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Thursday, February 26th, 2004
7:13 pm - Food Ministry...
There it is, nestled in a strip mall two blocks from my apartment: Food Ministry (sponsored by "The River - Tomorrow's Religion Today!") I guess the fake abortion clinic that used to be there wasn't bringing in enough cash, or souls. Signs on the windows promise cheap milk and pastries, but I refuse to be led into temptation. Someday I'll walk in and ask if they have the ingredients for cervella in carrozza, because after all, A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste.

I tried escargot Monday, which was not a terrible thing to taste, just a bit rubbery. The sauce was very nice, though.

I watched Time Bandits for the first time since about 1983. It has held up very well over the years!

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2004
8:03 am - Yay Semicolons!
I'm all moved in to my studio...317 square ft. of paradise. It's time to overcome my packrat tendencies! Cable is now connected, so I might be spending a little more time online now. Yeah, it's a tiny place, but it's a 1/4 mile to work, and a 1/2 mile to ASU. It's nice not having a roommate (especially of the deadbeat variety), and it will take a while getting accustomed to having significant disposable income again. Life is good.

Has there ever been a more historically important semicolon than the one that popped up yesterday in SF?

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Wednesday, January 7th, 2004
1:19 pm - My Blackened Spud
I came home yesterday to the overwhelming aroma of potatoes, which is better than usual ammonia stench of cat pee that greets me when I open the door. Sure enough, my roommate was baking four potatoes, but when I attempted to eat one, I found that it was burnt to the core! Turning a potato into a lump of coal must require a "burning water" level of ineptitude.

Speaking of ineptitude, my coworkers regard me as some kind of computer guru, mostly because I know a few tricks to get around NT and Novell restrictions. I'm getting really tired of the "How do I adjust the volume on this computer?" type of questions, though.

Just finished reading Rudy Rucker's The Hacker & the Ants v2.0 Not a bad prequel to Software, but now I want the read the original version so I can play Spot the Anachronism. Anyway, A-Life stuff still fascinates me.

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Tuesday, January 6th, 2004
1:51 pm - Future's so dark, gotta wear night vision goggles
Grandma fell right before Christmas, breaking her hip and collarbone. Although she made it though surgery OK, tests revealed possible tuberculosis. At 94 years old, I don't think she has much time left. She hasn't wanted to live since her husband died 10 years ago, and even now she rips out breathing tubes and IVs at every opportunity.

Christmas wasn't much fun, even though I finally got useful presents, thanks to my Amazon.com wishlist. I stayed home New Year's Eve; what is there to celebrate?

The Calexico/Neko Case show on Friday was wonderful, best performance I've seen since New Model
Army (and Justin promised he would be back soon with the full band!)

No New Year's resolutions, of course, but I do have one goal: create something AND share it with the public. Easy, right?

current mood: pessimistic

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Thursday, November 20th, 2003
12:03 am - Tip of the Iceburg?
The memo came today - "Thou shalt not talk to the media, especially about yesterday's FBI raids."

After the latest announcement of 1000 jobs to be "offshored" (or more precisely "nearshored"), I'm surprised my employer has anyone left make a comment, let alone commit currency fraud.

NMA in 2 days.

Now obvious that roommate has been eaten and replaced by a bodysnatcher, only the kind of bodysnatcher who would have bought the "Who Let the Dogs Out?" single. She still owns a Cabaret Voltaire album...I saw it last week.

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2003
12:30 pm - OMFG I'm old!
I had a groupie once(1), when I was a DJ(2). It was fun - she would buy me a free meal at Denny's after I finished, which went along well with the free booze(3) and drugs(4). Ah, for the life of two years ago, when life was carefree and The Simpsons were still funny...

The UK Subs will be here in two days, and New Model Army tickets have been procured for the show later this month. Maybe there is life after 35.

Arrested Development is brilliant, but then I have a roommate who spent the entire day yesterday lying on the living room couch, unable to leave the house because her stomache hurt from the stress that comes from not having filled out a single job application in 7 months of unemployment. She did manage to make a tray of heat-n-serve brownies, but burned them when she fell asleep while they were in the oven. The lingering burnt brownie smell is still a vast improvement over the "stinky litterbox odor" I normally endure.

(1) I knew it wouldn't go anywhere. She liked Modest Mouse too much(7).

(2) Billed as "punk rock," which meant to me, "play Killing Joke and tell the kids asking for NoFX to fuck off." I managed to last 6 months, although being replaced by "free darts night" didn't do much for my ego.

(3) in lieu of cash.

