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the colours in your head


Zazie in the Metro

I was looking around on the lovely Lists of Bests website (thank you so much, Andy, for giving me access to something that sucks my life away in this manner) and I stumbled across a refence to Raymond Queneau's lovely little book, Zazie in the Metro. I have not read this book in years, and probably would not be able to track down the copy of it that I own-- I believe it has disappered into the mess that makes up the book collection at home, a sprawl that has slowly been encroaching on the whole house, with books in stacks and piles, put away in double-rows in the bookcases. I believe the only room that does not have books is my stepfather's bedroom, and that is only because he has his little bookcase built into the back hallway.

Anyway, Zazie in the Metro. This book was my first introduction to the species of flighty French girls. A delightful book, full of lovely phrasing and games with the language and simply charming characters.

And on that unsatisfactory note, I must run. More later.


A bedtime story.

I got cornered in the kitchen area by some of the truly scary software people who work here. I was trying to get to the capuccino machine to satisfy my need for caffeination, pretentious-style, but they were firmly ensconced in front of the machine and the fridge, respectively, yammering away.


"Geek geek geek?"

"Geeeeeek. Geek geek geekity geek."


Then I finally got fed up and made some sort of meek "give me caffeine or I will die" noise. Their heads turned towards me and there was an intake of breath as they tried to identify me. All synchronised, somehow. Recognition failed, and so they quickly scuttled out of the kitchen, as I heard over their shoulder-

"Geek gee-"

Turned around again. In concert, bald spots and stained shirts nicely coordinating, with constipated looks on their faces as they carefully ascertained that yes, I do appear to posses a set of ovaries, and no, I am not inflatable.

Without saying one word to me. Just standing and staring as I made my coffee. The second I was done, they scurried back into their cubicles as fast as their little legs could carry them.

I have never felt so weirded out by just a look.



What is cuter-- a ferret or a kitten? Or a baby bunny?


I think I need to go wash away the estrogen that exploded all over the office when I actually sat down and wrote that. But ponder that thought.

Puppies! Colts! Ducklings!

Reverse the Curse

My copy of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has officially gone M.I.A. I am very angry about this. You see, this is the third copy of this book that I have owned, and I'm starting to fear that I shall never get past page 200.

The first copy was a present to my mother from Hunter when he came to visit the summer after senior year of high school. Being as the book was now my mother's, and as I was also engrossed in another one of Murakami's fine scribblings, I did not immediately pounce. My mother took it to Thailand with her, and proceeded to ignore it as it stealthily inflated with humidity and sand between the pages. At the end, however, instead of imitating her copy of War and Peace, which responded to this treatment by stealthily expanding and curling outwards until it resembled a nothing so much as small wood-pulp-based beachball, it just decided to give up the fight and abruptly lose its first two hundred pages, leaving the cover flopping impotently over the unexpected gap.

I actually tried reading it after the loss, reasoning that the first third of a book couldn't be that essential, but it was a lost cause from the start.

BOOK TWO: Having just finished Dance Dance Dance, I stumbled across a copy of Wind-Up Bird in a second hand bookstore and made off with it. (In an honest manner, of course. I duly paid my 5 dollars.)

This one didn't even make it home.

I was juggling a million things, and sat in a cafe to straighten myself out. I got up to get a coffee, and when I sat back down, my bag was gone.

The annoying thing there was that the only thing of any import in the whole bag was the book, and the thief probably threw it away right after seeing what was in there. A book, half a sandwich, a couple pens, some receipts, and a few pennies. Not even any actual money. Lovely.

Book the Third

Simple story here. Bought it. Started edging past page 200. Promptly lost it.




So here we have The Modern Library's list of the Top 100 Greatest Books. Note the two sides. One side is Random House's list, with predictable titles and authors. On the other side-- four instances of Ayn Rand and three of L. Ron Hubbard in the top ten?!


I mean, yes. Ayn Rand can be an interesting author... if you are fifteen, impressionable, and actively engaged in the process of reading one of her books. I actually have a friend who's a pretty hard-core Objectivist and... power to her for being able to maintain that view. I couldn't. In a way, it would be nice to be that utterly cut-throat and selfish, and there would be a certain satisfaction in having a world-view like that, though then that whole selflessness/ morals/ greater good thing kicks in, and the two become a trifle hard to reconcile. And as for L. Ron Hubbard-- perhaps I just have issues with Scientologists because my greatuncle was supposedly murdered by them (more on that at some other point.) I don't know. Once again, people can do what they want, but Battlefield: Earth? Ack.


