Tuesday, January 31, 2006

some three-year-old musings on MDD and the movie Magnolia

Thursday, August 08, 2002 – 1:25 AM

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past month and a half but not a lot of writing. In fact, no writing at all, so I figure its about time to get started again. After all, I have to wrack my brain for a travel essay topic and eventually compose twelve artful pages that say something about something. And this is a bad sign. The swirling minutia of irrelevant thoughts that managed to keep me up past midnight suddenly backtracked into nothingness the moment I decided to end my writing fast. Oh, well. Maybe my thoughts will return eventually. In the interim, as I listen to jars of clay and Switchfoot, here’s a movie review of sorts; after all, in the old days, when I actually managed to keep a diary, I included everything from movie reviews to silly lists of what I consumed that day (trix, cinnabon, chocolate-chip-oatmeal cookies, three fruit snacks, a piece of pizza, a third of a donut, and a piece of gum).

Magnolia: A bizarre movie that intermittently follows the lives of twelve very different people, pulling their lives from pure randomness to an intricate web of interconnectedness. At its heart this movie seems to be searching for something to explain the strange coincidences that commingle to form our lives. Falling frogs and ironic deaths also accentuate the movie’s strange taste in storytelling. While I could easily add some plot summary or interesting observations, there’s a reason this movie, which I watched about three weeks ago, popped into my head, and at the moment—and what a brief moment it shall be, because while david gray may be able to bob his head tirelessly to babylon, its putting me to sleep—I want to talk about me. So, as I turned my massive (yet insignificant) to do list over in my mind, pending emails shot to the forefront. One such email will be addressed to Pam; among other things, this email will have to explain why I sometimes feel ‘sick of myself.’ As I was considering this, I stumbled upon the issue of me being or not being depressed (and likewise, this spawned parallel thoughts concerning Sarah and Marianne, but I have only so much space and even less time). Wow, this is gonna’ take forever. So here’s the connection to magnolia. At one point in the movie william h macy (the reason I checked the movie out from the library in the first place) says something like “I’m not depressed, I’m melancholy. There’s a difference.” And he’s right. Lately, however, I haven’t really been feeling either. That’s good news. Thanks Jesus. Goodnight.

1/31/06 post-script:
i still think fondly of that disturbing magnolia movie. i have several friends that live in magnolia. i don't know if they're depressed, but i feel fine. well, mostly fine; the wind keeps waking the motion-sensored light outside my bedroom window, so i've been posting messages to the ESL chat rooms (as, you guessed it, the17pointscale), hoping that talk of em dashes might put me to sleep. in any case, i like the idea of listing my meals for the day--it was ahead of its time. oatmeal, ritz crackers, vanilla wafers, bacon and egg scramble, milk...

Monday, January 30, 2006

i finally join the apple gang

thank you all for your suggestions. i also considered brief quotes from andrew's poetry, song lyrics (switchfoot, ben folds, radiohead, death cab for cutie, etc), quotes (solzhenitsyn, dostoyevsky, david james duncan, ts eliot, william wordsworth, etc), and bible verses.
beth: indecisive? while true, i don't think it's wise to advertise my character flaws so much. and monkey? despite the recent revelation concerning my chinese monkeyhood, i lack any history with monkeys. it isn't even my power-animal. and what if i bring the ipod to an interview?

fancy pants HR-bot: looks great! well, mr. david, i think you're our top candidate so far. congratulations! now i've been meaning to ask you about your ipod? my son's been wanting one and i'm quite interested in the user interface. may i see yours?

andrew: of course...

fancy pants HR-bot: ...yes, i really like the easy navigation that this patented click-wheel provides. and the display is beautiful. but...what's this? indecisive monkey? is that you? i'm sorry, we were really looking for someone capable of making snap decisions.
anonymous: 'my ipod' seems sensible. perhaps a bit too sensible. in fact, 'my ipod' reminds me of the organizational style of windows: my computer, my documents, my pictures....'zimbabwe is great,' on the other hand, would certainly make my ipod unique. i'm just afraid that it's a tad ignorant. i've never been to zimbabwe or even africa. for all i know, zimbabwe could be a paradise or the country equivalent of a vat of goo. who knows? perhaps something like 'she tells me that / zimbabwe is great'
chadius: bingo! i agree.
[the following will be centered on two lines on the back of my new ipod]

the 17 point scale
(oh, chicken-goose)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

ouch, i've decided to buy an ipod

and, to enjoy an ipod, i'll need to purchase several hundred accessories. so much for being thrifty! actually, apple is really quite kind. in addition to free shipping, they also offer free engraving. unfortunately, their generosity poses a bit of a problem. at our work christmas party last night (a little late for christmas, but oh well) i learned that according to chinese calendar, i am a monkey; beth, the great chinese astrologer then informed me that my chief character trait was indecisiveness. unfortunately, this discovery was right on the mark. for the past thirty minutes i have been agonizing about what to permanently stencil on my (soon-to-be) new billion dollar toy. thus, i ask the assistance of my loyal readers -- oh, what shall i inscribe on my ipod?

