And they whirl and they twirl and they tango

Infrequently updated, uninteresting blather.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

God help us all.

Garth Brooks has a foundation called Teammates for Kids. Here is the website:

I'll let you think about that for a while.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

La fiesta del fuego

I apologize, dear readers (all three of you), for the long delay in my posting. I usually write from home, but now that Gavagirl and I share the internet connection back and forth between our computers, it's usually more trouble than it's worth to spend much time on the internet at home. I've decided to just start blowing off work more to post.

So, yes, this weekend I finally met Jefe, of the infamous blogs Hook Echoes and Seeing in the Dark. Our meeting was nothing like I imagined; I expected him to burst through the door of my apartment with a bottle of whiskey in one hand, a sheet of acid in the other, and an entourage of long-haired freaky people. Instead he walked in with a Mexican wedding shirt and a sincere smile. Apparently he's toned it down a bit from the old stories we read on Hook Echoes. Gavagirl (who was grumpy), Jefe, Oubliette and I went to some crazy-ass party in the middle of fuck-nowhere South Austin, where I further proved to those three and everyone else at the party that I am Not Cool.

I'm always slightly uncomfortable at parties, to begin with, especially those where I don't know a lot of people. I just started drinking beer and chain smoking, hoping it would loosen me up, but it mostly made me sleepy (more on that later). When we first arrived, Jefe was running around like a caffeinated six-year-old with ADD trying to set up some subversive liberal propaganda for everyone to watch, but it never ended up working out. He did, however, become the star of the party later on when he FUCKING BREATHED FIRE. There's the Jefe I imagined! He kept drinking the mysterious contents of a plastic bottle and spewing it out onto his torch, and the flames would just barely miss the trees hanging overhead. Everyone was mesmerized. People standing next to me were saying, "Wow, that looks so scary," and I'd reply, "Yeah, he's one crazy motherfucker, I've known him a long time." The show lasted a good ten minutes or so, and at some point watching Jefe bravely risking his eyebrows in his black Guayabera, ponytail, and neon-lit top hat, I realized that I wanted to make mad, sweaty, passionate love to him against a wall somewhere.

It was also at this point that I realized I was really fucking soused.

I remember sitting down with Jefe and Oubliette to discuss the finer points of fire-breathing, just before I wandered away and fell asleep in an empty room. While I was asleep, everyone was apparently looking for me, thinking that I had disappeared with a drunken neighbor who charmed me with his monacle. Yes, he had a fucking monacle, I shit you not. And no, I was still not interested. I woke up in the room with what felt like 100 people staring at me and talking to me, delighted that I had woken up. I stumbled out of the room quickly, bursting outside to see Rachel with a relieved look on her face. I didn't mean to cause so much worry, but I was exhausted. After a while, I wandered back into a different empty room and fell asleep yet again. And yet again, I was awakened by 100 people, but this time they were playing guitars and singing "Johnny B. Good," which totally rocked. Rachel came in at this point and took me home, where we sent Jefe back to Oklahoma with hugs and well-wishes.

All in all, not the most exciting night for me in particular, but we had a good time, and Rachel got over her grumpiness. We both slept until after 1 or so. Nayce.

Monday, June 13, 2005

AmeriCorps Exit Survey: Excerpts from Yours Truly

My time with AmeriCorps is rapidly coming to a close, and it's time to evaluate the year and what I've accomplished. Here are some of my responses to the online survey that CNCS (the Corporation for National and Community Service) sends out to all exiting AmeriCorps*VISTAs.

"My organization applied for a VISTA with a fabulous work plan, but I never got to do most of it. Some of the reason was funding, but it was also just that the organization always tried to write what they thought CNCS wanted to hear rather than what was practical or fair for a VISTA to do. I was put in 'charge' of a lot of things that I really had no authority over whatsoever."

"A lot of the job titles handed out to VISTAs are meaningless and bear little relation to what they actually do. My case is no exception. This isn't the way it has to be, but so many organizations claim to have big things for VISTAs to do that never pan out for one reason or another. And quite frankly, part of this CNCS's bull, if you'll forgive me. There are special key words and phrases they want to hear, and if they hear those words and check off items on their lists, they can very easily ignore what's actually going in the sponsoring organization."

