The loving ties that bind

That phrase is from a book I read somewhere once upon a time, after the beginning of high school but before the end of college. I always used to think that it came from Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" series (in particular the final book, "Silver on the Tree"), but no. It doesn't.

I'm having more and more trouble with my writing with every passing week of non-writing (which these days is mostly in the form of posting here; though I've had some successful e-mails lately so at least there's that). It started off with technical issues but now I think it's just inertia. A body of written work at rest tends to stay at rest. And this is a pretty massive body that is completely uninterested in being nudged to action. Which is timely, because now I'm being asked to write more and more for my job.

Partly it's that oft-recurring issue of "why?" Like this. Why am I telling you why I'm having trouble writing? It's not all that interesting: I can't seem to wrap anything up, and nearing the top of my list of pet peeves with published writing is crappy (or nonexistent) endings. Newspapers tend to be the most frequent perpetrators of this crime, and more by chance [1] than anything else (I hope), the New York Times has been seriously annoying me with crap pieces that either don't end well or contain idiotic content.

Anyway. Do you know about the Internet Wayback Machine? It's mostly amazing in that it has mostly recovered mostly everything ever published on the Internet. I was thinking a few days ago about how I first got started reading defective yeti (I still can't remember), and it got me wondering how I ever got started reading all these other sites that I read near-daily to this day, and one of those sites was dooce. And the reason I ever found dooce back in 2004 was because I did a search for something or other and wound up on, which went offline I think in 2005 or 2006, but luckily, the Wayback Machine has proof that I'm not making this up.

I was always a little sad that stella-blue went offline because I really liked her writing, and if I had a way to contact her (I don't think her name was actually stella… if memory serves me correctly, the domain name came from Stella of "A Streetcar Named Desire" fame and the author's favorite color), I would send her a random e-mail thanking her for ever posting in the first place. As it would turn out, because of stella-blue, I found dooce, and because of dooce [2] I found Heather Champ, through whom I found Derek Powazek, and then at CES 2005 when I did promo work with Yahoo! I actually got to meet the latter two, which was a heart-palpitations-and-adrenaline-rush experience I shared three months later with TheNoah when he first IM'd me to tell me he liked my weird little pants piece, and his understanding of my excitement (considering I've never been a Hollywood star-struck type) instantly made me feel more comfortable with him. I would hardly say that TheNoah and I are together now because of events set in motion by stella-blue, but it -is- interesting how life weaves itself together in the most random of patterns.

On an unrelated note, my friend Jason shoots wedding videos for Digs Studio and, inspired by a (very) few others across the nation (possibly the globe, I forget, I kind of tuned out this detail), is revolutionizing the wedding video industry. In that he makes wedding videos that other people will want to watch even when they're complete strangers. I've been watching the one below and it makes me all teary and sentimental every time. If you or someone you know is getting married, I would highly recommend snagging Jason while you can still afford him.

Jenny+Danny from Digs Studio- Jason Roberts on Vimeo.

One of the studios Jason studied with is Stillmotion, based in Canada. My favorite video of theirs so far is a Trash The Dress video, and whereas before I never gave much thought or care to the issue of having a wedding gown, now I want the dress just so I can trash it and have it all on film:

Frances + James TTD – Times Square + Coney Island from StillMotion on Vimeo.

Finally: Whack-a-kitty. Your insides might explode from the cuteness of it all, but it's worth the hours of cleaning up. Really.



[1] I don't read NYT very often, usually only when I click on a link to one of their stories that has either been e-mailed to me from a friend or that I've come across via some other site. And to be fair, I've read some really good pieces from NYT. So I'd like to think that it's just bad luck that the majority of articles I do read happen to ruffle my journalism feathers.

[2] Also very likely because of dooce I am still alive.


If they could just not move so spastically. And have fewer legs. And not be shiny. I think we could get along better, then.

