mslulu: (Default)
Today is day 5 of me being back on a diet (Pirated Weight Watchers). I'm back on the diet because when [livejournal.com profile] bractune and I stepped on the scale on Sunday, there was not nearly enough of a difference between my weight at 5'6" and that of my 6'2" boyfriend. That was enough to kick my oversized ass into gear. So I've been to the gym three times this week, and I've been counting my points like a madwoman. On the plus side, the amped up physical activity has me waking up easier in the morning. On the minus side, I could eat an entire pizza right now. And I fear next week because my weight this week was close enough to the range border that I know I'm going to lose 2 of my daily points after Sunday. So, I'll be hungrier. Possibly crankier.

On the other hand, if all goes according to plan, we'll be planting the grass seed in Dave's backyard tomorrow. (If all doesn't go according to plan, we'll be doing it next weekend.) Possibly finishing up the painting in the dining room, and stripping the wallpaper from the bathroom too. It all depends on how motivated we are, I guess.

I suppose I should get back to work. It's build Friday, so things are actually pretty calm, just a lot of administrative clean up and prep for the upcoming new build on Monday.
mslulu: (Default)
(taken from pretty much everyone I know....)

Tell me something you want me to know. Make it a true thing.

Comments are screened; I will not be unscreening them unless you ask me to.
mslulu: (Columbia)
Grr. Want to be back in bed. Feeling okay, but my throat still hurts. Hate my job.

I had a dream that [livejournal.com profile] mahdi and I were contestants on The Apprentice, amongst the final six. I suspect this may have been a sex dream to some degree (not involving [livejournal.com profile] mahdi, but with Bill and Troy, naturally). There was definitely some shirtless Troy in it. The only other thing I remember was that someone (Bill, I think) got fired because Trump found his high school transcripts and realized he had failed math. This had The Mahdi in a state of panic. I was worried for myself because I had to take on the Project Management role and Trump would discover how I'd really been faking my way through the game thus far, and as a leader, I would prove to be totally incompetent.

This is really sad. You know, once upon a time, I looked forward to watching Friends on Thursdays.

The dream was interrupted by some sort of alarm bells that sounded like a fire alarm down the street and I thought maybe the light rail train had crashed or something, but the bells kept getting louder and louder. I finally realized it was [livejournal.com profile] mahdi's alarm clock and he had already left for work. Oh well, I needed to get out of bed anyway.

As a closing note, I'd just like to state for the record that I really don't like hard candy and I don't understand why people do.
mslulu: (Default)
Quote wars can be amusing. Especially when you're quoting your own friendship, instead of movies, songs, books... whatever people usually quote.

GypsyKevin: STOP TOUCHING MY HOUSE!
LostGirl88: I'm nekkid!
GypsyKevin: Turkey turkey turkey
LostGirl88: Work it Jesus, Shake it!
GypsyKevin: Hi, my name is Teri...can you unzip my dress?
LostGirl88: You know, my cats like me much better now that I've stopped biting them.
GypsyKevin: Where's Harry Kim?
LostGirl88: Shut up, Frankie!
GypsyKevin: Bump? What bump?
LostGirl88: Chips? Ice water?
GypsyKevin: Chicken cat!
LostGirl88: You can't leave. You have to help me carry the table down to the trash, then we're gonna have sex.
GypsyKevin: Ok fine, you win. I thought I had you with chicken cat!

Okay, so it's all private jokes, and all out of context, so nobody really gets it but me and Kevin (and Chryste to some degree) but I love Kevin.
mslulu: (Fru)
So, I was going to do the interview meme. I got all set to take the time to come up with great questions for everyone, then I remembered that I actually kind of suck at that, and don't really enjoy interviewing people. So, here are my answers to questions from [livejournal.com profile] darkmoon, and I am in turn interviewing her (questions will be coming shortly), but I'm not offering to do anymore interviews.

Answers )

As a side note, if you really love interviewing people, and just can't get enough of it, I'm always willing to answer any question thrown at me. I just can't guarantee that I'll be able to reciprocate.

Revelations

Jan. 3rd, 2004 11:38 pm
mslulu: (Default)
So, I'm sitting here, nearly one hundred pages into the third book of the Dark Tower series, re-reading something that I remembered loving the first time through, and loving it just as much the second time. A few things have occured to me though, some good, some not so much.