So the woman? In the woman's bathroom? With all the hairspray? Who sprayed me in the eyes, by accident, I hope?

She needs to go.

Her fuchsia sweaters, blue eyeshadow and mall bangs offend me. The over-processedness of her hair. Her inappropriately tight clothing, suddenly erupting swathes of pale veiny flesh. Or the flesh-coloured stockings she occasionally rocks. And the fact that she's the only coworker who I encounter more than 4 times a day, leading me to believe that I may be equivalent to her on the pecking order here. Actually, she would be superior to me, as I am a lowly temp and she is the mighty Wheeler of Files armed with her Strange Wheelie Cart, but I like to think that my Ironic Granny Cardigans can take her Ugly Granny Shoes in a fight.

And a fight there will be.

A mighty battle. A duel, if you will.

I shall grab her by her shellac-ed mane and whirl her about my head until she builds up a proper launch speed, whereupon I shall let go and she will hurtle out into space, trailing synthetic fibers behind her as she goes. I expect her hair to ignite at some point, so it shall be quite a pretty sight to watch.

Alternately, she might just fall to the ground with a thud, and i will point, laugh, and cavort wildly. I'm also having doubt about my ability to raise her. My wrists have been rather weak lately... I shall have to start working out in anticipation of this battle.

Just in case anyone was wondering...

I am wearing the cutest undies ever. The blue ones.

They have clouds!!!!



FOX is looking for new people for reality TV:

Fox Television is now casting in the Los Angeles area for several new reality television shows. Do you have bad habits or an unhealthy lifestyle? Are you addicted to food, cigarettes, caffeine, diet pills or plastic surgery? Do you get enough exercise? Are you stressed out? Are you easily irritated? Do you have trouble sleeping? Are you a perfectionist? Do you sweat the small stuff? Do you feel overwhelmed or frustrated? Are you feeling isolated or lonely? Do you have trouble balancing your home life with your career? Do you feel pessimistic about the future? Are you ready for a change in lifestyle? If you answered YES to any of these questions, a team of experts may be able to help you on a new primetime reality show. To nominate yourself or someone you know, please email newlifecasting@earthlink.net with your story and a photograph!

Not to rehash a tired rant, but MY GOD just how much crap can be dredged up from the bottom? Quite frankly, I'm sick of seeing worthless loser humiliate themselves for half an hour on telly and, at absolute best, a couple lines in a tabloid. Forget that. I'm sick of seeing them, period. Those shows? The fact that they exist is bad. But you know what? The fact that they manage to exist is awful as well. You're unhappy with your weight? You don't need a bloody tv show to help you out there. Forget wanting lipo. Just get off your lazy butt and go running. You're ugly? Make-up and time spent developing a good personality so people will like you past the first 5 minutes of knowing you. ugh.

It's just... does nobody have any dignity any more? I am deeply, DEEPLY tired of people acting like trash. And then spilling their sorry feelings about it. It's not so much the home makeover shows and similar things that I like, or things like Queer Eye, where the person is just kind of subjected to the show in a kind of bewildered haze. Were it just things like this, with an occasional Apprentice or stuff, then it would be fine. What I do mind is the things that are the bastard incest babies of Jerry Springer, where worthless people bitch and moan about other equally worthless people and I just want to smack them.

But somehow it seems that I can't ever quite shake free of them, that the remote is just a tiny stretch too far when I sit on the couch knitting and absent-mindedly stroking the cat, chainsmoking if it's been one of those days. I have programmes I actually enjoy, and movies to watch and daydreams to fall into, but the crap tv is so easy. Much simpler to kill brain cells than actually use them.

So yes. I don't know what I'm saying. I loathe crap TV and I loathe the teeming masses represented therein, but it is such a wonderful respite from my brain, to sit there and watch the flickers and physically feel my thighs spreading underneath me. I eagerly awaiting next year when I won't have an idiot tube and will actually have to make an effort to get my fix of America.

But then, how will I watch Twilight Zone marathons in the middle of the day? I miss being unemployed.

