evany's extended cake mix
(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)
get the latest
march 2008
december 2007
october 2007
may 2007
april 2007
march 2007
february 2007
january 2007
december 2006
november 2006
october 2006
september 2006

get the rest
archived entries

get more
my history
my writing
my crafty
my misc
my email

get into my head from twitter:

get my book

the secret language of sleep: learn more, buy more, or take the sleep test!

get involved
give books to beleaguered libraries via the amazing dewey donation system!

get your own

a halloween who's who
Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006 | link

Over the years I've noticed a series of patterns emerging out of the sea of clowns, mummies, and Steve Irwins that make up Costume Day. These patterns are forged by specific personalities who always seem to gravitate to certain types of costumery each and every Halloween. It's pretty much guaranteed that whatever party you're heading off to tonight, you're for sure going to run into one or more of the following:

The Garbage Man
There's a particular breed of person who meets the implied challenge of a costume party invite by walking to their closet and just throwing on a "bunch of crazy shit." A feather boa. A weird sparkly shirt unbuttoned injudiciously low. A necktie tied around the head. People ask The Garbage Man, "What are you supposed to be?" And The Garbage Man just answers with a shrug, and then goes and stands right in front of mind-meltingly loud speakers, where it stays, swaying only slightly, for the rest of the night. Bonus: The Garbage Man who adds to the confusion by dousing itself in blood. Triple-cherry bonus: The Bloody Garbage Man who gets very, very drunk and then refuses to leave the party, even after the hostess has changed into pajamas and very much would like to go to bed.

The Punster
I'm white and covered in garbage. Get it, I'm white trash! I'm a pregnant beauty pageant contestant, get it, I'm Miss Conception! I'm an tender worm dressed in striped pajamas. Get it, I'm jail bait!

The Usual
This is the type who insists on wearing the exact same costume each and every year, often something inspired by the military, something with period weaponry and leather harnessing, something that requires lots of "accuracy of detail." Ritual-loving sticklers such as these are so pleased with their costumes, they often scrape together alternate reasons to wear them, such as Burning Man or the Renaissance Pleasure Faire.

The Shim
These typically mild-mannered sorts are the ones who arrive at the party dressed in drag and then spend the whole night wondering why more people aren't shocked and titillated by their bent genders.

The Girl Who Dresses Sexy
Whatever she's wearing this year -- the Sexy Nurse costume, the Sexy Kitty costume, the Sexy Space Alien costume, the Sexy Auditor costume -- rest assured you're going to see a lot of thigh. And tits. Don't forget the tits. (I can't believe you almost forgot the tits.)

The Character Study
There are those who go beyond simply dressing up as some famous person or character. They revel in going the extra mile in that person's shoes; they become the character for the duration of the costume. Like if the guy comes dressed as Michael Jackson, he'll insist on talking in a high, tight whisper as he makes entendre-laden comments about how kids must be this high to ride this ride, or how little pitchers have big ... mouths. Usually by the end of the evening, everyone is so creeped out by the relentless authenticity that they stop talking to The Character Study, and he's left sitting alone on the couch, quietly adjusting his one sparkly glove.

The Nothing but Speedo, Cape, and Vader Helmet
Didn't I see you crossing Haight Street on Saturday Night? I thought that was you! Nice work.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

a book, an article, a monologue, and a hoodie
Monday, Oct. 30, 2006 | link

Tara and Sarah of Television Without Pity have a new book out! It's called Television Without Pity: 752 Things We Love to Hate (and Hate to Love) About TV, and it is delightful. I pre-ordered my copy months ago, so when it arrived last week, it was like a little surprise party in my mailbox. I just keep fanning this tidy little book open to random pages and marveling at each odd and insightful listing: "Alien Species, Dermatological Problems of"..."Future on TV, Similarity to Present"..."Orphans." I can do this -- open up this book and get a quick shot of glee -- 752 different times. Seven-hundred-and-fifty-two! What did I do to deserve this? Something pretty good, I'm thinking.

