Tuesday, April 26th

Coughing? What coughing?

Listening to: The Tragically Hip - Road Apples
Current mood: denial

Ah, another warm pleasant day beset with coughing. But for today at least I'm running off the theory that if I pretend I'm not sick instead of accepting it like I have been, the virus or whatever it is will be tricked into leaving. Most clever, no? Excuse as I take another drink of delicious, unhealthy coffee. Coffee I would not drink were I sick. Mmm, coffeelicious. Anyway, a couple minor site changes I've set up that you may notice. First of all the obvious "Currently Reading:" section that's been added to the sidebar. I thought about it and decided that at least a few of my readership who I know might have a minor interest in what I'm reading at any given time. Other lit people. Not that I think anyone will be avidly checking up on me to see what the current book is, but you might find yourself at least thinking, ah I've read that, or hmm, I wonder if that's good. It's something to look at on the sidebar at any rate. The other change is a little less obvious, since it's nothing that you people can look at anyway, but I've fixed my hit counter. I think. Maybe. At least it's not exploded all over the sidebar anymore.

Other than those it's been an uninteresting day. I worked for awhile, drank coffee and tea indiscriminately, did some writing, ate dinner, that's about it. I did get some interesting and highly unexpected news about a friend of mine, that I'm unfortunatly not able to divulge until it becomes more official. Hmm, and Lynnea just came in and told me that her mom told her that whooping cough of all things is going around and I might have that. But it sounds like whooping cough lasts for months and causes near death, so I better not have that. Luckily I don't seem to have the right symptoms for that little gem of disease. But now that she's told me that, my hypochondria can have a field day and convince me that I definitely have whooping cough and won't be recovered until July. Great.

Matt on 04.26.05 @ 08:39 PM PST [link

Sunday, April 24th


Listening to: Kraftwerk - Computer World
Current mood: coughing

Aghck. Which is to say, somehow I'm still sick. Which is pretty much unprecedented for me not to mention heavily frustrating and a minor cause of depression this morning. And actually I was way worse off today than I was yesterday, which really doesn't please me overmuch. I mean, it's not as though I really do much more than sit in front of my computer and drink coffee most days, but being sick I really don't have the energy and zeal for sitting in front of my computer that I usually do. Plus I can't drink coffee.

But sickness aside, I didn't have too bad a night tonight. One of Lynnea's friends from school, this guy Dan, came over and we had some curry. Dan's a cool guy, I enjoyed chatting with him. Never bad to talk to someone who enjoys anime and video games and lit. Still, that's about the only thing I can say I've done this weekend, other than read a bunch of comic books. I decided I should actually get around to reading Grant Morrison's Animal Man, and wow, that was really good. Who knew? I mean, besides everybody else who reads comics and actually read it years ago. But whatever it was good stuff. I've also been reading some old 1977 2000AD comics, and in case you didn't know let me tell you, 2000AD is wholesome. Like, wholesome in the ridiculous, violent comic book way that has dinosaurs and lorry drivers with shotguns and other such things. Amazing all the stuff I missed out on when I was younger. Ah well. Anyway, as you've probably guessed by reading this so far, a weekend of sitting around being sick doesn't make for the most fascinating blogging, so I think I'll cut this short.

Matt on 04.24.05 @ 09:11 PM PST [link

Thursday, April 21st

Devil virus

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: slightly recovered

So it turned out, much to my delight, that it wasn't allergies after all, but some kind of horrible deadly virus. I came down with a pretty strong fever about twenty minutes after last night's post and didn't even really begin to recover until mid-afternoon today. Which isn't to say that I don't still have a headache, cough, etc, just that I can currently do more than lie on the floor under a blanket shivering and moaning. If I know me, I should be mostly better tomorrow though. At least I better be. I'm the kind of person who's sick rarely enough that when I am I just go around constantly vying for sympathy. I'm sure it's quite insufferable. But in the meantime I'm popping vitamins and ibuprofin like they're candy and washing them down with mega green juice. It's a good thing I generally have a pretty tough immune system, I'm remembering now that I really hate being sick.

