Thursday, December 29, 2005

these boots are made for...oh, you know


First, Boston isn't as cold as I was bracing for.

The wind has filled my hair with mist and pinked my cheeks, but it hasn't gnawed down to bone and sent me screaming. I am pleased at this. We managed to get lost in the car and on foot, thoroughly breaking in my boots and muchly trying my patience somewhat (really - you live half an hour away from here, sweets), but I arrived to turndown service, my robe on the bed and a sweet note from the concierge. Replaced the smile immediately.

Dinner at Legal Seafoods was an orgasm built of broccoli and butternut squash and something called scrad. Or scrod. Or slod. Or something. But mmmmm.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

This is my awesome power:


To walk into a restaurant, order a drink, then almost immediately get a massage from the waiter and confer upon him the nickname "Captain Honeypants", a legacy which shall remain with him indefinitely.

Gwen and Chris inform me that, under the auspices of New England Reserve, the above means that I've essentially just had public sex with this man. Viva la west coast.

Also, I have defined sisterhood.

Sisterhood is standing together, hands braced on a sinkboard, and trying to turn on the motion-activated paper towel dispenser using nothing but your ass.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Big things.


Someday in the (hopefully) quite distant future, my dad will die. And it's nights like these that will hook me the hardest; where I've been most bowled over by the sheer vastness of his understanding of the world and his indefatigable interest in it.

I think the conversation started somewhere around the media or the Iraq war, or thereabouts. Something, at least, that I was used to discussing. I think the conversation started four hours ago. My mind's still bubbling over.

There are four inhabitable planets within sixty light years, and they're all as silent as death. My father's extraordinarily well-researched theory is that life had to have once existed there, but that the window between sentience and self-eradication is, cosmically, almost negligible. That any species, sufficiently developed to have reached intelligent sentience, by merit of the fact that it had to have been basally malicious enough to hack its way to the top of the heap would be obliterated by virtue of that very nastiness. That this has been proven and reproven on worlds apart from ours, and that the silence that has found our sweepings is testament to the small relative window we have to discover each other.

Interesting, no?

Also, a bit of information I was not previously privy to: there are four retroviruses that have left mark on the human genome. This means that a scourge much like AIDS has tackled our species (and nearly won) four times previous to this current epidemic. That we may have hope in this, as an attestation to our crabgrassiness as an organism.

That there has been one single instance of a trilaterally symmetric organism. It was found on an Australian dig. It's a single blip on the evolutionary scale that's thought to have been completely knocked out of the running by a freak event, ending the experiment almost before it could begin.

Too bad, really. You have such pretty eyes; too bad we can't have another to gaze into.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

So this is what happens when you've got no IM to run.

I'm craving connection, I've run through all my call-'ems, and now I'd just like to announce that it's cold and I'd like a massage. Does anybody know what crepitus is? It means my right shoulderblade sounds like a pan full of popcorn on a hot stove when I move it around, and I'd like some tender ministrations, please. Thanks in advance.
I want you to know this.

I've worked out the numbers a bit, and have come to this rather certain conclusion:

If you're reading this, I miss you right now. I'd love to have you next to me, and I hope it's not long before you are.

Happy Christmas, everybody.
I always forget about this part when I'm making my holiday plans.

The part where I haven't belonged here for years, and it's enormously awkward to pretend to. The part where "here" keeps changing - burrowing deeper and deeper into Nowhere, U.S.A., as though my parents are drifting down a river of better post-AF career moves into the heart of WalMart-infested darkness.

Guess what, guys? Mistah Kurtz, he dead, and you'd better make it to one of the coasts soon 'cause I'm starting to worry about you.

My family is completely mad. Most families have Christmas dinner. We work out together for three hours a day (that's one hour at 6:30am and another two in the evening, when most families have dinner - 'cause this family doesn't eat after lunch. It's unhealthy, you know.) There's no sugar here; no flour. The fridge is full of fat-free yoghurt and sugarless orange juice and zero-fat soy cheese. I'm going to leave here sunken-eyed and sinewy.

Okay, maybe not sunken-eyed and sinewy. The junk in my trunk is sealed in the sidewalls like crack cocaine, and I like it that way.

Good thing I've got a list of great restaurants in Boston. Honey child, I'm going to eat and drink and frolic myself silly. I have a dream, and that dream is lobster puffs and pumpkin ravioli and succulent misbehaviours.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Finally, a moment to take a breath.

Between the last-minute holiday scrambling, the schmoozing, the parties, the frantic Santaish gifty behaviours and the clock ticking louder and louder on the Annie Awards, I've been out of my goddamn mind this week and last. This morning finally afforded me a moment to catch up to myself, and I'm overjoyed. I mean, yesterday afternoon I could almost have fairly described myself as 'colicky'. If you'd blindfolded me and set me down in front of a bank of instruments at JPL, I would have been more productive.

