March 30, 2003

The Lovecraft, Exciting and New

Item 1- Thanks to Michele Gibney for her delicious and stylish care package. The cookies and candy were tasty and the Krispy Kreme hat has proved a welcome addition to my head. It has been my plan since getting the hat to wear it all weekend. A very successful plan so far--much more so than my plan to get in shape, which has hit yet another tasty snag on the road to completion. Also, the West Coast Jewish Film Festival bulletin was fascinating reading.

Item 2 - Has anyone ever seen Sunset Boulevard? What the hell was the deal with the monkey? Did I miss something?

Item 3 - Told my dad I probably won't be going to grad school and be a teacher. He was pissed, but I think he still loves me.

Item 4 - Slipped in the mud and fell on my ass TWICE this week. Once in front of a group of bitchy, spoiled little kids who thought it was funny and the other time when the bitchy, spoiled dog on the leash sprinted after something in nature.

Item 5 - Have been able to keep my mind off of the last scary movie I saw in the Bay Area for exactly two months. Impressive run ended yesterday when I realized how much of the imagery in that movie is very reminiscent of the ACTUAL, REAL LIFE THINGS that I live with on a day to day basis. Namely, an old creepy well, a dark wood (complete with mysterious, high-pitched squeals), a farmhouse, precipitation, and telephones that ring. Even without that stuff, whole area is already an H.P. Lovecraft nightmare, what with all of its sinister New England creepiness. Also, there is a marionette in the window whose silhouette at night never fails to scare the shit out of me. Keep meaning to take it down, but I never get around to it.

Item 6 - Water heater fixed, but had to sweep out deluge #2 when the plumber fucked up. Found out from my dad (also a plumber) that my uncle got screwed on the price.

Item 7 - Goddamn key broke in the lock of the house, had to borrow pliers from the guy at the postal supply shop. Found a spare inside, made me happy. I didn't have the Krispy Kreme hat yet, though, so there was a definite limit to the happiness.

Posted by jason at 11:02 AM

March 25, 2003

Water and the Future of Education

Yesterday I go downstairs an hour and a half before I have to go to work and I discover that the laundry/storage room is flooded nearly ankle deep, and see that the water heater is spitting out water like crazy, so I call up the plumber and he comes over in an astonishing ten minutes and tells me that the water heater is rusted out on the bottom and he's never seen a bigger hole/deluge. The people who were supposed to deliver the new water heater this morning never showed up, even though the plumber was told that they had come. So now I take cold showers. The remarkable thing about this experience is that it doesn't bother me in the least. I mean, even when I was spending the full hour before I had to go to work sweeping water out the door, sweeping to the very last minute, I couldn't help but not give one shit. When the garage door got smashed (the day snow retaliated), it was stressful because, while the elements were partly to blame, my stupidity had to be figured in there somewhere, too. But time and rust were the culprits here, it had nothing to do with me, so I could just sit back and just appreciate the wackiness of it all.

Something a little more stressful is the fact that I'm reconsidering graduate school and a life thereafter as a teacher. I'm starting to think that maybe I don't really want to be a teacher. I'm considering it strongly. When I get back to SF, I'm thinking of just gettting a job and continuing what I've been doing, since it was a pretty good life that left me time to pursue other things (you know, like my hobbies and such). The more I hear from teachers and the more I read about a teacher's day to day life and the more I deal with the fucking kids that teachers have to deal with twice as long as I do (and then grade papers for several more hours), the more I realize it's not for me. I think I saw graduate school as an escape from reality (back to the good old days) but I think now that's an illusion, and while I'm saddened by the knowledge that i won't be going back to learning more supercool things about literature, I think it would be little more than a luxury for me at this point.

Erica and Nuala, teach on! I didn't mean to piss on teaching. I know Erica's an amazing teacher and I'm sure Nuala is too, I just don't think I would be.

