Damn Good Food

December 11th, 2009 | Tags: ,

There are a billion things that I miss about living in Los Angeles, but one of the biggest is the food choices. There are some amazing little hole in the wall diners, cafes and the like that serve you any number of dishes. There was a little Filipino place on Western that I stopped in at least once a week for some take home at which point I’d hole myself up in my room and stuff until food coma ensued. It was completely amazing.

Part of the draw of a large city like Los Angeles is the international pot luck of people you meet. My friends were from all over the place! Goodie for me, because that meant that I got to sample some of the best foods ever.

Among my friends were a number of folks who had El Salvadorian backgrounds. At the time (and this was years ago) I was the type who believed that Central and South American countries who’s native language is Spanish all had similar types of food. Oh, please don’t label me, but how the hell was I supposed to know?!

One day Veronica and Alex and a number of our other friends went to this little El Salvadorian restaurant. They ordered a TON of pupusas and we proceeded to stuff our faces. I had never had one before, but they were insistent that I would “love” it. I was skeptical, especially when they jumped fingers first into everything in front of us.

“Uh… fork??” The woman who brought us our food gave me the blank stare. Y’know the stare… the “what the hell is this white woman asking for a fork for” look.

Along with the pupusa came this cabbage mixture (called curtido). It reminded me of kimchee. I hadn’t had much Korean food either, but kimchee is something I will always love and adore. It has a funny smell to it, and most people who don’t know what it is are afraid to try it. It’s not something that most people would like, sure, but oh ho ho ho, is it one of my all-time favorite things. So on that first pupusa adventure when the curtido was brought to the table, I smelled familiarity.

My friends ripped pieces off and dug right into the curtido. I, however, forked a TON of it on top of my pupusa, cut and forked it into my mouth.

And it was amazing!

After leaving Los Angeles I hadn’t had a pupusa in years. There’s no such thing as an El Salvadorian restaurant anywhere nearby, the closest is likely to be in the Bay Area (San Francisco) some 2+ hours away. I had random fleeting moments of remembrance, but I knew I’d likely never taste a pupusa again.

Until I started working with Norma. Now, she is Mexican, but she found someone who was El Salvadorian, and requested that she make some pupusas. I ordered a tiny amount and was content for a day or two. Yesterday, Norma asked me if I wanted some more for delivery today.

Um… lemme think… Fuck yeah!

So I ordered 20. And will eat pupusas for every meal this weekend. I will be gluttonous and fat, but oh, how happy I will be. And thankful to the lady that made me a little bit of Los Angeles for me to take home with me.


October 1st, 2009 | Tags: , ,

Over the last few weeks (and maybe even months) I’ve been getting rather nostalgic about my blog and well, the internet in general. Being one of those people who’ve been around since dinosaurs were running computers (in large rooms with no A/C and some crazy little man cracking a whip harping about technology) I can honestly say I remember with great fondness what the internet used to be like. Before Wikipedia. Hell, even before Google (I know, when the hell was that?!). When most of us blogged on sites like LiveJournal (when you had to beg and plead with someone for an invite code), OpenDiary (which is where I made my blogging start) and when Blogger was for the elite few.

Do you remember those days? Back when we would talk about the mundane bits we did in our lives and each day we’d spend hours upon hours reading up on each other. I’ve met my Canadian twin Joanne because when I google’d or yahoo’d “vox machina” she showed up, though really I was looking for Zannah. I started reading and BOOM that was the end of that, and her interesting life became my online obsession.

There was a shift, though, in the internet. Right at the height of the Dotcom boom something changed in the way people were blogging. It became more about sharing strange and weird things found online than it was about sharing your own life. People let their personal blogs disappear and eventually fade away into non-existence because real life came along and punched them in the face. It was the same for me too. I fell victim to the same thing.

Then everyone found their niche blogs. The one thing that they blogged about all the time, every entry. And while it’s interesting and even kind of awesome to get so much information about one (or two) subjects, it became like beating a dead horse (until dead again).

