Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years and Nipples

I can't muster excitement for new years. We are going a party tonight, and I'm glad to have plans, but I don't see the passing of time as something to celebrate. I don't like beginnings and I don't like ends. I like middles.

I'm starting to combat aging. I'm moisturizing my neck and hands more. I'm lifting weights to avoid bone density loss. I'm exercising more, eating healthier, drinking less. Fortunately, I'm happy to do this and it isn't a struggle. I see the payoff and I certainly don't want to get sick. You hear about people getting cancer in their thirties. All sorts of terrible things.

On a lighter note, sort of, here's an article on Facebook's 'war on nipples.' Tee hee.

See you next year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Bright Idea

This blog has been limping along sadly for a while now. I don't have the motivation to update it. Mostly I feel like I don't have anything to say. But I'm not ready to let go of Chanchow yet.

One of my new year's resolutions is to watch 52 movies, roughly one a week, that I've never seen or haven't seen in a long, long time. Classic or cult favorites that are referenced a lot. Movies I should know.

Here is my list, which is subject to change at any moment. Heavily represented are genres that I've never liked and always avoided-- horror, sci fi, war and westerns (i.e., guy movies). I suppose now is that time to bite the bullet and watch some of these.

The 400 Blows
2001: A Space Odyssey
Apocalypse Now
Battleship Potemkin
Ben-Hur (1959)
Birth of a Nation
Blade Runner
Blue Velvet
Cabinet of Doctor Caligari
Citizen Kane
A Clockwork Orange
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Dirty Harry
Do the Right Thing
Dr. Strangelove
Doctor Zhivago
Drunken Master II
Enter the Dragon
The Exorcist
The Fly (1986)
Frankenstein (1931)
The Godfather, Part II
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Lawrence of Arabia
Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Midnight Cowboy
Mon Uncle
Nights of Cabiria
Rosemary's Baby
The Searchers
Saturday Night Fever
The Shining
The Sting
Triumph of the Will
Two Lane Blacktop
Umberto D
West Side Story

Friday, December 19, 2008

For Those Who Read

The folks behind the Omnivoracious blog (editors at have been putting together The Books of the States-- a series in which they select books about a State equal to the number of that State's electoral votes (e.g., 55 books about California). Since I only read 2 books a year, this will take me 100 years.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This Blog Has Become Super Lame

Between facebook and swimming and the rest of my not-so-interesting life, there really isn't time or inspiration for what once was a borderline mildly interesting blog. I'm mulling some ideas about how to get myself back in the game (actually, just one idea), so don't cry just yet, dear remaining reader, the Chanchow may be back.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

2009: Year of the Gorilla

Only 700 mountain gorillas remain in the wild. More here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Food = Family

Thanksgiving is guava time in the Octopus household. And right now I have over a 100 guavas sitting on my kitchen counter. My mom and I harvested them from her tree this weekend. These tropical fruits have overtaken the kitchen counter, looking like a bunch of weebles that have multiplied out of control.

Every Thanksgiving I give a box of guavas to the Octopus in-laws and they go nuts. They love guavas. I smile and feel like Santa as I watch them gather around, dipping the fruit in salt and chili powder, lips smacking, telling me how they can't get good guavas in Connecticut. I am starting to like guavas myself, and look forward to guava season every year.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Discovering the Archive of LIFE Photos Has Not Been Good For My Productivity

Amelia Earhart. 1926.

Oil derricks. Margaret Bourke-White. 1930.

Part of Apollo 7 falling to Earth. 1968.

Czar Nicholas II of Russia and wife. 1904.

British arms factory during WWI. 1914.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Holy Sh*t, the Election is Tomorrow

Finally! Already?! Can't decide. I've wanted it to be over for a very long time, but only if the result is the one I want. I really hope that by the time I get home from work tomorrow, results from key battlegrounds on the East Coast will be in. If they call PA and VA for Obama, then I'll start celebrating.