Matt on 04.21.05 @ 10:04 PM PST [link

Wednesday, April 20th

Devil pollen

Listening to: StaticBeats
Current mood: unpleasant

So to my delight I woke up this morning feeling incredibly bleary and with a sore throat. I put together the theory over the course of the day that I had caught some form of malicious microbe from Lynnea, who has been complaing about how everyone sitting around her in her math class was coughing uncontrollably. But then about 15 minutes it hit me that it's spring, and last spring didn't I have a horrible sore throat for a few days due to allergies? And might that also account for my eyes intermittently suddenly feeling like they're full of ants? So, I checked weather.com and sure enough, tree pollen at the "Very High" level. Which on one hand is good, because it's not horrible sickness, but on the other hand is both A. annoying, since had I realized earlier I might have taken some allergy pills hours ago, and B. bad, because while I have an excellent immune system when it comes to fighting off disease, all that can be done for allergies is to wait for the pollen to go away. So anyway, I thought I would do a bit of blogging while I wait for the pills to kick in then go drive somewhere for dinner in my pill-befuddled state.

In other news, it turns out I completely forgot to write anything yesterday. Just didn't even occur to me appearently. Which isn't the best thing, but will hopefully be an isolated incident. But anyway, I think my throat has reached the point where it won't punish me for eating something so I'd better go grab dinner before it gets any later. I forget, are allegy pills supposed to make your bones itch, or is it just that I've got the cheap ones?

Matt on 04.20.05 @ 06:52 PM PST [link

Sunday, April 17th


Listening to: Sigur Ros - ()
Current mood: cold but good

And now for the exciting conclusion of our trip to Portland. We, uh, drove back. That's about it. But the spare tire appearently made it back just fine, which was good. And the drive wasn't too bad, we kept going directly from heavy rain to warm sun back and forth the whole drive, which prevented monotony. The only other stop we made was to Trader Joe's and Borders in Eugene. Not having a Trader Joe's nearby kinda sucks. I mean, we don't really need one since we've got enough other alternative grocery stores around to make up for it, but there's certain things from TJ's that I miss. Like the Pizza Formaggio di Capra I bought for dinner tonight.

So I'm just back home sitting here waiting for the house to warm up a little more and listening to this Sigur Ros record I got at Borders, which is jiving really well with the rain outside, to my mind at least. Not alot else happening. I just finished the short stories in the Borges collection I was reading, and though I'm sure the essays and parables are a good read I think I'm going to take a break and come back to those another time. I'm in the mood for something more narrative at the moment. I wonder if I should do one those "what I'm currently reading" type of things on the sidebar. Would anybody care? I mean, my reading materials interest me but probably wouldn't interest anybody else. Still the site's a bit dull, it might liven it up. Hmm, I'll have to think about it.

Matt on 04.17.05 @ 07:23 PM PST [link

Travelblogue - Portland Day 2

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: tired/full

Man o' boy, but I do be tired. So today was the big day of the conference and all of that. It started off with more wacky fun as we discovered that another one of my tires has a flat. But since we were at the conference all day and tire shops close early on satuday and are closed on sunday, we're stuck driving back down on the spare tomorrow (which is a full-size spare in good condition so we'll probably make it maybe). Meanwhile the conference wasn't too amazing. The highlight for me was watching this poor high school student read his paper, the thesis of which was basically "literature existed in the medieval era." Really I mean, all he did was list off some authors off books he'd never read and give a minor recount of the Canterbury Tales. Which might be a fine paper for high school but in a room full of upper division college students at a pretty university... well let's just that hilarity/shared embarassment ensues. People kept asking him questions and he was like, "Um, well. All literature is social commentary so, um, ya know."

After the conference we came back to the hotel then to the Max (Portland light rail) over to downtown and went to the always awe-inspiring Powells. Didn't find much, but I did get a copy of Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edogawa Rampo and another Go book, which is enough for me to to count it as a success. But the real highlight of the day came afterwards we went to dinner at The Rhinelander. If you have never been to the Rheinlander and you're ever Portland you need to go there. It's just an amazing experience. Really the best German food I've ever had, plus your meal comes with fondue, and the big plus, singing men in lederhosen with accordians. And I think we got an extra dose cause this old German couple were at the booth next to ours and they were just like singing German songs for a long time. And they were singing about beers and everyone was waving their glasses or steins back and forth. It rokked. But anyway, it's 12:40 or something and I got up at 7 so sleep is less of a good idea than a necessity at this point.