Friday, January 27, 2006

the gossip

and now, the long awaited return of the 17 point scale's gossip column...

Another eligible SPU bachelor bites the dust. Congrats!

actually, this poses a question that i've been meaning to ask miss manners. you see, despite this gossip column, i tend to keep things to myself. if ---------'s engaged, that's his news to share, not mine. if jonathan and kim have a baby girl, that's their news, not mine. so miss manners, or anyone with an opinion, when does it become appropriate for that bit of news to enter the public sector through a second hand source such as me? that is, when can i feel certain that i won't be spoiling their chance to share the news? for instance, just last night i was hanging out with mutual friends of danny. i don't think they'd heard the news, and i wasn't sure whether to tell them....

back page: henderson the rain king

henderson the rain king
by saul bellow

"wow! great book. it started really slow and i nearly gave up, but it ended with touching style and a great big dose of the bizarre. in the end, i think it finds redemption, or at least hope. wow..."

i plan to navigate my library alphabetically, and,
as you can see, sometimes the reviews will be quite brief, more like afterthoughts than afterwords. for shorter posts like this, i would be happy to say more if anyone is actually interested in the book. by the way, amazon refers to this novel as a 'seriocomic' work. i guess that's newspeak for tragicomedy.

Monday, January 23, 2006

SEAHAWKS are goin' to the SUPERBOWL!

the idea of a seattle team playing for the national football league superbowl is far, far outside the scope of my cerebralsphere. in other matters, i had an interesting conversation with conybeare about punctuation this morning. he was wondering how to punctuate something like this:

can you tell me how to get to sesame street (is it scary there?)?
can you tell me how to get to sesame street (is it scary there?)
can you tell me how to get to sesame street (is it scary there)?

any opinions?


2 votes (beth, mari) for item one. 1 vote (joel) for: can you tell me how to get to sesame street? (is it scary there?) i agree with everyone; based upon my initial grammar god consult (CMS, the everyday writer, and a forum), i think that item one is technically correct. and i strongly agree with joel in that the best way to avoid awkward structure is to just recast the sentence. still, i wonder if can you tell me how to get to sesame street? (is it scary there?) may result in a subtle change in meaning. structurally, it puts a bit more space between the two sentences and thereby may increase the difference in meaning between the two. joel, do you ALWAYS make parenthetical sentences their own sentence or only at the end of sentences? (e.g., would you alter this: the dinosaur (scholars continue to insist that 'dino' means terrible and that 'saur' means lizard) groaned once and was silent. okay, that's a horrible example...

to make matters even more confusing, the cms might actually campaign for item two; here's a similar example from the CMS (well, almost):

Who shouted, 'Fire!'

that's right, no question mark. here's another interesting one:

here favorite songs are 'hello dolly!' 'chicago,' and 'come with me.'

Saturday, January 21, 2006


it may be lame, but in appreciation of tomorrow's big game, i'd like to recycle an old comment:

Lo, who, incidentally, i just met in-person at matt basinger's birthday party: tsk tsk. poetry and sports. interesting blog. you've made me think.

and don't you think that its about time that football and poetry (even if it be my mock poems) finally

what is poetry
if not the brutal
clashing of bones? words
mashed together

on the one-yard line
with a phrase (or two)
coming untucked.
syntactical shaun alexanders,
dashing for an endzone
of the sublime...

and, might i add, scoring many, many touchdowns on our way to detroit.

whitney -- i still haven't responded entirely to your message. instead, i've tossed stones at yet another conservative position by your friend with the bumper sticker. // patty griffin's love throws a line & ben fold's last polka.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Seahawks 20, Redskins 10