TheNoah was recently here, in Vegas, for five days, which was beyond fantastic, except that on the third evening on our way back to the house, he hopscotched into a convenience store and bought a 24-ounce can of Chelata. I would have stopped him except I was too busy being uselessly drunk in the shotgun of my car, good for nothing other than updating my Twitter account from my phone regarding just how useless I was. A lot, in case you're wondering.

And Chelata, in case you're wondering this as well, is the most useless beverage created by middle-class America. It's Clamato and Bud Light. Because it wasn't enough that someone created a beverage based on the premise of: "I really like clams and cocktail sauce, but all this chewing requires so much effort…" No, someone actually proceeded to take the next step, and voilá! Clam juice + tomato juice + crappy beer.

Anyway. He bought it and put it in my fridge and then never drank it. And then two nights later I found a giant dead roach in my kitchen: [1]


And then five minutes later saw a giant LIVE roach pacing around the baby fig tree I keep inside by the balcony door.

I screamed bloody murder (both times, actually) and leapt on top of the kitchen island and watched it move around for a good ten minutes before it disappeared into the shadows, whereupon I realized I was now trapped, because if I didn't know precisely where it was, it could be anywhere, hungry for the flesh and blood of a freaked-out 20-something girl. So I continued sitting (sometimes standing) on top of the island, gazing nervously at the floor, for another hour before I finally grabbed all my pertinent things (laptop, phone) and made a break for my bedroom upstairs.

Fourteen hours later, I finally had the courage to go back downstairs. TheNoah had chastised me the night before, saying I should just suck it up and kill the roach, but the thing is, I can't kill bugs. Usually I just trap them under a cup and put them outside (see: crickets, spiders (even fucking poisonous brown recluses) and moths), but this doesn't apply to roaches because HELLO THEY'RE ROACHES. (I've never been squeamish about rodents because we don't have rodent problems out here and also because I grew up with pet mice and a pet rat.)

It was afternoon, though, with plenty of sunshine still flooding the kitchen, so I had little expectation of seeing anything scuttling across the floor, and true enough, the only things moving across the kitchen floor were lint bunnies (the blanket that I drag between the kitchen couch and the big couch thing pills and sheds linty pieces like nobody's business).

Turns out, though, this was less because of daylight and more because of this:


I want to take a second to point out to you how difficult it was to take these pictures, by the way. I had to streeeeeeeeetch my hand over the point of interest and squint through one barely-opened eye at the screen to confirm that said point of interest was within the frame, then snap the picture and run away. When I transferred the pictures to the computer? I had to cover my face and look between my fingers. Same for uploading. Actually I haven't even uploaded the pictures at this point in writing; I'm still debating whether to put the pictures inline with this post or just put links, because frankly, I don't write often enough these days to ensure that this post will be off the front page anytime soon.

I'd also like to take a second to ponder something with you: the fuck is up with roaches committing suicide in my kitchen? Though I had my doubts about the first one for a good while; for all I know, roaches consider dishes of leftover vegetable oil to be the finest of spa treatments and that dude was just getting some R&R before leaping up to gnaw my face off. But more importantly: why are they climbing on top of the counters? It's like realizing that oh, bears can climb trees– after you've already climbed to the top of one. Roaches climb up cabinetry? Willingly? Is there no justice in this world?

And thirdly, a second to inform you that the blue dish? Yeah it's like four feet across. Same with the plate in the sink (it's a big sink). Just so you have an idea of how big the bugs are. TheNoah didn't believe me but I swear it's true.

So the moral of this story is Chelata is the devil's hairy ball sweat and serves only to be a harbinger of evil and doom, and if you ever need an efficient tactic to scare your girlfriend into finally moving out of the house she (deeply) loves in the city she (strangely) loves and up to San Francisco instead, well, here you go.

[1] There's an argument floating around out there that the bugs came into my kitchen because I've been leaving the balcony door open (with the flimsy screen door still closed) for the last week or more and their presence has nothing to do with the bringing of the Chelata into the house. This argument is wrong.