Wednesday, March 31, 2010
View Capitol Hill Stairs in a larger map
I was surprised to find that there is a park hiding under I-5, along with a Mountain Bike Skills training course. If I was into mountain biking, I would have needed a new pair of pants upon my discovery of it. It's also very peaceful. Surprisingly enough, you can barely hear the traffic above. Although, I think that may have been due to the fact that much of it was at a standstill. Here are some photos of it all:
It was a very quick and easy trip to get to the bottom of the stairs. Going back up...not so much. There were three other people walking up/down the stairs, and I was the only one not wearing workout clothes. Either way, it was a good workout getting my fat ass back up that hill.
After my Adventure with Stairs, I made a stop at Vivace for an iced latte first; then I went over to Cal Anderson Park to get in a few pages of reading; and then I headed home. I'm glad I got off my lazy ass and out of my apartment today.
As a side note, after we parted ways, I couldn't help but think of how that situation would have played out in a world envisioned by Ayn Rand. Rather than say, "sure, no problem," when asked if I could help her out, the response would have been, "what do I get in return?" Fuck, I hate Ayn Rand.
- Find a fledgling restaurant that is run by an arrogant asshole.
- Send Gordon Ramsay to "save" the restaurant.
- Show the restaurant's chef exclaim how good the food is; show Ramsay spitting the food out and describing it with no less than five expletives.
- Have Ramsay observe a regular dinner service.
- Have Ramsay bitch out the chef/owner/manager about all the things that are wrong and need to be fixed.
- Have said chef/owner/manager bitch out Ramsay and proclaim there is absolutely nothing wrong with the restaurant, and that they just "need customers".
- Insert commentator's remark about how this will be "Chef Ramsay's most difficult challenge yet."
- Have chef/owner/manager break down in tears and say they'll do anything to fix their restaurant.
- Have Ramsay redecorate the entire restaurant and create a new "minimal" menu.
- Insert pep talk with Ramsay and the entire restaurant staff.
- Everyone rejoices.
- Ramsay expresses his skepticism.
- Roll credits.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
From Dalkey Archive Press:
On Christmas Eve 1999, all the Jews in the world die in a strange, millennial plague, with the exception of the firstborn males, who are soon adopted by a cabal of powerful people in the American government. By the following Passover, however, only one is still alive: Benjamin Israelien; a kindly, innocent, ignorant man-child. As he finds himself transformed into an international superstar, Jewishness becomes all the rage: matzo-ball soup is in every bowl, sidelocks are hip; and the only truly Jewish Jew left is increasingly stigmatized for not being religious. Since his very existence exposes the illegitimacy of the newly converted, Israelien becomes the object of a worldwide hunt...Also, the title, Witz, is Yiddish for 'joke'.
Meanwhile, in the not-too-distant future of our own, "real" world, another last Jew—the last living Holocaust survivor—sits alone in a snowbound Manhattan, providing a final melancholy witness to his experiences in the form of the punch lines to half-remembered jokes.
How do you explain that?
In fact, even now, as I look over this page and its words and images, I shudder. It terrifies me. I live for answers. This is what the rest of the page says:
"Dreams and images bombard me (last night & this morning). ThingsI think I may have stumbled upon one of the biggest mysteries in my life. There is so much in the journal, and it is more than just words on paper.
unfrom the deep are migrating to the surface."
"I am beginning to believe that the world is extremely simple and straight-forward. This may be because I can't figure out anything, or that there is nothing (to figure out)."
I didn't really get into politics until after I graduated from college in the spring of 2007. As to why that is, I'm not really sure. I know I wasted most of my time during college, and I could have walked away from it with so much more, but you live and learn.
I can't speak for the past generations, but there is definitely a deeply rooted apathy with regards to civic participation amongst many of my peers, and it drives me nuts. However, I know that I surround myself with people who will actually listen to me, and they know that I do my homework. If I think something is important, they're going to take notice if I keep mentioning it over and over again. (See here, here, here, here, here, and here). So, I'm not just working for my own purpose, I'm working for everyone else. I think that's a valuable thing to offer.
