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John Bowe (ed):
Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs
Gail Simone:
Birds of Prey
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Take the Cannoli
Howard Zinn:
People's History of the U.S.


The Daily Show
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Kitchen Confidential
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Monday, March 31, 2003

I love you, Ronald D. Moore.

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Sunday, March 30, 2003

Wow. I really lack anything to say.

I have a sore throat, and WebMD doesn't know why. I think it's an allegic reaction to the dust I stirred up when I was cleaning A-L of the video store's sales section.

It's a goddamn big store.

Having three jobs makes you stupid, I think. I've had no interesting thoughts for days now.

Time to do some homework, kick back, and also relax. I have many DVDs to watch, and Alias is new, and I'll probably go to bed early. Because bed rules.

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Thursday, March 27, 2003

Your moment of Zen

Taken on the way back to LA, as I tested my memory of Alanis Morrisette lyrics by shouting them at the top of my lungs. Somewhere north of Bakersfield, I think.

Somewhere pretty.

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Sometimes, you don't post because there's not much to say.

Sometimes, you don't post because there's too much.

I have a bit of a headache, I've been in my pajamas for a few hours, the window is open enough to remind myself of the outside. Some people bitch about how overrated LA weather can be -- but they clearly aren't outside on days like these.

There wasn't weather today, there was bliss -- clear blue skies, perfect temperature, and this wonderful silky breeze flowing through my hair as I walked, dancing along my skin. There was almost a feel to the air this afternoon. It was almost a caress.

I walked from the library to class around 5:30, every bone in my body begging not to go into the air-conditioned basement they call a media lab. About an hour into class, a lust for jailbreak, rebellion, escape rattled every fiber of my being and I rushed for the door.

It was all material I knew. The class is project-based. It doesn't really matter...

And when I made it outside, the same delicious breeze was still blowing.

Today has been one of the most relaxing days I've known recently. My spring break was fun, certainly, but there was so much happening... from early Saturday to this afternoon, I just couldn't stop moving. So much happening.

Today, I had meetings and appointments and a call, but then this afternoon I laid in the grass, a library book in my lap, some frozen yogurt in a cup. I just read a book and ate frozen yogurt...

Did I mention it was fucking GORGEOUS outside?

There are sandstorms in Iraq, though. Because Iraq needed more problems.

It's the thing we're all talking about right now, and it's one of the reasons I've been unable to post recently. Because I've been reading so many different opinions about the war, been listening to so many voices... And I'm so tired. It's hard for me to think rationally about this war, because I don't want us to be there, and I don't trust the people who put us there -- but it doesn't matter either way. The people who put us there are the people making the decisions right now, and I haven't felt this powerless since... Well, since the fall of 2001. Since the last time things felt so bad.

Men and women are dying thousands of miles away. People are rioting in the streets at home. And Jon Stewart cracks a joke, and I stop balancing my checkbook for a moment to laugh.

Life goes on, and I keep feeling surprised about it. I was pretty young during Gulf War I, which seemed so much simpler -- Iraq invades Kuwait, America defends Kuwait. A fourth grader could understand it, could work with the Girl Scouts to assemble care packages, could nod gravely as events unfolded.

I'm not in the fourth grade anymore, and this isn't that war. It's another war, and it's happening now, and the casualties on both sides grow by the day.

There isn't a lot that's sacred to me, but life most certainly is. And I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that people are already dead. People have died in accidents, they've been killed by the enemy, they've been fragged by subordinates, they've been taken prisoner. On both sides, these things are happening.

Tom Tomorrow refers to war as "a terrible last resort." And yeah. Yeah. That's what it is, and that's what it should be -- but I don't think that this administration agrees.

This is where I stand on the issue -- numbed, dismayed, disillusioned. But I just signed up to be a pen pal with AdoptAPlatoon. I don't think we should be in this war, but I don't blame the people fighting it.

Patriot (noun): One who loves, supports, and defends one's country. -- The American Heritage Dictionary

Recently, the issue most vexing to me is the anti-war movement being slammed as unpatriotic. This, despite the fact that there's a REASON the old white guys wrote the First Amendment the way they did; they wanted the public to have a voice.

Fighting for our country is patriotic. Protesting our elected officials' decisions is patriotic too, and you know why? Because unless I'm seriously mistaken (I'm not so good at reading fine print), none of us sign a slip of paper at the ballot box that says "You're the boss of me forever and ever." I vote for someone to represent my interests and run my country for a period of four years, at which time I'm given the chance to reevaluate my decision and choose again.