Posted by jason at 08:51 PM

March 23, 2003

Shock n’ Awe Ain’t Just an Indian Tribe the U.S. Decimated in the 1800’s

Spring has finally reached my neck of the woods (I dance on your muddy grave, Snow!), and I’ve found myself, of all things, trying—trying, mind you—to get into better shape. I have already started to jog a little bit every day for the past week. What I’m hoping for is a return to something like my jogging glory days (there were roughly 30 of them—my ankles started hurting after that) in college. This go round might even be more successful, since stinky Tacoman pavement has been replaced by non-stinky Warrenite grass.
And seeing as how I don’t like the war and would like to somehow work that dislike into this post, I have decided that I will be jogging for an end to the war. I assure you it will cause no traffic congestion or uncomfortable hippie encounters. My main goal will be to raise awareness among the family that lives next door.
In response to the US government’s “Operation: Shock and Awe Shucks, I Bombed Your Whole Family,” I will launch this, my own “Shock and Awe” campaign, referring of course to the shock and awe you will all experience when you come face to face with the sexy new Jason. Just a head’s up: many of you will likely find the new me breathtaking and irresistable, but this is a bridge we’ll have to cross when we come to it.

Posted by jason at 01:42 PM

March 20, 2003


Wow. War.

All I keep thinking is I hope they did off Hussein in that initial attack so that they can stop this nonsense as quickly as possible.

I'd like to thank Ian for linking to Salam's site in Baghdad. I've been reading it like a 12-year-old with a Corey Haim fanzine. (What, they don't like him anymore? Nonsense, they don't know what they like.)

For some reason, i was inspired to do my taxes and FAFSA (a week late) all last night, while I was watching the shit go down in Iraq. Actually, i was inspired to do it before, so by the time of the initial air strike, I was already a tax-doing machine. The two had to fight for my attention, but I had a lot to give that evening.

Speaking of a lot to give, it's looking more and more like me and my dad are gonna go through with it. The kidney swappers are supposed to contact me so they can see if I'm healthy enough and have the right blood type. If so, I'll probably go down to Nevada shortly after my return to SF to make it happen. I should only be there for about two weeks and then be back, though it really sucks to have to be away that much longer.

For those of you who don't know, my dad is on dialysis and it's coming up on two years since he started waiting for a kidney (The name of this blog refers to a trip I forced him to take with me up to SF).

Grim stuff, the lot of it. But at least there's Corey Haim, like a lighthouse in rough seas. (You'll idolize him and you'll like it!)

Posted by jason at 07:15 AM

March 12, 2003

This Book Sucks

Has anyone ever read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency? I found it on my uncle's shelf and remembered that I liked the Hitchhiker's Guide a lot, so I picked it up and started to read it. It sucks cock. Well, the first 27 pages do at least. Any other opinions?

Posted by jason at 06:36 AM

March 08, 2003


Today [I wrote this yesterday] has been a rough day. First I wake up with sickness. No biggie, I’ve been sick before and will likely be sick again. What sucked about being sick was the fact that I tried to take a Vitamin C tablet while driving down the old Steele Gap Road. This road, you see, is the kind of road whose name could only be done justice by an old rural man (women need not apply) wearing vaguely fisherman’s attire and sounding vaguely worried and suspicious, as in the following:

COMMUTER: I’ll be taking the old Steele Gap road to work today, even though it’s very icy and snowy out there and I have to pop a Vitamin C table in my mouth while I’m hugging its curves.

RURAL FISH-MAN: Not Steele Gap Road!