I've been reading Dreams from My Father. I'm up to the point where he's studying at Occidental College. The man can write. It's made me think about my own identity, identity crisis perhaps. It's not something I've ever given much thought to. Octopus and I are going to Vietnam in a few months, which will make me really confront how American I really am. Being an outside in the motherland. More on that later.

We were at the Obama rally in Henderson, Nevada, on Saturday. It was awesome. When I saw him come up to the podium, I wanted to cry. Minority in the White House. Could it really be? Afterwards, we canvassed, knocked on doors to see who had already voted, who needed a ride to the polls on Tuesday.

I'll be lining up at the local elementary school to vote tomorrow. I'm prepared for a long wait. Until then!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Checking In

Hello. I am still here.

I feel optimistic about Obama. I want to believe the polls. I can't believe the election is just a few weeks away. I've hit my saturation point on the campaign and talking heads stuff. I want this to be over.

The Santa Ana winds blew furiously the other night. The windows rattled. In the morning our lawn was covered with pine needles from the neigbor's tree.

I saw a dead bird next to my euphorbias this morning. A small bird. Kinda pretty, except that it was dead. The other week I saw a praying mantis on my guava tree. It scared the bejesus (sp?) out of me because I didn't see it until it was a couple inches from my face. It was really trippy looking. It looked just like the mantis in Kung Fu Panda.

Speaking of Jesus, I saw Religulous. It was hella funny. I really liked it-- probably in large part because I don't believe in God. I guess if I were a true believer I might be pissed.

I love Fall weather, except that it gets dark so early. I think Spring is my favorite season.

I've been swimming about 3 times a week at the Rose Bowl. Weekend swims are my favorite. I go for endurance over speed. The other day I managed to swim a mile. It was great.

I love going to gardens. Over Labor Day weekend we went to Lotusland in Santa Barbara. It's the 40 acre estate of the late Ganna Walska, a many times well-married Polish opera singer. The gardens were awesome, wacky, unconventional. I highly recommend.

Our next vacation is slated for mid-February. As usual, I'm getting a little OCD about where to go. Every other day I think of another possible place. I research fares, hotels, weather patterns. I used to enjoy the legwork. Now it's just a pain.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Matt Damon, My Hero

Matt Damon on the Palin pick. What so many people are afraid to say.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Belated pics from our trip to Asia!

Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Rainy day at Lalbagh Fort. Dhaka.

The Taj.

Workers on the Red Fort in Delhi.

Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Man Moh Temple, HK.


Ching Chong

I guess it's not just fifth graders who do this. The Spanish basketball team does it, too. See NYT article.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Young Swim Instructors, Part 2

My new instructor said, "I've been swimming competitively basically all my life. And I'm going to be 21 soon. That's a long time. So you should listen to me."

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Young Swim Instructors

I started taking swimming lessons a few weeks ago. I do know how to swim (I feel compelled to tell you that), but I hardly ever swim except when I'm on vacation. So I signed up at Pasadena City College.

My swim instructors are college students, back home in Pasadena for the summer. I've been improving on all my strokes. I've even learned the butterfly, a real thrill. I love swimming. It's now my favorite part of the week.

Class will be over soon and I'm thinking about joining the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center to keep it up. I stopped by last weekend to check out the facilities. Two very clean, very nice Olympic size pools. I asked my teacher what she thought of the Rose Bowl. Here's our exchange:

Me: I took a look at the Rose Bowl and it looks really nice.

Her: Yea, it's great. I lifeguard there. They maintain it really well. It was built for like the '94 LA Summer Olympics.

Me: You mean '84.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Feel the Earth Move...

Just another earthquake in Southern California. Yesterday's was the biggest I've felt since moving back here in 2005. I was at work. The building jolted, the windows creaked. People got up from their chairs, walked into the hallways, looked at each other and went "oooh, earthquake."

