Life at an Intersection

Chicago Phoenix, indemnity bonds, journaling, really really really want a zigazig ah, travel, books, travel books, relationships, values. It is hard to pinpoint precisely, but I'd say about 82% of what you read here is true. The rest is fictional nonfiction.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Save Me from What I Want


I love keeping up with my friends and coworkers from Taiwan via Facebook. But my Chinese is, to say the least, getting a little rusty. Well, it was never anything close to polished to begin with, but now what little I knew is going straight to pot. So I employ Google Translator pretty regularly in my attempts to stay abreast of the developments of their lives by "reading" their status updates. But translating Chinese to English or vice versa is something slightly less than a mathematically pure equation. Today's sample:

Katrina's Status Update - Garbage is a major event in life, whether family, psychological, or intestines inside.
Comment from Jill - You can make sentences??
Comment from Sandy - Yes, when the garbage needs to refuse, and found the garbage can, and sometimes have to wait ... But after garbage truck emptied the refuse, The happier ~

Thanks so much for all of your help, Google.

Some quick media notes:
  • I stumbled upon the CD/DVD package of Sufjan Stevens' The BQE at the public library last weekend. I tried the CD first and just thought, "Well, this is nice..." but when I popped the DVD into my computer and took a gander at the short film that accompanies the music I was dazzled. Hope you can see this. It is tres magnifique.
  • I am obsessed with the Miranda Lambert album Revolution. I listen to it, on average, twice a day. It is such a good album, every song, so good.
  • I went last week with a friend to see the movie Inception. I had heard lots of rattle and buzz about it, but didn't know much, content-wise, other than that it dealt with dreams or the dream world. It is a great movie, and I highly recommend it. One of those movies that really requires you to pay attention, get the rules, plug in, and play along. A fun ride.
  • July has been an easy month at school, so I've been doing lots of pleasure reading. You can always check out my goodreads page, but I'll tell you here that I have been really edified by Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and The Road by Cormack McCarthy as of late. I would like to write another blog about Eating Animals sometime very soon, because it has been a bit of a game changer for me.
Tonight I went with my friend Andy to Ikea over in Tempe. Andy is moving in to a new apartment this week, so I offered to help him shop for furniture and furnishings and life-things. Ikea is exhausting, and it was a full three hours, and I didn't even get any meatballs - but it was a much more enjoyable experience for me in that I spent no money, and he spent a lot of money.

Wandering some of the aisles while he debated slate versus white dishes or side tables versus nightstands, I thought about my previous Ikea partners. I thought about our shopping strategies, our predilections, our magnetic attractions and repulsions to specific facets of Swedish home furnishings and the culture of Ikea. I thought about our traditions and routines, about purchases large and small. Sofia and I always bought candles and bedding. Kevin, Elena, and I once bought enough to furnish an entire Taiwanese apartment.

I am happy, but not content. I'd like to meet some more like-minded individuals here. Some more grounded people. I'd like to be seeing less people for more time.

Currently Listening to
The BQE by Sufjan Stevens and

Currently Reading
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Electric Eel

A transcript of my thoughts whilst reading today's PostSecret blog:

  • Nice looking postcard, but that kind of hyperbole isn't very effective. It makes me think you are a selfish idiot instead of a clever, annoyed observer of colleagues.
  • Doubt it is true.
  • "All I ask: don't tell anyone the secrets that I told you."
  • That's some Robin Hood-ing. Hope this person works for Walmart.
  • Ugh, tmi. And BURN!
  • I miss Dana Fairbanks.
  • Where is Lake Michigan on this map? I'm guessing Dad moved from Rockford, IL to Greenville, SC to take a job at Bob Jones University.
  • Perfect.
  • Took me like three reads to understand it. Bullshit.
  • Funny, but the glare makes me have to strain my eyes just a bit too much to make this an effective photo to use.
  • This is a realistic, kinda funny secret.
  • Love the dream/nightmare boat underwater visual. Strong, informative secret.
  • Another beautiful visual, but accompanying a secret that isn't actually much.
  • Vague and therefore instantly forgettable.
  • Beautiful lettering!
  • SUPER CREEPY and the unicorn just sort of seals the case.
  • I'm not sure how I feel about the content of this secret or the clip-art modification; it did make me think, I guess.
  • Really? How is that possible, exactly? I don't get it.
  • Sincere. Nicely done.
  • Brilliant. Loved the husband ps.
  • Very poor sentence structure. The pronoun "them" apparently isn't meant to represent the beard and contacts which are the actual antecedents, but the beard and glasses which are pictured and implied. Sadly, this person might actually have a bachelor's degree.
  • That's super sweet. I love this postcard's positivity and optimism.
  • Neighbor - they = singular-plural imbalance. This could have been a highly effective secret with a little tweaking.
I went to San Diego last weekend to see my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew as they were in town visiting my brother-in-law's family. My friend Travis went with me. We stayed somewhere nice because he works for the Biltmore resort here in Phoenix and therefore gets these free hotel stays on reciprocity.