My friend-since-high-school Kari Kiernan has a piece up at the prestigious Huffington Post, one of the top one hundred blogs of ALL TIME. The thing she wrote is called The Frying Pan and the Fire, and it's a very funny and endearing peek at the struggle borne from being completely outclassed by your cooking gear. Since my rudimentary cooking skills and I also cower in the shadow of high-end cookware (in my case it's an intimidating All Clad 12-inch fry pan), I sadly can very much relate to the plight. If only Tamalpais High School had offered Home Ec, just think how much better our lives would be! Dumb Tamalpais High School.

It's been a great week for my favorite star-crush, Julia Sweeney: she landed herself a sparkly review (NYT prescription required) for her NYC staging of Letting Go of God, plus she got the plum Terry Gross treatment. All of that, and her self-released CD is finally in its final launch countdown (which means there's still time to get that buying-click finger nice and warmed up).

Good old Old Navy is now torturing me with its woodgrain hoodie, which I crave so hard it makes me dizzy, but for some insane reason, it comes in man shapes only. Sad, sad world! Do you think I could get a small and then bring it to a tailor and have the shoulders brought in? Or would that be crazy? Yeah, that might be a little crazy. (Thanks to Anatomy-of-a-Skirt Erin for the woodsy tipoff.)

And oh yes, there's also another Desperate Housewives recap to contend with. This one weighed in at 12 pages, 6,999 words, 9 solid hours of typing, and one salty tear.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

kentucky fried creepy
Sunday, Oct. 29, 2006 | link

Posted in the window at the KFC just up the street:

But...I don't think I WANT a "customer maniac" serving me my Mashed Potato Bowl with corn, crispy chicken bites, gravy, and shredded three-cheese blend. That's more a job for a "customer enabler."

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

drunken dispatch
Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 | link

I just went to RNM for mini burgers and pink and white wines and a vodka-soda, and also before all that a beer at Noc Noc (yes Noc Noc, which I don't think I'd been inside since 1992), all in celebration of Heidi Meredith's birthday! We sang happy birthday TWICE. And we toasted hamburgers! And we made new friends! They were playing Spirited Away on the flatscreen behind Heidi's head, which was sliightly distracting and also confusing, apparently the little black feet-people things were supposed to be the proletariat? Oh and also there was this amazing and arresting photo in the bathroom, a woman by the pool wearing a robe and matching patent leather stripper heels, with four very large dogs, ridgebacks?, all with their frontlegs stretched out before them, like they were bowing before her. Anyway, it doesn't sound all that great, but it was a very intimate, fraught snapshot. Also I made Marco come in there and admire it, too, and he seemed very impressed.

Oh and don't let me forget, Marco wanted me to tell you about the white dog we saw at the park last weekend, it was running and running around, it's owner nowhere in sight, and Marco was all, hey Casper! And the dog, mid stride, turned to us and smiled. And then later on in the hike, we ran across the owners and they were all yelling, "Casper, Casper!" And...that's it. That the end of the story. Marco totally guessed the dog's name. Because the dog was white, like a ghost.

Ooh hey, look at that, the DVR R-ed four episodes of Rescue Me!

Edited the next morning to remove drunky typos and to add in a bit more sense, wow.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

the technorati twostep
Friday, Oct. 27, 2006 | link

I'm a little bit of a picker. I can never leave a zit alone, and if I get a sunburn, I delight in peeling off the dead skin. And ever since I've been using Technorati (I signed up in September, back when they hired me to write their Press tour), I've been reloading my Home page like ten times a day. Maybe fifteen? Just to see if any of my twenty-plus favorite diaries have updated. Or to check if anyone has maybe linked to my sleeptest, which now has an insane 5,630 (suddenly the number's dropped to 1,301, maybe because Technorati only charts links from the last six months?) links -- almost all of them people who have taken the test and posted their results. And there's still maybe five, ten new people posting new results each day, which seems so amazing to me.

Anyway now Technorati has knighted me as one of their featured Favorites members, so if you hit reload again and again and again and again and again and again, you might just see my shining face.

Marco rocks the fresh Technorati top.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

life made me this way
Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006 | link

Wow another jam-packed day in my head and life! Once again I woke up at six (I don't know who I am anymore, either) and did some freelance-type work for a few hours. Pow!

Then my mom stopped by and we went to get coffee and cheese rolls. Zlurp!