First, the good. In the last two weeks, I've plowed through two novels and then some. My passion for reading is not dead. I think I've just been trying to read the wrong things. Fuck that. So what if I don't read the stuff everyone else I know is always talking about? If I can't get into it, it's just because that particular author or style doesn't hook me. The fact that I've never read Anne McCaffrey or Frank Herbert or Terry Goodkind (or 90% of the other names that usually come up in group conversation) is not a mark against my intellectual capacity. It just means that while I'm too different from the mainstream world to really fit in to a social circle there, I'm also very different from the out-of-the-norm/geek friends that I have. Face it, I'm freaky enough to send the normals running in terror, but when it really comes down to it, I'll take the Chick Flick and the Stephen King novel over the Sci-Fi Flick and the Fantasy novel any day. And yes, King does tend to be a hack. But also, amidst a great deal of the crap that he churns out, there are some gems that are some of the best stories I've ever read. Thinking about it now, I remember the last time I got this into a book was while listening to Black House on audio while I was still working at E-Trade. I don't know if I consider King to be my favorite author, but he's definitely my most read. Up until the late 90's, I'd read everything he'd written except for Salem's Lot. Add a little Anne Rice and John Irving to the mix, and you've got half of my library right there.

What this also means, is that King is a big-ass influence on me as a writer. I find it fascinating when I read his words about the writing process and I realize how I tend to take a similar approach to the idea as it grows into a story and develops into something solid. Not that I ever actually sat down an patterned my techniques after his; it just happens that our minds both work in that "dive in head first and see where you end up" kind of way.

So, the not so great thing that came to me tonight was when I started to look for the inspiration to create my own tales while reading. This is usually what I do when I'm in a slump. I watch a great movie, or a television show with excellent writing (Sports Night, for example) or I read a wonderful book. It gets my juices flowing and gets my mind creating again. The problem today came when I realized just how much of my Dragon world is inspired by The Dark Tower world. Not so much in the way that I've been copying it, although I will admit to borrowing a few ideas for it, but in that what I want for that world is something as real and fascinating as the world in which Roland Deschain lives. A place that has many of the same characteristics of our world, but is still different enough to feel alien. A place that has many secrets and mysteries, peeking through the fabric just enough to tease the reader's curiousity, dragging them along, telling them everything and nothing all at the same time. I don't have that. I don't know how to get that. I have a two dimensional world that doesn't really have any character of its own and doesn't really have any reason to be in the state it's in now. I need to take some serious time and thought to devote to world building. Guess what I suck at? Perhaps this is why I write primarily in our world, or in our world with only a few variances.

So, here I am, wide awake, feeling both enthralled and discouraged by the words I read on the pages before me. Not sure if sleep will help or hurt. Good thing it's the weekend.
mslulu: (Default)
I remember, in the late 70's when Saturday Night Live and VCR's were still new, I was about 7 or 8, and we were staying at my Grandma Kane's for the weekend. I see the living room in my mind perfectly, the sofa bed pulled out, me and Chryste sitting under a multi-colored afghan that Grandma had crocheted. Uncle Mike was there too, and he had brought his VCR and a tape of Saturday Night Live. I'm not sure I was actually allowed to watch the show then, but mom wasn't around, so it didn't matter. Mike had something he had to show us. He put the tape in and told us to watch these guys. And I watched, as two men, one tall and thin, the other short and fat, dressed in black suits, black hats, and black sunglasses came out on stage. The tall one had a briefcase handcuffed to his arm, and in it was a harmonica. The music started, and they started singing, and dancing and the dancing was bizarre and the music was great. I was fascinated. I remember Mike explaining them a little, and I don't really remember what he said, but I loved it anyway.

Sometime later (months, years... I don't recall) on a visit to Mike's house, he showed me the movie. These same two guys, brothers, on a mission from God to save an orphanage, crashing cars, running from cops, barely escaping one mess just to land in another, with a few breaks for some fun musical numbers, all culminating in what, to me at least, is the greatest car chase scene ever filmed with the entire Illinois state police force, the National Guard, a Winnebago driving country band, and even a station wagon full of Illinois Nazis.

I don't know why I love Jake and Elwood Blues so much. But all it takes is the opening credits and I'm smiling. The close up images of Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi, followed by their fraternal embrace under the title graphic, "The Blues Brothers," just makes me all warm and happy. It's one of those little things of childhood that has stayed with me all my life.

