Sunday, July 31, 2005

I want

A cat. Or two or three. Or ten. Lots of cats.

A yard or a porch or a balcony or a clearing or a carport or someplace attached to my home where I can drink outside. I can't drink outside at my apartment unless I sit on the steps leading to the second floor where I encounter no end of dirty looks from the people going up and down. Maybe I should build a fort on top of the filled in swimming pool in the middle of the complex. I love to drink, but I really love to drink outside.

More Saturdays.

To move someplace new and start over with a new job, or to go back to school. That sounds awesome. Then after I had been there for a year or two, I could come back to Austin and Austin would be all new. Many of my friends and family would, of course, follow me to the new location and then back to Austin when I wanted to return.

A scorpion belt buckle.

To go for a ride in a boat. I looked at a covered up boat for hours last night and it looked like it would be fun. I've never really gone for a ride in a real boat before. I wouldn't want to drive it though, just ride around.

To be able to drink a crazy amount and feel awesome in the morning.

The legislature to self destruct so I can see my friends more often. Come on now, legislators, just let them go. You don't really need them now and you aren't going to decide anything. Perhaps my other requests are a little unrealistic right now, but this one is totally doable.

Some enchiladas.

Friday, July 29, 2005

What is this guy doing?

There is a guy sitting in a chair just like this in the parking lot behind my building. His back is to me, but he appears to be reading a newspaper. There is also a water-bottle like object in the drink holder in his chair. What is he waiting for? Sometimes we get campers and such during football season, but there isn't anyone else hanging in the parking lot. And he isn't by a car or anything, he just has his chair in the grass at the edge of the lot. Luckily I have a giant window that overlooks said lot and not much motivation on this Friday. I'll keep everyone posted on his movements.

Does anyone know of a UT event today that would put a dude in this chair?


An update: He left sometime during the morning when I was out of my office (stupid work, anyway), so I didn't get to see if he got into a car or just packed up and hiked away or what. I did see him look around in his backpack a bunch and once switch his newspaper for a book. Quite the mystery....

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Photo Fun

I am completely in love with this accidental self-portrait that I took the other morning on the way to work. This and other pictures can be analyzed in more detail here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Baby town

Let baby Kristy put a smile on your face.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Voices in my head

This post brought to you by Denise Riley's essay "The Inner Voice," published in the Readings section of the June 2005 Harpers (which in turn was adapted from her longer essay "A Voice Without a Mouth: Inner speech in the journal Qui Parle, to which I do not subscribe).

This excerpt in Harpers got me thinking about inner voices, or thoughts, or the words you say to yourself in your head, or the Martians, or whatever you like to call them. In it, Richards brings up the fact that everyone "hears" these voices (or this voice) all the time. Sometimes it talks to you, tells you what to do, tells you what you did wrong, or even sings and plays music for you. It can also act like a whole theater troupe of people you know and have seen and recreate entire scenes from your life, with a certain amount of creative flair added in.

The thing is, you "hear" this voice, but it doesn't really sound like anything. I mean, mine kind of talks like me (that is, in English, with my mannerisms), but it doesn't have any sound to it (this blows my mind in the same way that you see dreams, but you don't really see them). It also has its own peculiarities that don't come out when I actually talk (mostly things like repeating itself over and over again, or singing some phrase it said earlier in the day to the tune of the last song it heard, if I talked to you the way my head-voice talks to me, you would not be my friend. And yet, I'm fond of my head-voice). And no matter how well you know someone, you can never really know what their inner voice is like, even if they spend every moment telling you what it just told them. Does that mean that the inside voice is a more true you? Or a more raw one? Or maybe just a pre-you, before all the mistakes get straightened out?

And what are they good for?

I've been thinking about this for a few days, and I think the number one thing my inner voice does for me, besides all the random things mentioned above, is compose things I am going to write and say later in the day. My inner voice actually writes almost all of my correspondence in advance, and if I have something that I have been planning to say to you, my inner voice said it to me a few dozen times first. It also occasionally drives me crazy with songs I don't even like (or maybe the true me loves them!)