Then Marco rolled in from surfing (he left the house before six, back when it was still dark, because he is crazy that way) and we packed up the truck with guitars 'n' things and headed over to the Oracle OpenWorld conference where his band, The Five Hundreds played the Wrap party. The band sounded great, and I took 129 photos. Hotdogs! Bud Light!

At one point, someone in the crowd gleefully, boozily yelled out "eBusiness Suite!" As Marco at the mic said, it was probably the first and last rock show at which that particular software got a shoutout. Any software, really. Zing!

While Marco was packing up afterward, I darted up the street to the opening party for the very fancy new BellaPelle digs on Maiden Lane (BellaPelle being the place where the lovely Leisa now works, a job you may recall that I helped her get on a very intimate level). The opening party was packed with pods and pods of fantastically well-groomed people, including my dear friends Liz, Caroleen, Jeff, Cash, Sunny, Amy Silverman, and of course lovely Leisa. There was also wine galore, a gelato cart, free waxings (eyebrows only, sorry), and a beautiful new look and feel, courtesy of designer/architect/friend Jeff. There was also a person slinking around in a big foam cat head and white jumpsuit: the store's icon, Glamourpuss. Yes that glamourpuss. Kerplunk!

Then Marco came and picked me up and four seconds later we got a ticket for driving in the bus lane on Market Street. Oof!

When we got home, I stepped up to Safeway for some necessities (half and half, aspirin, one green banana), and the sight of my banana launched the nice checkout lady into a story about her ex-husband who used to boil plantains speared with cinnamon sticks, a story infused with an unnamable yet unmistakeable meloncholy. As I gathered up my bags, she summarized her tale with a rueful laugh and this small slice of brilliance: "Life made me this way." Yay!

And now dear Diaryland, I press the "done!" button on this entry and hit the hay with violent force. BLAM!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006 | link

It's suddenly very late and I've had such a busy day, starting way back at 6am, and also I had a beer at dinner and it left me feeling groggy and tender-headed. Really I'm asleep already, but did I ever tell you about how my interview on Seattle's KUOW finally aired? And also I don't think I mentioned my interview with a nice reporter named Dru, did I?

Oh and hey! Did you guys know that words with capital letters featured mid-stream (for some reason, probably because I'm asleep, the only example I can think of is "JavaScript"), that style of wording is known as "Camel Case"? Like the humps of a camel. How great is that? Though really it should be CamelCase, right? Yet another reliable disappointment. (Thanks for the camel-tip, friend Jay!)

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

iced wheee!
Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2006 | link

I am on an iced tea TEAR right now, all thanks to the Lipton Specially Blended Iced Tea Brew tea bags. I did try making iced tea out of regular Lipton tea bags, but it tasted sad and bad. So it turns out the tea really does have to be specially blended? But wow, now it's like I have and endless supply of restaurant iced tea, right there in my refrigerator! Round the clock! Every day! I'm also not sleeping all that much.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

this town, is coming like a ghost town
Monday, Oct. 23, 2006 | link

This weekend, while I was driving into the city to attend Maggie's birthday pumpkin carve-off extravaganza (at which I consumed a cupcake, 1.5 macarons (aka a "mouth full of heaven"), vegetable soup, carrot sticks, champagne, a mint milano, many cheeses, and a ginger snap), I had the most amazing American Beauty moment. I was coming into that hairy, construction-ridden stretch of freeway just past the Bay Bridge on the City side, when suddenly the freeway was swept with a flurry of packing peanuts (or, as a friend in college used to call them, "ghost farts"). And for the next quarter mile or so, they swirled and whooshed around all the cars on the road, quietly and merrily, like little leaves or big, big snow.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

