Ooo baby: “You love HTML and producing web pages. You can recite hexadecimal values without a reference guide and dream in HTML. Your coded pages aren’t distinguishable from the Photoshop mockups, you can code any design given to you. You are quick as lightening and all your code is clean as a whistle.” — job listing at Cafepress.com.

“Stopped at my favorite book store, BookCourt, and was stunned anew by the sheer number of books. It looked like there were more books than human beings and I wondered if the publishing industry wasn’t some kind of money-laundering scam.” — Jonathan Ames

Joan Didion reminds us that sometimes it’s better to get the hell out of there: Goodbye to All That. This essay reminds me of a lot of things…. being 19 in New York, totally out of my element, walking home from work…. My strongest memories are of the sidewalk itself. I must’ve done a lot of looking down. I remember my new trendy sneakers, how my ankles looked in my new flared gray pants, how the curb looked when I stepped off it to avoid the crush of people or to hail a cab. I remember the hoods of cabs lunging toward me as they turned left, and I remember watching peoples’ ankles as they stepped out of cabs. I remember how the sidewalk looked after a good rain — not just wet but filmy, as though coated in a thin layer of liquid laundry detergent.

The essay also reminds me that I consider myself a minimalist in terms of living arrangements…. I haven’t unpacked boxes from when I moved here, have only hung up two posters, and in short never tried to make it feel like home. I’m the same way with food — I just buy the same items every time that I know I need, instead of building any kind of base of groceries for mix-and-match recipes. I always thought this trait was a good thing. I’m frugal! I can do with very little! But maybe part of the reason is that I just want to disappear, be a non-factor, a skinny shadow that isn’t bold enough to impose her presence on the world.

I posted this quote yesterday: “Only people of a certain disposition are frightened of being alone for the rest of their lives at twenty-six.” — Rob, High Fidelity

And re-reading it today made me think of this one: “I was really gonna be something by the age of 23.” — Lelaina, Reality Bites

What is this twenty-something angst?

So I took a job today with the organization where I’m doing AmeriCorps. I’ll be in D.C. for another year. Yes. Yes I will.

I went home last weekend, for the 4th. I stayed up until 3:30am for two nights in a row, watching episodes of 24 on DVD with my dad. Events occur in real time, so it’s addictive because each episode only takes you through an hour of the action. We watched every episode like this:

Me: Dad, this is really scary.

Dad: Oh, it gets worse.
Me: I don’t know if I can watch this anymore.
Dad: Wait till later, you’ll really be scared.
Me: Dad, I think this is too scary for me.
Dad: Noo, noo, this is just the beginning.

The show is about a man in the CIA who is trying to stop a plot to kill a presidential candidate. I learned many things from watching 8 episodes over a period of two days.

  • Do not trust anyone who works for the CIA, especially if you are told that you can trust them.
  • Do not trust anyone in your family, especially if they are your wife, daughter or son.
  • Do not get kidnapped in L.A. because the only ones who will help you are prostitutes. And their only form of help will be appearing sporadically with a big stick and stalling your attackers for 5 minutes.
  • If you are going to shoot your best friend, make sure she is wearing a flak jacket.
  • If anyone bumps up against you and spills popcorn into your lap, he is probably evil and trying to distract you from saving the world.
  • Terrorists will do anything to steal your wallet.
  • It is possible to save your family, your friends and a presidential candidate all at once. It takes about a day.

Indian man eats only sun (via the morning news). This man apparently survives on solar energy. Huh. …. Driving home from downtown a few weeks ago, I noticed a big sign (like the ones that usually announce traffic delays and stuff) that said “PENTAGON SOLAR ENERGY FARM.” Of course we sped by very quickly, so it may have actually said something else. But wouldn’t that be a good name for a band?

The world seems open as to whether
We should lean together –
Two candles melting onto one wax.
Seems our roads have long existed
As two wicks that have been twisted.
Think I’ll love you till it all goes black.

Paul Curreri

Back from the beach… More on that later. Now I’m back in D.C., back at work. Monday and Tuesday were stressful, angsty and frustrating in a lot of ways. (Compounded by the fact that I’d just spent a super-relaxing week at the beach with Patrick.) Luckily, Tuesday night I went to a concert/reading that felt like a fresh coat of whitewash on the inside of my spine. I really can’t describe it. Maybe like if I were a car, the concert was a vacuuming of the interior with a good, strong car vac….. The reading was by Davy Rothbart, the guy behind Found magazine, that publishes stuff found all over the country. He read some of them. Many were to-do lists, or notes to roommates or crushes, but that’s a lot of raw material, unrefined human emotion and communication, so funny and stupid and impossible but real. Scraps of paper stuck to car windshields, fliers taped on doors and telephone polls, notes crumpled in the grass or the parking lot or dangling from the string of a deflated helium balloon stuck in a cemetary tree. Some of the stuff published in the magazine is on the web site.

The music was by Devon Sproule and Paul Curreri. Paul is my friend Maria’s brother, and Devon is his girlfriend. Devon and Paul are pretty much the cutest couple I’ve ever seen. Devon played a few songs, and then Paul joined her for a few. (I ended up buying both Paul’s CD and Devon’s CD.)

Sometimes it’s good to get out of the house.