It's kind of crazy, with all the movies to watch and things to do that I have set myself, that I still find myself in front of VH1's 100 Most Metal Moments (though I must confess to a strange liking for those shows.) It's part of why I read comic books in book stores instead of novels, or that evolutionary bio book Jura wanted me to read yesterday-- it looked fascinating, I just couldn't bring myself to deal with all those WORDS right at that moment. I was jealous of Liza for still having not read all the Sandman books(horrid link, I know, but there're so many sites that I just decided to do the commercial plug one)-- I read them in such a fast lump that I can't deal with them again quite yet. Plus, they need to lose a bit of the stink of my ex before I can face them. The graphics and stories are so lovely, though... I really do need to get over my need for pause so I can read them again. It's kind of scary though-- the sort of book or movie or anything that sucks you in to a veil world of daydreams that is so easy to superimpose over real images.

I've decided things of this sort aren't overly good for me, or rather are one of those things that shouldn't be good for me, but I devour voraciously. 'Twould be rather nice to have enormous fangs, rather like a sabre-tooth tiger, so I could accompany this thought with a demonstration, dragging my poor little victim du jour into the back of a cave and stand growling over it if anyone dares approach. But I wander...

Anyhow, I have rambled enough. I now shall leave you and go frolick through pastures new, by which I mean Jura has just called and I need to leave my office to find out what information it is he wishes to impart.



So Othell is coming to town.

I like to think of him as my first gay husband, my first instance of a guy who I kind of crushed on but not really, who claimed to be bi but wasn't, and who now has become a little manwhore of the prettiest and loveliest variety since coming out.

Ahhhh... Othell Othell Othell.


And in other news, there are vibrator cosies to be found on Craftster.

Almost makes me wish I hadn't lost the one Rufi got me five years ago (while still in the packaging!)


Wah wah wah

Today I am completely ADD for some reason. I think it was originally caused by the fact that I keep seeing handbags all around the web that would be SO easy to make and all that's keeping me from them is a trip to the fabric store. So I will be stopping by Salvation Army on the way home to see if there're any cool sheets I can buy for a dollar and cut up for their fabric. Mwahahahaha...

Ack... am being a huge dork and looking at Craftster and Knitty and random other knitting blogs. mmmm... projects... heeee.

Damn right, he's better than yours.

Reasons why my boyfriend can beat up your boyfriend (Given a knife, adequate preparation time, and full-body armour):

-His glasses, when in the sun, turn dark and make him look like a less-brutish KGB agent.

-He also has a spy-like coat to match.

-His pants come up to the sexy (yet very appropriate) height of 1 finger below the bellybutton.

- An explanation of just what it is he does requires ten minutes and a lot of "huh?"s.

- His Croatian sounds like Russian on crack, and his English sounds like... English on crack. 19th century crack.

- He could probably write an etiquette manual from memory, but at the same time is very good at doing cute little happy dances.
- He lets me tie ribbons around his wrist. And he will occasionally make gang signs or speak American, if I cajole him with my patented Italian powers of persuasion. But he will not let me untuck his shirt.

- He could probably kill someone with the power of his scornful looks.

- Or explode things with his mind, if he tried hard enough.

- He tells me about the mating habits of adelgids, with special emphasis to their relationship to the bacteria Wolbachia and actually makes it interesting, thus negating all the lovely naptime I had in bio class and making my life a total waste.

- He feeds my immense chocolate habit, and rubs my tummy when it hurts after I've pigged out on Korean food.

-He likes cats, a lot. Which is important. At the same time, he puts up with my propensity for talking to cute dogs in batlike squeaks of excitement.

-He believes his centimetre-long hair has the power to become messy, yet has never commented on the fact that I generally look like I've just rolled off the back of the truck from Hippyville and instead appears pleased with my general appearance.

-It takes him 27 minutes and 343298473928749387 words to convey any sentiment.

-He has uttered the phrases: " I have a veritable compendium of sweaters" and "I shall now apply my watch."


-His protruding rib cage corresponds quite nicely to my liking for boys of the skeletal variety. And... his bellybutton is cute.

-He doesn't mind my snoopiness and lets me read his emails over his shoulder.

- I can sleep comfortably next to him with only minimal trashing and adjusting of positions. Even though he does like to squish me against the wall.

In short, he's pretty darn great. Heeee. Happy happy happy.