"If CNCS weren't so hopelessly buried under a pile of dense forms and meaningless corporate jargon, they'd have more time to make sure their VISTAs aren't being misused. Like most government organizations, CNCS is an impassable bureaucracy almost entirely out of touch with the people it serves."

I doubt this will make much of a difference to anyone at the state office, but at least I can say I tried.

Friday, June 10, 2005

I don't deserve a paycheck.

I heart anagrams. I've been playing around with all of my coworker's names on this online anagram generator and then sending them the anagrams through email with no explanation. The best one is E's full name, which came out of the generator as "My best lingerie."

I tried to do one for Rachel, but they weren't very funny, so I changed it to "Rockhell" + her last name and got "Her lovely rack." Nice, huh?

Try it out: What better way to waste time at work?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Conversation with Lorne last night:

Me: Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?
Lorne: I hate Alanis Morissette.
Me: That song drives me crazy with the way she misuses irony.
Lorne: Right, she just lists a bunch of stuff that sucks, but isn't ironic.
Me: Exactly. There's no irony in the song whatsoever.
Lorne: Which is in itself ironic.

Friday, June 03, 2005

RockHell is Coming to Town

A momentous event has occured here in Ow-steen Tay-haas: two bloggers that have linked to each other and commented on each other's blogs from afar for months have finally joined forces in the same city. Rachel (aka Gavagirl) got here Tuesday night, and it's been a barrel of monkeys ever since. We began by hauling all of her stuff out of her Protege at midnight since this isn't the kind of neighborhood in which you should leave valuables in you car. This was a bit painful for both of us, since I live on the third floor; Raquel had to carry heavy computer equipment and I am still recovering from the foot surgery. We made it, though, and since then, she's set up camp on my very comfy couch and works all day on her computer at my dining room table. It's only a one-bedroom apartment, but we don't seem to get in each other's way too much, mostly because Gavagirl is a slender slip of a girl and I can slide past her with a fair amount of ease. Wednesday we made an ecstatic trip to Central Market, where Rachel remembered what it's like to see produce that isn't rotting in some Oklahoma grocery store.

Rachel's visit has reminded me of a lesson I learned back in January when I first started hanging out with Andrew and the Spiderhouse crowd. That lesson is, in short: I am not cool. It took me a long time in life to accept the fact that not only I am not cool, but also that I will never be cool. When I would sit around discussing modern philosophy and watching documentaries at the Spiderhouse with Drew and the boys, I had a great time, but I always had the vague sense of being an intruder. I could spend time in hip coffee shops, but I was not a coffee shop hipster, as much as I wanted to be. I took up smoking in an effort to fit in (alright, and I also just love to smoke), but my clothes and general demeanor still set me apart from the others.

Now what I mean by "cool" is quite different from what you might think of the classical definition. The Spiderhouse folks weren't the popular kids in high school; they were the goths, the smokers, the drama freaks, the potheads, the art students, the queers, the kids reading Ayn Rand and Sartre on their lunch breaks, clothed in Nine Inch Nails shirts and big black boots; some of them were even Star Trek nerds or role-playing gamers. They are alternative cool, and as many of their kind as I knew and loved back in high school, I was not quite one of them even then. I remember one lovely Goth, Ashley Green, took me under her wing as her pet normal girl and delighted in shocking me every chance she got. I tried to imitate her creepy Goth handwriting and her Wiccan jewelry, but I couldn't quite pull it off. I was not cool.

Rachel, on the other hand, is cool. She possesses a sardonic wit and a withering disdain for the widespread stupidity in the world around her; she is not easily ruffled and in general gives the impression that she doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks about her. This is sharp contrast to her dear friend Muskrat, who can't seem to break out of her pathetic "Love me! Love me!" mode. She is beautiful in a mournfully sexy way; at best I could be described as tomboyishly cute. She smokes in an unthinking, careless way, just like all the other coffee shop dwellers, whereas I often still have trouble simply lighting my cigarette in one attempt. Living with her is sure to emphasize my un-coolness even more, but I'll try my best to learn from her how to be hip, and also how to drive a standard transmission.

Thanks to new commenters Wayne and Becca (sister of Gavagirl) for joining the Muskrat Love family. I appreciate your taking the time to read my ramblings.