Monday, October 29, 2007

Impressively dumb

Some turn to a life of crime because they know no other way, others to try and make a fast buck. But apparently some are just to dumb to do anything else, take for instance the Mensa candidates that walked into the San Bruno Police Department this morning.

First off the two guys and a girl walk in and try to get back their impounded van, sadly they forgot to bring any proof of ownership and the van is not registered under any of their names.

Next, as the police are working behind their little Plexiglas barricade, the three start talking (loudly) about different super interesting things going on in their lives. Like how someone they know apparently owes them some money. Now I'm sitting in the middle of the room against the wall, the woman is seated to my left and the two guys are seated farther away on my right side. So their discussion is being yelled over my head, as I patiently go through the press log and try not to laugh. I'm not totally paying attention to the conversation (I do have a job to do) when I hear the woman say, in all seriousness, "Well then lets rob 'em."

I look over to the guys who are staring at her like she's suddenly sprouted a golden horn out of her forehead. "What?" She said, "It's not like they can hear us."

Genius, lets propose larceny in the Police Station.

Sadly I had to leave before I was able to hear the rest of their plan. I'm sure it would have made MacGuyver proud though.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What's your zombie plan?

Instead of putting together an intelligent presentation on Perspectives on media and our understanding of the social world, I’ve put together a list of things you should have or know incase of a zombie uprising (watching Shawn of the Dead).
1. Friends that you know wont freak out on you and randomly run away and either take something necessary with them or lead the zombie horde to your location.
2. A sharp and hopefully long object. Your gun only has a finite amount of bullets, your machete never needs reloading.
3. A gun, for when you’re surrounded and have no hope of getting away.
4. Snacks, many zombies are slow be prepared to wait them out.
5. A change of clothes, blood gets sticky and smells bad.
6. A defendable location, and as much as I’d love to say a bar they usually have big breakable windows, I’m thinking more along the lines of a secluded house or bomb shelter.
7. A get away plan, I live near the coast so I’ve always figured I’d sail into the ocean on a stolen yacht.
Although I do have a quick question why do the dead always want to eat the living? It’s not like they need the sustenance, and when they are done eating how exactly do their bodies process the meat? They’re dead so I would assume their digestive tracks don’t work anymore, does it just sit in their stomach, do really aggressive zombies that eat a lot become big and bloated? OK that wasn’t so quick.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sticker madness

So A bought a sticker machine. He's wanted one for awhile and finally found one he wanted on eBay. I worry now for the poor cars of the Peninsula. He and Shane (OK mainly Shane) went a little crazy in SB, and from auto decorations alone you would have thought that the citizens of beautiful Santa Barbara were into some kinky stuff. And though hundreds of miles separate the two I'm a little on the worried side.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Whenever a show can work in They Might Be Giants' Put a Little Bird House in Your Soul, you know that show is gold.

And thank you Deb for making me a tape of it, way back when, every song on the CD still makes me smile. Especially the minimum wage song, because it is so true. I'm just sad I lost that tape and so I don't have it anymore.

I will forever whistle in the dark.

The polite thing to do

I had an interview for an internship last week. I never know how those things go. In general I get kind of nervous and over-smile, I always wonder if the interviewer thinks I'm just really happy to be there or if they think I'm going to eat them. And usually I don't eat before hand so I could use a snack, not that human meat is an option or anything.

Anyways they said they would let us know back by that weekend. Sunday came and went with no response. When Tuesday rolled around I figured I didn't get it and that they just forgot about me. But then I also realized I had never sent a thank you note after the interview. It was almost a week, was that way too late to send one now? I wasn't sure about the etiquette of a late thank you letter, actually I'm not really up on any etiquette. But I figured I might want to try and write for them in the future so I should do the polite thing and send one in. So at about midnight last night I finally sent it in.

This morning I woke up and saw that I had a message in my inbox from the editor. It was in reply to my extremely brief and uninformative thank you note, it read, and I quote, "Can you come over to the office this afternoon to talk about scheduling?"

Now I of course assume this to mean that he thought I was someone else and that he was replying to the wrong email. But not one to let an opportunity pass I quickly write back letting him know I would come over. The rest of the morning I considered how I would take the rejection when they realized I wasn't the person they were looking for. Hopefully they would feel bad and I could parley that into them letting me write something.