So, what I want to know is, what does your inner voice do for you?

[Final note, if you read this essay on the bus, I think it may have a tendency to make you more thoughtful about the realm of inner voices than you otherwise would be. So, if you aren't totally into this post, maybe you should print it out and take it with you on your next bus ride. Seriously.]

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The pleasure of mustard

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I realize that Newport cigarette ads are always a little hokey and dated looking (but somehow without this irony that you think they would have -- its like they are completely unintentional in their hokeyness). But this one is extra strange, right? I mean, they are both squeezing this bottle of mustard onto a potato chip. Is this some kind of sexual symbolism that I don't understand? Is mustard pleasurable in the same way that cigarettes are? Did someone actually come up with this idea, or did they just have the models fool around at this cookout for awhile and they randomly came into this great shot?

And Jesus Christ I hope she doesn't eat that chip with all the mustard on it. Gross. Just put the chip down, light up your newport, and start looking a little more cool. If anyone has ever needed a smoke, it is this couple.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Amazing Fake Name

As I'm quickly checking my email inbetween weekend drinking activities, I find this fake-spam sender name:

Annoyance O. Courtyard

It almost makes me want to check out his "Ultimate Pharmacy." Almost.

Friday, July 22, 2005

I love me some letterhead

Oooh, look at this awesome letterhead I found at work today.... I should have scanned it at a higher resolution, as you can't really see the detail on the picture of the hotel, but its got little cars and streetlamps and streetcars and everything on the street outside of it. Beautiful.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


My favorite quote from the ultimately really boring Fox reality show "So You Think You Can Dance" [spoken by a ballet-type dude wearing super-tight-package-revealing shorts and an unbuttoned-chest-exposing shirt]:

"No one has ever told me that I look feminine when I'm dancing with the ribbon"

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Is there anybody out there?

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"Already I had made a piece of cloth and a cat invisible. At once I set about performing the experiment on myself.

"I had not expected the suffering. My body was all afire. I understood now why the cat had howled until I chloroformed her. But I stuck to it.

"The pain passed. I shall never forget that dawn and the strange horror of seeing that my hands had become as clouded glass and watching them grow clearer until at last I could see through them even after I had closed my transparent eyelids.

"I gritted my teeth and stayed there to the end. At last only the dead tips of the fingernails remained, white and pallid. I struggled up and stared at nothing in my shaving glass, at nothing save where an attenuated pigment still remained behind the retina of my eyes, fainter than mist.


That was the passage on the back of my copy of H. G. Wells' The Invisible Man, so naturally, I had to buy it. Also, look at that bandage head on the cover. Tantalizing. Because this book was written in 1897, you don't have to buy it to read it. In fact, you can read the whole thing on your computer here. Maybe you should start reading a chapter a night. Maybe you should start right now.

The thing about this book is it isn't really what I was expecting (actually, it was even better), and the blurb on the back cover, while awesome, isn't totally indicative of the book. Its taken from a section towards the middle where the Invisible Man tells his secrets to an old school chum of his. The rest of the book is told from the view of a distant observer, and we usually have no idea what the Invisible Man is thinking.

I did learn that being Invisible is not all that great. First, to actually be invisible, you have to be naked. Wells didn't get into the more intimate problems one might foresee with this (it was 1897 after all), but he did note that it is often very cold and your feet get all cut up. Speaking of cold, if its raining or snowing, or even if dust is thrown up on you from the road, you become oddly visible again. And, when you eat, your partially digested food is visible until you have completely ingested it. Finally, being invisible does not allow you to walk through walls, make no noise when you walk or sneeze, or not be felt when someone runs into you.

This book had some great science stuff in it (becoming invisible is complicated), a nice little morality twist, and some creepy bits as well. Also, the choloroformed cat mentioned at the beginning of this post was not killed, he let it out his window.

Now I really want to rent this movie version of the book, starring Claude Rains as the Invisible Man... Have any of you seen it?


