Monday, January 30, 2006

Coincidentally Yours,

- - - Late Saturday night, I got a Woody Guthrie song poem stuck in my head... or.. I tried to get it stuck, I should say. It had been a favorite song of mine about five years ago but I hadn't heard it in forever so Saturday night I struggled hard to recall the name and tune. Frustratingly, It felt all too much like fighting to remember a great dream in the morning while fending off the neighbor's radio blaring David Lee Roth's new talk show. (note to DLR: you are not Howard Stern. Not even a tamer, less pervy one)
....I remembered the premise of the song and I could almost grasp at a few snippets of lyrics but everything kept getting drowned out in my head by the melody and rhythm of Marty Robbins' song "El Paso" - also a favorite of mine from around the same period. Adding to my confusion was the fact that Woody Guthrie's name has always lived in that cookie-monster-like part of my brain that gobbles up names and things I should remember. When asked for whatever I'm trying to remember, it just screams for more cookies.
....So on Sunday January 29th, having given up on breaking through the brain lock, I googled the few words from the song that I was remembering... and... voila, there it was: 'Deportees' -But not just the lyrics... or the name of the song... but background too. Cool. And a summary of the event on which Woody Guthrie's poem, later turned into the song, was based:

The New York Times of January 29, 1948 reported the wreck of a "charter plane carrying 28 Mexican farm workers from Oakland to the El Centro, CA, Deportation Center.... "

....Coincidence? Unless you believe in fate or ghosts, of course it was. A one in 365 chance is still bound to happen a certain amount of time (let's say... around once every 365 times). And yet, there's something about my having had to struggle to dredge up the memory of this song and the sort of creepy fact that it was about people dying and the fact that the song, almost ironically, is about how they'd "be known by no name except deportee" that tries really hard to take me to that place where coincidence transcends statistical probability and seems to imply... well.. some other-worldly significance. If I didn't believe it crazy things like science and happenstance, I'd almost believe it happened for a reason.

update: Once you've listened to studied all the different versions of the song, I think you'll agree with me that the Bob Dylan / Joan Baez version is the best.

The Office Crazy Speaketh

OC: one of the reasons I didn't used to make coffee with this thing is that I thought the cups went into the coffee that was being made!
me: [already walking away] ohw, now.. that wouldn't be good.

[at this point, I cant decide whether to use the hand not carrying my coffee to a) rip my ears off b) gouge my eyes out c) knock at my head repeatedly because surely I could Not have correctly heard what she just said d) all of the above at the same time]


OC: y'know what I have at home that I bought last week? Triscuits!! I haven't had them in so long.

[approx time since she last mentioned Triscuits in the office: 2 weeks]


OC: Oh, I cant handle this, it's too much work!
office-lady-#1: what's wrong?
OC: I dont know why all these T1 orders are assigned to me.
office-lady-#2: well.. you were hired when DM left and she handled all the T1 orders.
OC: really? I think there's probably more work now.
office-lady-#1: no, there's the same. well, actually, there's less, for you, since we (the other office ladies) now do some of your... some of the T1 orders also.
office-lady-#3: It's true.
OC: I dont know how it's all supposed to get done.
OC: wanna switch workloads?
office-lady-#2: Yes! please! you can do my DS0 orders AND the T1's I do for you.
office-lady-#1: Yeah! me too... Lord knows I had enough to do befo [bites her tongue before she can say: before I had to do some of your work too]
OC: really?
office-lady-#4: it's true, look at the [work]load balancing reports... your section is tiny.
OC: wow, well it doesn't feel like it.
office-lady-#2: yeah well
[they all walk away before strangling her. I try not to giggle with delight. this is the closest anyone has come to confronting the validity of her complaints. sadly, she Still does not accept that she's doing the least work here and crying the most about it]


OC: My favorite Warren Zevon song! Lawyers, Guns and Money!


OC has, for the past few months, been doing so nails-on-a-chalkboard-ing-ly annoying, I haven't been able to describe it for fear that it may be used later as evidence for my justifiably murdering her: Baby-talking. No, not baby-talking to a baby over the phone or in some sorta kinky talk with a boyfriend and as far as I can tell, there are never any babies in the office when she does it. What does she say? Well, picture a 50something lady baby-talking nonsense words. It's really that simple. Eyw Goo Gaaa. Mya Mew Nya Neya. Nyey Nyaa Neyyy. Sigh... I'm not doing the annoying-level justice.