The big one will hit eventually. They've been talking about it for ages. I remember in 1986 everyone at school was talking about how Nostradamus predicted the big one would hit that year. I was so scared I slept on the floor of my parents' room and piled all our canned food next to me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Good to Be Back Home, Except for the Work Part

Two weeks away. We got back on Sunday. There really is no place like home. Not that I didn't have a good time. I did. It was fun. It was hot. It was jam packed.

We were a week in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Four of those days (4 in a row) were for Mr. Octopus' brother's wedding. Bengali people loooove to party. You've never seen people have so much fun without alcohol. They just love being around each other. They may get tired every once in a while, they may be sleep-deprived, but that doesn't stop them for hanging out every day.

Then Mr. Octopus and I did a side trip to India for 3 days to relax and celebrate of 3rd wedding anniversary. We did 1 day in Delhi and 2 in Agra. The Taj Mahal was awesome. I highly recommend. Definitely see it with a guide because you will miss things if you do it yourself. We stayed at the Oberoi Amarvilas, which was excellent. Very pricy, but I think it's worth scrounging up your pennies to stay here. Every room has a view of the Taj.

Then we went to Hong Kong for 4 days. HK is a cross between Chinatown (a clean Chinatown, the cleanest one you can imagine), Wall Street and San Francisco. The food was good. We went into a few hole in the wall places and each was great. It was a welcome change after 11 straight days of Indian food. HK is also like one huge mall, which got annoying after a while. Name brand stores everywhere. People shop like crazy. I think that shopping is the most authentic HK experience you can have.

I should mention that it rained every day of our trip. The upside was that the rain cut down the heat, which was not nearly as oppressive as I was expecting. Still, I would've liked at least one clear day.

Anyways, I'm glad to be back home. I have a nasty case of jetlag. This morning I woke up at 4am. Yesterday at 5am. I hope to shake it off before the weekend is here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

On Vacation

We're on day 11 of our vacation to Bangladesh, India and Hong Kong. We're currently in Agra. Can't write much right now because the one hour I signed up for on this computer is ending soon. A few thoughts.

I thought I'd been to the third world (Vietnam) until I arrived in Dhaka. Hardly any women are out on the streets in Bangladesh. The only women you see on the streets are either the very poor or those accompanied by men. Everyone of any means is driven-- either by car, bus, baby taxi or rickshaw. No one drives themselves (that goes for men too).

In our first 5 hours in India we saw cows, goats, pigs, donkey and monkeys. Our hotel room in Agra has a view of the Taj Mahal. We've visited the Taj twice and it did not disappoint. We're off to Delhi this afternoon, then to HK tomorrow. I am craving non-Indian food.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

Your Friday Afternoon Video #26: Numbnut

This kid won the 2008 national spelling bee.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Can it really be June?

Dining room of the Gamble House.

I'm back. Is half the year almost over? It's early evening, Saturday. I love that it's still light out. It was a beautiful day in Eagle Rock. Clear and warm. Not too hot. We went on a tour of the Gamble House in Pasadena. It was awesome. I loved it. It's now on my list of things to recommend to out-of-towners. We toured Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House a while back, but I liked this better. Both the house and the tour. I highly recommend.

Seems most pictures of Nadal are of him looking like this.

I'm so psyched about the Federer - Nadal final tomorrow. I hope it goes 5 sets. I don't really care who wins, I just want a good and close match. And a lot of fist pumping. I'll feel sorta bad for Federer if he loses. He's had a tough year (for him) and I don't know how long he'll stay at the top of his game.