And then I got a call around three. It was the editor letting me know that he couldn't make the meeting, crap I wasn't even going to get the rejection in person. But no, he wanted to reschedule for tomorrow and that I had gotten the job. That really wasn't what I had expected, so I tried to reorder my thoughts and sound coherent on the phone. I think it worked since I'm talking to him tomorrow.

But now I wonder, would I have gotten the position if I hadn't sent a thank you note? Or was it all just funny timing?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stupid dreams

I've heard that dreams are supposed to be unconscious desires that you can't accept during your waking hours. Or that they are a way for your subconscious to work out issues. And I have to hope and pray that this is untrue because last night I had the weirdest dream, and don't know how it fits into either of those scenarios. Of course it is quickly fading into the ether but here's what I can remember of it.

For some odd reason I was with "Way of the Dragon" bad guy, Chuck Norris (OK fine, and Walker Texas Ranger star), and we were trying to get away from something. As the dream goes on I realize that Chuck and I are an item (ew), and that the longer I'm with him the fatter he is getting. Before I wake up poor Chuck is morbidly obese and now I'm trying to get away from him.

I wake up thinking what the hell? Chuck Norris? And now I'm just disturbed, I don't usually remember my dreams and this is the one my mind chooses to replay? And why couldn't I have chosen a cute guy to dream of? And is it wrong to try and get away from a guy if he's starting to visibly inflate?

Again, Chuck Norris, there is something wrong with me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pointless or cool?

I saw this on Gizmodo and at first glance thought it was pretty cool. It's the VinylDisc and on one side it contains 70 minutes of music on a CD, the other side is a vinyl record. Of course it only plays back three minutes so it's more a novelty but the idea is pretty cool. This is brought to you by those quirky Germans at Optimal Media Productions and they even have an English band, Fightstar, signed up (although they are only releasing 3,000 albums). I'd love to see it but sadly I have no record player and I don't tend to buy CDs anymore. But it looks cool and I'm always sold on packaging.

On a side note how many times did I use the word cool in a small little paragraph? Note to self: buy thesaurus.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Modern myths

When I was little my mom would read me bedtime stories, my favorite was Perseus and Medusa. I used to think that "Clash of Titans" was the best movie ever made, and I almost became a Classics major at UCSB. I always thought Enkidu got screwed and found it funny that every culture seems to have some type of Cinderella story. I've always loved mythology, any type from any region.

So while doing a paper for 290 I found it interesting that many scholars argue that the media are the new myth makers. Myths aren't just fantastic stories from the ancient world, instead they are stories told to help maintain the social order. They don't have to be fiction, instead current mythology explains the unexplainable, brings reasons to events, and helps maintain the status quo.

You can find the main myths in papers and broadcast news all over the country. The article I read mainly looked at the New York Times after September 11. The four main myths used were the end of innocence, the victim, the hero and a foreboding future. The victim could be you if circumstances were different, the hero (emergency workers mainly) have all the best qualities of society and are fearless leaders, in the end of innocence the utopia you once lived in is gone forever and you'll have to get used to a completely different normal, and a foreboding future warns you of strife to come and that this isn't the end of the pain and sacrifice. You see the hero and the victim in news a lot, but the end of innocence and a foreboding future not so often.

The one that I found rather disturbing was a foreboding future. It sets the society up for a future that they know is going to be hard. In the case of 9/11 it warns the reader that tough times are coming, that everyone had to be vigilant, that we had to be careful because an attack could come from anywhere. It got people ready for America to invade Afghanistan. A news paper primed the public for war.

I'm sure it has been done before and will be done again, but I don't know how I feel about that.

The myths that the Times created helped people deal with an act that seemed senseless. It helped them cope with loss, heal and come together as a nation. Mythology gives people a sense of belonging, you can relate to the story, you recognize the archetypes and know what to expect. Mythology isn't dead it's alive and well in journalism.

*Lule, Jack (2002). Myth and terror on the editorial page: The New York Times responds to Sept. 11. 2001.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Speaking of lame, oh wait

I've heard of banning books, and movies but never parts of speech. Apparently Brazil's Federal District Governor Jose Roberto Arruda has banned the use of present participles. Ok he didn't ban them from the entire country just government documents, because of inefficiency. That's great, basically anything ending in 'ing.' I thought our government got bogged down in frivolous pursuits but this wins. good thing Brazil has no other problems to worry about.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Rules of Debate

Seminar classes can sometimes be enjoyable because of the debates they produce. If you like to argue they can be rather enjoyable. But some people don't realize that there are some niceties that must be observed.