I think I would like to go to Plano just to see the Roach Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I managed to shout out "Dr. Fuck and Professor Shit" to my co-worker at the same moment that my boss opened my office door to sign something. And he had his 8 year old daughter with him.

Professor Shit, where are you when I need you?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Fridge in Context

Here it is folks -- all the memories of our weekends together exploring the items on my fridge have come to this: The Complete Fridge.

The top half:

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Clockwise from the top center, we have:

1. My favorite Achewood comic.

2. Everyone's favorite 21 year old.

3. Fortune cookie fortune. [Which inexplicably reads: "Being an able man. there are always."]

4. A magnet from my alma mater, featuring Old Main, where all my English classes were held.

5. Fully visible tang construction.

6. Carhenge postcard and snake sex.

7. Super suit.

8. Fusion experiments.

9. A wedding invitation for a wedding we will be attending next weekend.

10. Alamo drafthouse schedule, held up by the Cheap Trick magnet.

Other magnets include the glow in the dark UNL "N", the UT Society of American Archivists Student Chapter, the UNL Writing Center, and RLG Cultural Materials. As you see, we don't have many hilarious or fun magnets.

And the bottom half:

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[Sorry this picture is so crappy, it was hard to lean far enough away from the fridge to get the whole thing in, plus I was all down by the smelly garbage. Just be happy you've got this much.]

1. A postcard for a show of the fabulous art of our friend Allison Fox (sorry about the flash glare there A-Fox).

2. Gumby's Pizza magnet (even though we never ever get Gumby's pizza. We are more Austin's pizza or Mangia folks...)

3. Pedazo Chunk Video flyer.

4. Swirl art by Josh.

5. Paramount and AFS summer film schedules, held up by an "Operation STOP, Working to keep railroading drug and alcohol free" magnet/ruler.

The other magnets on the bottom half of the fridge are all freebee things and not really worth getting into in detail. I think I should go out and buy some better magnets.

Ta da! After milking my fridge to its utmost possible limits, I now have no idea what I will post about on the weekends....

Saturday, July 16, 2005

El Padre Muerto

I finished reading Donald Barthelme's The Dead Father the other day. I'd previously read a book of short stories by Barthelme which I really enjoyed. I don't always have the words to describe what I think of Barthelme's writing -- its often very comic and surreal, with Kafka like situations of different realities with different rules. For example, this book consists of a group of 19 working men pulling The Dead Father (who is only sort of dead and apparantly very gigantic) across the country side so that he can roll himself in the Golden Fleece. They are supervised by a man and a woman. Most of the conversations take place between the man, the woman, and the dead father. And about halfway through the book, there is an old-tymey book-within-the-book called "A Manual for Sons" (translated from the English by Peter Scatterpatter), complete with woodcuts. Although the book is probably full of symbols, I mostly enjoy Barthelme for the ways in which he plays with language and expectation. The book is often very funny, and has a really unique structure and way of bringing back phrases and repeating them in new situations. I think overall I enjoyed his short stories a little more than this novel, but both are very much worth reading.

[By the way, Barthleme may somehow connected to the Dan Rather "What's the Frequency, Kenneth? mystery...]

Friday, July 15, 2005

freaky deaky

This new nickel design freaks me out. Seriously. Even worse than those eyebrows from the other day. Am I just overly sensitive?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Reading Update: The Cookbook Series