vlack like me
Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006 | link

Having an unusual name like "Evany" means that people are often a little confused when they first meet me. "Ebony?" is a favorite misstep (or, far more dastardly, singing "Ebony and Ivory"). And people always look so confused with their momentary belief that it's "Ebony," because what kind of parent would burden such a pale child with such an ironic name? One guy asked me who was "Evanyest" if I was just "Evany," and that was pretty good. I also had a random couple track me down over the internet and email me that they were considering naming their soon-to-be-born baby "Evany," and what did it feel like to have such a name, was it a blessing or a burden? And I responded with a very long email full of my many theories about the cruelty of childhood, and how having a weird name definitely leaves you open to school-yard mockery -- everyone used to call me "Ebenezer Scrooge," which was an odd mock for third graders to make about another third-grader, that I was cheap? -- but that it's my belief that kids will make fun of you no matter what, and in the absence of a weird name, they'll move on to something far more damaging, like your slightly-larger-than-average nose. So really, giving your kid a name like "Evany" is a service, don't you see? The dad actually wrote back to say that they'd decided not to go with "Evany" because he just couldn't knowingly curse his child with something that was going to be fodder for taunting, and also they'd had a boy, so it wasn't really an option anyway.

But my all-time favorite response was what Paul's mother, Judy, reportedly said when she first heard my name. First she said, "Ebony? Is she black?" Paul clarified that no, it's "EVany, with a V." And Judy, she said, "Oh. Is she vlack?"

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

link roundup
Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006 | link

The Kristin Windbigler has posted a magical post about our jam-packed, USA-USA-USA day at the Yo-Yo national championships and Manton apple festival, and with photos, too! Meanwhile I've been writing some words about things to do and gobble in the Bay Area over at Social Diva (my posts are all listed at the bottom of the page there). And yes the latest Desperate Housewives recap is now live, weighing in at just 6828 words, nine hours.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

dispatch from the frozen food aisle
Friday, Oct. 20, 2006 | link

Frozen pizza is of course terrible, and yet there's just something satisfying about that cracker-stiff crust. You can litterally snap that thing in two, and it tastes like...my mouth, like nothing. But still it somehow manages to get filed under "good idea" in my brain. Maybe it's the nostalgia factor: frozen pizza = babysitter nights. Marathon Connect Four sessions, extended bed-time, and frozen pizza! Yessss.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

please leave my grandmother's pumpkin out of this
Thursday, Oct. 19, 2006 | link

While waiting for my coffee beverage to be prepared at the Tully's inside Burbank's Bob Hope Airport, I noticed a poster announcing the seasonal debut of the "Pumpkin Spice Bellaccino." The tagline for the drink (for that's what I assume the "bellaccino" to be) described it as "Not Your Grandma's Pumpkin." Which is good news, seeing as I don't think I'd very much like a drink that tastes like my "Grandma's Pumpkin." In fact, I don't want to even think about my grandmother's pumpkin.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

fight, fight, fight
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006 | link

Last night Marco and I went to go see the Sharks beat the Stars (by which I mean hockey), and while I was waiting in line for garlic fries (I'd sent Marco inside to go sit down because I had been taking so long to figure out my whole food situation), I got into a heated battle with some woman. It was all very authentic. Best of all, I'm not entirely sure I was in the right? It's a very specific sort of feeling, being on the wrong side of an argument, a spoiled and rotting sort feeling with a small sliver of thrill folded inside. But I was very hangry (have you heard this, the a portmanteau of hungry + angry?) after standing in line for over fifteen minutes -- all while listening to the crowd roar inside as the team made their big entrance thorough the smoking shark mouth, which is my very favorite part of the game. And the line just was not moving. The woman behind the counter, a nice mom-looking sort of person, kept wandering off into some back office, and then meandering out to talk to coworkers, and then whispering something to the two guys at the front of the line, who had paid but were still sanding there. And she also kept pushing buttons on the register, and making things beeeeeeep? So I went up and asked what the deal was, were they out of food or something? And it turned out yes, they were currently out of some key foods, specifically the garlic french fries: they were waiting on some big delay in the kitchen to clear up. With obvious exasperation, I said to her, "You know, in the future," this is always a really great way to start any complaint, "you might want to let the people waiting in line know what's going on." The woman just smiled vaguely and ignored me, but this OTHER lady, who had been standing in the same frozen line that I had, turned to me and said, from her haloed perch atop a fluffy cloud in heaven, that I shouldn't take it out on the counterwoman, that there were plenty of other places to buy food, that I could just leave. Which wasn't true! Because I wanted garlic fries! And this was the only place on that side of the stadium that sold garlic fries! And also I'd already wasted fifteen minutes on this line! And like a person idiotically clinging to rapidly devaluating shares in a highly suspect company, my need to get what I came for was irrational and strong. I wanted some ROI! Because if there's anything worse than waiting fifteen minutes of prime smoking-shark-mouth time for a towering pile of garlic fries, it's waiting fifteen minutes with no garlic fries to show for it.