No society ever became freer with the silence of opposing voices, especially when those were the precepts our country was founded upon. We the people, in order to form a more perfect union...

As predictable as it is, I still thrill to the words of the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble of the Constitution. I love the words that form the foundation of our nation. I'm willing to defend them with words and actions of my own, in the manner I see fit. And I support this country; I support it with my taxes and my vote and my citizenship. I may not put my life on the line -- but I respect those who do.

I can protest the war and love my country. I can dislike my president and love my country. Even when I feel like the wrong decisions are being made. Even when I don't agree with those making them.

There's more than one way to be a patriot. There's more than one way to be an American.

That's the whole goddamn point.

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Friday, March 21, 2003

It would appear that Anthony Michael Hall has some issues. Strange.

After a very full day of installing and reinstalling and uninstalling, I am now running OS X (10.2, to be exact) on mr. laptop. This is also strange.

I am plumb exhausted, folks, and I think I'm going to avoid the computer for a whole 18 hours (from now until 6:30 PM tomorrow). It's decided. All I'm going to do is read and write and worry about the fact that manager guy owes me a call and yet he hath not called me.

And tease my brother. That's important, too. *g*

It's really good to be home, though. Really good. I just need to take some time and enjoy it.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Okay, I'm totally going to shut this computer down and go to bed.

When I start it up again, it and I will be in the Bay Area.

No telling exactly when that'll happen. After the days I've had, I may take some time.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Things I want:

-A full night's sleep
-My wallet to magically teleport from my apartment into my purse so that I could buy food instead of stealing crackers from Commons.
-These boots
-The library to be open until 9 PM tonight, instead of closing early JUST TO SPITE ME.
-For my life to be easier in general
-To be on the road home right now
-To have a new CD for my work-out
-World peace.

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Monday, March 17, 2003

Blogger just ate a thorough, interesting entry. Hence, this sad shell of an update.

Did, however, figure out what was screwing up the formatting on the poll. So that looks nice.

So allegedly this is the first day of my spring break.

I'm not feeling very spring-y.

It was a crazed weekend, mainly because I'm just not USED to having 16 hours of job-ness. The video store... Well, it's just like riding a biker (TM Faith), but there was a lot to absorb right away and I'm pretty exhausted. Plus, there's this whole lack of sleep thing going on, AND I had to do tons of squats in order to retrieve DVDs. So my thighs hurt like a mo-fo, and I'm very glad that there's a lot of sitting involved in this job.

Because, yes, I get to work six hours today and tomorrow at Web Job, on top of the weekend's labor at Video Job. It's mainly to cover for me taking the end of the week off and fleeing to the bay area, but I'm still pooped. Plus, tonight I'm supposed to be meeting with my game design partner so we can start work on our final project (first playtest is a week from tomorrow -- eeeee!) and there's also going to the gym and a ton of laundry and Miracles and some reading that should be done and some writing that MUST be done.

I need to come up with ideas for things. I need to brainstorm.

I need tea.

It's okay, though. Two more days of busy, and come Thursday I'll be lying on a raft in the pool, not thinking about the work awaiting me inside.

God, that'll be nice.

TV is wearing me down, I'm realizing, and I think some shows are gonna have to go. I like Miracles, and apparently Exciting Things are going to happen tonight -- but if they aren't really, REALLY cool I may have to give it up.

I'm not grateful, necessarily, that Farscape is ending. It makes me very sad, in fact. But it'll be a relief to have that hour back.

Other shows on the bubble: Alias, Ed, and god help me, West Wing. It's getting to be too hard for me to care about all these people all at once. And West Wing has lost its sparkle and Ed is moving to Fridays (god knows why) and Alias was never really a serious investment... I do enjoy watching these shows, but sometimes it feels like too much effort. And right now, as I start the first days of what will be two very stressful months, that's not really what I need.

The idea of only following Buffy, Angel and Six Feet Under (which is REALLY, REALLY good this season, and well worth checking out) is like a breath of fresh air. And how much TV do I really need to watch, anyways?

Besides, it takes away valuable drinking time. And we can't have that!

I don't actually have drinking time. That's more of a shout-out to Nicky. *g*

The haircut's working out pretty well. Today I combed in mousse to make an effort at straightening it, and it worked out all right. But I think I need pomade or something for the ends, and also? I need to gain some real styling ability. Anyone know of good hair-styling-advice websites? I fear magazines.