The sappiness will stop, I swear.



originally uploaded by Alex2552xelA.

So... today we get the commemorative picture, as it's looking like as of the 5 pm meeting, this'll be the end of it.

Oh god.

I am so bad at stuff like this.

"Uh... I realised... we're friends. Who happen to have sex. About once a week, because that's the only time we see each other. So... is it ok if we hang out? But I'm not your girlfriend anymore? So I can do stuff without worrying about the 'I don't think we're on the same page' speech? And if the only place I kiss you is on the cheek?"

*cue Bright Eyes song*

Gah... I can't believe that thing used to be my breakup song, circa high school. Bloody Conor Oberst breaking into sobs mid-lyric. Cecca and I would sit around and just wallow wallow wallow (until I started laughing.) So great.

Except I don't think this is drunk-worthy. We'll see.


Someone is using a permanent marker somewhere nearby.

Is it terrible that I completely and utterly salivate over that smell?

When I was taking 3D Art last year, I used to come home all woozy from spraypainting indoors and my roommates would laugh at me... but the smell was so good. Mmmm...

I was totally a gluesniffer in a previous life.

Furrin' Films

The night before last I went over to Anya's and watched Orson Welles' Falstaff (also mysteriously entitled Campanadas a Medianoche... I don't know what's up with that. It proved very confusing when we were IMDb-ing it during the viewing. Yes, I am an obnoxious person who must know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE in the movie. While watching it. But I'm cute while I do it, I like to thing, so I can get away with it. Also, I'll kick anyone's butt who complains.) ANYWAY, back to my very important and fascinating point. It was a very good movie. I enjoyed it greatly. However, I didn't see much of it, because I was busy being distracted by the WORLD. IMDB this. Phone call that. Commentary on whether Prince Hal or Hotspur was hotter here. Deciding whether King Henry was wearing a little hat or a toupee underneath his crown there. It was fun at the time, but it kind of pisses me off that it's gotten so ok for me not to concentrate on movies. Ach. I shall have to see it again. I think I just wasn't in the right mood for scary flat black and white lighting/ grainy soundtrack / Shakespearean setting. But from the little I registered, it seems phenomenal.

Claire's Knee, on the other hand, is PHENOMENAL. Firstly, I have to give it props for a.) the creepiest knee-touching sequence ever, and b.) having a delightful actress, BĂ©atrice Romand who was simply fabulous, playing a strangely wise sixteen year old in a perfect, but non-obnoxious way. Ana and Anya maintained that I also liked her because she looked like me, skinnier, younger and with shorter hair (kind of depressing combination, no?) but I just thought she was lovely. There's a certain breed of French girls aged around 15-25 (they come older too, but they have to switch a few things around) that are so terribly fey in a way that only they can pull off. I seethe with jealousy and watch them parading around with their strange haircuts and clothes, that somehow look tremendously precious on them. They like to frolick and chainsmoke and always have packs of males hanging off them adoringly but few female friends. I met one of this breed recently-- I was informed, through my friend Laurence, who was playing liason, that she doesn't speak to girls. Come to think of it-- this girl was another breed, that is still predominantly French, but some Italian girls can pull off quite successfully.

Anyway, before I break down and start sobbing about how JEALOUS I was of the girls at riding camp in France, and how I'm still bitter about this, 6 years later, I am going to run. I see that I have completely lost my train of thought re: the movie. I personally liked it. I like Rohmer in general though, so others who dislike him would find it hopelessly dull.


just to share

My foot has fallen asleep so badly that I almost fell over when I tried to walk. Splendid.

And of course, this isn't a pet peeve of mine


I would like to direct your attention to the curious phenomenon that is... the pretentious American student abroad.

In Europe.

In Paris, Florence, Rome or Barcelona, specifically.