The movie's showing on TBS as I write this. I'm going to go back downstairs and curl up on the couch and alternately cringe and laugh at the horrible editing and probably fall asleep watching it.
mslulu: (Tattoo)
John Hughes lied to me. How many other children of the eighties out there spent their teen years believing in the Gospel of Hughes? And how many felt betrayed when graduation came and the promised love had never materialized?

I started my high school career with Sixteen Candles. I knew that the guy I had the secret crush on would eventually realize I was there; I just had to go to the right dance to start the wheels in motion.

By sophomore year, it was The Breakfast Club. I was the loner, the outsider, the freak. But it was okay, because the cute jock was going to kiss me one day and tell me I was pretty.

Junior year was all about Pretty in Pink. I was living alone with my dad then, and the Great and Powerful Hughes promised me that if I pinched pennies and made my own clothes, Andrew McCarthy would soon start stalking me.

And finally, Senior year brought Some Kind of Wonderful and it's assurances that my best friend would see the light and realize that he actually loved me and not the pretty girl he was chasing all year.

But, alas, the real world is nothing like Shermer, Illinois. I never had that great high school romance. The words of Hughes were just empty promises.

But somewhere along the way, lost in these wonderful fictions, my own "what-if" button got pushed. My imagination was tickled and I, for the first time, put pencil to paper and began to write. My first attempts were dreadful, unoriginal, Hughes-like tales of love and sex amongst foul-mouthed high-school students. But I never stopped. I'm still writing seventeen years later. Admittedly, a lot of what fills the box of notebooks and loose-leaf paper in my closet is pure, derivative crap, but I know there are at least a few original, creative, well written ideas in there, too. I love that I can sit down and create people and places and situations and give them life with just a pen.

And I've got John Hughes to thank for that.
mslulu: (Default)
Dinner conversation with Lemur Hunter left me feeling nostalgic for the theatre and the cast that once made up my "real family." Some of the little things and the people that stick in my mind:

*The view of the courtyard from the upstairs lounge - Anyone for a game of Drop the Olive?
*Nate and Sylvan, who actually put the effort into being Spectacular Criminologists
*Sitting in the upper section of the theatre just watching the cast perform
*The Tech Crew - these guys (and girls) rocked... this amazing force of beings in all black who swarmed onto stage quickly rearranging the sets
*Watching George play Riff, trying to figure out how he got from the tank to the control panel without seeming to touch the ground
*Lunatic - the "Official Cast Special Effect"
*Sneaking around and being naughty behind the screen
*Denise as "The Swedish Erotica Chef"
*Sneaking around and being naughty in the back alleys
*Melanie... my first love
*Thanksgiving dinner with the cast/crew
*The plethora of Trannies
*Playing Magenta as Morticia Addams, with Russ as Riff/Gomez
*The ankle eating stage
*The neck breaking stairs
*The amazingly beautiful theatre itself

I could go on. Sometimes I really miss those days. Of course, this isn't to say that I'm ignoring the screaming matches, the vicious politics, and all the nastiness that comes with it, but today, I'm just focusing on the good.

I went into the Borders that the Varsity became only once. I nearly cried.
mslulu: (Default)
I had dinner and watched Enterprise at Richard's last night. As I got home, I realized it was probably a good thing that I did. At some point in the evening all of the power went out on my block and several other blocks up the street. I still haven't been able to figure out what time the lights went out, but from the temperature of the refrigerator, I'm thinking I would have missed a decent sized chunk of the show.

So, I made it through the front gate and stopped at the foot of the stairs leading up to my apartment. Those of you who've been there know how dark and dreary that stairway can be normally. Let me tell you, that's nothing compared to the pitch black void I was now facing. Fortunately, there were no monsters or worse hiding in the blackness and I fumbled with the keys only a moment before opening the door and stepping in to my likewise pitch black apartment.

I stumbled across the living room to the entertainment center where I have a few candles and a lighter. Couldn't find the lighter. Stumbled to the bedroom for my second lighter which should have been on the nightstand or the corner shelf. It wasn't. Okay, next option, the MagLite in the kitchen. Miraculously, it was where it was supposed to be. Of course, the batteries were dead.

