film display and then beat me to the register to ask a question.

Holding a box of film aloft, she queried, "Slides?"

The swarthy guy in his late 30s behind the counter looked at her blankly. Hispanic or Italian- he never said enough for me to be able to discern. It didn't matter because I'd never learned the word for slides in Italian and only knew a few phrases in Spanish which were not going to be helpful.

Her husband tried, "Do you have any slides?"

I put the salsa and twix down on the conveyor belt. Scandinavian perhaps? The couple's accent was really hard to place. Other than some difficulty phrasing the thoughts though, their English was very clear. Definitely Northern European, I decided.

The cashier looked at them greatly confused.

I tried to explain but realized repeating the word "slides" was not giving him new information. He just didn't know what slides are.

"It's difficult to explain," the Scandinavian man offered after completely losing the guy with talk about negatives and positives.

"Not print film," I began. "It's like you take the negatives and cut them up," I drew an air square of a slide, "and you project it instead of looking at a print."

"For digital?" he asked.

"Noooo." Wrong direction entirely. Think 60's and your parents' pictures, I thought to myself. I tried again, "You take a regular camera and then..."

The Scandinavian husband interjected, "I think this is all he has."

The guy behind the counter nodded. It was a pretty safe bet that whatever he had was already on display.

I bought my twix and salsa, stepped outside, looked up the street and then walked back in. The couple were considering a box of film. "The drugstore around the corner might have slide film," I suggested. They followed me out.

"It's an old technique, but a nice technique," he commented.

"Yes, it is," I agreed.

"Ciao."

I responded in kind as they turned the corner, and I started across the intersection.

Ciao? Now I really have no idea where the couple was from. I'm also left musing the fact there are people older than I am who have no idea what slides are. The cashier didn't seem to understand what negatives are either. O Fates, weave a camera into the tapestry of this man's life, a camera that takes film... at least once.

One year ago at TTaT: Inarticulate much?
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04 March 2007

Another wizard named Harry

I know a lot of people are enthralled by Harry Potter (I enjoyed the movies but was unimpressed with the 2 books I read), but I'd much rather watch Harry Dresden.

Based on Jim Butcher's novels, The Dresden Files are essentially P.I. stories set in Chicago. Harry's unique insight into crimes and other cases, however, comes from being a wizard. Like the Potter universe, not everyone is aware of magic, wizards, and creatures of the night. Dresden's wand is a drumstick; his staff, a hockey stick.

There's darkness in his past, he has a weakness for helping bad girls, and his humor is wry. Good stuff.

Check out The Dresden Files on SciFi at 9 PM Sundays (Who cares about those housewives anyway?) or catch the latest episode online.

One year ago at TTaT: Enter the lion
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03 March 2007

Present, meet past

Generally speaking, I'm organized: not neat, mind you, but systematic. The documents I was able to retrieve from my old pc (ca. 2002) were arranged in their original folders all within a folder named simply: claire's old pc files. Very orderly.

All until it suddenly felt desirable to integrate these files with my current documents folder. As I proceeded, I found many of the corresponding folders contained within "archive," "from rays imac" and "old writing," more recent file sets and subsets which have also not yet been integrated. And then there's all the duplicate files but in different formats.

It is a huge frakking mess.

I should be more ruthless in my deleting since it's all backed up to disc, and I rarely look at most of these files anyway. However, part of me knows that if it's not right here, I won't go hunting for it amidst backups.

Here's to restoring order: may it prove more swift than agonizing.

One year ago at TTaT: On to Egypt, It's an honor just to be nominated
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01 March 2007

One of those days

I looked at the calendar in the kitchen and with a derisive scowl stated: It's not March.

As I reached up to flip the page back to February, I realized it was Thursday, not Wednesday. My hand fell to my side, and I was thankful no one else happened to be home.

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Film is better...

...at least compared to my dad's old digital camera that I borrowed the other day.

snowy branches
snow and sun
deck snow
snow-covered tree
sky over snow-covered trees

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Tre

Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs (4/5)

Unlike Augusten Burroughs' earlier memoirs, Running With Scissors and Dry, Possible Side Effects is a collection of vignettes from periods throughout his life spanning from childhood to a recent book tour. It retains his biting wit while feeling lighter than the previous two books I read.

In Possible Side Effects, you get to join Augusten as he relates a creative approach to dealing with bad drivers, his idea of camouflage as a child, the fun to be had with personal ads (your own and other's), peeping at Uma Thurman, dealing with incontinent dogs, addiction to nicotine gum, and many other short tales. Hanging out with Augusten via his stories is an entertaining place to be: his uncoolness is cool.

One year ago at TTaT: photo block, March is Viggo, Life at 16: The License Test
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