(4) Now, as an upstanding citizen of Post-Preemptive Strike America (we put the "empti" in "preemptive!"), I would never consider breaking the law or allude to unlawful activities on a public forum, which leads to (5).

(5) Please get me out of here! After careful consideration, I've chosen New Zealand(6), which edged out Sweden because a country
where all the bands emulate the Chills must be cooler than a land where everyone churns out black metal or tired garage rock. The UK & Australia have disqualified themselves for obvious reasons. Canada is a little too close geographically for comfort. The more things swing to the right here, though, the less picky I'll get.

(6) I'll even promise not to make any sheep jokes.

(7) As fate would have it, Modest Mouse will likely be the band onstage when the clock strikes midnight tonight, marking my passage into middle age (turning 35). I'll probably be there for lack of a better alternative.

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Wednesday, October 15th, 2003
6:57 pm - Diet Pepsi & Popov...
Made it to Modified last night for the Scenic show. Dave and his sister Amber went along. Since Modified does not serve alcohol, they decided to mix 1-liter bottles of 50% Diet Pepsi, 50% cheap Popov vodka. I took one sip, which just confirmed my worst fears.

Anyway, we got there in time for Via Satellite, who were decent but would have been much better without the Thom Yorke whiny vocals. Overall, it made me want to get stoned.

Scenic were next, and played a short, intense set to about 30 people. Does nobody remember Savage Republic?

And is there a better kept secret in the UK than Breathless? And they've been at it for around 20 years?

Unfortunately, Amber got sick before Breathless finished, and we had to leave. I felt bad for walking out on the band, with so few people in attendance.

Some folks can't handle their vodka & Diet Pepsi.

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Saturday, September 20th, 2003
12:48 am - Just like I learned in school, one space after a comma, two spaces after a period.
Why does LiveJournal remove one of my spaces after I end a sentence? It bugs me, probably more than it should.

It tempts me to type one-sentence paragraphs.

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Friday, September 19th, 2003
11:52 pm - No, I didn't die in a grease fire...
Looking for a non-chemical solution to my non-pharmaceutically-derived lethargy. In other words, a bad case of the blahs. Even going online is too much bother these days. The 19.2k maximum connection speed (curse you line noise!) doesn't help. If I knew where I'd be living next month, cable would already be hooked up.

Even if Michael Moore is a big Wesley Clark fan, my friend Sandra has less-than-fond memories of the general, as she's a refugee from Bosnia. Which reminds me, Cabaret Balkan, filmed in her hometown, is an excellent movie. She says it's an accurate reflection of life during the war. Most striking to me is the lack of regard for human life even among the non-combatants. It plays like an ultra-violent Robert Altman film. And how did the bombing campaign make things better?

I saw a Something Awful sticker on a beat-to-shit Mazda in the Fry's parking lot a couple of hours ago. It warms my heart to see something like that in this neighborhood.

A coworker is selling me his old Sony 300 mhz laptop for $100, so I won't feel too bad when I drop it or lose it somewhere. Besides, I do my best writing in bed. Yes, I've forgotten how to use a pen and paper.

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Friday, August 29th, 2003
7:11 pm - Where have you gone, Howard Hecuba?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you, ooh ooh ooh...

Things to do tonight:

1. Get sloshed while watching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

While I enjoy watching the different Hamlet variations, a special place remains for the first version I saw: the musical version done on
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A nation turns its lonely eyes to you, ooh ooh ooh...

Things to do tonight:

1. Get sloshed while watching <cite>Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead</cite>.

While I enjoy watching the different <cite>Hamlet</cite> variations, a special place remains for the first version I saw: the musical version done on <Gilligan's Island</cite>. I still can't hear "To be or not to be," without hearing Bob Denver's voice.

I thought caffeinated cigarettes might be a lucrative idea, but it's been <a href="http://www.craigslist.org/about/ads/recap/ut.html">done</a>.

Time to start looking for a new apartment; the roommate is getting scarier.

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2003
7:08 pm - Ack!
Today I feel like Bill the Cat.

That is all.

current mood: Frazzled

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12:13 pm - I watch the cars go back and forth
Yes, I'm getting drunk inside my house again.

I'd love to find a local store selling Cherry Kijafa.

I finally watched Seven. Splendid film. Now I know why my English Lit teacher raved about it. Milton was her all-time favorite author, and to her, all Literature could be be explained in terms of man's Fall from Grace. Otherwise, it was just literature, unworthy of capitalization.