My next brilliant idea was to use the light on my cell phone to search the floor around the entertainment center for the missing lighter. No luck. Tried the same thing in the bedroom with the same results. Then I remembered where I could find working batteries that would fit the flashlight. Whith images of a particular scene from the movie Parenthood filling my head, I retrieved the batteries, relocated the flashlight, and voila, there was light. I then found missing lighter #1 (on the floor near the entertainment center). I lit a few candles, basked in the lovely glow for a moment, then remembered that all I wanted to do when I got home was to crawl into bed and go to sleep. So I set my travel alarm clock, blew out the freshly lit candles, and went to bed.

I think I just failed Emergency Preparedness 101.
mslulu: (Default)
I've been thinking a lot lately about a college professor of mine. I had a pretty strong attraction to him all through school. When I first took one of his classes, he was married. The next class I took of his was a year and a half later, and he had lost about 20 lbs and the wedding ring. My attraction grew. I took a lot of his classes, partially because of my attraction, partially because he was a good teacher and I needed a lot of the classes he was teaching.

I began to notice, or imagine, his behaviour toward me suggested that he might share the attraction. He tended to be a little flirty, smiled and joked with me when he didn't normally with other students, and he gave me a grade on a paper that I so didn't deserve. (I'm usually hard on myself, but this one was beyond the normal piece of crap. I had a couple of others read it to back up that it was crap. I hate to suggest that his grading was influenced by any unethical thoughts, but hello, he gave me an A on a paper that was barely worth a C if that.)

I've been fantasizing lately about what might have happened after graduation if I hadn't left the state immediately and had pursued something with him. Okay, some of the fantasies are pornographic, but more so they're just "what ifs?" Imagining what life would be like in a relationship with him. Wondering if he was really attracted to me, or if it was just me projecting my own feelings.

Sometimes, it kills me that I'll never know.
mslulu: (Default)
So I went for a drive early this morning, in the vain hope that there might be a place open where I could get my alignment and wheel balance checked. Yeah, right, on July 4th. I know. I took a different route back home, along M Street. Now I didn't even realize there was an M Street in Sacramento, since in my part of town, it goes L, Capitol, N. It was a nice drive. The houses are beautiful, and at 10 am on a holiday, the road was full of people biking and walking. Couples, families, all being together. A few kids were in the street setting of fireworks already... more of the noisy kind than the visual, I imagine. I drove past a nice park that I never knew existed. Then I started seeing people with patriotic themed hats. It makes me wonder if they felt truly patriotic or if they were just into the holiday hype. I remembered watching Pearl Harbor some weeks back and being awed over the patriotism of that era. People going to war because they felt a duty to their country, they felt they had a country worth fighting for. People proud to be American. I've never felt that way. Is it just that they didn't have the media deluge that we have today that kept them blissfully ignorant of the state of the country and the shortcomings of the President? I remember hearing that FDR's wheelchair was never seen on film, he was always photographed sitting behind his desk, or he would go to the effort to stand so as not to appear weak. These days, we're suspicious of a President sitting behind a desk for other reasons. The respect that was once given to the executive office is gone. Anyone who thinks George W is given his due respect needs to tune into Comedy Central at 10:00 on a Thursday. Now I'm not a big fan of the man, but I seriously think that this is indicitave of some of the major problems with our country. Do I have a solution? Do I know what might make the US a country I can be proud of? No. I'm still plotting to run away to Ireland. But maybe it's something worth thinking about.
mslulu: (Default)
I have two new rules in my dating life: I will no longer waste time pursuing gay men or straight women. Or anyone who is otherwise unavailable. I guess that's three rules.

That leaves me pretty much in the same place I started, wondering where to start.

I've decided to say screw you to the world that tells me I have to choose between men and women. No. I have to choose someone who I can love and who can love me. Gender is irrelevant. So now, I'm venturing back toward the world of women who date men and men who date women and wondering what I've been missing for all these years. The cynic in me suggests "Not a hell of a lot," but there's still that hopeful little girl in me who wants to believe that there's someone out there for me. Maybe it's a boy, maybe it's a girl, maybe I can keep the Instant Gratification Demon quiet long enough to find out.
mslulu: (Default)
Soup is good.
Soup doesn't ask you to clear your browser history.
Soup doesn't lock you out for 15 minutes.
Soup doesn't say, "its up... uh... its down... uhh... oh wait, its up again!"
Soup is simple.

I love soup.
mslulu: (Default)
I woke to a disturbing memory of childhood. I can't remember for certain, but I think it was the start of my school-years torment from the other kids in school. I was very young - probably not quite 6. I had just been transferred from the kindergarten to the 1st grade after what felt like a long fight with the public school administration to put me in a class where I might actually learn something.