And then the death of the internet came. Okay, not really, but it seemed that way to me. Mostly because before the term “dooced” (my firing happened in January 2001) became part of the blogging world, I was fired from a job because of the things I wrote about on my blog. I didn’t mention who I worked for, or co-workers names, but I was fired for the contents of my Opendiary blog anyway. But I kept blogging like a good little would-be writer does. That is, until people in your real life, start misunderstanding bits of your online writing life. I can’t possibly be the first person to slightly (or not-so-slightly) exaggerate a story or two. And I can’t possibly be the first person to maybe just a teeny bit elaborate on the personal opinions on the decisions of other’s lives. This became the focal point of real-life friends and the online disappearance came shortly after.

Fast forward quite a few years and you find yourself in the Twitter, Plurk, Facebook status, Myspace update world of online micro-blogging. In 140 characters tell me what you’re doing because most people have gotten to the point where that’s about all they can manage to read about any given person. It doesn’t actually matter that in 140 characters you can’t ever get to the meat of something. It can’t tell the whole story. It’s like one-sided chatting with the occasional response. It’s great, for the most part, and I partake in many of the micro-blogging sites (with great fervor I might add).

Where am I going with this? Okay, so on Monday (the day that made me cry on the phone with the boyfriend like someone punched my cat in the face with the big choking sobs and body shakes and inevitable exhaustion) WendyKnitsposted a link on Plurk that led me to CrazyAuntPurl (aka Laurie). In the last 3.5 days I have read nearly everything from January 2005 until April something 2006. I still have a few more years of catch up reading to do, but holy crap! This woman not only can write, but she talks about all sorts of things going on in her life.

It’s not to trivialize anyone’s life, but it’s funny to find myself wrapped up so completely in someone else’s personal online blogging life that I’m basically like a crack addict in need of a fix. Or someone who’s had a really shitty week and needed a really good distraction. Either way, it worked.

Zannah and her sister Narilka have mentioned blogging again. I’ve logged into my admin page, clicked the “new entry” link and stared at the blank page every day for the last 3 days. I’ve talked in the past about wanting to write again. Getting back to writing some more, on either domain.

But finding Laurie and reading about her life reminded me of why I enjoyed reading people’s blogs in the first place. A glimpse into another’s life through their story telling. It doesn’t matter if it’s slightly distorted, horrifically exaggerated, or completely fabricated. It was interesting. And I loved it.

So who’s with me? No more TL;DR!


August 20th, 2008 | Tags: , ,

I spent a pretty decent amount of time after getting home looking over some old OpenDiary entries. I read through a lot of them, as they were from 2001. It was a difficult year for me, filled with love, pain, loss of my job, disappointment, desperation and a plethora of other emotions I can’t even begin to convey in words.

While I read it seemed like I was reading a story someone wrote and told me it was my life. I guess that’s the point of journaling, for that opportunity later in life, when you’re not even remotely the same person anymore, when you can look back and read it all and laugh at yourself (and others of course!).

As I read through some of the relationship-y bits, it made me that much more appreciative for the way things have been going with the boy. I’m so very happy because of him, and with him. We all have bad days… sure. But he makes so many of them better by simply being… him.

It’s a real desire

July 22nd, 2008 | Tags: , ,

I’ve been in a weird mood the last few weeks. I’ve got this want to actually do something, with the site(s) and with writing, only I find myself bored and not bothering. I think about the sort of stories I want to write, but when I sit down at the computer, or even with a pen and a notebook, I can’t seem to be bothered. I’m not sure what it would take, but I know that it’s eating away at me.

I keep perusing my bookshelf for books. Most of them have been read. Some have been read over and over again. Then there are those few that I’m glad I have but often just glance at the cover and remember what was within the pages. I’ll always reach for something else.

In 2003, a friend I had met via the internet invited me to join him at the San Diego Comic-Con. This was a huge event for me. I wanted to go, the geek in me unable to convince myself that this was the worst possibly social faux pau ever. Back in those days, I was a blogging fool! I didn’t always have something brilliant to say, but I wrote often. I also read more. Including Wil Wheaton‘s blog. It was through his blog that I found out about Dancing Barefoot. I ordered one, only to recieve the email letting me know that there was such an influx of orders, it might be a little while before my copy would arrive. Damn.

