Archive for January, 2005

My friend IMed me and gave me this. Okay…? The root website, killsometime.com, is a flea market of dumb games and videos that keep the wonderful worldwide web the raw, uncensored, and uncut wasteland its creators surely intended it to be. It makes urban life seem less appealing, that’s for sure.

And to think I almost called in sick today! This final day in January is already proving to have its odd and confusing merits.

First, Nicole brought bagels for no reason other than she passed Einstein’s and thought it looked good. And I loves me some Einstein’s vegetable cream cheese! Although their original vegetable cream cheese is better than the whipped stuff they sell now.

Then, I get an e-mail from some guy who saw my angelfire site many months ago and recently came across this one. I never said he could use my headshot on his site (I’m “client #3”. Client? WTF?), but since I answered his e-mail at all, he took that as permission enough. I’m not sure whether to threaten him angrily or add him to my Friends list.

And just now, I found an article about AAA’s computer program that allows senior citizens to assess whether or not they are fit to drive. This is stupid on so many levels, I don’t even know where to begin. Old people are more afraid of computers than rural Mexicans are of the chupacabra. Beyond that, almost every old person in the world thinks they’re fit to drive and won’t be told otherwise, which is why I spent half my travel time making a right on Cedar Bend this morning. Unless the program is enforced as a test that senior citizens must pass before they can drive, I can’t get as excited about it as the people in the article.

This can’t be good for me, but I’ve had two Chinese buffet lunches in a row and I’m thinking about going for three. My first was at Hwa Yuan, which we lovingly refer to as How Ya Doin, and my second was at Sea Dragon. And now, the important stuff:

  • Chicken lo mein: If you like more chicken, Sea Dragon is better. But I like thicker noodles and completely random vegetables, so I vote How Ya Doin.
  • Egg rolls: Sea Dragon is better.
  • Spring rolls: Sea Dragon doesn’t include them with the buffet. Thumbs down!
  • Salad: You’re at a Chinese buffet. Use your head, man.
  • Egg drop soup: Hard to say. Sea Dragon puts cut-up sticks of crab in theirs, giving it a totally different taste. How Ya Doin makes traditional egg drop soup with fewer additions. It’s a toss-up.
  • Sesame chicken: About the same.
  • Beef and broccoli: About the same.
  • Fried crab thingies: How Ya Doin squeezes the four corners of the fried square together so the crustiness can be enjoyed with the cheesy crab. Sea Dragon folds the square in half, creating a triangle, which does not allow proper disbursement of the crustiness and the cheesiness. How Ya Doin is clearly the winner here.
  • Sushi: Sea Dragon has none, How Ya Doin has a few rolls, but they’re not great.
  • Onion rings: Onion rings? That’s not Chinese food. No matter, Sea Dragon’s are a little better, but How Ya Doin has ketchup, so theirs win.
  • Ice cream: After spending a few minutes looking for the soft-serve ice cream machine at How Ya Doin, I didn’t expect there to be one at Sea Dragon. And there wasn’t, although just about every other Chinese buffet restaurant has at least a soft serve machine.
  • Other desserts: Both places have the tradional sweet/sugared bread that I know not to try because I take my desserts seriously and dissapoint easily. How Ya Doin has pudding… Jell-O pudding, I think. They also have some cookies and stuff. Sea Dragon does not.

Speaking of Sea Dragon not having things, my fortune cookie had no fortune! My day feels incomplete. I don’t really know what to do with myself now. I mean, what kind of place gives people empty fortune cookies anyway?

At the moment, I’m stuck in a bit of a moral dilemma. I just ate tons and tons of food with my friends. Tonight, I’m supposed to go to the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) and volunteer in their soup kitchen. I’m actually thinking about not going because over a dozen people signed up to go and there are maybe five jobs to actually do. But if I don’t go, my world will be mentally and physically unbalanced. And regardless of whether I’m even needed there, I’ll feel like kind of an asshole.

I like volunteering, but I don’t like standing around waiting for a turn to do something. And since the world isn’t perfect, there is obviously a better way for me to spend the hours that I’ve committed to volunteering. I’ve only brought this up to other YLS members once, afraid that I’ll sound like a jerk if I press it further. I need to find a different place that needs volunteers because this one obviously has its share.

Last night, Daniel and I had dinner at Zax on Congress and Barton Springs before picking up Jenny from the airport. The food was good, and the ambience was relaxing.

While we dined, Daniel asked me what had become of my interview at 512 Magazine. Needless to say, it did not go well, or you would have heard about it by now. The owner of the magazine, Tre, seemed to have forgotten that we planned to meet and did not really have much to say or ask of me.

Soon, I will be signing up for an interviewing course through National Instruments, and as I read through the booklet today, the following excerpt caught my eye and pretty much sums up my interview with Tre.