OC: If I have to deal with SBC again, I am going to jump out that window. if you think I'm kidding, I'm not.
[at this point, I consider calling her, pretending to be an SBC representative]
and then comes... the pinnacle of inappropriateness that DM never Ever had.
OC: I'd rather have full blown AIDS than deal with SBC.
me: [gasp] OC?!?? Seriously! can you watch what you say in the office???? Not Cool. c'mon.
[I'm still reeling. I can not believe she said that. One more OC, please keep saying stuff like that out loud and get yourself fired.]
[and I just received this CYA (cover-your-arse instant message from her]

OC [9:49 AM]: sorry didn't mean to offend you
Me [9:50 AM]: it's just one of those lines that shouldn't be crossed.
me [9:50 AM]: you didn't offend me, it was just, well... offensive
OC [9:51 AM]: you are very right and pretty twisted if you think about it

[wait. am I pretty twisted? or what she said is twisted? lord, help me]

Monday, January 23, 2006

Things I Like Muchly and Things I Dont

-==---Things I Like Muchly and Things I Dont (a new segment)

Things I Like Muchly
---perfect timing
---the word "machinate"
---clothing in any shade of green
---sketchers grand prix shoes, circa 1995
---red flame Le Creuset
---Will Ferrell
---microsuede down comforters
---almond flavor
---the Oakland Raiders
---high definition television
---astronomy (pictures)

Things I Dont
---freezing rain
---fat, gelatenous oysters
---delays, waiting
---people with obvious social intelligence deficits
---Campers, Ugh boots, duck billed shoes
---the word "masticate"
---large shopping malls / chain stores
---cell phones with cb-radio functions (beedle-beep!! "yo, where you at?")
---wild boars
---televised baseball, basketball, rugby, dramas, reality shows, religion

Friday, January 20, 2006

a dedication to writing / reasons I love Bob Newhart

Owwwwkaaaaay.... that I'm all rededicated to writing
Heeeere Goes!
..... wait.
ok. now
I'm psyched!!!
drumroll pleeease!
aaaaand Go!
.... readyyyyyyy...
... Go!


let's see...
coffee? check.
keyboard? check.
fingers? ... 8, 9.... ok,
left hemisphere and temporal lobes?
...good enough.
what... could I .... be missing?
what... could I.. be... missing?
top? hick?
what the hell is a ....?
Top Hick!!
sorry... wait
that still makes no sense.
Top ....Ick? seriously?
that's what I should write about?
Top.... Ic? .... "t-o-p-i-c"?
I still dont get it. sorry.
what?? AAAH! stop yelling at me!!
ok, ok, I get it!
you're right... I should probably write about the greatest hick characters appearing in movies or.. something called... an Ick by which I'm guessing, you mean something gross that
NO!! AAAAH!!! Jeeeesus, why do you keep yelling at me??!?!?!
Ok. Ok already.. I get it... a topic. I need a topic.
what's a topic?
kidding! kidding!! I'm kidding...
put the hammer down.
put it down.
Ok... let's see.... I could

Hey, look! something distracting!!
Damn it! that hurt.
ok, OK! sorry...
yes... a topic... ok.
AH! I've got it!!!
I already.....???
you're sure?
'cause I dont remember...
OK, ok.....
jeeesus. you're so particular.
how about monster trucks?
.....yeah, so?
you think I'd need to know about monster trucks to write about 'em?
pssh. have you ever read AM New York?
ok, I'll pick something else.
.... jeez, this is hard.
I mean, it's not like I could just write about anyth...
I... I can?
wow. anything?
Ah. anything interesting. or funny.

does this count?
wait! where are you going??!?!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Why am I not writing? jobs and my life examined

KORY GOES INTROSPECTIVE ... again - part 36

Why am I not writing lately?Why am I not writing lately?Why am I not writing lately?
--------could it be because I just wrote for an hour and single-key-edly DELETED ALL OF IT??? I would really like to punch someone or something in the throat. sigh. If only computers came with throats. (the above repeated "Why am I not writing lately?" is all that was left of my copy/paste attempt). So... grrr.... let's try this again. If there's anything to put you in the mood to write, it's writing about not writing and then having all of your writing un-written for you by your own mis-writing.