Well, I guess I could have waited until I was on the more conservative and not nearly as mythic Foothill Rd., but I didn’t really think there would be any problem with unscrewing the cap with a skilled right set of fingers and placing one on my tongue. The only barrier, it turned out, between me and a flawless gesture in the direction of my good health is a little thing I like to call effervescence. That’s right. My mouth started fizzing and frothing like no tomorrow and the taste, my god the taste. Frightened, I swallowed it all down, then remembered what happened to sea gulls on these very sorts of occasions. And though in the smart part of my brain I was pretty sure my stomach wouldn’t blow up, I reached around frantically for something to dilute the billowing and expanding gas bubbles in my stomach, but when I took a sip of the water bottle on the passenger’s seat, it was frozen solid. But then there was this other water under the seat that was fine because there was a lot more of it, and so I averted the greatest exploding-stomach related crisis that’s ever been thrown my way. And all on STEELE…GAP…ROAD! I know. Take a minute.

The thing I don’t understand about effervescent Vitamin C tablets is that, Isn’t the whole point of Vitamin C tablets to save the time and energy it would have taken to pour yourself a glass of orange juice? And isn’t it more of a pain in the ass to take the necessary steps to make this bubbly drink possible? Especially if you haven’t taken the necessary steps at all and instead pop one in your mouth on the old Steele Gap Road? I’m pretty sure I’ve been told often that you can only have so much of the vitamin, that after a certain point, a point OJ bravely meets and exceeds, it just gets flushed out of your system. So there’s no point in opting for the Alka Seltzer method just because it has 1,666% of your RDwhatever of Vitamin C (that really is how much it has, I checked on the bottle. You know there’s some rockin’ high school kid whose summer job it was to put a certain amount of C into the tablets).

The reason I’m sick is because Jesus still hates me and keeps putting snow on the ground. The last snowfall was yesterday, enough for a snow day at the school where I work. I keep thinking about why I’m being tested, what I could possibly have yet to learn. I already discovered weeks ago that walking through a fresh blanket of snow in the sunlight makes you feel uncannily like a cigarette butt in a gigantic restaurant ashtray, the kind with that sparkly sand. What more is there left to understand!? And the question on everyone’s mind is, What about St. Patrick’s Day? Will the parade just be cancelled if it continues this way? I think if the festivities do get cancelled, they should call it the Great Par-tay (No) Blight.

Posted by jason at 05:48 AM

March 06, 2003

One Bodhi Tree = 700 Brochures

It turns out that Confusing Evil isn't really all that evil after all. She's just weird. She actually engaged me in a very pleasant conversation about the not-so-pleasant weather. I think I may still keep the feud going, though. Most people don't remember why they started feuding in the first place, and I'm certainly not above being the one in the wrong, so long as no one else knows it. Though I may have to conserve my energy for the feud I hope to start with the Buddhist money interests of the Atlantic Coast, a kick-off skirmish for which I hope to incite sometime in early Spring. My main issue with these people, though there are many, is that they keep sending me, Occupant, crap in the mail. You'd think a philosophy that prides itself on its renunciation of earthly possessions wouldn't bombard its subscribers (no pun intended) with junk mail. But you would be wrong, imposing your Western disgust on something far cooler and transcendent than you could ever hope to be.
One of my many and varied responsibilities here in the middle of nowhere is the taking of the mail out of the mailbox and putting it somewhere. This duty would be pretty damn easy if it weren't for all the flyers and handouts and brochures that my Buddhist aunt and uncle get from every enlightened corner of the Eastern Seaboard: "The llama of this invites you to a very special...The Drukpa of that would be honored if...The Bodhisattva of this was wondering if maybe you were...." They all either want handouts or to sell you tickets to something. The only junk mail that outweighs that of the Buddhist money machine is info on frequent flyer miles, which holds a special place in my heart since it's what got me out here. Now, I have nothing against the philosophy--people jump on you if you call it a religion, like it's better than all the other religions that are really little more than philosophies that have been dragged through all the crap that Buddhism is starting to be dragged through--I think it's a party waiting to happen. I just wish that their mailing lists would divest themselves of my worldly address.