Candidates are put off by interviewers who:

  • Dominate the talking time
  • Over- or under-structure the interview
  • Ask irrelevant or stressful questions
  • Don’t read their resumes
  • Are unable to speak specifically about the job
  • Have poor verbal fluency
  • Are poorly prepared
  • Do not follow up promptly



So, that was time that could have been better spent. In addition, he had said multiple times that he wanted to “pick my brain”, which I found sort of creepy. I think it’s all for the best. As I mentioned in the music blog, working for 512 seems like it would be all of the pain of Feedback and none of the music.

Or I can just keep telling myself that. Last night, Gus and I saw the play, Zing! at Sidekicks. I highly recommend this play to anyone who can tolerate them, but dislikes conventional theatre. The actors played to an almost empty house, but their tone was consistently upbeat and boisterous… even when a louder, more crowded poetry slam began in the room next door.

We stuck around for some of the slam. I saw Krissi there, along with a woman who ranted about some complications she had giving birth. She ranted further about complications she had dealing with the legalities of removing the dead fetus from her body. Man, I’m so glad the radical pro-lifers are running things.

After the slam, we went to Little City, where Gus checked on a build, and I read TXT Newsmagazine, the new GLBT Texas Weekly. Should someone ever ask me about the issues that the gay Texans of today face, I’ll be equipped with an arsenal of information.

Finally, we had dinner. I say finally because I was starving and was not delaying dinner for the sake of becoming well-versed in gay issues. (But wouldn’t I be a noble supporter if I had been?)

We ate at Pango–er, I mean Silhoutte, the sushi restaurant formerly known as Pango but might as well still be Pango. Why would an established late-night eatery suddenly change its name and also attempt (but fail) to revamp its look and image? The owner planted a hidden camera in the women’s restroom, of course!

Awhile back, a local news station interviewed Gus and me about this preposterous event. The reporter welcomed our melodramatic comments on this “travesty of mankind” and our brief TV appearance was well-received by many folks at work. Having eaten there a dozen times and on that very day, convinced two of the biggest food-snobs we will ever meet that Pango was a great restaurant, all we could really do at that point was make fun of the situation and eat at Kyoto down the street.

So, Silhoutte is exactly the same place. They even recycled the Pango menu by slapping a big “Silhoutte” sticker over the word “Pango”. The major difference was the entirely new staff (big surprise), none of whom were Asian. Our waitress was a skinny white girl with tatoos of large slot machine cherries on her legs.

Like the service, dinner was great, however I still refrained from using the restroom.

As an aside, when I googled the bathroom incident, this was one of my search results. I think more miscellaneous things should carry the name, grackle. When I worked for KVRX, I proposed several grackley names for our local live cd, but no one could dig it. Whatever. They don’t know anything.

At the new Baby A’s, on the rocks with salt. I drank two sips and ran out of the place because I thought I was going to vomit. After a series of strange-tasting burps, I exchanged it for a purple.

I also went to Jorge’s and Maudie’s this weekend, both of which had better margaritas and fewer people. Crowds don’t bother me much, but if I’m with a bunch of people, I’d rather go somewhere that I know we can just sit down and eat.

On my agenda today: give Zoey a bath. Last time, she thrashed around like we were washing her in acid. Labs are supposed to love water, but my poor Zo can’t even put her feet in without being scared. Gus isn’t exactly thrilled with the prospect of her running around our bathroom covered with shampoo, but it’s time for a cleanin’.

The Andy Goldsworthy exhibit is on display at the Austin Museum of Art (AMOA), and as members, Gus and I thought we would attend the official “ArtHip!” event. Beforehand, we went to the Mediterranean restaurant, Marakesh, which was both convenient and tasty. I plan to return to both the exhibit and the restaurant despite my lack of proximity to them.

I spent most of today downtown as well. First, to appear for an post-operative eye exam that never happened. A flighty member of his staff told me he was running 15 minutes late. When 15 turned to 45 and the doctor still hadn’t seen me, I was not impressed. As I left the office, I flagged down (yes, I had to actually call out to get her attention) a staff person to say I was leaving because I had been waiting much longer than originally prescribed. So what’s the first thing she says? “Wait just a minute before you go…” Heh. I don’t think so.

So then Gus and I continued our journey to a NARAL Pro-Choice Texas fundraiser at the Shoreline Grill. We had never been there before, and thus got an unnecessarily extensive tour of the 100 block between San Jacinto and Brazos. When we finally made it to the restaurant, we were greeted with some dynamic and informative speakers, including Representative Jessica Farrar and Reverend James Rigby.

Most of the attendees were older philanthropists, political folks/lawyers, and college students. As with the Andy Goldsworthy exhibit, Gus and I were in the minority as North-Austinite techies. We didn’t get much of a chance to meet and greet the folks at our table, since my late eye appointment forced us to slip in just before the speakers began, but it would have been nice to know them.

