Archive for December, 2008

I left Texas feeling very frustrated yesterday, but I finally made it over to my friend Winston’s high-rise in the Chicago Loop around nightfall. It was the beginning of my two-day layover in the Windy City, and I was already regretting packing too much as the third man to help lug my suitcase up a flight of stairs tried to hit on me.

Winston wasn’t going to be able to make it to the city this weekend, which upset me a bit because it had been 10 years. But I’m still really thankful for the use of his comfortable home.

Today, I was late to a morning appointment. (I hate being late.) Then I spent way too much time walking to Union Station, when I was supposed to be taking a train from the much-closer Millenium Station to see my grandparents in a Chicago suburb. I was frustrated by the mistake, and ended up making things worse when I tried to find a shorter route back to Winston’s place.

Mom received my laptop mere hours after I left, and she overnighted it like I asked her to. Unfortunately, I returned to Winston’s apartment too late to retrieve it from the front desk easily, so I ended up getting it the hard way, phoning several people up the chain until I could find someone willing to help me.

So my NYE date shows up and I’m sitting in the lobby, upset, exhausted, and feeling helpless because I’m about to go to Asia by myself and I can’t even properly navigate the city where I grew up. I’m nearly in tears, wearing dirty clothes and no make-up, and… oh yeah, did I mention this was a blind date?

Luckily, he came equipped with calm reassurance, and we had a nice evening.

As if I didn’t have enough problems, winter is now apparently rhodent season:

Blogger is broken. UPS is broken. My brain is broken. There will be no more chronicling of the adventures of PlatKat because everything is broken.

I’ve been kind of hard on myself lately because I haven’t been writing enough. There’s no excuse. I’ve had insane amounts of free time these past few weeks. In fact, I think my days are starting to consist of more than 24 hours. I ended up taking some pictures of the San Antonio Riverwalk the one night I could be bothered to drag my ass out of the house and do something.

But now the time has come. Tomorrow, I will return to my old stomping grounds (Chicago) and continue my travels to Southeast Asia. As much as I would love to give my friendly stateside readers the play-by-play of my conquests, I am faced with three obstacles:

1) Blogger keeps timing out, so I can’t post anything.
2) UPS is late with the laptop I ordered to replace my POS HP.
3) Fate wants me to travel sans electronics.

Yes, I’m going the way of Kat1998 and Kat2000, before laptops were two pounds, before more than 3 ounces of liquid was considered chemical warfare, and before Kat was Plat. To that end, I will collect my stories, pictures, ticket stubs, playbills, etc. in a spiral-bound notebook using a pen, glue, and copious amounts of white-out. I might even show someone when I’m done.

I haven’t been without technology in a really long time. I knew it would be a given at several points in my trip, but I fear long periods of being unable to hop on Blogger at an internet cafe or type a few pages of grandiloquent self-introspection on my laptop. Perhaps this is the world’s way of telling me that better technology does not mean a more positive user experience.

Fine. Everything, stay broken. I don’t care. I have to go. If you want e-mail updates, you know where to find me. Hope everyone has a great 2009!

Thank you,
The Management

It’s been almost two years to the date since my last On TV post. As I’ve mentioned, watching TV is kinda lame and then talking about TV is really lame, but here I go again.

The Price Is Right
Obvious gripe first: No Bob Barker. I knew that Drew Carey was taking over, but I hadn’t seen the show since that happened. I wanted to see Bob Barker, hobbling around with his skinny microphone, making back-handed lewd comments to his “Beauties.” When you’re a kid, the best thing ever is being at home sick watching The Price Is Right at 10am while all your sucker friends are in school. Bob Barker plays an integral role in keeping that dream alive, even though I am now an unemployed adult.

Anyway, I caught the end of the show. Everyone spun the big wheel and then it was time for a showcase showdown. The hick in first position passed her showcase to the old dude in second position. Despite her acting all unsure and junk, she ended up being less than $500 away from the actual retail price. Damn! That’s rare. I’ve been watching the show for 23 years, and as a Price-Is-Right expert, I was pretty sure she had gone over. Well, good on her. Let’s check on the old man.

When Drew got to him, I was pretty sure he was hosed no matter what he’d bid. That lady was close! But no. He guessed the actual retail price exactly.

I jumped up and yelled, “This shit is rigged!”

From the next room, my mom yelled, “Stop yelling!”

I flip on The Price Is Right for the first time in years and I see this. What is going on?

Also it appears that one of the show’s new gimmicks is letting studio audience members “model” some of the showcase items. What the hell is this about? I want to see Barker’s Beauties. Even the ancient, bag-of-antlers, botox-beaten, lovely Diane.

Desperate Housewives
This was the first time I’d seen this. Why do people like this show? Is this what people were rushing home on Sunday nights to watch back when I lived in Austin? Really? I mean, it’s kinda cute and all, but it’s not especially clever. The characters are rather transparent and while I understand they’re supposed to be to a degree, couldn’t there have been some underlying joke or theme that could make this bearable for the savvy consumer? About halfway through the episode, I got a lunch invite from a friend, so I went and did that.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
I read his book, Kitchen Confidential, earlier this year and enjoyed it, but I wasn’t so enthralled that I went out of my way to watch the show. It was my good fortune to come across the episode where he visits Indonesia (most importantly, Bali). This got me really excited about my trip. Everywhere he went was gorgeous, and he was taken enough with the island to consider staying there, which will probably happen to me too. History says a lot: Every now and then I still contemplate moving to Puerto Rico someday (my Christmas 2002 destination).