And now, a video spectacular:

Eh, so I didn't take many photos. And my sister didn't post hers yet, so I couldn't steal any of those. And YouTube is such shitty video quality. But making that movie, I learned how to do that in grad school. So use it or lose it, I guess.

Currently Listening to
Miranda Lambert's Revolution
and the muchly under-appreciated Lucinda Williams version of Nick Drake's song "Which Will."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Climb


This is a burrito and a few things that are traditionally eaten with a burrito, such as chips and salsa, rice and black beans. Also, radish and cucumber slices. I think that about covers it. It was a pretty good burrito, I'm not gonna pretend otherwise.

Now here are some things that you should know about Phoenix. These are my entirely unscientific, purely anecdotal observations. Which makes them way more reliable.

  • Denny's rules Phoenix. Yes, the restaurant. The home of the Grand Slam and (personal fave) Moons Over My-Hammy. Everywhere that I have been in this sprawling metro area, that familiar, saddish yellow and red irregular hexagonal sign is there to greet me. There's one just a couple of blocks from my house. There's another one about a half-mile down the road. According to my count, I pass four on my way to school in the morning. I imagine that restaurant sign sighs when it speaks its name. "Hello and welcome to Denny's. **sigh**"
  • I'm really enjoying the desert architecture. It is so different, but so perfect. So adapted. So suitable. The church architecture here is really impressive too. Often times laughable, avant-garde, 1980s daring. But always notable and interesting. Here, for instance, is a photo of the church that I have attended the last two Sundays. I think we can all agree that this is a dramatic roofline.
  • The birds! So many, all over, all the time. A bird watcher's dream or a Hitchcock watcher's nightmare come true. Lots of pretty varieties, fun to watch in the backyard or playing in the trees. They certainly are a bonanza for one business: car washes. Nearly every morning I find new vile and disgusting dried puddles of bird diarrhea on Miss Truvy's windshield and my driver's side door.
  • Miss Truvy and I are getting pretty tight. Phoenix is definitely a car culture, for better or for worse. Well, no, that is certainly for worse. But I have been enjoying driving as of late. I've done a little exploring, a little wandering, a little getting lost. The scenery, the mountains and the desert, are spectacular. Enchanting.
  • I went with roommate David up to his family's cabin in the mountains around Prescott last weekend after I had finished my school work. It was a nice, relaxing time. I read a book and watched the wildlife and beat him in Scrabble. He is a really sore loser. We climbed some rocks. Here is a video in which I share my newfound knowledge concerning the proper pronunciation of this city name from the top of said rocks:

Let's finish this blog with a fun little contrast. Two cool but very different people playing the peg game in two very different venues in two very different parts of the country, about a month apart.

First: Sofia, Cracker Barrel, Indiana.


Second: Travis, America's Taco Shop, Arizona.


Currently Listening to
Lily Allen's album It's Not Me, It's You

Twitter / Davie_St

Words That I'm Living By - 5/2/2010

Time, as I've known it
Doesn't take much time to pass by me
Minutes into days, turn into months
Turn into years, they hurry by me
But still I love to see the sun go down
And the world go around

Dreams full of promises
Hopes for the future, I've had many
Dreams I can't remember now
Hopes that I've forgotten,
faded memories
But still I love to see the sun go down
And the world go around

And I love to see the morning
as it steals across the sky
I love to remember and
I love to wonder why
And I hope that I'm around
so I can be there when I die
When I'm gone

I hope that you will think of me
In moments when you're happy and you're smiling
That the thought will comfort you
On cold and cloudy days
if you are crying
And that you'll love to see
the sun go down
And the world go around
And around and around

"Around and Around" by Mark Kozelek

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