After that, Gus and I went to Little City to meet with Jason Sabo, a lobbyist for the United Ways of Texas Capitol. He has a great blog that documents the happenings in the Texas Legislature. We met with him to “pump up” his existing blog, so he can archive his posts and Gus can view it on his RSS feed. I’m hoping that we can help him out because he’s a nice guy and a lot of people are counting on him for information that is relevant to non-profit organizations that help regular folks like you and me.

I’ve had too much coffee today and am overly excited about happy hour at the new Baby A’s in the old Bahama Breeze location. Work is boring. There must be a job I can do where I just roam around town consulting people and attending activist social functions. And happy hours.

lostliver: i just bought vibrating nipple clamps.

PlatKat: ew!

lostliver: what!?!

PlatKat: ewwww!

lostliver: what?!?

PlatKat: EWWWWWWWWWW!

lostliver: ?

PlatKat: what made you want nipple clamps?

lostliver: and what is the point of this conversation?

lostliver: you think it’s gross. why go further?

PlatKat: well now I’m curious!

lostliver: so i can clip them to the nipples of the girl who is tied spread eagle in the entranceway between my kitchen and living room and turn them and the dildos shoved inside on and come over here and type to you.

PlatKat: you’re really just going to wear them yourself

lostliver: with an avocado shoved up me bum

Before Julianna and Malcolm’s party, I walked Zoey along our usual path in the park. Part way through our walk, a girl about my age approached us and our conversation went as follows:

“You have a beautiful dog.”

“Thanks.”

“Hold old is she?”

“About 4 years. I adopted her from a shelter a few months ago.”

While we continued our dog-related banter, Zoey had been having some poop issues. Now that I had made a new friend, Zoey wanted to stop mid-poop and sniff her.

“I’m sorry, this doesn’t usually happen. How embarrassing.”

She gestured to the poop bag I was holding and said, “Is that hers?”

“Yeah.”

“It’s really great that you do that,” she said as I picked up another bag of Zoey’s crapola.

“Well, I think it’s gross when other people leave their dogs’ business everywhere, so I don’t want to do it.”

She introduced herself, and I told her my name. Then, she said, “I have a question for you. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are saved and those who are about to be saved. Which one are you?”

My face fell. I was late for a party, walking my dog, and stopping to make idle chat with someone from the neighborhood, and we had gone from a conversation about dog shit to a religious sales pitch in less than 2.5 seconds.

I looked at her as if to say, What are you trying to do to me?

“I am… not wanting to have this conversation with you right now. Do you live in the neighborhood? I’m sure I’ll see you around.”

I felt bad for snubbing her, but I just wasn’t in the mood for it. I generally enjoy conversations about religion, but not when they’re under the guise of making a friend in the neighborhood. I would prefer to make a friend who can talk about other things, and will talk about that only when we’re both wanting to discuss it.

I think the exchange was pretty weird, on par with that astrology dude from my last post. I mean, do I have a sign on my head that says Blank slate in need of a belief system?

I’m a big fan of minding my own damn business, and I’d prefer that others do the same. Random conversations with strangers are okay, but when they have intrusive, ulterior motives from the beginning, I’d rather be ignored.

Strange stuff like this seems to come in threes, so I wonder what the third (and hopefully final) spiritual coercion attempt will be.

It’s a cool word. Look it up.

Robert’s band played at the Carousel Lounge last night, so Laura and I checked it out post-happy hour at Trudy’s and pre-night cap at the Canary Roost. The Carousel Lounge was talked up to me a little too much, so naturally I was disappointed with the poor service, crusty decor, and lack of hard liquor. (To their credit, they allow set-ups. I wish someone had told me that while they were saying how great it was.)

At the Roost while Laura was playing pool, some guy walked up to me and asked, “What’s your sign?”

What. The. Fuck.

I thought the worldwide acknowledgement of that being the Worst Pickup Line EVAR was enough to keep people from ever using it again. Once again, I am wrong.

Since I’m in a great relationship, I feel completely at ease smacking around the hoards of dimwitted choads who try to pick me up. That’s not to say I’m a bitch to everyone who talks to me; I later had a nice conversation with a couple of guys hanging out by the bar. Part of what made it nice is that these guys actually had a clue. My tolerance for stupidity is very low, and my tolerance for persistent stupidity is even lower.

After pointing out the ridiculousness of his question, I told the guy I didn’t have a sign, hoping he would go away. Instead, he continued to try to drag it out of me. Then he started guessing it, and Laura stopped her pool game long enough to tell him I was born in late November. So then he proceeds to try to tell me all about myself and what it means to be a fire sign. Unfortunately, the Asinine Conversation Police had the night off, so I had to fend for myself.

Apparently this guy was an amateur astrologist because he cited several websites that I “have” to visit so I can share the wealth of knowledge that he has obviously acquired and frequently incorporates into his daily life.

When his girlfriend approached us and put her arm around him, I point-blank told him to get the hell away from me. She seemed nice enough, and I wasn’t afraid of her throwing jealousy punches, but I really hate seeing guys ignore their girlfriends to talk to other girls.