Matt on 04.17.05 @ 12:37 AM PST [link

Saturday, April 16th

Travelblogue - Portland

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: sleepy

So we made it up to Portland. Barely. Ok, perhaps that's being a little overly dramatic but we did blow a tire about 10 miles from home. So we actually didn't really get on the road until almost 3, meaning that we didn't get up here until 8. After we got checked into the hotel (nothing too fancy, just a Holiday Inn, but at least it has WiFi unlike the snazzy Mariott in Seattle) we called Lynnea's friend Anesha and met up with her so we could find some dinner. We decided to go to the Bridgeport brewpub since we were in the mood for pub food and it sounded fun. Unfortunatly the Bridgeport brewpub doesn't currently exist. It's currently a gutted building with no floor, or so it looked though the windows anyway. Which is something the online Portland city guide might have mentioned. But we eventually found some bar and grill type place a couple blocks over that wasn't too bad though I don't think we would have gone there when not starving.

And in another twist of plans, Lynnea just now realized that the conference she's going to is at the University of Portland, not Portland State like she was thinking. Which is on a completely different side of town. So I won't get to wander urbanly around downtown Portland like I was looking forward to. But that's ok, it's really not too big a deal. I really didn't know what I was going to do anyway, other than wander. And maybe find a record store or two. But anyway the conference starts a butt'o'clock am or some such time, so I'd best get to bed.

Matt on 04.16.05 @ 12:31 AM PST [link

Friday, April 15th

MiSTie water-colored memories...

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: warm and scotchy

Cripe, once again I almost completely forgot about writing. As far as I know I haven't missed a single day since I started this policy thing of mine, but it's been getting pretty sketchy lately. So I'm sitting here watching MST3k 407 - The Killer Shrews. And I'm flashing back to, man, it must have been 12 years ago now since I saw this episode. It was actually the first MST3k I ever saw. I remember sitting there in a hotel room in Arlington, VA with my dad. We were on vacation but we had nothing to do that day (if I remember right it was the night before that we got lost in DC and didn't get back until 3 or 4 in the morning which kinda blew the day) and so we were channel surfing and landed on Comedy Central in the middle of an MST3k marathon. We were laughing so hard we were on the floor. Ah, I miss that. My dad and I used to do that kind of thing all the time. Not that I don't still hang out with my parents fairly often but my dad and I don't do the watching fine comedy programs and laughing until we're in pain thing anymore. Anyway, the Killer Shrews is pretty good (not quite up to Jack Frost/Hobgoblins/Timechasers/Santa Claus Conquers the Martians standards) but it's even better for the memories. The weird part is I remember most of this movie, and quite a few of the jokes.

So in other news, we're off again tomorrow. Lynnea got accepted to read a paper she wrote at an undergrad literary conference (NUCL it's called) up in Portland. For some odd reason I'm looking forward to the trip. Specifically I'm looking forward to wandering around downtown Portland on saturday afternoon (I'm going to the conference the morning to watch Lynnea read her paper, but I'll be on my own for a few hours during the afternoon session). The concept of wandering around downtown, killing time going to record shops and the like is for some reason just really appealing to me. Plus we're going to the Rheinlander on Saturday night, which is a fancy German resturant with, if memory serves, singing German dudes wandering from table to table. And there's no stuffed like stuffed with German food. Mmm... schnitzel. So anyway, I'll try to post over the weekend (appearently most of downtown Portland has WiFi so I should be able to get on at some point) or at least travelblogue if nothing else. But for now I think the scotch is fulfilling its purpose (other than pure deliciousness, that is), and I think I'm about ready for some sleep.
Matt on 04.15.05 @ 01:30 AM PST [link

Monday, April 11th

Cheese and more cheese

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: amused

My hands smell like whey. Which annoys me, but such is the price one pays when making cheese. But really saying that I was making cheese is far too grandiose. Actually I was just making some panir which is a process that involves all the intricacy of dropping lemon juice into boiling milk and then straining it. It's one of those things where it's easier to make panir than it would be to bother going to the store and buying it. Cheaper too I'm sure.