I was thinking today about the first presidential election that I remember. It was 1984 and I was in 4th grade. One of my assignments that year was to distinguish between advertisements and endorsements. I had to go through the newpaper and cut out examples of each. I got some Mondale - Ferraro campaign stickers that year. Two pages of round stickers. I was a sticker collector back then and I think I got them by trading some scratch and sniffs to a friend.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

5 Things I Did Today

1. Went to the Montrose Farmers' Market
2. Wished it would cool down so I could remove my invasive Jupiter's Beard
3. Swapped my flannel sheets for cotton ones; Spring is here
4. Watched a show on the Food Network that made me really, really hungry
5. Had a drink for the first time in a month

My Weekends

When I lived in NYC, my goal most weekends was to do nothing. Not make plans. Do as little as possible. I thought that the less I did, the slower time would pass.

Nowadays I want to jam pack my weekends with activity. Gardening, errands, friends, movies, touristy stuff. When I don't have plans I feel depressed. It's like a need a distraction from the constant spectre of work, Monday.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Darwin: Marry, Not Marry

More Darwin papers are up on the internets. Work stuff and personal stuff, including his pro-con list on getting married. Among the pros: "Constant companion, (& friend in old age) who will feel interested in one- object to be beloved & played with. — better than a dog anyhow." And the cons: "fatness & idleness — Anxiety & responsibility — less money for books".

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The New Hillary?

I hit my saturation point on the Democratic race a few weeks ago. I couldn't take it anymore and tuned out. Until last night. I caught some of the debate and it was pretty lame, no surprise. The most interesting thing was Hillary's new face. Is it just me or has she gotten work done? Her eyes looked bigger, deeper set. Her forehead didn't wrinkle, even when she got worked up.

This bummed me out. Movie stars and news anchors, ok. Part of their job is to look good. But politicians? I suppose it's too risky for high profile female politicians to age naturally. I'm pretty sure Nancy Pelosi has had something done. Meanwhile, McCain and other old fogies can get ghostly pale and saggy and no one cares.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I haven't gone outside since coming in to work. I haven't eaten anything all day, other than a piece of garlic bread that someone in my department brought in. I prepared frantically for a meeting that ended up being rescheduled. I was told on the dl that my boss might have a "Come to Jesus" conversation with me. Today has been awesome.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Your Gayest Look

This happened last Wednesday on Jay Leno. Watch as Jay talks to Ryan Phillippe about how he played an openly gay character on One Life to Live, and then asks Ryan to give the camera his gayest look. Ryan didn't think it was funny, and neither do a lot of other people.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

When You Burp the Puke Smell

Had friends over tonight for a game night. We played Smarty Party, which was good fun. Had a few drinks after several weeks of going dry. It doesn't take much to feel tipsy these days. I had a couple glasses of some very good Pinot Gris from Alsace. The guy at the wine store complimented me on my selection, which made me feel good. I was tempted to tell him that I just sorta picked it for no good reason, but thought better of it.

I'm listening to Madonna's Confessions Tour right now. I bought it off iTunes. I didn't go to the concert. I didn't even buy the Confessions CD. But I have to say it's good. I think I'm going to go see her the next time she plays LA. Don't care how good her latest CD is. I think she'll put on a good show no matter what. I saw her Reinvention at MSG a few years ago (after her American Life CD, I think). She was great. I went with a good friend, we had floor seats, drank too much champagne and had the best time. I was like the crazy person in the background of those music videos. Singing along to all the songs and giving her the I Love You sign in sign language.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring Already Feeling Like Summer

I helped a friend dye Easter eggs yesterday. Photo by Pierre.

It hit 90 degrees today. The sky was clear and blue. I'm already looking forward to summer. I really hope that I get summer half-day Fridays.

We went to the Reagan Library today. It was a pretty user-friendly place. Not much propaganda. Other than some pictures of Reagan with Gorbachev and a piece of the Berlin Wall, there wasn't much on policy and ideology. There was an exhibit on Nancy's clothes. Clips from some of his movies. A case of his belt buckles. A re-creation of the Oval Office. The coolest thing was his Air Force One. We walked through it and I was surprised by how dumpy and small it was. It must've been pretty sweet in the 80s, but now it's like the crappy Southwest plane you get on the LAX-SFO route.