1. andrew david 'Girl with a Blue Blanket' DC3 parking lot (Seattle) -- alex scrounged up a nice, free parking space for us.
2. andrew/beth the s.o. 'Qwest Field' Seattle -- obviously the pic's a bit dark. i think i took this, but beth might disagree. for the remainder of the pics, i will write 'andrew/beth' for pictures of where the photographer is uncertain.
3. beth the s.o. 'Seahawk Couple' Seattle -- yep.
beth the s.o. 'Cheer' Seattle -- actually, someone out there in real space deserves some credit. i'm not sure if its nathan, jonathan, danny, or steve; but somebody gave me the football bug. and without them, these pictures would have never been possible (whether i'm implying that without my fanship the seahawks would have suffered yet another playoff loss or that i simply wouldn't have been at this game, you can't be sure).
5. andrew/beth the s.o. 'Some Dude' Seattle -- this is beth's favorite pic game pic. there's another pic (not shown) of him using his cell phone as a camera or a lifeline to a fellow hawks fan; can't be sure, there were some scary moments early in the game.
6. andrew david 'Out of Focus Scream' Seattle -- this was her first NFL game, but hopefully not her last. in fact, she didn't even browse through one of her magazines during the game.
7. andrew david '12th (WO) Man' Seattle -- i'm still amazed that she scrounged up these tickets. thanks mary!

8. andrew david 'An Action Shot' Seattle -- i forgot that i can digitally zoom these photos once back at the computer. therefore, i didn't think to take many pictures of the actual game. besides, its difficult to watch, cheer, and take photos at the same time.
9. beth the s.o. 'Rag Time' Seattle -- my voice is still hoarse from that game...
10. andrew/beth the s.o. 'Victory Mob' Seattle -- yes!
11. andrew david 'Fworks' Seattle -- detroit here we come! (almost)
12. beth the s.o. 'Victory Smoke' Seattle -- whoohooo!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

crazy bumper sticker and GO HAWKS!

hmmm...check out this bumper sticker that the washington state democratic party almost sold on their website. here's an apology from the chairman. here's how i found out about this. oh, and if you read to the end of the comments on that first link, you'll see my response.

anyway, the HAWKS play at 1:30. and thanks to my amazing, beautiful, brilliant, literate, hard-working, well-dressed, philosophical, generous, travel-savvy, stylish, conscientious, artsy, fun-loving, admirably righteous, clever, contact-wearing, cute,
soon-to-be-football crazed girlfriend, i'll sitting at the 20 yard line!

that's right, i'll be at the game!

me...andrew...at a SEAHAWKS playoff game to see the first HAWK playoff victory on the road to the superbowl!


[sometime later, its also the 5th comment to this post]
whitney -

here's what i HATE: contentedly chewing on a candy-cane only to find that - yuck! - you've been eating candy cane wrapper. and then begins the desperation; contorting the tongue into the molars in order to pry out htose pesky plastic pieces. and then the chocking. aggh.

whitney, face it, if you're a democrat, then you're a heathen. all of you left-wing liberals are just a bunch of sinners. oh,wait...i guess that's true of republicans too. well, so much for that.

it seems to me that the assumption that 'everyone should be as i am' is just another part of being human. hearkening back to psych 101, i think that this philosophy is the second or third tier of maslow's pyramid. once your material needs are satisfied, you look up from your happy belly and start to ponder how everyone else isn't meeting your needs.

at least that's my experience. some folks, myself included, have a laundry list of things that christians (or moral people) can't do. i don't think that's altogether bad -- in fact, its kinda' crucial to have a moral compass -- its just that our laundry lists tend to grows longer and less flexible as time goes by. soon enough, we only value other christians, other republicans, other people that we view as tolerant. so, to conclude, democrats are the same way. as a seattleite i doubt i can even count the number of times that i've heard rash generalizations of conservatives as unenlightened, cross-bearing idiots; as if democrats have the monopoly on intelligence. ultimately, i think those clowns at reefer magnets and the wsdp had a novel idea, except instead of writing HYPOCRITE on that Jesus-fish, the bumper sticker should have tatooed the slogan across the forehead of a generic stick-figure. we're all just a bunch of hypocrites.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


in 4 days the seahawks will have their first ever playoff win during my fanhood.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

state of the scale address

four months down. i kind of like this blogging thing, but i hope its not too stressful for my girlfriend. one of these days i'm afraid she'll snap 'NO! i didn't read your blog today! i'm dating you, not your blog. now, leave me in peace and stop asking about your stupid blog...'

upcoming blogs:
1. on the road reviews - these posts will hopefully bear the fruit of my most dangerous new idea (and perhaps my sole idea) concerning that i-5 stretch of verdant wasteland between seattle and portland. the recipe for my new idea is really quite simple; in fact, it only takes a few key ingredients: one or more full length music albums, a device with which to play said cds, a pen, and a post-it note pad. the stickies that survive the ride shall then serve as the song-by-song foundation for my 'on the road reviews.' as an aside, i suddenly (as in a few minutes ago) became intensly interested in origins. that is, where did this idea come from? (i don't know). why did i choose this title? (to begin, i did not intend hurtle my way into the company of jack kerouac or willy nelson. in fact, having never finished 'on the road' or listened to the verses of 'on the road again,' i can't even claim an artistic birthright to their sense of these words, so there is no connection. none. i liked the aliteration; that's it).