So now suddenly my conflict had shifted from the incompetent woman behind the counter to the self-righteous woman in line. I told her that the counterperson was clearly not a great communicator, and if she had told us what was going on, we could have saved some time and ordered elsewhere. The Self-Appointed Defender of the Nice Working Moms said, "How was she supposed to do that?" Me: "What do you mean, she could have yelled out that they were out of food!" Her: "That's not her job, her job is getting food and taking money." And I said, "Obviously you've never worked in the food services before," and she was all, "You're kidding me, right?" She stood a little closer, and her skin looked weird and bumpy, and clearly she was getting ready to tell me alllll about her years of waiting tables and, you know, having to deal with lesser people just like me. So I just rolled my eyes and walked away. With no garlic fries!

As I walked to my seat, I felt all hot and floaty from adrenaline, and I just kept thinking of things I wished I'd said to her. I didn't really manage to relax until deep into third period (and an order of Dipping Dots). Once I let go, though, I realized that the woman was probably right. I mean, I've totally been that person who confronts someone for taking frustration out on a service worker. Also I really do believe that anyone who gets paid the ridiculously low minimum wage (which I'm pretty sure is what they pay at the fry and beer stand at the HP Pavilion) has the right to do the very barest minimum. That's what they get in lieu of a sustainable income; they've earned the right to sloth it up.

So instead of garlic fries, my stomach was full of shame. Which was probably for the best; garlic fries always make my ass explode anyway.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

my life as a cartoon
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2006 | link

Last night Marco and I walked up to Zza's for some hot pasta action, and as we sat down, our cute waiter said, "You know, I was at your reading last night, great job!"

Marco: "Oh no! I'm wearing the exact same sweater!" (And he was: a great orange and brown stripy number that he bought at H&M moments before the reading itself.)

Me: "Oh my god and I'm wearing the same thing, too!" (And I was: a cute black little 50s-inspired coatlet with red lining, also from H&M, festooned with a little wooden mouse pin -- a gift to my now-deceased grandmother that my mom gave her in the early 60s.)

Cute Waiter: "That's actually how I recognized you guys. It's like you're cartoon characters, you know how they always wear just the one thing?"

Me: "I am wearing different underwear, though."

CW: "So...are you guys ready to order?"

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

do I look flat in this?
Monday, Oct. 16, 2006 | link

So now, awake and wine-headachy, here are a few more details about last night's reading. It really was very fun, and I laughed a lot, and Lisa Brown was in top form, her reading was just hilarious and great (or as my godmother, Meg, said, "such a sketch!"), and I'm so glad I was there, and so glad I did it, but it also had its rough spots:

The audio situation for the Wolphin short-film screening part of the show was very, very sad, for which I am partly (or maybe even entirely, ooops?) to blame. I had lined up a projector (thank you, Adaptive Path, generous company where I rent out a desk!), but since neither Lisa nor I need audio for our presentations, I didn't worry about getting that special wire that enables my computer to talk to the speaker system. So the nice people at Cody's wound up propping a mic up to the lame built-in speakers on my Mac, which produced barely audible results. Also for some strange and really unexplainable reason the piece they showed super, super dark (way more so than I've seen it in any other venue), so you could barely see what was happening. The overall experience was a strain on the eyes and ears, so much so that it bordered on performance art. Maybe I'm supposed to be craning and squinting and not really knowing what's going on?

Also missing from the reading was Chris Adrian, the third author who was supposed to speak, who I guess was in "New York"?

My dad volunteered that my performance started out "flat" but then picked up by the time we got to the Q and A. Which kind of bummed me out, because sometimes -- for instance those first few moments right after a difficult reading, though really they're all difficult for me, but still -- you (or maybe just I) don't really want to hear constructive criticism. Or, you know, honesty. All I want is mindless, uncritical parental gushing! And candy! And balloons! And confetti! And my own baby tiger! Ugh, I am an infant.

