27 September 2007

My feed reader is already out of control

and I haven't even left yet. Ack!

Barring some sort of familialicide and subsequent incarceration after a week of vacay with the fam, I'll be back.

In the meantime, please help yourself to some of my favorite posts:

A taste of the family dynamic perhaps,

Or driving with Dad,

Cars loved and lost,

The bear,

Or a concise recollection of higher altitude.

The sidebar also divides the archives into categories and includes links to audioblogs and vlogs. Enjoy!

One year ago at TTaT: When ordering goes horribly awry

26 September 2007

My missing appendage

My computer's been in the shop the past couple days. Miraculously, it decided to act up just a few days before my warranty expires. Started spitting discs out onto my desk with a surprising amount of force. I was in such a panic to get it to the repair shop on Monday that I totally forgot to throw the power cable that I'd just disconnected into the box.

The repair guy, a very nice pony-tail (which I mean in the best possible way as some of my fave boys are pony-tails), didn't even mention it when I picked it up today. Thanks, Daryl! He was also kind enough to check on and fix some other issues computers in my serial range were known for. Yea warranty!

Except that it expires at least a week before it should. That ticks me off, you hear me, Apple? I ordered the extended warranty at the same time as my computer, but my computer arrived a couple weeks after the warranty box did. Note to self: don't buy the extended warranty until after I've got my computer next time.

In any case, I'm pleased to have my computer back so quickly and at no charge. Withdrawal will return soon enough though as the dreaded family vacation is nigh.

One year ago at TTaT: Rick Sixty-Two
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24 September 2007

Oh sacrilege, how you make me laugh

Yea Lucy, The Daughter of the Devil!

Two years ago at TTaT: Scenes from the afternoon
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19 September 2007

One year left

Several years ago, I had this idea of myself at 35: confident, fulfilled, successful. There was even a brief period when I considered it possible to become that person before I turned 35, but the years slipped by, and I feel like the person I envisioned is still a long ways off.

What happens if I turn 35 but am not that person? has been a source of increasing preoccupation in the past couple of years. I don't have the answer. It's possible I will get myself together within the next year rendering the query moot. However, something I wrote a few years ago seems as valid today as it did then:
...as the weeks wear on with little change, I wonder if she'll ever reside here. I guess she's waiting for me to move out first.
Too bad real moving is simple in comparison.

For today though (as it's technically after midnight), I'll let what might be in the coming year rest. This moment is what matters, and I'll celebrate my birthday with that in mind.

15 September 2007

retrovlog one: A Taste of the Jam

How am I a fool? Let me count the ways...

Welcome to the premiere retrovlog, originally shot in 1992.

(run time 1:45)

(If your instinctive response is to complain about traveling, you're totally missing the point.)

(Other vlogs of TTaT)

One year ago at TTaT: Out and about
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14 September 2007

Only so much patience

Yesterday's bra shopping excursion was sans boots. Familiar self-conscious, shallow breathing, overwhelmed person- ah! there you are.

I had tried to psych myself up for the outdoor outlet mall. Maybe there'll be a cute girl working at the Calvin Klein Underwear store. Then I'll be willing to ask for help looking and with sizes.

What if it's some disgruntled, 45 year old, chain-smoking woman?

No, cute girl. Think positive.

What if she's really cute? Do I really want to be the spaz who can't find a bra?

It could be a funny how-we-met story, I guess...

In the final stretch approaching the store, I thought, Oh god, what if it's a boy? They carry men's and women's underwear. Some aloof, sleek, black haired, could-be-a-model with scorn in his eyes. I stopped and forced myself to breathe.

He could be gay! Ok, an obvious gay boy- that would work. No wonder Queer Eye was so popular.

In reality, she was standing in the open CKU doorway, soaking in what she could of some gorgeous fall weather, when I approached. She was young and good looking, but more than anything else, I registered her intense I-don't-want-to-be-here vibe. Of course. What was I thinking? It's fucking retail.

Two women, friends, were consulting with each other on various bras hanging on the wall. The store was the size of shoe box, men's on the right, women's on the left. There was a large poster of a sculpted male body in underwear advertising some new "pouch" style. The young woman who worked there returned to the back behind the counter. An open door behind her lead to storage and an unfinished back area. To her right, was another white door, closed, with a black scuff on it near eye level.

That might be a dressing room. It doesn't say so though. I couldn't bring myself to ask, so I looked at the wall of bras and kept track of the other shoppers in case they went to try something on. They didn't; one just picked some things out and bought them.

The store didn't carry the t-shirt bra that Jenny had recommended or the other style I'd been interested in from their website, so I bailed. The place was too cool, compact, and intimidating for me.

I felt like a wuss when I walked outside, but the sun felt nice on my face, the air, cool and fresh. I would try again.

To temper my anxiety and frustration, I decided to walk the entirety of the outlet center, stopping in anywhere that struck my fancy. In a somewhat masochistic twist considering my abysmal shopping record with shoes, I found myself looking for a hot pair of knee-high boots.

It was an externalized attempt to recreate the confidence I'd felt the day before in footwear a bit more comfortable. Also technically, my cowboy boots are shoes that just look like boots under long pants.

Back in San Francisco, I had once borrowed an exquisite pair of black, leather, calf-encasing boots with a chunky 4 inch heel from my bud Chala. Despite being difficult to walk in, they were pretty spectacular. I've often thought that if I had the right pair of boots, I might actually wear skirts. Shoes have always been a major stumbling block to dressy attire for me.