I'm going to go see if there's free food hiding around this building. When they hold conferences, I usually luck out.

And then, nose to the grindstone. Life carries on.

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Saturday, March 15, 2003

It's wonderfully rainy outside, and I just want to stay in bed all day and listen.

Instead, I have to go to work.


In other news, my haircut went pretty well. We'll see how it washes out, and whether or not I'm capable of styling it. But it was pretty cute yesterday. One day of cute hair isn't too shabby.

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Friday, March 14, 2003

Apparently I've been listed on LA That's kinda cool.

Anyone come here from there?

In fact, I'm going to make this an actual poll. I have my family, I have my LJ friends, who were very nice about following me here, and I know about the odd duck or two I've picked up along the way. But are there any lurkers out there? And if so, how'd you find me?

I'm genuinely curious. I'd like to know what I'm doing right and what I could be doing better to increase readership. What brings you to GFB, and why do you stay?

Please, take a sec and fill out the below poll. And feel free to comment below or drop me a line. There could possibly be prizes! And I'd really appreciate it.
How'd You Get Here?

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What's really sad about this week of not-posting?

Not too much has happened.

Okay, some things have.

I've signed up to read for a screenplay competition -- shouldn't be too much work, as I'm a fast reader and the coverage they want doesn't include a plot summary (which, for anyone who's never covered screenplays, is not only the meat and potatoes of normal coverage, but is also the hardest thing on the planet to write coherently and concisely). I kinda miss reading, and I kinda miss the extra money it can bring in, so it should be a good experience.

I've somehow managed to watch The Daily Show every night this week. Usually I manage to forget or I'm busy, but somehow it fit into my schedule well.

If I'm ever standing on the ledge, about to jump, with no hope left in the world, all you need do is shout "Liz, what about Jon Stewart?" And I'll come down, no problems, because I love Jon Stewart so.

I mean, seriously. The man's called Ari Fleischer a douchebag AND he was in the best bits of Playing By Heart. How have we NOT knighted him?

I crush on strange men, sometimes.

I'm supposedly seeing Bend It Like Beckham today. Which'll be fun. I've been craving British girl power movies about Indian soccer players recently.

Bad segue to talking about screenwriting here...

I've officially stopped liking the new screenplay I was working on. I find it lame and dull and disingenuous and I've been forcing out pages, but it's like root canal surgery. I really think I'm on the wrong track with the idea. I need to stop and rethink and start all over again. Or possibly do something else. I just know that I don't CARE anymore, and that's reflected in the quality of writing I'm producing.

I mean, I know that if I'm serious about this industry, I'll find myself writing things that I don't automatically fall in love with. But then, at least, there will be the money to spur me on, and the sense that the work I'm doing has some real application (ie - it has more than a snowball's chance in hell of getting made). For an original spec? There has to be some level of caring.

Let's hope the manager guy agrees with me on this one. Or has some words of advice. That's his job, after all. Right?

In other news, this link from Jood is just unbelievable. Never before has the game of cricket seemed so compelling.

Other fun links
From Bookslut: A long-lost Charlotte Bronte novella. Can't wait to read it.

Calling all nerds: The Matrix website now has a Philosophy section. Sort of like this book (which Eric will remember as the book I had to be forcibly prevented from buying), except FREE!

And of course, there are comics and games and news and fun. I love the Matrix so. The sequel comes out the day before graduation -- it's a tough call as to which I care more about.

And with all this food for thought, I leave you to go get my hair cut. Goodbye, split ends! Farewell, awkward length!

(Please God, don't let it go badly. One bad haircut in middle school was enough.)

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Sunday, March 09, 2003

Damn it all. Someone did beat me to it.

And after I got down about 400 words, too.

Since I need to go, and I need to be writing other things, I probably won't ever finish it.

So, for posterity's sake, I present Humbert. What there is of it, anyways.

Quilty didn't kick me out for gettin' old -- he kicked me out for not being young. Which is a totally different thing, if you think about it.

It's easy to pretend, see, to dress yourself up so that you can go places with an old man and he doesn't get those looks that used to make me laugh, that made me do stupid things in front of the waiter. Lipstick, eyeliner, my hair up -- it's easy to fake being old, to choke down your giggles and smile a bit, just a bit, just enough to show your teeth. You can fake being old easy enough. But being young? Being able to giggle, kick your legs around, stick your tongue out?