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Monday, August 25th, 2003
10:43 am
So I just found that mail from LJ gets rejected by Netzero. Yet another reason to celebrate getting cable service next month. Meanwhile, I need to find a free, web-based mail service that will automatically forward mail to my pop3 account. Does that exist anymore, or has it faded into myth? Webmail, Hotmail in particular, is so annoying to use that I can never keep an account open.

I'll look after I get some sleep. My third day off work, and my sleep schedule is all wonky. Maybe it's the heat - if I sleep all day, then summer isn't so bad.

And Folksongs for the Afterlife is a wonderful 4ADish band, reminiscent of In Ribbons era Pale Saints and at least that good.

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3:49 am
This was oddly satisfyingCollapse )

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2:32 am - I don't need this - I'm already dizzy
The top headline on the annoying "news" page that pops up when I connect to my isp went from:

8pm: "4 Killed in Israeli Airstrike"
10pm: "4 Hamas Members Killed in Israeli Attack"
11pm: "4 Hamas Militants Killed in Israeli Attack"

What bothers me is that someone saw the need to change the word "members" to "militants" after the headline had already been rewritten once. Was it changed to make Hamas seem more sinister (and thereby justify shooting rockets at them in the middle of a city - does anyone remember MOVE?), because we Americans know that only the enemy has militants. Nevermind that "our" militants are called patriots.

Or was it just a stylistic change, with the only intent being to grab the readers' attention? Same difference, I suppose. Enemies with horns and tails make good press.

That reminds me - I love the latest Justin Sullivan album. The only NMA song comparable to this is "Marry the Sea," but it's better than that...

current mood: bitchy

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Thursday, August 21st, 2003
10:57 am
The worst of the local gas crisis is apparently over. Hummer drivers may once again drive with impunity.

The effects are still being felt, though. The Del Taco 24-hour drive-thru window was closed last night. And at 3 am, that's a very sad thing.

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Monday, August 18th, 2003
7:58 pm - Furthermore:
I'm not going offline, no matter how bad the lightning gets.

This defines me better than any LJ quiz I've taken, even if it's not a proper haiku:

LiveJournal Haiku!
Your name:nicoalfsen
Your haiku:heard the doorbell ring
a moment ago peeking out
the window i saw
Created by Grahame

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7:20 pm - Party like it's 1979...
I turned on the TV briefly, for the first time in months, looking for news on the impending storm heading this way. Two observations:

1. Kermit the Frog should not be on Hollywood Squares. Without Jim Henson's voice, Kermit is just another embodiment of the Disney corporation.

2. Apparently, there is a city-wide gas shortage! About 20 gas stations still selling fuel were listed, along with tips to conserve gasoline, and pleas to telecommute if possible.

I walked down to the supermarket to grab some Smirnoff Ice (nice for watching lightning on hot nights), and sure enough, the line to the 7-11 near my house (one the the lucky 20 gas stations) was backed onto the street. I haven't seen 25 car lines for gas since the last official "gas shortage" all those years ago.

One by one, all the elements of my childhood are coming back.

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Tuesday, August 12th, 2003
10:27 pm - The Bluest Eyes in Texas...
I had avoided watching Boys Don't Cry until tonight, because I already knew Brandon Teena's story, and with the subject matter hitting close to home, I didn't need another reason to be depressed and not leave the house.

Well, I just finished watching it and I still have tears in my eyes. It's utterly brilliant, and maybe it opened a few minds along the way.

I hope.

~ ~ ~ ~

I haven't been active here in a long time, and I'm rather surprised the few people whose friends' list I'm on haven't dropped me.

My personal life is a shambles; things were better when I had no life. The roommate, though, has really lost it - she acts as if she's auditioning for a role on Spun. I expect her to be dead or in jail soon. In fact, that might have happened already, since she hasn't been home for a couple of days. And we were best friends once...that's why I haven't moved out yet.

Steinlager beer isn't really that good, but it was on sale, and I refuse to buy from the Bud/Miller/Coors axis of evil...

Finally, I want an EluminX keyboard, but I can't justify spending close to $100 for any keyboard. There are cheap knockoffs out there, but I'd need to hear some positive user feedback before buying one.

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Wednesday, July 30th, 2003
11:23 pm
Rereading Idoru. Still seems to be pleasant and well written, if ultimately forgettable, like certain summer movies.

Made it out the house 3 nights in the past week. When did "bait & tackle store chic" become popular? Damn emo kids.

I haven't touched my turntable in at least two months. Altered Images last had the honor. A forlorn Malvina Reynolds patiently waits her turn.

Though I voted for Jello Biafra, Nader, & Nader in the past three presidential elections, I'm currently leaning toward Howard Dean, even if Dean is just Hubert Humphrey in George McGovern drag.

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