My other contribution was my (O-) blood; I'm a universal donor, and anyone can receive my blood. Sadly, as a practicing homosexual, I am banned from donating blood ever again. Although, things may change in the future.
"He's cute," I would tell myself, as I looked across the way.
There were several cute guys there that day, and I couldn't force myself to believe that I could ever speak to any of them. I proved myself right. It wasn't that difficult, either. The heat was beginning to drive me insane. I couldn't exactly move all of their stuff into a different area of the park. Nearly every square inch of ground was occupied. Thankfully, I liberally applied sunscreen to my face, neck, arms, and legs. I never got a single burn.
My anxiety was getting the best of me. Luckily, my friend returned and relieved me of my duty. I informed him I was leaving, much to his dismay. The wait for the bus was anything but exciting. I became a captive audience to a woman, clearly drunk and consumed by the heat waves. My friend and his boyfriend were leaving, and I managed to excuse myself from the woman's meanderings, and catch a ride with them. The air conditioning never felt so good.
I arrived home, fatigued. I needed a nap. A few hours passed when I received a phone call. This person was not in my phone's address book, but I somewhat recognized the number. I've avoided him for the past several months. I thought I was doing him a favor by disappearing from his life. I increasingly questioned our friendship, and what it really meant to him. At the time, he had only contacted me once, and that was to ask how I was doing. I let the call go to voicemail. Would he leave me a message or not?
The phone made its sound, indicative of having received a voicemail. He had. I listened to it. "Hey JB
On the walk over, I listened to "Crashin'" by Jack's Mannequin. That song would be ingrained in my mind, forever, as the night our friendship rekindled. I waited longer than expected for him to show up. Then again, he always had a penchant for making me wait. I hated that about him. At last, he finally showed. He looked so cute. I always found him to be so attractive. It kind of puzzled me as to why he would do the things he did with someone who looks like me. I wasn't exactly the attractive type. I was paunchy, constantly hunching over, and my clothes were rather shabby. I guess he found something of interest in me; but what?
We walked to the movie theater, chatting along the way. "How have you been? What have you been up to? What's new?" he asked. I was still emotionally guarded at that time, so my answers were short, and disclosed very little. I always preferred for the other person to talk about themselves, rather than me talking about myself. I find myself to be dull, and boring. I hardly ever find anything uninteresting in the guys I meet. I prefer to surround myself with people that embody and represent everything that I am not.
After the movie
The temperature was still lingering in the low 80s, and it was now nearly 2 a.m. He was ready to head home, and he invited me to come along. One movie for the evening would not suffice. We watched yet another film at his apartment. In that moment, things went back to the way I remember them being, even if they meant absolutely nothing. We cuddled on his couch. Having my arm around him, and him being so close was exciting and anxious all at once. What could he possibly be thinking? By the time the movie ended, it was nearly 4 a.m. This is when he invited me to stay the night. We had known each other, at that point, roughly two and a half years. Not once had he ever offered to let me spend the night. Why now? Why all of a sudden? What had changed? This may have all just been inside my head. It really meant nothing. Sometimes I feel as though he is incapable of feeling anything for me. Friendship or otherwise. The question still remains: what does he feel?
As we had done in the past, on numerous occasions, we had sex
That was one of the best nights of my life; and I spent it with a person that I love
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Right now I'm merely enduring it all. I'm waiting for it all to pass. There's not much I can do to make it any better. However, my endurance is running out; I've been hunched over that toilet for nearly seven years.
Photo from assbach's flickr.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Well, it's now 2010, and Ellis is releasing his newest book, Imperial Bedrooms, which is the story of the same characters, only now they are in midlife. I've been waiting for the publisher's galley copy, and it finally arrived this week. However, I couldn't just jump right into the book; I had to re-read LTZ. It's funny how one's perception of a book changes over time. That being said, my enjoyment of the book waned.