I really like reading cookbooks. Even if they are completely impractical and I will never cook anything out of them in my life. I like to read the cooking tips, the lists of ingredients, and the high-falutin cooking terms. Recently I bought Matthew Kenney's Big City Cooking from a discount catalog. The blurb said it was the perfect cookbook for someone in a big city (which I'm not really) and with a small kitchen (which I do have). The thing it didn't mention is that you would basically have to be super rich to cook the stuff in this book. Whenever a nice ordinary fresh ingredient would do, Kenney recommends some specialty item that can only be found through mail-order, and notes that the recipe just wouldn't be the same if you pick up the cheaper alternative. There is no denying that the book is beautiful, with gorgeous pictures, a nice layout, and wonderful thick paper. The whole thing is covered with this nifty plastic sheet that would save it from having expensive food spilled on it. Here you will find recipes for your Carpaccio of Cepes with Wisconsin Asiago and Balsamic Syrup, your Cherries Sauteed in Pinot Noir with Creme Fraiche, and your Sauteed Lobster with Asparagus and Blood Oranges. The nice thing is that even these fancy-named recipes don't come off as that hard to actually make. His directions are clear, and they don't involve a lot of special equipment. There were some very approachable recipes in here, and some which I might actually try to make, but overall it reads like a florid and detailed romance novel when you are alone on a deserted island. Nice, but unattainable under the current circumstances.

Title from the archives

Notes on the dynamics of a slightly deformable body

I can't decide if this should be the name of my arty rock band, my arty independent film, or my arty memoir....

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

No mo

Jerome Wilkerson's eyebrows freak me out. Although I do enjoy his TV commercials.

I. Am. Dying.

And these molds are killing me. The End.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Wailing it up

And here we have the front cover (click on it to get a better view) of the 1956 novel The Wailing Frail by Richard S. Prather, one of his many best-selling pulp crime novels in the Shell Scott detective series.

And of course, you will want to see the back cover in all its readable glory here.

I'm making such a big deal over the cover because the cover, after all, is why I bought the book at the Literacy Austin booksale a few months back. [As an aside, check out this slightly different and yet remarkably the same cover of The Wailing Frail as well as the covers of Prather's other books, many of which were painted by pulp and pin-up artist Robert McGinnis.]

I read this baby between lunch and bedtime yesterday -- its pretty goofy, but in an entertaining way, and it has a neat twist at the end. It involves our hero, the Private Eye Shell Scott, as well as a trio of beautiful women that he keeps almost sleeping with, but not quite. It also involves corruption in the California government, lots of shooting and punching, and some old fashioned detective work.

And naturally, there are also a lot of nice over-the-top metaphors, here's a little sample:

First, the obligatory "woman comes into the Private Eye's office scene" -- "I was going through accumulated mail, throwing away advertising, when I noticed that somebody was outside my office. I knew it was a woman, too, because of the shadow she cast on the window. I've seen lots of shadows on that frosted-glass window, but this was the first one that threatened to defrost it...."

And later, of course, they kiss: "A steel statue would have kissed her, and I am no steel statue....It was a kiss that melted on my mouth like liquid velvet, warm and infinitely smooth. It was a kiss in a class by itself. After this, kissing other women would never be the same. It would be as if other women kissed with their ears."

I find it funny that this dime-store pulp novel is now available as a Microsoft Reader eBook -- I suppose the two markets really would intersect.

Finally, none of the women in this novel ever really wail (although maybe they do metaphorically), and Shell Scott never picks a woman up and carries her the way he is on the cover. Maybe they had a title and cover all ready to go, and the text was just slid in there....

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Rambling Coincidences

On Friday afternoon I read this post on WFMU's Beware of the Blog (that, as we covered earlier, I love). Pretty gross and yet enthralling, no? Then that night I watched "Comment je me suis disputé... (ma vie sexuelle)" -- although the English title switches the title around and puts it as "My Sex Life... (or how I got into an argument)", because Americans aparantly will watch anything that says Sex really big on the cover. And in that movie the same door/hand thing happens to one of the characters. Exactly the same! But not on the boat and he slams the door himself, it doesn't slam closed with the wind. Plus you get to see it and its pretty gross in a cool way.