But I didn't come here to talk about cheesemaking, I came here to talk about the dr- no actually to get my writing for the day out of the way. You see, the thing is, last night it somehow escaped my attention that I hadn't written anything until about 2:30am at which time I was almost complete unconscious. I typed out something called "On the Importance of Writing" with my eyes closed, which was about how it's stupid to forget to write until 2:30 in morning, and which I have not yet gone back to peruse. But once again I have pretty much nothing to talk about. Except maybe this episode of MST3k I'm watching: 404 - "Teenagers From Outer Space". It's so incredibly cheesy that it almost seems like it couldn't be real. Part of the plot involves aliens using the earth to farm giant lobsters. And ray guns that turn people into skeletons. It's great. I'd actually be enjoying it even without Joel and the bots. But yeah, that's all I got for tonight.

Matt on 04.11.05 @ 11:01 PM PST [link

Saturday, April 9th

Sadako's Tracker

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: contemplative

So, I just finished watching My Dinner With Andre for the second time. Lynnea hadn't seen it before and it's the kind of cold, somewhat dreary, night which seemed right for a movie of its pacing. And once again I'm struck at what an incredible piece of film it is. I possibly even enjoyed it more the second time. The thing is, even though it's just two hours of two characters eating dinner and talking, I hardly notice the time going by at all. It's just too fascinating. Of course it probably helps that they spend a decent amount of the second half of the movie talking about how most people simply live habitually and are never fully awake to the realities of life, which if you're new to the site, is something that's been bothering me for a long time. It used to be practically all I blogged about.

Anyway, I was glad that Lynnea liked it too, though I think she was close to falling asleep toward the end, if she actually didn't. It was a little late at night for her though. But if you've never seen it, the movie has my highest recommendation, though I can see alot of people not having the attention span for it.

On a slightly lighter note I noticed that The Ring 2 is playing right now. I never saw The Ring, though I did see Ringu (I subscribe to the "If it's a remake just watch the original" school of thought) which was such a good movie that I can only assume it's better than the remake. Maybe that's just my elitism at work but I can't think of any remakes that are better than the original. For some reason the subject always makes me think about distribution methods for the video. I suppose if it were done nowadays people would just be swapping it around on bittorrent. I can just see it... Seed 1:1 with seven days or you die! There'd be hundreds of seeds for the file, people would be desperately hoping for leechers. And probably the MPAA would be renaming it putting it on kazaa to get back at the file sharers. It'd be great. Also on the subject of foreign film, there's this movie that I saw several years ago (in my International Film class I'm fairly sure) that's appearently still lurking around in my subconscious that I can't remember the name of or even really most of the plot of, though it appearently has left some deep impressions on my mind. All I remember is that there's a scene involving watching the 1934 version of Frankenstein, wind-swept hills, and some kind of metaphor involving bees. If anyone one knows what it is, shoot me an email. Otherwise I think I'll eventually have to go digging though my old "files" (read: large boxes full of loose paper and other refuse) and see if I can find the film list for the class. I should probably find it anyway so that I can remember the name of that horrid Australian movie about the girl with the fat, completely insane sister so that I can avoid it in the future. Oh wait... was it Sweetie? Yep, it was. *shudder*

Matt on 04.09.05 @ 12:41 AM PST [link

Wednesday, April 6th

Movies about the Amish

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: indeterminate

So it seems like I've finally hit the stage where my daily reading and writing is beginning to wear on me. The reading's not too bad except that I'm theorhetically supposed to do it for about an hour which has been seeming like a more and more significant chunk of time lately. Which might just be because I'm getting a little tired of The Diamond Age. Not that it's not a really enjoyable book, but it seems incredibly long. I've been reading it for an hour or more a day for almost two weeks now after all. I think I'll definitely have to work up to Proust and Pynchon on the shelves over there.