I feel very little sympathy for these characters. They know that they're trapped--at times--by their own wills, but none of them make any effort to escape their own personal hell. The only thing they can bring themselves to do is fuck an assortment of people--it doesn't matter if it's a guy or girl--consume copious amounts of drugs, and move from one place to another with increasing apathy. Nothing makes these people happy. They know it. They fully embrace it.
The climactic moment comes when Clay, the protagonist, and the only one who shows any sign of redemption, goes over to a friend's apartment, and witnesses his friends rape a 12 year old girl. "Why?" he asks. "Why not?" is the response. It's extremely disturbing, on many levels, but not nearly as the things that happen in Ellis' magnum opus, American Psycho. (If you have a weak stomach, I do not recommend reading AP.)
The question now becomes: what happened to the characters? Well...
First off, the book cover is terrible. Look at it. What. The. Fuck? It bears no relevance, at all, to the story. Okay, I got that much out of the way. How was the story? It was crap. Ellis took a mediocre idea and recycled it with elements from all of his other novels. In the first few sentences, he writes himself into the book. Now we're dealing with two narrators: Ellis and Clay. Maybe it's just me, but for the entirety of the novel, I couldn't refrain from replacing the fictional character (Clay) with the author (Ellis).
Most of the usual characters return (Rip, Trent, Blair, and Julian) this time around, but the story focuses mostly on Clay. The premise is that he is a successful screenwriter, and he travels to L.A. to assist in casting auditions for the movie he wrote; along the way he runs into his old friends; mystery and drama ensue.
It's 25 years later, and none of them have gotten any better. Clay enjoys manipulating young women by offering them parts in movies in return for sex; Julian is no longer being pimped out, but rather, pimping out young men; Blair and Trent are now married, but superficially so.
The plot is as thin as a thread: someone has gone missing, and Clay keeps being followed and sent mysterious text messages from a blocked number, and maybe someone wants someone else out of the picture, and a girl wants to be in a movie, but at the cost of her boyfriend, and blah, blah, blah. Although I read the whole thing--all 168 pages of it--I stopped caring nearly halfway into it. If you've read Less Than Zero, Glamorama, and Lunar Park, then you've already read Imperial Bedrooms, and you can probably go ahead and pass.
After starting my day at the gym yesterday, I walked home passed Edie's Shoes on Pine and Bellevue. They really know how to lure me in, seeing as how they always have new sets of shoes rotated in and out of the window displays. This time around, it was shoes by Tretorn. I really like the color combination--I guess I'm a sucker for things that are blue/gray.
They're $60, which means I probably won't be their proud owner anytime soon. But I'm not worried; I find quality shoes more often than I find quality men. I love you, shoes.
Monday, March 22, 2010
5:30 a.m. rolled around and I had to make a decision. Either I indulge myself and get some disgustingly good McDonald's breakfast--I love their Sausage McMuffin with Egg--and waste some time on the internet until I go to work; or, I throw on my gym clothes, brave the cold weather, and spin to my heart's content for an hour. Luckily for me, my body, and my coworkers, I chose the latter.
I got to work on time, and my coworker told me she was a little bit frightened at how lively I was being this morning. (I also rode the escalator like Buddy the Elf.) I really need to get in as much time as I can before April 19th--that's when my gym membership expires.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
A store seeking to obtain the endorsement must meet the following criteria:I think this is a great idea. Of course, this merely means that stores can do this. It does not require them to do it. Although, something tells me I won't have much luck trying to taste my $3.00 "cab sauv".
The LCB may issue endorsements to stores smaller than 9,000 square feet if the store meets operational requirements and the LCB finds there are no stores in the community that meet the minimum size requirements.
- At least half of the gross sales of the store must be from retail sales of grocery products for off-premise consumption or the store must be a membership organization;
- The store must be at least 9,000 square feet; and
- The store cannot have more than one public safety violation within the past two years.