Ok when debating someone here are a few of the lamest things you can do:

1. Pull figures out of your ass, yes I could do this too but I’m only saying what I know to be fact, your 89% of randomness fact should be backed up by a source.
2. Don’t start off sentences with “as you know…” it’s manipulative and lame, no I don’t know that that’s why we’re arguing about it (especially if you are using it every other sentence)
3. Use hypothetical situations, if it hasn’t happened don’t try to assume you know what would happen, you can argue what ifs until you die but it doesn’t mean anything.
4. Try to win an argument with volume alone, this should be an intelligent conversation not a shouting match. Being louder does not make you right.
5. Try to form your arguments, they should be coherent, it shouldn’t take you an hour to say no you’re wrong. After two minutes cue the music.
6. Yes we know that you are the most informed person about every single issue, but if you are in a seminar setting you personally don’t have to comment on every single issue, let other people have a say.
7. If race or sex have nothing to do with the issue, don’t bring them up.
8. And the metric system is just plain better.

Monday, October 08, 2007


I want to send out my congratulations to Jerry Roberts who will be receiving The PEN Society's First Amendment award on November 6th at a dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Former editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press, before the meltdown, and current publisher of the Daily Nexxus, UCSB's daily paper. An amazing guy and a wonderful teacher. I took a class with him last fall and really enjoyed it.

So I wanted to say congratulations and good luck with McCaw.

And come to find out the smell of eggs makes both of us think we're in trouble, yeah something in common.

Wow, just wow

So I've done my best bit of procrastinating ever. I admit I'm a procrastinator but I haven't raised it to the fine art that some others have, until today. tomorrow, no wait today I have a miniature literature (ha that rhymes!) review and presentation due in my MCOM 290 class and I still can't even bring myself to read the studies. It's 10 minutes to 3:00 a.m. and I'm fooling around on the Internet. It's almost as if I'm seeing what kind of grade I can get on a shitty paper. And tomorrow, crap no today, I will find out. The presentation has me a little worried, not enough to do anything about it but I guess we'll see how it goes. I should really take this more seriously, technically this is my most important class of the semester. Also least favorite.

I should have just gone back and gotten another bachelor's degree, I love my undergraduate classes.

And why isn't anyone up right now?

Sunday, October 07, 2007


The main joy of grad school is the obscene amount of reading. Of course it really doesn't help that I tend to wait until the last minute to do my reading every week. This week not only do I have a copious amount of reading but I also have a mini literature review to do and a presentation in class. And yesterday I started to gather all my reading materials together so that I could pile it together and stare at it mournfully before putting it off for another day, when I found that I didn't have the main book that I have to do my presentation on.

Well sure it's half way through the semester and I probably should have purchased all the material for class already but I've been distracted. So I headed down to San Jose to purchase the required $80 book. And come to find out the bookstore closes at 3:00 p.m., it was 3:02. So of course I pounded on the door until someone came by. And then I had to beg and plead and still he wouldn't let me in, and instead went and got his manager.

So I'm waiting outside of the student center, dear god it smells like carnies and death out there, and finally some chick comes out. She looks at me and tells me in her most condescending voice, "I'm sorry but we've already been closed for five minutes."

Shit, what was I thinking? Five minutes! She probably could have written the book I need in such an expansive amount of time. So I have to fight down the sarcasm open the eyes really wide and beg and plead again.

Finally with an audible sigh she lets me in. I run down the stairs to the MCOM section and start searching frantically. I stare at the empty section where my book is supposed to be, it takes a few seconds for reality to process, the book isn't there. As I walk out of the store the chick glares at me so I wave and smile.

I grab my friends and walk over to Robert's books store, which is also closed. I console myself with some nacho fries dipped in yummy fat at Iguanas. I then head to a party and try to forget about the massive F I will receive on Monday.

Sunday rolls around and I decide to check out the library, hoping and praying they can help me out before I'm royally screwed. I get into my car turn the key and nothing happens. Ok not nothing, the tachometer and odometer start shaking like crazy. Wonderful I get out of the car, check the fuses and realize I'm screwed. Another week with Caltrain.