[deep breath]
[deep breath]

-=-=-=-Why am I not writing lately?
-=-=-=-is it because of my sheer awesomeness? probably. Is it because I'm too busy? HA! please get whoever said that a hefty dose of knowing-what-Kory-does-all-day. Is it because I dont want to write? Nope. Ok, is it because... writing consistently would force me to confront the fact that I am one of a million billion thousand zillion people who consider themselves, if not a writer then one of those people-who-like-to-write. Yeah. that right there is the first ugly branch of the reality tree I strike on my way back to Earth. So if I'm not trying to write professionally, why am I writing? (ouch, the next branch) for fun? for you? for me? sure, there is that, I suppose. but that doesn't pay the bills (unless you're offering), but ok.. I'll run with that premise for now. 'I write for fun' buuuut.... I "hope to start writing professionally" I like to say. Ohhh, you mean like any number of those aforementioned million billion thousand ... yes, zillion people? (another branch, ouch) Ohhh the odds of "making it" - well.. odds or... the friends in connected-places or .. Fate.. or, if you swing such ways "Gods plan". I've been told that these things are what make it. Currently, I'm not sure of how much of any of them I have. Am I ready to gamble against those odds? What's that? "talent" you say? "you just need talent to make it"??? Oh, you're funny.
-=-=-=-And so I keep waking up at the base of this career tree - bruised, bloody, confused... a little gassy. And I ask myself (again) so what do I want to be doing in life? I've already turned down many a profession - astronaut flight commander, Honorary Mayor of Awesometown, Captain of the Chairman of the Admiral of Police and Fire Safety (I'll admit, I was also suspicious of that job title, but it checked out) and of course, the one I came closest to accepting... Oakland Raiders head coach. So ... then it was back to choosing from one of my seven careers. Writing seems to be the one I enjoy the most, maybe only because I am actually exposed to it on any given day (how often do I get to practice documentary filmmaking or bar owning or volleyball coaching these days? Not much, I'll tell you)
-=-=-=-So ok... "writing" then. If you gave me a topic to write about, could I? sure.. Like an ever shrinking majority of Americans, I can put a word in front of another word in front of another word without a reader saying "sorry, what language is that?" Would I want to write about your topic though? [silence] [looks around room pensively] [changes subject instead of answering] Yeah, that'd be the next major branch I smack my face full force into. "But you cant even write a sentence without ending it in a preposition!!" you say. "To Hell, .. go .. you" I answer awkwardly - there are times for the grammatical rules of writing and me writing about my writing is not one of them.
-=-=-=-Really though, I'm no Hemmingway, Sedaris or Frey (2006-news-timeliness-alert!) and I can be a bit ADD ... and OCD... and.. what was I.. talking abou... oh yeah... my awesomeness. As in... it's.. semi-objectively speaking.. passably great. I think and I've been told that I might have something worthwhile to offer in terms of a book or journalisto-type newspaper or magazine articles but Is This What I Want To Be Doing In Life??? And yet, as obvious as it might be that the question itself may just be an avoidance technique for committing to something... anything... it's still a valid question, even if it treads heavily on the avoidance centers of my brain. Aren't people still changing careers every 10 years? How do I know I'll like or wont like writing unless I try? Why dont I just give it a shot? What could it hurt? Where are the batteries for the VCR remote? Who let the dogs out? these are the ultimate questions in life.
-=-=-=-I now hear myself calling... (myself) to answer these questions... finally. I say "finally" because I distinctly remember a summer between 2nd and 3rd grade when a neighborhood parent asked my friend and I 'what we wanted to be when we grew up' - my friend quickly answered fireman (I've heard through the grapevine that he is now a successful San Diego business jerk). I think my answer was 'goalie for the San Diego Sockers' for lack of anything better to say. Since then, I've never really had a clear vision of what I wanted to do for a profession. Through high school, I started to get minor inklings into possible futures that could unfold for me... actor, psychologist, professor, captain of the men's Olympic volleyball team, model, hand model, foot model, hand and foot model, and of course, gaucho. In college, most dreams of these fell by the wayside and only 'psychologist' seemed to remain. Two and a half years into my psychology major, I realized I didn't want to follow any of the branches of psychology. Awesome. What to do now? Then came my moment of meta-awareness of that moment being thee moment where I would pick the path my life would definitively follow. And so I chose American Studies with a documentary film emphasis. Which is, of course, why I am making documentaries about America-related subjects, right? - ahem. right. It's a long story and I've already digressed far enough away from the original subject of writing but I do promise that I will return you safely to your original upright and locked positions momentarily - the long-story-short of it is that once I was out of college, I got a series of jobs that paid actual money instead of following after non-existent (in SF at least) documentary positions that paid only in experience and humility and sooo, ... eleven years later... here I am: eleven years removed from the documentary film world, wondering if I should be that 36 year old guy who takes production assistant jobs to get arsehole directors coffee just so that I could make some use of my college major continually hoping to climb the ladder of film production success... instead of continuing this oh-so-lucrative resume-factoid-building career in telecom or (coming full circle.. see? i told you I would) now considering.... a career jump to writing.
[deep breath]
-=-=-=-And so.... here I am - contemplating, not a jump from / to writing... but just a jump to writing - as in, in addition to anything I might be doing for gainful employment now. Later, once I am a highly successful writer and part time astronaut, I can leave telecom behind and laugh heartily at the time I spent whiling away 7+ years of my life in an industry that bores me so far beyond 'silly', it should be criminal. Writing, acting, business owning, real estate, coaching volleyball - whatever it is, these things would not bore me. Not in the slightest. Why have I waited until now to pursue such... well.. pursuits? Couldn't I have jumped on the right path right out of college? I dont have an answer for any of that. I do know though that I am finally more concerned with the 'what I'll do' than being caught up in the 'why I haven't done it yet'. And so far, that feels like a good thing.