I knew that Wil would be at Comic-Con. I also knew that my funds were limited, seeing as I had recently moved back in with my parents and didn’t have a job. I scrounged up what little I did have for funding purposes and was glad for the chance to get to go anyway. Brad, the friend who invited me, treated me to half his hotel room as well as buying my ticket into the event.

For those who’ve never had the joy of going to Comic-con, you can only imagine that it’s full of things you know you don’t need, but for whatever reason, you simply cannot live without. I picked up a few things (including the Darkness comic to match the original pages I had at home), some various other Darkness comics. Various posters and lots of free stuff from all the tables. The senses are absolutely overloaded with bright colors and all things shiny.

There was a particular day. I made it a point to have enough money to visit Wil’s table. I wanted to have my copy of the book with me, but I would simply have to buy another. So I did. Having both the illustrator and author sign somewhere on the inside. I looked at the book and refused to read it. I couldn’t justify leaving smudge marks anywhere. I kept the book inside a comic sleeve with a board. Let me stress how much I wanted to read the book. I waited. I waited until I was home again, and the first copy arrived. The envelope became the safe haven for the signed copy and there it still sits, on the bookshelf by the bed in my apartment at this very second. The unsigned is on the floor by the bed, with a booklight pressed between the pages as my bookmark.

This was the perfect book to pick up and reread. The first story left me in tears. Not because I had a similar experience, but because I could imagine what it must have been like to feel that way. Because Wil is an amazing writer who brings you into the experience with him. I didn’t cry last night, after reading one of the shorts. But I teared up. And I realized that it was this kind of book I wanted. Not necessarily a book of stories, but a book that someone would lie in bed reading. A book that someone would put off half and hour or fourty-five minutes of sleep in order to get “just a few more pages” read. The kind of story that makes you laugh out loud, or wipe a tear away. I want to write something like that.

I had the book with me when I drove a car full of boxes to the boy’s place (for him and his roommates). The boy and his roommate laughed at me when they saw what I was reading, and who was the author. I shrugged them off. I knew that contained in those pages were something meaningful to not just me, but to the child actor they were quick to make jokes about. Let them laugh, thinking Wil wrote a book on how to literally dance barefoot. It’s okay.

I know what’s really on those pages…

Things I’ve missed

July 8th, 2008 | Tags: ,

In my multiple year hiatus from the blogosphere, and all things internet (not including television, movies, music and the general search for knowledge) I’ve been so far removed from all those things that I used to hold so dear. I forged some great friendships, and I guess when it comes down to it, erasing internet friends is sometimes easier than erasing real-life friends from your life. It’s unfair, but slightly true.

I’ve gotten back in touch with a handful of those people I used to read regularly and interact with regularly and I feel, internet-content. In a way I haven’t felt in a very long time. I don’t get the same joy that I used to when I spent hours and days designing a new layout for my website. I remember first blogging, and the thrill of a CMS, and holy crap, they added the WYSIWYG! There were all of these aspects of designing and blogging that I used to adore.

And then I grew up. And then I got jaded. And then there just seemed to be a thousand other things that were more worthy of my time and energies. And then the spam revolution hit and that was it. I was done. I threw in the towel, because my site had been listed (and still is in some cases) as a porn site, because of all the spam that sat there, plainly visible, for all the search engines to find. It was a lose/lose battle. I couldn’t win, no matter how hard I tried.

As with most things in my life, the phase passed, and then came back. I’ve missed the far away friendships I so easily made then, but feel so awkward about now. I miss the plethora of knowledge I once had about the internet and coding and creating web pages. So here I sit, in noobdom, all over again. And I’m okay with that.