Last night we went to see Horton Hears a Who, which was extremely bad. Don't go unless you have kids who really want to see it. If I'd been watching on video, I would've stopped midway and sent it back to Netflix. This is a bad time of year for movies. I don't think anything good comes out for another month or two.

I'm bummed it's Monday tomorrow. At least the days are getting longer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thoughts on Last Night's Dancing

I feel bad for Monica Seles. Dancing is not her thing. She looked so deflated at the end. Kristi Yamaguchi was pretty amazing. She's a natural, it's unfair.. I like Marlee Matlin. I would vote for her. What is wrong with Priscilla Presley's face? She's scary and puffy. She looks like that Jocelyn Wildenstein woman (ok, maybe not that bad).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

One Piece or Two Pieces?

I have a friend who feels strongly that a bikini is way more flattering on a woman-- any woman. Skinny, chubby, pregnant. I disagree. I think that a one piece is more slimming. Sure, there are some really ugly tanksuits out there, but unless you have a flat stomach, I think the one piece will probably work a little better. Not that people shouldn't wear bikinis. I actually think bikinis are great and women shouldn't avoid them, but I still think one pieces are more flattering.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monica Seles on Dancing!

I got creamed in my Oscar pool, but the one upside to watching the Oscars tonight was seeing the commercial for the new season of Dancing with the Stars. Most exciting is that Monica Seles will be on. As for the rest of the line up, click here.

Hello, Friendo

Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men.

I won the Oscar pool at my work last year. I was pretty surprised and, I'll admit, super stoked. I entered this year's pool on Friday. As last year's winner, I feel a keen pressure to repeat, to show that last year wasn't a fluke. As one of my co-workers said, "Chanchow, you are the one to beat."

I submitted my ballot hastily, perhaps overconfidently, and now I'm not feeling too good about my picks. I think it's a toss up this year. Either No Country will win big, or There Will Be Blood will win big, or they will split the vote and something like Diving Bell or Atonement will sneak in in a few categories. For my ballot, I gave a few trophies to Diving Bell. Not sure why I did this; I think this is a weak point in my ballot.

Any Oscar predictions?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Please, No.

An interesting article about Hillary. These days the more I see of her, the less I like her.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Kareem's Blog

With Bruce Lee in Game of Death (1978). The big man has a blog.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You

The Obama wedding. Quite 80s looking even though they married in '92.

The Clinton wedding in '75. How nice they looked. What happened?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Your Friday Afternoon Video #23: Michelle Obama on Larry King

She's a class act.

New Year, New Fortune

It was Lunar New Year last week. We went to visit my parents and hung out with extended family. It was pretty low key. 2008 is the year of the rat. My mom went to the Buddhist temple and got her stick fortune (I've never done this, so I can't be more descriptive) and it said that 2008 would be a good year for my family.

I can't decide if I'm a believer in this fortune stuff. I'm not a wholesale believer, that's for sure, but I don't not believe. As I've posted before, my dad went to a Chinese fortune teller decades ago and everything that guy said has come true. Makes me wonder.

I've never gone to a fortune teller myself, but my dad went to one (an old friend of his) on my behalf a few weeks ago. According to this guy, I might develop heart problems and probably won't live past 70. When I heard this, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Even when you don't totally believe, you still want it to all be good.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Your Friday Afternoon Video #22: Kathy Griffin, Super Funny

On Anna Nicole (before she died) and Hollywood Squares.

Anna Nicole (cont'd).

Thursday, February 7, 2008

When, Oh When, Will I Have Nice Skin???

I'm not asking for flawless, how does she do it skin. I'm talking about nice, clear skin. And it bothers me that, at this age, it is still not mine. Perhaps it's hormones and I should just accept that one day it will all pass. I remind myself that my oily skin helps me stay young looking. But the fact is that it's all very distressing and it makes me feel like a teenager again. Sad and self-conscious.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Are You the Same Person You Always Were?