But no, it's really the writing that's been giving me trouble. Other than a couple days of brief sea-shanty related inspiration last week, I haven't been able to come up with anything that seems even remotely worth writing down. In fact I've just been scribbling down a few couplets here and there for the last couple days, then moving on to whatever it is I'm actually in the mood to do. Which, interestingly, is currently video games. I wonder if I charted out the amount of interests given to my main groups of hobbies if I would come up with anything telling. Because they currently do seem to phase in and out seemingly at random. For example, two or three weeks ago I could care less about any video games and wouldn't really have been concerned had I never touched another one. And now I'm in a state where that's all I'm in the mood to do and yet I haven't watched any anime in weeks despite having been almost at the end of Martian Successor Nadesico and mostly enjoying it (though it was starting to get a little surreal).

Anyway not much going down tonight. I finally got to watch The Village which I'm still mildly annoyed I didn't get to see in the theatre. Mostly just because that broke my M. Night streak. I definitly enjoyed The Village though if you ask me he's still yet to match Unbreakable. Of course the funny thing is is that M. Night is supposedly known for his movies having weird and crazy plot twists at the end or whatever when in reality he should be known for wanting to be Hitchcock. But it occurs to me that in addition to his usual supernatural MacGuffin (ghosts, superheros, aliens, um monstery things), the "twist ending" thing is actually his own personal MacGuffin. The popcorn munchers out there just go to his flicks to see what crazy twist ending is in this one and walk out going "Whoa. M'man Sammy was illin' like a villain all along. That's off the hizzy." or however popcorn munchers talk. But they've totally missed the point of the movie, which is to rip off Hitchcock. No no no, I kid. I love M. Night. Still, one must admit the the similarites are there. I mean, Signs was practically shot in the same house as The Birds. Anywho, enough casual film analysis. I got games to play.

[As a side note I've just realized that you can mock the Amish all you want online.]
Matt on 04.06.05 @ 11:36 PM PST [link

Monday, April 4th

Skimming Incoherent

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: pre-sleep

It seems that for the last week or so I've been saving my writing until it's about the last thing I do before bed. Which I guess isn't too crazy, considering that night time is the right time, and that I generally coast down from alert into introspective as the night wears on, before finally submerging into sleep (except for the nights when I skim along incoherent for awhile first, but I digress). But still, introspection or no, there's the procrastination factor to think about, which doesn't seem like a good thing.

But anyway, so for lack of anything more exciting to talk about (unless you wanted to hear the exciting chronicles of installing Win2k on a 5-year old laptop) I thought I would mention the time change and how despite the fact that I was a zombie for the vast majority of today thanks to the hour's loss, I actually kinda like it. (Stop me if I mentioned this last fall. I may have. I'm sure not gonna look though). What, you say? You like the time change? But... but that is something to complain about. Why aren't you complaining? Did I click on the wrong site? Ok, I reply, sure, I'll admit that for those of us who are night people yet go to church in the morning today's time change does in fact actually remove any purpose of going to said church since any christian sentiment you may have is replaced by what feels like large, rusty, metal files being dragged outward through every orifice in your head, and also ruins the rest of your sunday to boot. Sure, that I'll concede. (Oh, and yes, you probably did click on the wrong site.) But thing about the time change is I fall for it. Every time. The day before I think to myself, "So tomorrow there'll be this much light at 7. Huh." But when the next day comes around and it's 7:30 or something and it's still light out I'm just like, "Sweet jumpin monkey on a floor lamp! Look how light it is outside!" Call me a sucker, or not terribly observant, or what have you, but I do fall for it. And will probably continue to for the next couple of days. And you know, it feels nice to fall for something every now and then. Makes me feel more in touch with my fellow Americans. I'm just hoping that it doesn't mean that I'll just starting staying up until 3 or 4 and getting up after noon now.

But at any rate it doesn't mean that tonight. I know some people out there (especially the chipper and sickeningly annoying young college student types) like to brag about how they never get more than five hours of sleep a night, but I'm running off six and a good bout of unconsciousness is sounding mighty fine right now.

Matt on 04.04.05 @ 12:59 AM PST [link