So I steal A's Blazer and head to the library. And nope they don't have the book either, but I was able to find it online for full price. So that kind of blows but at least I can do my assignment after I'm done slacking off. Did I mention I have about 200 pages to read before the library closes?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

If you don't want to hear the answer, should you not ask the question? Even if you are asking yourself?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Name Calling

I’m weird, if I get along with someone I’m usually mean to him or her. Not viciously mean but pretty sarcastic. I like arguing, especially with someone that can hold their own; you don’t want to argue with someone if you know it will reduce them to tears.

One of my favorite antagonists was a guy I used to work with, he was a cool guy that was fun to argue with because he always had some random facts, usually gleaned from animal planet, that could shut me up pretty quick. That and he also liked to argue, about everything.

The reason he is my favorite because once when we were sparring, and after some heated words he called me bellicose. It sounds like such a pretty word, almost a compliment, for a second I was flattered. But no, it means hostile and war like.

The use of the word bellicose makes me think of warlike as in Boudica the Celtic queen who led her soldiers against the Romans and killed herself before being caught. I like this because visually I am anything but a warrior. I’m small and clumsy and I put fear into the hearts of nothing.

I’ve always been small, I was picked on in school and sarcasm became my defense. But I never felt that I was a fighter, I felt like I hid behind words, I always felt small.

But for a moment, to a guy who was much bigger than I, I was an adversary on an equal playing field. And I could hold my own.

Itching and books

Third day taking the train. It was a lot more relaxed almost enjoyable, I was able to do my homework on the way there and I didn't have to take the bus back as Chris was kind enough to give me a ride to the station. I grabbed a free Metro and settled down to read while I zipped along. I get about half way when I see a little black dot jumping on my leg. Yep I was getting attacked by fleas.

After twitching in disgust I got up and moved to another seat. It looked clean but now my suspicions were roused. The last half of my journey I spent constantly checking my seat for little invaders and brushing at my arms and legs. I was very happy to get off that train.

After a lovely trip on Caltrain I decided to get a book at Keplar's. The man working behind the counter had multiple items of flair, but I knew I couldn't mention it because he looked so serious. I don't think he'd even get the reference. How is it that a bunch of middle aged men work at a bookstore? And they all seemed so serious, lighten up you work in a book store, that's like my dream job although I'm pretty sure I would soon be fired for fondling the merchandise.

And other things that smell like urine

It’s 9:30 and I’m waiting at the San Jose Caltrain station until 10:30 p.m. for the next train. And I realize how much I miss my car. You would think that growing up with a father who is a bus driver I would have a little bit more appreciation for mass transit. When I was a little girl I always looked forward to take-your-daughter-to-work-days. I would swing on the bars and run up and down the aisles for hours. The passengers would tell me stories and then my dad would take me out to get an ice cream before we went home.

Now I get out of school around 8:30p.m. catch the 9:00 bus that gets me to the train station two minutes to late to catch the 9:10 train so instead I wait for another hour to catch the last train of the night at 10:30. The other riders are no longer smiling at me and telling me stories; instead everyone avoids eye contact and composes their faces in a carefully blank expression. All I want to do is get home and now I won’t be there till well after 11.

These last few days have killed the joy of public transport for me. It used to be so nice to ride the train into the city knowing I wouldn’t have to worry about parking. But now I will remember this boring night where there are only three other people in the station and they are talking in Spanish so I can’t listen in.

And I’m not so sure that Menlo Park feels like home. I’m not sure what it is but there is something missing there. I like the apartment but, I don’t know, it’s just not the same as Santa Barbara. I feel more connected with San Jose but that’s just because I spend all of my time there. I’m sure that after a few months I’ll like it better.

But I don’t know how long I’ll be there either. I’ve kind of gotten itchy feet, which I know A wont appreciate, although I’ve always had them I’ve just hidden them since I’ve been with A. After school I think I’d like to move to New York and live there for a few years but again A wont go for that. But that’s where all the magazines are. True a writer can write anywhere but to work on a magazine you have to be where that magazine is, very few people can survive off a freelance budget.

Oh the urine thing, mainly that was just the bus on the way over to Caltrain, how does a whole bus smell like pee?