I took another look at my receipt from Harry Denton's last night, and realized that I tipsily tipped 20% on top of the built-in 20% tip, which filled me with much self-sadness and the urge to self-punch. But I guess I learned a valuable lesson about not using my credit card while drinking. And it only cost $30! Take that, Learning Annex!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

another reading down
Sunday, Oct. 15, 2006 | link

I just got home from my reading and I'm already halfway between tipsy and hungover. I think it went well, in spite of my supremely unpleasant nervousness (lots of heavy breathing and Hot Face, and not the sexy kind), which poisoned every last moment of the three hours leading up to the event (though usually it consumes three whole days, so things are looking up). I woke up convinced that since all the other readings have gone okay, this one was doomed to disaster just, you know, based on the numbers. But it was good! All four of my parents were there, and my godmother, plus all kinds of friends. And afterward, I got to go to Harry Denton's for drink drinking and view viewing along with some of my all-time favorite URLs, including: Stephen, Jennifer, Maggie, Bryan, Lisa, Liz, Heidi, and Marco (plus an URLless, or simply URLunknown Jonathan and Andy). And now I'm tired, tired, tired and looking forward to going to bed so very much. I'm going to sleep the stuffing out of that bed.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

it works!
Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006 | link

Just so you know: if you sit on a split-log bench in the middle of the wildnerness and get globs of snotty-looking pine sap all over the seat of your new and cute pair of ass-accomodating jeans, all you have to do is ask the internet and it will tell you that scrubbing the spots with rubbing alcohol will fix you right up. And it will!

Also my new Desperate Housewives recap is live (7,498 words and 11 hours to complete, so no speed gained this week, sigh), which means you now can relive episode 3 in crabby, microscopic detail. Isn't the internet amazing?

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

reading reminder
Friday, Oct. 13, 2006 | link

Remember how I'm going to be reading it up this Sunday? At 6pm? Yes, at Cody's Books on Stockton in San Francisco (just up from Market, just down from Union Square). Little Lisa Brown (the lovely lady behind the must-have "Baby Be of Use" series of board-books for small children, including Baby Mix Me a Drink and Baby, Make Me Breakfast) will also be reading, along with Chris Adrian, author of The Children's Hospital, which is truly beautiful. There will also be slides, short movies, sip-ables...seriously, this night is going to light up your blog.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

the new vernacular of bible thumping
Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006 | link

A man on the street, very dapperly togged (a three-piece suit, silk tie, hat) and holding a lovingly assembled sign (very Russian constructivist) about Jesus and sin and hellfire. "Sex in marriage only!" he yells, as expected. "Between a virgin man and a virgin woman!" Right, sure, okay. But then: "No sloppy seconds!" No: sloppy seconds? Sloppy seconds. Sloppy seconds!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

brain thoughts
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006 | link

Most of my memories are fleeting things, a faint echo of a particular emotion, or a general impression of how something used to look--My Childhood Home--which is really just an amalgam of multiple days or moments all overlapping and blurring together into one faded mental snapshot.

But I also have this small collection of special memories that somehow always stay fresh and close to the surface. While regular memories take a smell or a sound to trigger them, all I have to do to access one of these super memories is close my eyes, and I'm right back in that moment, feeling and thinking and experiencing things exactly as though I was right in there. If it's a childhood memory--and these kinds of memories usually are--my body even feels smaller. And I feel the smoothness of my worn flannel Lanz nightgown, the skin on my young knee actually feels tighter, sounds, smells, the quality of light in the room...it's all so real, it doesn't feel like a memory, it feels like time travel.

I wonder if it has something to do with the way memories are stored? Maybe these super memories exist right at the very core of the memory vault, or they're like an elevator shaft running through a hotel with cheap walls: they're accessible from many levels, and you can always feel, sense, hear, even smell their nearby rumbling.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

watch that smile slowly fade: a tip about toothpaste
Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2006 | link

If you find yourself drawn to Crest's new "Refreshing Vanilla Mint" flavored toothpaste, I do not recommend you go through with it. It's not that it doesn't taste just as good as it smells (there is a scratch and sniff sample on the packaging), it's just that brushing your teeth with its "whitening expressions" is very much like brushing with candy. And while that may sound like kind of a great idea, it really isn't. It turns out. Unless you like going to bed with the essence of "queasy post-Halloween gorge" in your mouth.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

whirlwind show and tell
Monday, Oct. 09, 2006 | link

And now I present to you a sampling of photos (it is a small sampling; I am not so great at keeping my camera both adequately charged and at my side) from my journeys over the past month or so:

This (from the jaunt to Manton, CA, this past weekend) is bootmaker Jack's handsome and very relaxed gentleman horse, Dandy.