A friend asked whether I think I'm smarter now than I was when I was 9 years old. Obviously, I am more knowledgeable, I have more experience (I have been vetted, just kidding). But really I don't think I'm that different. I still have the same issues. I still get pissed about the same things. When I think back on what I've done (or what I wish I hadn't done), I can totally relate to why I did what I did at the time. I'd like to think that I'm different, that I've grown and become the person I want to be, but I don't think I have. Do we really change?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Your Friday Afternoon Video #21: On Rotation in My Car: Jose Feliciano and Dusty Springfield

I really love his Star Spangled Banner from the 1968 World Series. Apparently, his rendition was very controversial, and one of the first non-traditional interpretations to hit the mainstream. Really quite beautiful, I think.

And here are Dusty Springfield and Jose Feliciano singing together, in Spanish.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

On the Upcoming Super-Uber-Tsunami-Whatever-You-Want-to-Call-It Tuesday

Regular chanchows know that I support Obama. Personal friends know that I don't talk about much about politics, but have my opinions. As Tuesday approaches, I have a few things I'd like to say:

1. Finally, some ads! As a California resident, it's nice to actually see some political ads on TV. Not that the candidates need to spend money vying for my opinion, but it's nice to see that the election has come to California. Because California should really matter. In my opinion, we are the future, but that's a whole different post.

2. Think about who you like. Yes, like. Whether it's Obama or Clinton or McCain or Romney or Huckabee or Paul. Stop trying to predict who's electable. Stop trying to read other voters' minds. You can't know how the faceless masses will vote. So just go with who you like. Who you can get excited for. For me, that's Obama.

3. Who can work with the other side? Each Democratic (and Republican) candidate is saying all sorts of stuff these days. But who can work with the other side to pass these policies? It's not just about what they're saying now, it's about who they can work with across the aisle to get some of that done.

4. How much does experience matter? And how do you define "experience"? I question Hillary's "35 years of experience." She's 60 years old, so essentially she's starting her clock with her graduation from law school. A good chunk of that 35 years is her "experience" as First Lady of Arkansas and of the U.S. But I'm not sure what she did as First Lady. What is she accountable for? I don't think we'll ever know, so I don't think much of that time should count. If you want to look at years as a public servant, Hillary has been an elected official since 2000. Obama has been an elected official since 1996.

5. Who is running a campaign that you think is respectable? To me, it's not only about if you get the nomination, it's how you get it. I feel like the Clintons are running as if they are entitled to this nomination. They are trying to fan the flames between Latinos and Blacks. I don't like it. I don't think that's the right way. For the party or for the future.

So for all these reasons (and more) the Chanchow says "Go Obama!"

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Poop Question for You

When you're doing a number 2 in a bathroom stall (at work, a hotel, department store, etc) and someone else comes in, do you pause until that person leaves or do you keep doing your business?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

At a gathering with my relatives over the weekend I heard this

Are you going to have children?
When are you going to have children?
So....... are you going to have children?
Do you want children?
How long have you been married? Are you going to have children?
and my favorite: You really should give your parents a grandchild to hold.

I still had a good time.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dear Doctor, Please see me. I am worthy.

As some of you know, I am not crazy about doctors. I've had some bad experiences. Nothing major like a misdiagnosis or anything; rather, mostly doctors with bad bedside manners who act like they're doing you a huge favor by seeing you after making you sit an hour in their waiting room. To be fair, I've had some great doctors, but a few bad eggs can leave a bad taste in general.

Anyways, it's a new year, so I figured it was time to make appointments for regular checkups and such. Since I'm relatively new to LA, I have been asking for referrals from friends and colleagues. Fortunately, I have insurance (supposedly 'good' insurance) so I thought I'd call and line up some appointments. Not so fast.