Liza is having a conflict over a listserv over a snitty girl on her year off in-- say it dreamily, now-- Paaaaaaaris. Gay Paree. In response, I wrote her the following:

Pretentious Americans in Europe are the scourge of humanity. The men all think they're Hemingway and the women all go around having "adventures" with "dreamy europeans" who are are actually scumbags who are too sleazy to go out with the nice girls from their own countries, because they know the Americans a.) will put out more easily b.) will construe their AWFUL behaviour as romantic exoticism and c.) come with an expiry date. Paris in particular is infected with this breed, as are Florence, Rome and Barcelona. They tend to come back with a.) an alcohol problem, b.) a venereal disease and c.) a new haircut, thus leading them to believe that they have Experienced Life. They are prone to having picnics in odd, inconvenient places that make the actual inhabitants of the city look at them with scorn, and declaiming awful bits of literature (if it's poetry, it tends to be their own) at random points. They will occasionally make one, or perhaps two friends from the country where they are staying, but usually rove in small gangs of equally pretentious Americans. They are fond of public singing and whimsical actions, and like to do things they've seen in movies (if one more bloody couple jumps into a fountain and has a "moment", I will commence killing action.) They are easily distinguishable by the emotions they express-- they will either look like they are on the verge of slitting their wrists, or, for the perky, there is the option of gazing off into the distance and giggling mysteriously.

They must all be killed on sight.

Just thought I would share. I've been there myself-- in China, at least, but there is something about Paaaaaaris that lends itself to the wearing of bizarre hats. And public reading of poetry. Writing poetry is another thing that is kind of like masturbation-- most people do it at some point or other, some more frequently than others, but it's not polite to discuss it in mixed company. And you certainly don't do it in public!



Somehow, you just have to laugh at this thought...

Great paintings, for example, get you laid in a way that great computer programs never do. Even not-so-great paintings - in fact, any slapdash attempt at slapping paint onto a surface - will get you laid more than writing software, especially if you have the slightest hint of being a tortured, brooding soul about you. For evidence of this I would point to my college classmate Henning, who was a Swedish double art/theatre major and on most days could barely walk.


Today I read the world.

The morning started out with my ordinary dosage of telemarketing mixed with some of Project Gutenberg's finest offerings. Sabine had recommended Ibsen to me, having learned in horror that I have never delved, or even dabbled, in his writing, so I read A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler. Nice, fun, uplifting fare. I actually quite enjoyed them both-- I would love to see them performed, and it was lovely to finally find out what everyone is talking about when they reference "poor Nora". (Hah! Hah! I did it! And knew what I was talking about! Hah!) IN the afternoon, however, I decided to go with lighter fare, and so picked up-- or rather, downloaded-- The Picture of Dorian Gray. For some reason I've been substituting the word portrait for the word picture for years, a fact that will bother nobody but myself. But yes. Wilde is the stuff for a good afternoon of living in your imagination. I just watched Velvet Goldmine for the fifty bazillionth time, that is, if a bazillion is more than a jillion... I tend to forget. Anyhow, Velvet Goldmine is peppered throughout with Wilde quotes and even has a little opening sequence, that gets forgotten later in the movie, concerning Wilde. As a piece of work, the movie itself isn't anything to get commemorative tattoos over, but as a vehicle for imagination, it's lovely. And it's the same thing with Dorian Gray. There's the lust for the exciting, depraved lifestyle that I fear afflicts every person in a eight year radius of twenty, more in some cases, obviously, and while reading books and watching movies that pontificate so movingly about the manner in which life should be conducted, it is lovely to parrot them to yourself and feel that you are truly badass for adoping the statement, "To get back one's youth, one has merely to repeat one's follies." (Oscar Wilde, Portrait of Dorian Gray), for instance, as a complete, immutable law. But it's not badass. Not that I don't have an envelope in front of me scrawled with quotes from the book, and not that I didn't frantically start emailing my friends things like, "There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." (Ibid.) because they are awesome statements, but before adopting them as credos, one should consider that it was good ol' Oscar who came up with them (and he's going to come back from the grave and kill me for calling him that) and so we should perhaps try and be original and not rely on quotes. Not that I should speak. I live a life fuelled by romantic images of places and people and situations and ideals, and I do agree with him, that in a way, "the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes." (Ibid... aren't you loving how I'm actually vaguely citing sources?!?!? Whoo!) but for heaven's sakes, people can also come up with their own personal take on this, and not take his word as dogma, simply because he preached disaffection and hedonism.

Ahhh... I get convoluted and pompous at times, and I apologise dearly for this trangression of decency. I'm going to go dream of men in sparkly boots now...

And yes... my pet peeve is people who twist quotes to their own contexts. Compare:

"All art is quite useless."

to its contextual setting:

"We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it.

All art is quite useless."

Slight difference in meanings. Ach. You know Alex is itching to get back to school when... she writes things like this.