Posted by jason at 01:47 PM

March 02, 2003

Your Show of Shows

I just wanted to ask you all if anybody's heard of this show I recently saw on TV called, I think, This Surreal Life. It's just that I've never heard any talk of it anywhere and it's the most astounding show I've ever seen. You all probably know all about it and I'm just a schmuck, but in case you'd never heard of it either, it's like the The Real World except that the participants are MC Hammer(!), Vince Neil, Corey Feldman(!!), Emmanuel Lewis(the poor man's Gary Coleman), and some women from 90210 and Baywatch. That's right, they have to live in a house together and do wacky things. Together. MC Hammer and Corey Feldman, together. Out of the blue one night there was a marathon so I got to see quite a few episodes, but I'd never heard of it before and it's not been advertised since. Good God, why not!?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by jason at 04:40 PM

March 01, 2003

Not ONE Kernel of Truth in the Accusation

Good news: I found work! Two jobs, no less: one at a preschool and another at a middle school. Admittedly, they're each about four hours per day, so it's more like one real job with a nice long lunch in the middle. Except that when you go back to work, the children HAVE AGED TEN YEARS! I know, freaky.

I've already pissed off a teacher at the middle school, and in the most confusing and surreal way I've ever pissed anybody off (which is never): I walk into the teacher's lounge and open up the seemingly unoccupied microwave to heat up some water, only to discover that is not in fact unoccupied but is in fact a super-special non-whirring microwave of the future that only appears unoccupied but in fact holds an insane woman's popcorn in its belly. "Whoops," I said while closing the door in the same fluid, almost cat-like motion that opened it in the first place. Half a second later, I locate the start button on this Microwavo-Galaxy-Future3000Tron and press it with the grace of a god, and the popcorn is once again doing what it was put on this earth to do. Within that two-and-a-half second span, the woman freaks out, then finds the strength to carry on, then shows that she's been harboring resentment since the start of the whole mess by sucking loudly at her teeth. THEN, waiting around for my water to heat in the other microwave (it whirs--they must've got it at an old curiosity store), she comes up to MicroWAVE-OF-THE-FUTURE and looks at it before saying to me, "What did you do to my popcorn? It's not popping?" I laugh pleasantly, assuming she's kidding around to apologize for initially freaking out. She goes back to discussing the work of Keith Haring with the other dude in the room (seriously) and presumably forgets all about me. Her kernels start popping in the Don't-Whirrr-y-Be-Happy3000 immediately afterwards and, satisfied, I take my cup out of The-Way-We-Whirrr1000 and walk off, unsure if I was laughing at a joke or a pissed strumpet. THEN on the other side of the gym where I earn my daily bread, separated by an entire wall (which is really cool, by the way, because it squishes into a little accordion at the push of a button) from this woman, she comes all the way over five minutes later, opens the door with a steaming bag of crapcorn in her hand and says, "Look what you did to my popcorn!" Good Jesus, woman! I had no hand in it, I promise you! But that's not the end. THEN, when I was relating this tale to the custodian (who is really cool, and whose glamorous duty it is to push the button that manipulates the fate of the accordion wall), he says, "Oh, yeah, that was Mrs. So-and-So. She told me all about it." The goddamned woman is spreading our business all over the school! I'm pretty sure that this means war--a very one-sided war where she keeps bugging me out of spite and I just laugh at how funny she looks when she's mad. She's already retaliated: the next day, she told me that the door of the copy room had to be kept closed because the cold air needs to stay in the room for the copier to be under the most favorable conditions (she even addressed me as "Sir"). Considering that my predecessor said she kept the door open every single day and that the temperatures of the copy room and the gym are perhaps 67 and 68 degrees, respectively, I think I've got an all out feud on my hands. On one side of the gym stands Jason: honest, misunderstood, tea-drinking. On the other stands Confusing Evil: insane, technologically superior, would-be popcorn eater. All that stands between us is one flimsy but really cool accordion wall, the position of which is determined solely by the fickle finger of Cool Custodian. And with him on my side, her bizarre accusation days are numbered.

Posted by jason at 01:06 PM