Half of the doctors I called aren't taking new patients. Another third don't take my insurance. One doctor doesn't take any insurance (she must be a real superstar). Finally, I was able to get some appointments, a month from now. Is that a good sign? I mean, I would prefer an appointment next week, but do only the sucky doctors have that kind of availability?

I can't imagine how scary it would be to have crappy insurance or no insurance. Everyone's talking about healthcare these days, reducing costs, expanding coverage. But is there a doctor shortage? I don't think you should have to have cancer or something in order to get an appointment.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Feeling Like the D Student

I've been taking Spanish class for the last few months. It's once a week at a pretty good adult language center on the westside. Classes are small and we use a college textbook. It's a funny feeling being a student again. I almost forgot what it was like.

I've now gone to about 16 classes (roughly the equivalent of a month's worth of college instruction) and it's becoming apparent that I'm probably the worst student in the class. There are many reasons for this. First, I don't study much. That means that I have a hard time retaining vocabulary and learning to conjugate verbs. Also, it seems everyone in my class has had previous Spanish instruction or is a native Italian or French speaker. I'm none of the above, so I find myself flatfooted whenever I get called on (and my teacher does call on people). It doesn't help that she also talks way too fast (and I'm not the only one who thinks that).

While I don't like being in last place, I sorta like the exhilaration I get from flailing around and having no clue. Every moment is an adventure because I don't know what's happening. It's a good counterbalance to my usual organized and prepared self.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Are You Sad About Heath Ledger?

There were a lot of people talking about this at my work today. And, I must admit, I kept checking perezhilton and tmz for all the (misinformed) updates. I don't think I've seen any of his movies, but I still feel a little sad. I wonder if there's any celebrity whose passing would really make me sad. I was bummed when Katharine Hepburn died, although not too sad because she lived such a long and full life.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Long and Happy Weekend

Last weekend was the first long weekend in a while that the Octopus and I stayed local. And yay for that. On Saturday we took the LA Conservancy's walking tour of downtown's historic core. It was our first Conservancy walking tour and it was great. I highly recommend. We're planning on doing another one, probably of Broadway's historic theaters.

Another highlight of the weekend was seeing 27 Dresses. Can't remember the last time I saw a romantic comedy in the theater (does Knocked Up count?) If you're in the mood for a cute, funny and formulaic (and I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way) chick flick, this is for you.

We also caught the Murakami exhibit at the MoCA. His sculptures, painting, videos, and even his merchandise for Louis Vuitton. Probably the weirdest thing at the exhibit were these videos with Inochi, a bizarre, surreal, prepubescent Murakami character.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Here I Go, Blowing Resolution #4 Again

I'll make this quick.

When I got back from Arizona, I told myself that I wouldn't plan any more trips for a while. That I should stay at home, relax and save money. But here I am, not quite a week later, wondering if I should plan something for Presidents' Day. I don't think I'll do it, but I have to admit, it's really tempting. It's like a big piece of chocolate dangling in front of me... So good, but so bad.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I liked him then, and I still like him now. Here's to voting for whom you like, whom you can get excited about. Don't second or third guess yourself about who will win. The years of Bush and Clinton and so over.

Slow Ass Computer

I've been meaning to post pictures of our recent trip to Arizona, but the iPhoto thing on my Mac is so incredibly slow that it is taking me forever to upload them. My Mac is almost five years old. I suppose that's old in computer years. I don't want to buy a new computer just because mine is slow. I guess I could install a new operating system. What makes a computer slow? Do I need to erase stuff to speed it up? I can't help but think it's such a racket to have to buy a new computer every few years.

Chalk it up to getting older, but I'm now open to the idea of making resolutions. Time is passing me by and I'm realizing that I have to change for there to be change. In other words, I have to take matters into my hands. So here are my resolutions for the year:

1. Exercise four times a week.
2. Eat no more than four meat meals a week (I've been doing this since October).
3. Procrastinate less.
4. Spend less time on the internet at work.

So far, so good, except for #4.