First off, I hadn't hiked in a week. The 6.5 miles I put in this morning have set my legs all a-tingle, and put a smile on my face (hefty puppy contingent out there today). My yoga teacher says that this "vibratory quality" is prana, and that it means I've managed to nudge in closer to my true nature. Really, I can't disagree.

Saturday's party was such a surprise - I was expecting six (maybe eight) people to make their way over; was expecting green bean casserole and a couple six-packs of beer. What did I get? Roundabouts twenty-five folks, mounds of delicious food, evil little treats, way, way too much wonderful wine, and a shindig that lasted until 5 a.m. We had a screening of the Star Wars Christmas Special (oh yes, we did) and curled up to watch Serenity again. A friend of mine from ages ago - we were in the acting programme together at CalArts in the summer of '98 - found me on MySpace, and reconnecting with him was a real gift. The few folks that had already scattered for the holidays were sorely missed, but lemme tell ya...what a pleasant surprise.

Guess what? Ben Stiller made cupcakes for my party.

Okay, maybe he didn't exactly know that they were for me - but thanks, Ben. They were yummy.

I spent Sunday recovering from a rip-roaring case of red head. I managed to drag myself off to the Long Beach Flea Market and, safely stowed away behind my big ol' sunglasses, it ended up being a pleasant stroll amongst the musty wares. The sun was at just the right spot to make a light show out of tables full of glass and crystal, and the sea breeze on my skin was just what the doctor ordered.

I leave tomorrow evening and sail, overnight, for points south. Happy holidays, I'm sure, will be mine.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Heroism

Austie : i had a twilight zone moment after i talked to you on the phone
Austie : i was walking back from brunch with some friends
Austie : we were just talking about going to hit golf balls at the Beverly-Wilshire center
Austie : in koreatown
Austie : enter the phone call
self: aww, yeah. i used to live in k-town.
Austie : "...ok, talk to you later annette." *hangs up*
Austie : friend1: so we are going to hit balls into a net?
Austie : friend2: why would you want to hit balls into a net?
Austie : friend1: that sound lame
Austie : friend3: no, it is fun as hell!
Austie : austin: uh
Austie : austin: what the hell!
Austie : austin: oh! yeah, golf!
Austie : i was about to be like, "shut your jerk holes you asswipes!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

With my feet in the air and my head on the ground...

Strange feelings today - rippling interior sensations that defy the descriptors normally assigned by science.

Here's my best shot:

Have you ever been lying in bed, on the cusp of drifting off, and suddenly had the intense sensation of gravity? The feeling that tells you your limbs won't move, no matter how many neurons you send the shocks to, and that you'll soon sink through the pads and springs and floorboards and topsoil and stony crust. The feeling that you're melting without melting; of the insignificance of your effort to keep your cells pressed together.

Maybe I'm just the first little pig. Maybe he wasn't the fuckup we see him as - maybe he just loved the smell of straw. Maybe he didn't believe in wolves.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I read you again today.

You're like me. Kindof a lot like me.

Of course, that makes sense - but it still throws me. It's like playing a game of memory, and every single card you turn over happens to match.
I hate waking up angry.

It really colors your day. Had such a great weekend, too.

Question of the day: Am I doing it again?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Recipe for a perfect lunch

- a couple handfuls of spinach so fresh it still smells like outside
- a solid chunk of triple-cream goat cheese from the happy man at Picholine
- some big chunks of walnut
- a smattering of artisinal raisins
- a few too many melty-crispy french-bread croutons
- half a slivered apple
- honey vinaigrette, just enough to coat
- a Brandywine tomato, lovingly mandolined into stained-glass perfection

Toss a couple of times and perpetuate a day-long smile. Mmmmm.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I got a box from my mom today.

They just moved from my dad's last AF assignment to a VA post in Tennessee, and they're drawing down their accumulation of stuff. I got the world's most rockin' salad spinner, a nifty colander, and the obligatory windfall of newspaper clippings/cat photos/jokes. And a sweater, that I'm currently wearing. Grey and slim and striped and worn into buttery perfection.

It's my dad's sweater; he's had it since high school, when he was living on a military base in Novato with his sometimes-charming, sometimes-cruel weatherman father and anorexic mom. I spent a lot of time in that city, too, squeezed into a corset and cavorting with the Ren-Faire folk, but I never had an inkling of what the place must have been like when you're not being chased down a dirt road with a peacock feather. Always grey. It looks like my mental picture of Frodo's Barrow-Downs.

I know that he was a meloncholy kid; I know that he grew up to be the most shining example of a human being I could hope to meet. I'm terribly lucky he's my dad. When I used to go to officers' functions with him and my mother, folks used to pull me aside and ask me, point-blank, if he was as perfect as he seemed. That's a pretty loaded question to ask a kid.