2. back page reviews - or, as everyday sam might say, little tiny book reviews. in this case, the title is an allusion to my bookcase (or, more aptly, the treasures within that bookcase). you see, for the past several years, it has been my habit to scrawl a brief afterword in the final pages of my books. thus, for now i am envisioning 'back page reviews' to be ten second showers: refreshingly brief responses to books, books, and more books.


3. gre joy - that is, since the blog's byline alludes to a graduate entrance exam, perhaps its finally about time to expose the world to the delightful world of the gre. this may come in the way of literature terms, author bios, or literary excerpts.

4. in the kitchen - a segment devoted to cooking tips and party planning.


other news.
1. well, it has come time to break the illusion that a nameless entity rests behind the 17 point scale. hi, everyone. in case you haven't already gathered, my name is andrew. i tend to write this blog when not wearing any pants. that's because its generally right before i go to bed. as a result of the late hour, i sometimes write odd things that are barely relevant (like 'i tend to write this blog when not wearing any pants'). this is unfortunate and may reflect poorly on my writing. however, from this point forward, if you see contextually strange quotes, song titles of my current itunes playlist, or links at the very bottom of an entry, please do not assume that i intended even the foggiest of connections to the preceeding text. instead, consider them unrelated post-scripts. (ah hah! perhaps i will denote such 'irrelevant material' with an asterisk or some other character).

*And That Right Soon (from Shawshank Redemption soundtrack)
by the way andrew, who's everyday sam?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

web surfing: mexican edition

Casa Anita y Corona del Mar

La Casa Iguana Hotel

Playa Conchas Chinas
Hotel Torre De Oro

these are some possible cheap but nice hotels. read the reviews. check out thelocations. click on 'quickcheck' (on the right) to see prices (it searchs expedia, hotels.com, etc). or just search the 'popularity index' (on your right) for other well-liked hotels. i'm a bit afraid that the cheaper the hotel, the lamer your pool. perhaps we could visit whitney at her pool. one guest called it an 'oasis' (but it also looks out of our price range...unless we could get the same deal...).

so who's going?

other folks

sean & his gang of 5+ - yes, but staying in a separate hotel, flights already booked. may meet up with them for pool dodgeball, grub, and some drinks. staying at hotel suites la siesta.
whitney and fam' - we'd probably plan to hang out with whitney a lot. like us, she hasn't booked her ticket or entirely committed, but will be staying with her brother in another hotel.

andrew - yes, if enough people can be gathered to make hotel affordable
beth - yes, if enough people can be gathered to make hotel affordable
katy (or ie? i forgot already) - ? may stay with whitney
mari - ?
megan - interested but doubtful

emily - doubtful
danny - doubtful
allison - doubtful
evan - ?
angie - yes

at the moment i'm thinking that we probably need a combination of 4, 5, 6, or 8 to make it affordable, but i dunno...if you think of others that might be interested, please comment...

Monday, January 02, 2006

web surfing

-average time of morning shower during new years weekend: 2:16pm
-average 'morning' hours spent browsing in bed: 1.8

-visual art: surprisingly intriguing Paint pics, even stranger (and more abstract, perhaps less meaningful) pics
-musical art: an interesting excerpt regarding ambient music (also, check elsewhere on this site for more info about kevin's music), an insightful (and well written) blog regarding all kinds of music
-written art: actually i get this via email
-travel: forum about puerto vallarta, random stuff about puerto vallarta
-and, of course, most of the links on the left

Sunday, January 01, 2006

christmas list (received)

wow. contrary to [my] personal opinion, i guess i am spoiled. plus, i probably forgot about 4 things.

1. a christmas candle

2. blanket
3. book: elements of style
4. book: the grammar bible
5. book: chicago manual of style
6. cushions for sports games
8. 14-22 ding dongs
9. coat
10. tripod
11. chocolate orange sticks
12. 4 flavors of life savers
13. 3 pairs of boxers
14. tube socks
15. hiking socks
16. deoderant
17. mouthwash
18. body wash
19. that silly body wash scrubby thing
20. razor blades
21. roll of tums
22. 2 dayquil tablets
23. book light
24. flat bookmark pens
25. funny cinnamon gum
26. poems on cd
27. a to-go bowl of cinnamon toast crunch
28. apple cinnamon candle
29. book: on dangerous ground
30. book: the red horseman
31. a fleece
32. christmas pajama pants
33. peppermint foot mask
34. shirt: ER'UOY EMOSDNAH (just imagine the letters facing the opposite way, like this 3 vs. E)