1/30/06 update - I decided I dont want to be a writer.
2/1/06 update - I joined a writers group that'll be putting together writing pieces to be read aloud by writers or actors.
2/2/06 update - A friend of Esra's writes for an online magazine (that I will not mention lest I jinx everything) and offered to propose to his editor some story ideas that I might write.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Listicle 6.g

-==---A good inside-Iran view of what the country is people are really like, despite the clerical theocracy's ever-failing attempts at strangling their freedom.

-==---the new best site in the universe and beyond the universe and beyond THAT, even.

-==---yes, Overheard In NY, I still love you.

-==---pardon the product endorsement but my new cameraphone is the coolest. well... coolest that the American market will allow. 2.0 megapixel camera with a lot of SLR camera functionality, interchangable disk storage for 100+ songs, speach-to-text input for voice memos, a business card scanner that I will never ever EVER use and streaming tv channels if I were so dorky as to want to watch tv on a cell phone which I am thankfully... Not. I mention this because my last cameraphone had a 0.3 megapixel camera. as in yes... zero point three. so ... yes, I'm quite excited to take real pictures.

-==---the double retractable headphones with microphone that I bought for said cameraphone are also, in case you were wondering, look like they would be the coolest. but aren't. bad sound, bad phone jack. bad retractable functionality. p-tew, i spit on you, bad headphones!

-==---Esra and I finally went to Katz's Deli (opened in 1888) it doesn't get much more New Yorky than Katz's. MmmMMmm.... Reuuuuuben saaaaandwiches.

-==---Oh my lord. this is the funniest ...anything I've read in ... any amount of time you could think of.

-==---If you've ever eaten on NY's "Indian Row", these guys have almost surely fought over you to enjoy their chili-pepper-xmas-lighty goodness. who doesn't love being fought over?

-==---I cant get this song out of my head. sorry, now it's your turn.

-==---this gmap of where and how much I walked on Monday makes it seem kinda trivial. who else walked 5+ miles in 25 degree weather? there, now I feel better.

-==---it's hard to believe these are real photographs.

-==---I'm going to be looking for a new apartment in May in this area. not that I'm particular or anything. If anyone knows of a 1BR or huge studio in that zone, post a comment, please! I will give you my first born with options on the second if it's a really really nice place.

-==---speakin' of Iran, come to the Persian (new years) Parade! it's March 20th!

-==---an Onion interview with my current favorite funny man, Steven Colbert.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

some more pictures and tidbitds


a panorama shot from my dad's back porch in Rancho Sante Fe. almost visible down to the left of the water (a protected bird sanctuary) is a huge field for horses with a palm tree grove visible to the left of that. to the right of the water is a private racetrack owned by Jenny Craig. Hot air balloons flock to this valley anually for it's natural wind currents. Needless to say, it's probably one of the best views I've ever woken up to.

Happy New Year! I look retarded! YEAYYY!!!

Esra doesn't look retarded, just cute. damn her!

the first snow of winter! as defined by my sh!t eating grin.

Do you nee to see the other way down my street? I thought so.

Ash and I watch the Raiders get their arses kicked by the Jets at the Meadowlands. I look in pain. because I am. because the Raiders are losing to an even suckier (this year only) team than themselves.

I look happy.... ...... but I'm not. but I sorta am, 'cause it snowed for about 15 seconds.

some pictures from our volleyball semi-finals of last year where we won the plaques. woohoo.

me hitting. notice my amazing 6" vertical jump. (ahem, let's assume I was still going up)

boom! i think.

Ohhhhw. yes. I blocketh your feeble attempt at a hit. and look hot doing it.