I fed Dandy a handful of cherry tomatoes, which Kristin and I picked fresh from Jack's garden, and those lips were huge and muscular and very soft, much like my heart.

A sample of the fine views and also the well-preserved Tule Elk, which Marco and I spied while hiking around Tomales Point last weekend. (Oh wait, I didn't even take this photo, Marco did.) Not only do they have multiple harems of elk out there (for that is what they're called, these clusters comprised of one bull elk and his many maidens: "harems"), but the trail is also home to an assortment of nice middleaged men (presumeably organized and sanctioned by Point Reyes National Seashore officials) who stand along the trail and ask you, in gentle tones, if you'd like to get a closer look at the elk via their pre-focused spotting scopes. It may pay to note that, contrary to the instict that may urge you, as a city person, to ignore or even walk briskly past a stranger who offers you a private viewing of an elk harem, these men are perfectly safe. They may even have an authentic elk antler for you to handle.

Marco and Piggy at the dog-friendly Pescadero Beach, sometime in September.

More Piggy at Pescadero.

And finally: the Elephant Super Carwash in Seattle, the one and only thing I photographed during that entire trip. And, as you can see from this Elephant Super Flickr cluster (sent to me by the lovely Inger), this really is a wildly snap-tempting subject.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

jay mcyay!
Sunday, Oct. 08, 2006 | link

I'm a huge, huge fan of Jay McCarroll, the Season 1 winner of Project Runway. I think he's charming and funny, and self-effacing and insecure in a way that makes him seem extra likeable. Great fashion senses, too: I'm really into the way draws deep from his small-town quilting background to make such amazing and unusual clothing, stitchy things full of all kinds of interesting, beautiful fabric combinations.

You may have already seen these, but I just ran across the pics from his Spring 2007 show (which was sponsored by the Humane Society, more points for Jay) at the very important OLYMPUS FASHION WEEK, and hey there sure are some interesting things in there, cute and still very Jay-ish. Look it:

Put a Lucky mag love-it sticker on that blimp print skirt, please. (The bagel frame bracelet, too!)

A nice, simple dress, but note the exceptinally nutty and great bird-cage necklace.

Prooving he can do something clean and simple, but still preserve his bright eye for color.

A skirt loaded with all Jay's fabric smarts, plus pockets!

I like all the graphic craziness going on here, plus the silver leggings, and how the tattoos pull it all together.

It doesn't seem like a polkadot tubetop pantsuit and insane wireframe necklace would work, and yet somehow this manages to be weirdly awesome.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

yoyos and chili and deer!
Saturday, Oct. 07, 2006 | link

Right now, I am thumb-typing these words into my Sidekick as Kristin, her aunt Donna, and I drive back from a night of chili and beer and apple pie with Jack the bootmaker and all his friends. While at his house we picked tomatoes, I fed a horse, and there were chickens, two cats, a fleet of semi-tame deer, a dog named Joe, and even a drunk neighbor with a gun who cruised over on his ATV and dropped some science on us about landmines.

Today was also the big Manton apple festival (though all the apples and apple-related pies and things were SOLD OUT by the time we got there, what?, though I did get the very best glass of lemonade I've ever tasted), and we even caught a few hours of the National YoYo Championships in Chico.

To make room for all the many things we crammed and tucked into this day, we had to get up at 5am and drive and drive all over the place (well, Kristin has done all the driving), and now I feel like I'm going to melt into a puddle of sleep right here in my heated car seat. Photos to follow!

Also: another Desperate Housewives recap is live. This one took just eleven hours to complete, but it was also only 7,574 words long!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

a cutting-edge food thing
Friday, Oct. 06, 2006 | link

I am intrigued and tempted by the Baker's Edge pan (discovered via Chocolate and Zucchini, one of my all-time favorite food sites).