What could I say? Yep. Yep, he is. What you see is what you get.

I'm still gathering stories about who Terrence was before he was my dad (a walking tour of CalTech, shared stories of the hikes he used to take up here that I'm currently exploring, some snappy anecdotes about life as a recon specialist on the secret terretories of Cold-War Nevada before he matriculated into med school). I hope the process continues indefinitely. The life he's lived so far has been enviably rich, and I pray that mine will be as much.

Folks who meet my dad and then meet me are taken aback by the similarities.

I got the meloncholy, no matter how I submerge it. I got the compulsion to be always moving, learning, doing - sounds like a great pitch line on a resume, but in my case (and his) it's actual, factual compulsion. I just can't stop. I got the inability to ever be satisfied with myself. And I got the wanderlust - oh, god, did I ever get the wanderlust.

And now, I got the sweater.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

stream of consciousness

too many honesties
milling around
these things can not all be true at once

it’s like looking for a lost baby in a crowd
the truth has gotta be here somewhere
can’t have gone far
it was just with me
sleeping blissfully

i turn my back for one minute
and it’s like it was never here

Monday, December 05, 2005

This kind of thing really boils me.
Ravenholm

Spent all day Saturday up in the Verdugos, this time accompanied by Rhee. I'm unsettled a bit by the fact that 'my' coyote came down onto the path right in front of us - literally, ten feet ahead of us - paused in the middle of the path to look at me, and trotted off down the hill. Rheanna didn't see her. I guess she was looking away, but still. A bit shiver-worthy.

That, and the burned-out forest is now full of ravens - at least ten to each tree, with their thick, heavy bodies and deep-throated voices and obsidian wings glinting hard with the afternoon sun. Crossing under the black skeleton trees, our every step was attended by hundreds of beady eyes. I was glad to not have been alone.

Tonight, I'll find out what a gimlet tastes like.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Oh, wait - this is funny.

So we got this guidebook for Maui. Great guidebook - lots of 'secrets'.

Problem is, this guidebook likes to break the law a little bit. It's like going out with a friend who likes to get drunk and throw things...most of the time, you'll be okay, but when your luck is off - well.

We're up at Haleakala, and the guidebook has a bit to say about the view. Drive around back, it says, past the FAA 'do not enter' sign and the state park 'no trespassing' sign and the civic 'no motorized vehicles' sign. They don't really mean it, you see. C'mon. It's pretty. C'mon.

So we do.

Luckily, this story doesn't end the way the others do, with smashed windows and a concussion and stolen purses and lost glasses and busted knees. In fact, it was great. We even gathered photographic evidence of our swollen collective testicles. There's another photo in which Rheanna stands on the car on the forbidden road and breaks another law. But I'm not sharing that...not for free, at least.

I'm hoping the next guidebook I buy says something like, "Take your helicopter into the center of the no-fly zone, drop your hummer in the EPA-protected marsh, drive past the seven federal no trespassing signs, and shoot the endangered species you find there with your non-registered weapon. Pee on something. Throw your trash out the window and leave happy. Don't worry - nobody will care."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

annette_oneil: i want a russian bride
toeshock: <- russian
toeshock: <- looks good in white
annette_oneil: i'll interview you, then:
annette_oneil: 1.
annette_oneil: what is the proper response to, "get back in the kitchen and make me some pie"?
toeshock: 1. "yes ma'am"
annette_oneil: 2.
annette_oneil: can you pull off your own apron with your bare teeth?
toeshock: 2. "yes ma'am"
annette_oneil: and, finally, #3:
annette_oneil: is your knowledge of the english language inversely proportionate to your staggering sexual prowess?
annette_oneil: (i worry about that one a lot.)
toeshock: I no understand qvestion. but very good in bed.
I waited too long.

That's really the long and short of it. I'd first intended to keep a running abbreviated blog in my Treo while on the island; when events shattered any hope of consistency there, I started scratching down thoughts on ticket stubs, receipts, napkins. I can't currently find any of them. As such, there's no cohesion; no way to ascertain what happened when, but for the grey mass of memory I'm left to sift through. Add to that the unbelievable scramble of a day that was Wednesday, spent in the attempt to recover from a week of not-even-attempted work. As such, I'm a little topsy-turvy on the subject of Thanksgiving on the island.

Really, it was a mess of errors, boo-boos, completely devoid of adventure trips and almost free of swimming (none of us was ever fully submerged, as a matter of fact.) It was a whirlwind of ass-hauling along endless miles of Hawaiian roads, marked occasionally by rotating moments of bliss and misery, and in the end I'm glad I'm home.

I learned my lesson on this one: next time, it's gonna be Hong Kong. I remain just the teeniest touch resentful that I agreed to forego my yearly overseas trip to have this little jaunt.

Who's with me?