It takes a lot of energy to be young. And after a while, you just get tired, and you start using a little less lipstick, stop laughing and start caring about what people are thinking. I stopped laughing at the looks me and Quilty got, me and Hump got -- and just like that, we stopped getting 'em.

Being young for so long takes it out of you. Being young ends up making you feel old way too fast.

I'm writing all this down because I used to watch Hump do it, see, and he'd sit with his pen and his paper and he'd frown until he got down some words that seemed to make things make sense. And then he'd look up at me, like I made sense, too. And he'd smile.

Hump always smiled with all his mouth, all his teeth -- his eyes, too. He'd smile like a little kid. He'd laugh like one.

I don't know if he still smiles like that anymore. Don't know what's happened to him. Sometimes, I wish I did -- wish I could blame him for all the dump that happened to me. 'Cause if that summer hadn't happened, I wouldn't be sitting in this hotel with no idea of what happens next. I wouldn't feel worn out, that's for sure. I feel like I'm a hundred and eighty. I feel like someone from the Bible.

And not the Virgin Mary, either.

I bet that as far as he's concerned, I'll be a kid forever, the same as I left him. I understand all that, because he'll always be an old man to me.

Thing is, though, that while he'll never get any younger, I'm gonna get older.

My story isn't over.

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Well, duh.

You're Fred!

Which Angel character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Scorpius: Go on. Kill her. Then we'll have pizza and margarita shooters. Do it. Do it.
John: Nobody has margaritas with pizza.

Wrong-o, John. Sounds like a fine Saturday night to me.

Was maybe going to go to a party, but then there was digital cable and margarita mix and the pizza place down the street having an anniversary sale on slices. Spent a dollar on a slice straight out of the oven, and then cozied up with freshly blended margaritas and the Nurse Betty DVD (second time around, still a flawed but funny film).

I feel bad about not going to the party, but not bad about spending a Saturday night my way.

A year ago, I woulda felt like a geek. Today, I feel great. Don't even have a headache.

Me time is highly underrated.

In other news -- the Sundance channel was havin' some fun with Adrian Lyne, and now I want to write Lolita from Lolita's point of view (though I'm sure it's already been tried). Trying to remember what I was like at 14, as a result. Trying to remember being a girl.

Lyne's version of the story is really quite interesting. Artistically and otherwise. It really captures the dreaminess of it, the way the affair descends into nightmare. There's more to the book than just the love of little girls, and there's more to this movie, as well.

Still need to see the Kubrick version. Perhaps next week. I'm intrigued by this idea of idealized girlhood -- and the harsh realities underlying it.

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Friday, March 07, 2003

So. I filled out an app on Wednesday and interviewed for a job today.

The entire time during the interview, my inner five year old stamped her feet. But I don't WANNA... she cried. I like having carefree days and laidback nights. I like having the time to read and see movies and hang with friends. I like my life!

And then I said to my inner five year old, Dude. Remember last summer? Remember when I almost let you DIE, along with all shreds of self-respect and financial well-being?

That shut her up pretty good. And I kept on smiling...

I'm now the proud employee of a video store. I'll be working two days a week, on top of the work I already do on campus -- but it shouldn't be too bad.

And unlike the campus job, I know this one will exist after graduation.

I'm not going to be unemployed again. Ever.

Well, ever's a hard term. Maybe not ever. But certainly not this summer. Certainly not if I can do something to prevent it.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2003

So, tomorrow, I need wardrobe for the following:
-A job interview (business-y)
-Working out at the gym (grungy)
-Two meetings and a multimedia class (casual)
-A play (dressy)

No chance to go home, minimal showering opportunities. Four different outfits, eight hours.

Lucky for me I drive a big minivan.

Manager guy has just set unrealisitic expectations for the next thirty pages of the in-progress screenplay (not the revised one). A week from Friday?


Sad thing is, I'll probably be able to do it. That's how little a life I have.

I hear having a life is underrated though, so maybe I'm better off.

Meanwhile, I'm starting to brew ideas for a new idea, a sci-fi idea. Possibly two sci-fi ideas. Because the thing about sci-fi is that you can just make it all up as you go along.

And like Ronald Moore says:

It gives you a chance to really say something, to explore things with the audience, to challenge your audience's expectations, to make them think about life and who they are, because it's surrounded in this nice wrapper. It's only science fiction. It doesn't exist. These aliens aren't real, so they don't threaten you. You can put things into that context because they don't threaten the audience the way it does if you set it in contemporary Los Angeles. Wrap it in science fiction, wrap it in Star Trek and you can do just about anything you want.