I had gone to the bathroom at recess, and while I was in the stall, some other girl had started knocking on the door asking who was in there. I didn't know her, and I was afraid to speak. This started some sort of small commotion as the first girl began gathering other girls in an attempt to find out who was in the stall. I sat there, paralyzed with fear as they began climbing the walls to look over at me. "There's some kindergartner locked in the bathroom!" they said to each other, pounding on the walls, "come out, Kindergartner!" I couldn't move. All I wanted to do was finish what I was doing and leave, but now I couldn't because all these people were watching me and waiting for me to come out. And I was too afraid to speak out, to tell them who I was and that I belonged in that part of school, and I'd like a little privacy, thank you.

I don't remember how it ended. I think one of them must have called the yard duty lady, convinced that I was a lost kindergartner who had some how broken out of the fenced in kindergarten playground and made it into a bathroom on the far other end of school. I've just never understood why it was so important to them to know who was using the bathroom. Why would anyone want to talk to someone through a bathroom stall if they didn't know them?

I'm going back to bed now. Maybe I can sleep this off.

Home?

Jun. 10th, 2001 10:16 am
mslulu: (Default)
I always have trouble answering the question "Where are you from?" or really identifying a location that feels like home to me. While driving back and forth this weekend between the Bay and the Valley, I think I found out why. The highways between the two places felt like home. Especially coming back, when I took the slightly longer but more familiar route over the Altamont and through Stockton. I can't really remember how often we travelled from Stockton to San Jose to see Mom's family when Mom and Dad were still married, but I know after the divorce, it seems like we went at least once a month. Then when we lived in Cupertino for four months in the 6th grade, we came back to Sacramento every other weekend to see Dad. The result: I'm more attached to the roads between places than to any actual place. Weird?
mslulu: (Default)
I've been feeling the need to write since my mom died. Actually the urge kicked in about a month before that, while I was in Texas, visiting her, along with 17 other family members. That week was just amazing. I've never put too much thought into the idea of my extended family as a coherent unit. More often, it's the dysfunction that stands out in my mind. We don't tend to be very good at managing our individual lives, so it doesn't occur to me that we might actually work well as a group.

I realized my oversight that week. When I first arrived at my mom's house, I walked in the front door to find a strange woman cooking breakfast and two small children running about. The strange woman turned out to be my cousin, John's wife, Theresa, who I had only met once before. The children were their daughters, Kelsee and Kaitlyn. My aunt Kathy was taking care of Mom, and my uncle Mike was snoring on the sofa. Mike snores so dramatically that it only took my niece, Terra, a few days to figure out the new word. It was only minor chaos at this point, but with more family members arriving over the next 2 days, it had the potential to become major chaos.

Soon, there were 18 of us in all, including five small children ranging in age from 9 months to 7 years. The doorbell was ringing every ten minutes with someone from the community bringing food or flowers or money. We had so many pre-cooked chickens by the end of that first day, we were inviting neighbors over to help us eat it. Home health care had come to set mom up with a protein IV. Ministers and well wishers were waiting in line in the living room to get in to see mom. There was such amazing community love and support for my mother. Being the city girl I am, I was just blown away by how an entire small town will pull together to aid one of it's members in need. But it was my family that blew me away even more.

We fell naturally into a communal group. No dish was unwashed, no bed unchanged, no child undisciplined (or undiapered for that matter). Nobody had to take charge and direct the others. Everyone had their own, sometimes surprising strengths that filled the individual needs as they arose. John and Theresa were both medical professionals and had the skills and knowledge needed when mom's Home Health Care nurses weren't immediately available. Mike drove anyone anywhere they needed to go, whether it be to the airport in Austin or to the burger place down the street. Aunt Norma turned out to be an inventive cook, turning the leftovers no one wanted into a completely new and attractive meal. Even cousin Suzanne, who could not make the trip due to health problems of her own, was felt through the money she sent - what she would have spent on plane fare if she had been able to come. And on Sunday, when Mom decided she felt up to going to church, we loaded into three cars and a minivan, put religious differences aside, and filled the front two rows.

It was an emotionally exhausting, yet also invigorating week. I will always think of my family in that setting now, the loving, supporting, powerful combined unit, instead of the individuals, struggling and fumbling through their personal lives and problems.

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