Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Threat cookies

Lunch: An hour-long respite from the concerns of the work day. It's not much, and when it's spent at Panda Express, it really isn't much, but every so often I succumb to eating there. That, however, is not the problem.

Like all Americanized Chinese food (we will lump Panda in with "Chinese food" for the sake of this entry) establishments, the meals come with a fortune cookie, and I'm presuming my readership is generally familiar with those, so let's move on. I keep all those fortunes at my desk at work. They don't really make me feel better; I'm just too lazy to throw them away.

Okay, really, one just never knows when their pithy wisdom will prove inspirational. And by "inspirational" I mean giving me something to write about, not spiritual fulfillment; I feel compelled to make that clear.

A recent fortune I got--which was not, in actuality, a "fortune" in the sense of predicting the future in a vague sense, but rather an encouraging aphorism, but... yeah, you've seen them; I'm over-describing this. (Moving on.) Ahem. A recent slip of paper inside the hollow bent cookie read: "If you dream it--it will happen."


Like I didn't have enough reasons to worry that might keep me up at night. Now my unconscious had been granted unlimited power to shape the nature of things. And what little I tended to remember of my dreams (prior to being granted this by the fortune) made me concerned; I can have some pretty weird dreams.

However, after a couple weeks of weilding this authority, I've noticed I don't recall any dreams I've had during this period. Not even those wispy, indistinct recollections, the half-shaped images. Thus, all I have to go on is what I observe of the world while I am of the perception of being awake.

Apparently I dream of going to work, coming home, and watching TV. Over and over.

Egad, but my unconscious is dull.

The thing is: I don't think it used to be this dull. Clearly, this is some kind of Twilight Zone-esqe twist. Give my sleeping mind dominion over reality but strip it of any imagination, allowing it only dreams of the world exactly as it already was.

I didn't ask for straight-jacketed omnipotence; I just wanted some Kung Pao chicken.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la-plop

This is what I got this afternoon at my department's holiday luncheon and white elephant gift exchange. It's a reindeer that poops jelly beans.

Yes, I had to steal it from the person who first opened it.

Forget "holly jolly"--it's time to have a Poopin' Christmas.

Finally, a holiday slogan I can get behind. (Pun intended.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dark times--but it's only astronomical in this case

If I'm calculating things correctly, the winter solstice will occur at 10:35 am (Pacific time zone), tomorrow (December 21). Of course, if you care about commemorating that moment, you probably already knew that.

Enjoy, or ignore, as you see fit. And if you want to review what I said about this event (four years ago), here's a link to it (which may or may not be more entertaining than this Wikipedia article about it).

And now, apropos of nothing above, on the left there's a picture of one of the ice sculptures that adorned the bars at my office's holiday party last week. Yes, there's tubes running through it to act as a luge for the vodka poured by the bartender in the top and coming out colder in the glass below.

It's difficult to not feel guilty about such indulgence when there's so much suffering in the world. That's where the vodka comes in.

Monday, December 19, 2005

This time of year

"December is the cruelest month"
- The Waterboys, "December" (1983)

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Intersection of Hollywood and Highland, facing east, looking at the seasonal decorations and the Scientology sign.

Anybody know what holiday the Scientologists celebrate? Oh, sorry. None of my readers make enough money to know the answer to that.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I wanna spray paint all nite and party every day

Something I spotted on the train on the way to work this morning: graffiti. Now, this is, in and of itself, not anything unusual; I pass through South Central L.A. on my way to work, and there’s no shortage of buildings on which individuals or groups have found an outlet for their art. The graffiti in question, however, was seen on the side of a freight train car parked on the tracks next to the tracks my commuter train takes. And what, pray tell, could make it so interesting?

It said "Detroit Rock City" in somewhat sloppy, single swipe spray letters. Yep, gotta lose your mind in it, the whole nine yards.

My first thought was, Well, clearly that wasn’t spray painted while the train was in this area. However, then it occurred to me that it was short-sighted of me, and that I shouldn’t be so dismissive of the fan base of those rockers in the heavily black and Latino economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. It could certainly be construed as racist to assume that this part of town would be bereft of members of the KISS Army because of the ethnic population, and that is certainly not the kind of thinking that's going to move us forward as a society.

However, I suppose years of passing by the much more creative graffiti had led me to believe the gangs—er, alternative youth organizations—in those areas were, well, more talented, with composition and layering of colors in their pieces. Thus, it was a roundabout compliment to the local artists to assume the unimpressive three words were not their handiwork. They're better than that—no, really.

Besides, everyone knows that the favorite KISS track amongst the kids in South Central is "Strutter '78" (they're old school like that). They also have a soft spot for "Beth", but on the side of a train it just looks like a girl's name, not the proper tribute to the Peter Criss classic.

You probably thought I was going to say their favorite was "Cold Gin", didn’t you? Tsk, tsk. Clearly we all have a lot of growing to do.

Okay, here you go: Clearly, we also have a lot of rocking and rolling all nite to do. (Really, that’s how the song title spells it.) Never let it be said I don’t give the people what they want.

Oh wait, that’s the Kinks…

[And there's no shame in looking up the songs you didn't know so you get the jokes.]