Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chasing the rooster

Ho, man, what a birthday it was! I'm still trying to adapt to non-island life. As Jake said, when you get back you have a really hard time getting to all the things you have to do, because you've gotten used to not having anything to do. Except lounge around and go to the beach and "chase the rooster."**

People keep asking for the highlights, so here's a few: The birthday itself was one long day of fun. We went snorkeling for the second time, at a beach where these pools were made out of rocks. (Overall, we saw sea turtles, spotted puffer fish, a flounder, a protruding brow fish, and many more. No eels or sharks, alas.) Michele and Kristina made an amazing dinner, followed by Kathleen's super-chocolaty cake.

They presented me with an amazing zine that compiled hilarious comics made by many of my friends. Then, Kathleen and Eric broke out the Bolivian hats and the Bolivian absinthe, and a dance party ensued. And finally, we ran off to the beach and rode the waves in all our drunken glory -- until Chris accidentally squashed Kristina's toe. Talk about the icing on the cake!

Other highlights: Chris brought Not Quite What I Was Planning, the recent collection of six-word memoirs that was inspired by NaNoWriMo, and so we spent much of the week concocting our own. I'll share a couple of mine:

Red Sox fan,
Can die now.

Love the ocean,
Oedipus be damned.

Jumping off the rope swing at this quarry tucked away in the woods was pretty cool, even if Brent ended up kicking himself while jumping off the rocks. Kristina was pissed, because he was stealing her sympathy.

For some reason we're trying to simulate our catwalk tiger look here.

Also, shave ice! Not shaved ice, not sno cones. Shave ice, which is like a sno cone with a lump of ice cream beneath it. We also played a lot of games of Quote Unquote or whatever that thing is that Karen and Thaddeus so nicely lent us. Naturally, with the in-house internets, we spent time googling the quotes in all sorts of other languages and then retranslating them. So the Dutch saying, "the short man has a taller wife" becomes "the midget spares the rod" in the Ukraine. Go figure!

We also hiked the first two miles of the Na Pali Coast, which was rather hellacious. Thank god for the beach at the beginning/end, where you could float with the fishies and buy weed (and mead) from the woman in the white van.

John sent along a new shock game, in which you were administered random shocks if you picked the same number as the computer. Believe me, it's more fun -- or something -- than it sounds.

And we boogie-boarded too!

All good things must come to an end, eventually, so we packed up and flew home, where I decided to shave my week-long growth into as ridiculous a style as I could stand.

**Oh yeah, so "chasing the rooster," which happened usually around 5 a.m. when the wild beasts would start doodle-dooing, came to stand for the act of self-pleasurement. I can't recall exactly why.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A case of the cutes

Okay, so it's been a while. I got caught in the Noise Pop whirlwind and then the mom visit whirlwind and now the Kauai preparation whirlwind (or tsunami or whatever they have down there). I figured I'd check in here while I can.

I'm in love with a new band: Herman Dune. It's a couple brothers and sometimes a sister, with some kind of confusing French/Swedish parentage. They kind of sound like Jonathan Richman if he was the brother of Jens Lekman and the sister of Kimya Dawson (of Juno fame, see more below). Very cute at times, with girl-group backing vocals, but also romantically miserable lyrics. They're playing the Rickshaw on March 19, and I'm bummed I won't be there, but at least I can watching this adorably cute video over and over.

On the subject of cute, I've got to tell you that nothing knocks the blues (more below, too) out of you faster than being interviewed about your job by your (also) adorably cute little sister. And when she said at the end of the phone call, "I hope I get to see you soon," I thought I would cry. Maybe I should try that on my next big interview. Somehow I doubt Mark Eitzel or whoever would react the same way.

So, yes, my birthday's coming up. And anyone who knows me well knows that I get depressed every year before my birthday. Never fails. But this year it hasn't happened yet, mostly because I'll be in Kauai. I can get depressed when I get back; right now, I'm just trying to figure out which beaches will have the best snorkeling. Of course, that didn't stop the Saturday blues a-coming on a little today. I think it had to do with dropping my mom off at the airport, because I seem to miss family more than usual these days, even if they drive me a bit batty at times. And then last night I met up with some ex- and current SF Weekly folks, which always gets me thinking about what I should be accomplishing in life. I always get competitive about that kind of thing, even if I'm fine with my daily life. I mean, I don't really want to compete with the guy who got divorced but moved a block away so he could be near his kids, even if it meant he was a lonely bachelor two weeks out of a month. Right?

Enough maudlinity. Have you seen the Diablo Cody impersonation? Ouch! Hey, I loved Juno and I loved the fact that an outsider in a bad dress won an Oscar. She seems normal and kooky, like one of us. But this SNL bit is pretty funny.

And that She & Him show at the Great American? Getting mixed reviews, but I loved it, even if Zooey Deschanel didn't exactly show a lot of stage presence. What a voice! I could've listened to them cover standards all night, along with her originals, which mix together Patsy Cline, Carole King, and the Shirelles. Here's a track from the upcoming Merge Records album

And now a preface to the new Grumpy Guy: In case they, by some amazing coincidence, they ever see it, the strip in no way reflects my general feelings towards my parents. Thank you and good night.