I'm still not totally sure how I felt about the movie, gross hand scenes excluded. The acting was amazingly good, but the story didn't always do it for me. The people in it are beautiful, though, especially Marianne Denicourt (scroll down a tad for her picture) who was in my dream last night. In my dream I was at this party waiting for my friends and I didn't really know anyone. Then I saw my sister and she told me that Josh and all these other friends of mine had been at the party for awhile and that they were all in the bathroom. So I got really mad that they didn't come get me and I grabbed my shoes (which were these high heels for some reason) and my sweater and told my sister that I was leaving and I'd see her later. Then I started walking and walking, trying to get to this bus stop to go home. After I'd walked for awhile, I somehow ended up back at the party and Josh told me that I'd made our hostess really sad and worried by leaving. And the hostess was this French actress who was crying because I'd left so suddenly. Then I woke up and I was still vauguely mad at Josh even though all he'd been doing was sleeping.

Ta da!

No hands were hurt in my dream, though.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

No fridge is infinite

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Yes, I could have scanned each of these postcards and pictures in separately, but it just didn't seem the thing to do. All these items have been sent to the side of the fridge, and brought together as a group for a reason. So I will present them as one. Clockwise from the top we have:

1. A poster from my old roomates advertising a Chi Kung group they do on East Campus in Lincoln. I really like the picture, which our friend Siclone took -- one side is Tycho bending and Milt sitting, and the other side is the reverse.

2. Drunk Moby, we've already seen him.

3. Zymmir, the oldest daughter of the roomates mentioned above. A total cutie.

4. Postcard from our friend Melanie's art show.

5. Postcard from London, sent to us by Josh's mom while she was living there.

6. Muhammad Ali.

7. Beauty and the Beast -- which is a really awesome movie if you haven't seen it.

8. Postcard for the Neil Labute play "Bash" which we saw at the Hyde Park Theatre a couple of years ago with Josh's brother Nick. That was the best Thanksgiving ever.

9. (in Center) Postcard from an event at my work.

10. Valentine.

11. Spike and Mike's postcard. I have never gone to see this and I don't really like the postcard that much. I don't know why its on my fridge. I think I will take it off after this post and hang something else up there. If you send me something in the mail, I will hang it up in the offending spot. I swear. Email me for my address if you don't have it. If I get lots of stuff, I'll make it work. I'll hand stuff around the inside if I have to.

Next week -- the front of the fridge: All your favorite fridge highlights from yesteryear in context!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Kristy from the block!

Okay, I'm sorry to be all linky today, but have you seen this A9 maps site? They just added Austin to their block-by-block map rendering capabilities. They don't have every block in town, of course, but they have pictures going block by block, both sides of the street, from all over the place. Wow. This will provide hours of entertainment. Some of the strange shots of alleys, street signs, and parked cards are wonderful. So, who has the job of taking all these pictures?

I am...

in love with WFMU's Beware of the Blog. I just love new-to-me blog infatuations....


Go and see this lovely picture of Lucinda Williams that my sister took. Go on, now. I promise it will be awesome.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What in the Dickens!

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Yesterday I finished reading A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens -- which you can actually read free online at that link, if you like reading things online. I went the old fashioned route and purchased a hard copy of the book 17 years ago from a Scholastic Book order. I then let it mature on my childhood bookshelf, high school bookshelf, college bookshelf, single bookshelf, working girl bookshelf, dating bookshelf, grad school bookshelf, working again bookshelf, and married bookshelf. After moving this thing around with me for 17 years, I finally decided it was time to read it. And it was great.

I'd only read one Dicken's book before, Great Expectations, and I got really sucked into it. I didn't expect to like this one as much, since its about the French Revolution and all, and I always thought the beginning was kind of boring (you know, the "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." thing). It is actually very exciting, sometimes sentimental, with a wonderful structure, good characters, and some awesomely gruesome scenes like this one, which I shall quote in detail:

"The grindstone had a double handle, and, turning at it madly were two men, whose faces, as their long hair Rapped back when the whirlings of the grindstone brought their faces up, were more horrible and cruel than the visages of the wildest savages in their most barbarous disguise. False eyebrows and false moustaches were stuck upon them, and their hideous countenances were all bloody and sweaty, and all awry with howling, and all staring and glaring with beastly excitement and want of sleep. As these ruffians turned and turned, their matted locks now flung forward over their eyes, now flung backward over their necks, some women held wine to their mouths that they might drink; and what with dropping blood, and what with dropping wine, and what with the stream of sparks struck out of the stone, all their wicked atmosphere seemed gore and fire. The eye could not detect one creature in the group free from the smear of blood. Shouldering one another to get next at the sharpening-stone, were men stripped to the waist, with the stain all over their limbs and bodies; men in all sorts of rags, with the stain upon those rags; men devilishly set off with spoils of women's lace and silk and ribbon, with the stain dyeing those trifles through and through. Hatchets, knives, bayonets, swords, all brought to be sharpened, were all red with it. Some of the hacked swords were tied to the wrists of those who carried them, with strips of linen and fragments of dress: ligatures various in kind, but all deep of the one colour. And as the frantic wielders of these weapons snatched them from the stream of sparks and tore away into the streets, the same red hue was red in their frenzied eyes;--eyes which any unbrutalised beholder would have given twenty years of life, to petrify with a well-directed gun."

Sorry to quote such a long chunk, but oh my god, doesn't that make you want to run out and read this?

In addition, I credit reading this book in four or five days, and then immediately reading an article about the Cultural Revolution and Maoism in China (plus a beer and brandy slam-down right before bed that riled me up instead of knocking me out) for my restless night of revolution gone a-foul dreams last night.

[Oh, and the illustration above is from my copyright 1962 Scholastic version. I do believe they are storming the Bastille.]


Let me add that I have just spent two and a half hours trying to get various State of Texas online applications accessed and started for my husband (because he is out and about, and I'm just that sweet), with variously frustrating results. Why can't every State Department use the same application system? Its the same application! Why have to fill the damn thing out so many times? Why not get servers that actually work instead of the ones that erase everything that I typed in the past hour? Why! And now some whiskey, because those applications made me cry. Damn them.

Monday, July 04, 2005

"You have no idea what a long-legged woman can do without doing anything."

We had a super Mary Astor weekend at the Paramount -- Saturday was Meet me in St. Louis, with Astor playing the rather saccharine and stable matriarch of the family. Then yesterday we saw Preston Sturges' Palm Beach Story, where she plays a hilarious and fast talking millionaire and steals every scene she is in. Being a Preston Sturges film, the whole thing was riddled with snappy dialogue. Two of my favorites (both said by Rudy Vallee as John D. Hackensacker III):

"That's one of the tragedies of this life - that the men who are most in need of a beating up are always enormous."

"This was my grandfather's yacht. He only took it out once. He's dead. This is his hat."

Astor has been in a ton of movies, but the only other one I've seen is the Maltesse Falcon (which is also wonderful, but for different reasons). The three movies of hers that I've seen were all made in a three year period, but she plays a range of at least 20 years and goes from noir-y experience to sweet motherhood to over-the-top comedy. If you would like to see some Astor action (and you live in Austin), they are replaying Palm Beach Story on Tuesday at the Paramount. And if you want to get your money's worth of snappy dialogue, stay for The Lady Eve, another Sturges film that is equally great.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Fridge Town U.S.A.

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This next item in my "what's on Kristy's fridge" series features a hand-made postcard by everyone's favorite print-maker, Joolie! I can't remember what I did to deserve such a lovely card. The back of the card shows me that it was sent almost exactly a year ago, it was sent to just me and not Josh (well there is a P.S Hi Josh! on there, but its addressed to me), and Joolie had just watched "You Got Served" (or the dance parts, anyway). Also its got that Dr. Seuss stamp on it with a photo of the good doctor surrounded by his drawings. I love Dr. Seuss, but the stamp is kind of creepy, don't you think?

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Friday, July 01, 2005

Foxy Dodos

Check out these pictures of the Moody Sunday School's Fresh Air program in 1903-1905. This group would take poor children from the inner city of Chicago for a spiritual and physical vacation to the countryside and the lake for two weeks. This is all well and good, but the real reason I'm sharing it with you are the posters in the background of the first picture. I can't wait to see Foxy Grandpa and King Dodo!