Wife Swap
Holy hell, how much are these people being paid? This episode featured a devoutly religious vegetarian family with a mother who pulled the giant stick out of her ass only to beat the crap out of her kids when they were bad. On the other side was a laissez-faire fat-ass whose daughters each resembled Jabba the Hut. The women switch families and hijinx ensue. Watching them each get heated over random insignifigant things made me wonder why women wish to become mothers at all. Apparently, when a woman expels a child from her womb, her entire ability to act rationally goes with it.

I wanted to choose a favorite, but I couldn’t. Both were crazy for different reasons, so I was torn. I guess that’s what I was supposed to feel. Good job, producers. In the end, I liked the one with the stick up her ass more. She seemed like the meanest person ever, but she obviously chose her words carefully so a productive dialog could take place despite the chaos. However, people should use their superior intelligence for good, not evil.

Judge Judy
Fuck yeah, Judge Judy! There will never be a better court show on television, period. No other TV judge can deliver a point and make an idiot squirm nearly as well as she does. I love this show. Even when there’s no TV around, if I happen to notice that it’s 4pm, I automatically think, “Judge Judy’s on.”

Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper
This show hails from an era when some sitcoms were actually funny, and the laugh track laughed with you, not for you. It was a time when characters ran wild in bright yellow Cross Colours jeans and tight fuschia dresses, no one had cell phones, and people still hung out with their neighbors.

The Love Match Valentine’s Day episode put me in a good mood for the rest of the night. It was the one where Vanessa goes on a date with a crazy shrink, Mark gets robbed, and Robin goes on the worst date evar. The bit I have always remembered to this very day:

Robin: Well, do you mind if I touch the stereo? Lately every time I turn on the radio, they’re playing a bad song.

Robin’s Date: It’s a tape.

Oh yeah! Back then, there were tapes!

So that’s TV to me. And once again, I’ll let this area of my life remain dormant for another two years…

Fun Facts: I didn’t watch much TV in or right after college, and I’ve never purchased cable. The last TV I owned broke in 2005 when I left a candle burning too long and everything in my room filled with smoke. I’m not “anti-TV” or anything. I just don’t care enough about it to go out and buy one, and I’d rather spend the cable money on something I can go out and do instead of watch. As a result, the long breaks interrupted by brief periods of heavy viewing make TV seem more interesting to me than it actually is.

“Ann,” Colmes finally said in frustration, “I think you are a hate crime.”

“Thank you,” Coulter replied smugly.

Computer Science Brings Science to Your Computer

He won’t like it so I have to change it back. :-(

Inspired by my Torture post, I was prompted to give an explanation…

When I was in high school, my friends and I gathered at the pavilion by the riverwalk after school. One day, I was sitting on a bench in between two people, smoking a cigarette. A guy from my acting class recognized one of the people I was with and decided that since he knew most of us, it would be okay for him to dive into our laps in a huge belly-flop.

I saw sparks fly behind him as he brushed my cigarette on his way down. I thought nothing of it and re-lit my smoke.

Acting-class-guy remained in our laps for the next five minutes or so. We made small talk about whatever inane crap kids talk about… until I felt this strange stinging sensation near my crotch. I had to think about it a minute. I hadn’t noticed any bees around.

“HOLY SHIT I’M ON FIRE!” I screamed as I pushed acting-class-guy off of me and ran into an open space, cunt-punching myself.

Naturally, the dozen or so folks around me thought this was hilarious. I was embarrassed for a bit, but Andrea and Diane heard me screaming and came over to make sure I was okay. Honestly, had it been anyone else, I would have laughed too.

Once the fire was extinguished, I had a dime-sized hole next to the fly of my gray corduroys and in my underwear. I also had a missing patch of pubic hair that eventually grew back. (Very important information, I know.) I ended up sticking the head of a little plastic cow through the hole in my corduroys and duct-taping it inside my pants to keep it in place.

They were forever known as “The Cow Pants” and I was henceforth nicknamed “Burning Bush”.

So I didn’t leave Seattle screaming like it was on fire, but I guess my departure was kind of rushed. It was either take off and detox at the Mom-and-Pop Rehab Clinic or stick around and drink up my free time and disposable income. There isn’t much else to do at the onset of a Seattle winter, especially when a bunch of your friends aren’t working either.

My contract ended at the beginning of December and so did my lease. If you’re part of my 100-person inner circle, you’ve got the full story with Cliff Notes to the left.

I was supposed to go to Thailand, but that didn’t happen. Protestors blockaded international flights to Bangkok earlier this month, so my travel companion and I scrambled to have our tickets refunded. Even though the blockade has been lifted, I don’t want to visit Thailand for a whole month without my friend. Instead, I got a round-trip ticket to Singapore and I’ll be making various stops in a bunch of places.

With nothing much to do until December 30th, I took a redeye flight to San Antonio to stay with my parents and out of trouble for awhile. On my last day in Seattle, two of my favorite people and I had lunch at the Honey Hole. Then we went to Volunteer Park and I sat in a donut:

And I was happy about sitting in that donut:

I also said good-bye to the market:

And the pigs:

Then I finished up the day at my neighborhood bar and Marcus’s.

I have a few reasons to miss Seattle while I’m gone:

  • Someone awesome helped me move and store all my stuff, and took care of me while I was pre-San-Antonio-homeless.
  • The 20 or so coworkers who attended my going-away clusterfuck… er, lunch, were really nice about it.
  • My going-away party with my friends at Cafe Met ended up coinciding with a charity event for trannies (read: FAB-u-lous!)

But I probably won’t miss it, Bob.