Nostalgic Gaming

June 12th, 2008 | Tags: , ,

So back when I first started playing Pokemon Diamond (at the poking and prodding of a certain person *winks at Michiko*), I went through this crazed phase. Surprised?!? If you know me well enough, you know I do this with damn near everything, and eventually the phase (or as I call them obsessions) pass. This one, however, didn’t pass until I had at least ONE copy of each type of pokemon that was available. This included having to find a GBC (Gameboy Color for those of you non-gamers out there).

I purchased a used copy of Pokemon Crystal (Because it was prettier??? *shrug*) through ebay. It was pretty beat up on the label, but it played, so I didn’t complain. I also picked myself up a nice purple-y colored GBC which seemed to work pretty well too. It came with this fancy case, some connection chords and some other junk I didn’t pay attention to because I realized I’d actually have to *gasp*choke*sputter* purchase batteries!!

I hadn’t had a hankering to actually bother to play until the other day. I was sitting at home after the infamous Jury Duty (man, that is the most BORING event ever!) and I wanted to play something. I didn’t want to replay Pokemon Pearl (which is the same as Diamond with only slight differences in the uber you get at the end and some of the pokes you get during game play). I already beat Diamond and didn’t want to keep going. I was kind of blah about it. I had Emerald, and even Leaf Green, but they’re close enough in generation to Diamond/Pearl that they didn’t give me anything… different.

So I busted out the Crystal.

Only, I saved the game, nearly immediately, and found much to my dismay, that while the game played, it’s internal battery had bit the big one and wasn’t saving games. Now onto the fun of figuring out how to effing fix that shiz! Cause now I’m determined. Even if I never finish it, I’m determined to make the bastard work!

I found this link on my multi-hour long search on how to replace said battery. I then ran out immediately to Radio Shack. Only the guy seemed like he was a bit out of his element and referred me to somewhere else that might be able to solder the new battery back in. And this place was CLOSED! Epic phail!!

I went home, a little pissed at my inability to be able to play Crystal, and proceeded to play Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time. Now, I didn’t want to have to PAY anyone to fix this cause it would normally only take a few minutes, so I brought the damn thing into work and asked the maintenance boys if it were doable. They did it. Only I forgot my SP to test the thing out.

Tonight when I get home, I might lose myself in some good ol’ fashioned Pokemon. This damn thing better save, or I’m throwing it at the wall.


EDIT: The guys at work totally came through for me! TOTALLY! Pokemon Crystal works, and saves… and now I have my obsessive game for the next few weeks! WOOTAGE!!

EDIT 2: And my Gameboy Color actually DOES work, now that Crystal has a working and functional battery. YAY for everything being perfect and working right!

To be invisible

March 25th, 2008 | Tags: , ,

A lot of the time, I do things just for the sake of… being noticed. The clothes I wear. The style of my hair. The tattoos.

It’s not always about being seen though. Sometimes it’s more than that. Sometimes it’s asking for someone to simply acknowledge my existence. All though high school I was invisible. I remember years later, working at Starbucks, a girl came in. I recognized her immediately. I even remembered her name. She told her friend (who worked at Starbucks as well) that she didn’t remember my name, but remembered that I used to do homework for people and was smart. Apparently, I wasn’t worth knowing, except for the fact that I did people’s homework. Talk about feeling insignificant and invisible.

Every now and again, I almost wish… almost… that I could go back to being somewhat invisible. I go to school, and besides the handful of people I know (including the boy)  I avoid almost everyone else. I don’t want to be noticed. I don’t want to be talked to. I don’t want to be seen. I just want to be invisible.

When I achieve this goal, I don’t always have the satisfaction I should. I mean, I want to not be seen… but at times I want to be heard. It’s hard to be just a voice without a face. I guess I have to learn to take the good with the bad. Or find somewhere in the middle between the two.

It’s only those times, when I want to be seen, when I don’t want to be invisible, that I regret working so hard to not exist. It goes back to the whole “alone” issue. Knowing that most of my life is going to be spent alone. That there are few people who are going to understand me. Fewer still that will accept me as I am. And fewer yet that will bother to take the time to get to know me if they get past the first two obstacles.

I guess for now I’ll accept this role. I’ll cherish the people who seem to give a shit. And I’ll hold onto those who care.