I'm very close, you even might say I'm close to the edge of buying this thing, but as more of an inner piece person, the concept of "nothing but edges" doesn't hold as much sway as much as it might. Though I guess the whole point of the pan is that the edges remain moist, what with no longer languishing to the point of overdone-ness while waiting for the inner areas to cook sufficiently.

Better still, the pan forms the shape of both an E or an M, making it a potentially wise investment for my household, where it could be used to make both celebratory M(arco) birthday lasagnes and E(vany) cornbread loaves. Plus it paves the way for many "edgy" jokes, which is always fun, especially when it comes to food. "This frittata tastes a little edgy, don't you think?"

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

the art of the self-reflexive icon
Thursday, Oct. 05, 2006 | link

This photo, which I forced Marco to take when we were walking around up in Seattle, makes me hugely happy:

A self-celebrating gas pump.

Which somehow makes me think of this photo (blatantly stolen from the July 4, 2006 entry of my favorite hedgehog blog):

A self-celebrating corn muncher.

Edited to add: To continue on the theme, Paul just pointed me over to my favorite Cockeyed's series of recursive photos, how about that!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

lingo lingoing lingone
Wednesday, Oct. 04, 2006 | link

I've had a number of job interviews these past weeks at a number of different internet companies, and as such, there's been a whole lot of lingo-talk going on. "Best practices" and "proof of concept" (or just "PoC")..."message" used as a verb.

It brings to my mind this thing I wrote back in the late 90s for a big purple book about ladies in technology. It was a sidebar piece about what it was like working on the internet, specifically a purported new wave of office jargon, all of which I completely made up. Like I claimed that conference rooms across the e-nation were abuzz with people saying things like "add that to shopping cart" (meaning "let's definitely greenlight that project") or "we've got too many windows open" (meaning "the meeting has descended into far too many sub-conversations and needs to get back on topic"). I think I even used "view source" ("let's find out more about what it takes to make that work") and "flatten layers" ("merge everyone's feedback into one core mission statement").

It was never entirely clear if the book's editors knew it was supposed to be funny or what, but for years I felt sort of guilty about the whole thing. Though, after the book came out, my office did start to sort of joke-seriously use the "add to shopping cart" one, and even "too many windows open." So in a sense, my piece wasn't made up after all. Total PoC!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

a world gone wrong
Tuesday, Oct. 03, 2006 | link

I saw a hipster wearing a fanny pack today, just...walking up the street. What does that even mean? When the ultimate in wrong is now embraced like that? What's next, trucker hats?

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

neverending story
Monday, Oct. 02, 2006 | link

Just when you thought I was all done with the scary readings, I've been signed up for one more. Yay! Ugh! And this time it's in a nice, convenient spot, accessible to the bulk of my friends (THIS MEANS YOU!), right in heart of the heart of San Francisco. Here's all the info:

From the Cody's Books website: "McSWEENEY'S UNDER THE SEA TOUR: Free drinks, brief movies, and appearances by three of the finest McSweeney's authors. CHRIS ADRIAN will read from THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, his newest novel; EVANY THOMAS will discus the latest McSweeney's research into the way you sleep and what lives in the ocean; and LISA BROWN will teach your baby to fix a car. And Wholphin -- the McSweeney's short-film DVD quarterly -- will offer a slate of clips from its upcoming issue. All at 6:00 PM at Stockton Street."

Cody's Books
2 Stockton Street
Sunday, October 15

I sure hope you can make it, because this is the very last time I'll be reading from the Sleep book. I think. Also: FREE DRINKS!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

desperately typing
Sunday, Oct. 01, 2006 | link

Season 3 of Desperate Housewives started last week, which means summer vacation is officially over. My recap for the premiere episode came in at a crushing 9,101 words and took twelve hours to complete. Twelve hours, and even then I had to send it in riddled (I'm sure) with typos because I ran out of time -- elephantine thanks to editor Derek cleaning up my mess!

My personal goal for this season is to get these things down to around the eight-hour mark, which is about how much time it takes other recappers I've polled. Because twelve hours! Twelve hours of rewinding and watching and rewinding and watching this show, which is not the best show, it is just chi-crushing.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

archived entries