The licensee must be able to observe and control individuals in the tasting service area, make food available for participants, limit sample size to 2 ounces, and provide no more than 4 ounces per customer per visit. Store employees serving beer and/or wine at tasting events must hold an alcohol servers permit, and sampling costs must be borne by the store.
Photo from bbp's Flickr.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
One time I was told that a guy was zero feet away. I scanned my apartment; there was no sign of him. Another time, I was riding the bus home from work, and I noticed that the guy sitting in front and to the right of me was using it on his phone. I attempted to log on, find him, and send him the following message: "I'm sitting three feet away." Luckily, the program doesn't work that great, and he did not show up on my screen; if he had, I probably wouldn't have sent the message anyway. That's just fucking creepy.
The San Francisco Chronicle wrote a small piece on Grindr recently as well. Check it out here.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I almost don't want to send mine in just so I can do something similar when the census checker shows up on my doorstep. Yep, 80 people live in my studio apartment.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
As you can see, it's burned on the outside and barely cooked on the inside. Whenever the smoke alarm goes off, that is the official sound of my cooking failure. I throw up my arms in frustration, remove whatever is burning from the stove, and run over to smoke alarm to smother it with a pillow--the sound is incredibly loud and annoying: it's a fucking smoke alarm! Lucky for me, and my neighbors, my landlord installed a new alarm that is silenced with the push of a button.
So, there you have it. A wasted chicken breast (~$5), and I die a little more inside. There's at least one meal that I can cook: bacon and eggs. Would someone like to show me the ropes on how to cook some basic meals? Please!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Why would I waste my time reading such dribble? Well, I haven't exactly been reading very much, and I think this may help get me back into it all. I usually push myself to read something very dense and intelligent (read Infinite Jest), but maybe it's about time that I bring the intellectual levels down just a bit.
Stay tuned for my book reports on the horrible mess that is bitchy seventh grade girls and their oh-so-important problems.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
November 20, 2009: after a few back and forth emails, Dominic sent me this:
This sounds great. Can you start on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.?I received the good news while I was at work, and I immediately ran around and told all of my coworkers. They were so happy for me; I was in shock. As I would later admit to most of the editorial staff, my first experience with The Stranger was in 2003, sitting around the cafeteria with my newly made college friends, eating dinner, and reading aloud the bizarre personal ads in the back of the paper. Little did I, or anyone else, know that six years later I would be interning and writing for the very same paper. Life certainly has it's interesting moments.
In the beginning, I mostly read through daily police reports. You'd be surprised at the amount of shit that goes on at Nordstrom's. If you've never looked at police reports, or gone for a ride-along, I suggest you do so. You'll be amazed at what goes on "behind the scenes", so to speak. I did some original reporting on an up and coming Queer Youth Space; attended City Hall meetings; spoke with legislators in Olympia; wrote some book reviews; Party Crashed; and even solicited some free Savage Love advice from the man who sat 30 feet away.
In the end, it was well worth my time and effort. Now it's time for bigger and better things...and things that pay.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Sometime during the listed dates, unknown suspect(s) defeated the lock on the rear sliding glass door and entered the residence. Once inside, suspect(s) removed the listed items exiting through the front door. While inside the residence, the suspect(s) ransacked the entire home, smoked several cigarettes leaving behind the butts, consumed an orange and packed up several items in two of the victim's suitcases leaving one suitcase near the front door and the other just inside the room which housed all the Buddha statues.
If Israel does something that the U.S. government doesn't like, we tell them so. However, we quickly retract our statements, and act as the dog with his tail between his legs, feeling scorned for having done something wrong. Basically, we let ourselves be owned by the Israeli government.
The L.A. Times reports:
Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday began an effort to mend strained ties with Israel, pledging a total U.S. commitment to Israel's security and declaring that the bonds between the nations were "unbreakable."Un-fucking-believable.
Biden, the highest-ranking administration official yet to visit Israel, was dispatched by President Obama to try to restore Israeli confidence in the American government that has deteriorated over the last year. Relations between the governments were strained by the Obama administration's attempts to halt completely Israeli settlement growth in the West Bank.