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Damn you, reruns!

We'll just have to make do.

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Monday, March 03, 2003

36 pages.

I wrote 36 pages this weekend.

Okay, some of those were previously written in another form. But STILL. 36 pages.

The second draft of the screenplay -- in truth, the first major revised draft of anything I've ever written -- is almost done. And it's only 4 pages longer than I'd like.

Tomorrow's fun activity is revising my revisions -- reading through it all and making sure it makes sense, fixing things earlier that I didn't get a chance to go back and tinker with.

But that's tomorrow. And tonight, bay-bee? I got a date with a bed.

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Sunday, March 02, 2003

From the recipe drawer:

Chef Liz's Tempting Teriyaki Stir-Fry:

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Serves 1.

1 bag of pre-cut, pre-washed vegetables
1 almost entirely empty bottle of olive oil
1 slightly less empty bottle of teriyaki sauce
Box of spaghetti
More-than-a-pinch of cumin seeds (preferably left over from long-ago cooking experiment, thus stinking of previous failure).
Lots of salt
1 stereo with poor reception
1 kitchen lacking a smoke detector
One copy of the New Kitchen Science

Remove bag of veggies from refrigerator. Read complicated recipe for stir-fry on back of package, involving ingredients like corn starch. Decide to wing it.

Begin boiling water in your only pot and heating a scant amount of olive oil in your only skillet. Drop some cumin seeds into the skillet "for flavor."

Get bored with the quiet and go find a radio station on your stereo appropriate for cooking. Flip past alt-rock, pop, old pop, new pop, and dancy pop until arriving at the dance music station. Fiddle with antenna until reception is coming in a little better.

Once static fades, realize that sizzling noise is actually coming from kitchen. Rush to discover that oil has moved from liquid to steam form. Cumin seeds charred beyond recognition.

Make best of situation -- reduce heat and add more oil. Add vegetables and begin stirring.

Try not to worry about skillet's new resemblance to Third Circle of Hell. Reduce heat some more.

Realize that all oil has now evaporated under Satan's power. Discover that there are only a few drops left of your olive oil.

Put olive oil bottle back in cupboard. Add teriyaki sauce to skillet and spaghetti to now vibrating pot of water.

Notice that teriyaki sauce has gone the way of the olive oil. Add more teriyaki sauce to skillet. Test the broccoli in order to see how cooked it is. Don't be concerned about that raw texture!

Test broccoli again.

Test broccoli one more time.

Decide that enough is enough, and that as soon as the spaghetti's done, you'll take the skillet off the stove and just slap it all together. Raw vegetables are good for cellulite, after all. Teriyaki sauce solves all problems.

Wait for spaghetti to finish cooking.

Toss test strand of spaghetti against wall. Watch it bounce off wall and into the waiting arms of a cockroach.

Kill cockroach.

Wait for spaghetti to finish cooking.

Al dente spaghetti -- the way the Italians like it! Combine with steaming vegetables before they spontaneously combust.

Add more teriyaki sauce. Set table for 1.

Start eating your tasty creation!

Add salt.

Finish eating your tasty creation!

Pick charred cumin seed out of teeth.

Time for dessert! Prepare instant pudding according to directions on package. Place in refrigerator to chill.

While waiting for pudding, start flipping through the New Kitchen Science. Dream of a nice big kitchen with soft wood cutting boards and multi-ply-bottomed pots and high-carbon stainless steel knives. Just like the real chefs have!

And now, to finish the screenplay! What's this one about, you ask?

Well, uh....


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This isn't so much a real post as it is a reminder for myself about audioBLOGGER.

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Saturday, March 01, 2003

We have a winner!

Yes, Sports Night's Danny, as portrayed by Josh Charles, was just crazy enough to grow a goatee. And as soon as I can find Cofax online, she'll be the proud recipient of a painstakingly downloaded, full-length copy of E.S. Posthumus's "Nara." Which is hard to find but totally worth it.

For everyone who wants to know why E.S. Posthumus is so freakin' cool, there are samples at his/her website. Worth the time.

Today, it took me an hour less than I thought to complete a REALLY bad version of my revised second act (it seems strange to make really bad revisions, but it's a major step towards the Plateau of Good). Which means that we are now in the second phase of my day, which involves showering, vacuuming, and working on the Big Weekend List.

Then, we enter the third phase of the day, which involves writing another ten pages at a swingin' coffee shop. Phase 4 involves coming home and watching X-Men 1.5

At. Freaking. Last.

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