Flats, pumps, heels: they just aren't my style. Tall black boots with a square toe and say, a chunky two inch heel, that I could do. As typical of my shoe shopping experiences however, no one had anything remotely like I wanted in a size I could wear. I knew I disliked the hunt for bras even more than shoes, but I hadn't expected it to be for most of the same reasons.

I looked in the remaining three "intimate apparel" stores, even trying on several bras at one where I was totally fine with no saleswomen offering to help me. Sometimes (i.e., all too often), I'd just rather do things the hard way.

In the end, all I purchased were some birthday gifts: one more for Mom, and two for me. I just can't pass up $2.99 hard cover books from Borders's outlet store.

One year ago at TTaT: Coolness
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12 September 2007

Of boots and bras

Today I did two things I almost never do: 1) I put on my toe-crushing but awesome cowboy boots, and 2) I went shopping for brassieres.

The former actually made the latter easier. The 2 inch heels made me stand up a bit straighter, and though my gait did not feel perfectly smooth, the click-clacking of the soles on linoleum conjured the essence of adulthood in my mind. The self-consciousness I'd come to associate with the whole enterprise over the years was absent.

It was, of course, yet aptly, a complete bust. I measured, I did the math, but nothing was quite right. Though I liked the non-strap-slidiness of racer backs, the nonadjustable band circumference made sizing more difficult. I'm ready to accept that the cheapest mall fare will not suffice. As a person who espouses comfort in clothing, undergarments really should get top billing. I may even submit to being measured as much as I feel it will prove useless.

Any suggestions for where to shop?

One year ago at TTaT: Recognition
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11 September 2007

Floor time

When I was a frosh in college, I spent a fair amount of time lying on my dorm room floor listening to music and staring up. I used to carry an insane amount of tension in my shoulders and back, and relaxing into the floor helped. There was ample head room above my top bunk bed, but I often preferred the hardness of the floor. The perspective change was something I enjoyed.

The tension that used to feel like steel rods spanning my shoulder blades is now only the sporadic knot, but it's still nice to look up from the floor now and again, soaking in good alt. rock and the altered perspective. I'd still be there now if I could blog on my back.

Two years ago at TTaT: Three Breaks: Part 6
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10 September 2007

Defining Hell and The List

An old friend of mine recently wrote:
...if you had told me ten years ago [Summer 1997], when I was listening to a little cassette called Palace's 'Days In The Wake' on my walkman all day while lugging my aimless and critically depressed self around LA and San Francisco before returning to Florida for another year of complete self-imposed hell...
Obviously, it's an extraction from a larger thought, but it's that "year of complete self-imposed hell" that's really been on my mind of late. Not surprising with my birthday coming up next week. I typically think of the last three years as limbo, self-imposed certainly, but with my inability to shake it, perhaps it's more of a hell than I'd previously considered. My fear of repeating past hellish experiences keeps me from taking risks for anything better. Am I really such a coward? Existentialism is a convenient cloak of excuse, but by its own virtue this is also all there is.

One year ago to the day, I compiled a life list of 103 things I wanted to do, achieve, or own thinking it would help put me on track. Since then, I've crossed off 20 things, though to be fair some of those were more to-do list rather than life list fare. Four items I eliminated once I decided I didn't really care about them, but they got replaced with four new things.

What's left is predominantly split between distant places I want to visit and personal changes that are difficult to quantify as cross-offable. Today, the answer I seek feels like it may lie in items 50 and 51 (which for now I prefer to keep to myself). Time will tell.

One year ago at TTaT: Setting a body in motion

08 September 2007

$20.20 on rocks

There's no denying it. I've become a rock hound. It's not like I spent $50, $300, or $1000 on one chunk of mineral (which it's possible to do), but I did just spend twenty bucks on rocks that could have been a CD, DVD, or video game. The mineral prices were very good though compared to the major gem, rock, and mineral show I attended last month.

In the beginning, I just knew what I liked when I saw it. Now I know I'm quite fond of fluorite and can pretty readily recognize it in all its forms. I bought four cool pieces today, two in a dark blue I hadn't seen before. As an added bonus, two out of three vendors didn't add sales tax to their sticker prices.

For now I keep them in their open jewelry boxes on their cotton beds, but I envision making a little purple, blue, and green Kryptonian-like city from all my varied pieces. I just need to figure out a display format that will keep them from getting chipped or broken if they're jostled unintentionally.

Just another layer of geekiness to add to the collection.

One year ago at TTaT: Three Breaks: Part 2
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05 September 2007

Overheard in Costco

"Did you know putting pot in Red Bull is illegal?"

Um... "Duh" springs to mind.

[On a personal note, now I will go pass out in front of the tv since I had a total insomniac night with all too short segments of discontinuous shuteye.]

One year ago at TTaT: Fun With Dead Trees debut, 34

04 September 2007

01 September 2007

Fresh view

It's been a long time since I watched The Sound of Music all the way through. I had my favorite songs, but I'd get bored when the Nazi part of the storyline took over.

A few years ago, a museum near my parents held an outdoor screening sing-a-long of the film. I'm sorry I wasn't around for that; it sounded like a lot of fun.

Tonight, for the first time in many years, I turned it on for background while I put fresh sheets on my bed. "Edelweiss" was never a favorite of mine, but I left it on to see the children's party farewell song.

During the party (everyone's seen this movie, right? If not, I'll skip down a few lines for possible spoilers..)

... Maria and the Captain demonstrate an Austrian folk dance to the children. I'd forgotten it, but damn if it wasn't pretty hot. I'd learn that dance for the right man in a correspondingly rockin' tux. I might even be coaxed into a twirly dress.

One year ago at TTaT: 33, La Vida Lohan
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